Sharing With Steve
This was a tough week for us at Meadowbrook. A long time member, deacon, drummer on the Praise Team, member of a LIFE Group, and friend passed away. It was very sudden. He went to work on Friday, April 21, and by late that evening he had passed away. His name was Jason Stallings. He was always cheerful and kind. He was involved in the life of the local church both through service and participation. He will be missed.
I am shaken by the suddenness of his passing. He had played the drums the week before. He had spoken to his wife that morning. He had been at the latest deacon meeting and other activities. And now he is gone. As I studied for the funeral message I was reminded of how fragile life is. We will all agree that a “passing” can come suddenly, but we usually think that it will happen to someone else. I know that I need to be prepared, but also think that I have plenty of time.
The Word of God reminds us that Christ’s return will be like a thief in the night. I often look at Christ’s return or my going to see him as two sides to the same coin. In either event I will be standing before Him and it will have happened suddenly. Jesus said that we are to be prepared. We are to take precautions knowing that at any time we may be standing before the Lord. Am I living my life in such a way that I bring honor and glory to His name? Am I alert to those things around me that affect my relationship with the Lord, both those that strengthen my life and weaken it? Am I constantly moving forward in my relationship with the Lord? Am I letting my light shine so that men may see my good deeds and give honor to God?
I would like to think that I have plenty of time to do these things. That I have plenty of time to make up for lost time. But what if I don’t? After the events of this past week I am reminded that my time here on earth is precious and that I am not assured of 90 years. What I am assured of is the opportunity to serve and please God. I pray that we will not wait until it is too late to make that journey.
On a different note I would like to thank Art Drake for several years of service to the Meadowbrook Messenger. Art has been the author of the “From the Pew” article and has done a wonderful job conveying his trust, faith, and insight into the Word of God. At the end of the month Art will be leaving us to move to Florida to be with his wife. Our prayers and thoughts go with him. May God bless you in this new stage in your life and as you continue on your faith journey.
This month, we are going through the book of James with the teens. I really enjoy having them break it down, talk it through with each other, and share it with the group. This past Sunday, we were talking through the last half of Chapter 1.
If you know the book of James, then you already know how many wonderful things it contains, but getting to see it and hear it applied by each of the students was a blessing.
Keeping your words in check.
Knowing when to speak and when to keep silent.
Making sure our talk matches our walk.
That last point really hit home with me.
I will be completely honest right here: I’ve read through James a ton of times. Most of them against my will (When I got angry as a child, my mom would have me sit down and read Bible verses until I was ready to apologize for my actions. I was also an angry child. James came up a lot).
Sometimes I think I know sections of the Bible well enough.
Then God hits you again.
James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
That last part wrecked me.
Do what it says.
Being raised in the Church, going to a Christian college, and then working in churches, I hear a lot of words.
I see words about God, to God, what God wants to do in your life, what He wants to do in my life, His plans and purposes for the world and the Church.
We all know it’s common to talk.
It’s not nearly as common to walk the talk.
What would happen if you actually trusted God entirely with all of your finances instead of giving him the safe leftovers?
What would happen if you actually followed through on His call to go into all the world?
What would happen if you actually let go of the bitterness or envy you harbor like you tell others to do?
I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. God does not delight in guilt, but grace and reconciliation.
Instead, I’m trying to call you to the next step in your walk with him.
What little call are you ignoring?
What challenge has been coming up over and over in your life?
Maybe it’s time to listen to God’s call.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
NEW SERMON SERIES
In May we will begin a new sermon series dealing with images of the Church. This will be an eleven week series that will look at different ways that the Church is identified in the New Testament. The Church is identified as the bride of Christ, as a flock, as a building, as a body, etc. Each of these descriptions gives a different idea of the Church and the role that it plays in the world. We will start on Sunday, May 21, with the Church as the bride of Christ. Sunday, May 28, we will examine Jesus as the vine and the Church as the branches. Please be praying for this new series.
Spring Communication Meeting
You are invited to the Spring Communication Meeting at Meadowbrook Christian Church.
The meeting will be held on Sunday, May 21st, following the morning worship service.
At this meeting, we will share information, ideas and plans in the following areas:
- Things that are happening now
- What’s coming up (what’s next…)
- Future planning/direction
Please plan to attend this informational meeting.
Note: this is not a business meeting, and we are not voting on anything.
In addition to the information that will be shared, we invite you to bring your comments, questions, and suggestions. We welcome your participation and feedback to help us plan for the future of Meadowbrook Christian Church.
We believe it is important for every member to be aware of what Meadowbrook is about, what is being planned, what direction we’re heading. Participating in this forum is an indication of your desire to be a part of the body at Meadowbrook (in other words, you care about what is going on!)
We look forward to seeing you on the 21st!
In Christ, Meadowbrook Elders
The grass is already green and growing. The Red Team will mow the week of May 7. The Orange Team will mow the week of May 14. The Blue Team will mow the week of May 21. The Green Team will mow the week of May 28. We appreciate our volunteers and the good work that they do on the lawn.
The annual Cycle the Campus fund raiser will take place on Saturday, June 3, at Midland. Registration is now open by going to cyclethecampus.org. There is a 25 mile ride and a 50 mile ride. Team Meadowbrook will, again, be a part of this effort. The goal is to raise $60,000 for His House Christian Fellowship. Meadowbrook has raised over $4000 each of the past several years. One of our faithful teammates will not be with us this year. Jason Stallings passed away last week. He had already signed up to be on the team. We will miss Jason and his enthusiasm and laughter. If you have any questions please see Steve Martin, Tom Schwartzenberger, or Ron Meegan.
ADULT BIBLE STUDY
We have two more sessions of Bible study before the summer break. We will be meeting Wednesday, May 10, and Wednesday, May 24. We are in a study of the Book of Judges and examining the life of Samson. We meet at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall. Plan now to come and share with us and grow in the knowledge of God’s Word.
The last men’s breakfast before the summer break will take place on Saturday, May 13, at 8:30am. We will have a home cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits, and beverage. We usually have some sausage gravy to add into the mix. We will continue our lessons from Tony Dungy, Super Bowl winning coach. The food is always good and everyone has been enjoying the lessons. We close with a time of prayer. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer.
Save the Dates
In an effort to become more aware of where people at Meadowbrook are gifted we will be introducing an online initiative to find out our spiritual gifts and how we can be more affective in our service for God in the Church and local community. Be watching for more information. We hope to create a link that will take you right to the test site. If you have any questions about this please see Steve, Mike Tingley, or Ron Lindhagen. There will also be a test for our teens. We want to take advantage of everyone’s giftedness to build the Kingdom of God.
“From the Pew”
If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.
Romans 12:8 NLT
In Romans 12:6 Paul writes that “In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well”.
I don’t know how well I’ve done, but I’ve tried through these Messenger articles to encourage others by showing how Christ has moved in my life. I have truly experienced miracles. Not only miracles, but Christ has enlightened me and encouraged me, step-by-step, to allow my understanding of His truths and to experience His might power and His awesome Grace.
I hope I have been able to convey some sense of this power and love so that it might inspire and encourage you.
This will be my last messenger article. I am retiring at the end of the month and moving full-time to Florida. I would like to take this time to thank Steve, the church leadership, and you for giving me the opportunity to share with you.
Meadowbrook has occupied a very special place in my heart and will continue to do so. I will always consider myself a number of Meadowbrook. Carole and I will be back in town from time to time and I will be sure to stop in and visit when I’m here.
Till then, may God bless you and keep you.
Ruth Edwards – May 2
Marjorie Stevens – May 3
Wanda Douma – May 9
Kiersten Zaremba – May 13
Randy Gilbert – May 13
Joe & Mimi Romaella (Anniv.) – May 14
Mike Gerstenlauer – May 18
Jerry Douma – May 21
Tom & Andrea Schwartzenberger (Anniv.) – May 25
Rick Sipe – May 25
Steve Martin – May 30
Krystin Reese, May 30