What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sermon Notes: "Who Me?"

Today's sermon was reminiscent of several other posts I've have written recently. (not sermon notes)  I don't think the Pastor was aware of this when he planned his message for today.  But I do think God was aware of it, and He apparently is trying to drive home a point.  Is it for me? Or maybe it is for you?  Let's check it out and see what message we each discover in today's sermon.

So here we go with today's sermon notes based on Exodus 3:1-14, entitled, "Who Me?"

In today's scripture lesson we find Moses tending the flock of sheep that belonged to Jethro, his father-in-law.  And while he was doing this rather mundane, possibly boring task, suddenly The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush! (see verse 2) 
"So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed."

And in verse 4, God called to Moses from the midst of the burning bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."

5 -6:  Then God said, "Do not draw near this place.  Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."  "Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

And in verse 6, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

Then God said to Moses,

"I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt,
and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters,
for I know their sorrows."

And as we skip down to verse 10, we see that Moses has received his call from God....God tells him that He will send him to Pharaoh to bring God's people Israel out of Egypt.
But Moses replies,
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh..."

Basically, Moses is saying what probably most of us would say if God asked us to do something so unbelievable, outlandish, and possibly even dangerous:

"Who, ME?
Moses has bought into the notion that he's a "nobody"...trying to pass the buck onto someone else...he doesn't think he's qualified enough, not a good enough speaker, just a lowly shepherd over his father-in-law's flocks...

But this call from God applies to all of us... not just the clergy, or the learned, or the eloquent of speech...

I Corinthians 1:27-28 tells us:

"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, 
and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are..."

"Be all you can be..."  You are chosen for God's Army...and He asks you to be all you can be for Him.
Jesus came to:
  • Preach the gospel to the poor
  • to heal the broken-hearted
  • to proclaim liberty to the captives
  • recovery of sight to the blind
  • to set at liberty those who are oppressed
  • and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
(see Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1)

And we, as His disciples and church are expected to carry on that same mission today... and Jesus promises to be with us always, even unto the end of the age...(see Matthew 28:18-20)

God promised Moses in Exodus 3:12...

"I will certainly be with you..."

God is the God of the bush that is not consumed...

Your call may have something to do with justice, love, care of others...
If the task is incompatible with God's Word then it is not from God at all...

  • Jesus tells us in John 15:5
"Without Me you can do nothing..."

God chooses imperfect people to do His work here on earth...
  • David went out of his way to break practically all of the Ten Commandments
  • Peter was impulsive and brash...
  • Jacob stole his brother's birthright...
Leave room in the list for  your name...

God's power is made perfect in our weakness...
  • "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness..." (II Corinthians 12:9)
We aren't perfect.  
  • Is God calling you?
  • Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
  • God will be with you no matter what
We have to go...so...
  • Trust in God
When Moses got back to Mt. Horeb, God said, "I'm going to do this...", and it happened.

God is calling each of us to do something special through Him and for Him.

Make a list of people you want to touch with the gospel of Christ this week...

God is in control...
  • Lean on God...
  • Follow Him...
  • Trust Him...
  • Pray...

What do you see in this lesson that God is saying to you? And what is your response to God?
Is it, "Who, Me?"  or is it, "Here I am, Lord."

I know I am truly trying to pay attention to what God may be asking of me...and am also trying to be more willing to respond, "Here I am, Lord, send me."

Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given.  I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously.  Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said.  Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear...  That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts.  So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.

Sermon Notes: FUMC Interlachen, FL, Pastor A.C. Myers, 7/22/2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

Be Still and Know...

We came home from a little ride this afternoon and discovered this deer walking around our yard.

I followed to see where he had gone, and he was waiting and watching for me in the woods just beside the yard...

He had a message for me from God:

And after a week filled with some difficulties and uncertainties and even some unhappy news, this message was very much welcome...

Sometimes we need to stop right where we are and..."BE STILL...and KNOW THAT I AM GOD! "

Yes, my friends, even when we get bad news or are in the middle of difficult circumstances that seem beyond our control, stop and take a deep breath...whisper a prayer to the Lord...and know that He is there...He hears you...He sees you...and He is in control always. 

Tonight I would like to request prayer for a loved one who has received a very serious diagnosis this week and will be undergoing some intensive chemotherapy for the next four to five weeks without being able to go home from the hospital. We know that God is able to bring healing and total recovery, but it is going to be a difficult battle and strength is needed to stand strong.  Thank you for standing with us. 

Friday Foto Friends: Under Construction

This was a different kind of day for us.  (written on Thursday evening)  We had to make a little trip to the big city about two hours away...and had to travel during rush hour, which is never fun for us country bumpkins.  We were actually thankful for the TOLL roads that helped to bypass some of the worst of the traffic even if it did cost us a pretty penny...it was worth every dollar! (no such thing as 25 cent tolls anymore.)

In addition to the rush hour traffic, there was construction going on all around us.  I finally decided to start taking some pictures because it was so "interesting".  You may not think it is as interesting as I do, but again, consider that most of the time I live where the only road construction we see is the occasional road grader going down our dirt road, filling in the potholes in the dirt and leveling off the bumps...which only lasts until the next rain storm and then it starts all over again...

For those of you who live in big cities this will be no big deal...but just bear with me...(speaking of bears:  I think I've already shown you this one, but just thought I throw this in here since he appears to be laughing at us...)

Okay, back to the exciting photos from the city:

Oh wait...let me throw in a recent cloud picture first...you've heard the saying "I'll believe that when pigs fly?"   Well, the other morning I looked up in the sky and thought for sure I could see a pig flying by:
Can you see him? He has a little wing just above his back, right behind his little piggy face...Well, it did look like a pig flying when I first noticed it, but by the time I got out my phone and found the camera, it had changed a little...but it sure made me think that I may have to remember all those things I said I'd do or believe when pigs fly... LOL

Okay, back to the construction...I promise, no more delays:

On this one I mostly was noticing the fountains and the palm trees...but you can see the beginnings of the construction in the distance.
 Big Cranes everywhere...

 I'm glad we are headed the direction we are because the traffic looks worse on the other side...but at least the sign says "Dinner is Done"...not sure what it is, but it is done...
 More cranes in the distance. The clouds are fun too.
 New highways being built over top of old ones...

Better watch out for the crazy curves ahead in the road...

 I feel rather sorry for the people living in those apartment buildings in the middle of all these roads going all around them.  Can you imagine trying to sleep with all this noise???
 Again, just another picture of cranes against the clouds...

 I imagine this will look like a spaghetti junction when it is all connected
 I am so thankful I don't have to drive in this every day.  I'll take my dirt roads and woods any day...

Ah, do you see it? In the middle of all the chaos of these roads and construction and clouds, there is a huge cross...reminding us that Jesus is here in the midst...watching over the construction workers, the travelers, and giving us a moment to pause and give thanks for His peace and love and protection.

What a wonderful reminder that "Jesus Is The Answer" for this old world today...

How many of you remember Andre' Crouch singing "Jesus Is The Answer" ?

Written and performed by Andre' Crouch


Jesus is the answer, for the world today,
Above Him there's no other,
Jesus is the way.3x

Verse One:
If you have some questions
In the corners of your mind,
Traces of discouragement,
The peace you cannot find,
Reflections of your past,
Seem to face you everyday,
But this one thing I do know,
That Jesus is the way.

Jesus is the answer, for the world today,
Above Him there's no other,
Jesus is the way.3x

Verse Two:
I know you've got mountains,
That you think you cannot climb,
I know your skies are dark,
You think the sun won't shine,
But in case you don't know,
That the word of God is true,
Everything he's promised,
He will do it for you.

Jesus is the Answer, for the world today,
Above Him there's no other,
Jesus is the way.3x
Instrumental break

Jesus is the Way(The Truth and the Light)5x

So, No matter where you are, or no matter what the noise and strife is around you...never forget that Jesus is there with you...He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Philippians 4:6-7  (ESV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

After our excursion into the big city it was so nice to come back home to our country road and this...

"Country Roads, lead me home, to the place where I belong..." 
 This little deer just let me follow him all the way down the road. He was in no hurry to get anywhere...
 Hmmm, is he trying to tell me something? 
"Country Roads, lead me home..."
I love how he just stood there and posed for me...absolutely in no hurry...
 So I let him ramble on down the road and I turned around and headed back to my home...and look who I found sitting in the middle of the road?

 Must be "Thumper"...
And this must be the end of my journey for today...

I will leave you with these wonderful thoughts:

Isaiah 41:10-13  (ESV)

Fear not, for I am with you;

    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Behold, all who are incensed against you

    shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
    shall be as nothing and shall perish.
You shall seek those who contend with you,
    but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
    shall be as nothing at all.
For I, the Lord your God,
    hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
    I am the one who helps you.”

Praise God!!!! This gives me such peace in the midst of the chaos of life...How about you?

Okay...back to Friday Foto Friends...Let's ride on over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace and see what our other friends are sharing.
Friday Foto Friends

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What Does God Do? - Revisited

Originally Posted 7/19/17...one year ago...but I think it bears repeating. We recently read these same verses in our Home Bible Study, and these attributes of God got my attention once again. Perhaps you would like to be reminded of God's omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience...it is always a comfort to me.

Original Post:
During our morning devotions today I was struck by several things that God does (among many other things, but I will only list a few here today)

Exodus 3:7 (While speaking to Moses from the burning bush)

"And the Lord said:
  • I have surely SEEN the oppression of My people who are in Egypt;
  • and have HEARD their cry because of their taskmasters,
  • for I KNOW their sorrows."
So, we have a God who can SEE, HEAR, and KNOW His children...

And from Psalm 103:3-8, We have a God who....

  • Who FORGIVES all your iniquities,
  • Who HEALS all your diseases,
  • Who REDEEMS your life from destruction,
  • Who CROWNS you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
  • Who SATISFIES your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
  • The Lord EXECUTES righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
  • He MADE KNOWN HIS WAYS to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
  • The Lord is MERCIFUL and GRACIOUS,

There Is None Like You Lyrics (By Lenny LeBlanc)
There is none like You,
No one else can touch my heart like You do,
I can search for all eternity Lord
And find, there is none like You.

There is none like You.
No one else can touch my heart like You do,
I can search for all eternity Lord
And find, there is none like You.

Your mercy flows like a river so wide,
And healing comes from Your hand.
Suffering children are safe in Your arms,
There is none like You.

There is none like You, ( There is none like You, Lord)
There is none like You.

I can search for all eternity Lord,
There is none like You.
I can search for all eternity Lord,
There is none,( there is none,)
There is none Lord,
There is none like You.

I Kings 8:22-23
"Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven;
And he said: "Lord God of Israel, THERE IS NO GOD in heaven above or on earth below like YOU, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts."

What a mighty God we serve!!

(Photos from our walk this morning)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sermon Notes: "Off We Go"

"Off We Go" on another adventure in gleaning from God's Word...and today's message started in Acts 1:7-8, and then traveled around to various other places that we will explore as we arrive there.

Before we get started, here is a picture of the Interlachen Methodist Church from 1895...
picture from Internet www.interlachen-fl.gov

 And here is how it looks today:
I love that this little church has retained the character of it's beginnings, and that it still has a warm, loving spirit that welcomes all who enter its doors.  We feel blessed to be a part of this local gathering of the Body of Christ.  They live up to the Gospel mandate to be a witness for Christ, as we studied in our lesson today.

And so, that being said, let us begin:

Acts 1:7-8
7.  "And He said to them, "It is not for you to know 
times or seasons which 
the Father has put in His own authority.
8.  But you shall receive power 
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; 
and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, 
and in all Judea and Samaria, 
and to the end of the earth."

  • What is our calling? 
  • What has God called us to do?  
  • We are to be witnesses of what we have seen and heard and experienced.
How do we take our every day lives and turn it around and share it as a witness for Jesus Christ?
  • We need to PRAY and WORSHIP...
  • When a church tries to live for Christ...Satan starts to tremble.  We are supposed to shake him up...
Mark 16:15 says:

"And He said to them,
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature..."

  • PRAY
  • GO
Read Acts 2:1-4

Why were the disciples in an upper room?  They were waiting...they were listening for and waiting on God...and they were "all with one accord in one place"...in agreement and waiting and worshiping together.  And then the Holy Spirit came and filled them with His Spirit...and gave them the message of salvation to take to the uttermost parts of the world.

Our witness starts with a closer relationship with Jesus Christ...
We can't give what we have not received.  To be a witness means that we must love God like never before...love people like never before...even when people can be difficult to love.  That's what we are called to do.  

When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost over 3000 souls were added to the Kingdom. (see Acts 2:41)  
In Acts 2:42-47 we see the beginnings of the Christian church...this is what they did:
  • They continued steadfastly in the Apostle's doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (verse 42)
  • Many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. (43)
  • All who believed  were together, and had all things in common. (44)
  • They sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. (45)
  • Continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart (46)
  • Praising God and having favor with all the people...and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (47)
John 13:35 says, 
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Live like never before...live in community with one another...
Acts 3:1-8...The lame man asked Peter and John for "alms" (money), and in verse 4, Peter said to the man:

4.  "Look at us"
6.   "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you;
in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk".
7.  And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, 
and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.8.  So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God."

Matthew 5:16 says:

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

Does the Father in heaven see your good works today?  Are you fulfilling the call to worship Him, to work for and serve Him...to witness for Him in the world?  Do others see and ask, "Why are you different?"

Acts 3:12  "So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people:  "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?"

When is the last time you've done something to "surprise" your neighbors or friends or family regarding your relationship with Christ?

Read  Acts 3:12-16... 
  • Can you stand and tell your story? 
  • Can you give an answer to everyone who wonders why you are so happy...What has God done for us?  
  • Be ready to share...
We should be like a rescue station next to the gates of hell...ready to rescue people from entering into hell by sharing our testimony and witness for Christ and what He has done for us.

  • Are you a witness for Jesus Christ today?
  • Are you living a life so that others can see Jesus Christ living in you?

Appropriately our closing hymn was "Take the Name of Jesus with You"...

Take the name of Jesus with you,
Child of sorrow and of woe;
It will joy and comfort give you,
Take it then where'er you go. 

    Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
    Hope of earth and joy of heav'n;
    Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
      Hope of earth and joy of heav'n. 

Take the name of Jesus ever,
As a shield from every snare.
If temptations round you gather,
Breathe that holy name in prayer. 

Oh, the precious name of Jesus,
How it thrills our souls with joy;
All the favor of the Father
In this name we may enjoy. 

At the name of Jesus bowing,
Falling prostrate at His feet,
Claim His vict'ry over evil
And the enemy defeat.   Amen!

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/miscellaneouslyrics/christianlyrics/takethenameofjesuswithyoulyrics.html

Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given.  I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously.  Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said.  Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear...  That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts.  So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.

Sermon Notes 7/15/2018, Pastor A.C. Myers, FUMC, Interlachen, FL.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Walking Down Memory Lane

Today we visited the little town of Interlachen again, the same town where we now attend church and where our son and his bride reside.  I've been wanting to visit the historic Interlachen Hall and museum, and we just happened to arrive at the right moment today. 

Here are a couple of links that will give you more information about this quaint little town and its history:

Town of Interlachen website    Link to historic photos of Interlachen

Here a few photos of some of the things I found interesting:  (few to me might be many to you, but bear with me, okay?  :)   )

This is a "doll house" replica of the old "Brush Store", which was the former post office and general store for many years. The building is still standing, but is in very bad repair.  Unfortunately, it has become too costly to restore, so may eventually need to be torn down.
This is a picture of how it looks today:  (it is no longer occupied or having "jammin" sessions.)

This is a postcard view of how it used to look:

I was fascinated by the detail of this "doll house" interior, and took a lot of pictures, but sadly my reflection shows up in many of the pictures as there is a glass covering over the sides of the doll house to protect it...hopefully you will still get the idea:   I was amazed that the lady who was our hostess tour guide is the person who actually created this outstanding display. 

Here are just a few other pictures from inside the museum:

There was much more to see, and we didn't have time to go upstairs today. I hope to go back soon and spend a little more time there. 

After this we went to see the old Lincoln Lane School House building that they are hoping to restore. They were having a yard sale there to help raise funds for the restoration:

Here is the history of this building.  It was the schoolhouse for the "African American" children, grades 1-8, built in 1938.

Exterior of the building...

Interior of the building...all the walls and ceiling were beadboard. This is where the stove pipe went for the pot bellied stove.

The old windows are currently boarded up.

They are collecting old fashioned desks like this to put in this building when it is restored.

Of course I would notice the glass doorknob, which I am amazed is still on this door. They do have another door that covers this when they close it up, so maybe that's why it's still there:

This might be a case for "Closed Doors, Open Windows"....

Yes, I like that thought...they may have closed these doors, but the children who used to have to go here to school were given new windows of opportunity when they closed these doors...and that was a very good thing...

I brought away some "souvenirs" from this little trip. For a donation for the restoration of this building I was able to purchase a couple of interesting things from their yard sale...

#1  I purchased this very lovely white teapot (although upon looking it up I discovered it is actually a "coffee pot" because of its size, but we won't tell anyone, will we? Everyone knows I am a "tea-totaller", and I really don't have any use for a coffee pot!   

It is actually a "Wawel" brand, made in Poland,  vintage "tea" pot, and the pattern is "Elegance Fine China". The only flaw is that the lid has a crack in it that has been glued back together.  I will be on the lookout for a replacement lid if one can be found that is affordable. I am calling this my "freedom tea pot"....since it was purchased at this particular old school house, which reminds me of the freedom that was gained through The Civil War for those who were once bound by slavery...and then it was almost 100 years later that the African American children were finally allowed to attend public school with their white neighbors.

#2 Item that I purchased was this little song book for children:

It was copyrighted in 1899 by A. Flanagan, and this particular booklet was a revised edition published in 1916.  It is filled with cute little songs for children for "primary and intermediate grades".  I found many interesting songs, but this one struck a chord for me today:

And so, in honor of "Doll Day",  (and also because I was in a tea-party mood since I had bought that lovely teapot), I decided to have a tea party with my dolly.  However, I decided it would be especially nice to use my antique Buster Brown child's tea set that belonged to my mother (which she inherited from her older sister).  So here is my dolly tea party:

The doll is one that I had actually given to my mother many years ago, to remind her of me, since I had red hair.  
"Come, my dolly, let us play,
for today is dollies' day;
I will smooth your pretty hair,
Your best ribbon you shall wear.
Would you like a cup of tea?
Sit at table here with me;
Here's a chair, don't be afraid;
Just for you this party's made."

Let Freedom Ring!!

I hope you enjoyed walking with me on this long, rather circuitous journey through a maze of various places and memories.  After all, it is "Summer time, and the livin' is easy..."

"Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'
So hush, little baby, don't you cry
One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singing
And you'll spread your wings and you'll take to the sky
But till that morning, there ain't nothin' can harm you
With daddy and mammy standin' by"

(from Porgy & Bess, by George Gershwin, 1935)

Okay, that's all folks!