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A Thought From Your Pastor 5/17/2020

5 17 Martin Luther

Martin Luther, (1483-1546) German theologian and religious reformer who initiated the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Through his words and actions, Luther precipitated a movement that reformulated certain basic tenets of Christian belief.

I was surprised to read this: History provides guidance. When a deadly plague hit Wittenberg, Germany, in 1527, Martin Luther modeled pastoral care: “I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.” But he added that if his neighbor needed him, he would go, taking precautions.

Luther experienced some of the same things we are.  It sounds like they had social distancing.  In those days viruses were even more dangerous without the health care we have.  We don’t hear any discontent or fear in Luther’s words.  There is a job to be done—reaching out to the lost and helping our brothers and sisters.  Helping people may be done by material needs but also putting a little joy or a little cheer in their lives. We have so many more ways available to us than Luther did.  The main things we need to maintain our joy and trust in God’s timing and direction.

Remember that Sunday school song: “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”  We need that joy as we go through these days of concern.  Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) 22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Where does that joy come from?  Psalm 34:4-8 (ESV) 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

We have to make sure we don’t take Charlie’s thinking on loving people.  He only loves those that love him.  Listen to what Jesus tells us to do: Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)  43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

5 17 Charlie Brown and Snoopy

“SORRY CHARLIE” you need to read your bible a little more.

My goal through this pandemic is to keep you looking to Jesus with joy in your heart and confidence that He will bring you through.  Now is the occasion to spend time in your Bible.  Confidence and joy only comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.  Take this special time to get to know Him better and more personal.  As you trust Him with your eternal life, trust Him in your day to day life.

I have to admit—-I really miss your smiling faces and hope we can get back together soon.

Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                                      Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

 

 

A Thought From Your Pastor May 10 2020

5 10

Matthew Henry (18 October 1662 – 22 June 1714) was a nonconformist minister and author, born in Wales but spent much of his life in England. He is best known for the six-volume biblical commentary Exposition of the Old and New Testaments.

A Thought From Your Pastor!

Sometimes when we go through problems we think we are the only ones it is happening to.  Cabin fever is setting in on many of us.  There are many concerns:  Will this virus hit my small town?  We are not the only generation that has gone through these kinds of trails and trouble.  We just need to know how to handle them.

Matthew Henry can help us with that, he once said: “Days of trouble must be days of prayer.”  So that leads me to another question: “How is your prayer life?”   This is a time we need to be in close contact with the one that can make a difference in this upside down world.

Scripture tells us: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) 16  Rejoice always, 17  pray without ceasing, 18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 When you pray and turn these concerns over to Jesus, you can rejoice but also remember to give thanks.  We give thanks for two reasons: #1 because we are to be a thankful people, but #2 when we give thanks we are confessing that by faith we know God has it all under control.

Prayer is a serious and powerful tool that our heavenly Father has given us.  Remember the story of the fig tree.  Jesus tells us we can move mountains with our prayers and I believe this pandemic is a mountain that needs to be moved.

Matthew 21:21-22 (NIV) 21 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

We as a church and as a family need to take this time to be serious about prayer.  I wear a mask when I’m out, stay away from people and wash my hands, but that’s what I can do.  I am more trusting in what God can do.

Snoopy, who is on the lazy side, has another idea.  I like a good laugh and a nice nap but I trust Jesus and His power to solve this problem.

5 10 2020 snoopy and woodstock

Once again, I want to remind you of a verse that is becoming one of my favorites: Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I heard an evangelist say to make a Worry List.  Write down everything that concerns and upsets you. Then take a pencil and scratch out Worry and write in Prayer.  This will make a difference and bring that joy into your days of being home.

Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                              Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

5 10 2020 Goofy

Don’t wonder about it—Know God is in control !

 

Be Prepared

                                                       Be Prepared                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Recently, I attended a church service where Jesus Christ was said to be the Son Of God who loves everyone and forgives their sins. However, knowing Christ personally was not mentioned.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”, John 14:6.  Calling yourself a Christian is more than just going to church and being a good person.  You need to accept Jesus into your heart and life.

For 25 years, I thought that I was a good person and that was my ticket to heaven.  Then I read in the Bible that there is only one way to Heaven and that is through the shed blood of Jesus. Good works cannot save you! (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Trust Jesus Christ today!  Here’s what you must do:

  1. Admit that you are a sinner. (Romans 3:23)
  2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent). (Luke 13:5)
  3. Believe that Jesus died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead. (John 3:16)        

    4.Through prayer, ”For it is with your mouth that you                                                                     believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and             are saved.” (Romans 10:10)        

   What to pray:

Dear God: I am a sinner and need forgiveness.  I believe that Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and died on the cross for my sin.  I am willing to turn from sin.  I believe by faith that you saved me and that Jesus is now my personal Savior.  Amen

~CMS                                                                                                                                                            May 2020

A Thought From Your Pastor May/3/2020

                                                         Alligator Minister                                 

                                                      A Thought From Your Pastor!                                                             Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV) 1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
6  Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7  for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,

Bummer—–Do you realize this coming Sunday is Communion Sunday.  With this pandemic we will not be able to come to the Lord’s Supper together.  As Psalms 95 tells us to sing and shout aloud to the King of our Salvation.  I could probably do that by myself at home but how much better with my friends and family of St. Petrie.

Now let’s just perk up and realize how much Jesus loves each of us whether we are in the church building or sitting at home.  Augustine was accredited to saying “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”  Just think of the blessings God has given each of us.  Just think of the celebration we will have once we can worship together again.  Take some time to call some people and tell them that God loves them and you think there’re pretty great too.

I’m blessed because I have Carolyn with me and I hear from the girls at least once a day.  Some people are not that blessed soooooooo bless them and get blessed yourself.  Give someone that might be home alone a call and just talk—or—listen for a while.

We will be getting back together one day and I am truly looking forward to it.  This is a time to rejoice and be a blessing to people in telephone reach.  The Bible tells us in

 Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 On a lighter side look how Charlie’s gang is trying to encourage us— “May your day be filled with blessings of love, peace, and joy!”

Charlie Brown Pumpkin

I agree with Charlie and the gang, but I would add hope.  Whatever the world brings upon us, we have hope in God’s Word.  Scripture tells us: Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV)
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

In other words don’t worry about what is going on around you, but keep your eyes focused on Jesus.  He will bring us through with a smile on our faces.

Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                                       Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

Tigger and Pooh