Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tim, January, 2016

posted Dec 31, 2015, 7:43 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Dec 31, 2015, 7:44 AM ]

Dear Friends and Members of Leola United Methodist Church,

Happy New Year!   The start of a new year provides the opportunity for us to set the tone for the next twelve months.  How might we impact another person’s life this year?

          At a turning point in the lives of the ancient Israelites, Joshua challenged the people, “Choose this day who you will serve.”  He led by example declaring, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  (Josh. 24:15)

          While God has already made the choice of sending Jesus as our way to salvation, there remains choices that we make daily.  We can live out our vision statement, “Sharing the love of Jesus Christ every day by being caring, compassionate, warm-hearted, open, encouraging, and committed,” or we can be grumpy. 

          I recently read a moving story about a man from North Carolina whose wife had died following a courageous battle with cancer.  Filled with grief, he said he “would have liked to stay in bed for an entire year” if it weren’t for his two children, ages 7 and 10.  His children kept him going through what he describes as the hardest year of his life.

          On the anniversary of his wife’s death he decided that instead of allowing a dark cloud to hang over him, he would do something special to honor his wife’s memory.  He decided to write one hundred love notes.  Each handwritten note was different. Many told of their life together, others shared reflections on their two year battle with cancer.  The final ten cards contained an imagined conversation between the two, if his wife were still alive.  The notes were heartfelt, and they brought a sense of closure and healing to him. 

          He began handing out the notes to strangers on the street.  Surprisingly, people were touched by the cards and shared them with people they knew.  The gentleman then gave blank thank you cards and encouraged others to write their own notes of appreciation to the special people in their lives.  People took the time to reflect on their lives and to show appreciation to others. This spread all over the United States and eventually to cities in Europe. 

          In a world filled with so much bad news, this letter writing campaign became a breath of fresh air.  Who are the people to whom you would like to write notes of love and appreciation?  I encourage you to take the time to write notes, too.  As the gentleman in the story discovered, acts of love and kindness are contagious.


See you in church, 

Pastor Tim