We only have the present!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

 

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31, ESV)

 

What a tremendous weekend! On Sunday a good number were present for worship service. Then, after we fed on God’s Word, we were able to feed on chicken and homemade noodles! It was a smorgasbord! There were various side dishes, salads, and desserts donated for the cause!  In fact, there was enough food (as planned) to feed the men who came to the P.S.E.A. Men’s Meeting we hosted on Monday night. There are just not enough words to thank Kay Wright (who organized and cooked) and all the men and ladies of the church who helped in one way or another. The fundraiser was a huge success!


We have completed our series of sermons from Daniel.  I hope it was as much of a benefit for you as it was for me.  We are living in tough times!  Daniel has provided for us not only an example, but also a vision of the blessings that are ours when we remain faithful.  I love the final exhortation and promise he is given: “But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Now we move to the Gospel of John – a sermon series I have titled “That You May Believe.” The title is taken from the words in the verses quoted above. Each of the four gospels was written to a different audience and for a different purpose. John tells us clearly the purpose for his writing. This will also be the aim of this sermon series – What can we ‘know’? 

 

God is so good! Many of you have allowed us to do a variety of odd-jobs, while others have donated and worked with us.  The end result is that by working together for just a few short months, we have been able to raise the funds necessary for our mission trip to Mexico. In fact, I was even able to locate and procure twenty-five textbooks in Spanish (though I couldn’t find an English translation for myself) and forty-six Bibles (Spanish language) were given to us to distribute in the best manner for the Kingdom.


Please keep us in your prayers! During the two weeks we are in Mexico our home base will be Iglesia de Cristo – Cd. Guadalupe.  Jessie, Autumn, and I will stay with the minister’s family. The primary focus of our trip will be a class that I will teach each evening for two weeks to ministers and church leaders from the surrounding area.  Our focus will be on using the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon) for spiritual growth and transformation.


Remember, we are here for you!  We can only minister to you if you let us. That is another reason why we hope to see you or hear from you soon.  May God bless you abundantly!


When you absent yourself from the body, not only are you hurting yourself, the rest of the body (the Church) is also suffering.  “Now is the time…”  We can’t change the past; we have no control over the future.  We have NOW!

Straining forward to what lies ahead... 

January 2, 2018

     Returning to the office this morning, for the first time in 2018, I couldn't help but reflect on some of the events of the past seven months.  We have worshipped together 29 times since my first Sunday with you on June 11, 2017.  During that time, we experienced seven baptisms (four adults and three youth) and one transfer of membership by another adult.

     Our focus has been on what it means to be the church and live the Christian life.  The first two months we examined what "Being the Church" means, utilizing Paul's letter to the Christians at Colossae.  Then we spent fifteen weeks in Philippians trying to let Paul help us understand "The Joy of Living in Christ." 

     The year ended with four sermons in December title "The Christmas Story... and Ruth."  We went back to the Old Testament, to the beautiful short story about Ruth and Boaz.  We learned that Ruth is a story about a young girl who, just like Mary, made a radical commitment of faith and traveled to Bethlehem to have a baby.  And Boaz, a righteous man just life Joseph, rescued Ruth be becoming a  redeemer (just like Jesus) and they all appear in Matthew's version of the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17).

     During the seven months, some of us have gone to George Ade Health Center to provide a worship service that included singing, a message, and the sharing of communion.  We will continue this every second Sunday of the month during the coming year.  Additionally, we will be adding a "sing along" time for the residents on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

     Each week on Wednesday several come out to help put together a meal for the families, and Jam (K-5) and Blast (6-8) for the youth.  Jessie and I experienced our first ever Indiana Christian Youth Convention (ICYC) in November as we took four of our Junior High and Senior High youth to Anderson, Indiana for an "overnight" of worship and fun.

     In a nutshell, it has been an active seven months... but we need to do more.  As Paul wrote, we too need to be "straining forward to what lies ahead... press[ing] on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3: 13-14).  We need to work together to find out how we can reach the lost of our community... which means those with no real knowledge of Jesus Christ, as well as those who know a lot about him but don't seem to find the time to worship Him.

     My prayer is that God will bless us abundantly, even if it means going through some significant changes.  What do you think?