Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Life Flight Thoughts

Hello all,
We all know life takes unexpected turns. At this time last week I found myself In the ICU at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. After a week of reflection, and I don’t think this will be the end of it, I have some new perspectives. And I feel the need to share some of those. For a little background, I had some symptoms that concerned me, we called the ambulance, and I was taken to the Ord Hospital. From there, I got a direct flight on a helicopter to Kearney, and was sent straight to the operating room. The doctor determined at that time, I didn’t need immediate surgery, and admitted me.

My condition is called an “aortic dissection”, which means there is a separation between the walls of the aorta. It is a serious condition, and can be fatal. The good news is it can be treated with medication. For once, I noticed something about myself that wasn’t quite right and acted upon it.

During the short flight (23 minutes) to Kearney, I had time for some conversation with God. Was I concerned? Yes, but in the midst of that was a peace. I told the Lord if this is going to be the end of my earthly journey, I was okay with it. I was ready to go to glory if that was his will. This, I believe is what Paul speaks of in Philippians 4. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). I experienced that peace there on that Life Flight helicopter in the darkness last Sunday night.

I pray each one who reads this already knows the peace that faith in Jesus Christ gives. I believe He took me to the edge, to show me I need not fear the unknown when I know Him as my Savior and Lord.

If you are unsure of your salvation, if you cannot confidently call heaven your home, I pray you will trust Jesus today. Because, as I was so clearly shown in the events of last Sunday, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation. If you have questions email me at

Blessings to all,
Pastor Jerry

Listen Closely

In our Sunday school discussion yesterday, the point was made that people need to listen to the Lord Jesus. When Jesus walked this earth, He told people to listen to His voice. Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand” (Matthew 15:10). At the transfiguration, the disciples present heard the voice of God saying, “This is my Son whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5).

In our day, we can read the words of Jesus in the Bible, but as Jesus was preparing to return the Father, he taught his disciples to listen to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. These are Jesus’ words: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:13-14).

Then, in Revelation, as Jesus speaks to John concerning the seven churches, we read these words. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). Seven times in 2 chapters, he repeats this command, and when anything in scripture is repeated that many times, we need to pay attention.

Believers in John’s day had to deal with background noise from the culture around them that demanded careful listening to know what the Spirit was teaching. It is the same for Christians today. We must listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying, because the background noise can drown out His voice.

Few are those today, who actually listen to the words and commands of Jesus. Even fewer are those who obey Him.

Again, the words of Jesus: “If you love Me, you will obey what I command…Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me” (John 14:15, 21).

Simply His,
Pastor Jerry

Lesson From a Leper

Dear readers.

Have you enjoyed these warmer days? Me, too. I suspect we had better appreciate them, because it is a long time until spring weather returns.

We’ve been working in the house this past week, getting some new cabinets installed in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to the day I can finally say, “it is finished,” and I can sit down, look out the window and really enjoy the view. Now for some thoughts on Thanks Giving.

In Luke’s gospel, we read a story about ten men with leprosy, who encounter Jesus. They called out to Him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” He told them to go and show themselves to the priests, and as they went, they were healed.

We are told that one of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back, threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him. It was noted in the text that he was even a Samaritan.

Jesus then asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? The only one to come and thank me is this foreigner.” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)

What made the one different? He noticed.

All ten were healed, but this Samaritan noticed. He returned to Jesus to give thanks for his healing. It’s hard not to say something, when something spectacular has happened.

Genuine thanksgiving is spontaneous, even involuntary—you recognize you have been blessed and can’t help but share your joy through thanksgiving.

By returning to Jesus, he is given a second gift. He leaves Jesus not only healed but also blessed in his own recognition of healing, blessed at being drawn into a deeper relationship with the one he thanks, blessed at hearing himself commended for having great faith.

That’s the way thanks-giving always works—in giving thanks for a gift given, we are blessed again.

Be grateful for blessings. That is called gratitude.

Be thankful, that is, give thanks for blessings of all sizes.

Notice your blessings. For those with eyes to see, God’s blessings are all around us. And as we give thanks for them, we notice even more and are blessed over and over.

In this season of Thanksgiving, are you thanking the Lord for His many blessings? After all, He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).

Praise Him,

Pastor Jerry

Wait Upon The Lord

We are at our “cabin” in Rock county this morning. I guess we will call it a mini-vacation. School is out for the summer, so we took a few days away from church duties. We are still going to be working around here, but it is with a different view. I need to include a short fishing report. We haven’t spent much time at it, but Alex and I have managed to catch a couple of fish. Nothing big, but at least we’ve had some action.

I know the next report may tempt some to the sin of envy, but we have recorded just over three and a half inches of rain since our arrival Saturday afternoon. I can’t remember the last time that happened! Maybe I should have taken time off sooner…

Rain reports indicate a wide discrepancy in amounts received in a given area. This might prompt someone to ask why did some people get inches of rain, and others only a few hundredths? I can’t answer that, except to say I believe God answers prayers, but in his way and in his time. Part of prayer is waiting for answers. The Psalmist wrote: “I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God.” Isaiah said, “Blessed are all who wait for Him.” Jeremiah, also wrote in Lamentations: “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”

So, if your part of the world hasn’t received as much rain as is needed, keep praying and waiting. As someone once said, we can’t control the weather, but we know the One who does. A verse of scripture I committed to memory many years ago, says this: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).

Blessings to all,

Pastor Jerry

Whose Prayers are Answered?

We have had our first snow of the season. There were only 3 or 4 inches, but it was wet and melted away fairly quickly. Thank you, Lord! Much more moisture is needed to return the land to normal. Please keep praying for rain.

Several days this week were spent cleaning out excess “stuff” from the ranch buildings. With the projected closing date nearing, we hope to be able to bring that part of our lives to a conclusion and move on. As mentioned in a previous column, change isn’t always easy, but change will come. It is up to us to make the best of it.

As I ask you to pray for rain, and as I believe we need also to pray for our country in this election year, there is a thought that I must share. We must understand that only God can answer prayer, and also, that he only answers the prayers of his children.

I realize I may be getting into controversial territory with this, but I believe the Bible confirms it.

In the Old Testament we read this: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Notice the requirements for God’s hearing their prayers: humility, confession of sin, repentance and seeking Him. Other conditions for answered prayer include obedience to God’s word, faith in the Lord and obedience to his word, among others.

There was a point in Israel’s history when they became so far removed from God, that he would not hear prayers on their behalf. (Jeremiah 7:16).

In John’s gospel, there is the story of a man whose blindness was healed by Jesus. To the Pharisees who disbelieved his story, the man said, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will” (John 9:31).

So, when we offer to pray for someone, or for a certain situation, we need to understand that God answers the prayers of his people. I’m not sure he answers the prayers of others, except the prayers of the one who prays to receive Jesus as his or her Savior.

God hears and answers the prayers of his children. Are you one of his?

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry