Monday, December 30, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: December 30, 2013


We have almost made it to the last day of 2013!  For many of us it is a bittersweet moment because some who started out this year with us have passed on.  Others have had their lives drastically changed for better or worse.  Nevertheless, we made it to this time of reflection on our victories, failures, missed opportunities and divine connections.

We may not have completed all that we planned to do in this year,  but we can be confident that all of God’s plans worked out.  Although it did not always seem to have been to our liking, His plans taught us lessons, provided unexpected surprises and ultimately carried out his purpose in the world.  We can be confident that God has not and will not let us down. 

We can look back to 2013 and know He has carried us through our trials and tribulations, our accomplishments and our accolades.  We can know that next year, He will still be in charge and He will carry us to completion of His purposes for 2014. 

Isaiah 46:10
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
 10 In the beginning, I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago, I told you things that have not happened yet. When I plan something, it happens. I do whatever I want to do.
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.
Philippians 1:4-6
New International Version (NIV)
 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:28
 28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Please comment below and share and share how God has completed some things in your life so that others may be blessed by your testimony.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: December 23, 2013

Of the many important attitudes that help determine success in life, a book I recently read on success "The Best of Success" emphasized the attitude of persistence. Perhaps because it is not as inspiring as ambition, creativity, or risk-taking, persistence is often lacking in many of us. Many of us will try something out and when we don’t have short term success, we may give up and rationalize, “this just wasn’t a good fit” or “this really did not meet my needs.” We live in a society where persistence is not often rewarded and the “what pleases me for the moment” mantra is encouraged.
Claude M. Bristol wrote, “It’s the constant and determined effort that breaks down all resistance and sweeps away all obstacles” (The Best of Success, 1984). In the Bible, Paul displayed this attitude of enduring and holding on in spite of adversity. He persisted throughout imprisonment, beatings, and stoning. He suffered having no sleep, being hungry, thirsty, cold, and naked (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Yet, he forgot all those problems that were behind him and he pressed onward toward God’s goal and purpose for his life.
Although you may feel overwhelmed in your current situation and ready to quit, please be encouraged to press onward with God today. Give him your obstacles, pain, and disappointments and let us persist in obeying God’s word and walking successfully towards the goals He has for us. 
Please comment below and share how you have persisted in spite of obstacles so that others may be blessed by your testimony. 

Philippians 3:13, 14 New International Version (NIV)
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: December 16, 2013

Good News From God!

I recently received some good news from an unexpected source.  I had called an agency to clarify some paperwork and the customer service representative notified me that I have some unexpected benefits that were granted from a former employer. This had nothing to do with the purpose of my call, but was a pleasant and stunning surprise. I had just casually asked God for a blessing a couple of days before and the timing of this blessing really shocked me.

I shouldn’t be shocked. God said that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4).  He said that He would withhold no good thing from those that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).  Well, praise God, it looks like we qualify for His blessings!

The 23rd Psalm reminds us that He is taking care of us. He is leading us, He is guiding us, and He is preparing benefits for us in spite of those who are against us.  Furthermore, goodness and love follow us all of the days of our lives. Today, I believe God simply wants us to joyfully ask Him for the things that we need.  It is His good pleasure to give us His kingdom.

Next week many children are confident that Santa (aka their parents) will give them several gifts. If our children can believe for a bountiful Christmas morning, will you believe today that God loves you enough to meet your needs?

Please leave a comment below sharing how God has also given you good news. If you have a prayer request please email

Psalm 37:4
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalm 23:1, 5, 6 New International Version (NIV)

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

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.

Luke 12:32 New International Version (NIV)
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: December 9, 2013


What do you do when something that you thought you had overcome rises up bigger and badder than it was the last time? For some of us it is a sickness such as cancer that was in remission, but now has spread like wildfire. For others, it may be people that were thankfully out of our lives but came back, settled in and plan to stick round. For many, it may be a feeling of relief to have stable employment with job satisfaction only to experience yet another round of massive layoffs. Discouragement is right around the corner to tell us that all hope is lost. As Michael Jackson sang in the movie, The Wiz, “You can’t win child, you can’t break even, you can’t get out of the game!” An overwhelming feeling tells us to just give up!

In the book of Acts, Paul was a prisoner and had good reason to be discouraged (Acts 27). He was on a ship to Rome, in the middle of a great storm, with chances of arriving to his destination being slim to none. Furthermore, there was a plan in place to kill Paul with the other prisoners. However, an angel assured Paul that no one would lose their life and he would certainly be delivered. I can imagine him smiling saying, “So keep up your courage men, for I have faith (complete confidence) in God that it will be exactly as it was told me.” (Acts 27:25)

Perhaps you are feeling discouraged today. Don’t worry! God is fighting for you! No matter how many times discouragement shows up in your life, He said that He would never leave you. As you walk in faith and confidence that God is with you, tell your family, friends and coworkers because your story may encourage someone else today.

Please leave a comment below sharing how God has helped you when you were discouraged.

Acts 27:22-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 But [even] now I beg you to be in good spirits and take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you but only of the ship.
23 For this [very] night there stood by my side an angel of the God to Whom I belong and Whom I serve and worship,
24 And he said, Do not be frightened, Paul! It is necessary for you to stand before Caesar; and behold, God has given you all those who are sailing with you.
25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith (complete confidence) in God that it will be exactly as it was told me;

Joshua 23:3
And ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the Lord your God is he that hath fought for you

Deuteronomy 31:6 New International Version (NIV)
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.”

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pastor's Ponderings: December 2, 2013

The song writers Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster wrote, “Love is a
many splendored thing.”  Sadly, circumstances in life can cause us to
question whether we are loved, special, or even respected.  Sometimes,
we may feel unworthy of love because of our past mistakes or convinced
that we will never earn someones love because of abusive or
manipulative relationships.

In the Bible, the apostle Paul came to a marvelous understanding about
God’s love towards mankind (Ephesians 5:38, 39). Our Heavenly Father
wants us to know that nothing that we have done, are doing, or will do
can stand between Him and us. Nothing, period. He loves us, He accepts
us, and His love is unconditional.  That does not mean that He will
overlook disobedience or fail to discipline us if we sin, but God's
love never waivers despite our actions. The Bible says "love covers a
multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).

Today, you or someone you know may need to realize they are special
and loved by God. Please remember today that God loves you and there
is nothing that you can do about it.

Please comment below and
 share what the love of God means to you.

Romans 8:38, 39 New International Version (NIV)

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.

1 Peter 4:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another,
for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the
offenses of others].

Ephesians 1:5, 6

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus
Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us
accepted in the beloved.

Hebrews 12:6 Common English Bible (CEB) 

6 because the Lord disciplines whoever he loves, and he punished every son or daughter whom he accepts.