The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

March 8, 2020

When I was a Royal Ranger we used to compete in 3-man & 5-man teams. Each team was given one match with which to build a fire; a hatchet, knife and some twine to build a shelter. Judges would be dispatched to score how well you chose your campsite, built your lean-to, cleared the space around your fire pit, and if you could indeed ignite your fire with one match. To prepare for these competitions we practiced lashing, fire building, etc. We learned how to pass and store sharp objects safely. Extra points were given if you could also set a snare in hopes of catching dinner.

Part & parcel of every Christian’s training for life must be an ability to pray. Learning how to pray daily, consistently, as well as in times of great need is essential. As representatives of the Lord here on this planet, we are responsible to pray for its inhabitants, nations, laws, etc. as well as for needs we and our loved one’s experience. Don’t put it off any longer, start practicing.

Pastor Joel Everhart

March 1, 2020

I play a lot of racquetball these days. As I write this, I have three very prominent welts: one above each elbow and a new one — planted on me just this morning — on my right side. That last one was extra painful for some reason. It wasn’t hit exceptionally hard but it seemed to smack all the air out of my lungs for a moment. I have hit others and been hit. One of my friends got hit in the head with a racquet last Saturday. We’re not trying to injure one another and I’ve never seen any of these wounds result in any ill feelings.

If you are going to play racquetball you need the ability to take a hit without taking it personal. If you are going to live with other people you need the ability to take a hit without taking it personal. In fact, Jesus requires us to return love for every wound we receive! In life, as in racquetball, practice helps improve our game. Practice loving difficult people.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 23, 2020

The further I get away from my program (that place where I’m eating on schedule & limiting myself to food that is good for me) the more outrageous my eating habits become. “Just a little bit more” soon becomes an all-day grazing habit. Trying to satisfy a craving takes me from the pantry to the refrigerator, to the cupboards, back to the pantry, eating a little of this, then a little of that … I’m never really full but I’m never really hungry either.

I wish I pursued God like I do the satisfaction of my stomach. Actually, that’s the point! As long as our stomach is growling at us, pushing us around, absorbing our attention, our spiritual ears can’t hear a thing. Quieting our flesh, we open ourselves up to a different kind of feeding program. Our hearts begin to hear what the Lord has been trying to tell us for a long time. Be still, quiet your flesh & your spiritual ears will hear amazing things.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 16, 2020

You’ve heard the mantra a thousand times: it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. You’ll never change your lifestyle until you change your mind. Your mind resists change like a cat fights taking a bath. The only way you’ll be successful at changing your mind is by subjecting it to the Word of God (Romans 12:1, 2). Scripture has transforming power. Don’t just listen to the messages in this series about fasting & prayer, agree with them, accept them as truth, ask the Lord to help you apply them.

Perhaps you should even take a few notes! Then go home & practice what you hear. Challenge your flesh, skip a meal & refuse to allow your flesh to throw a tantrum. If you’re anything like me, we’ve got a long way to go before we starve to death. We’re much more likely to whine to death.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 9, 2020

I was sitting at a red light behind an SUV that had a softball sized bumper sticker on its hatch. I couldn’t quite make it out so I drifted a little closer. In the center was a sloth sitting on a branch. Above the sloth it said, Don’t Hurry & below it said, Be Happy. Sure enough, when the light turned green that vehicle was in no hurry to get moving. I struggled to stay happy.

We live in a busy, fast paced world where it’s easy to be in a hurry even when we’ve no particular place to go. Being happy is more important than being in a rush yet we probably do more running than smiling. The practice of fasting & prayer helps us recalibrate our pace & our values. Don’t gulp down food like you haven’t had any for a month; slow your roll. Don’t hurry, be holy.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 2, 2020

Over the last several years we’ve set aside the first 40 days of the year for fasting & prayer. This year, I decided to move that annual observance to fall in line with the traditional church season of Lent which begins on Wednesday, February 26th of this year. I made the move because, (1) It gives us time to focus on the acts of fasting & prayer without interfering with messages conducive to the holidays which deserve their own emphasis, (2) It seems a little unnatural to go from a time of feasting directly into a season of fasting, & (3) Lent was originally established to help worshipers prepare to walk the Passion Week with Christ through Gethsemane, & the Cross then celebrate His Resurrection on Easter Sunday! (4) Now that you’ve let down on your New Year’s resolution to lose some weight, this will give you added incentive to get your flesh under control.

Can you see how fasting can help us identify with Jesus’ sufferings? Also, celebrating His conquest of the grave with a hearty meal after having limited ourselves foreshadows the marriage supper of the Lamb that is soon to take place.

Pastor Joel Everhart

January 26, 2020

We spend a lot of our time trying not to be noticed: not noticed by the IRS, the police officer with the radar gun, the kid that’s “it” when you’re playing tag, your mom when the garbage needs taken out, the pastor when he’s looking for a new Sunday School teacher …

There is, however, one very good reason to get noticed: in order to bring glory to God. We want to do things that will make other people think about the goodness of the Lord and the salvation He offers. Selfless acts of kindness and love are often the best way to showcase His amazing ways. Be kind, do nice things, then be sure to give the credit to Jesus.

Pastor Joel Everhart

January 12, 2020

A couple years ago we were studying the passage of Scripture that says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” I’ll never forget what one of the commentators I studied for that sermon said, “If you’re not going to be a peacemaker, at least don’t be a troublemaker.” That comment would be a good place to start for today’s message.

When following Jesus as one of His disciples, be open to discovering ways you stir up trouble. Maybe it’s just to get a rise out of someone or you think it’s funny. Change your goal from stirring things up to calming people down. Be a peacemaker, promote healing, learn to comfort the hurting, and help those who struggle. Stop giving them a hard time and start lending them a listening ear. On the battlefield of life we need more medics and less collateral damage.

Pastor Joel Everhart

January 5, 2020

I didn’t like going to school. I threw a holy fit getting to the bus stop for about the 1st month of 1st grade (I never went to kindergarten). School wasn’t like home; my teacher was nothing like my mother. At home my time was my own, I got up whenever I pleased, did what I wanted… School demanded I be outside waiting for a bus at an ungodly hour for a 6-year-old. School kept me captive for 7 hours a day, demanded I memorize math tables, learn how to read, it put a pencil in my hand then told me I used it wrong.

 Later in life I went to work & found out some people treat you worse than school when they’re paying you. They get all bossy: do this, do that, never do that again.

 People go to school, people go to work, they do everything everyone tells them to do so they can get good grades & make some money. But when it comes to serving GOD everyone wants a free pass to serve Him however they feel like serving Him. That didn’t work when you were 6 & it won’t work now. Get with the program.

Pastor Joel Everhart

December 29, 2019

For the longest time I struggled making pie crusts. If I managed to put one together at all it was more of a patchwork job, thicker in some places, very thin in others. Some were way too sticky, others far too dry. Add to that the fact I left the counters a mess & it was pretty much a disaster.

No more! Now I have the perfect pie crust each & every time. My secret? Pre-made pie crusts you can find in your grocery store refrigerated section. I learned that secret from my mom who was herself an excellent crust maker. She said, “Why go to all that trouble when these taste just as good?”

When you find a better or easier way of doing something, do it. That’s what today’s text tells us. Stop living the world’s way in sinful, destructive patterns. Learn to follow the paths of righteousness, wisdom & joy the Lord illuminates in His Word. Like all change, it will take some time to adapt but it will be time & effort that will pay great dividends for the rest of your life.

Pastor Joel Everhart

December 22, 2019

I went into the Ollie’s Outlet in South Hanover in search of Lara Bars, a favorite snack of our kids & grandkids. I stopped to ask a clerk if they carried the bars. At first, he didn’t know what I was talking about, then he did, but said they didn’t carry them. As I started to walk away he connected the dots between Lara Bars & his battle with Psoriasis (a condition that effects the skin). I heard graphic details of sores breaking out on his arm, a number of treatments he’d tried that did not work & finally what did. There was a special ointment that did the trick but he couldn’t remember what it was called.

I don’t have Psoriasis. I don’t know anyone who needs my advice as to how to treat it. I didn’t need to think about nasty skin lesions. I just wanted some Lara Bars.

When John tells us the Christmas story, he cuts right to what he sees as the most pertinent facts: those things that affect us directly. I wish he worked at Ollies.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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