The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

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

March 17, 2019

I was up early to clear my driveway & sidewalk of snow before heading off to the gym. It was snowing so lightly I figured I was done with it for the day. By the time I got back an hour or so later, my paved surfaces looked just like everyone else’s: covered in snow. The only evidence that I’d shoveled were the little piles of snow at the corners of my property. The flakes were so small, it looked more like flurries than a shower, yet — oh, how they accumulated in a short amount of time!

Prayer can work like that. The words don’t seem very profound, you almost feel useless mentioning the same request again but the Bible says the Lord collects our prayers in golden bowls. Our prayers have an accumulative & lasting affect!

One form of prayer not to be neglected is praying in other tongues as the Spirit directs us. Like all prayer, we may not see the results right away, but the Bible tells us that those prayers are powerful & effective. Keep praying both with your mind & with your spirit.

Pastor Joel Everhart

March 10, 2019

My wife’s friend has mice in her apartment building. She saw signs of them: crumbs, droppings, etc. Then one day as she was on the phone with Barb she saw one of them skitter across her floor — she totally freaked out. Because it ran into her kitchen she refused to go into that room anymore. She knew she had mice because of the evidence left behind, but actually seeing one took her anxiety to a whole new level.

This morning we are going to talk about the evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The experience is greater than the evidence. Don’t get hung up on the evidence; seek a deeper walk with God: that’s a good experience.

Pastor Joel Everhart

March 3, 2019

As a child I was taught that Roman Catholicism was a cult & that the Pope would be the Antichrist. As a teenager I experienced the Charismatic Renewal sweeping across our country & found myself worshiping alongside priests & nuns in some of the most powerful services I’ve ever attended. I have since learned that there are true believers in every denomination (some more than others) & a great many people in the Assemblies of God who do not know the Lord.

I think God takes great delight in “blowing our minds.” That’s what he did in today’s text for the Apostle Peter. Now, mind you, Peter was the head of the church — if anyone was supposed to have everything figured out it was him. Still, the Lord absolutely blew Peter’s expectations out of the water. Keep an open mind to what Jesus has in store for you.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 24, 2019

In August 1977 I moved to Springfield, Missouri, to attend Central Bible College. The drive out there was like nothing I’d ever experienced before: 18 hours. I felt like we’d driven to the other side of the world. Then I was homesick for the first couple weeks. One of the things that helped me cope was watching others more homesick than myself: I didn’t want to be that guy.

Moving away from home is hard but I hope you’ve had the opportunity to have just such an experience. It accelerates the maturing process like nothing else. You experience a culture different from your own. You meet interesting people. You need to stand on your own two feet without Mom & Dad as the easy solution to every crisis. You need to decide if you will live as a Christian or just blend in with everyone else.

Philip was chased from his home in Jerusalem. Rather than sing the blues, he shared his faith with people in Samaria. The results were miraculous. Sometimes change is good.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 17, 2019

I got pelted with a racquetball so hard recently that it left a welt on the back of my leg for several weeks. I often get hit, but this was the mother of all shots. Usually you just make a little joke & go on; but for this one I had to “walk it off.” Typically, I’d guess I get hit with a ball about every third time I play; on this particular day I was struck five times.

When my wife saw the mark (three days later) she thought I had been bitten by an infected tick because of the bullseye design the ball had left behind. You might think that would be enough to cause a person to take up a different hobby, maybe stamp collecting. Not me, I’m not that bright.

The degree to which you love something determines how much pain you are willing to endure in order to maintain the relationship. In today’s sermon I’m going to propose that when it comes to loving people, we learn to increase the love while reducing the pain. Simple changes in our attitudes toward the people we are supposed to love can do wonders.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 10, 2019

When I was a teenager, we had a poodle mix mutt named Fritz that was always dragging something he’d killed home from the woods: a groundhog, possum, raccoon …. So, I decided to take him hunting with me one day. Sure enough, he jumped a rabbit & flushed it right out in front of me. I let go with a blast from my shotgun but missed the rabbit. Fritz made a hard-left turn & ran the whole way home. He never came near me again whenever I had a gun in my hand.

Because I didn’t take the time to train him to expect the gunshot he became gun-shy. I ruined what otherwise could have been a great hunting dog. The truth is, I didn’t know how to train him therefore had no business taking him hunting.

There are a lot of things we don’t know how to do but we do them anyway. Were you really prepared to get married or raise children? Did you expect to be doing half the things you now do when you took the job you have? Was the house you are living in the low-maintenance dream you thought it was when you signed the papers?

We’re actually quite reckless! Sadly, sometimes the victim of our adventuresome spirit is some innocent bystander. We need to do more apologizing than defending; more forgiving than condemning. After all, even though the actions of others can, at times, cause us pain – chances are we’ve caused others pain also.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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