First Presbyterian Church


God’s grace and peace to you this day!

All over the world the weather has us in turmoil with hurricanes, earthquakes, tidal waves, monsoon rains.  All these outside forces capture our attention and we wait and watch and prepare as best we can. In many instances we are caught off guard even with all the information we have about our earth and weather.   We may see and track a hurricane but It is hard to “predict” an earthquake.  Sometimes things just happen before we can brace ourselves for what is headed out way.  When it is all over we begin the hard work of cleaning up, rebuilding and trying to find some sense of new beginning, a foundation to build upon.
I think sometimes those same kinds of turmoil take a toll on our souls.  We can sometimes steady ourselves when we know that the winds and rains are coming but sometimes life sneaks up on us and our souls seem tossed about by internal shifts and earthquakes. Then what do we do? How do we comfort and heal our shattered souls? How do we clean up, rebuild and renew from the inside out?
Like rebuilding an external structure, a home, an office building, a lot depends upon how solid a foundation remains.
When I think about renewing the soul, I remember this old hymn that reminds us of where our strength comes from as we rebuild and renew our souls in the midst of the chaos around us and within us.  Our foundation is not that all will be well, but, that in the midst of EVERYTHING, GOD IS STILL THERE.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

As we work towards replenishing and sustaining those in the wake of storms and earthquakes around the world with the supplies they need let us not forget to restore souls also.
May our lives be comforted and our souls renewed by this constant reminder of God’s love.  May we also offer this needed supply of God’s presence to those around us who are in need of soul-care also.
In grace and peace,
Pastor Judy
P.S.  For those in Connersville, the ribs are on the smoker!