Archive for the ‘New Year’ Category

Cold Memories

A week ago, it was 25 below zero. It has been some time since it was that cold. I remember, just before Christmas in 1983, we had a cold spell that stayed well into January. On top of that, we had a lot of snow that drifted almost every day. It was a test for men, machines and livestock. I’m glad I don’t have to face that again, and I pray for those who do.

This sticks in my mind, partly because of what happened on that Christmas eve. Our neighbors had gone Christmas shopping with their young kids, and made it back to the school house, which was about a half-mile west of our place. It was 20 below zero with a vicious wind-chill. I don’t remember exactly how, but I was able to get in touch by phone with them and offered to bring them to our house. I took the tractor and snow-blower and went to get them. The wind was filling our tracks with snow as fast as we made them, but we made it safely. Our two families then spent all night together.

At 1:00 AM, I woke to find the power had gone off, and went to the shop to get a tractor to power our generator, only to find the tractor’s alternator had a bad bearing. Neighbor Dave held the light and I changed that bearing in record time. Did I mention it was very cold that night? We did get the stand-by generator connected and stayed warm the rest of the night. It was definitely a Christmas to remember. Others have their own memories of that winter.

In those years on the ranch, as I look back, there were many times things worked for good in the middle of some really stressful times. Each one was a reminder of God’s faithfulness to his people, even when they don’t immediately recognize it.

The Psalms speak much of the faithfulness of God. Here are some verses:
“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations (Psalm 89:1). The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones (Psalm 89:5).

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:5).

Happy New Year,
Pastor Jerry

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Thoughts On a New Year

The New Year is upon us. Everyone always asks, where did the time go? The answer is, it moved along as it always does. Time doesn’t stop or slow down, it is steady and constant. We all get 24 hours in a day, seven days a week, and so on.
The problem is that most of us don’t use our time wisely. I would not volunteer the information that I am a time waster, but sadly, it is the truth. Having said that, I will promote the idea that we should all commit to better use of our time in the coming year.
Our prayer should be the same as the psalmist: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Wisdom comes from God and His Word. Most of us have to work to make a living, but outside of work and even sometimes in our work, we waste time. If we could just identify the time-wasters in our lives and turn those times to the study of God’s word, how much wiser we would be.
Again, in the Psalms, we are reminded, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding” (Psalm 111:10). And in Proverbs 9:10—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Wisdom is a dominate theme in the Book of Proverbs. Here are a few examples. “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:10). “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse” (Prov. 2:12). “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding” (Prov. 3:13). One more from Proverbs, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them” (Prov. 4:5).
A favorite passage of mine is this: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).
Can we put our wasted time to better use? How about beginning a daily time of Bible reading this year?
Happy New Year,
Pastor Jerry