Epaphras: Zeal, revealed:  theunfetteredpreacher

I have written of this man before: Epaphras,  a man mentioned by Paul, three times.  

Nonetheless a man who stood apart.  An example for whosoever will, to learn of, and follow.  

We tend to think, the heroes of faith are beyond anything we can achieve.  Here is a real, live, everyman.  We can all aspire to be like, Epaphras. 

A Giant in the Kingdom.   What do we know?

He was:

   《  A fellowservant, with Paul of Christ so:

           ~  Paul and others, gave thanks to God, in prayers, since they, heard of your faith in Christ, and your love of the Saints.

He was:

    《  A faithful minister of Christ:

            ~  Who declared, your love of Christ in the Spirit, to us.

He was:

     《  A faithful Servant of Christ (as are you, at the Colossians Church)

            ~  He labours fervently, for you, in prayers:   That you might, stand perfect and complete, in all the will of God.

     《  Paul himself bears record, that Epaphras has great zeal towards the believers there and in the surrounding area.

He was:

     《  A fellow prisoner, with Paul,  for the Gospel 

Colossians 1:3-8 (KJV)

3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

Colossians 4:11-13 (KJV)

11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

Philemon 22-24 (KJV)

22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

The Importance of being Remembered:  theunfetteredpreacher 

I write this short post, to encourage us to write our memories for sure but what is much more important, is obituaries when people pass on.

When my brother died, we had one in the local MA. Papers.

When my nephew, (Scott Frenette),  Mother, (Dorothy Currier Cote), and Sister (Martha Cote Frenette, Florence), died, I don’t believe we had any, in any papers anywhere.

I have grown to regret these decisions.

We have public records of their births, little information on

their lives…

No record at all of their death, or that their lives meant something to anyone.

It really is like they never existed, other than on the birth certificate.

Friends, that is just too sad.  Everyone touched someone, was loved, is missed.

Please show them the respect, the courtesy of sharing your love, in words.

End of Sermon…. Amen

Tales of my Father 9:  theunfetteredpreacher 

This tale involves myself and a few friends.   I wonder if they will chime in and reveal who they are.

I learned to drive around age 12, Dad would let me drive cars and trucks, into and out of the work bays, so they could be repaired.

He also gave me old wrecks to drive in the garage yard, mostly after hours.

My favorite car, even to this day, is a Metropolitan…  only manufacturered for a few years in the fifties.

I and several friends had a ball driving that little car.   At one time, someone who lived on the third floor of the apartment house on the corner.

Threw down a stack of Playboy magazines, WOW, at 13, that was a major find….  No wonder I am so screwed up…  lol

During business hours one day, I decided to teach a friend how to drive.  Since it was during working hours, we only had a twenty foot, one lane path to drive on.  (Customer Cars on both sides)

No big deal right?   Just drive straight,  back up straight… no problem.

My friend apparently was more nervous than I thought.

He panicked, hit and put, a good sized indentation in the door of a customers 1963 Corvette.

Dad was furious,  the customer more so… it was a beautiful car.

I don’t believe I gave anymore driving lessons.

More to come, hope you enjoyed.

Day 51 of 2017: A cry for Mercy: theunfetteredpreacher 

I realize I did not get this written on day 51 of 2017… that as I write this it will soon be day 54.

I cannot lay the blame anywhere, but at my own feet.

I would just skip it, but this Psalm has brought me through some rough times over the years.

Specifically verses 10-13.

Psalm 51:10-13 (KJV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”

There have been times I have prayed these verses repeatedly over several days and even weeks.  Seeking Relief….

I think I am beginning to realize.  Why?  

After Bible School,  I was sure I was called to preach, yes, even to Pastor. 

When I worked as an Evangelist, we saw some people get saved, but I was no Billy Graham.   

So I tried my hand at being a Pastor.  Maybe my job was to train those already saved.

My first error…  I wasn’t ready.

It could be I wasn’t even called…  I had been a pretty good Worship Leader…  I just couldn’t understand people. 

I got saved and devoured the Bible, spent hours in my prayer language… one on one, with the Lord.

I really believed, everyone that has been saved sought Him, as I did.  That all knew the word, as I did.

I crashed and burned.  I quit the ministry and was miserable for many years.   I prayed those verses, often.

They never seemed to rise through the roof of my car.   

I was then asked to substitute for an ill piano player at Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church. 

The first time I sat at the piano….  I realized,I was back in the place of Grace.

Since, I have started teaching and preaching once more.

I have found, many Christians are ignorant of the word.  Whether in the Spiritual or Physical. 

In any case the Lord, restored the joy of Salvation to me, He upholds me.  

Now, it is easier to speak of Jesus.  To point the way and hope others follow.

Ask, keep on Asking,  Seek, keep on Seeking, Knock, keep on knocking…

Eventually, your request will be answered, what you seek will be found, the door will open.

Will you step through?    Amen