Union Deposit United Methodist Church
34 West Main Street, Hershey PA  17033 (in the Villiage of Union Deposit)    Ph:717-566-7231
Message from the Pastor
   Thoughts and words of wisdom from Pastor Gail
9-3-2013
Hi Friends, 

It has been a long time since I have written anything here and I can only say I was doing a more important thing, that of caring for my husband Steve as he battled cancer and when he won the ultimate victory and went home to the Lord.  Any of you who have journeyed this road know the struggle, the sorrow, the joy and the blessing.  I must say it has not been easy but Jesus never promised easy. 

I have just returned from our family vacation to Corolla NC.  The vacation was a Christmas gift to our children and grandchildren, and my sister and her family. Steve and I picked out the place and thoroughly enjoyed watching their reaction last Christmas Eve.  When Steve went on Hospice in April one of his goals was to be able to make our August vacation but it was not to be. He made us all promise to go even if he wasn't with us, and we fulfilled our promise and we were blessed with a wonderful time together.

My niece bought a kite and shared that we all could write  our sentiments to Steve on it and then she would fly the kite lifting them towards heaven as a symbolic tribute to him.  On our last day there she took the kite to the beach and did just that. One part of what I wrote was, "The anchor still holds". And I am reminded of the song by Ray Boltz, The Anchor Holds, that in the storms of life the anchor of our faith holds us. For faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.  We walk by faith, not sight, and so I walk on secure in God's love knowing that someday I will see the Lord and I will see Steve again. This is our blessed hope!

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,  we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:2, 3 NIV)

Do you have this hope?  You can.  Simply ask Jesus to come into your heart.  Get a Bible and take a walk down the Romans road to get the answers to these questions.
Who needs salvation.   Everyone    Romans 3:10-12, and 23
Why we need salvation.                Romans 6:23
How God provides salvation.          Romans 5:8
How we receive salvation.             Romans 10:9-10 and 13
The results of salvation.               Romans 5:1, 8:1, 8:38-39

If you have access to a computer and you do if you are reading this just go on line and type Romans road you'll find all the Bible verses there and more instructions. 

Blessings today and always,  Pastor Gai
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PREVIOUS MESSAGES
12/14/12

Christmas Greetings Friends,

            How quickly this year has passed and here we are now, days away from Christmas in the midst of social gatherings, church activities, carol singing, gift buying, food preparation (love those cookies!) and the anticipation of this special holy night and day.  My hope is that we will not lose sight of the real reason we are celebrating.  We all know the sayings “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” or “Wise men still seek Him” or “Let’s Keep Christ in Christmas” or as Mike Slaughter’s book title says “Christmas is not your Birthday”.  I’ll add another “The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His Presence”

            Joseph was given instruction from an angel of the Lord who told him what to name the Son of God.  “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  And “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Matthew 1:21,23. 

            Think of this amazing thing, “GOD WITH US”.  We are not alone, we have a Savior who will be with us always even unto the end of the age.  Focus on this thought and you will soon experience a new appreciation of the miracle of Christ’s birth.  God sent his Son. Why? Because God loves his creation so much.  We are loved, we are not alone.  Celebrate His presence each day, every day, way beyond December 25th.  

            God’s Blessings on you and yours.  Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

2/10/2011

             But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.   1Peter 2:9-10 NKJV

            “The Greatest Generation” is a book written by journalist Tom Brokaw, and a term used to describes those persons who lived through the Great Depression and fought in World war II, as well as those who supported them on the home front.  Indeed they were and are great.  My parents were among that generation and some of you, unlike my parents, are still with us.  But even greater than this is to know that you are a “Chosen Generation”.

            Peter writes, “you are a chosen generation…”  To be part of this generation is to walk in the Light of God.  It is to believe in the One who was rejected and yet was a chosen and precious cornerstone of our faith, Jesus Christ.  Peter quoted Isaiah when he wrote these words    “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.1 Peter 2:6  How wonderful, the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.  We can trust our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   He is the Light that has come into the world, and he calls us to walk in that Light, to live in that Light, to let that Light shine through us into this dark world. 

            Living in the Light and having that Light within us brings with it a responsibility.  We are called as Peter writes, to live such good lives among unbelievers that they will see our good deeds and glorify God at his return( 2:11).  Jesus put it this way in Matthew 5:16, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  You see, we have been called out of darkness to be witnesses to God’s love and grace, to declare his praises, and to shine for Jesus!”

            God needs us to show others His love.  He needs us to take his message and proclaim it in the darkness.  The sincerity of our belief will do more to win others to Christ than lofty words.  How we live with others, how we react and act among others will be a witness.  In Ephesians 5:8-9 we read these words: “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” 

            May God use all of us to shine forth his message of love and grace, and hope, the message that “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life.”  John 3:16.  Remember, whoever trusts in Him will never be put to shame.  Let us live in the Light.  

                                                                        Blessings,  Pastor Gail



6/9/2010

Oh well, I did exactly what others have done that I complain about, haven’t kept up with my messages and left an outdated one on for months!  Sorry about that.  But here I am, Greetings to you. I hope that you are enjoying the rainy weather today.  Yeah, I know, we need the rain, but the South Hanover kids are probably a little disappointed, today was field day!

Disappointments are a part of life though and we learn to live with them.  I always appreciated Paul’s outlook found in Philippians 4:11b-13  I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Attitude makes a difference.  But Paul got to that place through much adversity, and through it all he learned who he could depend upon, the Lord Jesus Christ.  May you find your strength today in the one who is faithful in all things and who’s presence will see you through, Jesus our Lord.  Blessings,  Pastor Gail

 

2/17/2010

 

We are in the midst of the month of February, a month of valentines and candy, homemade and store bought cards, sweetheart dinners and roses.  It is the month we celebrate love.  It is also the month the marks the middle of the winter season, and so we begin to look forward to Spring with renewed hope. 

Just a reminder though, we already have a hope that will not disappoint us.  That hope is found in Jesus Christ our Savior.  We need to take a look again at all we have in Jesus.  The Lenten Season, which also falls mid February, is the time set aside for us to contemplate our glorious hope. 

In Jesus we have all that we need, life, hope and peace.  Jesus came that we might have life, and he came to save us.  “In hope we are saved” Romans 8:24.  So as Paul writes we are “debtors, not to the flesh, to live by the flesh but we are to live by the Spirit.”  “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:12-14) 

Living in the Spirit means we seek the things that are above.  We are to put our minds on heavenly things.  We are to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, first.  Are you seeking (making a purposeful search) for God’s kingdom or are you tied too much to earthly things? 

Take time this Lenten season to reflect on this question and to seek to know Jesus Christ better.  We begin our Lenten journey Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2010, @ 7PM, with an Interactive Service with Holy Communion and Imposition of ashes; please join us in the journey. 

The Lord Bless you always and in all ways, Pastor Gail

 


12/16/2009

Christmas Greetings,

Wow! How quickly the month is passing.  We are looking forward to Christmas.  The tree is up, the decorations are in place, the waiting has started, and the clock is ticking.  Our minds are preoccupied with so many different things, Christmas lists, guest lists, shopping lists, don’t forget Aunt Mary!  It is a wonderful, exciting time for some and for others it is a lonesome time, an empty chair reminder that the one they love will not be with them this year.  Each of us will approach Christmas from a different perspective. But where should our focus really be?

Maybe the reminder we need right in the words we repeat back and forth to each other, “Merry Christmas”. Christ’s Mass, is the celebration of Christ, not only his birth but his death and resurrection.  It is the celebration of Emmanuel, God with us, now and forevermore.  So let this Christmas be “Merry”, joyful, peaceful, and festive all at the same time. Let it be joyful because Christ was born for us, let it be peaceful because the Prince of Peace reigns, let it be festive, for our response to this great gift should shine out in all we do and say!  Let Christmas be what it is, the celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ!

O Lord may we rest in this truth, we are not alone, You are with us.  Amen.


11/15/2009

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
  Joshua 1:9

This was God’s command to Joshua as he was about to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Fear was the very thing that kept the Israelites from entering the promise land forty years before.  Their trek through the wilderness was a time not only of testing but a time to learn to trust God.

Many times in the Bible you will read this command, do not be afraid or fear not!  Seems we need to hear that because too often we are ruled by our fears. Too often the media plays on the fears of people. The command to not be afraid comes with the promise that God is with us, and will be with us wherever we go and whatever we go through. 

Jesus said, “
And behold, I am with you always even unto the end of the age.  Matthew 28:20b 

In this world where each day brings us another reason to fear, whether it is the threat of terrorism, H1N1, the unstable economy, or disease,  we need to hold on to and trust the Lord’s promise that God is with us and will never leave us. God alone is the security we need. 

My prayer for you is that you will rest in God’s love and trust his plan and purpose for your life today and everyday.  Amen.
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