Author Archives: Ernie Hess

SURVIVE TO THRIVE

Dear St Andrew’s members and friends,

We are now in our 29th week of living through this time of pandemic, six months!  Over this long time, each week I have been sharing with you various tools from scripture to help us get through this very challenging time – things like faith, hope, love, spirit, patience, strength, endurance, persistence, rest.

Now as we enter this fall season, we are still physical distancing as we wait for a Covid 19 vaccine.  But even as we wait, we are planning for the time when we can resume in person worship and fellowship.  And we look forward to 2021 with hope.

So this Sunday you will hear from the chair of our 2021 stewardship campaign, Harold Helm, as we begin to plan our congregation’s life and mission when we all emerge from this pandemic.  And I am confident that we will.  Our stewardship theme is SURVIVE TO THRIVE.  With your help, we will indeed survive and thrive in 2021.

thank you, and God bless you all,  Ernie 

Essential Tool for Living in a Time of Pandemic: REST

 

REST is this week’s essential tool for living in a time of pandemic.  Last week we looked at the importance of persistence in doing what is right (Galatians 6:9).  But our life is more than what we do, and our labor must be balanced with needed rest.  So this week we look at Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28-30 to come to him to find rest for our souls.

blessings, Ernie 

Essential Tools for Living in a Time of Pandemic: 15. PERSISTENCE

A few days ago, I came across this excerpt from a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier that encourages this week’s essential tool for living in a time of pandemic: PERSISTENCE.  In Luke 11:5-11, Jesus taught about persistence in prayer, and Galatians 6:9 encourages us to be persistent in our actions: “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up.” 

blessings, Ernie 

 

 

 

 

Essential Tools for Living in a Time of Pandemic: 14. PRAYER

 

This week’s essential tool for living in a time of pandemic is PRAYER.  Scripture is full of many prayers and admonitions to pray.  But this week we will focus on two passages, Luke 11:1-4, where Jesus gives his disciples the model prayer that we know as “the Lord’s Prayer,” and Romans 8:26-27 where the apostle Paul tells us that the Spirit helps us pray when we don’t know how to pray as we ought.  With the help of Jesus and the Spirit of God, we can all grow in prayer.

blessings, Ernie

Essential Tools for living in a Time of Pandemic: 13. STRENGTH

This week’s essential tool for living in a time of pandemic is STRENGTH.  Bruce Smith will be giving the video sermon this week so I can have a weekend off to celebrate my granddaughter Evie’s 3rd birthday! But I will still prepare and lead the Wednesday Evening Bible study.  During these difficult times we need to turn to the Lord for strength.  So “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of God’s power.”  (Ephesians 6:10)

blessings, Ernie

Essential Tools for Living in a Time of Pandemic: 12. CONSOLATION

In 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 the apostle Paul shares about the many struggles and hardships that he has been through, and how God has seen him through, granting him this week’s essential tool for living in a time of pandemic: CONSOLATION. When we have been through tough times, we can help others who are struggling through similar events, becoming what Henri Nouwen called, “wounded healers.”

blessings, Ernie

Essential Tools for Living in a Time of Pandemic: 11. COMPASSION

This week’s Essential Tool for Living in a Time of Pandemic is COMPASSION.  You are invited to prayerfully read Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 in preparation, where Jesus looks at the crowds of struggling and hurting people with compassion.  May we learn to see people through the eyes of Jesus and respond from a heart of compassion.

blessings, Ernie

 

Essential Tools for Living in a Time of Pandemic: 10. LIFE

Rick Oldenkamp is giving the message for this Sunday so I can spend some time with our newest grandchild, Johanna.   Thank you Rick!  His sermon topic is Essential Tools for Living in the Time of Pandemic — 10:  LIFE. In preparation to hear God’s Word, read Genesis 2:4-7; John 1:1-5; and John 10:7-10.  Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  How do we nurture this life in our present challenging situation?

blessings, Ernie

Essential Tools for Living in a Time of Pandemic: 9. ENDURANCE

 

This week’s essential tool for living through a time of pandemic is ENDURANCE.  I put off preaching on this essential tool for living because we naturally prefer that our life be smooth and easy, and this is a tool we need to get through hard times. Endurance is defined as: the power to withstand pain or hardships; the ability or strength to continue despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions.   Well we have plenty of adverse conditions in our life now and we need endurance to survive and even thrive.  Where does the quality of endurance come from?  And how can we get more, for ourselves and for other people who are struggling.  I invite you to read and ponder Romans 5:1-5, especially v. 3 “suffering produces ENDURANCE.”

blessings, Ernie

p.s. I am overjoyed to announce the birth of our 4th grandchild, Johanna June Hess, last Sunday in Fresno.  She was 7 pounds 2 ounces and 19 ¾ inches.  Pray for “endurance” for the parents, Nate and Elaine, and much joy and love.