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June 9, 2024

Our Word of God comes from 1 Peter 4:8 and is titled "

 

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."

 

In our fellow Servant Ryan's prayer request, he asked that we pray that doctors will stop neglecting medical care.  As you can see in my prayer, I directed our prayers to hospital administrators.  I have known and have been cared for by many doctors, and though there are some who could definitely use a few classes on listening to their patients and bedside manners, I do believe doctors desire to provide proper care to their patients.  Hospital administrators and insurance companies are very much bottom line driven.  My neighbor Tim, who lives just down the street from me and used to work for me in the battery factory, has experienced that firsthand.  The insurance company handling his medical bills not only threw up every roadblock they could to prevent him from being approved for disability, even though his doctor certified him as 100% disabled, and when their profits fell short of their annual goal from $5.1 million dollars, they reduced his and others payments and stopped denied some treatments and medications for a time period in an attempt to make up the loss in the new fiscal year.  I'm sure hospital administrators are having to deal with those type issues as well as they work to pay the bills and salaries of their hospitals, but many are also likely looking to increase bottom lines, thus impacting care of some patients.

 

If they were the only ones out there doing such things, then we would know exactly where to direct our ire, but the bottom line is the one and only true god to many companies, CEO's, CFO's and stockholders.  I know the company Tim and I worked for, along with so many others, used to care about the people who work there.  It wasn't uncommon for 3 generations of family members to be working there, but after the CEO retired and was replaced, people no longer seemed to be part of their concern, nor is quality.  It drove many of us into retirement or new jobs, losing literally centuries of experience and knowledge.  It mattered not to the company.  All that experience was tied to higher salaries and wages and was replaced with no experience but lower salaries and wages.  The bottom line may look better, but production is down, and scrap is up, which will eventually take a toll on that precious bottom line.  The people who took ownership in the company, the people who cared for the quality and success of the company, have been replaced with people who take no ownership and many who are just looking for a paycheck.  What used to be the best company to work for, with the best working atmosphere in the county, now constantly has a "NOW HIRING" banner facing out to the streets and highway.  Earnestly caring for and about people, showing love, concern and listening rather than focusing on the bottom line, would have likely allowed them to meet their goals far sooner without sacrificing experience, knowledge and people's livelihoods.  

 

Our scripture lesson tonight is not just about companies and bottom lines, it is about how we treat and care for others in our lives.  Our lives are like a company and what we prioritize in our lives can either make our lives a blessing or a torment.  At Master's Harbor, our focus is not just taking care of ourselves.  As Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:46, "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?"  When love is given unselfishly, love is often returned unselfishly.  But the greatest reward is what we are doing for ourselves.  We are learning to love beyond ourselves.  Indeed, we are placing our concern for others on the same level as ourselves.  And that is why our Father sees from Heaven and blesses us richly.  Not only in the lives we lead here on earth, but in our spiritual lives.  We are all sinful beings, and to sin is to sin against God.  But in our scripture tonight, Peter wrote what he could not have written if God didn't guide him to.  Through Peter, God told us... "love covers a multitude of sins."  So, as we point fingers at those who worship the bottom line as their one true god, let us show them an earnest love and lift them up in prayer, asking God to open their eyes as He has opened ours...

 

Let us pray...  Father, we know we are not perfect, but through your word we have learned much about the importance you place on us loving others as ourselves.  When we choose to focus on the negative things our brothers and sisters are doing in their lives, help us to not point our fingers in shame, but fold our hands in prayer and ask that you forgive our trespasses and theirs, and lead us and them away from temptation.  Write the message Jesus gave us indelibly on our hearts; "the greatest of these is love."  In Jesus' name we pray...  Amen...

 

Pastor Elmer

June 4, 2024

Our Word of God comes from Isaiah 40:31 and is titled, "Hope in the Lord"...

 

"Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint."

 

I have told you in the past how God communicates with my heart to provide me the messages I send out to you.  More and more of late, God doesn't so much communicate as I'm reading scriptures as he does as I'm going through prayer requests.  Today, as I read the words "doctors are hopeful" in Jacque's message, the first thing I thought of was, "well then, the doctors must be Christians."  From that, I immediately felt hope was the message I was to speak on.  As I went to google and typed in "hope in the Lord", Isaiah 40:31 was the first to pop up, which is great because it is one of my favorites because I have had so much trouble breathing over the years.  But today, as I read the words, the words "hope in the Lord" stood out rather than the running, walking and soaring on wings like eagles.  So that's where we're going in this message.

 

The first sentence in our scripture reading is, "Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength."  I couldn't help but think that even with all the problems I have had over the years with my heart attack, dying, blood clots, AFIB, leukemia, and now a pacemaker, how my strength, not to mention my life and my joy were restored at every turn because my hope and my faith is in the Lord.  God saved me when He shouldn't have.  When He didn't have to, He called out to me and placed me on the path.  His call to come to my salvation did not come immediately.  I had to work for it.  I had to demonstrate to Him that I was serious about this.  Not demonstrate that I was serious about receiving my salvation but demonstrate that I was serious about the purpose I started this journey.  My purpose was not for salvation!  My purpose was to get to know God!  I had preacher after preacher tell me about asking the Lord for forgiveness of my sins, but I had never had anyone invite me to know God.  That is until I was talking to a young man in Walmart one day and God used his mouth and his voice to communicate that he indeed did know God, and I wanted that.  That is what I pursued and after 4 years God finally brought me into His inner circle; allowing me to get to know Him.  Of course, that journey began with asking forgiveness of my sins, which turned out to be my ticket on the rocket ship to God that continues to this day to sore me to newer and greater heights.  I've gotten to know God more and more each and every time I sit down at this keyboard or have a conversation about the Lord with someone.  My spirit feels renewed and my hope soars.  And that is what I want for each of you.

 

But how can someone talk about hope without knowing the Lord?  Of course, anyone can say anything, so a person who does not know the Lord can still have hope, but their hope has no source.  Our hope comes directly from God who created us, who created the universe and everything in it.  Unlike others who hope on nothing, our hope is rooted in the Lord, a living, breathing deity who can make miracles happen.  The doctors who are getting ready to do all they can to save the life of Mark Duncan have had to witness the power of God in others they have treated in order to be hopeful.  They know everything about what the medications are capable of, but they have witnessed how for some the medications did not work and how it did work with others when they may have been worse off than those it didn't work on.  The same medication, but a completely different outcome.  That is the difference between, "I hope so" and "my hope is in the Lord!"  And of course, one day we will each pass from this world, but when we pass from this world, that will be with hope in the Lord as well.  Instead of passing into the unknown, which in itself can be very scary, we pass into the known.  We pass into the arms of a loving God, Lord and Savior.  While others pass from the only world they know into a question mark, we pass from this world into paradise.  Our hope in the Lord began on a cross, but continues with Him being a part of our lives each and every day...

 

Let us pray...  Father, we give thanks for the hope you have planted and nourished in our hearts.  We give you thanks for the knowledge that our hope in you is not a false hope.  We give you thanks that you felt we were worthy of such a gift that strengthens our soul and restores our spirit even as Satan tries to tear the walls of faith that surround us.  And for these things we give you all glory, praise and honor in Jesus' name...  Amen...

 

Pastor Elmer

 

May 30, 2024

 

Our Word of God comes from Romans 15:3 and is titled, "Insulting Christ"...

 

For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."

 

You know, as Pastor of this ministry, I have learned so much about our Lord that I never thought about or have never heard.  Being a Christian is not just about accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Unfortunately, many Christians consider the job completed once they have asked forgiveness of their sins and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, and as loving as our Father in Heaven is, that in itself will get us into Heaven.  But these things are merely the beginning of what can be a tremendous journey for the Christian as they take their walk with Christ.  I believe that a lot of Christians wind up being saved and consider themselves done.  They have their FIRE INSURANCE to keep them out of the flames of hell, and after that feel all they need to do is attend church every once in a while and wait for the day they pass from this earth.  But Jesus is so much more than just fire insurance.  The more we learn about Jesus, the greater our lives here on earth can be, and who wouldn't like their life to be a little, or a lot, better?

 

Take our previous message.  Paul told us we should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.  In that little message, we can see how us being kind to our neighbors, (our fellow man/woman), we are blessing them and in-turn we are blessed by God for doing something for others without expectation of reward for ourselves.  Though that was not written down in the scripture, it is there, the hidden message behind the message.  A message that helps us better understand the workings of our Father in Heaven.  Another way our life can be made better, right here, right now.  By knowing what God wants us to do, God is giving us the opportunity to be blessed now.  Now, just one verse later, Paul passes along another pearl of wisdom to us by telling us what Christ did and does for us.  Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."  How many times have we fretted and worried about what others say about us.  How many times has someone stolen your joy by something they said?  Paul is telling us that when others rain down insults on us, they are actually raining down insults on our Lord who has taken these things upon Himself, so our joy is only stolen if we allow it to be stolen.  Paul also said, "as it is written".  In Psalm 18:47-48, King David wrote, He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me.  What others think about us does not impact how God thinks about us, so right here, right now, do not let someone steal your joy.  But that's the written message.  What is the unwritten message that can help us better understand our Lord?

 

To better understand I again share what the message tells us; when others hurl down insults on us, they are actually hurling down insults on Christ.  The hidden message we imperfect Christians need to know for a better life right here, right now, is this; when we hurl down insults on others, we are hurling down insults on Christ!  Our scripture reading tonight is a coin with two sides.  Unless we take the time to look at both sides of the coin, it is extremely difficult for us to walk the path our Father in Heaven desires us to walk.  All the messages are there, but the hidden messages are there only for the children of God.  As Jesus explained to His disciples in Matthew 13:11-13, "Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand."  Knowing God, understanding His word, seeking and finding the hidden messages He has placed in our bible is an amazing gift for the Christian.  A gift we should all seek to get the most out of, NOW!  Unfortunately, even we Christians play with evil deeds as if they were toys.  Evil when someone else does things; "just" when we do the same thing.  Evil is evil and good is good, but by seeking God's hidden messages, we can learn to avoid the pitfalls we often find ourselves in and begin to live a more joyful life rather than casting down insults on others that results in us insulting Christ...

 

Let us pray...  Father, as much as we want to be faithful to your word, we do find ourselves too often, too late, playing with evil as though it were a toy or a tool to do our bidding.  This is not what you wanted for our lives here on earth.  That is why we give thanks for your word.  For the hidden messages you placed in there for your children and not for the wicked.  Help us, Father, to be better children.  Help us to sing praises to our Lord rather than hurl down insults on Him, thinking He does not notice.  Because we are weak, we pray this with the full strength of Jesus' name...  Amen...

 

Pastor Elmer

May 24, 2024

Our Word of God comes from Romans 15:2, and is titled, "For Their Good"...

 

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

 

As I sit here behind this keyboard, I would love to tell you about the responsibilities we have as children and Servants of God, but we all have so many responsibilities already, I'm afraid if I used that word, you and most people would simply tune out and say, "God knows I have enough to do already, I simply can't take on any more responsibilities!"  So, I'm not going to talk to you about our responsibilities.  What I am going to talk to you about are the things that can make our lives so much richer; so much more enjoyable, and I believe we could all use a little more of that in our lives.  So what I am going to talk about is the opportunities we have as children and Servants of God.  

 

Actually, as Servants of God through this ministry, I pray you are already experiencing a richer, more enjoyable life.  I know I certainly am.  Being active in life is a blessing in my life.  But one thing I have discovered over the years is this.  Our world is filled with two kinds of people.  People who do and people who don't.  Those who don't make up about 90% of our population.  These are the people who are focused on 4 things, me, myself, I and mine.  They are so focused on what is theirs; on what they want, that they simply don't want to be involved with anything else.  The other 10 percent are the ones who are getting things done.  We've all seen it in our Optimist clubs, Churches, Schools and other community activities.  There is always those 10 percent who go above and beyond.  Are they simply great organizers, or are they great opportunists?  Now believe me, I know I am preaching to the choir on this matter, because each and every one of you took the time, made the decision, to be a part of this ministry.  Adding something to your life that you hoped would be amazing; would fill a void in your relationship with God.  And over the years, you have continued to open the messages and pray for the people in need.  That in itself is an amazing opportunity.  To lift your voice to God in concern for others.  As for me, well I pray these messages have brought you closer to God, as you desired, but Paul hit on a topic here today that so many people overlook.  Our neighbors.

 

Now I'm not talking about the people who live across the street, to each side or behind you, I'm talking about talking to people instead of ignoring them.  Talking to people you are standing in line with.  And I'm not talking about spending an hour or two with them talking about everything that's going on in your life and asking about everything going on in their lives, like a neighbor of mine might do.  I'm talking about a simple greeting and a smile.  An acknowledgement that you are aware of their presence in your life and that you are happy they are there.  It would likely amaze all of us if we were to find out how many people felt alone in this world, even in a crowd.  It would also likely amaze us how much a smile and a simple greeting would mean to them.  A simple conversation singling them out for a few moments in time might brighten their day and give them the spirit they may need to lift their head and look up, instead of at the floor in front of them.  How much it would "build them up" as Paul so correctly put it.  For their good, not for ours.  We are children of God!  We already have the very best!  But I believe if we look at strangers and greet them as we would greet our true neighbors, we will not only be giving a blessing to others but will receive a blessing from our Father as well.  The opportunity presents itself daily.  All we have to do is be a part of that 10% that recognizes an opportunity and takes advantage of it, for their good...

 

Let us pray...  Father, help us to see our fellow man as our neighbor.  Help us to see them as a brother or a sister.  And help us to treat them as we would treat a neighbor, a brother, or a sister.  You have provided us the opportunity to have our hearts filled to overflowing with love.  Help us to not let those moments pass.  For their good.  For our good.  In Jesus' name we pray...  Amen...

 

Pastor Elmer

May 13, 2024

Our Word of God comes from Proverbs 18:10, and is titled, "A Fortified Tower"...

 

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

 

My dear brothers and sisters, in service to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, this verse is what we are praying for tonight.  In fact, this verse is what we are praying for in nearly all our prayers, for our brothers and sisters, and more so for those who have yet learned to seek the Lord.  Every time we are praying for someone, they are usually facing a terrible situation.  The Christian brother or sister knows the first place to turn, when trouble has found our doorstep, is to the Lord, and we are lifting our voices to fortify their pleas for help.  But for those who do not know the Lord, even though troubles can often be a nudge to turn them toward the Lord, many do not often think of the Lord the way you and I might.  They don't know that the Lord is a fortified tower of protection. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thus, it is our responsibility to lift them up in our prayers, with the love God has taught us over our years of service, that He might hear and answer our prayers and protect them as we have done tonight for Leanna and her daughter.  Tonight, they need a fortified tower of protection to surround them from all harm.

 

I hope this explanation of what we do as we go about serving our Lord through this ministry, gives you an understanding of just how important our work is.  Believe me, the sinners out there are not lifting Leanna, her daughter, or anyone else up in prayer.  They may be sending them well wishes, but well wishes do about as much good as giving them a greeting as they pass by them on the street.  The prayer of the Christian is personal.  Every word spoken in prayer is lifted on high by the Holy Spirit and directed straight to God's ear, where He hears and recognizes our voice.  We are not praying just to hear ourselves speak, we are getting personal with our Father in Heaven who loves us as His children.  Who loves us for the work we do for others and one another.  Who loves us for our faith, for the love we show and the caring in our hearts.  He loves that we identify those we pray for as one of His children, as our brother or sister.  This is what He has taught us to do, and He is very pleased that we have learned and practiced His teachings well.

 

This relationship we have with God is not only something special to us, it is equally as special to Him.  Yes, there have been many who have served just as we have over the millennia since all this began with Adam and Eve, but equally there have been many who have never paid attention to His calling.  Who have turned their back on the Lord and did things for themselves and nothing for others.  They served themselves rather than God.  They made themselves a god.  A god with no powers.  And still, God loves them so much that should they beg His forgiveness before they draw their last breath, He will be quick to forgive them.  But what have they done for God?  What have they done for their fellow brother or sister?  You, my brothers and sisters, have stood at the ready and responded when called.  You have served brothers and sisters that you don't even know, and you have served them as if they were part of your family, for that is what they are.  Without them even knowing it, you handed them the keys to the fortified tower of God.  How proud of your children would you be if they did that for others?  That's how proud God is of you.  Face it, my fellow Servants, you are amazing!!!

 

Let us pray...  Father, we thank you for the gift of teaching us how to serve.  The gift to serve our brothers and sisters as we serve you.  This was and is your desire for your children.  This is the desire that Jesus passed along to us when He said, "Love your neighbor as yourself."  The true guide to being a servant of God.  We give thanks in Jesus' name...  Amen...

 

Pastor Elmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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