david maxey

September 29, 2009

Just Him

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 3:52 am

Jesus-main_Full

Once, during a time of mental anguish when it felt as if my soul was melting in despair I wrote a respected ministry friend of mine and asked for some council. Though I secretly hoped that he would express sympathy for me and stroke my raw and wounded emotions, I knew that most likely he would send me a pre-packaged solution basically consisting of ridding myself of the source of the problem and spending copious amounts of time in the Word and prayer. I was wrong on both accounts. He didn’t stroke my emotions and, surprisingly enough didn’t prescribe the spiritual version of “two aspirins and go to back to sleep”. What he said was much simpler, and it frustrated me; he said, “What you need to do is look to Jesus.” After reading this, I was self-righteously indignant. “How dare he write ‘Just look to Jesus’ when he knows how serious my problem is? I need something concrete, something that will help.”

After a while, my dissatisfaction over my friend’s response subsided, though the problem did not. It remained like a tooth ache; not a sharp pain, but a lingering, throbbing one. Thereafter, one fine day, I was listening to a sermon about Jesus, in other words – looking to Him, when something amazing happened inside me. All of a sudden my pain disappeared and relief came. I was shocked. I saw Jesus in a new, glorious light and it set me free. Suddenly, I realized that my friend was right, I didn’t need a spiritual prescription or a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, I just needed Jesus and Him alone.

Might I suggest to you today, that what you need, rather, who you need is Jesus. Look to Him and be saved!

September 24, 2009

Slip and Slide

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 7:05 am

Toshiba External HDD Left Side jpg_highres_thumb

Most of my computer data is back-upped on a portable hard drive. The hard drive itself is actually the type that is used in laptop computers and is quite small. It fits inside a metal case that not only protects the hard drive itself but also adds functions such a USB and AV ports, SD card reader, and player controls. It’s quite a handy little gadget.

Yesterday evening, I was working on my computer with the hard drive attached via USB cable. Upon finishing my work. I shut down the computer and the hard drive. Then, I placed the hard drive on top of my laptop’s closed screen, which, incidentally, is wrapped in a slick plastic protective shell. From there I proceeded to carry my laptop with the hard drive perched on top from one room to another through a dark corridor. In the dark, I lost my bearings for a split second and leaned to my right. That slight lean was all that was needed to set the hard drive into motion, and I watched in horror as it slipped across the slick plastic shell it was resting on and crashed on to the floor which a sickening “Whop!”

Instantly, I scooped the hard drive off the floor, re-booted the computer, and re-connected the drive to the computer to test what damage had been done. Instead of the smooth whir and beep indicating a healthy status, the hard drive simply clicked forlornly away like a broken record. The hard drive was dead! All information on it was as good as gone. One tiny mistake, one little misstep and the hard drive was doomed.

The good news is that I can always replace the hard drive. But what if instead of hard drives this article was written about people? Many Christians sadly believe that one little slip, one mistake, one sin, will set them hurtling downwards to be dashed upon the rocks of God’s wrath and displeasure – their salvation damaged beyond repair. Thank God, that though true about hard drives, this concept is untrue about both people and God! If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are secure in His mighty hands. He will never drop you; He loves you. You possess eternal life. It is greater than any sin or mistake you could make. You are secure in the hands of Jesus for He is perfect and it is He who is holding you, not you holding yourself.

“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28

September 22, 2009

I Admit It

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 4:16 am

truth_000

You may or may not be aware that mass media, primarily televised news, in Russia is almost entirely state-controlled. In other words, what most people see and hear on TV is precisely what the Kremlin wants them to hear and see. Incidentally, the Kremlin plays the key role in forming public opinion about everything ranging from whether people’s pensions should be raised to Russia’s relationship with the United States. Since they have media control, naturally, they tend not to paint themselves in a bad light. For example, you will never see a leading Russian politician doing something that looks foolish or embarrassing on Russian TV, unless, of course, he/she have fallen out of grace with the establishment. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to ever find a single mistake of any kind being made by these venerable men. Is this because they are flawless? I think we all know the answer to that.

So far, the official line being broadcasted in Russia nationwide concerning the world-wide financial crisis and its affects on Russia has mostly been positive to the point of naivety. (For instance – “the crisis has bypassed us for the most part and will not affect us much.”) Now, I am all for positivity, but also highly value the truth regardless of its nature. However, just the other day, my wife, Inga, managed to see a newscast during which the president, finally admitted that Russia had been hit hard by the crisis and there was no end in sight. This is a bitter-sweet truth. Bitter, in the sense that many people have suffered because of the crisis and the end is not yet in sight. Sweet, in the sense that the truth of the situation has finally come to light and therefore steps to recovery can be taken – disillusionment has been expelled, if you will.

The good news for us believers in Jesus Christ is that our needs are met by the riches of God’s glory through Christ Jesus. We are not dependent on the world and its economic system. We live by faith in the Son of God, not by the whims of the stock market.

Yet, there is another point I’d like to make: we should not shirk from the truth. Sin is not a pretty thing; it certainly isn’t positive. Still it is true that thousands of people are dead in their sins and hastening towards eternal condemnation. Though it pains to admit that one is a sinner, it is imperative that one sees his life in the light of Truth (All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) and see one’s need for a Savior (He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him). Knowing this truth and acting on it will set one free from sin and eternal condemnation. So no matter how much it may offend our tender emotions, the truth is what we need.

Isn’t it good to know that Jesus Himself is The Truth! It is comforting to know that the Truth is not a cold, detached, impersonal entity that doesn’t care for us, but rather, is a warm, loving, caring Saviour that longs to meet our every need. When the truth is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ, it will always produce hope. For instance, the truth may be that one is an unregenerate sinner, but in Christ, the truth not only reveals this fact, but provides a way of salvation – whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life! Thank God for the truth.

September 18, 2009

Dog Tales

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 6:11 am

A large Caucasian shepherd, who is often mistaken for a bear, has the distinction of being the church’s prime guard. He bears the noble name of “Milord” in the true British sense of the expression. Milord came into our possession as a pound of round, furry, adorable, puppy flesh and has since grown into mammoth proportions. Our once amicable chum has become a serious-minded defender of the realm, literally armed to the teeth. While he does recognize familiar faces, he doesn’t hesitate to lunge and snap viciously at terrified passerby’s. The thought of Milord roaming freely around the neighborhood tailed by a loose strand of broken chain dangling from his neck has been the main subject of at least several nightmares. Unfortunately, this nightmare became reality a few days ago.

It was Saturday evening and I had pulled up to the church to pray in my office and make final preparations for Sunday’s services. For some reason, before I entered the office, I decided to take a detour around to the back of the property and check on the general state of things. As I ambled leisurely around the corner of the church I saw Milord snuffling around on the ground and thought nothing much of it. After all, he was roughly in the same place that he is usually chained up at. Still, something just didn’t seem right about his unusually jaunty attitude, and this caused me to take a closer look. To my horror, I discovered that he was completely free from his chain! It had snapped in twain and he was on the loose.

As soon as Milord spied me, he bolted for the far end of the property, dashed through a gap in our unfinished fence and disappeared into the weeds of the vacant lot directly behind our property. After a period of concentrated effort, we managed to lure him back with chunks of fresh bread. However, ignorance reigned concerning how to hook him back up to his broken chain. Finally, after praying awhile in the spirit, the idea came to me that we could use a padlock to act as the missing link between the broken chain and Milord’s collar. One of our church staff, Ira Malcheva, in an act of outrageous heroism managed to placate Milord with additional tidbits of dog food while at the same time secretly poking the end of the padlock bolt through the last link in the chain and then looping it through Milord’s collar  and finally snapping it shut to complete the circuit. Milord never noticed till it was too late and Ira was safely out of reach. We were saved!

There exists an erroneous doctrine that the devil is a mad dog attached to leash held in God Almighty’s hand. When God sovereignly decides to exact punishment upon the heads of the condemned, He lets slip the mad dog who proceeds to rend and tear till the damage is done and he is reeled back in under strict control. This teaching makes God out to be a shameless fiend intent on getting in every lick He can on disobedient man. What an outrage! Does it not do disgrace to the perfect work of redemption Jesus lovingly wrought through His death, burial, resurrection and ascension? Jesus is our Savior and there is no place for condemnation in Him. Be assured, the devil is no mad dog the likes of our Milord. A more accurate depiction of him would be that of a broken serpent with a crushed head, toothless, writhing pitifully in the dust under the mighty feet of the Body of Christ! All the serpent is capable of today is to hiss lies and deceptions through his broken fangs in hopes that some child of God will stoop down to his level and give ear to his falsehoods. Don’t listen to him. Don’t stoop to his level. Stay right where you should be: positioned in Christ at the right hand of God in heavenly places. Fill your ears with the word of Christ and ignore the weak rustlings of the defeated foe under your feet.

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September 16, 2009

Stumped

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 5:51 am

It’s time to change the gate that provides entrance to the church’s property. We have already ordered a handsome, metal gate with an electric-magnetic lock and an intercom system which will enable us to unlock the gate by simply pressing a button from inside the office. In preparation for the new gate, we have determined to pour a smooth, level concrete pad under the gate so that pedestrians won’t have to slog through a mud puddle  as they walk past the new gate. The only obstacle to pouring the pad was a sawed-off, old stump poking up about seven inches from the ground in the direct vicinity of the future pad. The prospect of uprooting an old stump was so daunting that we put it off for almost three years, till at last, there remained no other options but to remove it.

Today, armed with a shovel, steel bar, and wheel barrow I went to work at extricating the stump. After digging around it to a depth of two feet or so, I couldn’t help but notice that the stump was rather unusual. For one, it was perfectly smooth and had no roots attached to it. Further digging revealed that it was sunk into the ground to a depth of only about three feet. After much scraping, digging, and prying, when I finally managed to extract this unwilling pest from the ground, it became apparent that it was no stump at all, but rather a very large post that had been planted in the ground, probably to support some long gone fence.

As I finally pried the old, rotten molar out of its nesting place and rolled it out of the way, I couldn’t help but praise the Lord that it was indeed a post and not a stump. It also dawned on me that if we had known its identity earlier we probably would have dug it up years ago.  Its deceptive appearance led us to believe that it was a more serious threat than it actually turned out to be.

Jesus has defeated ALL of our enemies. He did it for us. He did all the work. He suffered the blows. He gave us His victory. When these defeated foes poke their heads up out of the ground and try to intimidate us by their presence, it would do well for us to remember that their perceived threat is a deception. They are posts, not stumps. They have been defeated. Jesus gave you the victory. You are victorious in Christ. Don’t fear them. The truth is, they fear you, for you are in Christ!

Is it a stump?

Is it a stump?

Hole

After all was said and done

September 15, 2009

The price of paint!

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 6:03 am

green-paint

One of the most frustrating things we encounter at the church, actually, in life in general, is trying to get accurate price information on things we wish to purchase. This might seem like one of the smaller, “proverbial” pebbles in the shoe, but somehow it always manages to position itself right at the tenderest spot where it causes the most discomfort. For instance, today, we needed to buy some more green paint for the fence that we are constructing around the church’s property. Consequently, we called up the nearest hardware store and asked if they had green paint in stock and how much it cost. We were told that the paint was in stock and its price. As it turns out, we might as well have spent the time wasted on that phone call doing something constructive such as counting the number of granules in a cubic centimeter of sand from the children’s ministry’s sand box.

When we arrived at the store to buy our green paint, we were informed by a rather phlegmatic store employee that not only did they not have the green paint, but it cost 30% more than we were originally told. Our only option was to order the paint at a premium price. Needless to say, misinformation can be a source of major frustration and disappointment.

Isn’t it wonderful that when we come to the Word of God we can be certain that we will  never receive anything misleading from it! Every one of God’s promises is sure, and He is always faithful to make them good in our lives. In fact, Jesus said that He was the TRUTH. When you turn to Jesus you’ll never be disappointed. He not only is faithful to bless you with exactly what He promised, He blesses us abundantly with even more than we ask for. Now, that’s a deal that you can’t beat.

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