• Excerpt from August, 2020 "The Mountain Top Messenger" newsletter...

    Greetings all, I pray this message finds you well. As we enter into our sixth month of the Covid-19 craziness I find myself at a bit of a loss for what to write about this month...

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August 2020 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
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Greetings all, I pray this message finds you well. As we enter into our sixth month of the Covid-19 craziness I find myself at a bit of a loss for what to write about this month. It seems I have covered a number of topics that relate to our situation. I have talked about how we must trust in the Lord because whether it seems like it or not, (sometimes we weak and mistrusting souls tend to lean towards the not) God is in charge. Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." My friends, you and I are those called according to his purpose. And even though at times it seems this world is spinning out of control, God is in charge. You see I believe part of the problem is, we in our state of human selfrighteousness and like to think we are in control. I also believe that our advisory, the devil, likes to take our desire to be in control and throw it in our face to try and steer us in the wrong direction. I have used this phrase a number of times; If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. We sometimes become a little too comfortable with the belief that we are in charge of our lives. Now don't get me wrong, we do have some control over our day to day lives and how we do and don't do things. But when it comes to the big picture, we often forget that God has a plan for us as well. And you know what? Sometimes His plan and ours, well, they don't always line up very well and things have to change. Now sometimes God does change a little, after the golden calf incident God wanted to start over, but Moses convinced him to give them another chance. Other times, God doesn't change and we have to do the changing.

I look to myself as an example of that. All of my life, for as long as I could remember I felt God had something he wanted me to do, that he had a plan for me. Most of my life I resisted, I would move toward it and then something would draw me away. I always felt a call to help people in one way or another, and most of my professions followed that call. Finally, after decades of resistance I began to heed his call and here I am. Those who had known me in my early years and even some in the later years upon hearing of what I do now often respond with a simple word, "really", or maybe "you're a what"? Sometimes I find it hard to believe the journey we have taken together. However, I also find as I look back at that journey, how God's hand is there, in so many places. Places where I received a little push or a nod of encouragement, so many people who seemingly out of nowhere lent a guiding hand. And for what? For the glory of God! Following last Sunday's message online I received a message from a listener who said the following; "A powerful, hope filled sermon. Spoken with conviction and sincere belief." As I thought of those words and of my calling there could be no higher praise. I can ask for nothing more than your understanding and belief that I always speak out of true conviction and a sincere belief. The Lord has put me here to do exactly that and through the power of the Holy Spirit He has allowed me to share with you, with complete assurance, the understanding that your salvation and mine are guaranteed by and through our faith in Jesus Christ. That is the message that must be delivered by faithful preaching of God's Word and administration of His sacraments. I live each day trying to do my best to share that message through what I say, what I do, and how I live my life. Am I perfect? Not by any means, for I am a sinner. But I pray God's forgiveness and get up off my knees and continue in the best way I know how. And I know in my heart, regardless of what is going on in this world, regardless of whether I have to wear a mask, or social distance, for those who love God, all things work together for good!

So, as we continue on in this journey until we are either called home or our Savior makes his glorious return, keep your chin up, hold your head up high and know that your God is and always will be in charge. God bless you all, stay safe, stay health, and we will persevere.

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

In His service,
Pastor Rick