It’s April tomorrow and we have springtime in our heart at the Pine Street Parsonage.
I hope all is well with you. Kyle has landed a job at the golf course for the season so that means free golf for the family. I plan to get out on the course with Kyle and Chuck weekly this spring and summer.
The stoneflies are hatching on the Muskegon, so if we can find a little time we will do some fly-fishing, too.
Lois has been creating beautiful things, like usual. Right now she has created a batch of beautiful cards using rubber stamps and such. You should see them. (If you get sick we’ll send you a get well card, or if you prefer, just send us a thoughtful gift and we’ll send you an original thank you card. :).
It’s been raining and the yard is greening. The snow has melted, the birds are out and the children scamper out and jump on the trampoline, ride their bikes or skate around the neighborhood as soon as their school work is done.
Last Sunday night I was ordained by First Baptist Church of Fremont. Family came in for the weekend and Dad preached Sunday evening. He was at his best. I’ve been preaching since I was fourteen. I was licensed to preach and pastored by first church when I was seventeen. Since then I have pastored three churches and I’ve been the associate in youth and music at two others.
This summer I will attend Seminary. That is the fulfillment of a life-long dream. In my spare time I am working on a book of stories about faith and family. I’ll keep you informed about what’s happening at the Parsonage. Next time I’ll update you on the other children.
I hope you have a beautiful spring. Remember to take time for the things that are really important. Time is short.
-Pastor Ken Pierpont
Spring Thoughts on Delighting in God
By Kenneth L. Pierpont
From where I was sitting you could see for miles. Out across rolling pastures and fields turned with the first plowing of spring. A patch of woods here and there was showing the pale red of buds about to open. Birds are swooping through the open barn door near where I sit. Around the concrete base which used to support a windmill, daffodils sway back and forth with the mild breeze. There are clear signs of spring, but winter is being stubborn this year. It doesn’t want to let go.
It snowed in the night and at sunrise there was a thin layer covering everything. You couldn’t tell it now. It is warm and I am enjoying a book, reading slowly and thoughtfully, savoring each idea. A horse-drawn buggy “clop-clops” past on the road. A barn cat is coming down the walk from the house. It must be her shift on duty because when I called to her she shot me a glance over her shoulder and kept on toward the barn. She used her own door, a wide crack between two pieces of siding. When she slipped through I noticed something for the first time. It was near noon and it had been warm all day, in the mid-sixties, but this time of the year the north side of the barn would be shaded all day. In the shade of the barn were pockets of unmelted snow. They seemed oddly out of place on such a beautiful spring day.
How like my heart, I thought. It is so often cold and unresponsive to the things of God.
A clear brook runs through the valley where we live and at dawn and dusk every day deer make their way down from the wooded hills to drink. Their trails can be clearly seen in the fall and early spring. They water so consistently that they cut clear trails back and forth.
Years ago a young songwriter must have noticed the thirsty deer drinking from the gurgling streams and it stirred something in his soul. His words are recorded in the forty-second Psalm;
“As the deer longs for the water brooks. So my soul longs for You, O God.”
No one knows with certainty what was troubling him but there was a deep emptiness in his soul. Lately he had not had the privilege of public worship and he missed it deeply. He said;
“…when I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise…”
Are your habits of devotion wearing a path to the clear-flowing, satisfying stream of The Lord Jesus Christ? Are there cold corners of your heart that need to be warmed my the sun of God’s presence? Do you long to worship Christ publicly? Is it a delight to your soul or a duty to be fulfilled?
Imagine bringing home a bouquet of a dozen roses to your wife. As you come though the door she lights up with delight and says; “Oh, Sweetheart, you shouldn’t have.” And you reply; “Well, honey, it is our anniversary and its just my duty to bring you something. What’s for supper?” The joyful surprise drains from her face and she says; “I don’t know, what are you fixing?”
As in romance so it is in our love for God. Duties do not fuel love. Delights fuel love. And God longs for us to long for Him. He has designed us to delight in Him.
I was taking a night walk under clear skies last week, praying and listening to God. Looking at the night sky it is so easy to see the magnificence of God and the insignificance of men.
“When I consider Your heavens, The work of your fingers. The moon and stars, Which you have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him?
I thought of the great honor that our magnificent God would delight in the company of minuscule men like me. It occurred to me, there under the night sky, that if God depended upon me alone for fellowship He would be very lonely.
Melt every cold corner of my heart with the springtime of Your presence. Give me a longing for you like the longing of the deer for the water brook. Make fellowship with You, Lord, the deepest delight of my soul.
In the Name Of Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.
The Music Of Springtime
By Kenneth L. Pierpont
Summer and winter and spring-time and harvest;
Sun moon and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness;
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
The God of creation has been mocked, doubted, ignored and blasphemed, yet He sends the life-giving showers of springtime on those who acknowledge the gift and those who do not.
This morning I am greeted with an opera of bird song as I step off the porch and walk across the wet grass to the car. Purple crocuses grow in a ring around the maple in the front yard. Daffodils will follow and tulips. I aim my little brown wagon toward town. No radio today, my heart is filled with the music of springtime. It won’t be long until the branches of leaf-bearing trees burst into the tender green of early spring. A half-mile from home the highway divides a grove of pines. They have gathered moisture in the night and glisten in the morning sun. Beyond the pines the road narrows to cross a bridge high over the Kokosing River. I slow to watch the river wind through impressive rock formations on its way to meet the Mohican a few miles down stream.
On mornings like this it is hard for me to understand why some reject the Creator. “For since the creation of the world (God’s) invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NKJV). According to the nineteenth Psalm, even the heavens shout the glory of God. (To say nothing of the fact that the law of God is written on every heart and the gospel is proclaimed in a myriad ways in this age of information).
Once again God has demonstrated His great faithfulness by sending another springtime. The flowers bloom, the trees bud and the birds sing as beautifully for the hardened skeptic as they do for me this morning.
The Lord Jesus said if men would not praise Him He would enlist rocks to do so. On this sweet spring morning the rocks can keep silent. My heart is singing the melody of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony:
All Thy works with joy surround Thee;
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays.
Stars and angels sing around Thee;
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain;
Flow’ring meadow, flashing sea.
Chanting bird and flowing fountain,
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
“I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together.” (Psalm 34:1-3).
Blossom Time in Heaven
By Kenneth L. Pierpont
The daffodil has made its way up through the cool spring soil again followed closely by multicolored tulips. The forsythia are blooming a brilliant yellow. Old-timers used to say after the forsythia bloom you can expect three more snows. We have had two and since it is the twenty- fifth of April it seems unlikely that we will get our third.
The huge magnolia blossoms are beginning to open and dogwoods dot the hillsides and line the streets of Mt. Vernon with white.
Last Lord’s Day afternoon my favorite Bible fell open to the book of Ezekiel where the Prophet gives a description of heaven which includes twelve different types of fruit which will grow year-round in heaven. Maybe there will be twelve different types of trees, bearing twelve different types of fruit. If that is the case and the trees are similar to those we now enjoy, we can expect it to always be blossom-time in heaven.
It seems like such a long wait every year for the flowers and blossoms and buds and birds to reappear in the spring. Then in a few days the branches are covered with tender light green and the world comes back to life. What a magnificent season!
Outside my study window at home is a large, flowering crab apple tree. This is the third spring we will enjoy it blossom-laden branches and watch the robins raise their young in its boughs. A cardinal couple are flirting among the branches of the big white pine at the north-east corner of the house.
If this is nature groaning and waiting, as the Scripture says it is… imagine the glory of Glory, perpetual spring. The scent of lilac will always accompany the evening breeze in heaven.
It is hard to perceive of anything more beautiful than this country-side parish in the spring-time but it will always be spring-time in heaven!
By Kenneth L. Pierpont
No extra charge, here’s a little spring-time thought for you romantics out there.
It’s a lovely, fragrant spring,
Go to work while crickets sing.
Take her on a moonlight walk,
Engage her in romantic talk.
Life’s too short to let her go,
If you love her, let her know!