Archive for May, 2012

Remembering

Dear friends,
I am writing from our Rock county property this morning. I can see the sun on the water, and it is a pretty sight. I sometimes wonder why people travel far and wide to see beautiful scenery, when many times it is right outside the front door?
Last week was pretty hectic, so I’m glad for a day to take a few minutes to enjoy this place.
As we celebrated the Memorial Day holiday, I thought about those of my family, friends, and acquaintances who have died this past year. Most have been well up in years, some not so old. The holiday was originally to remember those who had fallen in battle while serving our country. It has lost some of its meaning over the years, in that many now see it as another day to head for the lake, or wherever else they get their recreation.
Last week, I was privileged to participate in a graveside service honoring a friend of my mom’s. This lady was 91, and had been an army nurse during WWII. As I watched and listened to the American Legion part of the service, I was touched, and reminded once again of those many who have served, and those who continue to do so.
In the “Our Daily Bread” devotional for Memorial Day, there was a diary entry from Oswald Chambers mentioning the battlefield death of a young solder. It read as follows: ” And so Ted Strack has ‘gone to be with Jesus.’ That is just how he would have put it . . . . [He] was a rough beauty of nature and of grace, a fearless, loveable little saint. Thank God for every remembrance of him . . . . So they are gathering one by one.”
So they are gathering one by one. As I read this sentence, I rejoiced that Christians from all ages, be they soldiers or citizens, are being gathered one by one, as they are taken home to heaven, where we all will gather some day.
Will you be there? There is a way to know for sure. Scripture says, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 9:10, 13).

Remembering and rejoicing,
Pastor Jerry

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In The Spirit’s Power

Hi again,
It’s time for another weekly update. I’m trying to take a little time to “smell the roses”, but other important things keep popping up. I suppose I’ll catch a glimpse of the roses now and then. There may be some material from the archives in this letter over the next few weeks. I’ll try to keep from repeating myself too much.
Last week, I managed to get some of our noxious weeds sprayed. The wind blew hard enough to keep us from putting the boat on the lake, but we were able to get some fishing done from shore with some success. I also noticed the wood ticks are active. They keep trying to hitch a ride with me.
During those windy days at the lake, I spent a little time watching the birds fly around the place. It’s a pretty common sight in most places, but how often do we think about what is going on as they sail through the sky?
It’s not just the bird up there making its way in its own strength, there is an unseen force that allows that bird to fly. That force is air, or wind.
In somewhat the same way, God’s Holy Spirit, although unseen, lifts up the Christian and allows him or her to rise to spiritual heights that would be impossible otherwise.
Jesus compared the work of the Holy Spirit to the wind: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). We read in the Bible of the Holy Spirit moving people, and guiding them. The scriptures were written by men who were inspired by the Spirit to record the very words of God.
In the book of Acts, we read of the Spirit’s empowering of the apostles, allowing them to speak in other languages, in order to spread the Word among the people.
Although unseen, the Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin (John 16:8), and convinces them to seek God’s forgiveness, leading them to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit controls the believer and enables him to understand the words of the Bible. Paul writes, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12).
So, the next time you see an eagle or a hawk soaring above the earth, remember the invisible force that keeps them suspended in space, and may it remind you of the unseen power of the Holy Spirit, who enables Christian to “soar on wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).

In Him,
Pastor Jerry

Temporary Blessings

Dear friends and family,
It’s looking like a great spring day here. I wonder if we might be past the danger of frost? Everyone seems to be outside, getting the things done we looked forward to all winter. I’m pretty sure that by fall, we’ll be ready to put away those lawn mowers and other tools for another season.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I trust you took the time to honor your mothers properly, and to honor the memories of those moms who are no longer with us. I remember my own mother saying “every day is Mother’s day.” I’m not sure that was a positive statement…
Also, congratulations to all those who graduated from high school and college these last few weekends. May you look to the Lord for his guidance, as you travel down the path of life.
Here is a thought that came to me a few days ago: After my mom’s funeral service, there were several arrangement of flowers left at the church. I really do like flowers, and Milrae spent quite a bit of time taking out the wilted ones, and rearranging the rest, so they might look nice as long as possible. However, as I watched them wilt and fade, I couldn’t help thinking of the words of scripture.
From Isaiah 40:8… “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” As we try to keep these things looking nice, we know that at the end they are temporary, at best. That is why Jesus instructed his followers to store up treasure in heaven. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
It is good to remember that the things of this earth are temporary, but the things of heaven are eternal. Let’s be about storing up treasures in heaven, while we enjoy the temporary blessings here.

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry
lakecitynews@nctc.net

Flee From Danger

Hello everyone,
It’s a beautiful spring morning. As I write this from Lake George, there is a family of Canada geese outside my window. There are six goslings, and of course, their parents. I’ll be here today for some personal renewal, along with some mowing and other chores. Tomorrow I’ll be on the road, starting the process of finishing up Mom’s affairs. Then back to Ericson to pick up the regular schedule.
Thanks to all for your prayers and support this last week. Thanks to all our church family and other friends for helping make the memorial service go smoothly. May God bless each of you in a special way.
As I sit at watching these geese, I have noticed that every now and then, one of the parents will give an alarm, and they all race toward the water and safety. The parents are teaching the young ones to flee from danger. I don’t know what danger they sense, but obviously they are teaching their young the proper response to any threat to their safety.
I’m reminded by this of scriptures that warn Christians to stay away from temptation: “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:16); “Flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14).
In regard to making the love of money rule our lives, Paul wrote this, “But you, man of God, flee from all this…” (1 Timothy 6:11). In his second letter to Timothy, Paul says, “Flee the evil desires of youth..” (2 Timothy 2:22).
As Christians, we need to be aware of our enemy, the devil. The apostle Peter describes him as a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” What are we to do? “Be self-controlled and alert” (1 Peter 5:8).
We will be tempted. Flight is the best response. Waiting around to see if there is really any danger can be deadly.

Blessings,
Pastor Jerry