Got the Holiday Blues yet?

It’s that time of year…whether your ready for it or not.

The holidays are upon us but for so many people it won’t be a time of celebrate. While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, unrealistic expectations, whether from ourselves, our friends…and definitely the culture in which we live – force upon us all a “Cookie cutter” mold as to what type of temperament/personality we should have at the holidays. Life is too complicated, and pain and disappointment go too deep, and last too long, for us all to somehow become “Buddie” the elf every holiday season!

So what are we supposed to do? How do we bare one more holiday season that we’d rather forget and just get on with another lack-luster new year? If any of these sentiments ring true with you, remember, you are a significant and unique person who has much value because you were created for a purpose by a God who does not make mistakes! Forget about all that the holiday season brings that we’d rather forget, and cherish that basic Christmas message that in the birth of Jesus we have God coming in the flesh on a divine rescue mission precisely because He LOVES….YOU. Yes, this holiday season don’t cover up all you’re actually struggling with. Don’t “grin and bear” just one more holiday season. Rather, let this be the holiday season that marks a positive and lasting change in your life by simply focusing on God becoming flesh out of love for you, and His heart of compassion that sees all the pain your dealing with. Yes, He really does see it.

Yes, even though you probably have many questions about this (how does God exist if evil does, etc.), remember not to ignore the message of Christmas. And another helpful tool for the holidays…..don’t go through it alone! Reach out to a family member, a faithful friend (hope you have one in me) or a counselor, and let them know what you’re really going through this holiday season.

For those of you who know me, and those of you who don’t but will see this blog boosted throughout FB, I would love to be here this holiday season and offer you some real hope that will get you through feeling just a little more hopeful. After all, that is the basic message of Christmas – HOPE. Hope born in the form of that little child.

So if you just can’t bear putting on your “Buddie” the Elf personality this Christmas season, will you take just a minute, reach out to me, and let me know how I can pray for you this holiday season? You can reach out to me at this helpful link (of course, if you’re my personal friend, then you can call my cell and we will hang out and talk). But to all, please reach out with where you’re at this holiday season, and let me be praying for you. In all of our hurt and questioning about God and if He hears our prayers, simply let me do it for you this holiday season. Consider it my Christmas gift offer to you!  Oh yeah, I’d love for you to include your name when you shoot me your request so I can pray specifically to God for you, but if your inclined to not submit your prayer, then leave it empty and shoot the request over.

If it seems too unrealistic with where you are at to wish you a holiday season rich in love, friendship and happiness….and a similar new year to boot, then I hope you have at least a holiday season with just a little bit more simplicity, love and hope in it.


Not feeling like Buddie either (Ron)

Fall Family Fellowship 2018

You’re invited!

Join us for a Fall Fellowship on Sunday, October 7th at the home of the Plocinski Family. This is a simple fellowship event that will begin at 4pm. There will be a short time when we gather for a brief introduction into who Renew Community Church hopes to become as well as a short preview on our first study together. You won’t want to miss this great time of hanging out, enjoying a meal together and learning how to find your place in something meaningful.

The Plocinski Family

The Plocinski’s
2 Ledgewood Drive
York, ME 03909
(Just off of Rt. 103)


Please call Ron and Melissa at home or sign up using the form below.
(207) 337-8340


BBQ Fellowship

Stake Your Life on This!

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. (Deuteronomy 7:9)

Life is so crazy, right? This is such a tumultuous world we live in and our meager little lives can seem, well just that – meager. Need a little encouragement in light of that? I do to. We all need to get recharged and refocused in our lives. Let’s face it, on any given day, any given week, any given period of our lives, events and circumstances around us can make us feel rather insignificant. The antidote to that? Well, I think we need something bigger to hold on to rather than the paltry little things we normally settle for. Eager to grasp anything for significance, we often settle for the morsel rather than the mountain.

I recently found such Kilimanjaro-sized significance by meditating once again on that verse above. Wow, what a mountain of significance to be found there for those ready to climb the heights of the wonder of our God, then plumb the depths of its riches for their lives! Won’t you go on this grand expedition with me?

That is, after all, what is intended in that verse. When it says, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God,” we are being invited on a quest. A quest that will take us away from the mess of our own lives and refocus us on the One who made us and who wants us to enjoy Him. So stake your life on that! All sound a bit risky? Well, the verse seems to address that potential fear too. That is the point of the verse referencing the faithfulness of God. Because He is faithful, we don’t have to fear the vulnerability of staking our whole identities on Him. I am pretty sure that verse means to say just that! We are truly anchored in life when we stake the claim of our lives on the mountainous faithfulness of our loving God!

Wow, pause and let THAT sink in. What a monumental, life-altering truth. That truth is the death blow to the entire self-help industry out there. Not that they don’t intend good for your life, it just seems its always, well, a temporary good if at all. What does God invite you to? The love and faithfulness of knowing and enjoying him – for a thousand generations! Want a free Bible study lesson at this point? When the verse talks about his love and faithfulness lasting a thousand generations, it does not mean it runs out at a thousand and one generations. No, that is the way God is say His love and faithfulness never run out. A thousand generations is an endless period of time. Being showered constantly with His love and faithfulness never runs out for those who love him and keep his commandments – and Old Testament way of saying making Jesus the King of your life.

Wanna come on this life-changing quest to the heart of God with us? There are two ways to begin. First, you have an open invitation to join us. In fact, we have been so impacted by this truth we are starting a new local church in the Kittery, York and adjacent areas of the Seacoast to proclaim this God far and wide! Come join us at Renew Community Church for our real-life home Bible study fellowship on most Sundays. We are seeking to gather a group of people to go on this quest as we launch a new church in the area. Second, share this blog post far and wide with everyone in your email address book and especially with all your Facebook friends. Please forward this out as we are trying to gather as many people as possible to start this new journey to the heart of God together.

You can contact me here. If this blog post has meant something to you, take the two steps mentioned above and then reach out to me with an email and lets talk!

A Message of Hope Born in Bethlehem

Do you like a good story? We all do, don’t we. A good story is hard to resist – isn’t it? Whether it’s movies like Lord of the Rings, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit or The Star Wars Saga… There is something captivating about a good story.

Maybe that’s why we are so hooked on certain holiday classics like It’s a Wonderful Life or Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. These are stories that have endured because there is a certain down-to-earth, realness about them.Do you like a good story? We all do, don’t we. A good story is hard to resist – isn’t it? Whether it’s movies like Lord of the Rings, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit or The Star Wars Saga… There is something captivating about a good story.

And then there is the story of the birth of JesusIt’s been said that “the Christmas story doesn’t hide us from the harshness of our world. The harshness is an integral part of the story. And this is one of the reasons that this story is so powerful and enduring…The story does not hide us from the existence of the harshness. The story integrates it, showing us that God entered into the harshness of our world in order to change it.

But for now, looking at the Christmas story with a wide lens, just how do you re-tell a story as enduring as this one? Well, I think one way to do it is to attempt to look at it from a different vantage point. Looking at a story from a different vantage point can bring to light different facets of its enduring qualities. We are going to try to do that tonight by looking at one such passage in the Bible – Galatians 4:4-5

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to son-ship.

Now at first glance you won’t see shepherds, Mary and Joseph, wise men, or even a manger! But I think if you look a little more closely, you will. Each of those famous components of this story are all there, imbedded in the first line of that verse. From this verse I want to leave you with one simple Christmas-time reminder from God:

God holds all of human history perfectly in his hand (“the set time”)

God was more than able to keep the newborn infant Jesus safe in the midst of the harsh world he was born into. Barely before he had taken his first look at the world, Jesus was already being hunted by a King who wanted him dead. Then, barely after taking his first breath of life, his father is forced to hurriedly take his family to nearby Egypt. Embedded into the fabric of this Christmas story is God’s promise to take care of us – just as he took care of his son – Jesus. He will take care of us. And that is why there is so much hope centered on that first Christmas day.

We all understand that the holidays are really not a “holly, jolly” time after all. No doubt this past year has been full of disappointments and heartaches in our personal and professional lives. Maybe you’ve struggled to hold down a job or you were passed over for a promotion. Maybe you’ve been dealing with broken relationships characterized by hate and a lack of forgiveness. This is the first complete holiday season I’ve spent without my mother. We lost her to a long battle with Alzheimer’s just four days after Thanksgiving last year. Whatever the source of your hurt and anger, life in this world can just be plane unforgiving….but it is not without meaning.

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis, the Problem of Pain

The pain and suffering that so often characterizes our lives does not need to rob of us our hope for something better. In fact, that is a good one word summary of that first Christmas morn – HOPE. As those wise men from afar looked into the face of Jesus, what they saw was hope. Hope for mankind. Hope for a better future. Hope for a restored relationship with our Creator. You see, you matter to God. You really do! God desires to be so present for you; so involved in your life that He invades human history in a way that changes the course of history itself.

Are you ready for the New Year? Whether you’re ready for it or not, it is just over one week away so I suppose we need to get ready for it! With the new year, there be no short of newspapers, magazines, talk shows and self-help gurus promising your best life now; promising better career success and the like if only you follow their formula. But I promise you this – if you put your hope in Jesus as your Savior then you will have true hope in the New Year.  How do you put your hope in Jesus as your savior? It’s by quietly confessing your sin of unbelief to God and accepting Christ as the payment for your sins. We call this repentance and faith.

If you’d like to continue your pursuit for hope in the new year, I encourage you to check out an upcoming class we will be offering through the York Adult Education at the York Middle School beginning Tuesday evenings in March. You can get some information here

What are you looking for freedom from?

I have been meditating on freedom lately, as I prepare to meet – my wife and I with another dear Christian couple to study the Bible together. We gather regularly, like so many of you do, in hopes of gleaning some practical wisdom for our lives. I may not know much about you; or know you at all, but one thing I think probably describes us all. We are looking for true freedom. Maybe its freedom from addiction. Maybe its freedom from past hurt. Maybe its freedom from unhealthy thoughts that plague your mind. I know each of those circumstances must bring much pain to those who bear those burdens. I certainly don’t want to make light of those situations. In fact, I mean to answer them. I mean to help you truly address them which this next statement.

The Bible describes all of humanity as being in bondage to sin and death.

Fundamentally, we suffer from all other forms of bondage (no matter the arena it appears in) because of this one basic fact that tragically unites all of humanity. The New Testament states is bluntly, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). One thing I have truly come to appreciate about the Bible is its varied and often picturesque way of communicating our origin, our problem, and the remedy. For instance, in one of those picturesque moments, the Bible describes us as, “…you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously lived according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient” (Ephesians 2:1-2). 

We truly feel and experience empathy for those of us who are going through difficult times or feel that they are in bondage to something. We are truly hope for liberation – for freedom. And I wish that for each of you!

So recently I was reading the New Testament book of Romans – chapter 1 verse 17. Though the language might not strike you as endearing, it speaks to true freedom. That big word justified can be simply be read as just as if I’d never sinned. You see, fundamentally, all our bondage traces back to human sin. However, God wants mankind to experience freedom through Jesus Christ. And the good news is that God takes care of everything that needs to be done for us! He sends Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus lives a perfect life and by some miracle God chooses to take his perfection….and give it to us!! So, it is just as if we had never sinned. What awesome news. I hope you come to experience true freedom through Jesus Christ, particularly as the holiday season is coming fast open us.

If you’d like to hear more about this freedom; if you’d like to know how you can conquer addiction and bondage in your own life, let me invite you out to our Home Bible Study at Fellowship that meets Sunday afternoons at my home. You can send us a message through out website at


True Longings in Life

Could you imagine living your life without true longings in your soul?

That would be hard to imagine, wouldn’t it? I mean, come on, isn’t longing and desire what gives life its zest? Can you imagine navigating our short existence on this terrestrial ball without desires, aspirations, hopes, dreams? That would be a pretty poor way to experience life!

Good news is we were never intended to go through life with such robotic mechanicalism – without ever experiencing the longings that induce our emotions to laughter, to tears – from joy to sadness, from gratitude to generosity – and so on. And to make sure we fully understand that true longing in life is at the heart of the very existence of every human being, God gave us the book of Psalms! This one, in particular, has always meant much to me and I have been feasting from it again lately:

 Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
a helper who is always found
in times of trouble.
Therefore we will not be afraid,
though the earth trembles
and the mountains topple
into the depths of the seas,
though its water roars and foams
and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah

There is a river—
its streams delight the city of God,
the holy dwelling place of the Most High.
God is within her; she will not be toppled.
God will help her when the morning dawns.
Nations rage, kingdoms topple;
the earth melts when he lifts his voice.
The Lord of Armies is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

On first read of this Psalm, you might be prone to think it’s more about God than it is our own creative intent to long. However, look again. Isn’t igniting deep, soul-intoxicating longing for God the point of King David who wrote it? Actually, David’s soul is already aflame with such impassioned longings for God that he can’t keep it to himself!

Niagra Falls

It overflows into this piece of beautifully inspired poetry – right into our own lives, like the waters of Niagara Falls that cascades into Lake Ontario below it.  And speaking of a river – did you notice one is mentioned in this Psalm? The character of God is of such mind-blowing boundaries and significance that David needs to employ picturesque language throughout the Psalm in order to scratch the surface of the depths of wonder of our heavenly father. 

Won’t you go to him today to have the match of the wonder of God struck aflame? Long, and long deeply for more of him – in the middle of this complicated terrestrial ball we call home? Don’t settle for such paltry, passing longings this broken world will offer – hold out for more of God!

Longing to Labor in Prayer

Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us but, we are a nation that prays!


Research organizations who specialize in polling statistics have for many years chronicled the fact that Americans are a people who pray. The Pew Research organization recently published that “55% of Americans say they pray every day.” Since we as a nation are direct descendants of our English Puritan ancestors who first landed at Plymouth over 300 years ago, it shouldn’t surprise us that prayer is still deeply ingrained in our national identity. Of course, this supposed commitment to prayer should not be taken as any clear evidence of our understand or commitment to a thoroughly biblical understanding of the Christian faith or a biblical understanding of prayer. Notwithstanding, the fact that so many of our friends an neighbors, Christian or not, have a tendency towards prayer is a great pre-evangelism tool. That is, it can be used as a discussion starter that can then lead to a Gospel presentation.

But enough of that for now. Moving on to what is a thoroughly biblical understanding and commitment to heart-felt prayer – I long to pray more! In fact, I long to become one who labors in prayer as the constant mode of my life.

How are you doing at it? What are you doing to elicit it in your life? For many yearsI have wanted to grow deeper in my understanding of a biblical theology of prayer while at the same time growing more practiced in a continual habit of effectual, biblical prayer. As part of this, we recently spent a few Sundays studying prayer in our Sunday evening small group in our home, as part of Renew Community Church – the Church plant that I lead. One of the last verses we studied on prayer was this one by the Apostle Paul – Pray Continually.” Short and to the point – right? Well, I want to excel in what Paul means by this. I want that spiritual life indelibly marked out by an unceasing prayerful attitude.

I long to be so intimate with my heavenly father that I pray unceasingly – that I pray just like my savior did in his short life on this earth!

And as our church plant gets started – Renew Community Church, my desire has been that we become a church that fulfills this command on prayer, not only individually but corporately as well. I long for Renew Community Church to become a church that makes hell shake by its commitment to prayer! I long for Renew Community Church to become intimately engaged in the act of a continual lifestyle of praying. One that would be seen as uncommon. One that is marked out by bold, mountain-moving, kingdom-expanding, life-saving, prayers that leave a legacy as a result of their power!

I hope God’s Holy Spirit burns that same commitment indelibly in your own identity. Need some help, like me, to become more prayerful? I hope some of these resources are useful for you. Let me know what you think. What you have found helpful.

Finding your Treasure

Where does your treasure lie? What treasure are you looking for? Notice I did not say, “Are you looking for a treasure?” If you are standing vertical and have a pulse, then you are searching for something – what is it?

Blaise Pascal, a famous French mathematician and philosopher, put it like this: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” But th
at’s the problem, right? That “filling with created things,” part. We will fill our hearts with anything that we think helps us make since of this life. We will do anything, go any place and try anything just to find our “belonging” on this spinning globe.

So as many of you know, I just preached a sermon this past Sunday entitled, “Christ: Our Endless Treasure.” That wonderfbible-verse-luke-12-where-your-treasure-is-there-your-heart-will-be-also-2014-1024x791ul little verse that we probably often just read over in Colossians that says, “Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. I won’t get into my sermon here since I hope to be able to get it listed on our website soon. But I do want to hit on a verse that I simply mentioned in passing towards the end of that sermon. Luke 12:34 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. The concept in this verse, and behind it (that we were made to long for something) really is the great equalizer of all humanity I think. That is because the one thing all humanity has in common, in spite of all our differences, is that innate desire, deep down in us all, longing for significance.

Do you feel that longing today? Is it especially strong today? Is it compelling you to seek to fill it with some placebo? If the truth be told, perhaps many of us seek to navigate life by actually seeking to quell that desire. Maybe for some of us to permit that desire is actually a painful thing because it lets you know just how real you really are. We shouldn’t quell it or settle for a placebo though. Rather, you should actively seek to place your treasure in things above. That is the point of Jesus’ words to his followers in Luke 12:34 above. So why don’t you give that a try?  You were created with a purpose. And as Augustine so famously said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.” Looking for rest? Find it in Jesus this week. He said himself, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Does that sound like something you can use this week? Well, run to him and ask for it. He will give generously, that’s his very nature. 

May all your worries cease to be worries as you find your rest in Him this week!

Treasure Hunting

TCTWhat’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever found? Maybe you’ve won something expensive at one point in your life….no, not like the sort of prize Ralphie’s dad in that humorous Christmas Classic A Christmas Story. No, I am not talking that trivial. In fact, I mean something serious. Something genuine. Something life changing!

As for me, no, I have never won anything! I have never even gone treasure hunting with a metal detector in my hand but I have seen great wealth. While in the military, I had the opportunity to view the King Tut exhibit in Giza, Egypt in a museum still in site of the great pyramids and the Sphinx. What an experience that was! Just how rich was King Tut? Of course, we all know by now that the old Pharaohs of Egypt would bury all their great wealth in order to have it in their next life. It is estimated that all the treasures that are part of Tut’s exhibit have a value of around $15 million dollars today but some estimates place the replacement value at a staggering three quarters of a billion! Another source did this calculation on the wealth of King Tut: “The combined value of all the objects in the tomb of King “Tut” is put at $15,000,000. Had this sum been invested in safe 6 per cent bonds 3,400 years ago, it would today amount to $4,800, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000″.

WOW! Now that is STAGGERING treasure…and I don’t even know how to say such a large figure!

Did you know that there are approximately 1,810 billionaires in the world today with an aggregate net worth of $6.5 trillion dollars. But before you start to get deflated about your own significance since most of us are just normal middle-class people, did you know that you have access to wealth beyond compare? Yes, you do! That’s what I’ve learned from a little Bible verse I will be preaching on soon at a local partnering church. So where do I get this nugget (pun intended I suppose) of truth about all this wealth that is at your disposal?

Colossians 2:3 says, “…in [Christ] lies all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” 

 Notice it says “All” the treasures of wisdom and knowledge belong to Christ/are found in Christ. There is not one treasure to be found outside of Christ. He has them ALL! And he wants to give them all to …. YOU!  Yes, you. And now, not once you’re more pleased with yourself.  He can’t be more pleased with youSo, when you are prone to discouragement this week, wrap your mind around this…all the wealth of King Tut invested at 6 per cent, over the last 3400 years, plus the aggregate wealth of ALL the billionaires in the world are a mere trifling pile of rubbish next to your wealth in Christ! Hold your head up high you heir of Christ!

What else does the New Testament say about our wealth? Here are a couple snippets:

-Ephesians 3:8 those treasures are unsearchable!
-1 Peter 1:4 those treasures are imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

So my rich friend, put on your treasure hunting outfit, leave the old metal detector behind, and DIVE DEEP in the treasures awaiting you in Christ this week!


Longings in the Midst of a Beautiful Snowfall

What get’s you reminiscing? Is it an old movie? Perhaps an old black and white movie hardly remembered by a younger generation. Maybe its an old childhood memory. Or maybe for you, its when you pass by that old neighborhood you’ve long since moved out of. But maybe you say, “Well, I am not really the sentimental type.”

Well, I really am the sentimental type…and I admit it! I am sentimental about most anything I’ve experienced in younger life. Childhood memories. Easier times. I must admit that sometimes when I still make the trip back home where I grew up, I sometimes find myself compelled to drive through the two old neighborhoods where most of my childhood and early adulthood were evenly split. I can’t help but drive through those old memories of my life, just reminiscing.

Maine Snowfall 2017
2017 Southern Maine Snowfall

Let’s fast forward to today – February 13, 2017. Its the biggest snow storm of the year here in Maine – southern Maine to be exact. They were calling it a blizzard. Wow, is it beautiful! I love the snow. In fact the reason why the Northeast is my favorite region of the United States is because I love the four distinct seasons of the year. So we have roughly 2-3 feet of snow on the ground with a little more to come as the week progresses. What does the beautiful blanket of snow have me reminiscing about? This verse

As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields
seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11 The Holy Bible)

I long for that! Oh how I long for it! I long for the Words of God to water the earth and watch it come to life. My body feels it! My mind wont let me forget it! I long for it insatiably! I long to see God’s words accomplish what they are supposed to because though I don’t know much, I know if God has spoken, then they must be kind, loving words, Words intended to give life. To make things bud with great beauty. To be sure, many of those kind, loving words are woven within a greater context of judgement. But would we really scorn the judging eye of one who really loves us and wants out best – I hardly think so. Let me invite all of you…each of you to hope for that same longing. There is nothing you need in this life more than the Word of God. God has created you by the mere spoken words of his mouth (Gen. 1:27-31). God does not make any mistakes. Why don’t you turn to Him and His words….in the Bible.
I hope this post speaks to you in a meaningful way! I hope you are encouraged from it. If you are, post some comments for me. If this post helped direct you to greater meaning…to God, then please forward this post or recommend this post to your friends! And let’s connect and talk more.
We all have a hunger that this world cannot satisfy!

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