God’s Thoughts For You

Christians do well not to find fault with one another! There is certainly a need to be faithful to the Gospel and to be people of integrity, but the less quick to criticize within the “family”……the better. After you read the three scriptures I have listed, you may indeed believe that “[God’s] thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not [God’s] ways” (Isaiah 55:8). Actually the Isaiah text is a great invitation to come to God for a new blessing! But, the apostles Luke and Paul sound as though the wrath of God has come and will come again!

But then again….read Luke and Paul closely: Such GOOD promises from God in Christ after the Tower has fallen and killed, after the snakes have bitten, and after the temptations and sins have done their worst!

What is our need today that these passages speak to any of us?
By their end, I do find a word of love and compassion from a God who knows we “miss the mark” way too often! A word of salvation in spite of sin and tragedy.

It’s like the old Paul Harvey line: “And now….for the rest of the story!” Whatever the first part of an incredible story he would relate, he had even more amazing things to reveal in the second “half.”

That’s why we never give up on anyone…not even ourselves, you and me. God’s not “finished with us yet.”
Thanks be to God! It may be a rough Friday (or whole horrible week!), but remember…Sunday’s coming!”

Keep the faith!

Pastor Barry

A World of Foxes…and One Hen

Christians do well not to find fault with one another! There is certainly a need to be faithful to the Gospel and to be people of integrity, but the less quick to criticize within the “family”……the better.

All will stumble at some point. Name calling and finger pointing don’t help much since eventually the fallen, the stumblers will be YOU and ME!

Guidance, instruction, counsel, example, and I Corinthians 13 are the best referees in a church wrestling match! Or in public discourse!

If you are wondering what this is about, have you not heard? The Pope and presidential candidate Mr. Trump exchanged words! About being Christian! I might have worded it differently had I been either one’s advisor! Not a great example of Christian witness from either side…in my humble opinion. Maybe they will work it out in prayer and sitting at table together!

However, both our Lord and St Paul are not hesitant to speak to both people in power and to those who are “straying.” In our texts for Sunday, we will see how the Word speaks to us in our differences, diversity, and “diversions.” Let us hear and see the Lord and the Apostle at work when seeing things in others that fall short of God’s Kingdom in our midst.

Lord…. Make us One on our journey to Easter, on our journey to our Eternal Home! Let us walk together, all forgiven and forgiving.

Lenten Blessings,

Bro Barry


Pick one:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” Traditional Proverb.

“It’s Deja Vu all over again. “Yogi Berra “The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually and the wind returneth again according to its circuits.” Ecclesiastes 1:6

This Sunday’s worship will encompass a wide range. Past and present and future! For two Februaries now our Ash Wednesday services have been snowed out. So, Sunday we will have a brief moment to “remember we are dust and to dust we shall return.” “Repent and believe the Gospel.” And our guest preacher from Sunday Jan 24th….snowed out if you recall….will try to be with us once more. Eric Ross comes to us from our sister UMC at Fellowship. He will speak to “Changes.” How timely! Valentine’s Day is the 14th as well. Scout Sunday is observed too! And the 40 Day Journey to Easter we call The Season of Lent has its first Sunday.

I don’t think we have to pick one over the other! We worship God who richly blesses us in so many different ways! Come and participate in the gifts and graces we have received from the Gracious God who blesses us with this extended family in Jesus!

Pray for one another in All Seasons!

Pastor Barry

Snow and Ashes, Mountain Light, Valley Shadows

One could hardly ask for a scripture with more contrasts! Luke (and Matthew and Mark but not John) describes The Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt Hermon or possibly Mt Tabor. Jesus’ face “glows” and his garments are white as “snow” or as “lightning.” It may have well been in the dark of night since his disciples were “sleepy.” Jesus brings the New Covenant, but Moses and Elijah of the Old Covenant appear! A cloud envelopes them all but a Voice says Jesus is the Chosen one! They can’t see but they hear!

Peter wants to build shelters and stay on the mountain, but scripture says “he didn’t know what he was saying” (v 33). They see all these wonderful things on the mountain but come down to town the next day and can’t be of any practical help to a man and his sick, only son!

What about us? We will go to church and celebrate Good News that saves us but will soon receive Ashes on Ash Wednesday acknowledging our sinful past and that we are dust and shall “return to dust.” At Communion we will receive the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation but only through the Death of the Son of God!

Contrasts everywhere! But necessary to receive the full truth about ourselves…. And God!

Buckle up it could be a rough ride off the mountain! Scary enough to make you close your eyes for a second! But should be an “eye opening” experience to be sure!

Blessings on the eve of the season of Lent!

Pastor Barry