The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog



August 9, 2020

On the newsfeed this morning I read of an actress who died of breast cancer at the age of 57. Although I didn’t recognize the name, her picture was familiar. Her name is Kelly Preston & as I clicked on the article, I was surprised to learn that her husband of 30 years is John Travolta. She passed away on July 12, 2020 after a two-year battle with her illness. Travolta wished to thank all of their family, friends, doctors, nurses & care givers for their support through that very painful season. They fought hard & spared no expense seeking a cure that didn’t come. I was reminded once again how precious & brief life is.

It won’t be long & it will be our turn to leave this world. That’s not the end of our life; we live on. Those who are in Christ have a glorious future ahead. In all of the planning, preparing, building, studying, working, playing you do, be SURE to be ready for the day Jesus calls your name. You don’t want to miss heaven for all the world.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

August 2, 2020

I was in the gym the other day & started thinking about when it was built. It will soon be 20 years old. I remembered standing in that very spot when it was just a slab of concrete before the walls were framed in. I remembered that like it was yesterday. Then my mind did some calculating: if that was 20 years ago & it went by so fast, how old was I? Early 40s. I’m 63 right now, how old will I be in another 20 years? 83!

At 83, it’s highly unlikely, even if the Lord should tarry & I still be alive, that I’ll be able to do very few of the things I so enjoy doing now. This morning, I lifted, ran, & played racquetball before driving to the church to prepare a message for an upcoming service.

Have I spent my life well? Am I doing worthwhile things? Wasn’t it the Newsboys who sang, Time is ticking away, tick, tick, ticking away? For me, the ticks are getting louder, spurring me on to make the moments count. In today’s text, Paul reminds us of what is really important in life.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 26, 2020

We’ve lived through a lot of rule changes lately. Personally, I was surprised how compliant most of us were to the whole, “shelter in place – wear masks in public” thing. It literally took a life-threatening event to get our attention & change our lifestyle, if only for a little while. I’ll be amazed if a second wave of the virus incites as drastic a response regardless of what edicts the government issues. We’re just not good at following rules that don’t have an immediate cause & effect.

It takes more than rules, more than agreeing with those rules to change the way we live; it takes a change of our nature. There’s only one force powerful enough to morph our stubborn self-serving will into one that is submissive to all that is good & holy. Paul talks about that power in this morning’s message.

Pastor Joel Everhart

 

July 19, 2020

My wife & I have to be careful not to use certain words around our dog, among them are “go”, “walk” & “treat”. These words have been known to rouse her out of a deep sleep & start her on a sequence of actions based on her expectations. I’ve even come up with new phrases like “stroll the troll” & “glide with Clyde” but she soon catches on. If I ask Barb or she asks me if I am hungry, the dog always thinks the question is directed at her.

Paul had to be careful how he said everything he said to the believers in Corinth. Because some of them didn’t like him, he did his best to “foolproof” his letters. Of course, that’s not possible whenever you’re talking about people with a prejudice against you. Nevertheless, he tried.

Being careful of what you say & how you say it depending on who is in the room isn’t necessarily hypocrisy, it might just be the smartest thing you’ll do all day. A word of explanation expertly placed can save you a world of grief. Be sure to season your blunt & forthright with plenty of tact & diplomacy.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 12, 2020

For a while it seemed like every time we ate at Texas Roadhouse in Hanover, we had the same waitress. Every attempt I made at being friendly or humorous seemed to offend her. At the urging of my wife, I soon kept my comments to ordering the food & paying the bill. I pretty much like everybody & have to wonder about people whom I seem to irritate.

The Apostle Paul had a lot of loyal friends in the church at Corinth but he also had a few people who opposed him & his ministry bitterly. They denied his authority, questioned his motives & rejected his demands.

I hate to tell you this, but, not everyone is going to like you. It’s a simple fact of life. Be satisfied with striving to be the best follower of Jesus you can be then let others choose whether to “friend” you or not. Its okay even if they don’t, because, truth be told, there are some great people in this world you really don’t care for either. Just don’t let your natural dislike for them cause you to treat them poorly.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 5, 2020

Ever notice that kids choose their comforter? If one of my grandkids gets a boo-boo & I’m the only relative present they’ll run to me. If my wife is also there, they will run to her. If one of their parents is in the area they become the child’s choice even if they have to pass me on the way.

You & I have a Cosmic Parent that is the absolute God of All Comfort! He should be our 1st choice whenever we are looking for consolation, comfort, advice or encouragement. If friends have been letting you down lately, maybe its to remind you to “look up” whenever your soul is hurting.

Pastor Joel Everhart

June 28, 2020

In one of our final Sunday evening services before the “Great Interruption” hit, we studied Simeon, the man who blessed the baby Jesus at the Temple. The words he spoke over Jesus & his family were a compilation of great exploits & foreboding warnings. This Child would be the Savior of the world but also the cause of great social turbulence which could reveal the true character of many people. Looking at Mary he said, “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Often, we are called to suffer even as we move in the power of God. Our lives become literal “living sacrifices” as we give the best of our strength, wealth, time & energy in what at times looks to be a losing cause. This truth is well displayed in the life of the Apostle Paul as he writes the letter we know as II Corinthians to this church he founded. If Simeon had still been around he might have told Paul something like this: “You’ll found a great church but be sorely tested in the process. Many will get saved, some of whom you’ll be sorry you ever met.”

Pastor Joel Everhart

June 21, 2020

In generations past, fathers gave their children advice; today, parents & children exchange information. Dads can tell their kids how to prepare for a career, look for a mate, deal with bullies, & many other helpful life lessons. Sons &/or daughters often help their parents with social media & technology issues. I often tell other adults, “You need a teenager to help you with that.” Sometimes a preschooler is all you need. I think this give & take can be very healthy for a family.

There’s an old adage that says, “Listen in order to be heard.” Asking for a child’s advice can be a wonderful way to open up lines of communication that will prove to be very beneficial for the next time you need to “set the record straight” or “lay down the law” or “call them on ill behavior.” Let’s get to where we’re going, together.

Pastor Joel Everhart

June 14, 2020

As I’m writing this column, a popup keeps appearing on my screen that says I have seven updates available & asking if I want to install them now or wait until later. There must be a million people employed by the computer industry to do nothing but come up with updates for our devices. One such update on my phone completely wiped out my contact list! It replaced all the phone numbers with email addresses, ugh! Some of those updates to the computer take over ten minutes to complete then require me to learn a new way of doing what I had recently learned how to do. Like it or not, they’re going to keep me current with the changes they decide I need to make.

I wish we were automatically connected to the Lord like that: everything would just freeze until we got an update from on high. That it wouldn’t be possible to continue working until our software was reconfigured to do nothing but exactly what the Father wills us to do. Unfortunately, to be in tune with God requires our cooperation. Cooperate, make sure you are hard wired into His system & that the connection is secure.

Pastor Joel Everhart

 

June 7, 2020

We happen to be surrounded by the nicest neighbors of all the forty years of our married lives. There was one particularly surly old lady right behind us who seemed to go out of her way to complain about absurd things but she hasn’t given us any trouble since she died a couple of years ago. No, I didn’t have anything to do with her demise. And yes, there is a house diagonal from our backyard we affectionately refer to as the “loud house”. They love to entertain late into the night, shoot off fireworks every holiday & wake up early to run power saws. BUT, other than that, we’ve got a street full of nice people.

It’s a 55+ neighborhood so most of the residents are retired & many are widowed. That means we watch out for one another, share a lot of baked goods, & never want to be the neighbor with dandelions in their yard.

In today’s study, Jesus tells us we ought to go out of our way – sometimes way out of our way to be neighborly. Find someone who needs help this week & won’t you be their neighbor?

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 31, 2020

As much as we need one another, it can be hard to get along. An old children’s song says, “The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.” I suppose some of that has to do with why we get together. Sometimes people get together to fight a battle. It may also have to do with who is getting together: I wouldn’t suggest having Donald Trump & Nancy Pelosi over for dinner on the same night. When we get together can also be a factor: some people are always late! In fact, I’m told that our society has a very bad habit of saying they’re going to do something but not show up. Ya know what? Let’s just forget this whole together thing. You go live your life & I’ll go live mine…

I don’t suppose that’s very Christlike. Let’s start again. As much as we need one another, it can be hard to get along but its worth the effort. The Bible gives us some good pointers: bear with one another, consider others above yourself, be patient, kind, forgiving, loving …

Pastor Joel Everhart

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