The Sonshine posts by Pastor Walter Olsen

Finding Our Way

The Sonshine
April 2021
by  Walter Olsen

Introduction

Most of us would agree that we are living in very confusing times. Many don’t know where to turn for direction and comfort. As a result, many struggle along in confusion not knowing where they are going or what will happen to them. Of course, this is true for everyone in a general way. We don’t know what a day will bring forth for any of us. Still, there are things we can know that will give us Godly direction and comfort. The things I am referring to are the various truths that are revealed to us in God’s Word, the Bible.

The following are some things that will help us find our way in the difficult times we live in. Actually, they are essential if we would know God’s peace and provision in any time. So, what are some of the things we need to know for ourselves?

The way of salvation. Of course, the truth of the Bible must be acknowledged here. So many have imagined their own way of salvation but, if persisted in, will lead to their spiritual ruin. The salvation the Bible teaches includes  the following:

Bearing the Burdens of Others

The Sonshine
March 2021
by Walter Olsen

Introduction

Life is filled with many challenges for all of us, including believers. No one is exempt from the effects of the fall in the Garden of Eden. Everyone, including each of us, is burdened with some special care or burden. Granted, sometimes life seems easy and carefree and we appreciate those times. Still, as believers grow in the Lord, they are made more aware of the special needs in  their own lives.

This paper, though, is about seeing and caring for the special needs of others. Christians are not to live their lives independent of the needs of those about them. The Apostle Paul reminded the Galatians, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). He further  admonished, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). Jesus was very compassionate of the needs of others and, as believers, we should be also. 

Broken Things

The Sonshine
Walter Olsen
February 2021
 

Introduction

We are all familiar with things being broken. Sometimes we drop things and they break. Sometimes things break because of wear and tear. Other times, what breaks are not  physical things, but things such as relationships, health, and employment. Broken things are a part of everyone’s life.

Some broken things can be repaired, others cannot. I dropped a beautiful glass vase one time and there was no way it could be repaired! I doubt if I even found all the pieces!

We  generally believe that things not broken are good, useful, and enjoyable. In the physical world, that is generally true. We spend lots of money sometimes to bring things back to normal, to a place of being useful to us. Think of the money we spend on cars and various household items.

 Sometimes we think that the things we own, such as our own abilities and talents define our lives and thus we give so much attention to these things. We desperately want to be well thought of! In a way they do define one’s life, but a life that is basically earth bound.

Knowing the Times

The Sonshine
by Walter Olsen
January 2021

Introduction

For this edition of The Sonshine, I would like to review some things I have spoken of earlier. They are things that are coming more and more into focus as the days pass. They are things Christians need to give attention to in order to properly represent the truth of the Bible and to find security for their own souls.They are things that, if we are wise, we will be aware of and do our best, when and where possible,  to make some preparation for.  These things are alarming, especially if one does not know the Lord as Savior. If one has studied the Bible, however, these things coming to pass today are not really a surprise. We know that eventually these things would come to fruition.

Still Thankful?

The Sonshine
November 2020

by Walter Olsen

Introduction

As the world moves on to ever increasing ungodliness and Christians face the real prospect of persecution and suffering, can we still be thankful? Of course, we don’t know what a month or day will hold for us, but we see the obvious direction the world is going. Believers in many parts of the world are being tortured and put to death. In our country, the Christian message is being sidelined and ridiculed. Believers are being marginalized because they believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the One who lived a sinless life, was crucified for our sins, and was raised again from the dead. The world despises this message because it does not fit their scheme for the world.

How Do We know If We Are Growing in the Lord?

The Sonshine
Walter Olsen
October 2020
 

Introduction

We have the truth of the Bible, but we sometimes wonder about our own walk with God. As believers, we often have many questions about Is it what it should be, is our life really pleasing to Him? How do we really know if we are growing in the Lord? Maybe we have all had the experience of traveling on the wrong road, a road that takes us to a place we don’t want to go to. Sadly, many believers have not yet found the right spiritual road to travel on. They are saved, but are still in the dark as to the true way of light.

Such a life is really not a life of satisfaction, of true blessing, or of ministry to the needs of others. We may know what the Bible says about our walk with God, but as we look at our lives, see so many inconsistencies. We can identify with Paul who said, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I” (Rom. 7:15). The result is, we often feel defeated and discouraged. We may become indifferent to the Lord and His Word and even going to church. 

Responding to the Challenges

The Sonshine
Walter Olsen
September 2020

Introduction

I assume most people living today would agree that we are facing very unique challenges in the world in which we are living. Looming large, of course, is the challenge of the coronavirus that is facing the entire world. Then, too, there are the challenges of the breakdown of law and order, the disintegration of moral standards, and the fears relating to our economic security. Added to that are the many personal challenges we all face from time to time.

The question is, how are we to respond to such challenges? If one does not know the Lord as Savior, he will respond according to his own wisdom and understanding. His personal emotions will play a large part in how he responds. While there is a place for our thinking things through, the believer has a more sure response because he has the truth of the Bible and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to guide him.

Turning Aside To See

The Sonshine
August 2020
by Walter Olsen
 

Introduction

Certain things cause people to turn aside to look, to see for themselves. A siren for an oncoming storm gets most people’s attention. They want to know where the storm is and what direction it is heading. Flashing red and blue lights as one drives down the highway are very attention getting, especially if the lights are close behind us! Waiting for a medical diagnosis is sure to get our attention.

God works to get our attention in many different ways. When God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, we read,

“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt” (Exod. 3:2-3).

To the Ones We Love

The Sonshine
July 2020
Walter Olsen

Introduction

The witness of the life of Christ in the believer’s life should be consistent to everyone around him or her. We don’t change our behavior or attitudes to those about us because of who people are or how well we may know them or even like them. Still, we all have people in our lives who are especially important to us, including parents, children, other relatives, and special friends. They are the ones we pray for often and seek to influence for Christ because we especially love them. We pray for them because we have come to know the significance of Jesus in our lives and because of the unchanging truth of God’s Word, the Bible.

The purpose of this article is to discuss some desires that any true believer has for those he loves, to those who are very special to him. The following are particularly important.

The desire to see them truly saved, born again according to the truth of God’s Word. Of all the desires Godly parents have for their children, none is greater than the desire that they have eternal life. Yes, other things are important such as a good education, the ability to earn a good living, and to see them generally happy and successful. However, they fade rapidly when compared to the desire to see them truly born again.

Victorious Changes

The Sonshine
Walter Olsen
June 2020

Introduction

In light of the present pandemic the world is facing, many people are having to start all over again, or at least having to make many adjustments they had never thought about before.  The list of adjustments is almost endless. For many, there are adjustments to their personal financial situation, their employment or lack of it, their family life, their travel, their shopping needs, their relationship to their local church,  maybe medical needs, and the list goes on and on. Some of these adjustments are more difficult than others. Some are just inconvenient, while some are life changing, at least for the present.

I’m thinking, perhaps this is a good time to consider whether we may need to make some adjustments to our spiritual walk! Have we allowed some things to get in the way of our walk with God? If we are believers, is not our walk with Him  of utmost importance? Is this not a time to think more seriously about some changes we should make to realize His presence more in our lives, and to honor Him in all that we are and do?