The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

June 2, 2019

I once wrote an article that mused about what it would be like if we didn’t have seasons but that each day’s weather was totally random. I think we’re living in just such a time! One day I’m wearing layers like it’s January & the next I’m in shorts & short sleeves. Sometimes I need a complete wardrobe change in the middle of the day. I’ve never seen such copious amounts of rain in my lifetime two years in a row.

The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, day after day they pour forth speech.” You don’t suppose all this rain is supposed to remind us of why there was a flood many years ago, do you? Before we joke about building an ark we really ought to get on our knees & settle accounts with the Lord.

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 26, 2019

It’s with great joy we welcome LeRoy, Wanda, Libby & Lincoln Bunker as our special guests this morning! They worked with our kids & youth for many years & their influence is still seen in many parts of the building as well as in the lives of our teens & young adults.

One of my fond memories of working with the Bunkers was when LeRoy & I were on our way home from a District event & happened upon a couple of cows in the middle of Routh 194. We herded the cows back onto the farm before continuing on our way. I always wanted to be a cowboy & other than not being dressed like one, not having a horse or a gun, I was one for a couple of minutes that day.

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 19, 2019

I ran to Pittsburgh for a day to visit with my Dad. I dressed up thinking to take him to lunch at a nice restaurant that serves a great fish sandwich – Dad & I love a good fish sandwich! When I arrived he handed me a list of things he was hoping I could get done before heading for home: clean out the gutters, sweep out the garage, blow off the driveway, gather up the remaining leaves on his two acres, hose down the house… I was able to take my shirt off but my white pants took a beating. His gutters were full of compost as well as last season’s leaves. Then I sank his lawn tractor in the mud – there was a lot of kneeling involved in getting it extricated.

Given my past history of visits to my Dad’s house it was actually quite foolish of me to show up dressed up. When you visit Dad you need to be ready to work. Don’t get me wrong, those are my favorite kind of visits. I just wrongly thought that because I was planning on being in town for only a couple of hours that we’d do lunch, chat about his decision to sell the place, where he was going to live… There I was sitting in an upscale restaurant with a nice shirt & pants that looked like they’d been drug through the mud.

In your Father’s house don’t expect it to be all happy, happy, happy. There’s work to do on your soul & you can’t expect Him to just sit there & smile rather than press you on issues that need to be addressed. There’s work to be done.

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 12, 2019

I ran into Weis Market the other day to pick up a few things. At the checkout I was behind a fellow who was just finishing up. The clerk handed him his receipt & said, “You saved 11 cents today.” I said, “Don’t spend it all in one place.” I’d never saved so little on a trip to the market in my life. I’m used to hearing things like, “You saved $11 today!”

 The clerk rang up my items then handed me my receipt without saying anything. I said, “Didn’t I save anything?” “No,” she said. I didn’t even beat Mr. 11 Cents! I was glad he’d already left the store. Maybe, just maybe I have a problem with being a little too competitive sometimes. God has a way of identifying adjustments that need to be made in our attitudes. Happy are we if we cooperate with His promptings. If we don’t take the hints He drops to heart, He has a way of speaking a little louder & pruning a little deeper.

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 5, 2019

Normally, a 28-degree temperature with a 19-degree wind chill factor in the middle of January is not a problem: I bundle up a little tighter & take my morning run. But those were the conditions on April 1st of this year (no fooling!). Two days earlier it had been sunny & 70! I wimped out & ran inside at the YMCA. I’ve come to accept more responsibility for my health than I used to. The things I do, or neglect to do, really do have an affect on how I feel.

The fact is, each of us is far more responsible for many factors in our life than we would like to admit. It’s a lot easier to blame something or someone else for our poor attitude or lack of financial planning or spiritual growth than to do the work necessary to improve. God has given each of us tremendous potential but that potential must be developed in order to be enjoyed. Start with an honest evaluation of where you’re at, decide on some reasonable goals, then take the 1st couple of steps in that direction.

We were created to be a masterpiece but some of us have settled for a connect the dots coloring page that looks like it’s the work of a preschooler. The Master is standing by to help but He can’t do His best work until we want what He wants bad enough to start living as though what we do today really does affect our tomorrow.

Pastor Joel Everhart

April 28, 2019

A few Sundays ago, I overheard this conversation between two men:

“If you had been here earlier …”

“Yeah, I know, my wife …”

“Say no more, I have a wife too.”

    True love waits because our true love often keeps us waiting. Actually, that’s true even of our very true love: God. He often keeps us waiting: waiting for answers, waiting for healing, waiting for a miracle, waiting for a breakthrough … Why all this waiting? Nothing tests our faith like time ticking away while deadlines approach or pain persists.

    If you are convinced that God can & will help you, you will wait patiently. The more patient you are, the more faith you demonstrate, the more the Lord loves to lavish His blessings on you. Don’t worry, don’t fret, don’t throw a fit; trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding…

Pastor Joel Everhart

April 21, 2019

I was out walking the dog the other day when I spied an envelope lying in the middle of the street. As I got closer I could see that it was an unopened piece of mail. Thinking it might belong to one of my neighbors I picked it up. It was from a credit union so I surmised that it was probably important & certainly something you wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Looking at the recipient’s address I was shocked to see it was addressed to a friend of mine living on Roland Road in East Berlin (I live in Hanover)! What are the chances of finding a piece of mail in the middle of the street belonging to someone you know with tire marks all over it who lives in another town? As they say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

  That is certainly the case with the truth we’ll be discussing this morning. Jesus died on a Roman cross but three days later He was raised from the dead! Even His disciples had a hard time believing that until they saw Him with their own eyes. They died testifying to what they saw. Now, all we need to do in order to be saved is to believe what they experienced. Strange? Yes. True? Absolutely.

Pastor Joel Everhart

April 14, 2019

As the date of my wife’s recent operation drew near I witnessed a strange phenomenon: she got busier around the house. Previously, she was okay with how I cleaned up the kitchen after preparing meals & how I did the floors. But as surgery neared, I found her sanitizing the counters & pushing her Swiffer along the baseboards. It wasn’t that she was feeling better, she was getting her house in order so she could rest easier over the coming recovery period. Also, she was burning a lot of nervous energy knowing how hard recovery was going to be.

On Palm Sunday Jesus was being welcomed by a very large crowd of worshipers. It wasn’t that His Kingdom was about to take over, looks can be deceiving. They cheered, He wept. They rejoiced, Jesus braced Himself. And yet, He was soon to strike a fatal blow to death & the kingdom of darkness. Jesus submitted Himself to the tortures ahead knowing that triumph & resurrection were soon to follow.

We are often caused to face hard trials but the pain is never the end of the story. Courage is a big part of faith. It’s not that we never suffer but that we believe that when we submit ourselves to suffering for the sake of Jesus’ Kingdom victory & rewards soon follow. Trials don’t get smaller just because we believe but our resolve to finish well is strengthened.

Pastor Joel Everhart

April 7, 2019

I’m one of the youngest residents in my neighborhood. There are many widows & elderly couples that live on our street. When it snows, I clear my driveway with my snowblower & shovel then move on down the street thinking of those neighbors that might endanger themselves if they try to clear their own lot. The problem is that I run out of strength &/or time before I run out of friends who can use some help! Inevitably I walk away feeling guilty that I didn’t help so & so & pray they don’t have a heart attack while shoveling.

I pray that the Lord gives me strength but also the wisdom to use what strength I have for the greatest possible good. In today’s study we’ll find two camps: one looking for more philosophy (wisdom) than the gospel provides & another looking for more hocus-pocus (power/mysticism). There’s plenty of both to be found in salvation. Pray for the wisdom to know when enough is enough & the strength to resist every shiny new teaching that comes along that isn’t rooted in God’s Word. Sometimes God does miracles & sometimes He reveals something that blows our mind, but we need to be content with knowing the simple truth & waiting for things to work out in God’s time … that’s called faith.

Pastor Joel Everhart

March 31, 2019

Toys go flying, one of the kids goes stomping off with their arms folded & lower lip protruding. Ever notice how kids get upset with each other a lot but in no time at all they’re best buds again? Maybe that’s part of what Jesus meant when He told us we need to be like little children if we are going to be part of His Kingdom. Even the freedom to get upset with no worries of ruining their future together is great. They’ve always got a “higher power” to appeal their case to: a parent, teacher, older sibling … Sure, sometimes they take their toys & go home but they usually come back the next day with a clean slate.

You would think that by the time we’re adults we would be so used to conflict it would be a natural part of all our relationships & we’d handle it so smoothly it would always result in tighter bonds & better decisions. Why isn’t that the case? Why are believers often the worst at finding common ground & reconciliation? Maybe today’s text can help us with these questions.

Pastor Joel Everhart

March 24, 2019

When it comes to the information highway, I’m driving in the slow lane. The other day I learned how to take video with my phone! Several teens from the church told me not to bother setting up a Facebook account because that’s for old people. Snapchat, Twitter, &/or Instagram is where it’s at — at least, that’s where it was last week.

Once again, I’ve been made aware that my devices can do a lot more than I use them to do. First, I have to be made aware that an app or program exists, then I have to learn how to use it, then find out what else it can do.

This process is very similar to how we grow spiritually. First, you need to find out that a spiritual experience exists such as Salvation, Water Baptism, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, etc. Then, you need to learn how to access it: repent & believe, find someone willing to baptize you, ask Jesus … Next, you need to grow in that experience in order to enjoy all the benefits said experience has to offer. This morning we’re going to look at Salvation. Salvation offers so much more than the forgiveness of our sins & a reservation in heaven. If that’s all you’ve been using it for you are missing out on some of its greatest features.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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