October 7, 2019
Thanks to everyone for the many kind words and deeds of kindness that have been extended to me and my family during this month of Pastor Appreciation. Terry did a great job this weekend talking about the partnership between pastors and the congregation. Things only happen when we work together. I was reminded this weekend of the importance of a congregation extending that love to those who we meet in the weekend services.
My phone rang one day and someone I had first met many years ago at the church was calling to check in. He had stopped by the church and had been blown away by the warm welcome of the congregation. Following the first visit he called me and shared with me that he works at a soap manufacturing business. He stated that they often have soap that is put in boxes that have a bad label. He wondered if our congregation would have any use for this soap. To make a long story short, over the many years he brought me thousands of pounds of soap. We then sent it on to overseas missions. It was a partnership that was established because God’s people made a friend with someone who stopped by. As Terry said it so well this weekend, it’s as we show the agape love to each other and those who we meet that lives are changed. So, a big thanks to everyone for the many ways you have shown that love not only to me and my family, but to our community as well.
In the last weeks of walking the journey with JR as she dealt with end of life things, it gave me lots of time to reflect on my own life and what things we do or say that have lasting value. It’s so easy for us to focus on the pressing and forget the important. The old saying I grew up hearing was the wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the most grease, and it’s not always the wheel that needs the most grease. I remember what process was used to grease those wheels. You would have to jack up the axle, take off the big nut, and pull off the wheel in order to apply grease. Usually the squeak was a sign that you were already running behind on getting the wheels greased. In life often if we wait until the cry of pain, we are already behind where we should be. That cry of pain can come with physical, emotional, or spiritual distress. Jesus says it well when he invites us to come to him to find rest for our souls.
In 1 Kings we read the account of Elijah and the many powerful ways that God worked through him. Chapter 19 is the account of Elijah recovering from the battle on Mount Carmel. Elijah sits under a broom tree and begs for God to take his life. A couple of weeks ago we looked at John 21 and the account of the disciples being told to fish on the other side of the boat and hauling in a large catch all before Peter had been fully restored. The question before us is, how do we get back up when we have been knocked down? What are the steps we can take to move away from the broom tree? You can read 1 Kings 19 and John 21 in preparation for services this weekend.
It was amazing how last week we went from 95 degrees to 55 degrees faster than a car breaking for a state trooper. It reminds us that fall is coming. Soon we will be saying spring has sprung, fall has fallen, winter’s coming and it will be COLD! The question is, are you ready for cold weather? What does it take to be ready for cold weather? Is it the layers of clothes we wear, the setting on the thermostat, the pile of wood we have stocked, the amount of gas in the tank? What constitutes being ready for winter? I personally believe that as we deal with the physical elements around us it always begins with our mind being prepared. If we go into the winter season with a negative focus, we will get a negative result. If we go in with a positive focus, we will get a positive result. I encourage you to choose a positive outlook on what is to come. It’s nothing new, we’ve been through winter many times.