Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

Newspaper - Thoughts for Sunday PN

Peine has two newspapers, PAZ and PN. One is for those looking west towards Hanover (PAZ) and the other is for those looking east towards Brunswick (PN). In February I wrote and article for PAZ and now in April for PN. Below are the English translations of the April „Thoughts for Sunday“ for the PN and also for the February PAZ.

Thoughts for Sunday April 6, 2019

Do we get what we want?
Have you ever wished to play God and to get everything your wanted?
In the film “Bruce Almighty“ Jim Carrey receives this possibility. He is continually complaining that God does not help him and never does the right thing. And so God decides to give him a chance to play god for a week. At first everything is going great but little by little Bruce sees the bad results of his egotistical decisions. And then the prayer requests start pouring in, thousands and then millions of requests. To make life easier he just answers “Yes!” to everyone. That ends in a disaster. At the end he comprehends that he was in over his head playing god.
We are living in an era in which we have it good nevertheless discontentment is growing. We want more and more or we want “Change.” And then quite often people are not satisfied when they get that “Change” that they absolutely had to have. The Brexit was decided by a referendum but now the resentment is growing. For years twice a year people grumble and complain about the time change. The abolishment of the time change is close to being passed in the European Union and prompt people are starting to regret the decision. In the radio was heard: “Sunrise in the winter at 9:30 am is cockeyed.” Or “The lack of the long summer evenings but instead it being light at 3 am is not really what we want.”
Quite often it is good that we do not get everything we want. I am thankful that God in his wisdom does not give me everything that I “just have to have.” By doing this he shows that he is a good Father. Parents who never say No! to their kids are not doing them a favor.
We have a wise God who only gives us what is good for us – and not always what we want.

Randall Smelser, Preacher
Christ Community Peine-Stederdorf

Newspaper - Thoughts for Sunday PAZ

Randall Smelser
Preacher of Christ Church Peine-Stederdorf

Thinking as a Gift
Often we take things for granted – without considering that they are actually a gift. Thinking, reasoning, and being able to express our thoughts in words are examples of this. Have you ever considered that the Bible made this possible?
Not every religion and culture encourages deliberation, questions, or discussion. Some eastern religions encourage silence, meditation and soul-searching, and emptying all thoughts. Other religions require memorization and to submit to the fates.
Jesus, however, was always asking questions so that the people would think. Jesus spoke with everyone, friends and foe, and sought out discussion.
Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Thessalonica: examine everything and hold fast to the good! And the people in Berea were considered “noble-minded” because they “examined the Scripture daily”. The “Dark Ages” came to an end when Luther translated the Bible (into German) and made education a priority so that every person could read the Bible himself.
The great danger is that we no longer treasure this heritage and frivolously ignore it. The Bible was the basis for modern technology and education. If we neglect the Bible and its content or discard it, the right of thinking is threatened with being a mere shell.
Use your chance and consider a difficult situation for various sides. Ask why certain people say and do things that do not fit your way of thinking. Read in the Bible and wrestle with it. Critical thinking is more than just following the majority. “Examine everything and hold fast to the good!”