Tuesday, January 31, 2017

by Toni Sample

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

I had the delight to be the facilitator of the October, 2016 Women’s Retreat at Sharon Community Presbyterian Church.

On that cold but sunny Saturday morning, I watched the women enter the room and enjoy an informal gathering time of fellowship. I felt blessed to be a part of this group of women who obviously supported and cared for each other.

Throughout the day we searched our Bibles repeatedly, staying in His word and letting Him guide us through the materials. Our study was based on Paul’s words to the church of Corinth, (2 Corinthians 3:3) when he wrote: “Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.”

Although our focus was on the words in Corinthians we moved throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Each verse, each discussion that ensued, showed that these women were not only ‘letters from Christ written on human hearts’, but they were delighted in their relationship, not just with each other, but with their LORD. Some of these women were in the middle of struggles and were being upheld with His mighty hand; others had come out the other side of recent struggles and were enjoying a time of rest.

The corporate church goes through struggles, much like we do individually. We may stumble but He will never let us fall. God has been yoked to SCPC for 200 years, making the load lighter for those who gather to worship and delight in Him. It is the delight and hope in our LORD that sees us through our times of struggle. As we celebrate His faithfulness, He celebrates ours.


Dear God, we come to you through your Son, Jesus Christ, in awe of your power, your forgiveness, your love, and your healing grace. Thank you for never forsaking us. Thank you for helping us to walk on your path. Thank you for the hope we have in you. Amen

Monday, January 30, 2017

By Judy Lentz


Luke 13:32     I will reach my goal.

Our granddaughter is a budding gymnast.  She works hard every week to get stronger, to perfect the gymnastic moves she has been taught and to do the best she can.  She loves being a gymnast doing cartwheels everywhere she can.  She looks forward to her weekly practice and comes home beaming (no pun intended!).  Following her first competitive meet, her father was talking to her about the scores she had achieved and referred to them as her personal best.

 He encouraged her to seek improvement of her personal best rather than compete with the scores of others.  She looked at him quizzically asking “What is a personal best? He explained that rather than setting a high level goal and trying after our first attempt to achieve that high level goal, it would be more productive to see where we are at this moment which we call our personal best and then striving to do better than our personal best level each time until we reach the high level goal.

When Christ was talking to the Pharisees who had come to warn Him that Herod wanted to kill Jesus, He responded,  Go tell that fox, ˜I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal. And Jesus did just that.  He continued to drive out demons and healing people until on the third day, He arose from the dead to assure eternal life for all of us that was His goal!  So how does this relate to a personal best for us?  As we work to serve our Lord, we need to continually seek improvement of our personal best as we set our eyes on the final goal  to enter the church triumphant where we are blessed with eternal life.  

Dear Lord, we thank you for your unconditional love.  We are so grateful for the sacrifice Christ has made for us giving us the privilege of eternal life.  May we, in return, continually seek improvement of our personal best as we work to serve you until we reach our final goal of eternal life.  In the mighty name of Jesus.  Amen

Saturday, January 28, 2017

POEMS FROM THE PAST...The following poem was found in Sharon's archives from a booklet published in the 1960's by members of the congregation.  This untitled poem was submitted by Mrs. S. W. Hixson.

When days are filled with worldly snares,
Ask God to help.  He truly cares.
He sent His Son to earth to show
How much He loves us here below.
Don't make a move without His guiding,
Ever in His love abiding.
Lean on Him if strength is wanting.
Love and faith He gives undaunting.
Though doctor, lawyer, student, wife,
Take Him with you through your life.
If you but ask, your spirit humbling,
He'll surely keep your feet from stumbling.
Take Him then to work or school
And you will live the Golden Rule.
As each thought and act you know He'll see
You'll live as the Christian He wants you to be.


Remembering those who are a part of Sharon's history

Friday, January 27, 2017

by Mark Mizer

These are the statutes and ordinances which you shall be careful to do in the land which the Lord, the God of your Fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live upon the earth. (Deuteronomy 12:1  RSV)

There are four basic tenets of the Presbyterian Faith:

1) We are saved through grace alone. We can do nothing to earn this grace. It is a gift from God manifest in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and through his resurrection.

2) We are a priesthood of believers. All of us are capable and have a responsibility to proclaim the word of God to others.

3)The Bible is our authority or 'sola scriptura'. We believe the Bible alone is our foundation of belief. All the catechisms, confessions and creeds are  based on the Bible.

And, the fourth is probably the most difficult to grasp and understand. 'God alone is our Lord of conscience.'  To me, this is the essence of what it means to be Presbyterian, aside from our polity. This tenet can be viewed in different ways by different people with varying biases.

Historically, the Presbyterian church, as a denomination, and unlike other denominations takes no stand on some of the more controversial social issues of our times: abortion, homosexuality and capital punishment and the numerous issues that go with these. The Presbyterian Church, USA position is: as a denomination there is no position.  This does not mean there aren't very vocal and active advocates for both sides. Far from it.

Presbyterians have been advocates of all manner of social issues for many years. For example, Presbyterians were some of the more outspoken advocates of abolition before the Civil War. Our Confessions advocate certain beliefs from the Scots Confession to a Brief Statement of Faith. But, our confessions are not part of our Book of Order. They are separate, quite intentionally.

This can be vexing to many people because they either want someone to tell them what to believe or they want to use a rigid doctrine to have something solid to hang onto for comfort and consistency.

But, the Presbyterian tradition is a little more demanding of our mindful attention to our faith, how we live our faith, how we accept others who do not agree with us and how we accept people into our church family who are 'different'.

In my opinion, if we as a denomination are to proclaim certain behaviors to be abhorent or sinful we may use that doctrine to exclude certain people from our church family and as a result back ourselves into an inescapable corner. To proclaim certain behaviors as sinful and not acceptable in our circle would be to say we as individulas in the church do NOT sin, or,  we say our sins are different and thus less offensive than others. But, isn't sin still sin regardless? We come to this church not to proclaim our holiness or to feel good about ourselves. We come first to worship and glorify our Almighty God, and  to truly give thanks to Him, asking Him to forgive our sins of commission and omission, and, to ask Him to suffer our needs, desires and dreams. Who are we to have the power of judgement over others?  Let's leave that to God.

To me this is the essence of John Calvin. We as individuals have the freedom to seek God's will for our lives. But, for us to seek God's will for others based on our individual experiences and prejudices appears to be a non-starter.  That we have prejudges and biases is inescapable and undeniable. Calvin understood this and asks all believers and even doubters to study the Bible and to educate ourselves and pray for God inspired enlightenment. I refer to this as an objective faith or at least a rational faith where we do not allow our biases to guide our behavior in how we treat and accept others into our communion.  So may it be.


O God, our God, inspire us to continually seek your way and your path in leading others to be part of your communion, to be part of your family in Christ. Gird us, strengthen us, fortify us to do the things we need to do to, first,  to worship you, always, and to represent the people of Sharon Church  in a way that pleases you. We pray this in the name of your most Holy Son, our Christ,  Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

By Judy Yeck

 Eph 4:2-4A Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. Try your best to let God's Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. All of you are part of the same body. (Contemporary English Version)

This translation is a beautiful thought for living in God's peace with each other. How often we become angry with those who don't think as we do. Others don't always have the same understanding of scripture, some of us are liberals, others conservative. Some parents believe in spanking, others do not.

The differences are everywhere, but we are told to be 'humble and gentle' patiently putting up with each other and loving each other. I like this thought of putting up with each other. We don't always have to be right in our thoughts and ideas, it's okay to think out side of the box, but don't pout because you don't always get your way. We need only to keep our hearts together in our faith in Jesus Christ.


Dear Lord, help us to understand others, not to change their minds and thoughts, not to insist that all think as we do. Thank You that we are all created in Your love, may we see the Christ in them, and be able to truly love each other in Your perfect love.   In Jesus' Name. Amen

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

By Nancy Moore

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6: 25-34 (RSV)


A local grammatical quirk references small nondescript birds as “sputzies.” Nothing stands out about them; each are streaked brown and white; there is nothing about them to draw particular attention. From my childhood I have always referred to these small abundant sparrows as sputzies (possibly derived from German).

I recently installed a small bird feeder on my deck just outside the sliding glass door where I get a good view of the birds that routinely visit. While occasionally a pair of bright cardinals, a noisy blue jay, and two mourning doves stop by for a quick repast, the vast majority of birds are the small, fragile brown sparrows who actively fuss with each other for feeding spots. Youngster will follow behind a parent fluffing its feathers and chirping loudly for attention to be fed.

As I watch these vulnerable little birds through the glass, I recall the scripture that encourages and reassures me of our value in God's sight. When we feel alone or insignificant, lack self-confidence or need to overcome some obstacle, the words from the song “His Eye is on the Sparrow” (Civilla Martin, 1904) remind me not to be discouraged and know that our heavenly Father watches over us as he does each little sparrow—so what am I worried about?

Verse 2: “Let not your heart be troubled, His tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; though by the path He leadeth but one step I may see: HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW, AND I KNOW HE WATCHES ME.


Lord, we thank you for each day. We turn to you for strength, guidance, and reassurance of your love and concern, and know that you care and value each of us as you do even the smallest of your creations. Amen

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

By Pastor Doug Marshall

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son..." John 3:16 (RSV)

One of my favorite hymns, which we don't often sing (only twice in the past 10 years) is "Of the Father's Love Begotten." The song is simple yet ethereal (the tune name is apt - Divinum Mysterium, the Divine Mystery). The words were written at the end of the 4th Century by a Spanish lawyer who had experienced God's love in Jesus. Near the end of his life he gave up his public career to live a life of poverty and prayer. These words describe how God, who is mysterious and beyond us, chooses to enter our world in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the one who gives us life (the source) and the goal (the end) of our life, the one toward whom our lives are headed. "He the source, the ending He, Of the things that are, that have been, and that future years shall see." Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out what that means. All I know is that Jesus is the one who brings my life meaning and hope. My job is to seek Christ and to worship Him.

One of these days we will need to sing this again in worship!


Christ, to Thee with God the Father, And, O holy Ghost to Thee, Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving and unwearied praises be: Honor, glory, and dominion, And eternal victory, Evermore and evermore! Amen. (v3)

Monday, January 23, 2017

by Judy Lentz

"Make Love Your Aim”

 Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one”, answered Jesus, “is this: Hear , O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

“Make Love Your Aim” is the message written on the billboard at Rock Presbyterian Church (ECO) in Greenwood, SC. The pastor chose these words to place on that billboard to remind us of the Greatest Commandment. In a time of uncertainty in the world, these words offer the ultimate goal according to the laws of Moses. Why do these words represent such a challenging goal? After all, Jesus declared ‘love’ to be our aim when he answered the question – “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

When we watch the daily local or national news, we see example after example of life’s reality where ‘love’ is certainly not the aim. Road rage, child abuse, terrorism are just a few news stories that come to mind. But while these stories are dramatic and guaranteed to grab the attention of the listener, they are polar opposite of what God carved on the tablets held by Moses on the mountain that day nearly 4,000 years ago.

Who is our neighbor? The person who literally lives next door? The person who lives under the bridge? Our coworker? The check-out cashier at the grocery store? Our relatives? The bank robber featured on the local news earlier in the day? I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. God wants us to love everyone – good or bad. If we make love our aim in everything we do, we please God. And isn’t pleasing God our ultimate aim?


Dear Lord, help us to make love our aim every day just as Jesus did when he walked on earth so that our behavior is pleasing to you. We know this is our goal and yet we struggle at times when we find ourselves judging others. Forgive our sinfulness and continue to guide us in the loving ways of Christ Jesus. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Virginia (Jen) Shaw

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV}

Childhood memories of my dad's voice singing: "If with all your hearts ye truly seek me, ye will ever surely find me, thus saith our God." These are the words of the tenor aria from Mendelssohn's oratorio "Elijah." My father was an accomplished singer and fondly I can still hear these words long after he is gone. To listen to this wonderful music, go on your computer to "YouTube Mendelssohn Elijah If With All Your Heart." Your soul will be filled with joy.


Lord, thanks for your daily blessings and your great, great promise that anytime I call on you, you'll be with me!

Friday, January 20, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH  (by members, circa mid-'60's)

All nature plays God's Symphony
The birds, the wind, the trees
The pounding of an angry surf,
Soft whispering of a breeze-
A storm that brings the driving rain,
The parched earth's gentle sigh--
The birds all chirping, "Thank You",
When the soil's no longer dry.
The chatter of a busy squirrel,
Bright bubbling of a brook--
The quiet, peaceful stillness,
Of a pine grove's shady nook
No time to notice simple things?
Why must you hurry so?
You miss the PEACE, the Saviour brings,
To all who love Him so.
God plays his precious symphony,
Some movement, every day--
The instruments of nature,
Taking each their turn to play.
All nature played in harmony
A truly perfect blend.
'Twas man who added discord,
When he disobeyed and sinned.
Lift your eyes to God The Father,
Give Him thanks, with all your heart,
For His constant Melody of Life,
Of which you play a part.

                      Aldena Hedge Sieber

Thursday, January 19, 2017

By Mark Mizer

 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! Thou whose glory above the earth is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants, thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and, the son of man that thou dost care for him? (Psalm 8:1-4, RSV)

My guess is, we all have favorite books in the Bible. These are the texts we go to first when we need some extra inspiration or need comfort when we face the unknown with some fear and trepidation.

My favorite book is Psalms. For me it is a constant song of praise for our God, our creator and protector, the source of all things in earth and heaven. How can we even begin to grasp the enormity and goodness of God? The Psalms sings the songs of praise I wish I could and should sing constantly in my prayers. Yet, too often I forget the praise and go directly to my needs first. Spending times in the Psalms brings me back to what I should always do first.


O God, my God, how beautiful is your name in all of creation. You are maker and master of all that ever was, all that is, and all that forever shall be. Holy is your Name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH   (by members, circa mid-1960's)


If you went to a play or a sports event
You would want the best seat you could buy,
And you wouldn't complain at three dollars, apiece,
Not thinking the price too high.
But you'll walk into church, where the seats are free
And sit in the very last pew--
While those "Three Dollar Seats" in the front of the
With their emptiness, beckon to you---
Why not stand up for Jesus,
Get up on your feet,
And walk down front----
To your Three Dollar Seat!!!

                     Aldena Hedge Sieber 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

by Myra Leigh Tokar


Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV). Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Today our lives seem to be burdened with fears and uncertainties. Each day there is something that could set off an alarm of doubts and cause anxieties to muddle our lives. The economy, international crises, family issues, health concerns--the list is never-ending. God's word is and can always be a comfort. I can't say when the Word became clear to me, but I'm thankful for the revelation. Faith and trust in the Lord is our BEST comforter. I'm blessed to know that the Lord listens, even if I'm repetitive with my prayer concerns. He listens to us all and He likes a little praise now and then, too.

The lyrics of an old hymn come to mind whenever I feel overwhelmed with worries and stuff. I find myself repeating the refrain, a lot, and I know I'm in good hands, God's hands. The refrain is: "God will take care of you, thro' every day, O'er all the way. He will take care of you; God will take care of you." [Civilla D. Martin, 1904.] May this remind us of our ever-present Lord and that He will indeed take care of us.


Gracious Father, we only need to remember your words and know that you are always near to hear our prayers. May we always trust your love and caring for us because you will take care of us. Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2017

By Judy Lentz

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

At Vacation Bible School (VBS), the kids are asked for "God Sightings". They offer many wonderful examples -- a deer, a flower, a friend sharing a toy, etc. It humbles us to hear their interpretations of God's work among us.

In the Thursday's issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a favorite column of mine is the Random Acts of Kindness column found on the inside page. There can be found wonderful examples of "God Sightings".

The examples from the VBS kids and the stories told by those who live in our wonderful community warm my heart in so many ways. In a world that needs love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, we must strive to seek and offer more "God Sightings".


Dear Heavenly Father - may we continually celebrate your presence all around us as well as offer ourselves as role models of your love every day. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen

Saturday, January 14, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH   (by members, circa mid-1960'a)

It stands on a hill
With spire a-glow
Overlooking the land
That lies just below.
It earnestly beckons
All to come in
For comfort and prayer
Away from the din.
The light in the steeple
Of the church on the hill
Reminds one and all
Of His word and His will.
Come enter its doors,
And here you will find
Peace and salvation -
The need of mankind.

L. R. Therrien

Friday, January 13, 2017

By Judy Lentz

Two Powerful Words

John 11:35   Jesus wept.

My sons will tell you that I cry easily, way too easily in their minds.  I cry at weddings even when I don’t know the couple that well.  I cry at every birth I have witnessed.  I cry with every proud moment in the lives of my children and grandchildren.    I cry at special events, at funerals, with certain song lyrics, when the National Anthem is played, when I am upset by the needless suffering of others.  I sob when I think or see Jesus on the cross.  Does God cry at all these times too?
This scripture (John 11:35) is the shortest verse in the Bible but in my opinion is one of the most powerful.  What thoughts do you have when you read or hear these words?  Here are some of my thoughts.

How powerful is it when our Lord cries for his people? 

Does He cry for all the reasons I do?

Who consols God when he cries?

Who wipes away His tears?

Does He cry when he is upset?

If He can do all things, why doesn’t He change the situation causing His tears?

When we see suffering or experience it in our own lives, know that God is crying for us and with us.  For you see, He is our parent and His tears come just as the tears come for us.  The power is in His ability to bring us peace and comfort even in our suffering.  We may not be able to change what is happening and maybe His plan for us does not include a change in what is happening but he is here to comfort and consol.  Loving Him and trusting in Him is what He asks of us.  He is always there for us.


Our dear Lord, we ask for your loving arms to comfort us in times of suffering.  Just knowing you care gives us the peace needed to overcome.  Thank you for the love you have for us.  In the name of Jesus “ Amen.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

By Sara Kobak

Is that a joyous choir I hear? It is the Lord himself exulting over you in happy song.  Zephaniah 3:17 (The Living Bible)

I recently read Zephaniah 3:17 in an Upper Room devotional. I was aware that our Lord cries with us in our sadness and despair. But for Him to sing was something new. Now I imagine Him raising his arms, stomping his feet and shouting when a major joy enters our lives: when we finally get that new job, when a healthy baby is born, or when the cancer is gone. The Lord is with us not only in the valleys but also on the mountaintops. Hallelujah!


Dear Heavenly Father, Forgive us when we forget to praise you for your many gifts - big and small. Thank you for your comfort in difficult times and for your song in our gladness.   Amen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

By Gail Hiney 

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61: 1-2 (Women's Devotional Bible 2.)
When I was 50 years old, I was still not ready to lose my mother. I spent a long October night-sitting by her hospital bed as her life was slipping away. I was tired, sad and anxious. In the middle of the night I walked to the big windows on the side of the room. The night seemed so still, but beautiful stars lit up the sky. I saw a doctor and nurses caring for the patient in the wing across from the window. A feeling of calmness, peace and love seemed to surround me and I no longer felt alone. I felt sure that it was the presence of God. My mother died peacefully the next day.


Dear God, thank you for helping me at a very difficult time in my life. Please help me to rely on you more every day when even small problems seem to magnify in my mind. I know that I will always need your help and love to get me through life's challenges. Amen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

By Judy Lentz


Luke 10: 17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name”.

The lyrics of one of my favorite child Bible songs are written this way –
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, Where?
Down in my heart!  Where?  Down in my heart!
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. 
Down in my heart to stay.
I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus, Down in my heart, Where?
Down in my heart!  Where?  Down in my heart!
I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus, down in my heart.
Down in my heart to stay.

I think I first heard this song at church camp when I was a young girl.  It’s melody and lyrics often pop into my mind, from time to time.  Joy is one of those emotions that we feel at those special times in our lives when we are happiest.  But what song do we sing when we are sad, lonely or afraid?  What does it take to be reminded that once Jesus is in our hearts, we are promised his unconditional love, his abiding faith and guidance in every situation. 

We just have to ask for whatever help we need.  Keeping our faith alive and well and growing is what He asks of us.  Once He is in our heart, He is there to stay unless we decide otherwise.  He gives us the power to flip the sadness coin and turn it back into the joy that He wants for you and me.  How blessed we are to have Him so deeply embedded in our hearts.  That depth of faith sustains us through any storm.  Don’t ever let it go away!!


Our Heavenly Father – cast away my fears and doubts that occasionally creep into my mind.  Help me to know that the joy I feel for you and the love I have for Jesus deep in my heart is there just as you are.  Thank you for your unconditional love.  Remind me that your love will sustain me through any storm and help me experience the feeling of joy ‘down in my heart to stay’.  In the precious name of Jesus.  Amen

Monday, January 9, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH  (by members, circa mid-1960's)

You are never completely defeated in life,
As long as you keep on trying--
No matter the trouble, whatever the strife,
God's interest in YOU, is undying.
He wants for His children,
Life's very best things--
And the gift of salvation to
All them He brings--
You've been in a hurry,
A hurry to where?
You've stumbled, and fallen,
And think it's unfair,
That other folks' plans
Aren't shattered, like yours--
And your hall of life,
Is meeting closed doors--
Each one is pursuing the path of your choice,
While grumbling so loud that you can't hear His voice, when He bids you, "Be still,
And know I am God"--
So take a good look at the path you have trod.
You kneel down to pray, ask, His will be done,
And then you complain, when your own will's not done
Just trust our dear Saviour to handle your life,
Know the power of His love undying-
And remember, You're never completely defeated in life,
As long as you keep on trying.

by Aldena Hedge Sieber

Saturday, January 7, 2017

By Judy Yeck 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval. By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear. Hebrews 11:1-3

This chapter in Hebrews is the beginning of a quick history of Israel, how God worked in and through men and women to accomplish His plans. I can't help but think of the early people of Sharon who struggled to get to worship, and kept going until we became the church we are today. We don't remember their names, but their work lives on in the life of Sharon. Their dreams and prayers have been answered. As we continue on into the next hundred years, we too will leave 'footprints'. So by faith, let us continue to pray and work for God's Kingdom here in Moon Township.


Heavenly Father, as You were with the early founders of our church, may we continue to pray for your guidance and blessings, for the growth and continuation of this, Your church in Moon Township. Thank you in Jesus' name, Amen

Friday, January 6, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH  (by members, circa mid-1960's)
Let the church bells cry
And the heavens proclaim;
The angels join hands above,
And sing of the splendor
Adorning the heart -
The flaming peace of pure love.
Calm prevails; the storm is not,
Sweet music echoes the air,
And out of life comes one sure hope:
Love is always there.
Susan Cornman   June 1965

Thursday, January 5, 2017

By Walt Gorr


"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 (RSV)

Why is it that no matter how happy my life is I still experience mental "down" periods?

A project didn't work out, a grandchild has disappointed me, I never expected this huge repair expense! Sometimes these "speed bumps" on life's road come too close together.

If I'm not careful, my mood starts "south." It is then that I must remind myself that the Holy Spirit is always with me. The two of us can overcome and help me cope. All I have to do is ask.

[This scripture applies to both physical and mental situations.]


Lord, help me remember that you are with me always. I don't have to solve or overcome problems by myself. With your help, mental and physical challenges lose their influence. Thank you for your constant presence in my life. Amen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

          - William Temple – Archbishop of Canterbury

Our corporate worship should be all these things and, perhaps, more.  We might consider also the hand of fellowship, the warm friendship of Christian brothers and sisters around us, the “sharing and  caring.” First, however, comes the turning of our consciences, our minds, our imaginations, our hearts, and our wills, individually, to God. This is best done in an atmosphere of quiet contemplation unhindered by our daily concerns or the concerns of those next to us.  After personal preparation (accompanied perhaps by a soft musical prelude) we may then be prepared to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” and to share the joy of God’s blessings.


Lord God, teach us the process of quiet contemplation so that we may be better prepared to worship you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

By Judy Lentz


Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As I age, I find myself worrying more about what the world will be like for my children and my grandchildren.  The newspapers, the news channels and the internet tell us daily about one or more of these frightening events:  identity theft, scams, drug addictions, severe weather conditions like tornados or hurricanes, earthquakes, child abuse, terrorism and genocide, all of which might be far away or right here at home.   It frightens me.  I find myself praying fervently that our children and our grandchildren will not be faced by these scary situations.

Am I alone in being so frightened by all of these possibilities?  I doubt it.  But what I do know is that I can choose to focus on these negative situations or I can choose to focus on the beauty of God’s world, His mercies shown daily, the joy of a newborn baby, the peace of a healed loved one and so many more wonderful events in our lives.  God has blessed me with the presence of the Holy Spirit and I choose to allow him to give me the power of peace because I trust him to watch over me and my loved ones.

I know he is there no matter what happens.

This knowledge alone allows me to be filled with joy and peace and encourages me to trust in him by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Join me in that knowledge.  My favorite benediction is the one taken from Genesis 31: 49 paraphrased that says:  Go in peace and may the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.

Prayer:  Dear Lord “ you are the Lord of the kingdom, you are the power and the glory and through the power of the Holy Spirit, you fill me with hope, joy and peace.  Remind me, when I doubt or when my fears overcome my joy, that you are there to guide me through whatever difficulties I am experiencing showing me that trusting you will give me the hope, joy and peace I seek.  In the name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Monday, January 2, 2017

by Ann Mizer

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ”Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? Then said I “Here am I, send me”?    Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

Hymns are so often inspirational and meaningful.  One of my favorite (recent- 1981) hymns is “Here I Am, Lord” by Daniel Schutte.  The refrain says: “Here I am, Lord.  Is it I Lord?  I have heard You calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me.  I will hold Your people in my heart. I have thought a lot about callings.  The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is charged with calling a pastor and there is a pastor out their waiting to hear our call.  I have to keep in mind that there is the part about You (God) leading me when called.  I am afraid that I don’t always listen or follow when called, but surely it is a worthy goal to have.


Lord, guide me to hear when you call and to go where you might lead me.  Amen

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunday 1-1  Pastor Doug Marshall

"Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life has gone; a new life burgeons!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (The Message)

New Year's Day! This is when many people make resolutions to start something new--a new diet, reading the Bible, exercising more, etc. In my experience, most New Year's Resolutions don't work. The YMCA I go to is always overflowing with people during the month of January. 

In February the crowds start to fade. By April it's back to the same old routine.    

The good news of Jesus is that every day is an opportunity to start something new. It is also good news that becoming new is not primarily something we need to work hard at doing. It is the work of Christ within us. It is not our efforts that lead to change. Jesus is the one who makes us new. Our job is to turn to Jesus, to seek His love so freely given, to ask for His grace to make a change, to invite Him to work His strength into our lives.

If you long to be transformed into something new and to become the person God wants you to be, I encourage you to turn your heart and your mind, your whole life, to Jesus. That could start by simply saying thank you every day for Jesus' loving presence. That might include reading Jesus' word (the Bible) for five minutes a day. It would include joining all God's people every week for worship. Remember Jesus' wonderful promise: "I am making everything new!" (Revelation 21:5) 


Jesus, I know that my life is not all it should be. It falls short of what I would like and what you want for me. Thank you for the chance to start my life anew. Help me to turn to you. Fill me with your grace and peace that I might be made new and live for your glory. Amen