Sunday, June 23, 2013
Thankfulness,,, the subject that we all know too much about but sometimes we forget. So about two weeks ago I was driving my truck I saw a bumper sticker. On the bumper sticker it said, "thank you God for blessing me much more than I deserve." I thought the person knows where I'm at. I don't deserve this life and I say thank you to God for today. So then Sunday rolls around and it's time to write my senior sermon for June 23, 2013. I log onto my computer hit up Facebook and the first thing that I see on the wall is a picture with the saying "thank you God for blessing me much more than I deserve,,," so I guess that will be what today's sermon is about--being thankful and thankfulness. Every day we wake up and we're given the gift of life. What we do with it becomes a gray area. You see in the Bible it says "be joyful always, pray continually, giving thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ." (Thessalonians 5:16-18) This is rough,,, well because life is rough. We all got problems... the world has many problems--maybe getting divorced and you can pray on that. Maybe your woman who miscarries,,, you can pray on that. Maybe you're someone who gets mistreated daily,,, you can pray on that. Maybe you're a person at a nursing home barely living and if not for the staff you'd be alone,,, you can pray on that. Maybe you're overwhelmed by your finances and have a cloud of depression over you or you're just lonely--all things you can pray for or pray because, but do these things make you feel thankful ??? In most situations, giving thanks for these things would suck, suck hard !!! You wouldn't feel a need for calling... NO just the opposite ,,, shaking your fist with anger upward at the Lord would seem more fitting, making what Paul said fruitless, but you're breathing, you're alive, you're heart and blood is pumping. You see, giving thanks in good times it is easy to get reminded that every gift is good and perfect from above. We can easily appreciate them. Counting our blessings becomes habit and comfort, but in difficult times these come gray. You see, this is where our/your faith comes into play. It's God's plan, his road, or his path and we as human flesh fight because we want control of the road. We want to control our road and where it goes, and what it does and God is supposed to sprinkle us with greatness because we are good or bad, but God is still giving. You see, this is superficial faith !!! So in good or bad times we must give thanks. He wants us to walk by faith and not by sight. The road has bumps, and if we just depend on our senses, life would be one long roller coaster with no exit. No stops, no getting off, and I don't know about you, but after about an hour or so that would get sickening !!! So sit back and relax. If we rely on God everything will become smooth and steady. We will still be riding a roller coaster, but there will be stops and starts, places to get on, places to get off--all in all a giant adventure we call life !!! You see peace can come to us if we stop sweating the small stuff, trust our faith, trust in God, and remember like the passage said, "be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, [and I love the way it says that "all circumstances"] for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ." Start your day off with a thank you, and right before you go to bed say thank you too irregardless of whether it was a good day or a bad day. If tomorrow comes, you are blessed, if it doesn't, you are needed elsewhere. So just remember tomorrow might never come. Today is a gift !!! Thanks. Jeff da Plumber until next time... Peace !!!
Friday, March 22, 2013
Hey everyone !!! This month's sermon fell on St. Paddy's day, so I figured, why not tell the people about the real Saint Patrick. I scoured the internet looking for the story and came across this website (http://holydays.tripod.com/shamrock.htm) and this is the story I told them. Enjoy !!! Let me know your St. Paddy's day traditions !!!
The Life of Saint Patrick and the Origin of St. Patrick's Day
From the Rocky Mountain Family Council
Who Was the Real St. Patrick?There are many legends and traditions associated with St. Patrick's Day. Who was the real St. Patrick?
St. Patrick was not actually Irish. he was born around 373 A.D. in the British Isles near the modern city of Dumbarton in Scotland. His real name was Maewyn Succat. He took the name of Patrick, or Patricius, meaning "well-born" in Latin, after he became a priest.
During Patrick's boyhood, the Roman empire was near collapse and too weak to defend its holdings in distant lands. Britain became easy prey for raiders, including those who crossed the Irish sea from the land known as Hibernia or Ireland. When Patrick was sixteen, he was seized by raiders and carried off to Ireland.
Most of what is known about St. Patrick comes from his own Confession, written in his old age. In his Confession he wrote about his capture:As a youth, nay, almost as a boy not able to speak, I was taken captive ... I was like a stone lying in the deep mire; and He that is mighty came and in His mercy lifted me up, and raised me aloft ... And therefore I ought to cry out aloud and so also render something to the Lord for His great benefits here and in eternity -- benefits which the mind of men is unable to appraise.After Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave by an Irish chieftain named Niall, he was sold to another chieftain in northern Ireland. Much of Patrick's time was spend alone on the slopes of Slemish Mountain, tending his master's flocks of sheep. During the long, lonely hours in the fields and hills of Ireland, Patrick found comfort in praying. In his Confession he wrote:
... every day I had to tend sheep, and many times a day I prayed -- the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. And my spirit was moved so that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers and almost as many in the night, and this even when I was staying in the woods and on the mountains; ... and I felt no harm, and there was no sloth in me -- as now I see, because the spirit within me was fervent.Six years passed slowly by. Then in a dream, Patrick heard a voice saying, "Thy ship is ready for thee." This was God's way, he felt, of telling him to run away.
That night he fled. Assured God was leading him, Patrick plunged through the bogs and scaled the mountains which separated him from the sea. He escaped Ireland by ship, but God would call him back years later. Patrick had escaped his boyhood enslavement in Ireland only to hear the call of God as a man to return. He was being called on, he felt, to convert the Irish to Christianity. In hisConfession Patrick wrote:I saw a man named Victoricus, coming from Ireland with countless letters. He game me one of them and I read the opening words which were: The voice of the Irish ... I thought at the same moment I heard their voice: 'We beg you, young man, come and walk among us once more.'
And I was quite broken in heart, and could read no further, and so I woke up. Thanks be to God, after many years the Lord gave to them according to their cry.
... they call me most unmistakably with words which I heard but could not understand, except that ... He spoke thus: 'He that has laid down His life for thee, it is He that speaketh in thee;' and so I awoke full of joy.When Patrick began his mission about 430 A.D., Ireland was gripped by paganism, Idolatry prevailed and the Irish knew nothing of Jesus. Patrick decided to go first to the pagan chieftain or king who had enslaved him as a boy. Rather than be put to shame by a former slave, the king set fire to his house and threw himself into the flames.
Patrick then set out for Tara, the seat of the high king of Ireland. When Patrick arrived, Tara was filled with many local kings and druids who were attending the pagan feast of Beltine which coincided with Easter that year. Patrick encamped in the full view of the castle to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.
On the eve of the festival it was the custom, upon penalty of death, that the high king should light the first bonfire before any others in the land. Patrick, however, had kindled a great fire which gleamed through the darkness. Patrick was summoned before the king. The confrontation which followed is as amazing as Elijah's victory over the prophets of Baal.
Patrick stood and called, May God arise and His enemies be scattered. Darkness fell on the camp. Confused guards began to attack one another. The ground shook and the next day, Easter, a broken king knelt before God's servant. This confrontation between Patrick's God and demonic forces marked the beginning of a thirty-year mission to Ireland.
Patrick traveled the roads and forded the rivers of Ireland for 30 years to see men and women "reborn in God' and come to know the Christ he loved so much. Patrick wrote in his Confession:We ought to fish well and diligently, as our Lord exhorts. Hence, we spread our nets so that a great multitude and throng might be caught for God.
We ought to fish well and diligently, as our Lord exhorts. Hence, we spread our nets so that a great multitude and throng might be caught for God.By the time of his death, Patrick had baptized tens of thousands and established hundreds of churches throughout Ireland. Danger and hardship remained his constant companions. Twice he was imprisoned, but he was not discouraged. He wrote in hisConfession:Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere.
Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere.
Within a century this once pagan land became predominately Christian, possessing such a vigorous faith that Ireland in turn sent missionaries to Scotland, England, Germany and Belgium.As an old man, Patrick looked back in awe:Those who never had knowledge of God but worshipped idols ... have now become ... sons of God.The old saint died in his beloved Ireland on March 17th, 460 A.D. The land that once enslaved him, had now been set free.Note: One of the most popular legends attributed to Patrick is that he used the shamrock as a visual aid to teach the principle of the Trinity. This story cannot be verified. However, from his writings it is evident the doctrine of the Trinity was central in his teaching.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Hey there everyone !!! Jeff da Plumber™ here with another how-to, home tip. Since it is the new year, I thought I would share with you all a home maintenance timeline that I use in my home. If I follow it in my home, it is simple, cost-effective, and safe.
So now, here are the 12 Months of Household Tips:
When you are taking down those lights, be sure to clean the gutters. The rain is coming and you want to have your gutters free and clear of debris.
Trim those pesky trees. This will prevent damage to nearby cars and the house. Those strong winds can come in and you want there to be no way the branches can damage you or your home.
This is a plumbing month. Inspect all of your toilets, sinks, and showers. Make sure there are not any leaks. This saves you money on your bill and saves the planet too. Be sure to inspect your water heater too. Make sure it is not leaking or off temperature from previous months. If you do encounter a problem and need to replace your water heater, read this blog post for more information on Tanked vs. Tankless: http://jefftheplumber.blogspot.com/2012/09/tanked-versus-tankless.html
It is Daylight-Savings time and you know what that means right?!?! Time to change the batteries on all detectors: smoke, heat, carbon monoxide, gas, etc. This is the perfect time to do it because this happens twice a year. If you get in the habit of changing them bi-annually, you won’t have to hear the obnoxious batteries low noises, or risk your family’s safety.
Clean the filters in your house and if necessary replace them. This ensures the cleanest air running through your home. Make sure your pool is ready as well. The kids will be coming home from college or the school year will be ending and the pool will be getting a lot of use as the world warms up.
Clean dryer lint. Now I’m not talking about the filter on the dryer, I’m taking about where the dryer meets the wall and outside. The link does not all get collected in the filter and is flammable, so be sure to clean the vent pipes out a few times a month.
Replace the filter in your fridge or water softener. Your water may be getting a funky taste or be staining your glasses. It is important to change these filters to keep clean water coming to your families. With summer in full swing, here are some other tips to help save you money and keep your home operating at its finest: http://jefftheplumber.blogspot.com/2012/07/life-is-flush-and-jeff-da-plumber-is.html
Repair any cracks outside your home. This could be on the driveway or on the external walls of your house. This protects the foundation and the over safety of your home. Also, clean those shower and sink heads. (Tips for that are described here: http://jefftheplumber.blogspot.com/2012/01/clean-shower-head-for-2012.html)
Put away all of your summer stuff. This could be the chairs and tables you have in your backyard, or the grill. If it is something you will be using throughout the year, make sure it is covered. When the rain comes, you do not want everything getting rusted, so take a few minutes to put what you won’t need in a covered storage space.
Daylight-Savings time is over and you know what that means?!?! Of course you do !!! It is time to change those batteries again. Also, inspect and clean your fireplace. You can buy special logs to clean the fireplace from most local stores.
It is time to look at those air filters again. This is also the time to look for any leaks anywhere in your home. The rain is just starting so you may be able to catch a small leak before it becomes a big problem.
Winter is here, and between Thanksgiving and all of the holiday parties, your poor garbage disposal is getting a workout. Give the garbage disposal a good thorough cleaning. Here are some other general tips for winter: http://jefftheplumber.blogspot.com/2011/12/seasonal-tips-for-winter.html
I hope that you find these tips helpful. Again, happy new year from my family to yours. If you have any questions or need help with any of these items, your friendly neighborhood plumber is here to help.
Jeff da Plumber™ (916)481-6593