Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, July 26, 2022

 Life is a slow-moving train


All throughout the journey screaming young ones climb on and grow.

Some young ones come in quietly and leave soon after, surrounded by grief.

We laugh and talk and mature and every now and then, the train stops so that passengers can go to their train station. Some leave with a great deal of fear, tears, and praise; others leave unnoticed, unpraised, and unmarked.


Some gather lots of stuff during the trip and consider it important.

But when they leave, the stuff is left to be gathered by others.

They may use it quickly or wisely, but it soon withers away


Whatever we may accomplish during this trip; all our to-do lists, goals, plans, purposes, skills, and accomplishments must remain on the train when we get off to our destination. We may give little thought to our destination but as time goes on, more and more of our fellow travelers are leaving unsure of their destination.  The train stops are constant but where we go after leaving the train station remains a mystery to many on the journey.


People like to share their version of the purpose of the train ride, but most do not seem to care until it is close to their station to get off.  Sometimes that departure time is quick while other times it lingers, but for sure we are leaving.  


Some believe that this is a journey to God and that He will give a reward after you leave the train station. Others create their own ideas that calm them while they travel. However, we must remember one and only one thing; only what you do for Christ will last (Colossians 3:23-24)


Colossians 3:23-24

New Living Translation

23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 
24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.



Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, July 20, 2022

We Shall Defeat The Giants In Our Land

Grover Levy wrote an inspiring song entitled, “Giants In The Land"  Some of the lyrics are, “He (Our God)  did not bring us out this far to take us back again. He brought us out to lead us into the promise land.  Though there be giants in the land, we will not be afraid. He brought us out to lead us into the promise land.”  Those who love the Lord will see the giants and although they may attack us, they cannot defeat us (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).


When the children of Israel saw the giants in Promised Land, they despaired.  But one of the leaders, Caleb, boldly told his people that they could take the land (Numbers 13:30). Specifically, he said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  Caleb did not mention the giants, the obstacles, the challenges, or the problems, he simply talked about their ability to win. He did not imply that there would not be a struggle and setbacks, but in the end, they would be victorious.


There are certainly giants of homelessness, climate change, diseases, pandemics, economic instability, and conflicts at home and abroad.  However, we can focus on the giants, or we can focus on the God that lives in us who is greater than everything else (1 John 4:4).  If God is for us, who or what can stand before us (Romans 8:31)?  Today, let us ignore the giants and focus on our God.  

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

New International Version

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 

persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.


Numbers 13:30

New International Version

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”


1 John 4:4

New International Version

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.


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?







Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, July 12, 2022

Let Us Choose The Lord’s Side

Kara Voght and Tim Dickinson wrote an article in the July 6, 2022, Rolling Stone Magazine entitled, “SCOTUS Justices ‘Prayed With’ Her — Then Cited Her Bosses to End Roe.” The article went on to say that “A right-wing evangelical activist was caught on tape bragging that she prayed with Supreme Court justices. The court’s majority cited a legal brief that her group filed while overturning Roe v. Wade.” In addition, leading political thinkers predict the current administration will lose control of the Congress and local state governments. 


Despite the highly partisan nature of current politics, the main question that should be asked is, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”  When Moses saw that the children of Israel were running wild and out of control, he said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” (Exodus 32:25, 26).  It did not matter who their families were, their political orientation, or social standing, there was only one side that was important, the Lord’s side.


As we make our decisions about voting, we must ask God for His wisdom in the voting booth.  The smoothest talker, the most impressive ads, or the greatest persuader may not be the right person for the job.  Today more than ever, we must seek, not man’s opinions, but God’s wisdom. He knows the future and the past and he knows who will bless the country and who will hurt it.  The nation is blessed when righteous are in charge but despair when the wicked rule (Proverbs 29:2).  Let us prayer for our current and future leaders so that we may lead peaceful lives (1 Timothy 2:1, 2).


Exodus 32:25, 26

New International Version

25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 

26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.


Proverbs 29:2

New International Version

2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.


1 Timothy 2:1, 2

New International Version

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 
2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.








Saturday, July 9, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, July 9, 2022

Making The Most Of Every Opportunity

To redeem something means to buy it back, to regain possession of it. Time is a gift from God, and none of us know how much of it we are allotted.”  Got Questions, suggests we should redeem or buy back our precious moments (Ephesians 5:15-17). We have a choice to redeem or waste time.  Once opportunities are gone, they are gone forever.  

It is good to know that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). The Bible tells us that man is of few days which are full of trouble (Job 14:1).  Despite all our troubles, God will be with us always (Psalm 91:15). With God, we can value the time we have on earth and seek the highest and best use of our seconds.

Who knows what is best?  Who knows whether one should invest in this person or that, this place or that, or this idea or that?  The Bible says that if you don’t know what to do, we should ask our Maker who gives us His wisdom (James 1:5).

With increasing life challenges from the pandemic and epidemics, to serendipitous shootings, and daily microaggressions, one may feel that there is little hope in planning, redeeming, or even hoping. But we can be assured that nothing will separate us from God’s love for us (Romans 8:38, 39), His directions guiding us (Psalm 119:105), and an eternal relationship with Him.  We can redeem all our time with Him.

Ephesians 5:15-17
New International Version
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 
16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Lamentations 3:22-23

New International Version

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.


Job 14:1

New International Version

1 “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.


Psalm 91:15

New International Version

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him


James 1:5

New International Version

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you


Romans 8:38, 39

New International Version

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Psalm 119:105

New International Version

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.







Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, July 5, 2022

How Will You Respond To The Call For Sacrifice?

In a year where selfish acts seem to dominate the media, Bethany Hines wrote an article about a man who saved a young boy from drowning on Saturday, June 23, 2018.  She wrote, “Even though he couldn't swim, Victor Mozqueda jumped into a raging river to save a 5-year-old boy from drowning. He rescued the boy, but died in the process.”  He was risking his own life, “But Mozqueda never let go of the child.”  How many of us would be willing to lose our lives to save someone else?  

The Bible says that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for your friend (John 15:13).  Mr. Mozqueda’s sacrificial act of love was unbelievably awesome, but Jesus gave His life for the entire world (1 John 3:16). God so loved the entire world that ignored Him, mocked Him, and made idol gods to worship.  In spite of this, God gave His Son, Jesus, to deliver us from eternal damnation so that we could have eternal life (John 3:16).

Most of us will never have to lay down our natural lives for others, but how many of us will give up our precious time for others?  How many of us will go out of our way so that others can have decent meal or babysit their children so that they can see a movie in peace? How many of us will become active in civic life to champion a cause rather than complain about our political leaders? The Bible says that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1).  He wants us to give our lives to Him so that He can work through us to bless the world.  

When the prophet Isaiah saw a vision of God, He heard a voice asking who will go and work for God and he agreed that he would go (Isaiah 6:8).  God is looking for those who will give their lives sacrificially for His cause to help those in need, to put others before ourselves and to allow God to use us.  Victor Mozqueda answered his call.  Will you?

John 15:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

1 John 3:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

John 3:16
New International Version (NIV)
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.

Romans 12:1
New International Version (KJV)
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service

Isaiah 6:8
New International Version (NIV)
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, July 2, 2022

God Wants Us To Live

Carla K. Johnson in the June 24, 2022 Associated Press wrote an article entitled, “COVID Vaccines Saved Nearly 20 Million Lives In 1st Year, Scientists Say.”  The article went on to say that “the effort, though marred by persisting inequities, prevented deaths on an unimaginable scale, said Oliver Watson of Imperial College London, who led the new modeling study.”

Just like these vaccines were effective in preventing deaths, God sent His Son to deliver the world from sin and sickness (Colossians 2:13-14 Isaiah 53:5).  He came to deliver us from the power of evil and to allow us to become citizens of His kingdom (Colossians 1:13).  He died upon the Cross so that we might live through Him both now and into eternity.  

Although many decide not to accept His freewill offering of grace and deliverance from sin, He continues calling us to life in Him (2 Timothy 1:9).  All we must do is repent from sin, believe Him from our hearts and confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10).  We don’t even have to leave our home and get a shot since our deliverance once and for all time was at the Cross.  Let us accept His freewill offering of life.

Colossians 2:13-14

New International Version

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 

14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.


Isaiah 53:5

New International Version

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.


Colossians 1:13

New International Version

13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,


2 Timothy 1:9

New International Version

9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,


Romans 10:9-10

New International Version

9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.