Pastor’s Reflections

September 6, 2021

Pastor’s Reflection

This week (September 5 – 11), marks the beginning of suicide awareness and prevention week.

Suicide, is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die.  Suicide is one of those topics we don’t like to discuss, but a topic that we all must be aware of in order to prevent ourselves or others from causing intentional harm.

All of us, at some point in our lives, experience feelings of depression, loneliness, sadness, pain and suffering caused by traumatic situational variables of life.  Even Jesus had depressing thoughts.

When Jesus had depressing thoughts, He told his friends (the disciples) about them.  When Jesus had depressing thoughts, He fell down on his knees and prayed to God about them.

If you are thinking about suicide or know anybody that may show signs of depression and loneliness, remember these truths:  God created all of us in His image; therefore he knows all about what we are going through.  God loves us so much that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that we may be forgiven of our sins and have a right to, not only a more abundant life, but eternal life.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it,” I Corinthians 10:13.

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please know that God has already provided support to help you through this situation.  You should reach out to:

  • Friends – Don’t isolate!
  • Family – reach out to your family. Our families are the closest support we have.
  • Your Pastor – Please know that I am here to provide pastoral care and counseling
  • Family Dr. or Therapist – Some may experience mental health crisis and need to consult a physician.
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or 1-800-273-8255

There are many people who want to help you! 

As Christians, we are called to minister to all of God’s children the same way that Jesus continues to do to this day – with compassion and concern. 

As Methodist, our “Christian perspective on suicide begins with an affirmation of faith that nothing, including suicide, separates us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Therefore, we deplore the condemnation of people who complete suicide, and we consider unjust the stigma that so often falls on surviving family and friends.” (¶161(O) – The Book of Discipline of The UMC)

Let’s be aware of our human condition in order to prevent suicide!

Pastor Marcus


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August 14, 2021

“It’s just that simple”
While growing up in the church, I remember singing simple songs with strong messages
– proclaiming the Love of Christ! During the worship service, you could feel the love
from everyone engaged in the worship experience.
One of those simple songs was,:
“Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world; red and yellow, black and
white; they are precious in His sight! Jesus loves the little children of this world”.
As evidenced, by all that is going on in our world, it seems we keep forgetting the strong
message conveyed from a simple little song.
The Good News is….Jesus loves all of us, irrespective of our differences! It’s Just that
simple! As Christians, we have a responsibility to Love God with all our heart, soul and
mind. Secondly, we have a responsibility to love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s just that
simple!
God is Love!
“Yes, Jesus Loves me! Yes, Jesus Loves me! Yes, Jesus Loves me – for the Bible Tells
me so!”
It’s just that simple….
Like the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Ephesus, I too pray that Christ
may dwell in our hearts through faith. A faith accompanied by action to respond to
God’s missions and purpose for our lives – to make Disciples of Christ for the
transformation of the world! To grow spiritually and place God in the center of our lives,
so that we may serve our Lord with our hearts and minds and actions.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together
with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the
love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled
to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
It’s Just that Simple!
Will they know we are Christian by our Love?
Pastor Marcus


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July 31, 2021

What do you want for your Birthday? What plans have you made? If you had three wishes,
what would they be?
Each year as our birthday’s approach, we find family, friends and loved ones asking us these
questions. Our answers to these questions are varied and relative to our location in life at the
time the questions are asked.
As I reflect over my location in life, relative to these questions, I think about what I truly want
for my birthday; the fruits of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness,
faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
In reflection and through God’s Amazing Grace, it is a blessing to be a part of watching what
God is doing in our Church Community, Mathews County and beyond!
I find Love and Joy in watching God’s mission be carried out and manifested through our hands
and feet – whether it be through our financial generosity, stuffing book bags for “No Walls”,
wrapping boxes filled with the Love of Jesus (to be sent to children in all corners of the world) or
just simply listening to your stories and sharing mine.
I find Peace and Kindness in the comfort of your homes or while breaking bread with you over
lunch or dinner. You share your Goodness with me through your acts of Kindness, heart-felt
greeting cards, and baked goodies.
Through Bible Study, book discussions, Sunday School and Sunday Morning Worship we
receive the tools we need towards being more Faithful. Through our engagement and application
of God’s word, we become tolerant and loving of our neighbors, even if we disagree.
With God, we don’t have to wait until our birthday to receive that “perfect gift” – Because of the
Lord’s great Love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fails. His mercies are new
every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
What do I want for my birthday? I already have IT….. There is no “want” or “lack” in Christ!
What are my plans for my birthday? The Will of God….
If I had three wishes, what would they be? The Trinity! (God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son
and the Holy Spirit)
Happy Birthday! – This is the day the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm
118:24)
Pastor Marcus

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July 21, 2021

Will they know you are Christian by your Love? Does God challenge you during
your Christian walk?
Just the other day, a man, who appeared to be in his mid-60’s, stopped by the
parsonage, rang the doorbell (which doesn’t ring) and waited for the door to be
opened. Once I opened the door, the gentleman gave me his name, I gave him my
name and he immediately began to explain why he had made a visit.
He began by saying, “ Hey, aren’t you the new pastor at the church just up the
street?” I replied, “Yes, I am the new pastor at Mathews Chapel UMC.”
The gentleman went on to ask me If I had any work that he might do such as yard
work, painting, landscaping, mowing, roofing, etc. I explained to the gentleman
that I did not have any work for him to do but, I would keep him in both my
thoughts and my prayers.
Immediately, the Holy Spirit began to challenge me and I was reminded of:
James 2:15-17 NIV
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says
to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed”, but does nothing about their
physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not
accompanied by action, is dead.”
Just then, I was called to action and asked the gentleman if some cash might help
him until he finds work. When I checked my wallet, all I had was $8. I
remembered, during one of my “wilderness seasons” of life, that any amount, when
you have nothing is appreciative. I also asked the gentleman to check back with
me next week regarding work.
“Thoughts and Prayers” are nice and all, but real Christian work is “ACTION”!
Remember, the next time you tell someone your “thoughts and prayers are with
them”, make sure you stop and think of the ways you might be called to action
during someone else’s crises.
When we bless others, we in turn, are blessed, but above all, we bless God!
Remember, as Christians, we represent God to the best of our abilities……
Will they know you are Christian by your Love?
If any of you have light-duty work for the gentleman, should he return next week,
please let me know!
Peace and Blessings!
Pastor Marcus

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