Pastor's Ponderings
Heartland Shared Ministries
November 2019 Newsletter

Edgar, Nebraska

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;  I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.    Psalm 54:6 (NRSV)

 Life is life.  Each day has its challenges.  Each day has its blessings.  We don’t know which one we may feel more each day; Sometimes the challenges, sometimes the blessings.  In today’s world, it seems that the challenges outpace the blessings, or at least we “feel” the challenges more.  For that reason, we need a reminder to seek out the blessings of each day.  We need to take note of the blessings.  After the Spirit leads us to see them, we need the reminder from Psalm 54:6.  We need to give thanks for the blessings and share them.

Let’s take some time right now and take note of the blessings of this day.  Let’s let the Spirit lead us, opening our eyes and hearts to the blessings of this day.  As the Spirit leads, what are some of those blessings?  Food? Shelter? Clothing? All we need to make it through the day? Doctors? Nurses? Family? Friends? Pets? The air we breathe?  What are some of those blessings?  If you are having a hard time taking note of the blessings, continue to pray to God to open your eyes and heart and trust.  The challenges sometimes want to cloudy our lives so much….the darkness tries to overcome the light.  It’s a losing battle though because Jesus has defeated the darkness.  The biggest blessings we all have been offered is Jesus walking with us each moment and when our time on earth is done, Jesus taking us home.  So even if we can’t see the blessings right now, God’s grace surrounds us to help us through this tough time…..a blessing!

 After you have noticed the blessings and acknowledged them, give thanks for them.  Let God know you appreciate them.  Let God know you appreciate what Jesus has done.  After giving thanks, let’s share those blessings. Let’s share and be blessings to others. Let’s be light in the midst of darkness.  Let the Spirit lead us to live thankful lives.  Let’s share freely offerings to God as we share with others.  When we do that, we give thanks to the Lord for it is good.

Thanks be to God!
Pastor Ethan

Operation Christmas Child!
 What a great way to share blessings! Operation Christmas Child is a project that one fills a shoebox with gifts.  The box is then sent though out the world to be Christmas gift to children everywhere!  Along with the gifts in the box, the child is given an opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ.  The UCC in Clay Center is going to be a drop off point for the filled shoe boxes.  The days to collect the shoe boxes will be November 18-24.  Each congregation of the Heartland Shared Ministries will have information of Operation Christmas Child and some shoe boxes to fill.  If you want more information now, you can go on Youtube and look up videos on Operation Christmas Child.  Let’s give thanks and share some blessings with the youth of the world!

 Please check at the church for a list of Shoe box Gift suggestions for girls ages 2 to 14 and boys ages 2-14 at the church.  This will help give you ideas on what to put in the boxes.