Worship and Youth Sunday School at 10:00 a.m. and Fellowship at 11:00; 1:00 p.m. Worship in Nepali.
Bible Studies: Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.
WoW and Xtreme Faith Youth Groups Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Annual Congregational Meeting and potluck is the last Sunday in January, the 29th. A potluck meal will follow with this suggested guideline: A-H, Salad; I-Q, Dessert; R-Z, Main Dish.
It is time to start thinking about 2017 Per Capita for church membership. The annual amount is a combined request from Presbytery, Synod, and the General Assembly based on their respective budgets.
Per capita is an opportunity for all communicant members of the Presbyterian Church to participate equally in sharing the cost administrating mission and the functions of the PCUSA.
Did you know that Jesus paid per capita? He paid the half shekel at the Temple just like everyone else (Mat. 7:24-27) since Moses directed the people to do so at the Tabernacle. I like to think that paying per capita is like pitching in with other passengers to pay for gasoline for a road trip, each paying a share.
Our Per Capita this year is $28.80. When you put your check for your portion of what Wild Flower sends in for our total membership, you are covering your share. Don’t make someone else have to pay for your privilege. Write out your check now, before you forget.
The Sermon Sunday will be “Wonder of Dirt” from Psalm 40:1-11- God lifts us up out of the struggles in our lives; and John 1:29-42- Andrew and Simon (Peter) come to follow Jesus
“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2.
Around Church this Week:
I was in Kimball on Saturday to moderate the Camping Commission and Faith Formation ministry of the presbytery- one of three face-to-face meetings per year.
Thank you to those who helped take down decorations after worship on Sunday.
Those who were able to view the movie God’s Not Dead 2 enjoyed a real blessing on Sunday afternoon. There was very little (minor) connection to the first movie, but both were powerful stories of faith. If you make the effort to rent the movie from RedBox, it will be well worth it. Judy and I have recorded God’s Not Dead on our DVR to watch, so if you would like to see it, just talk to one of us and we could watch it at our home together.
Girl Scouts rented the building on Tuesday evening for a program.
Rose Thuringer assisted with shut-in Communion on Monday, and the best news was finding Elvena Hyronemous without padded boots for the first time in months. Here is also a sample of her winter artwork (you might notice Rose’s reflection to the right of the picture):
Thank you to Larry Anderson for once again wiring portions of the snow fence back to the posts where the wind had broken it off.
A cozy group gathered in the Adult Sunday School room Wednesday morning for fellowship around coloring and crafting.
The gas company was here on Wednesday afternoon and checked the pipes and wiring conduits for any sign of gas leaks coming into the building, or inside, and there were none, so we are good until next year’s annual inspection.
Pastors from the area Presbyterian churches, including Harrisburg, were here on Thursday for a monthly gathering and to begin planning for the Joint Ash Wednesday service that will be on March 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Little Stone Church.
I had to clear snow from the sidewalks on Thursday.
Thank you to our auditors: Joe Van Holland, Jeff Lewis and Joan Reich who went through the 2016 financials on Thursday.
Rev. Don Barbalace and I headed for Mitchell on Friday for the presbytery Administration and Coordination ministry (formerly known as the Council, the leadership body of the presbytery) meeting as we each serve on this ministry.
7 Calendars are left for a discounted price of $5.00 to support our Youth ministries.
Chuckle: “The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing. . . .” (Psalms 2:4)
“So, what’s the matter? I thought you just got back from a nice relaxing fishing trip with your husband.”
“Oh, everything went wrong: first he said I talked so loud I would scare the fish. Then he said I was using the wrong bait; and then that I was reeling in too soon.
“All that might have been all right; but, to make matters worse, I ended up catching the most fish!”
Birthdays this Week:
Prayer Thought: “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the omnipotent muscle of God.” ~ Charles Spurgeon.
Just as a relationship with your best friend would soon turn sour if you stopped speaking, so too will our relationship with God. Prayer invites us into constant communication with God so our relationship with Him can flourish. But, if we’re honest, there are times in our relationships with God where prayer can feel flat, rote or downright lifeless.
I’m not sure where I found these, but here are three ways to jumpstart your prayer life this week:
- Write them down. Instead of speaking your prayers aloud or in your mind, choose to record your prayers in written form each day this week. Pick up a notebook or journal and write down your words of thanks, requests and adoration to God. You can even begin recording your prayers on those blank pages at the back of your Bible—it’s worked for me.
- Snap a photo. Start a collection of pictures of things, ideas and people you need to be reminded to pray for. Each time you scroll through the photos on your phone, in a scrapbook or on the refrigerator, speak words of blessing and prayer over them.
- Memorize and meditate. Choose a passage from the Bible such as The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) or Psalm 23, and pray the passage for five minutes each day this week. Ask God to help focus your heart and mind as you pray. Focus on each word as you speak them to God.
Please keep in prayer: Jayden Ausland, Jeanne Marsh, Jeff Lewis, Rose Thuringer, Esther Bakker; Ardella Kjergaard.
4 Reasons to Have a Quiet Time – Crosswalk.com by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
Deep down, have you ever had any of these thoughts?
If I have my devotions, God will be pleased with me. If I don’t have my devotions, God will be disappointed with me.
Having daily devotions makes me more spiritual. If I don’t have daily devotions, I am less spiritual.
If I have devotions today, God will help me out and my day will go better. If I don’t have devotions, God won’t help me, and I’m sure to have all sorts of problems.
I have to have daily devotions—every good Christian does.
Thoughts such as those listed above have put many believers in bondage and kept them from entering into the real purpose for setting aside time each day to meet with God.
We need to understand that having daily devotions is not for the purpose of getting extra points with God—nor is it a way to keep God from disapproving of us; we are not trying to earn His favor or get Him to love us anymore. If we belong to Him, we already have His favor; He could not love us anymore, and He could not love us any less.
Further, setting aside time for devotional activity, in and of itself, does not necessarily make us any more spiritual. (The Pharisees were known for their “devotional habits,” but they were far from spiritual.) Neither is a quiet time some sort of good luck charm that gets God on our side, guarantees our day will go better, and keeps us from having problems. Daily devotions are not a way of bartering or negotiating with God.
Then what is the purpose of devotions? What makes it worth making the effort to get up earlier in the morning, to find time in an already hectic schedule, and to prioritize a daily quiet time? What are we hoping to see accomplished through that time? And why is this habit such a crucial one in the life of a believer?
I’d like to suggest four purposes I have discovered for maintaining daily devotions:
- Communion: The most important purpose of a daily devotional life is that we might experience intimate union and communion with God. Remember, we are talking about a relationship. The God of the universe loves you, and He created you to be His friend.
As you meet with God in your daily devotional time, don’t forget that the ultimate purpose is not simply to gain more knowledge about God or His Word but to know Him. You may be a seasoned student of the Word. You may even be a Bible study leader. But if your study of the Word does not lead you to know God, you have missed the whole purpose.
In the front of my Bible, I have written these words that express my longings to come to know God through His Word: Beyond the sacred page, I seek Thee, Lord.
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word. —Mary A. Lathbury (1841–1913)
The second purpose of a devotional life is purification, or cleansing of our hearts and our lives. Do you sometimes feel like all you ever do is clean? That’s because things (and people) tend to get dirty. Whether it’s clothes, children’s hands, kitchen floors, bathrooms, vinyl siding, entryways, or our bodies, dealing with the dust, crumbs, and grime that accumulate is a necessary and never-ending process.
In the Old Testament tabernacle we find a striking picture of the process of washing. Before entering into the Holy Place to represent the people before God, the priest would first stop at the bronze altar where an innocent animal would be offered up as a sacrifice for his own sin and for the sin of the people. Then, the priest would move to a bronze basin known as a laver, where he would wash his hands. He would return to that laver as needed throughout the day.
Although our sin has been atoned for by the blood of Jesus, when we come into His presence, He takes us to the laver that we might wash our hands and feet of whatever may have defiled us.
Ask any woman today how she’s doing and there’s a good chance the answer will be, “Busy!” or “Exhausted!” Overcrowded schedules and stressed-out lives seem to be the order of the day. I don’t think the issue is just a matter of how much we have to do. If it were, all we’d need is a vacation. But you’ve probably had the experience, as I have, of taking time off, only to come back more exhausted than when you left.
I’m convinced that one of the major reasons we can’t handle the demands of day-to-day living is that our spirits are weary. Our souls need to be restored. And that is why restoration is another purpose of setting aside time to be alone in God’s presence each day.
The circumstances and demands of a typical day may cause us to fall wearily into bed at night. But when we awake in the morning, His mercies are new and fresh (Lam. 3:22–23).
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a class you could take that would teach you everything you needed to know and provided answers for all your problems? Maybe you’ve got a boss who is impossible to please, a food addiction you just can’t kick, a husband who watches TV all the time, a church where no one seems to be hungry for God, a child who has started lying, or bills that always seem larger than the paycheck.
The fact is, there is a “course” that addresses every issue we will ever face. The Teacher loves to meet one-on-one with His students so that He can tailor the course to our needs. He is willing to hold class every day that we are willing to meet. We already have the Textbook, which was written by the Teacher Himself. Parts of it can be difficult to grasp. But the Teacher is always available—twenty-four hours a day—to help us understand.
Establishing a daily devotional habit enrolls us in this course. The Textbook—the Word of God—doesn’t claim to solve all our problems. (The fact is, God isn’t as interested in solving our problems as He is in changing us.) But it does claim to have all the resources we need to face those problems. And it will teach us something that is absolutely essential to dealing with the circumstances of life: the ways of God (Ps. 103:7).
So let me ask you . . .
What are some inferior motivations you have sometimes had for having a quiet time?
What are some instances in which God used His Word to cleanse your heart, to restore your soul, or to teach you something of His ways?
Do you have specific passages that you like to pray back to God during your quiet time?
~ Adapted from Nancy’s book A Place of Quiet Rest.
Pastor Dave Ullom <*}}}<