Archive for the ‘Pastor’s Notebook’ Category

April 2016 Pastor’s Newsletter

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

God’s Best and Blessings to each of you and those you love!

For the many blessings that I have received in our church, there is one thing for which I always give thanks to God: the people who are ALWAYS willing to give of themselves.  They just seem to naturally desire in being part of “Helping Others Become One In Christ”.

During this past year, one of our spiritual leaders, Carol Zeh, has been doing her part in teaching and guiding four of our young people in their preparation for CONFIRMATION on June 5th.  She has certainly helped each of them become more knowledgeable of God’s Holy Word, the Church, the importance of their Christian Walk, and taught them from the book, My Confirmation, by Thomas Dipko.

Abby Pincoe, Allison Gray, Connor Kirkner and Gary Gray will be confirmed, understanding they will become full members of our church and able to participate in making choices, (like all members) to the betterment of God’s plan for us.

In a book that my close friend, Bob Miller, gave me by R.C. Allen, he writes for all of us that every moment of our lives, we are creating thoughts that will produce either good or bad, happiness or misery, success or failure, war or peace,  and, of course, love over hate.

On June 5th, these four young people will be confirmed and their lives will be changed forever.  They are in the springtime of their Christian lives!  We, too, now have a choice in confirming change in our lives as we accept change in bringing Christ closer in our walk of faith.  May prayers continue to flow for our young people, as they grow in making choices that will bring them closer to God.

Blessings to the Confirmation Class of 2016 and THANK YOU CAROL. . .

Pastor Jim

March 2016 Pastor’s Newsletter

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

My friends in Christ,

I found an old fable that I first saw nearly 40 years ago.  Because Easter is only four weeks away (March 27th), this is a perfect time to share.

A good man died and went to heaven.  Before entering the heavenly gates, he asked the Keeper of the Gates if he could go down and visit hell for a couple of days.  Permission was granted.  He took the journey and was shocked when he arrived and looked around.

He saw huge banquet tables piled high with salads, fruit, multiple main dishes, desserts of many kinds and drinks to their liking.  The only problem was everyone was starving!  Yes, they had knives, and forks strapped to their hands and fingers, but they were six feet long an they could not reach their mouths.

The good man was shocked and immediately left for heaven.  Surprisingly when he arrived, he also saw huge banquet tables, piled high with salads, fruit, multiple main dishes, desserts and many different kinds of drink for their liking.  Yes, those observed also had knives and forks strapped to their hands and fingers and they were also six feet long.  Here it was not a problem, but a joy.  For everyone was healthy, well fed, laughing and enjoying the Good News of Jesus Christ.

So what was so different?  Well, the heavenly group, filled their plates, took time to give thanks to God for their food and then began to feed each other.

It is amazing, because the people of hell never gave a thought to helping each other. AND according to the fable, that is why they were down there in the first place.

Easter and the Easter Story of Jesus Christ is a time where we truly need to feed each other and fill each other with God’s Love and to nourish each other with God’s Word.  The true meaning of God’s Love for us , through His Son, is coming on Easter Morning.  I pray,  if you are able, that you will join us so that Our Lord can feed us and fill each of us.  Be strong in the Word of God…..

Blessings and God’s Love to you and yours,

Pastor Jim

February 2016 Pastor’s Newsletter

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Blessings to all of you in God’s LOVE through Jesus Christ Our Lord,

I received a gift when we arrived in Florida this past week and it was a “weekly journal” with a Bible verse for each day.  Running thru the pages, one verse stood out and it comes from Proverbs 17: 17:

“A FRIEND LOVES AT ALL TIMES” 🙂

Here in a Bible Concordance, I am reading that the word love is brought alive immediately following the word “lost”.  Mark 18 says that once we were lost, but now found.  And to be found for me is in reading from John 13 where we need to  learn more about loving one another.

It still amazes me in life that we seem to be lost and can only find love in those who agree with us.  Jesus says for all to trust and believe that “He is the way”.  Now, if we are to believe this, then understand that we will never be lost, for the Love of Jesus Christ  will always show us the way.

At a Gospel Concert last night, one of the vocalists said (with the happenings of the  Iowa Caucus going on) that he will never be politically correct, but prays to always be “Biblically Correct”.  To me that is love, where the Bible stands taller than any mountain  and the love of God encompasses us all.

During a church service on Sunday morning, the Pastor said that if we are to have hope, then we need to not be “stuck” in unproductive areas of our lives.  His meaning was different from mine, for I truly feel that we need to un-stick ourselves from sin and from bad habits. We need to stop trying to keep up with whomever and to start being ourselves and truly love one another.

For each of us, if there is to be hope, is it possible that on February 14th, our meaning of Valentine’s Day may be to be a loving friend to all people?  Look around–who needs your love?

And speaking of love, my thanks to each of you where, in your own ways, you allowed your love for the Busby family and the Faris family to come alive in remembering their loved ones.  What a friend we have in Jesus and what a friend we had in Jerry and Al.

May God’s Peace be yours to share in Christ,

Pastor Jim

January 2016 Pastor’s Newsletter

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Blessings to you and your loved one,

Giving to God, His Will and His Time over my will and my time is my New Year’s resolution.  I have found that my time is different than His and His Will is what sustains me.  And too, I am learning more every day that living according to the Lord’s Time Table will give me a more productive and satisfying life.

R.C. Allen wrote that when you spend a few (MORE) minutes with God, you increase your peace of mind.  And when you rely on Him and let His Will and His Laws direct you, most everything in your lives will be easier to control and smoother to accept.

DZHENOU——- for 2016, I pray that you will challenge yourselves in making sure that in making your New Year resolutions, you can answer the question, DOES HE KNOW YOU? (DZHENOU).  I promise if you just give Him an extra 5 – 10 minutes each day, learning of Him, you will better understand yourselves and your place in His Kingdom.  May God bless your year.  In all you do, serve the Lord with Gladness.

“Go now in Peace, never be afraid,

God will be with you each hour of every day*.”

Come and join us as we grow stronger in God’s Love.

Wishing you God’s Peace and His Love for you to share,

Pastor Jim

(*excerpt from “Go Now in Peace”, by Don Besig and Nancy Price)

June 2015 Pastor’s Newsletter

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Blessings to you and those you love in Christ,

The month of June is always special to me for it is one time a year that we honor our fathers.  My dad was a very special person at home and at work.  He was well respected in Stow and surrounding cities for 28 years as the Electrical Inspector.  He left his mark by being a great father and role model.  And too, he will always be remembered as a gentleman who treated all people as equals.  He treated them with respect and was always willing to turn a cheek, so as not to become part of a problem or confrontation.

My dad, like yours, I pray, taught my three sisters and me that we would have a choice in life.  He said in his own way that when being confronted with  Goliath-sized  problems, that we could either respond saying that the problem was too big to hit, or like David in the Old Testament felt, that these giant problems–  like Goliath–were too big to miss.

Yes, in life you and I will find many Goliath size problems, and it is time to begin understanding that God the Father is bigger than any problem set before us.  In “God’s Little Instruction Book” it is written that the only fool bigger than the person who knows it all is the person who argues with him.

Paul writes in Second Corinthians 6 that it is Jesus who reminds us that HE WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU AND TO ME, AND THAT WE WILL BE HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS.  Now is the time to proclaim ourselves as “Children of God” and reference HIM as OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN.

Blessings to each of you,

May 2015 Pastor’s Newsletter

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Greetings and God’s Love to you and those you love,

Because of a lady who sits in the back row each Sunday for my  four years with you, I have referred to calling our church, “God’s House. ”  We have shared, and the honor continues, in calling The Community Church of Stow our home.

In Psalm 90:1 , we learn in hearing the words, “Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.”

Life is truly different in the many houses, homes and churches that we visit.  An example is the house of CEO Bill Gates.  In his new home, you will receive an electronic pin to clip to your clothing.  The pin identifies who and where you are and is programmed with your interests and taste, as the article explained.

He explained that when you walk from room to room, the house adapts to your likes and dislikes.  The temperature changes to your needs of comfort and the music that you have chosen will follow you with each step.  Digital images that you want to see on each wall will appear and vanish as you leave.  Yes it may be a great house, but Jesus Christ Our Lord, has given us a GREAT HOME to share His love;  a place for fellowship and meditation.

In our newly remodeled parlor is a picture of  stained glass   with  the words “HOME SWEET HOME.”  In God’s House, there is  NO NEED  for you to put on a Bill Gates pin.  But when you enter here in  God’s House, you will receive God’s Love .  It is a gift of love  that identifies you as one of His; programmed in helping your dislikes become God centered likes and a love that will never  vanish.  Christ is forever and yes YOU can come and Worship, knowing that His Home is given so that we can share His love together.

May there be a lasting peace in your homes.  May God’s LOVE be shared.

Blessings to each of you.

In the service of serving God’s people,

April 2015 Pastor’s Newsletter

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Dear  FRIENDS  IN  CHRIST,

In reading a story by Thomas D. Lea about a movie projector, I changed a few paragraphs and wanted to share my story with you:

It has now been eight months since I lost, or misplaced, the BIBLE that I have been using and referencing since  my early ministry in 1965.  It was perfect because the pages were written for me and they worked.  (I hope you feel that way about your Bibles!) The only problem is that for many years, I didn’t use it.  When I tried to do things on my own, the message was totally clear–without Christ and without His Word,  I WAS LOST.

In the late ‘70’s, I took another look at that black bound leather “BOOK” and found a note in it that read:  Before you try it your way, try mine.  Signed, Jesus……

Looking further I found another note that said to read  First John 4: 7-8 and learned right away that “God is Love.”  Then another note that said, go  back to the Old Testament and read First Chronicles 4: 9–10.  This prayer  answers  prayer!!!!!!!

In your Bibles are the words from John 3:16:  For God so loved the world that He gave to us, His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him, would not perish, but have everlasting life. They relate directly to Easter.  For with these words, what was once lost may be found.  It is time to look and find your Bibles again.  Take four minutes a day in scripture and watch how fast Christ finds you. Yes, I was lost and with Christ, I have been found and given a second chance.  I am looking forward to sharing GOD’S LOVE with you, for He HAS RISEN!

March 2015 Pastor’s Newsletter

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Good day and blessings to you, during this Lenten Season,

 I am not a lover of reading, outside my reading, in preparation for Sunday mornings.    BUT,  every once in awhile, I find a book that catches my attention and the book, What Love Is,  is one of them.  I found it in a collection of nearly 900 books  that were given to me many years ago.

  In the book, written by  Kelly Minter,  I agree with her  that we need to spend more time in the readings from the three Epistles of  John.  They are instructions of loving one another and give to future generations assurance and confidence in the Living God.

 John, the Apostle of Love, wrote, “God is Love and if we do not know love, we do not know God.”

 To love is to obey!  And loving the Lord and loving His Church means that we need to also love one another. . . I vow to you that I will re-read the Three Epistles during Lent and hope that you will do the same.  Just in reading First John, in the last chapter, my prayer is that you will be filled with LOVE, HOPE  and  the FREEDOM  that you may have not known.

 Kelly Minter writes that, “Jesus is the reason  that  we know what love is. “   Jesus is truth and we are the blessed ones, who have received His Blessings. 

 This Lenten Season we will focus on His Love for us and the Beatitudes , which were  a code of ethics for the disciples and are a standard of conduct for you and for me.  In all things and in all ways, let us love and be givers of His Love to others.

 As it is written, we must be willing to give, when others take, to love when others hate and to be a help when others abuse.  It is time to come back to YOUR church and grow with us in love , remembering that Jesus lives and He is living for each of us. 

 Looking forward to see you here in His House on Sunday.

God’s best to all of you.

February 2015 Pastor’s Newsletter

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Good day and blessings to you and those you love,

 This is the perfect time of year to come back to YOUR Church on Pilgrim Drive.  Yes, we are growing.  And yet, there are many of you whom I have never met.  Hopefully, all is well.  I  pray during this season to have  the honor to meet and Worship with you.

 In our Lenten readings from both The Gospels of Mark and John, we hear Jesus express an important truth about life and the ability to face death.  Mark 8, for example, reminds us in the 35th verse, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel, will save it.”

 Yes, Jesus wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and let Him direct our path and our journey of faith.  Remember please:  Following the Light of Jesus and believing during  any season, will lead to Life Eternal with Him.  (Honestly, it doesn’t get any better than that!)

 On the 18th, we will begin our Lenten Season with our Ash Wednesday Service.  Lent begins with a solemn call to repentance as we begin our journey to the Baptismal Waters of Easter.  This service will be different from our past.  I do hope that it will be in God’s plan that you join with us during this service and this  season of renewal and reflection. 

 May the Light of Christ shine on you always. 

 Go Now in Peace.

January 2015 Pastor’s Newsletter

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Blessings  and God’s Love to you in this New Year.

 I was reminded of a story from the book, A SAVIOR FOR ALL SEASONS by William Barker, who wrote of a story of a bishop from the east coast.  His mission was to visit a small college and stay at the home of the college president, who also served as professor of physics and chemistry.

After dinner, the bishop declared that the millennium could not be far off, because just about everything had been discovered and all inventions had been complete.  But the young college president politely disagreed and said there would be many discoveries and the president declared, within 50 years, man will be able to fly.

The bishop said, “Nonsense!”  He added then with a smirk, “Only angels are intended to fly.”

But unknown to the Bishop the president of the college had a vision.  A vision not for himself, but a vision that would include the bishop and it came true.  You see, we are talking about Bishop Wright, whose sons were  Orville and Wilbur. 

Do you have a vision for the new year?  I truly have a vision for each of you:  that you’ll follow the readings from John 15: 9.  Here, Jesus is saying,  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love  and obey my commands.”  And my vision is to pray fully that we can continue to grow, seeing Christ in all acts of kindness and love,  in such a way that we will  go forth and Help Others Become One In Christ.

From my family to yours—

Great  Year—

Good Health—

and God’s Love to you and yours in 2015