- Good evening church! I just wanted to let you know my ride for Pelotonia is in the books! I completed the 38 miles/960 feet of climb in 2 hours and 26 minutes, including the rest stop. For those of you who prayed for me, thank you so much! And for those who donated, I am deeply appreciative. You mean more to me than you’ll know! We have a great church. Also, please pray for the family of Mason Fisher, a 27 year old med student who had a heart event at to 100 mile mark on the Saturday 102 mile route and died. If you’d still like to give, it’s not too late. https://www.pelotonia.org/profile/JC0415 Thanks! Jim
- Good Morning Old Town Hill! It is getting that time again for us to think about budgets. Can our team leaders start working on them and get me their proposed budget information by the end of September please. I will be asking Andrew to announce this in church as well. Thanks to all! OTH Treasurer, Nara
Let’s be honest, living in this world is not for the faint of heart. Every one of us faces difficult times in this world. If the Lord revealed to us some of the things we would go through before we got to them, we would probably try and find a way around it. Yet, if we did that, we would miss out on seeing the great hand of God at work in our lives.
There are some things we go through because of the consequences of our own bad choices and a lot of what we go through is because the enemy of our soul wants to hurt and defeat us. It is in those times I like to refer to one of the best westerns ever on film-The Outlaw Josey Wales. In the movie, there is a scene where Clint Eastwood’s character has a group of rag-tag pioneers in a house getting ready to defend against an attack that was heading their way. He said these words, and I paraphrase. “When it looks like things are getting bad and it looks like you are not going to make it, that is when you have to dig down and get downright dog mean.” I suppose as a dude that speaks to me.
How does that translate to our walk in Christ? Well, I suppose it doesn’t that much. The reason I say that is because we are not the heroes in this walk, Jesus is. But, if you are like me and you like cool quotes from movies that can bring a little swag to our lives then listen to what Jesus has to say in John 10:28, “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” That is just a cool line. In the humbleness of the life of Jesus, He still has this formidable confidence that comes from the authority He knows that He has from the Father. If I were to write it in my words, it would go something like this. “Listen up, I have come to rescue the perishing and when I am done nothing or no one will be able to touch them, so I strongly recommend that you don’t mess with my sheep because it will not go well for you” …. love Jesus. I know Jesus would say it out of love. The truth is that Jesus could say that and fulfill that because He had the authority to do so.
I write this as a reminder to us all that as we face the junk of this world and the enemy of our soul, Jesus has already made a strong statement. “These are Mine, I have them and you can never touch them ever again.” Remember, Jesus has made a declaration of ownership over us and that cannot be changed, ever. So, lift your chin and walk with a little swag. We belong to the Great I Am and no one or nothing can ever take us away from Him.
Please pray.Please pray for the family of Denise Eller’s best friend, Darlene. Someone very close to Darlene’s family (named Steven) had been suffering from a gunshot wound and has now passed away. Please pray for family who is trying to get to Indiana from Florida and pray for Denise as she tries to comfort Darlene.
Please pray.Just got a call today for Mendy Rodeffer. She got stung by a wasp and her hand is swelling up. Also pray for Caroline Rodeffer as she has a bone test today.
There are few things scarier to someone than hearing the C word. As soon as you hear that word come from a doctor’s lips you cannot help but go to the worst-case scenario. It’s the understanding that something is growing in your body and if it isn’t treated it will take your life. I’m not sure if there is another feeling like it.
I would like to say that followers of Jesus are immune to such things, but we all know that is not true. We have many brothers and sisters in our own body that have and are suffering with this battle. Now the amazing thing is that the majority recognized immediately that they are not alone. I can only speak for myself when I tell you that the presence of my Lord enveloped me and gave me a peace that man cannot muster. Because for those of us that are facing this battle and have placed our trust in Christ, we know that Jesus has this.
My devotions reminded me of this once again in Psalm 62:1-2, “My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” These verses sound great in our minds until we are brought to a point where we decide if we really believe these words or do they just make a great saying on a t-shirt.
You see when I heard the C word and the seriousness, I can promise you I immediately went into search mode for the voice of my God as many of you have done in such situations. At that point, I had to decide what I believe about my Savior. Is He my rock, my stronghold? In all transparency, I was shaken a little, but I do not believe that I was greatly shaken. I decided way before the C word ever came to light that I believe and trust what the Lord has and will do for me. That stake in the spiritual ground helps me to this day walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
I write this blog because the Lord gave me a chance to speak to a young woman that has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Her words to me were that she had to get back to church, she had to find hope. I promise you that as the Lord gives me the opportunity, I will make sure she finds that very thing. But she needs to understand that hope does not come in the form of a church, but only through the blood of Jesus the Christ.
Oh family, can you cry out with certainty that the Lord Jesus is your rock and your stronghold? You don’t have to wait for tragedy to strike, you can have that confidence even today. Just call upon the great and awesome name of Jesus. He still hears and He still rescues. Because of Him, we shall never be greatly shaken.
- In all of my life’s troubles and joys I have found solace in Psalms 23 (New American Standard Bible, 1971/1995) The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Although we often read this passage at funerals it is not meant for those who have passed. On the contrary, the psalmist David wrote it as an encouragement and a reminder to those of us alive and still struggling with the joy, pain, suffering, and problems of this life. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, The Good Shepherd is here to help, watch over, and walk us through every aspect of life and then when our time has come; He will take us on home into the rest of our eternal life to be home forevermore with God. Amen, praise the Lord! Just like you said, brother, we have a blessed hope we can only find in Jesus Christ that we are told about one of many places and also in Hebrews 13:5-6 (New American Standard Bible, 1971/1995), Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN *[or any disease]* DO TO ME?” *[phrase added by ~ CGW]*
- Thank you, Bruce, for this reminder.
- Good morning OTH! I asked pastor if I could post this and he said sure….. I am riding Pelotonia again this year. What is Pelotonia you ask? It is an annual bicycling event to raise money for cancer research. This is an excellent organization that has raised over $220 million for cancer research in about 14 years. I am asking you to sponsor me. Because they have funding to support themselves, every penny you give goes straight to cancer research and is tax deductible! You can’t beat that. We have all been affected by cancer in some way. Please give generously. I am including my rider profile. All you have to do is go to my profile and click to give to my ride! Thanks! https://www.pelotonia.org/profile/JC0415Pelotonia | ProfilePelotonia is a community that is determined to see an end to cancer. Together, we've saved countless lives. Help us save more.www.pelotonia.org
There is a great desire among people to be known for being strong. Even as kids we desired to be strong, usually for self-preservation from bullies and for bragging rights. Today in the gyms you see guys posing in the mirrors checking out their looks to see if they have grown any muscles in the two minutes they’ve been lifting.
The idea of strength is not just for guys. Gals also want to be known as being strong. It may be a different kind of strength. The strength to be self-reliant and to finish tasks others say that a woman can’t do.
When the Bible speaks of us being strong it is something entirely different. In the Bible, our strength comes from the realization that we are not strong, and we are to run to Jesus. We do not have to face temptation alone, nor do we have to face our fears, our failures, or our pain alone.
David was one of the fiercest warriors in the Bible and yet we will read in his Psalms that he constantly ran into the stronghold of his God. He realized at an early age that he was not strong enough to face any of his enemies without his Lord.
These days there seems to be a lot of fear among people. I think it is because they have come to the harsh reality that we are not in control of anything in this world and at a moment’s notice it can all be taken away. But, for the follower of Jesus, we can be strong because we find our strength not in ourselves, but in the God of all creation because He is on the throne.
Psalm 31:24, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.”
This blog is reposted from March 2020.