January 8, 2021

God has a plan

I moved from Missouri to Kansas in August. While in the Show Me state I became acquainted with a columnist with the Columbia Daily Tribune. I would give her name but do not have her permission so I will call her Sally. All of her columns are human interest and more than likely talks about her family and their trials tribulations travels and extended family.

I told her that I really enjoyed her columns and was disappointed that I would be moving to Kansas and not see them each week. She wrote back that she appreciated my comments and that she would send me the column each Monday when she publishes for the newspapers and magazines. I was happy that she would do that because her writing is her stock and trade and she charges them for the column. 2 weeks ago I noticed that she had sent me that weeks column in an email. I was distracted that week and didn’t get around to reading it until later in the week. When I did she was talking about her husband and that he had some medical issues and they went to the doctor. She described sitting anxiously after the exam for the doctor to come back in and tell them what was wrong. The Dr. said that he had cancer and they wanted to start him on radiation and chem. Right away I wrote back saying how sorry I was and that I would pray for both of you.

She immediately wrote back and said that while in the process of radiation and chemo he got Covid went in the hospital and passed away the next day. It was almost as if one of my family had died. I was stunned. I tried to say words of comfort as I responded to her. Those who are not believers would say, “well, too bad but life goes on” We as believers would say, that maybe it was his time. God does have a time for all of us on this earth. But we are also prone to say God, why would you hit a healthy man , a believer with cancer and Covid at the same time.

This a lesson for all of us. It is not how healthy we are, not how much we tithe, not how much we give to others, not even how strong is our walk with the Lord. God has a plan for each of us and even though we have a plan, Gods plan prevails. As a pastor I have talked to several widows and widowers who couldn’t understand why their spouse was taken so soon. I went through the same thing myself. I have also followed up with some of those who asked that question and they reported later that their lives had taken a positive turn and they were now doing things and involved in things that they never thought would be of interest to them.

I have rambled on about about this. I miss my wonderful wife but I am now in a new phase of life that is interesting and fulfilling. At the time of her death I couldn’t see the good that was to come. But I ask you to keep that in mind when and if you lose a loved one. We need to think about that person that has left us. As a believer he/she is with the Lord in eternity. He/she will no longer be in pain or distress and will meet up with loved ones that had gone on before. We need to celebrate our loved one coming home to Jesus. How many widows or widowers have said ” I am anxious to be with my loved on in Heaven”

As I mourn the loss of Sally’s husband, and I mourn the loss of my wife, I say Hallelujah, as they are now with their Lord… Amen.

January 2, 2021

Do we need a faith checkup?

December 3, 2020

A while ago in a bible study we were talking about the Christian Walk. In that discussion it was emphasized that it is our FAITH that keeps us on that walk.
Some of the material we were studying was part of a sermon by Ellsworth Kalas, and I quote: “when the scores of life are totaled and God’s troops report back home, He will not say ‘well done you brilliant servant’ or well done you ball of fire’ . No, no God will say ‘well done good and FAITHFUL servant.
In God’s lexicon of values, it is FAITHFULNESS that makes a star.
I wonder how man of us really understand why God was manifest in Jesus Christ and put on the earth? God created all that we see and touch, God created us in His image. He gave humans a utopia, a garden that would fulfill all our needs. Then man sinned and was banished from this perfect place and all of us including you and me, carry that original sin.
So God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be born a human, that we celebrate this season. to live among the people and to teach preach and heal and love us as His children. But his real mission was to atone for the sins of the whole world, so that someday we may be in the presence of God. He did this by His death on the cross. He suffered and died as a human so that we would not be lost to His love and that we would not suffer as He did.
They the miracle of miracles , Christ rose from the dead and ultimately sits at the right hand of God. Jesus conquered death and He conquered it for us all. This was God’s ultimate gift to His creation.
Do you believe? Do you believe that God loves us so much that he gave His only Son to die on a Roman cross for our redemption?
Go to the bible and read stores of FAITH and how God walked through life with yesterdays FAITHFUL; God was with Abraham and Sara in a new land; Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness; Meshack, Shadrach,and Abednego in the fiery furnace. God has been and will be with us today and always.
Our FAITH reminds us to make of our lives HIS story. Let God stir in the pages and each line of the tale of our living. Give new meaning to FAITH, FAITH in God and all that he does for us.
As we gather this Advent season with family and friends and celebrate in worship, share our walk with Christ and the FAITH we live by. Bill Graham has said at his rally’s: “I don’t know all I need to know about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but I believe it by FAITH” Let us take those words to heart and make them ours. Merry Christmas. Amen

God is Near

November 4, 2020

I an going to start with an illustration that should clarify what I want to say in this blog. Psychologist Jean Plaget carried out psychological experiments in which he observed that very young babies ,
(under 6 mo old) would be clearly interested in a toy placed a few years in front of them until Plaget placed a blanket over the toy. Then the infants showed no further interest, assuming that the toy was no longer there.
I have observed in my self (full disclosure) and in others that there are times where it seems that our focus is on God such as when at church, at prayer, reading the bible and meditating. However there are other times like the infant where we are distracted from our focus on God as though he wasn’t there.
But if we are true Christians , and we have given our lives over to Christ, then the Holy Spirit is with us all the time and we should be looking to that Spirit to guide us in everything that we do. We need to have the attitude that we don’t venture into our day without opening our heart to that Spirit.

But we sometimes want to go it on our own. Sometimes we say that we can handle it God . another illustration drives home this point. A man was in the parking lot of a big box store and couldn’t find a parking place. He kept driving around and finally in frustration he said “God, find me a parking place.” Shortly a place opened up and the man said “never mind God I found one on my own”
We might chuckle at this but too many of us have the attitude that “God is there if I need Him” Jonah thought that taking a ship to Tarsus rather than facing Nineveh, that God would no longer be in control of his life. But as you know the story, Jonah did come face to face with God once again.

We need to understand and acknowledge that God is ALWAYS with us. And that we need to surrender control of our life , for God has the perfect plan for each and every day. We should:
“lean on the everlasting arms of God” Amen

A treasured find

October 1, 2020

I am going to get personal again this month
As those of you who know me know that my wife passed away last October. I rejoice that she is with her Lord , that she is not suffering and is at peace. I tell myself that every day. The chore of going through old files and keepsakes can be tough sometimes.
I say all of this to introduce a devotion that she had published in a daily devotional guide. I came across it the other day. I see the evidence of her devotion to God and to her friends and family in everything I go through.
With your indulgence, I am going to print it exactly as she said it in 1995.
She made reference to this scripture: John 15: 12-13. which epitomized her loving attitude.:

“As a child growing up in the small community of Boonville , Missouri, I belonged to and attended the local Methodist Church., Sunday School, vacation bible school. Church socials and dinners were a regular part of my simple life.
Childhood faded into youth and youth into adulthood. Choir and musical events in the church became connected to my spiritual life. In music there was a special closeness to God. The words of the hymns cementing forever beautiful bible verses in my mind.
One composition especially stands out for me, ” I walked Today Where Jesus Walked”It would bring tears to my eyes and chills to my skin. I could just imagine walking in His steps.
Years later I would have that opportunity. A trip to Israel , where the shores of Galilee, the river Jordon, the peaceful hillside of the Sermon On The Mount, The Garden of Gethsemane, the way of the Cross placed my feet in His footsteps and sent this beautiful song through my mind once again.

The song is sung often in springtime and its lovely words and music remind me of “the peace that passes all understanding” and that Jesus died for our sins because He loved us. May we be mindful of His sacrifice and love and “gp forth and do likewise”
prayer: Jesus forgive us for not living our lives as you would have us live. Thank you for loving us anyway. Amen”

Thank you sweet lady the love of my life and my inspiration for 38 years………Amen


September 4, 2020

Our memories are gifts from God.. The bible is full of stories of faith and how God walked through life with yesterdays faithful. What is implied is , if God was with Abraham and Sarah in a new land, Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness, Meshack, Shadrach and Abednago in the fiery furnace, God has been and will be with is today and always.

You cannot escape the presence of God . The bible says “when I go to the depths, you are there, when I ascend to the heights you are thee” (Psalm 130;9 ) and the gift of memories is a gift to remind us that we are not forgotten, abandoned or discarded. God’s relentless hopeful pursuit of us cannot be thwarted by momentary lapses of memory or even the embellishment of the story leaving God out of the picture!

We talk of the past as history. Our faith reminds us to make of our lives HIS story . Let God stir in the pages and each line of the tale of our living . And tell your family where you have seen God at work in your life. And maybe some day your son or daughter will tell stories of how God was working in your life. What ever you do, be sure and make a memory with God.

This leads me to look at my personal situation. I am in a new town with new doctors. After 25 years seeing the same practitioners who knew me backwards and forwards I am facing physicians who don’t know me and want test after test.They take my oral history with a grain of salt. It seem that what has gone on before doesn’t mean anything now. I have been referred to doctors whose specialty is something I can hardly pronounce let alone understand. I get concerned when they them say that they want to do further tests.

BUT…..I know that God is with me. God knows me and has my history on His lips. I wish I could just say to all of those healthcare professionals , Check with God he knows all about me and can give you all the information you need……… So I go about doing what they all say with the assurance that God will be my comforter and my guide through all of this.. AMEN

Is it August already?

August 15, 2020

I recently moved from a small town to a medium sized city. Even though people universally have become more civil to each other, I find that people in the city are either more burdened that those in the more relaxed atmosphere of the small town or they are just in more of a hurry. Oh there have been exceptions.But what I have found that when you first meet them, they display the city attitude, until I respond with respect, interest and a smile. It is no wonder how peoples attitude changes when you are nice to them and are concerned with what is going on in their life. So my conclusion and my point is that if you are nice and treat others with respect and interest, that is the response you will receive.

In this blog I really want to address our commitment to Jesus Christ. So many of us go to church each Sunday and even attend a bible study and participate in the churches outreach programs but in reality are not believers in the sense that they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A lot of pastors (and not enough) give an invitation at the end of their service , inviting people to accept Jesus a their savior. In my time in the pulpit I gave the invitation at each service. I led them through the sinners prayer but I didn’t require them to come forward.
Some in my congregation asked why do you invite then each week to accept Christ as their personal savior when very few seem to acknowledge it. My answer was that they prayed the prayer and the rest is up to God and them.

I was motivated to discuss this topic after I read Ann Graham Lotz analysis of the disciples and their journey as faithful believers.She talked about how they followed
Jesus and did his bidding, helping him with his mission on earth and then she said , this is what happened to them :
Phillip was tied to a pillar and stoned to death
Matthew was nailed to the ground with spikes and beheaded
Jude was beaten to death with sticks and clubs
Simon was tortured and crucified
John , son of Zebedee was tortured and exiled.
Simon was tortured and crucified
James, brother of John was beheaded
James was pushed from the top of a building , then his broken body was
beaten to death
Andrew, Peters brother, hung on a cross for 3 days before dying.
Bartholomew was beaten crucified and skinned alive after being
Thomas was thrown into a fiery furnace then speared with a javelin
Peter was crucified upside down.

Why did they all (with the exception of John) die a gruesome death? Not for saying that Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified but that he had risen from the grave , that he had conquered death and he was alive.

We are all children of God and we are his disciples. What do we say to the non-believers? Are we afraid of the consequence? We may not suffer the same fate as the original disciples but we may be looked down on, we may be persecuted , But if we have given our life to Christ then He commands us to spread the Good News of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Giving our life to Christ means following Him and sharing our love of God. That may mean that we are not popular or accepted but it does mean that we are following the command s of Jesus and He will reward us if not in this world but in the world to come.
May that path be the path for you to meet the Savior some day. Amen

Do We Believe Bible Prophecy?

July 2, 2020

Over a 1000 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem , God had spoken many prophecies about His coming. He spoke them through men like David, Moses, Isaiah and Micah.

In order for Jesus to be the true Messiah, he had to fulfill every prophecy that was ever spoken and written…and he did,every single one! Here are just a few:

He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:140
and he was (Matt 1: 18:25)
He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
and He was (Matt 2:1-6)
He would be taken into Egypt (Hosea 11;1)
and He was (Matt 2:15)
He would heal the sick and make people whole (Isaiah 5;3)
and He did (Matt 8)
He would be crucified ((Psalm22; 14-17)
and He was (Matt 27:31)
He would die for our sins (Isaiah 53)
and He did (John 1; 29; John 11;49-52)
He would be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:10)
and He was (Matt 28: 1-10)

There are many prophecies about Jesus second coming that of course have not yet been
fulfilled……..but one day,as we have seen about all the other prophecies in the bible, they will be fulfilled. One day we will see the glorious return of our Lord and Savior.

Will you be ready for that time.?Will you be expectantly waiting for that wonderful celebration?
I pray that you now have that hope. But if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord you either do not understand what that means or you don’t care. In either case you will not be with Him in paradise.

You can make sure of your standing with Christ if you confess your sins, ask for forgiveness of your sins and ask Him to come into your life. If you do you will be considered His child and he loves and takes care of His children.
Now is the time to do that as we do not know if we will have a tomorrow. Amen.

Here and There

June 11, 2020

From High School in Lafayette California to college in Manhattan,Kansas to corporate jobs in Southern California and Salina Kansas. to Topeka Kansas to Everett and Robinson, Scranton, Goff and Wetmore in Kansas to Lakeview Heights in Missouri to Lake Creel and Florence in Missouri (we lived outside of Lincoln Missouri) to the last two years in Boonville,Missouri.

I have friends and relatives who grew up in the same town or county in which they were born Of course, if asked, I would say to them that they really needed to broaden their horizons. A relative of Marilyn’s was a B-17 bomber pilot in WW II stationed at one point iin England ,bombing factories in
Germany. He served 4 years in the Air Corps and when the war was over came right back to the place he was born and where he left for the service. I asked him. if in seeing the world he would want to live somewhere else and he said it never occurred to him to do anything else;

All this is to say, as we well know we are all different in our approach to life. God’s plan for me probably would not be right for most people. However I am so grateful for the places i gave been
and especially the people I have met along the way. I told Marilyn many years ago when we were considering a move to Missouri, because of where I have been and the different people and situations that I have encountered , you could drop me anywhere and I would not only survive but thrive.

I have been happy here in Boonville.I have met a lot of wonderful people in the church, Lions Club, Mizzou Physical Therapy where I exercise three days a week, downtown merchants , library employees etc. When Marilyn passed away various people started asking again about maybe me moving back to Kansas.

You know, I wouldn’t have entertained a move but things that Marilyn and I envisioned for our living in Boonville haven’t worked out since her death My daughter Cindy who bless her heart has not pushed me moving until recently .She now argues that she and her brother can’t take care of me if I am in Boonville. (although the medical system at Univ Missouri is excellent)

I consulted with some good friends (from Houston and from Milford Conn.) with all the factors I considered in whether or not to move, They agreed that I needed to be by my family. So, August first 2020 I will be in Wichita Kansas/ All my grandkids and greatgrandkids are in Wichita. Marilyn and I lived there for a few years before she got promoted and we moved to Topeka. So I am familiar with the town.I have a church, East Heights United Methodist Church There are still some people that we went to church with and socialize with, so I feel the decision will be a good and satisfying one. My daughter Cindy is 60 miles north in McPherson and son Scott is an hour and a half in Manhattan.

I thank everyone who made Marilyn and me feel welcome in Boonville.OF course this is Marilyn’s home town and she got reacquainted with many people she had known in the past. I was happy that she fit right in here.

God has called us to welcome strangers and I know that this town will embrace all those who come here to live. Not only welcome them but invite them to church. social group or civic organization.

It has been a pleasure and I will miss you

Pastor Bill Siebert

a tribute to my wife Marilyn Robb Siebert

May 13, 2020

I first met Marilyn in 1980 at an insurance convention. We ran into each other every day at lunch. I finally asked her about her job. She said she was a District Sales Manger for Shelter Insurance. I introduced myself and my company and said that I lived in Salina., she said she lived in Wichita but Salina was in her territory. We met up there for coffee and from then on when she would come to town we would get together.One thing led to another and I  asked her to marry me and she said yes. We were married November 7, 1981.She came into the marriage with three children and I with two children.
And over time I began to really know about Marilyn. I want to relate about her  life before and after I met her. She was born in Boonville, Missouri . Her mom was kitchen manager at the training school in Boonville and her dad was an electrician for the city. She graduated from Boonville High School. was member of the Nelson Memorial United Methodist Church where she was baptized and confirmed and she taught elementary Sunday School.
She held secretary jobs in Boonville until she was referred to Shelter Insurance in Columbia. She spent time in the secretarial pool when she was promoted to secretary to the Vice President of Marketing.
In that job she came into contact with most of the agents and sales managers. One day she went into her bosses office and said that she had become very familiar with the sales managers and she would like to be a district sales manager. Her boss thought enough of her to give her the opportunity.She went to school for a time and then she was to be appointed to a district in the company. To make a long story short, all the state managers she interviewed turned her down for various reasons

She went into her bosses office and said that nobody would hire her. He called the rest of the upper management sales team and said , “get this woman a job” Ultimate;u the state manager of Kansas had a opening so she went to Kansas to interview and he hired her right away. She was very successful and took many of her agents to company conferences all over Europe and in the United States. One year she was named District Sales Manager of The Year.
This drew the attention of upper management and she was promoted State Sales Manger of Kansas. After a time being the only woman manager she was promoted to company recruiter, to help bring in new agents (men and women) into the company. She would fly to different parts of the company territory for interviews. One Thursday night upon arriving home she expressed a desire to retire. That decision was made in time and we made plans to move to Missouri and build on land that had been in her family for over 100 years.She loved it there and enjoyed being closer to her children. Shortly after we moved into our new house two men came to the door and said they had heard that I was a pastor and would I become the pastor of Yeager Union Church. Marilyn said well he is on church business now  and he is appointed in the Methodist Church and can’t do it. They then said can you help us…..So Marilyn preached every other Sunday.This was the church that her father and grandfather attended. I remember every once in a while we would travel from Kansas to attend the annual meeting
After I retired from the Methodist Church Marilyn asked if could take over….I became the full time pastor of the church at that point and Marilyn became board secretary. She also promoted building a new fellowship hall, re-roofing the original church building. She spent a lot of time and I might add a lot of her own money in the projects.

At one of the board meetings of the church the cemetery trustees reported that they had loaned a business in Sedalia $5,000 because they could get better interest. Marilyn spoke up and said you can’t loan cemetery trust funds,it is against the law. Well they got really upset and at the next board meeting put up their own slate of officers. Again Marilyn spoke up and said that being that they were not members of the church they were out of order. Without going into a lot of detail, the trustees sued the board of the church and we went to court. Marilyn spent house getting ready for the trial and she spent all one day on the stand (as board secretary)
Well we lost the case and were told that anyone who wanted to come to the annual meeting and vote on any matter of the church was welcomed. The next board meeting the trustees had several of their people there and voted the existing board was voted out of office.

Marilyn never went back to that church. It was a blow to her that we were no longer part of what had been a 9 year love affair with the church and its people. Marilyn’s focus turned to homestead and her children. In 2017 Marilyn’s daughter Carol committed suicide and as you can imagine, all the “what if'” questions and what she could have done. haunted her.

Later that year we decided that we couldn’t take care of our large home in the woods and 10 acres. We put the house on the market two different times and it didn’t sell. Marilyn had said several years before that if we we were not able to sell the house we would give it to Show-me Christian Youth Home. We eventually did that and moved to Boonville. Marilyn purchased a small 150 year old home and did a lot of work on it. We discovered after a while that it was too small and was not handicapped friendly (for me) so we decided we would build a house on the back half of our property –this was a new project for her-as you can tell from reading-she needed a project. So she designed it, contracted the builder and off we went.

In the middle of this Marilyn had a seizure. After an emergency room visit she was admitted to the Neurology floor at University Hospital in Columbia. She was discharged the next day and put on high-power anti-seizure medicine. The usual go-go person I knew now had to sit in a chair a couple of hours a day and wanted to go to bed early at night. The Neurologist cut the medicine down but that didn’t do much good.
A month later she started having stomach problems.Again, not going into detail we took her to the emergency room twice. She ended up in intensive care and after 2 days they wanted to operate. The doctor came out a few hours later and told us that she did not have a viable bowl and that she would die withing 24 hours…….She passed away 7 hours later..on her birthday October 19, 2019.
She is buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville,Missouri.
She was loved and is missed by all her family. She is now with her Lord and can be at peace.