April Pastor’s Pondering

Easter 2021 – More “Good News!”

Easter is all about the “Good News!”  In fact, it is about the Greatest News in all of history!  It is about the discovery of the empty tomb and the eye-witness accounts of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He lives again so that we might gain new life and live forever.

This year, the “Good News” reaches even further.

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March Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

When you receive this newsletter, we will already be in the season of Lent – a special time for spiritual reflection and a “self-check” concerning our spiritual health.  Each year, as we move through Lent, I like to revisit a “check-list” that John Wesley put together for his “Holy Clubs” – those spiritual support and accountability groups of the early Methodist movement.  The list included 22 questions Christians would do well to ask themselves as they seek to become ever-more dedicated followers of Jesus Christ.

Here are the questions we might consider:

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February Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

On January 6, 2021, people throughout the world witnessed rioters storm the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC.  Among the mob were several people carrying crosses and signs suggesting that this act was in some way consistent with Christian conduct.  The attempted insurrection was prayed for and framed as a “holy war” and therefore, was justified by these people.

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January Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ Jesus was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” – Romans 6: 4

“Living a new life!”  What a great hope as we move into January 2021!

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December Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not!  For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  (Luke 2: 10-11 KJV)

Bible passages like these, never grow old!  For even when so much in our world has been challenged and changed, these beautiful verses from the King James translation of the Gospel of Luke remain a familiar comfort to our hearts and our minds and our souls.

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November Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.”  – Psalm 100 Read more…

October Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;

Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness,

so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

and in his word I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord

more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,

for with the Lord is unfailing love

and with him is full redemption.

He himself will redeem Israel

from all their sins.                      (Psalm 130)

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September Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  (1 Kings: 11-13)

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August Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

“Are We Meeting Your Needs?”

Recently, I read an article from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership that focused on “doing church” online. Of course, this is the hot topic in churches all over America as we seek to engage congregations in the new and often uncharted way. The study identified three trends for online worship: Transferring, Translation, and Transforming.

Transferring is the “most common strategy.” It basically reproduces the traditional in-person worship service by simply filming worship leaders in their sanctuaries conducting a service as if nothing has really changed. It consists of basically setting up a camera at the back of the church and video recording worship – minus the people in the pews!

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July Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

The wait will soon be over!

If all goes well, we will offer opportunities for “in-person” worship – at Asbury – beginning July 5th, with outdoor services each Sunday at 9 a.m. We plan to offer outdoor services throughout the month of July after which we will consider using the sanctuary once again. Online worship will continue for those who prefer that option.

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June Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

When and How??? Everyone is asking the same questions . . . and they all have to do with “when” and “how.” Of course, I am referring to the difficult question of when and how will things get back to normal and when and how will places re-open. And the question that I get that is on many of your minds is when and how will we get back to worshiping together in the sanctuary of the Asbury Church building.

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May Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

God said, “See, I am doing a new thing!”  (Isaiah 43:19)

This verse has taken on a whole new level of meaning these days. For just as in the days of the prophet Isaiah, the people of God are being asked to do a new thing! God is taking us upon a voyage in deep, uncharted waters. We are being challenged to “do ministry” in ways we have never attempted before. We must constantly ask ourselves, what are we discovering upon this voyage? What will we learn that is indeed new, and hopefully, meaningful to ministry and our individual and corporate spirituality?

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April Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

I am writing this on March 15, 2020.  It is 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.  Everything seems so strange.

The sanctuary is empty, dark, and quiet.  Where folks usually are lifting their voices together in praise, there is an eerie silence.  No words of praise, no songs of worship, no Scripture being read, no Good News being preached.

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