Category Archives: Pastor’s Page

From the desk of Pastor Jan . . . “Jesus Loves Me; Easter Tells Me So”

Resurrection Sunday celebration came early this year. But we believe that its message is for all seasons, for all people. Resurrection Sunday is our declaration of God’s infinite love for all. 1 John 4:9-10 says, “God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. 10Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven.”  CEV) <!–split–>

There is an Easter song by Joanna Fuchs in the tune of Jesus Loves Me This I Know. Let us sing with our child-like faith our Risen Savior’s love for all.

Jesus Loves Me, Easter Tells Me So

 Jesus loves me, this I know; The Easter story tells me so.

He died for me to bear my sin; He opened heaven to let me in.


Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes Jesus loves me;

Yes Jesus loves me; Easter tells me so.

 Jesus loved me when He died, Loved me enough to be crucified.

But His death didn’t last very long, Because His power is so strong.

Jesus’ came back from the dead I know because the Bible said.

Jesus is my Lord and King; Love and praise to Him I bring.

When I die, I’ll rise up, too. We’ll all be in heaven, me and you.

We’ll see Jesus face to face. Up in heaven, that happy place.

The Easter story brings much joy, To us all, each girl and boy.

Jesus is my Savior now; Heaven and earth to Him must bow.

May this Resurrection Song play in our hearts everywhere and every day!


From the desk of Pastor Jan . . . LEAP OF JOY

I’m still fascinated with the first blossoms of crocus and daffodils at the back of the parsonage last week. The bright yellow color radiates a sense of excitement, newness and joy. Their flowers give zest near the end of the winter gloom. A sign of the coming Spring, where the natural world seems to be alive again. This reminds me of what our Lord Jesus Christ said, “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10b)   Our Lord Jesus promised a blissful life, here on earth as it is in heaven. This promise was fulfilled when he has risen from the dead. And those who will believe in him will have life in all its fullness. A life full of zest and joy.  <!–split–>

The verses from the hymn Lord of the Dance resonates this joy of Resurrection:

“I dance on a Friday when the sky turned black 

It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back

They buried my body and they thought I’d gone

But I am the Dance, and I still go on

They cut me down and I leapt up high

I am the life that’ll never never die

I live in you if you’ll live in me

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he

Dance, then, wherever you may go

I am the lord of the dance, said he,

And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be

And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.”

This is an ongoing invitation for all, to dance with our Lord Jesus Christ. Follow his dance steps, and he will lead us to everlasting joy. Let us welcome Spring and celebrate Resurrection Sunday with the Lord of the Dance!

from the desk of Pastor Jan ….. Love Triangle

Love triangle in relationship has been around for centuries. From Cleopatra-Julius Caesar-Mark Anthony story to the daily teenage intricate relationship of three people bound together, each having their own emotions and desires. It is bound to cause extreme distress, heartaches, and brokenness due to its complex demands and complicated interests.

But, come to think of it, a triangle is structurally the strongest shape. It represents geometric sturdiness and stability. It has the most load-bearing capability. Each side supports the other two, creating a resilient structure that can bear weight remarkably well.

When forces are applied to a triangular structure, they are evenly distributed across its sides and angles. ( The triangle holds its shape and has a base which is strong. And so, we find triangular structures in building supports and trusses. The overall shape of many bridges is in the shape of catenary (triangular) curve ( 2015). <!–split–>

Adapting the triangle’s structure qualities, can we say that love triangle in relationships can work as well? Can love triangle be a strong model for relationships? I say Yes, only when God is the third party in that relationship. When God is the base of the love triangle, then that relationship will stay strong. That kind of love triangle can bear heavy loads and pressures.

In Matthew 18:20, Jesus told his disciples, where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Jesus was referring to resolving a conflict. “The promise of Jesus means that when we’ve done all we can do personally to resolve a conflict with someone else, and we’ve had to admit we need help, right then, Jesus is there in the middle of the whole situation. In our time of deepest tension and possibly doubt about what may happen next, Jesus says, “I’m here. I’m with you. We’ve got this.” (

First John 4:19 says, “We love because God loved us first”. God love us even before we know what love is. God is loving us even when we do not know how to love. And so, when we start loving, when we get into a relationship, don’t we need God to part it? When God is in our love triangle, we can be assured of a happily ever after love story.


From the desk of Pastor Jan …..

 A Blessed New Year to all!

I learned that Peach Fuzz is the 2024 Color of the year. According to, Peach Fuzz symbolizes the feeling of kindness and tenderness. This heartfelt peach hue communicates a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration. The warm and cozy shade inspires togetherness, an opportunity for nurturing and healing. The soft, velvety peach color expresses the desire for a peaceful future. Its gentle hue expresses a warm and welcoming embrace. <!–split–>

This color of the year fad is a good sign that people are still looking forward to a better future. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote a message to the people in exile in his time. He wrote a message of hope for the Israelites who were in captivity. Israelites were in the shade of darkness. Peach is out of sight. But God sends a “Peachful” message through Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 29:11 in Common English Bible translation says:

“I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.”

In some ways, people of our time, including you and I, may be feeling or experiencing captivity or

in exile from our own homes and lives. We may be living in shades of darkness in the past year

or years. But there is hope. We have the Living God, who has plans for us too. The plan is a future filled with hope, a life in peace and not in disaster.

Let us look forward to this New Year with God’s plan and promise. Have a Peachful New Year!

The Gift ….. from the desk of Pastor Jan

We know that the best gift we have was wrapped in swaddling cloth on the first Christmas day, our Savior Jesus Christ. John 3:16 in The Message translation says: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”  <!–split–>

The wondrous gift Jesus Christ gave is unconditional love for all and salvation to all who believe in Him. This is the essence of Christmas, the generosity of giving. The kind of giving that is whole and lasting, so that no one needs to be destroyed.

Gifts beyond material things are precious. The gift of service, especially the voluntary service, is priceless. We cannot out-give the time, effort, and commitment that people invested in their service. The gift of service is part of the whole parcel of God’s gift to humanity. We became the incarnate love of God to the people and community we serve. Whether the gift of service is small or huge, they are all important and valuable.

I give thanks to God for the gift of services we have here at Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church.

From the desk of Pastor Jan ….. Think-You

The English term Thank You is derived from “think”, which originally meant “I think of you, I will remember what you did to me.” (, 2013) Saying thank you then is an act of remembrance, in remembrance of the goodness or goodwill that we received.

In the Gospel of Luke Chapter 17, there was a story of 10 leprous men asking Jesus for healing. Jesus healed all of them, but only one came back to came to say thank you to him. “One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough – and he was a Samaritan.” <!–split–>

Jesus commended the Samaritan’s faith and gratitude. Jesus said, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed you and saved you.” Gratitude brought something more than physical cure for the leper: gratitude led him back to wholeness and salvation.

There is an article by Amy Morin (2014), 7 Scientifically Proven benefits of Gratitude …

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. When we say thank you or express appreciation to someone we’ve met, that person we thank is more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.
  2. People who express gratitude experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than people who do not express gratitude.
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health. Research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  4. Gratitude reduces aggression and increases both sensitivity and empathy.
  5. Grateful people sleep better.
  6. Gratitude increases a person’s self-esteem and reduces resentment toward people who are perceived as having more.
  7. Gratitude increases mental strength. Studies show that people who are grateful respond to trauma and tragedy with greater resilience. Recognizing “all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – fosters resilience.”

Robert Emmons (2016), author of The Little Book of Gratitude said, “…Gratitude has fittingly been referred to as quintessential positive trait, the amplifier of goodness in oneself, the world, and others, and as having unique ability to heal, energize and change life. Living gratefully begins with affirming the good and recognizing its sources. It is the understanding that life owes me nothing and all the good I have is a gift, accompanied by an awareness that nothing can be for granted.”

In this season of Thanksgiving and All Saints’ Day, may we remember God’s faithfulness in our lives. And as we say Thank you to each other, may this mean “Think you” (I remember your goodness and I am grateful.)

-Pastor Jan

From the desk of Pastor Jan ….. Are you a Prayer Warrior or Prayer Worrier?

There is a prayer song taught to us in Sunday School. The title is “I Cast All My Cares Upon You”:

I Cast All My Cares Upon You,

I Lay All Of My Burdens Down At Your Feet

And Anytime That I Don’t Know What To Do

I Will Cast All My Cares Upon You

The song tells us to bring all our burdens and worries to God in prayers. Would that make us a prayer worrier instead of prayer warrior? <!–split–>

Prayer worriers lift their burdens and requests to God with doubts. Somehow, they are just verbalizing their worries in prayers, with wavering trust that God will answer their prayers. The prayer warriors on the other hand lift their burdens to God with the complete trust that God already has answers to their prayers.

Prayer worriers are driven by anxiety and fear. Prayer warriors are driven by trust and faith.

Some qualities of Prayer Warriors I read from an article in are these:

  • Prayer warriors are humble. They are consistently putting God’s will and the well-being of others above their own desires.
  • Prayer warriors are persistent. They don’t give up on the battlefield but instead, keep praying and praising until the victory is won.
  • Prayer warriors place their confidence in the Lord. They aren’t immune to things like fear, hurt, uncertainty, or stress – but they walk through them with confidence because of the might and faithfulness of the God they serve.
  • Prayer warriors are patient. They know God’s timing is perfect and are willing to endure hardships and hurts to produce what He has ordained.
  • Prayer warriors remain hopeful. They eagerly anticipate the movement and restoration of the Lord.

 Prayer warriors are also intercessors. They pray on behalf of someone else or for a group. Praying for others is a way of showing loving concern for each other and unity in the community of faith. The prayer loop that we have in church is an example of intercessory prayer.

Pastors need prayer warriors too. I feel blessed every time I ask my prayer warrior-intercessor-friends to pray for me. They are part of my faith journey. They are my prayer partners too. We share each other’s burdens and celebrate God’s answers to our prayers.

Be a Prayer Warrior today!

From the desk of Pastor Jan ….. Wonder Women

Wonder Woman is the super heroine I grew up with. I would imitate her turning in circles to transform into Wonder Woman. Our Filipino super heroine is Darna. Narda, a handicapped woman (with crutches) would swallow the “magical stone” and shouts “Darna” for her to transform into Darna, the super heroine. Their storyline was an ordinary woman with superpower help save the day. But their identity was concealed. After their heroic act, they turned back to an ordinary, seemingly weak person. Anyways, they are fictional characters. <!–split–>

I am blessed to meet real life Wonder Women, whose superpowers are live out in their daily lives. I would like to praise and thank our Almighty God for knowing Doris Lee, Selma Johnson and Marge Vatt, the Wonder Women of Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church (BWUMC). Let me tell you why.

Doris fabulously turned 100 last August 26th. She is a mother of 3, with 6 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. Her caring hands worked as a registered nurse, culminating as Director of Nursing at Illini Hospital in Silvis. She became a member of BWUMC in 1998. Since then, she actively involved in church ministries like chair of Mission Team, United Women in Faith (UWF) President, coordinator and then Vice-President in UWF District level. She headed the Bread of Life Ministry, she baked breads to welcome newcomers. Now, she still volunteers as our Sunday Worship Greeter and participates in church events.

Selma will wonderfully turn 99 on Sept 16th. Her artistic, skillful hands inspire people who hear her play the piano. She played at Von Mour. At BWUMC, she taught Sunday School classes and willingly played for church special services like weddings, funerals, and some other events. Now, she occasionally gives special music in the church and monthly plays at our worship service in Park Vista Retirement Homes.

Marge amazingly turned 98 last July 27th. She is the only member of BWUMC since birth. The 4th generation of her family. 98 years of sharing her lovely smile in the church. She taught in Sunday School and Bible School. A mother of two daughters and grandmother of 2 granddaughters. She battled against some types of colon and facial cancers for more than 50 years. Yet it did not hinder her from serving her family, the church, and the community. Since January of this year, she has been in bed at River Crossing Nursing Home, but she keeps her upbeat and positive spirit. Casting her sweetest smiles to all the people.

Their superpowers are faith in God, resilience, and loving care. They have defeated many life adversaries and are still courageously fighting daily life battles. They have celebrated many life victories and are still happy to see each new day. They all claimed that their source of strength is our God Almighty. By God’s grace they became wonderful wonder women.

Goodbye Linda Carter and Narda, hello Doris, Selma, and Marge. You are now my super heroines, my inspiration to live by. You are the woman in Proverbs 31:30-31,

“Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the Lord deserves to be praised. Show her respect— praise her in public for what she has done.”

From the desk of Pastor Jan …..

At the end of the day, how are you doing? Do you feel tired? Drained? Or still perky, ready for the next best thing?

Three weeks ago, I went to San Diego, California for a 3-day college reunion. We have not seen each other for thirty-ish years! There were planned activities each day, one after the other. It was a lot of fun but tiresome.

At the end of the third day, we are all ready to go home, home. Pinky, one of my classmates drove me back to where I’m staying. She asked me if I still have the energy to see the sunset at Carlsbad? You would certainly know what my response was! After an hour’s drive, we arrived at Carlsbad Beach right at the time when the sun is setting.  Half of its beauty is already hidden from the horizon. Yet, we were still in awe of its grandeur. The sounds of the waves, the cool sea breeze and the presence of a long-time friend made that Sunset experience FUNtastic! Exhaustion gone. I was refreshed! At the end of that day, I felt wonderful! <!–split–>

In Matthew 11:28-30, our Lord Jesus Christ has this invitation:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

(The Message Translation)

We gave this open invitation from our Lord Jesus Christ that whenever we feel tired or worn out, especially after a long day, he will give us rest. I like this version stating, “Walk with me, keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” It brings me back to the Sunset at Carlsbad Beach.

At the end of each day, we can feel wonderful knowing Jesus Christ our Lord is walking on the beach with us as He renew our strength for the next day, to enjoy the Sunrise!

From the desk of Pastor Jan ….. A Real July 4th Celebration, by Carol Knapp

Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you.         Romans 15:7 (RSV)

It was a cloudy, quiet July Fourth for us, that year of 1988. My husband worked. There were no parades. We’d decided not to spend the extra money on fireworks. You can barely see them, anyway, in Alaska’s summer twilight. We didn’t even have a picnic. Yet it’s the Fourth of July that I remember and treasure the most. The two-story log home where we were living was not our own. We were house-sitting for the summer for our friends Lou and Elsa, who were visiting their native Czechoslovakia for the first time in twenty years. <!–split–>

As a young married couple, they had fled the streets of Prague in terror when Soviet tanks swept through the city in 1968. For days before, Elsa had hidden beneath the bed in their cramped apartment with her two little girls. When they left, they could say good-bye to no one. They simply disappeared.

Lou and Elsa found a welcome in the United Sates, eventually making their way to Alaska. They learned English and worked hard. Lou, a master craftsman, fitted each log in their home with mortar and hope. Elsa tended a fruitful vegetable garden and produced wonderful aromas from kettles simmering in her tidy kitchen.

I was alone in Lou and Elsa’s living room in the afternoon on that Fourth of July, when I suddenly burst into tears. This is it, I thought. This is the real Fourth of July. They came to America to find “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and here I am, standing in the middle of their dream. I had a glimpse of how precious this beautiful, bountiful country of ours really is. And so I waved the only flag I had … my tears, genuine and proud.