Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, December 28, 2021

Our Father Will Protect Us


This will be the last blog of 2021.  So many things have happened in this year beginning with the January 6, 2021, siege of the U.S. Congress all the way to a brand new COVID-19 variant that is projected to reach one million new cases per day in the United States.  Most never expected these traumatic events to occur but we know that God is still in charge.


The Bible declares we cannot allow the challenges that we faced in 2021 or will face in 2022 to make us lose heart, be anxious, or act in fear.  We must walk by faith in God and not by our natural feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7).  There may be political turmoil, but the Bible declares that the heart of our ruler is in the hands of God (Proverbs 21:1).  They don’t become leaders by their own efforts, but God will raise one leader up and put down another (Psalm 75:6-7).  Plagues will come and go but God’s word stands assured, and He knows whom His children are (2 Timothy 2:19a).  


Climate changes, energy shortages, increasing worldwide inequality leading to displacement and death, and wars must not worry us because God owns the entire earth (Psalm 24:1); we are His and are privileged to sit in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2:6). Storms may come and winds may blow but God said that He would be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20).  Let us comfort ourselves knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is our protection and is always walking alongside of us no matter what happens.


2 Corinthians 5:7 

New International Version

7 For we live by faith, not by sight.


Proverbs 21:1

New International Version

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.


Psalm 75:6-7

New International Version

No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves.

It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.


2 Timothy 2:19a

New International Version

19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his….”


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;


Ephesians 2:6

New International Version

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,


Matthew 28:20

New International Version
20 …. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”







Thursday, December 23, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, December 23, 2021

Jesus Is Our Advocate When We Sin 

Nina Golgowski wrote an article in the December 20, 2021, Huffington Post about an official investigation into former president Donald Trump’s business practices. The article was entitled, Trump Sues New York Attorney General Over Business Investigation.  The article went on to say that “The former president's lawsuit accuses Letitia James (the New York Attorney General) of violating his constitutional rights.”  


Despite what we may feel about the former president’s tactics, this article reminds us that everyone will go before the eternal court of God the Father.  We have an advocate who can plead our case (1 John 2:1-2). The devil is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10b).  No matter how we protest our innocence, all of us have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).  


No one can say that they are more holy than someone else. The Bible says that all we have to do is to confess our sins and that God is faithful and just to forgive us for our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  We can come boldly into God’s throne and mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).


While we may have different opinions about our former president’s using his constitutional rights in court, we can remember that all unrighteousness is sin including our own (1 John 5:17).  However, we can thank God that we don’t need to rely on legal maneuvering; all that we need is Jesus. He makes us righteous in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).  When we are disobedient, let us remember that we have an Advocate who will speak for us before God the Father.


Hebrews 4:16

New International Version

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


1 John 2:1-2

New International Version

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.


Revelation 12:10b

New International Version

10…For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.


Romans 3:23

New International Version

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,


1 John 1:9

New International Version

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


1 John 5:17

New International Version

17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.


2 Corinthians 5:21

New International Version

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.







Thursday, December 16, 2021

Our Heavenly Father Wants To Protect His Children

Morgan Winsor and Bill Hutchinson wrote an article in the December 13, 2021, ABCNews entitled, “Deadly tornadoes in South and Midwest: Biden declares state of emergency in Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee”. The article went on to report that the weekend destruction produced at least 88 dead. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who has two relatives among the dead, fought back tears as he revealed the age range of the known victims. He said 18 bodies have yet to be identified.  Truly this was a terrible and troubling time for this region of our nation.


The Bible says that we can turn to the Lord who is a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).  He is a protector for those who depend upon Him (Psalm 23:4). Destruction may come to us, but it will not be successful (Isaiah 54:17).  We must not be afraid of the terror by night or the destruction that wastes at noonday (Psalm 91:5-6). This is not to say that one may avoid all suffering in life and that we will not have pain, death, or destruction but God promises that though we go through a place where death threatens, we don’t have to fear evil and that He would be with us even until the end of time (Psalm 23:4, Matthew 28:20).


God wants us to know that we can comfort ourselves in His protection.  As we go through life, it is crucial that we ask God where we should go, where we should stay, and what we should do since He is omniscient and wants to protect us (James 1:5).  He says that if we delight ourselves in Him that He would give us our heart’s desire such as protection, prosperity, promotion and perception (Psalm 37:4). Let us ask Him for what we need; He delights in protecting us.


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 46:1

New International Version

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


Psalm 23:4

New International Version

4 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.


Matthew 28:20 

New International Version

20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.


Isaiah 54:17 

New International Version

17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.


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 37:4

New International Version

4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.







Thursday, December 9, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, December 9, 2021

Will I hear “Well Done?”

During a time of great loss in our world, many of us are reflecting on when our time will come. If it is tomorrow, did I fulfill my purpose in life? Did I help those I was supposed to help? Did I learn what I was supposed to learn? What does God think about my life so far?


In the parable of the talents, Matthew records Jesus telling a story about three people who took different approaches to investing their talents while their master was away. For two of them he was pleased with their choices and said “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together” (Matthew 25:21 NLT).


I remember asking my late husband what his next career goals were and he responded with, “Maybe my purpose isn’t limited to my job. Maybe I am supposed to be a good husband, friend, neighbor and hopefully a father.” A few weeks later these words echoed through his memorial service in the comments of his family, friends, and neighbors.


This month is the 16th anniversary of my parent’s church, Sanctuary Gospel Center Church. On the surface we congratulate them for staying the course, their commitment and dedication to over 800 weekly services, hundreds of counseling sessions, and services at a local skilled nursing facility, and 428 weekly blog posts. But I think when my parents get to Heaven (hopefully a long time from now) those numbers won’t be mentioned-it will be the lives they touched, the people that met Christ through them and that had a deeper and fuller relationship with God because of their sacrifice, and the people that others didn’t have the time for, but they invested in them anyway. I’m blessed to know and appreciate their impact on my walk with God. 


It’s easy for this season to be focused on what we can buy, how we can impress others with the gifts we receive or how perfect our holiday photos are.  But let’s remember to think about what really matters and that is to be a good and faithful servant and if we are doing a job deserving of “Well Done.”







Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, December 1, 2021

Our Father Watches Over Us All

An article in the Apr 26, 2021 CISION PR Newswire was entitled, “Worldwide Smart Baby Monitor Industry to 2028 - Rising Population of Tech-Savvy Millennial Parents Presents Opportunities.”  The article indicates, “Increasing number of working parents worldwide is boosting the growth of the smart baby monitor market globally.”  The article went on to say, “The increasing concerns associated with child safety are also encouraging them to purchase smart baby monitoring devices.”   Clearly baby monitors are increasingly important because of child safety issues.


Just like parents desire to monitor their children, our God watches over us (Psalm 121:5-8).  He cares for us (Isaiah 41:13). During our turbulent world where many are afraid to sleep and afraid to go about their duties, there is a constant fear of bad things happening.  But God promises that He will never abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:6).  


Our baby monitors are good if their guardians stay awake, but our God is so much better than human guardians. It is good to know that we can sleep peacefully because our God never sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4).  He knows the thoughts that He thinks towards His children; thoughts of peace and safety (Jeremiah 29:11).  We can rejoice because like parents are concerned about their children, our God watches over us all.

Psalm 121:5-8

New International Version

The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;

8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.


Isaiah 41:13

New International Version

13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand

and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.


Deuteronomy 31:6

New International Version

6 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.”


Psalm 121:3-4

New International Version

3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.


Jeremiah 29:11

Amplified Bible

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.