THINK ABOUT IT MOMENT — PASTOR'S CORNER

March 2020

The past couple weeks I’ve had those moments where I said, “God, I know you are faithful, but where are you?” Okay, let me be honest, it’s been a plethora of times.

It’s when you’re finally falling asleep in the hospital and they wake you to check your vitals. It’s the moment your food shows up and the Physical Therapist walks in and says, “Are you ready!” It’s the time at home and you have just done your exercises and you settle down in the chair, put the ice pack on the hip, and you remember you forgot to take your pill. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Maybe you have said like me, “God I know you are faithful, but where are you?”

Through it all I opened to the words of Jesus in Matthew 6: 28 – 33:
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. NIV

After reading Jesus’ words I began to change my focus. It seemed Jesus was saying to me, “God takes care of the flowers He will care for you! Open your eyes and see what God is doing! We are with you and caring for you.”

Then I remembered . . .
Those times in the hospital when I hit the call button and within moments a voice came on asking what I needed.
I remembered how careful my caregivers were when they would get me out of bed and prepare me to walk and do my exercises.
The morning they brought flowers to my room from my doctor.
I remembered the many visits that brightened my day while staying in the hospital.
Then when I was home . . .
How wonderful it was to hear Jean get up in the morning and begin to sing.
The cards or texts that came at a moment when I was feeling down.
How my neighbor came over every day to help me with my compression socks.
The visits of those who sat with me while Jean had to be somewhere.
The wonderful guidance of the physical therapists during my visits.
Suddenly I started seeing God each and every day!

YES! Jesus is with us. Watching over us. Caring for us. I just needed to begin to see what God was doing in my life! I have a ways to go, but I know “He takes care of the flowers and will take care of you!”

February 2020

The past several months have been overwhelming for Jean and I. The doctor appointments, blood tests every week, CT Scan, stress test, ultrasounds, bone marrow biopsy, and the diagnosis of Leukemia. Then finding out that my replaced hip needs to be replaced, and the cobalt from the deteriorated hip has poisoned my blood. May I say it’s been a little overwhelming. Over these months I’ve thought about the blind man (Luke 18) who happened to be along the road when he heard Jesus was coming. He cried out to Jesus saying, “Lord Jesus have mercy on me.”


We then find that Jesus stops and tells the people, “bring the blind man to me.” Can you imagine what the blind man was thinking as he took those steps to Jesus? Trusting those around him to guide him to the one he was calling to, and now was calling him. What a blessing it is when people guide us to Jesus!

Now, just days before my surgery I’m reminded of what seemed to carry me through the past months. It has been the many prayers that have carried me through each day, each test, each doctor visit, every blood test, and each diagnosis. The many prayers have carried me to the loving arms of Jesus who promises strength when we are weak, peace when we are overwhelmed, and promises to never leave or forsake us. Yes, “Our prayers are powerful in the hands of God!”

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer
and petition, with thanksgiving, present your 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 thank God for the wonderful privilege to pray for one another as we journey through life. I thank Jesus for his abiding presence and his promise to never leave or forsake us. I thank all of you for the many prayers, encouraging words, and smiles you’ve shared with not only me, but all those who are upon our hearts. Let us continue to connect our hearts with the heart of God!

Think about it!

Pastor Dennis

January 2020

What a wonderful Christmas day for Jean and myself! My son, Drew, his wife Kim, and son Calvin came to visit us. The table was filled with food, colorful plates and napkins, and of course there was a tray of sweet cookies. Ahhhhh scrumptious! We gathered at the table and gave thanks for the blessing of food and God’s wonderful gift of Jesus. What a wonderful time of fellowship we shared.

However, Calvin seemed to be in a hurry. He ate and began impatiently walking around. What was it? It didn’t take long until we found out that he wanted to open the gifts under the tree. With his instruction we gathered in the living room and watched Calvin. Wrapping paper was being thrown everywhere as the room was filled with laughter and smiles. Then Calvin opened his gift from us. The gift he was waiting for. His eyes opened wide and his smile went from ear to ear, and he held the binoculars to his eyes and began look-ng around.

It wasn’t long before Calvin and I walked outside with his binoculars strapped around his neck. We walked and talked as the sun was shining on this beautiful afternoon. We walked around the house and parking lot, looking through the binoculars at the trees and the mountains. It was a wonderful time as we walked together looking at all God’s creation. There seemed to be a closeness as we walked together.

At the end of the day I was thankful for our time together as a family. Especially those moments of walking with Calvin. It reminded me of how God longs to walk with us.
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6: 8

Read Psalm 23 . . . which is all about how God will be with us!The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Do you have those moments with God? Moments where you want nothing else but to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father. May we all walk humbly with God as we step into 2020!

Happy New Year!
Think about it!

December 2019

Well it’s confession time! I’ve had so much going on with trying to keep up with doctor visits, blood tests, ultrasounds, and just the daily commitments, that I finally had one of those days where it didn’t work out the way I had hoped and planned. I had planned on accomplishing two commitments in one day and take them both off my “has to be done list.” Guess what! It didn’t come together the way I planned. It was a few days too early to get the one test done and they wouldn’t do it even though it was a walk-in appointment. Looking at my calendar I became stressed with everything that “has to be done” in the coming weeks. The joy within seemed to be lost. How will I get it all accomplished? Have you been there?

With Christmas coming many schedules get filled, commitments with family, friends and church. Gradually, the joy of Christmas and celebrating the birth of Christ is lost in the busyness of all the activities. This needs to be done. Cards need to be sent. Gifts need to be purchased and wrapped. Plans being made for the meal and making sure you have everything you need. Cookies need to be baked, and a cake for this gathering. Let’s not forget the decorations. Then there’s the shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, and finding all the goodies for inside. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the activities. This should be a joyous time of preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ. Suddenly the joy of God’s presence in Christ is lost in the busyness of life.

That’s how I felt yesterday. My joy was gone! I was struggling! This morning I opened my Bible and read the following words from the Prophet Isaiah . . .
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41: 10

And then from Psalm 46: 1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Suddenly I grasped what was happening. I had lost my focus. I was looking at the busy-ness of the coming weeks, and not looking to the One who is my refuge and strength! Once my focus was on God my anxiety began to fade, and joy filled my heart once again, as I asked God to see me through.

Together let us walk this journey of Advent holding tightly to the joy, hope and peace, that is found when our focus is on God and His glorious gift of Jesus.
May the joy of Christ be with you as we journey through this season of Advent. Peace be with you! Merry Christmas!

Think about it!

 

November 2019

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5: 18

Honestly, I don’t give thanks or say thank you as often as I should. Now that I’ve confessed, I want to take time to give thanks.
Billy Graham said, “Think of the blessings we so easily take for granted: Life itself; preservation from danger; every bit of health we enjoy: every hour of liberty; the ability to see, to hear, to speak, to think, and to imagine all this comes from the hand of God.”

I do have a lot to be thankful for! So, here are a few . . .

I want to thank God for forgiveness through my savior Jesus!
Thanks to Jean for her love and staying by my side through thick and thin for 30 years!
Thanks to my family and friends who are such a blessing from God!
Thanks to the church family at Mt. Gilead for your kindness, faithfulness, prayers, smiles, and love to Jean and myself!
Thanks to the Susquehanna Conference for the opportunity to serve as a pastor and follow God’s call!
Thanks to all of you for the birthday cards, birthday wishes, and presents!
Thanks be to God for the hope we have in Jesus!
Thanks to God for continuing to mold and shape us with His loving hands!
Thank you, God, for the opportunity to witness to Jesus!
Thank you, God, for your beautiful creation that reminds me of your presence every day!
Thank you for the gift of this day!

In the midst of all my concerns there is so much to be thankful for. May I never lose sight of the many blessings and reasons, I have to Give Thanks.
What are you thankful for today?

Think about it!

October 2019


Recently I celebrated my 65th birthday! Thanks to all of you for the cards, gifts, well wishes, lunch and kindness during that time. It was so wonderful to receive all the cards and read all the kind and thoughtful words from family and friends. Another wonderful moment was when the children of Calvary Adventures sang Happy Birthday to me. What a treasure they are!

Over the months leading up to my birthday the mailbox has been filled with information on Medicare and supplemental insurance. The information continued to remind me of my coming birthday. Then a few days before it, there was a letter from my insurance company about a policy that I’ve had since my early 20’s. I never inquired or asked about coverage, the agent came to me. After pondering the offer, the agent once again came to my home for the paper work to be filled out. The agent would call me every year to see how all was going. The personal contact stopped after my agent retired, there wasn’t anymore contact, but the premium was always paid on time.

The letter I received began with this greeting . . .
Dear Policy holder:
Our records show a person your policy insures has now reached the age to end the coverage.
And then it closed like this . . .
It’s been a pleasure to give this protection. Sincerely, (no name) Policyholder Services

I was caught off guard! There was no warning. Especially since I had just received a billing statement and had almost paid it two days before this letter came telling me I am too old to continue having the coverage I’ve had for 40 plus years. I did call the servicing office to inquire if this was true. Yes, was the reply. No offering of different coverage. I was just too old for the coverage of the policy that was once mine.

Have you ever been caught off guard, disappointed that something you counted on was suddenly not there, or taken away from you? Perhaps you’ve had promises that have been broken? Perhaps something you thought would be covered—suddenly stopped!

My friends there is someone we can count on to always be there! A promise that gives us hope forever! The benefits are unbelievable, and the coverage never ends.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38, 39

Think about it!

September 2019


A couple of weeks ago my car was in the garage for an oil change and PA inspection. The inspection consists of a certified mechanic going over the car looking for issues that may need attention. The purpose is to keep you and others safe when you are driving from place to place. Some of what they check are as follows:

All the lights are checked to make sure they are working – this includes the turn signals, back-up lights, brake lights, headlights, license plate light, and fog lights if so equipped.
The tires are checked for wear, the tread depth is measured, and the air pressure is checked. The brake pads or linings are inspected and so are the rotors or the drums to make sure they will go for another year. Brake lines are inspected for fluid leaks. The belts are checked for deterioration . . . the exhaust system is check for leaks, and so much more is done as the car is then taken on a test drive by the one doing the inspection! If everything is fine you will see a new inspection sticker on your front window.

When the oil is changed, the oil filter is replaced, and new oil is added. The washer fluid, radiator fluid, and the power steering fluid are checked. The air filter and the cab filter are inspected to see if they need to be replaced. Yes, it is a lot, but all this, is to keep the vehicle serviced and you safe on the road. Finally, a small sticker is placed on the windshield reminding you of when your vehicle will need the oil changed again.

God wants to do the same for you upon your journey of life. Listen to the words of the psalmist from Psalm 139: 23, 24.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

It sounds like the psalmist is going to God and asking for a spiritual inspection. Asking God to look closely at the life being lived. Is there anything that needs changed? Could there be something keeping me from living the spirit-filled life and following the way of everlasting with God?

Don’t take this lightly. It could change your life. Ask yourself the following questions. Is it time for your spiritual inspection? Will you slow down and give God your undivided attention? To be still long enough to have an inspection of your spiritual life! What adjustments or changes might God recommend for you? What might be the reward of saying, “Search me, God, and know my heart!”
Think about it!

 

August 2019

DISTRACTIONS!


Many years ago, my family had a beautiful pure-bred Siberian Husky. Her name was Sabrina Tara Sisco. Sabrina had blue eyes and was full of life. Sabrina’s energy level on the scale of one (low) to ten (high) was an eleven.

Sabrina was always ready to play ball. When she saw the ball there was an immediate reaction of jumping up and down with anticipation. Once you threw the ball, she was off and running. The problem was she was easily distracted! If a bird would come flying by, well she would chase the bird. If the wind was blow-ing and a leaf would blow by . . . you guessed it . . . she’d start chasing the leaf and I would have to chase the ball myself.

We all face distractions throughout life. Some distractions are good. Like when your grandchild comes running up and gives you a hug saying, “I love you!” There are times distractions are not so good. For example, you are shopping, you see a friend and you start to talk? Or you are about to grab something you need and you stop to look at a display? Distracted, you forget there was something you needed and pro-ceed to checkout. You discover in the days following, when it’s needed, you don’t have what you forgot. All because you were distracted!

This happens in our spiritual life with God. We get caught up in the busyness of life and suddenly we forget about reading the Bible, or spending time in prayer. Work gets so hectic and you are tired and begin to sleep and rest on Sunday morning, missing worship and fellowship with other Christians. There are times a health issue is overwhelming us, and we are so consumed by what’s happening that we lose sight of God’s faithful-ness and promise to be with us. The result is we are distracted from God when we need Him the most.

I’m reminded of the following words of Billy Graham: “The world’s sewage system threatens to contaminate the stream of Christian thought. Is the world shaping your mind, or is Christ?”

Yes, distractions come at us in many ways! Truth be told this world we live is filled with distractions! Distractions are part of life. Some are good! Others cause us to lose sight of what’s important. How do we stay focused when distractions come our way? The scriptures give us guidance:

Colossians 3: 2 says: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Matthew 6: 33 Jesus says: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.”

May we never lose sight of the One who is faithful and true!

July 2019


I’ve been captivated by the presence of a turtle which has been staying in the yard behind the parsonage. It’s been there for a week and seems to be very content. What do you mean by content? There have been some days the turtle has not moved more than 10 feet. Honest-ly, that is hard for me to understand when I think about how busy my schedules is, with all that’s been going on lately. I believe many of you can identify with having busy schedules!

One evening, I noticed that the turtle hadn’t moved all day. Concerned something was wrong, I went to make sure the visiting turtle was okay. As I approached, the turtle began to pull its legs and head inside the shelter of its shell. Sensing nothing was wrong, I just walked away. What I discovered is that the turtle did not move very far each day. It seemed as though the turtle was very content and comfortable with its surroundings. How could it be so content to stay in one place so long?

Every morning I come down the stairs and begin looking out the windows, searching for the turtle. Soon the turtle became an inspiration to me. Yes, you read correctly! The turtle became an inspiration to me. It reminded me of how important it is for us to have times of contentment in our surroundings. To have a place of refuge when our daily routine of life is so busy. To have a shelter to retreat too when uncertainty comes our way. To have time to be still and look for God each day.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91: 1, 2

We all need to have those precious moments of refuge with God. To find contentment and rest in His glorious presence. To have a place of shelter when confronted with uncertainty of what is before us. Do you have those moments? Are you taking time to dwell in the shadow of His loving presence? To find a place of rest when each day is so filled with busyness?

I wonder, could the turtle … one of God’s creations . . . been sent to me by God? I’m sure one day the turtle will move on. But I will never forget the turtle reminding me to be still in the presence of our God! How about you?

Think About It!

June 2019

I was browsing through one of my favorite books by Kyle Idleman, “Not a Fan” . . . and was reminded of a time I needed help.

A seal needed to be replaced on a gearbox. After removing the gearbox, I began to dismantle the pinion gear from the spindle housing. The gear was held to the shaft by a large nut requiring a two and a half inch socket. After securing the housing in the vice I began to loosen the nut. Let me clarify, I tried to loosen the nut. I pulled and pushed to no avail. Not going to be defeated I added a three-foot long pipe to slide over the breaker bar for leverage. With renewed confidence I began to pull once again! I pulled, pushed, grunted, and nothing happened. I tried hitting it with a hammer, but it would not move.

I was determined to finish the task and this nut was not going to hinder my progress. Then I had a wonderful idea. It was time for some heat, so the acetylene torch was rolled into place. The torch roared to life as the oxygen fueled the flame. Thankfully, before doing that I had this great revelation! “I need help.”

I made a phone call to the equipment dealer and asked to talk with Bill. Bill was always a great source of help to me. Someone I trusted. After explaining my dilemma, there was this chuckle on the other end. Then Bill said, “Dennis, which direction are you pulling and pushing? The nut has left handed threads. You will never get it loose when you continue to tighten it.” There was a long silence before I said, “thank you.”
Humbled, I went back and proceeded to apply pressure in the opposite direction . . . and it came loose with ease. Within minutes the new seal was installed and the gearbox mounted on the equipment.

The same happens on our spiritual journey through life. There are times we can’t do it on our own – even though we try. We evaluate what is before us and it’s not going the way we planned. We try and try to no avail! That’s when we need help! Someone we can trust! A time to call upon the Holy Spirit’s power. When we are weak! When we don’t know the way! When we don’t understand! When nothing seems to make a difference! It doesn’t depend on us. That’s when we need to recognize God’s Spirit of power and strength living within.

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16: 7

Sometimes we all need help to accomplish what is before us. So, let me ask you: Are you self-empowered or spirit-powered? Pentecost is June 9, 2019.

Think about it!

May 2019

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness;
Come before him with joyful songs.”
Psalm 100: 1&2


Opening the door this morning I was greeted with a beautiful melody of song from the birds perched in the trees surrounding the parsonage. Their song seemed to be a symphony of joy to God, our Creator. Listening, I wondered, do we start each day with joy? Is our worship filled with joy as we sing to God? Do those around us hear a song of joy or lament as we journey through life? My senses were captured by the moment! A squirrel pranced across the limbs of the trees. The rays of sun reflected off the limbs that were swaying from the breeze. Suddenly the words of a song started to resonate from the depth of my heart:

“He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.”
Alfred H. Ackley, 1933

Yes, Easter is behind us, BUT the “Good News” is more than a risen savior. The “Good News” is that Jesus lives! He lives today! Sing for joy! Dance before the Lord! Fill the world with a chorus of hope! Share the words of life with family, friends, co-workers, and your neighbors! Shine the light of Christ wherever you go!

“We are all strings in the concert of god’s joy.” Jakob Böhme
Let the symphony begin!

THINK ABOUT IT!
Blessings, Pastor Dennis

April 2019

Easter will soon be upon us. A time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. The tomb could not hold him, and death could not keep him.
All this by the grace of God! As I pondered the glorious victory of Jesus, I remembered when an old friend of mine named Glen, and I were at the tomb of Jesus. People were lined up to enter.
My friend leaned against the rock, and with great joy was telling everyone as they entered,
“He’s not there! The tomb is empty!
He is risen!”
Smiling I was reminded of God’s love for us all. Then I began to sing one of my favorite hymns. It was written many years ago by Eugene Bartlett. Let me share the words with you . . .

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.

Chorus

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

March 2019

March 6 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Preparing for Lent I opened up a Bible and saw a signature of someone I met years ago. It was at a gathering for all clergy and their families who are part of the Susquehanna Conference. I must confess that I was hesitant about going, but in pursuit of the CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) I decided to attend. It wasn’t an easy decision for me as I tried to justify the cost of the retreat and making time in an already full schedule. Have you been there?

Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t give in to the doubts and decided to attend the retreat. It was truly one of those moments orchestrated by God to feed my spiritual hunger. The guest teacher/preacher was Rev. Grace Imathiu. Her native country is Kenya and at the time she was serving as pastor in Brown Deer UMC, Brown Deer, Wisconsin. She has also served in her native country of Kenya, as well as congregations in Washington, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Grace had a soft voice that seemed to come alive when she began to teach and share about Jesus. She is a wonderful storyteller and presented the wonderful stories of the Bible in fresh new ways. Listening to her voice you could hear the native dialect of her African heritage that seem to match her flowing clothes that invited you to be still and listen. Okay, I think you get the picture!

The retreat was one of those special moments of encountering God. What a wonderful blessing to have our souls nurtured and filled with the Spirit of Christ. Rev. Grace Imathiu is truly a gifted teacher filled with passion and love for Jesus. A passion that brought the scriptures alive as my heart opened to God’s presence.

I came so close, to not going to this special time God had planned for me to be spiritually blessed. I wonder, how often have I failed to show up at something wonderful God had planned for me? How about you? Could there be times God had something wonderful planned and you decided not to attend? There was no time . . . the game was on television . . . didn’t want to pay the price . . . it was too cold . . . the easy chair was so comfortable . . . etc.

On Ash Wednesday our journey of Lent will begin. What’s your purpose as you journey through Lent? What are your expectations as you walk the path with Jesus to the cross? What are you looking for when you enter the sanctuary for worship? Just what are you expecting?

What are God’s expectations for you as you walk through Lent?

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you
with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3: 17

Think about it!             — Pastor Dennis

February 2019

After the snow, sleet and rain this past weekend, I texted my son, Drew, to see how they were doing. After about 15 minutes I received this text: “Yea. Wasn’t much weather to worry about today. Taking it easy watching football.” While we had snow, sleet, and rain, just south of us it was all rain! As I thought about that for a moment it hit me, “Isn’t that life. One day it snows and the next day it rains.” One day we have on heavy warm coats with gloves, and the next day, a light jacket in the sunshine. Life is filled with change.

Think About It!
One day the sun is shining and the next day it’s cloudy. One moment it’s calm and the next moment the wind is gusting. That’s especially true on Windy Hill Road! Have you ever gone to the store to find that what was always there is no longer on the shelf? What about our emotions? We have those days filled with laughter, and the next we have moments of sadness. We have those times where everything goes smoothly without a hitch. Then, suddenly we are faced with challenges.

We have the changing seasons. We have the dormancy of winter followed by new life in the spring. The new life of spring soon becomes the warmth and growth of summer. Summer soon becomes the harvest of the fall. Following the fall, we find ourselves again in the dormancy of winter. Some like the winter! Then there are those who long for summer! Some anticipate the fall! Change, change, change! Have you, like me, wished that something would remain the same? Something that you could depend on to be unchanging every day.

Look no more! There is a constant in this world of change. Something that brings hope, truth, and guidance as we journey through life. Have you embraced it?

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
Isaiah 40: 8

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path.”
Psalm 119: 105

Think About It!

January 2019

A week before Christmas I found myself standing in a long line waiting to check out at the store. Beside me was a display of all kinds of gift cards just waiting for someone to purchase. Around this display was four tall, strong looking young men in their late teens or early twenties. They were looking at all the choices that were before them. Apparently one of them was looking for a gift card to give to someone.
I was amused by their conversations as they browsed the many choices. It went something like this:

“There, you can get one from the Outback Steakhouse! They could get that wonderful steak combination!”
“How about a card from Red Lobster? Some seafood would be great with those cheese biscuits!”
“Subway! That way if they are in a hurry, they can get something quick to take home!”

They seemed to be having a good time as they continued searching and looking.

It was getting close to lunch and their conversations were making me hungry. I wanted to say, “Get one of each,” but I remained quiet as they continued looking for the perfect gift. Finally, my line began to move, and I purchased my items.

Walking to my car my thoughts were on what had just happened. What if one of the gift cards would have been for Jesus. Would they have been talking about the hope that comes with Jesus? Would they have talked about the peace that He brings? Maybe the conversation would have been of the joy that opens the door to eternal life. Let’s not forget about forgiveness that brings salvation. Oh my, and then the thrill of pondering the healing and transforming love of Jesus! Wouldn’t this be a wonderful gift? A gift that would last forever! Would they have chosen that gift to give?

As we prepare for the new year may all of us embrace the fullness of God’s gift of Jesus.

Think About It!

Prayer for the New Year:
Almighty God, through the power of your Holy Spirit you enable us to do and be more than we can think or imagine. Come now, dwell within us, and make us strong to do your work and will. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

December 2018

It was all over the news! Everyone was talking about it. I’m sure the signs on the major routes were displaying CAUTION . . . Advisory for a wintry weather! The weather forecasters were getting a lot of air time to inform everyone to PREPARE AND BE READY for the snow, sleet, cold temperatures and the coming storm!

CAUTION! PREPARE! BE READY?

Oh! Did we listen. People were searching for their snow shovels. Others were clearing the path to the snowblower that had been hidden for the summer. The grocery stores were filled with people purchasing milk, bread, and toilet paper. All this while those stocking the shelves tried to keep up with the demand. The checkout counters all had lines of people waiting to purchase their supplies. Gas stations were filled with vehicles topping off their tanks. Many responded to the Caution to Be Ready and wanted to PREPARE for what was to come. Did you prepare?

Let me ask a question. The season of Advent is upon us, will you have the same fervor as you PREPARE for the coming of Christ?

Around 700 years before the birth of Christ it was written in Isaiah 40: 3-5, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed.”

We find in the 2nd chapter of Luke the angels announced to the shepherds, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

John the Baptist was the voice of one calling in the wilderness. Passionately pointing to Jesus saying, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.”

Advent begins on Sunday, December 2. How will you PREPARE for the coming of Christ? Will it be busyness as usual? Or will you heed the words of Isaiah, the angels, and John the Baptist, to PREPARE your heart for the glorious coming of Christ!

Think About It

November 2018

First, I want to thank you for the cards and gift cards you gave to me for Pastor Appreciation Day on October 14th. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words!
Today, I had the opportunity of “Going Home!” I went back to worship with the folks at Prospect UMC, where my journey with Christ began. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is a country church, part of a two-church charge in the York District, of the Susquehanna Conference. There were probably 40 people there for worship, many I remembered from years ago. My visit was a time for healing and remembering . . . Oh the memories!

Prospect UMC is the church where I was baptized as a child. There were memories of Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Day, all that led to Confirmation class. After Confirmation class I joined the church making a commitment to uphold the church with my prayers, my presence, my gifts, and my service. As a teenager I was the Sunday School Superintendent and very active in the youth group. Oh the memories… as I walked through the cemetery and remembered my parents, friends, family, and all those who nurtured me in my faith.

Memories came flooding back as I sat in the pew where my best friend and cousin, Dean and I would sit every Sunday for worship. I greeted my youth leader from my teen years. He was sitting in the very pew, where I confessed my sins and gave my heart to Jesus. She is now in her 90’s. As the acolyte lit the candles, I remembered the many times I had the carried that flame, representing the “light of Christ” forward to light the candles. Looking at the pulpit I was reminded of my first attempt at sharing the message on a Sunday morning. It was about how each of us needs to use our God-given gifts to serve our Lord. My son sat beside me, as I remembered back 33 years, to when he was baptized in this place. Oh, the memories!

Not everything was the same. The outhouse, (a 2-seater) which was there through my 20’s, was gone and replaced with a building addition that included bathrooms and classrooms. The road going by the church was now paved and not a dirt road. The sign I had cut out of steel and painted was still there and looking good. Yes, “Going Home” was filled with memories and somehow the joy of it all brought healing!
Have you ever thought about what it will be like when we “Go Home” to be with our Lord? Chris Tomlin wrote a song about “Going Home.” I listened to it and began to ponder what it will be like. I get excited every time I hear the song . . .

I'm goin' home Where the streets are golden Every chain is broken Oh I wanna go Oh I wanna go Home Where every fear is gone I'm in your open arms Where I belong Home
For all who know Jesus as Lord await that wonderful day we are “Going Home.” Read Revelation 21: 1-4

October 2018

Can you believe that it is October? For Major League Baseball it is an exciting month of preparing for the playoffs. I must confess that I don’t follow baseball, but have often been intrigued by the ceremonial throwing out of the first pitch. Often it makes the news when a famous person steps on the mound and we watch as the fans go crazy. Most times, the drama escalates with the anticipation of whether the honored guest will get the ball to the catcher behind home plate.

I remember it was 2011 and the headline of the ceremonial first pitch at a Dodger game on the internet caught my interest. I clicked on it to watch the news clip of Lorri Bernson standing on the pitcher’s mound. Lorri lost her sight to Type 1 Diabetes at the age of thirty-three. There she stood with a guide dog by her side and her husband standing near, giving her words of encouragement. The fans were waiting with anticipation. The catcher was behind the plate talking to Lorri. She was listening to his voice to get an idea of where to throw the ball. I watched in utter amazement as she stepped away from her guide dog to the side of the pitcher’s mound. You could see her focusing ... listening ... then with a smile, she leaned back and let the baseball go. It wasn’t a strike, but it bounced once, right over the plate, into the mitt of the catcher. The crowd cheered as the catcher ran to the mound to give Lorri a hug. With great enthusiasm you could see her say, “I did it!”

What a beautiful picture of the life of the believer. Throughout life we are surrounded by many sounds and voices that can be very confusing. There are times we aren’t sure of the path before us. Can we accomplish or make it through that which is before us? I’m sure many believed there was “No Way” Lorri could throw the ball even close to the catcher! Lorri knew what to do! She listened closely to the catcher’s voice that helped her see what she couldn’t see.

As believer’s we listen to Jesus, our Shepherd. Listen …
“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and
the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10: 2-4
Are you listening? Has the voice of Jesus been lost in the voices that distract making us feel as though “We Can’t?” Listen closely ... listen for the voice of Jesus … for if you follow you will be able to say with great enthusiasm, “I did it!”

Think about it!

September 2018

I was visiting a friend in the ICU when his sister and I, became concerned about his heart rate. We had him press the call button. The machine was showing some out of the ordinary blips. The nurse immediately came into the room and determined that everything was okay. We were so relieved!

Before leaving the nurse stopped to talk with us. With a big smile she passionately shared how blessed she was to be part of the ICU unit, helping people. She was going to school, and was able to work in the environment that she wanted to be part of. As our conversation continued, we discovered that she was working 12 hour shifts and considered part-time. Even though she was doing three shifts a week, or more, filling in for those who were on vacation she was able to keep up with her schooling. Her life was devoted to her calling! Listening to her enthusiasm, passion, and joy, I was humbled as I thought, “Shouldn’t I be the same with my love for Jesus?”

Then I remembered the following verse from Colossians . . .
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23
And I remembered the instructions of Jesus to us all . . .
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22: 37

As she went back to her station I thanked God for her devotion and passion. In that moment I asked to have the same devotion and passion for Jesus, who chose the path of the cross so that I might live Life in the Spirit. “Oh Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you!”

How about you? Think about it!
Pastor Dennis

August 2018

Received a text this afternoon with a question.

“Hey, can I have your family recipe for the sauce you always used when you were making BBQ chicken?”
That’s all it took to bring back memories of days gone by. Times of family gatherings, church gatherings, picnics for Lay Speakers, when we would make anywhere from 35 to 120 halves of BBQ chicken. To be honest, it was nice to have someone ask about, and remember the special sauce that had been in my family for years. With a smile, I shared the ingredients of the sauce and the key to making it just right!

As I thought, I was reminded of something more precious to share than a BBQ sauce recipe. Someone that has been with my family for a long time. Did you ever have someone ask you about Jesus? Oh, my heart jumps with joy when someone says, “Tell me about this Jesus you love so much!” First, I’m glad they noticed. Then, what a joy to tell them about Him. God’s Son, who loves us so much that he gave his life for us all.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15: 13,14

I’m reminded of the following words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy.
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you.” 2 Timothy 1: 5
Am I faithfully sharing my love for Jesus with my children, grandchildren, and those around me? Or am I so busy living life, that I give and share everything, except my faith and love for the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life? Do I encourage those closest to me to seek and live a life of faith? My prayers and my hope for them, is that one day someone will say to them, “I see your faith in God, which first lived in your parents and grandparents, and I am persuaded, now lives in you. Tell me about Jesus!”

Think about it! Pastor Dennis

 

July 2018


Just spent three wonderful days at Annual Conference with members of the Susquehanna Conference family. The morning drive, each day, was cloudy and sometimes foggy. There was no sign of the sun or it’s warming rays as we turned the calendar from May to June. Yes it was dreary, but I noticed something quite wonderful. Truly amazing if you think about it. The seeds the farmers had planted were sprouting forth to life. The rows of corn and soybeans outlined the fields as the tender shoots emerged. Announcing new life and the coming of the harvest in the days to come. The farmer had labored and now everyone could see that something wonderful was happening.

Then I thought of the following words from 2 Corinthians 5: 17,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here.”

I wonder . . . What do people see in us when we open our hearts to the forgiving love of God through Christ? Do they see the new life from the labor of Jesus on the cross? Do they see the hope, the joy, the love, the peace that is ours as we become the temple of God? Do they see the new life and the harvest that is coming? Do they see the Spirit of Christ living in us?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Galations 5: 22

What do people see when they look at you?
Think about it!

June 2018

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6: 34


Have you ever had those times when you are overwhelmed? It could be a time when you are overwhelmed by a busy schedule, as you frantically try to accomplish your many tasks, and keep all your commitments. The grass needs to be mowed and it continues to rain every day! The car needs serviced, but you can’t go without it. The refrigerator is empty, the shelves are bare. You have family responsibilities. This needs to be done, and that is waiting. Suddenly the phone rings and your son or daughter needs help. “Take me away Calgon!” Pardon me for going back in time!

I’m reminded of a time I just needed to get away. It was a beautiful afternoon with blues skies, puffy white clouds, and a nice breeze blowing along the Susquehanna River. A beautiful day to do some hiking on the trails and be alone in God’s glorious creation. The songs of the bluebirds filled the air as the buzzards were searching. With grace and beauty, the Ospreys were spreading their wings as they dipped and turned, seem-ingly playing follow the leader. The honey bees hovered over the wild flowers that were covered with pollen. God’s glorious creation was alive!

Then I saw the most amazing sight! Along the trail there was a tall oak tree that reached for the sky, an ant was slowly climbing up the trunk of the tree. Did I mention it was carrying a heavy load that was bigger than its body? This ant was climbing upwards with a worm. It would climb, stop, focus, rest, and climb again. Little by little, progressing up the tree towards it’s destination. With determination and a heavy load, the ant would climb, stop, rest, focus, and climb some more. I was captivated by the determination of the ant to go higher.

What a wonderful lesson! Maybe God was reminding me to stop, rest in Him, focus, and then proceed. Maybe like the ant – we need to stop – rest for a moment – focus on what’s important – set our sights on getting through today (with God) – one step at a time – and trust him with all that’s overwhelming us.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28

Think About It!
Pastor Dennis

 

May 2018

“Spring is coming!”
SERIOUSLY?


I awakened this morning, April 10, to be greeted with snow covering all the trees surrounding the parsonage. Yes, it was April 10! And yes, there was snow on the ground. It was a beautiful sight!

As the sun was coming up I was captured by the beauty of the snow lining, and how it defined the branches of the trees. The snow seemed to accent the trees and their surroundings. It was as though I could see deeper into the woods than ever before. The birds were singing! The squirrels could be seen chasing one another as their tails were bouncing in every direction.

I turned away for a moment, and when I came back everything had changed. In a matter of moments fog had suddenly encompassed the area. I could not see deep into the woods. Now, all that could be seen was the outline. No longer could I see the snow-covered branches. The squirrels were lost in the fog, out of sight. The birds had stopped singing—everything was now hidden from my sight. The dense fog was now hindering me from seeing what was plainly seen before.

The same thing happens in our journey of life. One moment the path before us is clear and we can see where we were going. Then, suddenly, something happens, and the path before us is hidden. The death of a loved one . . . diagnosis of cancer . . . a child makes a poor choice . . . loss of a job . . . the car breaks down . . . betrayed by a friend . . . and suddenly the path is clouded with doubt and uncertainty. You wonder, “Which way do I go?” “What am I going to do?” Hold on, there is hope! Listen for the voice of our God.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30: 21

God is faithful! Listen for his voice. Our Father knows the way when we don’t know the way. And yes, SPRING IS COMING!

Think about it!

 

March 2018

One Size Fits All! REALLY?

Years ago, I bought a pair of jeans on-line from a catalogue for clothes. They fit perfect and were very comfortable. It’s as though the waist size and inseam were custom made for me. They were the pair of jeans I wanted to wear all the time.
Over the years those jeans have become worn and frayed and I pondered the thought of getting another pair. Finally, I looked on-line where I had purchased the jeans and noticed they had them on sale for a special price during Super Bowl weekend. You could buy one pair and get $10 off the second pair. I further pondered the thought and ordered two pair, the same size and inseam of the jeans that were now worn and frayed. Then I waited for the perfect fitting jeans to be delivered. Finally, they were delivered!

With excitement I opened the package to find they weren’t what I expected. They were different in so many ways. I did my best to remain optimistic and tried them on, only to find that they were about 3 inches too long. I checked the package invoice, and the inseam listed was what I had ordered. To put it mildly, I was greatly disappointed and didn’t receive what I expected.
What are you expecting as you journey through Lent? Lent is a season to walk with Jesus on his journey to the cross. A time to give our brokenness to God and discover the grace that flows with healing and forgiveness. As you look you might ponder the following questions:

Will Christ make a difference?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28

What do I do with the sin in my life?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.” 1 John 1: 9

Perhaps you worry that God’s grace won’t be enough? It won’t fit your life?
“Jesus said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
1 Corinthians 12: 9

Oh God, deliver unto us your grace that flows with forgiveness and healing, as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord! Amen.
Expect the Unexpected!

Think about it!

February 2018

February is upon us and I was remembering back. It was the day before Valentine’s Day. It was a blustery day and the wind chill was frigid. We decided to go grocery shopping despite the wind and the cold. When we got to the parking lot there were cars everywhere. People were running to the entrance with hands protected with insulated gloves. Hoodies were covering heads as everyone seemed anxious to get inside.

Amazingly, the aisles for groceries weren’t as crowded as I thought they would be. However, the lines at the registers were long and interfered with people trying to make their way through the store. Then I noticed what everyone was carrying as they made their way to the checkout. Everyone seemed to be carrying a teddy bear or a boxed heart of candy. I never saw so many teddy bears at one time. All the gifts said, “I love you.”

Men were smiling with a look of satisfaction as they tightly held their teddy bears with one hand. In the other they clutched tightly to a Valentine Card and a heart full of chocolates. And yes, there were those who held bouquets of colorful roses. There was no age discrimination . . . all ages, young and old, were preparing to carry their gifts into the frigid air outside. They came with a purpose, expectations were met, and every-one could see their gifts!

February 14 is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Let me ask . . . What’s your purpose as you journey through Lent? What are your expectations as you walk the path with Jesus to the cross? What are you looking for when you enter the sanctuary for worship? What are your expectations during worship?

May all of us discover the sweetness of God’s abiding love through Jesus! May your Lenten journey be one to experience God’s never-ending love that satisfies, forgives, protects, perseveres, offers hope, and is eternal! A time for us to see the open arms of Jesus and hear him say, “I love you this much.”

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

Think about it.
Pastor Dennis

January 2018


Can you believe it? 2017 is history! All the joys and struggles of the year are memories that have helped to mold and shape us into who we are today. For all of us there were times of joy and times of struggle. It’s also a time to give thanks. I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement since Jean and I arrived in Shermans Dale. What a blessing you have been to us through the months.

I also want to thank all of you for the cards and prayers through the past few weeks. Your prayers have truly given us strength to make it through the unexpected death of Jean’s sister and niece in the fire. Thank you for your kind and gracious gift for Christmas, but most of all I thank you for your friendship and prayers. Throughout those months you have been a blessing to us in so many wonderful ways. God is good!

The New Year is upon us and we don’t know what will happen in 2018. Some of you are preparing for a big family event such as a wedding or vacation. Others are looking ahead with anxiety over something that is to happen. With all we know, we don’t know what the year holds for any of us. With all the uncertainty we have the assurance that God will be with us. Take a moment . . . let that truth fill your heart! God is with you!
Breathe it in and let that truth become part of you.

Looking back over 2017. The year has been filled with joy of new life in our church family. There were those who had health issues. Many have experienced the sorrow of death, but through it all, God has been faithful. God is always watching over us. God will be with us in the coming year!

“I lift my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber,
indeed, he who watches over Israel will nether slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—the lord is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Psalm 121

May God’s abiding presence be with us as we step into this new year!

Blessings,
Pastor Dennis

 

 

Packing PartyDecember 2017


It was a brisk evening as I walked across the parking lot to the fellowship hall. As I opened the door the smell of pizza, sound of laughter, and the warmth inside were like an invitation to “Come on in” and stay. I had been anticipating this moment all week. Excite-ment filled the air as the youth and children from the church began to arrive for this special evening. What was special about it? This was the night we were going to pack the Operation Christmas Child boxes.

Everyone was busy! The tables were covered with the all that would be packed in the boxes. As the children and youth arrived they began coloring the papers that would be packed inside each box. Once the coloring was done the food was ready. The room was filled with anticipation and joy as we gave thanks for the food. Smiles were everywhere as the children munched on the pizza. Then . . . it was finally time to pack the boxes . . . all together there were 70 boxes packed with great care and joy. Everyone was very careful to make sure nothing was missed as the boxes were filled to the brim. Filled with toothbrushes, socks, pencils, notebooks, jump ropes, stuffed animals, yo-yo’s, and so much more. Most of all each gift was packed with love! After the packing there was a time of prayer as we thanked God for the gifts and asked that each recipient would experience the love of Christ in their hearts. What a wonderful night!

Did you ever wonder how God must have felt as His son was about to be born on a star-filled night in Bethlehem? A gift like no other. Born in the humble setting of a stable, Jesus, would fill this world with the very presence of God.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2: 8-11
December 3 is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time for us to anticipate and prepare for the coming of Christ. God’s gift to us all. How will you prepare? What are you anticipating? May all of us find the peace that began to fill this earth on that “Holy Night” so long ago in a stable in Bethlehem. Know this . . .

Christ will come again!

Think about it!

Merry Christmas!

 

November 2017

TAIM (Think About It Moment) PASTOR’S CORNER

This morning I noticed the beauty of God’s creation as I walked over to the church. The leaves are showing the beautiful colors of the changing seasons. That moment reminded me of a special time with my grandson about two years ago . . .
It was six in the morning. Walking out of the bedroom, I noticed the front door was open. What was going on? You can imagine the thoughts going through my mind as I listened for someone moving through the house. I pondered for a moment before cautiously going down the steps. Pausing every couple steps to listen care-fully. My blood was pumping as I cautiously crept down the steps.
I looked around on the front porch . . . no one was there. I closed and locked the door and moved into the living room . . . the door going to the back porch was open. Quietly I walked to the door and peered out the glass! There was the outline of someone sitting in the lawn chair . . . my heart was pounding as I opened the screen door . . . it was my grandson sitting silently looking towards the dark western sky. It’s Saturday morning. There is no school. What is he doing? My first question was, “Are you okay?” He answered, “Yes!” My next question was filled with thought and wisdom, “What are you doing sitting all alone in the dark at 6:00 in the morning?” His answer was direct and clear, “I want to see the sunrise!”
I don’t know what moved him to want to see the sunrise on this morning, but it was clear he didn’t want to miss the opportunity. I explained how the sun comes up in the east and he was looking in the wrong direction. We walked up to the spare bedroom. I set a stool near the window so he could wait and watch comfortably. I went through my morning routine and went back just in time for us to watch the sun come up, together. The sky began to brighten as the sun appeared and seemed to come to life. It was a God moment for the two of us that I will never forget. All because we were looking toward the sun!

Are you looking towards the Son? Think about it!

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out
For us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer
and perfecter of our faith.”
Hebrews 12: 1&2

September 2017

TAIM (Think About It Moment) PASTOR’S CORNER


You could sense the excitement as people gathered around and found a spot to set their lawn chairs. The anticipation was building as they announced it would be just another fifteen minutes. The sun was shining brightly as many moved their chairs into the shade of the trees so their vision wouldn’t be hindered by the rays of the sun. Would it be colorful? Will there be tears? Oh, the excitement was building . . . 10 minutes . . . 5 minutes . . . finally the time had come!
Jean and I were at the worship service on Sunday evening at the Perry County Fairgrounds. The start of the worship was to begin with the butterfly release. Many had given a small donation to have the honor of releasing a butterfly in memory of a loved one. The extra butterflies were given to children who were filled with excitement. Then came the count-down. 10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . 7 . . . 6 . . . 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1!!!! Everyone was looking up as the butterflies were set free. It was a beautiful sight to see them fluttering through the sun’s rays. Some momentarily landed on the shoulder of an onlooker. Some briefly went to the moisture on the grass. Many went to the flowers that were calling to them. Throughout the evening worship you would see butterflies flutter through the light of the sun. What a beautiful sight.


Worship began with the Good News Singers. Listening to them I was reminded of a portion of scripture from the beginning of Revelation. A time when John was given a glimpse of heaven and the glorious presence of our Redeemer, Jesus, God’s Son. What a magnificent sight and moment it must have been. I’m sure John’s words could not begin to describe such a Holy Moment!


“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples on earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen
I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1: 7&8 NIV


Can you imagine this moment? The glorious moment when everyone will see the glory of Christ. Prophecy fulfilled! Promises come alive! And its brilliance, like the sun.
Can you sense the excitement? Are you anticipating the coming of Christ? Can you imagine such a moment? Revelation says of this glorious moment with God,
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new!” Revelation 21: 4&5


Think about it!
Pastor Dennis