Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Good morning!  It’s Wednesday and don’t forget, it’s Jesus calling.  We believe that He is a risen, living God.  We’re reminded of that experience the women had at the tomb where the angel looked at them and said, “He is risen from the dead.”  He is risen indeed!  We need to remember that Jesus is alive and wants to be with us.  Because sometimes we can feel alone.  Sometimes we can feel like, where is God?

But we’re reminded of the words of Zephaniah where it says, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.”

How about it?  Do you believe I’m alive?  Do you believe I am with you? Do you believe that I’ve always got your back? I’m there for strength, comfort, peace, hope, and above all, I love you?

Have a great day and a great rest of your week knowing that I’m alive and I am with you. God bless.

Midweek Message Email July 28, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Hey! It’s Wednesday and guess what? It’s Jesus calling.  I want you to just think about it – it’s summertime and with summer comes a trip to the pool or to the lake.  And so often we walk into that water a little bit at a time. A toe… a foot… up to our knees… maybe, maybe up to our waist, but sometimes we never fully get in because we’re just not sure. It’s just too difficult.

And yet, are you willing to give yourself fully to Me? Give yourself completely to Jesus. Jesus completely gives Himself to you.  So remember these words from Hebrews 12:2-3, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” And from Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” And finally, these beautiful words from Psalm 48:14, “For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.”

We can’t just dip our toe in. I don’t want just part of you with Me. I want you completely with Me. This is Jesus calling. Just wondering, are you all in, or just your big toe? Have a great day!

Midweek Message Email July 21, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Welcome to Wednesday! And guess what? It’s Jesus calling.  I’m wondering, do you like being alone? I know a lot of people don’t. I know a lot of young kids who grow up always kind of fearing that time when they get left home alone for the first time or when they babysit for somebody in a big house and they’re all alone. Do you like being alone? Well guess what? You never, ever are.

“What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. Or, “But I trust in Your unfailing love. My heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise for He is good to me.” Psalm 29:11

How about it?  You know, God is always with us, Jesus is always by our side.  We need to be willing to bring our loneliness, our weakness, our joy, our sorrow, our celebrations all to Jesus – to Me! Because I am with you always. So, this week when you feel alone, remember, I’ve got your back. Have a great day!  

Midweek Message Email July 14, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Hi!  It’s Wednesday, and Jesus is calling.  Jesus might very well call and say, “Hey, do you have a place for Me in your day planner?”

It’s July. Things are getting busy again after a crazy year and calendars are starting to fill up.  The question is, is there room for Me – for Jesus?  Are you willing to follow Me and make Me a priority? It says in Psalm 91 “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Don’t you get it? I want you to follow me and I won’t let you fall. 

You see, the other problem is that when we fill up our planner, you don’t have room for Me.  But you also simply miss Me.  And when we miss God, we don’t renew our minds.  From Romans: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  Remember, it’s Jesus calling. Do you have time for Me? Are you willing to think like Me? Are you willing to have that extraordinary week and be like Jesus? Have a great and a blessed day. 

Midweek Messages Email July 7, 2021

 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Well, it’s Wednesday. Just imagine that it’s Jesus calling and He’s wondering how your week has been going. Ordinary? Or extraordinary? That’s what we talked about on Sunday – the challenge to live extraordinary lives. 

And then as I thought about these devotionals, it struck me: do we keep our focus on Christ at all times? Do you start every day looking to Jesus? For it says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.” (Isaiah 26:3) 

Or another way to think about it: is Jesus / am I your strength and your shield? Yeah, that’s right! In Scripture it says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” (Psalm 28:7)

How about it?  Has it been ordinary or extraordinary?  Is Jesus your focus, your shield, your strength? Or Jesus might look at us and say, “Am I #1 in your life?”

Have a great Wednesday and hopefully an extraordinary rest of your week. 

Midweek Messages Email June 30, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Good morning, happy Wednesday, and yes, it’s Jesus calling.  How about it?  Are you still trying to figure out when the perfect life will happen?  You know, when you’ll be able to solve all the problems and just sit peacefully in your chair? I hate to tell you, it’ll never happen.  This world offers us trouble, and we focus on the problems.  We strive for all the solutions, and we forget about the promise of God.  Psalm 112 reminds us “Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.  Good will come to those who are generous, and lend freely, whose conduct is just. Surely the righteous will never be shaken. They will be remembered forever.”

We need to find the ultimate gift of peace.  Not that we’ll solve every problem, not that everything will be perfect within our lives, but that we have the peace that passes all understanding. 

In the book of John it says, “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart, I have overcome the world.” Those are My words – Jesus’ words that indeed promise us of an amazing future.  Let go of the problems, let go of trying to solve them, trust God today.  God bless.  

Midweek Messages Email June 23, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Good morning!  Guess what?  It’s Wednesday and Jesus is calling.  But before that, I want to know – do you remember an old TV show called, “Who’s the Boss”? I remember watching it when I was a kid. It was a lot of laughs, kind of an interesting story line, but the question was always, who is the boss? The same is true for you and me.  And Jesus would look at you and say, “Who is the boss?”

Do you approach each day with the awareness that God is the boss?  Do you approach each day saying that the most important thing that I can do is seek God’s Face and seek God’s ways?  Jesus would say, “Look at Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.’” And then later on in verse 13, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

So, it’s Jesus calling, simply asking, “Who’s the boss?” And do you seek His face every day in all ways? God bless and have a great day!

Midweek Messages Email June 16, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Good morning!  Guess what, it’s Jesus calling.  Hey, are you ready for the day? Are you ready for tomorrow? Are you willing to let Me, to let Jesus prepare you for the day? I mean, if you think about it, think about Moses, who didn’t know what the future held. And still he remembered the words of the Lord who said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Moses didn’t know what was coming, but he trusted God.

How about it?  Is every day an adventure?  We may not know what is going on, but God is in control.  God has His hand upon us. And so, we think of the words from the book of Isaiah, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 Are you ready for today? Are you ready to see it as an adventure? Are you ready to believe and know that I am always with you and will never leave your side? Have a great day. Can’t wait until we talk again! God bless.

Midweek Messages Email June 9, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Hello!  Remember, it’s Jesus calling.  He would ask you when was the last time you went to the bank?  You know, to make a deposit or withdrawal, to save up for that rainy day… You see, every time that we affirm our trust in Jesus, we have a big savings account, so that when times get tough, we can trust, when we’re weak we can trust. 

It says in Psalm 33:20-21, “We wait in hope for the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice for we trust in His holy name. May Your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in You.” We need to go to the bank.  We need to deposit some more time trusting and rejoicing.  That’s right. 

Have you thought about 1 Thessalonians where it says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That’s right, we should be giving thanks as much as possible because trust and praise together make coping with life so much easier. 

So, remember, it’s Me calling.  And I’m just asking you: trust Me more and more and rejoice and celebrate and praise My name more and more. Have a great day. Don’t forget, Jesus is always with you. 

Wednesday Wonderings Email June 2, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  Remember – imagine that this is Jesus calling.  That’s right, Jesus, who says you can achieve the victorious life through living in a deep dependence on Me.  Not just the victorious winnings of this world – victory on the field, straight A’s, – but even in the tough times victory!  Psalm 17:34 “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them, He delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who have a crushed spirit.” Victorious in all things! 

And don’t forget that I’m able to do far more than you can even imagine. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21) That’s right!  Far more than we can imagine!

So, remember, you’re a winner in my book. I can help you along the way. When you stumble and fall, I’m there to pick you up.  Remember it’s Jesus calling, and I’ve got your back. Have a great day! God bless.

Wednesday Wonderings Email May 26, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Welcome to Wednesday…. well, I’m wondering if anyone’s wondering anymore.  I know from hearing about it that some people see the church’s phone number and they think, “Oh, it’s Pastor Paul again – ‘brothers and sisters in Christ at North Park’ and all that stuff…”

But what would you do if you knew it was Jesus calling?  If you knew that Jesus had something to say?  Would you get tired of it?  Would you check caller I.D.?  Would you let it go to voicemail?

I want to take an adventure with you and imagine what it would be like if Jesus called us and had something to say to us. And so we’re going to begin.  I’m going to be the one sharing the messages, but I want you to think, “Hey, this is Jesus calling and He’s got something to say.” Make sure you listen to the scripture, read the scripture, check the brief devotionals, and remember it’s Jesus calling, not, “Ugh, it’s just Pastor Paul all over again.”

Think about this: Psalm 27:8 “My heart says of You, ‘Seek His face.’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Or from Romans 12:2 “Don’t conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is God’s will, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

Get ready!  Because Jesus is going to be calling.

Wednesday Wonderings Email May 19, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Welcome to a weary Wednesday Wonderings.  What am I getting at? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of a lot of the things that have gone on over the last year, and right now I’m very tired of having a broken leg and being on crutches. And I’m tired of trying to find so many solutions for so many issues. And yet, you know what? Scripture is clear. It says:

 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9).

Therefore… be steadfast, immovable… your toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert… And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace… will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you (1 Peter 5:8, 10).

We as human beings get tired, and we get weary.  But God wants us to know that He’s got our back.  Jesus wants us to know He wants to inspire us.  And so, this day I hope and I pray that yes, we’re weary, but we can overcome because we serve and love a great God! Have a great day and a great wondering and don’t be surprised if things are a little different next week! God bless!

Congregational Letter and Wednesday Wonderings Email May 12, 2021

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Welcome to Wednesday Wonderings and I’m wondering what it will be like to drive again.  That’s right, it’s been 5 weeks for me since the doctor said I couldn’t drive.  I’m hoping that as you read this, I’ve gotten the clearance to drive again! I mean, I don’t know about you but for me driving is freedom, work, and everything else. 

When I think about driving, I think of Jehu. If you read from 2 Kings 9:20, it says “And the watchman reported, ‘He came even to them, and he did not return; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.’” I wonder, how do we drive?  And does our driving reflect our relationship with God, our bumper stickers, the things that are in our windows? I mean, driving – so much of it we do and yet what is the testimony that our driving gives?

I hope you have a great Wednesday and thanks for listening and thanks for thinking about these crazy thoughts.  And I hope to see you on the road!

Wednesday Wonderings Email May 5, 2021

 
 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Welcome to Wednesday Wonderings.  I’d like you to wonder about this passage:

“How magnificent is grace! How malignant is guilt! How sweet are the promises! How sour is the past! How precious and broad is God’s love! How petty and narrow are people’s limitations! How refreshing is the Lord! How rigid is the legalist!”

I wonder, can we really live that out?  This week I just want you to think about forgiving yourself, about forgiving others, the ability to let go of the past – maybe it was yesterday, a week ago, maybe it was ten, twenty years ago – something that still hooks you, that you feel like, wow, I’m such a failure or wow, that was such the wrong thing to do.  It’s time to experience grace and love and forgiveness and live in the joy of knowing how loved you are as a child of God. 

So mend that broken wing and fly – fly like an eagle because God loves you and so do I.

Wednesday Wonderings Email April 28, 2021

 

 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Good morning and Welcome to Wednesday Wonderings.  How much silence can you handle?  How do you like quietness, a chance to reflect? 

It says in the word of God:

“And the work of righteousness will be peace,

And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,

And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places.”  (Isaiah 32:17-18)

How about it?  Are you willing to find some quiet time, a place to reflect, a place to pray, a place to grow in your relationship with God?  Most of us are too busy and find it uncomfortable but maybe it’s time to take some quietness and make it a priority. 

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Welcome to Wednesday Wonderings.  I remember it like it was yesterday – a big, shiny, gold stone.  I thought I was rich!  I’d found gold! But what I didn’t know was that there was such a thing as fool’s gold. Something that was worthless.  Pretty soon my bubble was burst. 

You know, it is the same in our world today.  There are a lot of people, there are a lot of websites, a lot of radio shows, TV shows, a lot of books, that say that they’re filled with gold, with truth, and yet they’re fool’s gold.  They’re fakes.  They’re out there to trip us up, to lead us away from the truth, from the grace of God.  It says in Corinthians, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”

We’ve got to be careful.  There’s a lot of things that are out there that taste good, look good, sound good – they’re attractive.  But they’re fake.  They’re not the real deal.  They’re fool’s gold. 

As you wander through this world, I hope and I pray that you search out and discern the real gold, the real truth, the real Savior and Lord. Have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Welcome to Wednesday Wonderings.  I’ve got one word for you – three little letters – as I sit in my chair or on the couch or lie down somewhere with this broken leg.  Those three little letters pop into my mind – WHY?  Why a broken leg?  Why now?  Why after all the hard work I’ve put in over the last year? Why now when the weather gets nice? Why at all?  Why? Why? Why?  I think we all ask that quite often. 

And yet when you think about it, think about Job.  Imagine – you’ve lost your livestock, they’ve been stolen. Your sheep and camels were also destroyed. Your employees murdered, your children crushed – all of them, all ten!  And then, you’re going to get a horrible disease.  I mean, did Job say, “Why?”  I know his wife did.  His wife advised: “Curse God and die!” But Job quickly responded wisely, “Shall we accept only good from God and never adversity?”

I wish I didn’t break my leg.  I wish bad things didn’t happen to people.  But it does.  And we quickly get stuck in the “Why?”  It says in Romans, (11:33) “Oh, the depth… of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”  Maybe we just need to trust more and believe in the hope of Easter. 

 

 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Welcome to Wednesday Wonderings on this Wednesday of Holy Week.  By now you’ve either heard or maybe you’ve seen that I’m on crutches.  And of course, the question is, what happened?  Well, I’m just going to give you the simple version, and that is, I stumbled.  None of us like to stumble.  But the truth is we all do. 

In the book of James chapter 3 verse 2 it says, “For we all stumble in many ways.” We all slip and fall physically and spiritually.  The question is whether or not we’re willing to get up.  Or as one person said it, “God wants to use us – stumbling and all – but He won’t use us if we refuse to get up.” 

It’s Holy Week.  It’s time for us to admit that we’ve fallen and that we can get up and that God wants us to get up in our brokenness to create us new and to let us share the good news of a risen Lord and Savior.  So this week, let’s just admit we stumble, we fall, but let’s scratch and claw and stand up and share the good news of Christ every day. Have a blessed Holy Week.

https://mailchi.mp/d178fb594b9d/wednesday-wonderings-march-31-2021

 

 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Good morning and welcome to Wednesday Wonderings.  Spring is in the air!  And pretty soon we’ll be going to the beach.  What amazes me is looking at how, over the last few years, Lake Michigan has eaten away at the beach – seeing those images of houses and buildings falling into Lake Michigan because of all of the erosion.  Again, the lake taking back that land and undermining the stability of the buildings. 

I’m wondering, over the last year, have you experienced erosion?  Has your foundation been eaten away?  I know the quick answer is, “Oh no! No way, I am still solid.”  But the truth is, erosion is sneaky and slowly pulls away that soil and pretty soon things crumble.

Just look at King Solomon.  Again, probably the wisest of the wise, richest of the richest, and yet he crumbled and fell.  I just want you to think about erosion and make sure that your foundation isn’t being eaten away.  Have a GREAT week!  Have a GREAT day!  Have a GREAT spring!  Just check out that foundation. 

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Good morning and welcome to Wednesday Wonderings. How about it? Never ever let them see you sweat. Or even more so, don’t EVER let them see you cry. Again, those are things we were raised with, especially men. Don’t ever let people see you cry. Yet in Psalm 56 it says that God puts our tears in a bottle and enters them into the record He keeps on our lives. Or David says, “The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.” Or we look at the prophet Jeremiah, who couldn’t even preach without tears because he was so passionate, and he became known as the “weeping prophet.”

When is the last time that you had a good cry? When was the last time you let your feelings come out and show them to someone – about how much you cared, about how concerned you were? Who knows what the tears were for? But you were willing to be vulnerable and share your innermost passion.

So, just think about it. Tears are part of who we are, part of who God created within us. Don’t be afraid to show them. Have a great day and thanks again for Wednesday wondering… or weeping! God bless.

 
 
 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

 
Good morning and welcome to Wednesday Wonderings! Over the last couple of Sundays, we’ve been looking at the idea of being blessed in order to be a blessing to other people. And then I came across a devotional that posed that question or that idea in a different way. Simply put, the author says, “Are we friendly inside and out?” Are we friendly to the world in which we live? It says in Proverbs, “A man/a woman that hath friends must show themselves friendly.”

But they take it a step further. They don’t only look at it externally, but they look at it internally. Are we friendly to ourselves? Or are we a blessing to ourselves? God created us fearfully and wonderfully. Do we believe that? Do we believe how special we are? Because we need to believe how amazing we are in order to be amazing to others.

And so, I’m wondering, are you friendly to yourself? Do you bless yourself? Because in order to love others, in order to bless others, we’ve got to believe that God created us for special things. I’m wondering how friendly you are to others and to yourself. Have a wonderful day and keep on wondering.

https://mailchi.mp/c81d0d296a5d/wednesday-wonderings-march-10-2021

 

 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday… oh, wait a minute, it’s Wednesday Wonderings. But it’s my birthday too. You know, throughout my life I’ve struggled to really believe that my life has mattered, that I am important.

But then I’m reminded that God created me with a purpose. That Psalm 139 reminds me that He made me, He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He had a plan before I even knew. Or I am reminded of others in Scripture, like Amos: “… I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”

You know, YOU ARE IMPORTANT! God has got a plan. Even in these challenging times, each of us has a purpose and God doesn’t make junk. So, Happy Birthday to me. But more importantly, Happy Birthday to each of us. Because God loves you, you’re a child of God, and you have an amazing purpose in life. Have a GREAT day! Happy Birthday!

https://mailchi.mp/b1ee80b3b4a9/wednesday-wonderings-march-3-2021