When doubt assails you seek the Lord.
When the darkness surrounds you seek the Lord.
When life seems hopeless seek the Lord.
When your world is out of control seek the Lord.

There is Light to defeat the darkness.
There is day to overcome the night.
Jesus came to grant forgiveness.
To turn man’s wrong into God’s right.

If today seems dark and dreary.
If all your hope has gone away.
Seek the Lord and do not weary.
God will turn your night to day.

Hope is here, hope is now.
Hope is in God’s eternal word.
Bend your knee and bow
To the Truth you have heard.

Anticipation. The word for the wait to see the new groups coming today. We know that God is in charge and that wonderful things will happen when He is glorified. What is in question is how Jesus will show up and where.

Each week has been unique and each group has been special. The constant that w have appreciated is the short-term and long-term cadre that has led the work teams, and the kitchen team that has been there every day to uplift, encourage and especially to feed.

For the past 2 weeks I have been on-site working and this week I will be with Linda and the kitchen crew. This something that every church needs to look at for an outreach project. Appalachian poverty is as heart-wrenching as that of a third world country.

There is no reason why we, in America, do not address the problems here. We need to stop walking by and ignoring the poverty here and start doing more to help these folks help themselves. Come, see, weep for this area and then give them a hand up. Be the hands and feet of Jesus.

As Easter draws to a close and I look at the day and how we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus I marvel at the diversity of activities. There were Easter egg hunts, lunch and shopping discounts, TV specials and, for some, no celebration at all. For Christians, there were sunrise services, regular church services, special church events and a private time of praise and worship.

In all of these celebrations is found great joy; for yesterday all hope was lost and today all hope has been confirmed. By the grace of God the sins of mankind have been borne by Jesus to the grave and buried and He has risen victoriously to intercede for those He knows with the Father.

If you know Jesus in your heart know this. Your sins are forgiven and your salvation is assured. You will spend eternity in heaven.

If you only know of Jesus then pray to know His love, pray to be able to accept Him in your heart. Head knowledge does not bring eternal peace, only heart knowledge saves.

Jesus came down and became a man to take the sins of mankind on Himself. He willingly left paradise, He willingly lived in a world of sin and led a perfect life showing us how to live by His example, He willingly allowed Himself to be beaten and reviled for our sins and He willingly mounted the cross and died for us.

Today is the day when we mourn for the pain and suffering that Jesus endured for the sake of each of us. As with the apostles, we need to tremble with great fear at the awful thing that occurred and then we can be filled with great joy when we celebrate Christ’s rising tomorrow.

As we give thanks every day for what God does for us we must remember that Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Praise the God who came to us to give us eternal life, not for what we did but for who we are. No, not for who we are but for who He is. The God of all mercy who saw us in our sin and by His grace made a way for us to come back to Him through Jesus. Any person who accepts Jesus, acknowledges their sin, asks for forgiveness and believes that Jesus rose to be with the Father is saved.

There is a woman in her eighties who has been volunteering at CAP for 7 or 8 years feeding the groups that come in to help CAP participants. Miss Anita fell last week and hurt herself. She is here but unable to be the Martha (Luke 10:40-42) that she has always been.

The other ladies are helping her to be comfortable and waiting on her It is difficult for her to accept the servants role but she is learning with a little help from her friends. There are times in our lives when w can serve others and there are times in our lives when God expects us to sit and be waited on. Anita has always been a gracious and faithful servant and right now it is time for her to be the one waited on.

Remember as you serve that there will be times when you need to be served and likewise remember when you are being served that there are times when you will be expected to serve. Follow Anita’s example and be both a gracious servant and a gracious recipient.

Met a man named Doug from California and a man named Joe from New Jersey while serving in Kentucky this week. One is a retired high school teacher and the other works for various magazine publishers in New York. One is a small older man and the other is a large man in his prime. One speaks with elegance and other with the typical Jersey accent.

The common thread that binds these men together is not complicated at all. They both have an abiding love for the Lord and want to pass that passion for Christ to the next generation. They both see the good in this teen generation and they both see the need to help others.

Despite a light snow and some freezing mornings they will both be back next year with another group of teens to be of service to the needy and hurting in Appalachia. They both understand the meaning of faith. They both understand how to turn their love of the Lord into a faithful testimony about Him. Praise God for these groups who come and serve and grow in God. You too can show your faith.

As one ages there is a choice to be made. We can live for our own pleasure collecting our social security and pensions and pursuing our own pleasures or we can use our time and talents to further the kingdom of God. The choice is ours and we need to choose wisely or we will deny the next generation the benefit of our wisdom.

There are many opportunities for people who are on a fixed income but have the time and the health to serve. The retired need to be examples to the community of how to let the love of Jesus shine over the world. Working when possible, counseling when necessary, praying always and always keeping Jesus in every situation.

As the body slows down we can teach, we can exhort and we can pray. The example of a Godly person speaks volumes to the young people of today and will last them a lifetime until they are in the position to mentor the next generation.

As you retire and chart the course of the rest of your life remember the Lord. Remember that all that you have came from God. You must return to Him what is His. What better way than to give the rest of your life to Him to use as He pleases.

Refreshed is the soul of the man who can have conversation with young people who understand the three pillars of community, service and spirituality and are ready to go home and disciple others. I am such a man. Watching these long-term volunteers who have grown in their faith gives hope to tomorrow.

I have been truly blessed with the added privilege of seeing my wife come alive with the joy of serving with other people who are fully committed to the Lord. I have been truly blessed with an awesome helpmate and the aches and pains all seem to fade away as we say our nightly prayers and reflect on the joys of the day.

There needs to be a way to show others why it is so important to give a hand up to someone in need and not just a handout. Everyone needs help at some time in their life, whether it is physical, emotional, mental or spiritual and to walk away is just plain wrong.

Volunteer to help. Give of yourself. Reap the rewards of good deeds.

Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

These verses have been much on my mind lately. I can’t help but compare Laodicea to the United States. We sit in our churches, and we have a multitude of churches here in America, self-satisfied and complacent because we are giving lip service to God on Sunday. We give cheerfully to the church because God loves a cheerful giver, but probably not the full tithe. After all, who could possibly be expected to give up $3,000 out of every $30,000? And before taxes at that!

Who could be expected to give up their leisure time to help others? After all, we have earned our time off to do as we please and play with our toys.

If you need another reminder read about the wealthy man Lazarus in Luke 16:20-25. He was a wealthy comfortable good man who did nothing for his fellow man and see how he spends eternity.

Ignore God’s warnings at your own peril.

Acts 20:35: β€œIn all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

As we begin a new week of serving, I look around at the volunteer kitchen crew and stand in awe of what God can do. These people have listened to the voice of the Lord, stepped out in faith and come to Eastern Kentucky to serve.

It is true and very evident that Jesus uses the weak to show His strength and be His hands and feet. There are people here who have survived all kinds of physical problems and still serve. There are people here who get up every day with aches and pains and move with prayer and faith through the day to help the needy.

God calls us to spread the gospel wherever we are and under all circumstances. What better way to spend the time God has allotted you is there than to be helping others instead of yourself while you talk about Jesus? And talk about the Lord, you must.


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