Blog: Forest Lake Talks

The Fifth Week of Lent – Saturday

April 4, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor 2 TIMOTHY 1:8-10 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and…

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The Fifth Week of Lent – Friday

April 3, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor ROMANS 3:21-25a But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. There is no distinction…

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The Fifth Week of Lent – Thursday

April 2, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor ROMANS 8:1-2 So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. Jesus sets us free from sin and death. Truly, nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing. Sit with this astonishing truth for a few minutes. We are not destined to languish in the consequences of sin. In this very moment, in every moment, you are united to God. Remember this truth today. Liberating God, you…

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A Message from Ellen

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020 Dear Friends, The new normal is . . .  whatever I did thirty minutes ago.  I know that we are all in this together, but upside down on a roller coaster is still tough.  Yes?  The church is still here and we want to respond when you need us.  Our church staff has worked very hard in the last two weeks to figure out how to support and to strengthen our community of faith.  And you have been phenomenal at reaching out to each other.  Did you know that several women in our congregation made several hundred…

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The Fifth Week of Lent – Wednesday

April 1, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor JAMES 4:12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, and he is able to save and to destroy. But you who judge your neighbor, who are you? The Book of James refuses to be theoretical about our faith, always calling us back to how our faith should shape our actions and interactions. Notice today how and who and what you judge. Make note of your assumptions and attempt to suspend them. Be open to meeting each person as the beloved child of God they are. God, you alone are the judge of people and…

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The Fifth Week of Lent – Tuesday

March 31, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor MATTHEW 9:13 Go and learn what this means: I want mercy and not sacrifice. I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners. Jesus tells us to go and learn what it means that he desires mercy and not sacrifice. What does this mean? In one sentence write down what you think Jesus wants us to learn from this phrase. Now, how do you practice our Savior’s admonishment? How can you extend mercy, rather than requiring sacrifices? Lord Christ, we live in the hope that you came not for the righteous but to save…

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The Fifth Week of Lent – Monday

March 30, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor LUKE 6:37-38 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” What are you struggling to forgive today — in yourself or in others? Why are you holding on to regret or grievances rather than accepting God’s forgiveness and opening yourself, your relationships, your…

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The Fifth Week of Lent – Letting Go of Judgement and Holding on to God’s Grace

March 29, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor JOHN 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. God does not condemn us. Despite our mistakes and missteps, what we have done and what we…

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The Fourth Week of Lent – Saturday

March 28, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor ISAIAH 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. What in your life feels tumultuous, as if the very earth beneath your feet is shaking? Reflect on your faith journey and remember other seasons of upheaval. How was God present? Looking back, where do you see that God was at work? Can recalling those times give you comfort and assurance now? There are seasons, Lord of…

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COVID Mission at Work – The Good News 

March 27, 2020

By Jodi Beckham    A quick scroll through Facebook can show some wonderful work being done by our community. Good news that we very much need! There is more good work being done than I could list here but I wanted to encourage you to check out some of what is being done.     Fellowship Camp and Conference Center is providing lodging and food for the Imani Milele Choir from Uganda, which is made up of 21 children and 16 adults. This choir was booked months ago to come to America beginning their performing tour in January and were scheduled…

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The Fourth Week of Lent – Friday

March 27, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor JOHN 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. Peace is illusive, ineffable and so much more than the absence of violence. Jesus gifts us with his peace. Where do you find and feel Jesus’ peace that passes understanding? How can you cultivate a deep sense of Jesus’ peace in ways that impact the people and places around you? Read the headlines and pray for peace for those without…

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The Fourth Week of Lent – Thursday

March 26, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor 2 TIMOTHY 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. How do God’s power, self-discipline and love go together? How might they go together for disciples of Jesus Christ? Loving requires intentionality, effort, practice, God’s power and our self-discipline. How do you see these three things working together in your life and faith community? Where do you need most to practice self-discipline in order to be more loving? God of power and might, we often lack self-discipline and fail to love as we…

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A Message from Ellen – Covid19 update – 3-25-20

March 25, 2020

Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live. Psalm  23:6 (CEB Translation) Dear Friends, Your Staff and the leadership of our congregation have been working hard to adapt to daily change and uncertainty.  And, as your pastor, I have tried to take seriously our need to keep the church community going, care for our members and guests, and also to help our staff feel secure and balance family needs (especially for those who must now care for school aged children who…

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The Fourth Week of Lent – Wednesday

March 25, 2020

by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor 1 JOHN 4:18-19 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. We love because God first loved us. Use this verse as a breath prayer throughout the day. Breathe in “we love,” and breathe out “because God first love us.” As you find yourself stressed or distracted, breathe in “I love,” and breathe out “because God first loved me.” Pay attention to how this practice impacts…

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Prayer Resources

March 24, 2020

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 These days can be challenging as we watch the news or hear of friends and family who may be ill. It is hard to live into a world of ‘social distancing’ when it’s the norm to greet one another with a handshake or hug. So how do we live into this “New Normal” and maintain our Walking in the Way of Jesus as God’s loving community? First, I usually tell the children as we begin a lesson, to pause and BREATHE. Take a…

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