“Praise the Lord! … Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.”
The psalmist reminds people that God is always present and is there for His people. We need to remember that and praise Him.
It’s a new year and most people were glad to see 2020 end. The coronavirus began early in the year and it just didn’t go away. There were political situations, riots and so much hate. We don’t understand why all of these things happen, but we must remember that God is in control and will make things right if we let Him. Begin the new year with praise. Thank Him for the good things that happened and ask Him to guide you through whatever is ahead.
At the end of the year, many newspapers list all those in the area who died in the past year. Due to the virus and other circumstances, many people lost loved ones in 2020.
Everyone experiences the loss of a loved one at some time. It is part of life. People lose parents, a child, a spouse, or a special relative or friend. We hurt and that is natural.
In all of life, there is probably no greater pain than losing someone you love. Although you think of it as a blessing, because the person is no longer in pain, you still miss that person.
Don’t try to hide it or pretend that it didn’t matter. Everyone needs time to grieve in his or her own way.
God understands our pain. The psalmist continued, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” He knows when you are hurting and He wants to comfort you.
Someone once wrote, “God gave us memories so we could have roses in December.” Sometimes memories hurt because you want to go back to the way things were.
But in time, memories can make you feel good. You can remember things that happened, laugh and be glad that you had that time together. You can be thankful for the time you did share.
I know the memories I have mean a great deal to me and I wouldn’t want to give them up for anything.
It is a new year and we hope and pray that it will be a good one. Don’t dwell on what happened in 2020. Learn from mistakes, but look ahead with hope and love in your heart. Ask God for guidance. Working with God, together we can make 2021 a good year.
“Praise can lift the burden of grief.”
— Sympathy goes to the family of Billie Jo McGarvie, who passed away on Dec. 23, 2020, at St. Vincent Hospital in Erie. Billie Jo was from Titusville, but as a young lady, she and her sisters, Tedra and Star, lived with their mother, Sandy, in Pleasantville. A celebration of Billie Jo’s life will be held on Saturday at The Tunnel Club in Titusville, beginning at 1 p.m. May God give comfort and strength to her children, grandchildren and all those who loved her.
— Sympathy also goes to the family of Robert “Bob” Gracey, who died on Dec. 25, at his home in Pleasantville. Bob and his wife, Helen, moved to Pleasantville in 1988 and he went to work for Frontier Foundries in Titusville. Helen died in 1997 and he later married Janet Zimmerman, who survives. Bob had been an active member of the Pleasantville Presbyterian Church for many years until health problems interfered. May God give comfort and peace to the Gracey family.
— Becky and Gary Myers had an early Christmas present. They became great-grandparents on Dec. 23. Their granddaughter, Sydney, gave birth to a baby boy, Rhett Alexander Lee, in Hawaii. Mom, Dad and baby are doing fine. Sydney is from Oil City and her mother and family went to Hawaii to be with her for the special event. Congratulations to the whole family. May God bless this little baby.
— Pastor Fred Frye and his wife, Robin, were happy to have their family with them for Christmas weekend. Their son, Randy, a musician, played the piano for the worship service at the Shamburg Christian Church of God on Sunday morning. Their son, Nathan, and his fiancee, Mary, were also present for the service. The congregation was happy to see them again.
— On Sunday, the Shamburg church had an unexpected visitor. Tara Alberth had been an acitve member of the church for some time, then several months ago, she and her husband, David, moved to Clarion. Tara announced Sunday that they had recently returned to the Neilltown area. The congregation was happy to welcome her back.
—“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” That’s an old saying that some people pay attention to and others just laugh it off.
It goes back to Biblical days. When talking to the religious leaders, Jesus once said, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and lowering.’”
Friday morning, the eastern sky was one of the prettiest I’d ever seen. There were red and orange streaks across the sky. It was beautiful, but it didn’t last long.
It got cloudy and dreary, and the sun never did come out. It got colder and that evening there was a freezing rain. People were told to stay in unless they had to go out. Weather-wise, it was a bad evening. Some of those old sayings make more sense than we think they do.
— Due to the inclement weather, Enterprise and Grand Valley did not have worship service at either church on Sunday morning. Everything was online.
— Faith Community Church had worship service, but Pastor Jerry Drake was unable to be there and George Hawthorne gave the message. Next Sunday, Pastor Jerry’s wife, Marian, will speak on marriages.
— If you didn’t get a chance to go through Burgess Park during the holiday season, you missed a beautiful sight. It had to have taken a lot of time and effort from many people to set up all those decorations. There were also many homes in Pleasantville, Titusville and surrounding areas that were decorated for the holidays. Thanks to all who took time to brighten things up for others. Just seeing the beautiful decorations can make the day better.
— Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, the weather was not good. Tow trucks, rescue vehicles and ambulances were called out as people slid into the ditch, got stuck or had an accident. Our local tow truck team was called out twice on Christmas Eve and a few times on Christmas Day. Firemen, rescue workers, doctors and nurses are called in at the last minute because someone needs help.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and other road workers go out at all times when needed. Even on holidays, those people leave their homes and their families to go out and help someone in need. A big thanks to all those who care about others and do what they can to help. Also, thank you to their families for understanding and sharing your loved ones during those times. God bless each of you.
— Pleasantville TOPS and Pleasantville Senior Citizens have not been meeting, but both groups plan to make a decision about meeting in January. For information about TOPS, call Cathy. For information about Senior Citizens, call Martha Sparks.
— Pleasantville Presbyterian Church has not been having services. The board will soon meet to decide what to do for January. Pleasantville Community Church has not had church services for the past two weeks. Pastor Shawn Jacobson will let the congregation know when things change. For the time being, Grand Valley and Sanford Methodist churches have joined together and will meet at the Grand Valley church for worship at 10:30 on Sunday morning. Anyone attending any worship service should follow the rules, for your own health and those you love. Masks should be worn and social distancing should be observed. Be careful and stay safe. If you have any questions or needs, contact the church or the minister.
— Enterprise Methodist, Pastor Penny Helmbold – Sunday, 9 a.m., worship.
— Faith Community Church, Rev. Jerry Drake – Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship with Marian Drake speaking.
— Pleasantville Methodist, Pastor Janet Sill – Sunday, 9:50, worship.
— Pleasantville Free Methodist, Rev. Chuck Riel – Sunday, 11 a.m., worship.
— Pleasantville Independent Baptist, Pastor Richard LaRocque – Sunday, 11 a.m., worship.`
— Full Gospel, Pastor Dave McCauley – Wednesday, 6 p.m., Bible study. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.
— Shamburg Christian Church of God, Rev. Fred Frye – Wednesday, 6 p.m., Bible study on “What happens when life on Earth ends?” Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship; 11:15, Sunday school.
— Grand Valley Methodist, Pastor Penny Helmbold – Sunday, 10:30 a.m., worship.
— School vacation is over but everything is still online. Titusville School District could be back in session next week but we just have to see what happens. Things change frequently due to the spread of coronavirus. People are working together, trying to make decisions to keep everyone healthy and safe. We pray the pandemic will soon be over.
— Pleasantville Ministerium has been hosting the “12 Days of Christmas,” and there are just two nights left. A 15-minute message with each theme based on a Christmas hymn has been livestreamed each evening at 7. Go to Facebook.com and search for the Pleasantville-Ministerium page. Sometimes people need a lift after Christmas and the ministerium thought this might help.
— Tomorrow is Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas. We don’t hear much about it any more, but it was a feast day commemorating the Wisemen as being the first Gentiles to recognize and accept Jesus.
They knew Jesus was someone special, but did their life change after meeting Him? What did they tell people when they returned to their homeland? Did they treat people differently? We assume there was a change, because people do change once they get to know Jesus.
Jesus has love for everyone, everywhere. People just need to accept it. Jan. 6 is also referred to as “Little Christmas.” If there was something you wanted to do on Christmas Day and couldn’t, maybe you can do it tomorrow. Merry Little Christmas.
— The Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Pleasantville Fire Department on Wednesday, Jan. 20. There is no charge for the food boxes, but it does depend on income and pre-registration is necessary. Call the Pleasantville Methodist Church at (814) 589-7385 for more information or to register. If no one answers, leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call.
When I was growing up, I don’t remember ever even hearing of a pomegranate, but now you can get the fruit, the juice and the seeds at stores. According to legend, pomegranates, with their abundant seeds, represented fertility, health and rebirth. It is also a symbol of resurrection and everlasting life and is often pictured in Christian art with Mary and baby Jesus. Parts of the plant have been used medicinally and health magazines have recommended pomegranates for easing pain. The fruit is also featured in the coat of arms of several medical associations.
— We’ve had snow and probably will have more, so you may see a snowman or two or three. Tradition states that for hundreds of years, children have anxiously waited for the winter’s first snowfall. When it came, they had fun rolling balls of snow and making their own special companion. Coal was often used for the eyes and mouth, a carrot for the nose and sticks for the arms. Sometimes, they even dressed their frosty friend, and for the children who made them, their snowman came to life.
Our military list includes Austin Foster, Autumn Kinney, Shy Lewis, Kimberly Miles, Heather Luchka, Kimberly Savitz, Jay Bowes, Dalton Burns, Jacob Hart, Josh Jacobson, Austin Kinney, Ben Lewis, Andrew Moronski, Ben Nosko, Lucas Savitz, Cody Sterling, Trey Tanner, David Vroman, Bill Wencil and all those serving in the military.
People are still coming down with coronavirus. We pray that the vaccines will help and people will be able to get them soon. Remember those who have lost jobs or had to close their business. Bob Stewart is home but continue to remember him in prayer. Our prayer list includes Maxine Brandon, Faith Francis, Peter Weis, Dick Jones, Lanny Pollard, Paul Thompson, Lloyd Jackson, Jami Hillman, Lenora Wencil, Chandra Brandon, Mary Ann Kopper, Richard Kinney, Mike Firster, Kay Seeley, Elwin Van Cise, Martha Thompson, Sue Wagner, Audrey Walters and Gary Fratus.
Birthday greetings go to Kayla Keyes and Bob Stewart on Jan. 6, Jeni Ongley, Simon McCauley and Margaret Martin on Jan. 7, Cody Hunter on Jan. 8, Devyn Jackson and William Hayes on Jan. 9, Tim Anderson and Mahalia Campbell on Jan. 10, Janie Ongley and Sue Beck on Jan. 11 and Paul Morris and David McCauley on Jan. 12.
Happy anniversary to Rev. Jerry and Marian Drake on Jan. 12. May everyone have a great day.
Nancy Mulvin can be reached at (814) 516-3787.