Friday the 13th by Larry Refsland
Black cats crossing your path, walking under ladders, being careful not to step on a crack lest you break your mother’s back! These are all superstitions to most people. But everyone has some kinds of fears. In fact, superstitions are founded in fear. Some fears, however, are healthy. I have a healthy fear of electricity. It makes me cautious around wiring projects. When I was a kid, I had an unhealthy fear of chickens! Yeah, that’s right! Go ahead and laugh! I even had nightmares about them. After almost being forced to help catch chickens at my uncle’s chicken ranch, I gradually outgrew my unhealthy fear of them.
Fear can be a powerful force. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God did not give us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.” One of the most repeated phrases in the Bible are these words of God to his people, “Fear not!” God would have us trust Him with our worst fears. Psalm 27, King David wrote, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” It goes with these encouraging words, “for in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle, and set me high upon a rock.”
Remember, “perfect love drives out fear”, and God loves you perfectly (1 John 4:18). He loves you more than life itself. He will keep you safe even in the valley of the shadow of death. Call upon Him for peace and safety—He will be sure to answer you. Then you will say with King David, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
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In the late 1980s, my wife and I spent a few days in Honolulu on Waikiki Beach. While we were enjoying the surf and the sand, a man with a camera and a large parrot came up and said, “Let me take a picture of you that will make all your friends back home jealous.” He showed us some samples of other photos he had taken that he had turned into postcards. One of the samples was a photo of actor Tom Selleck with that same parrot on his shoulder. We took him up on his offer and bought a few postcards to send back home.
Even though it was a good picture of my wife, the parrot, and myself, the postcard didn’t give our friends a complete picture of what Hawaii was really like. We could point out Diamond Head in the background and explain where our hotel was in relation to the photo, but the photo didn’t capture the warmth, the beauty or the “hang loose” attitude that we found there.
When we read the Bible, it’s like looking at a postcard from God. We are given a glimpse of his power and majesty, but we cannot see the complete picture until we see him face to face. Likewise, we can only grasp a fraction of his love for us now. But one day we shall see him in all his glory and we will respond by joining the angels in their never-ending chorus of “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.” That’s when we will realize fully that God is bigger and better than we have ever imagined. At that moment, every doubt or fear we ever experienced will disappear in the light of his glory and grace. For now we try to see as much as we can through our postcard-view in the confident hope that we will one day be in the very presence of God where nothing will be hidden.
Tune Up Your Life!
Our hope is that you will find encouragement from the brief but thoughtful (and sometimes humorous) musings of Pastor Larry.
Take East of Backus on Hwy 87 to Cass County 49. Take 49 to Shortcut Rd and then left on 8th St NE to church.
You can also type in 812 8th St NE in Pine River, MN into your GPS, but if your GPS steers you differently, we recommend following the directions above.
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Interactive Bible Course – 2:00 pm
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For immediate requests, please contact Pastor Larry or Patti Refsland at 218-348-2202.