A change of seasons

I can’t live where there aren’t 4 seasons…

Yep, that means Florida is out unless I became a “snowbird”.  6 months up here in Millville and 6 down in Florida during the winter months.   But lately it seems like Summer wanted to hold on for as long as it could.  One minute it’s 65 degrees, the next 85 degrees.  Pull the blankets up one night, put the air conditioning on the other.  It’s crazy.

There are seasons in life

King Solomon said it best in God’s word:

A Time for Everything (Ecclesiastes 3)

There is a time for everything,

    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,

    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    a time to kill and a time to heal,

    a time to tear down and a time to build,

    a time to weep and a time to laugh,

    a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

    a time to search and a time to give up,

    a time to keep and a time to throw away,

    a time to tear and a time to mend,

    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    a time to love and a time to hate,

    a time for war and a time for peace.

I saw a Pastor lose his wife

They were happily married for years.  She got sick.  He prayed.  She got healed.  Repeat process for a while.  And then…she got permanently healed and went to be with Jesus.  Dark season.

Heartbreaking….

Are you heading into a new season?

It could be a cool, crisp refreshing one like fall.  Or a long cold winter.   These seasons are meant for a reason.  In order to grow, we need all 4 seasons.

Spring:

A new birth.  Like flowers and trees coming to life, we too can be reborn again in Christ.  New season, new, fresh outlook, etc.

Summer:

Hot, but plenty of sunshine.  Things happening.  Outdoor bbq’s etc.  A time of enjoyment.

Fall:

Cool, reflective time.  Things slow down.  Daylight gets shorter.  A hibernation is around the corner.

Winter:

Lonely.  Reflective.  Things are slow.  The cold sends shivers down your spine unless you drink hot coffee or tea.  Going outdoors is too cold now.  Trees are dead.  Lawn is dead.  Flowers are dead.  Time to hide.

Whatever your season, just remember this.  God is with you through it all.  All the way, all the time.

Take the time to get in His word and talk to Him.

Pastor Steve

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3 years old!

us

3 years ago Millville Community Church had it’s first church service in the basement of Central Baptist.  3 years later, we are now called Restoration House and are meeting in the sanctuary of the Millville Church of the Nazarene.   We’ve come a long way.

Here’s a question.

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Take a knee??

Good morning!

Another hot one today!  I can’t wait until the end of the week when the temps drop to Fall like weather!  My favorite time of year!

That time of year also involves Football.  Growing up, I used to watch and play sports.  It was my idea of having fun.  Playing and watching sports was a part of our past time.  I had kids my age that did the same.  While the video games were just starting to come into existence, we rode bikes.  Played football in the middle of the street.  On my front yard.

Mud and all…

We never had to worry about politics or other things coming into play.  By the way, I had friends of colour too.  We all just got along.  No stupid stuff.  We just worked it out.  Which leads me to the current topic of the day.

Take a knee??

There are a lot of things dividing us a country.  I’m not saying that we have arrived and there’s no more racism, etc.  But what I do know is that we need to address each other and the issues of the day with respect toward one another.  But the big question is what is the forum?  These guys get paid a lot of money.  When they wear an NFL jersey or uniform, there’s a certain expectation that goes along with it.

But I’ve never been…

Pulled over by a cop and feeling frightened because of my skin color.

Beaten because of my skin color.

Told I couldn’t drink from the same water fountain as a white person could.

Eat at another restaurant because your type isn’t welcome here.

Give honor where due.

On the flip side of this, without the idea that we are a free country.  Free to disagree. Free to raise our hands and yell.  Crying out for injustice.   People have died to give us that choice.  I just think a football game is not the place to make a statement.    I don’t like some people in leadership, but I still respect them and their position.  They are in the position they are in, and I’m not.

Take a knee for God.

Commandment number 5 in the 10 commandments states to honour your mother and father.  Well, what if you were abused?  You might hate a parent or both.  What now?  God calls us to honour them anyway.  He’ll punish and take care of the things that need to be dealt with.  If you wanna take a knee, then do so to pray.  If more people did this in church on Sunday instead of watching football, maybe the world will change.  You can always DVR it now.

Give honour where due.

Pastor Stevetim-tebow-tebowing-909f3a12ada856cb1

Total eclipse of the heart

So the day has come.  As I write this, a solar eclipse is happening over the United States.  As of 2:11pm EST here in Millville, it’s still light but has got a little darker.  But we are not there yet.  It’s now approaching Tenessee.  Not supposed to have another one for another 500 years.

It’s an amazing to see how the daytime can turn dark.  And all the people having parties and stopping what they are doing to see it.  All the people cheering in stadiums.

…for darkness.

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Well, yes, you guessed it.  I really am singing in the rain.  It’s downpouring in Cumberland County today.  We needed the rain so bad.  But now it’s possible for flash flooding!

I love a good rain!  Just watching it come down and then if you get a good thunder/lightning show, it’s just cherry on top.  You see, I’m what they call part melancholy and part choleric.  The choleric is the leader side.  Make decisions.  Get it done.  The melancholy side says,  let me think deeply about life while singing in the rain.

I’m a HUGE Walt Disney World fan.  And without fail, every time my family goes, we always go thru The Great Movie Ride.  This ride takes you slowly thru the progression of how movies became.  One of them is a scene where Gene Kelly is literally singing in the rain.  Although I’ve never seen the movie.  Especially since it’s debut was in 1952 long before I was born.

I found out recently that The Great Movie Ride is being closed for good.  Bummer.  But it really did need to close because it was outdated.  Rumor has it they will make it a Mickey and Minnie mouse ride that will take you thru an adventure with them.

Recently, I have heard of several people dying.  Dying at ages near mine.  I just turned 47 on August 4th so of course, it always hits home.  As I was thinking about this ride, it reminds me of life.  We start off in black and white and end up in 3d.  Over time, you pray things get better and better with your life.  Unfortunately, not everyone has that story.

If at the end of our lives God would put our lives up on a movie screen and take us thru it frame by frame, I think we would all have our share of surprises, disappointments, hurts, pains, and joys.  Just like the movies, there is a story line.  The main theme.  A beginning and then…roll credits.  Who made the film possible because of their contributions.

And then I thought,  I wonder how many people have my name on their list of life’s credits?  Did I contribute positively or negatively to their “life movie”?   Did The Director and Creator (God) like my contribution?

In life’s storms, it’s not so easy to be singing in the rain.  It’s fun if the water is not too cold and light.  But if it’s coming down in buckets and it’s freezing rain, it’s a whole different story.

That’s why we need Jesus.

Mark 4:35-41  

Jesus Calms the Storm

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Let Jesus come into your life boat and steer you through the storms of life.  One day, He’s gonna ask us….”What have you learned about me and what did you learn about you?”

Then, you can sing through the rain and shout at the top of your lungs!

He’s there for us all!

Pastor Steve

Singing in the rain…I’m singing in the rain!

Dreamer

Happy Monday!

Last day of a break in the summer heat before the next heat wave comes.  I can’t think when I’m hot, sweaty, and miserable.

When I was a kid, it didn’t take long before you caught me looking out a window, staring at the scenery, and my mind went wandering.  From the time I was a kid, if you didn’t capture my attention,  you could put a sign around me that says “Steve has left the building.  He’ll be back in later”.

out to lunch

I always dreamed of cool things.  Like that old HP commercial slogan “What if….”   What if we could do something better and different with school?  What if I bought an album store when I got older?  What if I could travel?

In the Bible, Joseph was a dreamer.  He got laughed at…..a lot.

When Joseph was seventeen years old he had two dreams that made his brothers plot his demise. In the first dream, Joseph and his brothers gathered bundles of grain, of which those his brothers gathered, bowed to his own. In the second dream, the sun (father), the moon (mother), and eleven stars (brothers) bowed to Joseph himself. These dreams, implying his supremacy, angered his brothers. (Genesis 37:1-11)

Joseph’s half-brothers were jealous of him; (Genesis 37:18-20) Wherefore, in Dothan, most of them plotted to kill him, with the exception of Reuben, who suggested having Joseph thrown into an empty cistern, intending to rescue Joseph himself. Unaware of this secondary intention, the others obeyed his first. Upon imprisoning Joseph, the brothers saw a camel caravan carrying spices and perfumes to Egypt, and sold Joseph to these merchants. Thereafter the guilty brothers painted goat’s blood on Joseph’s coat and showed it to Jacob, who therefore believed Joseph dead. (Genesis 37:12-35

Who said that being a dreamer was easy?

Ultimately, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Later, Joseph became Potiphar’s personal servant, and subsequently his household’s superintendent. Here, Potiphar’s wife Zuleika tried to seduce Joseph, which he refused. Angered by his running away from her, she made a false accusation of rape, and thus assured his imprisonment. (Genesis 39:1-20)

More unfairness…

The warden put Joseph in charge of the other prisoners, and soon afterward Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer and chief baker, who had offended the Pharaoh, were thrown into the prison and suffered dreams interpreted by Joseph, who stated that the chief cupbearer would be reinstated but the chief baker would be hanged. Joseph requested the cupbearer to mention him to Pharaoh and secure his release from prison, but the cupbearer, reinstalled in office, forgot Joseph. After two more years, the Pharaoh dreamt of seven lean cows which devoured seven fat cows; and of seven withered ears of grain which devoured seven fat ears. When the Pharaoh’s advisers failed to interpret these dreams, the cupbearer remembered Joseph. Joseph was then summoned. He interpreted the dream as seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine and advised the Pharaoh to store surplus grain.  Joseph then becomes 2nd in line to Pharoah regarding authority in Egypt and the land.

And here’s the best part of this whole thing…

Genesis 41:57 New International Version (NIV)

57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe everywhere.

Dreamers are scorned.

Dreamers are mocked.

Dreamers are discarded.

Dreamers are rare these days.

We need to teach our kids (and adults) to dream again.  We need the dreams and visions that God has for us to carry out, to become reality.  Let’s listen to God’s voice and start dreaming and doing again.  Jesus said. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” It’s time….

It’s time….

Go dream.

Pastor Steve

disney pic 1