Thursday, July 29, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, July 29, 2021

Believe In God Not Distractions

In the classic 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy gets swept up with her house in a cyclone to a mythical land of Oz, lands inconveniently upon a local witch and acquires her no longer needed red slippers.  She has many adventures while seeking help from a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, all trying to find help from a fake Wizard.  At the end, upon advice of another witch, she realizes that she had the key to get home all the time in the red slippers


Many of us are like Dorothy.  We seek the answer to life’s questions by asking pretenders, heartless people, and cowards. We waste time until we realize that the answer to our problems has been with us the whole time.  Jesus was, is and always will be the answer to our questions, the solution to our problems and the result of our life’s journey.  The Bible says that we should trust God and not man (Jeremiah 17:5). We should seek His righteousness, and everything will be added to us (Matthew 6:33).  Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are not found in man but only in God (Proverbs 2:6).


Some recognize late in life that our quest for life’s purpose is only found when we realize that God provides all our needs--not people, places, or things.  We don’t have to go somewhere over the rainbow because He is always near us (Romans 10:8, Psalm 145:18). He is not fictional, fantasy or fairy tale.  He is the Almighty God and wants to live richly in our lives (Colossians 3:16).  Let us not be distracted by counterfeit success strategies but allow God’s purpose to direct our lives.


Jeremiah 17:5

New International Version

5 This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.


Matthew 6:33

New International Version

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


Proverbs 2:6

New International Version

6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.


Romans 10:8
New International Version
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim


Psalm 145:18 

New International Version

18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.


Colossians 3:16

New International Version

16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.








Thursday, July 22, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, July 22, 2021

Trust in God Not the Stock Market

According to Adam Hayes in an updated article in Investopedia on March 21, 2021, “There is an old saying on Wall Street that the market is driven by just two emotions: fear and greed.” Stan Choe, Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise in the 07/19/2021 Business Section of the Huffington Post wrote an article entitled, “Stocks Skid, Yields Sink As Virus Fears Shake Global Markets.”  Apparently fear of the effects of the delta version of COVID-19 was unimportant until now as it impacts investors decisions despite record sales a week ago.  


The Bible tells us that despite the fear of the virus’s effects on investor’s worth, we should not be afraid (Psalm 91:5, 6).   Rather we should stay close to, lean on and trust in God and He will help us in our time of trouble and can save us (Psalm 91:1-3).  One must not depend upon one’s riches because unpredictable events can destroy fortunes (Proverbs 23:5). 


I was working in the financial community during the global, sudden, severe, and largely unexpected stock market crash on October 19, 1987, known as Black Monday. I remember all too well the uncertainty and fear that plagued our nation and world.  But God is a faithful God.  He neither fears nor is greedy. His faith works through love (His faith works by love (Galatians 5:6)

God gives us riches and adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).  When others are despairing and worried about their 401K, savings accounts or real estate properties, we can remember that God’s Bank in Heaven is all fully funded so we can put our treasures of faith, hope, and blessings in heaven (Matthew 6:20).


Psalm 91:5, 6

New International Version

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

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


Psalm 91:1-3

New International Version

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.


Proverbs 23:5

New International Version

5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle

Galatians 5:6

New King James Version

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love


Proverbs 10:22

New King James Version

22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.


Matthew 6:20

New International Version

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.








Thursday, July 15, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, July 15, 2021

God’s Love Is Everlasting

Stevie Wonder wrote a song in 1972 entitled, “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.”  Some of the lyrics are, “You are the sunshine of my life, That's why I'll always be around, You are the apple of my eye, Forever you'll stay in my heart.”  This song was inspired by Stevie Wonder's wife Syreeta Wright and still remains as an expression of love and devotion.


When we think about how much God loves us, the Bible says that we are the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8 ).  He cares for us, guards us, and shields the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32:10).  We are so important to Him that He lovingly gave His only Son so that we could live with Him forever (John 3:16).  


This is how God’s love is described in the Bible. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).


We live in a world full of hatred, fear, and anxiety.  Although we are surrounded by negativity, we can always look to God’s word and remind us that God is for us and if He is for us, He is more than anything against us (Romans 8:31).  Let us continue to remind ourselves and others that we are the apple of His eye, and His love is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3).


Psalm 17:8

New International Version

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings


Deuteronomy 32:10

New International Version

10 In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.


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.


1 Corinthians 13:4-7

English Standard Version

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all 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?


Jeremiah 31:3

New International Version

3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.







Friday, July 2, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, July 2, 2021

Let Us Trust In God and Not Man

Curt Anderson and Bernard Condon wrote an article in the U.S. NEWS website on 06/27/2021 entitled, “Before Florida Building Collapse, $9 Million In Repairs Needed. An engineering firm in 2018 uncovered “abundant cracking and spalling” of concrete columns, beams, and walls in the parking garage.  Currently many residents are still missing and almost ten are confirmed dead.  Recently, according to the BBC website President Biden backs $1.2tn infrastructure bill but places big condition.  The eight-year plan includes funding for roads, bridges, the power grid, public transport, and internet.  Clearly the structural basis of our country is in dire need of repair.


Many of us depend upon and hope for our roads, our buildings, bridges, and signs of a strong economy.  But we should not put our trust in the bridges, buildings, or power grids as they may fall apart.  The Bible says that we should build our hope on things eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).   We should not put our trust on what man does but trust in Jesus who upholds everything in His hand (Hebrews 1:3a, Psalm 118:8).  The Bible also says that some may trust in horses and chariots, but we will trust in God (Psalm 20:7).


We should not be anxious every time we walk into building, ride an airplane, use the internet, or rest in our homes.  However, we should always pray for God’s protection during destruction.  God promised that He will be with us in catastrophes. Even though many suffer and die during cataclysmic activities, God promised that He would not leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).  The Bible says that we will While we are admiring the wonder of the world’s creations, let us remember that we can trust our Creator who upholds, maintains, and supports everything and we should continue to pray for His protection.


2 Corinthians 4:18 

New International Version

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Hebrews 1:3a

New International Version

3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…


Psalm 118:8

New International Version

8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.


Psalm 20:7

New International Version

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.


Deuteronomy 31:6 

New International Version

16 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”