July 19, 2015
For we know that if the earthly tent (body) we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Corinthians 5:1
Ever have one of those mornings where you glance over at the clock to see that you have two hours before you need to get up but you’re feeling pretty awake? You lay there for a long time but when you look at the clock again only ten minutes has passed! You are tempted to get up but know you are going to need a little more rest in order to do well later in the day. Finally, you nod off and the next time you peek at the clock you’ve overslept and your body is whining that it wants to go back to sleep!
It’s hard enough when a close friend lets you down but why in the world does your own body pull stunts like that? What do you do? You can’t punish your body without making it harder on yourself. You can’t go to work and leave your body at home. The only thing you can do is pick it up and push it along hoping it feels better as the day goes by.
Some poor souls literally have to carry their body to the bathroom, force it to get dressed, talk it into eating enough to survive – every step is a battle of the will. If your body doesn’t hurt today you really need to be thankful. If your joints aren’t twisted with arthritis, you didn’t have to give yourself a shot this morning, or you aren’t fighting a migraine it’s a very good day. If you are battling fatigue or pain this morning, remember that the day is coming when you will leave this old, broken, fallible tent behind & go to live in a glorified body that will never groan or tire or ache or breakdown. Soon and very soon we are going to see the King!
– Pastor Joel Everhart
July 5, 2015
I’d like to pay tribute to the nine church members in South Carolina who recently lost their lives while attending church on a Wednesday night: Clementa Pinckney (41) the senior pastor at the church, Sharonda Coleman Singleton (45) an assistant pastor, DePayne Middleton Doctor (49), Cynthia Hurd (54), Susie Jackson (87), Ethel Lance (70), Tywanza Sanders (26), Daniel Simmons Sr. (74), & Myra Thompson (59)
Our loss is great. Nine saints gathered to worship the Lord are gone and one evil, hate-filled killer remains with us.
First of all, let me note that we have many more like them, like us, that buck the trends of our society and make the worship of our Lord a priority. I can’t imagine what an intelligent, well educated, hard working pastor Clementa C. Pinckney was that he could lead a congregation and serve as a state senator. How sad that a fool could take him from us.
Next, I marvel at the peaceful, loving response of the community and relatives of these good people. Listening to the words of their children & grandchildren as they speak at their funerals tells us their faith was real & it has left an impression on everyone that knew them. The killer could take their lives but not their testimonies nor their influence. There is a profound difference between the response to the deaths of these innocent people than there has been to the passing of others that were killed while committing violent or illegal acts! No riots; prayer services and communities coming together. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if after having experienced their welcoming smiles the evening before his heinous act if that boy doesn’t confess, repent of his hatred & run to the cross feeling the full horror of the sin that clings to his soul. That would indeed be a jewel in the crowns of those martyrs.
But more, let the actions of prejudice shock us all. Let it serve as a cleansing bleach removing the stains of hatred that linger in our own souls. Take down the confederate flags in our own hearts. Refuse to use race as a reason to judge another; remove from our vocabulary derogatory words and wash from our conversation anything that smacks of racism. This is how we ought to honor these dead brothers and sisters: by walking away from their funerals with cleaner hearts. Then they will not have died in vain.
– Pastor Joel Everhart
June 28, 2015
Time, time, time, time, time: I’d like to address the topic of time. What is time? How can I account for it? Why can I get so much done during some of it & so little done during other periods of it? How is it that I can leave earlier than usual &, yet, arrive later than normal? Why does an hour often feel like forever while the years fly by? I was strolling my grandson along the other day as he pointed out wildlife: squirrel, rabbit, bug, bird … Suddenly my mind flashed back to having his dad on the back of my bicycle thirty years earlier hearing the same sounds. Where did all that time go?
The book of Ecclesiastes talks quite a bit about time and has this to say at the end: Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion to the matter: Fear God & keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) Whatever time is, it counts most when we use it serving the Lord. Time works best whenever we dedicate whatever we are doing to His honor.
I’m so glad I took my son to church & taught him the ways of God. It would have been so easy to get caught up in other things as the time slipped by. So many meaningless things we did together don’t even come to mind but the things of God last forever. Now there’s a neat word: forever.
– Pastor Joel Everhart
April 26, 2015
Last Sunday I visited the Children’s Church with a squirt bottle in my hand & a towel over my shoulder. Their theme for the day was Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. I asked them to imagine what else Jesus could have done with the basin full of water … He could have pretended to be washing someone’s feet then just dumped the whole bowlful on them! Imagine what a laugh He & the other disciples would have had while the one sat there dripping wet. But Jesus didn’t come to entertain Himself or to take advantage of others; He came to serve. You can take the lesson from there.
I washed a few of their shoes with the water & wiped them with the towel but, soon, everyone wanted squirted & I had a good time obliging them. The next morning I was out on my run when what had been a drizzle turned into a rain. At one point a goliath raindrop landed square on the top of my head. Immediately I thought about squirting the kids the day before & this verse came to mind: Give & it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, & running over … Luke 6:38. So if you have a kid in Children’s Church last week, tell them that God got me back good the day after I squirted them!
– Pastor Joel Everhart