Excerpt from July, 2018 "The Mountain Top Messenger" newsletter...

This morning as I was trying to determine a topic for this month's newsletter I decided to take a stroll around the sanctuary. If I walk in a circle in and out of aisles once around the sanctuary it is 200 steps, do that 5 times you have a thousand, do that 10 times and you have your 10,000 steps a day...

 
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July 2018 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
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This morning as I was trying to determine a topic for this month's newsletter I decided to take a stroll around the sanctuary. If I walk in a circle in and out of aisles once around the sanctuary it is 200 steps, do that 5 times you have a thousand, do that 10 times and you have your 10,000 steps a day. But I digress. As I was walking around the sanctuary, I do find it calming, I was reading banners, I was reading all of the different names that identify our Savior, I saw the banner that shares the message of how we share the message "Come See — Go Tell", I enjoyed looking at the banner our recent confirmands made and I thought about what an amazing group of young people they are. And then on the back wall the lead verse of one of my favorite sections of scripture, John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled." Now the banner adds another line, "do not be afraid" not sure where that comes from as it is not in any translation that I could find, I think it is there for affect, and it is certainly not wrong, it is just not part of John 14:1. But that isn't what I am writing about, I am writing about the first part, the part that is in every translation, "Do not let your hearts be troubled". That my friends is the challenge of Christianity, the challenge of our faith, as fallen sinful human beings who like to be in charge and have control over everything, how do we not have troubled hearts? How do we, the control freaks that we are, do what we so frequently hear; Let Go and Let God? I don't know about you, but I struggle with this and have for most of my life. Slowly however, I have learned that I am not in charge, I need to know my limitations, I must trust in a power higher than myself. The part that makes this challenging is that the world is telling us all the time the exact opposite thing, the world, Satan, and all his minions would like me to believe that it is all about me. That I don't need God, that I am the master of my destiny. The more I do, the more I have, the more I take control of, the better, more powerful I will be. I can do it! Trust me nothing could be further from the truth. The biggest problem with wanting more is it is like tomorrow, more never comes, regardless of how much you have there could always be more, more, more, where does it end. It ends when we realize that putting any or all of our earthly stuff before our fear, love, and trust in God is sinful. It is the first commandment sin, whatever we place before God in our lives is actually our god, be that money, possessions, sports, even family, they can become our god.

So you ask, what is the answer? Well the second half of John 14:1, the actual second half, not the one on the banners says; "You believe in God; believe also in me." Believe in Jesus, trust in Jesus, trust in God and His plan for your life. He tells us in scripture, not only has He known us since before we were in the womb, but he has plans for us. Because of our belief and faith in Jesus he has prepared good works for us to do, not to be saved but because we have been saved. We don't need to worry about all that other stuff, we don't need to acquire all those things that world tells us we so desperately need, all we really need is Jesus, and because we have him he tells us where our true treasure is and it is most certainly not in this world. The rest of my favorite verses of John 14 go through verse 6, you know them:

"2 My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

So my friends "Do not let your hearts be troubled." We know that because of our faith and love in Jesus Christ we have an eternal home with our Savior and our Heavenly Father for eternity. The world has nothing that it can offer that could ever compare.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer and I look forward to seeing you all at the church outdoor service and picnic on July 15.

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you and keep you in His care.

Pastor Rick
excerpt from...
July 2018 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter