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Hillyard Weekly

 

October 3, 2018

God’s Vastness

When we think about our spiritual lives, our spiritual disciplines that make up our spiritual awareness play a large part in our notion of God. If we strive earnestly to make time to relate to and engage in God our relationship will grow and be stronger. We will grasp more and more of His limitless power, His limitless care and love for us. It is said that humans can perceive only thirty percent of the range of sun’s light. Many animals exceed that but in our minds we see it all. Likewise, bats detect insects and are able to negotiate flight with sonar; pigeons navigate using magnetic fields; dogs use smell to a large degree to perceive their world. As we contemplate our position in spirituality we often use our own senses to determine our understanding of spiritual things. If we lean only on ourselves we will have a spiritual relationship with a God that is mostly a product of our own mind. Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus relates that, “No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Perhaps the spiritual or unseen world requires senses activated only through a spiritual quickening. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 brought out the point that, “The men without the spirit does not accept the things that come from the spirit of God for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” God’s truth is available to all, to all that yield to His truth, seek His truth and are ready to grow spiritually through a disciplined relationship with God. He becomes the source of our understanding and our desire grows through that developing relationship.

Pastor Ron

 

October 10, 2018

Older

It’s that time of year again. The leaves turn colors, a chill in the air and birthday greetings arrive. Being from a large family birthday wishes come in multiples. Each year there seems to be a theme although it is never rehearsed. I have received several cards in the past that stand out in my mind like, “Soooo big and yet soooo wonderful,” followed by, “To my brother, Sometimes in a quiet moment I look at you and think to myself…I’m glad we’re not twins!” I guess you just don’t want to take birthday wishes too seriously. A happy thought came in one card from my mother one year that said, “Give God the dreams of your heart and He will paint them in rainbows across all the days of your life.” I recall one story from years past that Jim Bowen sent me for my birthday.

Driving

Two elderly women were out driving in a large car and both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself, “I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light!” After a few more minutes they came to another intersection and the light was red. Again, they went right through. The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it and was getting very nervous. At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through. This time she turned to the other woman and said, “Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us both!” Mildred turned to her and said, “Oh no, am I driving?”

It is wonderful to be loved and encouraged. Birthdays are those special times others notice one’s accomplishments, even if it is just that we made it through another year. It is also wonderful to know that we serve a God who knows clearly the end from the beginning. Our days are numbered and He is in control of that. There is no cause for anxiety on the part of the believer-we are in His hands. “Thank You, Lord, for life and love, love of friends and family and, above all, love from You.”

Pastor Ron

 

October 17, 2018

Work

Some have called work the most “despicable” four-letter word. Another author wrote this about work, “Personally, I have nothing against work, particularly when performed quietly and unobtrusively by someone else. I just don’t happen to think it is an appropriate subject for me to enter in to.” I suppose if one were entitled and wealthy enough one could court these kinds of attitudes, however, I think they would be missing out on one of God’s great gifts to us. Work, productivity, accomplishments are all ways to release the stresses and pressures we all face. After Creator God gave Adam and Eve the job to look after the Garden of Eden, naming all the plants and animals, to then in their spare time be fruitful and multiply themselves. After the fall work became a necessity for life. Without working the soil it would not produce desirable growth, like the garden had done, but only weeds that were good for nothing. Work in God’s kingdom today bears many of the same characteristics. Ministry can be hard and it requires a definite choice on our part to take on a job and actually complete it. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 lists how we as believers are fitted for work by being given gifts and abilities fitted for service for the Lord. In the church setting it is important that each member seek out and be busy at the work of the ministry. If need be seek to know your own spiritual gift. A ministry like we find here at Hillyard has many opportunities for one to be involved, productive and growing in faith. When we follow through in the least of God’s expectations for us the rewards are great. Because of the Gospel (Christ’s finished work) and our faith that we believe that God works can be the result (1 Cor. 15:1-11). The good works are produced by us because we are so blessed by His grace that we wish to sort of, “play it forward,” working for the kingdom which reaches more souls for our Lord. “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Theodore Roosevelt

Pastor Ron

 

October 24, 2018

I Trust In…

Our lives show what we hold as important. We spend our time, energy, talent and treasure on what we believe that is. So what is your life? Shel Silverstein gives a picture of far too many of us:

Jimmy-Jack-John “Oh, where are you goin’, my Jimmy-Jack-John, with only the moon for your light?” “I’m goin’ round in search of the dawn, and I’ll prob’ly be gone most of the night.” “Oh, why are you cryin’, my Jimmy-Jack-John, and why do you stare out to sea?” “I’m thinkin’ that over the waves of the pond the dawn lies a-waitin’ for me.” “But why do you wander, my Jimmy-Jack-John, A-roamin’ in search of the blue? Just wrap yourself tight in this blanket of night and the dawn will come to you.”

It’s too easy to spend our time being busy doing something that is not important, not necessary and not productive. We chase after the dawn of success to find that real success comes in waiting on the Lord. His timing, like that of the rising sun, is always perfect. It is up to us to be patient, lean on Him and wait for His leading. If this trusting and leaning is foreign to your thinking consider David’s thoughts toward the Lord after he had sinned. He realized he had just raced around the globe chasing a dawn that would never be caught, looking to find something he was convinced he needed until he got it. Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a new clean heart, O God; and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” That is the message of the Gospel, the new creation in the middle of the old, a message of God’s grace-filled love invading our human nature as we yield to His indwelling Spirit to the point over time that the new “dawn” of His love displaces the old nature. The trick is to wait upon Him and trust that He will complete the work in you because He loves and we trust.

Pastor Ron

 

October 31, 2018

Standing Tall in the Face of Impossible

In our world of self-help guides, authorities on remaking us physically and mentally, diets and shrinks it’s no mystery why they all seem to be making millions from their well-developed “programs.” The reason for there not being a mystery to their success is that all of us have faults and all of us know that we have those faults. The reason we as a society buy into the “programs” is that we all hope for an instant cure, one that will not take work, not take effort and, most of all, it will not require us to change what we like to do. The Christian life is different than our world. God asks us to live in a way that is pleasing to Him, which requires change, but He also avails us to the power to change through our relationship with Him and His Holy Spirit. The change may be fast or slow, easy or very hard-the key is change illustrated by this, yes folks, a Shel Silverstein poem.

WALL MARKS

Those scratchy marks there on the wall, they show how short I used to be. They rise until they get this tall, And Mama keeps reminding me The way my dad would take his pen And as I stood there, stiff and straight, He’d put a ruler on my head And mark the spot and write the date. She says that it’s my history, but I don’t understand at all just why she cries each time she sees those scratchy marks there on the wall.

What are your impossibilities you face in your life? Give them to your Heavenly Father as Jeremiah realized looking to the total destruction of his beloved land, city and people. Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for you.” Even Jeremiah’s change took place in small realizations, time spent in reflection and guidance by the Holy Spirit, marks on the wall. How are your marks doing? Are they staying the same or?

Pastor Ron