Blog: Forest Lake Talks

2/20/23 Devotional from Ed

February 20, 2023

Text:  Deuteronomy 6:1-15 1Now this is the commandment – the statutes and the ordinances – that the LORD your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, 2so that you and your children and your children’s children, may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply…

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A Message from Ellen

February 15, 2023

February 15, 2023 Dear Friends, The images from Turkey and Syria are difficult to digest. The news from Ukraine is unnerving. The reports of bomb threats in our local schools leave us wondering what is happening. And this week there was “another” mass shooting in Michigan.  How did we get to the place where we can say “another” mass shooting?!  What are we to do? We cannot influence world leaders or fix the devastation of an earthquake a world away.  We can donate to reputable aid agencies.  The PC(USA) is one such aid agency. You can contribute to aid for…

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2/14/23 Devotional from Ed – Prayer of St. Francis/Stephen Ministry

February 14, 2023

Good morning. For today’s devotional, here are the steps: Step 1: Listen to this Step 2: Read the prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that…

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2/9/23 Devotional from Ed

February 9, 2023

Text: Micah 6:8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? Devotional: Raise your hand if you’ll be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday. Now keep your hand up if you’re secretly watching the Super Bowl just for the advertisements. In an article I read this morning, it mentioned that many successful companies became “iconic” after they chose to “address the collective anxieties and desires of a nation,” sometimes using humor, sometimes not, in advertisements. While you may or may not agree…

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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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