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Wait Upon the Lord

Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
July 10, 2024
Isaiah 40:1-2, 30-31

Good morning! From where I sit at my home, I am enjoying the windows open and gentle breezes that bring such a welcome break from the extreme heat and humidity. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to wait for better days.

I was uplifted this morning with a song that a wonderful Pastor friend of mine shared in his meditation this morning. I remembered it from my youth group days, which seems so long ago now, and actually sang along this morning. Pastor Tony recommended a review of the text that inspires the song; “They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength”, so I read out loud, to myself and my cat, these wonderful words; “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint” and the song adds; “Teach me Lord, Teach me Lord to wait”.

This week I will be celebrating with many friends and neighbors from Lanesville, the life, death and resurrection of a sweet friend who has been waiting for quite a while to go home to heaven. She was such an inspiration to me of her attitude of gratitude even in the nursing home where she has been living for quite some time. The first two verses of our text today remind me to be a voice of comfort in just such a time as this;

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”

I pray you will be comforted and inspired this morning to wait upon the Lord for His next assignment for you, even has you run and walk on your journey in His kingdom work here today.



More Like Jesus...Less Like Me!

Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
June 27, 2024
Matthew 12:33-37

Today is a beautiful day in the neighborhood, would you be my neighbor? If so, I shall endeavor to love you as I love myself, which on some days feels a bit lacking. I hope you are feeling loved. You are loved, you know. For God so loved you that He sent his only begotten son to prove his love. If you feel less than loved, hold onto the fact and try to let go of the feeling.

One of the ways I want to share God’s love is by checking my words before I speak them. I’ve probably shared with you before, something my sweet and supportive husband often said to me when we were younger; “Honey, not everything that pops into your head needs to pop out of your mouth”. True that. Our scripture for meditation today includes this from Jesus;

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned”.


I’ve decided while I meditate upon this today, I will sing a little song by Zach Williams which in part says; “A little more like kindness, goodness, love and grace. A little more like patience, a little more like peace. A little more like Jesus, a little less like me”. May your heart be encouraged to know the deep, deep love of God and may the Holy Spirit direct your words.



Cool, Clear Water

Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
June 19, 2024
John 7:37-38

This morning, I had every intention to sit with my coffee, pray and study when my deck became active with squirrels, birds, a groundhog, and now a baby raccoon all looking for food and water. I knew it was already getting hot outside, so I decided to feed and water the zoo. Water, seemed to be the focus, so I cleaned our makeshift bird bath, emptied a cooler full of water bottles to be refrigerated, gathered water for our rosebushes; it was all about water. I will say my toes enjoyed the cool clear water as I cleaned and filled buckets.

Cool, clear water. What a blessing! In a world where so many do not have access to safe drinking water, I am reminded to try conserve while at the same time providing for all around me who need it. There is a thirst that is greater than being a bit dehydrated, it’s the thirst for righteousness. To be in right standing with the God who created each of us in His image and longs for us to seek His will and His way. Jesus spoke boldly to a crowd who had gathered for the Feast of Tabernacles, a crowd of thirsty people; “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow through him”. That’s what God wants all his children to be; pipelines of cool, clear, living water. Jesus was speaking about the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to bring life, help and hope to a dying, thirsty people.

Today marks a time of reflecting upon the many who have been left to go thirsty, who must have felt abandoned because of slavery. Many who had heard people preaching but didn’t see the reality of God’s love and provision through the preachers. It is hard to imagine that there were slaves who were emancipated, but didn’t know it, I understand that it would take nearly 2 ½ years after the emancipation proclamation for the slaves in Galveston Texas to be free. The sad truth is that there are untold numbers of people in bondage in many ways not due to their own making but do to an unjust culture. We need to bring them cool, clear, living water-a free gift that can bring true freedom.

Today, consider taking a bit more time to be thankful for the cool, clear, water you may have to sip on. Consider seeking how we all might be a better witness of forgiveness, justice and love. It can be refreshing.



My Father's World

Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
June 12, 2024
Psalm 40:4-5

This morning as I was sitting at our kitchen table, feeling a gentle breeze from a nearby window and listening to the birds chirp and the squirrels chatter, my eyes landed on Psalm 40 and I knew this might be a good place of meditation today.

The Psalmist writes; “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to falsehood. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare”.

The first thing I am reminded of in this reading is the fact that I live with a wonderful husband who does indeed put his trust in the Lord, and who does not turn to false thinking. He truly seeks wisdom from God, and helps me to deal with current events in our world, family and church and then prays with me over it all. The second nugget of wisdom I find in our passage for today is the reality that no matter how rough things are here on this side of heaven, there is so much for which to be thankful; “many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare”. Are you still counting your blessings?

This weekend we will celebrate Father’s Day at home and at church. It is a wonderful day to remember what a good, good Heavenly Father we have and to appreciate the men who are good fathers to us and our children here. Some may not have the same blessings I have shared with you, but we all have the same Heavenly Father, who created us lovingly in His own image and longs for us to recognize his goodness and find joy in praising him. Indeed; This is my Father’s world.

Still counting.



A Little out of Sorts

Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
May 29, 2024
Proverbs 10:8 + Ephesians 4:32

It is a most unusual day for me as I write our midweek mediation. It seems my allergies caught a cold and I have spent the last two days mostly inside resting, reading, trying to do chores and basically feeling out of sorts. I bet some of you have been in this spot a time or two. What is really crazy for me is that I have so many things I need to do that require quiet study and meditation that I should be happy I have this time, and still I am antsy.

I have found that when I am unsatisfied with myself or my surroundings, I can get a little mouthy. I speak before I think, I jump to conclusions, I am critical, well, you know what I mean.

Proverbs gives a little nugget of wisdom for me today, I hope it helps you when you find yourself a little out of sorts; “The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin”. I remember well a counseling session where the therapist stopped the conversation and said; “Why Mrs. Bleecker, you do use a lot of words”. To which I responded; “Why yes, I do realize I use a lot of words”. Not the most helpful of sessions, but it was an eye opener as to why I choose to talk so much from time to time (I feel my family say, “all the time"). On my desk calendar, I have another nugget of wisdom on this topic; “Wisdom has two parts: 1) Having a lot to say; 2) Not saying it.

Our passage from Ephesians today is another wise quote that is also on my desk; do you suppose I am trying to learn something about chatter? Paul writes to the church in Ephesus;

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” So, before I go off on what I think or feel, perhaps it’s good to take a deep breath of God and ask myself, is what I am about to say necessary, helpful, even requested? I pray we all might take a bit more time with the Lord in conversation before we start chatting with others. It just might change the whole day.



Happy Holy Days

Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
May 22, 2024
Romans 8:26-27

If I were to ask you what you thought the biggest Holy Days of the Christian Church are, what you include in your list? I’m guessing you would start with Christmas, celebrating the birth of our Savior. Next, I hope you would say Easter, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead after taking our sins to the cross. Would you include anything else?

I have neglected to plan and prepare for another great Holy Day of the church; Pentecost, which our church celebrated this past Sunday. I have always shared messages about the coming of the Holy Spirit to those gathered in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Pentecost. I’ve included songs and readings and all the usual things we do in worship on Sunday, but I have been guilty of not giving this Holy Day the attention and celebration that we expect for Christmas and Easter. Just about the time I am feeling somewhat capable in the ministry to which I have been assigned by God, I realize that there is so much more I could be doing to help folks around me understand what marvelous gift God has given to everyone who believes in Christ for salvation. In our scripture passage for today, the Apostle Paul explains how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know how to pray or what to do. Scholar T.J. Bach share this about our passage today;

“The Holy Spirit longs to reveal to you the deeper things of God. He longs to love through you. He longs to work through you. Through the blessed Holy Spirit, you may have strength for every duty, wisdom for every problem, comfort in every sorrow, joy in His overflowing service”. Now, that’s something to celebrate and share!

Happy Holy Days!



Warm is the New Cool

Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
May 15, 2024
Matthew 6:28-29

My son came to visit me today and while chatting about his youth ministry work and our congregational ministry, he reminded me that no one person can do everything that is needed in the church (duh!, I know that), but that most of the time people, especially young people are simply looking for someone they can warm up to. He gave me a new quote; “Warm is the new Cool”. Have you heard that? I like it. In reflecting on our conversation, I came across a meditation using Matthew 6:28-29 where Jesus is teaching his followers to not worry, but draw strength from the God. Oswald Chambers’; My Utmost for His Highest for May 18, in part reads: “The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies of the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. These are the lives that mold us. If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make of use unconsciously every minute you live.”

 Now I am singing a song I learned as a child written by Gloria and William Gaither; “I will serve you, because I love you, you have given life to me. I was nothing until you found me, you have given life to me…”




Midweek Study with Pastor Edith
May 8, 2024
Isaiah 41:13, Psalm 13:6

So much trouble in the world! We need a positive focus to help us understand our part in the healing of our hurting world. I found inspiration while doing the laundry today. I can almost hear someone say; “what is inspiring about laundry”? Well, it wasn’t the laundry itself that inspired me, it was a small poster I have taped to the inside of a cabinet that I opened in my laundry room. The Poster reads: “Yes, I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me” (Psalm 13:6). So, I decided to take a coffee break and read Psalm 13 and it helped me pray about the trouble in the world; “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” (vs. 2). And then David goes on to say what I long to say; “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me”(vs. 6). Needing a bit more of a spiritual boost I turned to Sarah Young’s devotional Jesus Calling and read the passage for May 8. She uses Isaiah 41:13 and shares what she hears God saying; “ask Me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is My living Presence, My hand that never lets go of yours. Discuss everything with Me. Take a lighthearted view of trouble, seeing it as a challenge that you and I together can handle”. Praying you will be encouraged today.