Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

> Asbury UMC; Served July 2004 – June 2010

I have served this church for six years between July 2004 and June 2010. It is a small rural congregation located at 21 Craigtown Road, Port Deposit, MD.

 

Asbury Singers – the music ministry of this church – has a huge repertoire of original songs. Most of these songs are written by Mike R. and by Clay C.

 

Here is a link to a Historical Sketch of this church that was found in the old records. I typed it up and posted it here. If you (the reader) have any other historical information about Asbury United Methodist church (articles, pictures, notes, memories etc) and are willing to share them, please contact me.

This is an image of everyone who came to the farewell lunch. I really want to thank everybody who organized this lunch and came to say good-bye… Thanx for everything you’ve done for me and Debbie …

Philos

Asher

 

><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

 

This “farewell” message was preached @ Asbury UMC on 27-June-2010

NIV Luke 9:51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village. 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

It is the last Sunday that I will be joining you in worship. I think of each of our lives as a journey. And the truth is that every journey has sub-journeys. When we go to a mall, we may make a side trip to check out what’s on sale in Penney’s and what is the flavor of the day at Starbucks. We are still on a journey to the mall, but that journey encompasses a stop at Penney’s and at Starbucks.

 

For the last six years of my and Debbie’s journey, Asbury has been a part of our lives, an important sub-trip on our journey through life. As with most things, this journey now must now come to an end. While good-byes have a certain element of sadness, let us remember that every end is the beginning of something new; something new in our lives, and something new in yours.

 

There is an episode in one of the Star Wars movies in which Luke Skywalker looks at the opening of a cave and asks Yoda, “What’s in there?” to which Yoda replies, “Only what you take with you…”

Like Luke Skywalker, all of us discover in our lives only what we bring with us. That is why it is important to prepare ourselves for every new stage of our lives and for every new journey that we take.

 

The first step of starting a journey is to recognize what we need to let go.

 

Illustration:

It may be old resentments, grudges, anger, and frustrations.
It may be a need to be in control in certain situations.
It may be emotional scars from childhood that we’ve nursed for so long that they became our identity.
It may be fear or anxiety about something that’s coming or something that we have no control over.
It may be an unhealthy relationship and we may need to let go of those who are holding us back.
It may be an old grief or loss or hurt that wounded us so badly that we never completely healed.
The point that I am making is that it is up to each of us to come up with our own things that we need to let go of, things that are holding us back from experiencing life to the fullest (John 10:10).

 

The second step of starting a journey is to accept the wisdom and necessity of not clinging to whatever it is that is holding us back, and to realize that it often takes more energy to stay stagnant than it does to move on.

{ILL: Hummingbird 8-12 beats per second to fly, 50-90 beats per second to hover. Energy expended when trying to hover in one place instead of moving: the emotional energy, the psychic energy of holding on because of fears of the future}

{ILL: Luke 9:59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” — Discuss this statement, expand using the hermeneutical note in the Study Bible}

 

The third step of starting a journey is to gather the energy and the will to take action.

New things are never easy, new beginnings always take energy and courage. New beginnings are always a process, not something that happens in the blink of an eye. New beginnings take prayer and commitment. When we need to let go of something in order to make room for something new, praying about it every step of the way is a necessary and helpful exercise.

 

The fourth (and final) step of starting a new journey is to surrender whatever it is to God, trusting that God will take care of it, trusting that God will take care of us, and that it is OK to move on.

The Holy Spirit enables us to move on, The Holy Spirit guides us in assurance that God is with us. When Jesus left his disciples, he told them, “Do not be afraid: Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, and when I go, God is going to send an advocate to be with you, a comforter, a guide, and that comforter is known as the Holy Spirit” (John 14:1, 26-27)

 

As we face our futures, Debbie and I facing ours, each of you facing your individual futures, and as a community facing the future of your church – Asbury United Methodist church, let us remember that what we discover on our journey through this life depends on what we are seeking, and what we are seeking depends on a large extent on what we bring with us. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 NIV).

 

Remember the Star Wars illustration? We find in our future only what we take with us. If we take anger, we find anger. If we take frustration, we find frustration. If we take hope, we find hope. If we take love, we find love. If we take faith, we find God.

My hope and prayer for all of us (Debbie and I included) is that with every day of our lives and with every breath that we take, we learn to love God more dearly, we see God more clearly and follow God more nearly.

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May gentle rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Amen.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: