MESSAGE. II Chron. 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
In just a few days we’ll remember the birth of the United States of America. Let us pray that we continue to live “under God” as “one nation” where there is room for everyone. I see as it is becoming almost impossible to worship God in many parts of the world. I pray that we learn how to respect our religious, social, and political differences. It is in diversity that I find the strength of a nation. Dictators suppress free speech. So called “national’ religions take away a person’s right to pray according to his or her conviction. I pray that we show the whole world what great beauty there is in the tapestry of multiple colors. God creates in color. I may be a fan of blue or green political ideas, but without yellow, black or white my world is far short of God’s artistic standards. Let us pray that God strengthens our unity and makes us truly “one nation.”
- This Sunday, I need two able bodied men to help a family move.
- Next week, we will need 3 to 4 guys to help a new family moving into our area unload their U-Haul.
- Love in action project at Mikes house is SO close to being done. We just need two guys and a few hours to wrap it up.”
Season of Change Ministry had their monthly event last Thursday. Here is Lupina’s update: “We had a great red, white and blue turnout for Season of Change. Our guest speaker, art therapist Brooke Montague, from Hart Galleries had us work on an interactive art project to express our feelings about loss and the recovery process.” At the last Finance committee meeting Lupina shared with the group exciting news about their Ministry’s international emphasis. This year the Season of Change will be supporting a women’s shelter in India. Thank you, Lupina and your team, for your creativity and leadership.
Ed Demaree just sent an encouraging report and photos regarding the Building Hope project. The work is approaching its finishing stages. There have been no major problems or concerns with the project except for the heavy equipment messing up the school parking lot. It looks like we’ll need to compact and repave those areas. There may be a blessing in disguise as the existing layer of asphalt was not deep enough, and the parking area was slanting towards the school building. It looks like we may have enough funding in the contingency budget line for this work. Once again, thank you church for generously supporting our school’s very much needed renovations.
Prison Ministry update shared by Steve Bremner: “I was in prison and you came to Me.“ Matthew 25:36. There is a ministry that can help you apply this verse to your life. The Ooltewah SDA Church has a church service every week at the Silverdale Correctional Facility from 6:00-7:30 P.M. They provide prayer, song service, and a sermonette for the prisoners, and they can often share their prayer requests with the group. It is a blessing to everyone. I would like to thank Edwin Reynolds and Anita Shelton for volunteering to be a part of this wonderful ministry.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN STEWARD? – “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” — Micah 6:8, NRSV
In Jesus’ time, the steward was the manager of the household. The steward was not the owner of the assets, but a responsible administrator of the owner’s property.
We are all stewards of some possessions and influence. We either take care of the earth or we pollute the earth. The question is: “What kind of stewards are we?”
A starting place is the recognition that God has invited us to be responsible for our lives and resources. We are not likely to manage well unless we acknowledge that we are managers. We are not likely to exercise good stewardship unless we recognize that we are stewards.
Giving money for the work of the church is one very important aspect of stewardship, but it is not the whole of stewardship. When stewardship is reduced to financial giving, the richness of the biblical symbol is dismissed. When financial giving is magnified to the whole of stewardship, the richness of a whole life committed to Jesus Christ is missing.
Christian giving is a responsive act. It represents gratitude to God. It is a symbol of self-giving. Therefore, giving is not a once-for-all event, but a regular part of life. It is a spiritual discipline that reminds us who we are and whose we are.
PRAYERS. This week Sharom McKee fell and broke six ribs. She had to spend a few days in the hospital. Presently Sharon is back at home. Please, pray for her soon and complete recovery.
Rita Rogers had abdominal pain for several days and had to go for some tests. Prayers for Rita, please.
On a personal note: This week Galena and I celebrated 35 years of marriage. It is in our relationship that I learn what eternal heavenly love is all about. If someone tells you that love fades away with years, don’t believe them. Ask me and I’ll prove to you that it actually grows bigger and better with every new year. I’m grateful to God for my caring, hardworking, God-loving and always up beat wife. She makes my life feel like it is heaven already.