Downsville Cob

Welcome to the Downsville Church of the Brethren BLOG site. The church is located in Downsville, MD. We are a conservative Christian community lifting up the Name of Jesus daily.

Location: Downsville, Maryland, United States

I am the Pastor of the Downsville Church of the Brethren. This BLOG was set up to allow for interchanges of views, questions, ideas or suggestions concerning the Evangelical Church. While I am a Pastor in the Church of the Brethren all faiths are welcome to join the discussions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bending An Ear

Psalm 86:7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.


On a crowded playground with dozens of children running and screaming a mother can pick out the sound of her child calling her name. When “MOM” is called only one mother will respond. That is true because the mother is tuned to the very frequency, the very tone, the very accent of her child and is able to hear it over all the other noises.

When I was a young boy my father would call us home with a loud whistle he had some how developed in his childhood. It could be heard all over the neighborhood and meant "come home now!".

This discernment of one voice over many is based upon our familiarity with each other. We hear a sound or a voice we recognize and it cuts through all the other noises around us.

In the examples I just mentioned one was a parent calling a child and one was a child calling a parent. Both are extremely important to our ability to communicate in times of trouble.

Jesus expresses this when describing Himself as our Shepherd.

John 10:1-10 [1] "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. [2] The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. [3] The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

When we are in trouble we need someone to call who will listen and respond:

[7] In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.

When we are children on a playground and get hurt we don’t think to call 911. We call the one who has taken care of us all our lives.

When we parents can’t find our children we call out to them directly. We don’t call 911 to report them missing. We go out looking for them.

Jesus tells us of a shepherd who leaves 99 sheep behind while he goes to rescue the one lost sheep. As he searches the sheep will hear the familiar voice and respond - leading the shepherd to the rescue.

LUKE 15:3-7

3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

God knows your voice. He can pick it out of the background noise and He responds. We are His which is why He will answer "in the day of my trouble". When He answers we must respond to the voice of God. It is a conversation and each of us is called to listen. Without listening there can be no resolution.

Have you called on the Lord in times of trouble? Most of us have. We find ourselves overwhelmed and call on the only friend we know who cannot fail.

Have you called on the Lord in times of plenty? Do you remember to thank Him just like you remembered to call out to Him for help? There is only one voice we need to know for eternal salvation. You recognize your child's voice and the Heavenly Father recognizes His children's voice.

Recognize the Shepherd's voice and follow only it.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Jesus Never Wished You Good Luck

Matthew 21:21-22
[21] Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. [22] If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

For a number of years my Mother-In-Law lived with us. She grew up during the Great Depression and she learned quite a few superstitions. You know some of the more common ones, of course:

Break a mirror – 7 years bad luck
Black cat walks across your path – bad luck
Walk under a ladder – bad luck
Rabbits foot for good luck
Spill salt – toss it over your left shoulder or you will have bad luck

She had a few I had never been told – one of which has stuck with the rest of her family – NEVER PUT SHOES ON A TABLE – once again, it’s bad luck.

I used to ask my Mother-In-Law to show these rules to me in the scripture but she never did.

You get the picture. Luck seems to play a large roll in the lives of many people. When you start a new job or even a trip people wish you “Good Luck” as if this will ward off any problems.

If we look back upon any serious stretches of bad luck we feel we have had, it is usually caused by some failure other than the black cat or the ladder. Quite often it isn’t bad luck - it’s our failure to prepare properly or the failure of something over which we have no control.

As Christians we do not live on luck. You can't touch luck because it really doesn't exist. If you could touch it you could control it - you could use it to your advantage. If you could use it you would never have bad luck. We live by faith.

Hebrews 11:1-3 [1] Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. [2] This is what the ancients were commended for. [3] By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

We can, however, use our faith – we cannot use our luck. We have all heard the phrase, “If it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.” No one has ever mentioned bad faith in this way. If luck can't be used how can faith be used?

Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

This is how we use our faith. This is putting our faith into action.

2 Cor 5:7-10 [7] We live by faith, not by sight. [8] We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. [9] So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. [10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Luck will have no part in what the Savior says when we appear before Him. Our faith and our belief in His life and resurrection will.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


On occasion the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language updates the words included in it’s various editions. Recently the Student edition added such words (?) as MP3 player. In order to make room in the edition certain words – deemed no longer relevant to the Student population – must be removed. This year the editors chose to remove words with a faith based implication. The most remarkable deletion was the word “SIN”.

Having been a student at the college level I can tell you that sin is definitely a relevant word. I doubt that there is a student using this dictionary who needs to look up MP3 player to know what one is. I know that there is not a student using this dictionary who is sin free. Yet, the word itself is now deemed either irrelevant or politically incorrect – thus it’s removal.

Just because the world doesn’t like the concept of sin doesn’t mean it no longer exists. If that were the case I would make a pitch to have words like debt and pain removed from the dictionary.

You don’t need to know what sin is to know you have sinned. You don’t need to know whether it is a noun or an adjective to know you have sinned. You don’t need to know how to pronounce sin in order to know that you have sinned. Sin doesn't have to be in the dictionary in order to exist.

What we need to know is what to do about the sins we have committed. We need to know that one who lived long ago paid the price for the very sins we are committing. We need to know that one who lived long ago loved us before we were born and wants to welcome us into a close, personal relationship. We need to know Jesus.

We need to know that He washed away our sins and all we have to do to take advantage of His Grace is to go to Him in prayer and confess our shortcomings and simply ask to be forgiven.

Share your personal relationship with the Savior with someone today. Make an opportunity in the grocery line, in a restaurant, to a neighbor etc. Show the sunshine of your soul to someone living in darkness.