Blog: Forest Lake Talks

9/21/22 Devotional from Ed

September 21, 2022

Text: Romans 12:9-13 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal; be ardent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; pursue hospitality to strangers. Devotional: Have you ever left the sanctuary feeling led by the Holy Spirit to go and live a life of service to others? Have you ever left the sanctuary feeling inspired and hopeful after one of Ellen’s sermons? If so, this devotional…

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A Message from Ellen

September 20, 2022

September 14, 2022 Dear Friends, The last newsletter I wrote (8/16), I promised a series of newsletters about how to be both Christian and in conflict.  And even though I can think of a dozen other things that I want to tell you in this newsletter, I am going to share with you two more conflict insights that come from Denise W. Goodman’s book, Congregational Fitness: Healthy Practices for Layfolk. Goodman writes: Healthy conflicts can energize congregations. They can draw out the best thinking of parishioners .  . . .  Learning to agree to disagree, to hold a position without…

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9/12/22 Devotional from Ed

September 12, 2022

Text (used in Ellen’s sermon yesterday): Matthew 5:38-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you: Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also,  and if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, give your coat as well, and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.  Give to the one who asks of you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard…

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A Message from Ed

August 31, 2022

If you missed it in worship on August 28, go back and watch the choir’s anthem (about 46 minutes into the service). Thanks be to God for blessing our choir with musical gifts, and thanks be to God for sending the Spirit into the sanctuary to empower our congregation to sing and clap along! Let’s do that again soon… Here’s an excerpt of what they sang: I will sing of God’s mercy Every day, every hour He gives me power I will sing and give thanks to Thee For all the dangers, toils and snares That he has brought me…

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8/29/22 Devotional from Ed

August 29, 2022

Text: John 8:31 31Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Devotional I visited with one of our Forest Lake family members this morning. Initially I didn’t pay too much attention to the TV on in the background, but when I looked up at it during a pause in our conversation, I saw a bunch of mayonnaise. I must have made a facial expression, prompting her to want to know what I saw.…

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8/22/22 Devotional from Ed

August 23, 2022

Text: Acts 9:32-43 32Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. 36Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. 37At that…

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A Message from Ellen

August 17, 2022

August 17, 2022 Dear Friends, As I was praying the other morning, I had an idea about a series of articles for our newsletter on Christian Conflict. You might argue with me about who put that idea into my head or heart. But I am listening to the rising temperature of our national rhetoric and wondering what it looks like to be lovers of Jesus in a world of hate. I wanted to share with you some of what I propose every year to the new Elders and Deacons who are being trained to lead in our congregation about healthy…

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8/16/22 Devotional from Ed

August 16, 2022

Text: Acts 2:43-47 Awe came upon everyone because many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Devotional: Back in school we used to dream about…

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8/8/22 Devotional from Ed

August 8, 2022

Text: 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (Common English Bible) But you must continue with the things you have learned and found convincing. You know who taught you. Since childhood you have known the holy scriptures that help you to be wise in a way that leads to salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus. Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good. Devotional: We talk A LOT about baseball in the Black household…

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8/2/22 Devotional from Ed

August 2, 2022

Text: John 1:19-28 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way…

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7/25/22 Devotional from Ed

July 25, 2022

Text: Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but they doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Devotional: Have you ever watched…

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A Message from Ellen

July 20, 2022

July 20, 2022 Friends, There is so much going on at church right now that I can barely keep up!  It might seem like a quiet summer to you, but things are hopping here!  There is a lot of activity around the building.  This week the new HVAC equipment for the sanctuary is being installed!  And the Capital Campaign renovations continue.  There are some big decisions that Session will be making about how and when to move forward to address the largest construction project (kitchen, Community Room Bathroom renovations and the creation of a shower).  When Session makes decisions, we…

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7/18/22 Devotional from Ed

July 18, 2022

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were gentiles you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of services but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the…

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7/11/22 Devotional from Ed

July 11, 2022

Text: John 14:27-29 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur you may believe. Devotional: The longtime dean of Union Presbyterian…

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A Message from Ed

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022 Dear Friends, Early Monday morning, while the rest of my family was either asleep or playing Mario, I went over to my in-laws’ house to help clean out their attic. Their house had been damaged by one of the recent storms, prompting a need to rearrange and remove some things before any new construction could begin. Fortunately, Elizabeth’s parents are super organized, so while I wasn’t looking forward to the manual labor on July 4, I anticipated a straightforward, efficient process that wouldn’t take the whole morning. As I suspected, it didn’t! Their attic contained many of…

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