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HomeChurches ( February 1, 2023 )

Pastor's Corner

By Pastor Vince Chiaramonte

Good day dear hearts, I love you. A few weeks back when we first started this journey I suggested how important it is for us to be in prayer and in God's Word every day. There are many advantages to having our personal time with God. First and foremost, we establish a personal relationship with God and much more. Staying in God's Word everyday gives us insight to the truth.

For some of us, equipping ourselves to read the Bible daily, many of us read a daily devotional. There are some daily devotionals written by well known preachers and teachers. And then there are some devotionals known as the Upper Room or Daily Bread. I like these a lot because I find them to be very meaningful. They are very short stories written by people like you and me. They start off with a Scripture and then a very brief story of how this Scripture affected them.

Today I want to share one of those brief stories I read many years ago that is appropriate to my point. It was in the Daily Devotional known as the "Upper Room". Here's the Scripture. Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."

Here's the story. It starts off with a woman who explains that for some unknown reason her neighborhood had developed an overpopulation of stray cats. It began to become a problem because the cats would continually tear everyone's garbage apart for their meals. Several of the neighbors got together and decided to provide food and drinking water for the stray cats to stop them from making the mess they always made. Apparently, the people in the neighborhood all must have loved cats because they named all of them.

The woman goes on to tell the story of the situation turning out pretty good. All the cats cooperated and were well trained except for a cat named Smokey. Smokey was seen eating from the bowls and drinking the clean water from time to time, but for the most part he would go to the garbage, tear things up and then drink the water from the gutter and puddles.

One day, the woman caught Smokey going through a neighbor's trash and yelled at Smokey. She said, "Smokey, why are you messing with that garbage when I've got so much better for you here".

Later on, the woman remembered the part in Psalm 34:8 where God's Word said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." The woman thought, how many times has God asked her that question. Yes! God talks back to us through His Holy Spirit. You may think I'm nuts with that statement, but I challenge you to develop that intimate relationship with God and He will talk to you. Then we can be nuts together.

God's way has so much to offer us, yet we choose to pick through the garbage of life to meet our needs. And that garbage ranges from anger, alcohol, eating disorders, abusive relationships and so forth. This one verse I quoted to you does not mean check out God's credentials. Instead it's a warm, loving invitation, like mama inviting you to take a taste of your favorite meal. My point is with Jesus in our life, with reading God's Word and praying, God will present to us the best of the best. God won't make our problems go away, but He will teach us how to deal with them properly.

I want to bring your attention to the plight of Felicia Scrivner, Kenny Scro and baby Logan. Many of you are aware but the latest report is that prayers are being answered. This little guy was struck with a myriad of illnesses. COVID, Pneumonia, infection in his lungs and so forth. Let's be Susquehanna strong for this family in prayer and let's keep filling up the coin cups in the various locations.

Let us pray: O God, help us to taste the goodness of you. And that through your Word we will stop at the garbage pile of life, pick it up, and throw it in the garbage truck to be taken away forevermore. Bless our community and let your Spirit hover over us until we meet again. May God bless you all.

How am I doin'? Send me an email clearmountain2158@gmail.com. Talk to me, ask questions. Is there anything specific you would like me to address? We are in the process of building a new website with a prayer wall. Join us on our FB page at First UMC of Susquehanna, PA for prayer requests, watch our Sunday service at 11:00am, or if you need to talk call 570-853-3988.

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