Archive for October, 2013

September 2013 Pastor’s Newsletter

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Good morning and answered prayers of God’s Love to you,

My wife knows my routines very well.  She especially knows for many years, even before it became “popular”, I begin my day by including the “Prayer of Jabez,” in my morning devotions (OT-1 Chronicles 4: 9 – 10).

We don’t know much about Jabez.  But we do know that he was more honorable than his brothers.  He was of a clan of Judah, the leadership clan of the House of Israel.  The neat thing is that he was from the ancestry of Judah, the same as David and yes, the same as Our Lord.

So why has it captured the attention of thousands of Christians around the world?  Probably because it is both basic and profound that Jabez was praying for himself, but it was never a selfish prayer. He wanted, I think, for God to use him and not in just ordinary ways.  I truly believe that he asked God to enlarge his vision that he might see how BEST God would use him.  God has a plan for you and for me and I pray that this is the year you’ll be a part of God’s vision for our church, by joining us and being an active part.

Our Sunday School teachers have worked very hard and now are prepared to help people of all ages, so that we can grow.  Our Choirs have prepared well to bring God’s love with music.  With  our  active attendance, all of us are prepared with God’s help to enlarge our place, as the prayer reminds us, so we too can grow.

Prayer works and God is listening.  Take time out and join us; take time and surround yourselves with God’s Love.

Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.’ So God granted him what he requested.”

August 2013 Pastor’s Newsletter

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Good day and God’s LOVE  to you and yours in Christ,

In the weeks ahead, our journey during our Sunday morning services will continue through the Gospel of Luke.  As we pause in the thirteenth chapter, Jesus is using illustrations of what the Kingdom of God is like.  We’re told that the Kingdom of God is within us.  Just as the ability to show kindness to one another and to love one another is within us, so is the Kingdom of God.

Do you remember the parable of the mustard seed (verse 18)?  Jesus said in that parable that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which man took and planted in his garden and which grew and became a tree.   I am wondering, if the Kingdom of God is truly within us, shouldn’t our goal-setting be unlimited, spreading endlessly, as Christ uses the mustard seed in the parable?

As great as that potential is, many will not be willing to enter into the Kingdom of God by the narrow gate.  You see, entering by the narrow gate is truly and sincerely desiring to learn more about Christ, to know Jesus, to diligently strive to follow him regardless of the cost.  Are you up for it?  I am and pray that you are, too.

On a submarine, the doorways are very short and narrow, requiring those who choose to go from area to area to go one at a time.  I picture this when I think of the narrow gate.  We have a requirement, don’t we, to want more and more Jesus Christ in our lives.  The more we have, the more we want, the more we strive no matter the cost, the more we spread the Good News to others, the more we have…. It’s an endless circle that only ends at the Kingdom of God.

For me, and maybe for you too, it begins with love.  For with our determination to welcome the Messiah completely into our lives, entering into the Kingdom of God is much easier, I think, if we love one another as Christ loves us.  And as I was reminded, Jesus is calling all of us  today to a total commitment of our lives to Him.  And the reason is simple, BECAUSE A CASUAL ACQUAINTANCE WITH CHRIST WILL NOT WORK.

What is your potential?  What are your dreams?  What is your focus?  I promise you’ll see your potential more clearly, have doors opened to your dreams, and find a focus worthy of a committed Christian if you open your heart and mind to Jesus Christ.

Looking forward in the name of God’s Love to meet you Sunday mornings.

June 2013 Pastor’s Newsletter

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Good morning  and blessings to you and yours,

I love the Psalms because  at least half of them are classified as prayers of faith in times of trouble and need for protection. (I need that insurance, don’t you?)

In an outline, found in my Bible that I have continually used for 48 years, half of these Psalms come from Israel’s golden age about 1000 BC.

What stands out for me is that “head knowledge” is never enough, for our hearts need to be touched by God’s redeeming Grace.

My favorite Psalms are 23, 46, 55, 64, 95, 100, 125,  and parts of so many more.  Which ones are your favorites?  Let me know and I will build a sermon around them this summer.

Knowing that summer is here I will be praying for the safety, protection, and the times that you have fun here or wherever you travel.  I pray this for all of you, with God’s LOVE to our congregation, our visitors, their families and friends.  In relation to Psalm 125 there is much said about God as our protector.  In verse 2, it is written: “As  the mountains are around  Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people.” (You and me.)

Thousands  of years ago in Jerusalem, the mountain range was looked upon as a safe place of protection.  It referred to the city as an oasis so that you could safely come, be refreshed, and be renewed.

Today, as we begin our time of refreshment and renewal and time for ourselves,  Jesus will be and wants to be your protector.  Know that for me the Bible was written “a week ago Tuesday.”  (That  is a statement that I have used for 36 years and means our Bibles were written as much for today as from the beginning of time.)

My prayer is that you will continue to be active in the life of Stow Community Church.  I pray that you will remember that our church is a safe place to come and worship and know that God’s love is  ALIVE . . .

Come and worship ! Come and know God’s Love,

Your Pastor and friend in Christ,

Pastor Jim