Pastor's Blog
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September 4, 2014, 8:00 PM

Funny People...

Joan Rivers died today - the second "funny person" we've lost in the last 30 days, Robin Williams being the first. One of the many quotes from Joan that's been floating around Facebook today is this one: "I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die they'll donate my body to Tupperware." (I can see the smile on your face......)  

Why do we love people who can make us laugh?

Even when those people's personal lives seem filled with "demons." Robin Williams battled addiction and severe depression, and let's face it, Joan was down right mean at times. But those things fade in the presence of a gift that can create such a deep "belly laugh" that our faces turn red, tears run down our cheeks and a stitch develops in our side. Maybe laughter is a release we all need sometimes. Maybe things that make us laugh take our minds off of life that has gotten too serious. Maybe people who make us laugh are cherished because they can take the ordinary parts of our stress filled lives and help us see them with a twist - and the "perform perfectly" pressure we put on ourselves much of the time eases, even if it's just for a few seconds. 

Or is it deeper than that?

I guess I sense joy present when God created the world. Is it possible that laughter allows the joy that was in the heart of God when he created us to surface every once in a while? Remember, Genesis tells us that God created human beings "in the image of God." (Gen. 1:27) How many different Psalms call us to "sing for JOY to the Lord?" (see Psalm 95) Joy is a fruit - evidence of - the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) Read the final two chapters of Revelation and try not to feel joyful about the ultimate victory of God and his purpose for creation.  So if joy is part of God, it's reasonable to think it's part of us, too...and maybe laughter is actually a gift from God that plugs us into a core component of what it means to be human. 

Maybe more on this later.......but what do YOU think? As always...

Keep Lookin' Up!

Pastor D.


12-09-2014 at 1:40 PM
Lynn H.
laughter is good medicine! Gods creation I'm sure.
10-01-2014 at 11:02 PM
shannon hoffman
You have given all of us this gift many times, Pastor David! I can think of several occasions when i have laughed myself into tears at Christ Church! What a blessing! It's the best feeling in the world to just let go and laugh once in a while, especially nowadays when life has a way of dragging us down into dark places. Thank you for the laughter!
09-18-2014 at 4:18 PM
Colleen Holtz
I got on the website to request prayer for Beth Stanish. While on the site I read both Message From the Pastor and The Pastor's Blog. How refreshing they both are. I'm going to see a friend tonight that I've asked over and over again to come to church. I'm going to tell her to read your message and that I hope to see her Sunday! Thank you for another opportunity!
09-06-2014 at 12:16 AM
Stephen J. "Steve" Osgood
I think at times the Lord himself slaps his leg and laughs, and tries in vain to speak to us and say something like, "Steve, what in the world were you thinking of?" Laughter is good for the soul. Smile, Do something good, and make the day count.
09-05-2014 at 12:44 PM
Sharon Chandler
I LOVE being around folks that are happy and make me laugh. Thank you for making me think about this!!

God's blessings to all who read this.
09-05-2014 at 10:53 AM
Chuck Porter
When we make someone else laugh, we laugh with them. So we both benefit from the laughter, and we enjoy it together.
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August 11, 2014, 9:23 AM


So it's the first day of our 2014 summer vacation. I'm sitting on the front porch enjoying the morning. I hear a "screech," look up, and see some type of bird of prey riding the thermals circling above the trees. I know we have an ample supply of red tail hawks in our area, so I figured that's what I was seeing. But then the bird circled closer, and I realized it was bigger than a hawk. I moved from the porch to the front sidewalk to get a better look. Now I can see that the bird - by this time circling directly over our front yard - is an eagle! When I was growing up in the southwestern corner of our state, eagles were something you had to travel a ways to see - some place far away like Alaska. Now, living in northwestern Pa - for reasons far more complex than I understand - eagle sitings are a much more regular part of our everyday lives. But this is the first time I have seen one directly over our house.

The majestic, magnificent, powerful animal - calling consistently to something - soared effortlessly, I imagine searching for one minute movement that might indicate "breakfast." What has always fascinated me about birds that ride the thermals is the way they use the power the processes of the earth provide to give them the energy they need to soar and see the landscape before them. Using the "mechanics" God has given them (wings, feathers...etc) they connect with the winds always in action around them, and allow those breezes to provide the platform for them to engage their world.

Reminds me of familiar words from the prophet Isaiah:.. "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (40:31) God invites you and me to direct our hope (other translations use the word "trust") to Him - to connect with the winds of His Spirit always in action around us - and in response, God will help us see our lives from His perspective - to soar above the ordinary and connect with the extraordinary things God's grace is working on in and through our lives. Like the eage who must spread his wings to engage the thermals, you and I must invite the Lord to lift us into His embrace if we are to engage the Spirit's work around us. And as we do, we too will soar.........

With a lesson like this on morning number one, vacation is shaping up to be spectacular!!!! Until next time, remember....

Keep Lookin' Up!

Pastor D.

August 5, 2014, 3:00 PM


WELL………… it is!

The revamped, reorganized, reconfigured Christ Church website! It has taken a while to get to this point. Sharon Chandler and her team (aided faithfully and with excellence by Katie Aaron) have spent numerous hours and days setting up all of the details that make up an informative and user friendly website. I am deeply grateful for the dedication and attention these folks have given to this project. This group of devoted servants will continue to tweak and refine this new ministry tool, but right now you’ll find interactive calendars, opportunities to share prayer requests and/or receive email reminders for meetings and activities, links to online giving resources, Bible study tools, ways to access recordings of our weekly worship experiences, how to connect with our staff and ministry leaders – and there’s much more to come! Even what you are reading is new – a “Pastor’s Blog” – a place where we can dialogue about the journey of following Jesus day by day. I will do my best to post “conversation starters” often so that we can learn from and with each other, allowing the Spirit to transform us more completely into the people God saved us to be.

Waiting for this new tool to go “live,” I’ve been reminded of a dialogue between Frodo Baggins and the wizard Gandalph in the movie “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” Gandalph is on his way to a birthday party and Frodo accuses him of being late. Gandalph replies, “A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Neither is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.” The Bible conveys a similar idea about the activity of God in the world. The older translations use the phrase, “in the fullness of time.” The New International Version uses the phrase, “at just the right time,” such as this from the apostle Paul: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6) The sense conveyed here is not a random event but a purpose-full moment. God acts according to His plan, precisely when He means to. That’s good news for us, don’t you think? God is not bound to our timelines or by our deadlines. God – seeing the full picture of His purpose in the world – acts in Jesus Christ on behalf of humankind and all of creation at just the right time. When it seems like God is silent, or lazy, or away on vacation somewhere, He is actually busy setting up the details for an encounter that can be life-changing, if we’re willing to trust and wait.

So you see, we have waited patiently for this new website to go live – and I believe it has gone live at just the right time. God acts precisely when He means to – at just the right time. Trust His plan, and His heart……….

Until next time, remember…

Keep Lookin’ Up!
Pastor D.


08-11-2014 at 9:55 PM
Stephen J. "Steve" Osgood
Rev. Janz, you have a tremendous talent of putting thoughts into word.... and "Thank you" so much for sharing this..
08-11-2014 at 12:56 PM
Jane Hoover
Looking forward to sharing this part of the journey!
08-10-2014 at 10:50 PM
Karen Bingman
Great website. Thanks!!
08-07-2014 at 3:34 PM
David Janz
The "team" referenced above included Jan Hines and Sandy Homer, with great support from Rob Woods. Thanks to ALL!
08-06-2014 at 9:47 PM
Lois Carr
Thank you to all those that made this website possible. What a awesome way to stay connected to our church family throughout the week! I look forward to the Pastor's blog!
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