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Our Pastor Ponders Valleys and Mountaintops


I participated in a weekend Christian retreat this last week and was reminded of a fundamental of our faith: we spend more time in the valleys than on the mountaintops.  Speaker after speaker reminded us that life is lived in the valleys where challenges face us each day.  Then, on rare occasions like this retreat, we can get a glimpse of God’s abundant love and what the eternal life will really be like. 

I was reminded to persevere – it’s worth it to journey the Christian path, if only for the mountain tops in this life, but certainly because of the reward in eternal life. 

Great love to you all,

Pastor John

Our Pastor Ponders the Concept of Change


The church, through the generous donations of a few of our fellowship, is in the process of installing a new sound system for the sanctuary.  You may have also noticed the new TV display in the narthex.  The communication capability of our church has dramatically increased over the last two years.  Yet, some will find fault with the cost, the inconvenience, and most notably “change”. 

There is an old joke about Presbyterians that goes something like this:  The maintenance department came to the membership to report that there was a change that needed to be made. But before they could explain, the members jumped up in a rage shouting, “Change… CHANGE… we’ve been doing things around here the same way for 40 years, we don’t need no change!”  The maintenance team was talking about replacing some burned out light bulbs. 

Let’s keep an open mind about change. Doing so has suited us well for many decades.  We are not the church we once were. We are not yet the church we will one day be.  Change is how we get from one place to the next.  God’s will be done.

Our Pastor Ponders Yom Kippur


This week, all around the world, the Jewish faith celebrates their most important day of faith known as Yom Kippur. Also known as Day of Atonement, it is also the holiest day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days sometimes "the Days of Awe".

  Historically, the Jews set aside this one day of the year to publicly acknowledge their sins and seek forgiveness via the sacrifice of blood from some animal they brought to the temple.  The Chief Priest would then, ceremonially speaking, transfer the sins of the people onto a goat.  This goat became known as the “scape goat” for it carried all the sins of the people.  The goat was then taken to the wilderness of Israel and killed, symbolically taking away the sins of the people.

After countless years of seeking forgiveness in this way – Jesus the messiah came into the world some 2000 years ago.  We know that Jesus is the true “lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.  His blood sacrifice at Calvary was for all mankind. All who believe and trust in him shall have their sins forgiven and have everlasting life. Some will not believe.  Some are yet to believe. Some believe.  Which are you?

What do you think?  What would Jesus say?  Let’s Chat it up! 

Our Pastor Ponders Belief in Jesus Christ


Today on my flight to Chicago for our son Scott’s wedding, I sat next to a husband and wife traveling to the same city for a conference.  I found out that the couple was Jewish and had been to the Holy Land a few times.  When I introduced myself, he asked what I did for a living and I told him I was very blessed to be a Pastor.  In response, he said, “ I am a Completed Jew.”

 A person of this faith is a Jew from their heritage, but at some point they came to belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. They retain their heritage, but practice their faith as messiah believing Jews.   There is more to this, but the essential message is pure and simple:  Whether you are Jewish or Gentile salvation comes through belief in Jesus Christ as the savior. 

Everyone needs to hear the Gospel – please do your part in sharing it.

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