The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog



December 17, 2023

They could have been titled, “10 Great Suggestions for a Successful Society” or “10 Steps to a More Peaceful Existence”. No, they’re called “The 10 Commandments”. In other words, as far as God is concerned (and remember He is the Judge), these are nonnegotiable. This is the code, the standard, the essence upon which all other laws hang. Ignore them at your own peril.

Jesus comes along to tell us that hatred is a bad as murder & lust as sinful as adultery. Under that revelation the case can easily be made that all of us have violated all of these commands. So why don’t we just give up, why don’t we just stop trying if we are constantly failing? God has promised us that we won’t be condemned for our mistakes & the Holy Spirit will help us steadily improve our character, thought life, control of our emotions & our actions. In a way, our failures help us track our progress. Are you getting closer to the example Jesus left us to follow?

-Pastor Joel Everhart

November 26, 2023

Exodus 3 is the classic argument between Moses & God. God calls Moses but Moses prefers to remain an obscure shepherd on the backside of the wilderness. God promises to be with Moses but Moses would rather that the Lord go be with someone else! Only after Moses walked with God for quite some time did he change his mind and desire God’s presence more than anything else in life.

If you don’t care to have the Lord all up in your business, you just don’t know Him like you think you do. The problem is God doesn’t show up to enhance our lives, He shows up to take them over. Yet, it’s only when He takes control that we are truly free and enjoy the ride. God is with you and the sooner you embrace that fact, the sooner you’ll find what you were created to be.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

November 19, 2023

When I asked my wife to marry me, I had mononucleosis. I was so tired I could curl up and sleep anywhere at any time. My presentation of the ring was so matter of fact, so devoid of emotion it was a crying shame. We couldn’t even seal it with a kiss lest I pass my virus onto her. However, I was on Christmas break from college and would soon be returning to school some 900 miles away. It was either get engaged or wait until I felt like getting engaged.

Some things are better done with an appropriate amount of emotion. They have a greater impact. They leave a stronger impression.

Offering thanks is one of those things that requires more than words. One should look thankful, sound thankful, and actually be thankful in order for their offering to touch the heart of God. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Let me urge you to take the time, consider your options, choose your words then send appropriate praises to the Lord. Use good words then add feelings of love and appreciation to them before you offer them up to God.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

November 12, 2023

Often when we are recounting the story of Joseph forgiving his brothers, we neglect to mention that he had all of them thrown into prison at one point and put them through a series of stressful trials. True, he could have had them all killed or imprisoned for life, but still he didn’t let them off scot-free. BTW, if you are wondering where the term, “scot free” came from, it’s believed to have come from Middle Ages England meaning that a person was exempt from paying a particular tax. Scot was a word used for tax.

The person we set free when we forgive someone is ourselves. Just because we forgive someone does not mean they will not face consequences for their sin against us. Nor does it mean that we are required to fully trust them again. When their abuse of our person is so significant, we find it hard to even be cordial toward them, God will help us. God will help us to forgive so that we can walk away unencumbered by the weight of their guilt.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

 

 

November 5, 2023

As my brother worked toward his degree first at a branch campus of Penn State then later at Pitt, he spent his summers on a construction crew on the PA turnpike. He got that job thanks to a friend in our church that held a high position in the turnpike administration. Being on the summer labor force, he was often assigned to do the dirty jobs the regular workers didn’t want to do. It was hot, hard work but it paid really well. John got married before his senior year in college so he went to work as a lab tech while finishing up his chemistry degree at night.

I was there when John busted on my dad one evening as the pressures and stresses of working full time, going to night school and being newly married squeezed in on him. He yelled, “If it wasn’t for you, I’d still be working on the turnpike bringing home good money instead of slaving away day & night…” I remember the hurt look on my dad’s face. All he ever wanted was for his kids to be successful; had he pushed too hard?

John finished his degree and went on to have a stellar career. His positions enabled him to travel the world, attend super bowls in VIP lounges, and make lots of money. To his credit, I think he spent a great deal of the rest of his life trying to pay Dad back for the inspiration to stay the course rather than settle for a decent paycheck when so much more was at stake.

When we talk about the will of God for our life, it may well require more of us than we can imagine. There will be “easier” paths available to us, but there will never be a better path for us to follow. Pay the price, find God’s will and spend your life pursuing it.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

October 29, 2023

If I were to ask people if they trust God, I suspect I’d get a very high percentage of people who would say that they do. Yet, if I were to try and discern if they trust God by the way they live, I think I’d find that a relatively few actually do anything that would indicate they trust the Lord at all. Now, my definition of trusting Him and their’s may be quite different. In my opinion, in order to trust God, you would first of all need to know Him. I also think it would require reading things He’s written or inspired to be written. It would further require an effort on the part of the person to follow God’s commands, trusting that what He has said is a solid guide for their life.

If, however, a person was deliberately disobeying God I’d have to say they didn’t trust Him. If a person passively disobeyed God, I’d come to the same conclusion. What is passively disobeying God? Ignoring Him, His Word & all other forms of communication that come from Him. Playing dumb.

Trusting God requires action on our part. Read His Word, pray, fellowship with others who are seeking His will. Listen to what others who are trying to obey Him have to say. Challenge yourself to know the Lord better and be more like Him every day. Saying we trust God is good but living like we trust Him is far better.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

 

October 22, 2023

If I were to ask people if they trust God, I suspect I’d get a very high percentage of people who would say that they do. Yet, if I were to try and discern if they trust God by the way they live, I think I’d find that a relatively few actually do anything that would indicate they trust the Lord at all. Now, my definition of trusting Him and their’s may be quite different. In my opinion, in order to trust God, you would first of all need to know Him. I also think it would require reading things He’s written or inspired to be written. It would further require an effort on the part of the person to follow God’s commands, trusting that what He has said is a solid guide for their life.

If, however, a person was deliberately disobeying God I’d have to say they didn’t trust Him. If a person passively disobeyed God, I’d come to the same conclusion. What is passively disobeying God? Ignoring Him, His Word & all other forms of communication that come from Him. Playing dumb.

Trusting God requires action on our part. Read His Word, pray, fellowship with others who are seeking His will. Listen to what others who are trying to obey Him have to say. Challenge yourself to know the Lord better and be more like Him every day. Saying we trust God is good but living like we trust Him is far better.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

 

October 15, 2023

If you’ve ever trained a puppy, you know the training never ends. Your first goal is, of course, to “housebreak” the dog: make sure it potties outside. Then you might try your hand at some basic obedience commands: sit, stay, come… Eventually you get to know one another enough that you respond to each other’s cues: the dog goes to the door so you know he needs out, you pick up your keys and the dog gets excited, hoping to go along, etc.

Somewhere in all of this training a relationship develops. The dog loves to snuggle up to you whenever you sit on the couch or likes to follow you around the house. When you come home the dog acts like a joy bomb just exploded. You buy them more expensive treats than you buy for other members of your family.

The point is, when you love someone, or something, it shows. The tragedy of the 1st sin is that it damaged a perfectly good relationship between God & humans. God lavished on us the best of the best, a whole universe to divine mysteries to explore and enjoy. We responded with mistrust and disobedience. Thankfully, we’ve been given an opportunity to rebuild that relationship because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Get to know our God, develop a rapport, love & trust Him. It won’t restore us to Eden but it will lead to eternity in heaven.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

October 8, 2023

Whenever Paul was faced with the pantheon of gods worshiped in his generation, he easily distanced his God from all those fakes by referring to Him as the Creator. The fact that God created everything that exists is foundational to our faith. That fact is stated emphatically over & over in Scripture. I have met some very intelligent believers who think God used an evolutionary process to create it all. Personally, I absolutely believe that God spoke everything into being over a period of six days then rested on the seventh, just as it is stated in Genesis chapter one.

What does it matter? Once you understand that God is powerful enough to speak a whole universe into existence, calling forth one great aspect of it after another; that whole species sprang to life as He called them out, that planets suddenly sprang to life, each unique… Then, and only then, can you adjust your faith to the appropriate size to fit Him. Otherwise, when you pray, you will be praying to a lesser god. When you are under attack you will be afraid because the god guarding you is limited. However, if the Creator of the Universe is on your side…whom shall you fear?

-Pastor Joel Everhart

October 1, 2023

In years to come when you think of “good old Pastor Joel” I want you to remember that I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I preach from it, I teach from it, I set my life compass by it and I trust it more than my own thoughts or anything this world proclaims that is contrary to it.

Today we launch our series into the Bible Engagement Project. We are going to study the Bible together. For the next year we are going to journey from Genesis through Revelation, setting the Bible’s foundation stones so we can build our lives on them. From our youngest classes to our oldest members, we’ll be studying the same passages together. Learn it here, talk about it on the way home, enjoy the devotionals around the same theme throughout the week. If you’ve been looking for a way to begin family devotions, this is it and now is the time. It begins today!

-Pastor Joel Everhart

September 24, 2023

Some people simply can’t live with the fact that someone else may not like them. They work very hard on their personal image, strive to get along with others, and expect people to respond affirmingly. When, however, they get negative feedback instead, it really messes with their head. “What did I do wrong?” It actually exposes a form of pride in them.

Today’s text will blow their minds. Even if you were perfect there would be people who hate you. In fact. some people would hate you because you are perfect! Being hated is a fact of life. There will be nonbelievers who hate you, there will be believers who strongly dislike you. May it ever be that the reason they hate us is because they hate Jesus too. It’s unlikely that anyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus would ever say they hate anyone, but they often do.

Don’t be surprised when people hate you because you love Jesus and remember not to hate back. Their sinful attitude should not infect your spirit but rather serve as proof that you are a true disciple.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

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