South Plains Presbyterian Church

Honoring our traditions and building the future

Reflections From the Pastor PDF Print E-mail



There was once a man who did not believe in God, and he did not hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children also to have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.
One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service. She asked him to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home.
A while later, the winds grew stronger; and the storm turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but could not see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house, he saw a flock of wild geese.
Apparently, the geese had been flying south for the winter when they were caught in the snowstorm and could not go on—lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed. The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them.
The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It is warm and safe; they could spend the night and wait out the storm. Therefore, he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. However, the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and did not seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved farther away. He went into the house and came back with some bread, broke it up and made a breadcrumb trail leading to the barn. They still did not catch on. Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only were more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. "Why don't they follow me?" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just would not follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said aloud.
Then he had an idea. He went into the barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn—one by one the other geese followed it to safety. He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!" Suddenly it all made sense.
That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet, and he pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow and prayed his first prayer: “Thank you, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!” (author unknown)
As we prepare our homes, our church, and offices for the coming of the Christ Child, we need to take time to ponder the awesomeness of that event. God did something so amazing, so overwhelming, and so utterly scandalous, that it seems too good to be true. Sometimes, it does seem like a fairytale. It makes the holiday seem warm and cozy. But the Christmas story is more than a fairytale - more than a warm cup of cocoa on a snowy, blistery day. The Christmas story is more tragic than fuzzy. God took a chance with everything that could go wrong with a pregnancy -miscarriage, birth defects, stillbirth, SIDS, and the list goes on. God chose to become one of us just like we do, through the birth canal. And he did so not because he felt guilty or responsible or because he was bored. Rather, he did so out of love and concern. Just as the farmer sought to help the geese, God sought to redeem us. But the farmer operated out of a sense of sympathy. God on the other hand, became a human out of fatherly love. We need always to remember as we admire the babe in the manger that a cross looms in the shadows. The infant whose birth we celebrate gave us the greatest Christmas gift of all - his love, his life, our redemptions. May you and I approach this Christmas on our knees in prayerful contemplation. May you and I experience Christmas through the eyes of the shepherds, the magi, Joseph and Mary.
May Christmas 2015 be filled with awe, wonder, peace, and love.
Merry Christmas y’all.
Pastor Kevin
Twas the Beginning of Advent PDF Print E-mail
“Twas the Beginning of Advent
‘Twas the beginning of Advent and all through the church
our hope was all dying, we’d given up on the search.
It wasn’t so much that Christ wasn’t invited,
but after 2,000 plus years we were no longer excited
Oh, we knew what was coming no doubt about that
and that was the trouble it was all “old hat.”
November bought the first of an unending series of pains
with carefully orchestrated advertising campaigns.
There were gadgets and dolls and all sorts of toys.
Enough to seduce even the most devout girls and boys.
Unfortunately, it seemed, no one was completely exempt
from this seasonal virus that did all of us tempt.
The priests and prophets and certainly the kings
were all so consumed with the desire for “things!”
It was rare, if at all, that you’d hear of the reason
for the origin of this whole holy-day season.
A baby, it seems, once had been born
in the mid-east somewhere on that first holy-day morn.
But what does that mean for folks like us,
who’ve lost ourselves in the hoopla and fuss?
Can we re-learn the art of wondering and waiting,
of hoping and praying, and anticipating?
Can we let go of all the things and the stuff?
Can we open our hands and our hearts long enough?
Can we open our eyes and open our ears?
Can we find him again after all of these years?
Will this year be different from all the rest?
Will we be able to offer him all of our best?
So many questions, unanswered thus far,
as wise men seeking the home of the star.
Where do we begin how do we start
To make for the child a place in our heart?
Perhaps we begin by letting go
of our limits on hope, and of the stuff that we know.
Let go of the shopping, of the chaos and fuss,
let go of the searching, let Christmas find us.
We open our hearts, our hands and our eyes,
to see the king coming in our own neighbors’ cries.
We look without seeking what we think we’ve earned,
but rather we’re looking for relationships spurned.
With Him he brings wholeness and newness of life
for brother and sister, for husband and wife.
The Christ-child comes not by our skill,
but rather he comes by his own Father’s will.
We can’t make Him come with parties and bright trees,
but only by getting down on our knees.
He’ll come if we wait amidst our affliction,
coming in spite of, not by our restriction.
His coming will happen of this there’s no doubt.
The question is whether we’ll be in or out.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”
Do you have the courage to peer through the lock?
A basket on your porch, a child in your reach.
A baby to love, to feed and to teach.
He’ll grow in wisdom as God’s only Son.
How far will we follow this radical one?
He’ll lead us to challenge the way that things are.
He’ll lead us to follow a single bright star.
But that will come later if we’re still around.
The question for now: Is the child to be found?
Can we block out commercials, the hype and the malls?
Can we find solitude in our holy halls?
Can we keep alert, keep hope, stay awake?
Can we receive the child for ours and God’s sake?
From on high with the caroling host as He sees us,
He yearns to read on our lips the prayer: Come Lord Jesus!
As Advent begins all these questions make plea.
The only true answer: We will see, we will see.
by Todd Jenkins
Worship and Music News Update PDF Print E-mail
What’s Coming Up? -Worship & Music Committee
• November 1 All Saints’ Day. We will honor God by remembering saints we have known who have gone on to Glory. We will share communion with them and each other. Taize healing service in Kirk Hall, 4:45 - 6pm. Members, friends and community invited.
• November 8 Carson Rhyne will preach at both services as we joyfully respond to God’s love with our support of what we do here at South Plains to worship Him and share the Good News.
• November 15 We honor God and country by observing Veterans’ Day
• November 22 God is honored and glorified every day by our thanksgiving. Today we observe the national holiday with special Thanksgiving.
• November 24 Community Thanksgiving service at Grace Episcopal Church. Pastor Channell preaching.
• November 29 5th Sunday - hymn sing before each service. First Sunday in Advent. Come prepared to sing your favorite Christmas music.
The congregation of South Plains shares cheerfully of its Time, Talents and Treasure. Come participate in our Worship of the Triune God. He loves us so much and He’s always here with us. Enjoy his company.
PW News Update PDF Print E-mail

Presbyterian Women News – November 2015


This month we will be studying Lesson Four of the Presbyterian Women Horizons Bible Study: Come to the Waters and sharing a potluck meal together.
Please join us Monday, December 14 at either:
• 10am at the home of Sandy Day, 832 Jefferson Drive, Lake Monticello, 589-6747. Please let Sandy know if you will be attending so she can add you to the gate list.
• 6pm at the home of Molly Channell, 2165 Beaverdam Road, Keswick, 207-3598.
If you would like to carpool for either of these gatherings, please notify Barbara Shaffer. We always welcome new members to join us at any point during the program year for Bible study, mission work, sharing each other’s joys and sorrows, and growing together in faith as Christian women. For more information, please contact Kellee Eastwood (589-2705) or Barbara Shaffer (207-4355).
Bits 'N Pieces PDF Print E-mail



• New address for Barbara and Warren Cain: 527 Laketower Drive #104, Lexington, Kentucky 40502
• New phone for Mary Howard: 434-972-2359
• New address for Marge Hampton: Heritage Inn 220 South Pantops Drive Charlottesville 22911
• Massanetta Springs Christmas Dinner and “Sounds of the Season” featuring Bill Vance and Joyce Grove at the piano. Friday, December 4, 6pm. $20/pp. For reservations: 888- 627-6118.
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