Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

December 19, 2018

Dear Friends,

Months ago, the staff decided to follow the lead of our Officers’ Retreat and to focus on JOY as our theme for Advent.  And we invited the staff, officers and congregation to submit instances of where they see or find joy in their lives.  And I have loved the responses! If you’d like to submit an entry, there is still time.  Email it to us at .

If you have not yet gone to our church’s website and scrolled to the very bottom to look at the Church’s Blog, please do so.  When you see the Lamb Stained Glass Window and the heading, “From the Blog” you are there!  You can click on one of the titles you see there, or click on the “See All Articles” button.  From there you can enter your email address and subscribe.  If you subscribe, you will get an email notice whenever a new blog is posted.  All the devotionals that go along with our sanctuary Advent and Christmas Banners are posted there each Sunday, and between those postings, members of our congregation share where they find Joy!  Amazing and wonderful.

I will admit that there is a lot of darkness in the world.  There is a lot of darkness in our lives.  But there is also joy!  Ephesians 5:8-10 says:

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light – for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.  Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

Part of being children of the light is deciding to look for light, to major in light and to choose light over darkness.  That could mean choosing to do what is right, even when others are not looking, or even when it makes things harder for us.  But it can also mean not giving any time or energy to things that lead us into darkness.  Less time for gossip.  Less time for drinking too much.  Less time for nurturing resentment.  Less time for fear or worry.  Less time for conspiracy theorists.  Less time for anger.  Less time for impatience.

There are many things in the world that we cannot control.  But where we focus our attention is not outside of our control.  Decide to focus on Joy and light and life, and give less of your time and energy to other things.  That way we will be more likely to see God at work in the world and in our lives.

In [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness did not overcome it.  John 1:4-5


Holy Advent and Joy-full Christmas!


Ellen Fowler Skidmore


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