Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, June 22, 2021

Discouraged? Take Courage in God

Dunkirk is a small town on the coast of France that was the scene of a massive military campaign during World War II from May 26 to June 4, 1940. According to the website History.Com, 338,000 British Expeditionary Force and other Allied troops were freed from Dunkirk to England as German forces closed in on them. The massive operation, involving hundreds of naval and civilian vessels, served as a turning point for the Allied war effort. This effort lived up to its name as the Miracle of Dunkirk.


Many of us feel like the trapped soldiers at the end of May 1940.  We may feel like the enemy is attacking us on all sides and all hope is gone.  Yet the Bible would have us know that God is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).  When King David had been defeated in battle and his loyal soldiers discussed killing him, he found strength in the Lord (Samuel 30:6).  When Paul found himself in trouble, he did not despair or feel destroyed because he knew God had not abandoned him (2 Corinthians 4:8, 9).


Many of us are daily faced with classism, racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, and various isms and allow ourselves to be disheartened, downcast, or dispirited.  Those who love the Lord don’t have to be discouraged but we can put our hope and trust in God (Psalm 33:20-22). Let us not allow our life challenges to overcome us since Jesus has already won the war we face (John 16:33). Our encouragement is in our God who is bigger than our challenges.


Psalm 46:1

New International Version

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


Samuel 30:6

New International Version

David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.


2 Corinthians 4:8, 9

Amplified Bible

8 We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair;
9 hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed


Psalm 33:20-22

New International Version

20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.

21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.

22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.


John 16:33

New International Version

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”








Wednesday, June 16, 2021

He Loves Me

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970, according to Wikipedia, was an American singer-songwriter who sang rock, soul, and blues music. The article went on to say that she was one of the most successful and widely known rock stars of her era.  However, she sang one poignant song called Work Me Lord.  Some of the lyrics are, “Work me, Lord, work me, Lord. Please don't you leave me. I feel so useless down here with no one to love. Though I've looked everywhere, and I can't find me anybody to love to feel my care.”


No matter how widely known one may be, just like this rock star, many people feel lonely, useless, and worthless.  Perhaps no one told them that the Bible says that God loves them (John 3:16) and that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).  Perhaps no one sat down and shared that they are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:5-6).


People may seem to have it all, but everyone needs to know about God’s love for us and that Jesus went to the Cross to save our souls. We don’t have to look everywhere like Janis wrote, we can simply look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Therefore, let us look beyond the fame, fortune, and status of those around us and let God use us to show His love to those who feel unloved. Those who know about the love of the Savior ought to share with everybody about Somebody who loves anybody.


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.


Psalm 139:14 

New International Version

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


Genesis 1:27

New International Version

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.


Ephesians 1:5-6

New King James Version

5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 

to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He [a]made us accepted in the Beloved.


Hebrews 12:2

New King James Version
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.







Monday, June 7, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, June 7, 2021

God’s Desires To Deliver Us

Frank Diamond wrote an article in the May 21, 2021 issue in the website “Infection Control Today” entitled, Wuhan Lab Leak Called Viable Possible Cause for COVID-19 Pandemic.  The article implied that there may have been an accidental leak in a laboratory that has resulted in a pandemic that currently has 173 million cases of COVID-19 and 3.72 million deaths worldwide.  


During these troubling times, we may blame governments, bureaucratic bad decisions, or a massive coverup.  However, the Bible suggests that we should trust in the Lord and not lean to our own understanding.  It further suggests that we acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, and He would direct our path (Proverbs 3:5-6).  The world has looked to the experts whose solutions don’t seem to agree with each other. Moreover, the Bible suggests that there is a way that seems right but the end results in death (Proverbs 14:12)  


The scriptures declare that the earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1).  Perhaps now is the time for our world to turn to the true Owner of the world and follow His suggestions.  God tells us that He always causes us to triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14).  He works all things together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).  He declares that we will not be afraid of the night terrors or the daytime destruction (Psalm 91:5-6). Therefore, let us entreat Him to heal, deliver and protect us.


Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


Proverbs 14:12

New International Version

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


Psalm 24:1

New International Version.

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;


2 Corinthians 2:14

New King James Version

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.


Romans 8:28

New International Version

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Psalm 91:5-6

New International Version

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.






Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, June 1, 2021

Perfectly Justified Actions


The Tulsa race massacre took place May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of White residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked Black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US.”  This massacre was one example of mankind’s inhumanity in recorded history.  If someone were to ask any of the many perpetrators of terrible acts over the centuries and across the globe, they would no doubt claim, from the bottom of their hearts, that they were perfectly justified and that it was the fault of the victims.


However, the Bible says that there is a way that seems right but the end of that is death (Proverbs 14:12).  Almost everyone thinks their way is correct, but God judges our hearts (Proverbs 21:2).  John Piper in his February 2018 website, Desiring God, wrote an article entitled, “Don’t Let Your Heart Deceive You.” He stated, “Your heart is very sinful, very deceptive, and it will trick you over and over again into thinking this TV show, or this pursuit of fame, or this perfect family, or this money will be more satisfying than Christ.”  Moreover, many misguided people believe their cause, their doctrine, their group is more worthy than others and deserves to be the one in a superior position.


Whenever one decides that their way, their group, their belief, their doctrine, or point of view is the only way that is acceptable, we must turn to God and ask Him to show us His way.  Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  Today God wants us to seek Him and not to hurt others while promoting our cause.  Although we may think hurting others is perfectly justified, God wants us to humbly submit to obedience to Him rather than putting down another. He is the only judge; we are not to judge others (Matthew 7:1-3). We are to simply obey His word and love our God and our neighbors as well as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).  We are to go about doing good and being a Godly representative on the earth. Let us obey God and help others.


Proverbs 14:12

New International Version

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


Proverbs 21:2

New International Version

2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.


John 14:6 

New International Version

6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Matthew 7:1-3

New International Version

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 
2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?


Matthew 22:37-39

New International Version

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 

39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’