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6721 Jonestown Rd
Harrisburg, PA, 17112
United States

717-657-0614

We are a Southern Baptist Church, by affiliation.  We cooperate with, and are part of a larger denomination. East Shore Baptist Church (ESBC) is an independent church, which truly believes in God’s Word, the Bible, as the sole source of faith and practice.

Weekday Musings with Pastor Brian

Whoa... Two posts in one week.  What's going on?  Actually, I want to share an excellent article I received from Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway, prior pastor, and seminary professor, on: Nine Concerns about Church Members Who Withhold Their Financial Gifts.  If you're a pastor, you've experienced it.

January 29, 2015

David Jostenski

Weekday Musings with Pastor Brian - 1/29

I know I’m a bit weird… I freely admit it.  I’m of a mind that winter should be cold and white; something I never got to enjoy in Florida.  But I confess it can get a little bizarre when snow threatens.  I am fascinated by the phenomena of people descending upon the grocery stores like a plague of locusts, cleaning off the shelves of bread, milk and eggs… Like we would actually get buried for weeks???  Ah… has that really ever happened… like in our little corner of PA? How many egg sandwiches do you think people are planning to make? Crazy.

And then there’s the “Freak Factor” I’ll call it.  The weather-dude (or dudette) tells us of impending snow in inches.  Are we closing this… canceling that?  What are we going to do???  Like Monday.  Snow was predicted at 4” - 8”.  Cool… but wait… we only got maybe 2”… what happened?  Some cheered… some were bummed.  And kids got a day off <Yeah!>…. that they’ll likely have to make up when the weather warms up <Boo!>.  And life goes on.

I remember years ago a lady who used to freak out when a “depression” was reported off the coast of Africa.  To her, it meant a hurricane had her home in Florida in its sights.  I lived there 21 years, and never experienced a hurricane (I didn’t really until I came to PA; Ivan, I believe.  There’s some irony there somewhere I’m thinking.).  I remember my first winter here.  We were warned of a big snowstorm headed our way.  “Are we going to cancel church tomorrow Pastor?”  OK… it did snow 24+”, and I ended up getting nailed by the flu that morning… but Pastor Bryan said church was fine, and the snow didn’t really kick into gear until church was over.  One morning I canceled church due to it snowing to beat the proverbial band, only to watch as about a dozen or so SUV’s came tearing up the church driveway to do church.

So… is there a point to this… a moral to be learned… a spiritual application?  I think so.  Life happens.  It doesn’t really matter whether we’re cool with that or not… it simply does.  Sometimes it snows, and sometimes it doesn’t.  The sun comes out, and sometimes we get the clouds.  You can even make some metaphors for life out of that.  We can and should plan for the unforeseen as we can; we need to be wise and prudent in the circumstances of life we face; but we should not be held hostage to possibilities, or even realities.  

We talk a lot at church about God’s sovereignty, that God is in control.  Does that include snowstorms and hurricanes, as well as all the other stuff that happens in our lives?  Yes… it actually does.  He allows them/it.  The dude or dudette on the news doing weather?  They’re not.  At best they can offer an educated guess, but lets face it… If I’ve learned anything about PA, when it comes to the weather, in PA anything goes.  So… Are you in control?  You have some, but even that is limited.  Try telling the sun to shine or a snow storm to go away and let me know how that works for you (I think I tried it a couple of times… it didn’t as I recall). 

In the book of Acts, when the ship Paul was on was threatening to sink in the midst of a terrible storm, Paul prayed and then told them to cast the cargo overboard to lighten the ship (Acts 27).  It’s not wrong to get milk and so forth… if you need it; you should get gas for the snow thrower; make sure you have gas in the car; and so on… that’s just plain prudent.  But don’t be held hostage to what might be, or even what is.  God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7); fear and worry doesn’t come from Him.  Instead try these out…

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  (Phil. 4:6-7 NLT)  And…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)   

I don’t have a dog in the hunt, but this Sunday is SuperBowl.  Bet ya didn’t know that, eh? LOL!  On 2/8, eleven of us will be headed to Lafayette, IN for the Biblical Counseling Conference.  I am quite excited.  Looking forward to brushing up and learning more.  Be in prayer for us for safe travel, health, open minds, and some stamina for our posteriors and brainiums <Grin>.  Tom Toone will be teaching that Sunday, and can’t wait to listen to his message.  

I love you all.  Stay warm, stay safe… be wise, and keep your eyes on Jesus.  

Brian Harrison, Pastor
East Shore Baptist Church
6721 Jonestown Road
Harrisburg, PA 17112
www.eastshorebaptist.org