Pastor's Corner

Weekly thoughts to inspire and motivate

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

There's an old song whose lyrics go like this: "Sometimes you wanna go.. / Where everybody knows your name / And they're always glad you came. / You wanna be where you can see, / The troubles are all the same. / You wanna be where everybody knows your name." Doesn't that sound like a perfect description of what a church should be? It isn't about a church, though, at all.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Be Still

On my way home from prayer meeting last night I was listening to a podcast where Max Lucado was a guest. The conversation was about creating margin in life. This is something that I have been personally struggling with and trying to implement in my own life. Basically it’s the philosophy of creating a space around everything you do.

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Joel SutherlandComment
The Greatest Testimony

Even if you didn't watch the game, I'm sure you've heard about Super Bowl 51. It seems like that's all anyone can talk about, and with good reason. Sunday night's football game was an incredible comeback story. Shortly into the second half, the Atlanta Falcons were leading with 28 points while the New England Patriots only had 3. It seemed that the winner had been determined. But suddenly something changed.

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Joel SutherlandComment
#DeleteUber or #BoycottStarbucks?

Once again, our nation is divided. Once again, Facebook arguments are escalating and media anchors are calling names. Once again people are scrambling to stand on one side or the other of an imaginary line drawn to divide the camp of the lovers from the camp of the haters. The issue this time centers around a controversial executive order the president made temporarily suspending all immigration from seven muslim-dominated countries. In response; companies, celebrities, and common people have given their opinion.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Reckless Abandon

I have been called a daredevil more than once, and I guess it kind of makes sense. I love jumping off of high towers attached to a zipline or repel rope, I enjoy riding four wheelers and motorcycles, I fly airplanes, and I may or may not have a lead foot while driving my vehicle. I tend to have fun when I'm doing something that has some risk attached to it. I disagree with this label however.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Rest Awhile

Dr. Craig Carr has been sharing the results of his doctoral dissertation with us this week at our pastors' meetings in Pigeon Forge. His area of study was the principal of Sabbath rest and how it produces higher levels of emotional maturity and lower levels of anxiety in pastors who actually have one. According to Dr. Carr, the problem a lot of Adventist pastors face is that the job we have requires us to work so hard on Sabbath, therefore many of us never truly get a Sabbath rest.

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Joel SutherlandComment
When the Floods Come

As many of you know, California has been battered by rain and flooding for several days now. Roads have washed away, people are being evacuated, and cities are at risk. One of the most recent victims, however, was a Giant Sequoia named Pioneer Cabin Tree. Standing for over a thousand years, this tree has seen its share of storms.

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Joel SutherlandComment
#hello2017

A lot of people have claimed that 2016 was a terrible year. Spend a few minutes on Facebook, Twitter, or the news and you'll hear about celebrity deaths, shootings, racism, terrorism, natural disasters, refugees, and a general absence of love. People around us are hoping that 2017 will be better, that somehow bad things won't happen, and that we humans would finally learn to love each other.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Peace On Earth

I wonder if the angels asked similar questions the night they appeared to a few shepherds that night so long ago. The sky exploded with dazzling light as the grandest choir ever heard by mortal man belted out, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). As the light faded and darkness once again pressed down upon the little village of Bethlehem, do you think the angels wondered if peace had really come?

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Joel SutherlandComment
Stille Nacht

The snow crunched beneath his feet as Pastor Josef Mohr climbed the hill outside of town. He was in a thoughtful mood, not just because of the Nativity play he had just witnessed but also because he had a Christmas Eve service to prepare for the next evening and no working organ to accompany it. As he looked out across the snow covered town of Oberndorf, Austria, however, an idea struck him.

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Joel SutherlandComment