The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog



Sunday, September 20, 2020

My brother-in-law Roy gave me a powerful gift recently. I was looking for a .22 I could use to teach my grandkids how to shoot as they come of age. I asked him if he’d be interested in selling or trading for a Montgomery Wards single shot rifle he came upon a couple years ago while cleaning out houses that had been foreclosed. It was in real rough shape when he found it but was able to restore it to near-new condition. He said, “Joel, you can have any .22 in my gun case. In fact, I’m going to send along Dad’s Winchester.” As I found out, his Dad had purchased that gun in the 1930’s at the local hardware store, Klingensmith’s. It’s been in the family ever since and  has been shot by every one of Barb’s siblings, as well as her mother and father. Now, Ed’s great-grandkids will learn to shoot using it! Roy and Brenda don’t have any kids of their own. Still, he could have sold it for a pretty penny or traded it for more shooting supplies or whatever. That’s not just a generous gift, it takes your breath away! It brought tears to my eyes.

I hope to give a gift like that to someone someday. Until then, I’ll practice giving lesser things so I’m ready when that day comes.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

September 13, 2020

Recently, our kids from Virginia visited for a week. It was a week like none other I’d ever spent. It was busy, noisy, crazy, expensive, fascinating, exciting, challenging… My biggest win was that Adalyn, our one year old, went with me & the boys to the park. Normally, she screams whenever at least one of her parents aren’t in sight. I even have a selfie of her smiling as I held her! There’s not another human on the planet that can make that boast aside from her Dad & Mom.

All four of my grandsons were easily won over but each of my granddaughters took time. I wooed them from afar, feeding them their favorite foods & candies. I offered to take them places they wanted to go when no one else could. I led them along with crumbs of kindness.

Love can be a lot of work. That’s true in families, that’s true in churches. People will bless your socks off at times & bitterly disappoint you at other times. Love is a patient art; a learned ability. Keep practicing your love skills until you’ve won everyone over.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

September 6, 2020

What does it mean to be a member of a church? Yes, we have an application to fill out, we ask that you tithe your income, attend as many services as you can, get involved serving somehow, etc. All that is fine, good and necessary for us to function as a church. But what does it mean to be a member, a part of the body?

Paul says that each of us is a member of the church like our eye or ear is a part of our body. Those parts share the same blood, go places together, depend on one another & dare I say, enjoy one another’s company. My eyes are glad I can hear and my ears are glad I can see. As members of the same body we need to seek to get closer to each other. Attend functions and classes that put us in social contact, visit outside of church meetings. Become friends. Settled into a clique here? Good, but reach outside of it to pull others in. Pray that God helps you find your best friends here. Loving one another will help us accomplish what the Lord sent us here to do like nothing else can.

August 30, 2020

What a wild summer! COVID has colored everything: where we go, how we act once we’re there, what we can or cannot do… One of the forms Barb filled out for a doctor visit recently asked if she’d been outside of Adams or York counties within the past 14 days or been in contact with anyone who had. Honestly, how would we know if anyone we’d been in contact with had been out of the area? Surely, someone went somewhere to do something!

Well, this week we hope to be on the road. If Barb’s health can handle it we intend to visit some relatives in the Pittsburgh area. I wonder if her doctor will be willing to see her again after that?

All of this convinces me that now more than ever, I want to be ready when the trumpet sounds & all God’s children are called home. Can you imagine being left behind to face plagues, disasters & judgments of Biblical proportions one on top of another? No thank you.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

August 23, 2020

We’re going to be talking about branding today. Another word we could use for branding is reputation. People get a certain feeling about a product or person just by hearing their name. Let me try a few: McDonald’s, Walmart, George Floyd, KFC, Ford, Ronald Reagan… Chances are you had an immediate reaction to each of those names. They carry a brand, a reputation.

Each church, each minister, each believer carries a brand with the people who know them. Some churches get a bad reputation and, try as they might to overcome it, they’ll never be able to be very effective in their area of influence. We can say we don’t care about our brand but if it is linked to our ability to do what God has sent us to do we should care about it quite a bit. What would you say is the range of reactions people have to hearing the name of our church? Can you think of any ways to improve our “curb appeal”?

August 16, 2020

A couple of years ago an Asian family was touring the Warf in the San Francisco Bay area. Their little girl sat down beside the water where a sea lion jumped up, grabbed her shirt & pulled her down into the sea. Immediately her grandfather leapt in after her. He didn’t hesitate, didn’t stop to offload his cell phone or wallet or shoes, took no time to think about his own safety. He was on his way into the surf before the splash from her departure had fallen. Grandpa brought her safely back to the dock. That’s love. That’s a passion in action.

We are called to care about the spiritually lost. We are called to share the gospel with those who are outside of Christ. When you share your faith, it shows you care for the people around you. In today’s study Paul shares that our fear of God ought to motivate us to work in the field of souls.

 

August 9, 2020

On the newsfeed this morning I read of an actress who died of breast cancer at the age of 57. Although I didn’t recognize the name, her picture was familiar. Her name is Kelly Preston & as I clicked on the article, I was surprised to learn that her husband of 30 years is John Travolta. She passed away on July 12, 2020 after a two-year battle with her illness. Travolta wished to thank all of their family, friends, doctors, nurses & care givers for their support through that very painful season. They fought hard & spared no expense seeking a cure that didn’t come. I was reminded once again how precious & brief life is.

It won’t be long & it will be our turn to leave this world. That’s not the end of our life; we live on. Those who are in Christ have a glorious future ahead. In all of the planning, preparing, building, studying, working, playing you do, be SURE to be ready for the day Jesus calls your name. You don’t want to miss heaven for all the world.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

August 2, 2020

I was in the gym the other day & started thinking about when it was built. It will soon be 20 years old. I remembered standing in that very spot when it was just a slab of concrete before the walls were framed in. I remembered that like it was yesterday. Then my mind did some calculating: if that was 20 years ago & it went by so fast, how old was I? Early 40s. I’m 63 right now, how old will I be in another 20 years? 83!

At 83, it’s highly unlikely, even if the Lord should tarry & I still be alive, that I’ll be able to do very few of the things I so enjoy doing now. This morning, I lifted, ran, & played racquetball before driving to the church to prepare a message for an upcoming service.

Have I spent my life well? Am I doing worthwhile things? Wasn’t it the Newsboys who sang, Time is ticking away, tick, tick, ticking away? For me, the ticks are getting louder, spurring me on to make the moments count. In today’s text, Paul reminds us of what is really important in life.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 26, 2020

We’ve lived through a lot of rule changes lately. Personally, I was surprised how compliant most of us were to the whole, “shelter in place – wear masks in public” thing. It literally took a life-threatening event to get our attention & change our lifestyle, if only for a little while. I’ll be amazed if a second wave of the virus incites as drastic a response regardless of what edicts the government issues. We’re just not good at following rules that don’t have an immediate cause & effect.

It takes more than rules, more than agreeing with those rules to change the way we live; it takes a change of our nature. There’s only one force powerful enough to morph our stubborn self-serving will into one that is submissive to all that is good & holy. Paul talks about that power in this morning’s message.

Pastor Joel Everhart

 

July 19, 2020

My wife & I have to be careful not to use certain words around our dog, among them are “go”, “walk” & “treat”. These words have been known to rouse her out of a deep sleep & start her on a sequence of actions based on her expectations. I’ve even come up with new phrases like “stroll the troll” & “glide with Clyde” but she soon catches on. If I ask Barb or she asks me if I am hungry, the dog always thinks the question is directed at her.

Paul had to be careful how he said everything he said to the believers in Corinth. Because some of them didn’t like him, he did his best to “foolproof” his letters. Of course, that’s not possible whenever you’re talking about people with a prejudice against you. Nevertheless, he tried.

Being careful of what you say & how you say it depending on who is in the room isn’t necessarily hypocrisy, it might just be the smartest thing you’ll do all day. A word of explanation expertly placed can save you a world of grief. Be sure to season your blunt & forthright with plenty of tact & diplomacy.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 12, 2020

For a while it seemed like every time we ate at Texas Roadhouse in Hanover, we had the same waitress. Every attempt I made at being friendly or humorous seemed to offend her. At the urging of my wife, I soon kept my comments to ordering the food & paying the bill. I pretty much like everybody & have to wonder about people whom I seem to irritate.

The Apostle Paul had a lot of loyal friends in the church at Corinth but he also had a few people who opposed him & his ministry bitterly. They denied his authority, questioned his motives & rejected his demands.

I hate to tell you this, but, not everyone is going to like you. It’s a simple fact of life. Be satisfied with striving to be the best follower of Jesus you can be then let others choose whether to “friend” you or not. Its okay even if they don’t, because, truth be told, there are some great people in this world you really don’t care for either. Just don’t let your natural dislike for them cause you to treat them poorly.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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