Leave the Bitter; Take the Sweet :: New Years PODCAST

Presented by Pastor Steve Shields on 12/31/2017 at Curwensville Alliance Church

New Year’s Eve has always been an odd thing to me.

There’s no real holiday to celebrate, as on Independence Day or Christmas. It’s just a seemingly arbitrary demarcation we use to count our trips around the sun.

However, there is wisdom in marking the passing of time. 

Part of that wisdom is a matter of looking back and looking forward. Something we tend to do at New Year’s. Something we should do consistently.

When you look back at your life, I am sure you see some memories that are less-than-happy. And I am sure you see others that are sweet. Which of these do you want to mark your life, going forward?

In this podcast, I discuss leaving the bitter behind and taking the sweet ahead with you — into the future.
– Pastor Steve


How Hopeful Are You? :: PODCAST

Presented at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields on 11/27/2016

The First Sunday of Advent

In the weeks between now and Christmas, we are going to celebrate something called Advent. Advent is a word having to do with the arrival of something or someone who is important. When a famous person is due to make a speech, you might hear the MC saying, “As we await the advent of the keynote speaker, let’s talk about….”

Advent means arrival.

I personally like the word Advent better than I do Christmas, because, to me, Christmas has been diluted. People use it to mean anything and everything relating to this coming time of year. 

On the other hand, Advent is unmistakable.

It refers to one thing – the birth of Jesus, celebrated by you and me on December 25.

Our church has an Advent wreath with candles that we light. Occasionally, when I ask my peers if they are doing Advent some have replied, “No – I’m not Catholic.” But Advent is neither Catholic nor Protestant — or perhaps I should say that Advent is both Catholic and Protestant! 🙂 The tradition was in place a thousand years before the Protestant Reformation.

Advent is something Christians celebrated since early on in church history.

There are five candles in the wreath, each standing for something. The names of the four outer candles have changed through the centuries, but the center candle remains the same: The Christ Candle.

This year, our outer candles will speak of four things Christ brings:

  • Hope
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Life

This podcast speaks of the hope God gives us because of the Christ of Advent.


May the Advent of Christ be a means whereby the Father imparts hope to you.
~Pastor Steve


PODCAST: Looking for Hope for the Future?

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/27/2015 by Pastor Steve Shields

At the close of a year, you often hear people say, “Man — I am so ready to leave this year behind!!! I hope next year is better than this one!” Everyone feels that way from time to time.

Because of this feeling, it can be hard to look ahead, into the new year, with hope. But you can.

This podcast speaks to us about how to be hopeful as you face the future.