FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ How many people at some point in time have set their sights on becoming like one of their
heroes or idols? Whether it is to be the next Peyton Manning, Dolly Parton or maybe Elon
Musk, they begin to study their habits and character traits to determine what made them
successful. They must also realize that part of their makeup is one of natural ability or gift. This
information will help those individuals to plan for how much more time and effort they need to
apply as they strive to be more like those that they have come to respect or admire so much.
Christ followers are challenged to do the same as we strive to be more like our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ. He should be the one we need to emulate. We find Jesus’ habits and character
traits as we spend time studying and meditating on God’s Word. Mark 5:16 says of Jesus, “Yet
he often withdrew to quiet places and prayed.” If Jesus needed to withdraw to a quiet place,
how much more should we? In this fast paced world, it takes a concentrated effort on our part
to disengage from the challenges of life and seek out a place to be quiet. If Jesus needed to
pray to His Heavenly Father, how much more do we? His practice was always one of petitions
as well as one of listening. We all would do good to learn from His example. Luke 2 says His
parents found Him in the Temple listening to the teachers and asking questions. If Jesus
needed to go the place of worship and listen to the teachers, how much more should we? It
needs to be our regular practice to attend worship services and receive from our teachers the
inspired Word. All through the Gospels, we see where the perfect man Jesus extended love,
compassion, mercy, grace, and forgiveness to those He encountered. If He, being perfect,
made this His habit and character, how much more should do so being as imperfect as we are?
May we as Christ followers desire and commit to do more to be like Jesus so that He may be
glorified. God’s blessings, protection, and favor to all.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ “Forgetting what is behind...” Phil 3:13b. There are times in all our lives that we all have failed, missed the mark, stumbled, struggled, offended, or hurt someone. It is easy for us to be weighed down and hindered by what we may have done in the past. I have often heard that the greatest tool of the devil is to remind us of our past. (But we can remind him of his future!) Thankfully, we serve a God who faithfully forgives and chooses to forget our past if we sincerely repent. This allows each one of us to look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life in Him.
As we enter a new year, a concentrated forward focus is the best way for us to minimize the past’s impact on our present lives. The rearview mirrors in our cars are but a small reflection of what is behind us. But as we look forward, we have a large clear windshield that allows us to see what is ahead and what we can expect. The expectation of the Christian’s future is so full and rich of possibilities that it supersedes whatever has happened in the past. But to make that become a reality, we must set our minds and spirits on what God has planned for us. Phil 3:13b-14 continues with, “and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” This should be our focus not only for now but also for eternity. The “goal” and the “prize” are the same but at different times. Both are for us to become more Christlike. The “goal” is to run our race in this life purposely to be more like Christ each day. The “prize” is to be ultimately like Christ when God calls us heavenward. For now, and as we prepare for eternity, our forward focus should be to make the changes in our lives that will make us to be more like Him. As it has often been said, “More of Him and less of me.” By concentrating daily on our relationship with Him, we can look forward to what He will help us become. ~ God’s blessings, protection and favor to all.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ Because God’s children are human beings - flesh and blood - the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying (from Hebrews 2:14-15 (NLT)).
Hebrews 2:14-15 connects the beginning and the end of Jesus’ earthly life, and in so doing, makes clear why He came. It is a step-by-step Christian view of Christmas. In sending Christ to earth, God has the salvation of His “children” in view. God’s design was to offer Christ to the world and effect the salvation of His children. Jesus was God but took on flesh and blood and clothed His deity with humanity. He became man while remaining fully God. The reason Jesus became man was to die. He could not die for sinners as God, but as a man He could. Therefore, He had to be born human. In dying, Christ made the devil ineffectual. This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. We must realize that Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. With Jesus’ death, God has taken that weapon away from the devil. Satan cannot make a case for our death penalty because the Judge has acquitted us by the death of His own Son. We are now free from the fear of death because God has justified us. Satan cannot overturn that decree. If we do not need to fear our last and greatest fear, which is death, then we do not need to fear ANYTHING! We can be free: free for joy and free for others. What a great Christmas present from God to us, and from us to the world (a paraphrase from John Piper).
On behalf of Joseph’s Storehouse volunteers, staff, Community Advisory Council, and Board of Directors, we want to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christ-centered Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.~ God’s blessings, protection and favor to all.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ “Oh God, You are so good. You are faithful and gracious, and you have blessed me beyond measure. Thank you for everyday blessings to which I have become accustomed, but never want to take for granted: clean drinking water, electricity, food in my pantry, hot showers, a roof over my head, and a bed to sleep in. Thank you for legs that carry me where I need to go and hands that enable me to accomplish many things. Thank you for my hearing and my vision and for a sound, healthy mind. Thank you for my family, my friends, my job, and my neighbors. Thank you for the freedom to attend my church, for my pastors, and for my small group, and for my many relationships. Thank you for the things You are doing in my heart and in my life. I’m grateful that by the power of your Holy Spirit, I am much different today than I was 10 years ago, or a year ago. I am even different than I was at the beginning of this year, and it’s because of Your power at work in me, continually transforming me into Your image. I love and adore you, Lord, and my heart overflows with gratitude for all these blessings. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.” ~ By Julie K. Gillies
We at Joseph’s Storehouse are giving thanks this season for our many blessings. The blessing of the many individuals who help make the ministry possible. Those who consistently pray for the work and for our efforts to feed those in need. Their prayers help give us a road map to travel on. It is also with sincere gratitude that we are thankful for our many volunteers. It would be impossible for us to feed and minister to our clients without their help and support. Finally, we are blessed to have those who give sacrificially of their monetary resources that make it possible to meet our financial obligations. Your commitment means so much to help sustain our efforts. May this be a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. ~ God’s blessings, protection and favor to all.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled (satisfied with divine contentment)" Matthew 5:6.
When we are physically hungry and thirsty our cravings can only be met with food and drink. As Christ-followers we have an inner spiritual hunger and thirst that only His righteousness can satisfy. There is a difference between physical and spiritual hunger. Physical hunger works opposite of spiritual hunger. We ingest physical food and drink until our body is satisfied. We no longer have a need. When we are spiritually hungry and we are given a feast of good spiritual food, it makes us hungry for more. We cannot seem to get enough.
The reverse is also true. Missing a meal for our physical body increases our desire and appetite for nourishment. But if we receive no spiritual food over time, we can lose our desire for it and malnutrition will set in. Just like physical malnutrition, this creates short and long term spiritual health issues, slows recovery when we are wounded spiritually, and gives way to a higher risk of infection from the world. It also delays our spiritual growth and causes us to waste away spiritually.
Unfortunately, some of us are spiritually malnourished. It’s not because we don’t eat, but because we are consuming the wrong things. The world offers us an endless buffet of things that we can ingest that only satisfies our flesh but leaves us spiritually malnourished. And when we are given opportunity for something to feed our spirits, we become picky eaters. We only want to consume what we like or what makes us feels good. The only way to have a healthy spiritual diet is to have a desire to apply the righteous standard of God (His way of doing and being right) to our lives. The menu to obtain this is only found in His Holy Word. Our desire must be to hunger and thirst for what pleases Him. If we train our appetites to do so, we will be satisfied with divine contentment. ~ God’s blessings, protection, and favor to all.