November 14, 2022
My Loving Family of Faith,
I sat in the woods yesterday and snow flurries surrounded me. The west wind made my eyes tear up and the mid-autumn chill showed my breath sailing off beside me. Leaves that once filled the trees now rustled along the ground in waves and swirls. Yes, the November chill had found me.
As I sat there with the cold filtering through my clothes and sending the occasional shiver through me, I called up one of my favorite thoughts for warmth. I thought of how nice it would be when I got home to my toasty house. The image of my wife there with her smile made me smile. My dog, with his uncontrolled exuberance, would greet me and my cat would watch patiently for me to pay attention to her. A hot cup of tea in my hand and a warm cinnamon roll would heat me from the inside out, and I would be at peace. It is those thoughts that can give me the staying power to remain in the wintry weather for long periods of time.
It occurs to me that my reliance on such warming thoughts is not unlike life as a Christian. How often do we feel that we are out in the cold. Fears and anxieties overwhelm us, sending tears to our eyes and shivers down our spine. Grief or loneliness might make us feel as if we are frozen without any hope of a thaw. It’s not uncommon for these feelings to befall us, and please know that you are not the only one to experience them.
But, by the grace of God, we have been given the most loving thoughts ever shared with any human to warm us. Messages and promises from the One true God are at our fingertips in the Bible. Jesus’ words when he walked among us span the millennia, reaching deep into our hearts. Words of love, comfort, shelter, caring, belonging, hope, and peace are written for each of us to take hold of, read over, pray over, and let wash over us. The Spirit that lives within each of us can warm like no earthly cup of coffee or blanket ever could. To bask in the glow of God’s love is a gift from the Divine and is meant to be there for you no matter how cold life gets.
Now, as we all know, there is no promise that challenges and difficulties will not chill us throughout life. Times and situations will undoubtedly come along that will make us ask ‘why?’. From time to time we will shake our heads in disbelief at what we face and feel exhausted by what lay ahead. But in those times, I encourage you to pick up your Bible and search for the wisdom, seek out the warmth. As you read and pray imagine sitting next to Jesus by a warm fire sharing His word. See the light that is like no other cast a glow of peace around the room. Feel the comfort of the chair He has provided for you to rest. Enjoy the endless bounty He has set on the table. Think of Him smiling and handing you a mug of heavenly warmth, and as you hold that mug between your hands, let the miracle of divine love flow through you. Let it lift you so that you will know you are never alone. Smile knowing that you are always home with Him.
It is through God that we can endure any chill. The Lord alone gives us the strength to move forward when our feet feel heavy and our bodies feel cold. What a blessing it is to be able to reach for the Word, and to know that with the gift of Jesus, we have a warm place to come home to.
Warmth be with you,
If you are looking to volunteer somewhere and help spread Christmas Cheer, The Lewis County Historical Society is looking for help with their Festival of Trees. Greeters and help selling raffle tickets is needed. Please contact Carmen Sweet if you would like to help.
The Turkey Trot will be happening Thanksgiving day and they are looking for pies! If you would like to bake a pie for this event, please bring them to the Andover House fridge by the morning of November 23rd.
Stone Soup is THIS Thursday at 5:00PM. Ham is on the menu. We are looking for monetary donations this month to help with our dwindling Stone Soup Fund. The price of take-out containers and grocery items is increasingly high. As a reminder of how it works, Stone Soup Dinners are still being handed out in a drive-thru style. All are welcome, and there is no charge. Donations for dinners are always accepted. Our Chefs, Jim Schielder and Jacob Hoyt prepare approximately 100 meals made with love! Your help is very much appreciated to pack meals and hand out.
We have been working to give you the Monthy Calendar in Sarah’s office in the Spire. We want you to be informed of all the happenings at church and the Andover House. Building and equipment use forms will need to be filled out before you’ll be added to the calendar. With the winter weather upon us now, and the rising costs of utilities, we are glad to fill up our calendar and put these buildings to use whenever possible!
A BIG Thank you to all you helped to bring us the Holiday Bazaar! And a BIG Thank you to all who donated items, baked, and came to support it. It was a wonderful day of Christmas fun and fellowship!
The Presbyterian Women will be meeting each month on the 2nd Tuesday at 10:00 am in the Church Basement (Fellowship Hall) for Bible Study!
All the women of the church are invited!
The Lowville Chapter of AA will be meeting every Tuesday and Thursday nights in the meeting space in the Andover House, directly behind the church, at 7:00 p.m. As well on Saturday's at noon.
Sandy Buckingham returns to our church to lead a Tai Chi class.
The class will be held on Thursday's at 10AM and costs $10/session, in our Fellowship Hall at 7707 North State Street, Lowville, NY 13367 (please use the North State Street entrance)
Modern Tai Chi involves a series of movements performed in a slow,
focused manner accompanied by deep breathing.
Check out this new Outreach Service through our North Country Library System!