Monday, December 30, 2013

Pastor Appreciation 2013

As we end this year's Pastor Appreciation, we will continue it on daily into 2014 and until the Lord returns.

In these days its hard to find someone who give up something small for another. Here at BTAC we have a family that gave up all (and still do) for the people of God.

You will always have ups and downs in your life, but when you're living for God, there is nothing like it. You know He is your answer, by your side and in the end the worth of it all.


Here is a presentaton that is precious to our hearts and we hope it blesses yours.

[Jer 3:15 KJV] 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Submitted by: Tina Marie

Presentation by: Rebekah Rudzinskas

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Of Mole Hills and Mountains

“There are very few certainties that touch us all in this mortal experience, but one of the absolutes is that we will experience hardship and stress at some point.” Dr. James C. Dobson

Stress...that six letter word floating at the top of the bowl in this alphabet soup we call, 'life'. No matter how much we try to skim the letters off the top, there seems to arise from below another set of these same six letters to take its place! And herein may really lie the problem...its not just how we think about a situation of life, but what we think upon that keeps the soup simmering. Byron Katie said, "Rather than understand the original cause—a thought—we try to change the stressful feelings by looking outside ourselves." If the truth be grasped, known, and understood, most all our problems originate with 'our thoughts'. There is a saying that goes as follows: "Watch your thoughts, they become your words; Watch your words, they become your actions; Watch your actions, they become your habits; Watch your habits, they become your character; and your character becomes your destiny." Like some cosmic domino affect, EVERYTHING begins with a thought! Our thoughts frame the world in which we live. They create our world long before we begin to speak our world into existence. Long before you brutally assaulted your friend, spouse, or child with those verbally charged words of hurt and pain, the anger was resting in your bosom. The words are and were inevitably linked to a stewing anger that finally boiled over onto the fragments of your life.
So, as the myriad of self help and positive thinking pundits have continually tried to persuade us to do over the years, if we would change our thoughts or the way we think, then the obvious result is a change of course in our destiny. If this holds true, then it should not be a surprise to find the Bible is full of Holy Writ admonishing us to change the way we think. In Philippians, the Apostle Paul commands us to 'THINK on these things!' "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." ~ (Philippians 4:8) With the onslaught of negativity all of us must endure from within our own hearts, it is not surprising to see Paul admonishing us to think of positive things.
Job, a man who endured some horrific stress in his life said, "Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble." ~ (Job 14:1) If we could truly tap into the basic understanding of Job's words. Stress is as much apart of life as life itself. None of us will ever avoid stress or be dissolved of stressful situations, but if we UNDERSTAND this, then we shouldn't be so moved when stress hits our lives! "How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish." ~ (Catherine Pulsifer) We may not have control over to all that happens to us, but we do have control over our responses! "Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose." (Maureen Killoran) I have always found it amazing to read of others who were confronted with life threatening adversity, and yet, are not overtaken by it, but enjoy the power of life and living within the stressful grasp of such wayward winds. Take a man by the name of Viktor Frankl, who was truly a victim of the Nazi Holocaust. Imprisoned, oppressed, and surrounded by death itself, Viktor Frankl lived to tell its tale. "The experiences of camp life show that a man does have a choice of action. There were enough examples, often of a heroic nature, which proved that apathy could be overcome, irritability suppressed. Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress. We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity—even in the most difficult circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to life." Wow...and with this picture fresh in our minds, dare I say or write, how many of us live in a concentration camp of our own makings. Though we are not trapped, we are trapped. Immobilized within the walls of our own oppressor and consumed by the tragedy of its fears.
Over the years I have not only heard it said, but deem it to be a truth...that well up to ninety-seven percent of what we worry about never comes to past. Most of us have been beaten down by our minds, minds that have been filled with a broad brush of illuminating imaginations, only to find the painting that was painted never did warrant so much color. Catherine Pulsifer said, "When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go." In the 'big picture' of life we cheat ourselves of truly living by majoring in minors and minoring in majors. And if the truth would be known, the mountain we are so intensely climbing is a mole hill of angst and stressful thoughts of our own making.
Joshua L. Liebman echoed Job's words by saying, "Maturity is achieved when a person accepts life as full of tension." We must learn to stop thinking that every rain drop is the beginning of a torrential down pour. "Even to much sunshine can be devasting, while only with rain can growth occur. Accept both as part of the growing process in the garden of life." (Donald S. Neviaser) Today, its time to bring your life back into balance. A balance that allows you to live fully and achieve the HIGH CALLING a MIGHTY God has called you hereunto! Sure, its stressful to 'take up one's cross' but don't be discouraged...on the other side of the cross, there is a resurrection!
 
Submitted by: Elder David Green

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blissful

The 'Blissful' Fires of Ignorance...NOT!

Ignorance is never out of style. It was in fashion yesterday, it is the rage today and it will set the pace tomorrow. ~ Frank Dane

Thomas Jefferson said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." To be ignorant is to be lacking information or knowledge. An ignorant person may be smart in some areas, but still 'in the dark' in other areas. For the most part, in this day of information overload, it is probably difficult to be knowledgeable in ALL areas. Our minds have been over so saturated with a plethora of information it is becoming more and more difficult to even recognize 'truth' anymore. From junk science to government propaganda, our lives have been assaulted beyond measure. But this should come as no surprise. In a prophetic utterance, Daniel said, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." THIS is the age we live in. The age of 'running to and fro' and the rat race has us so mentally helter skeltered that life itself is losing its true meaning. Material things, pleasures, entertainment, and such like have become the pseudo replacement for life's yardstick of the essence of life itself.

Is it possible that we are so caught up in the temporal world that life itself is measured only by our senses? The idea that living is only measured by what we feel, taste, touch, smell, and see has flipped everything upside down. The chase to fulfill any meaning in life through sensual obtainment is and will always be never ending. There will always be a another 'high' to chase. There will always be another newfangled fad to follow. There will always be a continued push for a pulling out of the wallet. In the Book of Proverbs, written by a man who had everything imaginable to his flesh, said this..."Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied." (Proverbs 27:20) Like burning fires, there are appetites within us that desire 'things' and pleasures. Those in know, corporations, advertisers, government agencies, and similar entities, have long known how to use and control us through our appetites. It doesn't take much to bring a dying fire back to life. Toss in a few pieces of wood and the fire is 'satisfied' and comes raging back to life. Yet the problem still remains, the new wood will burn off and again, and the fire will need more wood to continue its burning.

I find it interesting how George Washington described government as a fire. The Father of our Country said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." Here he likened government like a fire. Fire (government) is good if used properly. There are many beneficial uses for fire, if contained and restrained. But once fire (government) leaps past the pit and border of rocks it was corralled within, then who knows where or who it will burn! Such are the passions of men! Contained within us are a myriad of fires which many, if used properly, are beneficial, but when left unrestrained, these passionate fires wreck havoc on our surroundings and God's creation. As unrestrained government leads to oppression, so does unrestrained lusts bring a man into bondage unto his own fires. This is easily revealed by a quick look of the world around us. The cornucopia of men and women bound by the fires of alcohol, drug, and similar addictions is clear evidence that the appetites of men have leaped up out of the pit, over the ROCK, and has become an out of control forest fire of spiritual decay and burning!

Dr. Don Colbert wrote a book that says. "What You Don't Know May Be Killing You"... but I would have to say that what you don't know IS killing you! It is easy to claim 'I am a victim' and in this day and age, where everyone is a victim, you may even win a 'victimhood' trophy to put on your mantel. Elbert Hubbard said, “The recipe for perpetual ignorance is a very simple and effective one: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge” So if you were to truly examine yourself, your life, and the choices you have made, is it possible you have become ignorant to the impact of these choices have had upon your life? Is it possible you are still making choices that feed the fires of your problems? Is it possible the real problem resides within you? As the song says...have you been looking for love in all the wrong places?
A man by the name of Derek Bok said, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Think of what your ignorance has costs you over the years. If the definition of insanity is doing the same behavior over and over again and expecting something different, then why do you continually look for some temporal thing or person to be the impetus of change for your life? Life is NOT measured by temporal things nor can it be truly lived by the things one gained. Though, at the end of life, one may garner to himself the most toys...yet in the end, that man is still dead, and as I have yet to witness, I have never seen a U-Haul following a Hurst at a funeral.

"The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about." (Wayne Dyer) The Lord said in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." When was the last time you picked up your Bible and read it? Remember, the world would have you unrestrained and your fires raging hot. There is much money to be had when the fires are burning bright and hot! The world has pieces of wood to feed your desires, but in the end, what has your out of control fire ever gotten you? The Lord also said in Matthew 16:26, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" YOU make the calculations! YOU add it up! YOU must balance the budget on the ledger of you own life! In YOUR life, only you can say whether the exchange rate has been fair! Maybe today, its time to make an honest summation of your life's choices and finally, once and for all, put out the forest fires of your life!

Submitted by: Elder David Green

Sunday, December 15, 2013