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

Here we are October, as I look back it seems September was a very long month, and then as I look at the calendar I realized there are still 10 days to go as I write this...
 
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October 2018 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
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Here we are October, as I look back it seems September was a very long month, and then as I look at the calendar I realized there are still 10 days to go as I write this. The weather is drizzly, windy, and cold, and I hear a nap calling if I don't push through it. It has been a very trying month with emotions and feelings reaching every place from very high to very low.

As I sit and reflect, a conversation I had with a friend this morning comes to mind. In that conversation we were talking about life, and not only life itself, but life and death and our time in this world. My friend was telling me he was with an acquaintance of his just the day before when the acquaintance received a call saying that his son had died. He spoke of being dumbfounded and not knowing what to say as his friend departed to be with family. We spoke of how suddenly we can experience life changing events and how life is full of unknowns. Then the conversation moved to the topic of faith. And we discussed what it must be like for someone who has no faith to face such a crisis. We spoke of how as Christians, even when we face the un-faceable, as long as we have faith, we have hope. Without faith, there is no hope.

It reminded me of the section from the sermon last week where I spoke of the Epicureans, who's philosophy was to live for today, don’t get attached to anything in this world because someday it will all be gone. The problem of course, life without attachments brings no joy. Without faith, things just end, either that or people cling to a sort of misguided hope or thought that perhaps they or their loved one were good enough, and God, or whatever higher power they may believe in will take care of them, but there are no assurances, no hope of every being together again. I cannot imagine living that way, just thinking and believing that when our life ends it is simply over.

Praise be to God and thanksgiving for the knowledge that because of God's love for us, He restored His fallen creation, us. Through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, our savior, Jesus Christ, we have the assurance of everlasting life. And the best part is, it's not based on what we have done, but what Christ did. We know that when we lose a friend or relative it is not good bye forever, it is until we meet again. Scripture tells us over and over again that through Christ, through our faith, our place in heaven is secure. If I die tomorrow, my loved ones don't have to worry about whether or not I have done enough to be saved, they and I have the assurance that because I have been baptized and believe we will meet again on that last day. Sometimes we worry, sometimes we question, sometimes we doubt, all of those things are human things, all of those things happen because we are sinful people living in a sinful world, but even with all of those things as long as we do what Paul reminds us in Romans 10:9 "If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

My friends, facing loss and hardship is always difficult, we are after all human, even Jesus cried when his friend Lazarus died. But what we must all remember, that all of this is just temporary, the best is yet to come as we spend eternity face to face with our Lord and our God

Now, may the peace of God, that surpasses all human understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God Bless
Pastor Rick
excerpt from...
October 2018 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter