Weekly e-News Friday, May 16, 2014

Weekly e-News

Friday, May 16, 2014

Looking Ahead

           Sunday Worship times: 8:45 a.m. Traditional, 11:00 a.m. Contemporary. Coffee and snacks are served after the first service; Adult Sunday School at 10:00 a.m. Summer schedule of a single worship service at 10:00 a.m. begins in two weeks on Sunday, June 1.

Bible Studies Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.- this is the last week before a summer break

Wednesday Bible Studies will continue through the summer at 1:30 p.m.

Session meets Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

Craft Club: GARDEN TOTEMS Saturday. You will need to bring a variety of glass/ceramic items with which you will create your totem. This is a good chance to use any old vases, plates, or other glass/ceramic items. Search thrift shops or rummages for items if you need more. Search Pinterest, google, etc., garden totems for ideas. The glue will be provided for a small fee for this project, or bring your own. E6000 is recommended. Come tomorrow, Saturday, May 17th at 10 a.m. to try this craft with Peggy Jensen.

You are invited to the graduation party for Faith Rotich who will graduate from WHS on May 18 at 7 p.m. There will be a Graduation Open House celebration for her here at the church following the ceremonies on Sunday ~8:30 p.m. (Note this is a change from the original date of next Saturday May 24)
Everyone is welcome!

Wild Flower Rummage Sale dates have been changed to Thursday, Friday and Saturday August 7 thru 9.

Lana is looking for someone to help her organize this project.

            The Sermon Sunday is “There Is Only One Way” from Psalm 31:1-10- take refuge in God and put your trust in Him; and John 14:1-14- Jesus is the only way to come before God.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

 

Around Church this Week:

We want to extend a BIG thank you to Nichole Stoll for all of her work as Chair of the Christian Ed Mission Team at Wild Flower. There were some great successes this year in building our Sunday School and starting the Xtreme Faith youth group for Jr-Sr high youth. Ten young ladies are attending (where are the guys?) and it has been a great group. Be sure to pass along your gratitude, and hopefully your promise to support this ministry in your prayers and even your presence.

An attendance of 81 on Sunday made it second only in attendance to Easter! We enjoyed the choir before their summer break (although we’d like them back for Father’s Day) and Chelle Thuringer.

IMG_20140511_Mother's Day IMG_20140511_Mother's DayD IMG_20140511_Mother's DayF IMG_20140511_Mother's DayC

The Presbytery of South Dakota Nominating Committee called me to serve another term on the Camping Commission, and I accepted.

Thank you to Peggy Jensen and Marilynn Parham for their work trimming the shrubs that have grown unimpeded for years and for Jim St. Clair for hauling away the large amount of clippings.

IMG_20140514_Peggy & Marilynn IMG_20140514_Peggy & MarilynnB IMG_20140514_Peggy & MarilynnC

I tried to warn some of our Nepali gardeners about the danger of putting things in the garden too early because of the danger of frost, but even though I showed what I do to protect tender plants like tomatoes (cutting the bottom out of a milk jug and setting it over the plant for protection), my advice went unheeded. You can see that radishes, spinach and lettuce are doing well in a couple of the plots.

IMG_20140516_Garden-Frost IMG_20140516_Garden-FrostB IMG_20140516_Garden-FrostD IMG_20140516_Garden-FrostC

Rhubarb Anyone? I have a good supply of rhubarb growing at home and would share if you are interested.

IMG_20140514_Rhubarb

Chuckle:

A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery store.
As he waited, he was approached by a man who asked, “Son, can you tell me where the post office is?”
The little boy replied, “Sure, just go straight down the street a couple of blocks and turn to your right.”
The man thanked the boy kindly and said, “I’m the new pastor in town, and I’d like for you to come to church on Sunday. I’ll show you how to get to Heaven.”
The little boy replied with a chuckle, “Awww, come on; you don’t even know the way to the post office!”

Birthdays this Week:

16 Wendell Pribyl
18 LeRoy DeBelts
18 Marcie Pickett

 

Anniversaries this Week:

4 Donald & Artilda Haffner

(Oops! My apologies for missing their special day last week)

Prayer Thought:

I had a phone call with one person and a conversation with another the next day, and yet another the following day where each of them said that God promises that He won’t give us more than we can bear, but they each felt they were at the breaking point, that their increasing burdens were too much.

God never gives you more than you can handle is actually amisquote of I Cor 10:13, which promises that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear but will instead provide a way out. This phrase is regularly misused by well-meaning Christians to assure the hurting that they can get through the worst kind of pain and grief.

Some will say “God is in control.” Or, “Everything happens for a reason.” And while God can control all things, it is a bit fatalistic to assert that everything happens for a reason. God can use all things for good, according to His purposes (Rom 8:28), but I think that it is important to remember God’s promise to be with us in our struggles (Josh 1:9), and that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (that we have to rely on God and not ourselves) (II Cor 12:9).

I believe the most important thing we can do in the midst of struggles is to take verses of scripture to heart to learn, meditate on, and take to God in faith believing. Here are a few that might be helpful:

 

1 Jn 4:4  “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Josh 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

2 Cor 12:9-10  “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Rom 5:3-5  “ Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Rom 8:18  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Ps 27:1 – 3  “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”

2 Cor 4:16-18  “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Ps 9:9-10  “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Jer 17:7-8  “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Isa 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Phil 4:19  “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

1 Cor 10:13  “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Gal 5:19-23  “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Ps 146:1-10  “Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.  When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.  Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.  He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.  He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.  The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.  The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.  Praise the Lord.”

2 Cor 4:8-9  “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Isa 54:17  “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.”

Ps 34:17-18  “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted  and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Phil 4:12-13  “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

James 1:2-4  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1:12  “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

1 Pet 1:6-7  “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

2 Cor 1:9  “Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

Deut 33:27  “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

Ps 32:7-8  “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” 

There are so many good verses, but these at least provide a good start.

Please keep in prayer: Donna Haffner– was released from Sanford and moved to Covington Heights at 3900 S. Cathy Avenue today (Friday) to continue her recuperation after surgery; Marv Haffner; Jack Auringer; Lana Semelsberger; Lew Carpenter; Jim and Edith St. Clair; For Arlene Lewis, Dale Klutman, Pete and Dolores Van Regenmorter– pray for balance, core strength and protection from falls.

 

I am including the following article because it is a position that we are hearing more frequently:

I’m Spiritual but Not Religious—Sound Familiar? by James Emery White

           Note: The following is an excerpt from the new book by James Emery White, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated (Baker).

Marcus Mumford is the 26-year-old lead singer of the phenomenally successful British band Mumford & Sons. Mumford is the son of John and Eleanor Mumford, the national leaders of the Vineyard Church in the U.K. and Ireland, part of the international evangelical Christian Vineyard Movement. He recently married actress Carey Mulligan, whom he’d met years earlier at a Christian youth camp.

As the main lyricist for the band, he has lavished the music of Mumford & Sons with the themes and imagery of faith, often drawing specifically on the Christian tradition. As Cathleen Falsani has observed, they “explore relationships with God and others; fears and doubts; sin, redemption and, most of all, grace.”

Yet in a Rolling Stone interview, Mumford declined to claim the “Christian” label as his own.

“I don’t really like that word. It comes with so much baggage. So, no, I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. I think the word just conjures up all these religious images that I don’t really like. I have my personal views about the person of Jesus and who he was … I’ve kind of separated myself from the culture of Christianity.”

Describing his spiritual journey as a “work in progress,” Mumford said that he’s never doubted the existence of God and that his parents are not bothered about his ambivalence toward the Christian label. Before anyone makes a rush to judgment, Falsani suggests that we “consider why he chose to answer the way he did.”

“What I heard in his reticence to label himself a Christian was not a denial of faith, but instead something that falls between Dorothy Day’s famous, ‘Don’t call me a saint—I don’t want to be dismissed so easily,’ and Soren Kierkegaard’s, ‘Once you label me, you negate me.’”

She also hears echoes of another rock star whose own Christian faith has been a topic of conversation. When Bono was the same age Mumford is now, he shied away from Christian labels and stopped talking about his faith in public forums. When asked about his faith in 1987, also by Rolling Stone, Bono said: “I am a Christian, but at times I feel very removed from Christianity. The Jesus Christ that I believe in was the man who turned over the tables in the temple and threw the money-changers out.”

Fifteen years later, in 2002, Bono told Falsani, “By the way, I don’t set myself up to be any kind of Christian. I can’t live up to that. It’s something I aspire to, but I don’t feel comfortable with that badge.”

Such statements by Mumford and Bono, and the legions of “nones” like them, are not disavowals of faith or beliefs. Instead, it is the rejection of a label related to faith or belief.

In years past, an unchurched individual might still claim to be “Baptist” or “Catholic.” Now there is great cultural freedom to drop the label entirely. But it’s more than simply being “nothing.”

Perhaps one of the more disconcerting marks of the typical “none” is that they are very content with holding their “nothing in particular” stance toward religion. Among those who say they believe in “nothing in particular,” 88 percent are not even looking for a specific faith or religion.

Think of their stance like this:

Spirituality? “Yes.”

God? “Probably.”

A specific religion? “Not for me.”

But at least seeking? “No, not really. Not a priority.”

The breakdown for a church or denomination could not be more complete. It is akin to having a world full of people being open and even interested in coffee, but purposefully driving past Starbucks with complete disinterest.

The significance of this cannot be overstated.

For the last few decades, the key word in most conversations about evangelism and church growth has been the word “seeker.” As in “seeker churches,” being “seeker-targeted” in strategy, talking about reaching “seekers,” or what a “seeker” might think about our service. Let’s not forget the widespread embrace of being “seeker-driven” and “seeker-sensitive.”

All things “seeker” came on to the scene during the late ’70s and was vibrant until the mid-’90s. It is now irrelevant at best and terribly misleading at worst.

The term “seeker” was used to refer in a general way to the unchurched who were turned off to church but open to both spirituality and religion.

Think back to the flood of baby boomers wanting to find a church for their kids, but feeling freedom from the religious and denominational moorings of their youth. They weren’t rejecting religion per se; they just felt the freedom to explore other traditions.

For example, consider the number of Catholics who explored nondenominational evangelical megachurches. These were people who were truly “seeking,” open to exploring the Christian faith for their life, and often in active search-mode for a religious faith, and even home, in order to plant themselves.

They had rejected the religion of their upbringing (often Catholicism), not religion itself.

As the ARIS report concludes, “the challenge to Christianity … does not come from other religions but from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.”

Barry Kosmin, co-researcher for the survey, adds, “They’re not thinking about religion and rejecting it; they’re not thinking about it at all.” Or as the research of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found, “the unaffiliated say they are not looking for a religion that would be right for them.”

So much for seeking.

Jonathan Rauch, in an article for the Atlantic Monthly, coined a term to describe his own spiritual condition. After a couple of glasses of Merlot, someone asked him about his religion. He was about to say “atheist” when it dawned on him that this wasn’t quite accurate. “I used to call myself an atheist,” he finally responded, “and I still don’t believe in God, but the larger truth is that it has been years since I really cared one way or another. I’m”—and this was when it hit him—“an … apatheist!”

Rauch went on to describe his state as a “disinclination to care all that much about one’s own religion and an even stronger disinclination to care about other people’s.”

According to the 2011 Baylor University Religion Survey, 44% said they spend no time seeking “eternal wisdom.” And 46% told Lifeway Research that they never wonder whether they will go to heaven.

So when it comes to matters related to God, religion or even atheism, millions simply shrug their shoulders and say, “So what?”

In his book Society Without God, sociologist Phil Zuckerman chronicles his 14 months investigating Danes and Swedes about religion. His conclusion? Religion “wasn’t really so much a private, personal issue, but rather a nonissue.”

His interviewees just didn’t care about it.      As one replied, “I really have never thought about that. … It’s been fun to get these kinds of questions that I never, never think about.” It brings to mind how sociologist Peter Berger once quipped, “If India is the most religious country on our planet, and Sweden is the least religious, America is a land of Indians ruled by Swedes.”

What we must now realize is that we are increasingly becoming simply a land of Swedes.

 

Rev. Gene DeHoog sent me an article that included a term, “Nakbah,” that I had not heard of before, so I looked into it from a Christian perspective. This from Mike Evans, a Jewish-Christian missionary:

Yesterday at noon [Thursday, May 15], sirens in Palestinian towns like Ramallah wailed for 66 seconds—marking 66 years since Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948. Palestinians call the prophetic and miraculous rebirth of the Jewish state “Nakba”—day of the catastrophe. Ceremonies were held at the tomb of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, and marches and parades took place in many cities.
Marchers carried maps of Palestine that do not show Israel existing, and many had metal keys—symbolizing the homes their ancestors were told to flee by Arab leaders in 1948. What began with parades, including bagpipers, scout groups and families, soon turned to violent attacks against Jewish people and security forces. The clashes left at least two people dead.

Eternally Blessed,  

 Pastor Dave Ullom <*}}}<

 

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