A letter from the pastor...
By the Reverend Steven Kim
Trees in the Evergreen State
Weeks ago, I had a late-summer vacation in Seattle, Washington. As you might know, the nickname of the state is the Evergreen State. Thanks to the warm current in the northern Pacific Ocean, the western region of the state stays relatively warm throughout the year. For example, the average temperature in winter is above 30 degrees while its summer season beckons tourists from around the country with its relatively cool weather. They seldom have snow in winter. Instead, a rainy season starts in fall which lasts all the way through April the following year. Oftentimes, raining is a daily event in winter. That explains why Starbucks Coffee was founded in Seattle.
Meanwhile, plants love the climate. Especially, it is the near-perfect climate for the trees to grow tall and green. However, the weather pattern imposes a side effect on them as well. In general, they do not take their roots deep into the ground due to the frequent rain. As a result, they tend to easily be uprooted by the strong wind. Unlike the much-blessed plants in the Evergreen State, the trees in the New England region must endure both cold weather in winter and droughts at times. As a result, they need to take roots deep into the ground for survival.
Friends, I think this can be a good analogy for the trials we face in life and what they can do on our souls. It explains why God allows us the trials and ordeals every now and then in our faith journey. He wants us to take root deep in the ground of our being, namely, the source of life. Otherwise, the tree of our faith might be uprooted when storms strike at us.
It is why Apostle James exhorts us to rejoice for trials: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
Also, Hebrews 12:6 says, “… because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.”
Friend, the trials you face in life are the sure reminder of God’s love for you. It might sound counter-intuitive but I recommend you embrace God’s perspective on them. The trials you wrestle with are meant to lead you to take root deep in God who loves you without sparing. Your tree of life will grow and green until it reaches your eternal home.
In His Peace...
For Healing, for Courage and Strength, and God’s Mercy:
- Lee Carolan asks for traveling mercies for Kevin.
- Jane-Marie Wright needs our prayers for her sister, Kathy, who had shoulder surgery.
- Rich Diaz asks for prayers for his friend Kenny Loeb as his wife Barbara passed away recently. May Barbara rest in peace in God's hands.
- Our prayers continue for those struck by earth quakes and hurricanes.
- Our prayers continue for Linda and Ron Willa as they stand with Linda's stepmother who is in hospice and her Dad who is suffering the loss of his wife.
- We ask for prayers for peace for our world. May God speak clearly to all the leaders of the world.
- We ask for prayers for folks who are troubled with health issues, fear of the future, feel they are truly alone and that won't change. May God's serenity and our open hands make a difference in their suffering.
- Our prayers are with young people struggling with emotional issues. We ask God to show them there is hope and new beginnings in their future.
- The Yamitellis ask for your prayers for Christine as she had surgery.
- Rich Diaz asks for prayers for the people in Texas who have lost their homes, property and health during this terrible hurricane. Our prayers are with the rescue teams.
- We pray for those who wish they could be with us in worship, but can't because of age or failing health. May they feel the blessings of a loving Father.
- Prayers of joy for Isabelle Scott who successfully competed in a speech competition in Canada.
- Our prayers are with those who are struggling with health issues and having medical procedures.
- We pray for folks seeking new directions in their lives and those who are searching for a home. May God show them they are indeed children of promise.
- We offer prayers of thanks for Skip Steares who led us in worship last month and challenged us to be mindful to care for our soul.
- Audrey Savwoir
- Ed Ireton's Dad
- Carolyn Ellis
- Gail Bean
- Jolanda Rice
- Diana Spetta
- Joan Quinn
- Barbara Thomas
Download This Form (Right Click on this sentence - "Save Target AS"