The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

February 2, 2014

I’m sitting here munching on a baby carrot trying to think of something to write about in this column when it strikes me that the particular carrot I’m eating is quite tasty. As I pause to thank the Lord for this simple delight I wonder what it took to grow, process, ship, display and sell this product to me. Where did the carrots sitting on my desk come from? How many people were involved in the process of getting them to me? Reading the plastic bag they came in I discover that they were grown in and shipped from California.

Someone(s) (with the help of automation no doubt) planted, watered (California is under a severe drought), harvested, washed, and packaged these little orange nuggets. How many different trucks did they ride in moving from warehouse to market to warehouse to Nell’s Grocery store in East Berlin? How many different workers touched them on their way from the dock to the produce section? The only thing I know for sure is that Linda Mickey is the clerk that scanned and bagged them for me. I had a staff of hundreds deliver my carrots this morning! Not to mention they were on sale: 2/$3.

When you have a whole country working just so you have something to munch on while you are at your desk, you must be a very special person – don’t you think? If there was time I’d tell you about my celery…

– Pastor Joel Everhart

January 26, 2014

That Polar Vortex came back!

Car batteries that have no trouble providing plenty of juice under normal conditions can fail in very cold temperatures. My battery wouldn’t answer the call the last time the Vortex attacked and I had to jump it using our other vehicle.

It was interesting to see that I wasn’t the only guy at Advanced Auto looking for a replacement that morning – we were all lined up –
much to the chagrin of their installer. Personally, I think he should invest in a pair of gloves; it might improve his attitude.

My internal battery is a lot like the one in my car: it provides plenty of pep under normal conditions but when that Vortex hangs around for too many days in a row it takes a toll on my otherwise sunny disposition. The auto parts store has nothing to help that condition (although a new auto air freshener is always nice).

We can, however, sometimes help jumpstart others that are a bit weather worn and they can likewise help us. So, even if you’re having a tough time of it, do what you can to look on the bright side for the sake of the people you love. Life is a team sport and we do better when we’ve got each other’s back. Maybe double up on the phone calls you usually make to our shut-ins or send an extra card of cheer this week. I think it will do your battery good.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

January 19, 2014

It sure has been an interesting winter so far, don’t you think? We’ve had a number of snows, each of which seemed to make travel a challenge, freezing rain, sleet, several fifty degree days, torrential rains, sub-zero wind chills; I think we even had a day in the seventies in December!

We have become familiar with the term “polar vortex”. I hope I never hear that term again. Shifting winds, a moving vortex can bounce us from warm to unbearably cold in a few hours and back again. Some days its 38 degrees and snowing, other days its 25 and raining! A bunch of people studying global warming recently got their boat stuck in ice so thick that other boats designed to break through the ice couldn’t get through to them.

I’m 56 and all this is new to me. We’ve been preaching about the 2nd coming of Jesus lately and the Bible says that as that day draws close there will be signs in the sky and on the earth. The question isn’t, “Is God speaking?” The question is, “Are we listening?” There’s an old catch phrase from those that study Bible prophecy that says, “Get right or get left.”

– Pastor Joel Everhart

January 12, 2014

My email server decided to update its system and felt it necessary to blow up the old one. They did away with my password, wiped out my address book and finally locked me out completely until I started to comply with their new orders.

I resist being retrained. Even when the new is “better” with more options I prefer to be left a couple decades behind as long as I’m getting my work done.

After wasting several hours of my time as I typed in email addresses and became familiar with some of its new features it promises to save me time in the future. I read somewhere last week, “Being busy pays off in the future; being lazy pays of right now.” Being lazy doesn’t appeal to me at all but getting busier in order to be more productive is often a hard sale to me.

But isn’t that the way of Christ? Sacrifice now, serve now, study now, give now – making not only for a better life as we mature here on earth but a greater reward in eternity. Too often I give the Lord the same resistance I give modern technology even though I know that His ways are best. So here’s to a new year: may we become better at embracing the changes ahead!

– Pastor Joel Everhart

January 5, 2014

I was watching the news the morning after Christmas when I saw that many of the stores were opening early with expectations of after Christmas shopping crowds. I had several things to return so I jumped in the car and got to three stores before 8 a.m.

There was a little snow on the ground that may have deterred some people but I was virtually alone in each of the stores I visited! There were roped off areas, signs to direct people and many clerks available but almost no shoppers. With stores opening on Thanksgiving, staying open until midnight on Christmas Eve, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Free Shipping Friday… maybe what we really need is a few more days without ANY shopping. There was a time we used to do that once a week!

There’s something peaceful about quiet streets and empty shopping centers. I know what you’re thinking: “But you were shopping the day after Christmas, Pastor!” No, I was returning – they lost money on me.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

December 29, 2013

Happy New Year! A fresh slate; a clean page; it’s time to reflect on the past and set some goals for the future. It could also be a good time for some pork and sauerkraut.

In everyone’s life there should be some time for celebration as well as perspiration. For many of us, we get a little extra time off during the holidays to relax and enjoy ourselves (whether that’s what we do with the time or not is largely up to us).

Others actually have to work overtime during this festive time of year because of the type of business they’re in. Still others make the festivities themselves labor and stress! They snap at others that laze around or think poorly of those that relax. Some of us would rather be busy than sit around; others are quite the opposite.

So why not let everyone enjoy what they do best? And let not the worker think ill of the relaxed ones among us when we’d rather be serving anyway. However, come January 2nd … everyone back to work!

– Pastor Joel Everhart

December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Thank you for all your kind remembrances of my wife and me during this wonderful time of the year.

Having a new grandbaby in the family renews our wonder of babies: how beautiful they are and how quickly they grow. Our daughter-in-law tells us how captivated she is by the son in her arms even though we know there have been a number of fussy times (he’s cutting two teeth at 3½ months!). She tells us that Parker doesn’t just roll over he’s a regular gymnast in his sleep. What a great gift for God to give to the world: a baby!

I wonder if the shepherds and wise men got to hold Him? Luke 2:28 says, “Simeon took [baby Jesus] in his arms and praised God”. Not only were children later welcomed into Jesus’ lap; I have to wonder how many laps He had crawled into while He was growing up. Maybe there were grandparents, uncles, aunts, and friends of the family He felt especially close to. From the very beginning people were welcome to “behold Him” and even to hold Him.

When Jesus came He shared His life with us, His whole life, even the joys of touch and warmth – and He still does – Merry Christmas!

– Pastor Joel Everhart

December 15, 2013

Wow, it was a tough drive home from church last Sunday morning! I have a four wheel drive SUV but drove my car because they said the icy stuff wouldn’t happen till later in the afternoon.

Traffic stopped on 194 just south of Abbottstown and the lady in front of me couldn’t get moving again. Try as I might I just couldn’t push her by myself; I looked up to a line of cars in either direction as far as I could see but no one else got out to help. Only after she backed to the side of the road did three young people from way back in the line come walking up; with their help we were able to get the lady on her way freeing everyone else in line.

Because we were on the knoll of a hill no one could pass safely; our only hope was to get everyone moving yet everyone was waiting for someone else to do something. Working together we all got on our way safely … seems like there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

December 8, 2013

We greatly enjoyed having our son Josh, his wife Andrea, and their new baby Parker home for the week of Thanksgiving. There is something surreal about seeing your kids take care of a baby.

I really appreciated my wife’s organizational skills as we prepared for the visit and all our friends that loaned us baby equipment! You basically have to remodel your house when a baby is coming to stay for a while. But what I most appreciate is the fact that those old baby watching skills seem to come back when you need them. I was able to take the early morning shift with Parker which allowed his parents to enjoy some well deserved sleep. Even though the baby had a few fussy times (nothing compared to when our kids had colic) I remained calm and seemed to know what to do.

There’s a relaxedness about being a grandpa that may not have been as pronounced when I was a dad (their having colic probably had something to do with that). Barb noted how very comforting it is to hold a sleeping baby. A new life in a family, even when its sleeping, sure adds new life to a family.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

December 1, 2013

For a brief instant we had our grandson to hold but now Thanksgiving is past, relatives have dispersed, and for a short time we focus on the major holiday of the season. In the blink of an eye Christmas will have come and gone.

There will be moments when the wind chill causes us to grit our teeth as we recognize that it is indeed wintertime. But just as we think we can’t take the cold any longer, spring will arrive and we will once again dash through summer.

All of life goes by so quickly. Be thankful, give generously, laugh often, love extravagantly for life is short and days like these are precious. Soon each one of us will appear before God to give an account of how we lived. The Bible tells us that God puts more emphasis on how we finish than on any other part of our life. So finish well. Put on your track shoes. Run in such a way as to win the race and finish with a burst.

Not that you need to get busier or become more stressed; certainly not! Deepen your roots into the Lord, become more serious about serving others and never miss an opportunity to express God’s love to another human being. Everybody runs; few run well.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

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