The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

July 22, 2018

When I attended Bible College we had a group of students from Nigeria. They were older than most of us, had wives back in Africa, & struggled to speak English, but they always had a ready smile for anyone who looked their way. The day they really became a part of the student body is the day they sang for us. With no accompaniment except their harmonizing voices they sang several songs in a very African style. Out of the 7 or 8 in their group only a couple could carry a tune on their own but when they sang together it was beautiful, inspirational, & powerful.

What a great picture of the church! We have a couple skilled & talented people but the real power of the church is when we work together to serve the Lord & others. There’s a quote we like to use around here: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

Let’s go far.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 15, 2018

I was walking the dog the other night when she pulled back as if afraid of what was ahead. I tugged her along until I figured out what she was balking at. There was a very loud party going on in someone’s backyard. The music could be heard for blocks in every direction. I wondered how late the party would last since it was already fairly late in the evening, but I was thankful that the noise was far enough from our house that it wouldn’t be an issue for us.

I wondered if it was a block party where all the neighbors were invited, or if it was a closed guest list for a graduation or wedding. I pitied anyone in the area trying to do anything but dance. Also, on my pity list was anyone not feeling well particularly if they had a headache.

Some people have very little consideration for others & apparently you can gather a whole group of people together who have no consideration for anyone else. We spend a lot of time thinking about how everyone else’s behaviors affect us; perhaps we need to pause every so often to consider just how we are affecting them. The golden rule is a great place to start: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

– Pastor Joel Everhart

July 8, 2018

While I was on vacation recently I ran into an old friend, Kenny, whom I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. Kenny & I played on a softball team together that won three consecutive championships. We knew Kenny & Chrissy when they were dating, now they are married, have three kids – the youngest is 28. As soon as we saw each other there was a man hug & smiles broke out all around.

Kenny is a big guy, but both Kenny & Chrissy carry the reputation of being really nice people. They’re polite, godly, humble, friendly, & easy-going. If the world were filled with people like that we wouldn’t need welfare programs, police officers, or soldiers. And that’s exactly the kind of people God is trying to make out of us! May we become famous for not promoting ourselves but making others feel special, welcome, & loved.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

July 1, 2018

I was attacked by some pancakes the other day. They were delicious – light, fluffy & sweet. They looked innocent enough & they went down easily. There were only two of them, but once they hit the bottom of my stomach they unveiled ‘phase two’ of their insidious plan of attack…

I pushed away from the table shortly after the last bite slid happily down my gullet. I paused thinking that a few more bites would have been nice but, alas, my plate was empty. Moments later with the food resting comfortably in the pit of my stomach, those cakes began to expand much like a life raft after the cord has been pulled. It felt more like I’d eaten two tires off my car than just a couple of pancakes. What’s worse – guilt began to assail my emotions as I chastised myself for not stopping at one pancake. I envisioned myself pouring more & more syrup on my breakfast while my waistline expanded, popping buttons, snapping my belt, & splitting my stomach!

“Knowing When” is the topic of today’s text. May God help us to know when to start, when to stop, when to speak up & when to stay quiet.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

June 24, 2018

Names carry reputations. Imagine if your last name happened to be Oswald, Hussein, or Hitler – you would have some negative vibes to work around when hoping to make new friends. Likewise, if your last name was Jobs, Lincoln, or Gates you might be met with a favorable response. Then there are those names that could divide a room: Clinton, Roethlisberger, Trump, or Osteen.

Most of us start out with a blank slate: our name will carry the reputation we build. This same concept applies to groups as well as individuals. As Christians the way we conduct ourselves in this world either adds to the group’s favorable status or detracts from it. Our behavior not only affects how people view us but also our church, our faith, & our Lord!

In today’s study, Peter urges us to live in such a way as to bring honor to all followers of Christ so that our message will not be hindered but rather endorsed. If each of us works at bringing honor to Jesus we can, in time, turn anti-Christian bias around & help shine a favorable light on our God causing others to give Him an honest hearing.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

June 17, 2018

Happy Father’s Day!

Back in the day the activity bus from our school only went so far. The closest stop to my house was three miles away. Around 6pm I’d drag my weary bones off that bus onto the tarmac of a small gas station. It was dark & extremely cold at 6pm through the winter months. If Dad wasn’t already waiting for me, it wouldn’t be long until I’d see his little yellow bug coming up around the corner. Dad got home from work at 5pm. He liked to have supper then sit in the living room & watch the news. I’m sure there were many a night when he would have rather stayed slumped in his easy chair after a long day at work than make one more trip out into the weather … but he always came.

What makes this story unusual is that my dad’s father died when Dad was quite young. I hear that my grandfather died in a bar fight which has a lot to say about that man’s character. His position in the family was filled by a stepfather that made Cinderella’s stepmother look like an angel. Eventually that man committed suicide. So, you see, my Dad never had anything but nasty role models when it came to fatherhood. His stepdad often sent him out into the cold without a jacket just to be mean. My dad did everything he could to keep me sheltered & warm. What’s a man like that worth? I can’t count that high.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

June 10, 2018

Weddings, graduations, vacations, sunshine: SUMMER! My own vacation plans are a compilation of family coming to visit us & us going to visit family. Our kids from NY were in late last week & hopefully Barb & I will be on our way to Pittsburgh to see our parents & various other relations. Just getting out of our normal routine, getting away from the familiar can give us a fresh perspective on life. I hope you will get a break from your “everyday” soon.

There are two kinds of good vacations: 1) Those that are so wonderful you hate for them to end & 2) Those that are so disappointing you are glad to get back to work! Either way it’s a win. There are also “too” kinds of vacations: you spent too much, you ate too much, you did too much…but then again, it is vacation!

– Pastor Joel Everhart

June 3, 2018

There is a state of mind that is becoming very popular today where you go back & relive your childhood. You think thoughts that haven’t occurred to you in years & you actually begin to believe you are young again! It’s called dementia & for most people its not as wonderful as it sounds.

We are designed to move forward not backward; to age, mature & improve in our thinking over time. Every day we live is an opportunity to become a better person. But you won’t get anywhere good without first identifying some goals, some life targets. Decide what you hope to become then enlist God’s help to get there. Tomorrow you will be different person than you are today. The question is whether it will be a better version of you or not so much. The decisions you make today will go a long way to answering that question.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

May 27, 2018

My wife has been talking for years about cleaning out our garage & getting rid of some things we’ve not even looked at since we put them on a shelf when we moved in. Finally I’m beginning to come over to her side. We have several boxes filled with items I’ve held onto for sentimental reasons that I will seriously never use & I know none of my kids will have any interest in after I’m gone. If we ever need to move again I don’t want to lug those boxes along & why wait until then to get rid of them? I’ll have enough to do packing what’s necessary to have to deal with clutter.

But suppose the stuff I was hoarding was actually detrimental to my health & everyone I love? What if I had boxes filled with asbestos, DDT & TNT? You’d say, “Pastor get rid of that mess before it kills you & destroys your family!”

You may have collected character traits that are just as harmful & its time to get rid of them before they cause any more harm! That’s what we’ll be talking about today.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

May 20, 2018

I have several friends that are currently going to physical therapy several times a week. Often the 1st visit to the therapist is the hardest as the patient is at his weakest/sorest point following an injury or surgery. Some simply do not go back. Those who continue go with the expectation of the therapy getting easier as their body gets stronger. Many who started out hating those sessions derive such benefit from them they hate to see them end!

Answering God’s call to holiness is a little like that. Giving up old habits, changing our vocabulary, learning how to pray & enjoy the Bible can be difficult at first. Remember that a call to holiness is a call to wholeness; you will feel better, you will be better the longer you remain in “spiritual therapy.” Don’t get discouraged, God is very patient with us & has a plan to heal our broken lives. In time you will learn to enjoy the very things that once annoyed you & wonder what you even saw in those old sinful ways.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

May 13, 2018

Our daughter & her three boys ages 2, 4 & 6 stayed with us for a week while our son-in-law was in Colorado on a business trip. We marveled at Kayla’s patience with her sons. She seems to have the right blend of grace & discipline but what a challenge! Familial harmony is constantly challenged by greed, pride, disappointment or conflicting desires. If there is something that can only be played with by one kid at a time all three want it at the same time. If there is an activity where all three can participate they still argue over which one sits where or has what position. If each of them gets what they ask for to eat they then want what another one got …

No wonder God made mothers: He didn’t want to face little boys alone! Nor does He leave moms to survive unaided. The Lord is ever present to help our moms cope, teach, discipline & love our little ones. Hang in there Mom! God is with you.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

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