For a closer walk with God
To send us an email, with any questions or comments, just click on the church name above.
Tom Brokaw, in his book, The Greatest Generation Speaks, tells the story of Weika Coenraad, who currently lives in Georgia, but lived in Holland during WWII. She has vivid memories of the American soldiers who liberated her town in 1945. She writes… "I was just a little girl during the Second World War, born in Haarlem, Holland, in 1937… The most severe winter in decades was the winter in 1944… Everybody was hungry and our daily meal consisted of sugar beets, which we now feed to the hogs, and tulip bulbs… Suddenly there was spring, the bad weather was gone, and it was May 1945. Big tanks rolled through the streets and for the very first time I saw people who smiled and waved to us. They were soldiers! It was like a miracle, they were supposed to be scary, and now they were friendly and smiled. They threw Hershey’s Chocolate bars and chewing gum into the crowd. Something we had never seen or tasted before… My husband and I and our two children emigrated to the U.S.A. Every time I meet somebody who served in the Second World War, I give him a hug and say, ‘Thanks to you we are alive.'"
During Memorial Day we remember the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, throughout our American history, who fought and suffered so that others might be free. War is a horrific thing, to be avoided if possible. But in every case where we have sent young men to fight, we sent them there as liberators, not conquerors. That was true of Germany and Japan. It is true of Iraq and Kuwait.
There will always be those who claim America only sends troops to war in order to suffer and die for oil or some other nefarious reason. But there really are some things worth suffering and dying for that have nothing to do with gold or power. John 3:16 reminds us, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
As a nation begun by Christians, we have always believed that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," are gifts from God. This Memorial Day remember to give thanks to the one, who saved your life.Pastor Paul
EASTER WAS PLANNED
Joseph of Arimathea was a very wealthy Pharisee, a member of the council, and a secret follower of Jesus. It was Joseph who went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body after the crucifixion. And it was Joseph who supplied the tomb for Jesus’ burial. Well, it seems that someone pulled him aside and said, “Joseph, that was such a beautiful, costly, hand-hewn tomb. Why on earth did you give it to someone else to be buried in?” Joseph just smiled and replied, “Why not? He only needs it for the weekend.” This little piece of humor can point our attention to many different directions.
First, “why on earth” would you build your own kingdom of wealth and power, when, at the end of life, you can’t take it with you. “Naked we came into the world and naked we will leave it.” Jesus made the same point in a different way… “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). For a Christian, the whole point of life is to give it to God and our Savior. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34ff).
Second, Jesus’ whole purpose for coming into the world in the first place was to die on a cross for our sins and rise again. As it says in Mark 8:31ff, “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”
Easter was no accident. It was planned “before the foundation of the world.” It is God’s way of redeeming “all who believe.” That is why the Apostle Paul could write to the Roman Christians, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes,” (Romans 1:16).
LENT: GIVING UP OR SURRENDERING
A WORD FROM THE PASTOR - MARCH 2014 SPIRE
LENT: GIVING UP OR SURRENDERING
Lent, traditionally, is a season of giving up. People give up chocolate for six weeks or smoking for six weeks or anything that is considered a “sacrifice.” If you haven’t made up your mind about what you’d like to give up during lent, then Craig Gates has a few suggestions…
“GIVE UP grumbling! Instead, ‘In everything give thanks.’”
“GIVE UP looking at other people’s worst points. Instead concentrate on their best points.”
“GIVE UP speaking unkindly. Instead, let your speech be generous and understanding.”
“GIVE UP your hatred of anyone or anything! Instead learn the discipline of love.”
“GIVE UP your worries and anxieties! Instead, trust God with them.”
“GIVE UP judging by appearances and by the standard of the world! Instead learn to give yourself to God. There is only one who has the right to judge, Jesus Christ.”
Good stuff, but, I’d say… Lent isn’t really about “giving up” anything. It is all about intentionally “surrendering” yourself to God. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
What I suggest is that you don’t “give up” anything. Instead, “surrender” all you have and all you are to your Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Community Reformed Church
This page was last updated on 06/23/14.