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Articles written by Pastor Joe

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  • If

    Pastor Joe Elick|Jul 13, 2024

    Is there anything we can count on? Even if life goes upside down, the disappointments, which we all have had our share, are on the way. I am not starting with a negative note. It is just a platform we all live on. The title of this column says it all from the negative side. My answer to it is, "That all depends upon your belief structure. If you've got room for God in it, YOU CAN COUNT ON HIM! Belief in God can help us to go the distance in life. When everything in our world seems to be going...

  • A Lesson on Expression

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Jul 6, 2024

    Where there's life, there's expression. When expression ceases, the soul is balancing precariously on the rim of eternity, soon to fall into the Father's arms. The Bible teaches that the Master Model of Expression is God. J.B. Phillips translates John 1:1, "At the beginning God expressed himself." It is a statement that thunders into our imaginations, and makes us want to cover our ears and hide our eyes until the sound of it settles into the valleys of our mind. He did not express something,...

  • Straining Toward What Is Ahead, I Press On -"The "Now" Of The Christian Life

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Jun 29, 2024

    Three Things! The first thing is "We are all in process". We haven't arrived. One of the hazards of life is knowing more about ourselves then we do about others. This is particularly hazardous for those of who are Christians because when we pick up the Bible we discover that when we accepted Jesus Christ into our lives, God has raised the "standard of living" for us. Jesus said, "if you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). We have the tendency to believe that those we admire are doing be...

  • The "U-Turn" with a "Yes" instead of a "No"!

    Pastor Joe 1940-2021|Jun 22, 2024

    Numbers of times during my travels over the years I have come across signs which read: "No U-Turn". Sometimes these signs are accompanied by the words, "Emergency vehicles only." Now, one might ask, "Why would one want to make a U-Turn if they are already on their way to somewhere else?" Wellllll, maybe just because the sign says "No!" Perhaps they have left something undone like turning off the oven before leaving on a 3-week vacation. Maybe they forgot something. Like, when I was on a bus trip... Full story

  • God's "Lost and Found" Department

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Jun 15, 2024

    What are your best hopes for someone who has a special place in your heart? Someone you think about a lot? That they might be happy? Certainly that would be the desire of all of us. But, life bears witness to the fact that we're not always going to be happy. We might be happy one day, and sad the next, or angry, or fearful. Happiness many times eludes us. Especially if we make happiness our goal in life. Perhaps there's something better than happiness to attach our "best hopes" list to. How abou...

  • Passed On, Picked Up, and Pursued!

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Jun 8, 2024

    It has been said that the Christian Church is always only one generation from extinction. "Well," you say, "That's not true. The Church has been going on for two thousand years, and, as a matter of fact, ours is on the grow." True, but let us hear carefully on the intent of the speaker. The statement was made to make a point, and the point is this: The ongoing existence of the church is dependent upon People continuing to come to Christ, living for Him, and passing Him on to others. 2 Timothy...

  • Kingdoms

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Jun 1, 2024

    Do you like kingdoms? When I was a little kid some of my favorite stories were those that had to do with kings and castles and princes and princesses. Especially princesses in need of being rescued. And kissed! I liked kingdoms with dragons that needed to be hunted down, and engaged in a battle to the death in order to save the kingdom, and ally a princess whose hand, her dad, the king would give to any brave knight who rid the land of all resident reptiles with an attitude. I thought it would...

  • Revelation

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|May 25, 2024

    I received the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior on a Saturday night. I was non-religious, and totally ignorant of the Scriptures, becoming a Christian brought a major shift to how I viewed life. Something, or should I say "Someone," impacted my mind the next morning. As usual on Sunday, I slept late, then ate breakfast and read the Sunday funnies. I did not awaken on Sunday morning with an over-powering passion to attend church. About mid-morning, with the events of the previous night lingering...

  • Saying "I DO"!

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|May 18, 2024

    Back in the 70's a Christian group from Minneapolis, known as "The Gamble Folk," recorded an album which included a song with this line: "Anybody here want to live forever, say, "I do". (Saying, "I do" to Jesus). I'd like to have us think about this sentence for a few minutes. Let's open our Bibles to John 1:12. There are three things about this statement: 1. It's simplicity, 2. It's profoundness, 3. Its permanence. It's Simplicity We become a child of God by receiving Christ for who he is. Beco...

  • And God Made Woman

    Pastor Joe 1940-2021|May 11, 2024

    It's "Lady's Day!" More specifically Mother's Day, but I want to shoot a little broader than mothers and celebrate all our ladies, both older and younger. I want to briefly examine the intimate place women have in God's heart, and the essential place they have in his work in the world. Three things come to my mind concerning women this morning: 1. Women as partners with their husband, and in doing this I recognize those women whose circumstances or God's leading has dictated singleness at this... Full story

  • What Is The Problem?

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|May 4, 2024

    The man on a corner holding up a sign, "Jesus Saves". Is it embarrassing? Or should you pay attention? Those words have become a cliché. What does it mean to be saved? Do you know? Now don't be too quick to answer, for it may mean more than you think. It is important not to forge God's signature to our own ideas, so we'll look briefly at three things the Bible has to say about being saved. The Bible teaches that salvation has three aspects to it, and the three official theological, 12 foot...

  • There's Health in the Sun and in the Son

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Apr 27, 2024

    Last Monday afternoon I went out to mow our lawn after feeling quite ill Sunday night and all of Monday morning. Finally I just felt the need to get out of bed and go outside into the warm sunshine. As I began to make my rounds in the backyard I thanked the Lord for the beautiful Spring day, and then concluded by saying, more to myself than to God, "There's health in the Sun" S-U-N. The thought brought me up short, rolled around in my imagination, and came out the second time, "There's health...

  • Life is a Song to Be Sung to God!

    Pastor Joe Elick 1940-2021|Apr 20, 2024

    I am going to begin with the following statement. "A job may sustain your life, but it will not provide you a life to sustain! It will not give you a life to prepare for! Do you have a "song to sing?" Who are you singing it for? That's what the Psalms are, songs sung to God, for God, and about God. In fact, either directly, or indirectly God is always the audience when the Psalms are sung or said. When we read the Psalms we come to experience the fact that they were written out of the...

  • Getting Along

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Apr 13, 2024

    Recently I have been reminded that the best health care plan is preventative health care: Living healthy, and when possible, knowing what to do when our health wavers. Now what is true for our bodies is equally true for our souls. Preventative soul care. Getting along! That's how I'd like to invite you to view this morning's message. Lest you think I'm aiming it at one of you specifically or someone you know. I'm not! If this nudge was on your behalf, that's between you and God. Getting along! P... Full story

  • Paying Attention!

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Apr 6, 2024

    When I was a freshman at Bethel College I took biology my first semester. I had a wonderful professor, a Dr. Johnson, who saw the wonders of God in all of nature and did his best to awaken his students to the same enthusiasm he exhibited in class. Some times he succeeded, but many times we just sat there and looked at him. One day he gave each of us a fish to examine, and invited us to tell him how many things we noticed about our fish. I noticed 5 things, and was amazed that one of the...

  • The Right Track

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Mar 30, 2024

    How can we know we're on the right track in life? Are we becoming all we can be, and whom should we allow to define the "can be?" Most folks are suspicious that there is a "right way to live, and even if they can't specifically define it, they know where they are on a scale. Life, in a quality sense of the word, can begin with Jesus at any point. Jesus said in John 14: 6, "I am the way and the truth and the life..." Now that's pretty all inclusive. It doesn't leave any room for alternate...

  • Memories and Heroes Last Forever

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Mar 16, 2024

    "Memories and heroes last forever!" That's not a Bible verse so you don't have to accept it as the final word on the matter. It's a line out of a Country-Western song. A song with a particular memory and a particular hero in mind. We all have heroes who have impacted our lives in a positive direction. I would like to raise up three things for you to think about in relationship to heroes and heroines: 1. What is a hero? It's more heart than "hunk." It is more of character than curves. The...

  • When Don't We Get Into Trouble?

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Mar 9, 2024

    Trouble, possibly terminal trouble, will happen to a life who is not lived towards God. "Is any one of you in trouble (afflicted)? He should pray Matthew 11:28,30. One of the nice things about this Scripture is that God draws a big circle around it. With the word trouble God allows us to fill in the blanks of our situation. Every trouble we experience is important to God. "Are any among you suffering?" The word addresses our inner response to the trouble we are experiencing. Life has got us...

  • A Scary Question

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Mar 2, 2024

    What's scarier than meeting a big, black, Northern Minnesota bear while you're on a hike in the woods? Or your first day on your first job? How about coming across this verse which says "O Lord, you have searched me and know are familiar with all my ways...before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord." (Psalms 139) This sounds like God has more than a casual interest in us. Turning Psalm 139: 23, 24 into a question, then peeking through our fingers to see what happens,...

  • Conquering The Hill!

    Pastor Joe Elick 1940-2021|Feb 23, 2024

    Traveling through life, if each day is committed to God, can be spiritually as well as physically renewing. Today's reflections come from two little girls, about third and fourth grade, at the KOA Campground near Red Lodge, Montana. We were on vacation, and I was laying in our tent late in the afternoon soaking up some mountain rest before we left for the Pig Races at Bear Creek. The two little girls I mentioned had been taking turns riding a rental bicycle back and forth on the driveway in fron...

  • Work: Why, How, and for Whom?

    Pastor Joe 1940-2021|Feb 17, 2024

    Work! It is woven into the warp and woof of our very being which bears the eternal stamp of the image of God. God never took upon himself an obsession with work. In Genesis 2:3 we read, that he blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. We don't know how long a "day" lasts in God's mind. It could be twenty-four hours, or a thousand years. The bottom line concerning this for us is don't allow work to replace your worship....

  • Love Is Like A Lizard.....

    Pastor Joe 1940-2021|Feb 9, 2024

    Love is like a lizard, it wraps itself around your heart, and curls up in your gizzard. Now this could be from the pen of Ogden Nash. I don't know, but whoever it was, believed it is an inside job, and they're partly right. It has been said that love is the most difficult word in the world to define, but we know when we've been loved. If you are a Christian teen, get busy on your Christian life every day so you will have something worthwhile to offer a perspective Christian partner someday. You...

  • The "Jesus Prayer"

    Pastor Joe Elick 1040-2021|Feb 3, 2024

    "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" It was a simple prayer, a passionate prayer, a prayer not found in any of the prayer books the religious leaders of the day depended upon. It wasn't even found in the Psalms, the prayer and song book of the Jews. It was a prayer with the desperateness and urgency of one who is in danger and can only manage the word, "Help!" Or who finds themselves in a burning building, or house and creeds out the one word necessary at the moment "Fire!" The prayer...

  • It's A Win Win Situation

    Pastor Joe Elick 1940-2021|Jan 27, 2024

    Recently I received a letter from someone in another part of the country expressing sadness over the sin by which they have been overtaken. Even though their situation had nothing to do with me directly, they expressed hope that I “might find it in my heart to forgive them.” My first reaction was that there was no need to offer forgiveness on my part since the situation did not affect me. But on further reflection on the matter, I realized that all sin affects everybody either directly or ind...

  • Our Finest Hour

    Pastor Joe Elic 1940-2021|Jan 20, 2024

    The businessman laid down his pen and looked up at the young man whose presence cast a shadow across his accounting papers. It was their first "up close" encounter. At that moment, as heaven held its breath, and time seemed suspended from the chords of Eternity, Matthew had the strange sensation that the rest of his life was being reflected in the eyes of One before him. Just the hint of a receiving smile began to etch itself across Jesus' mouth, but his words could not have been misconstrued...

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