“CHOCOLATE”

“I APPEAL TO YOU, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THAT ALL OF YOU AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN WHAT YOU SAY AND THAT THERE BE NO DIVISIONS AMONG YOU, BUT THAT YOU BE PERFECTLY UNITED IN MIND AND THOUGHT.” 1 CORINTHIANS 1:10 NIV READ: 1 CORINTHIANS 1: 4-13 CHOCOLATE…YUM! THOSE WHO KNOW ME WELL KNOW THAT CHOCOLATE IS MY WEAKNESS. CREAMY CHOCOLATE AND MILK CHOCOLATE ARE FANTASTIC. BUT, DARK CHOCOLATES HOLD A PLACE OF THEIR OWN. SOME ENJOY CHOCOLATE WITH PEANUT BUTTER, OR FILLED WITH AN ASSORTMENT OF NUTS, A LAYER OF MINT OR FILLINGS OF FRUIT OR CREAMS. NO MATTER WHAT YOU PUT WITH IT, THE KEY PLEASURE IS THE CHOCOLATE ITSELF. CHRISTIANITY IS FLAVORED A LOT LIKE THAT. AS CHRISTIANS, WE ARE FLAVORED BY OUR INDIVIDUAL THEOLOGY AND DOCTRINE. WHILE WE ARE ALL CHRISTIANS, WE CLAIM DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS. SOME OF US ARE METHODIST, WHILE OTHERS OF US ARE CATHOLIC, BAPTIST, CHURCH OF CHRIST, PRESBYTERIAN, NON-DENOMINATIONAL OR ANOTHER DENOMINATION. ALONG WITH THE CHOICES OF DOCTRINES, THE FORMS OF WORSHIP VARY. YET, ALL WORSHIP IS BASED ON ONE TRUTH. ALL CHRISTIANS KNOW CHRIST IS THEIR SAVIOR. TAKE AWAY OUR DOCTRINE DIFFERENCES AND WE ARE STILL BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST. AS CHRISTIANS WE ALL HAVE TWO THINGS IN COMMON. FIRST IS OUR FAITH THAT CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR; THE SON OF GOD BORN, CRUCIFIED AND RAISED AGAIN SO WE WILL LIVE WITH HIM IN ETERNITY. SECOND IS WE ARE ALL SINNERS. NO MATTER HOW GOOD WE ATTEMPT TO BE, WE FAIL. IT IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR FAILINGS THAT BRING US CLOSER TO...

“MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE”

RECENTLY, I SAW A GREETING CARD THAT READ: “YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN YOU KNOW, ARE MORE CAPABLE THAN YOU THINK AND ARE LOVED MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.” WOULDN’T IT BE WONDERFUL TO RECEIVE A CARD FROM SOMEONE WITH THAT MESSAGE? IN ALL SINCERITY, SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TO THINK A LOT OF YOU TO SEND SUCH A CARD. THOSE WORDS SPEAK VOLUMES OF THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WOULD EXIST. DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WORTHY OF SUCH WORDS? WOULD YOU FEEL WORTHY TO RECEIVE SUCH WORDS FROM SOMEONE YOU KNOW? THERE IS ONE WHO BELIEVES “YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN YOU KNOW, ARE MORE CAPABLE THAN YOU THINK AND ARE LOVED MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.” WHO BELIEVES IN YOU WITH SUCH CONVICTION? GOD. GOD CREATED YOU AND LOVES YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE. NO MATTER HOW UNWORTHY YOU FEEL YOU ARE, GOD VALUES YOUR WORTH. NO MATTER HOW INCAPABLE YOU THINK OF YOURSELF, GOD’S STRENGTH WILL MAKE YOU MORE CAPABLE. EVEN IF YOU FEEL UNLOVED, GOD STILL LOVES YOU. GOD WANTS YOU TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. IN THIS WORLD WE LIVE, SATAN IS STRONG AND WILL WORK TO CONVINCE YOU OF UNWORTHINESS, LACK OF SELF-ESTEEM, AND FEELINGS THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU. DON’T BELIEVE SATAN’S LIES. TRUST GOD. BELIEVE IN GOD AND ALL HIS ABILITIES TO HELP YOU THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES. GOD IS THERE FOR YOU…EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. ISN’T TIME TO SAY ‘THANK YOU, LORD’ FOR ALL HE HAS DONE, IS DOING AND WILL DO FOR YOU. A THANK YOU STARTS WITH A SIMPLE PRAYER. TAKE THE TIME TO GO TO GOD IN PRAYER AND...

“CHOOSE ME!”

“YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU AND APPOINTED YOU SO THAT YOU MIGHT GO AND BEAR FRUIT–FRUIT THAT WILL LAST–AND SO THAT WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME THE FATHER WILL GIVE YOU.” JOHN 15:16 NIV READ: JOHN 15: 9-16 DO YOU REMEMBER BEING A KID ON THE PLAYGROUND? DO YOU REMEMBER THE TIMES WHEN TEAMS WERE CHOSEN? THE CAPTAINS WOULD PICK THEIR TEAM FROM ALL THE KIDS. THOSE WHO WERE CHOSEN FIRST WERE EITHER THE BETTER ATHLETES OR THE MORE POPULAR. IF YOU WERE NOT A GOOD ATHLETE OR POPULAR YOU HAD A GOOD CHANCE OF BEING CHOSEN LAST. IF YOU WERE EVER CHOSEN LAST, YOU STILL REMEMBER HOW YOU FELT. IN THIS WORLD WE LIVE, BEING LAST IS NOT A GOOD THING. IT IS NOT JUST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES. WE ARE CAST INTO THOSE SAME SITUATIONS AS ADULTS. WE ARE ACCEPTED INTO A CIRCLE OF NEW FRIENDS BASED UPON THINGS ABOUT US. THOSE WITH THE RIGHT LOOKS OR CONNECTIONS CAN BE GIVEN PRIORITIES IN JOBS AND IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS. WE ARE OFTEN GIVEN JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND SOCIALLY ACCEPTED BY WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED OR WHO WE KNOW. ISN’T IT A BLESSING TO KNOW THAT GOD DOES NOT HAVE AN ORDER OF CHOOSING WHO IS FIRST? BEING CHOSEN INTO GOD’S FAMILY DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO BE A CERTAIN RACE, SEX, HEIGHT, OR WEIGHT. BEING CHOSEN FIRST DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO BE THE BEST AT A SPORT OR JOB OR TO BE POPULAR. GOD USES THE WORDS CHOOSE, CHOSE AND CHOSEN OVER 230 TIMES IN THE BIBLE. THE MAJORITY OF THESE TIMES, HE IS TELLING...