Pastor's Blog

05/01/19 Pastor Tim

  

Pastor Tim’s Talk

“Simple Truths for Living”

“…the truth will set you free.” Jesus, John 8:32 NIV

I have been thinking a lot about simple truths to live by. One of the things I believe about life is that “all truth is God’s truth.” If something is true whether it comes from Scripture or a poem or a scientific discovery it is God’s truth. As we live out what is true, we will be increasingly set free as Jesus said in the verse above.

All this means that you and I don’t have to be afraid to embrace what is true. The primary way we determine what is true is whether or not it lines up with the Scriptures seen through the lens of Jesus.

All that being said, I came across a list of 101 Simple Truths We Often Forget by Marc Chernoff. I would like to share a few of these simple truths with you…

1. A good idea without action is worth nothing.

2. Change is often resisted when it is needed the most.

3. You can’t change other people; you can only offer guidance, and lead by example.

4. Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone. 

5. Some circumstances are uncontrollable, but we can always decide how we react to those circumstances.

6. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. {Ouch!!!}

7. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.

8. Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier.

9. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.

10. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

I don’t know about you but I was convicted by more than one of these simple truths. May all of us be set free by the One who is Truth!

All for Jesus,

Pastor Tim

Amzd2t@live.com

Called to Grow, Blessed to Share, Sent to Serve 

06/12/19 Pastor Tracey

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. All the schools in our area have now held their graduation ceremonies.  We have been talking a lot lately in our home and at church about what does success look like as we prepared to honor those youth attached to our church and family.  These young people will now go off in many different directions.  Some will head to Anderson, Ball State, Purdue, University of Indianapolis or IU just naming a few.  Some will head off to the Army, Navy,  Air Force, or Marines. Some are in the workforce, earning money and beginning their adult life right now.  What makes a success?  Is it the ones that will earn the most money?  Is it the ones that will have the biggest homes?  Is it the ones that will have the grandest adventures, traveling here and there across the world and the U.S.?  Is it the ones that will have the most children?  Those who walk in the Lord and know His ways will have success.  They will live differently.  They will love their neighbor.  Maybe that is helping an older person living in the neighborhood that needs lawn care, help to get the mail or just amazing conversation with other adults.  They will notice those that no one else notices because together we are stronger, every person is of sacred worth.  There will be mistakes.  There will be stumbles.  There will be pain on the journey.  What we need to remember as we continue to travel through the seasons of adulthood is that this is a journey.  The best thing we can do on the journey is to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Seek wisdom for the journey.  Read Proverbs, Psalm, and Isaiah for the wisdom you seek.  You need encouragement, read the New Testament.  Do not let people tell you what Jesus said...KNOW what Jesus said.  Read the stories of the Old Testament.  Some people who made some mighty big mistakes overcame and still had a life that was filled with joy, adventure, and at times sadness.  A diploma will not bring you happiness.  A job will not always fill that need either.  A relationship as well will fulfill all your needs.  A successful life might be full of all those things but true success will be being able to look at the Lord at the end of your life and say; “I did this for you my Savior.  I lived for you!”   Graduates may your journey begin with the strength, love, and peace only the Lord can provide!

05/01/19 Pastor Tracey


“Honor thy father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord you God is giving you.”                    Exodus 20:12



This 5th Commandment is one that we think is so easy but in reality many of us have had times in our lives when we have been better at this than others.  This book I am reading Ten(der) Commandments points out that this is the only commandment that has a promise attached.  Honoring our father and mother means that things will be well for us.  I think of something a friend used to say as his teenage children left the house, “remember whose you are and who you belong to.”  Basically he was saying if you remember you are my children and that you belong to God and act like that while you are away from me, we will not have any problems.   Things go well when we do the right thing that is for sure! 



God is not waiting for us to get everything straightened out to bless us.  He wants to enter into relationship with us wherever we are in our lives.  Right then and there!  He knows that some of us have not been blessed with amazing parents.  He warns through Jesus teaching that those have harmed a child would wish dire consequences.  (Matthew 18:6) 



TIME.  Is the first way you can honor your parent.  Give them time.  When my mother and I were going through a particular painful time I would still call her.  At times our phone call would be painful.  I still made them, I just set a timer giving her time but protecting myself.  Even if the call was going well I would honor the timer for a time until we were interacting better.  If I had never spoken or attempted to speak to her we would never have gotten over the hump.  Since she has passed I am glad that I took the time to do that!



FORGIVING.  None of us comes with an operation model.  We have parents that have made mistakes or continue to make mistakes.  Forgiving them is important for us as well as them.  At times we have to seek counseling to work through issues.  At times we have to separate ourselves from things that hurt us, be wise and forgiving. 



We have to obey even when it is hard.  Obeying means that we honor our parents with our actions, words, and more.  I know that can be extremely difficult.  I know as a parent I want to be someone my kids want to honor.  I want my words and actions to match.  I want my heart to display love.  Basically this commandment is calling parents and kids into action of trying to be the best we can be to one another. 



Blessings come when we do the right thing.  Won’t you join me in trying to do the right thing?

4/01/19 Pastor Tim

  

Pastor Tim’s Talk

“A Small-Town Church with 

a World-wide Outreach”

When I was at Asbury College, I often attended the Wilmore United Methodist Church. Wilmore UMC was pastored by Dr. David Seamands. Dr. Seamands had been a MK (missionaries’ kid) and had served as a missionary himself in India. Many of the college and seminary students attended the Wilmore church while they were in Wilmore. So there was a real emphasis on missions at Wilmore UMC.

Wilmore is a small town. It was much smaller than Angola when I attended Asbury. Wilmore UMC was a church that had a real heart for what God was doing in the world and so its motto was…

“A small-town church with a world-wide outreach.”

I have often thought of Wilmore UMC’s motto while serving here at Angola UMC & the Gathering. One of the great things about serving here is our desire and willingness to give & go to partner with God in what He is doing in the world today. 

I am so glad that our DNA as a church isn’t either local ministries orworld-wide missions. Our DNA as a church is “both and.” Our aim is to minister within the four walls & community but also to partner with God around the world.

For instance, even today as I write this article, we have folks who are handing out bags of groceries to those on the margins of life in our community. I am also working on our plans for the Jamaica mission trip coming this June.  

Over the years, this congregation has sent teams to Africa University, Pastor Bill & Dona Lou Imler to Indonesia, Megan Terrell to 11 different countries around the world, teams to Kafakumba, and to Habitat Builds all over the eastern United States.

This church has given faithfully to support the Emergency Assistance Fund and the Food Pantry, helped start Project help and Turning Point, partnered with 1st Congregational Church in beginning and supporting Cahoots.

We have in the last few years given to support UMCOR, Africa University, the Vances & Kafakumba, the Austins in Jamaica, and Erin Hogan. We have also helped buy a chicken truck & helped raise a roof at the Fisenge United Methodist Church in Zambia.

In both giving and going I really do think that we have demonstrated that we are… 

“A small-town church with a world-wide outreach.” 

My prayer as one of the pastors here at AUMC & the Gathering is that this will continue. My desire and prayer is that this motto will be more and more true of us as a congregation. One of my longstanding prayers is that God would raise up pastors and missionaries from this congregation that we would then send out to make a difference in the world. 

Of course, when we send out folks, we are then responsible to support them with our prayers, encouragement, and generosity.

Thank you for being a “both & church”!

Thank you for making a difference for Christ in the world!

Thank you for being… 

“A small-town church with a world-wide outreach.”

All for Jesus,

Pastor Tim

Amzd2t@live.com

Called to Grow, Blessed to Share, Sent to Serve


04-03-19 Pastor Tracey

Week #2  of the Ten(der)  Commandments


Exodus 20:4-6  “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love e and keep my commandments.”


Strongly related to the first, you could just gloss over this and move on down the list.  Let us spend the time to explore today.  There was a lot f idol worship and sacrifices at this time.  The Israelites were being warned NOT to participate in them.  The things being done at this time included but were not limited to baby/child sacrifice and sacrificing virgins just to mention two.  I cannot even imagine!  There was also carved gods that were kept in homes and town squares that people worshipped.  


The big issue was a heart one; which we still suffer from today.  Ever hear too much of a good thing can be a problem?  It can cause us to create an idol in our lives.  Money, sports, even charity work, and church can turn into something we worship in place of God.  


I had a time in my life where school was an idol for me.  It came before everything else. If I do not teach my children that the Lord comes before everything else like I described last week, who will?  This passage is also telling us that we hand down patterns and idolatry to generation from generations before.  We learn and copy a lot from those around us. 


Yet, there is hope that God will bless those who keep His commands.  It says an amount of blessings and years we cannot even fathom.  Have you ever known a family that just seems to be blessed?  Things just seem to go there way?  I often wonder if they are reaping the rewards of faithful followers who loved the Lord with all their heart, couls, and mind faithfully.  I want to live in a such a way that generations after me reap these amazing rewards of blessings.  I surely do not want to show my family how to do it wrong!


It is never too late to change what you are doing and make the Lord the center of your life.  Make it a priority to take stock this week and clean out the closets so speak.  If God is not a priority or coming in second, change it!  Every day is a chance to make a better choice!

4/25/19 Pastor Tracey

Welcome to the 4th in our series of Commandments.  


The 4th Commandment is one that people tried to use against Jesus.  Before we continue let’s look at this 4th Commandment as established, with Jesus, and now.  The 4th Commandment is found in Exodus 20:8-11:


Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.


In the time of God giving the Commandments you worked every day for what you had.  You had to prepare food and not more than 12 hours ahead because food unless mightily salted just did not keep.  You had to feed your flock, deal with your business, travel by foot to get most places, and you worked long hours.   God knew that we needed rest.  We needed a moment to pause, to just be.  Yes, He knew that connection with Him would also give them true rest, ability to make it from one week to another, and so much more. 


Jesus healed on the Sabbath and there were people who believed that was against God.  Now, as Jesus was of God He knew God’s intentions toward the day that He created for us not a day created to hold us captive I think we can trust His remarks on this matter.  Read Mark 3:1-6 and Luke 13:10-17 for reference.  


Our bodies need rest.  We need sleep.  We need time with God.  In the book Ten(Der) Commandments they remind us this:

He wants time with me. 

He wants to walk with me. 

He wants to share His heart with me.

He wants a relationship. 


Psalm 23 is a reminder of this. “He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul…”  Jesus life is a reminder of this.  In Mark 6:31 He states to the Disciples ““Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”


I have learned that pushing myself from day to day without stop can be dangerous.  Burnout is a real thing.  It does not make me the Energizer Bunny to never stop, it makes me exhausted grumpy, wore out, and unhealthy.  There are no gold medals for overachieving at the end of the race of life.   There are beautiful sunsets to behold.  There are paths in the woods to be walked to listen, to reflect, to ponder.  There are good cups of tea or coffee to be shared with a good friend.  There are spouses to have amazing conversations with when we pause.  The Word of God is waiting for you to open and explore in quiet moments.  


Take a moment every day to not rush through but to pause and appreciate the Lord, with daily communication.  Attend church with others believers to restore your soul and give your mind a rest from TV and distraction.  Take a spiritual nap as we just do not sleep enough in the United States.  Paint.  Read.  Explore.  Do something you love on Sabbath.  Journal.  REST with the Lord.   He created us to rest with Him, let’s embrace this commandment!