My friends, I greet you once more in the precious name of Jesus
our Lord. May our God of grace continue to illuminate your days
and bring peace to your nights.
Someone said “If you can remain calm when others panic; if you
are capable of unshaken peace when others are worried, then
perhaps… you don’t know what’s going on.” Perhaps you have
heard this: “If ignorance is bliss, then I know some of the happiest
people on earth.”
Seriously, why are some of us calm when others panic? Is it because
we don’t know what’s going on, or because we do? I don’t
know what’s really happening in politics. I’d wager that you don’t
either. How much of national and world news is true? How far
have the spin doctors “adjusted” the story? Sometimes I forget
that the news media is about advertising dollars and market
shares. That’s not a conspiracy theory. Wasn’t it the 1970’s that TV
news broadcasts came under Neilson ratings? Market driven
newscasts filter what is “newsworthy” to satisfy their audiences;
liberal and conservative. Ratings speak volumes.
So, if news is filtered, how can we know what’s true? Well, some of
us have our own filter. It is called the Holy Bible and it makes sense
by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Critics call that notion “folksy
ancient mythology”. OK. Everyone has a right to their own opinion
in America, at least for now. News says the world may be going to
“hell in a handbasket”. Is that true? Our filter says the issue is not if,
but when. Yes, democracy will fail, a totalitarian government will
dominate. The whole world will come under one government, one
monetary system, one world order. Shocked? Not if you read your
Bible. Not if, but when. Still calm and collected? Should be. God’s
on the throne. His story is unfolding as it should. We can be calm
when others panic. We can have peace when others worry. It’s
because we do know what’s going on. We can be happy. It’s not
ignorance, it’s illumination. The culture doesn’t get it. Scripture
says that they can’t. They are blind guides. It would be like criticizing
an unsighted person for not appreciating a sunset. They are
incapable of seeing. It’s all in Scripture, but why bring it up now?
Well, this is February; a gray month with more isolation, political maneuvering, international threats. Yeah, pretty much business as usual, only colder and maybe snowy. It might seem de-pressing. Please keep your eyes on the mark, the prize set before us! If we keep our faith strong, God promises to supply all that we need. We have a future before us that is indescribably greater, more brilliant, more lasting than anything this world can offer. Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up believing. We win! (I peeked at the back of the book.) Smile!
May the Holy Spirit illuminate your days and grant you peaceful nights. We are children of the Heavenly Father. Keep that song in your heart and that smile on your face, because we know.
In His Service, Pastor Brian
Greetings to you in the precious name of our Lord and Savior! May praise be ever on your lips, and joy always in your heart.
This month, my ponderings turn to “Adrenaline”. When have you had an adrenaline rush? Can you remember? Your heart pounds, your pupils dilate, your reflexes are on high alert. It’s when that car pulls out in front of you and you can’t quite find the words to express yourself. Or, maybe you can find the words, but the point is that “adrenaline rush” really gets you ALIVE!
Sometimes we do it on purpose. We “Grab a tiger by the tail and hold on!” Have you done that? In that moment you decide to “go all in”, “no holding back”. Gamblers get addicted to that adrenaline rush. Junkies can’t stop. It’s the adrenaline rush that makes people rappel off of cliffs, jump out of airplanes or rush down a ski slope (not the bunny trail). Sometimes Christians do it. Of course, there’s the casual Christian who never risks anything and never really gets much out of their faith. There’s even a poem about that guy: “There was a very cautious man who never laughed or played. He never risked, he never tried, he never sang or prayed. And when at last he passed away his insurance was denied. They said because he never lived, he never could have died.” I hope you are not “that guy”.
So why think of adrenaline in 2021? I have a hunch that this is going to be an adrenaline pumping year. For some of us, we are likely flying to Israel! That should be a rush. As a denomination, after fifty plus years, there should be a major turning point. This change is like walking through a door that locks behind us. There is no going back. What is ahead? Not sure. Does that make your heart pump a little faster? At Glossbrenner, after thirteen years of talk, we have committed our resources to build a lift instead of an elevator. Is it the best move? Is now the best time? Hope so. Think so, but we are committed. No turning back. Keep our eyes fixed on God, grab on to his coat tails, then look out. There is no telling what might happen.
Barbara and I have had many occasions where we said “Yes” to God’s call, held on to his coat tails and had adrenaline pumping adventures. Hardships? Oh, yes. Setbacks? You bet you. It makes us cry sometimes when we think about it. Regrets? Not a chance. God called. We went. I hope we never back down from that “chance to dance”. How about you? Ready to go on a God adventure? 2021 looks like an adventure filled year. I pray that you say “Yes” when God calls. Don’t die with the “Woulda coulda shouldas” banging around in your head. Let’s roll!
Happy Adventurous New Year! Pastor Brian
Greetings and salutations once more in the beautiful and
wonderful name of Jesus our Lord and Savior! May the Advent
Season inspire you once again to consider the marvel, the
magic, the miracle of God With Us!
Of course, the secular world thinks that we
are in the Christmas Season. Many well
intended Christians get confused and think
the same way. This is your friendly reminder
that we are in Advent. It is the season to
remember, with joy, the first coming of
Jesus, and to anticipate, with wonder, the
second coming. I found this poem many
years ago. It does a very clever job of mixing the Christmas
story most of the world knows with the truth of Advent. I offer it
to you to enjoy and perhaps ponder the truth of it.
‘Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house,
Not a person was praying, not I nor my spouse.
The Bibles were left on the shelf without care,
For no one thought that Jesus would come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once, ever kneeling or bowing their head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby in her lap
Was watching the late show while I took a nap.
When out of the east there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and lifted the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!
The light of his face made me cover my head.
It was Jesus returning just as he said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which he held in his hand,
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as he searched for my name;
When he said “It’s not here.” my head hung in shame.
The people whose name had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without sound,
While all of the rest were standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight.
Oh if only I’d known that this was the night.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is now drawing near.
There’s only one life and when comes the last call,
We find that the Bible was true after all.