Monday, November 21, 2016

What I'm Thankful For

 “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

This past year I have had much to give God thanks for.  Here are just a few.  I am thankful...

...for a wife who models the love of God by loving me just as I am, warts and all!
…for a daughter who makes Trish and I proud not only because of what she does but more  importantly because of who she is and the beautiful woman of God she’s become.
…for our daughter’s fiancĂ© who Trish and I will be proud to call “son” next June for being the good fiancĂ© he is to our daughter and the great father he already is for our granddaughter.
…for our nearly 2 year old granddaughter who is so full of life, energy, excitement and curiosity about the new world that she is discovering.
...for parents who raised me in church to love, understand, and eventually follow the ways of God.
...for a church family who loves, supports, and prays for both my family and myself daily.
...for all of my fellow staff members -- Blake, Andy, Darian, Harrison, CJ, Grayson, Avery, Rick, Dodie, Patti, Lisa, Scott, Jordan, Eddie, and Jane -- who, together with me, share in the cause and work of Christ through our church.
…for church members who love me in spite of the fact that we “go over” in worship far too many Sundays due to long-winded preaching!
...for Sunday School and Bible study teachers/leaders who live out their faith in the selfless way they lead and teach.
...for committee and ministry team chairpersons and members who give “above and beyond” to the work of Christ through their participation in and leadership of our church’s ministries.
...for the “behind-the-scenes” members of our sound, multi-media ministries and those who help prepare our bulletins and newsletters in the essential work that they do.
...for the members of our praise team, adult, and children’s choirs for the blessing and inspiration they share through their music.
…for all the volunteers and staff of our church nursery who give tirelessly of themselves to make sure our children are safe and happy.
...for church members who roll up their sleeves and pitch in to be part of "the answer", rather than whining about what someone else is not doing to fix "the problem."
...for all the great volunteers who lovingly help in all of our Sunday night and Wednesday evening activities
...for church members who are willing to make God a priority
through their financial giving to His church.
...for fellow Christians who’re willing to step outside themselves by participating in serving 
and/or sharing ministries both locally and overseas.
…most importantly, for God who gave his son for me to give me forgiveness and salvation when I didn’t deserve it, and for giving me life and hope in the midst of a hectic world!

Of course, there’s many, many more, but have you “counted your blessings” lately?  When you do, I’m sure you’ll find that, like me, you have many things for which to “give thanks.”  Let us all strive to live out our thankfulness this Thanksgiving holiday!  Remember, God loves you and I do, too!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

LFUMC’s “Stop Hunger Now” Event

“When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:12-13)

Some quick facts about world hunger:

● Approximately 792.5 million people in the world do not get the food they need to live a healthy life.  That’s nearly one out of every nine people on earth, with 98% of those living in developing nations. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, one in every four people are hungry.

● Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

● Nearly 50 percent of people living in extreme poverty are 18 years old or younger, and poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.  

● 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone. The poorest 20 percent of the world’s children are about twice as likely as the richest 20 percent to be stunted by poor nutrition and to die before their fifth birthday.
                        [--Sources cited at the “Stop Hunger Now” website]

These figures regarding world hunger are alarming. Thankfully, our world today possesses the science and technology to properly address this dilemma, if we will but choose to do so. That’s why I’m pleased to invite you to participate in a new ministry hosted by our church called “Stop Hunger Now,” a world-wide interfaith initiative begun in 1998 by a United Methodist pastor and designed to help people in developed communities like our own combat hunger and starvation in developing communities around the world.

This coming Sunday (November 13) from 9:30-11:30am in the MMC, we’ll be packing 12,000 meals (2000 packets x 6 meals per packet).  We’ll begin in the Chapel at 9:00am with a short worship celebration, then at 9:20am move into the Fellowship Hall to continue “worship-in-action” through the packing event, which will provide a service great opportunity for appropriate for children, youth, college students, and adults.

Though the event itself will serve in place of both our two early morning worship services and most of our church’s Sunday School classes, our 11am service will take place as usual in the Sanctuary.  Also, while this is the first time our church has sponsored this event, some of you may already be familiar with it from previous events hosted both by LaGrange College and by other area churches.

Remember, Jesus fed over 5000 with the simple offering of one little boy’s lunch.  On November 13, we’ll be preparing meals to feed even more than that!  Perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind when he spoke the words of John 14:12-14, “whoever believes in me will do even greater works than these [that I do].”

So, dress casually and join us at 9:00am in the Chapel on November 13th as we seek to “stop hunger now” in the name of Jesus!  And don’t forget that God loves you and I do, too!

[P.S., to find out more about this initiative, visit their website HERE] 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Top 10 Truths No Matter Who Wins the Election

1.                  The Bible will still have all the answers.
2.                   Prayer will still work.
3.                  The Holy Spirit will still move.
4.                  God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5.                  There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6.                  There will still be singing of praise to God.
7.                  God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8.                  There will still be room at the Cross.
9.                  Jesus will still love you.
10.              Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

BONUS: No matter who holds the title of president, God is still KING!!

P.S. God approves this message

(Always remember that God loves you and I do, too!)