News & Happenings


A VERY BIG THANK YOU!

BOB GRIFFITH and RAY SCHMIDT for their hard work replacing the broken tiles as well as stripping and polishing the floor in the Fellowship Hall. Your hard work is TRULY appreciated!

December 2017

Some Christianity History

Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity spread to all of Europe in the Middle Ages. Christianity expanded throughout the world during Europe's Age of Exploration from the Renaissance onwards, becoming the world's largest religion. Today there are more than two billion Christians worldwide.


Interested in more information?
History of Christianity

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Prayer


The Fellowship of Prayer

O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to Your servants the help of Your power, that their sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Pray Without Ceasing

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
-Philippines 4:6

Hear our Prayers

Lord according to your boundless mercy: WHEN WE PRAY FOR OTHERS two people are blessed - The person being prayed for and person praying. God hears our prayers and understands that we want what is best for those for whom we are praying. And we can more easily put our own problems in perspective as we pray for someone with terminal illness or for lonely people who need caring, loving people in their lives. Our prayers form a circle of blessing around us and the people for whom we pray.

PRAYER UPDATES:

We weep with those who weep: sympathy and prayers are with:

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Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

Chronicles 16:11

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Timothy 1:7

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

PASTOR

Dr. Renny Domske

Dr. Renny Domske

1998 - Current
Professional Info.
Chartiers-Houston High School 1964 - 1968 ---
Duke University 1968 - 1971 , 1973 - 1974 B A Psychology
Union Theological Seminary in VA 1974 - 1978 D.Min

Other Notable Training & Previous Employment

- Served as Interim Minister at First Christian Church Greensburg, PA from AUGUST 2008 - Current!
- Dr. Domske was unanimously approved by the Church Congregation on APRIL 19, 2009!
- Received Alban Institute Certificate for education training in "conflict and Communication in the Church: Interpersonal Skill Development June, 1997, Greensboro, NC!
- Worked as a certified High School Basketball referee while in Graduate school!
- Grew up working on family farm and neighboring farms.
- Salesman, then Finance Manager, then Sales Manager at four different Auto Sales stores over ten years.

PASTOR'S PEN

Dr. Renny Domske

Each month Pastor Renny puts out an Article! Please enjoy reading these past and current articles!

January 2018

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Feburary 2018

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March 2018

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April 2018

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May 2018

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June 2018

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July 2018

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August 2018

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September 2018

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October 2018

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November 2018

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December 2018

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January 2017

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Feburary 2017

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March 2017

To Be ADDED!

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April 2017

To Be ADDED!

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May 2017

To Be ADDED!

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June 2017

To Be ADDED!

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July 2017

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

I have seemed to be stressing from the pulpit recently that the best way to follow the desires of Christ in our lives is to show others around you that you live and act differently. You treat others with respect, not disdain. You go out of your way to assist others. You smile. You encourage. You show them “love.” Plus, at just the right time, you let them know you are different or you are helping them because of what Jesus is doing in and through you. We love others because Jesus loves us. He loves us ultimately and completely and perfectly. God is God, and we help others in Him Name.

I needed to be at the Church today. I had a marriage counseling appointment in late afternoon; I had phone calls to make about some very important decisions by a couple of our members; I had to check on a somewhat serious operation a person had; I was dealing with some Church financial issues; and Dawn had threatened me with a sledge hammer if I did not get my parts of this newsletter finished. So. . . a 15 minute meeting to help a lady in Canonsburg while on my way to Greensburg turned into a 3 1/2 hour marathon, with no resolution yet. I’ll be turning around and helping her again tomorrow, if I can.

Crystal met this lady at the nail salon she frequents. The woman is Vietnamese and talks really broken English. She is hard to fully understand, even though she has been in America for almost two decades. Her story was comprehended in bits and pieces, first by Crystal and then by me. She financed $16,000 on a 2-year old Toyota for her 19-year-old son 3 years ago. The car lasted almost 3 weeks before the motor blew up: where upon the car dealer in Canonsburg would not give her assistance and had her tow the car to a local Toyota dealer. With only 15,000 miles on a 2-year old car, the motor was certainly under warranty. . . except the 1st owner had adapted the car for road racing and the warranty was voided. Now, no motor, no car - - - and no help.

Her mailman told her about a lawyer in McMurray on his route that he heard might be helpful. Now, a little over 3 years later, her son’s car is still sitting at the Toyota dealer’s back lot (she has continued faithfully making the bank payments on that broken car), and she has given a total of $52,000 to this recommended lawyer in McMurray, with the lawyer now demanding $27,000 to complete the case. The lady has already taken a second mortgage on her house to meet the lawyer’s previous demands. No used car is worth almost $80,000! Obviously, this lawyer is running a scam on a hardworking American who doesn’t speak or understand the language well. I went twice with her today to meet the lawyer face-to-face, but conveniently the lawyer was unable to make either meeting. So, we try again tomorrow.

Tracy (her name) was so saddened and frightened and on the verge of tears. “Why would this lawyer treat her like this?” she asked. “Why would she demand all the money without helping for 3 years?” And then: “Why was I helping her in this spot?” Being originally from Vietnam she is Buddhist. I told her that my job, my life, was to work for God. It was not what my God would want, that I would treat her differently because she was not a Christian. I got to talk to her a little about Jesus Christ, how He loves us. I got to talk about how a Christian’s love for God is measured by how much we reach out to help others when they are in need. This lady is certainly in need. And so, I try to help. It is our task as disciples of Christ.

However, we do know, win or lose, I must help her fight her battle. That’s what Jesus would do. That’s what Jesus would have each of us do: stand in His stead, stand for the weak and the helpless. Maybe from this, Tracy and her son become believers in Jesus Christ. Maybe not. Yet I do not help her looking for proselytes or converts. I help her because Jesus tells me - - tells us - - to reach out to the weak and needy. To in His Name make a difference with those who cannot help themselves. I do not relish this. I have important things to do elsewhere. I have no desire to verbally joust with a lawyer. That’s their game. In this instance, I am more partial to flight than fight.

Yet as a true follower of Jesus Christ I must give my time to Tracy, this Tracy I barely know: to help her, to encourage her, and to possibly free her from her bondage. Jesus says in Matthew 25: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me. I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.”

Tomorrow, I will try again to feed/clothe/give drink/give shelter/look after ‘one of the least of these’ in Christ’s Name. I will try to help a Buddhist, a person who is not a Christian. I will do this with fear and trepidation in Jesus’ Name. I will pray that at some time Tracy and her son will become Christ Followers, but I will not demand it. I will help them because they are children of God. Pray that Christ’s hand will steady me, and calm Tracy, and guide both of us to fuller life in Christ. Pray that God’s will shall prevail.

Dr. Renny Domske

August 2017

ANNIVERSARY TIME

Your 10th College Reunion; your 50th Class Reunion; the date you began your job; the time you moved to Greensburg or into your present house; of course, the anniversary of your marriage ———all of these are special dates to you and no one else. It may just be July 20 to everyone else, but to you it is the day you committed yourself fully to your spouse in the eyes of God, or the day you completed your formal education, or the day you began your ideal job . . . . or the day you retired from your ideal job forever.

Do you now the special day that you turned your life over to Jesus Christ’s control? Do you recognize that day as a special day, a watershed, an anniversary? Is that right up there with your birthday, your wedding anniversary the birth of your children? Do you have a little celebration on that day? Why not?

Maybe what date you would choose is confusing. Is it the day you officially joined the Church? Is it the day you were baptized? Your baptism is easy for some to vividly remember, but for those who were baptized as infants in other churches, that date is more obscure. Is it the day you quietly prayed with your Counselor at camp to “invite” Jesus into your life? Maybe you did a prayer like that on your own, at a place only you know: on a dark road late at night, in Sunday School, in your bedroom or backyard at home. Maybe you have never prayed to invite Jesus to be the spiritual Leader of your life.

I have a close friend who knows he invited Jesus into his life on October 30, 1967 at 9:47 PM in the cafeteria of McGuffey High School after a Youth for Christ meeting we both attended there. He insists he prayed right then to ask Jesus to take control of his life and when he opened his eyes, he was looking directly at the clock on the wall in that cafeteria. Even as a very successful businessman (now retired) and church leader he always celebrates that date as when his life took on its truly destined meaning. My next-door neighbor out in the country where I live also celebrated 2 birthdays ———the day he was born and the day he quit drinking. After almost being killed, and almost killing others outside a bar (as he was quite a “Hellraiser”), at aged 28 he discovered a “higher power” that enabled him to give up drinking and give up that uncontrolled life. He will very soon celebrate his 44th birthday of being sober and restarting his life again. He says that day is more important than his regular day of birth. Frank still goes around to AA meetings to tell his story. He is very serious about the anniversary of the rebirth of his life.

Anniversaries are important; anniversaries are fun, because they are just yours! It’s not like Christmas or the 4th of July when everyone is celebrating that day. An anniversary is YOUR special day, or you and your spouse. It’s YOUR day! It’s YOUR day to be celebrated with a select few who know how important it is to you. Shouldn’t you celebrate the day you turned over your life to Christ?

To be truthful with you, I do not know the actual day I gave my life to Christ. So, if you do not have an exact special day to celebrate, you have good company. I know I was 6 years old, and I know I felt relieved that Jesus loved me and paid for my deserved punishment by God. Kids ——at least our generation of kids——understood greatly the idea of someone else taking your punishment. Probably the greatest day for anniversary celebration by those of us who do not know a special date we gave God control of our lives is Good Friday. Christ allowed Himself to be crucified on that day ———for US! Christ suffered and died for US! Christ died physically and spiritually for US! Christ went to Hell for US!

However, you know what? Good Friday’s date changes each year, so for us who love Jesus and have given Him our lives, we need a special day, an Anniversary Day each year to celebrate as our own. I’ll tell you what: let’s all choose the Total Eclipse Day, August 21st, as our Jesus Anniversary celebration. Perfect day! Jesus stepped between God and the Judge and us, to take our punishment and set us free in this life. Let’s all chose Monday, August 21, as the day we privately celebrate that we have given our lives to Jesus. If you haven’t yet given Christ control completely, maybe on that Total Eclipse Day, you can cancel out the darkness in your own life and accept the full light of the Lord Jesus Christ into your life.

Total Eclipse Day, August 21, equals YOUR anniversary of personally giving yourself to God. Enjoy your special anniversary this year. I’m going to celebrate thusly. Jesus loves me! Happy Anniversary!

Dr. Renny Domske

September 2017

THOSE SEPTEMBER BEGINNINGS

Do you remember your first day of school in first grade? If you are Jacob Keffer, that was just last year. For others of you (us?) it was more than a few decades ago. There is no truth to the rumor that Phyllis Dozois’ and Doris Alcorn’s 1st Grade teacher was Dolly Maddison.

I remember my first day of school. I had my hair freshly cut (50 cents), and I even combed what was left. I usually only combed my hair once a week ——for Sunday church. I had new shoes. I didn’t ever remember having new shoes before! I stood out along the road near our family mailbox with my lunchbox and thermos. Other kids had special painted lunch boxes, like Superman, or G. I Joe or Yogi Bear, and mine was just a plain old beat up metal lunchbox, but I didn’t care. I was so excited! It would be like having a picnic at lunchtime! I was tempted to eat the cookies in my linchpin ahead of time (some things never change!), but I wanted them to be there special for my lunch at my desk.

I listened up the road to hear the rattle of the bus, and, sure enough, I finally heard it. When it turned the bend and finally started down the hill toward my house, my heart was pounding excitedly. It pulls dup beside me along the road and the big door swung open. I waved to my Mom in the yard near the driveway and reach dup to grab hold of that come pipe along the door to pull myself up those big steps. I went down the aisle and plopped myself down by myself in the third seat, saving a place for my “best friend.” I didn’t realize yet that it was not ‘cool’ to sit in the front or wave to your mom. I didn’t care. Later in the year I would sit in the back of the bus and ignore my Mom like the big kids, but on this special day it was OK! I was on my way to school!

Recess, nametags, reading class, Mrs. Lemon (what a terrible name for a 1st Grade teacher!), big thick pencils, my own tablet, getting to use a real pencil sharpener screwed permanently to the wall, having the ‘honor’ of clapping theorizers outside as the school day was ending, having my own desk . . . all these things were a blur of ecstasy in which to bathe on that first day of school. I even learned to raise my hand before I go to the bathroom; I still do that sometimes.

Is your involvement in church filled with this same level of excitement? Do you remember that first day you cane to 1st Christian Church? Do you get excited still when you come into the house of the Lord here and participate with God’s Family on Sunday?

It is September and Adult Sunday School is starting back up. Children’s Church is starting back up. Soon the Choir and Tuesday Evening Bible Study will commence. We are settling into our regular Fall routine of worship and study at 1st Christian Church. Personally, I feel like I am again standing out at the end of the driveway, waiting for the big school bus to come down the hill. I am excited to return to our regular church activities; I am excited to participate in worship with all the vacationers returned; I am excited to have the choir leading us again; I am excited to study God’s Word with all of you.

September calls us back to a glorious routine of spending time with God and each other in worship and fellowship at 1st Christian Church of Greensburg. It is wonderful to be God’s full Family again and strive to seek God’s Presence among us - - - together. I can’t wait to grab that chrome pipe and pull myself up into the sanctuary. By the way, the ‘cool’ kids sit in the front, not the back, at 1st Christian Church. And it’s OK to wave at your mom. Make sure you are not late at the “bus stoop” to be in the beautiful sanctuary of our 1st Christian Church this Sunday!

Dr. Renny Domske

October 2017

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November 2017

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December 2017

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January 2016

DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD!

One of the very best things about being a child is reading and hearing and seeing stories - - - and believing them. The Wizard of Oz was scary, man! When that house fell on the witch, and her multicolored socks and curly shoes were sticking out from under the house, that was scary indeed. And we believed when Dorothy clicked her heels together and said, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.”

When Tramp and Lady were eating that spaghetti at the Italian restaurant, and they ate the same strand right up until their lips touched, we squealed and clapped. True love! When Yogi Bear would steal those pic-ca-inc baskets, we would root for him and Boo not to get caught by the basket owner or by Ranger Smith. When Rey in the new Star Wars movie tells Daniel Craig the Stormtrooper, “You will unlock my bonds and then leave the door unlocked when you leave,” you just knew the Stormtrooper would respond, “I will unlock your bonds and then leave the door unlocked when I leave.” And you instantly knew that Rey had “the force” within her.

Our imagination is such an important “stimulator” in so much of our lives. However, sometimes when we get older, we put our imaginations to bed. We don’t lose our imagination - - - we just decide to quit exercising it. We become dull and conservative and boring. Imagination is just too much trouble. We prefer the real to the ideal. We become O-L-D!

Interestingly enough, I’m not sure that it is appropriate to shut down our imaginations. We imagined our professions before they ever came to be for us. We imagined our spouse before we ever met him or her. We imagined our children, our families, long before they were a reality. Imagination allows us —in fact, encourages us—to reach beyond what we already are or have. Imagination allows us to touch thoughts and feelings and promises and possibilities that we would never do or be without that creative push.

Jesus tells us in the gospels [Matthew 18, Mark 9, Luke 9] that unless you become like little children you will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Children imagine: they believe Lady and the Tramp love each other and are made for each other. They believe that a spindly scarecrow can be smart, that a cowardly lion can gain his courage, that a hollow tin man can obtain a heart. They believe that Dorothy can return to Kansas, wherever that is, by just clicking her heels.

Children believe. They sometimes believe in spite of evidence to the contrary. They still want the best! They expect the best. Jesus wants the best . . . for us. He tells us to become like little children because He wants us to get outside of ourselves: He wants us to believe. Believe in life . . . so that you expect the best from it. Believe in yourself . . . you are a wonderful creation and a child of God. Believe in possibility . . . new possibilities arise in life more often than we realize, but we are too busy complaining or looking down and not looking up: up toward God and the possibilities he provides.

Become like little children! Jesus says He will send another Counselor, anther Comforter to us; He sent the Holy Spirit. They Holy Spirit is the most creative force in the universe. They Holy Spirit can cause you to see things with love, not indifference. They Holy Spirit of God can give you hope when you do not feel hopeful. The Holy Spirit can turn your imagination back on, even though you quit exercising it years ago. The Holy Spirit can make you excited to wake up each day and face a new challenge, because you will creatively look at that challenge. They Holy Spirit makes you excited to imagine what might be.

God is not imaginary. He created you and me. Jesus, God’s Son, tells us to quit acting old and stuffy and wimpy and to become like little children. The Holy Spirit of God can restore our imaginations to allow us to face life with joy and anticipation instead of dread and fear.

Ask God to restore your imagination so that you might love life and share God’s love with others. If you don’t invite the Holy Spirit to restore you, to give you new eyes and energy, to give you His peace, then the Wicked Witch of the West will send her flying monkeys after you!! Well, at least that’s what I imagine!!

Dr. Renny Domske

Feburary 2016

TEN LORDS A-LEAPING

I live in a little bungalow of a house, built during the Depression. No frills! Over the years a basement was dug out, a kitchen later was added, a front porch eventually gives the house character in the ’60’s a bathroom was finally added, built on a concrete slab at the back of the house Ever since I came to Greensburg, I have intended to repair the ramshackle bathroom, but have never taken the time or made it a priority. Having Crystal come to live there has prodded me to notice and make the bathroom a priority; now a new bathtub and shower and wall and windows are being added at this time.

The contractor we hired asked if were having sweetness problems in the bathroom or the adjoining closet. I confessed that mold and mildew and dampness and been showing up on shoes and clothing. He showed me that, despite what the outside looked like, underneath the wall was all rotted away; water was naturally seeping; insects had taken over, the boards under the siding had disintegrated away so badly that the plastic shower liner was the only true border separating us from the outside world.

A good friend from here at church told me yesterday when I mentioned this bizarre adventure that she had noticed one of my suits smelling a little musty or mildewed recently Worship. Thank you all for putting up with my unknown home defects and smells You were kind {or I was stupid!}. I wondered why Deb Zedek carried that Febreze bottle around when I approached!

I never really got down and examined my outside was closely at home; from a distance, the house looked weathered but fine. Sometimes — too many times — our lives are like the back of my house. We avoid looking closely at our own lives, lest we find flaws and failures that would be hard for us to acknowledge or live with. We get used to our own imperfections, and we do not even notice the odors of our lives. We are incomplete. We are rotting away on the inside. Sometimes we do not want to make the expenditure of our time to make right or restore or even improve portions of our lives. We settle for the rotting away or the disintegration of our abilities, and our character, and our personality. By never looking closely, we wallow in what was, not what is or can be—-through Jesus Christ.

If I look closely, I may feel compelled to try to improve, to be more completely the person God created me to be, to listen for Christ’s voice guiding me through life. If I look closely. I may notice the “bugs: that have eaten away at my core. What if I actually ask Jesus Christ to cleanse me, change me, make me all that He created me to be? What will that cost me?

Each of us truly is a creation of God. He made us unique, gave us each special ability’s, attitudes, vantage points to life. God did not use a cookie cutter on us here at 1st Christian Church of Greensburg. No matter how young or old we are, we are still children of God. Yet like rebellious children we ignore or shut out God from our lives. We want to live life our way, even if we cannot discern what our way is. We are left with barely any protection to keep the evil or foreign or damaging or self-afflicted disabilities out of our lives. We sometimes are left smelly and rotten inside.

February is the month of Groundhog Day, Lincoln’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, Washington’s birthday, Leap Year. Don’t be afraid of seeing your true shadow and running back into your hole. Be willing to even give your life for what is right, to a daily life listening to Christ’s voice. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Be truthful to yourself—you belong to God. Do you need a refurbishing in your life? Do you need a reconditioning? Do the corners of your life smell? Are things rotten? Don’t be afraid of your shadow.

II Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that when we become followers of Christ, we become new creations. We are wholly new people. We discover the rails on which the train we were created to be runs smoothly. Examine yourself; remodel; rid yourself of your spiritual mildew. Leap year is the opportunity for extra time to consult, consider, contemplate, and connect with Jesus. Leap year gives you the opportunity to make the decision to be a true Disciple of Christ. Talk to God! DO IT!! You will love the remodel! You will enjoy the absence of rotten. You will fulfill the creation God made you to be. At least that’s what I imagine!

Dr. Renny Domske

March 2016

DARK, COLD, AND DREARY

March is such an interesting month. It follows the coldest and dreariest of moths in February. It was Leap Year this year, and most of us could not stand it if February were one day longer! March can be dark and dreary as February was, but . . . . . we find hope in March! The days are beginning to get longer. Light is filtering slowly back into our lives. Weather is certainly unpredictable in March: it could be in the 60’s, it could be down in the teens. Our patience is nearly at end.

Yet we know that newness is coming. Spring is just around the corner. Daylight Savings Time begins the 2nd weekend in March {the 13th}. Daffodils and tulips will poke their heads out soon. The snow, even if it comes again, will melt quickly. Hope, even in the darkest hours, is near. We are beginning to come alive again.

This year Easter falls in March. How fitting! Think of what happens in that last week of Jesus’ life: He travels triumphantly into Jerusalem, where folds spread their coats and cloaks along the way, and kids even tear branches off the trees to give Jesus a holy, royal pathway to the temple. Jesus goes to God’s temple touchlines and chase the darkness and ignorance from God’s House. Yet forthwith the religious leaders react angrily at His interference and, through the military dictators present, arrange for Jesus’ arrest, torture, and death. The brightness of the procession and coronation of the Son of David ends five days later with His pau and torture. Jesus is mocked by the military and the people who had cheered for Him just days earlier. How dark that must have felt to Him! He is tortured within an inch of His life while even His followers do not set in to attempt rescue. The darkest of dark and alone times. Then Jesus is made to carry His own cross through the city gate to a hill just outside the walls (Golgotha), where He is hung naked on the cross at that hill for all visitors and residents to see. He was crucified, with rough nails driven through his feet and hands or wrists. Jesus is crucified there at the gateway to Jerusalem life —- how dark, how dreary, how cold that must be for Him —- until He either bleeds to death or suffocates from being unable to lift Himself on his nailed, injured feet to catch breaths. How sad! How forlorn! How humiliating! How lonely! How punitive! And . . . . then . . . . he dies.

Jesus’ body is then placed in a cold and dreary grave cut out of the cold rock, where no one else laid and where a stone was rolled across the door to cut off light and access. Sentries were posted to prohibit visitors. The grave: no light, no visitors, no hope, pure cold, without even the warmth of a beating heart. Yet on Sunday, the heart beat again, the light appeared, the warmth overcame the cold, and the loneliness was defeated by the Presence of God in raising His Son. Jesus was alive! Jesus is alive! Oh, hallelujah, what a surprise an joy that must have been for the disciples when Mary Magdalene came telling the disciples that she had seen the Lord! She had spoken to the Lord! She had touched the Lord! Light, the light of God, overcomes the darkness. Easter has come !!
We will celebrate Easter together this year on the last Sunday of March. We will be enveloped by the brightness of the Son who defeats death, the enemy we must all eventually face. Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia! He arose! He arose! Hallelujah, Christ arose! I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today. He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! Every morning is Easter morning, every morning is Easter morning, every morning is Easter morning, from now on.

From the dankness and darkness of the grave, from the betrayal and desertion of His closest friends, from the unwavering support at His entrance to the nonexistence of protection at His arrest, from the eternal Presence of God to the forsakenness of the cross, all was lost for our Lord. On Easter morning, as the sun arose, the Son arose, and brought brightness and warmth back into our world. All was found! If Jesus can defeat death, we all as His followers can defeat death. We have hope again. We have light! We need not be overcome by darkness!

As we face another unpredictable March, may we travel the road with Jesus, with comfort and confidence that when He arises at Easter we do also. We “live” the Good News. We embody Christ’s resurrection by our love, our warmth, our person. What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart! I have light in my soul for which long I have sought, since Jesus came into my heart! Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll since Jesus came into my heart! Thank you, Jesus, for the light You bring us. - - in March and in life!!

Dr. Renny Domske

April 2016

YES! APRIL! YES! APRIL YES!

April! Easter has come and gone {but you will always remember that “Every morning is Easter morning from now on . . .”}. Time seems to be flying now: it’s light in the evenings; the grass is green and needs mowed; the trees are blooming and breaking out in leaves; it seems to rain every other day - - but mostly those soft rains that are so pleasing and pass quickly; the birds are singing each morning at the top of their lungs; your children or grandchildren are beginning to have baseball practice; you prance out of your house in just a light jacket or no jacket at all; you are beginning to try and remember where you packed your shorts; your neighborhood has lost that dark and foreboding look; you have actually opened a couple windows in your house to let the fresh air in; you hear and see children singing an playing outside; you begin to imagine what you would look like with a tan; you remember you were supposed to put that “dandelion stuff” on your grass last month; you take your hose back outside to hook up for the summer; you count the days until vacation; you count the days until school is out; you revel in the flowers poking out of the ground in places you had not remembered; you even wash your own car!

Spring is such a rejuvenating time for all of us. New birth, new life, new starts, new excitement. When Christ comes into your life, new life begins for each one of us as well. It’s almost as if a new season of life, a rejuvenating season of life, a heretofore unbelievable season of life has been created or entered. It has! When Christ takes over lordship of your life, newness becomes lovely and common to you. You walk and talk with Jesus. You, maybe for the first time, know that you are never alone. You feel a Friendship, a Companionship, a Oneness with both your Creator and the Creation of which you are a part. you ‘blossom’ in your life, creating new beauty to those around you. New ideas develop. New eyes to see the world become focused. New visions of what to do, what to be, how to get there all of a sudden become aroused. You feel complete in Christ. You feel whole with Christ. Your cup runneth over with joy and excitement and creativity toward the world and especially toward others.

We are created to be in relationship: with God, with others. We need others, even when we think we don’t. We need God, even when we fight Him for control of our lives. When we open ourselves to Jesus Christ, we become in tune with the beautiful sounds we can make in our world. We can build toward a crescendo, toward being a beautiful part of a beautiful music in this world. Whether that music and that group is our family, our 1st Christian Church, or our workplace or group of friends, we realize that we find meaning through helping them live the life they were created to live through Christ, even as they help us live the life Christ created for us.

Christ died for us in the Spring. Christ arose from the dead in the Spring. This Spring - - Today - - remember that you have died to yourself and arisen with Christ! Christ’s Holy Spirit lives around you, in you, through you. Enjoy the presence of God. Open the windows of your life and let the sweet smells of Life with Christ into your heart each day. Blossom, Bloom, bear fruit that others may eat, smell, and see God’s life and beauty through you and in you. What a joy it is that we can experience life with Christ, at any time of the year, but especially in the Springtime . . . in April . . . Right Now!

Dr. Renny Domske

May 2016

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

I lost my wedding ring yesterday. I had it on when I first got up, but as I prepared to leave for the church I looked down and realized my wedding ring was gone. I quickly retraced my morning steps, but with increasing panic I could not locate it. I finally had to leave and told my Sweetness that she “might want to be on the lookout for a stray wedding ring in the house.” She found it in the clothes hamper where I had tossed my towel that morning.

Jesus tells the parable about a man who finds the perfect pearl: so perfect in fact that he sells everything he has to be able to purchase that pearl and call it his own. Jesus tells the parable about a woman who loses a coin: she puts all else aside in her life and turns everything in her house and life upside down until she finds her coin.

Do you have anything that valuable? So valuable that you would turn your life upside down to gain it or find it? So valuable that you would panic without it? How about your faith? Is your faith in Jesus Christ that valuable? Do you feel the Presence of Jesus with you all the time? Do you see God frequently and constantly in your world?

Jesus’ parables were obviously about faith in God. God is so good to us, so intimately involved in our lives through the Holy Spirit around us and in us. Our faith in God is so much a part of us that we can tend to take it for granted. And yet, it may be - - it should be - - the foundation on which we build our lives. If it were ever gone, we would be lost. WE would be lost!

We take God’s Presence for granted. I’m convinced God is deeply involved in our everyday lives, leading us, protecting us, influencing us, loving us. God wants relationship with us . . . . He is not just a larger-than-life Supreme vending machine where we bring our prayers when we have need. We need to recognize His Presence around us always.

Julie Franzino from our 1st Christian Church of Greensburg has had a rough few months. There have obviously been problems in her family. Despite a 4.0 grade point average and being the reigning Miss Teen Pennsylvania, a program toward her Pre-med major in college was denied to her. Only 4 applicants could receive that award she sought. When her recent family problems developed, a guidance counselor actually suggested Julie might need to spend a year at Westmoreland County Community College instead of enrolling at her topnotch university because of financial constraints. After prayers, lots of prayers, Julie contacted her college of choice and filled the department in on her family situation. Five days later, she received a call from the Department Head himself, extending that special medical study program to her (he told her she was originally the top ranked applicant for that program), thereby providing $40,000 toward her schooling.

Sometimes what we think is lost is found. Maybe God has it there for us all along, but He wants us to dig, to stretch, to anguish while we tear things apart looking for that thing of value. Julie will always appreciate her scholarship and the medical program even more because it was not just handed to her. She worked long-term and short-term to secure it. God secured it. The true thing of value though, for Julie and all of us, is not a ring, not a pearl, not a coin, not even a scholarship - - - it is the personal involvement of Jesus Christ in our life. When we trust, when we have faith, when we follow God’s leading fully, when we don't give up in the face of sadness or failure or doubt, we triumph spectacularly because of God’s involvement with us. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us and influence us if we do not get in the way or give up hope.

I’m so, so glad I found my wedding ring. Yet that compare nothing at all to finding Christ in this life and allowing Jesus to be my Guide through each day. Look for God. Find your faith. Don’t just put it on a shelf to visit once a week. God walks with you every day, every hour, every minute. Nothing is more valuable in this life than my/your faith in Jesus Christ. He loves you. He died for you. GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

I lost my wedding ring yesterday. I had it on when I first got up, but as I prepared to leave for the church I looked down and realized my wedding ring was gone. I quickly retraced my morning steps, but with increasing panic I could not locate it. I finally had to leave and told my Sweetness that she “might want to be on the lookout for a stray wedding ring in the house.” She found it in the clothes hamper where I had tossed my towel that morning.

Jesus tells the parable about a man who finds the perfect pearl: so perfect in fact that he sells everything he has to be able to purchase that pearl and call it his own. Jesus tells the parable about a woman who loses a coin: she puts all else aside in her life and turns everything in her house and life upside down until she finds her coin.

Do you have anything that valuable? So valuable that you would turn your life upside down to gain it or find it? So valuable that you would panic without it? How about your faith? Is your faith in Jesus Christ that valuable? Do you feel the Presence of Jesus with you all the time? Do you see God frequently and constantly in your world?

Jesus’ parables were obviously about faith in God. God is so good to us, so intimately involved in our lives through the Holy Spirit around us and in us. Our faith in God is so much a part of us that we can tend to take it for granted. And yet, it may be - - it should be - - the foundation on which we build our lives. If it were ever gone, we would be lost. WE would be lost!

We take God’s Presence for granted. I’m convinced God is deeply involved in our everyday lives, leading us, protecting us, influencing us, loving us. God wants relationship with us . . . . He is not just a larger-than-life Supreme vending machine where we bring our prayers when we have need. We need to recognize His Presence around us always.

Julie Franzino from our 1st Christian Church of Greensburg has had a rough few months. There have obviously been problems in her family. Despite a 4.0 grade point average and being the reigning Miss Teen Pennsylvania, a program toward her Pre-med major in college was denied to her. Only 4 applicants could receive that award she sought. When her recent family problems developed, a guidance counselor actually suggested Julie might need to spend a year at Westmoreland County Community College instead of enrolling at her topnotch university because of financial constraints. After prayers, lots of prayers, Julie contacted her college of choice and filled the department in on her family situation. Five days later, she received a call from the Department Head himself, extending that special medical study program to her (he told her she was originally the top ranked applicant for that program), thereby providing $40,000 toward her schooling.

Sometimes what we think is lost is found. Maybe God has it there for us all along, but He wants us to dig, to stretch, to anguish while we tear things apart looking for that thing of value. Julie will always appreciate her scholarship and the medical program even more because it was not just handed to her. She worked long-term and short-term to secure it. God secured it. The true thing of value though, for Julie and all of us, is not a ring, not a pearl, not a coin, not even a scholarship - - - it is the personal involvement of Jesus Christ in our life. When we trust, when we have faith, when we follow God’s leading fully, when we don't give up in the face of sadness or failure or doubt, we triumph spectacularly because of God’s involvement with us. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us and influence us if we do not get in the way or give up hope.

I’m so, so glad I found my wedding ring. Yet that compare nothing at all to finding Christ in this life and allowing Jesus to be my Guide through each day. Look for God. Find your faith. Don’t just put it on a shelf to visit once a week. God walks with you every day, every hour, every minute. Nothing is more valuable in this life than my/your faith in Jesus Christ. He loves you. He died for you. He lives with you every day. Search for and enjoy the Presence of God! He lives with you every day. Search for and enjoy the Presence of God!

Dr. Renny Domske

June 2016

HEROS AND HEROINES OF OUR FAITH

- Daniel trusted God in the Lions' Den.
- Noah trusted God on the land and on the sea.
- David trusted God to stand against a giant.
- Moses trusted God against Pharaoh and the Egyptians.
- Abraham trusted God to leave his home and follow God's leading.
- Miriam trusted God to lead the Israelites when her brother was weak.
- Joseph trusted God even when he was sold into slavery by his brothers
- Isaac trusted God when his father prepared to sacrifice/kill him.
- Samuel trusted God when he heard God calling to him
- Ruth trusted God to leave her land and stay with her mother-in-law.
- Nehemiah trusted God to confront Persia's king and rebuild the temple.
- Esther trusted God to approach the King “for such a time as this.”
- Josiah trusted God to reestablish the Scriptures as necessary.
- Nathan trusted God to vividly point out King David's faults.
- Elijah trusted God to step into a chariot of fire.
- Jacob trusted God to wrestle with an angel and not let go.
- Enoch trusted God in faith and he never died but was “taken by God.”
- Rahab the prostitute trusted God and hid the Hebrew spies in Canaan.
- Gideon trusted God and fought 135,000 with 300 . . . and won.
- Solomon trusted God to give him wisdom.
- Deborah trusted God to be a Judge when no woman had led Israel.
- Isaiah trusted God to talk about our need for a “Suffering Servant.”
- Elisha trusted God to make an axe head float.
- Naaman's servant trusted God to encourage Naaman to dip 7 times.
- Joshua trusted God to hold up Moses' arms.
- Ezekieh trusted God in the valley of bones.
- Job trusted God to not desert Him when he felt deserted.

Men and women from the Old Testament had faith, giving their lives to God. And none of them had the benefit of seeing or hearing Jesus Christ as we have. Jesus gives meaning to everything we do and say and experience.

If it's good enough for Amos and Ezra and Malachi and Jeremiah and Micah, it's good enough for you. Take time daily this summer to read in the New Testament about Jesus and the early Church, and in the Old Testament about those who gave their lives to God faithfully. Find and read each of the stories above. Take time to “meet” Jesus again through His words in Scrip-ture. Take time to allow the Holy Spirit to direct you and inspire you and ful-fill you. Have a “date” with Jesus every day. Your life will grow; your under-standing will expand; your appreciation of each day of your life will multiply.

Start with John or Matthew or Acts or Philippians or Genesis: but make (and keep) your appointment with Jesus every day this summer! Jesus is worth it! WE would be lost!

We take God’s Presence for granted. I’m convinced God is deeply involved in our everyday lives, leading us, protecting us, influencing us, loving us. God wants relationship with us . . . . He is not just a larger-than-life Supreme vending machine where we bring our prayers when we have need. We need to recognize His Presence around us always.

Dr. Renny Domske

July 2016

FIREWORKS, PICNICS, AND HEAT

July is an interesting month. It starts off with a bang (4th of July—bang—get it?!) and then it just keeps going on and on and on and on. It's a long month; nothing noteworthy happens in it after July 4th; it's right in the middle of summer; it's usually the hottest time of the summer. It becomes a lazy month: sometimes it's easier to stay inside in front of the air conditioner than go out and about and explore life and enjoy the warm evening breezes. And then. . . July is gone, August enters, and we quickly vacation while beginning to panic about the end of the summer approaching.

The average, non-thrilling, lazy days of July can at times be reminiscent of our lives as Disciples of Christ. Frequently our lives as followers of Jesus Christ start off with a bang——we dedicate our lives to Jesus, we feel special as we join the Church, especially if we had never been baptized and we experience that magic occurrence in front of our Church Family here at 1st Christian Church. We pledge ourselves to read frequently in the Bible, so the scriptures can guide our daily lives; we feel excited each time we enter the church building and/or sanctuary because we meet the Family of God here; our thoughts at home and in the car often center on God's Presence.

But then life intrudes. The long, heated days of July are reminiscent of our everyday lives, where clothes need washed and chores need done and mundane jobs need monitored. Soon we have no energy for tasks in July. Sometimes in our spiritual lives, we have no energy to be focused on God. As July drags on, so our Christian lives drag on, without intensity or desire pushing us to be fervent. We begin to take God for granted.

When August finally arrives, we begin to panic that summer is winding down. So too at times we panic in our spiritual lives, thinking that God has left us, when it is really we who have left God. We haven't really left God——we have just sat ourselves down in the lazy, warm days of life, no longer following the lead of Jesus because we are not going anywhere. We are just like the turtle crossing the warm highway as life wizzes by on all sides, sometimes pulling our heads in when we sense danger or problems arising instead of getting a move on in life, following God's lead across that dangerous path.

Where are you in your spiritual journey with God right now? Are you walking hand-in-hand with God as He leads you through life. Are you dragging a little behind so that Christ has to keep doubling back to look for you? Have you just sat yourself down in the middle of the road, where danger lurks and you do not have the energy or desire to move? Are you near the head of God's Pack, or are you constantly bringing up the rear?

July should be appreciated as the wonderful month of outside breezes and lightning bugs and picnics and flowers and books to leisurely read. Don't let it pass you by. LIFE should be appreciated as a great opportunity to grow warm and sweet smelling and complete in the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ! NOW is the best time to grow closer to Christ as His disciple and friend. Don't let it pass you by. Turn off the TV!! Take a walk and commune with God. Take this July summer time to read and study a special book of the Bible carefully, like Philippians or Romans or Ephesians or I Corinthians or Galatians. Get a book from our Summer Reading table at the Church to allow others to stimulate and inspire you about the Christian life. Pray. Pray! Even if you do not think you are very good at it, talk to God, sharing with Him your everyday thoughts and feelings. Share with Him your life, and God will share His ways and direction with you!

July is the perfect month to have a BANG in your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Meet Christ every day. Walk with Him; talk with Him; be with Him. You will feel an “Independence Day” beginning to occur EVERY day within you when you truly become a disciple of Christ. Don't let it pass you by!

Dr. Renny Domske

August 2016

THE DOG DAYS OF AUGUST

August is a bittersweet month. We detest the cold, yet August is so hot it frequently makes us stay inside for air-conditioned freshness. August heat brings tomatoes and corn and peppers and cucumbers and beets and carrots; yet the heat can ruin your plants if you do not water vigorously. Yards don’t need mowed as often, yet they can become brown instead of green. Vacations are a joy and are frequently celebrated in August; yet school and September and heavier workloads are just around the corner. August is full of contradictions.

Each moment of life should be appreciated for what it is. Fruits and vegetables, and warm days, nights sitting out on the porch should be treasured. There’s nothing like loads of butter steaming off a fresh ear of corn. Lightning bugs perform frequent evening ballets of flickering for your pleasure. Some books are just better reads in the warm air. Umbrellas to protect from the sun are superior inventions. Sudden rain storms are joyful to watch from your open window or especially your porch. Lightning storms with thuder-boomers are even better. There’s no insistent time to go to be or even to get up.

God created this al! The blooms and the cakes and the tomatoes and the butter and the ears of corn and the sun so bright and the perfect grass and the trees of shade . . . . . God! God loves us so much He created these important and wonderful details for our pleasure. Lightning bugs - - God! Lightning storms - - God! Warmth and light - - God! Flowers and blooms - - God! Summer breezes - - God! You and your very pleasant, relaxed life - - guess who!

In this last month of the Summer, wouldn’t it be great if you took some of that free time and devoted it to that Creator God? You’re God! Summer is a great time to read: so read completely the gospels, starting with Matthew. Here’s an even better idea: read the gospels out loud, to your spouse, to your kids or grands, to your next door neighbor, to your cat or the birds in the trees. You read a chapter, they read a chapter (well, not the cat). The Bible was originally written to be read and heard out loud. Experience the story of Jesus Christ in a new and exciting and meaningful way. Jesus is heard clearly in summertime.

In this last month of the Summer, wouldn’t it be great if you took some of that free time and devoted it to tGod? You’re God! Those evening walks that you have been threatening to take for months - - take them. Walk down to the end of your block or road each, and go to one different house each evening, inviting them to join you at 1st Christian Church this Sunday. Invite them to the Outdoor Worship and Picnic. If they say ‘no’ what have you lost? You need to walk anyway! If they say ‘yes’ you may gain another person as par to the Family of God here in Greensburg. By the time you finish your own block, it will be time for you to begin walking further anyway; so you can start walking down 2 blocks and invite again. Your health AND your faith in God will improve.

In this last month of the Summer, wouldn’t it be great if you took some of that free time and devoted it to God/ Your God! Warmth, freshness, friends, new and newer, joy, health, veggies, apples right off the tree, the words of God in the stories of Jesus. Now that truly is a summer of growth and freshness!

Dr. Renny Domske

September 2016

GOD THE GENERAL MANAGER

I’m not telling you something surprising when I say I am a big Pittsburgh Pirate an. If you doubt that you have never been in my office. Although dominated by books and study materials, the walls and nooks and crannies (anyone really know what a cranny is?) are displayed with baseball this and Pirate that. From bats and balls and gloves and hats and clocks and banners and baseball cards...it’s a treasure trove in there. You are welcome to come and visit anytime you want, weather I’m there or not. That’s why the door is never closed. Borrow a book, sit and study, meditate, contemplate life, seek God - -- you’re welcome into my office anytime you want. Come in even if only to grab a fireball’ to suck on. However, you better like baseball when you come in, or you will feel that the walls are closing in!

Imagine if God ran the world and treated us like a baseball team. Erik Bedard, a Pirate pitcher, got removed from the team today for lack of positive production. He all of a sudden is unemployed, cut loose, has no team or support. Imagine if God would choose to remove us from His Team when we are unproductive, unimaginative, failing to be the person God created us to be. How many of us would still be on God’s Team here in Greensburg at 1st Christian Church?

Are you the person God wants you to be? Are you living the life for which Jesus Christ gave His life, to redeem you and set you free? Does your life in Christ make you strong? Do you feel comfort from His Love? Do you have fellowship with the Holy Spirit? Do you feel free, changed, tender, forgiven, hopeful, constantly in the Presence of Christ?

If God were just a General manager of life, viewing us only from our production, many, most of us would be like Erik Bedard: talented but unemployed, able but unattached, wandering through the mist of going nowhere. Yet God does not just measure us by our production . . . He measures us by the production of the one who went to bat for us, our Pinch Hitter: Jesus Christ, who loves us so much that He sacrificed himself for us! Jesus took upon Himself the sins of us all - - your sins, my sins - - so that we each might appear productive before God. Jesus stood, and still stands, in our place. He has paid the penalty and we reap the benefits. We get the wins! In God’s boxcore, it looks like we have hit a Grand Slam, when it was Jesus all along.

This should make each of us want to work as hard as we can to be that productive person Jesus envisions us being. We should want to free the true person inside of us that Jesus sees; He sees not our production but our possibility! He sees us as committed, kind, loving, faithful, dedicated, humble, joyous, positive, active, building up instead of tearing down. Jesus sees us all as ‘Clean-up Hitters’ instead of the puny ‘punch-and-judy’ hitters we really are when left on our own.

If you are 17 or 78, no matter your age, there is still time for you to give yourself completely to God; to bask in His Love; to be filled with His Holy Spirit; to follow His leading and not just your own; to enjoy the constant Presence of Jesus; to BE who you were initially created by God to BE!

Commit yourself this Fall, starting right now, to study God’s Word and learn more about your Father, your Creator. Commit yourself this Fall, starting right now, to attend the Adult Education classes during the Sunday School Hour, to provide yourself the opportunity to grow in your understanding of this God who loves you so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die in your place. Commit yourself this Fall, starting right now, to allow Christ’s Love to flow out of you to others, so that you may model Christ to others. Commit yourself this Fall, starting right now, to end gossip and hate and put down and restriction, to be replaced in your life with joy and peace and freedom and acceptance, all because you fell joy and peace and freedom and acceptance through Christ.

Walk down to the end of your block or road each, and go to one different house each evening, inviting them to join you at 1st Christian Church this Sunday. Invite them to the Outdoor Worship and Picnic. If they say ‘no’ what have you lost? You need to walk anyway! If they say ‘yes’ you may gain another person as par to the Family of God here in Greensburg. By the time you finish your own block, it will be time for you to begin walking further anyway; so you can start walking down 2 blocks and invite again. Your health AND your faith in God will improve.

In this last month of the Summer, wouldn’t it be great if you took some of that free time and devoted it to God/ Your God! Warmth, freshness, friends, new and newer, joy, health, veggies, apples right off the tree, the words of God in the stories of Jesus. Now that truly is a summer of growth and freshness!

Dr. Renny Domske

October 2016

SOMETIMES IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE

It’s hard to believe in God, isn’t it? Sometimes it surely is. It’s hard to give ourselves to Jesus Christ every day. It’s hard to dedicate ourselves to a God who doesn’t audibly talk to us, a God who doesn’t walk visibly into our home, our job, even our Church. What if He is not really there? If we could just see Jesus walk down the hallway of our Church into the Sanctuary, it’d be easier. If we could just touch Him with our hands. If we could just hear His soothing voice. If He would just reach out and touch me. If . . if . . if . . if.

Yes, it’s hard to call yourself a Disciple of Christ when Christ seems so far away. Do you ever have doubts about God? Doubts that He’s real, doubts that He’s there, doubts that He cares for you? Doubts can strangle our faith. Doubts can discolor our trust; doubts can stifle our growth; doubts can paralyze us and stop our focused attention on God through Jesus Christ our Lord. On a surface level, it’s very easy to lose “sight” of God.

Sometimes, what separates us from God is our own fear. What if I am not doing enough for God? What if I am letting Jesus down and He holds that against me. Will God be dissatisfied with my progress, my commitment, my concentration, my rough words, especially my failures? Will my punishment be separation from God . . . . in hell?

Yet, it’s even more difficult to ignore the presence of God in this life. A selfish approach to life, when all that matters is who you are and what you have and what comforts or benefits you, wears out very quickly. A life in which all that matters is what is to your own benefit is a shallow, shallow life. When you have a life that you know has been given you by God . . . . when you have faith that Jesus surrounds and protects you . . . . when you have confidence in a God-designed meaning for your existence . . . . when you feel assurance inside yourself that Jesus walks step-buy-step with you through hard times and good times . . . . life takes on a certain sparkle, a special purpose, a depth, a joy. {cue the fireworks!}

Way back when (in the 1600s), Pascal wrote that there is a God-shaped hole or vacuum within each of us that can only be filled with God. We may try to fill that vacuum, that hole, with everything around us, with things that pleasure us, with anything and everything. Yet the only thing that truly fits and “completes” us, like the last piece of a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, is God. Human beings are made with so many thoughts and pleasures and abilities - - - but we are made FOR God. Only God fills us completely and perfectly. Only God, revealed to us most completely and intimately through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We need God! We need God to complete us in this life. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity, that “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist.” Pascal’s “God-shaped vacuum” reminds us we are created with a desire for God; we want and need God to be a part of our life, to complete us. We need God’s Son Jesus Christ to fill that vacuum in our lives, or we will constantly live in fear and dissatisfaction and emptiness. We desperately need God.

Well, what about those doubts? Do they make me less a Christian, or no Christian at all? I have a theory that those who doubt at times make the best Christians! Those who doubt, unless they do nothing or become paralyzed by their doubts, do not just take life at face value. They dig to find Jesus around them. They focus to see the presence of God in this world, their world. They desire to fill that God-shaped hole in their inner being only with the one true God. They read the gospels and hear Jesus’ words being spoken directly to them. They see the life that Jesus led through the Scriptures and they pattern their lives after that model. They meet God each day in the Bible and in this world that God created. They “go after” God.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good,” it says in Psalm 34:8. Put your baby on and take out your fork! The Lord wants to complete your life, fill your inner vacuum, and drive away your doubts. God wants you to believe! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not upon your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Hot dang! Hallelujah!! Doubts lead to truth; truth leads to belief; belief leads to faith; faith leads to Jesus.

Dr. Renny Domske

November 2016

MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY, MA-A-A-NEY!!

I grew up in a small church that tried to scare you out of Hell by scaring the heck out of you! Every idle thought was evil, planted by the devil. If you weren’t praying you were sinning. There was so much more talk about sin than about forgiveness. There was so much more talk about guilt than about grace. There was so much more talk about failure instead of love. And every other week (probably coinciding with paydays) the pastor would emphatically demand money to erase the stain of guilt and sin we all had, for making money, and the possessions it buys, our gods. I gave my share of money collected first from my TV Guide route I had established; then from my paper rout I got up at 5:30 each morning to deliver on my bike. I didn’t want God angry at me for hoarding that 4 cents I made as profit from each newspaper or TV Guide. Yet I never felt joy in giving that money . . . . I just felt relief. No fires of Hell for me this week!

My giving is different nowadays. I go to a Church (1st Christian Church) that stresses love not guilt, acceptance not rejection, grace not anger. Somewhere along the way I got into a better Church. Somewhere along the way I learned to give joyfully, not because “I have to.” I give 10% of my income to God, because that’s what the Bible suggests. I give another 4-5-6% to other organizations, both Christian and humanitarian, because I enjoy helping others and feel that is my responsibility. I treat my tithe to the Church as a bill to be paid just as I pay my car insurance each year or cell bill each month. I don’t quibble. I am excited and able to live on 85% of my salary because I always have - - -I always have given God His fair share of all He has given to me.

“What shall I render to the Lord, For all His benefits to me? How shall my soul by grace restored Give worthy thanks, O Lord, to Thee? Within His house, the house of prayer, My solemn vows I pay: The life that God has made His care I held to Him this day.

These are the words of an old, old hymn take from Psalm 116. Psalm 116 shares words of thanksgiving for all that God has done for us: from life and breath to salvation and protection; from food and drink to satisfaction and happiness. I am happy I belong to God. I am happy I no longer fear the angry God who is looking to step on me - - - so much that He gave His life for me on the cross. He died so that I might have life: eternal life, abundant life, quality life, life with Him. I am happy I have found a Church where I can feel that love and express that love. I am now more complete because of the people of this 1st Christian Church of Greensburg.

And I am happy to write the checks that I do to share my resources to God and the people of this 1st Christian Church. I feel god when I drop that envelope in the offering plate. I feel good when I fulfill my responsibility to God and this Church. No arm twisting or guilty harangues about the necessity of my giving can ever replace the joy I feel in giving to God. I give to my God and to my Church bountifully. What shall i render to the Lord? Indeed!

November 13th is our Commitment Sunday, when we will bring our monetary pledges of our gifts to God for 2017 and place them face down on the altar, the communion table. They represent our sacrifices to God for the coming year. May they not be sacrifices . . . may they be joyful times, times of refreshing, because you get to give a tangible gift back to God and 1st Christian Church. If you cannot give 10%, give as much as you can . . . but give it joyfully. I’m getting old (don’t tell anyone!!) but during my long live I have never wanted for ANYTHING after I gave FIRST what I owed to God. I just gave it, and gave it cheerfully. Jesus says, “God loves a cheerful giver.” May you be cheerful! May you feel His love. May you be a Giver.

Commit yourself this Fall, starting right now, to be a true disciple of Christ take for months - - take them. Walk down to the end of your block or road each, and go to one different house each evening, inviting them to join you at 1st Christian Church this Sunday. Invite them to the Outdoor Worship and Picnic. If they say ‘no’ what have you lost? You need to walk anyway! If they say ‘yes’ you may gain another person as par to the Family of God here in Greensburg. By the time you finish your own block, it will be time for you to begin walking further anyway; so you can start walking down 2 blocks and invite again. Your health AND your faith in God will improve.

In this last month of the Summer, wouldn’t it be great if you took some of that free time and devoted it to God/ Your God! Warmth, freshness, friends, new and newer, joy, health, veggies, apples right off the tree, the words of God in the stories of Jesus. Now that truly is a summer of growth and freshness!

Dr. Renny Domske

December 2016

To Be ADDED!

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Keep Jesus the Center of your life!

Look UPWARD , Grow INWARD , Reach OUTWARD

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FUN BIBLE QUIZ'S

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