Rev. Steven E. Thomas, Pastor
Pastor Steven Thomas was born in Houston, Texas. He graduated from New Mexico Tech with a BS in Chemistry. He was working as a chemist in Baltimore for a few years, and then decided to pursue the dream of being a pastor. In 1993, Pastor Steve graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg.
Pastor Steve enjoys hiking, kayaking, and reading. Pastor Steve’s passion is always looking for greater understanding - especially in how our expanding scientific knowledge reveals additional wonders of God.
Some of his favorite books are The Bible (of course), Awareness by Anthony DeMello, One Minute Nonsense by Anthony DeMello, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, E=mc2 by David Bodanis, and the Tolkein trilogy.
Have An Interesting New Year
Happy New Year!
We say that phrase so easily, and yet, we sometimes wonder how to make that wish into a reality. What could be some strategies for creating a Happy New Year?
Well, you could start exercising intentionally and regularly. You don’t have to be intense, but start walking (Codorus Park is a fantastic, paved walking area). Set a time each day or every other day. Start doing some squats. Start with five or ten and then build up (hold onto something at first). Strengthening those leg muscles will help you in every way.
It has been proven that exercise is the best, most immediate fix for melancholy and depression. It works better than most prescription drugs (but don’t give those up without consulting with your doctor - and having a serious exercise routine).
Exercise can help with diabetes, high blood pressure, and just feeling better mentally.
Another prescription for a Happy New Year could be brushing up on your spirituality. This could mean coming to church and Sunday School. We have a couple of really good adult classes that really engage in interesting discussions.
If you know how to do podcasts, start listening to BibleWorm (getting to the core of the Biblical text). A PhD Christian pastor and a PhD Jewish rabbi engage the texts each week. That will also inform your listening to the sermon on Sunday.
Read some of those daily devotionals that we give out at church. And then go deeper. Ponder that lesson in prayer. How does it connect with your life?
Also, in studying mindfulness through the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class at Gettysburg Hospital, I learned how to start examining the details of everyday life and everyday thinking. You don’t need an official class. Treat your everyday life as a classroom. Wonder to yourself why you do the things you do. Why you think the things you think? Is it defensive? Does it help you survive in the world/in society? Did you get those ideas from your parents? Or from school? Or from TV or the radio/podcasts?
Journal. Write in detail about each of your days. What did you do? Who did you talk to? How did you feel? What did you learn? Did you have an interesting dream?
Extend the classroom way of seeing things into every part of your life. How are you intricately connected to the larger world? Who grew that coffee you are drinking? How about the cream and sugar? Where did those eggs come from? And the salt and the pepper? And all of the parts of your car? Who actually invented the engine? And how is gasoline made?
Have a Happy New Year! Exercise a little bit. Pray a little bit (say “Thank You!” about something in every moment). And start studying your world, your life, your mind, and your body - and you will never be bored again (almost).
Have a Happy New Year! Be intentional about creating that joy. Rediscover wonder. Engage every part of life with curiosity.... you live in an astounding universe!
And find others who share your joys.
And finally, begin to examine yourself. What is your favorite color? Would you like to try painting? Or dancing? Or knitting? Or gardening? Buy a plant. Take a class. Bring a friend/neighbor/church buddy. How about lunch? Or a board game? Ever played Sequence? Banana Grams?
Try something new - any one of all of the ideas that I just suggested could change your life.
In the Name of Jesus,
- Pastor Steve
Pastor Messages of Special Interest
Suicide - Surviving Life’s Darkest Moments
Video of Archived Sermons
Click here to View Video of Archived Sermons on You Tube
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