by Pastor John Fredericksen

I like peppermint. It has a refreshing taste and it can help refresh my breath, when it needs it, making it more suitable to interact in public. Peppermint also serves as an illustration or reminder of what we should be striving to be for the Lord.

Among Paul’s praises of Philemon was that “the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee” (Phile. 7). This precious saint had chosen to be like a peppermint for all the believers with whom he came in contact. It’s wonderful to read about this kind of testimony and what made him so refreshing to others. He demonstrated a sense of “love and faith… toward all saints” (v. 5). When these characteristics are present and genuine, they manifest themselves in a warmth and interest in others that is unmistakable. It will also be obvious in the tone and content of every word that comes out of one’s mouth.

Philemon was approachable even about sensitive matters. Paul felt free to be bold in asking him to kindly and lovingly receive someone (Onesimus) who had wronged him (vv. 10-16). This quality of being approachable engendered a respect, closeness, and freedom in relation- ships that made Philemon a blessing to others.

Philemon could be expected to respond in a correct spiritual way.  Paul had “confidence”(v.21) that Philemon would do the right thing in the right way and with the right spirit. No wonder, then, that this believer refreshed the saints around him, including the Apostle Paul.  Philemon was a grace believer who not only believed in grace doctrine, he lived and demonstrated grace.

As we consider this godly example, we should apply these truths by asking ourselves if we truly want to be the kind of saint that is like a refreshing, spiritual peppermint. We should want to be this kind of saint! A good way to begin is by asking the Lord to help us develop the kind of Christian character that makes us refreshing to other saints: loving, approachable, and so responsive to the Scriptures that others can be confident in our actions and reactions. If this is your prayer and heart’s desire, we encourage you to look for verses in Paul’s letters that will further empower you toward becoming this kind of godly example.

Ready to Share

Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.~ 1 Timothy 6:18 [NLT]

Do you ever struggle with generosity? You want to bless others through your generosity with your time, gifts, or money but you hold back at times. Each time you refrain from being more generous, it’s easy to come up with an excuse. Admittedly, it’s usually a selfish excuse and you walk away angry at yourself. Keep this in mind…God will provide. He has provided food on your table and clothes on your back. Store up treasures for yourself in heaven with your generosity, not here on earth through selfishness.

Evening Prayer

2 Timothy 3:16-17

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You

I pray that you will spend time each day reading and studying God’s Word. May the Word of God teach and train you, so that you may stay faithful to God’s ways. May it rebuke and correct you, so that you may grow in righteousness. I pray that the Word of God will thoroughly equip you for every good work. May you never go through a day without God’s instructions from His Word.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The Knowledge of The Holy

“Verily God is of infinite greatness,” says Christ’s enraptured troubadour, Richard Rolle; “more than we can think; … unknowable by created things; and can never be comprehended by us as He is in Himself. But even here and now, whenever the heart begins to burn with a desire for God, she is made able to receive the uncreated light and, inspired and fulfilled by the gifts of the Holy Ghost, she tastes the joys of heaven. She transcends all visible things and is raised to the sweetness of eternal life….

Herein truly is perfect love; when all the intent of the mind, all the secret working of the heart, is lifted up into the love of God.”‘

That God can be known by the soul in tender personal experience while remaining infinitely aloof from the curious eyes of reason constitutes a paradox best described as
Darkness to the intellect
But sunshine to the heart.

Live Loved

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts.

Loved by the Eternal God

“To whom, then, will you compare God?” the prophet invites (Isaiah 40:18 NIV). To whom indeed? “Human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs” (Acts 17:25 NLT). You and I start our days needy. Indeed, basic needs prompt us to climb out of bed. Not God. Uncreated and self-sustaining, he depends on nothing and no one. Never taken a nap or a breath. Needs no food, counsel, or physician. “The Father has life in himself” (John 5:26 NIV). Life is to God what wetness is to water and air is to wind. He is not just alive but life itself. . . .”

“Hence, he always is. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2).

God never began and will never cease. He exists endlessly, always. “The number of His years is unsearchable” (Job 36:26 NASB).
Even so, let’s try to search them. Let every speck of sand, from the Sahara to South Beach, represent a billion years of God’s existence. With some super vacuum, suck and then blow all the particles into a mountain, and count how many you have. Multiply your total by a billion and listen as God reminds: “They don’t represent a fraction of my existence.”

He is “the eternal God” (Romans 16:26 NIV). . . . He was something before anything else was. When the first angel lifted the first wing, God had already always been.

Most staggering of all, he has never messed up. Not once. . . . God is holy. Every decision, exact. Each word, appropriate. Never out-of-bounds or out of place. Not even tempted to make a mistake. . . . No wonder he said, “I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9 NIV).”


Gracious God, you are incomparable and you are eternal. You have always been and always will be. You are the creator of life: physical life and spiritual life. You are holy and mighty beyond measure. Yet you love and care for each of your children. Your eternal presence gives hope and courage. We rely on you and trust you. You are good to your children, and you are committed to your children. Thank you and praise you, amen.

I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
~ PSALM 22:22

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
~ PSALM 90:2

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations.
~ PSALM 46:10”

Daily Word of God

Lessons from the Flowers

Why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies … Even Solomon … was not arrayed like one of these.~ Matt 6:28,9

Without any toiling or spinning on their own part, God clothes the flowers in loveliness far surpassing any adornment which the most skilful human arts can provide. Flowers bloom but a day and fade. We are better than flowers. If our Father lavishes so much beauty on perishing plants, is there any danger that He will not provide raiment for His own?

Of course it is not implied that like the lilies we need neither toil nor spin. It is all right for lilies just to stand still and grow. That is their mission; that is the way God made them to grow. But He gave us hands, feet, brains, tongue, energy, and will; and if we would be cared for as are the flowers, we must put forth our energies to produce the results of comfort. Yet Jesus tells us to consider the lilies, how they grow. We ought to study the beautiful things in nature and learn lessons from them. Here it is a lesson of contentment we are to learn. Who ever heard a lily complaining about its circumstances? It accepts the conditions in which it finds itself, and makes the best of them. It drinks in heaven‘s sweet light, air, dew, and rain, and unfolds its own loveliness in quietness and peace.

The lily grows from within. So ought we to grow, having within us the divine life, to be developed in our character and spirit. The lily is an emblem of beauty; our spiritual life should unfold likewise in all lovely ways. It is a picture of perfect peace. Who ever saw wrinkles of anxiety in a lily’s face? God wants us to grow into peace. The lily is fragrant; so should our lives be. The lily sometimes grows in the black bog, but it remains unspotted. Thus should we live in this world, keeping ourselves unspotted amid its evil. These are a few of the lessons from the lily.

Eternal Perspectives

“As they increase in the knowledge of God and of the works of God, the more they will see of his excellency; and the more they see of his excellency . . . the more will they love him; and the more they love God, the more delight and happiness . . . will they have in him.

~ Jonathan Edwards, The Miscellanies

In Jesus’ day, the Jewish marriage custom required that the groom go to the bride’s father and establish the price for gaining his bride. The father and the future husband sealed the covenant with a cup shared between them. The groom would then leave for a lengthy period, returning to his father’s home where he prepared an apartment that would become their home.

Then, without announcement, when everything was finally ready and the wedding feast prepared, he would leave his father’s home and walk through the streets of the town to receive his bride and take her home.

Needless to say, there was no time to prepare herself for that great celebration if she waited to hear the shouts in the streets. Given that her hope was fixed on that day, she had already prepared herself in anticipation of his coming for her.

~ Joseph Stowell, Eternity