Pastor's Blog

This week has been a horrible time for many folks trying to travel about the country.  I know several who couldn't get to their destinations due to inclement weather (too much of the white stuff).  Of course that goes both ways.  There are those who were snowed in and had to extend their stays - too bad, right?  Getting where we need to be is vital, isn't it?  Whether it's work or play, it's important for us to keep our schedules.  We're so careful to plan every moment of our lives that when something like a blizzard comes along and knocks us off our time table, it's just downright inconvenient.  Nature can be very rude!


But that's life.  No matter how careful our planning, there are always interruptions that pop up and just laugh at our well thought out itineraries.  Some of these glitches are mild and merely bothersome, but others, well they can be the mother of all interruptions and leave us struggling to hold it together.  I'm often amazed at why so many folks just chance it and try to face life without any “God-strength” at all?  It's incredible, not to mention foolhardy.


James writes, “Now listen you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.'  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will we will live and do this or that.'”


We're here now, we're aware of now.  God's “there” now!  He knows the directions our lives need to travel.  The Bible exhorts us to trust God and not to lean - or trust - in our own understanding.  Why?  Because our view is limited, we can't see the road for the snow!

- Dale

PEACE 2010 PDF Print

PEACE 2010

What's on your Christmas list this year?  What is it that you wish with all your might to see under the tree this holiday season?  Of course the list is as endless as there is taste - right?  Or no taste, for that matter.  There's so much to choose from!  We've got iPods and Mega Moon Mood Hopz's available to us.  Or maybe you'd prefer an EyeClopse Mini Projector?  If you can think it up, someone, somewhere is trying to make it available in multiple colors and various sizes for your purchasing pleasure!  I mean who wouldn't want Power Paws Nonslip Socks for their pet?  Or my personal favorite, a personalized stuffy that looks just like you.  (I know what Ann's getting for Christmas!) ?

All of this “stuff” that finds it's way under our tree, is really a far cry from the presents promised to us on that very first Christmas.  Prominent among these first gifts (and probably the most sought after - in one way or another) is the gift of peace.  Isaiah stated  centuries before the birth of Jesus, that this Savior would be known as “The Prince of Peace.”  How cool is that?  The “Boss of peace!”  The angels who appeared to ghost-white, terrified shepherds on the hills outside of Bethlehem even sang of “peace on earth” at the birth of Jesus.  But really, where does this peace exist?  There certainly was no peace for the Babe born in the Bethlehem manager.  A murderous king saw to that.  But Jesus' life  was marked by grief.  He was refreshing water for people living in a desert and they refused to drink!  ?

So where's the peace in our strife-filled world?  Look within.  The peace that Jesus rules is the greatest possible expression of it!  This “Jesus-peace” that defies understanding is the power of presence . . . His!  He comes into our lives and does a new thing.  Lovingly He doesn't leave us like He found us but transforms us into peace-seeking missiles!  We become peace-peddlers which helps lead to more external peace in the world - at least, it should.  ?

So, you're making your Christmas list . . . that's good!  I hope you get all the gizmos you desire, because I like seeing you happy.  But let me suggest a greater treasure, an ancient treasure that's been around since the very first Christmas.  Peace - the peace of presence. Let Jesus show you what gifting is all about! ?

- Dale


“For God so Loved . . .”  We've quoted this and similar verses so often that maybe their impact upon us has waned a bit in the repetition.  We have the habit of looking for formulas when only relationships will do.  We look for process when our Creator only seeks for us to possess.

How often are you awed by God's love?  The truly remarkable thing is that our Lord knows us through and through, inside and out, and yet still sees something worth loving in each of us.  Of course that “something” is His knowledge of what we are capable of becoming - of being - if filled with His presence.


To be filled though, one must surrender.  God will only send His loving flood through open doors!  Which causes me wonder about the aroma of submission.  It must be distinct!  The fragrance is captivating to God, every whiff reminding Him of His Son.  The very act of drawing in God the Holy Spirit is as flood waters rushing through a broken levee.

Think about Saul on the road to Damascus, the stench of rebellion rising upward to God from Saul's heart.  Then envision Paul picking himself up out of the dust, broken and blind but with the sweet smell of submission making its way to God from his freshly changed heart.  God knew what Saul would be when overwhelmed by His Spirit - so He struck him down in love.  God blinded his eyes but gave him true sight.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son . . .”  He gave His Son to be butchered so that once the sacrifice was accomplished we would finally have the ability to actually see light . . . to possess life . . . to know His amazing love!

His love runs so incredibly deep for us.  That of course, is the reason that God Himself surrendered first!  He gave, so that we might have!  How long has it been since you've allowed God's amazing love to inspire you?

Merry Christmas!

- Dale


Today marks the beginning of the Advent Season.  The significance of this season (as in all things) varies from person to person and perhaps from denomination to denomination.  But truly, how each of us prepare for something speaks volumes of how much we treasure and cherish that something.  That of course, is our meaning when we use the phrase “Advent Season.”  We speak of a time of preparation.

Christmas (in our culture, at least) can’t just sneak up on anyone – it’s impossible.  Unless of course, if you’re just waking up from a coma, then maybe?  It’s ingrained within each of us as small children how to recognize the signs that the “season of getting” is fast approaching. My training began with a great little invention called the Sears wish book.  This amazing catalog was filled with pages and pages of every toy known to mankind!  It was our generation’s internet.

Maturing in my faith though, has changed the way I see Christmas, therefore, changing the way I prepare for this special time as well.  One of the tools I use in that preparation is the concept of the Advent Season.  I strive to meditate upon or dwell on each symbol or ideal of the Advent Season and consider how they have impacted my life:

• The unique hope we have in Christ

• The love shown by the Creator to His fallen and rebellious creation

• The joy that now resides within our hearts because of the presence of Jesus Christ

• And finally, the peace that this living Presence brings

Each of these deepen in significance as I understand them a bit more.  They help me to keep things sorted, and in a somewhat proper perspective.

I go crazy this time of year, I know, but in a good way . . . and hopefully in a Christ-honoring way.  How is it that you prepare in honoring your King’s birth?  How do you celebrate the giving of the “perfect Gift” for yourself and this entire world?

How you prepare for something can be a strong indication of how significant that something is to you.

Teach me Your way, O Lord.


– Dale



Fear is a gripping emotion.  It can easily cause us to suddenly freeze up, completely incapacitating us.  Fear in its myriad of forms can be seen as completely sensible, like the fear of spiders or snakes; or, it can be seen as completely illogical, such as the fear of bathrooms.  No matter how we experience it, its reality can't be dismissed.  It's powerful.

Interestingly, one person's greatest joy can actually be another's greatest fear, showing us that fear comes wrapped up in so many different styles.  Unfortunately many times that fear will cause us to align ourselves with the world just to help alleviate it.  For example, the fear of loneliness may cause us to seek inappropriate companionship.  The fear of obscurity may cause us to seek popularity at any and all cost.

For almost every fear there seems to be some type of sensible counter balance created by this world system to help diminish that particular terror.  As Christians we may have a problem with many of these so-called solutions.  Mainly because since our rebirth, we're different, striving to live in a different way.  What seems reasonable to "single-birth" folks just won't work for us "dos-birth" people.

Peter tells us that, "once we were not a people, but now we are . . ." (1Peter 2).  So, he and other early Christians encourage us to seek Godly answers to our fears and weaknesses.  Peter writes urging the early church (and us as well) to think of ourselves as aliens, strangers here in this world, not allowing ourselves to succumb to earthly desires.  Part of that incorrect desiring is found in fearing the wrong things.

God tells Isaiah, not to follow the way of the people, not to fear what they fear.  God states, "The Lord Almighty is the one you are to fear, the one you are to regard as holy, the one you are to dread."  It would seem that the solution to our possible fears is found in knowing what, or better put, who to fear!  How do you cure fear?  With fear!  Properly placed fear.  This proper placement is made possible when we are reborn.  We then gain the capacity to truly know God, therefore to truly fear God. To become awed by our Creator.  So fear becomes a gift, that helps alleviate fear! Trust me, it's not logical it's not meant to be.  It's a God thing!


– Dale


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