Let Your Life Speak – August 2020
The book of Hebrews contains a list of great champions of faith who came before us. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, and more. It’s like the Faith Hall of Fame. These ancestors set examples for generations. They had no idea that they were going to be role models—they were just living their lives trying to make decisions and do their best to follow God. They would not have been able to imagine that hundreds of years later people would have been looking at their life stories and that those stories would be part of Scripture. They were just ordinary people–just like you. You, an ordinary person, can be a role model for those around you and for those that come after you. Your life impacts those around you. Your actions influence and inspire others each day. As you go through your day, remember that you have the power to set a good example for others. You will make mistakes – we all make mistakes. Mistakes help us learn. Each person in Hebrews made mistakes. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, continue to grow in faith so your life tells the world about God’s goodness and love. Read Hebrews 11:4-31
Listen and find strength for each day. (I couldn’t choose just one. Let me know which one you like.)
Let your light shine this week. JoAnn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
He Restores My Soul – July 2020
“Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone and pray.” Mark 1:35
In the book of Mark we jump right into Jesus calling His disciples and getting to work. He began to heal and to preach. As the word spread, He was overwhelmed and found a retreat to renew and pray. Jesus went into nature to be alone and to pray and then He went back to the hard work of caring for, healing and teaching people about God’s love. How do you handle being overwhelmed – stressed?
In the book of Psalm, prayer is mentioned 60 times. The next highest is the book of Acts where prayer is mentioned 34 times. We have air conditioning in most places. We have technology that is constantly changing/improving. Challenging for me (old dog learning new tricks concept). It seems that we are pushed to be busy/active all the time. We need time to renew — A time to refresh. We forget that time alone in nature can bring us mental, physical and spiritual healing. Do you have a place outside that you can sit and reflect, feel connected to God? Sitting on the deck, enjoying the sway of the porch swing, going for a walk in the neighborhood or finding a trail?
Take time to read Psalm 23 — He lets me rest in grassy meadows; He leads me to restful waters…He restores my soul…
Nature can be a place of comfort and peace. A place to pray and just breathe. Just Breathe. Breathe in with the first part of your prayer. Breathe out with the latter half of your prayer. Short, simple, easy – spoken in a single breath.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray constantly. Just Breathe! Choose a sentence, a verse or phrase— repeat it as you breathe
O God (breathe in) show me your way (breathe out)
Lord God (breathe in) Have mercy on me (breathe out)
O God (breathe in) Restore my soul (Breathe out)
Choose a phrase that is yours and breathe. Stay in communication with God. With each and every breath.
(Taken form LINC (Living in Christ) July 12 2020 – Volume 26 #28—Cokesbury
Gesture of Kindness – June 10, 2020
A farmer from a small town in Kansas sent a N-95 mask to Governor Cuomo with a note asking that the mask be used by a health care worker or doctor. The farmer had the N-95 masks to use when cleaning out grain bins. His family of four were now using the masks to stay healthy. He had one unused mask and instead of letting the unused mask just sit on the shelf, he wanted it to be used by health care workers. A small gesture of kindness but if you get enough of these small gestures, it will make a difference. In Matthew 10:42, Jesus reminds his disciples that even offering a cup of cold water is a meaningful way to offer a blessing to another. We are commanded is to love one another. Love others like God loves us. It is easy to identify what is missing as we shelter and take measures to be safe. Look at the other side. What are the blessings?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
The following video shows someone who lives to serve and bless. https://youtu.be/d28eOp9UDx8?list=PLotzEBRQdc0eX6sErNJED9JuHzJ1vcIu_
Hands and feet, living what he believes.
This week to borrow an expression, “my soul hurts”. I pray that I will always cry for all the things that make God cry. This week there are tears everywhere. Tears for the families that are faced with burying their dead. Tears for the owners whose business’ have been burned and looted. Tears for all our neighbors who are trying to bring about needed change and fear that they are not being heard. Tears for protesters making a cry for justice. Tears for families that are hungry and out of work. Tears, tears, tears. There are tears everywhere. How do we stop the tears, the frustration, the injustice? How can we stand and support our neighbors? How can we make lasting change in our communities? Micah 6:8 tells us what the Lord requires. He has showed you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. That brings me back to hands and feet. Standing in unity, walking together for justice and love. Joining hands in support.
Offering a cold bottle of water and realizing that we all need to care for, support and love our neighbors. The following quotes have meaning for me…
“Let our stand be together, shoulder to shoulder, hold hands with every human of every color, because together we rise, and we shall stand with justice and power forever so we can breathe in peace.” ― F.M. Sogamiah
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” — Desmond Tutu
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” — Nelson Mandela
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
-Martin Luther King
‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”’
–Martin Luther King
No words, just hands and feet helping, supporting, caring—how can I help? Insist on Justice and Reform. Do all the good you can. What are we doing for others?
To Serve and to Give – June 5, 2020
He got up from the meal took off His outer clothing and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciple’s feet. How would you feel?
https://youtu.be/yRTjb4tYKZ4 Jesus came to serve—and that was hard for even His disciples to understand. They just didn’t understand the mission. We worry about getting back to “church”, but is that the mission we have been given? “I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” I was in quarantine and you reached out to me to see what I needed. You gave encouragement and support. You helped a small business owner to survive the shutdown. You stayed home to protect others and set an example of selfless care for others. You took care of those who had the virus. You took actions so that medical workers felt supported. You supplied nursing homes with items, so they knew they were not forgotten. You baked treats and left them on doorsteps with notes of hope. You helped people know that they are loved. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” Taken from Matthew 25:34-40.
We worship together, we learn from each other, we study the Bible and gain spiritual insight and that is all very very important. We need to come together as a church, but our mission is in the streets.
Two of the disciples were jockeying for greater position. They even had help from their mother. Jesus’ response to them showed that once again they did not understand what Jesus was all about. They each wanted power, recognition, and authority. They simply did not understand. He taught us how to love one another and to serve. This mission we are still carrying out today. A mission of service to others. We are His hands and feet. “They will know we are Christians by our love.”
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. Just as the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life to liberate many people. Matthew 20:26-28
Reach out, offer resources and energy to someone who needs a little encouragement or assistance. Serving does not have to be complicated. Loving and serving are the best ways to bring about hope and joy to our community and our world. Now more than ever, our actions can bring about change! Our actions show others who we are and what we believe. (Taken form LINC (Living in Christ) May 10, 2020 – Volume 26—Cokesbury
Preach the gospel always – only when necessary use words.
Along with regular weekly youth group meetings, our youth are active throughout the year. Listed below are just a few of the projects and areas you could be helping with as you gain friends and grow in Christ’s love:
Outreach and Mission
and so much more!!!
and so much more!!!
and so much more!!!