Thursday, October 21, 2010

“Being a Christian is pretty easy” someone once said.  “All you have to do is go to church every once in a while, put a few bucks in the plate, listen to a few boring sermons and sing a bunch of songs nobody knows”, they told me.
     Just the other day I heard a person of notoriety state that “To be a Christian means learning the Ten Commandments and following the Golden Rule.” “It’s just that easy” they said.
     I can’t count the number of times I have heard people say that “being a Christian means God loves you and all you have to do is say a few prayers and He will give you whatever you pray for.”
     It’s been said, “Being a Christian means life is good all the time and God will protect me from everything bad or dangerous or harmful.”  I even heard on fellow on TV say, “God loves you so much, you deserve the best, and He wants to bless you with ‘all His riches in heaven’, because you are His child He wants to give you His heavenly treasures right now – what are you waiting for – ASK!”
     Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it!  Simply quote a few ‘promise verses’, pray a few times, send $20 to the guy on TV and believe God is going to bless you 100 fold.  Tell you the truth, I want some of that!
     But THAT is not IT!  That is NOT the truth.  The truth is that being a Christian is more than what we see on TV, or hear some politician say to bolster their position, or even what we may have been led to believe from other sources in our life.
     Truth is, being a Christian means being involved.  Being involved in relationships, the church, and with God.
     Being a Christian means being involved with the Spirit of God and following the Word, will and ways in which we are commanded.
     Being a Christian is accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and not only accepting His leading, but being involved in His mission and ministries within the area and gifts we have been given.
     Being a Christian means becoming a part of the Body of Christ and being in connection with other believes in a time of praise, worship, support and encouragement.
     Being a Christian is not just another spectator sport we watch on TV.  It is a lifestyle which requires contact with other people in a focused and intentional manner to communicate the awesome love and grace of God in a variety of ways.
     Christianity is involvement in the lives of others, in the life of the church, and in the world we live in.  We are called to reach out to the least and the lost, to help and comfort those around us, to help guide the affairs of our world, and to help build up the Body of Christ by our involvement in the local church.
     But sadly, most Christians are either not involved, or they involved on a merely superficial or perfunctory level.  We know this by the state of our society and the state of the church.
     I fully believe the church was designed to be the backbone of our families and of our society.  But, over time and for reasons beyond the realm of this article, the church has lost its backbone.
     I submit that – “Christianity only works when believers work.”  I add to that – “The church only grows when we grow.”
     I further submit that – “The Spirit of God only moves as we allow it.”
     Instead of so many preachers preaching about the ‘entitlements’ of Christianity, I believe we need to hear more sermons about the ‘involvement’ of the Body of Christ.
     For it is only through the involvement of the Body of Christ will the mission of Christ be realized within the church, community and the world around us.
     I believe God is calling us to be involved.  We have the opportunities, we have the resources, and we have the people.
     Most important, we have God’s word that when the people of God are doing the will of God in the Spirit of God, He will not only provide all that is needed, he will also bless the efforts and lives of those involved!
     Thus, the blessings of God overflow and fill the land with His glory and goodness!
     May the hand of God be upon you, as you become more involved and reach out to others…..
Pastor Eldon

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

     As I read this mornings passage from 2 Timothy, I couldn’t help but think of how proud Dale Carnegie would be as to how Paul laid out his communiqué with Timothy.
     Paul begins by thanking Timothy for his efforts, reminding him of his proud heritage, and praising Him for his great faith.  Paul extends his encouragement and support for Timothy by letting him know he is praying for him without ceasing.  Paul even addresses Timothy as his ‘beloved son’, a powerful statement as to Timothy’s moral standards and Paul’s high regard for him.
     It’s interesting to note that Paul always made it a point to express his appreciation and support toward the members of his team of evangelists and leaders.  He always made it a point to mention them and to express his appreciate and extend his most heartfelt prayers for them.
    Along with the movement of the Holy Spirit, I believe this is one of the reasons Paul was so well respected and had such a dedicated following.  It’s no wonder so many people, like Timothy, were willing to come along side of Paul and help in the ministry and spread the Gospel.
     Sometimes I think we get a little busy or so involved in our own day to day activities we forget to take the time to express our appreciation and support to those around us.  Sometimes we may even neglect our prayers for one another.  How often do we miss out on the opportunity richly bless someone with a word of encouragement, or letting them know how much we appreciate what they do, or even letting them know how much we think of them and are praying for them?
     When we reach out to others with words of encouragement, and support, and endearment, we are in reality fanning the flames of our faith.  Through these simple acts of basic human kindness, we enliven and inspire and build on the desire of one another to be involved and continue, and enhance the good works of the church and of the Lord.
     Along with his inspiring way to encourage others, Paul also had a way to bolster his comrades when they seemed a little lethargic or waning in some way.  In verses 6 and 7 we read where Paul says to Timothy: “I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
     Most scholars agree that Timothy had slacked off of his service and become somewhat remiss from being away from Paul for so long.  We need to note that Paul does not doubt the existence of real faith in Timothy, nor Timothy’s work in the past, but what he desires is for Timothy to rekindle the spark and fan the flames of service for the sake of the Lord.
     What Paul was saying to Timothy was – ‘You have the Holy Spirit, God has called you into His service, I have laid my hands upon you.  Now, Timothy, stir up yourself and do what God asks of you.'
     Paul says:  “stir up the gift of God which is in you.”  Get fired up.  Fan the flames.  Get excited.  Work your faith.  As in 2 Thessalonians Paul is reminding Timothy of his prayer:  “that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,  that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you.”
     I believe Paul is speaking to us this morning when he says “stir up the gift of God which is in you.”   I believe God is calling us to fan the flames of our faith.  To rekindle that spark when we first became Christians and were excited about servicing the risen Christ and our Lord.
     I believe that each and everyone of us has something to offer the church, the Body of Christ, and the world around us.  I believe each of us has been given at least one gift, one talent, one special ability to use toward the edification of one another, the building up of the church, and toward the enhancement of the Kingdom of God. 
     I also know that each of us have been called to serve God and one another, to exercise our gifts and talents which encourage and support one another and the church, and bring glory to God in the process.
     However, as Paul noted, we as the church have become lethargic and waning in Christian works and exercising of our faith.  There membership of the United Methodist Church in Nebraska is down by 8% from last year.  The enthusiasm and participation in church or faith centered programs has fallen off to an all time low. 
     Involvement in the church has become a secondary event, if that, in the lives of the general population.  Participation in church programs by members of the congregation shows a significant drop from just a few years ago.  At this rate, one might wonder about the future of the church.
     But Paul reminds us of our great heritage, as he did for Timothy.  He reminds us of our calling.  He reminds us God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 
    Paul reminds us that God has called us, has given us the Holy Spirit, and has given each of us the ability and strength that we may fan the flames of our faith and our Christian service.
     As with Timothy, we too are being called to “stir up the gift of God which is in us”, to get excited, to get fired up, to fan the flames and work our faith.  To be involved in the life, mission and ministries of the church, and her people.  To take a vested interest in the future and success of the church.
     Ladies and gentlemen, we have the opportunities, we have the resources, we have the people, and we have the mandate.  Plus, we have God’s word of promise to provide and bless our faithful efforts. 
     I invite and encourage you to fan the flames of your faith, to make a decision today to become involved, to make use of every y to exercise your talents toward the mission and ministries of the church and for the glory of God.  I doing so, I know God will bless both you and this church beyond our expectations.
     Remember, “it is only through the involvement of the Body of Christ, will the mission of Christ be fully realized!”
     May God bless your involvement in His glorious plan.  Amen.
Pastor Eldon

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where Are We?

Where are we? Now, I don’t mean simply where you and I are – as we read this.
     I mean, where are we? Where are we as a country? As a community? Where are we as the church, as the community of believers? Where are we as the individual members of the Body of Christ?
     When I asked several people that question, one of them said: “Oh, we’re OK, we’re doing fine.” Someone else said: “Wow, we’re doing a lot better then we were.” Yet another person said: “Well, I’m doing great, but I know a lot who aren’t.”
     Then there was the person who asked if I wanted an honest answer, or just one to make me feel good cause I’m a preacher. I said an honest one. They said: “Our country is going to hell in a hand basket because the people of God have lost their zeal, and God has lost His place.”
     Quite frankly, I happen to agree. We are in trouble. Just as Israel was in the time of Jeremiah, I see our country, and the church, headed in the same direction, if we are not already there.
     There are many parallels between Moses leading Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land and the Pilgrims leaving England for the New World. The primary one being religious freedom. The right and freedom to worship God without government interference or the threat of persecution.
     Once in the Promised Land, and the New World, the Israelites and the Puritans rejoiced and gave their whole heart to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving. They focused their lives on the Word and ways of God, and exercised great diligence in observing the Commandments of the Lord.
     Their numbers grew. Houses of worship sprung up everywhere, and were filled to capacity with people wanting to praise and worship God. People wanting and yearning to hear the Word of God, to experience His presence, and to build a bond of kinship with one another. And, God blessed them.
     But, as time passed, we are told, that the zeal and desire to follow the Lord faded. The Lord tells Jeremiah of several areas where the Israelites were in contempt of the ways of God. He said they had followed idols and become idolaters. He said: “those who handle the law did not know Me; the rulers also transgressed against Me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, principal male god of the Phoenicians, and they walked after things that do not profit.”
     The Lord told Jeremiah: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.”
     As I watch the news and read the papers, I can’t help but believe – history is in the process of repeating itself!  I believe we as a country and as the Body of Christ have, like the Israelites, become cocky, comfortable, and careless.
     Oh sure, we love to hear the touchy, feel-good messages that tell us of God’s goodness and how much He is going to bless us. We want to hear about the glory and the goodies – but we don’t like hearing about our responsibilities. We love the conferment’s and candy, but when it comes to the commandments, well, the news and the pews speak for themselves.
     I’ve heard many of you tell of how this church used to be full. You have told stories about when the Lord and matters of faith were held in high regard, and folks came hand in foot to praise and worship God.
     How many of you remember when the morals and ethics taught by God’s Word were respected, honored – and followed? When God was given His rightful place – in our country, our church, and in our lives?
     God sent the prophets to Israel, He sent Disciples to the multitudes , and He sent Jesus to the us. In Luke 12:54-56 Jesus asks: “When you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but you can't interpret these present times.”
     I believe we need to be asking our selves, ‘Where are we?’ Are we cocky, full of pride and other little gods, or just full of ourselves and don’t think we need God? Is it all about me and what I want?
     Are we comfortable. You know, I’m set so I don’t need to go any further in my faith. Everything is OK just as it is. I get a little preachin’ from the radio or TV and I’m fine.
     Are we careless? Do we just accept any ol thing that comes down the pike in the name of religion. As long as it sounds good, it must be good, right? Have we lost our care for the Lord and His Word and ways to the point where we will let the naysayers, the agnostics, atheists and everyone else who doesn’t care about the Lord, control how, where and when we may pray and worship? How long do we allow them to set the legal, moral and ethical codes of our society?
     Where are we? I know this is a tough question, and this is a tough message. But sometimes we need to ask tough questions, especially now as we see the spiritual backbone of our country and the church deteriorate and disintegrate right before our very eyes.
     To put it another way, how we answer the question, “Where are we?” not only effects how we live in the Lord, it also has a direct effect on the lives of other people, and – and where they may be, now and forever.
     Where are we? Are we merely complacent Christians coasting along till the end of the ride? Or, are we going to answer the call of the Lord to Jeremiah to: “Go and shout this in the city streets: The Lord says, I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago and how you loved me and followed me even through the barren deserts.”
     Let us remember also the call of Christ to: To love the Lord and to love one another, to obey His commandments, and to walk in His ways – now and forever.
     Where we are, as a country and as the church – begins right here. Where we are, and where we will be – begins with you. May you know where you are in the Lord, and apply it unto His Kingdom. Amen.
Pastor Eldon

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is Everything Semi-Permanent?
     When I worked for a gold mine in Nevada, I remember talking to the Pit Superintendent about a large parking area they were going to have to move because of the way the mine was developing.
     They used this parking area for the huge dump trucks, as a service and maintenance area, and a place where the powder room was kept. (Not that one!)  The powder room was actually a small building housing blasting caps, det-cord, fuses and small explosive charges.
     As mining operations shifted, this area was getting rained on by rocks more and more from blasting operations above it. I guess they finally got tired of replacing windshields, and having their service trucks look like they just came from a Nebraska hail storm.  Or was it the holes in the roof of the powder room???
     That parking area had been there since the mine had opened long before I began working there. It was often referred to as ‘The Permanent Parking Ditch’.
     When I asked the Superintendent about them moving this parking area he simply stated: “Everything Is Semi-Permanent!”
     As I have thought about this statement over the past twenty plus years, ‘ner a truer statement could he have uttered.’
     As my life progresses, I have come to understand just how many things are ‘semi-permanent’. The fact is – change happens.
     Some changes are met with joy, excitement and enthusiasm, while others are met with fear, anxiety and resistance.
     When I was a lot younger, I though I could do just about any thing, and I tried a few. Now that I’m a lot older, I find that I can’t, and now I’m paying for those things I did do.
     The world around us is changing. Our lives are changing. Technology is even changing the way we change.
     Change is inevitable. In Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, King Solomon tells us of change. There is really nothing we can do to stop the changes we will see in this life. We can accept them, or reject them and try to fight them.
     The best thing we can do is to acknowledge the changes and try to adjust, adapt and make the best of them.
     Whether it’s changing from a typewriter to a computer, or moving to a different home, or completely changing your wardrobe and look – change happens.  The world keeps on spinning and things keep on a changing.
     But there is one thing we know that doesn’t change – The LORD!  Hebrews 18:8 reminds us: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  In 1 Peter 1:24-25 we read: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
     With the unchanging Word of the Lord, there comes changes we should all look forward to. The first being found in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where Paul tells us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
     Paul is saying that when we turn our lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ, we are transformed, changed, into new creations. We are on a journey changing from what we used to be to becoming more like what God created us for. We are becoming more Christ like.
     The other change we should be looking forward to is found in Revelation 21:1-5 where we read about an new heaven and a new earth, and the New Jerusalem prepared for God’s people.
     A new place and time where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:4-5
     As things change and as we change, we can change in faith and grace knowing we are changing in the likeness and glory of the Lord.
     It’s our choice how we change. We can change in the likeness of Christ and enjoy the newness He gives us, or we can change along with the world and – miss out on being made new.
     Yes, everything is semi-permanent, except the end. How will you change?


     OK, I just received another e-mail containing a warning that something may be hazardous to my health, safety, and well being.
     This one talked about the plastic in my car emitting a hazardous chemical called Benzene. ‘This stuff causes cancer’, the e-mail said.  Oh my gosh, just what I need, another warning that something else is hazardous to my health.
     Watch out for asbestos, can’t drink coffee, my cell phone is going to fry my brain cells, chedderwurst is going to clog my arteries, and my Big B Burger is going to give me a heart attack.
     My TV and computer monitor emit dangerous rays, I’m going to pull a hammie playing WeII, and I’ll suffer from a severe case of carpel tunnel syndrome from texting.
     I can’t mow the lawn because the exhaust from my mower is going to destroy the ozone layer. Even grilling a burger on the barbeque poses a health risk.
     With all these hazardous elements, dangerous activities, and poisonous products, it’s a wonder any of us are still alive!
     It seems as if one person in 50,000 becomes ill or is hurt by some product, someone screams for an investigation, a recall and a warning label.
     Now there has to be warning labels on everything. My can of pop has a warning label on it. My car has dozens of warning labels. Like “Don’t stick you hand into a moving fan blade.”
     Even my pencil comes with a warning: “Pointed objects may be hazardous to children.” My wife’s blow dryer has a warning label that says: “Do not use in tub or shower.” My can of mixed nuts states: “Made in a facility that uses nut products.” (Go figure!)
     We used to have a label on our new recliner that read: “Do not remove under penalty of law.” Can they prosecute my dog for chewing it off?
     Oh, here’s a good one. The big red label on our new countertop oven says; “Warning, things in this oven may be HOT! I sure hope so…..
     One can only ask if there is anything in life that isn’t hazardous. The answer is NO! Life is hazardous to your health!
     However, we can minimize the risk and possible effects by following a few simple rules. First, by using a little common sense, we can determine what is good for us and what is not. We can figure out what is safe, and what may be harmful.  We are not stupid people. We just don’t use the faculties God has given us to the extend He intended.
     Second, we need to exercise moderation. We live in an era of excess, the bigger the better. The more, the merrier. Everything has to be supersized.
     Our diets stink. We can’t live on fast food or highly processed food all the time and in huge amounts, and expect not to be subject to the consequences.
     Thirdly, we need to read the Owner’s Manual. There’s a wealth of information contained in that Book we keep tucked away in a drawer or on a shelf.  If you want to know what’s safe and what’s not, what’s good for you and what’s not – READ the BOOK!
     The most common decal we print reads: ‘WARNING To Reduce The Possibility of Injury or Death - Read the Owners Manual before operating this equipment.’
     Maybe we need a decal for The Book … ‘ATTENTION – This Book Could Save Your Life!  Read it daily.’
     May you be safe and be blessed with health,
Pastor Eldon

Thursday, July 1, 2010


     July is the month we celebrate perhaps our greatest attributes as American citizens, and as the human race - FREEDOM!
     The Bill of Rights grants us freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or the press, the right to gather peaceably, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. We have the right to keep and bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures. We have a right to a fair and speedy trial, and the right to have adequate counsel for our defense.
     We have the freedom to pursue our lives basically as we wish. The live and work where we choose. To follow our dreams and goals without undo hindrance. To develop friendships and relationships with whomever we wish. To marry who ever we feel a kindred spirit and loving relationship with.
     We have the freedom to move about the land whenever and to where ever we wish without undo restrictions. We have the freedom to speak our peace, to play our music, to write, and print and portray our thoughts in any number of creative manners, without unwarranted or arbitrary censorship.
     We have the right and freedom to print and publish virtually any material we desire in books or magazines, what we want to broadcast on television and radio, and what will be shown on the silver screen. We are free to watch, listen or read whatever we wish, at any time of the day or night. We, as American citizens, enjoy the greatest freedoms of any people on the planet today!
     We attribute these rights and freedoms we hold so dearly to our Founding Fathers who so carefully crafted the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. We hold fast to our freedom at the high cost of many a good and brave serviceperson who, for the honor of their country and neighbors, gave their life to protect our lives.
     Though we celebrate the 'Independence' of America and the freedoms we enjoy through the wisdom and efforts of those before us, let us not forget the very source and foundation by which these rights and freedoms are derived from.
     For 'In the beginning, God created.....'  From the very beginning, God granted freedom to heavenly beings and the human race. God gave Adam and Eve freedom to do, to go and to eat.....  except one tree. The freedom God gave the heavenly hosts and mankind is the 'freedom of choice', or free will.
     But, this God given freedom was abused. The Devil abused this divine freedom by rebelling against God and being cast from Heaven along with a host of angels. In Genesis 3 we read of how Eve and Adam were tempted and subsequently abused their freedom - resulting in the fall of man.
   In order to maintain the integrity of God's wholly state, He had no choice but to respond with appropriate consequences for the abuse of the freedom He gave those He created. In other words, along with the God given right of free will, there comes responsibility.
     Paul Harvey used to say "Self-government won’t work without self-discipline." I submit "Freedom without responsibility, or consequences for abuse, is a recipe for chaos and social disorder."
     Along with the right to free will, God has also given us the charge and responsibility to exercise our freedom for the sake of good and for the glory of God. We have been given the wisdom and the power to make choices in our lives which reflect and honor the glorious gift we have received - for the purpose of loving God and loving one another.
     Galatians 5:13-14 teaches - "For, dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other. For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command:  Love others as you love yourself."
     Let us exercise our freedom - freedom in the Spirit with acts of 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control'. These are acts of freedom which cannot be taken away and that last forever! Amen.

Friday, June 18, 2010


     How often do you laugh? I don’t mean just a chuckle, I mean a good hearty laugh. Maybe you are one of those folks who just don’t laugh - who just don’t seem to find things funny or very much to laugh about.
     Me? I laugh a lot! I love to laugh. I learned to laugh at an early age. At first it was because I found things funny. Then it was a defensive mechanism to protect myself from those people who thought I was funny. Now, it's because I have found the awesome value in laughter. Here's some of what I learned.
     Laughter makes you feel good. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster of more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you with others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.
     Your sense of humor and ability to laugh is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.
     Look at these benefits of laughter - Laughter relaxes the whole body; laughter boosts the immune system; laughter triggers the release of endorphins; laughter exercises and protects the heart. Along with these, laughter dissolves distressing emotions, it helps you relax and recharge, and humor shifts the perspective.
     Like a man named Hunter Campbell Adams, M.D., or "Patch Adams", I too discovered how humor and laughing could help people feel better. Like the Prophets and Disciples, I also found how joy and laughter helps in one’s spiritual journey.
     The Bible teaches joy is a quality of life and not simply a fleeting emotion. It is grounded in God himself and flows from him. Psalm 16:11 teaches - "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
     As we see, joy is not an isolated or occasional consequence of faith but rather an integral part of one's whole relation to God. The fullness of joy comes when there is a deep sense of the presence of God in one's life.
     Laughter is the heartfelt expression of joy, gladness, or pleasurable surprise. Laughter is an expression of the deep felt peace and joy we have in Christ. Laughter comes easy for me because I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe His words in John 15:11 - "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." 
     For each of you, I pray - "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  (Romans 15:13)
    There's nothing like a gut-bustin', side-splittin', rollin' on the floor, laughin' till you cry kind of laugh.  Go ahead, laugh!  Laugh out loud.  Laugh yourself silly - and praise God for the joy He has given you.  Amen.
God bless you.
See you in church Sunday
Pastor Eldon

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"I Am Not A Turkey"

      During the 2010 Oxford Turkey Days, I had the honor of delivering the message for the Turkey Day Community Service on June 13. The following is a synopsis of my message entitled 'I Am Not A Turkey'. The Scripture Reading was from Genesis 1:24-31.
      To help me better understand about turkeys, and have a better appreciation for Turkey Days, I did some research on turkeys. For example, do you know that turkeys can run up to 20 miles an hour? Did you know Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey be the national bird instead of the Bald Eagle? The Air Force is responsible for killing countless turkeys by flying over turkey farms giving turkeys fatal heart attacks.
      Finally, why can't you take a turkey to church?  Because they use such FOWL language. I told you this was going to be profound, and thought provoking. Why did God create turkeys? To be turkeys, of course. And where do turkeys end up? On someone’s dinner table. That’s why - 'I am not a turkey!' I am a child of God, created in His image and destined for heaven.
      Unlike being a turkey, being a child of God comes with some pretty awesome privileges. As children of God, we are forgiven, we are saved, and we have eternal life.
      Along with forgiveness and eternal life, we have the privilege of God’s peace and freedom. Freedom from sin and death, and peace beyond understanding. In John 14:27, Jesus tells us - "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
      To help us with these glorious privileges, God has given us the Holy Spirit. In John 14:26 we read - "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
      To make these awesome privileges even more powerful and more meaningful, we have been given the special privilege of love. We have been given the honor and privilege to love God and to love one another. As we all know, love is key to our faith. In John 13 we are told "as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
      1 John 3:23-24 states - "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."
      John clearly states, to be children of God, we must believe in the name of Jesus Christ and we must love one another. We are to love each other with that same selfless, sacrificial, forgiving love with which Jesus Christ loved us. When we put these two commandments together, we find the great truth that the Christian life depends on right belief and right conduct - combined.
      As cool as turkeys may be, they do not possess the ability to believe in Jesus Christ, nor can they love one another like you and I can.  Thus, I am not a turkey - I am a child of God, led by the Spirit - destined for glory.
      Today we bring to a close Turkey Days 2010. But, at the same time, we are reminded that the love and grace of God is open to everyone. That though turkeys may come and turkeys may go, God Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  As children of God, we are assured that "nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
      I bid you, never forget who you are. You are a child of God, created in His image, destined for glory!  As 1 Peter Chapter 2 says, "you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
      If you believe you are, repeat after me - "I am not a turkey. I am a child of God." "I am a child of God, created in His image, destined for glory!"   Go now, as children of God. Loving one another and proclaiming the good works of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Blessings to all - See you in church Sunday
Pastor Eldon

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


     Everyone is invited to the Annual Turkey Days Community Service in the Park, Sunday, June 13 at 8:30 a.m.
     This service is a joint effort between the different Churches in the Oxford area and is sponsored by the Oxford Ministerial Association and will be held in the George Mitchell Park in Oxford, NE.
Please join us for a fun and meaningful time as we worship the Lord together in song, praise, word and prayer.

"Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever."  Psalm 106:1

Yo - BUD!

     Intruducing the newest member of our faily - BUD.  She is now seven weeks old and a mixture of Mini-Boxer and others???  We adopted her on May 28.  A very smart, rambunctious, playful and mindful puppy.  She already understands the words NO, sit, stay, and come.
     She is also learning the boundaries of the property and area she is allowed to be in.  Keep us (and her) in your prayers as we continue the process of potty training.....  With a little luck and more training - she'll treach me where to go!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Grill er Done!

     With summer upon us, it’s time to get to grillin’. I don’t know too many folks who don’t like grilled hamburgers. We just seem to gravitate toward the grill and that irresistible smell of barbequed burgers. Other than freshly popped popcorn, the aroma of burgers on the grill is one of my favorites.
     But sadly, too often we end up with nothing more that piping hot hockey pucks instead of juicy burgers begging for a bun and all our favorite toppings.
     I’m guilty! I’ve grilled a few burgers which looked, felt and tasted more like blue rock than barbequed burgers. Even the dog wouldn’t touch em!
     Here’s a few tips I’ve found to help grill the best burgers on the block….. Begin with good meat. Good hamburgers are made from ground beef with some fat in it! An 80/20 fat content works well. (Ground sirlion or ribeye are perfect!) The less fat, the drier the burger.
     Chill the meat for about a half hour, then form into patties. Try to avoid overworking the meat. Don’t pound it into shape and avoid compressing the meat too much. This makes your burgers tough. Put a dimple, or a little well in the center of each patty and put them back in the fridge for another half hour or so.
     Get you grill HOT. The idea is to sear the burgers, not slow cook em like a Sunday roast. Scrape you grates – apply some vegetable oil to them. Put your burgers on the grill and leave em alone for about 5 to 6 minutes. If they stick to the grill, you haven't let them sear long enough. Flip em and let them cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until done to taste. The thicker the longer. Thin, preprocessed patties will cook a lot quicker (and are drier than homemade).
     Never press down on your burgers on the grill! This only squeezes out the juices, and the juices are the flavor. It’s OK to turn the burgers to get the grill markings, but do smash them with your spatula. (Unless of course, you enjoy burning the hair off your arms from the flames...)
     Just before they are done, put some sliced cheese on the ones who want it. When done, place burgers on a CLEAN plate or platter and let them rest for two to three minutes before serving.
     Have a variety of toppings and plenty of them. Enjoy! As soon as it quits raining – I’m grillin er done!
     Blessings, and pass the ketchup and onions.
     See you Sunday.....
Pastor Eldon

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Volunteers & Ideas Needed

We are looking for volunteers and ideas to help with our Summer Children's Sunday School Program.  Charlene is taking the summer off, so anyone interested in helping, please contact Pastor Eldon ASAP.

We are also seeking volunteers and ideas for an Oxford Turkey Days Parade float.  What a fun idea.  If you have any ideas and/or would like to help, please let Pastor Eldon know ASAP @

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I get a little excited during this time of year because I know we are into Thunderstorm season!  I must admit that I enjoy watching thunderstorms. There’s just something about a t-storm that intrigues me. Especially when I can watch it begin to form and continue watching as it goes through the stages of development, until it reaches a point where I need to run for cover, or it passes by and beyond my sight.
     Like most of you, I don’t like severe storms, with the 60 plus mile an hour winds, golf ball size and larger hail, and the threat of tornadoes. But they too have a fascination about them.
     Maybe thunderstorms fascinate me so because, in their own right, they display the glory of God in all His power and wonder. Take the lightning for instance, Lighting represents God's glorious and awful majesty. King David used lighting both figuratively and poetically. In Matthew lighting signifies the coming of the Lord. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matt. 24:27)
     The wind - again is symbolic of God’s power. Wind is also translated as pneuma, or breath - as in God breathing life into Adam. Pneuma is also used in terms of the Holy Spirit. In John 20:20 Jesus - "breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
     Clouds, in Hebrew, were used as a symbol of the Divine presence, as indicating the splendor of God's glory. In the Old Testament, Yahweh’s presence is made manifest and his glory shown forth in a cloud. In the New Testament, we read about "the Son of Man coming on or with clouds" and being received up by the clouds. The glory of the Lords second coming is indicated in Rev 1:7 - "Behold, He is coming with clouds....."
     When I see it rain and feel the cool drops on my outstretched hands, I'm reminded that rain is a sign of life all throughout the Bible. Even in Noah's day - for though there came a flood, new life was born. In Lev. 26:4 God says: "then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit."
     Hail and Whirlwinds are both use to denote God's anger and punishment. They remind us that God will have His way and righteousness will prevail.
     And when the clouds have passed and tempest is over, there comes - a rainbow. A beautiful witness of God's divine faithfulness. A reminder of the covenant between God and man. (Gen 1:15) Ezekiel likened the glory of God to "the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain." (Ezek 1:28).
     The next time you see a thunderstorm, remember that after the rain, and lightning, and the wind, there remains a rainbow. And, the next time you see a rainbow, remember the words of Rev 4:3 - "and there was a rainbow around the throne [of God]."
May God's rainbow be about you, now and forever!
Pastor Eldon

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Two New Pages!

Just when you thought it was safe to see the blog, I post two new pages.....
'Praise the Lord and Pass the Potatoes'   and   'Over Coffee.....'
These pages are for you to share your thoughts on and enjoy.
Who said a blog can't b fun??? 
Simply click on the link under Pages to the left.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Community Coop

Please check the Page Link at left for our New Page - Community Coop.  If you have anything you wish to buy, sell, trade, or if you are looking for something or for someone to help you with something - click on the Community Coop Page!

Tribute to Mothers

My Mom Always Said....

Besides Jesus Christ, the greatest blessing in my life has been my MOTHER! She has always been there for me, helping me, guiding me, supporting me – and sharing her infinite wisdom with me….. Here are a few words of wisdom she gave me - - -

Money does not grow on trees.  Don't make that face or it'll freeze in that position.  If I talked to my mother like you talk to me....   Always change your underwear; you never know when you'll have an accident.   Be careful or you'll put your eye out.  What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too? You have enough dirt behind those ears to grow potatoes!   Close that door! Were you born in a barn?   If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.    Don't put that in your mouth; you don't know where it's been!   Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.   Don't eat those, they will stunt your growth.   What's meant to be, is meant to be. (Mom only used this when something bad happened or when you experienced a disappointment.)  It doesn't matter what you accomplish, I'll always be proud of you.   I hope that when you grow up, you have kids "Just Like you"!   Because I'm your mother that's why.   This is why we can't have nice things.   If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times.   Eat your vegetables, those children in China would be happy to have some broccoli to eat!   If you fall out of that tree and break you leg , don't come running to me.   Cheer up, the worst is yet to come. (Usually said in advance of grounding.)   Someday your face is going to stick like that.   Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.   Yes, I *AM* the boss of you.   Because I said so.   Just wait till your father gets home.   No dessert till you clean off your plate.   I brought you into this world and I can take you OUT !!   I've got eyes in the back of my head, that's how…   Get that thing out of your mouth! (or nose).   Just you wait until you have kids of your own - then you'll understand!   I slave for hours over a hot stove and this is the thanks I get?!   Honestly... You'd lose your head if it wasn't screwed on! Bored! How can you be bored?   I was never bored at your age.   If you’re bored, I can find something for you to do!!!   Who'll end up walking, bathing and feeding it...?

May God bless our mothers, now and forever!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Word About Flowers...

A Word About Flowers…..

     I always look forward to springtime when the flowers begin to grow and bloom. I love walking around and looking at the many different types, and varieties of flowers and the settings in which they are growing.
     I try to notice the distinct colors and shapes, from the very delicate to those which are so robust and hardy. Sometimes I can even remember those which are annual and those which are perennial.
     In verses 15 through 17 of Psalms 103, our lives are compared to that of flowers.  Like the beautiful flowers of the fields and in our gardens, our lives are frail, and are subject to the winds and storms of life. We need watered and fed. We bloom for a while and when the wind of time passes over us, we are gone.
     But verse 17 reminds us “the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him …..” It is through God’s Word, prayer and the gathering and fellowship of the saints we are fed and watered. It is through our faith in Jesus Christ that we too become perennial and our lives bloom forever.
     May you blossom as the flowers in your garden – and may the beauty and glory of the Lord be seen in you this day and forever!
Pastor Eldon


Congratulations to Dan & Mailnda Hunt on the birth of their new son - Houston Daniel.  Houston was born Monday May 3 at Phelps Memorial Health Center, Holdrege, NE.  He weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz. and was 21 1/4 in. long.
Both Malinda and baby Houston are doing fine!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

When You Are Down.....

     Like many of you, I receive scads of e-mails. Most of them seem to be the 'forwarded' type. You know the ones, where you have to scroll through two or three pages of 'forwarded' e-mail addresses before you get to the meat of the matter. And when you finally get to the body of the e-mail, it's interesting - but basically a 'read & delete' proposition.  (I admit - I don't forward very many of them.)
     However, there does come an occasional 'forwarded' e-mail that catches my eye and spurs something inside of me. One such e-mail was a rather long one, but there were two lines in it that really struck me. They read:
     "When you are DOWN to nothing….. God is UP to something!" And, "Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible."
     These caused me to think about when I have been down - either physically, financially, emotional or even spiritually. Though I may not have seen it at the time, as I look back, I can see how God was working in each situation. And every time I thought I was down to what I thought was nothing, I now can see that God was up to something.
     I confess, what I thought God should have been up to wasn't exactly what He was doing. Instead of filling my checkbook or wallet, or immediately healing me from an illness, I now know that God was UP to something far better. He was UP to filling my heart and mind and healing my spirit and soul!
     It is by focusing on God, and what HE is up to, that my faith grows in Him. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that I can now refocus my attention from the 'I’m down and drowning' cycle to the 'Lord, this might look ugly now, but I know You will make something beautiful from it' position of faith.
     In 1 Corinthians 10:13 Paul tells us: "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it."
     Like Jesus' forty days in the desert, God is with us too, and He is always UP to something in our lives. It is by faith we see, believe, and receive.  May you receive all God is up to in your life!

May God bless and keep you.....
See you in Church Sunday!
Pastor Eldon