Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Judy Lentz   Death and Dancing

David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore, God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.  Scripture: II Samuel 6:5-7

In January, the Dr. Rev. Chris Leonard of Rock Presbyterian Church in Greenwood, S.C. preached a sermon titled “Death and Dancing”. The scripture lesson for this sermon was the story of Uzzah as written in the scripture lesson above. At face value, to me, it seemed confusing.

Why would God kill Uzzah? After all, wasn’t he a Priest and didn’t he take care of the Ark of the Covenant for years? Why, then, did God get so upset with him for trying to prevent the ark from falling to the ground resulting in God striking Uzzah down due to this irreverent act?

Historians tell us the Covenant scrolls were intended to be carried on the shoulders of two men who could then assure the Covenant itself was never touched by human hands or could be desecrated by falling on the ground. When Uzzah was commanded to bring the Covenant to God, Uzzah in his controlling way, chose to bring it on a cart pulled by oxen rather than be carried by men on their shoulders.

 When the oxen stumbled, the Covenant shifted. Uzzah feared it was going to fall on the ground so he reached out to grab it. Seems like he was doing the right thing, right? After all, he was seeking to prevent it from falling on the ground.

What was expected of him by God? Uzzah’s irreverent act was ignoring God’s expectations of how to carry the arc and taking control of that decision himself. Then when it almost fell to the ground, Uzzah reached out to prevent that thereby touching the sacred Covenant. Uzzah’s independence in taking control over the way to carry the arc was inconsistent with God’s wishes and therefore irreverent.

 Uzzah’s controlling nature was not new to God. Due to this incident, Uzzah was struck down. After Uzzah’s death, we read further in II Samuel and see that David danced and Michal, daughter of Saul, despised him for doing so. David chose to dance in celebration of God and His Covenant.
 There are two diametrically opposing behaviors here – control versus celebrate and death versus dance. God is in charge: then, now and in the future. We are expected to celebrate and dance not to control and thereby risk being struck down.

Sharon is celebrating in 2017 – dancing in gratitude to God for 200 years of worship and service to the glory of our Lord. We celebrate this year but have we always been celebratory? Will we continue celebrating even after this anniversary year has ended? God has a plan for us – all we need to do is listen and respond.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we often forget who is in charge. We try to control how we live our lives, the decisions we make, the places we go, the things we do instead of turning to you for guidance before making these decisions. Forgive us for our selfish ways. We know you have a plan for us. Teach us to trust in that plan, and to follow you every day as we dance and celebrate your faithfulness in us. Eradicate any desires to control and guide us to celebrate and dance always in gratitude to you and for your glory. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bearing Fruit  BECOMING RICH

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

Through the working of the Holy Spirit, who opens our hearts and minds to understand God's Word, we learn that riches do not consist of money. In fact, riches have nothing to do with money. We can have very little money and be very rich or be very wealthy and be impoverished. True riches have to do with a right relationship with Jesus who brings us satisfaction, joy, love and peace and who enables us to "take hold of that which is truly life" (1 Timothy 6:19).

Material possessions do not constitute real riches, as many have discovered to their sorrow. Material things are transitory. What we possess materially can be lost... All material things can be gone very quickly.

The wise person who desires to be rich will look at Jesus' words. Enlightened by the Spirit, he will understand what God's Word means when it speaks of the lack of foundation material riches provide. He will understand what a poor investment wealth alone is. He will see that true riches are found in investing in eternity, in laying up "treasures in Heaven" (Matthew 6:20).

How insightful C.S. Lewis was when he wrote, "He who has God and everything has no more that he who has God alone."

Jesus told us that he came "that [we] may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). Let us not settle for the cheap counterfeit the world offers but embrace wholeheartedly the treasure of Jesus and his good gifts.

Prayer:   Lord, you are the provider of all things. Help me to put my trust and faith in you rather than in material things. I thank you for your incomprehensible love demonstrated in the gift of your Son, Jesus, who gave his life that I might have true riches: the forgiveness of sins and life eternal in Heaven. In your precious name I pray. Amen.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Jan Bernard

-Do not be afraid-for I am with you!  Isaiah 43:5 (Today's English Version)
Every time I go to work I must travel on an airplane. This requires a lot of trust in a lot of people from the fueler of the plane to the pilots. I have no trouble believing they will do their jobs and I will arrive safely.

Sometimes I wonder why I ever had doubts that God would always be with me. I have come to believe that God is with me on each flight and find myself sitting in the jump seat during turbulence with a calm feeling knowing God is with me. After many years of flying, I have learned that I am not in control of the airplane or my daily life.

 I have learned to listen to God with a much more open heart and know he is with me no matter what happens.

Prayer:  God, help us to remember you are with us always.
Debbie Williams 

A Lesson in Faith

My mother passed away on November 19, 2016 from cancer.   The whole experience was to say the least, difficult.   But she left me with a fresh outlook at faith. 

She had beaten the odds several times - a bout with melanoma, breast cancer, a severe respiration infection.  But not this time. The melanoma came back. It started with her just being a bit more tired than usual. Then in a matter of days it spread to her throat and her brain. Her tongue was swollen, so she could not eat much and she could talk, but just a little slower and harder to understand.

When we went to the doctor's office and he told her...well he was telling me the diagnosis...she promptly informed him. “Talk to  me Dr. Sherry, not my daughter. It's ok. Just tell me.” So the doctor told her she had maybe 12 weeks to live.

She went home and called a few friends. A few minutes later her phone was ringing off the hook. Friends told other friends. So her calendar filled with meetings. Pastor Doug, all of her friends, family, the neighbors...they're were all scheduled to visit.  And she's was excited. She's THANKFUL to have these people in her life that want to see her. She's GREATFUL to God to have the time to say goodbye. Because most don't get that luxury.

She didn’t have any regrets. She was not afraid to die because she's spent her whole life being faithful to God.

After receiving the news of 4 to 6 weeks to live she sat me down and “dictated” to me her wishes for memorial service, songs, bible verses, funeral arrangements and met with Pastor Doug to tell him.
Bearing Fruit For Jesus! 


"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." John 12:16. ...for it is time to seek the Lord until he comes..." Hosea 10:12
Have you ever felt that life is so full of distractions and that there are such pulls on your time that you have lost your focus? As God's stewards, our goal is to live our lives for God's purpose according to his grace given us by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament.

 Getting our priorities straight and sticking to them is one of the most difficult tasks we face. We are called to be faithful and not misdirected by the world, our flesh, or Satan. "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all that you do" (1 Peter 1:14-15).

It is challenging, but with God's help it is possible to keep God at the center of our busy lives and to keep some of life's diversions from consuming our time...

We may ask ourselves the question, "Does the way I live my life reflect the importance of my relationship with God?" We may also ask, "Does my faith focus my life or does my faith get lost in the blur of busyness and day-to-day routine?" Our goal is to keep "the main thing the main thing," which is to love, serve, trust, and obey our heavenly Father.

Prayer:  Father, I thank you for the gift of life. Please grant me your wisdom so I can see the foolishness of my ways. Help me, Lord, to use my time wisely so that I may glorify you. Guide me in your path. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Playing with Yarn  

Megan Hamsher

Exodus 35:25      Every skilled woman spun yarn with her hands and brought it: blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.  (Holman Bible)

Here's some things I've come across "playing with yarn":
Yarn can tangle and form knots.
Sometimes the pattern and my hook are not on the same page and frustration occurs;
I have to rip things out and start over again.
Stare at the back of a pattern to weave in ends ...
and forget to look at the front design.
If stitches are practiced enough,
beautiful projects can be made to brighten someone else's day.
It's a one person deal: a pile of yarn and a hook....
it's up to you to actually make the design.
Who would have thought messing with yarn could teach us about our lives?
Life is full of "unexpected tangles" and plenty of frustrations that we often can't prevent,
but we learn eventually to "de-tangle" and move on.
Life is about new beginnings - starting with each morning!
We can't always see the "main picture" until we are finished with that chapter in our lives, sometimes taking years before we understand it....
but God knows the "big picture" always!
If we take time to keep learning and sharing that knowledge with others,
we can brighten others' lives in so many ways.
Now add Jesus to the story.
Jesus gave us a personal way, a one-to-one method, to connect to God.
Jesus accepts us if we are open to His love ...
no matter how many tangles and frustrations we face.
Jesus gives us new hope, and offers us a new way to spend our lives.
If we spread the Good News ... we spread His love and enrich those around us.
"Weave in the faith and God will find the thread."
(couldn't find the author, but I love this quote!)

Prayer:  Dear God,
Thank you that we can learn about You in the simplest of things, like yarn.
May we take what we learn and share it with others, whether it's through our words, actions, or gifts.

W Roy Behling  


Jesus said: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." - Mark 10:14 (NIV)

Even as I approach 80 years of age, I cannot forget my Sunday School teachers and youth leaders. I attended Sunday School and Youth Fellowship from toddler age through high school. During this period, I received Jesus as my Savior. I am grateful for my teachers who taught the living word of God with deep commitment and love. All these years later, I still have respect for these teachers.
In Luke Chapter 2, we see twelve-year-old Jesus sitting with the teachers in the Temple, and they were all astonished by his wisdom and answers. He was well versed in old testament scripture.
What about our children? I firmly believe it is part of God's plan to use Sunday School to produce faithful servants for His church. Children are precious in the sight of God and by attending Sunday School our children can learn about Jesus Christ and the scriptures and then pass on these lessons of faith to future generations.

Dear Lord, I ask for Your continued blessing on Sunday School teachers, youth leaders and students as they grow in the faith, become Your disciples and spread the Gospel as fruitful members of Your church. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Amen.
Judy Lentz


Exodus 20:5-6 “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations, of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

As I was preparing a Bible Study to share with some Christian sisters, the lesson was on jealousy, one of the ugly sinful emotions in our world. Jealousy is the green-eyed monster, so says Shakespeare in Othello -- being envious of someone or something that one person has but another person doesn’t have.

It is a sin because it breeds envy, greed, covetousness, selfishness, or hostility because our heart isn’t satisfied with what we have. We want what someone else has -- the ‘better’ job, more pay, bigger house, bigger diamond, more of the material things in life, etc. I am sure you can name many other ‘things’ that we worship/covet. These are examples of sinful jealousy.

So how do we interpret the words of Exodus 20:5-6 – “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God”? Is the jealousy described here different than the jealousy that Shakespeare was talking about? The word ‘jealous’ in Exodus 5 is translated the same as the word ‘zealous’. God is zealous for his people – the love He has for us is zealous. He zealously desires us to be exclusive to Him in our devotion, study, worship, prayer. Striving to change our sinful jealousy into the righteous jealousy of faithfulness to our Lord should be our focus.

Prayer: Dear Lord - May the jealousy that is our sin because we want something that is not ours be changed into God’s jealousy -- zeal for our Lord and love for Him as deep as the love he has for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Ann Arthur
“Abiding friendships we count as wealth,
We’re very grateful for lasting health.
On the whole the years have been very kind,
Even most of our clouds have been silver-lined.

So our prayer today is full of thanks to You,
For guidance and help in all that You do,
May Your blessings continue so we may meet again,

We ask in the name of Your son, Amen!”

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Tanya Marshall  

Pilgrimage Reflection:  The Pit and the Ancient Steps

 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.  (Matthew 26:57)

During our pilgrimage in Israel, we saw many sites where different Biblical stories may have occurred.  Often churches were built at these places, commemorating the event.  Sometimes in and around these churches we were shown ruins of ancient buildings, thought to be from the time of Christ or earlier.

One such site was the supposed location of the high priest, Caiaphas’ home, where Peter denied Jesus three times.  There are caves and rooms deep underneath that were probably servants’ quarters, and dungeons used to hold prisoners.  It is speculated Jesus would likely have been held down there overnight in this story of his questioning by Caiaphas and the elders prior to the crucifixion.  Jesus may have been in this very “pit” that we saw.

Just outside it, we were shown ancient steps going up a hill, grass growing in and around them.  We were told Jesus was most likely led or dragged up or down those very steps.  Though we were not allowed to walk on them, I saw a stray cat walking up the steps.  I’m not sure why the cat touched my heart, but it did.  Anyway, these spots – the pit and these steps – are images I’ll not forget.  They remind me of the pain and agony Jesus endured in his last few days, all for our sake, to offer us forgiveness and eternal life.

Prayer:  “For me, dear Jesus, was your incarnation,
              Your mortal sorrow, and your life’s oblation,
              Your death of anguish and your bitter passion,
              For my salvation.

              Therefore, dear Jesus, since I cannot pay you,
      I do adore you, and will ever praise you,
        Think on your pity and your love unswerving,
              Not my deserving.”
        (From hymn, Ah, Holy Jesus)


Friday, May 19, 2017

With God all things are possible – Ann Mizer

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

I have always found comfort in this verse of scripture.  It assures me that what may not seem logical or reasonable, could happen if God chooses.

 A friend of mine was very disturbed by the thought of a “fox hole Christian”, the one who on their death bed becomes a believer.  He thought that so unfair and not right that they would be saved, but to me, with God, all things are possible.

 It seems to me to be a hopeful passage, not a guarantee of what I want, but the opportunity that things will be what God knows to be best.

I would assume that most of us pray for specific things that we want or that we believe would be good.  I think that this passage is one of the reasons that we say these prayers because we believe God can make them happen.  The passage however does not guarantee that what we want is what will occur.

 Prayer:  God, please help me to believe all things are possible with you, and also to understand that you will do what is best.  Amen.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Weathering Life’s Changes

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses,  Ecclesiastes 3:1 (Today's English Version)

Because I travel in my job, I am able to see the many differences this country of ours has to offer. Our area has the 4 seasons, which I love, but many areas do not get to enjoy these changes. I sometimes wonder how the people that live in those areas can appreciate what they have when they don't get to witness the cold of winter or the beauty of spring.

 I think because of these changes I can enjoy the weather more. As tough as some of the weather can be, this is how our lives can be at times, too. Because I have weathered some of the hardest times, divorce, sickness of parents and death of parents, I know God is with me during all these seasons of my life. He has given me the strength I needed during each of these events.

Prayer:  God, thank you for the different seasons we get to enjoy and for the changes in our lives that show us you are with us no matter what. Help us to continue to come to you with our fears knowing you will guide us and give us strength to continue. Amen.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Grace Peters

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.”  1 John 4:7 NRSV

God often speaks through children and they deliver His message simply and innocently.  My daughter’s third grade class had a Mother’s Day program.  The loving messages were recited: “I love my Mom because she’s a good cook and feeds me”; I love my Mother because she is pretty”; “I love my Mum because she takes care of me”.  Then my daughter got up and said, “I love my Mummy because she loves me.”   Isn’t that how it is with God?  We love God because he first loved us; He is love.

Prayer:  God thank you for first loving us and help us to love one another and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Amen

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-25

When I began my professional career, I would often talk about the ‘day when I retire’. Dreams were created about what retirement might feel like. Bucket lists were created listing all the places I wanted to go and the things I wanted to see when time allowed. As I neared the normally accepted age of retirement, I found myself thinking of retirement in a very different way.

 I would say to people “the closer I got to retirement age, the less I wanted to retire because I was enjoying my professional career more and more.” It had taken many years to gain the knowledge and experience to feel confident and assured. During those years, I was maturing in my spiritual journey ultimately recognizing that the ‘work’ I was doing was not serving others, I was serving the Lord! I had always worked with all of my heart, but my purpose was miss-directed. I was focused more on achieving earthly goals, like money, recognition, etc.

I formally retired four years ago – since that time, I have come to recognize the real purpose of the work of my lifetime. I had been given talents by the Lord to be used in serving Him. He has rewarded me in so many ways – love, compassion, gratitude, humility to name just a few. May the ‘work’ that I do as a volunteer today always be Christ-led to return to Him what he has already given me.

Prayer:  Dear Heavenly Father – you have generously blessed me with gifts. May I never forget ‘who I am’ and ‘whose I am’. As I serve others, may I never forget I am serving you. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, May 15, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH (by Mrs. S. W. Hixson,circa 1964).
When Jesus calls us do we listen?
Do we answer, "Here am I"?
Or is your life so full of living
That you never think of Him on high?

Do you know Him as your savior?
Know he died for you and me?
Have you given time for thinking
Where you'll spend eternity?

As we go along life's pathway
We should always keep in mind
That we leave a trail to follow.
Is yours the leading Heav'nward kind?

When e're we have the chance for service
We should answer willingly
Do our part in God's own planning
Saying, "Here am I send me."

If your task is big or little
Of your talents you should spend
Helping spread the word around you.

Of each stranger make a friend.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH (circa 1964 by Aldena Hedge Sieber)

The world's great problems I can't solve
May never be famous--but I resolve:
As a Christian mother, to do my part,
To raise each child with love in his heart.
God IS love, so can't you see?
The important mission entrusted to me:
I'm so unworthy of all things good--

God guide my mission of motherhood.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Pilgrimage Reflections   The Crippled Man by the Pool - Tanya Marshall

 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred.  While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”  (John 5:6-7)

During our pilgrimage in Israel, we visited the pools of Bethesda (or Bethsaida), the traditional site of Jesus’ healing of the man who was crippled for 38 years.  Again, I tried to picture Jesus and the man in this setting.  After seeing the site and hearing the Biblical story, we were challenged to reflect: “What would Jesus ask me if I were in this story?” (i.e. what is my area of need?) and also, “What would my excuses be?”

I thought that Jesus would say to me, “Do you really want to learn to trust me totally with your future, and with all those people/family members you worry about so much?”  My excuses would include:  I doubt I’m important enough for God to care about my issues, and I try to fix and control everything myself.

My challenge is to trust Jesus, to really believe Jesus who says over and over, “Do not be afraid, I am with you.”

Prayer:  O Lord, help me remember the promise in Isaiah 41:10:  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Amen.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Having just returned 5 days earlier from the most wonderful trip to the Holy Land, Bob and I attended a Wednesday service that is a part of the Lenten Pilgrimage provided by the Greater Greenwood United Ministries. Each week the service is at a different church. Attendees are from all churches in Greenwood, SC (our winter home). The service was especially well attended.

 The solo was provided by an older gentleman with a beautiful bass voice. When he started singing, tears began running down my cheeks. Doug had told all of us on the Sharon Pilgrimage to the Holy Land that we would experience the liturgical year very differently than ever before. I was not prepared for the depth of my reaction. The song being sung that elicited such an emotional response from me was “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked”. The lyrics are so profound – it was almost as if Christ was reminding me of the wonders of our recent trip and the impact it would have – my life has been changed forever.

I walked today where Jesus walked,
In days of long ago.
I wandered down each path He knew,
With reverent step and slow.
Those little lanes, they have not changed,
A sweet peace fills the air,
I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt His presence there.

My pathways led through Bethlehem,
A memory’s ever sweet.
The little hills of Galilee,
That knew those childish feet,
The Mount of Olives, hallowed scenes,
That Jesus knew before.
I saw the mighty Jordan row,
As in the days of yore.

I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
Where all alone He prayed.
The garden of Gethsemane,
My heart felt unafraid.
I picked my heavy burdens up.
And with Him by my side.
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
Where on the Cross He died.

I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
And felt Him close to me

Prayer:    Dear Lord – thank you for the blessing of being able to walk where Jesus walked. Just as the lyrics of this song touched my heart, so do the words of many songs touch the hearts of those who love Him. We thank you for sacrificing your son for our salvation. Amen.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:15 NIV

I like this scripture, especially the second sentence (because actually I don’t know the gods of my ancestors or the Amorites).  But I give pause and wonder what does this mean?  How am I serving the Lord?  Is it visible to others?  Is it intentional or is just habits and routines?

I believe that I see in my adult daughter signs that our household did honor and serve the Lord as she grew up because she has carried this into the next generation with my grandsons.  I hope that it is apparent to my friends that my faith is important to me (and my household), apparent that we honor God, and that we practice our beliefs and we share them with others.

Prayer:  Lord guide me to serve you.  Help me to do so consciously and intentionally.  Forgive me when I fall short of this and direct me back to the right path.  Amen.

Judy Yeck

1 Thessalonians 5:16-28 CEV   -Always be joyful (vs. 15)

Our attitude can be one of gratitude, and joy. We can decide each day, how we are going to go through that day, full of joy, or not. It doesn't matter where we live, what we do or how we spend our time. The only thing that dictates our attitude is our choice.

Do we believe that God in in control of all things, including us? Do we trust His word, which tells us that He is in control of all things?  Even in the midst of disaster, He is there and waiting for us to acknowledge His presence in our lives.

 The scripture above is one that we should write down, and attach it to the bathroom mirror, and throughout our busy lives. It is a choice, choose joy!

Prayer:  Dear Lord,

Help us to acknowledge Your presence in our lives, may we truly live in an attitude of gratitude with joy. Help us put You first in our lives and be pleasing in Your sight, for we ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen
God is on the move – Jan Weber
23 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.     Jeremiah 23:23-24 New International Version (NIV)

God Is on the Move
7eventh Time Down
Anytime a heart turns from darkness to light
Anytime temptation comes and someone stands to fight
Anytime somebody lives to serve and not be served
I know, I know, I know, I know
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
In many mighty ways
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
On the move today
Anytime in weakness someone falls upon their knees
Or dares to speak the truth that sets men free
Anytime the choice is made to stand upon the Word
I know, I know, I know, I know
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
In many mighty ways
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
On the move today
I see your generation standing on the truth
In each and everyday saying God is on the move
Anytime the Gospel stirs a searching soul
And someone says “send me, here I go”
I know, I know, I know, I know
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
In many mighty ways
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
On the move today
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
In many mighty ways
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
On the move today

I listen to the radio station KLove whenever I am in the car. I love to sing along with the upbeat contemporary Christian music, LOUD! So for many months I have been singing “God is on the roof” to the chorus of the song above by 7eventh Time Down until I finally paid attention to the radio announcer when he named the title. I had a PNC meeting that night, and shared my mistake with the group, and we all had a good laugh. Another member of the committee said the song was one of her daughter’s favorites as well, and she wanted to share the joke with her when she got home. The next time I saw her, and asked if her daughter enjoyed the story, she laughed and said that her daughter thought the chorus was “God is on the moon”!

Prayer:    God, We thank you that you are everywhere; on the roof, on the moon, on the move, and especially in our hearts. You are always with us. Amen

Saturday, May 6, 2017

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?

Prayer: 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

Friday, May 5, 2017

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.

Prayer:   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.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23

It seems that, as we grow older, we can better understand what James was saying in chapter four, verse 14: "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

Time does go by quickly, especially as we age. James is telling us that, in the span of eternity, our time on earth is rather insignificant. We are a mere dot on the calendar of time.

In reading God's Word, it is clear, however, that God is more interested in what we do with our time than the length of time that he gives us. As God's children, our focus shouldn't be on asking God for longer lives, but, rather, we should be more interested in asking Him and ourselves the question: "What can I do with my time that will please him and give him the glory that he deserves?"

 First and foremost, God wants us to spend our time with him in prayer and worship and the study of his Word so that we are then empowered to serve and glorify him. We can give God glory by dedicating our daily tasks to him. Our hands and feet can be doing routine and mundane things, but our heart and minds can be focused on the Lord.

We demonstrate God's grace at work within us as we do his will by serving him through serving others. By wisely using our time to the glory and honor of God, we can live this life abundantly.

Prayer:   Lord, help me to put you first when planning my daily schedule. Grant me wisdom so that I use my time in ways that give you glory. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nancy Moore

Anthem sung by Sharon Community Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir on April 9, 2017. Words and music by Graham Kendrick.


My Lord, what love is this that pays so dearly;
That I, the guilty one may go free.
Amazing love, O what sacrifice,
the Son of God, giv'n for me;
My debt He pays, and my death He dies,
that I might live, that I might live!

And so they watched Him die despised, rejected;
But oh, the blood He shed flowed for me!
And now, this love of Christ shall flow like rivers;
Come wash your guilt away, live again!

Amazing love, O what sacrifice,
the Son of God, giv'n for me;
My debt he pays, and my death he dies;
that I might live, that I might live!
Amazing love.

Prayer:   Dear Lord, all that I have comes from you. Help me to use all things to your glory. I ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son, my Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bearing Fruit for Jesus!  FAITHFUL IN ALL THINGS

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Luke 16:10

In the above verse, Jesus is saying that faithful stewards will handle God's gifts faithfully regardless of whether they have few or many gifts entrusted to them. What we do with what we have shows our faithfulness.

A faithful person will do the small things well.

 Unfortunately, we Christians may incorrectly think that small things aren't important to God. We may have the attitude that God won't be concerned with the small amount of money or other gifts that we have been given.

In the Bible, God spoke mightily through the little that people had. God used the widow and her two mites to teach us a lesson about sacrificial giving. He used the small amount of flour and oil that the Widow of Zarephath had to demonstrate obedience. Jesus used the loaves and fish of a young boy to reveal how God can magnify a small gift. God did not overlook what faithful people did with small things.

Through God's Word, we understand that small things do count. Because we understand our need to be faithful with all things, we should ask ourselves how we are handling the seemingly small things in our lives. Are we handling small things well in our homes, jobs, and churches?  With God's help, we can be faithful with all that we've been given. Through our faithfulness, God will be glorified.

Monday, May 1, 2017

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".

Prayer:   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