December 27

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and that this new year will be filled with God’s presence in your life.

December 20

This will be the last post before Christmas so I hope that you all will have a very Merry Christmas.  May God’s blessings and peace be on you this season as you reflect on God’s son who was born so long ago.  May you find the comforts and joys of this season that will only continue and grow in this new year.

December 13

Again, this post is much later in the week than usual.  The activities of the Christmas season added to the every day normal concerns are piling up at times.  But this week I have been thinking a lot about the songs we sing at Christmas.  The birth of Jesus certainly is something to be joyous about in song.  And as we looked at Sunday, this goes back to the days and months before Jesus was actually born.  Even the promise of a Savior being born spurred both Mary and Zechariah to burst into spontanious lyrics.  And the message they spread about the hope and praise they felt as God broke into their time and space encourages us who know the whole story about what Jesus came and did for us should give us comfort and joy in our lives.  Unlike them, we do not have to look forward to a fulfilling of God’s promise, but already know that the salvation of the world lived and died to save us from our sins.  And furthermore, rose to give us new life.  So songs of comfort and joy should flood our souls as we think back on that birth.  So play those Christmas tunes, lift up those carols, turn on that radio or recordings that sing of our Messiah’s brith, and celebrate the Savior who is Christ the Lord.

December 6

This is coming to you later on in the week.  One of the songs that I have been thinking about when I think about the proclamation of God’s words is not a Christmas hymn, but it can be.  It is titled “Whosoever Will”  “Whosever heareth shout, shout the sound! Spread the blessing tidings all the world around; Tell the joyful news wherever man is found, Whosoever will may come.  Whosoever will, whosoever will! Send the proclamation over vale and hill; ’tis a loving Father calls the wand’rer home: Whosoever will may come”.  That is the message of the manger and that is the message of the cross.  No matter who you are or what you have done, you can come and recieve the comfort and joy in the proclamation of God.

November 29

Well the tree has been put up and the fall decorations put away for another year.  Lights are hung and shining bright and the manger scenes are all arranged.  The food has been planned and the shopping has started (and mostly done in my household).  Calendar events are lined up with all the school Christmas concerts and the special activities have made the list.  There is much to do this time of year as we approach the 25th.  But more important then any of the things listed above is to turn our hearts to the meaning of Christmas.  In all the busy-ness and bustle, make sure we do not forget the spiritual aspect of this season.  Wonder anew the birth of our Savior.  Sit and ponder the message of the manger.  Read over and over the Bible stories which testify to this miracle.  Pause in our overwhelming tasks and take comfort and joy in the great glad tidings of Christmas.  May each heart be filled with the real meaning of Christmas!

November 22

Count your blessings and be overwhelmingly thankful this year.  I just want to use this opportunity to wish everyone a very thankful Thanksgiving.  May God continue to richly bless you as you praise and give glory unto him for all the gifts he has given you.

November 15

We are getting closer to Christmas and as I pastor, I am looking ahead to plan one what I am going to preach on during this Advent season.  However, we have Thanksgiving coming next and I do not want to overstep this holiday.  Because we have much to thank God for even in this last year.  This year we seem to be on a downward trend in our area with Covid and there is not an anticipated spike like they were expecting last year.  The vaccines are now widely spread and those who wanted them, now have them (with even a booster for some).  And the many shutdowns and closures that were still in effect last year have been lifted.  And while we might not yet be back to normal quite yet, it seems much closer this year than last.
I am focusing on this kind of thanksgiving a week early because I think it also ties in with this week’s sermon on letting God’s light shine in and through us.  And I think that we as Christians know that God had led us through this time with his grace and compassion.  And this is what Moses saw when God revealed himself to him.  And this revelation made Moses’ skin glow.  We too can be lights to others when we allow God to shine through us.  And this time of year with Thanksgiving coming is a perfect time.  How can you this holiday be a light in this dark world?  Maybe it is reaching out to a charity this Thanksgiving or volunteering in your community.  Maybe the mission field you are called to this Thanksgiving season is with your family.  Maybe your church need extra help getting ready for the holidays or your neighbors with their falling leaves.  How can you this holiday be a light in this dark world?

November 8

Apparently I forgot or misplaced this week’s devotional thought.

November 1

I had a thought this week.  It has nothing to do with the service on Sunday.  But it is about the verse where Jesus promises that he will be with us even when two or three are gathered in his name.  Before when I have read that verse, I thought it was great that Jesus would be present when we gather. (Matt 18:20)  But when his is with us, he is not just present but also worshiping and praying and interceding with us.  He is not an observer standing in the corner, he is down on his knees with us praying with and over us.  That is even a greater thought.

October 25

Lifestyle changes are not easy to do.  After living for years one way, to give it up and adopt to a new way of life is very difficult.  But that is what God called the children of Israel to do.  They needed to change who they were and whose they were.  They were slaves to the Egyptians.  As slaves they had to do what their master told them to do.  Now at Mt. Sinai, they are now a freed and redeemed people who were serving a new master, God himself.  And so they need new rules to follow.  And as stated in my message he only gave them two major rules.  Put me (God) first and to look out for those around you in a loving way.  And while they were expanded on here (and in the following chapters and books of the Bible), they are worded this way in Deuteronomy.  These rules have not changed in the 3500+ years since then for God’s followers.  We are to put God first in everything to do and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  And this needs a permanent lifestyle change not so quickie diet.