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!