February 2020

Once again, I greet you in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. It continues to be an honor to serve him and to serve with you at Glossbrenner.
As we move into a new month, my mind wanders to the wintry weather that we will be “enjoying” for the next couple months. Despite years of shoveling and de-icing and car window scraping, I truly pray that you might have the mind of a child and wonder at the magnificent experience of frozen ice crystals drifting down to a frozen ground. It is still true, I believe, that no two flakes are exactly the same! What an amazing God! As it covers everything with winter wonder, the very earth changes be-fore our eyes. Tiny snow flakes that are light enough to stick to your eye-lash, can gang up and together bring big tree branches to the ground. Now, there is a life lesson in working together! Am I right? There is so much to marvel at in this season of the year. Please don’t let the winter blues get to you. We have reason to celebrate every day of our lives! Look at yourself in the mirror and put the biggest smile on your face that you can. (God will get a kick out of it too.) Wear bright colors! Call a friend! Write a note of encouragement to someone! Oh, and let me add, make sure you come to church!
The writer in Hebrews (10:24,25) said “Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one anoth-er”. You may be just the tonic someone needs on Sunday morning! And you know, they may be your happy pill.
In most American churches, attendance drops off after Christmas and doesn’t really come back until Easter. I am always encouraged when I serve churches that don’t show much of a drop. Let us continue meeting together, spurring one another on towards love and good deeds. We need each other. The world needs us! The Jesus joy we know should brighten up any room. The glow of the Holy Spirit fire should warm our hearts even through the coldest nights. So, my prayer for you is that God will bless you with unspeakable joy of Christmas, the heart of a child in love with the wonder of winter, and the glowing warmth of Christian love. With hearts on fire for God; “Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.”
In His Service, Pastor Brian

January 2020

Greetings again in the name of our marvelous Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ! As I write this, we are days away from the year 2020! In high school, for me, the 21st Century was light years away. “Big Brother” and “1984” were futuristic novels. Now we are starting the third decade in the 21st Century! Funny how some things have changed and others have not. I don’t have a flying car, but I have a pocket size computer that is also my portable phone! One thing that hasn’t changed is making and breaking the New Year’s Resolutions. Someone said “The hope for the New Year depends more on You than the Year.” So, You. What is one thing you would change if you could? Take a moment to ponder it. Here are some observations and advise from Philippians 3:7-16. You may want to skim over this now and come back to read in detail after you read the rest of the newsletter. First, here are four observations about serious change: 1. Permanent change is inward. 2. For permanent change to happen, you need three things: 1) a true dissatisfaction with where you are, 2) an awareness of a better condition, and 3) the knowledge of how to get there. 3. It is crucial that you set a time of declaration. 4. Depend on continual strength and re-enforcement from God. Paul gives us a clue about how to become a new person in Philippians 3:7-16. Verses 7-11 tell us that we must have right priority. Verses 12-14 say that we need a right plan. He offers a three-fold plan: 1) Forget what lies behind. Forget it! That was then. This is now. 2) Strain for the future. Strain is a word we don’t often use, unless it is our backs. It’s a good word. 3) Press on for the goal. Persistence. Perseverance. Perspiration: Also, good words. Finally, verses 15-16 tell us we need the right attitude. So, if you are dissatisfied with where you are, and you know of a better place to be, you now have the knowledge of how to get there. You need to declare your intentions, and FROG (Fully Rely On God). Remember: Right Priority, Right Plan, and Right Attitude. I’d say good luck, but luck has nothing to do with it. Oh, and you may think I was writing about you personally. Well, yes, it applies to you personally, but I am writing to you as in “All you all” in the Glossbrenner body. Are we aware of a better place to be than where we are? Are we dissatisfied with past performances? We have a Biblical plan to get from here to there. I hope we are ready to declare that 2020 is going to be a year that changes things, not for the good, but for the great. All we have to do is our part, then look at God. There’s great potential here. Let’s use it! I remain, … In His Service, Pastor Brian

December 2019

Greetings my friends, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ! As the year draws to a close and the new one is about to begin, I have been praying about where I should direct my sermons in 2020. My mind went to 2nd Peter. I feel like he summed it up well. Most of you grew up in the church. I acknowledge that most scripture is familiar to you. That’s why 2nd Peter 1:12 and 13 was on my mind. Peter wrote: “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,” (NIV) Peter finishes the verse by saying that he knows he will soon die. (I don’t normally include that because I hope that is not my case.) However, I do feel it is my duty to remind you of things you already know. It is my prayer that we continue to know more of and grow deeper in love with God. John Wesley confirmed that this only happens through the Holy Spirit, but he also reasoned that there are practices (ordinances) that we should do if we expect the Holy Spirit to help us. These practices don’t make us better Christians, but they put us in a position to benefit. In other words, I don’t get bonus points with God because I read my Bible, but knowing my Bible makes me better equipped to serve God. If it’s still not clear, try this: It is basketball season. Mike Scott is the Power Forward for the Philadelphia 76ers. He leads the 76ers with 100% from the free throw line. Now, when he’s out there, the ref doesn’t give him any extra points for all the time he spent practicing free throws, but you know it pays off at game time! See my point? There are things we can do that make us better equipped at “game time”. Attention to Scripture, dedicated time of prayer and fasting, attendance to public worship, and frequently enjoying holy communion. These are what Wesley called the Ordinances of God, which prepare us to receive the blessings of the Holy Spirit. I think he was on to something. It will be my privilege to remind you of these things (although you already know them), as long as I am able. It boggles my mind to think of what God could do at Glossbrenner next year. Merry Christmas… in His service,

Pastor Brian