October 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings dear Faith Family!

For the last weeks we have been walking with some of the women of the Bible. It has been a rich time, discovering that although the culture of the time tried to control and hold back our gender, there were those who rose to the challenge and were used by God to continue forwarding his plan for us! We concluded recently with some time with the Mary’s of the Bible, honoring and reflecting especially on the mother of Jesus.

I want to share one more woman with all of you, even though there were more we did not talk about, like Miriam, Martha, Bathsheba, Hannah, Leah…. Esther is one of the women in the Bible who stood strong and provided a cultural lesson for us today, even in our current state. A special lesson of unity and taking care of each other as well.

Esther has her very own book in the Bible, and it is intriguing and a good read! She was basically an orphan, whose family had stayed behind when the Israelites began returning to their land. Her family integrated into the Persian community around them and eventually was chosen by the King to be his next Queen. It’s a beautiful story, deep and interesting.

A leader in the King’s deploy was found to be manipulative and dark, this knowledge held by Esther. Haman worked to justify the slaughter of Esther’s people, causing the King to issue a decree and forcing Esther to make a decision to bring her identity to the King in order to save her people. She had a plan to expose Haman and it worked almost flawlessly. The King supported Esther and allowed her to develop a plan to save her people.
 
Still another woman whom God used to carry out his plans. Another example of how God is always working with purpose and having salvation for all in mind.

Sometimes it’s easy for us to think that God is all about perfection and when we fall short, we can’t possibly fit into the plan. We especially use this theory to beat ourselves up or hold ourselves back from experiencing God’s goodness. This entire series in looking at the Old Testament and beyond through the eyes of women, knowing the culture around them, reminded us that no matter what happens in our life walk, God is always present and working to bring his plan to reality. When we open our hearts to consider his plan, well, God can still make it happen!

                         And oh….here’s to girl power!

                              Be blessed and safe through harvest family!
 
                                                       

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September 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

As of this writing, there is a flurry of activity all around us! Fall is around the corner, and we are all gearing up for what such a time brings to all of us! Back to school, fall activities with youth groups, return of children’s education, prepping for winter, and a whole host of other things the change of seasons bring. As we gear up, please remember to stay tuned in for schedules, we have a lot to look forward to in our groups.
 
In worship, we have been learning some details about the women in our Bible. Most recently we talked about how messy life is and how God works everything together for good (for those who love the Lord.) Tamar and Ruth give great examples of this. For this writing, I would like to share with you a bit about Deborah.
Deborah was a judge during a time of great difficulty in the lives of the Jewish people. Some would say that she was chosen because, as a woman, she could share tenderness and comfort with a group of people who were downcast and defeated. She emerged as a great leader and warrior, helping Barak defeat a great army which had a pile of war toys and ammunition, more than enough to beat up on a lesser army without the means to carry out a strong attack. But God had another plan.
 
Deborah wanted the people to experience victory and be reminded that God was on their side and how many times God worked to give them their freedom. Deborah knew how difficult that could be given the conditions of the world around them…but she knew that God would prevail as they believed. The Book of Judges, Chapters 4 and 5 tell this special story of how God used Deborah to accomplish a great feat.
When you read her story, you can’t help but hear the arguing in all the ways the people came to her as a judge. Deborah spoke with confidence and faced what was happening in the lives of the people and those around her. She did not hesitate to step out in truth and faith, trusting that God would always lead her to the right road. She did it in love.
 
Deborah was close to God, her faith largely in line with God’s plans and she had courage to follow those plans. In a time of struggle, God brought the people a woman of action and it lead to 40 years of peace (Judges 5:31) for the people of Israel.
 
Life is hard, isn’t it? Making decisions and moving forward isn’t the easiest thing to do without a firm plan in place, “what might happen, if”…God reminds us continually that He is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Trust, surrender, believe!
 
Thank you, Jesus! In his name…AMEN!
 

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August 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Have the Attitude of Christ,
 
From Philippians Chapter 2:
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit?
Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

These words are from a recent message in church. They can be very impactful words should we choose to see them as such. Our series of the Holy Spirit has ended and hopefully we were able to learn things we hadn’t known about this power source given to us by God. This source helps us to strive to have this same mind, the same attitude that Jesus had and the very thing which helps us to live and love in this world.

There are many articles written today about churches emerging from our pandemic months. Some of the articles write of the dying church and some of them write about the churches need to adapt. Most all of them write from an honest evaluation that trends are showing some serious statistics. Statistics that were concerning even before the pandemic.
 
The question in the above scripture encourages us to really think about our relationship not only with Jesus, but also our relationships with each other. Being together, united in a faith family, helps us to strengthen our faith, to grow in who we are in Jesus, but also in life and our ability to be in relationships. Raising our children in a faith family enriches the life of our children and our families and provides security,
direction and peace.

The Bible teaches us many things about being together as the community of Christ:
 
….including Hebrews 10:24 & 25…
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as
some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
 
As we continue to move forward in the days and months ahead…please be connected through the bulletin, newsletter, Facebook, etc. to all the ways we are providing to be the faith family God calls us to be! Let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds! Let us encourage each other in the faith and live in the fullness of faith!
Thanks be to God!
Blessings,
       

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July 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

The Holy Spirit is a Body Builder, from the Seedbed Daily Text.
As we continue our time of getting the know the Holy Spirit, I thought I would share this text about another important aspect of the Holy Spirit. PD
 
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV:
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
 
CONSIDER THIS
How many churches are in the world today? That question may be a bit beyond the scope of our immediate trivia knowledge. Let’s try another question. How many Churches are there in the world today? See what I did there? A capital “C” puts the question in an entirely different category. There is only one Church, only one Body of Christ, according to the Scriptures. Jesus alone knows who is in his Church.
 
The parable of the sheep and the goats is a parable for our time, but at the end of the day, there is only one flock of sheep. And Jesus knows each sheep by name (John 10:3). The Holy Spirit, in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, communicates to us that if we were baptized by one Holy Spirit, then we are a part of the one Body of Christ. We all drink the water of God’s love and power at the same fountain. Like little children on the playground, we may try to push one another away to get our turn, hog the fountain, or put our claim on it. But there is plenty for everyone, and, if you look around, there are many fountains at which to drink the same living water.
The Holy Spirit is all about making—bringing together—the Body of Christ. We are one Body, but there are many parts taking their place to embody Jesus’ life and ministry in their unique locales and neighborhoods across the planet. When we start complaining about the rest of the Church, or if we even lose ourselves in a whine-fest complaining in sweeping terms about how broken we as the Church are, I believe we have stepped over a very important line.
 
First, when we complain about the Church as a whole, that is just a sorry, weak, lazy, and distorted replacement for biblical lament. We are welcomed to lament, to grieve, and to pray for the Body of Christ when seeming fractures and relational puzzles emerge. But it seems that God’s Word gives us no quarter to stand as judge and jury over what is happening with our brothers and sisters in different parts of the Body.
 
Secondly, when we stage a whine-fest complaining in sweeping terms about how broken we are as the Church, it is like declaring: “I know all and see all, and this Body is a mess. It’s a hot mess, I tell you.” At that point, we are on the wrong side of God. Do we really think the gates of hell are prevailing against the Church, even when Jesus said they would not (Matt. 16:18)? No, they are not. Times are hard, yes.
 
But the Spirit sees the true, robust, and unconquerable Body of Jesus rising with him toward the day New Creation’s dawn breaks on the earth. Full stop. The Body of Christ is beautiful, and strong, and always the Beloved of Jesus.
 
The Holy Spirit is a Body Builder, and that is who we are to become as well if the Spirit lives in us. If we spend our time lost in complaint, we are spending our energies in the opposite direction in which the Spirit is spending the Spirit’s energies. Jesus is about building his Church, and the gates of hell will not topple it, divide it, or diffuse its power.
 
Let’s turn our energies to pray for the Body of Christ in all its local forms to learn what it means to live in union with the Father and the Son once more. Then, let us pray for the unity that flows out of that intimacy. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the capacity for unity in a fallen world. The Body of Christ is designed to be a sign, a wonder, a declaration that unity can occur in any age.
 

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June 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Attached to this piece will be information about a special time for our faith family. COVID has kept us separated for many months. And now that we can be together, it’s important we find ways to be able to do so. I was searching for a place for our youth to gather for a Summer Retreat, which I try to do annually. Obviously, we have not been able to for a while, but when I emailed Inspiration Hills, they responded yes…we have a lodge available! We have been there before, and I did not want to pass up a chance to have a weekend there.
 
Please consider joining us for the entire time or even a few days! There are events planned for our youth, for the youngsters, for family and for everyone in our faith family, along with a place to stay. The important part is that we will need you to let us know your thoughts and plans of joining us.
 
A sign-up sheet is in the church, you can call the office or talk to Pastor Dorie.
 
WE WILL PLAN ON HAVING SUNDAY WORSHIP AT INSPIRATION HILLS
 
Sunday, July 18 at 10:30. We are excited to have this opportunity…. Please join us!
 

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May 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Happy May everyone!

We are sitting on the verge of a beautiful season and frankly, I can’t wait! It is always very refreshing to be able to spend time in the outdoors and watch the beginnings of Spring and Summer take place! With that comes a new season of worship!
 
How many of you would say that the concept of the Holy Spirit is unknown or maybe a little confusing? I have two ideas for worship over the summer and we will begin by spending some time learning more about the Holy Spirit. Once we get through some special events with our Confirmands and High School Senior, this will be our plan.

The end of May brings the celebration of Pentecost, a time when we acknowledge and remember the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples and a group of people who were gathered in Jesus Christ’s name. Do you remember Peter’s speech when everybody thought him to be drunk? It was then, the Bible teaches us that Jews from every nation were gathered when the Holy Spirit came as was told to them. Here was the Acts Church, the beginning of The Way that strengthened and encouraged the teachings of Jesus and shared the ways of Christ for all who would listen. It was the Holy Spirit who came to help the people – us – understand those ways and teachings! The Spirit was poured out.
 
The Holy Spirit is an important piece of our faith. Jesus in John 14: 10 says,
“the words I speak to you I do not speak to you of my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me.”
Jesus was conceived by, taught and was empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guided all his steps. The Holy Spirit seeks to guide our steps as well.

We teach our confirmands that the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity and is considered their helper, the one who guides them in decision making. The Holy Spirit is their advocate and is often described as our Life Coach. We could benefit greatly from learning even more about this powerful third part of the Trinity. Join us in May and June for this impactful teaching!

Blessings,
 

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April 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Spring Resurrection Greetings to all!
 
 
Following the resurrection of the Lord, the disciples were given clear instructions by Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching others to obey all the commandments given by him…The Book of Acts shares the stories and journeys of the disciples as they begin to build the foundation of the church and bring the gospel to the people. Remember, they had the living, breathing Jesus to teach them while he was with them. It is important to add that this time when “the Way” was growing. It was revolutionary, but yet deeply meaningful for those who knew and experienced the love of Christ – GO WARRIORS!

Today, the idea of Church means different things to different people. Even though past generations usually stayed grounded in one church their entire lives, it’s not unheard of for people to be members of several churches during the course of their lifetimes…which is great as long as people are growing in their faith during this journey.

God created us to be in community, united with other believers and strengthened by the love of family. Loving and encouraging each other, supporting, and caring for each other, embracing and holding each other when it is important to do so. While our relationship with Jesus is quite personal, God wants it to be something we share with each other. In fact, Paul refers to all of us as members of a living body…and all of us are part of this living body…
 
There is no doubt that COVID affected our family, in countless ways, both good and challenging…but despite this…God held us together! There are those we can be forever grateful for in having done so much for us through this time, to keep us strong and still on the path.
 
Palm Sunday 2021 will forever be known as the day we hopefully turned the corner in Christ, together. My heart warmed to have those of you so wanting a hug and not being afraid to share that feeling, while holding back in respect of space. You are blessed and we are thankful to have you back with us.

God has watched over us and we are thankful – The Resurrection of Jesus is complete – the lessons remain important to us.
 
      He is Risen!     He is Risen Indeed!
                                                   Praise Be to God! AMEN!!
 
                                                                                             

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March 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings dear Faith Family,
Wow, we have been blessed with some awesome weather to give us a breath of fresh air. I am always thankful for those moments
as Spring approaches and we get a tease of what’s ahead. I still remember the May Day Event when we were watching the snow
pile up in the basement window wells while we celebrated the special day. We ended up with six inches that day!! Thank you,
Lord, that we are hearty Minnesotans and adjust as Mother Nature provides!
 
I think we have all learned some adjusting as it relates to COVID19 as well. For almost a year now, our lives have been at
the will of those in professional positions making decisions fitting of the science they know well. We have the awesome responsibility
to respond to those offering guidelines and directives based on their professional opinions. All of it has created a need to be very
thoughtful with every step we take.
 
Certainly, the need for added prayer has been created and even energized us in many ways. And hopefully, we have all learned the
need for added depth and commitment in our faith lives. I have always loved the verse in Psalm 23 that goes…
“yea, though I walk
through the valley
of the shadow of death….”
 
and I do because it talks about walking through that valley. While we might hear that scripture mainly at a time when we are surrounded by death, it is fitting to note that the scripture speaks to a person walking THROUGH such a time.
 
We might pray to God for an end result, when in reality, God wants to be in the walk, in the through, in the process of that
which we are find ourselves challenged. God doesn’t always want to answer us by granting our request, but often seeks to
know if we hold his hand and TRUST in Him while going through it. And honestly, we do learn more in that part of the walk
then we really do in the results.
Remember, we don’t know what tomorrow might hold, where tomorrow might take us…But if we trust God is with us in the
process, it sure makes a difference! Hold on now…don’t always pray for tomorrow…God wants to be in your life today! Be
blessed by that…deepen your faith!
Hang on…
 
 
 

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January 2021 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Friends!
We have been on quite a journey this last year with COVID! It has challenged us, changed us, shook us, scared us, and encouraged us to think about things in many a different way! It has also taught us that we are very much able to adjust and adapt, hasn’t it? Some of us thought that was not possible!

In Colossians, there is scripture (honestly there are several throughout the Bible) which teaches and encourages us by way of building our
relationship with Jesus and deepening our roots in him by growing our faith and walking in his love. (See picture). And it goes to reason that as we deepen our roots in him, our wings are reaching and strong. Which means we have even a greater ability to accomplish mighty things!

Sometimes struggles and challenges help us to contemplate who Jesus is to us, they might help us to step back and evaluate what our faith means to us, and it might even help us to realize that we might have been neglectful of our relationship with Jesus.

We have been searching and talking about some of the promises in the Bible and how they remind us of just how much God loves us and all the things God has made available to us. Many of us have been striving for a stronger foundation. We have been craving another level of peace and even trying to learn more about what it means to simply just surrender. God is always about helping us to transformation!
But, surrender is difficult and it relies completely on the faith you have nurtured. When you have the ability to give it to God, God lifts you up with scripture, like in Isaiah 41:10:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
 
And in Proverbs 3:5-6…

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6.
 
These scriptures remind us that as we grow close to him, the closer he comes to us, the stronger our faith is, the more we trust Jesus and the less stressful things like COVID make us because we don’t have control over those types of things.

We might remember that moment in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus bowed his head and talked with his Father about what was ahead for him. In one way he asked God to take it all away, but yet, his surrender was imminent, he knew how important what was ahead for him (and for us, as well!) and Jesus had trust and a deep love for us. Jesus would go on to make the greatest sacrifice of all for each one of us as he surrendered his own life to God!

It is precisely that sacrifice that gives us the hope we need to take each step we take every day! It is what Jesus did for us which
reminds us we can do anything, especially as we plant our steps in God! Remember, Jesus came to live a human life, to show us how he could relate to the things we go through!

This month, let us deepen the love we have for Jesus by growing closer to him, by building on our friendship with him and trusting everything will be okay, in spite of all the things around us which might teach us otherwise.

Be blessed,
 
                                                   

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December 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Happy Holidays…
It is remarkable to reflect on our present times, mainly because one would never have thought it possible our world would be enduring in such a way as we are with COVID19. It has changed the way we do life as we know it and has for quite some time. As a pastor who craves human interaction (as I’m sure a great deal of people do), such a time as this has created a whole host of thoughts and dilemmas. As we now enter the Advent Season, those thoughts and dilemmas are magnified as the holiday season is one of togetherness, it is a time of love, a time of family and of faith.
 
We will be stepping aside our path of promises through the Old Testament to talk about the promises brought to us through Jesus
during this special season. It is precisely the promises given to us that remind us we have everything we need to get through a time such as this. In fact, in the Second Book of Peter, he gives us the words to remember this specifically….
 
 “ 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
 
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self -control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But
whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
 
Are we not challenged in these times to possess many of these attributes, I mean, perseverance is a given…self-control is somewhat
difficult….and if we allow, we can be moved to godliness, which allows
us mutual Affection, which moves us to love.
 
Something which can be totally profound! “He has given us very great and precious promises….” This is how we survive, on the promises of God, given to us through Jesus. “He has given us very great and precious promises….” Which Peter then tells us they help us to participate in the divine nature….which can be interpreted to mean that we can walk hand in hand with our God…we can step aside from what the world offers, even the struggles…we can be filled with Joy, Hope, Peace….Love! The gifts of Advent!
 
So the meat as to what we’re getting at is that for us to navigate this time well, leaning on the promises of Jesus, focusing on the gift of His
life becomes necessary and central to living a life of faith, of developing deep relationships in Christ, which take us to LOVE. We are not only challenged to embrace such attributes, but the struggle of these times almost feed our ability to lean in on them, rely on them.
While we may not understand what is happening, while we may find ourselves full of emotions and questions, we can relate to the people
in our biblical history and take their guidance.
 
As we navigate these times, let us also be thankful for the gifts of these times and their ability to move us to love. Standing on the promises…May God guide us every day!
 
Christmas blessings,
 
 

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November 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings dear faith family,
As we continue through this very interesting time, which is challenging us in many ways, we also continue to lean upon our God who has made numerous promises. And though it seems like we turn around and another branch of this time takes our breath away. We continue to pray and hope, using this time as an opportunity to grow in our faith.
We live in this land of promise freely, it is a tremendous gift. And the best part of this gift is that, as we receive it, as we embrace it and as we learn from it, we go deeper in the knowledge that we have a God who loves us so much that he has provided everything we need to survive in the here and now, while also securing eternal life for us.
In our recent services, we have spent time with Noah, learning that trust was essential in the request God made to Noah. We found it interesting that Noah, nor anyone, had ever heard of rain. This made it even more fascinating that Noah followed God’s direction to the letter. God had rendered Noah faithful and worthy to take on the task. Noah, and all of us were given a promise through a rainbow that we would never face death by a flood from God’s hands again.
Abraham came on the scene when he was 75 years old, but we know little about him. God chose him because he believed. He wasn’t perfect, but he agreed to follow God’s direction to leave his home and go for a land God directed…but the most significant piece of this was that Abraham believed. Period. He even got a little testy at one time…we get this don’t we?
 
It’s not easy limiting our social experiences. But despite this, his belief was solid, that’s why God chose him…and he went on to be the father of many nations, filled with promise. And as such as God has made it possible, we, too, are heirs of this promise. The promises of God are many, it is hard to put the words to all that God expected of us, but jumping in and learning…going deeper…embracing the history…taking the time and giving value to all that he left us, makes a tremendous difference not only in our faith, but in our lives.
We might not feel confidence in what our tomorrows hold right now, but in the promises of God, we have more hope than we could ever find anywhere else. Join us on Sundays for a while and learn about some of these promises and what they mean for us.
 
Be blessed dear faith family…
 
                       
 
 

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September 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

It has been a month that did not turn out the way I had planned. Instead of spending it trying to find renewal and breath, I was filled with a full month of loss, love, concern, grief and family. In the midst of it, God’s presence was even more obvious than normal. It made me think even more deeply about how God is present especially in those moments when we need him the most.
 
You might have read a piece in John 4 about a soldier who had asked Jesus to go with him and heal his son who was very sick. I read this in a recent devotion, and I thought it a great piece to share with you. Jesus had commented something to the effect about how people only believe what they see. He turned to the soldier and told him to return home and his son would be okay. The scripture then says that the soldier took him at his word and departed.

Two things stood out for me in this piece. First, the comment Jesus made about having to see signs and wonders…the other, when the soldier took Jesus at his word “and departed.”
 
I had to sit and think about this, especially in light of the month I was having…how often do I ask Jesus to give me a sign. As I pondered that, I reflected about how early in my faith my need to see signs and wonders was much more childlike…” send me a sign, Jesus, I need to see how.” As time went on, it has become more like a sense of peace in all things, and a reassurance that the signs and wonders come without having to ask…but the important part is that I don’t have to ask, I simply need to believe they are there.
 
The soldier, after having asked Jesus to help his son, waited for a word from Jesus, received it and then went back to his family. There was no pleading, no questions, no disagreement. Nothing like I remember from Jesus as I struggled to grow my faith, just a simple acceptance. We know that when the soldier returned home, his son was healed. The soldier’s faith had served him well. His prayers were answered, and his request was granted.

For us, it is a peaceful feeling to know that as we grow, our faith is strengthened, and our journey
deepened with every experience we encounter. It is a peaceful feeling to know that in every moment our God is present, and it isn’t necessary to have to see signs and wonders to validate our faith. It is so much more peaceful to know that God’s presence comes to us especially in times of need.
 
God is Good!         Be Blessed!
 

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August 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings Dear Faith Family,
 
I would like to share with you from the book…
“Come Away My Beloved” by Francis J. Roberts.
 
This book of prayer has been an inspiration and a Godsend in many ways, the words touching my spirit especially in ways I needed most. I share with you “The Healing Power of Joy”.
 
“You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into Joy.” ~ John 16:30.
 
Say not within your self, “Where is God?” for I am within you, yes, even in your heart, and my hand is upon you. You have looked in vain for Me because you have sought to see me in circumstances and in people and have said, “I cannot find him.”
 
Oh, my child, Look to Me directly, and rest your heart in me. Do so with as little distraction as would be easy to do if you were the only human being in the world and therefore would have no one else to look upon and no one else with whom to converse.
 
Praise Me. This I ask of you in times when it seams indescribably difficult to do so. I ask it of you in love that is stern at this point because I know unequivocally that praise is your only hope for survival.
Distress of soul and grief of heart can only bring on destruction of body. Joy alone is a healer, and you can have it in the darkest hour if you can force your soul to rise to Me in worship and adoration. I have not failed you and you have not failed Me. It is only that you have failed yourself or the disappointment has come on the human plane, not on the divine. Why should you allow any human experience to alter or affect your divine relationship with your Father?
 
Bring me your sorrow, and watch for the sunrise of the resurrection. Yes, truly there comes always a resurrection—a morning when hope is reborn and life finds new beginning. Wait for it as tulip bulbs anticipate the Spring. The rarest blooms are enhanced by the coldness of winter. The snow plays her part in producing Spring’s pageant. But when the blossoms break through, we do not then turn back to thoughts of winter, but instead we look ahead to the full joys of the coming summer.
So you must do also. Your God is your Maker. He is your defender. And He is mighty to save. Yes, he is might to save not only from sin, but He is mighty to save your from despair, from sorrow, from disappointment, from regret, from remorse, from self castigation, and from the hot, blinding tears of rebellion against fateful circumstances. He can save you from yourself, and He loves you when you find it hard to love yourself.
Let his peace flow in you like a river, carrying away all the poison of painful memories, and bringing to you a fresh, clear stream of pure life and restoring thoughts.
This is not the end. Press On. The goal line is out ahead, and you yet may be a winner in the race of life.
 
                              Be Blessed!
                             

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July 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

To say that we are in strange times, in my opinion, is an understatement! Even as we attempt to move to business as usual, we are continually reminded that business is NOT as usual. The corona virus is causing all of us to rethink life in general and wonder as to what our future is going to look like. Many things are being redone, revamped, adjusted and even in some ways “discarded.”
In one sense, even though this is a major life challenge, it challenges us to think in depth about our relationship to our faith.
 
  • Have we spent the time evaluating who we are in Christ?
  • Do we feel we have a relationship with Christ?
  • Are we satisfied with the level of our faith and the way to which we live it out?
  • Has Christ been present during this crisis?
  • Is Christ present with me in my life, especially when I face challenges?
  • Would I like to go deeper, learn more, spend more time in my faith, building my faith relationships.
  • Would I like to know more about Jesus?
  • Is this time causing me to want more deeper knowledge?
 
The leaders of our faith family have been in conversations continually about the ways we move through this time. We have also talked about and are developing thoughts and ideas as to what we can do to build on our strengths, while also taking into consideration our weaknesses and the needs we have, and will have moving forward. Please stay tuned…and share what is on your
mind, suggestions, and guidance as you feel lead.
 
We will continue offering worship as we have…using Facebook, the radio broadcasts, cable television, posting videos on YouTube and in our sanctuary.We have taken several precautions to eliminate as many Touch points as we can; every other pew is taped off, 6 foot spaces are marked between family units, offering tables are set up, sanitizer and face masks are available, doors are held open, pew bibles and hymnals are removed. We greet each other by waving and we end the service simply….no hugs…at least physical ones. We do everything we can to be safe according to CDC guidelines. Having said that….it is still your decision to move through this time of COVID – 19 the way YOU FEEL the safest to do so. There will be no judgement nor disappointment to any of the ways you choose to care for you.
 
Please know this! God is in charge and we trust God will bring us through this the way God desires to do so. We ask only that you continue to support your faith family in your witness, your prayers, your gifts, your service and your presence. There are many ways to live this out…

Be blessed!
 

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