Blog: Forest Lake Talks

February 1, 2023

January 31, 2023   Dear Friends,   It is everywhere I look!!!  Candy! Flowers! Cards!  Pink and purple everything. The Christmas and New Year’s merchandise is not gone from the clearance tables, before the next marketing opportunity presents itself.  Valentines’ Day.   Sometimes the pressure to celebrate the holidays seems relentless, even when I know that most of it is only motivated by a profit motive.  I was gratified to get an email from Etsy (the online platform for small vendors of crafts) asking if I wanted to “opt out” of getting emails about Valentine’s Day.  I thought that was…

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1/30/23 Devotional from Ed

January 30, 2023

Text: Mark 7:24-30 24From 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, 25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the…

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A Message from Ellen

January 18, 2023

January 18, 2023 Dear Friends, As FLPC was beginning to come back into the sanctuary and to begin again to meet for classes and small groups, the staff had some heart-to-heart conversations about what was important to do and how to do the essential tasks safely.  And, after our commitment to worship together, we agreed that classes and small groups where we find safe space to learn, to ask questions, and to talk about faith was the very next thing we felt was critical to do, and to do well. If the purpose of worship is to point to and…

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1/9/23 Devotional from Ed

January 9, 2023

Text: Isaiah 40: 21-23 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. Devotional: The rhetorical questions that start this reading help emphasize the big conclusion: God is God and we are not. It is…

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Sandwiches are Beautiful: 1/2/23 Devotional from Ed

January 2, 2023

Text: Psalm 23 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell…

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A Message from Ellen

December 21, 2022

December 21, 2022 Dear Friends, Do you remember the old hymn, “Lord, make us more holy; Lord make us more holy; Lord make us more holy, until we meet again: holy, holy, holy, until we meet again.”??  If you don’t know that hymn, you might want to search for it on the internet.  I warn you; it can be an earworm.  It is not a Christmas song, but I found myself thinking about this old hymn as I contemplated all that still needs to be done before Christmas celebrations get here. If you take time to read this newsletter, then…

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12/19/22 Devotional from Ed

December 19, 2022

Text: Proverbs 22:6  Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. Devotional: In last night’s Disciple I class, we talked about some of the “wisdom literature” we read in the books of Psalms and Proverbs, and this particular proverb above was lifted up as one we have seen before in houses, churches, ornaments, plates, etc. This proverb was reiterated to me this morning when I sat with one of our children in the pediatrician’s office and noticed the following poem on the wall (author unknown). If you’re a parent/coach/mentor/grandparent/aunt/uncle/teacher, this should hit home: “When children live with criticism,…

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12/14/22 Devotional from Ed

December 14, 2022

Devotional (SCROLL DOWN FOR THE SCRIPTURE):  On Sunday, I was reminded of how easy it is to get caught up in enmity and jealousy. In the Words after the Word class, a participant mentioned he sometimes calls Facebook something like, “Places I went where you weren’t invited.” That led into a few comments on how social media presents us in ways we control, ways that sometimes give people the impression things are really better than reality. We wouldn’t want Instagram and Facebook to show getting ready in the mornings, cleaning up kitchens, flu, flat tires, messy houses, would we? We know the dangers of social media addiction, but what…

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A Message from Ellen 12-7-22

December 7, 2022

December 7, 2022 I heard this week from a member who has a friend who is grieving the loss of a child that was stillborn. The friend shared how very difficult it was for her to celebrate Christmas when the focus is so much on the birth of a baby and on being jolly. The FLPC member shared with her FLPC’s Advent Wreath guide on Hope and Longing where we name our deepest hopes and most heartfelt needs. Because we know grief . . . .  we light a candle for comfort. Because we know despair . . .  we…

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12/6/22 Devotional from Ed

December 6, 2022

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (Common English Bible translation): 12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to respect those who are working with you, leading you, and instructing you. 13 Think of them highly with love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. 16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray continually. 18 Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t suppress the…

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11/28/22 Devotional from Ed

November 28, 2022

Text: Matthew 5:4: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Devotional: If given the option of picking the thing I look for the most in other people, authenticity would be my top draft choice. If I sense someone is authentic, I’m drawn instantly. Jesus, as we know, is authentic. I’ve heard Jesus’ transforming words from the Sermon on the Mount many times, but when I hear these words above in particular, I find myself listening for authenticity from the deliverer. I worry these heartfelt, comforting words from Jesus are often (sometimes flippantly) said without thinking of the meaning behind them. Mourning, loss, and grief are real,…

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A Message from Ellen

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022 Dear Friends, When you receive this, Thanksgiving will likely be in the rear-view mirror, and the cultural tsunami of Christmas will be towering over us.  Before you take a deep breath and dive in, please make time to do two things. First, please spend some time (alone, and also with others in your household) to talk about the things for which you are grateful.  They can be little things, or big things. But if you are breathing, and you have enough to eat, then you can make a gratitude list.  Consider writing a thank you letter to…

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11/21/22 Devotional from Ed

November 21, 2022

Text: Psalm 42 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng[a] and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,…

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11/14/22 Devotional from Ed – What is Stephen Ministry?

November 14, 2022

Text: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Now we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother or sister living irresponsibly and not according to the tradition that they received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not irresponsible when we were with you, and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day so that we might not burden any of you. This was not because we do not have that right but in…

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A Message from Ellen

November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022 Friends, As the Halloween candy gets buried in the Thanksgiving paraphernalia, and is then overshadowed by towering, blow-up Santa decorations, it is easy to be distracted.  Over and over again, Jesus reminded us that if we are looking for God we should not look to the centers of power, wealth, influence or popularity.  Once an old Rabbi was asked why so few people were finding God.  He replied, “most people are not willing to look that low.” Remember that Christian faithfulness is not defined by how many likes you get on a Facebook post, or how many…

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