Blog: Forest Lake Talks

9/20/21 Devotional from Ed

September 20, 2021

“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only…

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9/14/21 Devotional from Ed

September 14, 2021

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was…

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9/7/21 Devotional from Ed

September 7, 2021

Text: Exodus 3:11-12: But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” Devotional: Do you consider yourself a prophet? Maybe you should! Joan Chittister, author of The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage (a book approved for H3 group study), urges us to become prophets, noting, “Faith is invalid unless you are…

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8/31/21 Devotional from Ed

August 31, 2021

Text: 1 Corinthians 27-31: You are the body of Christ and parts of each other. In the church, God has appointed first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, the ability to help others, leadership skills, different kinds of tongues. All aren’t apostles, are they? All aren’t prophets, are they? All aren’t teachers, are they? All don’t perform miracles, do they? All don’t have gifts of healing, do they? All don’t speak in different tongues, do they? All don’t interpret, do they? Use your ambition to try to get the greater gifts. And I’m going to show you an…

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8/23/21 Devotional from Ed

August 23, 2021

Weekly Devotional from Ed Black 1 Give ear to my words, O Lord;     give heed to my sighing. 2 Listen to the sound of my cry,     my King and my God,     for to you I pray. 3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;     in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. 4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;     evil will not sojourn with you. 5 The boastful will not stand before your eyes;     you hate all evildoers. 6 You destroy those who speak lies;     the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful. 7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,…

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A Message from Ellen

August 18, 2021

August 18, 2021 Dear Friends, Almost every day, as I check on this congregation, I find that we are all anxious, stressed, worried about the future, and tired of the political ping pong that seems to be our new normal.  I have talked to couples who are so tired and stressed that they know that they are taking it out on each other or on their children and who want to change that.  Others have realized that they have been “medicating” themselves with food, drink, sleep, or online sites/games to keep the anxiety at bay.  If you feel that way,…

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8/17/21 Devotional from Ed

August 17, 2021

    Weekly Devotional from Ed Black Text: Mark 7:24-30: “From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair…

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A Message from Ellen

August 6, 2021

August 4, 2021 Dear Friends, We had all hoped that this Fall would be back to normal (if we can remember what that means). But the continued uncertainty of having a surge of delta-variant COVID cases in our community and nation is unsettling and makes planning difficult.  But I have decided to take another perspective.  I think it is amazing how resilient and how adept at change we have become!  What might have sent us into massive frustration and chaos two years ago is now more of an opportunity to practice flexibility.  I can move back to wearing masks, because…

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A Message from Ellen

July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021 Dear Friends, Our congregation is a part of an interfaith, non-profit organization called MORE Justice.  This is one of the most racially and religiously diverse organizations of which I have ever been a member.  And our purpose is to come together to fulfill our scriptural mandate to “do justice” (Micah 6:8 and Matthew 23:32-24) and make the Central Midlands a more just place to live for all people. Doing justice is not easy or comfortable.  I have personally squirmed under the weight of asking elected officials to take small measurable steps to address structural issues that need…

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7/19/21 Devotional from Ed

July 19, 2021

Text: Acts 13:44-52 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the…

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7/12/21 Devotional from Ed

July 11, 2021

Text: Galatians 3:28: There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. “Our society is fragmented and a lot of us like it. Many in this country are demonstrating by the daily choices we make that we prefer to eat, pray, snapchat and even read online news with people who are pretty much just like us. We don’t seem to value pluralism. Some of us resist even thinking about crossing lines of class or race or religion or wealth or…

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A Message from Ed

July 7, 2021

July 7, 2021 Dear Friends, If Forest Lake Presbyterian decided to send out a survey with just the following question, I imagine the response rate would be 100 percent “yes:” Has your life been impacted in some way by COVID-19 over the past two years? And, I believe we would have the highest response rate we’ve ever had from any survey we’ve emailed! The good news is we don’t need to send a survey. We know the answer, so there’s no point in clogging your inboxes and sending another church email. COVID-19 has affected our church family in obvious ways,…

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7/5/21 Devotional from Ed

July 5, 2021

Text: Ephesians 2:10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. Devotional:  “Around 1910, William Temple, the future archbishop of Canterbury and son of Frederick, the archbishop of Canterbury, complained to his father that he did not have the time to do all that needed to be done. “William,’ said his father, ‘you have all the time there is.” Theologian/priest Richard Neuhaus remembers this story in one of his books, but he acknowledges its difficulty: “I tell myself that frequently, especially when I…

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A Message from Ellen

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021 Dear Friends, “Please fasten your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the moving vehicle!”  Isn’t that what the operators of the carnival rides say just before we get turned upside down on some sort of ride?   Well, Presbyterians are not normally known for quick decisions or speedy change of directions, but “please fasten your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the moving vehicle.”  The Session met on Sunday evening and considered again our congregational practices as our community and nation move further away from the high rates and risks of COVID 19, and Session made some quick…

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6/20/21 Devotional from Ed

June 20, 2021

Text: Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Devotional: Author Parker Palmer writes the following: “I once heard Alan Watts observe that a Chinese child will ask, “How does a baby grow?” But an American child will ask, “How do you make a baby?” From an early age, we absorb our culture’s arrogant conviction that we manufacture everything, reducing the world to mere ‘raw material’ that lacks all value until we impose our designs and labor on it. If we accept the notion that our lives are dependent on an inexorable cycle of seasons, on a play of powers…

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