The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

January 17, 2021

Revival Services were very common when I was a boy. Our church would invite an evangelist in to conduct a week’s worth of services where we’d have church every evening from 7 o’clock until, sometimes, late into the night. We had our favorite evangelists and really looked forward to their visits. What made them popular was their ability to get us in touch with God.

It was difficult for new itinerant preachers to “break into the circuit”. They’d send letters of introduction filled with testimonies from churches where they’d already ministered. None of them ever led with, “When I come, I’m hoping for a wonderful breakthrough but if not I’m always ready to wage war.” In essence, that’s Paul’s message to the church in Corinth in today’s text.

DISCLAMER: I’ll be preaching out of the text this morning about the church in Corinth. A good friend of mine clued me into the fact that I shook up a few people with my preaching the last several weeks as though our church is on the verge of collapse. Thinking back over those messages I can see how someone might draw that conclusion. Let me assure you that is not the case. I am very happy to pastor her. I have one of, if not the best, boards to work with I’ve ever had, and believe our best days are just ahead. Every church has been affected by the pandemic and is connecting with many of its members online, ours is no exception. Sorry for any confusion I fostered.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

January 10, 2021

Two of my Dad’s favorite sayings when I was a child were, “You’re driving me nuts!” and “You’re making me a nervous wreck!” It wasn’t always directed at me, I had help from my brother and two sisters. That’s what families do: they irritate and unnerve each other. Sometimes we’re driven to say things we’d rather never need to say. Somehow, we end up loving one another dearly and collecting a lot of wonderful memories!

Probably no one is more responsible for helping us become who we are than the people with whom we grow up. Their good qualities set an example for us to follow and their faults help us highlight traits we need to avoid.

In the process of that developing we can often feel like they’re not really trying to help us, they’re actually trying to drive us insane. Rarely is that the case. We’re just people being people. That carries over into the church. Even with a purpose to love one another and an effort to help others develop a Christ-like character we can be somewhat irritating.

As Paul models for us in today’s text, maybe, sometimes, the right thing to do is to let others know they’re driving you loony.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

January 3, 2020

Pork & sauerkraut the traditional meal for New Year’s Day. My Mom explained to me how that came to be. In her words, “The old people would say, ‘pork & sauekraut will clean out your system so you can start the new year clean in your insides’”. That may sound a little crass for a church bulletin but it fits what we’ll be talking about today.

This morning we will wait until the end of service to participate in communion because I want the word to work down into your system. I’m praying that the message will loosen anything that’s become lodged in your spirit so that your insides will be completely clean as we enter into this new year. Of particular interest to me today is that you don’t go home with any residue of “ought”, no deposits of fear or anger or hurt stuck in your spirit concerning anyone else in the body of Christ.

If you can’t take communion this morning with a clean spirit, please don’t take it at all until you can honestly say that you have forgiven & love all of your brothers & sisters. They may never notice any difference but you will be so much better.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

December 27, 2020

My son Josh used to enjoy sliding across the wood floors in our home in his socked feet as a boy. He tells the story of doing so on our wooden back porch. Two problems: 1) the wood on the porch was a lot rougher than in the house and 2) he didn’t have any socks on at the time. The result was quite a collection of splinters! I can never think about that without cringing so hard I feel pain shoot down my thighs.

Splinters and thorns have a lot in common. Either way, our immediate response is to have them removed as quickly as possible. When that’s not possible, we hope nature will take its course and slowly push these intrusions into our body to the surface so we can pluck them out. Some thorns never surface; they just stay imbedded reminding us of their presence every time we move a certain way.

In today’s text Paul counsels us that whenever our thorn jabs us, to allow the pain to remind us of the care and blessing of the Lord that trumps the agony.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

December 20, 2020

My brother was a collector. He collected the most unusual things. Visiting his house after his funeral I found all of his old Royal Ranger stripes, badges & awards. Several toys from his childhood were in excellent condition. He had tickets from great events he’d been to, an odd collection of jewelry, baseball cards, etc. John often talked about opening a little trading shop but we all knew he’d never part with his treasures. Not much of what he had was valuable to anyone else. Each held a memory he would savor when he held it. If the memory could be transferred to the new owner, how expensive that would be!

What was your favorite Christmas gift of all time? Do you still have it? This morning we’re going to draw a line between the 1st Christmas ever and one that is soon to come. If you enjoy the story of that initial revelation of Jesus, you’re in for a wonderful surprise when He comes again.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

December 13, 2020

I type this as I sit on my couch, something I’ve done so for the majority of my hours over the past few weeks. This is Thursday, December 10, 2020, and I was fully expecting to be symptom free by now! I was expecting to be in church with you this morning. Yet, even today I had a small spike in my temperature and this nagging, dry cough persists. My virus is not obeying the rules; its not fair.

I started writing a sermon the other day titled, “This Year Sucks” but that’s as far as I got. Can you relate? I’ve been learning to relate to others who suffer. I’m tired of the TV, the computer, the cell phone. I don’t want to nap anymore. I want my life back. I used to think, “Just give me the virus and let’s get this over with.” I was expecting a mild case because after all, I’m in great physical shape and I’m a child of God…

Do take care. Do what you can to stay healthy, but if you do get sick, know that it’s not your fault, it’s a virus. Viruses don’t play fair. Psalm 23 has been so very special to me through all this, especially in the middle of the night. This year does suck but God is good.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

November 29, 2020

Only a couple weeks left of 2020. Will anyone be sorry to see this year gone? In some ways it feels like it has lasted a decade. So many things have changed; so many things keep changing (school, activities, work from home/not from home…). Where will it all land? How many restaurants, theaters, and other entertainment venues will be lost forever? If we live through the virus will we survive the economic fallout?

“There remains a rest for the people of God”, Hebrews 4:9. Rest today. Rest your mind and your heart in the love, care and promises of God. A Sabbath isn’t a Sabbath if you don’t rest. You can go to church and do a bunch of religious stuff but if you don’t allow yourself, or maybe I should say, force yourself to find a quiet, peaceful state of mind secure in Him, you’ve missed the point. Take a deep breath, cast all your cares on Jesus, and allow His sweet peace to invade your soul.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

November 22, 2020

I had a dream early one morning. I was watching an old friend of mine compete against his younger brother in a soccer type game where each of them had a dog as a teammate. My friend, Kevin, kicked the ball toward the goal but his little brother’s little dog blocked the shot. Kevin said, “Good block, boy!” That’s when I shouted from the stands, “Now that’s a good big brother, he even cheers for your dog while he’s playing against you.” Kevin stopped what he was doing and said, “Did you hear that?” That’s when I woke up.

Brothers are famous for competing with one another. The other thing they’re famous for is the bond that forms in the middle of all that competition. They also like to be appreciated for the things they do for their siblings. Don’t we all?

No one deserves more appreciation than God. He is merciful, kind, loving and generous. He’s the kind of God that cheers us on even when we choose to contend against Him. Stop being so contentious and give Him the praise He’s due.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

November 15, 2020

Whenever you donate blood, they first prick your finger to draw out several drops of blood in order to test your iron level. I hate that little puncture. I think I mind it more than the large needle they insert in my arm to draw a pint of blood. They use a wicked little spring-loaded device that shoots a blade into one of the tenderest parts of your body. Then they squeeze and squeeze your finger until their testing tube is satisfied.

The purpose of this pre-donation wound is to insure you will remain healthy while your blood moves on to help someone else. Without that stick, the whole donation process stops. So, you might say you’re getting stuck in order to help save a life.

We are willing to endure pain as long as its for a good enough cause. When donating blood, the cause is rather obvious. In life, pain rarely makes sense. However, we believe that God has a greater purpose in mind whenever we suffer. Even when we can’t possibly imagine good coming out of our misery, we trust the One who is sovereign.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

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

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