Thursday, January 26, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 26, 2023

Let’s Begin Again in 2023


We began 2023 with great intentions and wonderful New Year’s resolutions.  However, according to the Insideout Mastery website, 23% quit in the first week, and only 36% make it past the first month. Only 9% successfully keep their New Year’s resolutions.


Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wrote, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Many will spend their lives wishing and hoping and fantasizing about what they will do.  Mrs. Roosevelt says you can either wish or make plans to reach your goals.


The Bible says that the Lord instructed the prophet Habakkuk when he had questioned Him. God said to “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” (Habakkuk 2:2).  We are to write the plan and not fantasize or wish our dreams into existence.


The Bible speaks of a person who attempted to build a house, but because he did not accurately plan, could not finish it (Luke 14:28-30).  God is a God of purpose, planning, and order.  He speaks those things that are not if they were in existence (Romans 4:17). He will accomplish those things that He speaks (Isaiah 55:11). He is the Word, speaks the Word and accomplishes the Word.

It is still in the first month of the year.  Let us ask God for His wisdom (James 1:5), write down the vision for you again, and once again begin to plan and accomplish His work for you for 2023.  We can be assured knowing He is motivating us to do His will (Philippians 2:13) so that we can be among that 9% that successfully keep their New Year’s resolutions.


Habakkuk 2:2

New International Version

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.


Luke 14:28-30

New International Version

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 
30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’


Romans 4:17

New International Version

17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.


Isaiah 55:11

New International Version

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.


James 1:5

Amplified Bible

5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.


Philippians 2:13

New International Version

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


Friday, January 20, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 20, 2023

This is a repost from January 22, 2018.  Do enjoy.

God Wants The Best For His Children

What would you wish for if you had three wishes besides, of course, more wishes?  Throughout history there have been many stories of genies, leprechauns, demons and other denizens of the supernatural that appear and make this fantastic offer.  It usually ends up badly for the victim who thinks they can get something for nothing. 

But what does God want for us?  If we would ask God about His creation, He might say that He wants the best that life can give us. He wants us to be in health and to prosper (3 John 2).  Our Creator wants us to cast all of our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7).  Jesus Christ has an expected end for our lives of hope and well being (Jeremiah 29:11). 

He wants us to be blessed and prosperous in everything that we do (Deuteronomy 28:8). He wants to be that go-to person that we first call upon when we are in trouble to deliver us since He will never leave us (Psalm 91:15).  The Eternal God, our Saviour, wants to guide our path through life so that we can avoid things that needlessly hurt us.  Finally, after we have lived an obedient life before Him during our earthly travails, He wants us to live with Him in His house forever (Psalm 23:6).

We can appreciate the fact that our Saviour is not trying to trick us or shortchange us or deprive us of our blessings.  He truly will not hold back on any good thing for those who love the Lord (Psalm 84:11). We have the awesome privilege of being able to joyfully go through our lives knowing that He does not want us to just have three wishes, but He wants to give us the desires of our hearts.  God wants the very best in life for us.

3 John 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.

1 Peter 5:7
New International Version (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

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.

Deuteronomy 28:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

Psalm 91:15
New International Version (NIV)
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.

Psalm 23:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 84:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 12, 2023

God’s EveryDay Wisdom


Maya Angelou wrote, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."  In the poem, Snake, a hiker picks up a snake which promised not to bite him.  When the snake reached his destination, he bit the hiker.  When the dying hiker cried out, the snake said, “Ha! You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”


How many of us will make wrong decisions but feel they will never reap the consequences of bad decisions? That party with sketchy people, the employment opportunity that you kept noticing red flags, or the date with a person with shifty eyes.  To avoid those bad choices, God wants us to ask Him for His wisdom when we have an important decision to make, and He promises to give it to us (James 1:5).  God promises to be a light for us guiding our way through life (Psalm 119:105)   He even says that when we go through dark valleys, He will be with us (Psalm 23:4) and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). 


God promises that we can trust Him with all our heart and not to allow our own understanding of things to lead us astray (Proverbs 3:5).  To avoid problems with people, places, or things, let us acknowledge Him in all our ways; He promises He will be the director of our lives (Proverbs 3:6).


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.


Psalm 119:105

New International Version

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


Psalm 23:4

New International Version

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


Hebrews 13:5

New International Version

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”


Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

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.


Thursday, January 5, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, January 5, 2022

Let Us Put God’s Plans First


In the first Pastor’s Ponderings entry of 2023, we are looking forward to all the things that we want to accomplish this year.  It is important that we make good use of our time because our life is but a temporary mist (James 4:14).  


It is great to know that we have a God who is watching over us.  He tells us that He knows all about us (Psalm 139:2).  He sees all the days of our lives before Him (Psalm 139:16) and wants to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  God wants us to accomplish His divine tasks and turn away from things that will hurt us and others.  God wants us to ask Him to meet our needs (Psalm 63:1).


Many of us are writing our plans, making lists, getting rid of clutter, and prioritizing our next steps.  Let us ask God for His priorities, plans, and objectives.  Some of His tasks are to be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving one another like He forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). Our tasks may feel important right now, but God wants us to do the things that will last into eternity. Let’s allow God’s plans to work in our lives today.


James 4:14

New International Version

14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.


Psalm 139:2

New International Version

2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.


Psalm 139:16

New International Version

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.


Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version

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.


Psalm 63:1

New International Version

1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.


Ephesians 4:32

New International Version

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.