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
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,
Greetings once again on the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I am writing this article on the day after our Vison Casting Meeting. When I went home, I felt good about it, but something was nagging me. Today I remembered a sentence that helped me put it in perspective. Here it is. “I know that you think you understood what you thought I said, but I am not sure that what you heard was what I meant to say.” When I was a teenager, those words were on a poster in my room. It talks about how difficult communication can be sometimes. What does that have to do with the meeting? Well, at the meeting, we accomplished two distinct tasks. In the first thirty minutes, we marked the calendar with everything we were planning to do next year. The last thirty minutes were spent discussing things we would like to see happen in 2020. How could we improve our worship, fellowship, and witness to the world around us? We came up with a pretty ambitious and exciting list of events. Here’s my concern: If people left that meeting, thinking “Wow, the preacher’s gonna be really busy making all those things happen next year.”, then they missed the point. You see, the first thirty minutes was what we planned to do in 2020. The second thirty minutes was what we’d like to do in 2020. When I was a kid, I had a list of things I’d like to get for Christmas. I didn’t think I’d get them, but it was what I’d like to get. We would like to offer more events at Glossbrenner that would bless our community. We also would like to have more events that strengthen our fellowship within our church. And, we’d like to have more events that focus on the young people. We talked about having movies, family nights, concerts, games and meals. There are events we could have by ourselves and events with other churches. That is where we want to go. Will we do it all in 2020? Did I get my Christmas wishes? (In case you are wondering, the answer to both is no.) But, unlike me and my Christmas wish list, we have hope! We now have a direction to move toward, new adventures to help us to grow into the unique church God created us to be. That is great. If I confused anyone at the meeting, or if I seemed too quick to move on and I ignored details, I do apologize. I know that you think you understood what you thought I said, but I’m not sure that what you heard was what I meant to say. Please forgive me.
Have a blessed day!