The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog



July 23, 2023

There are a lot of things in life we must do but our heart just isn’t in it. We go to the dentist, clean the house, clean up the yard after the dog has used it, file our taxes… My wife will often say something like, “Do you want to wash the sheets today?” I’ll respond, “I don’t want to, but I will.” I don’t say that to be rude, but I don’t like having a chore I dislike being dressed up as though it’s something I like to do. Like is reserved for hobbies, entertainment, choosing a dessert, etc. Willing is me doing what I do not necessarily want to do but I will for any number of reasons, including to please my wife, to check of a necessary chore, to make our lives better, etc. In a sense, I want to do whatever needs done for the greater good but it’s not because I enjoy the experience. I guess you’d say I enjoy the results, not the process.

Jesus submitted to the Father not always because He enjoyed the event but because He knew that whatever the Father wanted was best in the light of eternity. It’s not unusual for us to not like what the Lord allows to happen to us but may we ever be more concerned about His pleasure than our own.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

July 16, 2023

When was the last time your plans were foiled because the venue you wanted to visit was closed? You were looking for a good meal at a favorite restaurant but forgot they were closed on Mondays or the park was open but the ride you looked forward to was shut down for repairs. Ever try to pay someone a surprise visit but you were the one surprised because they weren’t home?

Years ago we visited Old Bedford Village where they have a number of vendors displaying their wares and demonstrating how they do what they do. There were only two booths I was interested in: the person who tanned hides and the gunmaker. There were plenty of other displays (soap & candle making, quilters, etc.) but neither of the demonstrators I wanted to talk to were there the day we visited. I should have gotten my money back.

Most people who visit Jerusalem are looking to have an encounter with God. That was true of the folks in today’s text. More specifically, they wanted to see Jesus. When He didn’t show up when they were expecting Him, they were miffed. You and I have the assurance that will never happen to us because He has promised never to leave us!

-Pastor Joel Everhart

 

July 9, 2023

My first full week spent away from my family was spent on a Boy Scout camp-out. Most of the days were sunny and hot but we also experienced a horrific storm. Can you even imagine being in the wilderness for five days with the most advanced form of electronics being a portable radio? We played football, hiked, prepared meals, chopped firewood, played cards & talked a lot.

During events like that you experience a lot of joy, moments of complete boredom, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. There are times you can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else and periods when you wondered what you were thinking to subject yourself to such misery. I guess that pretty much describes life in general.

In today’s study we discover that even as Jesus was being anointed for burial, a moving and much appreciated event, He was annoyed by some of the attitudes around the table. Just because you’re annoyed doesn’t mean you are not anointed or that you are not moving in the will of God. Happiness is not necessary when working for the Kingdom.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

July 2, 2023

In today’s text we find people showing up early for a feast anticipating that Jesus will also show up before the feast itself gets underway. Even though Jerusalem is alive with all the trappings of an annual festival, it all seems a little empty to them without Jesus. They attended these things for years before they even heard about the Rabbi from Nazareth. Back then other things excited them about these celebrations. Having met Jesus changed everything. Now they are expecting more out of an old routine, more out of life itself. Meeting Jesus will do that to a person: things that used to ring your bell now sound so hollow and nothing else compares to His voice, His touch, His word.

May we never come to church with any other motive than to spend time with Jesus! Don’t be distracted by other people, duties or activities, insist on finding Him whenever you come here.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

June 25, 2023

Barb & I are taking our 2nd week of vacation. As of this writing we have no plans. Likely I’ll be taking a lot of naps, playing solitaire, grilling, maintenance, perhaps a project around the house… Maybe I’ll get a chance to catch a firefly (I make it a point to catch at least one every summer). When was the last time you caught one?

Do you have a “dream vacation” in mind? Are you the tranquil or the adventuresome type? Maybe you like to relax in exotic places or stay active close to home. Do you prefer staying with relatives, booking a motel or pulling a travel trailer? To each his own & to all a very happy summer!

-Pastor Joel Everhart

June 18, 2023

Happy Father’s Day! Today’s text links the unity of the family with the revelation of the Messiah. Preparing for Jesus also included calling the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous. We usually think of unity & repentance as a result of the coming of the Messiah, not a preparation for Him. This makes me think that people are more responsible for their actions than we pretend. They make a choice to obey or rebel, to respect or reject the clear revelation of wisdom, to embrace folly or aim higher. For those looking for the Lord, He will be found. For those looking for an excuse to sin, they’ll find plenty. How about you? Are you looking for God or just a reason why you don’t have to behave yourself?

-Pastor Joel Everhart

June 11, 2023

This morning we have Dorant Brown as our special guest. Dorant pastors in Jamaica. Although he is a very talented and gifted preacher & singer, he has chosen to work in a very poor area. He comes to America periodically in order to raise funds for his family and his ministry. That need results in our being able to enjoy his friendship and capabilities.

There’s a depth & warmth to Dorant that is rare. I hope you will have an opportunity to talk with him personally while he is in the area. You will be enriched by the experience.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

June 4, 2023

Some of the greatest bonding moments my wife and I have shared is when we’ve cried together. When you’re dating you do your best to put your best foot forward. You work at appearing strong, competent, humorous, attractive, etc. So, two people fall in love with the best version of one another. Then life happens. You would like to continue appearing strong and attractive but grief breaks your heart or pain cripples your body. That’s when you find out if you have a partner or a groupie. A groupie will feel duped into falling in love with a fraud: you appeared to be all that but hardship blew your cover. A partner will travel the rough road with you, lending support until you regain your better self. Rather than holding your brokenness against you it will actually pull them closer. It takes tears and time to build a solid relationship.

We have a God who takes the time to journey with us through our hardest moments. He even allows His heart to feel our pain and allows Himself to cry along with us. What a God!

-Pastor Joel Everhart

May 28, 2023

Gates give access to an area that is protected by a fence or wall. It would be silly to set up a gate in an open field. In that case it would become an obstruction rather than an access point. However, I have seen some people set up an old gate in their garden to allow vines to grow & provide a decorative display. That would be a gate that isn’t being used for its intended purpose. Jesus introduces Himself as the gate in today’s text. He didn’t come for decorative purposes. He came to provide a door from here to heaven. Jesus is the only door that can take you from earth to glory. All other gates: religions, philosophies, creeds, dogmas, beliefs…are dead ends; they end in death.

There are three doors in my office. Two of them lead to closets, only one out into the hallway. Its funny how many people get confused & open the door where several furnace units are housed. They stand there staring for a moment, startled that there are no stairs for them to descend. There are going to be a lot of startled people on judgment day. What they trusted in will not result in life but death. Get the right door, get Jesus.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

May 21, 2023

Have you ever heard someone say, “If I could only see a miracle, then I’d believe”? That’s not necessarily true, as is illustrated in today’s text. Many, if not most, of the people who saw Jesus perform amazing miracles decided not to believe in Him. At first, they made excuses like, “It was a hoax.” After the miracle was proven real, they gave the credit to the devil. As a last resort they simply condemned Jesus. In John 9 they did so by saying that He was a “sinner”.

Any one of us can choose not to believe despite irrefutable evidence. Personally, I think that nature itself offers ample proof of God, yet what unsaved person hasn’t seen a sunrise or noticed the difference between animals & humans or held a newborn baby? Which makes more sense to you: God created the heavens and the earth or there was a big explosion of gasses (Where did the gasses come from?) that resulted in life? After hundreds of millions of years amebas evolved to the point where they developed cordless drills. Talk about a fairy tale!

-Pastor Joel Everhart

May 14, 2023

An older brother & sister live down the street from us. When I say older I mean they’re both retired. Neither ever married nor had any children. However, a couple of young children, maybe 5 & 7 years old, have adopted them. They walk right into their house unannounced, play in their yard, do chalk drawings on their driveway, coerce them into playing ball… They could have resented the intrusion of these brothers in their otherwise quiet lives but they’ve embraced it. There is a look of pure joy whenever the elders and the children see one another.

I’m reminded of the Scripture that says, “He sets the lonely in families.” When a child thinks you are special, you are special indeed! Got any kids in your life? If not, maybe you should get to know some of ours here at New Life. We’ve got a bunch of them and each one is very special.

-Pastor Joel Everhart

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