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ducks

A few years ago on a spectacular spring morning, I had the marvelous blessing of watching right up close, (So close I could actually see what I could only describe as a mothers pride on her face.) a mother duck, with a large brood of little baby ducklings following behind her one by one, all in a line.

She was absolutely beautiful with the morning sun illuminating the iridescent colors of her feathers, so perfectly aligned on her body. She walked with absolute determination with her head held way up high looking steadfast at her goal, with her whole brood of billowy down covered chicks marching in a line right behind her. Each chick in its place one after the other with a discipline and loyalty to their mother’s will like few human parents will ever experience.

The wonder of God’s unlimited capacity and creative imagination was on full display this morning and I could only but marvel at the one who could ever have conceived of such beauty. In retrospect, every attempt of human creativity in all of the arts is only a reflection; someone’s interpretation of what God has already created. No sound in music that God hasn’t already created in nature somewhere, no color on the painter’s pallet that God hasn’t used in his own creative expression.

As spectacular as this sight of innocence in nature and beauty was; No matter what pleasure and joy of what I was seeing with my own eyes there might have been, should have been; there was one overriding overwhelming set of emotions of PANIC, Desperation and Anguish. It wasn’t about the Duck and ducklings in and of themselves; they were beautiful. It was about where they were.

On this wonderful morning of this spectacular day I was exactly where I am most every morning at 7:00AM. In my car, speeding down the highway on my way to my place of employment, with my mind self consumed with the prospective drudgeries of the day.

Cresting over a hill around a corner, my heart skipped a beat; I tapped the break, swerved hard and fast into the left lane and just managed to maneuver my car from running full speed into the family of ducks. As I sped by I flashed the headlights and laid full into the car horn hoping to scare the mother and ducklings into running back to safety on the side of the road. No chance… She was completely un-daunted from her quest to get her brood across the highway. I quickly glanced into my rear-view mirror only to see what I knew I would see. Just seconds behind me were two full lanes of cars bearing down on what was an inevitable fate for that poor creature and her little ducklings.

In just one instant, all that innocence, all that beauty, all that revelation of the wonder of the creative hand of God; tragically and terribly gone.

I didn’t look; I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to know. If I didn’t see it happen, maybe I could tell myself it didn’t happen. I willed myself to believe that somehow they all escaped their unimaginable fate. To this day, through years long past it still effects me as though it just happened seconds ago.

It strikes me that I can be so troubled, so disturbed so pierced to the core of my heart even to tears, all these years later, about this inevitable fate of this innocent wild creature and all her ducklings.

But what disturbs and troubles me far more than the depth of my compassion and sensitivity for these innocent creatures is my lack of the same intensity of compassion and caring towards many of my fellow men.

It’s not that I am uncaring, or insensitive… I am compassionate. I am sensitive. I am caring. At least I try to be. I definitely do have areas of more intense emotional commitment and involvement towards certain demographics. My heart does go out to the specific struggles of children and young adults as they face the trials and struggles of life; but whose doesn’t? I do try to put my life in deeds and effort to do something, to have my feelings and words be more than just a clanging gong and clashing symbol.

But I must confess,,, there could be more.

Moreover,,, I am shocked at the degree of de-sensitizing that has occurred in my heart at the pain and suffering of the many people that cross the pages and airwaves of our news media. Each day the radio and TV bombard our lives with the tragedies and suffering of so many people in my community and around the world.

The world today is madness, and there doesn’t seem to be a voice of reason that can rise above to sounds of insanity. I really do fret about the kind of world my children and grandchildren are going to be living in. There is far more evidence of social, moral and spiritual devolution, than there is of a rising tide of civil evolution.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

How pitiful the tally of those I have managed to bring into the fold. Oh for the joy to look back at the last 40 years of my own Christianity and levy a count of at least one saved soul per year. How empty and disappointing will the words echo in my ears…. “Well done my good and faithful servant. YOU made it.”

.

.

. We have to do more. Even now, in writing this message, Its not enough for me just to flash the headlights lights, and lean full on the horn to try to cause my fellow man to turn back from the path of inevitable eternal destruction. We have to care enough to be moved into action. We don’t have to try to save the world; but we should try to disciple at least a few each.

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.””

My friends, I am truly afraid that this may be the last harvest of the season,

Ask the Lord of the harvest,

Send me.

Clipping in

Clipping in.

  Last week we began learning about the basics of rock climbing:

Knowing the basics, for each and every one of us is absolutely critical, (A matter of Life and Death actually.).

   Before you ever let someone/anyone talk you into climbing up, or rappelling down the side of a sheer rock face wall, you had better know for yourself that everything is set right. People get hurt, or even worse, when they don’t know what they are doing, and they trust that someone else hasn’t made any mistakes.  

   This week I am giving each of you a carabineer. It’s NOT a climbing carabineer! It’s only useful for clipping in some extra gear onto your school book bag. But it’s more than enough to remind you about your response to this message tonight.

   The first personal investment in any climb or repel is CLIPPING IN. That is the moment you begin to be 100% invested in the activity. For that exact reason, “On Belay” is the first voice command a person ready to climb, or repel, announces to his support personnel. It’s announcing to the world “I’m on deck! This is it! I’m committing to this!” The second you “Clip in.” to the rope and begin the process of backing off and over the ledge, you are putting your total faith in the support system. You are putting your faith in: (You’re putting your life in the hands of.) the harness, the rigging, the rope, and your belayer. Your support person will reply; “Belay on!”. Only after a person has completed the process of clipping in, and has completely double-checked all his safety checks, he then calls out “Climbing!”, and waits for the reply, “Climb on!”.

    Tonight I want to invite each of you to “Clip In”.

   Before each of you takes one of these carabineers I want you think about your commitment to being a Christian. Have you really “Clipped in”? Have you made the same commitment with your life to Jesus, as someone does with their equipment when they risk everything on a climb?  

Tonight I’m going to make things very easy; simply by speaking out the phrase, “On Belay”.

    If you can remember a specific moment in time when you accepted Christ in your life, and you are absolutely certain that you have made the life changing commitment to trust your life to Him. Then I want you to think of this as just another safety check. Make sure you are securely tied in to Jesus through a real relationship with Him. Re-dedicate yourself to read your bible; (even just a few minutes a day.). Is your prayer life as solid as it should be? Are you sharing your daily life with Him through an awareness of the Holy Spirit guiding your thoughts and actions? And most importantly, is the relationship two directional? Do you believe in your spirit that you have heard the call back from Jesus, “Belay on!”. As you pick up your carabineer, confirm your commitment tonight by calling out, “On Belay”.

    If you are sure of a personal strong solid faith in Jesus Christ, and you really want to step up your relationship with Jesus. If you are looking for something in your life that puts your religion into relationship and your relationship into actions; you want to be an active part in the work and ministry of Christ… Then by all means,,, go ahead and call out to Him, “Climbing!”

    If you aren’t sure where you stand with your commitment with Jesus, I want to give you an opportunity tonight to make that first step. If you want to put your trust in Him to help you with the rest of your life; If you want to know the freedom of being completely forgiven of all your sins; If you want a new purpose, a new reason, and put a new captain in charge of your life; Tonight as you take your carabineer, call out to Him, “On Belay”.

    Tonight, if you’re simply unsure. You don’t know where you stand; you’re not sure if you’re ready to accept Christ in your life. You don’t even know for sure what that means… Please! Feel free to take one of these carabineers as a commitment to your self, that you are willing to keep an open mind. Take one of these carabineers to remind yourself that you are open to the possibilities that Christ could make in your life. Take one of these carabineers to at least make the commitment to yourself that you have not completely closed the door to Jesus.

    My prayer for each of you tonight is that you will use this carabineer often, and that the Holy Spirit will remind you of your personal response to this invitation tonight.

*** May God Bless ***

      John Chicoine

———-  If you made it this far  ———   I have one last final cookie.   

      Of the combined 12 boys last night, only 3 responded to the invitation in any way.   (Surprising.)

      BUT! All of those three boys responded with,  “Climbing”.  It was no surprise to me who these three boys were. Their maturity in the Lord is obvious in their lives, and each of these three want to have more of Christ in their lives.       I am so blessed to know each of them, and I look forward to watching them walk out the Christ life.

Perley Brook

Just a quick 2 mile flat land trail around Perley Brook Reservoir. An easy 45minute trip with a lot of nice views of the lake. It’s the local hot spot for fisherman in Gardner. This is a great trail for the family, or a really trail to practice trail running.

 

Location: Perley Brook Reservoir – Loop Trail, 110 Clark Street, Gardner MA 01440

Directions & Parking: From Route 2 take Exit 22 to Route 68 N, toward the Center of Gardner along Main Street. From the Center of Gardner take a right on Central Street (Route 101 N) for 0.2 miles, then take a left onto Park Street at Monument Park (across from the Veteran’s Memorial Skating Rink). Follow Park Street for 0.8 miles. Take a left on Clark Street. The parking area will be 0.3 miles on your left hand side at the entrance to the West End Beagle Club.

Park in the unpaved public parking area on the left at the bottom of the hill. From the parking area cross Clark Street and follow the sidewalk west for 150 feet to the entrance of the Perley Brook Loop Trail.

 

Christmas 2013

A Christmas Message from us to you;

The greatest miracle of Christmas Day is not that God gave us his only begotten son, the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world; God had planned to do so from the beginning of mankind. It’ not that this child was born of a virgin, or that God hung a star in the heavens to point the way to him, nor the heavenly choir of angles that proclaimed his arrival.

The greatest miracle of Christmas Day is that this very child born 2000 years ago is still alive today and he extends to all of us the greatest gift ever given to any man. The gift of Himself to us, that we might know Him as our friend, our comforter and our savior. That through His Holy Bible he speaks to every-one that has ears to listen, and with the filling of His Holy Spirit we are made alive in Him.

The great mystery of the ages is not that over the last 2000 years so many have accepted him as their Lord and savior, or that so many have been born again to live a new life full of love, purpose, and hope. It’s not that even to this day men give their hearts to Him, and commit to sharing their life with Him and living their life for Him: it’s that so many still only know Him as an ancient religious figure to be debated, or rejected.

Our prayer is that we will all make the time this busy Christmas season to throw open the door of our hearts that we may be personally swept away by the wonderful touch of Jesus’ love, and that His Holy Spirit would make us ALIVE in HIM.

*** May God Bless ***
John & Simone

Wake

John Chicoine published a note.
January 29, 2010 ·

“ You are responsible for your wake.” (River Trip Lesson 2007)

Last year while I was vacationing in a small ocean harbor town on the coast of Maine. I noticed a sign that the harbormaster posted on a pylon at the opening of the harbor. It simply read, “ You are responsible for your wake.” Just as I read that, the Spirit of the Lord began to reveal the Biblical Truths of that warning.

This principle applies to everyone whether they are Christian‘s or not! Sometimes people go through life as though they’ll never have to answer for their actions. They carelessly and recklessly barge through the harbor of life leaving chaos and destruction wherever they’ve been. They don’t care who they hurt. They only weigh the consequences of what they do in light of how it benefits them.

Let me give you a few quick examples of this, and pray that the Holy Spirit shine His light in the darkened rooms of our hearts.

People make promises, and break them for almost no substantial reason….

People lie and cheat to get ahead…

People think only about what best for themselves… (As long as I get mine first!)

People manipulate other people and hurt other peoples feeling and emotions.

People build themselves up, by tearing down others.

The list goes on forever….

“The sad truth is”… that we all have done many of these things at one time or another,,, Regardless of how young or old we are!!! And we’re all likely to continue to do it. It’s part of the curse,,, It’s part of that sin nature that is in all of us, and all around us. Eve did it to Adam the moment she sinned, Cane did it to Able trying to please God. It’s part of the foolishness of Human nature…

“The bad news is,,,,”

As Christians it’s simply not acceptable in the eyes of God. The Bible is full of warnings against actions that hurt other people. Strong Warnings against actions that could be so subtle that they might almost go completely unnoticed but for the person we have offended. At one point the Bible even says that it would be better to have a mill stone tied around our neck and be thrown into the sea if we even cause one “child of God to stumble in his faith.”

This weekend, it’s probably already happened to almost every body here. You’ve either been the receiver, or the perpetrator. Someone’s laughed at another’s person’s mistake, making them feel small or stupid. Someone has snubbed someone else for not being cool, for not dressing “right” for not acting like them. Someone knows more about something than another person and considers themselves “better” then the other people. Sometimes it’s SO SUBTLE!!! No one “snickers” by accident, no one gossips about somebody without intent, “rolling your eyes” at or about someone isn’t an uncontrolled response. It goes on so often that I can’t speak or even imagine how often it’s happened just today, just between us.

What are we to do then? The human spirit is so fragile that even at this very moment, by delivering this message I could be offending someone here.

The answer to our predicament is not a simple one… It’s impossible for anyone to go through life measuring every action and trying to calculate what effect we might be having on another person.

No,,, The answer to our predicament is not a simple one at all; BUT THAT”S NOT AN EXCUSE TO KEEP ON DOING IT! We are not caught against our will in a hopeless trap of continually carelessly crashing through life leaving sinking and drowning people strewn in our wake…

First! We gotta, wanna,,,, We gotta wanna let the Holy Spirit open our eyes to this sin and let the Holy Spirit show us the truth about ourselves. We Gotta wanna begin to care about how our actions effect other people, and we gotta wanna be willing to make the sacrifices it will take to consider other people first, before we act. It has to become a desire of our heart regardless of what it may cost us to follow Christ’s example… It’s requires a fundamental change of character. If we only knew… If we could see what Jesus sees,,, The Bible says about Jesus: Isaiah 42:3 He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. Jesus was very aware of his wake!

Next! It take awareness, We have help here,,, The Bible tells us that if we become “aware” of the Holy Spirit in out lives, He will convict us of our sins, past, present, and future! We have to begin to see ourselves in light of a connected web of people and people’s feelings. Everywhere we go we are connected to a complex web of people. Sometimes all we need to do is talk to one another to avoid hurting each other.

In our families ….
With our friends ….
At school ….
At work ….
At church ….

Lastly, It’s about our motives. It’s about truthfully examining our inner motives. It’s about understanding why we are we doing what we do? Sometimes we do both good and bad things for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes, we are shaped by pride! : I’ve see boys actually earn their Gold Medal of achievement, not for inner rewards, but for the outward accolade it got them.

Sometimes we are driven by greed! : I know men and women who rally behind a humanitarian cause, only to try to line their pockets with favors and gold.

Sometimes we are consumed by lust! : I’ve watched men ride to the top of their church, leading millions to follow Christ, and leading millions more away from Him, all for the lust for power, wealth, fame, and flesh.

Sometimes we are tickled by arrogance! : I’ve known men so vain that the light that they thought shown through them to the world, blinded their own eyes to their selfish motives never seeing the pain and suffering they brought upon those around them.

The Bible tells us that no one can see the motives of another’s heart, but it’s very clear that the Holy Spirit can, and that all will be revealed in the fullness of time. That which is hidden shall be seen and that our deeds, large or small, good or bad will be revealed to us in the end.

Yes indeed,,,, We are responsible for our wakes.

It’s time we all begin to become aware of them.

Ready

John Chicoine published a note.
July 14, 2009 ·

Ready, Ready for anything. (River trip lesson 2009)
Ephesians 6: 13 – 17 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground… Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”_

We’ve been hearing so many messages these days about individual Christians standing up and taking personal responsibility for doing the work of God. We are being called into action; One by one, to form God’s mighty army. But this action is not going to happen without a fight.
• Sometimes the fight will be an obvious attack from the enemy of God …
(Removing prayer from schools, Symbols of Christianity from public, the ten commandments from courthouses, and even God from our money. Accepting Abortion, & Gay marriage)
• Sometimes the fight will come disguised as well meaning intentions of friends and even family …
(Pear pressure, Bad council from friends, people with self-serving motives, Imbalance in ministry.)
• And all too often, it will come from the internal struggles of our human nature …
(Doubt, immaturity, selfishness, lust, quilt, lack of confidence, loss of faith, apathy, laziness.)

– Today it’s my job to help each of us, (At our own station!) to respond to the call to action. To prepare every one of us to stand our ground.

I’m calling this message; I’m Ready! Ready for Anything!

As we prepare for today’s specific battle, (Running the River), we need to understand that the River is a raging torrent that does have the potential to destroy you. When we first arrive on the riverside it will look like a meek and easy enemy. But you can never get too comfortable and careless with it. As we prepare ourselves for the run, things on the river will begin to change; The banks will swell, the water will get deeper, tension will build as the current gets faster and stronger! Even the sound of the flowing water will change.

Lets take a look at the equipment we need today.

* The safety belts on your life vest, buckled tightly around your waist, are like the belt of truth buckled around your waist. You can have the best life jacket money can buy, but if you haven’t bothered to strap it onto yourself it won’t help you in turbulent waters. And so it is with God’s truth… No matter how great our actions may seem to the outside world, they are nothing but filthy rags to God if they are not founded in God’s Truth. Our motivation must be pure. God says we are not saved by works alone, but by Grace & by the Truth of God. Jesus Says, I am the Way the Truth & the Light.

* Our life jacket… is like the breastplate of righteousness: If we attempt to go down this river without Life jackets we are taking foolish risks with our lives that sooner or later are going to end up in tragedy. And so it is with The Righteousness of God. God calls us to live Righteous and Sanctified lives. If we fool ourselves into believing our own “Goodness” / Righteousness is good enough for God, when the turbulent times come we will eventually drown. The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But it also says, In Jesus, I am Justified through His Righteousness. God Knows we can never be Holy and sinless, but God searches our heart, and His mercy endures forever.

* Our sneakers/Water socks, are our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace: Of all the very real dangers we face today, none will be more likely to happen than to slip on a slippery rock and get seriously hurt. Later on we will be teaching you what to do if you fall out of your boat, You need to listen to and apply these instructions from your commanders on how to react in case of a problem… And so it is with the Gospel of peace. If we attempt to live our lives without knowing God’s Gospel, (Bible) without knowing God’s Character (Forgiveness, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control) we will slip and fall away from God, and we won’t know what to do.

* The raft itself… Is like the shield of faith: If we attempt to run this river without a raft or a tube, we would surely be beaten, bruised, cut up and bloody, if we even survived the run. When we step into these rafts we are literally putting our safety and our lives in the hands of these rafts and we have faith that they will carry us down the river. And so it is with Faith in God. When you have true Faith in Jesus, you have more than just hope that everything will turn out good. I want you to KNOW that you have someone special on your side. You have someone real helping you in times of trouble. You have a friend that is “The Son Of God”. You have a Healer, A Comforter, A Savior. You have Everlasting Life! You can trust your life to Him. You put your self and your family in His hands, and let Him carry you through the good times as well as the bad times.

* The Captain of your boat… Is like the helmet of salvation: No sensible man one would put a little child in a boat on a river all alone. You need experience, you need guidance, and you need someone that can see farther down the river than you can. You need someone that will know what needs to be done even before a problem arises. You need someone that can rescue you when you fall out of the raft. And so it is with Jesus. Jesus is our Salvation. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like today without Jesus, guiding me, comforting me, and helping me everyday of my life. I also know what it’s like to “Loose my faith” (fall out of my boat.) and be flailing about in the raging torrent of the river ready to swallow me up, Helpless, Hopeless, Alone, and LOST! But I can tell you that the captain of my boat reached down into the storm, grabbed me by my life vest and pulled me back into the boat.

* Your paddle… Is like the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Have your ever heard the phrase “Up the creek without a paddle” It’s not a good thing. You need your paddle! You steer the raft away from danger with it. Without it you’re helpless; the river is in control! Remember what I said about the river; It has the potential to destroy you! If you’ve got a paddle, and you know how to use it, you can guide your boat away from danger. And so it is with the Word of God. God’s Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my life. It’s a funny thing how the World call’s people that go through life without God “Enlightened”. I’ve never met an “Enlightened person that wasn’t Totally stumbling in the darkness. It all boils down to this; Either we believe the Bible is God’s Word or not. We have to make a choice. If you choose yes, then we have the only sure foundation from which to live your life.

This was a fun little analogy, but it has lots of very serious spiritual truth’s that I want to review.

First… We have to start here………
• Have we invited Jesus into our life? In a minute, I’m going to give us all an opportunity to think about our personal commitment to Jesus. Do we know Him the way we should? Does our life show it? Do we need to get serious about our personal relationship with Him?
• Are we trying to use our own Righteousness to cover for ourselves? That’s a loosing battle, we can never be good enough to stand Face to Face with Jesus and call him brother, Friend, Savior. We can never earn, through our own good work, even one drop of Jesus’s Shed blood.
• Do we really understand how much God Loves us? Are we too busy to hear His voice calling us? Do we know His voice as we go about our daily lives. Do we know what His word says, Do we take the time to let Him speak to us through His written Word (The Bible).
• Where is our Faith? What do we truly believe? Do we have the Faith to walk on water when life is good, and when are we spiritually deaf, dumb and blind, (Can’t hear Him, Can’t feel Him, Can’t see Him) when we go through trials? When trouble comes, do we spring into action…. (No time for Prayer, No time for God) Gotta fix the problem; Then cry out… Where the heck is God, why doesn’t He see I need Him now?
• Is Jesus, LORD & SAVIOR in our lives? It’s easy to sign him on as Savior; Say a simple prayer, put a bumper sticker for the car and we’re good! But it’s quite another thing to call Him LORD. Now that get’s a bit more complicated; That must just be for Pastors, and people that don’t have “normal” lives like the rest of us. If we make Him Savior and never make Him LORD, did we ever really know Him?
• And Last but not the least, Are we walking out our life by the Word of God? Is Jesus alive today through His living written word proclaimed to a dying world in the witness of our lives? Are we drinking from the river of living water, Quickened by the Holy Spirit, Inspired by the Holy Bible?

Nature Merit

Royal Ranger Nature Merit lesson.

I taught the following lesson (only down to the addendum) to some boys I was helping earn their nature merit. The Addendum is what I really wanted to teach.

 

The Conservation Pledge reads:

 

I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of America. I promise to educate future generations so they may become caretakers of our water, air, land and wildlife.

 

Here are some Bible Verses about Nature:   (Of course you can always find your own.)

 

Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Genesis 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

 

Genesis 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

 

 

The Gospel According to John  (Chicoine):      I want you to notice that after each of the days of creation of the Land and the vegetation, the Sea and with it’s aquatic life and the air with the birds, and the Land and all animal life,,,,   the Bible pronounced “And God saw that it was good.” As Christians,,, I wonder if we understand in our daily lives and actions, the impact we have on that which God Created, and was so especially proud of that He himself declared that “it was good”.  Although we are just one individual,,, we do have an impact! Our existence on this earth does change the earth we live in. Are we consuming more than we have to? Are we taking more than we need? Do we take for granted all the comforts we are used to, and assume that they really don’t cost our earth more than they are worth?   We can change. We must change. We can begin to make small changes every day that give back a little. As we try more we can conserve a little more, and hopefully eventually we will learn to give back more than we consume. It has to start somewhere. It has to start with you and me. We have to become AWARE! Aware of God. Aware of His creation, Aware of our impact.  If there is one thing I hope comes through all of the time I expose you to God’s creation,,,,,  (First: I assume that you are God AWARE!) You believe in Him, and you believe that through His provision Christ Jesus, you are a child of God,)   Second, I pray that you begin to see your place in God’s Creation. That you begin to see that you and Him are connected in the physical world through God’s creation.           We live in it,      We depend upon it,       We’re part of it,        and it is part of us.          Genesis 7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.   We must begin to try to live our lives on this earth in such a way that once again,,,,,,, God will look upon His Creation and see that it is good.

 

*** May God Bless ***

John Chicoine

———

Addendum:

 

We have become a society of excessive consumers. Our soul desires all that our eyes can see and our minds can imagine. There is no end to the frivolous extravagances which we have come to believe are necessities. In our quest to “have it all” & “Have it all our way” We are like locust consuming all of this good earth leaving in our wake destruction and baroness. The raging greed of the profit takers flourishes while it recklessly consumes or pollutes the earth’s resources in its effort to quench the never-ending thirst of the masses. Generation after generation the mantra going forward is simply,,, MORE!

Always,,, MORE,   with no regard to the cost levied upon this unique, divinely crafted satellite we owe our existence to. Our last century of un-shakeable material quest begs the question,,, Is there no end to it all?  But of course there is.  Unfortunately I am convinced and deeply troubled that it will not be an end driven by our recognition of, and repentance from our glutinous consumptive sins. It will not be an end driven by some miraculous revelation that it is our selves, each and every one of us as individuals that is the cause of our own fate. I am certain (thought I wish I weren’t) that it will not be an end of balance and contentment between the Earth’s capacity to sustain us, and it’s inhabitants. It will not be an end in which we rise up to the noble charge given to us in the garden. I can honestly say that I know no-one (myself included) that has come to that place in their lives that they can say,,, I have enough. More than enough!

And!!!! I don’t wish to point a finger at any one group (They are what we have taught them to be.), but I do believe I know the next few generations yet to take the helm of our world, and I can categorically say; their expectations that they deserve everything their mind can conceive of owning, AND NOW! “And it better be the exact, size, shape, color, and smell they want!”, is pervasive! God Help Us, if we expect them to voluntarily turn down the spigot of self gratification and excess.

There is some small hope in me that prays that the next great yet to be discovered modern miracle of the human mind is just about to be revealed to come and save us from drinking the last drop of drinkable water, breathing that last breath of clean air, or trampling upon the last patch on a living vegetation.  But this is a deadly hope. For it is just that type of thinking that gives us all the excuse to wait until tomorrow for that savior. I fear (and anyone that can see past their own nose must likewise conclude) we are long since past the tipping point at which we should have turned, and our earth can no longer continue to sustain the desires of us all. We here in 21’st century western civilization have for the most part been able to live far above our means while being insulated from its effect. But this two is changing, and many of us living in the lower two thirds of the economic strata are becoming more and more aware of supply and demand eco economics.

I must take a moment to explore this hope for a modern miracle of science savior we are all wishing for. In truth! It too is not driven by the right motives at all! No! Its root drive is motivated by our desire to continue to maintain this reckless reach for more, more, more! We want someone to invent the next magical miracle goo to replace the gasoline we fill up our cars with, so we can keep driving bigger, badder, faster, MONSTER Automobiles, with independently controlled climate control, individual stereo systems, and DVD players for every passenger, (Including the driver!), and heated seats, and remote start, and comfort ride, and super glide, and dynamically controlled road tuned suspension so God forbid you might spill your mocha-latte if you hit a little bump (because you were distracted by something someone said on the other end of phone call) while you’re flying down the road at 75miles an hour.  (1/2 of the people reading this are waiting for me to tell you the car that has all these things so you can go out and get one)…..  No Problem! Pick any one! This has become the base model of them all!

How’s this for a revelation!!!! This long awaited Modern Miracle of Science Savior has already been revealed!!! STOP THE EXCESSIVE WASTE! JUST SAY NO! We’ve had the answer all along! It’s not the earth’s limited capacity to sustain, it’s not God’s short sightedness and poor resource planning, it’s not nature’s inability to replenish and renew itself. IT’S US. It’s our life to excess, it’s the “as long as I have mine” mentality; It’s greed, lust, selfishness, covetousness, impatience, voracity & discontent.

We must begin to teach our children, and teach by example, how to care. Care for each other, Care for this planet. How to genuinely find a balance between needs and wants and have real contentment with having lived an ecologically zero sum life. The types of things I am talking about are very simple measures of conservation and stewardship.

 

Remember that Conservation Pledge:

 

I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of America. I promise to educate future generations so they may become caretakers of our water, air, land and wildlife.  

 

I wonder if we as individuals really took that to heart and considered ourselves “The Caretakers”, (like you would care for your new car, or your lawn.). Caretakers of our water, air, land and wildlife. I wonder if we could really understand what type of impact that might make on the way we live our lives today.  As I write this now I can think of a million things I personally could do, should do, (and as God as my witness will try to do) to be a better caretaker.

Another note on that pledge: It is fashionable today,,,,, and,  I can just imaging some first grade class room with that pledge written above the black board, and a real sincere teacher trying to convey to her class what that pledge should mean to them,,,, (And I truly do commend her for her efforts, the message has to start to be taught somewhere….) But just consider the sand she shovels against the tide. The children in her classroom (you know,,, the ones she’s taught to put their uneaten portions of their pre-packaged lunchable, and their bread crusts into the class compost pail.) are all dressed in this seasons “peer approved uniforms”, picked up and dropped off door to door from home to school to home in SUV’s 1/2 the size of a school bus. (School busses are out of fashion now.) Brought in climate controlled comfort to home’s 1/2 the size of the school, that never drift more than 2 degrees from 70, with humidity never more than 10% from 40% relative humidity.  Cloned McMansions with finely manicured chemically treated lawns in neighborhoods stretched out as far as the eye can see. Homes with personal bathrooms, televisions, computers, cell phones and various other absolutely necessary electronic gadgets, for every occupant of the house; all running 24 – 7. Lights on in every room as long as the last occupant is awake. Clothes washed, machine dried and pressed every day, and thrown out and replaced at the first hint of fashion folly, even if they’ve only been worn once. (Or maybe never, if they happened to go out of fashion before they made it home from the store.). Hot showers flowing 20 to 30 minutes every morning for each occupant. Refrigerators, freezers, and cupboards filled to overflowing with each occupant’s personal preferences. Microwave ovens running constantly as each individual feasts at their own convenience, on their own special tasty treats.   No,,,, This sincerely dedicated first grade teacher has as much chance at successfully instilling the message of conservation upon this next generation, as our “War on drugs” has lowered drug addiction rates, and our “Planned Parenthood” has reduced the abortion rate.

Far be it from me to just bitch about a problem without suggesting just a few small things we can all do to act just a little bit more responsibly towards the earth. But I won’t! I was going to generate a huge list of list of things we should and or should not do. What is required here is not about a list of do’s and don’t, rather a societal shift from the mistakenly interpreted fundamental Judeo Christian premise that we have a mandate to subdue the earth, (As a master would a slave). Our focus needs to be a total re-defining of our relationship with our environment. It is not enough to have an occasional, convenient or accidental event that might be a little less harmful to the earth. It has to happen at the core of each and every one of us, and it’s not the same actions for anyone of us. Maybe one of us builds an entire eco friendly house, while another one of us blocks off a few windows with insulated panels on a cold winter night. One plants an organic garden and waters it from rain barrels, while another walks a mile to and from school. Someone rides a bicycle to work while another makes a commitment to purchase goods from a local farmer. It needs to become an attitude of America. Like the social programs during World War II untied every able-bodied American to the cause of supporting the war efforts, at home and abroad. It must be everyone, all the time. It must be intentional; It must be individual; and it must be universal. If America does it, the world will follow.

Not that any of this is new, ask anybody (if you can find any) that lived in rural America 60 to 80 years ago and they will look at you like you had two heads for discussing this like it was anything other than “Just the way it was when they were growing up”.) I’m not implying we as a society need to return to living life as it was “down on the farm” 100 years ago. We have lots of modern science and innovations that can help us maintain comfortable, enjoyable and reasonable lives. But there will be need for some sacrifices from all of us.

As a closing note! If anyone of you reading this, prints it out. I will personally come to your house, and beat you senseless with the dried branches from the tree you killed.

Hold ON!

Lesson for Royal Ranger River trip 2004
February 28, 2009 at 9:14pm

Lesson for Royal Ranger River trip 2004

A short while ago a young boy and his mother were out for their daily morning walk. This was a special time that the two of them has set aside so they could spend time together and just talk about anything they wanted to, (no thoughts about the pressures of life that creeps into every relationship, home & family.) it was a gentle time, A time to let the sun warm you skin and the cool morning air refresh their spirits. This particular morning was already getting hot, as the day was promising to be one of those hot southern summer days; the boy asked his mother if it might be all right to take a swim in the pond. They walked out onto the dock and the boy kicked off his shoes and shirt, climbed through the railings and dove into the cooling water. He was a good swimmer so began to swim the length of the small pond.

After a few pleasant moments of enjoying the serene morning peacefulness, through the corner of her eye the boy’s mother caught a movement in the bushes. A chill ran through her body and she instinctively hollered to her son to turn back. She was not the only one watching her son swimming in the pond. An alligator had been watching the boy from the shore, and now had slipped through the reeds and into the water.

The young boy immediately responded to his mother’s panicked call, he knew this was a serious frantic call for him to return to her and he turned and began to swim back to his mother as fast as he could. Closer and closer to the dock where his mother was calling to him to hurry, he swam. When he got to the dock he lifted his arms towards his mother and she bent over the rails and grabbed his arms to pull him to safety. Grabbing him firmly she began pulling her son up out of the water onto the Dock. Just then the gator lunged out of the water and caught the young boy legs in his powerful jaws.

The boy’s mother was no match for this ferocious creature fighting for survival as he and his kind had done for millions of years and he gave a mighty pull on the young boy’s legs to drag him back into the water. The boy heard his mother’s chest smash into the railings of the dock. She looked into her sons terrified eyes, “I’ve got you”, she cried, “hold on!” as she dug her grip in deeper into her son’s arms.
The Gator was no match for his mother’s love and dedication for her son, and what might have been an easy meal for the gator, now evolved into a thrashing struggle. Each time the gator would pull with all his strength the mother would hold on tighter, “I’ll never let you go” she told her son, “he’ll have to take us both”. The struggle continued on for what seemed like an eternity but it was only just a few seconds, when a passing farmer heard the commotion and ran to help the mother and her son. He reached over the rails with his pistol he carried in his truck, and with a single shot, shot the Gator dead.

They pulled the boy to safety and took him to the emergency room and though his legs were terribly torn and disfigured the doctors felt he would make a good recovery. The mother had suffered several broken ribs and a punctured lung during the struggle. They shared the hospital room while they recovered.

Some time after the incident, word had gotten out about the story of this struggle between a mother and her son, and the alligator. Pictures in the local news paper began to circulate of the dead gator and a local television news station sent a TV crew and reporter to bring back the story. They politely asked if they could conduct the interview and the young boy happily obliged. The reporter began to ask his many questions about that day; the ferocity of the gator, how scary it must have been; He asked about the pain and the Gators teeth. Just as he was finishing his interview he asked the boy if he minded if the cameraman could “get some footage of his legs.” “Re-living/Remembering the attack, the young boy’s demeanor had changed from happiness to shame and despair, but he reluctantly obliged and slowly he lifted his hospital Johnny and revealed his badly scarred and deformed legs. The damage was far worse than either of them had imagined and after just a few seconds the reporter concluded “Well thank you very much for taking your time to talk to us.” and he instructed the camera man to turn off the camera and begin packing up.

As they busied them-selves packing up they heard the young man say “Wait! What are you doing? You only have half the story. You can’t go now, turn everything back on”. And the boy slowly slipped out of his bed onto his feeble legs and began to roll up his sleeves. There on his arms was another set of scars, running down his elbows to his wrists where his mother had dug her fingernails into his arms holding on to him. “These are the scars I want the world to see! These are where my mother held on to me and wouldn’t let me go. As she looked into my eyes, telling me to hold on, but I wasn’t the one grabbing her, she was grabbing me. These are the scars she made, telling me how much she would never let me go, even if she had to be pulled in with me. These are the scars she made; looking into my eyes telling me how much she loved me. Bring that camera closer. These are the scars I want the world to see. These are the scars I’m not ashamed of. These are the scars of my mothers love.

———————————————————————-

I want to talk about the story I just told you. I want to focus in on the young boy, on his attitude.

When bad things happen and sooner or later bad things will happen to everybody, many people, some Christians, get hung up on self-persecution.
Why me? They focus only on the bad things they can see! That’s because it’s easier to see those scars.

– When you’re sick, or when a loved one is sick or dies. That’s real. You can feel the pain. You can see the suffering. The person you love is in pain, or they can no longer be there in the way they were. Your life is filled with pain, (physical, and emotional) there is uncertainty about the future, and sometimes even Loss, & grief.

– When there are problems in the home, Anger, Fighting, Hurting each other with actions and words, Rebellion, Poverty, Hunger…. These things are easy to feel and touch. The effects / scars of these things can last through a person’s lifetime. You feel like you’re unwanted, unneeded, unloved.

– When life just seems to be unfair, you never get the breaks; you’re not an athletic, not as popular, not as cool, not as good, not as smart, not as lucky, as “everybody else.” People carry those scars around like a pass that allows them to fail,,, “I never win”, “I’m never first”, “Why bother to try…. I always loose.”

People ask the question, Why Me? It’s as if they’re the only ones to ever have to go through the trials. Instead of addressing the problem, they focus only on the impact on their lives. They become paralyzed, unable to make a decision on what to do, or how to change. Sometimes,,, People believe that being a Christian is like an immunity card that should keep them from ever experiencing hard times. They begin to question their faith, or the existence of God himself, or even fall into the trap that God is punishing them for something.

Often they even feel as if they failed in some aspect of their lives and God Himself is punishing them. As long as people keep their eyes on the bad, they will never see any good, and the devil wins.

– They will never learn from their trial;
They’ll be filled with bitterness, doubt, and anger.
– They will never grow through the trial;
They will be small, petty, spiteful, even hateful, returning hurt for hurt.
– They will never see Gods hand in it;
They will be consumed with Self-pity, and Self-loathing.
– They will never feel Gods love for them;
They’ll feel like the world is against them, They only see their own loss. They will do whatever it takes to take control of their lives for themselves. Even if it means committing suicide as one final act of control.
– They’ll never feel Gods suffering and mercy for them.
They end up having little or no compassion for others; They secretly despise when other do well, and take comfort when others face trials.
– They often turn from God, Hurt, Rejected, Lonely, and Confused.

Usually it’s harder to see the good in the midst of the bad, it’s not as obvious. It’s not what people look for. It’s not how people measure the success of a person. It may only come in such subtle forms as “inner strength”, “understanding and compassion for others”, “a need for closer dependence on God”, A growth in Godly character, or a stronger Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. It results in a heart felt calling, or an undying dedication to a ministry.
· This young boy learned something from his horrible experience. He grew. He had new understandings. He lived through a moment of the most intense love, and dedication any man could ever experience. A literal struggle of life and death over him. There he was literally being pulled between;
– Pain, Evil, Horrifying suffering and death.
He was ashamed of the scars that these things left on him.
And
– His mother’s Love, Compassion, Dedication and willingness to even suffer her own death before she would give up on him.
He was proud of the scars that these things created in his life.

I can tell you today, that there were trials and struggles in my life that I can put my finger on and tell you exactly what positive/Godly character in my life was “earned” through that trial. But as I was going through them I didn’t want to be and I could have sworn “nothing good could ever come out of it”. And as sure as I stand here before you today I can tell you that all of us will face our own set of trials, pains, struggles. Some of us are going through right now now, and some of us have yet to be pressed down, but God’s word says “the rain falls on all of us”, Jesus said, “you will have trials, and suffer persecution”. I say this not to bring you down, but to prepare you for real life. We’re all in this together, and we all need to support each other.

The only advice I can offer you are the same words the young boy’s mother cried to her son in the midst of the struggle:

Hold On! God’s love will pull you through. Even when you yourself have lost all faith. Even when you can no longer feel His love and even worse, have lost your love for him; when your spirit is so broken that there are no words to pray to God. Hold On! And He will pull you through. God our Father loved us so much that He sent His Son to suffer and die for us, that whosoever believes in Him, (whosoever Loves His Son) SHALL HAVE EVER LASTING LIFE.
The only way we will ever lose the battle is to intentionally reject God’s love for you. It’s no sin to give up the fight, to feel empty dry and lifeless. Rest your faith on God’s love for you.

Hold On! God’s compassion for you, His Mercy towards you will lift your spirit and give you the strength to go through the struggle, even when you feel you haven’t got the strength, or even the desire to take another breath, God’s mercy and compassion will comfort you if you’ll just look into His eye, and call on the name of Jesus. There IS power in the name of Jesus. The only way you will ever loose the battle is to out and out reject God’s Holy Spirit in your life.

Hold On! God’s dedication to you will never let you go, even unto his own death on the cross Jesus never let you go. He knows what you are going through, He knows how afraid you are, he knows your doubts, He shares your pain and Jesus has never let you go, and Jesus will never let you go, even unto your own death He is holding on to you. The only way you will ever loose the battle is to reject who Jesus is and what He has done.

RRMinistry1

John Chicoine published a note.

In My life there are several passions: My family : My God: My Life:
I say passions because what I love, I am dedicated to. There is no room or time in my life for mediocrity, & complacency. I accept of my self and expect of others nothing less than the best, and am drawn to those of similar drive and passion. I willingly pour myself out for the causes and people that are open vessels to me. What I could never do in my own life I get my greatest joy in helping others accomplish.
Royal Rangers is a life-giving ministry for me. It’s a place I find purpose greater than myself. It is the place I find open vessels. My calling is to deal in discipleship, I believe Salvation is not an event, but a lifestyle. Every year God has been gracious to give me a few small flames to fan; A reason to do what I am called, (and my life and my joy is my calling) to pour my life out for a few open vessels. There’s always a reason to hope that Royal Rangers (as it was designed) will go on; but it’s not just Royal Rangers I fear is loosing it’s grip, (it’s salt,) but true Christianity itself. The kind of Christianity that Johnny Barnes saw Royal Rangers as a natural extension of, and he was right! Johnny’s love for the creator and God’s creation was the perfect blend of teaching boys to love God by getting to know Him through the works of His hands.
Very few people understand my passion for God’s creation. They can’t comprehend the depth and spiritual closeness to God I get from feeling the dirt beneath my feet, the cold penetrating my flesh to the bone from a cold winter wind, or the warmth of the sun on my skin. They don’t get God and the work of His hands. They can’t feel Him in the rain and snow and wind. They can’t see His face in the night sky, the setting sun, and waves on the lakes. They’ve never sat in his lap on the top of His Mountains, and ridden His laughter in the rapids of a fast flowing river. I could fill volumes of how and where God has touched me in the greatest and simplest of experiences in His majesty. Just thinking of how much God has given us, stirs my heart to tears of joy, and sorrow at how His gifts are mistreated, just as His greatest gift is.
Royal Rangers is the only ministry specifically designed that gives me the opportunity to teach people how to touch the LIVING God, through touching and appreciating the work of His hands.
Our society has produced a generation that hasn’t got enough life to come alive. It boasts in its worship at the alter of apathy, it celebrates mediocracy, prizes boredom and laziness, and accepts failure as an acceptable replacement for success. It dares anyone to attempt to evoke a reaction, and revels at it’s own inability to be stirred. It actively seeks to destroy any who rise up and take life for all it’s worth and strive for personal fulfillment and achievement. I am driven to find even the smallest flame of life and count it my joy and duty to offer my shoulders to stand on and rise up out of the mire and into the wind. All one has to do is just “to want it”. I will not present myself to my Lord having lowered His standard low enough for the complacent to crawl over!
There is an urgency in my spirit, an urgency in my flesh. I need to be about being obedient to my calling. For every 1 thing that I have ever done in my ministry there are 10 things I should have done. I believe that God has ordained this work and that God will honor his workers that recognize their responsibility to use this ministry to build a remnant of boys and men that will carry His Holy standard into the future.
I believe more than ever that we need to give the boys a sense of accomplishment by challenging them to learn the things that I know in my life make me a better man than those that have never learned many of the fundamental things that are foundational to the Royal Rangers program. In this day, and even more in the coming days, men need to be real men, and Royal Rangers gives boys the opportunity to gain that level of confidence to be a man. The type of confidence it takes to be good (Godly) husbands and providers, good fathers, and good leaders. We live in a time that men are being emasculated. Real and confident men that stand for Godly principles are seen as a threat to society. Girls and women are having to step over the spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually dead bodies of boys and men slumped over their sports TV’s and Game consoles, to take hold of the reigns of society.
I believe more than ever that the simple fundamentals of pride in one self, reinforced by the real challenges built into the Royal Ranger program, and the reward for this real effort, with true value, is one of the best great hopes we have of instilling a Godly character into empty vessels. My ministry can have no greater purpose than to make the Royal Ranger motto, more than just words to these boys.
I’m sick to death seeing an entire generation of boys and girls, (save for a very, very few) who’s whole value system, entire existence, every thought, is completely and entirely focused on the superficiality of ones clothes, trinkets, & bling. Where being perceived by the mindless masses as non-compliant is an instant social death sentence. And God forbid if even one child dares to be a real person, the hounds of jealous inadequacy go into relentless attack. Right is wrong and wrong is right.
The death of the love of God in our society today is not primarily because people have turned against God, it’s because of a total lack of interest in God what so ever. The enemy of love is not hate. Hate takes thought, its a feeling, hate requires making a choice. No! The enemy of Love is Apathy; and the kids today are all Kings and Queens in the kingdom of Apathy. God is not dead by volition; He’s dead by omission.
We have to take God out of the world of irrelevance, and make Him absolutely relevant to every part of their life. We have to Challenge the boys to open their eyes. We have to hold them accountable for their own Christ life, or lack there of. We have to get into their faces, face to face, one on one, as often as we can connect, and make them look into some ones eyes and at least see the truth of where they are in their walk with God. We have to ask them simple personal questions like: Did you pray this week? Did you have any thought about Jesus this week? – What was it! Did you do anything for Jesus this week? What was it
*** May God Bless ***
John Chicoine