Pleasant Home UMC
Sunday, May 01, 2016
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
September through May
Sunday Service 11:00 a.m.
Hope you can join us!
From the Pastor’s Desk...
Roger Simms was trying to get home after being discharged from the army on May 7th. Roger was eager to get home right away not only to see his family but also due to his suitcase that was too heavy for the journey. He wanted to get home and have some rest. Finally, he saw a light flashing on his way and it was a brand new Cadillac. He lost all hope because he never thought someone who drives a Cadillac would stop for a hitchhiker. However, the Cadillac stopped and the driver was Mr. Hanover, a business owner on his way to Chicago.
Mr. Hanover: “Going home for keeps?”
Roger: “Sure am.”
Mr. Hanover: “Well, you’re in luck if you’re going to
Roger: “Not quite that far. Do you live in Chicago?
Mr. Hanover: “I have a business there. My name is
As they continued towards Chicago, Roger felt God urging him to share his faith with Mr. Hanover. However,he did not want to offend the business man, because he was afraid that the business man might kick him out of the car. When they were close to his home, Roger finally decided to share his faith.
“Mr. Hanover, I would like to talk to you about something very important.” Roger said.
He explained to him about the way of salvation and he asked Mr. Hanover if he would like to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. To his amazement, Mr. Hanover pulled over to the side of the road, bowed his head and received Christ into his life.
He said, “This the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”
Shortly afterwards, he dropped Roger at his house and he continued on his journey to Chicago which was about another hours drive. Five years later, while preparing for a business trip to Chicago, Roger came across the gold-embossed business card Mr. Hanover had given him. When he arrived in Chicago he decided to look up Hanover Enterprises and found it
to be located in a skyscraper downtown. When he asked the receptionist if he could see Mt. Hanover, she said: “No, but his wife is here.”
“You knew my husband?” the woman in her 50’s asked.
Roger explained that her husband had given him a ride and how he’d led him to Christ.”Mr. Hanover, I explained the gospel. He pulled over to the side of the road and wept against the steering wheel. He gave his life to Christ that day.”
“Can you tell when that was?” She asked.
“It was May 7th, five years ago, the day I was discharged from the army.”
She began to sob. After several minutes she regained control and said, “I prayed for my husband’s salvation for years, believing God would save him. But right after he left you out of his car, on May 7th, he was killed in a head-on collision. I thought God had not answered my
prayer, and I stopped living for Him five years ago.” That day she recommitted her life to Christ.
Christians have a duty to share what they receive from Christ for free and that’s what Roger did. He led a soul to the kingdom of God. Have we done our bounded duty to our Lord? Easter is a good reminder for us Christians not only to live our faith, but also to share it with others.
Share your faith—-somebody needs it!
The devil is sneaky and the Bible warns us that the devil comes to kill, destroy and steal. People go through life challenges and often times they question whether God is powerful enough to resolve those challenges or not. They begin to doubt whether God understands their situation or He’s too busy. Perhaps, you are dealing with so many challenges and issues in your personal life and it seems as if God is nowhere to be found. Hence, you begin to doubt your faith in God as if you’ve done something wrong and God is punishing you. Let me give one answer, these situations are not from God. Satan’s priority is to disturb your joy so that you can blame God. If Satan can take away your joy, there will be no love, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, peace, and gentleness. Thereby, our battle in life begins with joy because without it, we are doomed. Joy is the highest achievement one must attain.
Jean (made up name for the sake of privacy) has been a very troubled person since she was young. She thought that happiness comes from beating up people and robbing them. Jean appeared to be a very strong person on the outside and oftentimes people used to be intimidated by her everywhere she went. Although my wife and I knew about her troubled behaviors, we helped her and her family when times were difficult for her. We supported her when she lost one of her children; we visited her when she was in jail, we invited her and her family to our home when they didn’t have a place to stay etc. So, she became very close to us.
Unfortunately, Jean and her sister beat up a security guard and she had to spent a couple of months in jail. She came out of jail and my wife and I decided to visit her on Valentine’s day. She has been attending counseling sessions and some other meetings. To say the least, I was shocked when I saw her on Valentine’s Day because she was not the same person. She used to say bad things about herself and other people all the time, but she didn’t do that on that day. In fact, here is what she said: “I have been living a lie. I have been lying to myself because I did everything just to make my parents happy, and my life was miserable. I’ve realized that they will never be happy no matter what I do.” She continues “Now, I don’t want to live that kind of life. I want to have joy and not all this short term happiness just to make my parents happy.” Apparently, she had to make her parents happy and whatever she did was not good enough and to escape criticism and contempt from her parents, violence became her tool to experience joy.
Happiness is an emotion; it is a feeling one gets when things are going their way, and it comes and goes. Joy on the other hand is a God given gift and it can only be found when we have a relationship with God. This truth is revealed when we know that God loves us. We don’t need other people’s opinion to experience joy. God has freely given joy to us through Jesus Christ and no one can take that away from us. We read in John 15:9-11 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Live within my love. When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow!”