A New Year

Psalms 86:11 – “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth.”

We are a month into the New Year and many of the resolutions we made on January 1st have already fallen by the wayside. The scales are hidden in the back of the linen closet and the exercise equipment is collecting dust and clothing. But my prayer for you is not that you lose weight or get in shape; no my prayer for you and me, is that we grow closer to God in our everyday, ho-hum lives. May we grow in our knowledge of and love for the God of all Creation. May we seek out time in prayer, not out of obligation or habit, but with a sincere thirst to know our heavenly Father on a more personal level. Through a strong prayer life, we can petition God for our needs, praise Him for our blessings, and seek to discover His plans for our lives. If you haven’t already done so, then start today, seeking out God’s guidance and strength for the journey which lays ahead. Invite Him into every corner of your life and ask Him to teach and lead you; always remembering that God journeys beside us every step that we take. Jeremiah 29:11-12 “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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.” The Lord has promised never to leave us nor forsake us; He is always within prayers reach just waiting to hear our voice calling out to him. May we learn to keep in touch with our loving and caring God and recognize the blessings he has bestowed upon us. Amen

The Challenge of Christmas

The Christmas Season is fast and furious and before you can turn around it is over
for another year. The challenge of Christmas is to keep the light of Christ shining
throughout the New Year. While you are busy taking down the decorations and
putting them away until next year remember to keep God’s more precious gift
close to your heart at all times. It is a gift that is meant to be shared and enjoy all
year long. It is a gift that is sure to bring hope, peace, joy and love into the lives of
those who open their hearts and grant the Christ Child a place to dwell. Our main
goal in the coming New Year is not to get in shape, to lose weight or to save more.
Our main goal must be to make room for the Christ Child in our busy lives so that
we can share the Light of Christ to this often dark and lonely world. When we
allow the Light of Christ to shine in and through us, those that get a glimpse of
that Light will be exposed to the presence of God. So throughout the Season of
Epiphany and the rest of the year let’s become aware and alive with the Spirit of
Christmas and share the love that God offers to all people. May this New Year find
us focused first and foremost on our relationship with Christ our Lord and Savior.
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GOD’S BLESSINGS IN 2019.
Peace
Pastor David

Advent

david's pic

Pastor David Krueger

As we move through the Advent Season, let us prepare our hearts for the celebration and joy that the Christ Child brought into the world. May our thoughts turn from shopping and gift wrapping to God’s Word that reveals the true meaning of Christmas and discover God’s plan for our salvation. In his Word we discover the depth of His love and the gift that is offered to all people. This Advent Season pause and reflect on the Cross of Christ and discover the gift of eternal life that was given to the world through the babe in the manger. Yes, we will be singing “Joy to the World”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Silent Night”, and a host of other favorite Christmas carols that stir the depths of our souls. Along with the singing, may this Advent and Christmas Season find your family enjoying time together while journeying through the scriptures discovering God’s gift to you and yours, His one and only Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

david andn treila

From Treila and myself, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”

to our dear church family at Zion UCC

 

 

“Thank You God”

From the Pastor’s Desk:

This month we will be celebrating what has probably become our most forgotten

National Holiday. Squeezed between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving Day,

often gets lost in the commercialism of Christmas and Halloween. Thanksgiving

the one day we set aside to say “Thank You – God” for the blessings we have

received and continue to receive here in America. “Thank You God” for the food

that fills our tables and the time we have to share with family and friends.

Thanksgiving Day has become a day for Football and Pre-Christmas Sales. What

have we done to this day of remembrance? What does that tell us about our

ungrateful nation and its people? I’m afraid that we as a nation, blessed above all

others, have come to take our blessings for granted. No longer do we celebrate

the food on our tables as gifts from God. No longer to we celebrate family, friends

and neighbors as your children. Too many times we fail to look at people of

​different ethical backgrounds as equals that are entitled to the blessings that we

enjoy. Help us O Lord, to remember your call to love one another regardless of the

obvious social and ethical differences and to see the heart in which you dwell.

Galatians 3:28 tells us: “ There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,

nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

May this Thanksgiving Day find you surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors giving

thanks to our Creator God for the gifts of individuality? May we never forget to

give God the thanks and praise due his Holy name.

Peace

Pastor David

Who Painted the Picture

As the Fall season approaches we appreciate the cooler days and marvel at the
Harvest Moon. We head for the apple orchards and gather around bon-fires. Hot
apple cider will soon replace ice tea and life continues down an ever changing
road. Among all the changes going on in nature: trees changing colors and losing
their leaves, fields of grain being harvested, geese flying south, and pumpkins and
mums replacing petunias and lilies; the one constant in nature is our Creator God.
His love for us is never changing. Praise God for that! This Fall as you get out to
hike in the forest or drive down country roads to see the changing colors
remember who painted the picture before you and marvel at what he has created
for us to enjoy. Thank him for his unending love and his constant presence in the
world we live in and in the life we live. Build on your relationship with God the
same way you build on your relationship with other people. Spend time with Him.
Tell him of his greatness and praise his holy name. Find contentment in your life
and enjoy the wonders of it all.
Peace and God’s Bless You All;
Pastor David

Slow Down, and Refocus

Psalms 62:5 tell us: “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” When your days seem to be overwhelming, slow down and refocus. Rest in the presence of Christ your Lord and Savior. Give your mind a chance to refocus and stop trying to anticipate everything that will happen before it even occurs. Pray continually, asking for the Holy Spirit to take charge of the details of this day. Remember, that you are on a journey with Jesus. And when we try to look into the future and plan for things that may not even happen, we ignore our constant companion who sustains us moment by moment. As we gaze anxiously into the unknown future, we often forget who’s holding our hand and just who will get us on the other side of life’s difficult circumstances. How foolish we are to think that we are on our own when Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake us. Remember it is our grip of the Savior’s hand that will sustain us during the challenges of life. Remember God’s promises to the Israelites recorded in Deuteronomy 12:10 – “But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety.” May we find our much needed rest in the arms of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Peace

Pastor David

Every journey has a starting point…and it has an end. God meant for Life to filled with joy and purpose. He invites us to…take the rest of our journey with Him.

Billy Graham of LIFE

 

Take the Time

Throughout the Gospel readings Jesus teaches us to love and care for one another. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan recorded in Luke 10:25-37 for instance, Jesus calls for us to get involved in helping those in need. Then in Luke 10:38-42 we have the story of Jesus visiting Martha and Mary’s home and how Martha complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping prepare the meal and that all she was doing was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to his teachings. Then Jesus informed Martha that Mary had chosen the right thing to do. Listening to Jesus you see is what we are all called to do and the gospels stress that point. So today let us all take time away from our busy schedules and set at Jesus’ feet and listen to what he has to say to us. You can hear him if you tune into the scriptures and tune out the distractions of the world around you. This after all is what Jesus said was the better thing for us to do in Luke 10:41-42.

I know that summer can be a very busy time with vacations, day trips, yard work gardening, and entertaining visitors but nothing is more important to any of us than sitting at the feet of Christ. Who knows you might just find a new favorite place to sit? I know that as I sit on the porch swing and watch the world go by, God speaks to me in ways that inspire sermons and relationships. Who knows maybe I need to just set in my porch swing a little longer and recoup and listen for what God has to say. So if you see me sitting in the swing don’t think I’m not doing anything. It might just be that like Mary, Jesus and I are having a conversation.

May God bless you all with a seat at the feet of Christ and heart and mind to hear him speak.

 

Peace

Pastor David

1132 Country Club Rd. Metropolis, IL 62960