Monday, July 22, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings 7 22 2024

He Is Coming Soon! Joy!

         For over two thousand years, the Bible has talked about Christ’s return.  Many scriptures have talked about the end of days. While these words may bring terror to some, those who love the Lord look forward to the soon coming King.  We are to “stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28).  

         Clearly when one sees the inhuman treatment of mankind, when one sees greed, envy, jealousy and divisions permeate the atmosphere we can look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  We can joyfully declare that for God we live and for God we die (Romans 14:8).  He has the whole world in His hands, and He has given us everything that pertains unto Godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

         Now is not the time to hide from Him who comes to judge the world.  Now is the time to run to Him who will be our comforter, our deliverer and the sustainer of our soul.  Let us not be fooled by this person or that person, this belief of that; we have the wisdom of God and do not have to be fooled by anyone especially this late in the day.  Let us look up, fess up, and declare that God reigns in our hearts and will shortly reign bodily upon the earth. 


Romans 8:31

New International Version

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?


Luke 21:25-28

New International Version

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 
27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”


Hebrews 12:2

New International Version

2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Romans 14:8

New International Version

8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.


2 Peter 1:3

New International Version

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, 7 15 2024

Who Will You Believe?

In 1992, Ron Kenoly, the great songwriter and singer, sang a song, “Whose Report Shall You Believe? “Some of the lyrics are, “Whose report will you believe, we shall believe the report of the Lord. His report says I am healed, His report says I am filled, His report says I am free, His report says victory.”


What one believes in this world of liars, con men and trickers is crucial to survival.  We must believe what the Lord said about His word, the world, and who we are. His word declares that we are the righteousness of God (1 Corinthians 1:30, Romans 5:1).  He says that whatever we do prospers (Psalm 1:3).  


But what if we don’t feel righteous and what if we are not prospering?  We must know that we don’t make decisions by our feelings but by what we believe will happen (2 Corinthians 5:7).  For example, a woman who is pregnant may not see the baby, but she knows her offspring will come in due season.  The Bible tells us that we will reap if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).


Let us not be deceived by this world system whose God is their own selves (Philippians 3:19). We believe in the true and living God who can do anything but fail.  When people come against us, we must remember that if He is for us, who can possibly be against us (Romans 8:31)?  Who will we believe?  We will always and only believe the word of God.


1 Corinthians 1:30

New International Version

30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.


Romans 5:1

Common English Bible

Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Psalm 1:3

New International Version

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.


2 Corinthians 5:7

Easy-to-Read Version

We live by what we believe will happen, not by what we can see.


Galatians 6:9

New International Version

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


Philippians 3:19

New International Version

19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.


Romans 8:31

New International Version

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Monday, July 8, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, July 8, 2024

Let Us Love Each Other

In 1967, a British rock group called the Beatles wrote a song entitled, “All You Need Is Love.”  Some of the lyrics were, “All you need is love, love.  Love is all you need.”  Even though it was a secular song and spoke of a worldly version of love, it spoke to a powerful truth that God is love (1 John 4:8).   No matter what people say or do, if they are not loving they have no relationship to God.


We live in a world that does not promote love, but rewards self-interested behavior.  Putting oneself in the highest position is thought of as both smart and clever.  A best-selling book was entitled “Looking Out for #1: How to Get from Where You Are Now to Where You Want to Be in Life.”  How to get what you want, but not what anybody else wants is an accepted way of thinking.


The Love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 talks about the characteristics of love.  We must look at ourselves and ask, are we patient and kind?  Do we honor others, act humbly, protect, and hope (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)?  When others wrong us, provoke us, or dishonor us, how do we respond?  


The last scripture in the Love chapter says, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).  That love makes up for our sin (1 Peter 4:8).  Let us invite God in our hearts and allow Him to love with His everlasting love.  All we need is God’s love.


1 John 4:8

New International Version

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.


1 Corinthians 13:4-7

New International Version

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


1 Corinthians 13:13

New International Version

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


1 Peter 4:8

Amplified Bible

Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].





Sunday, June 30, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, June 30, 2024

Let’s Wait Upon The Lord

On December 23, 1776, Thomas Paine wrote The Crises.  “These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”


Throughout the world, we note that now is a challenging time with wars, political upheavals, and uncertainty about events. However, we can thank God who always causes us to triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14).  Leaders design their plans for our expected future, but our God controls the future (Proverbs 16:9).  Our prayers to the Righteous King will change things (James 5:16b).  


The Bible says if God is for us who can be against us (Romans 8:31).  Now is the time to praise God, to speak His word in every situation, and to look expectantly for Him to open doors for those who love Him.  God promised His blessings upon all those who obey Him (Deuteronomy 28:6-8).  


God has everything totally under control. King David said that he was confident that he would see God’s goodness while he lived (Psalm 27:13).  His suggestion for all during these trying times is that we take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14).  Those who wait upon the Lord renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31).  This is great advice during troubling times.

2 Corinthians 2:14

New International Version

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere


Proverbs 16:9

New International Version

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.


James 5:16b

New International Version

16 … The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


Romans 8:31

New International Version

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?


Deuteronomy 28:6-8

New International Version

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.


Psalm 27:13-14

New International Version

13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord

    in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.


Isaiah 40:31

New King James Version

31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.





Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, June 19, 2024

Celebrating Fathers

On Sunday, June 16, 2024, we celebrated Father’s Day.  This is a great day for those of us who are biological fathers or for those who are fathers for others.  A father expresses his love sacrificially, completely and without concern for their own protection or safety.


But we are blessed to have the true Father in heaven who loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son for us (John 3:16).  Despite our disregarding Him, denigrating Him and disobeying Him, He still loves us and wants the best for us.  He even wants us to sit with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).


Jesus taught us how to pray to our Father saying, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9). This Father is our Shepherd, (Psalm 23:1), our Healer (Psalm 30:2), help in trouble (Psalm 46:1), and our hope in a weary land.  Unlike our earthly fathers, God the Father supplies all our needs (Philippians 4:19).


As fathers, we should value our role, our responsibility, and our ongoing relationship with those who have been placed in our life.  For those fathers have passed, let us treasure their memories and share the value and importance of fathers with others. God is our perfect example.  Let us emulate God who is the greatest Father.

John 3:16

New International Version

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Ephesians 2:6

New International Version

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,


Matthew 6:9

New International Version

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,


Psalm 23:1

New International Version

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing


Psalm 30:2

New International Version

Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.


Psalm 46:1

New International Version

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.


Philippians 4:19

New International Version

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus




Monday, June 10, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, June 10, 2024

Hope Springs Eternal

Hope Springs Eternal is a phrase from the Alexander Pope poem An Essay on Man. It means that some people will keep on hoping no matter the odds.  What are you hoping for in 2024?  Something fanciful with no chance of success or something that God wants to do in your life? 


The Bible declares that our faith is the substance of things that are hoped for (Hebrews 11:1).  When someone loses hope, they decide that there is no more reason to go on.  Their future is bleak, their outlook is dark, and their possibilities are non-existent.  Moreover, when hope is gone, we can tell each other that God hears us, will help us and that knowing that God will never leave nor forsake us, we can continue to go forth hopefully.  We are to put our hope in Jesus.  We are to set our concerns, focus and affections on things above us in the heavenlies (Colossians 3:2) where the Bible tells us that we are seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). 


We don’t have to put all our hope in the things of the world which will soon pass away.  Our hope is in the Lord who will renew our strength in a hopeless world (Isaiah 40:31). We will be able to accomplish great things according to God’s strength.   In the Bible, Micah gives us a reason to hope. He says that I can wait upon God because He will hear us (Micah 7:7).  


Let us encourage one and another who may be down and cannot see out a way out of their situation.  We can tell each other that God hears us, will help us and that knowing that God will never leave nor forsake us, we can continue to go forth hopefully 


Hebrews 11:1

New King James Version

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 


Colossians 3:2

New International Version

2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things


Ephesians 2:6

New International Version

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,


Isaiah 40:31

New International Version

31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


Micah 7:7

New International Version

7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.




Monday, June 3, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, June 3, 2024

A New Beginning


On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, I heard from my doctor’s office that once again that there was no evidence of prostate cancer in my body.  God has truly blessed!  He has given me more time to work His works and to allow His purpose, plans, and priorities to direct my life. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).


Now it is truly time for reflection, repositioning, and restarting the first days of the rest of my life (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This is important because if we never make that decision to reevaluate our walk, we may continue in worthless and useless endeavors that may give us a sense of a false sense of fulfillment (Proverbs 16:25, Psalms 146:4). 


King David knew what was important.  After he sinned with Bathsheba, he really wanted to get close to God.  He understood that although man might approve of his actions, God was not pleased, and he wanted more than anything to restore a right relationship with God (Psalm 51:9-11).


This week, let us reevaluate our relationship with God and ask Him to blot out anything, great or small, which separates us from Him.  Let us allow Him to be most important in our life.

(On Father’s Day, June 16, 2024, my family and I plan to celebrate prostate cancer survivorship in the annual Run For the Ribbon 5k at the Detroit Zoo. Please click on the attached link and consider joining us or donating to this worthy cause.



Ecclesiastes 12:13

New International Version (NIV)

13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.


Proverbs 16:25

New International Version (NIV)

25 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.


Psalm 146:4

New International Version (NIV)

4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.


Psalm 51:9-11

New International Version (NIV)

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presenceor take your Holy Spirit from me.