Robert McDowell

Author's details

Name: Robert McDowell
Date registered: March 3, 2012
URL: http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/

Latest posts

  1. Nikos: Dave’s Deep Thoughts: Taters or No Taters, Happy Thanksgiving! — November 19, 2014
  2. Nikos: Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary – November 23 — November 19, 2014
  3. Nikos: Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary – November 23 — November 19, 2014
  4. Nikos: Amazing Peg, How Sweet She Is — November 18, 2014
  5. Nikos: Reclaim Christmas Promo Video – Advent & Christmas (2014) — November 16, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Nikos: A Plea for Unity As We Approach the Presidential Election — 1 comment
  2. Nikos: Back to Church Video – September 16, 2012 — 1 comment
  3. Nikos: Pre-Sunday (Oct. 28) Worship Reflections – Blind Bartimeaus — 1 comment
  4. Nikos: Dave’s Deep Thoughts – Pre-Holy Week Reflection: Remembering the Sacrifice — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Nov 19 2014

Nikos: Dave’s Deep Thoughts: Taters or No Taters, Happy Thanksgiving!

Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/11/daves-deep-thoughts-taters-or-no-taters.html




Here's Pastor Dave McDowell's weekly devotional that he sends out to members of his church. Dave is my brother and serves as the Music Minister at Stewartstown UMC in PA.

What if you could have it all?
But more importantly,
what do you do when you don't?

I love Thanksgiving.
It is by far,
my favorite holiday.

No pressure to find the right gift.
No hours of putting up (and taking down) decorations
No schedule filled with more things to do than a day will allow.

Thanksgiving for me is two-three days set aside
to be with family,
to enjoy time playing games and watching movies together,
to enjoy a wonderful feast,
and to slow down and ponder just how much I have for which to be thankful.

When I was invited to a pre-Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's home,
I was doubly excited.
It felt like the holiday had been extended another day.

My favorite moment,
has always been the moment when everyone sits down
at the table.

For anyone who takes time to let it all soak in,
it is a holy moment.

Lit candles,
linen tablecloth,
beautiful floral centerpiece,
quiet music in the background,
the look of anticipation on each person's face,
and all the delicious aromas wafting through the air....

There is that moment when everyone
gazes to see all that is on the table.
I am no different.

Turkey........check
stuffing/filling/ dressing or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods..........yup
sweet potatoes (with or without raisins)......awesome
cranberry sauce.......not out of a can
creamed corn.......bring it on
that awesome green bean casserole with the onion rings on top........love it
rolls & butter..........yessirreee  homemade!
gravy.......of course
the obligatory jello salad made by some great aunt......hoping it doesn't have nuts in it

Then the call to ask the blessing.
Wait!!!

"Where are the mashed potatoes?"

Everyone bows their heads.

"They have to be somewhere....."

The prayer is being offered
and all I can do is think about the location of the spuds.

"Dear Lord....."

"Maybe they are hidden behind the roll basket."

"We thank you for all that you have given us...."

"Maybe the host kept them in the kitchen to keep them warm........"

"Thank you for all your blessings...."

"Maybe,  maybe........"
I had run out of maybes.

An amen is sounded and confirmed by all at the table.

Someone picks up the roll basket to pass.
No mashed potatoes in sight.

The host returns from the kitchen .........with jam.

I had never before eaten Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes.
A myriad of thoughts when through my mind.....
Maybe my friends were anti-taters?
What was I going to mix my corn into?
How was I going to make my volcanic crater of gravy from which all goodness flows?????

What if you could have it all?
But more importantly,
what do you do when you don't?

I must admit,
it took me until the second helping of Aunt Gladys' jello salad
to accept that I was going taterless that day
(with all due respect to the yams.....)

Part of me of me began to feel guilty,
that I would allow the absence of a vegetable to influence
the wonderful gift of table and friends that I had been given that day.

By the time the pecan and pumpkin pies were circulating,
I realized just how ungrateful I could be when sitting at the table of gratitude.
I had been given a feast,
and the thought that dominated me
was of the one thing that I couldn't have.

It is a side of myself that I don't like

If we are honest,
we can all be like that.

Whether it be a menu,
 our lifestyle,
our possessions,
our worship.....

How easily our feathers can be ruffled
if things don't work out exactly the way we think they should.

Have I learned something?
I hope so.
Actually it is a lesson that for me, needs reviewed every day.

What if you could have it all?
But more importantly,
what do you do when you don't?

In I Thessalonians 5:18, Paul says:
In everything give thanks,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Everything???

I believe I can learn to be thankful when I don’t
get everything that I want.

But what about difficult and painful situations?
Being grateful for suffering seems to make no sense.

If I were writing Scripture, I would say,
In most things give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
It is easy to be grateful for the good things in life--  a newborn baby,
a raise, a new house, or great news from the doctor.
But what if you lose your job, discover your child is on drugs,
or told by the doctor that you only have six months to live?

How can God expect you to be grateful then?

Start with, this is a command from God, not a request.
This command has nothing to do with feelings.
It’s a choice to do what God says…..
And whenever He gives us a command in the Bible,
it’s for our benefit.

Gratitude impacts every area of our lives
Here are a few lessons I have learned from this difficult commandment…..

Gratitude keeps us aware that the Lord is close by. (Joshua 1:5)
It motivates us to looks for His purpose in our circumstance (Romans 8:28-29)
Thanksgiving helps bring our will into submission to God.  (Luke 22:42)
It reminds us of our continual dependence upon the Lord  (John 15:5)
Thankfulness is an essential ingredient for joy   (I Thess. 5:16)
Gratitude gives us eternal perspective  (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
When we are wearied by our circumstances, thanksgiving energizes us.  (Isaiah 40:29)
Gratitude transforms anxiety into peace, which passes all understanding  (Phil. 4:6-7)

So what will we choose?

I hope our answer is.......
to give thanks with a grateful heart.

May this season of thanksgiving
become a daily celebration……

Taters or no taters. 

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/11/daves-deep-thoughts-taters-or-no-taters-happy-thanksgiving/

Nov 19 2014

Nikos: Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary – November 23

Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/11/upcoming-sunday-scripture-commentary_19.html



Sermon (November 23) - "The Thanksgiving Challenge"

Deuteronomy 8:7-18

This book begins: “These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond Jordan ... In the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law [or instruction] as follows ...” The word translated law is torah, what Jews call the first five books of the Bible. Today’s reading is part of that instruction, given as the people of Israel prepared to cross the Jordan into Canaan.

vv. 7-10 - The fertility of the Promised Land is described in contrast to the barrenness of the wilderness.
vv. 11-20 - The plenty of the land poses the threat that Israel will forget the Lord and exalt itself.
vv. 17-19 - Israel should not think that it's because of them that they are blessed by the richness of the Promised Land.

This scripture wants us to remember that the Lord has given us our blessings. In what ways can we remember that our gifts are from God?

Luke 17:11-19

Jesus is on his final journey – from Galilee to Jerusalem. He encounters “ten lepers," people who were considered unclean and who had a disease believed to be infectious by touch.

Luke, the gospel writer loves to share how Jesus included "outsiders" to be part of God's kingdom. This story reminds us the Good Samaritan story that emphasizes it's sometimes the "outsider" who shows the greatest faith.

The leper who said thank you to Jesus reminds us that we are called to be grateful. The word, "Judah" which refers to the people of God literally means "praise."

v. 19 - The phrase "get up" refers to the word, "resurrection." In the prodigal son story, the son who was once dead was made alive. Likewise, this Samaritan was made alive and knew it which is why he took the time to thank Jesus.

This is a story about someone receiving healing, new life, and salvation through Jesus. In what ways have you experienced new life through Jesus? In what ways do you say, "thank you?"


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/11/upcoming-sunday-scripture-commentary-november-23/

Nov 19 2014

Nikos: Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary – November 23

Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/11/upcoming-sunday-scripture-commentary_19.html



Sermon (November 23) - "The Thanksgiving Challenge"

Deuteronomy 8:7-18

This book begins: “These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond Jordan ... In the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law [or instruction] as follows ...” The word translated law is torah, what Jews call the first five books of the Bible. Today’s reading is part of that instruction, given as the people of Israel prepared to cross the Jordan into Canaan.

vv. 7-10 - The fertility of the Promised Land is described in contrast to the barrenness of the wilderness.
vv. 11-20 - The plenty of the land poses the threat that Israel will forget the Lord and exalt itself.
vv. 17-19 - Israel should not think that it's because of them that they are blessed by the richness of the Promised Land.

This scripture wants us to remember that the Lord has given us our blessings. In what ways can we remember that our gifts are from God?

Luke 17:11-19

Jesus is on his final journey – from Galilee to Jerusalem. He encounters “ten lepers," people who were considered unclean and who had a disease believed to be infectious by touch.

Luke, the gospel writer loves to share how Jesus included "outsiders" to be part of God's kingdom. This story reminds us the Good Samaritan story that emphasizes it's sometimes the "outsider" who shows the greatest faith.

The leper who said thank you to Jesus reminds us that we are called to be grateful. The word, "Judah" which refers to the people of God literally means "praise."

v. 19 - The phrase "get up" refers to the word, "resurrection." In the prodigal son story, the son who was once dead was made alive. Likewise, this Samaritan was made alive and knew it which is why he took the time to thank Jesus.

This is a story about someone receiving healing, new life, and salvation through Jesus. In what ways have you experienced new life through Jesus? In what ways do you say, "thank you?"


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/11/upcoming-sunday-scripture-commentary-november-23/

Nov 18 2014

Nikos: Amazing Peg, How Sweet She Is

Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/11/amazing-grace-how-sweet-peg-is.html


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Back Row: Clarence McCoy, Dustin Robers, Dan Kemp, Jill Warner, & Sandy Roberts
Middle Row: Lisa Schenck, Deb Silvia, & John Coen
Front Row: Jim Parker, Robert McDowell, & Peg Parker

Our Coordinator of Caring Ministries, Peg Parker is retiring this Friday after almost thirty years on staff at Lancaster First UMC. I have had the privilege of working with Peg these past five and a half years. She has been a tremendous blessing to our church in providing caring ministries in our church family.

The staff took her out to lunch today in Columbus as our way of saying thanks for her ministry. We had fun reminiscing and I wrote this song in her honor to the tune of "Amazing Grace." The staff sang this to her after our lunch. 

Our church will be hosting Peg and Jim for a retirement open house at Rising House from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm this Sunday, November 23. The Staff/Parish Relations Committee will be making a special presentation to her at 2:00 pm.

Thank you, Peg for helping our church make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!


Amazing Peg, How Sweet She Is”
By Robert Vincent McDowell
[To the tune of “Amazing Grace”]
With special permission from John Newton’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandchildren.

Amazing Peg, how sweet she is.
Without her, our tummies would growl.
She loves to cook. She loves to bake.
What are we going to do now?

‘Twas donuts and coffee that’s made church fun.
Fellowship Time is the fun place to meet.
And now with Spirit Café on the same floor.
There’s more friends to meet and greet.

Through many freezer alarms and ice machines.
We have already come.
Tis grace hath brought us safe thus far.
And preserved our mayo and greens.

When Peg’s been there nearly thirty years.
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
For this saint and a job well done!

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/11/amazing-peg-how-sweet-she-is/

Nov 16 2014

Nikos: Sunday Worship Preview – November 23

Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/11/sunday-worship-preview-november-23.html



Sunday, November 23 - (9:00 am & 10:30 Services) PLEASE NOTE: There will be no 6:30 pm Wednesday Gathering Worship service at our Crossroads facility this week. This service will resume on December 3.

Features - Thanksgiving Sunday

Scripture - Deuteronomy 8:7-18

Sermon "The Thanksgiving Challenge"

Theme - Thanksgiving is a time to make two lists. The one list is for all of the blessings in our lives. The second list is for all of the ways that we can be a blessing to others. Both lists are important!

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/11/sunday-worship-preview-november-23/

Nov 16 2014

Nikos: Reclaim Christmas Promo Video – Advent & Christmas (2014)

Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/11/blog-post.html



Our church's Advent and Christmas theme this year is "Reclaim Christmas." Just think what an incredible difference it would make if we got back to the true meaning of why God sent Jesus to be born in our world.

This is the "Reclaim Christmas" promo video that we showed during our worship services this morning to help us prepare for the Advent Season which begins Sunday, November 30th. Invite a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker to "Reclaim Christmas" with us this holiday season. Below is our Advent and Christmas season schedule. 

Please take note that we will again offer a Christmas "Eve-Eve" service in addition to our Christmas Eve schedule of services. 

November/December Sunday Worship Sermon Titles
9:00 am & 10:30 am
November
30 - "Reclaim Christmas: Great Expectations" (1st Sunday of Advent)

December
7 – “Reclaim Christmas: Giving Up on Perfect” (2nd Sunday of Advent)
14 – “Reclaim Christmas: Scandalous Love” (3rd Sunday of Advent)
21 – “Reclaim Christmas: Choosing the Best Gifts” (4th Sunday of Advent)


Christmas “Eve-Eve” Candlelight Services – 7:30 pm
Tuesday, December 23rd – "Reclaim Christmas"
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services – 5:30 pm, 8:00 pm, & 11:00 pm
Wednesday, December 24th – "Reclaim Christmas"


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/11/reclaim-christmas-promo-video-advent-christmas-2014/

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