Thursday, March 31, 2011


In my post for today I had inadvertently switched the radio station numbers. I had put that the radio station was 105.1. It is actually 101.5. I have made this correction in the previous post but if you happened to have read that posting before 9:30am, you may have in mind the wrong station. Sorry!


One of the things I didn't realize until the weekend I candidated here in Gaylord is that I would have a weekly radio show of sorts every Wednesday morning. Pastor Jim has done this for years and has found it a great way to connect with the community. Pastor Jim and I did the show together yesterday morning to introduce me to the community. It's more of an informal 15-20 minute conversation with Mike, the morning DJ at FM 101.5 - The Eagle! Mike is a wonderful guy and makes the format we use very easy. For the most part, we will pick a topic each week and just talk about it. Mike will ask me questions and I will share my thoughts. It should be a lot of fun. I just can't imagine my high squeaky voice over the radio airwaves. I definitely don't have the "voice" for radio but I do have the "face" for it!

Speaking of radio stations - Pastor Joe took me on a tour yesterday afternoon of Gaylord and I was able to visit the Northern Christian Radio station which is right next door to the church. When we pulled into the parking lot I couldn't figure out how they could get the number of people represented by the cars in the parking lot into that little building. But once you get inside you realize that the building is much bigger than it appears from the road. It is a great place - very well designed - and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the layout and hearing George Lake talk about the ministry the radio station has all throughout northern Michigan.

So, if your live in the Gaylord, MI area be sure to tune into FM 101.5 every Wednesday morning somewhere around 8:20 or 8:25 to hear my high, squeaky voice. If you usually listen to The Promise FM, I'm sure George Lake won't mind if you switch stations on your dial for that 15-20 minutes or so each Wednesday. But no matter where you live, please join me in praying that God will continue to use that weekly connection to the community to stair-step people closer to Jesus Christ and His Word.

Be sure to red my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Questions From The Staff

This past Monday was my first full day with the Staff at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC). I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to work day in and day out with such a group of talented and committed people. The majority of each Monday is spent together as a staff. We start with a staff prayer time when we all come together and pray for the needs of the church family, the ministries of the church and for each other. I can already tell that this hour will be my favorite hour of the week. Following that there is a staff meeting with all the pastors, ministry leaders and the office manager to work through ministry logistics. Then, as a full staff we all gather together again for lunch.

As we gathered for lunch this past Monday, which was my first Monday with the staff, I was presented with questions supposedly written by each individual staff member. In actuality they were all written by the same "ghost writer"! Below are the questions. I won't give the names of the staff members that were creatively attached to each. If you are part of GEFC, I will let you guess that for yourselves. Here are the questions.

If you could be in the crowd and witness anything in the life of Jesus (not counting the Crucifixion), what would it be? My answer: The Feeding of the Multitude!

Kirk or Picard? My answer: Kirk!

If you had a choice between listening to Elvis' "Gospel Hits" or the Gaithers' "Rock-n-Roll Favorites," who would you choose and why? My answer: The Gaithers' Rock-n-Roll Favorites because no such recording exists!

Could you preach a sermon on the verse that speaks of cleanliness being next to godliness as it would make my job easier? My answer: Sure...but first we would have to add that verse to the Bible since it isn't in there!

Does God really forgive us for all of our sins? Even if they were committed in the 60's? My answer: Only if it involved no "funny weed"!

Do you like coconut in your desserts? My answer: Absolutely not!

If you could ask God one question, what would you ask? My answer: Why has it been so long since any professional team from Cleveland has won a championship?

In counseling, do you prefer to share God's love in order to draw them in or share God's wrath to drive them in? My answer: It depends on who I am counseling at the time!

Do you prefer the congregation to do "the wave" in the worship service or to form a "mosh pit"? My answer: Let's go with the mosh pit!

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Super Caricature

A little over a year ago I dressed up like Superman to help raise money in the "Race For Education" fund-raiser for Lititz Christian School, a wonderful school in Pennsylvania where both of my kids graduated. Those in Pennsylvania may also remember that I actually dressed up in the Superman outfit one Sunday prior to that to preach. Some of these pictures, unfortunately, are out there on the world-wide web (Scary thought, huh?)!

To my surprise and delight I received an email over the weekend from someone I do not know and have never met. He was looking to have caricatures done for all of his employees, making them look like superheroes. He was surfing the web for pictures to give the artist an idea and came across a picture of me dressed up as Superman. He sent the picture to the artist to see what he could do with it as an example. When the artist was done, this kind gentleman contacted me with this story and sent me a copy of the finished project (pictured above).

Actually, over my 24 years in ministry I have dressed up in many looks (a biker dude, a Portuguese fisherman, a hobo, a disco king, a hippie, Papa Smurf, a red M&M and many, many more!). One time, I even had to wear green panty hose and dress the part of Robin Hood. I am so glad the Internet was not around back then!

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do It Again, Lord!

I simply cannot put into words what this morning meant to me as I started my new ministry as Senior/Lead Pastor here at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan. You would have to see deep inside of my heart to really understand what a special day this was for Laura and me. We feel so blessed to be here and we are very excited about what God is going to do.

Pastor Jim did an outstanding job in the first 20 minutes of the preaching time to review the history of GEFC and to masterfully set up the turning of the page for a new chapter. It's not a new book - just a new chapter as "The Story Continues!"

In my part of the preaching time I shared my thoughts and my heart on this story continuing as well. Like Elisha in 2 Kings chapter two who took on the mantle of leadership from Elijah and asked for a double portion of Elisha's spirit to be upon him, I too desire to see God take what He has done here at GEFC over the past 74 years, especially the past 24 years under Pastor Jim's leadership, and to do it all again - only more this time. After all, DL Moody said, "If God be your partner, make your plans large!" That is why we opened and closed the service with that outstanding worship song, "Do It Again, Lord! Do It Again!"

The day was also bittersweet, however, as we said good-bye to our very close friends, Randy and Brenda Eshleman, who helped us drive all of our stuff up here to Michigan from Pennsylvania and then spent the weekend with us. We look forward to the new friends we will make here at GEFC but our hearts ache already as we miss our old friends. "Randy and Brenda, we love you both and your kids in a very deep way. Thank you for being true friends to us and walking with us through both the valleys and the victories of life?

So today the new chapter of our lives and the life of GEFC has begun. I can't wait to see what God does!

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Friday, March 25, 2011


This Sunday will be my first Sunday as the pastor of the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan. I have the absolute privilege of following in ministry an incredible man of God by the name of Jim Mathis (pictured above) who has pastored this great congregation for the past 24 years.

Jim is dearly loved by the people of GEFC, and well he should be. I got the opportunity to spend some time with Jim when I visited Gaylord, Michigan and GEFC back in December of last year. Although it was the weekend before Christmas, which is arguably the busiest weekend of the year for most every person, especially for pastors, Jim and his lovely wife, Joan, were gracious enough to take our family to dinner down at The Sugar Bowl Restaurant in downtown Gaylord.

In that hour and a half we spent together it became very evident that this was a very special couple. I was able to quickly recognize that though Jim and I are different in a lot of ways, in one major way we are identical twins! We both believe with all of our heart that the local church really is the hope of the world because we are the ones who have been given the message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which can change someone’s eternity.

So as I begin this new ministry Sunday morning at GEFC, I deeply desire for the congregation of GEFC to realize that this is not the closing of one book concerning Pastor Jim and the beginning of a new book with Pastor Scott. That is simply not the case. This Sunday is not a new book at all. This Sunday “The Story Continues!” That is why I have asked Pastor Jim to join me in preaching this Sunday morning. Earlier in the service Jim will take about 20 minutes to share from his heart and then later in the service I will take 20 minutes to share my heart. It will be a natural fit because we really do both share the same heart.

Sunday is going to be great! If you don’t live in northern Michigan, than be sure to go to the church website ( and you can listen to the audio recording of these messages on-line. I’m told that in most cases it is usually posted within a couple hours of the service ending.

This Sunday at GEFC – The Story Continues! I can’t wait!

Be sure to read my other blog, "Hope For Hurting Pastors," at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Thursday, March 24, 2011


We leave this morning for Gaylord, Michigan! My understanding is that they got over a foot of snow in Gaylord yesterday and the temperature for our arrival tonight will be a balmy 7 degrees! Ah, Spring in Northern Michigan!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

T Minus 24 Hours

We are now less than 24 hours away from starting a new chapter in our lives and a new journey in ministry. Today we spend the day loading and cleaning and then early tomorrow morning we will head north to Gaylord, Michigan and our new venture with the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC).

We are thankful to the Lord for the 6+ years we had here in Lititz, Pennsylvania. We saw God do some absolutely amazing and wonderful things in our ministry and in our family. We are leaving behind some "lifetime friends" that we will miss deeply. In fact, one of these couples, Randy and Brenda, are actually driving with us to Michigan to help us in our initial move. That's what makes it "bittersweet." We know without a doubt that God has worked in specific and remarkable ways to lead us to Gaylord, but we will miss the people we leave behind in a deep, deep way.

We do hope that those of you in Pennsylvania will keep in contact with us. I will be keeping my current email address ( Though we close on our house March 28, we do not get occupancy until April 11. So in the meantime, anything you would like to send us via snail mail can be sent to the following address:

Scott Distler
C/O Gaylord Evangelical Free Church
PO Box 493
Gaylord, Michigan 49734

I will also be continuing to regularly post here on this blog and will also plan to continue my "Hope For Hurting Pastors" blog as well at

You can also listen to the audio recordings of my sermons at GEFC beginning this Sunday at

So no matter where you are and what situation you find yourself in, please remember, for the believer in Jesus Christ, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!! And if you ever find yourself in Northern Michigan - be sure to make contact with us! Blessings to all!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Like a Good Neighbor

Some of the most interesting commercials on television currently are from insurance companies. Of course there’s Geico, Progressive, Nationwide, Allstate and a wide range of others. But I have become partial to State Farm. After all, like a good neighbor, State Farm is there! And that has been true for me.

During the past 6 months in which I have waited for God to give me clear direction on my next ministry assignment, I have had the privilege of logging some work hours at a State Farm agency in Wernersville, PA. It has been a wonderful experience. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that each 7 years or so, every pastor ought to have to take at least 3 months off of ministry and over this time frame work at least 20 hours a week for a non-church, non-religious organization. For me, working at State Farm has been a valuable experience in many ways.

First, I have learned a great deal about the world of insurance that I knew absolutely nothing about beforehand. Now I understand the differences between full tort and limited tort; stacking and non-stacking; as well as other arenas of the insurance agency. Anytime we become more knowledgeable in any area of life it becomes beneficial to us.

Second, I got to spend a lot of time talking with people. That was really what my job entailed. After I completed a lot of data-entry in updating the files in the system, my task was to call the literally hundreds of clients who were due or past-due for insurance reviews. Much of my day was spent on the phone talking to folks that I have never met before. It was a good and valuable experience for me to make the bulk of my day one-on-one conversations with people.

Third, I got to work day in and day out with some of the best insurance staff you will ever be able to meet. I grew to really enjoy every one of these individuals on staff. They are what made me look forward to making the 35-40 minute drive one way to the office each day. No day went by that we didn’t share a lot of laughter, and many times, some very serious conversations about life, the Bible, and God’s will for our lives. Enjoying what you do is important. But enjoying those you get to work with day in and day out is what makes the workforce a wonderful place to be!

Finally, it allowed me for the very first time to see life through the lens of the average person who will sit under my preaching and under my ministry as I move to Gaylord, Michigan this coming Thursday to become the new Senior/Lead Pastor at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church. Up until the last 6 months, the only work experience I have had since graduating from college has been inside the walls of the church. Folks, listen, working in the church and working outside of the church are as different as night and day. Now, I understand more what the typical person who will sit in church and listen to my sermons has experienced during their week. I have been able to walk in their shoes for the past 6 months and I do believe that it will change a part of how I prepare sermons in the future.

State Farm has been a “good neighbor” for me over these past 6 months. I am so thankful to the Lord for this experience and for the people I have experienced it with. By the way, if you live in Central Pennsylvania and are looking for insurance or financial services of any kind, or if you would like to save some serious money on your current insurance, contact the Randy Eshleman State Farm Agency in Wernersville, PA at 610-927-9000! You’ll be glad you did. This agency takes customer service to a level that will amaze you.

Be sure to read my other blog, “Hope For Hurting Pastors” at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Sunday, March 20, 2011


This Sunday my family and I had the privilege of attending CHURCH in a THEATER. Victory Church is a Non-Denominational church located in the Greenfield Corporate Center in Lancaster, PA. I have had the opportunity to experience their services at their main campus in the past and one thing that is very evident is that they are committed to reaching as many people as possible for Jesus Christ. Few things excite me more than seeing a church with a big vision and Victory is such a church.

Beginning April 3 Victory Church is starting a Satellite Campus at the Penn Cinema in Lititz, PA. Currently they are doing what you could call "dry runs" to work out all of the kinks before their official launch on April 3. Since we are leaving for Michigan later this week and will not be here come April 3, we were graciously extended an invitation to attend this Sunday's "dry run."

So what does CHURCH in a THEATER look like? There was a live band that led in some very exciting and genuine worship. There was a Children's Program offered in a separate theater. There is a campus pastor who "emcees" the service. But the main message is a video simulcast on the big screen from their main campus in Lancaster. Now that is what I call preaching that is "Larger than Life!" It was a bit early for popcorn (though they did take up the offering in popcorn buckets) but there was coffee available and a cafe with donuts and other breakfast drinks.

I can only describe our worship experience at the theater Sunday with one word - AWESOME! The staff and volunteers are outstanding people. The service was nothing short of powerful. It made no difference at all that you were watching the message on a screen. Pastor Curt (affectionately called P.C.) gave an amazing message that impacted every person watching in the theater in a very real and practical way. Again, the entire morning was simply AWESOME!

So if you live anywhere near the Penn Cinema in Lititz, PA and are not already committed to a local Church, you may want to check out CHURCH in a THEATER at Victory's Satellite Campus which begins Sunday, April 3 at 9am.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Last Weekend in Pennsylvania

It's Friday and today begins our final weekend before we pull out for Gaylord, Michigan and our new ministry at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church. Here are some thoughts rolling around in my head as we head into our final weekend in Pennsylvania:

Had my last breakfast yesterday with my good friend, Rick. Some friends are friends for a season and some friends are friends for a lifetime. Rick falls into the "friend for a lifetime" category. Over the last 6 years we had gotten together somewhat regularly but over the last 6 months Rick has made it a point to take me to breakfast every Thursday morning. We spent these mornings talking about everything, especially the topics that mean the most to us - the Bible and church ministry. God has used Rick in an amazing way in my life. He has been one of the men that God brought into my life to sharpen me. I will sure miss Thursday mornings!

Sunday our kids go back to Liberty for the rest of the semester. Next time they come "home" for summer break, "home" will be a completely different place. That happened to me when I was in college. While I was gone my freshman year my parents moved from the only home I knew (Akron, Ohio) to a new home I had never seen before (Hagerstown, MD). That was very difficult for me, as I am sure it will be for Joy and Jonathan. But God used that short time I spent in Hagerstown to allow me to meet and begin a relationship with Pastor Steve Peters, who became my lifetime pastor and mentor. What a blessing he has been to me over my ministry years. In fact, he is going to be one of the speakers May 1st at my installation service in Michigan. I am sure that God will use Joy and Jonathan's time in their new "home" in their lives as well.

I am excited about this Sunday. Victory Church in Lancaster is starting a satellite campus at the Penn Cinema in Lititz beginning April 3rd. They will have a children's program and live music but the message will be a live simulcast from their main campus. This week they are doing what you might call a "dress rehearsal" or a "dry run" to work out all of the kinks before their launch date. My family has been extended an invitation to come to this "dry run" on Sunday and check it out since we will have already moved when they officially launch in April. I will use my Monday blog posting to tell you what it was like to attend church in a theater.

Beginning next week at my "Hope For Hurting Pastors" blog (address below) I will be starting a series of posts sharing some of the lessons I learned when it came to looking for a new ministry.

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope for Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting To Know The New Pastor (Part 3)

Today is another "Getting to Know the New Pastor" blog posting for the benefit of the church family at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (Gaylord, Michigan). I have already revealed the real me when it comes to food and sports.


Favorite Book of the Bible: Philippians

Favorite Bible Character: Joshua

Favorite Gospel Account: Mark

Favorite Verse in the Bible: Ephesians 3:20

Favorite Spiritual Hero: Dr Jerry Falwell

Favorite Speakers: Dr Ed Dobson, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley

Favorite Authors: John Ortberg, Charles Swindol, Bill Hybels

Favorite Miracle of Jesus: Feeding of the 5,000

Favorite All-Time Singer/Song-Writer: Keith Green

Favorite Worship Chorus: Mighty To Save

Favorite Christian Music Group: Casting Crowns

Favorite Hymn: All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name

Favorite Book: "Laugh Again" by Charles Swindol

Be sure to read my other blog, "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting To Know The New Pastor (Part 2)

I am using a few blog postings to allow the good folks at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) to get to know me as their new pastor. As I told you in yesterday's posting, this is going to transparetly show me as I am - the good, the bad and the ugly. Yesterday's topic was food.


Favorite Sport: Baseball
Least Favorite Sport: NASCAR

Favorite Pro Baseall Team: Cleveland Indians
Least Favorite Pro Baseball Team: New York Yankees

Favorite Pro Football Team: Cleveland Browns
Least Favorite Pro Football Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite Pro Basketball Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Least Favorite Pro Basketball Team: Miami Heat

Favorite Pro Hockey Team: Philadelphia Flyers
Least Favrotie Pro Hockey Team: Detroit Red Wings

Favorite College Team: Ohio State University
Least Favorite College Team: University of Michigan

Favorite College Conference: Big Ten
Least Favorite College Conference: SEC

Favorite Moment In Sports History: Miracle On Ice (Lake Placid)
Least Favorite: Art Modell Moves The Browns To Baltimore

Number of Major League Baseball Stadiums I've Visited: 24

Be sure to read my other blog, "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting To Know The New Pastor (Part 1)

Ten days from today I will start my new ministry as the new Senior/Lead Pastor of the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan (boy, do we have a lot to do in the next 10 days)! So I thought I would take the next couple of blogs to unveil a bit about me for the sake and benefit of the church family at GEFC so that you could get a running start at getting to know your new pastor. So, this is me - the good, the bad and the ugly.


Favorite Food: BBQ

Favorite Pie: Strawberry Rhubarb

Favorite Cake: Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Favorite Pudding: Banana

Favorite Vegetable: Asparagus

Favorite Cereal: Raisin Bran

Favorite Soda: Diet Pepsi

Favorite Sandwich: Liverwurst with Miracle Whip

Favorite Candy: Peanut M&M's

Favorite Fruit: Grapes

How do I like my Steaks? Medium

How do I like my Eggs? Over-Easy

Favorite Fast Food Burger: Burger King Whopper

Favorite Meal My Wife Makes: Authentic Mexican with Green Chili

Favorite Coffee: Seattle's Best

Favorite Ice Cream: Pumpkin

Favorite Cookie: Oatmeal Raisin

Favorite Milk Shake: Vanilla

Wheat or White Bread? Wheat

Regular or Decaf? Decaf

Caffeine or Caffeine Free? Caffeine Free

Be sure to read my other blog, "Hope for Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Monday, March 14, 2011

Removing the Stink

I had the privilege this past Sunday of attending a little church down in Columbia, PA to hear a very good friend of mine who was preaching at his parents church. I know this guy's heart and couldn't wait to hear him share. I actually was given the thrill of introducing him.

He preached from the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11. I was more than blessed as he pointed out that there are times in our lives that God allows what we would consider as "bad things" to happen so that He can ultimately get the glory. That's what happened in this passage. Jesus had gotten word that Lazarus, the one He loved, was sick. Jesus purposefully waited 2 days before heading toward Bethany. When it was time to finally go He told His disciples this in verses 14-15,

"Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him."

Could Jesus have healed Lazarus before he died? Sure He could have. But he was "glad" not to. He was "glad" for Lazarus to die because He had a much greater plan in mind. Mary and Martha didn't understand that. They pretty much rebuked Jesus when He arrived for being late. That's what we do to when "bad" things come into our life. When will we understand that when God allows what we consider to be "bad" things to come into our lives, He still loves us and he still has a plan for us.

And what a plan it was that day in Bethany when Jesus spoke the words, "Lazarus come forth," and Lazarus came hopping out of the grave. But my friend pointed out something else. When Jesus told them to remove the stone from inside the tomb, one of the sisters resisted with the words "He stinketh" (Sometimes I love the King James!). Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. He had already started decaying. He stunk - and so did his grave clothes.

But what did Jesus tell them to do to Lazarus once he came out? He told them to take off his grave clothes. They had to touch those "stinky" grave clothes. That's why at times God allows what we think to be "bad" things to happen in our lives. So that He can ultimately remove those things in our lives that stink so that God gets all the glory!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Thanks" Just Doesn't Say Enough

Laura, Joy, Jonathan and myself simply cannot find the words to express how incredibly grateful we are to all of you who came over to Rick and Ginger's Saturday night to say "good-bye" to us! Over the last 6 months we have been overwhelmed with so many amazing and encouraging notes, emails, letters, cards, calls and visits. But Saturday night was just extra special for us. We were blown away by the numbers of people who came and it was so very good to see so many people that we love and miss. We truly feel very, very blessed.

Please do stay in touch with us as we move to Gaylord, Michigan. I will continue blogging and my email will remain You can also listen to the sermon audios of the messages at the Gaylord E-Free Church Website which is

Blessings to all of you! And a special "thank you" to Rick & Ginger; Amy; Duane & Carol; and Randy & Brenda for making Saturday night happen. We love you guys so very much!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Rick Glass here again. I hijacked Pastor Scott's blog earlier this week and have done so once again today (Scott really needs to change his password!)! This is just a REMINDER for anyone who would like to see Scott, Laura, Joy and Jonathan before they move to Michigan later this month. Tomorrow night, Saturday, March 12th, from 6-8pm, we are having a dop-in OPEN HOUSE at our place so that you will be able to see the Distlers before they leave. We are looking forward to a FUN evening. We hope you can make it. I know the Distlers will appreciate seeing you! Again, our address is 22 Duffield Drive in Lititz.

Written by:
Rick and Ginger Glass
22 Duffield Dr

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Preaching Preview for Gaylord

I am in high gear in prayerfully working through the messages and sermon series that we will be using as I begin my new ministry at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) later this month. I have also had the privilege of spending time on the phone with Joshua Rupp, the Worship Director at GEFC and his Service Planning Teams as we prepare for our partnership together. As of now (but always subject to change), here are the themes of the mornings at GEFC as I begin my partnership with them on March 27th:

March 27: THE STORY CONTINUES – This will be a very special Sunday in the life of GEFC as it will be Pastor Jim’s last Sunday as Lead/Senior Pastor while at the same time being my first Sunday as the new Lead/Senior Pastor of this exciting ministry. I have asked Pastor Jim to help me preach that Sunday. The main theme I want to communicate is that this day is not the ending of one book regarding Pastor Jim and the start of a new book regarding me. No! This is the same book. THE STORY CONTINUES. At best it is simply a new chapter – but still the same book. So to illustrate this, Pastor Jim will take the first half of the message time to share from his heart and I will take the last half of the message time to share from my heart. This should be a very special way to communicate verbally and visually to the church family at GEFC and to the Gaylord Community, that THE STORY CONTINUES!

April 3-17: SIMON SAYS – These three Sundays leading up to Easter we will follow the life of Simon Peter through the evening prior to the crucifixion of Jesus. We will see him as he boldly proclaims to Jesus after the Last Supper, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not!” We will see him as he falls asleep in the garden during the time that Jesus had asked him to “keep watch.” We will see him wield his sword and cut off the ear of a temple guard who came to arrest Jesus. And we will see him deny Jesus in the courtyard of the High Priest, not once – not twice – but three times, just hours after proclaiming to his Lord, “I will not fall away!” These three Sundays will then lead us up to Easter Sunday when we will see two words spoken by the angels at the empty tomb of Jesus that will have even more meaning to you after hearing this three week series.

April 24: HAVE YOU SEEN HIM? – This is Easter Sunday and the theme of the morning is in the form of a question, “Have you seen Him?Joshua Rupp and the Service Planning Teams have some amazing plans for this special celebration. On that morning we will be splitting the message up into three parts and seeing from Mark 16 how the message of Easter affects us in the past, in the present and in the future. From music, to visual arts, to drama, and more – this will be an amazing Sunday as we celebrate together the message of the angel, “He is not here…He has risen!”

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Snowman Cam

Since announcing that we would be moving to Gaylord, Michigan where I will be serving as the new Senior/Lead Pastor at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church, we have been asked a lot about the weather in northern Michigan. Is it cold up there? Do they get snow up there? Yep, it gets cold up there! Yep, they get snow up there. When I was going through the process of dialoguing with the church it seemed that every time I talked to someone the average snowfall per year increased. Actually, I think the average is a little over 150 inches a year.

When we were visiting there the locals had some "funnies" concerning weather and the seasons. One local told me that they like to call summer "July"! Another said that they only get two seasons - winter and three months of bad snowmobiling weather! But if you really want to know what the weather (especially in the winter) is like in Gaylord, Michigan on any given day, 24 hours of the day or night, we found the best tool to us. While we were spending time researching Gaylord, Michigan on the web, we found a website that will "show" you a live feed of the weather in Gaylord 24 hours a day. It is:

Someone in Gaylord built a wooden snowman outside of their house and put a web cam on it so that it gives off a live feed. You can always see if it is snowing or not and how much snow is on the ground due to a measuring stick that is next to the snowman. There is also a temperature gauge next to the snowman so that you can also see how cold it is. You can even see how windy it is by looking at how much the scarf around the snowman's neck is blowing.

We've had a lot of fun watching the Snowman Cam. In fact, when we as a family visited Gaylord, Michigan the weekend before Christmas, we went on an adventure and found the snowman. We had a blast standing at the snowman and calling friends and family who were watching us live on the web. The picture above is our family at the Snowman Cam. So, if you ever get the urge to know what the weather is like in Gaylord, Michigan - no matter what time of the day or night - just log into the Snowman Cam at:

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Mountain Quote

Two Sunday's ago Laura and I were down at Liberty Univeristy in Lynchburg, VA with our kids so we could be together when the Gaylord E-Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan called us following their congregational vote regardiing extending a call to me to become their next Senior/Lead Pastor. Both of my kids are students at Liberty and my wife and I both graduated from Liberty back in 1987 (almost a quarter century ago - WOW!)!

On that Sunday, my wife, daughter and I hiked up to the LU monogram which is on top of Candler's Mountain (or what is called today Liberty Mountain). Jonathan couldn't join us for this hike due to needing to work on a paper (good decision!). There is a gazebo at the very top of the monogram. Dr Falwell and his son, Jerry Jr, spent time sitting in this monogram talking to some Liberty students the day before he went home to be with the Lord.

Last year's Senior class gave as a class gift a memorial marker that now sits up by the LU monogram. It is a picture of what that mountain looked like back in 1972, before Liberty started its campus on its grounds. It is amazing to look at that picture and then look up and see what it looks like today with this amazing campus covering it. What a testimony to the faith and vision that one man had to believe God for great things.

As I read the description on this marker, I was gripped with a quote from Dr Falwell that it contained. It was perfect to read as I reflected on the last year, the coming call from the Gaylord E-Free Church, and what the Lord has in store for me, my family and GEFC in the future. I may not have the quote exactly word perfect, but here it is as best as I remember it:

"Don't tell God how big your mountain is - tell the mountain how big your God is!"

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Monday, March 07, 2011


Hello, "Folks, Listen" blog readers. My name is Rick Glass and today my wife, Ginger, and I have hijacked Pastor Scott's blog to make a "public service announcement." Well, it's not really a PSA but I do have a big announcement to share. We are excited that Scott, Laura and family are soon moving to Michigan to continue their journey in ministry at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church.

Before they leave we wanted to have a time for folks that have been impacted by their ministry to be able to say "Thank You" and "Good-Bye" face-to-face. As a result, we will be hosting a "Drop-In Open House" this coming Saturday, March 12th from 6pm to 8pm at our house located at 22 Duffield Drive in Lititz.

So if you are in the Central PA area and would like to say your "good-byes" to the Distlers we would love for you to drop in! Scott, Laura, Joy and Jonathan will all be there. Oh, yeah, I said the Central PA area, but if you want to make the trek from anywhere else, even Northern Michigan, you're welcome to attend! But please, no other Buckeye fans (smile)! Hopefully, we'll see you there! I know the Distlers will appreciate your stopping by!

Written by:
Rick and Ginger Glass
22 Duffield Dr
Lititz, PA

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Path To Gaylord - Part 3

So what was it that God used to draw us to the Gaylord E-Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan? Actually, there were many things that God used to give us peace that this was where He was directing us. Let me give the three that topped the list.

First, GEFC is very "outward focused." It is a church that has reached out to its community on a regular basis and appears to have a real heart to reach people for Christ. Most churches "say" that they want to reach people for Christ. It was important for us to find a church that really does. I believe we have in GEFC.

Second, GFEC has a tremendous reputation in the community. You can credit their current Senior Pastor, Jim Mathis, for this. He has worked hard for 24 years to connect GEFC with the community and has been very successful at it. We purposefully talked to many people in Gaylord who did not attend GEFC and asked them their thoughts on the church. I kid you not when I say that every person we spoke with simply raved about what GEFC means to the community. This is not the case with many churches. Sadly, it seems that most churches either have a bad reputation in their community or no reputation at all (meaning that they could close the doors of their church today and the community wouldn't even notice let alone be impacted by it).

Third, we were very much attracted to the community feel of Gaylord. Those who live there love it there. It's a great town and we very much look forward to making it our home and to becoming involved in the community.

So these things and many others brought us to the night of the congregational vote last Sunday. Laura and I drove down to Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA so we could be with our kids and together as a family when "the call" came. We were in our hotel room Sunday night when the chairman of the Elder Board called. He asked if Laura and the kids were with me. He then asked me to put my phone on speaker as the congregation had something they wanted us all to hear. If you know me - you know I am not "techy" at all. I had never put my phone on speaker before and I fumbled for what seemed like a lifetime before I had to admit to him that I didn't know how to put my phone on speaker (talk about starting your ministry with a dose of humility!)!

Anyway, he told me that I could just pass on the message to them. With that I heard the congregation break out in applause and cheers to show their support and excitement. It was a great moment for our family. After the call we had a special time of prayer together as a family before we started calling and texting our friends and family with the good news. Gaylord, here we come!

By the way - I now know how to turn my cell phone's speaker on now!

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at Feel free to leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Path To Gaylord - Part 2

As I said in my posting yesterday, after sending out dozens and dozens of resume, I ended up having moderate to serious dialogues with 13 different churches from 11 different states. Now came the process of watching God dwindle that list down to just three churches over the space of a few months.

One of these three churches was obviously the Gaylord E-Free Church (GEFC) where I will be going at the end of this month to start my new ministry. Another of these three was part of a denomination I wasn't real familiar with but what I was seeing and reading about them on line was very appealing. The third church was one that both Laura and I had some reservations regarding but we decided to let God be the one to close any door regarding any of these 3 churches.

As we continued to dialogue with these three churches we found ourselves becoming more and more drawn to GEFC. The more we looked into what life was like in Gaylord, Michigan, eerything about it was appealing to us. The weekend before Christmas the Search Team had our family come up for a weekend to see Gaylord for ourselves and to attend the Sunday morning service at GEFC "incognito." God used that weekend to put a real desire in all of our hearts as a family to see Gaylord and GEFC be the place God in which God was leading.

After that trip we begin to pray specifically that GEFC would be the first one of the three churches we were dialoguing with to officially ask us to candidate. We were thrilled when that call came back in early February. Laura and I then found ourselves back in Gaylord where I preached the weekend of February 20th. Just prior to our going to Gaylord for this weekend God closed the door of the church we had reservations regarding. But what about the third church?

On the Friday night that we were in Gaylord for our candidating weekend I was contacted by the third church. They knew that I was candidating that weekend in Michigan and that the church would be voting on me the following week. They offered me the opportunity during that week in between to fly out to meet with them to learn more about their ministry and the open position they had for a Senior Pastor before I made my final decision regarding Michigan.

I did take 24 hours to pray about that invitation, but I continued to be at peace that God was calling us to Gaylord, Michigan and GEFC. So we completed the candidating weekend and flew back to PA to wait for the congregational vote the following Sunday. Tomorrow in my blog I will talk about what exactly God used to draw us to Gaylord, Michigan and GEFC as well as sharing our perspective on receiving the news last Sunday night that the congregation had voted to call me as their next pastor.

Be sure to also read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Path To Gaylord - Part 1

Back in September when I resigned from my previous pastoral position, I was faced with a situation I have never encountered in 24 years of pastoral ministry - searching for a new ministry. I had never done that before and really didn't know where to start. Thankfully, we have today a powerful electronic tool called "The Internet!" I found many different sites on the web that listed churches looking for pastors and pastors looking for churches.

On these sites were literally hundreds and hundreds of pastorless churches. I decided to "cast my net wide" and let God do all of the "sorting out of things." As a result, I sent my resume to any church I found that was looking for a Senior Pastor that had an average attendance of 250 or more and which also had a doctrinal statement that I was in agreement with fully. This resulted in my sending out dozens and dozens of resumes.

Interestingly enough, the Gaylord E-Free Church (GEFC - where I will begin my new ministry at the end of March) was one of the first resumes I sent out. If I am understanding correctly, they received well over 200 resumes and mine was the first one they received. I bet it isn't often that a church ends up selecting the first resume that they receive.

To be honest, I almost didn't send information to GEFC seeing that they were located in "pristine northern Michigan." But I decided that I would not write off any potential church simply because of geographical location. In fact, I decided to have a little bit of fun in the process of searching for a new ministry (I had to have some fun or I think the process would have driven me crazy) and set a personal goal of sending a resume out to at least one church in all 50 states! I ended up topping the 40 mark but never made it to 50 (where were all those churches in Hawaii when I needed them?).

All in all I ended up having moderate to serious dialogues with 13 different churches (how's that for a lucky number?) representing several different denominations in 11 different states (Michigan, Ohio, New York, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota just to name a few of them). So how did the Lord work to narrow it down to GEFC in Gaylord, Michigan? I'll answer that question as I continue the story in my posting tomorrow.

Be sure to also read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Gaylord E-Free Church

Laura and I are very excited to announce that this past Sunday the congregation of the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan (a place that averages over 150 inches of snow each winter) issued a call for me to become their new Senior/Lead Pastor. I will begin my ministry with this wonderful local body of Christ-followers on Sunday, March 27th, which means we will be moving north in just 3 weeks. Over the next several blog postings I will share how God clearly directed us to this decision as well as sharing with you why we are so excited about living in Gaylord, Michigan and why I am absolutely thrilled to become a servant-leader to the church family of GEFC. If you would like to listen to my candidating message that I preached at GEFC on February 20th, you can do so by going to the GEFC website at