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Pastor's Monthly Message

Pastor's Monthly Message.. April,2017

Face Your Fears
Life is an especially high - risk proposition. The stakes are extremely high. Total happiness or complete heartbreak is often a matter of difference in a step, a turn of a head, or an offhand decision. Misery may suddenly break upon our heads out of nowhere. We may display moments of confidence for one another, occasional acts of bravado, but is only the dishonest who never admit to fear in their lives. I believe that all of us dwell somewhere between comfortable security and fearful anxiety.
When we do meet with uncertainty, deep feelings of fear may arise. A full stomach may not please us today if we are not sure of tomorrows meal. but even in times of relative security, we can never forget how frail the heart is in the person we love most, how limited is our time together. We can never forget in our time of relative confidence how little we know, how prone we are to error. One philosopher said, "Man is but a reed - the weakest thing in nature...It is not necessary that the whole world should arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him."
When life does have its terrifying moments, how do we survive them?
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing which comes along." The real danger in our lives lies in refusing to face fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take your confidence. You must do the thing you cannot do.

Pastor's Monthly Message..March,2017

Listen To The Coach
A distinguishing feature of our way of life in this era is the increasing number of people who are involved in athletics of one kind or another. Most young people now participate in some form of sports competition. While in the past, it was the domain of young men, today's world includes young women almost equally. Spectator sports are a major focus of leisure time in many of our lives.
Unfortunately, recently we have been confronted with many negatives in sports. Cheating seems to be common, drug use which enhances performance seem to be acceptable and money can help determine the outcome of events.
However, there are still many positive results which can come from athletic competitions. The results of disciplined practice, the thrills of pursuing goals and the wisdoms gained from winning and losing are just some of the benefits.
But there is another important lessons that successful athletes must learn. Regardless of athletic power and natural ability, every individual who has aspirations to succeed in the competitive world of sports must first listen to a coach - to listen to someone who has been there before, to a person whose judgment is shaped by long seasons of preparation and experience. It is the coach's advice and counsel that must be placed before the noisy urgings of the crowd and even one's own interest.
Life, in general, demands of us this same lesson. All of us, who participate in the contest of living must also learn to heed the voice of the coach because our success and happiness quite often depend on it.

Pastor's Monthly Message..February,2017

The brain is a very wonderful thing. Not only does it receive, interpret and record information on a daily basis but with the passage of time, the wonderful mind sorts and orders our experience. When it does, it gives increased worth to all the memories and recollections of events that seemed so unimportant in our earlier years.
When we grow up, we began to understand the nature of human thought and wisdom. And as our maturity looks back in time, it teaches us that what may have appeared important to us when we were young loses much of that importance as we get older. And, conversely, what we may have taken for granted gains in value as time passes.
"I made a great mistake in my youth" wrote one man in his diary. I supposed that what was important to me then would remain important for a life time, like winning at football, buying my first automobile, dating the most attractive girl in my class, and being invited to join a fraternity in college, were all matters which might have an eternal value. But age has brought me home to the great lesson we must all learn. As memory takes me back to my childhood - the sports, the cars, the puppy loves, are all gone. And in their place are the sacred hours spent with my father and mother - hours of work, play, of discipline; irreplaceable hours with parents who are no more.
The truth is that those words provide us all with insight. For those of us who are parents, we learn that we do not always have to be understood by our children to be loved by them. And the love we give them, even if it includes a portion of discipline, will be more valued in time. We come to understand that there is no more important time than that which we spend with our children. To provide children with happy, meaningful memories is a primary responsibility of parenthood.

Pastor's Monthly Message...January..2017

What Is Really Needful

All of us seem to revel in the fact that we are "so busy". There are so many things to do, so many responsibilities that pull us for our time. Technology was supposed to simplify our lives but it seems to have made are lives more crowded. As soon as we seem to invent a system to simplify one task, another responsibility moves in to take control of whatever time we have saved. It may be true that we get more things done by making more efficient use of our time, but it may also mean that as our lives become more full, more complex, more detailed some of the more important aspects of living receive less attention or are forgotten altogether.
How many times have we justified the time we spend away from families, justified the neglect families suffer because of careers, pleasures, or other distractions? "I'm doing these things for you" neglected families are often told. And, while that may be partly true, it does not make the neglect any less real. A boy once received such an explanation from his father, who never had time to play ball with him. The boy said, "The trouble; dad, is that I'm not in your book". "Book", said the father, "what book"?
"You know", the boy replied, "the book you write your appointments in, the one where you keep track of meetings with important people. "I'm not in there!"
Jesus spoke about these things, the problem of mismanaged priorities. The occasion was when he visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. While Mary set at the feet of Jesus, learning of salvation, Martha worked the kitchen and was very annoyed that Mary did not help her. Finally, Martha complained to Jesus who answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things; but only one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42

Pastor's Monthly Message...December..2016

Why We Can't Wait

A few years ago, a major movement in America had its slogan, battle cry, "Why We Can't Wait!" The present has an endless feel about it. When our children are running wild in our house, it seems impossible to think that they will soon be gone and we will be alone. Remember when you thought you would always be a child in your parents home? Do you remember when it seemed like you would always be in school?

We soon began to realize that the "today's" disappear quite quickly into memories. One season becomes another, and our face suddenly looks older in the mirror. We become the middle and then the older generation at the family reunion. Our parents slip away from us one day and one of life's anchors is gone.

Though life seems long in our quick thoughts, it is but a moment. It dances past us and darts off into our nighttimes. If life is short, it is precious. If life is fragile, it must be handled with care. While we have been reminded quite often to be patient, we should began to understand that there are some things for which we cannot wait.

We cannot wait to mend an argument. What if the harsh words were our last ones?

We cannot wait to hug a child. He will soon grow out of his need for our hugs.

We cannot wait to treat our parents well. Someday soon they will be beyond our touch.

We cannot wait to help a friend. When someone needs our help, they need it now, not when it is more convenient for us.

We cannot wait to shed our weakness, tomorrow it will be a habit, and the next day a part of our character.

We cannot wait to find joy. Joy is an attitude, not a future event.

Our days are like clouds adrift on a summer sky. We know their grace one small hour, and then they are gone beyond our reach and comprehension. Let us live them well while they are still with us. That is why we cannot wait.

Pastor Hans Lillejord

Pastor's Monthly Message...November..2016

What Is Important?
Distinguishing between Reality and Appearance.

One of the quietest authors/playwrights in English history is William Shakespeare. when I took a college course in Shakespeare I approached it with some skepticism as to whether or not he would have much to tell me as a young man. I found that every play I read had some major theme that was relevant for all time. One of these themes was the conflict between appearance and reality. In Shakespeare words, he told us that "all that glitters is not gold" and that "not every cloud engenders a storm". He further noted that "things sweet to the taste prove in digestion sour". It is time well spent to go back to the great masters of literature and reflect on their themes because truth is not limited to a time or a people. We, like the people of Shakespeare London, are living in a world of false images where it is hard to sort out truth from reality. It's a world where a political candidates hairstyle is more important to his campaign than his stand on world issues. It is a world where we know each other so superficially that some of our best friends are those who speak to us from a television set or twitter anonymously on a cell phone. It's a world where our dream homes are the slim facades of a television movie set, a world where we as humans put on facades because we are not quite sure people will like us without a veneer.

Pastor's Monthly Message...October..2016

Importance of Friendship

One of the most important task that has been given us by our religion is "Love thy neighbor". That directive also includes "Love your family". This directive is a charge to be concerned about human relationships in our lives. It is about the business of creating friendship with people who make us feel comfortable and with those we share honesty and trust.
This includes everybody from mere acquaintances to someone with whom we share our most intimate secrets. The relationship we have with one another will vary from person to person but some kind of bond is always there.
If we feel we don't have many friendships it is quite possible that we don't give enough time to develop them. On our list of goals or "bucket list, developing certain friendships" usually does not appear on them. We simply assume that they will happen automatically, yet, the first rule of friendships should be to assign a top priority to them.
If we are to love our neighbor and develop meaningful relationships, we have to take an interest and spend time on them. If we are to be a friend we must care about others, what they think, what they feel, about their successes and failures in life. Friendship is a circle, since it cannot include the good points and not the bad.
Quite often, friendships end because they are inconvenient. We may have good intentions and good impulses for a strong relationship, but it might be too time and energy consuming to invest in them. Most of the time we are willing to do generous things as long as they are convenient for us. But friendships are quite often very inconvenient because it always includes the "giving of oneself".
Some of the most basic aspects of friendship are loyalty, ability to keep personal confidences, openness, ability to give support, a sense of humor, frankness, as well as personal time.

Pastor's Monthly Message...September..2016

September 2016


Those people who have some clue that they have not too long to live on this earth, those who are ill, aged, have an insight into the meaning of life. They soon come to the conclusion that life is to be lived to the fullest because each day might well be the last.
The term "bucket list" is now commonly used to indicate that each new day should be filled with some new experience that the days that we have left should be lived to the fullest. Life is then not measured just by its length but by its depth.
To live is not simply to breath; it is to experience, to make use of our senses, to be able to feel. Simply to acquire a lot of things, fame or sensual pleasure is to spend or trade irreplaceable time for that which is worth very little. To soon life is gone. Even as I write this and you read it, a portion of time is gone forever. Life is short. whether we live to 20 or 100, we all lose the same thing, the opportunity to "live for today".
One individual expressed it this way, "If I had a chance to live life over, I would do things quite differently. I would understand at the beginning that much of life is spent in vain pursuits. If I could do it over again, I would hate less, love more, work less overtime and spend more time with family, argue less, listen more, collect fewer debts and make more friends. If God granted me a second chance, I would grow closer to living things - to petunias, to aspen trees, to kittens to my children, Bedtime stories would be more important than news stories, valentines and birthdays more important than payday. I would never go to bed without saying to someone, "I love you" or without experiencing the beauty of a song, poem or painting. And finally each morning as I arose I would repeat these words; "The past is gone and tomorrow may never come so I will live for today".

Pastor Hans Lillejord

Pastor's Monthly Message...July....August.. 2016

A Celebration of Our Veteran

This article will come just after our God and Country celebration, where each year in our community we honor the Veterans of past wars as well as the active members of our present armed forces who keep us free in our beloved country.
The Veterans of past wars come in a number of different sizes, shapes and ages. their experience of past wars spans World Wars and several foreign conflicts. They have been in Flanders field,
Iwo Jima, the beaches of Normandy, Porkchop Hill and the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta. No matter where they have been, all Veterans share a common bond - a brotherhood of memory and hard won wisdom that helps define their character.
A Veteran is the first one up when the flag passes by and the last man down, for they have been witness to the blood and tears that make our God & Country program and all parades possible. A Veteran is a man of peace, soft spoken, slow to anger, quick to realize that those who talk most about the glory of war are those who know least about its horror. The Veteran does not joke about war because he has been there and still recalls in his memories the dying, the widows and orphans. He knows firsthand that no war is good and the only thing worse than war is the loss of freedom.
The Veteran is a friend to all races of men. He lives with the knowledge that is not the man who is the enemy but enslavement and false ideologies who are the foes. Many of those who they once faced as enemies across hostile battle lines, he now esteems as brothers. A Veteran is at once proud of the fact that in 240 years our country has not had a foreign enemy totally invade our country, and humble in the realization that many of his comrades who helped make the dream a reality never returned home to our country.

Pastor's Monthly Message...June..2016

Know Me, Lord!

To be considered important, valuable and wanted is one of the basic needs of our lives. So often we feel like we're just a part of a crowd. In the stadiums, ballparks, arenas and sometimes the bigger churches, we feel like just an indistinguishable face in a very big crowd. We find, in our mailboxes, letters and other mail addressed to "occupant". We hurry down streets where no one may recognize us. Sometimes we began to wonder if our lives have any significant meaning to anybody else. Many experts think that many of our social problems come from this need gone astray; people searching for a way to say "I'm important, I count for something, please notice me!"
The truth be told, is that we are all noticed much more than we realize. We are noticed by friends, family, colleagues and even strangers are affected by the things we do and say. But even beyond the associations of other people, there is a vast amount of love and concern from the God who loves us all. It should be comforting to each of us to know the prayer of the poet
"O regard me, Lord" from the music "O Divine Redeemer" is answered even before it is asked. Whether or not we feel the praise of others, or we feel ignored and unknown, the Lord always regards us. To Him, our importance is never dimmed.
The old Testament book of Jonah, tells of the prophet Jonah. He didn't appear to like God's command to go to a city and preach His word. So Jonah fled, or at least tried to flee from the presence of God. He thought of God as only a local deity from whom he could hide. Perhaps, you and I have tried to hide or feel hidden from God. Sometimes, we think, "Who am I that God should care about or notice me?" After all, we are only one out of billions of people who inhabit the world. It strains our imagination to think that we are worthy of being "regarded" by God, Himself.

12809 New Sweden Church Road
Manor, TX 78653
Phone: 512-281-0056

Rev. Hans J. Lillejord, Pastor
Cell Phone: 512-947-9044

Worship with Us

Services Held Every Sunday at 10:30am

Sunday School Held Every Sunday at 9:30am

Adult Bible Class Held Every Sunday at 9:15am


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