Friday, October 5, 2012

Be Still My Soul

A Message from Jim Newman:
A saying we often hear is that only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. I think we might
agree we could add a third one: Change! As much as we might enjoy the comfort of sameness and security in our lives, we can't escape the inevitability of change. It's going to happen. Some changes are good, even quite enjoyable and exciting, but others bring fear and feelings of insecurity. Your focus and perspective can make all the difference how you weather the changes that come your way.  I love the change of seasons, though not quite as much here in California. In the Northeast where I was raised I found great joy as each new season arrived. The winter was always enjoyable because of the first snowfalls, fires in the fireplace, and, of course, the celebration of Christmas. But as the cold grey days lingered on I would eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring with all of its newness, gentle colors, warmer weather and new growth. Summer
meant the end of school and the time of vacations, summer camp, though, at times boredom. So my favorite season is and always has been autumn. I loved the startup of school and seeing all my old friends again. The cool, crisp weather with the brilliant fall colors and falling leaves are still one of my favorite things in life. The fun of raking up the leaves and jumping in them was fun, too. I can still hear the crunching of the dry leaves as I would take walks in the woods, picking up acorns as I went.  There are some changes which are not at first very enjoyable. The loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult and dreaded things in life. It brings
way too many changes, along with all the uncertainty and fear of what might lay ahead. We've had way too many of those changes this past year or so!  Here at the church we are in the midst of another type of change. We find ourselves in the process of searching for a new pastor after the retirement of our much loved pastor, Tom Elson. As someone has said, "We may not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future!" As we go through this time together we don't go through it alone. The Lord will not leave us or abandon us. He gives us hope as we wait upon Him. This time can be as exciting, beautiful and fresh as the autumn if we keep our eyes on the Lord and trust in Him.  As we go through this season of change, whether it be in your personal life, or together as a part of our church, the words of an old, familiar hymn;  "Be Still  My Soul," continue to bring comfort and hope to our troubled hearts.

  "Be still, my soul! The Lord is on thy side;  Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. 
Be still, my soul! Thy best, thy heavenly Friend thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still my soul! Thy God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past. 
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. 
Be still, my soul! The waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul! The hour is hastening on when we shall be forever with the Lord, 
when disappointment, grief and fear are gone. Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored. 
Be still, my soul! When change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last."

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