The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog



February 3, 2019

Several times throughout my career as a pastor I’ve had church members who I thought were my friends do some nasty things. A few times people have tried to have me fired (one of which had been an assistant I hired in order to help him get his credentials … he was hoping to take my place. Later, those who had aligned with him came back to apologize. Once, a fellow neglected his duties & failed to pay certain taxes the church owed, which put me in a position of facing jail time. He then told everyone it was my fault before he left the church. I’ve been threatened with bodily harm several times … none of the aforementioned members still attend our assembly.

They call to apologize, I forgive them but they have either chosen to attend another fellowship or have quit church altogether. It seems to me that true forgiveness implies restoration. When someone extends forgiveness to us, we ought to embrace it & allow it to work its magic of causing the break in relationship to be welded back together stronger than it was before. Forgive others, but also accept forgiveness. Not doing so short-circuits what God is trying to do in us.

Pastor Joel Everhart

January 27, 2019

I play racquetball. The most frustrating moments (sadly, there are many of them) are when the ball bounces exactly as I expect it to, I know exactly where I want to hit it, I take a big swing & completely miss the ball. I used to rap my racquet on the side wall to vent the anger I was feeling toward myself in the moment. I’ve been able to correct that habit by reasoning with myself: 1) it wasn’t the racquet’s fault, 2) if I keep rapping my racquet on the wall it’s going to cost me the price of a new racquet, & 3) it is a rather immature reaction. I now allow the primal yell that bursts from my lungs to suffice as a sufficient cathartic expression (much more mature).

I never get angry at my opponents – I’ve even cheered for them whenever they’ve hit a cracker jack shot – I only ever get angry with myself. I expect to be able to hit a ball with a racquet that is 10 times larger than the ball. I expect to be able to hit a wall that is 20 feet high & 20 feet wide.

Let me add to my list of self-expectations at which I often fail: 1) remembering why I walked into a certain room, 2) remembering to use the coupons in my pocket, 3) driving defensively with kindness & understanding toward all who share the road .… I need a lot of self-forgiveness – how about you?

Pastor Joel Everhart

January 13, 2019

We had flown into Washington D.C. from visiting our kids in Utah. It was a Saturday afternoon so traffic would be lighter than normal & we’d be on our way out of town before dark. Unfortunately, there was a 5k running past our parking garage so the shuttle could only get us within two blocks of the place. After lugging our luggage to the car we learned that all the surrounding streets were closed until after the race. Did you know it takes some people over an hour to travel 3.1 miles?

It was very dark by the time we were released. I got befuddled with the directions we had as we got on some beltway that changed from East to West even though I hadn’t exited. We looped around the entire city; we were lost, seemingly to spend the rest of our lives circling the nation’s capital. My head started to hurt, my heart was pounding, I was getting angrier by the minute: angry at road signs, angry at whoever it was that decided to run a 5k in the middle of a city, angry at road design engineers…

That’s a little bit what it’s like whenever you get disconnected from the Lord: you get lost. Your head starts to spin, anger becomes an issue; nothing works the way you planned. Come home. Stop running around in circles & come home – the Father’s arms are open wide.

Pastor Joel Everhart

January 6, 2019

My wife found a stuffed cat that can be placed in the microwave to serve as a warmer or in the freezer to use as an ice pack. She wrapped it up for our granddaughter Hannah. Hannah loves cats. When she opened the gift her eyes said it all: Barb had hit a home run. Hannah cuddled & snuggled with her new friend & we couldn’t have been happier.

God has provided some very special gifts for us. When we snatch them up & enjoy them it makes His day. But, if we ignore them, if we chose not even to open them we miss our very reason for being here. When we seek God’s purpose for our life we are seeking meaning, fulfillment, adventure & satisfaction. Keep seeking.

Pastor Joel Everhart

December 30, 2018

While you are here being inspired by the preaching/acting of our good friend Rene Kinard I hope to be preaching in Monroeville, PA. I’ve been invited to share on the topic of “forgiveness” at the church where I started my ministry as a Youth Pastor. The pastor there, Lance Lacocq, used to be a student in my Youth Group. At my mom’s funeral we were able to reconnect with many members of that church we’d not seen in decades.

Barb & I left that ministry 37 years ago but were able to pick up with some of our old friends as if we’d never lost contact. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience reconnecting with old classmates, friends from your military days or people from an area you used to live. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? And there’s so much to talk about! Kids have been born & raised, careers have been completed, achievements have been accomplished, surgeries have taken place… It’s a little taste of heaven where everyone will be a brother or sister we may have never met here on earth.

Get the summary of your life ready because you’re going to be telling it a lot! Not much to tell? There’s still time. Have a great rest of your life!

Pastor Joel Everhart

December 23, 2018

Recently, my wife & I had a chance to visit her Aunt Lois who moved into the Presbyterian Home in Oakmont, PA. She moved there after her son, whom she had been living with, died suddenly from a massive heart attack in October. I don’t think I’ve ever been greeted so warmly & with such delight as she greeted us that day. We took her a butter star cookie & helped her get a small ceramic Christmas tree she had setting on her windowsill to light up. When we left we felt like a million bucks.

Some people just know how to make a person feel welcome. That wasn’t the case for King Herod when Jesus was born. He had a chance to be a part of the greatest event in human history but chose to play for himself rather than consider what Jesus’ birth would mean to all mankind. Don’t focus on yourself this Christmas, light up someone else’s world, then sit back & bask in their glow.

Pastor Joel Everhart

December 16, 2018

Driving in to the office the other day I stopped for a school bus coming the opposite direction with its flashers blinking. We sat there for quite a while looking from one side of the road to the other at no one coming from anywhere. It actually inspired a little sympathy in me for bus drivers as I wondered how long & how often they were required to wait for someone who wasn’t coming.

No doubt you’ve been waiting for people you love to come to Jesus. You have prayed for them, dropped witness seeds, invited them to church but so far they’ve kept their distance.

Just like that bus driver will stop at that same stop tomorrow knowing it’s possible that student is ready to go to school, we need to faithfully make our rounds. It’s never wrong to keep working for someone’s salvation but doubly true now. I believe God has given us a window of opportunity, an enhanced, energized boost of His anointing to see people get right with God who have not been interested previously. The time is short, now is the time to make one more round; do your best to get as many to safety as you can.

Pastor Joel Everhart

December 9, 2018

We had flown into Washington D.C. from visiting our kids in Utah. It was a Saturday afternoon so traffic would be lighter than normal & we’d be on our way out of town before dark. Unfortunately, there was a 5k running past our parking garage so the shuttle could only get us within two blocks of the place. After lugging our luggage to the car we learned that all the surrounding streets were closed until after the race. Did you know it takes some people over an hour to travel 3.1 miles?

It was very dark by the time we were released. I got befuddled with the directions we had as we got on some beltway that changed from East to West even though I hadn’t exited. We looped around the entire city; we were lost, seemingly to spend the rest of our lives circling the nation’s capital. My head started to hurt, my heart was pounding, I was getting angrier by the minute: angry at road signs, angry at whoever it was that decided to run a 5k in the middle of a city, angry at road design engineers…

That’s a little bit what it’s like whenever you get disconnected from the Lord: you get lost. Your head starts to spin, anger becomes an issue; nothing works the way you planned. Come home. Stop running around in circles & come home – the Father’s arms are open wide.

Pastor Joel Everhart

December 2, 2018

It was my intention to preach this sermon last Sunday morning, talking about trouble. I wasn’t able to preach it because my family experienced some trouble. Plan B was to slip this message in on a Sunday morning in the future in order to catch up with my preaching plan for December but as I read over it I thought, “How appropriate.” Trouble doesn’t take the holidays off! In fact, its beginning to feel as though distress has a special holiday edition as if it’s getting paid overtime to show up at this time of the year.

Five years ago my nephew passed away at the age of 31 just before Thanksgiving. Two years ago we lost my brother the Monday after Thanksgiving & now this year my mother went home to glory on Thanksgiving Day. No, trouble doesn’t take the holidays off, at least not in my family. I’m guessing, not in yours either. Let’s look in the Word today for a little help.

Pastor Joel Everhart

November 25, 2018

Recently, my daughter’s family ran to the Emergency Room in the wee hours of the morning & spent a good part of the day there because my son-in-law Chris was experiencing severe pain in his chest & stomach. Rousing three boys ages 3-7 out of bed, packing enough supplies to keep them satisfied, pleading with ER staff to do something, finally going through tests … well you get the picture. They found out his gallbladder needs to be removed, but were able to give him some medicine that calmed things down until surgery can be scheduled. Did I mention my daughter is pregnant & that their vehicle has been acting up?

TROUBLE. Everyone has some. Why am I talking about trouble on the Sunday after Thanksgiving? If it weren’t for trouble our testimonies would be pretty lame. If there were no Midianites we would have never heard of Gideon. If there hadn’t been a Goliath … the story just wouldn’t be the same if David had faced a midget.

Trouble is the prelude to every miracle. The greater the trouble, the greater the miracle, the greater the praise! God is our ever present help in times of trouble.

Pastor Joel Everhart

November 18, 2018

I live a half-mile from the YMCA in Hanover & I’ve gotten into a bit of a habit to go there when they open on Saturdays at 6am just after I’m done with my morning run. They have a hot tub. I’m the only one in it at that time of the morning. It feels absolutely heavenly! Every time I wade into its waters & slowly sink onto the seat in front of its most powerful jet I break out into praise. I have found myself a hiding place. I have found myself a secret space.

As my tired bones soak in the hot water & the jet massages my muscles my spirit goes to heavenly places. Each of us needs to develop a hot tub prayer life where we can go whenever life becomes overwhelming. A place where the stresses, fears, & worries of this life get massaged away while the presence & peace of God soaks into our bones. In today’s message we’ll follow David as he finds his hiding place & gets revived.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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