WEEKLY UPDATE-APRIL 20-25, 2020-

WEEKLY UPDATE
APRIL 20-25, 2020

Greetings to members and friends of First Presbyterian Church-Janesville!

It is looking more like spring and we might even get some warmer days soon. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy the out of doors a little
more. Reading a book on the back porch or perhaps doing some garden would be a good alternative to staying in the house.

Thank you for upholding our church in your prayers and with your financial offerings. We truly appreciate the support we have received
from you.

IMPORTANT DAYS – MAYBE …

April 20 – National Pineapple Upside-down Day

April 21 – Kindergarten Day – This day celebrated on the birth anniversary of German, Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), who created the first
                 Kindergarten in 1837. The first kindergarten in the U.S. public school started in 1873 in St. Louis, MO.

April 22 – National Jellybean Day

April 23 – National Cherry Cheesecake Day

April 24 – National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day

April 25 – National Zucchini Bread Day (shouldn’t that be later in the year?)

April 26 – National Pretzel Day

April 22-25 – American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championship held in Kissimmee, FL

TRIVIA FOR THE DAY …

Idioms are expressions of a given language where the meaning of the whole group of words taken together has little, often nothing to do with the meaning of the words one by one. For example, “to let the cat out of the bag” means to reveal a secret. Today, the phrase does not have anything to do with cats, but hundreds of years ago, it did.

Another example is: Hit the Hay. Go to sleep. This saying came from sailors. Before going out to sea, a sailor had to buy his bed which was a piece of canvas stuffed with hay and actually called “a hay”. When he was out at sea and ready to go to sleep, he would tell the others that he was going to “hit the hay”.

SOME HUMOR …

Before preaching his Lenten sermon the pastor called the children to the front of the church for a children’s moment. He asked if anyone could tell him what Lent was. An eight year old boy raised his hand and said, “Yes, it’s what we get out of our pockets.” Inscription found on a tombstone: Beneath this stone lies Dr. John Bigelow, an atheist all dressed up with no place to go. Seen on a bumper sticker: “If God can make
it on 10%, why not the government?

WORDS OF INSPIRATION

“Faith can turn trials into triumphs and gloom into gladness.” -Winston Churchill

“These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be full.” -John 15:11

WE ARE PEOPLE OF HOPE

There are two basic attitudes toward life--one of hope and one of dread--one of trust, the other of fear--one of optimism, the other of gloom. A misprint of a weather forecast read like this: “There is a five percent chance of . . . today and tomorrow.” I would hope that the odds are better than that!

In a cartoon a man is rousing slowly from his sleep, then looking out at the sun coming up. He says dryly, “Well, the sun is rising in the east. So far, so good.”

There are some people who live with such a feeling of dread and doom about their lives that they dismiss the possibility of joy and hope. Even when life is being good to them, they just know that it cannot last. Somewhere--sometime--somehow--something out there is going to happen to them that will wreck their best-laid plans--that will frustrate their fondest dreams--that will crush everything they hold dear.

That is one attitude towards life. Fortunately, it is not the Christian attitude. It was not St. Paul’s attitude to be sure. St. Paul knew that we live in a difficult world. He had experienced more than his share of sorrow and suffering. But St. Paul knew that somewhere--sometime--somehow--something good was out there waiting for him. He knew that tomorrow would be a better day than today. He believed that lasting joy and peace were not only possibilities in life but would someday be permanent realities. That is why he writes in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Today many people feel hopeless because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They can see only doom and gloom. There are those who feel that God has forgotten about us and doesn’t care about us.

There is a beautiful story back in the book of Genesis. Abraham, who is still called Abram at this point, is complaining to God that he has no heir to take over his house someday. The writer of the book of Genesis says that God brings Abram outside and says to him, “Look at the heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” That is the call that God always gives to us in our times of doubt and despair. “Look at the heaven, and number the stars.

The God of Hope. You and I are free to choose the attitude with which we confront life. We can believe that there is a five per cent chance of today and tomorrow or we can believe the Good News of the gospel that God is alive and well and at work in our world bringing in a kingdom of love and justice and freedom.

We can face the future with fear and foreboding, or we can trust in the God who has sustained us through the years and has promised us that He will never forget us nor forsake us regardless of our situation.

We can choose to live in continued darkness, or we can step out into the light of hope and triumph and eternal victory. We can live for ourselves alone, or we can make the world a better place to live for all persons. Doesn’t the Good News of the gospel change your attitude about life? Doesn’t it make you anticipate that sometime--somewhere--somehow--something good, not evil, is out there waiting to happen in your life? That is the kind of courage and hope that we need to have in these times of COVID-19.

Be safe, be well and blessings always,
Pastor Lee