Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise,) that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” 

 

Parents are commanded in Scripture to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” What does that mean?

 

It means that parents are responsible for teaching their children who God is and what his requirements are to live a moral and righteous life. To do that requires loving nurture, correction and discipline. 

 

This responsibility extends beyond the first few years at home into their years of formal schooling. Parents are responsible to know what their children are learning at school and to try to the best of their ability to help them succeed. I believe everyone reading this would agree. 

 

The former governor of Virginia made the fatal mistake of telling Virginia parents that he didn’t think parents should tell schools what they should teach their children. That comment probably cost him his job, and may have ignited a firestorm across America. 

 

I hope you will join me in praying for the church and our country, to wake up and recognize the forces at work that are against so many of God’s commands. When God’s children are in exile, as they were during the Babylonian captivity, parents needed to be especially vigilant to teach and follow God’s law because the prevailing, dominant culture was doing something completely different.

 

Can you discern the difference, and are you proactively training up your children and/or grandchildren to follow Christ?

 

Walking in the Light together,

 

Pastor Bill

Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

“….Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

 

At Pastor Dennis’ installation I was asked to give a “theme” verse for the occasion. Philippians 3:14 immediately came to mind. 

 

Many people came to Christ through Paul’s ministry but there were also plenty of disappointments along the way. One of the reasons Paul was so successful was that he chose to forget the painful disappointments of the past so he could “press onward” and give his full focus to the “heavenward call” of Jesus Christ.

 

Last night the Logos Vision Team had its last official meeting. The two strategic initiatives that were established by the team are on the way to being fully accomplished. The first initiative was to call an Associate Pastor of Youth and Outreach and the second was to start a second worship service. 

 

Associate Pastor Dennis is now leading a core team that will meet on Wednesday nights from 8-9:30 on zoom to continue planning for the launch of a second service. The target date is Easter 2022. 

 

This Sunday Pastor Dennis and a growing worship team will be leading the liturgy and worship at 4:00. This service will give the congregation a foretaste of what the new service will be like. 

 

If you are interested in being part of the Core Team to help start the second service, join Pastor Dennis and the team on Wednesday nights. They need volunteers for worship, technical media and the welcome ministry.  

 

God is doing a “new thing” at Logos. There is a fresh sense of excitement with the second service and what it will bring. Come and be part of it! 

 

Grace and peace,

 

Pastor Bill

Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

              “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;

              And the government shall be upon his shoulder,

              And his name shall be called

              Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace

              Of the increase of his government and of peace

              There will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV) 

              

Thanksgiving Day this year was extra special for Logos pastors! The MacDonald’s got to celebrate their daughter Hannah’s birthday and Dennis and Christy welcomed the arrival of their baby girl Alethia (Allie)! Congratulations to the Yims!  And thank you Lord for the blessing of our children! 

 

One of the things I love about Advent are the Scriptural texts we revisit at this time of the year. Isaiah 9:6-7 is one of my favorites. 

 

The Messiah is given four titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

 

This theme for the second week of Advent is PEACE. The Messiah is called the “Prince of peace.” Isaiah writes:

 

              “….Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” 

 

Isaiah says that only two things increase forever: God’s government (Kingdom) and his peace. We understand that God’s kingdom will continue to increase on earth until the Messiah returns. We learned that in Daniel: “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed….” Daniel 2:44. 

 

But the phrase “….the increase…. of peacethere will be no end” is truly ironic, since “peace” has eluded humankind for most of its existence. Ephesians 2:14 reinforces Isaiah’s message that lasting peace is found only in Christ. 

 

“….For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility….” 

 

Looking for some peace at Christmas? Call out for the One who is the “Prince of Peace!” 

 

Grace and peace, 

 

 

Pastor Bill

Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:1-3 (NIV) 

 

On Sunday we will install Dennis Yim as our new Associate Pastor for Youth and Outreach. Pastor Larry Jung will preach Dennis’ installation sermon. I will give the charge to Dennis and the congregation, and members of session and other Ruling Elders from Presbytery will participate. 

 

Paul does not mince words when he charges young Timothy to “Preach the Word.” This charge is given in the “presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead…” This is an ominous statement. This is a reminder to Timothy that Jesus will return as the Judge. 

 

We usually think of Jesus as “Savior” or “Redeemer” which He is. But when Jesus returns, he will return as the “judge of the living and the dead.” How are those who do not know who Jesus is going to find out unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14-15) 

 

The responsibility to share the good news falls on all believers. But the man or woman of God who is called to “preach the Word in season and out season” bears a lion’s share of that responsibility because most believers bring unbelievers to church services or revival services to hear the gospel and be given an opportunity to accept Jesus as Savior.  

 

Today in America we live in a world more like the first century than 1950 when it comes to peoples’ familiarity and openness to the gospel. I hope you will remember that in the days ahead as Dennis assumes his role as the pastor of our youth and the one who is playing a major role in helping us start a new service. 

 

Preaching to this generation is a very daunting assignment. There are issues that this generation is confronted with that the rest of us have not had to deal with before.  

 

Dennis and his wife Christy, their two-year old daughter Karis and one to be named soon need all of our prayers and encouragement as they seek to follow the Lord’s call to pastor Logos Presbyterian. Our job is to come alongside Dennis to participate in the ministry of the gospel with whatever gifts, abilities and resources the Lord has given us. Working together God will accomplish more than what we ask or imagine! (Eph 3:20) 

 

Grace and peace,

 

Pastor Bill

Reflection from Ps. Yim

Dear Logos Family, 

 

I hope you are doing well. My family and I are extremely blessed to be part of your family. We look forward to growing together with you. 

 

May the Lord continue to watch over you and bless you this week so that you may be a blessing to your communities.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Dennis

Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

“But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13 (NIV)

 

Last week I wrote that Jenny and my daughter Hannah floated down a short stretch of the Yakima River. This week Jenny and I wanted to try a section of the river closer to our home in Cle Elum – a piece known as the “upper Yakima.” 

 

The upper Yakima is narrower and more scenic than the section Jen and Hannah traveled on. But the places to disembark from the river are less obvious. Jen and I scouted out a place we thought would be a good spot to pull in and disembark the raft.

 

It turned out it wasn’t such a good spot! Our trip was beautiful, scenic and fun until we tried to get out. I flopped out of the raft and tried to pull it to shore but the current was too strong and the raft was too heavy. Jenny headed down the river by herself and I soon joined her as I was swept down myself!

 

All turned out well in the end! I wound up getting out of the river a quarter of a mile from our car. Jen was able to get out sooner. Fortunately, we were both ok and we still had our car keys and wallet! 

 

In retrospect we could have benefitted from a river guide – a person who knows the river, where to get in and out, areas to avoid etc. 

 

Jesus told the disciples that when he departed from this world he would send them a guide, the “Spirit of truth” who would guide them into all truth. The Spirit of truth enlightens us to God’s truth; we receive wisdom to live this life as sons and daughters of the Living God. Our Guide helps us navigate around snags and rocks that can put a hole in our raft. 

 

Do you regularly ask the Holy Spirit (the “Spirit of Truth”) for guidance in your life? Things might go a bit smoother!

 

Grace and peace, 

 

Pastor Bill

Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

“But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13 (NIV)

Last week I wrote that Jenny and my daughter Hannah floated down a short stretch of the Yakima River. This week Jenny and I wanted to try a section of the river closer to our home in Cle Elum – a piece known as the “upper Yakima.” 

The upper Yakima is narrower and more scenic than the section Jen and Hannah traveled on. But the places to disembark from the river are less obvious. Jen and I scouted out a place we thought would be a good spot to pull in and disembark the raft.

It turned out it wasn’t such a good spot! Our trip was beautiful, scenic and fun until we tried to get out. I flopped out of the raft and tried to pull it to shore but the current was too strong and the raft was too heavy. Jenny headed down the river by herself and I soon joined her as I was swept down myself!

All turned out well in the end! I wound up getting out of the river a quarter of a mile from our car. Jen was able to get out sooner. Fortunately, we were both ok and we still had our car keys and wallet! 

In retrospect we could have benefitted from a river guide – a person who knows the river, where to get in and out, areas to avoid etc. 

Jesus told the disciples that when he departed from this world he would send them a guide, the “Spirit of truth” who would guide them into all truth. The Spirit of truth enlightens us to God’s truth; we receive wisdom to live this life as sons and daughters of the Living God. Our Guide helps us navigate around snags and rocks that can put a hole in our raft. 

Do you regularly ask the Holy Spirit (the “Spirit of Truth”) for guidance in your life? Things might go a bit smoother!

Grace and peace, 

Pastor Bill

Reflection From Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matt 24:44

 

I just returned with some friends from a three-night backpacking trip in the Olympic National Forest. The first day we hiked eight miles with forty-pound packs on our backs and camped next to a fast moving river. As we settled in for the evening a ranger came by our camp looking rather disturbed.

 

He asked to see our camping permit and he noticed that we had reserved spots at “Deer Lake” campground which was a grueling eight-mile hike away. Normally the rangers are rather lax about where you camp in the wilderness area as long as you have your permit. However, the ranger announced that on Monday (the next day), they were going to “close the Basin” to all day hikers and backpackers in order to “thin out” the goat herd on the mountain. 

 

Evidently, the mountain goats are an invasive species and becoming overly populated in the park. We were told that they normally tranquilize the goats and move them to other places outside the park. But not this year. 

 

The bottom line for us was we had to be at the Deer Lake campsite by the next day. 

 

This was a great surprise to the man who planned the trip. He had originally planned to take two days to hike to Deer Lake so we weren’t so rushed and so fatigued by the steepest part of the eight-mile hike that included four thousand feet of vertical climbing! My sixty year-old joints and muscles started groaning when they heard the news! But we started hiking at daybreak and by 11:30am we had accomplished the steepest part of the climb. By 4:00pm we arrived at Deer Lake joints, muscles and toes still intact! 

 

This episode reminded me that we must always “be ready.” Things don’t always go “as planned.” And when it comes to the Lord’s return, none of us knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return. We’re just called to “be ready.” 

 

Are you ready for Jesus’ return or are you still getting your pack ready for the journey? Do you have any “unfinished business” that you need to tidy up before He returns? If so, you better get cracking! 

 

Grace, 

 

Pastor Bill

Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

For many years I have used Rick Warren’s insights into Scripture to help believers find practical solutions to everyday problems. Here are a few principles for overcoming discouragement. 

 

#1 – NEVER FORGET HOW MUCH GOD LOVES YOU.

 

You know God loves you. But you don’t always feel it in your heart. When you stop feeling the love of God, you’ll get discouraged. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:1 – “We don’t become discouraged, since God has given us this ministry through his mercy.” (GW)

 

You can’t feel discouraged and feel the love of God at the same time. You have to choose between the two. Some people don’t’ feel God’s love because they think God is angry at them all the time. If that’s the voice you’re hearing, it’s not God. He’s not mad at you; he’s mad about you!

 

The number one purpose of your life isn’t to love God. It’s to let God love you. When you’re discouraged, focus on that love.

 

#2 – DON’T FAKE IT.

 

Be yourself. Don’t pretend you’re not hurting when you are. Be who God made you to be. Nothing is more discouraging than trying to be something you’re not.

 

God doesn’t bless fakes or phonies. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:2: “We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this (NLT). Fear often keeps us from being vulnerable. We’re afraid people will think less of us if we’re honest about our pain. I’ve found the opposite is true. It is in our weaknesses that we actually help people the most. 

 

#3 – REMEMBER, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

 

You’re more likely to be discouraged when you’re self-focused. Paul reminds us: “Our message is not about ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:5 The Message). Your walk and your ministry is not about you. It’s about Jesus.

 

Some days I have to say that to myself 20 times. Whether I’m praised or criticized, I whisper to myself, “It’s not about me. It’s about Jesus.” Discouragement happens when we forget the why. Jesus is the why.

 

Peace and grace,

 

Pastor Bill

Reflection from Ps. Bill

Dear Logos Family,

 

            “And he told them many things in parables, saying….” Matthew 13:3

 

Last week we started a new series on the Parables of Jesus. Parables are short stories that convey spiritual truth about God’s Kingdom. They are a discreet way of teaching spiritual truth without focusing directly on the person of Jesus. 

 

In his early days of ministry, Jesus did not want everyone to know his true identity.  Even some of his close disciples who watched him perform miracles and followed him for three years didn’t fully grasp who Jesus was until the end. 

 

Shortly after the Last Supper the apostle Philip said in John 14,

 

            “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 

 

Jesus had to reassure him as to his true identity:

 

            “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:8-9)

 

Given the nature of the world we live in, we too, as Jesus’ followers, must be discreet about how we talk about our Lord. We must learn to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) 

 

The parables of Jesus are designed to tweak people’s curiosity about God. The Parable of the Sower that we looked at last week reminds us not to be too analytical where we sow, what type of “soil” we sow seed into. Because we never know. We never truly know how a “word spoken in season” will take root in a person’s heart and lead them to the Savior. We are simply called to be faithful sowers – both in word and deed. And to trust the Lord that His word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)

 

May you find joy in planting the seeds of life!

 

Pastor Bill