Pastor’s Heart (Nov 8)

Announcements: Regular first Friday after the first Sunday prayer service Friday, November 10, 7:00 pm Fellowship Meal, Sunday, November 19 after the morning worship service. Congregational Meeting,  November 19 after the fellowship meal.   From the Pastor’s Heart, Today I’m writing the newsletter from Myrtle Beach, SC. We left Sunday after church, stopped in Richmond to visit Jeff and Beth, our  son and daughter-in-law. On Monday we traveled on to Myrtle Beach for a few day here at the beach to relax. Thursday, we plan to travel on to  Charleston SC to visit Rick and Annette, our son and daughter-in-law who live in Mt. Pleasant. We plan to travel back home on Friday. From our room we can look out over the ocean and watch the waves come in breaking on the beach. Reminded of the song we sing comparing the ocean and waves to life and the need to keep our eyes above the waves realizing that in Christ we live above the circumstances. When swimming in the ocean it is one thing to ride the waves up and over but quite another to be caught in one that crashes over you and pulls you down and under. In either case you usually survive but while the up and over may be smooth and gentle, the down and under can be quite brutal leaving you battered and beaten up. While Sophia and I are not riding waves in the ocean, we do realize life can be that way at times. But I’m reminded of I  Corinthians 4:9 that says, “persecuted, but not forsakened, cast down, but not destroyed.” In the words of the song I referred too above, “in oceans deep my faith will stand and I will call upon your name for I am yours and you are mine.” Sunday, I  noted that people hung around and talked with each other after the service longer than usual. I consider that a good thing. I have said many times over the years that the effectiveness of a service can be gauged by the degree of conversational noise and fellowship afterward. That’s the reason no after service music is needed. It is also a sign of congregational health. I think too, it may have had something to do with the decision about the leadership issue being settled. The congregation went through what we might consider a pretty major wave that came crashing over, taking us down and under. But surviving and coming out on the other side is reason to rejoice and be glad, giving thanks to God. Hopefully we will ride the next wave smoothly up an over. Bless you Pastor Gerald