Posted on Thu, Dec 26, 2013
From the Pastor
A Cowboy’s Prayer
Jake, the rancher, went one day to fix a distant fence. The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense, as he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go, the temperature had fallen and the snow began to blow.
When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heavy heart. From the sound of that ignition, he knew it wouldn’t start. So Jake did what most of us would do, if we’d have been there. He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.
As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck. They found him three days later, frozen stiff in that old truck. Now Jake had been around in life, and done his share of roamin’. But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked–it looked just like Wyomin’.
Of all the saints in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter. (Now, this line, it ain’t needed but it helps with rhyme and meter.) So they set and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three, nobody was keepin’ score–in Heaven time is free.
“I’ve always heard,” Jake said to Pete, “that God will answer prayer, But one time I asked for help, and, well, He just plain wasn’t there. Does God answer prayers of some, and ignore the prayers of others? That don’t seem exactly square–I know all men are brothers.
Or does He randomly reply, without good rhyme or reason? Maybe it’s the time of day, the weather or the season. Now, I just ain’t trying to act smart, it’s just the way I feel, and I was wonderin’, could you tell me–what the heck’s the deal?”
Peter listened very patiently and when Jake was done, there were smiles of recognition, and he said, “So, you’re the one! That day your truck wouldn’t start, and you sent your prayer a-flying, You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us a-trying.
A thousand angels rushed to check the status of your file, and you know, Jake–we hadn’t heard from you in quite a while. And though all prayers are answered, and God ain’t got no quota, He didn’t recognize your voice, and started a truck in South Dakota.”
So remember to keep in touch.
The poem is humorous, but there are obvious theological problems with it. God never forgets who we are, or where we are, and God always recognizes our voice. But the point it makes is a valid one. Prayer should be a natural part of our lives. You can never pray too much. Some people point to the Presbyterian doctrine of predestination and ask, “Why pray? Everything is decided and set in stone. What difference does it make?”
There is a new theology of prayer being circulated now within the evangelical community, and some of the more ardent Calvinists are attacking it. The idea being floated is that maybe everything is not set in stone. Maybe God can change God’s mind. It would certainly appear from many instances in the Old Testament that prayer caused God to change what was planned. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing, and Jesus told the parable of the unrighteous judge who cared for neither God nor humans, but was finally worn out by the persistent prayers of the widow and granted what she asked. So there is plenty of support for the notion that maybe prayer is not a useless exercise after all.
I believe that God does answer prayer. It is true that the answer is not always what we wish, but I believe we nevertheless have a right, and a duty, to make our needs known to God. God knows before we ask, but if we do not care enough to ask, then should we expect God to answer anyway?
Remember, prayer is not just about what we want from God. It also includes praise and thanksgiving and prayers for others. Prayer should be as natural as talking to a friend. It is, after all, a conversation with our best and most trusted Friend. You don’t need fancy language or seminary training. In fact, I think sometimes these things get in the way of true prayer. Just speak to God as you would to anyone else. And don’t forget to listen for what God may have to say to you.
Remember to keep in touch.
Rev. Randy Nolen
CASA sends their thanks for the wonderful Christmas made possible by the presents we gave unselfishly to the family we adopted this year. The items were picked up from the church on Friday, December 20, to be wrapped and delivered in time for Christmas.
On December 9, we had our annual Christmas Luncheon, this year catered by Dorinne Lykins. Thank you, Dorinne, from all of us for a delicious meal! The guest speaker was from Rivers of Life, who told us about their program to help people.
Our next meeting is on January 13, at 9:30 am. We will be studying Lesson #4, “Passing Through the Waters.” Our lesson leader will be Connie Berckes and our hostess will be Peg Stokes. Hope to see you there.
It’s that time again, time to help out Hungry Harold. He says for January 2014, he is in need of Kool-Aid and/or Drink Mixes along with Pastas and Dried Pinto Beans. He gives thanks for the many blessings he has received from members and friends of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
We delivered to Community Kitchen from Hungry Harold in December:
5 lb. pasta
2 lb. rice
34 lb. beans
l large Jello
1 box trash bags
30 pkgs 1 1/2 oz chips
Anne Gravel wants to express her gratitude for the lovely, cozy, warm shawl with her name on it. She wears it on her lap the whole time that she sits in her old chair, and she says a prayer for all the great people that make up her church family.
Also, thank you to whoever is responsible for the little food trays that she uses to fill up when she pigs out at the coffee table after the services.
Work from August to November 2013.
1) Sprinkler system turned off for the winter.
2) Mower in to the mower doctor.
3) Two light bulbs in main officer replaced.
4) Thanks to Adam Solis future son-in-law, Butch, for trimming the dead branches from all the trees and removing some dead trees. (His tithe to the church)
5) Outside faucet that broke last year was turned off and insulated.
6) Door leading down the hall from the west end of the hall now closes. More work is still needed on it.
7) Gas Meter went out leaving the Church without gas. Repaired by the gas company.
8) Had to relight upstairs water heater.
9) Appears a toilet was left running, resulting in 13,000 gallons of water being used in Oct.- Nov.
10) Had to call electrician to fix the light in Randy’s office.
News: Presbytery of Sierra Blanca
SOME PRESBYTERY NEWS to share:
December 14, 2013
Dear Sierra Blancans,
Good News to share with everyone at this time.
The Presbytery of Sierra Blanca just received notice from the Board of Pensions about funding available through the Emergency Assistance Program. A Grant has been provided to Tex, Cris, & Andrew Russell that will help the Russell family obtain one-way air transportation to the United States
Please continue to keep our extended family in prayer as they begin yet another new journey in their walk with our Lord.
Anyone desiring to contact the Russells via e-mail or snail mail may do so through the presbytery office. Yours in Christ.
A little love goes a long way...
Indeed, the moisture in the form of SNOW earlier this month was a mixed blessing. Our first annual cookie exchange & program had to be cancelled in Clovis, black iced roads with the chance for more.
Anyway, the love offering for the Russells went forward and was sent (wired) to Tex, Cris and Andrew with wishes of our love and prayers.
PWP is just letting you all know it is definitely the question that you ask, "what is this situation and what can I do about it?" when things begin to happen.
This event was canceled, but we are planning the Annual PWP Gathering for 2014 Spring in Clovis. More information soon.
Grace & Peace, Dixie Loy
Dorothy presented the budget for 2014 – MSP to approve the 2014 budget.
MSP to hold a Congregational/Corporation meeting on 29 December 2013 immediately after services, for the Congregation to discuss and approve the pastor’s salary (terms of call) for 2014 and, meeting as a Corporation, receive the budget for 2014.
Pastor’s Report: Reported that the singing of “Jesus, Remember Me” during communion was well received.
Jan. 5 - Elaine Hanson
Jan. 12 - Bill Briney
Jan. 19 - Joe Mondragon
Jan. 26 - Peg Stokes
December 1 - 58
December 8 - 43
December 15 - 67
December 22 - 55
A New Year’s Prayer
Heavenly Father, for this coming year, just one request I bring.
I do not pray for happiness or any earthly thing.
I do not ask to understand the way you lead me;
But this I ask—teach me to do the thing that pleases Thee.
I want to know Your guiding voice, to walk with you each day.
Heavenly Father, make me swift to hear and ready to obey; and thus the year I now begin a happy year will be. I am seeking just to do that thing that pleases Thee.
Mark Your Calendars!
Jan. 1. Office Closed
Jan. 4, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
Jan. 5. Communion Sunday
Jan. 5, 10:45am. Worship and Evangelism & Concern Comm.
Jan. 8, 4:00pm. Handbell Practice
Jan. 8, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Jan. 11, 8am. Men's Breakfast
Jan. 12, 11am. Session Meeting
Jan. 13, 9:30am. PW Circle
Jan. 15, 4:00pm. Handbell Practice
Jan. 15, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Jan. 17. CHIMES Deadline
Jan. 18, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
Jan. 22, 4:00pm. Handbell Practice
Jan. 22, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Jan. 25, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
Jan. 26. Cents-Ability Collection
Jan. 27, 9:00am. Piece Maker’s Day
Jan. 29, 4:00pm. Handbell Practice
Jan. 29, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
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