Monday, October 28, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: October 28, 2013

The Abundant Life!

I woke up early on last Saturday morning with every intention to run. However after looking at the weather report, it was a near freezing temperature, the wind was howling, and there was a significant chance of rain or snow. In addition, I was battling a head cold and I did not want to make the situation worse. My excuses for staying in bed went on and on and I decided not to run. I was not prepared for the elements that morning.

Without my asking, later that evening my youngest daughter dropped off proper winter running gear (and thanked me for reimbursing her!). I put on the thermal base layer, dry wic sweatshirt and running pants and faced the cold for an easy run. It was great! I was warm, cozy and prepared and I knew that I could now confidently run in the cold.

You may feel unprepared and reluctant to step out of your comfort zone. We can rest assured that our loving Father is always dropping by and taking care of us. Jesus said that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. With Jesus, we have everything that we need because He richly supplies all of our needs. Although we may have hundreds of excuses for not taking that leap of faith, we must remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and he has given us everything we need to be successful. It is glorious to know that He looks beyond our faults, failings, and shortcomings and still provides for us. Let us always thank God for supplying everything that we have needed, do need, or ever will need.

Let us walk in the Abundant Life today!

John 10:10
10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
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.

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13
New King James Version (NKJV)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: October 21, 2013

In my first Pastor’s Ponderings in August, I shared that I was eagerly preparing for a 13.1 mile half-marathon race this fall. On Sunday, I finally ran that race with two of my daughters. This was the longest race that I have ever run and while waiting for thestarting gun, I was happy, terrified, nervous, and somewhat ready. In spite of the cold, hills, and fatigue, we finished! It was fantastic!All of the preparation, pain and sacrifice were worth it when we crossed the finish line together while holding hands.
This race reminds us that we are all having difficulties and challenges trying to reach various goals. Some of us are running for our career, family, or just to get through the day. While we may feel surrounded by trouble, if we continue to run keeping our hands in God’s hands, we will cross the finish the line with Him victoriously. He carries us when we struggle, supports us when we waver, and strengthens us when we were weak.
One day we will cross our final earthly finish line and have our life reflected before us. Did we cast all of our cares upon Him or did we allow ourselves to be consumed by our challenges? Did we keep our hands in His hands or did we place our trust and hope in others?
We must remember that our final medal is our reunion with Christ and our daily struggles will be a distant memory. Just like Esther Kerr Rushthoi wrote in her famous song, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ.” Today let us persevere with our hands in His hands knowing that all of these things that are so important for us today will seem so small when we
see Jesus.
Hold His hand and keep running for your greatest reward, Jesus Christ our Savior!

Hebrews 12:1, 2
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…

Titus 2:13
While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Psalm 55:22

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: October 14, 2013

The well known actor, Tom Hanks, recently shared on the Tonight Show a conversation with his doctor after he was notified of his new diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. “My doctor said, ‘Look, if you can weigh as much as you weighed in high school, you will essentially be completely healthy and not have type 2 diabetes'…And I said to her, 'Well, I’m gonna have type 2 diabetes.’” The crowd laughed along with him as many of us can relate to this story.

Have you ever stopped to think how many of us will speak things in our lives that we really do not want to happen? How many of us will say, “This is going to kill me”, or “this will be the death of me”. Some of us justify risky behaviors such as driving without seat belts, substance abuse, or getting that delicious third piece of cheese cake by saying, “Well, you have to die from something”.

The scripture says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. We have to speak life, speak that we are blessed, and speak that we are healthy. This does not mean that we should ignore our challenges and our current situations. However, we should declare God's faithfulness and the fact that he says he has plans to prosper us.

Let us daily speak God's promises in our lives. “I am blessed, I can do all things through Christ, I am created in his image, I am an overcomer, I am healthy, and I prosper in everything that I do."

Will you speak these words today?

Proverbs 18:21
New International Version (NIV)

21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will
eat its fruit.

3 John 1:2
New International Version (NIV)

2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may
go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Jeremiah 29:11
New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: October 7, 2013

A young man lost his job and decided to shoot victims in the Washington Navy Yard. The victims’ crime was to merely be there. We recently heard about the violent killings in a mall in Kenya. The victims’ crime was to merely go shopping. We live in a world where the innocent are routinely killed or wounded.  Sadly we have become used to a continual drumbeat of people mercilessly hurting others.

Although merciless acts such as these attract high profile news coverage, our daily acts of denying mercy to others can go unnoticed. The driver that cuts us off who gets a prompt honk of the horn, the waiter who could not quite get our order right and does not get a tip that evening, or the boss with an unreasonable request who gets an assignment turned in that is not our best are acts where we have denied mercy to others.

The Bible says if we are merciful to others, we will be blessed. We may feel that we are justified in correcting someone who has wronged us, making someone pay a price, or teaching someone a lesson.   In those moments it is important to reflect on the greatest example of mercy in history, Christ's pardoning of our sins. He wants us to follow his example, and cast the injustices that we face over to Him.

Even in the moments where no one may be watching, let us exercise mercy, trust that God can handle it, and walk in God's blessing.

Romans 12:19
New International Version (NIV)

19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Psalm 37:25, 26
Amplified Bible (AMP)

25 I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread
26 All day long they are merciful and deal graciously; they lend, and their offspring are blessed.

Matthew 5:7
Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!