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Pastor's Point - December 2020

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Dear Church Family,

By the time you read this newsletter we will be beyond Thanksgiving looking forward to Christmas.  So what I want to do in this article is talk about what I am most thankful for and celebrate the fact that the reality of what I am most thankful for is what we celebrate at Christmas time.

You see I am most thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  This has only come into sharper focus during 2020.  At Christmas time we are celebrating the fact that God came to us in our world.  Perhaps the most significant passage in the Bible on the Incarnation of Jesus is John 1:1–14. John states that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (verses 1–2,). John uses the term logos, or “the Word,” as a clear reference to God. John declares in verse 14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  Our December sermon series will consider this reality as we look at passages that help us understand that God truly is with us.  Our worship ministry will be presenting a special night of worship with this same theme as we consider “God with Us” on December 13th.

The reality that God Himself took on flesh and came to earth to be our Savior and Lord should fill us with thankfulness and joy. My favorite hymn that has been written recently is, “All I Have is Christ.”  I want you to read the lyrics in total because they paint the wonderful picture of the reality of a follower of Christ.

VERSE 1
I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

VERSE 2
But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace

CHORUS
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

VERSE 3
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You

Followers of Jesus have him as their Savior and Lord.  We need nothing else.  We should look to no one else.  We must not be tempted to trust in anything else.  We do not have to fear and try to look somewhere else.  What we need to remember going forward into a new year is that All we Have is Christ, and He is all we need.  No matter what comes in the new year, lets keep looking to Jesus knowing that He is enough.

I love you and I love being your pastor,

Posted by Alan Scott with

Spare Change - December 2020

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Finding Contentment in Spite of Covid Fatigue

Do you have Covid fatigue?  It has been a long year and for most of it Covid has been the top concern.  Many of us have been worried about it, and rightly so, by now we all know  someone that has been greatly affected by this awful virus.  I understand there are many opinions about this subject. If you ask 10 people about it you will get 11opinions.  I’m not here to argue about the virus or how to handle it, I simply want to discuss the fact that it seems many of us are fatigued.

Recently I have thought back to those early days in March and wish I had a time machine so I could go slap myself for being so naive.  I thought this thing would only be here for a few months and then we would all get back to normal; however, as we now know, that is not true.  There have been waves of things looking good, then bad, then good again, then really bad, then just plain awful.  I don’t think any of us know when this roller coaster will end.

I have bristled at those that kept saying “new normal”, maybe it is just my naivety again.  I was hopeful we could return to normal, but now I am not so sure.  There was so much to love in the old way, so much certainty.  I could make plans, travel, hold events with reckless abandon, and by that I mean without social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer, etc.  In one sense the stability was amazing, but it also lulled me into a false sense of security.

This year has caused me to get creative in ministry.  I have had to learn and grow in many things, especially digital media.  I have had to build new routines and systems for ministry.  I have also had to be extremely flexible, especially with volunteers.  I never know when someone will call to tell me they are quarantined for two weeks.  Covering classes and nurseries has become an Olympic sport.

All of this has taught me to hold on to my plans loosely.  Of course I am still making plans.  I am planning programs and events, but I also know that things could change.  This goes against everything within my type-A personality.  It has made me realize what is really important— to depend on the Lord, and look to others for help.  I feel like Hawkeye from the TV show MASH, a seasoned, grisled pro only caring about what truly matters and not sweating the small stuff; also trying to find humor in everything as much as possible.

From my perspective, God has been teaching me what contentment looks like.  Just like Hawkeye, I also relate to another seasoned pro from the Bible, Paul.  Paul is a great example of contentment in difficult situations.  I love what he says in Philippians 4:11-13.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

I have learned to be content in ministry.  As long as I can still proclaim the gospel, make disciples, teach the Bible, reach out to the community, and encourage the church I am content.  How I do it  makes no difference, just because it is not the way it has been, doesn’t mean it can’t be God glorifying.

The point is to be content no matter what.  We will get through this together and we will hold each other up.  When I am down I need you to encourage me, I will do the same for you.  If you have a need I must do my best to meet it and likewise if I have a need.  This is the time that Christians should thrive.  We should not be discouraged because we have a secret weapon, we know the Lord.  We can do all things through Jesus because He gives us strength.  Jesus is our secret weapon to being content in spite of Covid fatigue.  So if you are struggling, turn to Jesus first, then turn to the church.  I am here for you!  Reach out to me at .  God is good and He will carry us through this season, however long it lasts, even if it lasts much longer than we want. 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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