Monday, September 30, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: September 30, 2013

My family just returned from a fantastic vacation in Hawaii. Although most of my family had enjoyed this paradise before, it was my first time and I had the time of my life. I jumped in the Pacific Ocean, saw jaw-dropping beaches, ate great food at a luau, sampled delights at the macadamia nut factory, and gazed at indescribably beautiful sunsets. Our merry crew had no worries as we visited exciting places, met new people, laughed and enjoyed each other in God's amazing display of beauty and wonder.

When we were eating our last meal together, I noticed a brief sadness in the family since our heavenly experience was coming to an end. I was reminded that we ought to have a vacation feeling every day of our lives because that is how God wants us to feel. When we are in Him, we have the joy, peace, comfort and gleeful anticipation of new things to come. When we are in Him, we are constantly on vacation knowing that He is in charge. Although challenges will come and there may not be a palm tree to lean on, when we are in Him, His presence is our relief. Knowing this, every day can be a day of delight and happiness.

Will you join me on a daily vacation? This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!

Psalm 118:24
King James Version (KJV)

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: September 23, 2013

My middle daughter and I are taking an online business course.  In a recent lecture, the professor mentioned that in order for businesses to be successful, the owners have to ask themselves how do they create and sustain value. While the church is not often seen as a traditional business, the notion of demonstrating value is still important.

Do we share with others what God has done for us or do we say, "I was lucky”? Do we demonstrate through our everyday life the joy of knowing Him and that He has forgiven all of our sins? Do we tell our neighbor that we had the same challenges that they have but when God is walking with you, He gives you peace and strength to endure?

We are told to go into the world and preach the Gospel. A part of this message is to share the value of your relationship with God with others. Don't keep it to yourself! They don't know what they are missing!

Romans 12:10-12
King James Version (KJV)

10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Mark 16:15
Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race].

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: September 16, 2013

Family reunions are always a great time to renew family ties, celebrate our relatives, eat great food, and have an all around good time. They are wonderful occasions to remind ourselves about our connections to our ancestors and to our descendants. Our family has enjoyed our reunions for over sixty years at Thanksgiving.

The only sad part is our all too soon parting. But one day we are going to have a family reunion with our Savior. This time there will be no goodbyes. We will be in the presence of the Lord where there is not just a good time but "the fulness of joy". Many of us are having troubles, sickness, and pain. However, we can look forward happily and expectantly to our mansion that He has prepared for us. We should remind and encourage each other about that great reunion in the sky.

Happy family reunion with our Savior!

John 14:2, 3
King James Version (KJV)

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Psalms 16:11
King James Version (KJV)

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: September 9, 2013

Rejection! I was 17, had just been accepted to my chosen university and I was very excited.  Eagerly I went to my favorite teacher to share my good news.  I had done well in his class and was expecting his delight and support. His words crushed me when he said, “I don’t know, that university is really hard.”  I was speechless and walked away rejected, depressed and defeated.  In hindsight, he might have meant, “You are going to have to work hard but you can do it,” but all I heard was “You can’t do it.”

Many of us have felt this way. We expect acceptance, support and appreciation from others only to then feel rejected, humiliated, and despised.  Our family, our friends, our neighbors, our employer, or even our significant other may have all rejected us but we have great news today. We are accepted in the beloved! Whether or not you may feel loved, know that Gods’ acceptance into His family surpasses all others!

This week, remember to look to God who is the source of your acceptance for eternity!

Ephesians 1:3-6
King James Version (KJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: September 2, 2013

We have heard much about the decline of the family. In the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, President Obama talked about the challenges that families face in trying to get “…decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures -- conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.” Our times present obstacles to children trying to live with bullying, strong peer pressure, and confusing decisions about lifestyle choices. Many family members suffer feelings of rejection, emotional and physical abuse.

Instead of choosing popular solutions to the challenges our families face, we must remember that God is the ultimate solution. My wife and I have had one scripture that guided us through the years. this was the declaration that Joshua made after taking up the leadership of the children of Israel. He simply declared that as for him and his family, they would serve the Lord. When we serve the Lord and follow His direction from the Bible and as He speaks to us, He will fix problems, heal sicknesses, comfort broken hears, and protect us from dangers seen and unseen. 

Whether your family is one or many, let us serve the Lord today!

Joshua 24:15
New International Version (NIV)

15But if serving the LORD seems undersirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."