Archive for May, 2017

Memorial Day

The Memorial Service held Sunday at Lake Ericson was well attended, and kudos go to those who helped in any way. I won’t give names, because you know who you are, and I would miss someone. The program was followed by root beer, or orange floats. Yummy!

Memorial Day is one of those holidays that for many people, has lost some of its meaning. In the beginning, it was to honor fallen soldiers. At some point, deceased family members began to be included in the tradition. These days, for lots of people, it has become just another long weekend to spend at the lake, or the campground. The time is spent drinking adult beverages, and eating barbeque, probably with little or no thought of how we acquired the freedoms we are enjoying.

Attending a service such as the one held Sunday afternoon here at the lake, reminds us once again, of the blessings we experience living in the United States of America. Regardless of your view of current politics, this is still the best country in the world, bar none!

Honoring those who have served, and are serving our country, should be a priority for everyone. After all, it is their sacrifice that secured and preserved our freedom. In addition, much of whatever peace exists in the world today, is the result of America’s military strength and presence around the globe.

To repeat scripture shared at the service this afternoon, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Many are those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and their countrymen.

Ultimately, peace will come to the earth when Christ returns as conquering King. For now, we are indebted to the peacekeepers in our military. May God bless and protect them, as they serve.

Some of you will read this after Memorial Day has passed; even so, would you say a prayer for our military personnel everywhere in the world? Thank you.

God bless America!
Pastor Jerry

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Be Wise

After I posted the word monsoon on Facebook this week, one of my friends said they heard I was stockpiling pallets of gopher wood. There is no truth to that rumor. First of all, my name is not Noah, and second, the rainbow promises God will not send another flood (sorry). We did get a fair amount of rain, though, and I’m certain at some point, we will be wanting more. One thing is sure, God will provide for our needs.

Sunday, I was privileged to preach at a church up the road. The drive to and from there was quite enjoyable. It was good to see the hills turning green, and the valleys well-watered. I am always amazed at the way God works. The scripture text for my message this week was Proverbs 4:5; “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.” When I walked into the church, I picked up the bulletin and across the top were these words: Get Wisdom, Get Understanding. How cool is that?

I may as well share some highlights of that message with you. If you were there for it in person, you may skip this part.

There seems to be a lack of common sense in our world today. The Bible word would be wisdom. I believe one reason for this is that we are looking for wisdom in the wrong place. Secular thinking considers wisdom to be one of two things. One would be that wisdom is simply the art of learning how to succeed in life. The second, is that wisdom is a philosophical study of the essence of life.

Wisdom from the Bible’s perspective involves observation and instruction, but it really begins with God and one’s faith in Him as Lord and Savior. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” There is no lack of knowledge these days, but precious little wisdom, it seems.

From Proverbs 2:6, we read, “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” And our opening text: “Get wisdom, get understanding… Wisdom is supreme; therefore, get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:5-7).

Finally, a New Testament reference to wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

Be wise,
Pastor Jerry

Seeing Him

The 4th annual fishing derby was held at Lake Ericson on Saturday. Except for some windy conditions, it was a good day, with some nice fish being caught.

Last week, we were thinking about having limited eyesight. I want to continue that thought today, but from a different perspective. Let’s think about that moment when we see Jesus in person for the first time.

The Bible teaches me the following truths.

Believers will see Him in his beauty. “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
Isaiah tells the believing person, “Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar” (Isaiah 33:17).

I will see Him in person. Job said this concerning God: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me” (Job 19:25-27)!

When we who believe see Him, we will be like Him.
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

Everyone will see Him
From Revelation 1:7; Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

Glory and praise will be His
Psalm 72:19… Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.
Psalm 86:9… All the nations You have made will come and worship before You, O Lord; they will bring glory to Your name.
Psalm 97:6… The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.
Psalm 102: 15… The nations will fear the name of the Lord; all the kings of the earth will revere Your glory.

Proclaiming Him,
Pastor Jerry

Now I See

It is sunny, windy and warm as I write this. This is a drastic turnaround from last week. The snow is gone; the flowers have mostly recovered. The new grass seedlings in our back yard have responded well to all the moisture and the cool temperatures. As of this time, it seems spring is here for real.

Due to some corrective surgery on my eyelids this week, I have a renewed appreciation for sight and good vision. Having spent two-and- a-half days being unable to see, I have a tiny hint of the challenges of not being able to see. First, there is a sudden and complete dependency on others. Someone needs to take your hand and lead you to wherever you are going. And, it is soon discovered that your sense of direction and distance are completely gone.

Try getting up in the middle of the night blind-folded, and find the bathroom on your own. Now there is an eye-opener, so to speak. I was sure I was headed to the bathroom I normally use. As I was feeling my way along the wall, my lovely wife said, “What are you doing?”

“Going to the bathroom”, I answered, somewhat offended. “Well, you are headed into my bathroom,” she said. Sure enough. It turns out I cannot even find the bathroom without sight. I am happy to report that I now have the blinders off, and I can find my own way just fine, thank you!

Spiritual blindness is something that affects many people. The result of this is a loss of direction. The person is stuck in sin, with no sense of the right direction, or even where to turn for help. We are prone to take wrong turns, end up in places we had no intention of being, and our life is just confusion, helplessness, and hopelessness.

There is a story in the Bible of a man born blind and healed by Jesus. We read about it in John 9. The religious leaders did not believe his story. They called him in and asked how he was healed. He said Jesus did it. Disbelieving, they brought him in again, and tried to get him to deny that it was Jesus. His answer was classic. “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

To that I can only add, AMEN!
Pastor Jerry

On Springtime

My mom used to recite this little ditty. “Spring has sprung; the grass has riz; I wonder where the flowers is?” The answer to the question this weekend was pretty obvious; they were buried under the snow. On a positive note, if April showers bring May flowers, we should be in for a treat in the coming days.

Here in our area, we have had to deal with some inclement weather over the last few day, but it is in no way as serious or destructive as what the south and southeast has experienced. Those torrential rains and tornadic activity are much more destructive than our rain and snow. Please pray for those who suffered the loss of family members and property.

In times like this, people will question whether God knows or cares what happened. The answer is, yes He knows and cares. The harder question to answer is, why does He allow these things to occur? To answer that question, one has to go all the way back to Genesis Three.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God’s perfect world was broken. Romans 8:22 tells us, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” This is because of the Fall.

The Lord Jesus to expect these things: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 12:33).

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…, all things were created by Him and for Him, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:15).

Let’s remember, even in times of trial and suffering, that He has made all good things. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

Storms come, but He also makes the sunshine and flowers. A good thing to remember this week. Give thanks for His goodness.

In His love,
Pastor Jerry