Greetings in the name of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There’s a saying that goes: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I can see that’s true in many things, except one for sure; I am getting older. That has not stayed the same. (Good and bad I suppose.)
As we move into the Season of Lent, some things will change simply because I don’t know the old way. A couple things are changing by intention, but I suspect most things will stay the same. New, I think, is that we are partnering with other Christian Churches in Mount Joy to deliver a noontime Wednesday Lenten meal and devotion. The details are in the newsletter, but if you get the noontime at Florin COB through March, you pretty well got it covered. There will continue to be the Wednesday Night Lenten Service at Glossbrenner, in the Chapel, at 6:30. I plan to deliver a mini-series. The whole service is only 45 minutes, so don’t fret about a long sermon. The Chili Cook-Off is in March again, so don’t give up chili for Lent! That would be bad. One new thing we’re doing is a Ministry Moment on each third Sunday. In March it is the Prison Ministry. Please look forward to that. The Hershey Bears Hockey game is the same event, different year. I hear we have a good size group going, so that should be fun! We might even do something different and slip in a movie night in March. Details to follow.
Overall, it seems that some things change, some stay the same. We have all the usual very energetic activities as we do every month, plus some special events just for March. Holy Week and Easter is just around the corner from there. It is exciting to be in a church that exhibits so much life and so much love. Keep up the good work folks! If you feel that you are on the outside looking in… jump right in, the water is fine! Hey. Instead of giving up something for Lent, why not add something; more involvement with your home church. We’ll leave the light on for you. And I pray that the more things change, that never changes! Happy March!
In His Service, Pastor Brian
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
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