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God is in the eye of the beholder.

I love pictures that project God because of their content. My good friend Nancy allowed me to add the scripture verse on this photo she shot during a recent vacation and gave me permission to use it so that you too may be blessed and inspired. So here is what I would really like … For you to send me a few of your favorite photos that YOU HAVE TAKEN PERSONALLY that depicts God in either a nature scene or a child’s smile or a beautiful horse or something that speaks God to you and give me permission to use it (not to make money) but to bless others. Let’s show self-proclaimed atheists how God speaks, or reveals Himself to us in simple things of life. Send them personally to me via a private message on Facebook. Come on, let’s show God in everyday life.

This photo was taken by my good friend Nancy Robins-Stahl from Princeton, Va. (Thank you Nancy)

This photo was taken by my good friend Nancy Robins-Stahl from Princeton, Va. (Thank you Nancy)

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

“Even so Lord Jesus”

I just read the story of the little three-year-old boy who spent weeks being tortured by his mother and her boyfriend before they finally hung him up by his feet and beat him to death. According to the report, the couple went car shopping, ordered pizza and had sex while the little guy lay on the floor nearby dying. I must confess that I am so glad God is God and that I don’t personally have a say in this one. I am sure they will pay one day for their evil deeds and that God will withhold no justice in His judgment, but for something so heinous as this, I don’t want punishment to wait.im being honest when I say I may one day do so but for now I am finding it difficult to muster up grace to show to these two evil Pennsylvania people. For now I want to see them strung up by their ankles and then give every legitimate child-loving parent 10 minute with each one of them.  There is a part of me that wants to sit and weep at the thought of what this adorable child endured at the hands of these two demented individuals.  I do not understand how anyone can find it in themselves to hurt a child but to do something of this magnitude to a child.  I continue to marvel at how the Spirit of AntiChrist runs rampant today. I go to the prayer of the final days of Revelation … “Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly

this story was copied from Channel 7 Eyewitness News

WEST CALN TWP., Pa. — Police say a man and his girlfriend are charged with murdering the girlfriend’s 3-year-old son in what a prosecutor described as an “unspeakable act of depravity.”.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrests of Gary Fellenbaum and Jillian Tait Thursday morning. He says Fellenbaum, his wife, and girlfriend, Tait, all lived together in a mobile home in West Caln Township and worked at a local Walmart.

On Tuesday authorities were called to their residence for the report of an unresponsive child. Responding EMTs found 3-year-old Scott McMillan suffering from bruises, lacerations and puncture wounds all over his body.

Police say Fellenbaum, Tait, and Fellenbaum’s wife, Amber, confessed that the little boy had been beaten with blunt and sharp objects, whipped, taped to a chair with electrical tape and beaten, hung up by his feet and beaten, leading to his death.

Authorities say they beat Scott to death using homemade weapons, like a whip, a curtain rod, a frying pan, and an aluminum strip.

Police say Tait explained that the fatal beating began when the boy wouldn’t eat his breakfast.

Hogan said, “Little Scotty McMillan is dead. Over a three day period … he was systematically tortured and beaten to death. He was punched in the face and in the stomach. He was scourged with a homemade whip. He was lashed with a metal rod. He was tied to a chair and beaten. He was tied upside down by his feet and beaten. His head was smashed through a wall.”

Hogan said professionals with deep experience in these types of cases were brought to tears.

“Our ER nurses see a lot of terrible things. But when they saw his body, they wept,” Hogan said.

The district attorney says Gary Fellanbaum and Tait went car shopping, bought pizza, took a nap and engaged in sexual activity – all while the child lay dying after weeks of relentless torture.

Tait allegedly told police that Fellenbaum beat her 6 and 3-year-old boys on a number of occasions. He would allegedly hit them with a closed fist in the head, face, chest and buttocks, and on one occasion she says he strung the boys up by their feet and beat them, while she and Fellenbaum laughed.

That 6-year-old boy is now in the care of relatives.

Fellenbaum and Tait are charged with murder and are currently being held without bail. Hogan says he will be seeking the death penalty.

One neighbor told us, “I don’t know if they should [be sentenced to death]or not… because they would probably suffer more in jail all their lives.”

The Fellenbaums and Tait only moved into the mobile home community last month. Authorities say there are no signs of drug use in the home.
Amber Fellenbaum, who lived in the home with their 11-month-old child, has been charged with child endangerment for not calling police. She is currently being held on $500,000 bail.

Law enforcement veterans tell Action News that they have never seen a child abuse murder case like this one.

Hogan said, “When you go to bed tonight, say a prayer for little Scotty McMillan. The brief nightmare that was his life… is over.”
Map My News

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Welcome back

 

Photo by Don Kesner

“He prepares before me a table in the presence of my enemies.”

Welcome Back!

I have allowed this blog to set around and get cold for far to long. Therefore, I am revitalizing this blog plus adding another page entitled: “Keeping it Simple.”, which can be found at cccaugustawv.wordpress.com.

Join me regularly. Let’s have a cup of coffee together and share our devotions as we grow together in The Lord.

God bless

Pastor Don

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Mixed drinks and floating the river

 

Well, here we go again, serving up a few mixed drinks while hoping the kick from the mixture will win over the American public.

It’s the same old kool aid that’s been served to “we the people” over the past four years.

First you blend together a cup of religious rhetoric, mixed with two cups of political jargon and throw in a few ounces of selective social sentences and there you have it – the same old “nothing.”

But we’re supposed to drink it like a glass of warm milk before bedtime and rest easy because the government is in control and we’re all better off for it.

The only proper snack to serve up with such a mixed drink is two slices of stale bread and a bunch of bologna.

It doesn’t sound right when it comes out of their mouths and, like the fast food sandwich I recently consumed for a late-day lunch, it’s even worse once it lies in your stomach for a little while.

The recent bombings that killed one of our distinguished diplomats and a couple of other Americans brought out the comments from both sides and quite frankly, both sides should have done a little better job at checking the ingredients rather than just slinging something together and serving it up.

President Obama says that, as Americans, we respect all religions.

Sounds good, but it would have sounded a lot better had there been a hint of truth to his statement.

We are to respect the Muslim faith while at the same time Christianity has become the brunt of jokes, the criticism of many of our government officials, and, because Christians have certain beliefs, have become tagged as hate-mongers, bigots and fanatics.

Besides, since when do we owe our respect to those who use their religion to incite violence like what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 and now again on Sept. 11, 2012?

I haven’t seen the alleged video that has been talked about, which reportedly runs down the Muslim god and I have no intentions of searching the Internet to find it.

I think it should  be condemned, based on the reported content of the video.

But if we’re going to condemn that video, and so we should, then let’s start pulling half the shows off of prime time television that make fun of God and Christianity.

Last Tuesday night’s pilot of a new show didn’t make it five minutes into the program before one guy made fun of another because of the way he was dressed.

According to the scoffer, it would be fine if you were taking your date to a Christian rock concert, but not if you were going out on a real date.

And where were the officials when The Last Temptation of Christ was not only published over the Internet, but played openly in theatres and video? Talk about disrespect to one’s religious beliefs.

And let’s hush the comedians, such as Kathy Giffin and others who make their living publicly bashing God and Christians.   

And on this whole ordeal, presidential candidate Mitt Romney could have, and should have, waited a few minutes before releasing a statement on the issue.

Why not let politics rest for a day while we mourn the deaths of our fellow Americans who were slain in the attack? And why not do what we did before when we gathered our political troops on the steps of our nation’s Capital and prayed for God’s wisdom and intervention?

I’m concerned that the upcoming election will not be based on what’s best for the economy, or how we can get our nation out of debt.

I’m concerned about the fact that it’s not going to be about how we get back to graduating students from our schools who have actually learned something and who are ready to face the world where jobs should be available.

Instead, I’m concerned that the results will be decided by whether or not women are given the right to government-funded abortions at will and whether or not homosexuality will be required to be accepted by all, even if one’s religious faith takes a stand against it.

Yes, I’m concerned that it will be required to be taught in our school systems, as is already being done in many of our school systems across our country, as an accepted alternative lifestyle.

One would already be hard-pressed to find a television show where homosexuality isn’t already portrayed as the new normal.

And I’m concerned that, even in our churches, the kool-aid is becoming a drink of choice.

One thing is for certain – it’s much easier to kick back and relax, sip on a cold glass of kool-aid and float with the tide than it is to paddle against it. The problem is, you’ll simply end up wherever it takes you.  

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

God is in the eye of the beholder!

I really do enjoy photography. Not because I’m so good at it as much as the opportunities that photography present to an individual.

Photography is non-biased and is no respecter of persons. Anyone with a camera and a willingness to slow down and notice details can be a photographer, particularly with today’s technology.

Oh I know, most professional photographers will argue the point, and shoot down the idea of just anyone being good at taking a picture.

But the great thing about it is that in an instant, a camera can stop motion in progress, it can capture the smile of an innocent child or allow one to count the wrinkles in an elderly person’s face, knowing that with every wrinkle there is a story to be told.

With a simple point and shoot camera, one can see God in a landscape, or encapsulate His artistry on a beautiful fall morning.

Photography can lift a person’s spirit and grant opportunity for a different perspective on one’s day, or even one’s life.

For with the click of a switch, a challenging, frustrating drive on a wintry day can suddenly be turned into a beautiful scene that exudes earth’s purity even in times when it seems the world we live in has lost all innocence.

How amazing is it to realize that history is captured and documented with the snap of a button? How wonderful to know that a person can be immortalized with a simple photograph.

That’s one of the great realities of photography, to know that one doesn’t have to be a professional in order to enjoy it.

A child with a camera can develop a love for something that could possibly one day lead to an exciting career.

As a pastor who enjoys photography, I can find ways to see God in my everyday course of life.

I can find Him in His very own creation, whether it be a newborn calf when it stands for the first time or a rainbow that sweeps across an afternoon sky.

I become aware of Him when I shoot a picture of a beautiful horse galloping across a field full of greenery.

I can almost hear His heartbeat when I take a photo of a newborn baby and realize that even though death is happening constantly around us, it is from Him that new life springs forth.

And as I see Him in all that is around me, I find that I cannot deny His existence nor can I doubt His power.

Through the eye of a camera, the God of heaven becomes the God of my heart, for not only is He as close as a whisper, but He is a near as the click of a lens.

Suddenly He steps from the pages of His Holy Word and is displayed, surrounded by a frame on the wall of my office or the living room of our home.

I see photography as just one of God’s simple little gifts He gives us, along with an invitation which says, “Come and see me, for on those days when I seem far away, I’m as close as an open heart, and an open lens.

 

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Right Influence!

If it seems I am being a proud father, so be it, I guess I am. My daughter Jillian has recently taken a new job and although her new job will take her just a little further from home, still it’s not too far that we can’t go visit pretty much anytime we decide to. But her new job is a better paying job for her, as well as a job that warrants her numerous new and exciting opportunities.

I wrote her a text one day recently telling her how proud I am of her and how her skills, her personality, her ability to conduct herself well during an interview and all the other numerous things that has helped get her to where she has gotten to, including her faithfulness to God. Her response to me was simple and, as far as I was concerned, over the top. She sent back a text that simply said, “Well, you raised me.”

I was suddenly confronted with just how much influence we parents have on our children. I wondered how it would have felt to have heard those words had she not turned out so well. I know that some children who are raised properly still go bad, but for the most part, our parental influences do have a lot to do with our children’s outlook on life, on others, on God and so on.

I couldn’t help but wonder if my “spiritual children” so-to-speak, will one day be able to say the same. As a pastor, will my influence on the flock God has given me be enough that they will be able to say, “Pastor, you raised me (spiritually, of course). Will I have taught them the greatness of God? Will I have taught them the importance of God’s house, His word, prayer, being an example and so on?

The older I get, the more I realize the seriousness of being in ministry. That my influence can lead folks astray if I teach them wrongly, just as it can lead them down the right path if I teach them right. My constant prayer is: “Jesus, let them see Christ in me, for I am as fallible as the next person. That even tho’ I may try, I still have shortcomings, so may I point them to Christ, rather than make it be about me.”

I pray that I might be an example of a Christ-like spirit. The Apostle Paul said we are an “Epistle, read of men daily.”

If I someday get the privilege of standing one day before God and seeing my parishioners stand before Him as well, and if I can hear Him say to them, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” that they might be able to say, “Pastor, you raised me.”

It’s really not that I want the credit for doing it right, I just really don’t ever want to have to face the reality that maybe I did it wrong, and pointed someone away from Christ instead of to Him.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Nail and the Tree

We have a tree in our yard in which some years ago, someone pounded a nail. I’m not sure why the nail was pounded into the tree, possibly for the purpose of hanging something, but for whatever reason, it’s still there all these years later. How do I know it was done years ago? Well, the best evidence is that over the years the tree trunk has grown around the nail so much that it is as if the nail has literally become a part of the tree. I’m not so sure one could just take a hammer out and remove the nail because it has become so much a part of the tree. It is as if the nail has been infused right into the trunk of the tree. Maybe a better word is that it has been “engrafted” into the tree.

Whenever I look at that tree and see that nail, I’m reminded of the scripture tells us of how we have been engrafted into the kingdom of God, or into the body of Christ. Of how the Bible tells us that He (Christ) is the vine and we are the branches. And I think of how that is exactly how I want to be – so engrafted into Christ that I am deemed to be a literal part of Him. It’s interesting that, when I first noticed that nail which had been placed into that tree, for some time, it stood out so blatant to me that it was difficult to see the tree for the nail. But over time, I have found that I have to begin looking to for the nail because all that I see is the tree and not the nail. That, I think, is the way it should be. First people begin to notice me in Christ. And before long, they begin to see Christ in me to the point that they no longer see me, but they see Jesus instead.  In compared to that nail, which I might say is a rather large nail, the tree is still so much larger than the nail.  That nail in the tree, over time has become the tree with the nail in it.

My prayer is just that. That over time, as I have grown “in” Christ, that others would see Christ and not me. For it is “Christ in me, the Hope of Glory.” I think it could be quite appropoe to say as well, for it is ME IN CHRIST, AND THEREFORE I HAVE THAT GLORIOUS HOPE.

I want to be the branch that abides in the vine, the branch that is so engrafted in that it gets its life from the vine for in truth, without Him, I am nothing. Without Him, I am simply a man of faults and failures which others could lay at my charge. I would be a man who stood guilty of every sin I’ve ever committed, noted only for my mistakes and my shortcomings.

But, thanks be to God that I have been engrafted into the vine so that I am no longer visible, but rather Christ is visible instead for I have become such a part of Him, and He has become such a part of me.

I am no longer a man guilty before God, for now, when God looks at me, He sees His Son instead. He sees a man covered by the shed blood of Christ the Redeemer, a man once condemned but now forgiven. A man once guilty, who now stands innocent before God because of the price paid on Calvary by Jesus.

My prayer is that, as I abide in Christ, that I will be so consumed by His presence, and so filled with His Spirit, that others will see Jesus rather than to see me.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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