Blog: Forest Lake Talks

3/28/22 Devotional from Ed

March 28, 2022

Note: This is the sermon preached at the congregational retreat worship service on 3/27. It is written in narrative style. Text: Luke 10:38-42 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. he 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…

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3/21/22 Devotional from Ed

March 21, 2022

Text: Hebrews: 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Devotional: A seminary professor of mine, Paul Galbreath, is a gifted professor who can break down complex theology with simple, one sentence summaries. Dr. Galbreath also was a long-time pastor of a church in Portland, Oregon before joining the faculty at Union, and when he first arrived at the Portland church, he consistently asked all church committees the following simple questions in all discussions and decision-making opportunities: How is God present in this? Where do we see God’s hand? Think about a hospital…

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A Message from Ellen

March 16, 2022

Dear Friends, This Sunday, March 20th, everyone in worship (online and in person) will be invited to stay after worship for just a few minutes (not more than about 10) to hear an update on the work that our congregation is engaged in through MORE Justice.  And everyone is invited to attend (in person) the Nehemiah Action on Monday, April 4th from 6:30-8:30 at the Columbia Convention Center. We know that God commands us to work for BOTH mercy and justice (Micah 6:8), but most of us are much more comfortable doing merciful acts.  Merciful acts are required and are…

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3/15/22 Devotional from Ed

March 15, 2022

Text: Mark 1:35-39 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him.  When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.”  He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. Devotional: Just before our Scripture reading above, Jesus camped out at Simon’s house…

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3/7/22 Devotional

March 7, 2022

Text: Matthew 6:5-14 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their…

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A Message from Ellen

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022 Dear Friends, If you haven’t been to church in a while, be prepared . . . .  there is a lot going on around here.  Renovations are the easiest part to see, and those will continue because of the support of this congregation for our capital campaign.  But other changes are happening also, and I want to invite your participation and attention. First, we are beginning again to ask our members to suggest names of those who have the faith, passion, and skills to serve as Elders and Deacons.  The Congregational Nominating Committee is asking for your…

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2/28/22 Devotional from Ed

February 28, 2022

Devotional from Ed Black Text: Psalm 69 Devotional: An alternate translation to begin this psalm says, “RESCUE me, O God, for the waters have come to my neck.” Nothing is going right for this psalmist, as we learn there are enemies, follies, and shame, compounded with alienation from family and friends. Ever felt like the psalmist? HOWEVER, the psalmist has not become alienated from God, writing, “In fasting I wept for my being” (alternate translation, again) in verse 11 before saying, “As for me, my prayer is to you.” I wonder what fasting caused this psalmist to do. What did he or…

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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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