Pastor Bud's Blog

The Season of Lent

The Holy Season of Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.  Often this season is practiced by "giving up" something as we remember all that Jesus gave up for me and for you. Some have begun to "add" a particular Christian discipline such as intentional daily prayer or a commitment to read scripture or perform random acts of kindness.  Whatever may be meaningful to your walk through the Season of Lent, please consider how the next few weeks can be an intentional time of spiritual growth for you.

 You are in my constant prayer during this season.

Pastor Bud

Emmanuel -- God With Us

This past weekend we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent.  It is the season, once gain, to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  As I think about "cause and effect," I'm overwhelmed when I realize all that God has done for us through Jesus.  His birth, his life, his teaching, his ministry of healing, his provision and friendship, his suffering, his death, his resurrection... well, it's almost too much to consider.  In the season of Christmas we acknowledge that God in Jesus Christ is HERE WITH US.  He's here with you.  He's here with me.  Whether we are working at our job, hanging the Christmas lights, doing the laundry, fixing supper, reading to the kids or grandkids, looking at the checkbook to pay the bills, sitting in the hospital room, God is here with us.  In spite of all that is going on around us, God is here with us.  Now that's what I call the foundation of true peace.

In Psalm 73, the psalmist says: "I was so foolish and ignorant -- I must have seemed like a senseless animal.  YET, I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand.  You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you?  I desire you more than anything on earth.  My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart.  He is mine forever."

Jesus was born a human child and he was called Emmanuel, which means "God with us."  He was here in human flesh for 33 years.  Then he sent his Spirit to be with us always:  today, tomorrow, always, every day, every circumstance, every situation. To me, that's the solid foundation of true peace.  We are never alone.  God is always by our side.  We can live in peace, assured of God's presence and love.

Make this your prayer today:  "Father, thank you that you are not in some far away, unreachable place.  Thank you that you are here with us -- not just in this Christmas season -- but right now today and forever.  Amen."

May you experience great peace in the midst of whatever is going on in your life this Christmas season.  You are unconditionally loved by God and by me.

Pastor Bud

You are Invaluable

Two things determine value:

1.  What Someone Is Willing To Pay.

How much is a house worth?  How much is a baseball card worth?  Or a piece of artwork?  They are all worth as much as someone is willing to pay for them. People may pay thousands of dollars for a baseball card and millions of dollars for pieces of art and beautiful homes.  Whatever someone is willing to pay is part of how the value of an item is determined.

2.  Who Owned It in the Past.

A car that was owned by Elvis Presley is much more valuable than a similar car I might own.  A guitar played by John Lennon is much more valuable than my guitar. A pair of basketball shoes may sell for thousands of dollars... if they were once worn by Michael Jordan.  Whoever owned the item in the past is a contributing factor when determining the value of the item.

Based on those two things, ask yourself these two questions: "What is someone willing to pay for me?" and "Who do I belong to?"

1 Corinthians 7:23-24 says:  "All of you... were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side" (MSG).

Jesus paid an incredible price for your salvation and your eternal life.  He gave his very life for yours. The price he was willing to pay for you demonstrates your incredible value to God.  Furthermore, you belong to God.  You were created for God's pleasure and for God's purposes in this world.  And God cherishes and loves you.  

You are, in fact, INVALUABLE.  No one can put a price on your immeasurable worth. Keep that in mind next time you wonder if you matter.  Because you do.  

Pastor Bud

About Us

Harlem Road Church is a healthy, growing, spiritually vital, risk-taking faith community where Christian disciples make and equip Christian disciples in partnership with the Holy Spirit. Our mission is to glorify Jesus Christ as we reach out to all people as children of God. We nurture our relationships and our faith through worship, education, instruction, and fellowship.

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Galena, OH 43021

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