November 2020

11.28.20 Saturday

2020-11-28T06:15:47-06:00
Good Saturday morning. We will be handing out Advent bags Sunday morning from 8-11. Come get yours. You can also pick up for others and deliver. We are saving postage!


Revelation 5: 11-14

11 “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 singing with full voice,


“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered

to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might

and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,


“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb

be blessing and honor and glory and might

forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.”


Christian Rossetti wrote, “Heaven is revealed to earth as the homeland of music.” This passage is the greatest chorus of praise in the universe! The praise comes in three waves with ever widening circles. First, the four living creatures and twenty four elders (nature and the church). Second, the praise of the myriads of angels (all those in heaven). Third, every created creature singing praise.


Try to imagine what a chorus, orchestra, band, choir, all of the music you can think of all in tune lifting up praise! Wow, just wow! “Joy to the World”. And I thought the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was really something!


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.28.20 Saturday2020-11-28T06:15:47-06:00

11.27.20 Friday

2020-11-27T05:19:58-06:00
Good Friday morning. Post Thanksgiving coma! I hope you had a delightful day thanking God for all His provision! I’ll be at church from 10 – noon for you to drive up and pick up your Advent bags.


Here comes the Lamb. Revelation 5: 6-10

6 “Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. 8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sing a new song:


“You are worthy to take the scroll

    and to open its seals,

for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God

    saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;

10 you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,

    and they will reign on earth.”


The Lamb is at the center of the circle, the center of the scene in John’s vision. The Lamb is the focus of every eye. According to my Barclay book, “The idea of the Lamb is one of the great characteristic ideas of the Revelation. In the Revelation Jesus Christ is called the Lamb no fewer than twenty-nine times.”


The Greek word used for Lamb in the Revelation is different from the rest of the New Testament. We have heard Jesus called, “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” in John 1:29 and 36. Most of the other times the word “lamb” is used, it is in the form of amnos. But, in the Revelation, it is in the form of arnion. This is a new conception of the “lamb.” It represents one that has been slaughtered. In this part of the Revelation, we see Jesus as the one who gave himself for us to save us from sin.


Of course, it is interesting to note, that this lamb has seven horns and seven eyes! John’s explanation is this, “which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” (This comes from Zechariah 4:10) This is a picture of power and honor, but also the One who was slaughtered. 7 is the number for completeness. Here stands the slaughtered lamb, complete, perfect, full of power and might, who sees everything from all corners of the earth. This is an image of the humiliation of death juxtaposed with the glory of the risen One!


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.27.20 Friday2020-11-27T05:19:58-06:00

11.25.20 Wednesday

2020-11-25T06:50:44-06:00
Good Wednesday morning. Thanksgiving Eve. You are invited to watch our Wednesday worship service tonight at 6 pm. Also, drive by the church between 3 & 5 to pick up your Advent Bags. Other pickup times are Friday 10-noon and Sunday 8-11. Let us know if you can’t get one and we’ll deliver.


Revelation 5: 2 -5  “and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”


Two reasons why John may weep when no one was able to open the scroll. 1. In 4:1, a promise is made that he will be shown things. It appears that this promise is not going to be kept. 2. God has no one to tell all the secrets of the universe to. The world is so sinful no one was worthy to hear the voice of God. Keep in mind, this is a vision. People who refuse to learn cannot be taught! People who refuse to listen cannot hear a message.


When the world’s voices and messages overwhelm the listener, God’s Word is drowned out. We must tune our ears to “the still small voice of God.” One of the elders tells John to stop weeping because the Lion of Judah is able to open the scroll. God, of course, had the solution. John didn’t need to weep. He wasn’t patient enough to wait. Sometimes we are like that!


Because of Jesus’ victory over death and the powers of evil, He is able to know God’s heart. Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb. The strength and power of a lion is fitting for the greatest member of the tribe of Judah. The word and image of the Lion of Judah is particularly Jewish and has its origins in the Old Testament.


The lamb is a newer concept highlighted in the Revelation with a new word, (arnion). More on the lamb tomorrow.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.25.20 Wednesday2020-11-25T06:50:44-06:00

11.24.20 Tuesday

2020-11-24T06:16:43-06:00
Good Tuesday morning. How are your Thanksgiving preparations coming along? This will be different T-day to say the least. I hope you are able to visit with your family and friends by phone, FaceTime, Zoom, or whatever means you are comfortable with.


Revelation 5:1-5


5 Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; 2 and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”


Try to imagine the scene that John is visioning. The origin of this passage must come from John’s knowledge of Ezekiel’s vision. (Ezekiel 2: 9-10) John sees a scroll, not a book. And the writing is on both sides. That would indicate that there was much to write about.

There are two possible explanations for the seven seals. One Roman document sealed with seven seals was a will. Seven witnesses had to seal it with their seals and it could only be opened when all seven witnesses were present. This roll might be God’s will or final settlement of the affairs of the universe.

Or, it was an exaggeration standing for extreme secrecy, meant only for God’s eyes.


We could get all bound up in the idea that God has fixed and settled everything that was, is, and is to come in some sort of written fashion. We are not in the iron fist of determinism and an inescapable fate. Remember the genre of John’s revelation is vision and poetry, not literal narration. God has a plan, a purpose and a design for God’s creation; there is a goal; and the purposes of God will be worked out in the end.


Then a mighty angel poses a challenge. “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” More on that tomorrow!

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.24.20 Tuesday2020-11-24T06:16:43-06:00

11.23.20 Monday

2020-11-23T06:32:24-06:00
Good Monday morning of Thanksgiving week. This is what Allison Hope wrote this morning on CNN Health. Before you read it, let me say this, “God is greater than anything this world has thrown at us this year.”


In her article, she is giving people permission to not be thankful. “In a year when a once-in-a-century pandemic collided with social and political unrest, an unhinging economy and job market, and increasingly severe weather events, I vacillate between feeling something more akin to sheer terror. That’s on the opposite end of the spectrum from gratitude. My cornucopia is impacted by supply chain shortages, global trade wars and an impending dark winter that is coming more quickly than I’d like…. I hereby rename Thanksgiving 2020 “Grumpstaking,”

apparently, she thinks she is funny!


We still have so much to be thankful for. I understand her point…to a point. BUT, God has given us so much. We must always give thanks. Even in the midst of all of this mess of 2020. It is true that many people are suffering from depression and overwhelming sadness at the current events, but it has been proven that thankfulness and gratitude actually improve attitude and mental well being.


What are you grateful for in the midst of this difficult year?


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.23.20 Monday2020-11-23T06:32:24-06:00

11.20.20 Thursday

2020-11-20T06:46:31-06:00
Good Friday morning. Getting excited for Sunday: 9:00 online or parking lot worship, Christ the King Sunday, Shawna preaching, basket and pie auction after the service! God is with us! God is good! All the time, God is good!


Revelation 4: 9-11

9 “And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,


11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,

    to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

    and by your will they existed and were created.”


Here, again, is the choir of praise and thanksgiving. Nature and the church all praising God. Here John uses an image which the ancient world would know well. He says that the elders cast their crowns before the throne of God. To ancient people, this was a sign of complete submission. When one king surrendered to another king, he cast his crown at the victor’s feet.


The Roman Emperor claimed to be Lord and God. But John’s people knew “kurios kai theos” Only God is Lord and God. Christians would not acknowledge the emperor’s lordship, so they were persecuted and killed. God hold first place in the universe in this text. The world belongs to God!


Go outside today and say those words. “The world belongs to God!” You can say them out loud or in your head. Cast your crown at His feet! You could also look up some music by “Casting Crowns.” They are a great Christian band.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.20.20 Thursday2020-11-20T06:46:31-06:00

11.19.20 Thursday

2020-11-19T06:52:40-06:00
Good Thursday morning. We had technical difficulties with our broadcast last night. Too bad, so sorry, but we are still learning! It is so heartbreaking for our state that Covid numbers keep rising. I believe we will come out of this stronger. Trust in God.


Back to the Revelation and the 4 living creatures. The early church decided that these creatures represented the four Gospels. Often these creatures find their way to stained glass windows in churches. At my church up north, my dad donated the window with the eagle representing the Gospel of John, in honor of my mom. He always liked when our family sat by the window, especially on Christmas and Easter.


Irenaeus wrote in 170 CE that the four living creatures represented the four aspects of the work of Jesus Christ, as represented in the four Gospels. Other writers assigned them differently, so there is no real conclusion as to which animal represents which Gospel. Augustine’s became the most widely accepted. Matthew=lion, Mark=man, Luke=ox, John=eagle.


The people to whom the Revelation was written are under the threat of the powerful Roman Empire. Think what it must have meant to them to be sure that behind them there stood no one less that God Almighty! Remember that when you feel Satan trying to overpower you!


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.19.20 Thursday2020-11-19T06:52:40-06:00

11.18.20 Wednesday

2020-11-18T06:26:21-06:00
Good Wednesday morning. Get out your shorts and flip flops; it’s going to be a tropical heatwave! I just read that Garry Trudeau has been producing the comic strip, “Doonesbury” for 50 years. How is that even possible? Did you know he is married to Jane Pauley?


Revelation 4:6b-8

“Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,


“Holy, holy, holy,

the Lord God the Almighty,

    who was and is and is to come.”


A lion, an ox, a human face, a flying eagle. Oh my. Six wings and full of eyes! These creatures show up frequently in this vision and they are always around the throne and near the Lamb. They are constantly engaged in worship and praise. Ezekiel’s vision contains nearly these same figures. (Ez 1.6, 10, 22,26) These are the angelic beings whose place is close to God and whose job is  guardians of the throne of God.


John would have been brought up with this imagery from Old Testament writings in Ezekiel, Isaiah, 2 Kings, Genesis and Psalms; and the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus. With Babylonian influence, they could have represented the four winds or the the four principal signs of the Zodiac. They stand for everything that is noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest in nature. Here we see nature praising God. Read Psalm 148 today to get a feeling for this type of praise.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.18.20 Wednesday2020-11-18T06:26:21-06:00

11.17.20 Tuesday

2020-11-17T07:22:08-06:00
Good Tuesday morning. Skoal! Vikings beat da Bears!


Revelation 4:5-8 (more beautiful imagery in heaven)


5 “Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God; 6 and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.


Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,


“Holy, holy, holy,

the Lord God the Almighty,

    who was and is and is to come.”


Lightning and thunder! The voices of heaven (Psalm 77:18 & Job 37:4) Seven torches (Rev. 1:4 & 3:1) the sevenfold gift of the spirit and the seven churches. Remember the Babylonian influence, too. They knew of seven planets and considered them divine.


Glassy sea. Maybe you remember this language from the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy”. Go ahead, sing it! This is something beyond all description. The belief was that above the firmament (heaven) perhaps there was a kind of floor consisting of a great sea. Psalm 104:3 says that God set the beams of His chambers upon the waters. John also spent time in Patmos where the waters of the Aegean Sea could look like molten glass. Or if you can imagine the highest ranking person in the universe living in a mansion with sparkling glass floors. You can pick what description you like best!


In the ancient world glass was dull and semi-opaque. Glass as crystal as John’s description would be precious indeed, like gold. This description gives us something to ponder. Spend a moment reflecting on what this image looks like to you.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.17.20 Tuesday2020-11-17T07:22:08-06:00

11.16.20 Monday

2020-11-16T06:49:45-06:00
Good Monday morning. Church will be moving to online and parking lot again as the Covid cases surge in our area. It is sad, but it is the responsible thing to do. We will keep you updated on Facebook and e-mail.


We will continue our study of the Revelation to John.

Revelation 4:4

4 “Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads.”


It is difficult to say with certainty what this verse means. Here are a few possibilities from Barclay’s interpretation. The 24 elders are dressed in white and wear crowns on their heads. There are many more verses in the Revelation that mention the 24 elders. In the Old Testament, there are indications of a kind of council or senate surrounding God. (1 Kings, Job, Isaiah, Genesis)


When the Jews were in captivity, they came in contact with the Babylonian worship of their 24 star-gods. In 1 Chronicles, the priests were divided into 24 groups to do priestly work. They could stand for the 12 apostles + 12 patriarchs. In the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, the names of the twelve patriarchs are on the twelve gates and the names of the twelve apostles are on the foundation stones of the wall. Or, it could be a symbolic representation of the faithful people of God.


The white robes have ben promised to the faithful if you will recall 3:4, and crowned in 2:10. Remember that this is a vision of what will be in the future. Maybe they symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel plus the Gentiles in an equal number. One day we will all stand in awe of the glory of God.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

11.16.20 Monday2020-11-16T06:49:45-06:00
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