Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Dear Friends and Family of Hope,

I went for my yearly physical the other day that included a heart scan. My heart and arteries are in great shape, and my weight stayed the same (better than 5 or 10 pounds more). However, I lost a 1/4 inch in height and my triglycerides were high. Therefore, the good doctor told me that I need to change my diet. Cut out sugar, candy, pie, cake, ice cream, fatty meats, potatoes, white bread, white rice, etc. UGH! I thought to myself, I might as well die. What no meat and potatoes? But I thought to myself, and the doctor reminded me, "If I don't change my diet, I will have health issues - GUARANTEED!"

In pondering about this health and food thing, I found there's a lot of correlation between one's physical health and their spiritual health. One one hand, a person can say they are doing well in certain parts of their walk with Jesus, like prayer, Scripture reading, going to Bible study or small group, etc.  But on the other hand, there may be certain areas that need attention, like giving to God, sharing one's spiritual journey with others, not gossiping or judging others, etc. Of course, the areas I mentioned may not be the one's you wrestle with, but that still doesn't let us off the hook. That's like patting ourselves on the back for the good things we do, but not being honest in the areas that need to change. What's more interesting, if we don't work at changing those areas, issues will arise - GUARANTEED! The good doctor, namely, the Holy Spirit, will let us know if there is an area we need to clean up. The issue is: "Will we heed his nudge and advise?"

So, take some time this week and do a spiritual heart scan of your walk with Jesus, as well as a spiritual health check. Don't be afraid of the results, because it will allow us to be honest with God and ourselves.

Prayer requests this week:
1. Linda S. recovering from foot surgery.
2. Laura and our daughter, Anne, as they travel cross country from Ontario, OR to Jacksonville, NC.
3. People who are listed in the worship folder
4. People we would like to see grow in their faith.
5. People making transitions (job and personal) in their life.
6. For less rain and more sun. Remember our neighbors in the south going through flood conditions.

Have a blessed week!

Pastor Tom

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Dear People,
The other night I read a great article from John Kralik, a former attorney and now a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. What makes his story interesting is that he was at a very low point in his life. He was going through a second divorce, hated his job as an attorney, hardly saw his two older sons, and the law firm he started was hemorrhaging money. He also was a person who did not wake up happy. However, one day on a hike he heard a "mysterious"voice tell him, "Unless you learn to be grateful for the things you have, you will not receive the things you want." So John ventured out to write a thank you note to someone each day for a year. As a result he learned a few things along the way: (1) When things go wrong, people are quick to complain and assign blame. (2) When things are going well, people don't say anything or give credit - or thanks. (3) The more thank you notes he wrote, the more he found to be grateful. The interesting thing about John's story is that it doesn't have an ending. That is because he never stopped writing thank you notes. He have written over 700 thank you notes - and that was three years ago. He feels his life is abundant, full of blessings, a grateful person.

As we travel this down this Holy Week, how thankful are we? Do we grumble when things aren't going well, and we don't say anything positive when things are going well? When is the last time you said "Thank you" to someone - a cashier, a friend, your spouse, your children? So, how about picking up John's habit of writing "Thank you" notes. I like the idea and might try it. Who knows what might happen? You might get a "thank you" from me, or maybe someone else.

Remember to take time and pray today. It could be for our troops, a friend, someone listed in our worship folder, something you are facing. Pray about it. While you're at it, take some time to praise and thank God for your blessings. We serve a great God!

Pastor Tom

Maundry Thursday

Dear People,

Just a reminder that we will celebrate the beginning of the Easter Weekend on Thursday Night (Maundy Thursday) at 7:00 p.m. We will have a time of singing, celebrate communion, have a time for reflection, and look at the events that happened in the Upper Room from the Gospel of John. 

Have a blessed day as you look to the Lord for wisdom, strength, guidance, and care.
Pastor Tom

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thirsty Thursday...on Friday...

I know Thursday has past, but it's never too late to take time and pray. So, take a few moments today and remember to pray for those in need and who God brings to our mind.

I came across a great thought from Allen Bainbridge when he sent a reminder to the guys who meet on Saturday. He gave me permission to include it in my thoughts.  Let me share it with you:
"I want to share a powerful dream I had.  I dreamed I was in a semi (as a passenger) and we came up on an ugly wreck involving many cars.  I could see that people were hurt and needed assistance.  I asked the driver to stop but he would not.  He said there was nothing I could do to help them. I did not press the matter further because there was blood and horrible things present.  But I could have. They could have used my help. 
I am becoming more aware of the excuses I tell myself to not get involved where help is needed.  Too busy, family needs me, needing alone time, work, play, honey do list, the list goes on.  It all seems too much too big (like riding in a semi).  

Powerful dream isn't it? And it can be true. Last week I said that we can believe in lies. We believe that we can't be of help or assistance, but that's a lie that the enemy wants us to believe. However, God has given us a spirit of boldness and a sound mind. 

So, if there is an area that God wants you to venture out in - (1) pray about it with Him. (2) Ask Him for His strength and power. (3) Move ahead knowing that He and all of heaven are behind you.  

1. For Jerry Reed, former Cov. missionary. He has been diagnosed with lung and hip bone cancer.
2. For people who are listed in our weekly worship folder.
3. For continued prayer for the Tsunami victims. Also, Covenant World Relief is taken donations to assist with the victims.
4. For the Libya situation.
5. For our troops.
6. On a personal note: Our family has been going through a struggle with our dog, Lady, She had a seizure the other day and she hasn't quite been herself. We need prayer and guidance if this is her time. We've been on a roller coaster with this one this week. Thank you!
7. For my mother, Betty Jane. She has a cyst on her back which has been causing her a lot of pain. If the medication doesn't work, she will have to go through back surgery.
8. Gary T. going through some medical tests.
9. Other matters that God brings to your mind.

1. Brian M. is experiencing a new perspective in life.

We'll meet each other in prayer.

Pastor Tom

PS: This Sunday we will be going through Part 2 of Jeremiah (15:15-17; 16:10-15). Our theme will be "idolatry". I think you will it very relevant for our time and culture - both in society and the church. Hope to see you!