The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

March 23, 2014

Spring has sprung, the grass as riz, I wonder where the birdies is!

During this mother of all winters, I’ve marveled at how warm 20-couple degrees can be after wind chills in the single digits or below zero. I’ve also marveled at how cold the 40s can feel when I’m expecting it to be warm. Expectations are fascinating: they can set you up for pleasant surprises or bitter disappointments. Personally, I always try to aim my expectations a little low and hope for better. There are those times, however, when the Lord just drops something in my heart that is bigger than I could ever expect on my own. That’s when faith takes over.

Faith is the assurance that we will get what we hope for because it’s not based on our ability to produce it. It’s based on our confidence that God has spoken it into our lives and nothing is impossible with God. Don’t be misled into thinking you can produce whatever your heart desires but neither should you doubt that God will do what He has promised. Open up your heart to God today — He’s always looking for someone to bless.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

March 16, 2014

Pastor LeRoy and I went in to see Ron Strine the day after his knee replacement at the Wellspan Rehab Hospital in York. When we got there he’d just come back from therapy where they surprised him with the amount of pain they were able to inflict on him (while smiling and telling him he was doing great). He said they didn’t mind it at all when he screamed. The nurse came in with an ice pack and explained that they were waiting for his pain meds to arrive. The ice didn’t help. Finally she returned with a pill and a needle; five minutes later we saw Ron relax and smile. Isn’t it amazing what such a little pill or small amount of liquid can do? Sometimes the greatest gifts do come in the smallest packages: life changing gifts.

You never know what small act of kindness or simple word of encouragement will cause another person to think twice about the Lord. Be sure to “season your conversation with salt” and that as the farmer in Jesus’ Parable of the Sower scattered seed he tossed it onto good and rocky soil alike. That little comment you make, as small as a seed, just might take root and change someone’s life. That simple act of kindness can be the very thing that convinces another that God really does live in you. Each of us is just as capable to sow weeds of discouragement or thorns of pain. What’s in your seed bag?

– Pastor Joel Everhart

March 9, 2014

This past Monday was such a frustrating day for my wife and me. Barb had a nerve conduction test in Gettysburg at 9 a.m. and a doctor appointment in York at 2 p.m. At 11:30 a.m. we had to meet a guy about a thing and were to meet with an attorney by 5 p.m. — both concerning a neighbor’s property and well-being (she has moved into an assisted living home and we’re assisting with her move). Both doctors, the one scheduled for 9 a.m. and the one at 2 p.m., were running over an hour and a half late. As painful as the nerve conduction tests were they didn’t show anything that would be helpful in treating Barb’s pain. The roads were snow and ice covered and filled with some drivers that were driving too slow and others that were going too fast. Add to all that a below zero wind chill, running late to every appointment only to have to wait, yet at the end of the day being no further ahead than when you started.

I laid my head on the pillow intending to pour out my complaints to God but thought it would be the “Christian” thing to do to begin with praise then transition into grumbling. But once I started thanking God for all He had done in the day, the list just kept growing: we were kept safe on the icy roads, we made it everywhere we needed to be with time to spare, everything we planned to accomplish got done and more, Barb and I had a sweet time of connecting in a very strange way while getting frustrated together over the whole mess, somehow we managed to fit in two very delicious meals (one along the way and the other in the comfort of our own home), we found the guy with the thing and the attorney very helpful, a neighbor opened up the part of my driveway the plow had shut after I’d shoveled …. Suddenly I realized that the only bad thing about the day was my attitude.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

March 2, 2014

It’s March 2nd and I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to be done with January and February in all my life! Even though we’re still staring down the barrel of some lows in the teens at least we’ve survived two thirds of one of the coldest winters in recorded history. Someone told me the other day that, worldwide, this has been the forth coldest winter on record. I know what you’re thinking: “There’s still time to break the record!”

The other day I saw a really fat robin; I’m thinking he was wearing long johns under his feathers. Sam told me Donna saw a blue bird; I told him it was a cardinal with frostbite. You know where I’m going with this … this winter is for the birds!

– Pastor Joel Everhart

February 23, 2014

We recently got a classic picture from our daughter-in-law Andrea of her son, Parker (4 months old) perched atop his dad’s shoulders. The look on the boy’s face is one of pride, joy and accomplishment. The haunting thing about the photo for me is the realization that it was just “yesterday” that the dad (Josh) was sitting on my shoulders.

My mother-in-law tells me that grand kids grow up faster than kids and great grand kids even faster! By this time next week I might be a great-great-grandpa! I guess the moral of all this is to do our best to enjoy where we’re at in life right now because it sure won’t be here for long. May God give us the wisdom to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

February 16, 2014

Even though we’ve prepaid for propane this winter and are on automatic fill here at the church we ran out of propane yesterday and boy is my office cold today. I have a little space heater but I guess the heating element is burned out because it only blows cold air – very cold air. It felt a little better after I turned it off. Shipley tells me we’re on the list.

All this causes me to think about how much of these luxuries we enjoy that I take for granted day after day: heat, plowed & salted roads, fresh food, computers, cell phones and the list goes on forever. It reminds me of that old hymn: “Count your blessings name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done!”

I can say I was cold for a few hours but how many in the world can say they’ve been cold their whole life?! Some of you work out in the cold — office? What office? Others work in big open spaces like warehouses, garages and the like; God bless you. I still say we ought to oust any politician that has been working against global warming.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

February 9, 2014

I often forget the date, occasionally I forget what day it is but now I think I’m confused as to where we live. Is this Minnesota, Michigan or North Dakota? Please go home and install a coal furnace, burn some trash out in the backyard and if you have an old tractor let it idle in the driveway – we’ve got to do something to promote global warming before we all freeze to death!

By the way, I talked with Jack this week and Dot is doing much better. She’s been able to get up and walk with her walker which she hadn’t done for quite a while. Also, if you see a groundhog, don’t miss.

– Pastor Joel Everhart

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

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