Weekly e-News Friday, March 13, 2015

Looking Ahead

           Sunday Worship times: 8:45 a.m., 10:00 Sunday School, 11:00 Contemporary Worship

Bible Study Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Bible Study Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

WoW youth group Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

It is starting to warm up outside and already we are looking forward to Easter in just a month. You might also start thinking about Easter lilies and donating to beautify our sanctuary and make our Easter celebration more special. You can e-mail the office to donate in memory or in honor of someone, or you can fill out one of the blue forms under the mailboxes so that those persons might be recognized.

           Thank you to those who have paid their Per Capita of $26.27. This amount for each member is sent to the Presbytery from our general fund. Your re-imbursement is greatly appreciated.

           The Deacons have an Easter Gift for each family. This week a piece of purple cloth to drape on the cross is being added to your Easter collection. The color purple is connected to many things pertaining to the tabernacle and temple and is the color of royalty. The robe was perfectly made without any seams and design was fit for a king.  The Roman soldiers placed the crown of thorns on Jesus’s head and clothed him in a purple robe. The soldiers then beat and flogged him, spit on him and mocked him, knelt down and salute him saying “Hail, King of the Jews”.  The soldiers then stripped Jesus of his robe – redressed him in his clothing and led him out to be crucified. If your family has not received their cross be sure to ask the deacons for yours. Stop at the table in the entry way as you are leaving church. We hope that this Easter Collection will be special to your family for years to come.

            The Sermon Sunday is “Throw the Dice” from Psalm 22:1-18- Prophecy of Jesus crucifixion, and

John 19:23-27- The soldiers divided Jesus garments, gambling for His seamless robe.

“Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it should be.” John 19:24.

 

Around Church this Week:

            Game Day fellowship time meant a fun game of Bunco with loads of snacks and time to spend together.

            Mystery to solve: We have discovered that we are missing two communion trays that hold the cups. Please contact the office if you have any knowledge to share.

The beautiful weather has provided the opportunity to get the lights off of a couple more of the evergreen trees along N Marquette.

           The Food Pantry donations of 50 pounds of food and $8 were delivered this week.

Leona Kinsey went home to be with Jesus on Friday morning. Visitation will be at the Heritage Funeral home at 57th & Western on Monday, with the family present 5-7 pm. Funeral service at Wildflower on Tuesday at 10:30 am with lunch following. Burial is at the Beaver Creek Cemetery in Beaver Creek following the lunch.

Chuckle: “The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing. . . .” (Psalms 2:4)

Daylight Savings

One Sunday the teacher at the Durham [Kansas] Baptist Church asked the children to raise their hands if they wanted to go to heaven. Every child raised a hand except one. “You don’t want to go to heaven?” asked the surprised teacher. “No,” came the almost tearful reply. “I want to stay here in Durham.”

~Jane Vajnar, Tampa, Kansas. Christian Reader, “Kids of the Kingdom.”

Birthdays this Week:

14 Amashi Rai
18 Leola Bergeson

Prayer Thought:

This is the prayer that Jesus prayed on the cross. One of the seven last words of Christ was, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they’re doing.” We can really learn a lot about Christ’s character here because He’s in agony. He’s in pain, yet He’s praying for other people. When you watch what other people say and do and pray when their back is up against the wall, it reveals what’s really inside of them. Prayer, like nothing else, is revelation of a person. It shows what’s inside the heart.

Please keep in prayer: Michael Kapaun– knee surgery; Joyce Carpenter– home again; Elvena Hyronimus; Rev. Dean Meeter –chemo has started; Christa DeRemiggio, Eldora Hayes; Joyce Gries; Nicole Stoll; Dale Klutman; For Arlene Lewis, Pete and Dolores Van Regenmorter– pray for balance, core strength and protection from falls.

 The following  devotional is from Our Daily Bread. This is the devotional that we have switched to at church beginning with the April-June issue. We will have both large print and regular print editions, but you can also subscribe to receive it on your phone, or as I have in receiving an e-mail each day.There is also an audio link included each day that you can click and listen to the devotional. Just go to http://odb.org/subscriptions/ and click the link about half way down the page in the box on the left side. It is simple, I just signed Judy up yesterday. If you would like me to sign up your e-mail, just let me know.

Our Daily Bread – Unexpected Encounter

March 10, 2015

The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel. —Ruth 2:12

Read: Ruth 2:11-20

Drew, young and enthusiastic, was leading the singing for the first time in a large church. Lois, a long-time attender, wanted to encourage him, but she thought it would be too difficult to get to the front of the church before he left. But then she saw a way to snake through the crowd. Lois told Drew, “I appreciate your enthusiasm in worship. Keep serving Him!”

As Lois walked away, she ran into Sharon, who she hadn’t seen in months. After a short conversation, Sharon said, “Thank you for what you do for the Lord. Keep serving Him!” Because Lois had gone out of her way to give encouragement, she was now in the right place to receive unexpected encouragement.

After Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, left Moab and returned to Israel, they received an unexpected blessing. They were both widows with no one to provide for them, so Ruth went to glean grain from a field (Ruth 2:2-3). The field happened to be owned by Boaz, a distant relative of Naomi’s. He noticed Ruth, provided for her needs, and later became her husband (2:20; 4:13). Ruth received a blessing because she was in the right place at the right time (2:11-23).

Sometimes God uses unexpected encounters to bring unexpected blessings. —Anne Cetas

           Dear Lord, help me to go out of my way to encourage others—whether or not I receive anything in return. My heart’s desire is to help others along the way to know You. May I be Your hands and feet.

When it comes to helping others, don’t stop at nothing.

 

Church Growth Is OK, but Church Health Is What Matters

By Rick Warren

The New Testament says a lot about the health of the church. Consider just a few verses:

“As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing.” —Eph. 4:16b (NLT)

           “The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church.” —2 Cor. 2:9 (Message)

           “You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other.” —James 3:18 (Message)

Church health is the key to church growth. All living things grow if they’re healthy. You don’t have to make them grow—it’s just natural for living organisms. As a parent, I didn’t have to force my three children to grow. They naturally grew up. As long as I removed the hindrances, such as poor nutrition or an unsafe environment, their growth was automatic.

If my children had not grown up, something would have been terribly wrong. I would have done whatever it took to discover the disease and correct it. I wouldn’t have remained passive, spouting clichés about faithfulness or wanting “quality not quantity” in my children.

The same principle is true for the church. Since the church is a living organism, it’s natural for it to grow if it’s healthy. The church is a Body, not a business—an organism, not an organization. It’s alive. If a church is not growing, it is dying.

           What then is the secret of church health?        In a word, it’s balance!

Your body has nine different systems (circulatory, respiratory, digestive, skeletal, etc.). When these systems are all in balance, it produces health. But when your body gets out of balance, we call that “disease.” Likewise, when the Body of Christ becomes unbalanced, disease occurs. Health and growth can only occur when everything is brought into balance.

The Importance of Balance

Our entire world is based on this principle of balance. Our planet was perfectly balanced by God, at just the right angle on its axis to support life. It rotates at a speed that minimizes vibration. If this planet were just a little closer to the sun, we’d burn up, and if it were just a few miles further away from the sun, we’d freeze to death.

Nature is a collection of ecosystems that live in balance with each other. We now know that even the tiniest variation in the ecosystem creates a chain reaction. God has set up a food chain with plants and animals in balance.

In architecture, structures must be balanced. If the stress isn’t balanced, a building will collapse or a bridge will fall through. There must be equilibrium. If your life is not balanced, you might collapse, and if your congregation is not balanced, it might collapse. As pastors and counselors, we must realize that healing is the recovery of balance to the body, soul and congregation.

Healthy, lasting church growth is multidimensional. I’ve written extensively on the fact that church health has five facets: Every church needs to grow …

           warmer through fellowship.

           deeper through discipleship.

           stronger through worship.

           broader through ministry.

           larger through evangelism.

These five purposes of the church are commanded by Jesus in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, explained by Paul in Ephesians 4, described in Jesus’ prayer for the church in John 17 and modeled by the first church in Jerusalem.

In Acts 2:42-47 these five facets of health are mentioned: They fellowshipped, edified each other, worshipped, ministered and evangelized. As a result, verse 47 says, “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Church growth is the natural result of church health. But church health can only occur when our message is biblical and our mission is balanced. Each of the five New Testament purposes of the church must be in equilibrium with the others for health to occur.

Now this is important: Because we are imperfect beings, balance in a church does not occur naturally: In fact, we must continually correct imbalance! It’s human nature to overemphasize the aspect or purpose of the church we feel most passionate about.

Most evangelical churches already do the five purposes of the church—sort of.

But they don’t do them all equally well. One church may be strong in fellowship, yet weak in evangelism. Another may be strong in worship, yet weak in discipleship. Still another may be strong in evangelism, yet weak in ministry.

Why is this? It’s the natural tendency of leaders to emphasize what they feel strongly about and neglect whatever they feel less passionate about. Around the world you can find churches that have become the extension of their pastor’s giftedness. They focus only on what he cares about most.

Unless you set up a system and structure to intentionally balance the five purposes, your church will tend to overemphasize the purpose that best expresses the gifts and passion of its pastor.

           Healthy churches are built on purpose! By focusing equally on all five of the New Testament purposes of the church, your church will develop the healthy balance that makes lasting growth possible.

 

Eternally Blessed,    

Pastor Dave Ullom <*}}}<.

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