For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10b

“Pondering” – Cassi Piper

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Ponder is not a word used often today. To ponder is to think or consider carefully, quietly, soberly and deeply. Probably its most well-known use is found in the story of the birth of Jesus as told by Luke. In Luke chapter two we first learn of the heavenly host of angels appearing to the shepherds, alerting them to the birth of their savior. Then in verse 16 we read, “so they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Ponder is also found several times in the Psalms. Psalm 107:43 says “Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.” And in Psalm 111:2 the psalmist writes, “Great are the words of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.” I believe it is this type of pondering, to delight in the loving deeds and the word of the Lord, that describes Mary’s reaction to what was happening around her after the birth of her son. She was delighting in the incredible plan that God was allowing to unfold around her.

Contrast this to worry. To worry is to be tormented with the cares, anxieties and trouble of this life. And though Luke paints a serene picture of our savior’s birth, there was much that Mary could have been worried about. Was her child safe and secure in the stable? Who were these strangers wanting to see her baby so shortly after birth? Could they make it safely home with a newborn? Would her family and village accept the child they believed was born out of wedlock? What about the scriptures that prophesy that her son would suffer terribly, even unto death? How do you even begin to be a good mom to the savior of the world?!

It is easy for us moms to worry. How will our children fare academically? What will their character be? Will they keep the faith of their youth? What will they grow up to be? Who will they marry? Will my child be successful? Will I ever feel like I’ve got this parenting thing down? Will my husband and I ever go on a date again? I confess that at times I have worried about all of these things, and more!

But as scripture tells us, and Mary exemplifies, there is a better way. We can choose whether to focus on the trouble and obstacles of life or on the loving deeds of our Father. We can choose to remember the times he has shown himself faithful to us. The answered prayers. The miracles. The unexpected blessings. The provision. The promise that He is always with us and that His love knows no bounds.

Like Mary, we can choose to ponder. Will it be easy? No, probably not at first. Like any habit, change takes time. We may start with only one minute of pondering for every 10 minutes of worry. But as we allow the peace of God to invade our hearts and minds the worry will start to fade and we will be encouraged to ponder some more.

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to ponder. Whether you are a mom desiring to reflect on the faithfulness of God over the past year, or someone who is simply blessed to have a mom, it is my sincere hope and desire that we be a church who ponders. Jesus assured us that in this world we will have trouble. When that trouble comes, may we ponder the loving deeds and words of our heavenly father and experience His peace.

 

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“Always Remember Easter” – Pastor Mark Coughlin

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s been 24 days since we celebrated the
Resurrection of our Savior.

Some events fade quickly into our memory – like what we had for breakfast on Monday. But important events, like Easter, shouldn’t be allowed to fade so quickly. The message of Easter has a unique power to keep us focused on the new realities that came about because of Jesus conquering death.

There’s a song that is part of my Easter tradition. The words go like this:

Every morning is Easter morning from now on.
Every day’s resurrection day; the past is over and gone.
Good-bye doubt, good-bye fear, good riddance;
Hello, Lord, Hello, sun.
I am one of the Easter-People – my new life has begun!
Every morning is Easter morning from now on.

Those lyrics remind me that even though the lilies aren’t in the sanctuary any more and the white drape is gone from the cross, the past is gone! Doubt and fear no longer have the power to overwhelm – even though they try! When really difficult things happen we can be confident that Jesus is alive! And that makes all the difference! He is with us just as much on May 3rd as he was on April 16th. He will continue to be with us on June 27th, September 6th and everyday forward. It is that truth that gives us the power to say “Good-bye” to doubt, fear, worry and anxiety; all those emotions that threaten to take away our joy.

So take a minute. Think back to Easter Sunday. Remember something significant from that day. Refuse to let the circumstances of today hijack your joy!

As Jesus told his disciples so he tells us:
“In me you can have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33)

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