Friday, June 16, 2023

Father's Day

Father’s Day is a reflection and appreciation day. When I do this, my mind recalls the hard work Dad consistently powered through until the very day that he went to Heaven. He tended farm animals and tended soil and crops. He built houses and led men in the process. He instructed his children by word and deed ethically and spiritually. He helped his neighbors in need. He provided shelter, food, and clothing for his family – at times others. He prayed daily with the family after sharing the Word of God. Though imperfect, he served the Lord faithfully in all he did. He has been gone from this world for 37 years, but I am so grateful for the impressions he left on my life, and looking forward to seeing him again in heaven.

In a world where pleasure has become a primary focus, the eternal reward is often forgotten. Rather, working faithfully and responsibly we are to recognize all our works – manual and physical - are opportunities to reflect God’s love to others and then reap an eternal reward for our service in Heaven. Colossians 3:23 (ESV) is our reminder. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

by Joy Pedersen

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Memorial Day Appreciation


Memorial Day Appreciation


A great price has been paid by many for our country's freedom. So express gratitude for their service. Greater still is the price that was paid for our personal freedom through Jesus Christ. It is a freedom all mankind can share through trust and belief in Him. When this happens, we experience freedom that can never be taken away. This kind of freedom is spoken of in the book of Romans in the Bible.

Romans 6:15-18 (MSG)

What Is True Freedom?

So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!

by Joy Pedersen

Friday, May 12, 2023




Psalm 139:13 (AMP)

For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.

Annually May comes around and we find Mother’s Day on the calendar. Depending on our childhood, we either want to celebrate it or hide from the occasion that is to honor our mother. We didn’t choose her and she didn’t choose us but we are bound by life to give respect for her position in our lives. 

Exodus 20:12 (ESV) reminds us to “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” It is a command without consideration of the goodness, kindness,  or loving mannerisms of our parents. So what does it mean to honor our mother in the adult season of our life?

If we were raised in a loving environment,  admired, and shared life sweetly with them it is fairly easy to honor and respect her. If we grew up in an abusive environment this is much more difficult.

The Psalmist reminds us that we were put together in our mother’s womb by God. No matter the circumstances or persons involved, God himself formed us and put us together in her womb. It is amazing to think of His developing and organizing our innermost parts. And we were gifted purposefully to a particular mother with her imperfections and beauty altogether, This truth is beyond our understanding. And it is good only because He who created us is good. 

When we honor our parents we are in essence acknowledging the work of a good God. Psalm 145:9 (Amp) reads: “The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of things created].”

Honoring God and His creation of our mother [and ourselves], happens when forgiving the wrongs, praying for the Holy Spirit’s help in loving, enacting Christ’s love, and speaking kindly to and of her. So as you spend this Mother’s Day with or without your mother, may you seek ways of honoring her. Have a Happy Mother’s Day reflecting!

by Joy Pedersen

Sunday, April 30, 2023

A Great Promise


A Great Promise

Bidding farewell to friends and family throughout life, I know some of the difficulty in letting go as they depart. Adjusting to the idea of life without them is almost unthinkable. Denial is usually my first response followed by sadness.  The assurances that they will stay in contact and/or return for a visit is often meant well but not fulfilled.

Jesus’s disciples were in a similar situation.  Jesus had prepared them with details of His death and resurrection, but now He began to prepare them for His ‘move’ back to Heaven. Leaving the gift of spiritual life for all mankind, Jesus was going away. For three years they had traveled together, ministered side by side, and been trained for their ministry roles – but His going away was unimaginable! How would they go on?

Startled by His announcement, Jesus left a promise for them and us that was designed to bring relief and hope. The communication was caring and compassionate as He readied them for this part of His and their journey. Jesus gave reason for His going – a promise! Unlike the farewell promises of mankind, however, Jesus’s was not in vain. He promised a Helper - almost a replacement of sorts - that we continue to benefit from. How?

The Helper (Holy Spirit) exposes the truth of individuals sinfulness, what righteousness is, and God’s judgement for those who do not have a love relationship with God and others. The message of salvation can be accepted and believed by the hearer when conviction is received. The Holy Spirit’s revealed truth is a weapon against the ruler of this world, Satan, who fights against truth.

How good to have a reliable promise to hold on to. In what time I am afraid, I have a Helper (Psalm 56:3). He makes us effective witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8). He teaches us and reminds us to apply what He has said in the Bible (John 14:26). He goes with us wherever we go (I Corinthians 3:16). He strengthens us so we can mature in Christ (Romans 8:26-27). He helps become more and more like Christ (Romans 8:29).

Thank you Father, for the fulfilled promise of the Holy Spirit.

by Joy Pedersen

Saturday, April 8, 2023



Acts 2:29-33 (AMP)

“Brothers, I may confidently and freely say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, being a prophet and knowing fully that God had sworn to him with an oath that He would seat one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke [prophetically] of the resurrection of the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), that He was not abandoned [in death] to Hades (the realm of the dead), nor did His body undergo decay32 God raised this Jesus [bodily from the dead], and of that [fact] we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted [d]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this [blessing] which you both see and hear.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Good Friday


Good Friday

This is a day to truly reflect on the goodness of God toward mankind. Perhaps that is why it is Good Friday and not bad Friday? Scripture tells us that because God rescued His Jewish people and they were His, He had a confidence that they wouldn’t betray Him (Isaiah 63:7-8). But time and again God was betrayed, and loyalty was dismissed by those He cared for - through many many years.

The Psalmist describes the reward for loyalty in Psalm 85:9-11 (AMP).

“You (God) are ready to rescue everyone who worships you, so that you will live with us in all your glory. Love and loyalty will come together; goodness and peace will unite. Loyalty will sprout from the ground; justice will look down from the sky above.”

And here we are at Good Friday, when Jesus – over 2,000 years ago – paid our sin’s debt with His life on the cross. God’s love and loyalty to His created beings came together and He rescued us from the power of sin and death! It sprouted from the ground on a cross where Jesus hung. Sacrificing His life – for three days - that we might receive the goodness of God through salvation as determined with Jesus sacrificial blood and life. God’s goodness and Christ’s kindness deserve our loyalty and love from that day throughout eternity as we look on His glory.

[To review Jesus’ crucifixion and see how the heart of God most certainly suffered as His son went through one injustice after another and died cruelly, read Matthew 27. It is the reality of what Jesus did so that we can be rescued and share in the goodness, loyalty, and love of God.]

by Joy Pedersen

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Maundy Thursday

 Maundy Thursday

Holy Week is filled with many traditions commemorating events that occurred before and after Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. The one day that is often overlooked is Maundy Thursday.  This is the day that relates to the last supper attended by Jesus and His twelve disciples. After eating together, Jesus washed their feet, prepared them for His going back to Heaven, and then He gave a mandate. Maundy is a shortened form of mandatum (Latin), which means "command."  

This is the day memorializing what Jesus left as a mandate with His disciples – and us. We read this command in John 13:34 (ESV):

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. “

It almost seems the same as Mark 12: 31 where the second commandment to love others as much as you love yourself is given. But this edict is  an even greater  challenge. Here the standard of love is Jesus – not us. Wow! These words ring in our hearts and our minds struggle to comprehend just what we must sacrifice to love everyone around us as He did.  He loved those with unclean hearts – and feet, the betrayers, the legalistic, the demon possessed, the diseased, the impoverished, the abusers, the rich, and all classes and races of people.

And the reason for loving in this way? Jesus tells us in verse 35:

“ By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

He could have added: just like I have, but He is too humble. So we can ask ourselves: Do I want all people to know that I am Christ Jesus’s disciple? If yes, then I will focus on His love and reenact it as I engage with those around me. May your Maundy Thursday (and every day) be committed to loving as Jesus does.

by Joy Pedersen