mid-week evotional

Dear Friend,

We hope this week's E-votional brings you all the news, information, and insight you've been wanting. Please feel free to comment on or share your weekly message with friends, family, and co-workers.

  • February 13, 2018

    "Jacob, where do you find the strength to carry on in life?"

    "Life is often heavy only because we attempt to carry it," said Jacob.  "But, I do find a strength in the ashes."

    "In the ashes?" asked Mr Gold.

    "Yes," said Jacob, with a confirmation that seemed to have traveled a great distance.

    "You see, Mr Gold, each of us is alone. Each of us is in the great darkness of our ignorance. And, each of us is on a journey.

    "In the process of our journey, we must bend to build a fire for light, and for warmth, and food.

    "But when our fingers tear at the ground, hoping to find coals of another's fire, what we often find are the ashes. And, in these ashes,which will not give us light or warmth, there may be sadness, but there is also testimony.

    "Because these ashes tell us that somebody else has been in the night, somebody else has bent to build a fire, and somebody else has carried on.

    "And that can be enough, sometimes."

    - Noah benShea

    This week we observe Ash Wednesday. As the ashes are imposed upon our foreheads, and we hear these words, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return", we acknowledge the sadness of the ashes. They are a solemn reminder that we are mortal, that this life will come to an end and that to dust we shall all return.

    But as Noah benShea points out about the ashes, "there is also testimony."

    The ashes testify to the truth that we do not journey alone through life. There are companions on the way, and memories of the faithful who have gone ahead of us whose memory continues to inspire us.

    Knowing that those who have paved the way before us were able to endure and carry on, gives us the courage to do likewise.

    No one is immune to the dark of night, not even Jesus himself. Through Lent we journey with Jesus who knew what it was to be in dark places: places where He was tempted, where He felt abandoned by God,  where he felt overwhelmed by the task that lay ahead, and where He was disappointed in friends who would let Him down.

    But through it all Jesus endured, and His courage, His faith, and His resilience encourage us.

    Ashes do serve to remind us of our mortality, but also they remind us that through this mortal life we are never alone, not even in our darkest nights.

    Wherever we go, Jesus has been there too, and as He endured, so shall we.

    The imposition of the ashes leaves the mark of the cross on our forehead, symbol of the enduring love of Jesus Christ that is with us always.

    And symbol that life not death always has the last word.

    Blessings and peace,

    Pastor Gillian

  • Prayer Points

    Prayers are requested for our mission partners in Cuba, pastors Ary and Beidy and the congregation of Central Presbyterian Church in Matanzas.

    We pray for all who have been affected by mudslides, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and tragedy of any kind.

    Prayers for healing are requested for Ellen and Larry Cardwell, Nancy Tobias, Elie Hunt, Dave Perkins, Marlene Wilson, Ben Johnston-Krase, Mary Larscheidt - sister of Carrie Massey, Mary - sister of Elaine Jacobson, Joe Ghilani - son in law of Leah Fisher, Jane Nix - friend of Mary Soley, and Ian Wortley (who is recovering from broken collar bone surgery).

    Pray for all who grieve and mourn the loss of loved ones and who seek God's healing peace and consolation.

    Prayers are offered for our world, and for its security, peace and for a brighter future.

  • Deuteronomy 31:8

    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.