South Bloomfield United Methodist Church
Pastor's Blog
Times of Trouble

I'm told this story was not attached to the previous email.  So let's try this.  Please take time to read it because it speaks to challenges we can not even comprehend.  I am not trying to minimize this particular virus attack, just wanted to put it in prospective to other historical moments.
PASTORING IN TROUBLED TIMES
By Chappell Temple
You might say that he showed up at just the wrong time. For it was just after coming back to his home town at the age of 31 to serve as a leader in his church – having been turned down for the job seven years earlier – that a devastating war broke out in the region, one that not only lasted for three decades but that claimed more than eight million casualties, or some 20 percent of the German population at the time. Ostensibly it was a difference between Catholics and Protestants – still sorting out the after-effects of the Reformation – that set it off, but like so many other such conflicts, it soon morphed into something far greater with the religious differences of the dispute lost in the greater geopolitics of the time.
Still, the young pastor faithfully did his work the best he could, even while the armies of the great nations all around his province of Saxony ravaged the land, leaving farms and shops depleted and destroyed. What’s more, the pastor found himself not only forced to deal with soldiers who were quartered in his house, quickly diminishing his own supplies, but with hordes of refugees who poured into his walled city for protection until Eilenburg – which Martin Luther had once called a “blessed lard pit” – too was overflowing with human needs.
And then it struck – a disaster so severe that even the invasion of the Swedes paled beside it. For the combination of overcrowding, ruined crops, and a crippled infrastructure produced a famine so extreme that it is said that thirty or forty people fought in the streets to claim not toilet paper but a dead cat or crow. And the plague that followed in 1637 quickly spread throughout the town, claiming more than eight thousand persons in a single year there.
To make matters worse, however, the church superintendent went away for a change of air and never came back. And of the remaining five clergy in town, four quickly died from the plague, leaving only the young archdeacon to carry on. He often read the funeral service to some 40 to 50 persons a day, in fact, and in all, he buried some 4,480 individuals that year, including his first wife.
Still, Martin Rinkart labored on with an almost inexplicable trust in God and a readiness to give thanks. For even though worn out and prematurely aged by the time that a long looked-for peace ended the Thirty Years War in 1648 (some fourteen months before his own death), the poet turned preacher left behind an incredible testimony to that faith in a hymn we have far too often relegated only to the Thanksgiving season. Written just as the plague began to hit his hometown, Nun Danket Alle Gott, became the theme of Martin Rinkart’s life, in fact.
Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices; who wondrous things hath done, in whom His world rejoices; who from our mother’s arms hath blessed us on our way, with countless gifts of love and still is ours today.
Then just in case it was not plain, the second verse spelled it out further:
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us; with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us; and keep us in His grace and guide us when perplexed, and free us from all ills in this world and the next.
And in an age of anxiety-fueled by yet another plague – this one a virus that is sweeping the globe – perhaps those words of Martin Rinkart are worth remembering today as well. For like that young cleric, the task of the church is not to run away from those who are ill, but to minister to all whatever it may take. To quote the former prime minister of England, Margaret Thatcher, this is indeed “no time to go wobbly.”
As all things do, the coronavirus too will eventually pass and the good news is that it is not going to take thirty years to do so. In the meantime, may those of us in the church demonstrate not only the compassion of Martin Rinkart, but his courage as well. After all, how did that former cantor turned caregiver end his hymn?
“For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.”

God With Us

The hymn "Joy To The World" was written by Isaac Watts in the year--------wait for it-----------1719!  Can you believe it?  Three hundred years ago this wonderful hymn was made public for worship in Churches in England.  It was based upon Psalms 98:4, which reads "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise".  A little fun fact, many in the Church at that time considered this new music sent from the Devil and not fit for worship.  Sound familiar? I have heard similar comments about the contemporary music of the Church today.

My point, Joy has come to me, and I hope to you, last Sunday.  What a joy to see our Carolyn walk through the front door to join her Church Family.  I was stunned and a little disoriented with this blessing, which I am sure, was evident to those in attendance. The brunch and cookie decorating contest that followed, was fun and heart warming---- more Joy I think you would agree. Joy was abundant even when the children "busted me" for entering a tainted cookie in the contest.  It was all for fun, I confessedHugging face

This Sunday, the third Sunday in Advent, our focus will be upon the core of our faith, Jesus Christ and His love for us.  His love for us was so deep, so intense that He stepped out of Heaven to become human so that He could be with us.  His name----Emmanuel, (God with us).  It is because of this mighty act of love, the world changed forever!!

Joy to the world!!

Pastor Floyd 

Young Christian Mother's

Today I was blessed (again) when our oldest daughter sent me a text from Austin, Texas.  She flew from her home in San Diego with a number of other Mothers who have children in Santa Fe Christian School for a women's "Spiritual Retreat".  Apparently they get away once a year and fly to different destinations to re-fuel as Christian Mom's.  I think they also get some shopping, jogging and dinners at nice restaurants as well as studying scripture.  Today, She was excited about Ephesians 2:1-22. These scriptures speak to God's love and mercy for His creation.  I told her that was my sermon text yesterday---------- God is good!

As I reflected upon her text, I thought about the Mother's in our Church.  I have been listening to their conversations over the past few months and they have blessed me so very much.  One Mom told me that she gathered her family in a prayer circle for a certain concern in the family.  Another told me her child has learned to like praying.  A third Mom says that she reads the Bible regularly with her kids. One more told me that her children love the prayer cross.  I have received videos of children praying, singing or reading their "Action Bible".  Also, did you know that a few of the Mothers have started a Bible study together?  This is a busy bunch so they are on break until the January, but one of the members told me that she has joined two other studies during this time. 

I say all of this to say, we have a wealth of young women who are faithful and thirst for the presence and Word of the Lord.  I have no idea why I have not recognized this fact earlier.  I know it's not necessary to put the spot light on these faithful women but sometimes blessings should be shared. 
I thank God for our entire Congregation everyday.  This recent blessing gives me additional hope for the future of our Church in the face of a World that has lost it's way. 

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old they will not depart from it"
                                                                                                                          Proverbs 22:6


With a grateful and blessed heart,

Pastor Floyd

Fighting the giants in life

This morning I read from the book of Psalms.  Psalm 94:19 to be specific.  It says, “When my anxieties multiply, your comforting calms me down”.  This is the common English version of scripture and it’s a very good thing to know.   

God tends to bless us on a daily basis, that is if we are looking for Him.  Today this scripture is my blessing.  I have been working on the sermon for Sunday.  The title-------“Fighting Life’s Giants”.

I don’t know about you, but it seems I am fighting problems daily of late.  Each of these Giants seems to have brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles who take the place of today’s challenge (assuming I win the current challenge).  Some of these Giants are very mean.  They gouge, kick, hit below the belt, and they are not above a sucker punch or two.

There are times when I have to take a knee.  Sometimes, I feel as if I can’t muster enough strength to engage in the next battle with these merciless ogres.  Does that sound familiar?

So this is why todays reading of Psalm 94:19 is such a blessing to me. It gives me hope.  Guess what?  There are more of these scriptures where this wonderful verse comes from.  Listen to Deuteronomy 31:8-9---” The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”.   Then there is Romans 8:28 -----“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
 
I have found that, by myself, I could not possibly fight the army of troubles and challenges in this world.  But, with the presence of the Holy Spirit within, I remember to “Cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for me” 1 Peter 5:7
 
Blessings my beloved,
 
Pastor Floyd

 

 

 

A New Year - A new opportunity

We have stepped into a brand new year and most of us expect this year to be better than the last.  I have recently driven by a few recreation centers and workout facilities and found the parking lots to be full.  New Year's resolutions I suspect.   If my path leads me by these businesses next month, I wonder what the parking lots will look like?  The answer to that question is predictable-------there will be fewer cars because of unkept promises and broken dreams.


In Church, any Church, there is another predictable phenomena.  After Christmas (like Easter) when all of the programs and pageants are finished, when the tree has been stored away and all of the candles are extinguished, and all the presents are put away----- we experience "low Sundays" or low church attendance. This is a cross denominational experience which comes around each year for generations. As a Pastor, I don't understand why this happens, I just know it does happen. 


Somehow, it seems as if people believe that they have "paid their dues" to God. They may think "look what I have done for you Jesus, I went to church on Christmas/Easter" (interchangeable as needed). Or, some may think that God is not in Church but those two days of the year. That is unless something bad happens in their life, then of course God needs to show up on demand.


As a Pastor I have never understood this thinking.  I believe that a true believer (as opposed to a deceiver)  should experience Jesus every day, and come to worship to refuel and fellowship with other believers so that we continue to grow in the faith together, to make us stronger.  I also believe that the Christmas and Easter mentality in any Church contributes to the demise of the Church, leading to a survival mode or simply dry up and die. This is a sad state which many congregations find themselves.  We have several hundred in the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church alone that have entered into the aforementioned condition.


South Bloomfield Church is not one of these Churches.  Nor will we allow that to happen on our watch!  So, for the Sundays in January I will be focusing upon being an alive Church in our community and being a well toned part of the Body of Christ as we move forward in this new year. This Sunday the message will be on the "Spiritual Gifts" God gives to all of us to be His representatives in the World.  What are Spiritual Gifts? How do we recognize them?  How do we use them to make our Church stronger?

 

One Scripture stand out to me, at this moment, about the people and the Churches who are complacent in their relationship with God;

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 

 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


On our watch, I believe we have been faithful.  It is my prayer that we continue to remember our first love and remain a humble people seeking to bring others to Christ.


AMEN ?

Pastor Floyd

Twilight Sleep

Have you ever sat in a chair and found yourself in a state of "twilight sleep"?  I don't know any better words for that time when you are kind of asleep, but you're aware of what's going on around you.  This past Thursday, I found that my life was in that weird state of semi-consciousness and I didn't recognize the malady, or how long, I had been in that condition.


This past Monday, I was gathering my "things" and my thoughts in preparation for the day.  I happened to look on a shelf in my office and found a book, simply entitled "prayer".  I picked up the book and opened it to about the center, which was a section marked "Love" .  The two pages looking back at me were prayers about--- you guessed it, love. 

This is what the first page had to say to me:   "Love-----what a beautiful word! Yet many people are so cynical about it, dear Jesus.  I guess that's because there is so much artificial affection in this world, but I'd like for people to see true love---- your love--in my life.   Please give me the ability to love as you do."

The second page read: "I say I love You, Father, although I'm not sure it goes as deep as it should.  I want it to, though.  I want to be so in love with You that it shows in every aspect of my life.  Help me to develop the intimacy with You that I should have."

It was the second prayer which pierced my heart.  My days (I have no idea how many) had been filled with planning, organizing, sermon preparation, visitation, filing reports, ordering, meetings, and Stuff, but my relationship with God was at an arms length.  Oh, I thought about God each day, but spent little time "with God" in prayer and meditation.  I was doing "good things" for God, but rarely offered up the recognition He deserves for each labor in which I was a part.  I maneuvered each day through a world which is going to heck in the proverbial Longaberger hand basket and I have done little to help turn that trend around.

This Sunday, I hope to share, in more detail, my feelings of 'Christian twilight sleep' and how we can wake up to fully love the Lord. "I want to be so in love with You that it shows in every aspect of my life.  Help me to develop the intimacy with You that I should have."  These words should pierce your heart too.  

God Bless you my beloved

Pastor  Floyd

A Grandfathers Joy

In a world that is often filled with hardship, it's good to know there are these "inspirational moments" that occur from time to time.  Last evening I sat with my 10 year old granddaughter, Kate, as she looked through her new Bible that we purchased for her recently.  She will be needing this "Discovery" version to bring to her new Christian School in San Diego, Santa Fe Christian, where her older brother and sister are also enrolled. She starts this coming Monday.
 
"What is your favorite story in the Bible Papa?" She asked.  "There are too many stories and scriptures to have just one favorite", I replied.  "Well------just pick one".  I selected the parable of the Lost Son.  She immediately turned to Luke 15:11-32.  I watched as she held her long beautiful hair back with one hand and with the other hand held her new Bible.  Her lips moved as she read the words, but she was silent. It's a good story, but what does it mean? We talked about the story and what Jesus wanted us to learn from this narrative.
 
Kate asked for another story, then, another.  I couldn't have been happier, witnessing the Christian faith being handed down from Grandfather to Granddaughter.  The time flew by and finally she said, "Papa I don't want to keep you up, I could ask questions all night".  "You take all the time you need Katie, I can last as long as you can when it comes to something this important"!
 
Friends, are we handing down the story of Jesus to the next generations?  It seems that so many young people have no idea about the Bible, what it means or even a general understanding of who Jesus is.  They don't know the songs about our Lord, and believe it or not many do not know, or have ever heard of, the "Lords Prayer".  No wonder the world is moving in the wrong direction.
 
That night I experienced a joy I have not experienced in a long time.  By the way, the TV, tablets, computers and cell phones, were OFF!
 
Pastor Floyd
Blog here.

We are all related, like it or not!

How many times have you thought about your childhood experiences?  Do you reflect upon them daily?, weekly?  If you are like me, I think about my early years regularly, more so lately.  The reason------ I have received the results of a DNA test in a detailed report which tells of my cultural heritage.  The document also shared the names of people, whom I have never met, that are directly related to me.  There are approximately 869 people in the United States, 5 in Canada and 5 in the UK.  These are people who took the same DNA test.  I wonder how many people, who have not taken the test, are family "somewhere out there"?


The Biblical truth is, we are all related!  This document states that fact.  It says that each man and each woman who have ever lived can be traced back to one man and one woman who lived in the vicinity of North Africa or Eurasia.  I wonder who they can possibly be? You guessed it---- Adam and Eve.  How is it that knowing that simple fact doesn't bring everyone to the reality that the Bible is true and timeless?  

Yes, I think of my childhood and family often, but now I know how large my family has grown.  Isn't it great to have so many brothers, sisters, and cousins in the world?  This news should make it easier for us to treat people we meet with love and respect 
because--------they are family!!

By the way, I am 50% Irish and 26% German.  The rest of me is divided into 7 different cultures.  I have always liked Celtic music.  Now I know why.

"May the most you wish for, be the least you get"  (Irish saying)

Pastor Floyd

The Root Cause Of Broken Relationships

I have been in ministry, in one way or another, for 40 years.  Over those years I have witnessed friends, couples, families and Churches who struggle in relationship.  Most of the reasons for the deterioration in the relationships are over the craziest things.  A piece of furniture, a picture, the color of a new carpet or who's sports team is the best on field.  I know one family who have not talked to each other for decades but no one can remember how the feud started.


Why do we fight?  Sometimes we fight with long time friends or close family members who we love.  Christians are not above being included in this unfortunate phenomena.  In all Churches, heated discussion occurs when the Church "holy kitchen" is not in order.  Stress happens when there is a vestment or pew moved or changed in the Sanctuary.  Walk into any Church and you may hear grumbling's of "I don't like that music" and Heaven forbid someone sit in your pew!!!!  

Have you ever wondered what is the root cause of these problems?  This Sunday I hope to share with you the answer to this question with one word.  No------ you don't get off that easy, there will be a sermon, but the message will just be a road map to lead us to the one word which is the catalyst of all troubled relationships.  

I have had a number of you text and email me your best guess as to what the word may be.  All good guesses, but alas you have not put your finger on it thus far.  

So------ for those who will not be in Church June 23rd, I will share the word with you.  The "Root" word of relationship deterioration is------------- SELFISHNESS!  Many other words spring from this word,  pride, egotism, manipulative, possessive, 
and many, many more.  Selfishness happens when we put ourselves in the center of life rather than Jesus.  It is possible to know Jesus and remain selfish.  Some of us have become very good at it!  Simply knowing Jesus does not mean we have committed our lives to Him.  When we lose ourselves and elevate Jesus to the center of our lives, selfishness will fade away and servanthood will flood our life.

Keep your eyes on Christ,

Pastor Floyd

The Only Thing That Matters Is God.

Over the years, I have had the privilege to witness the conversion of men and women to Christ.  To see the transformational process is breath taking and heart warming.  Too often it takes an uncomfortable experience in life to get the attention of a person who has no thoughts of eternity.

 

One such person is my friend, Richard Henry.  Richard has had physical problems for many years.  Diabetes, COPD, high blood pressure and a few heart issues to name a few.  One day I received a call to come to the hospital because Richard was taken by emergency squad to the emergency room.  It was discovered later he had two aneurisms, one on each side of his brain.  When I walked into the room, Richard thanked me for meeting him at the ER while he was still laying in the rear of the ambulance.  As much as I wanted to take credit, I said " Sorry friend, I was not there when you arrived.  Richard looked confused, he said "Are you sure? It was as real as this moment is real.  You pushed aside the plastic weather protector and stood by my side in the ambulance and prayed for me.  I knew then everything was going to be ok."

 

I am not if Richard will ever heal completely, but I do know that his focus has now changed and he has found life.  All of the things which he thought was important were put in their place of lessor priority and his relationship with Jesus is soaring.  Even with his challenges, I have never seen him happier.

 

 

How sad it is that much of the "world" put the things which are not eternal or important in front of a relationship with God.  I think Richard would say "The only thing that matters is God. Everything else is just details."

No Woe Sunday

Have you ever felt that the world was closing in on you? Have you ever felt that no matter what you did, no matter how much you tried and struggled to get ahead, or at least to keep your head above water, that it was hopeless? Have you ever looked around and watched as others seemed to get ahead and yet nothing worked for you? Have you ever felt like the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of old brown shoes?
 
ME TOO!
 
I am kind of tired of all the negative people who spew depressing gossip.  I'm tired of all the political bickering. I have almost given up on the idea that we, as a people, can be united on any given issue or cause.  This includes the Church.   So this Sunday I have declared a "No Woe Sunday".   When you enter the Sanctuary for worship I am asking you to speak only about positive, uplifting thoughts for conversation and edification of the Body Of Christ.  As we worship, keep your hearts and minds focused on the positive love and peace of the Lord Jesus, who would have us harbor these things in our life.
 
In preparation for worship please read Proverbs 30:7-9.  This man is one I would love to have known,  He's my kind of guy!.
 
See you Sunday,
 
Pastor Floyd

God Makes All Things New

Our God is a God of second chances. One of my favorite scriptures comes from Paul's second letter to the Corinthian Church, Chapter 5, verse 17.  It reads, "Therefore , if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away behold, the new has come".

 

This Sunday, January 7th, we have a very special guest coming to worship with us.  His name is George Ware Jr. and he has a story to tell.  This young man is a living example of the scripture I have just prepared for you.  He grew up making very bad choices early in life.  George chose the life of buying, selling and using drugs.  He was a gang member who suffered the loss of 30 close friends to street violence.  He was involved in numerous robberies and paid the price spending two different sentences in prison.  His future did not have much hope and promised an early death.

 

As I said, God is a God of second chances.  George was on the slate to serve a third term of almost 40 years in prison.  At the same time, his mother became ill and past away.  George had no where to turn but to God.  In God's mercy George asked for and received the Holy Spirit and became a "New Creation"------for good.

 

Today George is a Godly family man, advocate for Christ and a spokesman to those struggling with addiction and street life.  Isn't it good to know that know matter how bad one's past is-----God is always there, waiting for you to receive His Grace.

 

Pastor Floyd


Giving Thanks after Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year was very  special.  I know, all Thanksgivings are special, but this one gave me more reasons than usual to give the Lord thanks. 

First blessing-- we travelled to San Diego to visit with our daughter and her family.  Three of our grandchildren live there and they are growing too quickly.  It seems that the days go slow but the years go fast. 

Second blessing-- the entire neighborhood community came together to share the Thanksgiving Day meal.  Many different people of all cultures bring a covered dish, from their tradition, to set along side the huge smoked turkey and sweet potatoes.

Third blessing-- six marines finishing boot camp, but unable to go home for Thanksgiving, were transported by our neighbors from a naval base 30 miles away to join us as a surrogate family. We fed them two meals and took them to the beach before the "main event".  These young men are truly America's best, polite, strong, dedicated and full of patriotism.

Fourth blessing-- We bring home with us many memories of friendship, gratefulness, and peace, reflected in the many faces at the table. This Thanksgiving was truly representative of God's presence with His many creations assembled in His name. 

No gifts were purchased, no stress was present, no credit cards were used.  We opened with prayer--------and I haven't stopped thanking Him yet!

From a grateful Pastor,

Floyd

 

 

Be Still and Know That "I AM"

There something special about the Old Testament.  Yes, you may say, "It's the Bible!"  Of course that is true.  As new covenant believers, we focus our passion on the sacrifice and redemption afforded us by Jesus the Christ.  The "specialness" (is that a word?) I am talking about is the poetry, wisdom and history of the scriptures written hundreds of years before the baby Jesus came to save us.  Each time I quiet my mind and read from the ancient words, I receive new blessings. 
 
Tonight my inspiration came from an obscure prophet many of you have not heard of-----Micah.  This faithful man lived 700 years before the Magi left to visit the new born King.  He correctly predicted the birth place of Jesus in the town of Bethlehem.  Seven hundred years before Mary conceived her baby!  Does anyone else find that AWESOME?  One scripture from his inspired pen was from the 6th chapter verse 8---- 8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;  what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?     
 
I have been humbled this evening by those words.  God has shown me what is good.  He has laid that on my heart.  He has laid this on your heart as well.  Are you like me and find that I have not always shown the mercy to others that I hope to receive when I stumble?  Maybe we agree that we do not always walk with God,, let alone be humble in His presence.  Could it be that we have become complacent Disciples and fallen away from our first love?  How many times, I ask myself, have I neglected a Holy God and selfishly sought pleasure in other things.  How many times have I broken away from prayer because of a cell phone ring, submitted to a wandering mind, or tended to a chore which I considered more important than the creator of the universe.
 
I almost finished.  Another special scripture from the Old Testament is convicting to me.  It comes to us from a book folks do not turn to often--- 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It reads like this:
 
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
 
Can you imagine? If we would present ourselves in regular worship, walk humbly with the Lord and pray with passion, I am convinced that God would do mighty things in our community!
 
Why don't we?
 
Pastor Floyd.

Enter a Descriptive Title for your New Blog Entry

I have long felt that Bible study is crucial to Christian spiritual growth.  I love studying the scriptures because I make new discoveries each time I get together with men and women of faith.  There is no other book like the Bible.  It is called the "Living" book for, within it's pages, there is wisdom, poetry, parables and stories which reveal new blessings no matter how many times you read them.

I had an encounter with a women of God who blessed my heart recently.  We were in study with several other friends and she made a deep sigh.  I asked if anything was wrong and she said "I just made a pencil mark in my Bible.  It's the first time I have ever done that"!  I ask her to share her feelings about the new thing she experienced.  She said "I could never bring myself to underline or highlight in my Bible because I consider it a Holy book, but I looked at the Bibles of everyone at the table and noticed many marks and comments, so I thought it must be OK". 

Why was I blessed?  This dear lady had such a respect for God's Word that she didn't want to desecrate her Bible.  Not many people today have such reverence for God and his Book of love written for His people.  I was impressed.  For her benefit, I shared that if it makes you comfortable not to write in your Bible please, don't do it, but you need to know that the words are sacred not the paper, ink and binding.  They are man made and have little value. 

Will she continue to make notes and underline precious words in her Bible?  I have no idea, but I pray she never loses her reverence for the Word of God who shares His love for her and us in this cosmic instruction book.

 

Pastor Floyd

 

Resisting the tempter

Friends, I wonder what experiences you have had with temptation through the years.  If you are normal, your encounter(s) may have gone something like this----
         "Wow, I know I shouldn't think about doing this but, I see myself enjoying this in my
          minds eye. What could it hurt?  If no one finds out, who does it hurt.  I've been
          thinking about this for  a long time.  If I could only do this one time, ooohhh.  Other
          people have done this and they seem happier for it, why not me? I can't think of
          person who would blame me.  Anyway, I don't think it's really all that bad."
 
Then, we have positioned ourselves to fall into the trap and carry out that temptation.  It is a disappointing feeling after we give in, isn't it. What is the first thing that crosses our minds after we fall?  REGRET, GUILT and a sense of distance from God and anyone we hurt.  We don't feel worthy to pray, or face others, knowing what we have done.  A feeling of remorse sets in, and our self-worth hits a very low point.
 
The temptations I am referring to are not those that are minor in nature.  Falling off a diet and eating two giant Kit Kat bars is not the focus of this weeks sermon.  Having a fleeting, lustful thought that seemingly comes out of no where, but not acted upon, is not what I will bring to worship.  The temptation I am concerned about are the ones that are recurring and repetitious.  You know, the ones we fall prey to, and then hope go away only to return again and trip us up again.
 
It is my hope that what God has given me may touch your heart in the battle against temptation, and give you encouragement to resist the enemy.
 
 
God bless you my beloved
 
Pastor Floyd

What Blesses A Pastor's Heart

There are very few things that warm a Pastor's heart more than hearing these words---"Pastor, I know your job must be tough and I want you to know I am praying for you".  This simple act of encouragement reassures me that I am loved by wonderful, Godly people, who are standing in the gap for me spiritually.

 

Why? because Pastors face a higher judgment.  We are responsible for imparting the Word in a way which calls people to salvation in his or her appointed flock.  Souls are at stake, and God expects much from His shepherds.

 

Pastors also face more intense temptation.  Satan roams about like a roaring lion seeking those he may devour.  If he is successful, he takes the shepherd (Pastor), his family, and disrupts the Body Of Christ. This is great joy to the adversary when he can take down a whole church.

 

Lastly, Pastors face unique pressures:  Piercing criticism, confidentiality of parishioners struggles of scandalous sin, broken families, loss of life, to name a few. All of this gets "bottled up" inside the mind and heart of a Pastor.

 

So, I will ask you----will you pray for me?   Would you be willing to lift me up in your evening prayers?  Could you find it in your heart to come forward and say "Pastor what can I do to help"?  Is it possible for you to come to the church and help with cleanings, weeding gardens, painting or whatever it takes to keep our Church strong and faithful?  This would bless a Pastor's heart.

 

By the way, you should know that I would not have any other job even if I could change what I do.  I feel called to what I do (I didn't say it is easy).  It would be an impossible task and unbearable to do if I didn't have the Holy Spirit helping, and your support in our wonderful little Church.

 

Blessing My Beloved,

Pastor Floyd


That's not fair

How many times have you used the term “That’s not fair”?  My guess is that, from an early age, we have thrown this phrase out in lament because something was said or done that intruded on our sense of right and wrong.  “You gave Jimmy more ice cream than me, that’s not fair”!  A little later in life you may have used these words regarding your work on a school paper----- “I worked hard on that book report.  I should have gotten an “A” on that paper.  My Mom said it was the best work she had ever seen.  That’s not fair”!   As an adult you may have been treated unfairly (in your opinion) as you were passed over for a promotion, or a politician works for a change in government which adversely affects your age group or gender.

The prospective of fairness comes differently as it pertains to our context and place in life.  Being treated unfairly is not a new concern.  Hear these words from the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes 8:14:  “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth.  The righteous who get what the wicked deserve and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve”.  Sound familiar?  These words are thousands of years old but proclaim the same feelings we experience in life today.

Truly life is not fair.  But we have to trust in God in His infinite love for us, that what happens in life is just, and useable in our lives.  It may not be "comfortable" or "convenient" but it is God's judgment and ultimately His call what happens in the life of a true Christian.

 Blessings my beloved,

Pastor Floyd

 

Driven by a great purpose

 

Recently, I read a story about a schoolmaster in France was discouraged with one of his students. He wrote in his roll book concerning this student: "He is the smallest, the meekest, the most unpromising boy in my class." Half a century later, an election was held in France to select the greatest Frenchman. By popular vote, that meekest, smallest, most unpromising boy was chosen. His name? Louis Pasteur, the founder of modern medicine. At age seventy-three, a national holiday was declared in his honor. He was too old and weak to attend the ceremony in Paris, so he sent a message to be read by his son. The message read: "The future belongs not to the conquerors but to the saviors of the world."

Louis Pasteur was driven by a great purpose. Your name and my name may never be a household word like Pasteur's, but we, too, can be driven by a great purpose. Christ can give us that purpose. But there is one thing more Christ gives us. He gives us the presence of the Holy Spirit.  If we at South Bloomfield Church, allowed the Holy Spirit to work at full potential, greater works could be done than any amount of money could buy. 

 

Pastor Floyd

Listen for the Lord

Today, I was reading one of my favorite books "Imitation Of Christ" by Thomas a'Kempis.  Here is a quote from Chapter 8, "When Jesus is present, all is well, and nothing seems difficult; but when Jesus is absent, every thing is hard.  When Jesus speaks not inwardly to us, all other comfort is nothing worth; but if Jesus speak but one word, we feel great consolation".As we continue our Lenten journey toward Easter, I hope you have taken time to be quiet and listen for the voice of our Lord. How dry and hard our lives become without His touch upon our lives each day.  Even if you are being challenged by something in your life, taking time to find comfort in Jesus is a must for all of us.  Remember how Mary Magdalene stood up from weeping when she heard these words, "The Master is come, and calls for you"?  From tears to joy, that's the power of Jesus and He can do the same for you if you just have patience and call on His name.  Here is another quote from Thomas, " Go where you will, seek whatsoever you will, you shall not find a higher way above, nor a safer way below, than the way of the holy Cross.God Bless You beloved, Pastor Floyd(Thomas a'Kempis was a 15th century theologian and author)  

Can this be Spring?

Is it true? Has Spring arrived?  Living in Ohio, there is no way to know for sure if we should expect flowers to peek through the leaves and winter debris, or polish our snow shovel for another round of the "white stuff".  Either way, since we can't change the weather even one day, lets live in the moment and enjoy what we are given.   For me, I took a "Spring Drive" with a special friend who is learning to drive.  I was amazed how beautifully she handled the rules of operating a motor vehicle in the various communities in which we traveled.  She was very careful to stop completely at all stop signs, accelerate to the exact posted speed limit and kept a keen eye for hidden dangers which lurk in unexpected places.  We were amazed by the number of people who do not follow the rules of driving because we were so focused upon doing what is "right".   As I watched her drive, I thought about those who first come to Christ.  New Christians who are excited about their new found faith.  They seem to look for every opportunity to learn more from the Bible and look for every opportunity to worship.  In doing so, they notice others who claim to be Christian, but don't live by God's instruction,  They notice people who acknowledge Jesus, but run the stop signs of foul language.  New Christians do not understand the running of the red light of gossip or the u-turns  in worship attendance.  Maybe we should issue a renewal license annually in the Church so that those who have fallen away or have had a back-slide experience, can be reacquainted with the sanctified (Holy) life in Jesus our Rescuer, and honor God's rules on the road to the Kingdom City.   In His precious name,   Pastor Floyd

Enjoy Life

 “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” – 1 Peter 3:11 Over the years I have met many Christians that have struggled with the way they talk. Some of us have been guilty of cussing and saying awful things about others.  Have you ever considered the size of the Titanic?  It measured 882ft long or the length of 4 football fields.  The rudder on the Titanic was only 15ft wide.  The rudder is so small compared to the overall size of the ship.  Likewise our tongue is such a small part that corrupts the whole body.  Do you think it is okay for a Christian to cuss and curse others?  The Bible is very clear, we cannot praise God and curse others.  Ray Comfort was asked if it was okay for a Christian to cuss.  His response was,  “The Bible say’s the mouth speaks the abundance of your heart (Luke 6:45). And if you let filthy communication come out of your mouth, and the Bible says not to do it, It shows you have a filthy heart. So, I don’t believe a Christian should use filthy language. If you do, try it in a prayer sometime when you’re talking to God”. The issue of our mouth and how we talk comes from our heart.  Do you want to change the way you talk and think?  This can only be accomplished by changing your heart.  Start today and confess your sins before God. Start changing your heart and your mouth will follow. For the past few generations Mothers have shared great wisdom when they said (I know you have heard it) "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all". It's a good start. Pastor Floyd

A Love Like No Other

How many times have you used the word "Love"?  Too many to count I'm sure.  Here's an easier question, "In how many contexts have you used the word "Love"?


You can love sports. One can love pizza, which I do! I'm sure someone has said they love to read books or love to watch television.  Truth is we misuse the word love everyday.  I think using this word in an inappropriate way devalues its meaning, making it an inter changeable word for like.

The bible tells us that "God is Love".  
One of those scriptures is 1 John 4:16 which says "So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him".  Do you find it amazing that a God who hung trillions and trillions of stars and planets in the universe, a God who is eternal and all powerful, stoops down to love us?  Why? Because He is our Father.  He created us.  He's Dad for goodness sake, and as His children we should respond with all the love we can muster.  We do that in a myriad of ways. We read his love letters (the bible).  Spend time to talk with Him.  Honor Him by keeping his commands and loving other brothers and sisters He created.  I think the best possible display of love we can offer is to love, honor and follow the example of His beloved Son, Jesus.

Have you loved your Father today?

Pastor Floyd