Blog: Forest Lake Talks

2/21/22 Devotional from Ed

February 21, 2022

Devotional from Ed Black Text: John 11:17-29 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her,…

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A Message from Ellen

February 16, 2022

February 15, 2022 Dear Friends, In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us a parable about the judgement of the nations at the end of time.  And in that parable the people are divided into two groups – the sheep and the goats.  The sheep are those who treated the poor, weak, lonely, naked, imprisoned, and sick with compassion, mercy, and love.  These, Jesus says, inherit the kingdom prepared before the world began.” (Matthew 25:34).  The goats, however, are sent away from God’s presence for eternity because they did not feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, or visit those who were sick…

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2/14/22 Devotional from Ed

February 14, 2022

Devotional from Ed Black Text: Luke 5:1-11 Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into…

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A Message from Ed

February 2, 2022

Dear Friends, In Sunday’s worship service, our two preachers, Drew Radeker and Marc Shook, reminded us of the core value of the Bible: love. Using Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth as the basis for their sermons, Drew spoke about love being the “secret ingredient” to true transformation, while Marc referenced “agape,” the Greek work used in Scripture to describe God’s divine, unconditional love for you, me, and all of creation. While we often hear 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 in weddings, it is important to note that Paul is telling those in Corinth the following: All of these characteristics…

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A Message from Ellen

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022 Dear Friends, An abscessed tooth, he said.  Joe (not his real name) does not have a car but rides the bus and his bicycle to get to his full-time job at a T-shirt factory on Bluff Road.  He just took this new job after the restaurant, where he had worked for years, kept his working hours irregular and he couldn’t make ends meet.  His new insurance would kick in after 90 days on the job.  He tried to wait, but his tooth was hurting so badly that he called an ambulance because he didn’t think he could…

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1/17/22 Devotional from Ed

January 17, 2022

Weekly Devotional from Ed Black Text: 1 Corinthians 12:4-31  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 same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to…

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1/10/22 Devotional from Ed

January 10, 2022

Text: John 1:1-13 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through…

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A Message from Ellen

January 5, 2022

January 5, 2022 Dear Friends, Sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with information, and I don’t think I am alone.  In the church office we recognize that sometimes, even though we use all of our channels of communication to let you know about events and happenings, that message does not make it through the noise and busyness of your lives.  To try to make our communications easier to receive, we have a good website, we send out weekly emails that summarize the most current information, and then a longer newsletter is emailed and/or mailed every two weeks.  That…

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A Message from Ellen

December 22, 2021

December 22, 2021 Dear Friends, The celebration of the anniversary of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is almost here!  In fact, depending on how you receive this newsletter, you might get this newsletter after December 25th (as we continue to pray for our Postal Service and the Postal workers!).  If you get this before Christmas, I’d like to ask a favor.  Please make time in the schedule of whatever you have planned for Christmas Day to stop and to read some portion of the story from Scripture (or from a Children’s Bible if your plans include small people).  I’d suggest reading…

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A Message from Ellen

December 8, 2021

Dear Friends, December 21st is the winter solstice, the shortest day, and the longest night of the year. And this year, I want to encourage you to think of those around you who are experiencing darkness and figure out a small way to bring light into their lives. John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” (Common English Bible Translation) John is talking about the advent of Jesus Christ into the world. And we believe that God’s presence is both light and life for us and for the whole world. So, I…

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12/6/21 Devotional from Ed

December 6, 2021

Text: Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Devotional: The Union Seminary, Forest Lake, and Eastminster families have worked on me enough to help me realize it can be OK at times to open up. I am always interested in what’s going on in your life, but I’ve generally had a hard time expressing my true emotions to anyone outside my closest circle. Many of you know this. This devotional will be an example of me continuing to work on it. What is the “peace of God?” Paul doesn’t really…

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11/22/21 Devotional from Ed

November 22, 2021

Text: John 12:24: Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Devotional: The losses we experience in life are real and personal, and each carries its own significance. In yesterday’s family class, we discussed how grief is directly related to attachment – strong attachment equals strong grief when something or someone dies. In 2021, we lost many members of our church family. And, many in our church family lost extended family members or friends, too. As we enter the holidays,…

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11/15/21 Devotional from Ed

November 15, 2021

Weekly Devotional from Ed Black Text: Colossians 3:12 “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Devotional: Have you ever had to take an Enneagram personality test? It’s an assessment to help an individual learn more about their personality and how they can potentially work with individuals with different personalities. In other words, it helps you understand you and (potentially) everybody else. When an Enneagram consultant reviewed my recent test, she said one thing in response to a question about the trickiness of ministering to all types of personalities. She said, “Ministry is the…

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A Message from Ellen

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021 Friends, I am struggling.  I find that the continued frustration and difficulty of the space where we are living has a way of making me feel pessimistic and tired at the end of a long day.  The grief that people have experienced, the suffering of so many, and the hard work that it takes to continually navigate change has the effect of making it harder to see what God is doing! I don’t think I am alone. So, what are we to do? I’d like to hear how you are managing the grief, frustration, and anxiety. What…

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11/8/21 Devotional from Ed

November 8, 2021

Text: Ephesians 4:29-32  Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,  and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Devotional: Do you watch Saturday Night Live? If so, did you catch it a…

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