You are herePastor's Monthly Message

Pastor's Monthly Message


Pastor's Monthly Message...November..2017

Living With False Expectations

Oftentimes we find ourselves looking ignorant because we have trusted misinformation. With very little effort, we pass on untruths which we assume to be accurate. It would amaze us, if we stopped to think about it, how many things that we believe to be true that, in fact, are not true.
It might seem obvious to us when we are asked, "Where was the battle of Bunker Hill fought?" But the seemingly obvious answer is not the right one. The shots heard at that Revolutionary War battle were fired at Breed's Hill, not Bunker Hill. And who said "Elementary my dear Watson?" Certainly not Sherlock Homes, because that quotation is never used in any of Conan Doyle stories. We all carry with us a lot of misinformation.
Perhaps, most of those many pieces of misinformation never do us much harm. but we also carry around many false ideas about life and how we ought to proceed in life which are dangerous or damaging. These illogical and irrational ideas slowly and silently convince us.
Many people believe that we ought to be totally competent in everything that we do. We believe that is part of being an adult. Because of this, we are often reluctant to admit errors. We hate to believe we have vulnerabilities. Worst of all, we torment ourselves when we do not achieve as much as we think we should. It can come to a point where we only see our faults and no strengths at all.
It is irrational to think we can be competent in all our endeavors. The very fact that we have developed some skills means that we have left other skills untended.

Pastor's Monthly Message...October..2017

Think Beyond The News Headline

There was a time when men and women knew their neighbors when all the people in the little towns knew their neighbors by their first names. There was a time when the news of births and deaths, sickness and good fortune was passed from mouth to mouth, house to house until everyone in the town either reveled in the joys or grieved in sadness.
When the church bells in my little town rang out the news of someone who had passed away, all stopped to ask for whom the bells tolled. People counted the rings which told the age of the departed soul. One ring might have indicated a baby who died in childbirth, a dozen rings could announce the death of a pre-teenager who died in an accident and eighty rings would sadly announce the passing of a revered senior citizen.
That was then and this is now. The brave new world of today is larger and more complex. The newspapers and electronic news have replaced the bell tower. We know more about what happens in our world today, but distance separate us from the emotional effect of tragic events. We sit quietly in our recliners and read the headlines; a short flight away an earthquake has killed hundreds of people, a hurricane has leveled an entire island or an entire city. we watch and see children who are starving or are trying to cling to life as homeless orphans. Then we causally fold the newspaper and take the remote and change the channel of our TV to catch a football game or to see some make-believe actor perform make believe tragedies on make-believe stages.
And as we live on with lots of information but little feeling; so and so is dead but we didn't know him. A town we've never been to has sunk in a sea of mud and a distant nation of people starves to death for lack of bread.

Pastor's Monthly Message...September,2017

Inner Space

One of the most interesting and most captivating experiences of government in the last sixty years has been the exploration of outer space. I was reminded of this fairly recently when I again visited the Space Center in Houston Texas. At the time of this writing, the space program seems much less active than it once was but there is still a lot of interest in the mystery of outer space. And while there is so much to examine in outer space, there should also be a deep interest in our inner space, the seat of our thoughts, emotions, our inner soul. There is a great need to pay attention to this mystery as well. When we talk to each other about ourselves, we most often talk about ourselves as physical beings and forget that our spiritual self even exists or needs constant monitoring. We need to care as much for our inner selves as much as our bodies. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul."
We do need to make our lives more simple, to slow down, to handle our problems, one day at a time so that we do not become overburdened with all the adversities that life throws at us. We need to learn how to be alone with our thoughts and with ourselves. We can look for places as a refuge from the world but none is better than the retreat within ourselves and to find immediate tranquility there. As the hymn suggest, no situation can be too tough when "All is well with my soul".

Pastor's Monthly Message...July-August 2017

We Are Great When We Are Good

Over 200 years ago, America was still an experiment, a French philosopher named Alexis de Tocqueville came to examine and report back home the status on this new land and new government.
He made the comment that any society needs some kind of "glue" to hold it together; customs, history and faith. He said that any society needs a common bond. If the bond doesn't grow naturally, it is taken over by a totallitucian government that holds people together whether they like it or not.
In our land we have a wide open country with various nationalities, customs, tastes, and faiths, a people had a deliberately set out to leave their cities free. The idea was exciting but dangerous. The Frenchman and other people wandered what would keep this brew of freedom from turning every citizen into a government of his own. What would hold these states together? What would keep the powerful from imposing their will on the weak if there was no strong central authority to hold them in check? Why hadn't Americans split into a thousand squabbling factions? Or why had they not been locked into the iron grip of a dictator? Why were they succeeding so well?
De Tocqueville searched for an answer and this was the one thing he said, "Not until I went to the churches of America and heard the pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if ever America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." De Tocqueville noted that it was this "goodness" that bound Americans together. Not a fiery fanaticism that turned one people against another, but love, concern and consideration of one American for another. He found a public and private acceptance that this was a nation voluntarily committing itself to the protection and guidance of others.

Pastor's Monthly Message...June,2017

For Our Graduates

Every year, about the last of May or first of June, our country witnesses the annual rituals of graduation ceremonies - a time which often signifies the end of formal education. But after graduation, many graduates soon realize they are freshmen again. The good life is a series of learning experiences. As the graduates enter college or the professional world, they would do well to build careers on a solid foundation of steady learning experiences and steadily developing talent. These are great satisfactions for the individual whose job is under control. There is only anxiety for the person whose job is not.
If schools or other learning institutions have done their jobs well, graduates will have developed habits of mind that will be useful in new situations throughout their lives - curiosity, open-mindedness, objectivity, respect for evidence, and the capacity to think critically. If society has created an atmosphere which encourages effort, striving, and vigorous performance, the chances are that our young people will expect much of themselves.
Part of that expectation will be to continue learning. Learning must be a lifelong companion so there will be continual self-renewal.
The truly educated person knows that happiness does not come from self-gratification, ease, comfort, diversion or a state of having achieved all of one's goals. Happiness involves the striving for meaningful goals-goals that relate the individual to a larger context of purposes, goals that call forth the full use of one's powers and talents. Graduation is, indeed a commencement. It is the beginning toward the best that life has to offer, the foundation of which is learning, and the summit of which is true knowledge.

Rev. Hans Lillejord

Pastor's Monthly Message...May,2017

Friends

Our friendships with each other is one of life's most meaningful gifts. A Greek poet once said, "Life has no gift or blessing like a prudent friend". How important are our relationships with our friends?
Interpersonal relationships are more important to us than most of us realize. When adults are asked to name the times when they were most happy, most seem to say that what makes them most happy or sad are personal relationship with other human beings. Those relationships can be more important than personal health, more important than work and more important than money or material things.
We all need stable relationships in our lives. Certainly there is value in an intimate friendship, even though we may risk being hurt by making ourselves vulnerable. Close friendships make us feel wanted and needed. They also help us discover that our own problems and feelings are not unique. Friends often have similar problems and joys to share.
Our lives are enriched through meaningful friendships. Perhaps more than any other factor, the quality of our human relationships determine the quality of our lives. This means that a high priority of our lives should be the building of significant relationships with family and friends through open and honest communication.
When we find ourselves in short supply of friendships, it is quite possible that we are not willing to devote our energies to it. We simply assume it will happen. But it doesn't. We need to take an interest in other people, and that requires time, effort and a deep concern.
Most of the time, we are somewhat guarded in what we share with each other. We often stick close to role-defined behavior or focus on our positive attributes to avoid rejection. If a relationship is going to develop, we have to take the risk of being honest with our feelings.

Pastor's Monthly Message.. April,2017

Face Your Fears
Life is an especially high - risk proposition. The stakes are extremely high. Total happiness or complete heartbreak is often a matter of difference in a step, a turn of a head, or an offhand decision. Misery may suddenly break upon our heads out of nowhere. We may display moments of confidence for one another, occasional acts of bravado, but is only the dishonest who never admit to fear in their lives. I believe that all of us dwell somewhere between comfortable security and fearful anxiety.
When we do meet with uncertainty, deep feelings of fear may arise. A full stomach may not please us today if we are not sure of tomorrows meal. but even in times of relative security, we can never forget how frail the heart is in the person we love most, how limited is our time together. We can never forget in our time of relative confidence how little we know, how prone we are to error. One philosopher said, "Man is but a reed - the weakest thing in nature...It is not necessary that the whole world should arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him."
When life does have its terrifying moments, how do we survive them?
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing which comes along." The real danger in our lives lies in refusing to face fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take your confidence. You must do the thing you cannot do.

Pastor's Monthly Message..March,2017

Listen To The Coach
A distinguishing feature of our way of life in this era is the increasing number of people who are involved in athletics of one kind or another. Most young people now participate in some form of sports competition. While in the past, it was the domain of young men, today's world includes young women almost equally. Spectator sports are a major focus of leisure time in many of our lives.
Unfortunately, recently we have been confronted with many negatives in sports. Cheating seems to be common, drug use which enhances performance seem to be acceptable and money can help determine the outcome of events.
However, there are still many positive results which can come from athletic competitions. The results of disciplined practice, the thrills of pursuing goals and the wisdoms gained from winning and losing are just some of the benefits.
But there is another important lessons that successful athletes must learn. Regardless of athletic power and natural ability, every individual who has aspirations to succeed in the competitive world of sports must first listen to a coach - to listen to someone who has been there before, to a person whose judgment is shaped by long seasons of preparation and experience. It is the coach's advice and counsel that must be placed before the noisy urgings of the crowd and even one's own interest.
Life, in general, demands of us this same lesson. All of us, who participate in the contest of living must also learn to heed the voice of the coach because our success and happiness quite often depend on it.

Pastor's Monthly Message..February,2017

The brain is a very wonderful thing. Not only does it receive, interpret and record information on a daily basis but with the passage of time, the wonderful mind sorts and orders our experience. When it does, it gives increased worth to all the memories and recollections of events that seemed so unimportant in our earlier years.
When we grow up, we began to understand the nature of human thought and wisdom. And as our maturity looks back in time, it teaches us that what may have appeared important to us when we were young loses much of that importance as we get older. And, conversely, what we may have taken for granted gains in value as time passes.
"I made a great mistake in my youth" wrote one man in his diary. I supposed that what was important to me then would remain important for a life time, like winning at football, buying my first automobile, dating the most attractive girl in my class, and being invited to join a fraternity in college, were all matters which might have an eternal value. But age has brought me home to the great lesson we must all learn. As memory takes me back to my childhood - the sports, the cars, the puppy loves, are all gone. And in their place are the sacred hours spent with my father and mother - hours of work, play, of discipline; irreplaceable hours with parents who are no more.
The truth is that those words provide us all with insight. For those of us who are parents, we learn that we do not always have to be understood by our children to be loved by them. And the love we give them, even if it includes a portion of discipline, will be more valued in time. We come to understand that there is no more important time than that which we spend with our children. To provide children with happy, meaningful memories is a primary responsibility of parenthood.

Pastor's Monthly Message...January..2017

What Is Really Needful

All of us seem to revel in the fact that we are "so busy". There are so many things to do, so many responsibilities that pull us for our time. Technology was supposed to simplify our lives but it seems to have made are lives more crowded. As soon as we seem to invent a system to simplify one task, another responsibility moves in to take control of whatever time we have saved. It may be true that we get more things done by making more efficient use of our time, but it may also mean that as our lives become more full, more complex, more detailed some of the more important aspects of living receive less attention or are forgotten altogether.
How many times have we justified the time we spend away from families, justified the neglect families suffer because of careers, pleasures, or other distractions? "I'm doing these things for you" neglected families are often told. And, while that may be partly true, it does not make the neglect any less real. A boy once received such an explanation from his father, who never had time to play ball with him. The boy said, "The trouble; dad, is that I'm not in your book". "Book", said the father, "what book"?
"You know", the boy replied, "the book you write your appointments in, the one where you keep track of meetings with important people. "I'm not in there!"
Jesus spoke about these things, the problem of mismanaged priorities. The occasion was when he visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. While Mary set at the feet of Jesus, learning of salvation, Martha worked the kitchen and was very annoyed that Mary did not help her. Finally, Martha complained to Jesus who answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things; but only one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42

12809 New Sweden Church Road
Manor, TX 78653
Phone: 512-281-0056

MAP
Rev. Hans J. Lillejord, Pastor
Cell Phone: 512-947-9044

Worship with Us

Services Held Every Sunday at 10:30am


Sunday School Held Every Sunday at 9:30am


Adult Bible Class Held Every Sunday at 9:15am

Events

« November 2017 »
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930

Share with Social Media

Share this