Sharing With Steve
I enjoy preaching. I enjoy the challenge of taking a topic or scripture and developing a sermon. I enjoy the opportunity to share that idea in a clear and meaningful way. I am constantly aware that I represent Christ. I remember speaking at one church and on the pulpit was a small plaque that only the speaker would see. It read, “We would see Jesus.” I was reminded that we are just vessels that God uses to share His message. The minister has to be constantly aware of his place before God. It is easy to take the “well done” and “good sermon” and begin to get an inflated view of yourself. Just recently I came across several sayings that reminded me of this, again.
I have a small daily calendar entitled, Knocking at God’s Door. These are personal prayers of Oswald Chambers. He is best known for his daily devotional, My Utmost For His Highest. I would like to share a few of his prayers to remind us of our standing before God and His desire to help us. These apply to everyone, not just ministers.
February 20 – “O Lord, one thing amazes me, and that is my almost total deficiency in letting you manifest yourself and your beauty in my outward life. Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon me this day.
February 21 – O Lord, with much dimness I draw near to you. Clear the dimness away from me and flood me with the light of your countenance.
February 22 – O Lord, I beg you for sustaining strength and simple joy. Keep me humble-minded in motive and design that nothing of the self-satisfied, superior person may be mine.
February 23 – O Lord, how much of a lift I need this morning! You know. In my preaching, cause your glorious voice to be heard, your lovely face to be seen, your pervasive Spirit felt.
February 24 – Cleanse me, O Lord, from all complicity of spirit, and my your radiant beauty be in and upon me this day.
February 25 – How depressed and appalled I am at the prospect of sinking to the commonplace! Lord, help me to live purely and powerfully and fascinatedly yours.
February 28 – O Lord, in complete need I turn to you. Come to me physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually, and cause me to bring about the manifestation of yourself that is glorifying to you.
March is already upon us! Sometimes it can be so easy to lose track of time and let days pass as we go about our normal routine. We forget how fast the year is passing until someone mentions it or a big event happens to us and we see that 2017 is already almost a fourth of the way over. We get lost in the busyness and forget our true business.
While I was reading a book this past week, I stumbled across this quote:
“Jesus’ response to our worry-filled lies is quite different. He asks us to shift the point of gravity, to relocate the center of our attention, to change our priorities. Jesus wants us to move from the ‘many things’ to the ‘one necessary thing.’” (Henri Nouwen, Making All Things New)
Over the past two months, I’ve been going through Crazy Love by Francis Chan with the teens and it says the same thing, asking questions like: “Why are we content to give God our leftovers?” and “Do you really love God?”
You see, we are all being called deeper into God’s love on a daily basis, but we forget it.
We have a tendency to let the noise win and the silence remain empty.
We let movement replace growth and wonder why nothing is changing.
We forget to swim against the current and work toward the eternal.
That’s why, each week, I’ve challenged the teens to have a “Doable/Achievable,” something measurable that they could do to build their relationship with God.
For anyone raised in a liturgical background, you may recognize some of these ideas in this season of Lent, this season a preparation for Easter.
For those not raised in a liturgical background (myself included) you may not have realized most churches have a built-in countdown for Easter (and Christmas, but I’ll talk about that when the time comes).
We as humans need these times, like communion on a seasonal or yearly scale, Lent challenges us and reminds us to slow down and put “the one necessary thing” back at the center of our lives.
If you’re feeling out of sorts, rushed, too busy, overwhelmed, then schedule the time to sit down with God and ask Him to help you put him back where He belongs.
If you’re feeling adventurous or want to step up your spiritual life, try participating in Lent this year, look it up and see what you can do. Whether it’s fasting from foods or just remembering to quiet yourself and pray every day, the little things add up.
Make God the center of your life.
Faith Promise Missions Rally 2017 Coming in March
Focus on International Disaster Emergency Services
Here’s what’s happening:
Sunday, March 12
“What is Faith Promise”- Ron Meegan, Mission Committee Chairman, will explain our Faith Promise Missions Program. Detailed brochures will be handed out.
Sunday, March 19
Steve Martin, will present a mission-focused sermon
Pot Luck – Following the worship service. A sign-up sheet is on the foyer table. (See details in separate article).
Sunday, March 26
Sunday School Hour: Exec. Director Rick Jett will present information about the work of IDES in the Auditorium. Sunday school classes from youth to adult will meet in the Auditorium.
Worship Service: Sermon by Rick Jett
Sunday, April 2
Faith Promise Commitment Cards Due
See details in separate article.
A Pot Luck Will Kick off the Faith Promise Missions Rally
This year’s Faith Promise Rally 2017 begins March 19 with a Sunday Pot Luck following church services. A sign-up sheet is posted in the foyer just to let us know how many to expect. Everyone please bring a main dish and if your last name begins with A-N also a salad or vegetable; O-Z a dessert. You don’t need to identify what you’re bringing. Singles only need to bring one dish.
GOAL: $1,000 = 10 Sewing Machines
Indian ladies take part in an eight-week class that covers everything from stitching to maintenance on a sewing machine. The sewing machine is then given to them. From the lessons and by owning a sewing machine, the ladies can take care of their family and make a little money helping in the community. The cost per machine is about $100 USD which includes about $10 worth of starter supplies like pins, thread, cloth, thimble etc.
The sewing program is usually a springboard to get the ladies in other programs and Bible studies.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP:
For every $20 that is donated, a spool of thread will be deposited in a bowl at the Missions Display in the lobby. For every $100, a photo of a sewing machine will be posted on a display board.
March 1 – Adult Bible Study ( Judges 11) and Teens – 7pm
March 5 – Nathan North Preaching
March 11 – Men’s Breakfast – 8:30am
March 19 – Faith Promise and Missions Potluck
March 26 – Faith Promise – Rick Jett from IDES speaking
The bi-monthly men’s breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 11, at 8:30am in the Fellowship Hall. We will be having scrambled eggs, sausage, gravy, biscuits, and beverage. We will continue discussing Tony Dungy’s Dare To Be Uncommon. We will close with a time of prayer. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer.
ADULT BIBLE STUDY
We are having excellent turnouts for the adult Bible study on Wednesday evenings. In March we will be meeting March 1, March 15, and March 29. We are in the middle of a study of Judges. It has been both interesting and enlightening. We encourage you to come out at 7pm and share with us. We look forward to seeing you. The teens meet at the same time in the youth room.
For many women the Proverbs 31 woman is too perfect. In reality, she is an ordinary woman who made herself available to an extraordinary God and became a tremendous blessing to everyone around her. Please join us to discover God’s work through this scripture. The study will begin on Thursday, April 6, at 9:30am. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer. The cost of the books is $7. Please see Phyllis Martin for more information.
Our theme for the year is “We Are The Church.” We have just finished a series of sermons on the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2 & 3. It has been interesting to see what Christ said to these churches and how that applies to today. In March we will be focusing on Faith Promise, our mission outreach program. Nathan North, our Family Life Minister, will be preaching on March 5. Steve will have a follow-up sermon about the seven churches in Revelation on March 12. March 19 & 26 will be sermons focusing on missions. In April we will begin a new series centered on Acts 2:42 – They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. When the Church gathers together on any given Sunday what is it supposed to do? We will examine that in light of the Acts passage.
MARCH 12 SERVICE
We have spent the last seven weeks dealing with the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3. Jesus pointed out their strengths and their weaknesses. We want to build on that during our March 12th service. Please come prepared to share where God has blessed you and given you strength. Also come prepared to share those weak areas where you need the Lord’s help. This will be shared in a non-threatening way. We hope that this will serve as a way to encourage and build one another up. Please be keeping this service in your prayers.
Maureen Thalmann will be the speaker at the Mon. March 27 meeting at 7 p.m. She will speak to us about the Petticoat Surgeon, Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen, who was raised on a farm here in Rochester (now the VanHoosen Farm Museum). Dr. Van Hoosen was a pre-eminent surgeon, writer, and leader of the 20th century – a pioneer woman physician whose indomitable spirit blazed a path for other women to follow.
The American Red Cross will be here on Wednesday, April 5, between 12:30 and 6:15 p.m. Call Theresa Meegan at 248-340-9215 to schedule an appointment, or sign up in the lobby starting March 12, or go on-line to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code meadowbrookchristian.
All blood types are welcome!
From the Pew
by Art Drake
The First Fruits of Your Labor
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 COR 9: 7-8 NLT
We come to the third part of our discussion of the “three firsts”. To review, the concept of the three firsts is a way to increasing put God first in all things. In previous articles, we discussed giving God the first moments of the day, and giving Him the first day of the week. This month we will look at giving Him the first fruits of our labor.
Let me start by saying that I realize tithing is a controversial subject for some. Rather than telling you how you should tithe, I will tell you what I believe, and what blessings I have received from tithing.
Tithing is an Old Testament duty and is not mentioned specifically in the New Testament. However, as we see in our scripture verse, Paul does clearly encourage believers to give. These versus sum up, to me, the correct mindset toward giving. We must each decide in our hearts how much to give and then we give cheerfully, not as a duty, or requirement. Then, we should be prepared to receive the blessing that God will provide the cheerful giver.
I believe a key factor in giving is to realize that we are only stewards of what God has blessed us with. We need to be good stewards of God’s resources and part of being a good steward is to return a portion of that in which we have been blessed to God as a way of thanking Him, and recognizing that He is the provider of all things.
Once we understand this concept then we need to manage the resources we have been given as good stewards. That might involve learning how to be a good steward. More than twenty five years ago the church I was attending hosted a financial management seminar taught by a Christian financial manager. That seminar was a turning point in my life.
Up to that time, my wife and I were like many young couples. We didn’t make a lot of money and we carried significant credit card debt. Sometimes, it seemed as if we were digging ourselves into a financial hole that we would never get out of.
The seminar taught, in addition to the concept of being a steward, that we must manage resources wisely. We must spend some, save some, and give some away. Based on advice from the seminar, I developed a financial plan to first pay off credit card debt, and once that was accomplished, to begin to save so I could pay cash for those unexpected expenses. This, in turn, eventually allowed me to not only have the resources to give back to God His rightful portion, but also to help others in need.
When I did this an amazing thing happened. I received financial windfalls out of the blue. The income tax return was more than expected. The bonus at work was more than expected. An unexpected financial opportunity arose. I received the next promotion at work…and the one after that!
What was happening was that when I began doing my part, then God met me more than half way and blessed me immensely. The last part of our scripture verse says God will bless a cheerful giver and then we will not only receive everything we need, but have plenty left over to help others. I can personally attest this is exactly what happened to me.
The last thing I will leave you with is this lesson not only applies to finances, but to our entire lives. When we trust God, when we put our faith in Him, when we live by Godly principles, when we put Him first in all things, then He will richly bless our lives in more ways than we can imagine.
Till next month, may God’s peace be with you.
Emma Leigh Cox – March 3
Bethany Thomas – March 4
Toni Deaton – March 16
Kathi Tope – March 20
Joe Romaella – March 24
Jacquelyn Thomas – March 25
Mike Tingley – March 28
Anderson Tupper – March 29
Zachary Kapusta – March 31
Marion Thomas – March 31