From The Pastor’s Desk

Un-Winterized Spiritually

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. - Philippians 4:11

Several weeks ago, I humorously posted this verse as my Facebook status in-lieu of the subzero temps which we were experiencing here in central Indiana. After all, this is the “sunny south” compared to the “frigid ice box” where we were living before, right? As most people who know me would tell you, winter, is not my favorite time of year. I am one who enthusiastically enjoys the glorious rays of sunshine and warm summer breeze’s. I long for the perspiring dog days of August, where you can almost fry an egg on the sidewalk or watch a fish floating by because of the humidity. Well ok, not really that bad, but I do love hot weather. After posting that verse, reading and hearing many other likeminded comments, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about the similarities between winter and our spiritual lives. Yes, I do not care for frigid temps and so long for warmer days, but I can’t help to think about how much we, as a nation/people, have become soft. Stay with me, as I listen to the old timers talk about the winters of yesteryears, how they had snow a mile high, brain freezing arctic temperatures, frozen rivers and mountainous drifts that covered barns; I can’t help but wonder how far we have drifted, no pun intended. How un-winterized/soft we have become, after several decades of mild winters, here we are experiencing winter weather as it really should be, COLD and SNOWY, and we are in a panic. Now you may be asking, what does this have to do with our spiritual lives? I believe that if we’re not careful, we can become a people who are “un-winterized” spiritually. We can begin to desire the continual ease of spiritual summers and complain of the wintery hardships in their due season. We become too content with the soothing waves of the sea drowning away our guilt of a prayer-less life. We vacate our post to the beaches of idle luxury, so as not to face the trials and tribulations associated with the Christian life, unwilling to stand against the icy attacks of the enemy. Please don’t misunderstand me, as I said earlier I most definitely prefer summer time to winter, and spiritually, I’m not begging or longing for God to send me more tests, trials and tribulations. Yet in St. John 16:33, Christ states that we will face tribulation, just as the Father told Noah there will always be winter and summer, springtime and harvest (Gen. 8:22). These are facts of physical and spiritual life and they serve to make us a stronger person. It is with these thoughts that I look at this verse with a new perspective, a new understanding, in whatsoever state I am…to be content”. My prayer is, Lord help me to cherish the delightful days of spiritual summer and to patiently, pleasantly and prayerfully endure the wintery hardships of this life. May I praise Him in the valley as I do on the mountain tops! It is with this reminder that I leave you with, SPRING ALWAYS FOLLOWS WINTER!!!!  
Read more

Nothing Between In 2014

Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: Luke 18:22
As 2013 was coming to a close and looking forward to 2014, this song kept coming to mind:
Nothing between my soul and my Savior, Naught of this world’s delusive dream; I have renounced all sinful pleasure; Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between. Nothing between my soul and my Savior, So that His blessed face may be seen; Nothing preventing the least of His favor; Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.
Pondering over this song led me to a passage of scripture in Luke chapter 18, where a young man comes to Jesus desiring to have eternal life. Mark says that he came running and kneeled, desiring to be taught by the master. This young man desired the answer to the most important question anyone could ever ask, What must I do to have eternal life? I see Jesus sharing with him the demands of God, "Keep the commandments" and with excitement the young man responds: "All these have I kept from my youth up". It is then that Jesus looks upon him and declares, "Yet lackest thou one thing:"...forsake all and follow me. It is then that the young man departs sorrowful, instead of heeding and following after Christ as instructed, his love of his possessions come between him and eternal life. I can't help but wonder, how many have lived, are living a good life, trying to keep the commandments and yet lacking one thing. May our prayer and determination be this year, to let nothing, come between us and our Savior.
Read more