Pastor Davis' Blog

January 2017

posted Jan 28, 2017, 5:08 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Friends, in these times of tumult and chaos, it is appropriate and necessary to extend God’s grace and peace to each one of you and your families. I'm sure that we all know about the importance of growth. Growth is integral to life, for flora or fauna, and especially for us human beings. Everything as we know it is predicated on the process of growth. Growth is an absolute necessity for the people of God both individually and as a community. It is also God's design for the coming of his kingdom and the spread of his transformative power, which the world we live in needs so desperately. The events we witness, the divisions we experience, and the fading identity of people, the increasing violence, and hatred are all indications that remind us that there is a lack of growth, particularly among the so-called people of God and as a result the extension of God’s grace and His kingdom are stalled while the destructive forces that are surely anti-God flourish and wreak havoc among people. Jesus taught about this in lucid, and clear and forceful terms, and down through the passing of time that message still thunders. It is incumbent upon us as the people of God to return, remember and renew our faith and work towards all that makes for peace, love and service, a mission that will certainly transform our families, our communities and our country. Let me encourage you to read Matthew 13:31-33, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-20. All of those three passages are about the idea of growth. People of God, or persons of faith in God, are a minority in today’s world. They are like a small seed.  That seed, however, has the potential to grow and become the place of refuge and provision for many birds and other life.  God, in his eternal wisdom, has called us and placed within us the potential for great good and blessing, but for that good and power to be unleashed we must grow. I suggest reading the Bible; it is the word of God, both to inform and to instruct us. Practice the word of God. Seek the grace of God in prayer to live the word of God. Do this in a spirit of love and service and the most important change will be in us and through us in the family and community and country. Try it for a change.   Blessings, Pastor Davis

Fall 2016 Tidings

posted Sep 4, 2016, 6:08 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus!

How are you doing in your walk with Jesus? In what ways has your faith grown? How are you discovering opportunities to practice that faith and serve the Lord through serving those in need?

When Jesus tells his followers that they ought to love their neighbors as themselves, he is essentially reminding us that true faith is not just a set of beliefs but one that finds day to day expression in service of others especially the needy, the poor, the voiceless, the wronged, the marginalized and so on.

These are people, who may not be like us, or capable of responding as others among our circles do. They may be different, and even crude, nevertheless the call and command is to learn to practice our faith in love and service to these folks.

How can we do this, (incidentally this is also radical discipleship) the first principle is to learn the art of determining and differentiating between eternal values and passing fads.

Second is to learn and practice an investment agenda in the eternal aspects of life, and realize that at best we are just passing through.

Finally do everything! Whether giving, or serving or sacrificing for the glory of God. He will then transform your gifts, services and your actions for the good of all people.

I suggest that we try this in the coming weeks & months and we will witness a transformation of our spirit, our families, our communities and certainly our church.

Blessings and peace, 
Pastor Davis

Untitled Post

posted May 25, 2016, 6:28 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus!

One of the results of losing a loved one is that the survivors know that they have lost a part of themselves, and all of us know in our hearts and mind that we need restoration. We seek it, we attempt in many ways to be made whole again, live again etc. Most of us react, replace, and do other things to feel good, because we confuse restoration with feeling. We end up in a more dire need of restoration.

Incidentally in Christendom's favorite Psalm(23:3), we read "He restores my soul, and leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

Robert Robinson was one such individual. His family had just moved to a new town. He was just eight years old and studious. Then his father suddenly died and the family was plunged into poverty. His mother was a godly woman; she longed for her son to be a clergyman. To get away from the sadness and fear which engulfed his family after the loss of his father, Robert left to find work, and in so doing, he got in with bad company.

One day his gang of drunken brawling bar hoppers harassed a gypsy woman, demanding that she tell them their fortunes. She looked at Robert and told him that he would live to see his children and grandchildren. This prediction hit him hard because he realized that the way he was living now would not be a blessing to any child -- much less the restoration he was looking for in wine, women and friendship. He ended up at a service that George Whitefield was conducting (he had gone there to heckle the preacher); during the sermon he felt convicted of his sinful ways and at 27, he came to God and set out to become a Methodist preacher. In 1758, three years later he wrote the hymn "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"(if you have the time look up this hymn, no. 400 in the UMC Hymnal).

We can count on the one who calls himself "The Good Shepherd" to restore our souls, instead of trying to figure out what we think is best and doing things that offer good feeling instead of restoration. We end up disappointed, confused and angry because those feelings fade away; it is the soul that needs to be renewed, restored and made whole.

The Good Shepherd knows and only he can do it, because he created it. Restoration of souls will also lead to restoration of all other aspects of life. He offers it to us freely. No other hobby, friend, relationship, wealth, or pursuit can replace what the Lord offers. It is a process by which he restores our soul and leads us in the path of righteousness, so that through me his name is glorified.

Blessings and peace,
Pastor Davis

March, April, May 2016 Tidings

posted Feb 29, 2016, 4:47 PM by Michelle Malick   [ updated Feb 29, 2016, 4:48 PM ]

Dear Friends,
Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! Naomi, Neel and I thank each one of you, we cannot thank God enough for placing us here at this time. Although things have improved a great deal, we still struggle with times of profound sorrow; we also experience a great hope in those times.

Soon it will be Easter and joy for us as Christians. We will celebrate the risen Christ and have our time of fellowship and festivities. We will come with enthusiasm to our church, the choir will sing, there will be a solemn service. We will remember the good things, meet friends and those whom we have not seen in awhile, etc...etc.

The question remains .... what does all of this really mean? Naomi and I used to sing a song when we were actively involved in the ministry of the church in India. The song had a line which read…“It’s always darkest before the dawn...” That is what Easter is all about. It is the destruction of sin and
the death it brings to humanity.

By nature, we are unable to live according to the standards of God. We are unable to be in a relationship with a Holy God because of our unholy tendency to go with sin. We become self-centered, self-righteous and selfish. The Bible calls this living in darkness. This darkness is intense -- it robs one of hope, it alters our destiny and then it puts us on a path that leads us away from a loving, holy, righteous God. We live in fear, in mediocrity, and we perform way below the potential which God designed for us. When Jesus was condemned by the leaders of humanity to be tormented, ridiculed and then crucified, they were actually exhibiting the obnoxiousness of sin and the hold it has over all
people...(incidentally made by God in His image).

For those who loved the Lord it was also a period of darkness, their hopes had been crushed so they thought, they too were huddled in fear. They forgot their mission, maybe they also forgot the many signs and miracles they had seen the Lord do, for certain they forgot his teachings.

It seemed like a long dark night..... but then, that darkness of sin and fear and death must give way to light, righteousness and hope! Thank God, there is a Renewal and Redemption. This is Easter. Let me encourage each one of you to personalize it, accept it and make it a part of your everyday life. You will soon find that the light of God’s Grace dispels doubt and grants forgiveness. His sacrifice cleanses and redeems us to new life that surpasses all those things of darkness that held us captive. His love frees us and changes our destiny. We are made new, redeemed for the Glory of God and the good of his people.

As a church, we are moving forward in the Grace of God. Just as Easter reminds of the newness of life, we invite you to get involved in discovering and using the gifts of God in the well-being of his people, we look forward to having your support in the following at church:

March 6 – One Great Hour of Sharing
March 19 – Our Annual Easter Egg Hunt!
March 20 thru 27 – Our Holy Week Services!
April 10 – Our Easter Cantata!
April 24 – Our Music Appreciation Sunday!
May 8 – Mother’s Day Service
May 15 – Our Anniversary Sunday
May 29 – Our 5th Sunday Congregational Meal!
June 5 – Graduation Sunday
June 19 – Our Strawberry Festival
& Luken’s Band Concert
June 19 – Father’s Day Service
June 26 – ASP Commissioning Service 

In his name, Pastor Davis

September/October Tidings 2015

posted Sep 4, 2015, 1:51 PM by Michelle Malick   [ updated Sep 4, 2015, 2:00 PM ]

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! Let me draw attention to the fact that our God is Love, and a promise keeping Father!


As you know, I went to Tanzania, Africa on a missions trip this summer. While I have been on mission trips in the past, and deeply involved in missions here, this was my first overseas trip from the U. S.

I have been interested and involved with our missionaries “The Mushidis.” Their work grabbed my attention, and this led to their visit to the EPAUMC. Last year as we raised funds for their mission, there was a miraculous

gift of $50,000 towards purchase of land. This land was bought and now plans were being drawn for raising buildings which will house UMC Conference offices, a school, multi-purpose hall and guest

house. This grabbed the attention of our Director of Connectional Ministries and in a meeting with the Mushidis suggested a trip to Tanzania. When the idea was discussed by DCon, I was unsure and leaned

towards not going because of the costs. However, I also felt that the Lord would direct my path if I continued to trust him, his promises and seek to do his will.


With just three weeks to go, I still had not paid for the ticket, much less had any resources to pay for the lodging, local travel and food, but I felt in my heart that this was something that God wanted me to do. Then

it all happened, two of our members called me and they sent a check which covered my local expenses, including the safari and visit to Zanzibar. Another faithful child of God from out of state covered my airline

ticket.


The result was phenomenal, we were able to not only visit our missionaries Mutwale & Kabaka, but discuss with them the future of our relationship in ministry together, encourage them in their work, but also invest in

their family. As you all know, Nathan, their son, is here in the USA and we are setting him up for further studies and ministry in college.


The important factor in all of this is that the Lord promises sustenance to his children who embark on doing his will. Sometimes it may not happen the way we want it to, in the time frame which we have worked out

and in some cases it may never work out at all, but all the same, these experiences remind us that God is at work. He cares and always, always provides.


This is why Psalm 23 is one of our favorite psalms, it states: “that even if he is in the valley of death, he will not fear.” Of course you know the rest. I suggest that we give this familiar passage some thought and we

will discover that it is true from our own life's experiences. Thank you, church family, for your love and support.


The other trip we are looking forward to is the long overdue trip to India. Some of you know the struggles we had to go through. We trusted God and through it all he did something far more than we had envisioned.

We are travelling to India on a five week trip at the end of September as United States citizens! For Naomi and me this is again a reminder of the faithfulness of God and his people and the love we share because of

our common faith.


We do ask you to keep us in prayer, as we meet with our family and friends; some who have lost loved ones, families which have been blessed with new lives and others who are getting on in years and face uncertainties.

We also will be travelling extensively, long hours to meet our families. There is much to be organized and prepared for before we leave.


I will leave with you the words of Isaiah, as we find it in Isaiah 58:11.

“The Lord will guide you continually,

And satisfy your needs in parched places,

And make your bones strong,

And you shall be like a watered garden,

Like a spring of water,

Whose waters never fail.”

Peace and Blessings, Pastor Davis

July/August Tidings

posted Jun 29, 2015, 6:09 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Friends, 

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! 

I am sure that all of us have moments when we think deeply of our faith journey, many of us have regrets, we wish for a do over. Many of us have overcome, many of us have done well by our fellow man and God, many of us have learnt hard lessons etc. One thread that connects us all is the truth that PROVIDENCE IS WITH US. Our faith is rooted in the idea that God provides, protects and proves his promises to us. This experience is lucidly captured in the words of Joseph as he declares later on in life that “this has ALL BEEN GOD’S” PROVIDENCE! (Genesis 45:1-15, 50:19-20) The word PROVIDENCE is from the Latin Words “PRO” and “VIDE” translated it would read PRO=BEFORE, VIDE=SEEING, that is ‘TO SEE BEFORE.’ Providence therefore is the story of God ‘seeing before us.’ Generally it takes time for us to see God in every situation, I wonder if Joseph saw God when he was put into a pit, and sold to a caravan by his brothers; he was displaced, disowned and deported to Egypt. It did not end there; he was in for a series of senseless tragedies. The Potiphar’s wife yearned for him, framed him and placed him in a prison to be forgotten. It is only when he rises to become the President of Egypt and re-unites with his family that he sees the hand of PROVIDENCE through it all. Joseph also realized that PROVIDENCE was on time every time. Paul writing to the Romans reminds us that God is able to bring good even out of all the chaotic mess we are in or get into because we made choices. From the pit to the Pharaoh’s court took 13 years for Joseph, another 7 years when his brothers came to see him. After all those years, he now declares that God ordained it all. As Christians we cannot ignore the idea that God has called us to be faithful instead of being fretful. He works in time; over time, in his time. It’s a process that deepens our faith, our attitudes and our actions! Secondly, God’s Providence is not bound by space or seasons or any other metric. The truth is that we cannot be out of God’s reach; he is there even if we don’t see him or experience his presence, or feel his love. God is present, even in the darkest of moments or the deepest of sorrows, or the greatest of need! His providence is not based on how old or young we are, it covers all ages and status. Thirdly, there are some requirements Providence makes of us. 1. Providence works great when we SEEK TO DO HIS WILL (self-seeking does not do too well). Matthew 6:33. 2. Providence works great when we STRIVE TO GROW IN GRACE (Joseph was a braggart, he had to realize that life was not always about him). Genesis 41:39. 3. Providence works great when we SEEK TO MAKE THE BEST OF THE SITUATION (Learn, from it, allow for changes and adjustments in our frame of mind and spirit, learn to be content in the situation) 4. Providence works great when we PERSIST. We often respond with the phrase “hanging in there.” I wonder how the story of Joseph would have read if he had decided to quit. Quitting is a form of rejecting God. Providence works great when we RECOGNIZE GOD’S PRESENCE IN EVERY SITUATION. It is incumbent upon us to search for and behold the presence of God in all situations. As far as God is concerned, read Matthew 28:18-20. 

Peace and Blessings, Pastor Davis

May/June 2015 Tidings

posted May 7, 2015, 5:56 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the precious name of the Lord!

I was talking to a person, and he seemed to be very upset. Our conversation led to feelings and he shared that everyone is against him, they are out to get him, they have benefitted from him, and now he feels that they owe him. He surmised that if someone is rich then they got it from exploiting someone. That he is entitled to the riches that others have because they did not earn it but made it on the backs of people like him. He also felt that everyone else is to blame for his condition…..he went on and on and there was not one good thing that he could recall. He seemed to be planted, rooted firmly and flourishing on GRUMBLE STREET!

No matter what I pointed to, he felt sour and victimized and so on.

In contrast, I looked at another person, his story is in the Bible; incidentally this fellow became a king and his reign was referred to as the golden age of the Israelites. He rose to that great position from humble beginnings as a lowly shepherd boy; he also never forgot his humble start and often looked upon God’s faithfulness with gratitude however trying and difficult the situation was.

In the Psalms he writes that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps 23:6)

It is evident that he is grateful for waking up each morning, alive and well no matter what the challenges were or may be. This is a great attitude to adopt; it will keep us from becoming pessimistic, angry and negative. He also seems to be looking up to God in the midst of all the difficult circumstances he faced. For starters, he was guilty of murder and adultery. He gave in to his desires, urges and passion. He ended up with a family that was bro-ken, divided and disconnected. His own son wanted to kill him and yet he seems to be saying with confidence and joy that it is well with his soul. This is the result of looking to God in everything. Even when everything around us is falling apart. Even when we have been the cause of some disintegration.

When we look at God through the eyes of faith, we realize the love of God, his grace and gift of eternal life through Christ. We are then able to realize, like David, that God has been with us all along. We are able to look back and count the many blessings, especially his goodness and mercy that has followed us this far, in times of sorrow, sickness, trials, need. Through it all he was never absent but right there with us. In fact, he allowed all those things to make us strong in the faith and to become his witnesses. He was preparing us, as David reminds us: “to dwell in the house of the Lord forever, nevermore to grieve or be grieved, to be victimized, experience sickness, or go through sorrow.” What an exciting prospect, to be in the presence of God forever. Safe, and secure from all alarms, in the arms of Jesus!

M.G. Brainard writes: “So on I go-not knowing; I would not if I might; I’d rather walk in the dark with God, than go alone in the light: I’d rather walk by faith with Him, than go alone by sight.”

It is a good thing to learn the art of getting away from “GRUMBLE STREET” to “THANKSGIVING SQUARE.” It will bless your soul, your body and mind!

Peace, Pastor Davis

Tidings- March and April 2015

posted Mar 3, 2015, 5:31 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Faithful church members,

Greetings in the precious name of the Lord!

Here we are in another season of Lent and build up to celebrating Easter.

While I was pondering and praying I realized how much we get into doing things because it is always done, we rarely pause to ask ourselves what this means to us, or how can this become something that reiterates my faith, makes me grow, and allow for meaning and purpose in life.

The church has definitely developed over the years some traditions, symbols and rituals which have profound deeper meaning and if one grasps and applies them, life certainly becomes more aligned to the kingdom and purposes of God, whose children we are.

One such ritual is the Communion, most of us have participated in it all our lives, another is the imposition of ashes, both have some similarities, to make sense of it and more relevant, I suggest three things.

I. WE MUST LEARN TO LOOK WITHIN.
First we must learn to look honestly at ourselves, look within our hearts, motives and discover who we are. We must ask ourselves if we are participating just because we always have or are we following the process of becoming more like Jesus our Lord?

King David says “Search me, O God, and know my thoughts. See if there be some wicked way in me” (See Psalm 139:23, 24). The Bible also reminds us that our hearts are desperately wicked (See Jeremiah 17:9)

It is important for us to check our motives, our thoughts and our actions, because we are the people of God, called to serve in a way that ushers the Kingdom of God.

When we practice the discipline of searching our hearts we become more aware of God's unlimited, unmerited Grace and his unfailing Love. We become more attuned to God's will and his purpose.

Looking within also powers us to repent and receive God’s forgiveness, we are set free from a vengeful spirit, anger, selfishness and all those things that divide us.

II. WE MUST LEARN TO LOOK BACK.
This kind of looking back is different, most of us look back and get into the wishing mode, or we set up house there. This is not what Paul is talking about in the context of communion. (See 1 Corinthians 11)

IT IS A REMINDER THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST WAS BROKEN FOR US.

So when we come and participate in this ritual we are reminding ourselves that we are called to allow ourselves to be broken so that others around us may have the opportunity to come to Christ and be made whole.

IT IS A REMEMBERANCE. We remember that Christ agonized and suffered for us, not only to heal us, but also give us grace to disconnect ourselves from the values and systems of the world, and forgive us for our sins. We remember that we have the resources of His grace to disconnect from those values and systems of this world and align ourselves with the kingdom of God.

IT IS A REPENTANCE, RECEIVING AND RENEWAL OF OUR CORE BEING. We own up and feel remorse for our shortcomings, in faith we receive the grace of God, turn the page and step out in faith renewed, resolute and decided to live justly, practice mercy, truth and live.

III. WE MUST LEARN TO LOOK AHEAD.
It means that we are focusing on the goal or purpose or the plan of God for our lives. Generally speaking, God has called us to follow him, get to know him in a more personal way and also to make him known, through our practice of faith, love and life.

When we participate in the communion we are declaring the grace of God. We are recognizing that there is forgiveness with the Lord. He shows us mercy and makes us new (See 2 Corinthians 5:17). We also do this because we have hope, that we have a place prepared for us, we have life that transcends, this temporary journey we are on and leads us to the presence of God where there is no more sin, or sickness or death.

We are also declaring that Christ will come back and take his people to be with him.

I am sure as we explore these suggestions and seek to apply them to our lives, our situations, we will find meaning and purpose in a chaotic, self centered, violent and divisive world, we will experience and witness the coming of the Kingdom of God.

The Lord Bless you, Pastor Davis

February 2015 Tidings

posted Feb 8, 2015, 5:41 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Faithful church members,

Greetings in Christ!

2015 has arrived and already it is off to a difficult start with growing violence and uncertainties in the world. Our District Superintendent was with us recently and she talked about how seriously people make resolutions at the end of the year, and within a week 86% of them have already given up on the resolutions they made. If that is the state of affairs, how in the world are we going to face the coming year with its uncertainties and upheavals?

I am sure that we remember our own experience of failing to follow through on our good intentions or resolutions. Somehow the pressures of life, the environment around us and the changing values grip us. We get caught up, only to discover that we have fallen short of the ideals or values we hold dear; more so because we are the children of God. So how do we handle ourselves in a hostile, oppressive world?

Isaiah was a tremendous prophet. His words impacted people of God and he wielded a great influence. He writes in chapter 58, verse 14, that for God’s people there is joy to be found even in the most dire of situations.

“They will ride the winds and triumph and feast on their inheritance.”

The line about “riding the winds” caught my attention, and led me to thinking, as I often do, about our family, the church and the tasks we have, our identity as the people of God, and the mountains we face, such as finances, lack of response, etc.

I know a few pilots who have experience flying airships. They say that the first rule of flying is to turn their ship towards the wind, and fly against it. Strangely, all the laws work together to keep them afloat, at a good speed and lifting them to greater heights.

The birds do the same; they have learned the art of using their limited resources and turning the threatening, destructive wind to their advantage by facing it. As a result they soar and find joy in what they are designed to do.

Maybe there is a lesson for us as we go through this year with all its challenges, its uncertainties, and the situations that seem to be impossible.

Jesus said that if we have faith and we are in tune with God anything we ask will be done, which means that we will be the one to accomplish it.

God is with us, may this year be one of great blessing as we attempt great things for God.

Peace and Blessings,

Pastor Davis

January 2015 Tidings

posted Jan 2, 2015, 4:02 PM by Michelle Malick

Dear Faithful church members,

Greetings in Christ!

I am sure that all God's children, the followers of Christ, had a wonderful season, no matter what the circumstances were, and how hard the painful memories were, especially for those who lost a loved one.

We are facing 2015; none of us can say how this year will turn out. None of us know what challenges may come. In one word, we all come to this year with a sense of uncertainty, the circumstances, the news, the breakdown of values; law, politics and economy only add to that gnawing feeling of growing uncertainty and fear.

So we handle it in a myriad of ways - making plans, sweeping it under the rug, focusing on other things, sometimes withdrawing into our own familiar set of constants, wishing that all variables will go away.

God’s children went through a more intense situation. If you want to know more, read Deuteronomy, Chapter 11.
These folks were used to Egypt, the straw, the clay, the whip and always being told what to do. They were so forced into a schedule of rest, refreshment and work, they forgot what freedom meant. They had become like robots. Life was reduced to performing tasks and playing roles.

Now they had been redeemed from oppression, exploitation and were led by Moses through the desert wilderness. They faced hunger, thirst and threats. All through that journey, they had to make decisions; they were confronted with choices. Their arduous journey had brought them to the edge of the Promised Land. I am sure they were thinking, what will this land be like, will there be safety, will it sustain us, will we enjoy peace, joy or survive, etc.

I want to draw your attention to verse 11; God reminds his people that this land is a land of mountains and valleys. In other words, it is not all smooth and easy going. It will have its challenges. But the mountains will harness the rain and sustain the fruitful valleys. So will this new life be, each aspect will influence and sustain the other. Life will be dynamic, not static as in Egypt.

Then in verse 12, we are told that God is involved as well in that the eyes of the Lord are upon this land. God is aware of all that transpires in us, around us. There is nothing hidden from Him. If we claim that God is our Father, then we also need to rest in the assurance that the Father knows, and he means good for us in all circumstances.

Then we are informed that he cares deeply. He does so from the beginning of the year to the end of the same; simply meaning that he cares all the time.

We are encouraged to be faithful and obey the Lord; when we learn the art of doing so, then this new year with all its uncertainty is bound to be one of blessing, because the Lord our God says so!

Peace and Blessings, and a Happy New Year!

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