The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

August 18, 2019

There was a very nice older couple that attended our church when I was a boy: the Richardsons. Brother Richardson (as we called him in those days) had made his living as a coal miner. However, he was also a gifted craftsman. We visited his home once & marveled at some of the sculptures he’d produced. One that stands out in my memory is a Lincoln head penny carved out of a piece of coal, maybe six or eight inches in diameter. He was able to carve wood, coal, or stone & worked with silver too. It was kind of a shame that he spent so many years mining coal when his gifts could have created more works of art that would have been cherished long after he went on to be with the Lord.

Perhaps he never trusted his skills enough to make the leap from a steady paycheck to becoming an established artist. Maybe providing for his family took precedence over everything else. Only after he retired from the mines did he have time to market some of his treasures & he became a bit of a local celebrity. Got any gifts that are lying dormant while earning a paycheck? Do what you can to work in areas where you are gifted. More than making some money, you just might change the world.

Pastor Joel Everhart

August 11, 2019

There’s an old Garfield (the cat) cartoon where Jon (his owner) is putting sauce on a pizza one tablespoonful at a time. Garfield asks why he doesn’t just dump a bunch of sauce on the dough then spread it around with the spoon. John goes into a lengthy explanation of the precision & care with which he places each spoonful. As soon as Garfield leaves the kitchen Jon dumps a bunch of sauce on the pizza.

In theory we are all open to new ideas & are humble enough to take advice from anyone. In practice, however, we often go to great lengths to protect our pride rather than yield to good advice. Why isn’t our natural instinct to be thankful rather than defensive when someone is kind enough to suggest something that will make our life easier & our work more productive? It may not come naturally, but we can train ourselves to graciously accept constructive suggestions.

Pastor Joel Everhart

August 4, 2019

When I pastored in Shanksville, PA, we had coal furnaces in both the parsonage & the church. In the parsonage there was a low beam that ran through the doorway that separated the coal cellar from the main part of the basement. I can’t tell you how many times I hit my head on that beam!

One day I met the guy who had preceded me in that church & I asked him if he’d ever hit his head on that beam. He showed me a scar on his head & said, “You’re lucky, there used to be a bolt that hung down from that beam. I cracked my scull on it one day & had to get stiches. As soon as I got home from the hospital I borrowed a torch & cut it off.”

Eventually, of course, I learned to duck every time I got a shovel full of coal from that room but my how many lumps on the head it took to learn my lesson! May we not be so slow to learn what Paul is trying to teach us in today’s text: every sin we commit leaves a nasty bruise & if we keep it up it will kill us.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 28, 2019

We were playing kickball with the kids at the picnic this past June. One of the older boys figured out that if he just “bunted” the ball he could get on base. I sent him back to the plate saying, “Kick it like a man! It’s better to kick it hard & make an out than kick it like a baby & get on base.” From then on “Kick it like a man!” became the chant regardless of the gender of the kicker.

When it comes to serving the Lord, “Kick it like a man.” Make your life count for Christ. Swing for the fences: live to love, serve & bless God. If you are going to be passionate about anything, let it be Jesus.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 21, 2019

Barb & I visited a restaurant recently. As I drove up to park, I noticed an open space right up front. One space over a lady was sitting with her door open & her feet dangling from the passenger seat. As I slowly approached I was sure she would hop out & make her way to the sidewalk by the time I got there. She just sat there. I turned my van away at the last second & parked elsewhere thinking the woman to be a real jerk. As we walked to the front door I noticed her husband pulling a walker out of the back of their vehicle. She was no jerk, I was. She was waiting for her wheels.

People are full of surprises. Some of those surprises catch us off guard or even offend us. If we are going to get along well with others; if we are going to love them, we need to learn how to process differences quickly & resist the temptation to “Black List” someone just because they have a different point of view than we do. Things just might not be as they appear.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 14, 2019

My niece was having some very strange physical symptoms. She was feeling nauseous, particularly in the morning, & had started to put on weight. I know what you’re thinking but she’d been told by her OB/GYN that she’d never be able to have children. As a result of that information she has always avoided babies. Literally, she had never held a baby in her life.

Long story short: she’s due in December! For the 1st couple of days after finding out she was expecting she was in shock. Her mother was genuinely concerned for her mental stability. To their credit, she & her boyfriend got married. That’s one reason to bet married, this morning we’ll examine a few others.

Pastor Joel Everhart

July 7, 2019

For awhile my wife was part of an online support group for people coping with chronic pain. There were a few strong Christians in the mix but also several Buddhists. The more the Buddhists shared their philosophy, the more I pitied them. Those poor souls are really counting on all their help & answers to come from within themselves even though their bodies, & often their souls, are terribly broken. Sadly, one of the believers from the group has started attending Yoga healing seminars. So far, she’s not doing any better but has spent a lot of money.

God may not act the way we’d like Him to act or as quickly as we wish He would but you are safe under His care. False gods, religions & philosophies make grand promises but they do not deliver, they enslave. Resist all temptations to dabble in other belief systems. Seek God with all of your heart & He will be found by you.

Pastor Joel Everhart

June 30, 2019

I heard a gentleman say that he had been a rebellious teenager. He got tired of always being told what to do — when to get up, where he needed to be …. He especially hated being told he needed to cut his hair. Weary of all the rules in his family he ran away & joined the Marines.

The truth is, no matter how far we run or in what direction we find responsibilities waiting for us. There are consequences to our actions. We cannot live as we please & expect God to be pleased. The Christian walk is not about God blessing our every deed but about submitting our lives to His will. It is in following Him that we find our purpose, our joy, our life. How you define your relationship with God & what you choose to believe about Him will determine whether you waste your life or invest it in such a way that it pays eternal dividends.

Pastor Joel Everhart

June 23, 2019

At this year’s Easter Berlin Community Egg Hunt, my grandson nabbed three prize eggs for three free books from the library.

As we approached the library, my son said to him, “Parker, you have coupons for three free books, would you like to give one to your sister so she can get a book too?”

“No,” he said.

“Ok,” said Josh. We walked on in silence although I was dying to cut in.

A moment later Parker said, “I’d like to give Hannah one of my coupons so she can have a book too.”

I was proud of my grandson for making that choice but even prouder of my son to have the wisdom to allow Parker the opportunity to make the right choice. God often gives us time to reconsider how we intend to respond to being wronged by someone else. It’s only natural to feel like punishing them for what they did. However, it’s often better to choose grace, forgiveness, or some other path that will lead to reconciliation rather than retaliation. That’s what we’ll be talking about today.

Pastor Joel Everhart

June 16, 2019

My Uncle Bob & Aunt Grace used to have a small aquarium. Their favorite residents in the tank were Guppies. Guppies are colorful & prolific reproducers. If they were able to catch the moment a new brood of Guppy babies were born, they’d slide a piece of glass into the aquarium to separate them from their parents. Why? The parents would eat their children! Only when the kids were big enough to fend for themselves would the glass be removed.

In today’s text, Paul tells us it’s good for us not to look at our kids as though they are here to feed our ego. We are here to help them grow & mature into godly, productive adults. Teach them to swim, then cheer as they go.

Pastor Joel Everhart

June 9, 2019

I drove to Pittsburgh for a day to visit with my Dad. I dressed up thinking to take him to lunch at a nice restaurant that serves a great fish sandwich, which we both love. When I arrived he handed me a list of things to get done before heading for home: clean the gutters, sweep the garage, clear off the driveway, gather leaves on his two acres, hose down the house … I removed my shirt off but my white pants took a beating. His gutters were full of compost & leaves, & I sank his lawn tractor in the mud – there was a lot of kneeling involved in getting it extricated.

  Given my history of visits to Dad’s house, it was quite foolish of me to show up dressed up. When you visit Dad you need to be ready to work. Don’t get me wrong, those are my favorite kind of visits. I just wrongly thought that because I was planning on being in town for only a couple of hours that we’d do lunch, chat about his decision to sell the place, discuss where he was going to live …. There I was sitting in an upscale restaurant with a nice shirt & pants that looked like they’d been drug through the mud.

  In your Father’s house don’t expect it to be all happy, happy, happy. There’s work to do on your soul & you can’t expect Him to just sit there & smile rather than press you on issues that need to be addressed. There’s work to be done.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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