God's Mind

One of Pastor Carroll's many weekly Devotionals is well worth reading over a few times. It is titled: 

"God's Mind Does Not Need Changing"


And as this particular Devotional is so worth a second or, perhaps, multiple readings, it is being made available at the link shown below.  Please check it out.  It is inspired thinking, indeed!


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View From The Pew​


"Walking On Water"


Matthew, Mark and John all record in their gospels about an immensely well known act of Jesus walking on water. This walk on the churning waters of the Sea of Galilee, rescuing his disciples traveling in a relatively small, open boat and calming the waters in the process speaks of more than just what might first appear. I will explain.

We all know that Jesus spoke and taught using parables. However, not all realize that nearly all of Jesus’s acts and miracles were also parables -- physical acts with deeper meaning within and behind the act than the act itself obviously presents. Let’s consider the miracle above as reported by Matthew.

After feeding the 5000+ in a desolate place, Jesus sends his disciples ahead of him from the “land” in a “boat” on the “sea” against a strong “wind” to the other side while he, alone, ascends a “mountain”. Such seems all rather straightforward and normal, but there is a bit of biblical symbolism in that scenario.

To begin, starting in Genesis 1:9-10 one can find the first inkling of “land” or “earth” being symbolic of the Land of Israel and/or of Abraham and his descendants through Isaac. (                  to see a detailed explanation of that symbolism and read “Part 5 -- Day Three” of an essay titled, “Days of the Lord”). But, in lieu of that, take my word for now that “Land” is a frequent biblical metaphor for Israel.

Secondly, a boat can also be a symbol for the Church (                 to read an excellent article by Rev. Dr. Mark Ralls, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, N.C. on how a boat is likened to the Church. Remember Noah and the Ark?)

Thirdly, the “sea” is definitely a symbol for humanity, and in particular, for the gentile component of humanity (whereas land is of course symbolic of Israel). Revelation 17:15 is an example of “waters/seas” being symbolic of humanity when an angel explains a vision to John, the writer of the Book of Revelation: “The waters you saw...are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” Psalm 65:6-7 likewise illustrates the water/people metaphor: “...the one who by his strength established the mountains...who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.”

“Wind”, of course, is a biblical symbol for spirit. In the case here, this wind, or spirit, is in opposition to the progress of the disciples and their boat - and it is a strong wind.

And lastly, a mountain frequently symbolizes a kingdom or government. Isaiah gives us an example of such a symbol: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Isaiah 2:2.

So, we see Jesus in Matthew’s record sending his disciples out on their own from the land (Israel) in a boat (the Church) upon the sea (humanity -- primarily gentiles) while he, Jesus, leaves them, going up a mountain (the kingdom of God/Heaven). Now we can see this miracle has a whole different message than just Jesus performing a miracle.

We can now see the Church, on its own after Jesus returns to his Father, trying to navigate a very rough sea of humanity against a harsh wind (the worldly spirit of anti-christ) and not fairing too well. And, as Jesus promised, he returns to “rescue” the  Church at a very stormy point, perhaps a terminal point, as the crew of the boat, Jesus’s disciples, fear all might be lost. Of course, the disciples even though they see Jesus returning “walking astride” the churning mass of humanity, they cannot believe what they see. It is just too fantastic and unnatural to believe and accept. And, even more importantly, what they were seeing was not how they expected to see their Lord return from his journey “up the mountain.”  Yet, in spite of the unexpected manner of his return, there is a desperate glimmer of hope that who they see is whom they expected at some point to rejoin. Here, Peter takes a monumental step of faith. But, Peter is distracted by the ongoing turmoil raging around him and is again overcome by the roaring tempest, the social upheaval of humanity, that threatens to swamp the boat (Church). And it is Jesus, returning in a most unexpected, unconventional and supernatural way, it is he who calms the sea (human social upheaval) overtaking the boat (Church) saving them all.

This miracle of Jesus walking on a turbulent sea is undoubtedly a foreshadow of Christ’s second coming to receive (rescue?) his bride, the Church, and to suppress a roaring, defiant humanity which the Church appears to have had no or little influence over (if it ever did at all). Without the intercession of the returning Christ, the Church would/will more than likely not survive the constant and increasing ragings of this defiant world.

Yes, it is true. Jesus’s miracles were not to demonstrate his being the Christ. In fact, Jesus himself stated there would be no signs given whatsoever to “prove” he was the Christ. He responded to such requests by saying: "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4).  As previously stated, Jesus’ miracles were parables in action, actions to communicate God’s plan for His Elect; and in such a manner as to veil it from those “...which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:” (Jeremiah 5:21).  The sea is getting rougher and rougher as of late. We would do well to keep a keen watch through the storm as we fight an increasingly strong headwind.

The disciples in the boat that night panicked when they saw their Load coming to them in a totally unexpected and unbelievable way -- a way contrary and unimaginable to anything they had ever experienced or imagined. I suspect our Church, Christ’s Church, will do much the same when he appears to save his elect. I suspect our Lord’s return may well be in a manner we will just find near impossible to fathom. However, of this we can all be assured; his appearing will be visible to all: "every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth "will mourn because of him." So shall it be! Amen.” (Revelation 1:7). I for one, truly hope I will have at least a bit of Peter’s courage to “step out” when he appears, and not cower in fear and uncertainty. The Lord is coming back, and very soon indeed! I have little doubt his return will be in a manner utterly frightening, utterly mind boggling -- if only in the simple fact of its happening. It is my prayer now that our Father in Heaven will enable me then to overcome both my fear and my disbelief and respond to our Lord’s shout in the night!

And, may he come sooner than later.

Mark Johnson
Lay Leader
North Salem United Methodist Church​


Pastor Carroll has recommended a website that many might find interesting.  The site is called the Upper Room and it provides the visitor with access to a Daily Devotional.  Please check it out at the following link:

The Upper Room

The link displayed below has been displayed in this spot before, and it's a link to where a visitor may access entertaining videos that teach about the ways and traditions of the Methodist Church. The link is titled, Chuck Knows Church.

If you have questions about the Methodist Church, why and how the Church does what it does, please click the link below.

Chuck Knows Church

Sunday Sermon August 20, 2017

"The Prayer"

The Trees Speak Out!  

Below is a video presentation by a Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jew. And, his message is unique and quite revealing. As Gentile Christians, I am convinced we are simply not "Jewish enough" to readily or adequately understand all the customs, traditions, meanings, analogies, metaphors, nuances, and, more importantly, the ins and outs of the Mosaic Law as we pursue our biblical studies. The Scriptures were, by far, written by Hebrews to Hebrews, and to those Hebrews living in a unique Hebrew culture. Much of what is presented in Scripture is simply lost to us Gentiles living out our lives in a modern Gentile world. I feel, as Disciples of Jesus, we would be well served in serving our Lord, if we took advantage of the uniquely Jewish perspective on the Scriptures that Jewish Messianic believers can provided. The video below is a message that is to our advantage to understand.

A Bit of History?!

We have recently come across some interesting history of the North Salem United Methodist Church.  To check out some milestone dates and a list of past and present pastors...


Click Here!

​​​​​Thoughts From our Pastor

Rev. Carroll C. Moore


August 16, 2017



Dear Friends,


This past Sunday we brought before ourselves a reminder of how hatred and
intolerance still exist around us as we prayed for our country and attitudes of
hate. We are always reminded when we join in Christian Worship that Love is
the antidote to hatred. David Wilcox wrote, “In this scene set in sadness like
the night is here to stay, there is evil cast around us but it’s Love that wrote
the play, and through this darkness Love will show the way.”


This Love leads us through the inner door of our heart and the outer door of
relationships and life. When we walk through the doors “we say NO to
shame or resentment or self-righteousness or fear or indifference or
detachment or numbness or hopelessness or humiliation or hatred or
despair,” writes Terry Hersey. This is the door which leads us to hope or
gratitude or respect or value or opportunity to dream – this door is always
there to choose to open and walk through. When we do we put aside the
idea that one group of people is superior to the other and we begin to walk
as part of the family of God where all are equal.


This takes much courage – to stand up to hatred, to stand up to racism, and
to affirm the power of love. Martin Luther King, told of a late-night call he
received when the Montgomery bus strike was happening. It was around
midnight and threats had been coming in to him and his family. He tells the
story in a later sermon. "On the other end was an ugly voice."
"For some reason, it got to me. I was weak. Sometimes, I feel discouraged...
You can't call on Daddy anymore. You could only call on the Something your
Daddy told you about, that Power that can make a way out of no way."
And at that kitchen table, he prayed. "Lord, I'm down here trying to do what's
right... But I must confess... I'm losing my courage."
King explained what happened next: "I could hear an inner voice saying to
me, 'Martin Luther, stand up for truth. Stand up for justice. Stand up for
righteousness.'"

May we all know the Love of God and stand up for what its revolutionary
meaning is for all relationships.

Blessings
Carroll


It's not a secret...

...but do you know about God's Week, God's seven day/seven thousand year Week?  Consider what Peter wrote in his letter: 2 Peter, Chapter 3:3-4,8-9


"...scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.' "


And more:


"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness..."


To read a series of essays on this fundamental and important doctrine of God's biblical 7000 year plan for mankind...​

Click Here!

North Salem United Methodist Church

A View From the Pew?

"View From The Pew" is here for you!  With this spot you, the user of this site, may write in to have posted a spiritual, social or biblical thought, an observation or an idea on just about any topic at all. The intent of this is to give voice to our membership - you.  Here it is hoped you will be encouraged to share your thoughts, feelings and/or understandings with us, your brethren.  An exchange of ideas and an understanding of the thoughts and views of others will undoubtedly edify and strengthen our church community.


To submit your thoughts, ideas or comments, fill out the from below and click "SUBMIT". (Pasting a message from a word processor is very convenient.) In a day or two your message will appear here on our Home Page following Pastor Moore's Weekly Devotional, "Thoughts From Our Pastor".