His confidence for tomorrow

I trust that you all had a great Easter celebration; albeit while it may have looked and felt a little different this year than in years past due to restrictions on public gatherings that are put in place for our protection. I am confident that the Father has poured a special blessing of His grace and mercy upon us this Easter in the year 2020. 

Because of His love for us and His desire to commune with each of us, He sent His only begotten Son into the world. His Son lived a perfect life, yet was crucified on a cross for all sins for all time. In that moment of weight, the Father had to turn away from the Son—the holiness of God could not be in the presence of Sin, but purposed for the Son to bear that shame, guilt, and ugliness of sin. The moment of separation, the sacrifice of the Son, cleared a path for us to have access to the Father in a relationship; the veil of separation has been torn from top to bottom. The price had been paid in full. 1

The Son’s sacrifice to bear the weight of sin, act as propitiation, was honored by the Father through raising His Son from the dead on the 3rd day—what we refer to as Easter morning. The same power that raised the Son is accessible for us today to give us a hope and a future.

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” 2

Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus was for an understanding, a deep-seated rock-solid awareness of the hope of His calling on their lives. My prayer is the same for each of you today. I request that you come to know, afresh, the Father today through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Let the power of Christ through your submission be the source of your living hope today and tomorrow.

We still live in the physical realities of this world where there is sorrow and heartache. Until we are united with Christ in Heaven we will never truly escape this world or its cares. The weather forecast for Monday is calling for a warm day but with some unstable weather and high winds. We first pray for the protection of all those who may have to travel during the storm and responders to repair any damage that may be caused by the high winds. In light of this impending wind storm, I also want to encourage each of you to keep your eyes on the Father through the wind storms of life. Today, there are competing spectacles that can take our eyes off of Christ and the process of sanctification. I pray that each of us can find new momentum this Easter season to be renewed in our walk and hope found only through Christ to be ambassadors for Him every day.

I have been paying attention to the New York Giants offseason as a new head coach, Joe Judge, was hired in January. I have hope that they are on the right track rebuilding the team through smart free agency signings, finding great value in the NFL draft, and steady development of the current players on the roster, like Daniel Jones (aka, Danny Dimes). In this year’s draft, they have the 4th pick in the first round. The team has many needs on both sides of the ball, and in a sports podcast, I was listening to they were talking about Clemson Linebacker Isaiah Simmons. Simmons is a unique talent as he has no true defensive position. He can rush the edge, provide pass coverage, and stop the run. He just simply makes plays on the ball. When trying to thwart an opposing team’s offense, what else could you ask for? I am not sure what the Giants will do with the 4th pick—they have not yet called me for my counsel, but if they acquire a player with a perceived ceiling like Simmons it will be a great move.

In the same way, the Father has gifted each of us with unique talents and spiritual gifts to edify the body and larger community where He has placed us. It is time to get out and make plays. Let’s not allow the winds of the age to discourage us and give up hope for tomorrow. The hope of Easter morning is fully realized in the confidence that He has gone before us tomorrow.

He is still working

Look among the nations and watch—

Be utterly astounded!

For I will work a work in your days

Which you would not believe, though it were told you.1

This reply from the Lord to the prophet Habakkuk was a word of comfort. Scripture tells us in verses one through four of chapter 1 that Habakkuk was burdened by the events he witnessed amongst his people & the city of Jerusalem. Scholars are unsure the exact timing of when this book was written but believe it was written near the siege and fall of Jerusalem, 588 BC, when the people of Judah became captive under Babylon rule.

In the same way that the prophet Habakkuk may have felt surrounded by the enemy as they pillaged the walls of Jerusalem and overtook the city, we may also feel that we are surrounded by worries & concerns due to the effect of the coronavirus. While we may not understand why a loving God would permit for a virus to spread across nations, inflict pain, and suffering; we can rest assured that God is still at work among us. His kindness and goodness behoove us to remain confident that He will use everything for good and to fulfill His intended purpose.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” 2

My prayer for each of you this Easter season is to be filled in a new & special way in the strength and wisdom of God.

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” 3

In the strength and wisdom received from His hand, may we learn how to respond with the patient love of Christ to those around us in this difficult time. With the power of the Holy Spirit may we have the opportunity to lead others to a greater knowledge of God and the wonderful plans He has for them.

For the earth will be filled

With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,

As the waters cover the sea.” 4

Heavenly Father, as we approach this Easter season may we be reminded, in a new way, of your redemptive work on the cross and the promise found within the empty tomb. Through the obedient sacrifice of your Son, Jesus Christ, we can experience forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with the Father, and the gift of eternal life. Allow us to experience a restful peace that encourages us to be witnesses of your love. May we joy in the God of our salvation 5. In your precious name we pray, Amen.

  1. Habakkuk 1:5 NKJV ↩︎
  2. Romans 8:28 NKJV ↩︎
  3. II Thessalonians 3:5 NKJV ↩︎
  4. Habakkuk 2:14 NKJV ↩︎
  5. Habakkuk 3:18b NKJV ↩︎

The brilliance of exposure

As we enter into the month of April the birds are chirping, a welcome sound, and other signs of spring are bursting forth around us in living color. Amidst the concerns, policies, and behavioral adjustments that have been put in place to thwart the spread of COVID-19; spring has sprung. New life is being poured out among us as we enter the second month of abnormal living through personal seclusion and crowd avoidance amongst other changes you may have put into place. While we may feel as though we are walking in the desert of seclusion without a clear sense of normalcy, the Father’s hand is outstretched toward each of us.

Moses whose name means “drawn out” had purposed to live a life of seclusion due to some poor decisions that he made—he killed an Egyptian and hid the body in the sand 1. After being questioned by a Hebrew, Moses fled and sought to hide out in the desert of another land, Midian, where he was not known. The one, drawn out, was seeking to seclude and hide himself from what the Father had purposed from the start.

Moses settled in Midian and married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro. Jethro was a priest over the people of Midian. Moses, Hebrew by birth, was born out of the tribe of Levi—who would be set apart as priests for the nation of Israel. We are getting too far ahead in this historical event, let’s reset.

One day as Moses was tending his father-in-law’s sheep, he took notice of a bush burning in the desert. I expect that this was not the first bush fire that Moses had noticed while tending sheep. One could understand that the arid climate and warm sun could often set off small fires in this region. But what caught Moses’ eye, in this case, that while the bush was on fire it was not consumed. As Moses approached the bush, a voice called out to him by name. Before we look at the reply of Moses, what would be your response to a voice calling out your name from a burning bush? Personalize that moment for yourself. What would you have done?

Moses replied, “Here I am.2

I find an element of submission and obedience found in the reply of Moses. He acknowledged who he was. Years earlier he fled when someone insisted on defining who he was 3. In this situation, Moses did not run from the declaration and flee in fear that he was found out by the voice from a bush. What happens next is a moment of connection between man, albeit sinful, and a holy God. In verse five of chapter three in the book of Exodus, God commands to Moses to take off his sandals.

Do not come any closer, God said. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.4

Why would God request this? For a man walking around in the desert shepherding a flock of sheep it’s not hard to discern that the feet of Moses may have been the filthiest aspect of Moses’ physical body as he approaches the bush & presence of God. What I see here is the God wanted all of Moses. Not just the refined elements of his character or his top three skills, but God wanted every aspect and made that apparent to Moses by requesting that he remove that which caused separation. The kindness of God led Moses to draw closer. His kindness towards us, today, leads us to repentance. The Father is seeking a relationship with Moses. If I place myself in this story with my own baggage and look up from my dirty feet and realize the dirt of sin in my life—it must generate some type of response. Either I can acknowledge I am not where I want to be as I reflect upon the Word and the holiness of God, but yet grasp that the Father continues to reach out toward me in a desire for relationship, or I can ignore any response through repentance, and attribute any perceived shortcomings or characteristics of my current situation as caused by my environment.

Even now, while we may feel pressed and crushed, the Father is tilling the soil of our souls for new wine to be produced. As Moses heard the voice and the command of God to draw closer to Him nothing more needed to be done. The work to transform Moses was underway and no additional human intervention was required for God to complete a work in the life of Moses at this time.

As each of us continue to navigate each day throughout this spring season, let us not forget to look up, see, and hear the work of God that is occurring in the midst of this crisis in our personal relationship with Him and where we can partner in His work to draw others into a relationship with Him.

But I will hope continually,

And will praise You yet more and more.

My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness

And Your salvation all the day,

For I do not know their limits.

I will go in the strength of the Lord God;

I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.5

  1. Exodus 2:12 NIV
  2. Exodus 3:4b NIV
  3. Exodus 2:14 NIV
  4. Exodus 3:5 NIV
  5. Psalms 71:14-16 NKJV

A Christian Response to COVID-19

At the time of this writing, American life has been disrupted from the typical daily hustle and bustle due to valid health concerns over the spread & impact of COVID-19. The viral infection began to appear in news headlines earlier in 2020 as it affected many lives in China. Due to the global interconnectedness of the world today, the infection soon spread to others residing outside the country of China.

To my knowledge, the underlying root cause of the virus was found in bats that jumped the species barrier and has now affected humans. This particular strain of virus has proved to be highly contagious and can affect the human body for a number of days. While this is concerning, it is not new. There have previous coronaviruses that have had an impact over the years (i.e, SARS and MERS). My mind hearkens to words found in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”‬‬ While many people fully recover from this particular strain and corresponding illness, some do not. Our prayers go out to the families that have been affected or are currently being affected by this illness.

The affect on day-to-day life in America had been tepid until recently. Reports in early March out of Washington state confirmed cases of US citizens with COVID-19. This immediately had ripple effects to large and small business across the west coast to allow workers to complete work remote. Since that time, the trend of social isolation has continued across the country.

The financial markets have also been on a wild ride that last few weeks as well. The Federal Reserve has taken measures to reduce the cost of capital and made additional measure to pump additional monetary funds into the market to ensure there is adequate liquidity. As sporting events, travel plans, and other local events are cancelled this will have an impact to the economy for the foreseeable future. The markets may have already priced in a mild recession, but will remain unstable for months ahead as additional information is disseminated and priced.

What we cannot do at this time is to be overcome by fear. Our security does not rest in our health, bank account, or social connections alone. It must rest in our identity found in God through Christ. “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” 1.Through faith, we believe in and serve the Creator God who foresaw the start and sees the end from the beginning. We must seek wisdom to understand the ripple of time that we are in and how to respond from moment to moment as His Son, Jesus, would do so. Let’s continue to invest in personal prayer and Bible Study as we become more mature disciples, but let’s also have seeing eyes and attentive ears to listen the concerns of others. Let us be willing to lead and love like no other. “It’s true that the world can outnumber us, out-entertain us, and out-finance us, but let it never be said that they can out-love us…” 2. A calm, loving response and steady hand of service may be the most effective witness during the next few months as the impact of the viral infection plays out across the land.

Through an understanding and perspective of a Christian worldview, “we all live forever. Some will spend eternity in heaven and others in a real place called Hell. The difference between heaven and Hell is a relationship with the Creator of the universe: Jesus Christ. Click here to learn more about how to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ today.” 3

If you are seeking refuge from storms raging in your life, we invite you to church at the Abundant Life Lowville campus located on Waters Road on Sunday, March 15th at 5 pm.

Resting in His peace.

-Shawn Moshier

  1. Psalms‬ ‭139:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ ↩︎
  2. The Church in Babylon, Erwin Lutzer; pg 263 ↩︎
  3. https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/coronavirus-biblical-practical/?utm_source=facebook-aig&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebook-aig-coronavirus ↩︎

Confident in Him

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.” Psalms‬ ‭31:24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The Psalmist, David, penned these verses while on the run from the efforts of King Saul to kill him. David relied on the inherent belief underpinning his life that God was good and that there was a future hope in relationship with Him.

For those that live on the other side of the river (e.g., New Bremen, Beaver Falls, Croghan, Belfort) regions of Lewis County we have recently had a wrench tossed into our normal travel plans if we seek to go to Lowville or points further south in the county. The NYS Department of Transportation has recently closed State Route 812 near Dadville due a culvert that requires replacement. I believe this came as a surprise to many residents—at least to me it was—as it appeared to be a sudden announcement and corresponding road closure. However, we can have confidence in the engineers from the state that examined the culvert and made the assessment that it is no longer safe for vehicles to pass over that section of road. The state has lost confidence in the existing structure to keep the road safe for passing motorists and will replace the culvert and rebuild the road. In a few short months we will be able to travel with confidence over that portion of road once again.

Pastor Matt presented in a recent message on March 17th entitled, “Committed to Goodness, Part 2” the seven traits that define the goodness of God. These seven traits are listed below:

  1. Mercy
  2. Gracious
  3. Long-suffering (Patient)
  4. Abounds in goodness & truth (Love)
  5. Faithful (keeps mercy for thousands)
  6. Forgiveness
  7. Justice (Holy)

These traits are referenced in Exodus 34:5-8.

David knew that he could rest assured and wait on the Lord because of His prior faithfulness to rescue Him in times of trouble. When David shepherded His families’ flock of sheep He was able to fend off lion and bear with the strength of the Lord on His side. The demonstrations of God’s past faithfulness provided David confidence to face current situations and have courage for the present day and a hope for tomorrow.

So, it should be with us today we may be facing or have recently faced a trial or tribulation that has diminished our strength, confidence, and hope. May we be recharged in the promise that Christ reigned triumphant over death and reigns today. He has gone before us, but is also with us, by our side, in our present situation. We may struggle with the outcome of a particular life event, and the human emotions correlated; and in the midst of the struggle question how a good Father can allow a specific outcome. In spite of the struggle His goodness overpowers. We can remain confident that His ways and His plans are so much higher than we can fathom and trust in His perfect discretion.

In II Timothy 2:11-13 we have the following Scripture, “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

As we approach the Easter season this year we have the opportunity to reflect upon the ultimate example of courage and the long obedience in the same direction that the Son, Jesus Christ, exemplified. He was obedient to the plans of the Father, even unto death on a cross. This discipline of obedience and love for the sake of the world paved the only way to salvation and reconciliation with the Father. The Father glorified this obedience and raised His son from death to life so that He could overcome death and complete the circuit back to the Father where He now sits at the right hand of the Father.

My prayer as we celebrate and commemorate this Easter is that we, individually and corporately, experience renewed confidence through the salvation work of the Son and the overwhelming goodness of God to empower us with courage for today and hope for tomorrow. While we wait, the miracle is in motion.

In closing, see below for the lyrics from the song ‘Confident’ by Stephanie Gretzinger

You’re always moving in the unseen

The breath You exhale sustaining me

Before I call, You know my need

You’re always going before me

I’m confident Your faithfulness will see me through

My soul can rest, my righteousness is found in You

With every moment left, in every borrowed breath, let this be true

That all my heart, for all my life, belongs to You

Your laughter scatters my enemies

You give me joy for my mourning

You lift my head so I can see

All of heaven surrounding me

I’m confident Your faithfulness will see me through

My soul can rest, my righteousness is found in You

With every moment left, in every borrowed breath, let this be true

That all my heart, for all my life, belongs to You

I won’t win this battle with the strength in my own hands

You’re the mountain-mover and only You can

I won’t build my life on sinking sand

You’re my hope forever, the rock where I stand

I won’t win this battle with the strength in my own hands

You’re the mountain-mover and only You can

I won’t build my life on sinking sand

You’re my hope forever, the rock where I stand!

The rock where I stand!

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand

I’m confident Your faithfulness will see me through

My soul can rest, my righteousness is found in You

With every moment left, in every borrowed breath, let this be true

That all my heart, for all my life, belongs to You

Hope is on the horizon

Today is March, 2nd 2019.  Around 5:50am, as the sky was getting noticeably lighter I heard a bird singing.  In the approximate geographical location of 43.8851° N, 75.4337° W, I cannot recall the last time I heard a bird sing.  As we enter our 5th or 6th month of “winter-like” conditions, our physical, mental, and even spiritual well-being may have taken some hits.

Hope is on the horizon.  As we enter March, we can begin to see evidence, like the bird I hear singing, to signify that hope is indeed on the horizon.  However, in March we can also have some grey and stormy days that may make us feel that little progress has been made and we can no longer press forward.

Over the course of the last 9-12 months, I have been involved in some high priority and high visibility projects at work.  This has afforded me the opportunity to work on challenging problems and to define innovative solutions defined by business requirements that our technology partners will implement and deploy across the firm for daily use by the end user.  Any project that is cross-disciplinary requires communication and appropriate management. When breakdowns in these areas occur it can create a level of uncertainty and risk that otherwise are managed effectively. The causes of this breakdown can be numerous, but from my experience, the primary causes are lack of discipline and distraction.  Complex issues require focus and discipline of execution. I know that we all face issues that require intense focus and discipline to see a best-expected outcome of that situation. I encourage you to walk faithfully in your role.

In our culture today, we are ever more distracted by new and shiny things.  If my recollection is correct when a new phone is unveiled and is on display for the tech media to get first snapshots and videos it is under special lighting to make it appear “just-so”. That just-so factor is intended to make the new phone look more appealing than your current phone that may have lost just a little luster and shine. So, it is with life. There may be days when the new and shiny might be appealing, but everything comes at a cost. There are very few, if any, cost-free decisions.

There might be days when you want to throw in the towel.  Trust me, even I feel that in more days that I would want to attest to.  And some days, you may just need to do that. Show your hand, state your stance, and walk away for a few hours.  In the time that I had stepped away from a situation on Friday afternoon, I felt the hand of the Father in full support bolstering my every step.  As I traveled to JU Friday night the song, Forever On Your Side, by NEEDTOBREATHE came across K-Love and solidified my understanding that I can trust in Him because He who called me out of darkness and bondage is faithful.  In closing, see below for a few life-giving verses from I Thessalonians and the lyrics from ‘Forever On Your Side’.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”I Thessalonians 5:16-24 (NIV)

‘Forever on your side’ – NEEDTOBREATHE

I won’t pretend
That we can control the night
Or what kind of road we’re on
Or where we will see the light
But right now I’m talking to ya
I’m looking into your eyes
Right now I’m trying to show ya
That we’re gonna be alright

Oh I don’t know
What’s around the bend
Oh, all I know
Is that my love, It knows no end

All these pieces they fall in line
Because I’m forever on your side
Take my hand when you can’t see the light
Cause I’m forever on your side
I will carry
You every time
Because I’m forever on your side

They’ll beat you up
But don’t let em keep you down
You’re always tough enough
And I’ll always be around

Oh I don’t know
What’s around the bend
Oh, all I know
Is that my love,
It knows no end

All these pieces they fall in line
Because I’m forever on your side
Take my hand when you can’t see the light
Cause I’m forever on your side
I will carry
You every time
Because I’m forever on your side
Oh I’m forever on your side

Oh I can’t promise
That a day will never come
Where the ground beneath us
Falls out and we got no where to run
Oh but you won’t be alone
When the water starts to rise up
No you won’t be alone
My darling when the rains come

Oh I don’t know
What’s around the bend
Oh, all I know
Is that my love,
It knows no end

All these pieces they fall in line
Because I’m forever on your side
Take my hand when you can’t see the light
Cause I’m forever on your side
I will carry
You every time
Because I’m forever on your side
Oh I’m forever on your side
Oh I’m forever on your side
Oh I’m forever on your side

Source: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/needtobreathe/foreveronyourside.html

One Generation shall praise your works to another…

Psalms 145:4a says, “One Generation shall praise your works to another…”.

What a challenge this is for us today:

  • A challenge to lean into the Father as Christ exemplified
  • A challenge to grow in the knowledge of the Father and to be in tune with His heartbeat for our lives

Colossians 1:9b states, “to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. Pastor Matt stated during the message on Sunday that to be in tune with the Father requires an intimate relationship where we can grow in agreement with Him. This behooves us to become aware of the path and velocity of His will for our lives. At times the Father may ask that we walk with Him, other times to crawl through a difficult time with Him, and at times, to run with Him. In each circumstance the will of the Father follows through. Scripture promises that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

On a recent walk with Primrose, our nearly two-year-old golden retriever, I was going over the bridge on State Route 126 in Beaver Falls and noticed the remnants of the rapid thaw we had in early January. The temperatures increased over a short period of time, aided with some warm winds, this melted a lot of snow and the local streams and rivers began to swell and overflow. The thaw lasted short period of time and was soon followed by a sharp cold front that dropped temperatures as quick as they had risen. If you recall, we had temps one day of about 60 degrees and the next day were back to near zero with plenty of fresh snow on the ground.

The impact of the thaw and associated river swell near the river banks created rings of ice that stuck to the tree trunks. As I was walking with Prim I noticed these rings of ice that clung to the trunks of trees that display the depth of the water that had clung to them. My mind was drawn back to the fall 2017 series, The Consecrated Church, where we were challenged to be planted by the river of the Holy Spirit where we can be transformed by hope unleashed by the Father. While earthly rivers get shallower the further you move from its source; the river of the Holy Spirit deepens as it moves. Let us pray that this can be the testimony for the generations present in our community today.

I stand on many testimonies of faithfulness of previous family generations that lived in faithfulness to the heartbeat of the Heavenly Father. When he said run, they ran, when He said slow down and walk with me, they did that too. They had a heart of obedience—even when there was no immediate gratification.

Our 2018 focus on the Word and our recent Reset prayer devotional calls on us to Obey. Out of a heart of obedience to the Father, we can be called into deeper spiritual waters that previous generations may have prayed over our lives. Let us live worthy of the calling that we have received in Christ as mentioned in Colossians 1:10, “that you may walk worthy of the Lord…”.  Allow this Scripture verse to challenge us to grow in the knowledge of the will that the Father has for us and for a heart of obedience to walk faithfully, so that we can talk and sing of the works of God in our lives to the next generation.

Memorial to Grandma

My Grandma, Lauretta Widrick, passed away early Tuesday morning, the 22nd of August 2017. She was 86.

As I take time to reflect upon her life and the influence she had on mine, an imperative element that comes to the forefront of my mind is that I was tremendously blessed to know her and to spend time with her for nearly 31 years of my life. In some respects, Grandma and I grew up in far different worlds. She rarely spent time “screening”. I spend the majority of my days in front of screens. She never received or sent an email in her life. My days are encompassed with email and other digital interactions that she acknowledged were unknown to her. However, in other ways, life has not changed. Grandma’s personality traits—her kindness, hospitality, and love would have fit well into any generation in which she would have lived.

Grandpa & Grandma lived on or near the farm their entire lives. In my perspective, they had a million dollar view of the morning sunrise from their front porch. On some occasions during the summer months, I would come up early and help Grandpa put some firewood in the cellar and get a view of the morning sunrise. Now when I say help them, I think Grandpa and Grandma had an ulterior motive in all of this. Which was to ensure that I was getting enough physical exercise and to keep my heart healthy by splitting, throwing, and stacking some firewood. This work would not come without some benefits, one of which being a great breakfast cooked by Grandma during which she would scold Grandpa for making me sweat entirely way too much from her vantage point. Grandpa would simply smile and mention something to the effect that I was no longer familiar with that type of work and we would take it a little easier after breakfast.

This takes me back to my thought on sunrise. Prior to the sunrise on Tuesday, August 22nd, Grandma was called to come home. In my mind, I think it was just in time to view the sunrise that morning from a entirely new, let’s call it, a Heavenly perspective. This has made me think of the song by Hillsong United, entitled ‘Wonder’. The lyrics are included below.

Have you ever seen the wonder
In the glimmer of first sight
As the eyes begin to open
And the blindness meets the light
If you have so say

I see the world in light
I see the world in wonder
I see the world in life
Bursting in living colour
I see the world Your way
And I’m walking in the light

Have you ever seen the wonder
In the air of second life
Having come out of the waters
With the old one left behind
If you have so say

I see the world in light
I see the world in wonder
I see the world in life
Bursting in living colour
I see the world Your way
And I’m walking in the light

I see the world in grace
I see the world in gospel
I see the world Your way
And I’m walking in the light
I’m walking in the wonder
You’re the wonder in the wild
Turning wilderness to wonder

If You have so say
I see the world in love
I see the world in freedom
I see the Jesus way
You’re the wonder in the wild

I see the world Your way
And I’m not afraid to follow
I see the world Your way
And I’m not ashamed to say so
I see the Jesus way
And I’m walking in the light

While Grandma was able to enjoy a new morning like no other she had experienced. Her family & friends may have had a juxtaposed reaction to the morning light when we were made aware of her passing as our earthly lives now seem a little darker without her presence.

Grandma loved her family and devoted her life in service to others. She displayed her love through quiet faithfulness day in and day out. This was her greatest form of worship. So even in this time of grief and sadness so will I.

In closing I have provided the lyrics to another song by Hillsong United entitled, “So Will I”.

God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light

And as You speak
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapour of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star
A signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praises so will I

God of Your promise
You don’t speak in vain
No syllable empty or void
For once You have spoken
All nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voice

And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I

If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times

God of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created
The light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die

And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I

Like You would again a hundred billion times
But what measure could amount to Your desire
You’re the One who never leaves the one behind

This is our Village…

My name is Shawn Moshier, I am a millennial that resides in Lewis County and am currently a landowner in the Village of Lowville. I graduated from a local high school as well as JCC in 2007 and Clarkson University in May 2009. Post college graduation, I began work at IBM and continue that work today as a business consultant. My primary job role is business & process analysis for large scale technology transformations in the financial services industry. To get more involved in the local community and give back to the area in which I live, I was appointed to the board of directors for the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency (LCIDA) in February 2015.

The purpose of this letter is to draw attention to the impasse that Kraft Heinz and the Village of Lowville Trustees are at in regard to an equitable split of the costs for wastewater treatment and upgrades to the facilities. The residents of Lowville must remain involved as an active voice in this process.

I am 30 years old. All my life, Kraft Heinz has been an integral part of the identity of Lewis County. I can recall being in the local grocery stores with my parents and seeing Kraft Cream Cheese in our cart or on the store shelf and understanding that product was produced where I lived. For many residents of Lewis and surrounding counties Kraft Heinz plays a far closer role to their identity–they work there. Kraft Heinz is our largest manufacturer/employer in the county and provides a huge boon to our local economy through direct and indirect economic impact. They can be our greatest ally or enemy in our efforts to draw new business to this area.

We are tremendously blessed in this area to have a rich heritage and generations of families that have been able to live and work in this area their entire life. With the ever-increasing technology innovations, it has impacted the paper industry, so those local opportunities have been on the decline in recent years. For those that still have that desire we can, today, provide a great career aspiration for a local high school student that is interested in engineering that if s/he devotes their time & energy to their studies they may find great employment opportunity at Kraft Heinz advancing their manufacturing processes post college graduation. We have great primary & secondary educational institutions in Lewis County. These institutions are led by passionate & devoted administrators and teachers. We also have great colleges nearby that provide the opportunity to receive a great education that produces graduates sought out in the global job market. If we are fortunate, soon we will have a satellite JCC campus in Lewis County to provide greater educational access to our residents. There is opportunity here, in addition to an overall low cost of living relative to other areas. In fact, there are levels of such low cost that the Village of Lowville cannot receive allocated grant money that has been factored into upgrade plans of the wastewater facilities without raising rates of this utility. I am sure it is hard to face the reality that for an elderly couple on a fixed income their utility bill may need to increase a significant percentage to facilitate necessary infrastructure upgrades. However, we must realize that we cannot keep costs artificially low to protect certain classifications of residents in the village, while unfairly treating other segments of the community. Our future aspirations for Lowville and the greater community must surpass a recent example of repurposing a vacant downtown lot by installing a clock and additional parking spaces. We need to do more to be a target for business investment–we need to act with increased agility and raise the bar of what we expect from ourselves and our community leaders. Kraft Heinz is seeking ways they can continue to invest and grow in this area and thus, continue to be an active part of our local identity for years to come. Let us all request similar action by the Village of Lowville Trustees to treat Kraft Heinz fairer as negotiations advance.

For such a time as this, we all need to be more engaged and active to ensure protection of the foundational principles that have been passed on from generation to generation, while also pursuing ever greater heights.

For those that wish to contact the Village of Lowville Board members, I have listed their names below.

Mayor Ms. Donna Smith

Mr. Joseph Beagle

Mr. Charles Truax

Mr. Danny Salmon

Mr. Ed Murphy


Shawn Moshier

Unlocked insight…

In reading of the Scriptures and asking the Holy Spirit to unlock truth, we can see the ultimate plan of God played out through all generations. When God provided a way out for the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh & the Egyptians it was to fulfill the promise given to Abraham but fulfilled generations later. What God sought was that they would become like sons & daughters and to always seek His face. While the Israelites were promised an earthly land it parallels to the ultimate promise to become an heir to a Kingdom that is, literally, out of this world.

Psalms 105:42-45,
42 For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for
45 that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the Lord.

What He seeks then and now is the same: passion spurred individually, shared in the home through love & devotion to our families, and in the corporate body, the church so that the world can see the just love of the Heavenly Father provided through the sacrifice of His one & only Son.

In Ephesians 3:10-12, the Apostle Paul wrote of the intent of the church,

10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

In closing, Charles Spurgeon preached on the role of the church and the potential in which it has always possessed but how we/I have punted on its objective and have sought Heavenly revelation to come from other institutions. While these words were preached in the mid-1800’s they are oh so relevant today.

“Put your finger on any prosperous page in the Church’s history, and I will find a little marginal note reading thus: ‘In this age men could readily see where the Church began and where the world ended.’ Never were there good times when the Church and the world were joined in marriage with one another.” “I believe that one reason why the Church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the Church.”1

1 https://twog.wordpress.com/2006/01/26/spurgeon-on-worldliness/
2 Scriptures were copied from BibleHub, an online Bible & reference tool