QUARTERLY JOURNAL
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The Right Kind of Fear

“The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.”

Psalm 147:11 KJV

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this story. Like Pastor always says, ‘confession is good for the soul, but it’s bad for the reputation.’ Anyway, when I was about 10-12 years old, growing up in Alabama, I was a Girl Scout, like most young girls that age. My friends and I would gather together and walk to our meetings where we would do arts and crafts, and learn about being productive young women. It was loads of fun, and I enjoyed it.

But one day, while walking home from a meeting with my friends, like we had done so many times before, there was a stray kitten on the side of the road. My friends knew that I was afraid of cats, and they picked up the kitten and threw it on my back. The more I tried to get away from it, the more it clung to me- we were both afraid. And to this day I am afraid of cats. I don’t like them and they know it. It’s so bad that I can’t watch a cat commercial on TV, and I learned later in life that the fear of cats is a real phobia for lots of people, and it has a name. Ailurophobe.

When my daughter was small she wanted a kitten and her dad told her my story, trying to convince her that getting a pet kitten was not a good idea because mommy was afraid of cats, and when he asked her which would she rather have, the kitten or mommy? She would always say, “The cat.” Thankfully, we never got one and she learned to love me instead.

We live in a world today where there’s lots to fear. Crime is running rampant. Racism is an ever-present dread. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Car-Accidents. Death. The Police. The loss of a job. These in no way compare to my fear of cats but nevertheless, they have the tendency to immobilize us. Every culture seems to be afraid of something. Even in Biblical times, the Hebrews feared the Romans because of the ruthless might of their occupation troops. Eventually, those fears were realized as Rome viciously destroyed Jerusalem in A.D.70.


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O God – A Prayer

“O God”

Change Me, O God

Rearrange me

Keep Me!

Talk with me

I Yearn For You, O God!

Save Me

Help Me!

Walk with Me

Stop me, O God!

Fill Me

Deliver Me

Lift Me, O God!

Protect Me

Hold Me, O God

Forgive Me

I’m Yours, O God!

Guide me

Hide me

Use Me

Seal Me, O God!

Amen



A Tribute to Our Pastor

Commemoration & Celebration of 31 Years of Pastoral Service

As we enter into this time of celebrating our Pastor’s 31 Pastoral Anniversary at Shiloh, I sat down to write a Tribute to Our Pastor. I noted that the scripture reference use on our website for this purpose is Jeremiah 3:15 ESV. I had been thinking on scriptures that referenced “rejoicing,” since to me because of our reason for celebration, “Rejoice in the Lord Always, and again say rejoice,” Philippians 4:4-8 KJV, seemed fitting to me.

But I began to wonder what God meant when He said, “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding’’ (Jeremiah 3:15 ESV), the scripture adapted for our celebration, and stepping a little bit away from my original intent I began to have a few questions for Jeremiah. Who was he? Why had God spoken these words? Whom was He speaking to?

Here’s what I found. Jeremiah was born about 650 BC in a village close to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 1:1). His father was Hilkiah, a priest (Jeremiah 1:1) Jeremiah’s name means “Jehovah has appointed.” He was very young when called by God to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:1-20). The prophet Jeremiah prophesied to the Jews in Jerusalem and Judah continually against the folly of idolatry and he pleaded with the people the word of God, about 50 years before Jerusalem would fall and be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.


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