September 2018

“Accepting Seasons of Life”
A funny thing happened on the way to a rain drenched high school football game recently, namely the realization that this uneventful 7 to 6 slugfest victory was played out on numerous occasions prior, only this time my wife and I were there supporting a “grandson” and ‘not” one of our five sons…“time flies while you’re having fun” or so the saying goes!

Well irregardless as one considers the seasons of life revealed in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 it’s obvious that each season is sovereignly planned out by God, even though climbing up bleachers and reaching to the ground to pick up a dropped program isn’t quite as easy as it used to be…“God has made everything beautiful in its time” v. 11.

Therefore I’ve chosen not to complain but roll with the flow of God’s meandering streams of life! How about you?
In His love,
Pastor Mike

P.S. If you had told me the score of the game afterwards without me attending
nor knowing what sport my grandson was playing I would have asked you if it ended on a walk-off?

August 2018

“The Dilemma and Benefit of Waiting!”
Playwright, comedian, movie director, and actor Woody Allen once suggested that “if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans” which is not to say that God receives pleasure through “mocking” us; but some of us “have” had to unfortunately learn the hard way about the wasted energy of “presumption” by not considering the warning found in the book of James chapter 4 verses 13-16 which was vividly brought home to my wife Colleen and I recently as we continue “waiting” for the arrival of our first granddaughter who’s due date “was” (emphasis mine) Thursday, July 19th…but God had other plans irregardless of the advancement of medical technology and a doctor’s guess. Yet some might ponder is there any benefit from waiting? To which I would add the affirmative, because as a recent article
I read in Relevant Magazine stated 1.) Waiting reveals our motivation! 2.) Waiting builds patience in our lives! 3.) Waiting builds anticipation! 4.) Waiting transforms our character, leading to spiritual maturation. And 5.) Waiting builds intimacy and dependence upon God! (See Psalm 37:7; 52:9)

In closing I quote Pastor Eric Speir “I’ve always believed that God is just as interested in our journey as He is our destination. For if not then all of the Biblical accounts would only include the feel good parts and not the good, bad, and ugly of those times of waiting. For while we might not always understand why we have to wait the good news is that God never asks us to wait without Him.”
Pastor Mike

July 2018

“From Where True Strength Comes!”
While our nation has its share of struggles and needless to say it is not turning out to be a perfect “experiment”, nevertheless we all should be on our knees daily thanking the Lord for the freedoms we now enjoy as Americans! But I think “most” would agree that while there is something truly liberating about “independence” from the powers that be, it’s actually more liberating to be “dependent” upon God; since the Scriptures reveal that this is the place where true strength is derived. See the example of the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” in II Corinthians 12.
Enjoying both the “independence” as well as the “dependence” upon God I have!
Pastor Mike

June 2018

“A Word About Doing Without!”
From a practical perspective I’m sure most know what it is like to “do without”, but when it happens to be your “helpmeet”
a cry for help is often in order as I recently experienced following my wife Colleen’s necessity to be with her grieving Mother after the eternal home going of her husband.
Of course there really wasn’t any other option because her #1 responsibility was to lend support to her Mom
at this particularly difficult time which caused me to accept how to, temporarily…live without, which in comparison to Colleen’s Mom’s loss as well as the number of women in our congregation’s emotional struggle with “widowhood” is minute. Therefore I choose to learn the value of contentment when “abased” or “abounding”. See Philippians 4:11-13
Pastor Mike

May 2018

“A Word from Pastor Mike About the “Good” and “Bad” of Life!”
While recently thinking about our new puppy, Mia, I was struck with the reality that one must learn to accept the “bad” as well as the “good”. I mean how is it possible that some cute and cuddly critter could “suddenly” turn into a demon possessed, 4 legged, obsessively compulsive monster? And without getting too graphic, since I’m sure many of you have had experience with the aforementioned “dilemma”, for “me” it draws a tremendous parallel to the typical life of a typical Christian where everything in your life has been peachy cream, (“right”). Yet for most of us the norm is that life presents itself with a number of “highs” and “lows”, “expectations” and “disappointments” as well as “joys” and “sorrows” to which I might add…welcome to the club! And who could forget the old country favorite…“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson which at the time, I thought was a “sappy” “syrupy” tune which simply played on one’s emotions, but truth be told it has “Scriptural” merit! *Some verses to consider! Job 1:20-22; Proverbs 24:10; Ecclesiastes 7:14; II Corinthians 4:15-18; 12:1-10; James 1:2,3; I Peter 1:6,7.
Praying we’ll all accept the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of life…and AND the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of puppy dogs also!
Pastor Mike

April 2018

“A Word about Breakdowns”
Through being the not so proud owner of ‘4’ vehicles I have learned that keeping them operative all the time
is no small challenge; therefore consistent “maintenance” is a must. And I’d like to suggest that such is the case with
“spiritual” maintenance as well. For if we as Christians desire to operate “smoothly” regardless of how old we are,
we must check the proverbial fluids occasionally and have regular tune ups so as to not become sluggish, if you know what
I mean. Now as funny as it may seem but our 1998 Camry with 286,000 miles on it seems to be the smoothest runner
of them all because it’s “obviously” been cared for, but whenever one of our other vehicles is “neglected” for whatever reason,
they have the tendency to either run lousy or stop functioning all together. And while these practical matters may seem
‘obvious’ to get a handle on when it comes to vehicles…why is it that we so often fail to maintain our Scriptural lives
which are clearly linked to things eternal? (Selah)
(Scriptures to consider) Psalm 34:4; 37:3-8; 90:12; 119:129,130; Proverbs 3:5,6; 4:1-10; 7:1-4; Matthew chapters 5&6;
I Corinthians 6:19,20; 9:24-27; Philippians 4:4-9; Hebrews 10:22-25
In His love and mine, Pastor Mike

March 2018

“A Heavy Heart, Enveloped by Prayer and Praise”
I’m sharing with you this month from a heavy heart for those who are dealing with difficult circumstances related to “loss”.
And whether it’s the loss of a loved one, one’s health or a job, etc. etc. the pain and hurt associated can sometimes seem
unbearably overwhelming, “if” you don’t consider “God” in the midst of it all. Yet while I’m sure most have heard plenty of
“make lemonade out of lemons” messages in the past, I am still convinced that even though…“weeping may endure
for a night”…the believer in Christ can be confident that…“joy comes in the morning”. Psalm 30:5b which is why we can…
…“sing praise to the Lord”…and… “give thanks at the remembrance of His Holy Name” Psalm 30:4. For I also believe that
when we begin to view life from God’s infinitely divine perspective in the midst of “our” “limited” finite grasp
of His master design and purposes we will ultimately gain a foothold of a truth that will carry us through, even though we may
not process “all” of the whys and why nots of life. For the hymn writer would also remind us that
“We’ll understand it better by and by”. Some Closing Passages to Consider Psalm 139; Proverbs 3:5,6; Ecclesiastes 7:14;
Isaiah 45:5-7; 55:8-11; Matthew 11:28-30; II Corinthians 4:7-9; 16-18; Philippians 1:29; 4:20,21; 8,9; Ephesians 2:7;
Hebrews 4:10
Praying that each would find “rest” for a heavy heart! Pastor Mike Simiele

February 2018

“A Word About Valentine Wishes”
I’ve been thinking about Valentine’s Day recently and I’m struck with the sad reality that asks the question…
…why in the world do those of us who are married need a reminder to love our marital partners a little more that day?
Is it because throughout the remainder of the year we’ve taken each other’s love for granted? Or perhaps the emphasis
we place on Valentine’s Day is because of the “guilt” we’re experiencing because we “have”, I don’t know!
But the one thing we can say for sure is the fact is that God and ‘His’ love “is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore”
(Hebrews 13:8). (Plus)…His “love suffereth long, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,
is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, hopeth all things,
endureth all things, love never fails…” (I Corinthians 13:4-8a)
So let these thoughts be a Valentine’s reminder to all of us!
In His love and mine, Pastor Mike

January 2018

“A Word from Pastor Mike about Resolutions”
Resolutions! Resolutions! What good are they if you don’t keep them, that’s what I always say. “Better is it not to vow
than to vow and not pay” that’s what Solomon would remind us in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 5 and verse 5.
And while it may be profitable to set goals like “saving money” and “losing weight” I believe it would be much more
worth our time and effort to…“press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14)
in the coming year because when we do so we are not only benefiting our current spiritual well-being but investing for
eternity as well! See Philippians 3:7-13
Wishing you a joyous, “spiritually” profitable New Year!
Pastor Mike

December 2017

“Looking Back!”

As a look back on the past year of ministry that God has called me to at the Cresco Community Chapel it could be summarized
as one of “challenge”, where the challenge to remain consistently relevant in my teaching to the needs of the congregation
are forefront in my mind. And while I try to do my best in attempting to meet those needs I may fall short sometimes;
yet the Scriptures remind me in (I Corinthians 4:2) to be faithful irregardless.

Another challenge for me has been the need to be sensitive to both the hurts and spiritual victories of those in my trust.
For example it’s relatively easy to be encouraged when someone has recently been saved, is clearly growing in their faith,
been married, learned of a pregnancy, or seen the answer to many years of prayer, “but” what about the loss of a loved one,
an unexpected medical diagnosis, or struggle with an addiction? For I’ve discovered that’s when a Pastor is really worth
their salt. But through it all friends, I’ve also learned that God is good and has given me the wonderful privilege
of serving as your Pastor.

In closing I would like to express my appreciation for the many ways you as a congregation have come alongside
of Colleen and I through your generosity, emotional support, and prayer. I’d like to especially thank the board of elders
and deacons for allowing me the freedom to spend some time with my two brothers Pat and Bob prior to each of
their passings. Seeds were planted and I am grateful.

Together for souls,
Pastor Mike
“Glorify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3
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