Derek’s Message: How Do You Seek God’s Guidance?

When I was asked to write a few devotional paragraphs for the FPC newsletter, the topic that I felt most strongly in my heart was guidance. Guidance is probably on my mind because I have been praying that God would guide me concerning the possibility of accepting a call to your congregation. But most importantly, what exactly is God guiding us or calling us to do in the rest of our lives?

Guidance is a very Biblical theme. It involves God’s love for us, God’s desire for us, prayer, listening, our own free will, and maybe most essential, God’s providence (which I have heard best described as God providing for us).

Abraham certainly relied on God’s guidance, in more ways than one. Matthew, Mark, and Luke record Jesus praying for guidance in Gethsemane. The entire book of Numbers reminds us that God is our guide (admittedly, it’s not the most compelling read). In the scriptures God and Jesus are frequently referred to as shepherds for humanity. A shepherd, if nothing else, most assuredly provides guidance and safety for the flock. In Psalm 32 we are reminded that God will instruct us and teach us the way we should go, that God will counsel us with God’s eye upon us. In the Old Testament there are nine separate Hebrew terms for guidance, and in the New Testament scriptures there are three Greek terms.

Guidance is seemingly everywhere in the Bible, but there still remains a problem. Guidance from God can be a difficult thing to feel and to interpret. It can be difficult to understand. If you are like me you have never heard God’s voice spoken out loud to you. I do not have clear dreams of knowing what God is guiding me to do. But perhaps you have felt God’s guidance in some other way. Perhaps you have had that stirring deep in your heart, and known that God was somehow speaking to you. Perhaps you have gained wisdom from a friend, and known that God was leading you or guiding you through that person.

Guidance sometimes seems hard to come by in our world. How do we seek out God’s guidance in our lives today? I spend a significant amount of time praying for guidance, and subsequently giving thanks for guidance. When we pray, do we spend as much time listening as we do appealing? May we be reminded that if we don’t always know what God may be guiding us to do, whatever we do should be done in the interest of loving the people and the world around us.

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  • November COVID Update

    If you are reading this before Sunday November 1st, I hope you take the time on Sunday morning to join us for communion in the parking lot at FPC.  It’s communion in the drive-through style, something the first Christians could never have envisioned.  It is nonetheless a faithful celebration of the meal that Jesus first initiated with his disciples.  Pastor Meg and I will be in the parking lot from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and we’ll have music to go along with the meal and hopefully lift your spirits. Stop by to hear the music, and for a blessing along with the communion meal.

    One of the most exciting things for me in recent weeks was our congregational meeting that we held via the online service Zoom.  It was so heart-warming to see that many of you in attendance.  Counting the couples on various screens, I think there were around 50 of you in attendance.  Thank you for your participation.

    At the meeting we elected new elders and deacons for the Class of 2023.  Please join me in expressing our thanks to elders Lovet Fokunang, Dee Logterman, Scott Hofmann, and Dawn Drost, and deacons Terry Brennand, Darcie Bessinger, and Marcia Baker.  We also elected Sheryl Bessinger to fill a partial term as an elder in the Class of 2021.  I’m thankful that they’ve accepted God’s call upon their lives to serve God by serving the people of our community.  May we lift them up in prayer (along with our other deacons & elders) as they help to care for and lead our congregation in challenging times.

    As you might imagine if you’re watching the news, Session unanimously voted to continue with YouTube worship for the month of November.  We continue to get around one hundred views each week, and I am very thankful for your participation in worship on YouTube.  It’s wonderful to have Pastor Meg back from maternity leave.  She is already busy planning Christian Education events and leading youth ministries.

    We will not host a church Thanksgiving dinner for obvious reasons, but we are spending this month getting ready for some exciting things in Advent.  We will have special music throughout our Advent worship services, there will be Advent activities for families, there is a special online bell choir concert in the works, and we’re hoping for an in-person outdoor Christmas Eve service.  Yes, it will be chilly, but we live in northern Utah and I know you people are hardy!  This service will be 30 minutes long, so you don’t get too cold.  We’ll have wonderful organ and bell music and Christmas hymns to sing, along with gospel readings of the birth of Jesus.  I think it’s going to be a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of the Christ-child.

    May the grace and peace of our Lord be with you all.

    —Pastor Derek

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