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Reason To Believe-Extraordinary Love

February 11th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the capacity to love in extraordinary ways.

There are different kinds of love that we express. Some ways are more extraordinary than others. For example, Jesus said in Luke 6:33, “If you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.”

But what about love for our enemies? Or what about showing compassion to someone when it’s not convenient? Or what about giving to someone when it involves personal sacrifice? Jesus knows about that kind of love and demonstrated these expressions of love when He went to the cross. He is the author of true love, and He shows us the way of love by His example and through His teachings.

First John 4:19 says “We love because he first loved us.” And Jesus said to His disciples in John 13:35, By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The capacity to love in extraordinary ways is a reason to believe in God’s good news.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Q and A-How Can I have a healthy marriage?

February 11th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “How can I have a healthy marriage?”

Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee were curious about the qualities in a relationship that built stronger marriages, so they interviewed married couples in America to find out how people defined a happy marriage. Their results were reported in the book “The Good Marriage.”

Some of those qualities included the following:

There was Respect between partners.

Each person cherishes the other.

It was a place of emotional support.

There was a feeling of safety, trust, and friendship.

There was admiration of positive qualities.

There was an ability to express positive and negative emotions.

There was a strong sense of morality.

No marriage is perfect, but they can be healthy with God’s help. We can contribute to a better marriage by honoring basic relationship-building principles in the Bible, such as being slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to becoming angry. One specific instruction for marriages in Ephesians 5 is for the husband to love their wife as himself and the wife is called to respect their husband.

In addition, forgiveness and prayer are important dynamics for building a healthy marriage in the Year of Exploration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Reason To Believe-Martyrdom of Jesus’ Disciples

February 10th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the martyrdom of Jesus’ disciples.

According to church history, most of Jesus’ Twelve disciples became martyrs for the Gospel. They lived and died for Jesus. In cases like that, there is no doubt about someone’s conviction that they believe their cause to be true and worth dying for.

There is something that Jesus’ disciples shared in common, except for Judas Iscariot. They were witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection after His death.

Peter said in Acts 10:40, “God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen-by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”

That was the calling of Peter and the other disciples that they faithfully proclaimed to the end of their time here on earth.

The faithfulness of Jesus’ disciples to preach the Gospel and die for their faith is a reason to believe in God’s good news.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Win Dinner For 2 from Dutch-Way Family Restaurant

February 10th, 2016 1 comment

Every Friday at Noon, it is my pleasure to bring you a Retro-Countdown over the Lunch Break from our 30 year history. It’s called the Friday Time Capsule. Now a special giveaway is coming to the Friday Time Capsule…I’ll give you a chance to win Dinner For 2 at Dutch-Way Family Restaurants in Myerstown, Gap, and Schaefferstown. Dutch-Way Family Restaurants feature breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets including Seafood Night Every Thursday with crab legs, clams, shrimp, baked fish, crab cakes and more.  Click here for more info.

I suggest keeping our phone number on file (717-392-3690) as you tune in Fridays at Noon for your chance to win a gift card for Dinner For 2 at Dutch-Way Family Restaurants!

Reason To Believe-Characteristics Of Sheep

February 9th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the characteristics of sheep.

In the Bible, we see some characteristics of sheep that closely resemble our spiritual condition. Two significant characteristics are helplessness without the shepherd, and the tendency to wander.

On one occasion, Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

And Isaiah 53 says, “we all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”

There is good news for the drifter who has lost their way and realizes that they cannot help themselves. Jesus offers us hope with the words, “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus did that when He died on a cross. His purpose in dying for us was to offer forgiveness of sins and restoration to a relationship with God forever.

The characteristics of sheep are object lessons explaining our spiritual condition and are reasons to believe in God’s good news.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Reason To Believe-Honesty Of Jesus

February 8th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is Jesus’ honesty of what it means to follow Him.

When Jesus prepared His followers for what they would experience as believers, He included what they needed to know, not necessarily everything they wanted to hear.

He said, “In this world, you will have trouble.” That was a promise followed by words of encouragement that He has overcome the world. So, whatever kind of trouble we may face, Jesus is greater.
He also said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” That statement has also been true of His disciples.

Jesus said in Mark 8:34, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Jesus did not emphasize the blessing of following Him without mentioning the cost of being His disciple. He did not distort the truth. His honest assessment accurately reflects the experiences of His followers today. Hardships test our faith, which God is able to use to refine our faith and make it stronger.

The honesty of Jesus is a reason to believe in God’s good news.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Reason To Believe-Second Chances

February 4th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason To Believe is the opportunity for second chances.

Sometimes, we fail the Lord by disobeying His Word. When that happens, we might be tempted to think that it’s too late for God to ever work through us again, which leads to the temptation to give up.

But if we ever feel that way, we can find hope in the second chance offered to Jonah. God initially sent word to Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against it, because of its wickedness. But Jonah ran away from the LORD. He went the opposite direction from where God was sending Jonah, and ended up over his head in a sea of problems.

In the belly of a huge fish, Jonah came to his senses and turned his heart to the Lord with this prayer, “I, with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed, I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD.”

After this prayer, we read in Jonah 3:1, “Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” And Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD.

A second chance is an opportunity to learn from our first failure, and join God’s redemptive work on the earth. A second chance is also a sign of God’s mercy to us, and is a reason to believe in God’s good news.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Q and A-What is the Fruit of the Spirit?

February 3rd, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A segment explores the question, “What is the Fruit of the Spirit?”

These are character qualities that are found in Galatians 5:22 and 23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

These are the qualities that flow out of the person who walks daily with God, and make our witness more fruitful. Many of these same qualities are listed in the book of Second Peter chapter 1. Verse 8 says, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

If you know anyone who consistently demonstrates the qualities found in the Fruit of the Spirit, you know how refreshing it is to spend time with them. They become godly examples for us to want to be more like Jesus.

So, as we are receptive to welcoming Jesus in our lives and taking His words to heart, we will find ourselves growing in godly character and being a more fruitful witness of the Gospel in the Year of Exploration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Reason To Believe-Acts and Archeology

February 3rd, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to believe is the book of Acts and the study of archeology.

There have been numerous findings of artifacts that support the references to places in the Bible. One Bible author who mentioned numerous geographical locations in his writings is Luke, who wrote Luke and Acts. His careful approach to accuracy is found in Luke 1:3, which says, “Since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

His writings had a huge impact on William Ramsay, who lived in the 19th Century. According to the Christian History Institute, earlier in his life, he thought the book of Acts was full of errors. However, after research in ancient literature and on the ground in Turkey, he recognized that Acts was an accurate report. Over a period of fifteen years, dig after dig supported Luke’s description of events, but none detracted from them. The findings led to his conversion to Christ.

He concluded: “Luke is an historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”

Archeology, combined with the book of Acts, led William Ramsay to faith in Christ. The study of archeology and the book of Acts are reasons to believe in God’s good news.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Reason To Believe-Populated Planet

January 28th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is a populated planet.

The growing population is following one of God’s first commands to man. “Be fruitful and increase in number.”

Isaiah the prophet wrote in Isaiah 45:18 that the LORD who created the heavens and made the earth did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.

At the time of Christ, estimates place the world’s population between 200 and 300 million people. According to the United Nations Population Division, the year was 1804 when the population reached 1 billion. Today, the population has exceeded 7 billion people.

The earth is not the only place where God wants to see a thriving population. Jesus is preparing a place for His followers to be with Him in heaven. In Luke 14, Jesus spoke a parable highlighting God’s desire for His house to be full at the time of His great banquet. That day is coming, and He invites you to be part of the celebration.

The increasing population of the earth reflects God’s plan for people to live on the planet and is a reason to believe in God’s Good News.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Q and A-Unborn Children

January 28th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A segment explores the question, “What does the Bible say about unborn babies?”

Certain Scriptures reveal God’s attention to their development, while other Scriptures even draw attention to personality in the way they react to events happening around them.

In Psalm 139:13, David wrote to the LORD, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Verse 16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body.”

And as part of the Christmas story, when Mary, who was expecting Jesus visited Elizabeth who was expecting John the Baptist, Luke 1:44 records Elizabeth’s response, “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

So these are some of the verses where the unborn baby is described as a life under God’s watchful eye, demonstrating personality. In a time when abortion is legal, Proverbs 30, verse 8 is a verse with relevant application: “Speak up for those who cannot speak themselves.”

Being an advocate for the unborn is one way we can take a stand for life in the Year of Exploration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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