Blog: Forest Lake Talks

December 4 Advent Devotional

December 4, 2020

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.” Psalm 130:5-6 My soul waits. It seems that all we are doing now is waiting. Waiting on the election, waiting on the inauguration, waiting on a vaccine for Covid-19, waiting on test results, waiting on church to reopen, waiting on schools to reopen… waiting. But through his word, I hope. We have much to hope for, not getting sick, a vaccine, and now Christmas.…

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December 3 Advent Devotional

December 3, 2020

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 COVID; Pandemic; Stay Home; loss of employment; Masks; Social distancing; flatten the curve; protesting; rioting; looting; massive fires; hurricane after hurricane; tornadoes; damage to economic structure; addiction increases; domestic violence is on the rise; an election that is tearing apart families and friendships; hate seems to be common now on social media; etc. – Yes, 2020 has been surreal! Recently, while driving, I was listening to KLOVE on the radio and heard this: “2020 surprised you.…

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December 2 Advent Devotional

December 2, 2020

“This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them, but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life. To the eternal King, immortal and invisible, the only God – to him be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.” – 1 Timothy 1:15-17 An excerpt from Paul’s first letter to Timothy in…

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December 1 Advent Devotional

December 1, 2020

“In that day, says the Lord, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away, and those whom I have afflicted. The lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion now and forevermore.” Micah 4:6-7 I have always been intrigued by looking backward in history and discovering what happened on a particular day in a particular year. Down through the ages what happened on December 1? 1862: President Lincoln reaffirms the necessity to end slavery as he stated in…

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November 30 Advent Devotional

November 30, 2020

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 I hear it often (and have said it myself), as I am sure many others have as well, “When will this all be over,” “I can’t take much more of this,” “I just want things to go back to normal,” “We just need 2020 to be over,” and so on in some form or other. We all yearn for normalcy to return. We all want the pandemic to be over so we can get back to our…

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November 29 Advent Devotional

November 29, 2020

It was a rainy, muddy, spring day in September 2012, when a Social Services vehicle drove into the yard of the newly renovated headquarters of Ministry of Hope Lesotho. The eight two- to ten-year olds, that had just moved into their new home, pressed their noses against the window, wondering what was going on. I grabbed an umbrella beside the front door and went to greet our visitors. A government social worker stepped out of the Landcruiser asking if this was the crisis care center known as Ministry of Hope. I agreed that it was, and accompanied her inside, together…

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A Message from Ed

November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020 Dear Forest Lake family, Rafael Nadal, winner of this year’s French Open and winner of twenty Grand Slam titles, is one of many athletes with a specific ritual before a match or game. Tennis, a sport long known for its traditions on the court, now competes with baseball as the sport with the most unique rituals off the playing surface. In Nadal’s case, he “takes a cold shower before every match and then sets two water bottles, one cold and one at room temperature in front and left of his chair on the court, making sure that…

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A Message from Ellen

November 11, 2020

Dear Friends,  As we approach the end of 2020, I have heard more than a few folks say that the end of 2020 cannot come soon enough!!  But the good news is that the Sunday after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the new Christian year!  Every year, Christians begin again during Advent.  Sunday, November 29th is the first Sunday of the Advent Season – the four weeks when we set aside time to prepare our lives, hearts, and minds for the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas. “An Advent like no Other!” could be our theme this year!  And, although…

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A Message from Ellen

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020 Dear Friends, We do not know what the future holds.  I guess that is always true, but somehow most of us skate along on a very thin veneer of what we call normal, and we are always surprised when normal comes to an end.  But, as we all try to peer into the fog of the future, perhaps we should instead begin to be surprised when the normal holds, surprised when our plans come to fruition, surprised when what we planned to do we were able to do.  The story of Scripture is a story of both…

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A Message from Ed

October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020 Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Dear FLPC family, When we begin a worship service, we typically say the following: “We continue to be a congregation dedicated to the transformation of our heads, hearts, and hands in the service of Jesus Christ.” Even though we are in the midst of trying times, examples of FLPC members modeling this transformation abound! A few weeks ago, one of our members contacted the church because he needed someone to help him clear some debris from his yard. Within an hour, several of our…

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A Message from Ellen

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020 Dear Friends, When life gets overwhelming and we feel very small and insignificant, we can choose either (1) to shut down and move into protection mode or (2) to open our hearts and minds, pray to see where God is already at work, and join God in that work. In the next few weeks, I intend to highlight some small, concrete actions you can take to join God at work in the world.  In the last newsletter I invited you to watch a video in order to educate yourself on child abuse (signs and responses) so that…

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A Message from Ellen

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020 Dear Friends, There is a lot in life that we cannot control. [Can I get an “Amen!”?]  But, there are still a lot of things that we can – if not control – affect.  There are things that I can do that only I can do, and I am responsible to do my part – no matter how small.  It is very easy these days to get caught up and spend hours worrying about things over which we have no control.  Instead, what if we agreed together to spend most of our time on the things we…

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A Message from Ellen 8-19-20

August 19, 2020

Dear Friends, This Sunday we will try something never before tried at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church – a virtual congregational meeting!  This pandemic has forced us all to think “outside the box,” and I will admit that getting our Presbyterian polity/government to work in this age is – let’s just say – a challenge.  But, at some point we all have to decide if we are going to get grumpy and brittle, or if we will decide to do the best we can and practice our flexibility.  All of us may find this new age difficult, but I am grateful…

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A Message from Ellen – 8-5-20

August 5, 2020

Dear Friends, On my desk at church I have a prayer that Marian Wright Edelman wrote. Lord, help me to sort out what I should do first, second and third today And to not try to do everything at once and nothing well. Give me the wisdom to delegate what I can and to order the things I can’t delegate, To say no when I need to, and the sense to know when to go home. When life seems to be swirling and so much is uncertain, I find it helpful to look at that prayer.  I cannot control a…

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A Message from Ellen – July 22, 2020

July 22, 2020

Dear Friends, There were 214 of you who responded to the church’s survey on worship re-opening.  Thank you for making the time to tell us how you feel!  Of the 214 who responded, 109 of you said that “it will be a while” before you would be comfortable coming back into an indoor space for worship, even with significant safety measures.  42 people indicated that they were open to the idea, but encouraged the leadership to “wait several weeks.”  Many of those said that they would be willing to come back into the building for worship once the virus numbers…

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