Pay Much Closer Attention

North Country Note – November 11, 2011

Carolyn and I walked at sunrise today. We didn’t actually see the sunrise. What we did enjoy seeing was the first snow of the season. It was sticking to the trees and anything else that had room for snowflakes to make little piles. God gives us such rich blessings in creation to enjoy and our senses to enjoy them. Our brisk walk was a wonderful start to the day.

I’ve been trying to walk more regularly with Carolyn and I have to admit that our hour long walks do much for my mood and energy, and I find myself more focused and efficient in my work afterward. I’m also thankful to God for making us so that getting up and moving and getting fresh air improves our strength and ability to serve Him.

Another provision of the Lord’s I was reminded of the other day when I saw a lone squirrel in the front yard — it looked a bit perplexed. Have you noticed a lack of acorns this year? Last year we had thousands of acorns in our yard. There were so many the kids tried skating across the yard on them. Not this year. If our oaks have shed any acorns I haven’t seen them. I hope that little friend, “squirreled away” some of the acorns from last year in a safe, dry place.

That reminded me of how we need to always be about storing up for ourselves spiritual riches. You never know when you’ll find yourself in one of the valleys of life and you’ll need the spiritual riches of God’s truth to bring you through as you rest on His promises. David sure saw a few dark valleys in his life. We saw what he wrote of God’s abundant provision when we looked at Psalm 31 Wednesday night in prayer meeting.

David says in verse 19:

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!

Another way God encourages us is when we serve. And as a pastor my greatest encouragement this week was to see God’s people serving in many ways.

We shared with the church last Sunday a long list of jobs that need to be done around the church property. This week there were several people around the church working diligently on a few of those projects. There are still several items available, and most of them aren’t too hard, so there’s still an opportunity for you to serve the Lord in this way.

I was also greatly encouraged by several people serving the Lord in areas we had not made public. These were areas of service which required skills people have gained in their chosen profession. And this too is a great encouragement to see how God has equipped His people to serve as a part of His church and grown in them a willingness to serve.

Let me encourage you not to be idle, but to look for opportunities to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).

Speaking of serving, today is Veterans Day, I’m so thankful for those who have served us by serving our country and for those who continue to serve today protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Thank a veteran today for serving.

Yesterday was the 236th Marine Corps birthday. I thought celebrating like it was my birthday would be good and Carolyn agreed. She didn’t make a cake, she made three apple pies. That works for me. “Semper Fi” to my Marine Corps brothers and sisters.

Now, I have a few items of information to share.

As we’ve done the last few years on the week of Thanksgiving we’re moving prayer meeting to Tuesday the 22nd at 7 PM. So before you travel to see family or begin preparing food for company come join us for a time of praise and prayer.

Winter weather: We’re nearing the season when weather can be difficult at times or even dangerous to travel in. There may be times we cancel services, but at all times we encourage you to stay off the roads whenever you feel uncomfortable with the conditions.

We’re going to be in John 14:8-14 this Sunday morning. Read ahead and note how you can trust Jesus with your whole life because Jesus never fails.

I hope to see you Sunday.

Thankful for those who serve.

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