The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

November 8, 2020

Today we’re continuing our study about thorns. That’s the term Paul used to describe something that hurt and hindered him. Unlike a thorn that might prick us causing a sharp yet brief pain, the type of thorn he refers to gets lodged into place. You can’t remove it; best you can do is learn to live with it.

Its human nature to work at removing thorns from our life. We do our best to minimize their affect on us. No one likes to admit that a thorn has moved in for good. You may wrestle with diabetes, arthritis, bi-polar depression, the disability of a loved one under your care, or any other number of issues. Like Paul, you’ve prayed for its removal but it remains. I hope that what we learn over these next several weeks will help us cope better with these intrusions to our health, peace and comfort.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

November 1, 2020

Things happen. I sat down at my desk, clicked on my desk lamp, there was a flash and the smell of something burnt then the lamp was dark once again: blown bulb. It went out in a fury! For its last gasp it shown brilliantly. On cold days I used to rest my hands on its housing to warm them. It gave light as I studied the Scriptures day in & day out. It had been a faithful bulb, steady on the job season after season for many months. So much so that it utterly amazed me when it was no longer able to show up for work. What did I do with such a loyal worker, one that had helped me for so long? I threw it in the trash then went to Sam’s office to find a replacement.

Bulbs do what bulbs do until they can’t do it anymore then they’re thrown away. People are not like bulbs. We’re brighter some days than others. We can’t work at the same level of competency for days on end. We need inspiration, motivation, dedication, rest… Working too long or resting too much, not eating enough or eating too much, neglecting our health or becoming self-centered can all lead to burnout or uselessness. You are not a light bulb, you are a human being in need of balance & self-control, ever adjusting your excesses and deficiencies. May our study from God’s word today help us in those ever- fluctuating battles.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

October 25, 2020

We had a house full of grandkids this week. Our little dog loves them all. She spends a lot of time licking them. Thursday morning she kept tapping Colten on the arm with her paw until he rubbed her belly. However, there are a few things that set her off. She likes to be fed whenever everyone else is eating. When she’s tired, she likes to be left alone. But her biggest irritation, one that will cause her to nip at them is whenever they start to wrestle with grandpa. No one touches grandpa when Callie is in the room. The kids are always surprised when their faithful companion, the licker of their skin transforms into a guard dog.

Our God is very loving & gracious, so much so, that one might conclude He’s all fluff & mush. NOT SO! His anger can be as harsh as His grace is loving. We ought not keep poking Him. Our sin will demand a reaction from on high. I don’t think our recent troubles – storms, virus, riots, fires…- are an accident. I believe they’re warnings.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

October 18, 2020

You’ve heard of cults. They often require their members to adhere to a very strict code of conduct: abstinence from sex, dress in very plain, odd ways, eat a starvation diet, fast for long periods of time, work tremendously long hours, exist on very little sleep… Their followers are always taken advantage of by the leaders of the group. You might ask who in the world would put up with such treatment, yet millions around the world are under their control.

If the devil can’t catch you in his web of immorality & loose living, he’ll out-sacrifice you to death! There is a balance to this life we choose to walk in Christ. It’s strict enough to keep us from harming ourselves & others by making foolish choices & it’s loose enough for us to enjoy the very best things life has to offer. Christ’s blessings add no sorrow to our lives.

Just because someone dresses or talks “holy” doesn’t mean they know the Lord. They can be just as lost acting like a saint as they can be acting like a fool. Be careful with whom you fellowship.

–  Pastor Joel Everhart

October 11, 2020

Our neighbor across the street adopted a kitten recently. This thing is wild! It climbs everything, squeezes in places it doesn’t fit, knocks over lamps, pictures and anything else sitting on a table or counter. Anytime you run into Shirley she’ll show you her latest collection of bite and scratch marks. Every time Barb comes home from a visit to her house she has stories of how she was stalked by the beast, pounced on and wounded. Shirley often puts it in its pen just so she can have a few moments of peace.

Her hope is, of course, that her kindness and discipline will eventually result in a mature cat that provides comfort and companionship. In the meantime, it’s a daily temptation to drop the little terror off at a shelter.

Seeing people through rough spots in their development in Christ can be nearly as exasperating. You may even have some scars from helping others in church. No wonder the Bible calls on us to bear with one another in love. Even though the process may be difficult, the finished produce is worth the trouble.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

October 4, 2020

As I was pondering what to write in this article, I watched a buzzard circle the field outside my office several times then land near the back of it. From there he walked into the high weeds & began pulling on something dead. He tugged and tugged at it moving it a few inches at a time until he had it out into the open. I didn’t know those scavengers were so proactive in securing their meat. I thought they simply landed on dead stuff & started eating. The way this one struggled I had to wonder if its meal was fully dead.

Some needs we can or should meet are obvious, right out in the open. Others are hidden from sight but if we’re careful we can find. That’s important because in my experience there are a lot of people who would rather die than ask anyone for help. Keep looking for those people because helping them is so very rewarding.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

September 27, 2020

Ever notice there’s always something of which to repent? Even if you’ve got all your actions under control: you’re not stealing or lashing out or rolling your eyes at inappropriate times… Even if you have your thought life under control: no lusting after forbidden things, no lists of grievances against people you’re supposed to love, no pity parties… I’ll bet you’re having trouble keeping this one: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, body and strength.”

Can you honestly say you love God with everything in you 24/7? I think we need to live in repentance because repentance is good for us. It keeps us humble; it keeps us reaching for God’s help and presence. We can do all things with His help but apart from Him we can do nothing. Take some time to humble yourself before the Lord today. Make a fresh commitment to live in obedience to His will. Offload any actions, thoughts or attitudes that are not pleasing to Him and renew your love for Him. Repentance: it’s so good for your soul!

-Pastor Joel Everhart

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

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