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A note from our Pastor, June/July 2018
Grace and peace. Standing on the Promises is a classic hymn that I enjoy because it reminds me of fully believing that God fulfills what God promises. One verse says…Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God!. How important it is to know the promises of God and trust in them. In this newsletter you will see an exhaustive list of the promises of God in the Bible. Here are a few that I invite you to focus on….God promised peace when we pray (Philippians 4:6–7). His peace is protection. It will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” God promised to supply our needs (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19). Not that we get everything we want, but our needs will be taken care of. We are more valuable than the birds, and our Heavenly Father feeds them (Matthew 6:26). God promised that all things will work out for good for His children (Romans 8:28). This is the broader picture that keeps us from being dismayed by present circumstances. God promised comfort in our trials (2 Corinthians 1:3–4). He has a plan, and one day we will be able to share the comfort we receive. Jesus promised rest (Matthew 11:28–30). Burdens are lifted at Calvary. Jesus promised abundant life to those who follow Him (John 10:10). Following Jesus brings us more spiritual fulfillment than we could have anticipated. We leave boring behind. Jesus promised eternal life to those who trust Him (John 4:14). The Good Shepherd also promised to hold us securely: “No one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Jesus promised His disciples power from on high (Acts 1:8). In this power, they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, ESV). 2 Peter 1: 4 says…..Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. The very great and precious promises enable us to take on the challenges of this world and not be overwhelmed. It is a hope that comes from God because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) We must help each other believe in and live out the great and precious promises of God. We are not alone and we are loved. Nothing can take that away but we can fail to believe in them and fall prey to the cynicism of the world. How easy it is to be a naysayer in these days. I invite you to be a person who lives by faith and rejoices in the promises of God.
I rejoice in the fact that the Trustees promised new front doors and this promise has been fulfilled! First UMC has new front doors with windows! The old doors served well for 50 years but the new doors are beautiful as they let the light in and are more inviting. The foyer is filled with light and seems larger because of the windows. The six panel doors with windows clearly show two crosses so we are reminded of the promise of abundant and eternal life through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. The new doors were in place for the first time on Pentecost Sunday 2018.
As we celebrate the promises of God we must renew our promise that we would heed the Great Commission of Jesus declared in Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Because we are called to do this we will be continuing our Crossroads 10:30am service this summer. We go out in faith trusting that God will bless our efforts to reach the unchurched. Please pray for the Crossroads Service because we are seeking to make this service more inviting to those who have no church experience. Please make a commitment to attend and or visit the Crossroads Service during the summer. We will be making this service a 45 minute service for summer Sundays with our Lemonade in the Shade fellowship time in between our two services. On July 15th we will be blessed to have the Ugandan Children’s Choir for both the 9am and 10:30am Crossroads Service. Please pray for those who do not know the great and precious promises of Jesus and his love. Let us do all we can to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
You are invited to come to the send off blessing of our ASP (Appalachia Service Project) Youth Mission trip to Logan County West Virginia. We will be leaving at 6am on July 7th. Please come and be part of the excitement! We have over 150 of us attending the ASP mission between First UMC and St. Luke’s Church!
I also invite you to be part of something wonderful as we launch our Our Time to Build fundraising. You will receive a mailing soon that will detail the new addition and how it will bless our mission and ministry. The leadership at First UMC has worked tirelessly to come up with an excellent plan to make our church building fully accessible and barrier free. The plans also include a gathering area that will be a tremendous blessing. Please prayerfully consider making a pledge of support. We need everyone to believe in the spiritual importance of this physical project. We are a growing church and need to be welcoming to all people. Taking down barriers is what Jesus is all about. Let us join together and make this dream a reality for generations to come. I believe that the Our Time To Build capital drive is Holy Spirit driven and will be a enormous blessing for our church family and community.
I remind you to not take the summer off from worship. Honor the sabbath and be blessed. If you are traveling, find a church nearby and bring our greetings. Make a commitment to not miss a Sunday. Your presence is a great blessing and you are missed when you are not in church. Please visit our church website to hear my sermons which are audio taped each Sunday. I also invite you to friend me on Facebook and visit our First UMC Facebook page that keeps you up to date with what is happening.
We will be hosting an important event on June 12th that I strongly urge you to attend. The Opiod crisis is devastating to so many that God is calling us to make a difference. The Learn to Cope event will be an educational and inspiring event for all of us as we face this epidemic with faith and hope. The general message is that you are not alone and there is hope!
Summer is a wonderful time to revive your faith by establishing spiritual practices. Jesus promises that if you come to him he will give you rest. Believe in the promises of God and know that Jesus has prepared a place for you in Heaven and has a purpose for you on earth. Keep loving God and your neighbor.
Blessings on you and your family this summer!
In Christian Love, Pastor John
Sunday Worship Schedule
Join us for a traditional worship service @ 9:00am with age appropiate Sunday School classes for kids ages pre-k through high school. Our 10:30am service is a bit more relaxed with a contemporary flair.
Come early and join us for a hymn sing at 8:45 am.
Refreshments and fellowship time at 10 am.