The world is full of sin. We see it every day in the news. People groups are fighting other people groups. People are shooting first and asking questions later. Individuals are taking it upon themselves to right “perceived wrongs” or to carry out the wishes of hate spewing radicals. Not only is there violence taking place, but traditional moral standards are being left in the dust. A generation of children are being raised to believe that anything they believe is ok. Belief in God is optional and in some cases barbaric and ignorant. Those who believe in Christ are considered ignorant and fools. They are not enlightened. Knowledge is so much greater than faith. Any kind of lifestyle is permissible as long as it has meaning to you. We can now question our own sexuality and become male or female (or even neuter) regardless of our birth sex. To question such a thing is to invite contempt and accusations of judgment and a lack of love. How did it come to this?
The readers of John’s first letter were facing similar challenges. False teachers were going among them and spreading a gospel that was not the original Gospel. They were saying that everyone had to have a special knowledge that only they were privy to. John reminds his readers that they were taught correctly the first time and needed no extra “special” knowledge. He reminds them of the love that God and Christ had for us that we are to respond in like manner. And then he reminds them that this is exactly the way the world acts. 1Jn 4:4-6 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
We sometimes act surprised about how “bad” things are, but this should not surprise us at all today. The people of the world speak from the viewpoint of the world, not the viewpoint of Christ. The world does not want to listen to Christ, it never has. The world wants to listen to he that is in the world. The world does not know God and therefore has no idea what Christians are talking about or doing. We should not be surprised when the world thinks us foolish and ignorant. We as Christians should not be surprised at their immorality and their anger. They are of the world, and that is how the world acts. We are not to throw up our hands in despair and give up, but it is also something that should not surprise us. We must be faithful to Christ and His Word. We must still be salt and light. God has not forsaken us; He is still with us.
The idea of naming has been on my mind for the past few months. To most people, it is an odd topic, but to aspiring artists, writers, and songwriters, it is an everyday obstacle.
I believe it should also be a regular topic of conversation among Christians. You might be wondering why. If it is so important, why have you never heard sermons about it or read books detailing what it is?
We take it for granted.
How many things do you call by name in a day?
Hundreds, if not thousands.
Loved ones, friends, enemies, that jerk who cut you off in traffic. We call all of them by names, some given by us, some given by others.
We do it so often, we overlook where that power originates.
It comes from God.
All the way back in the story of Adam and Eve, God gifts the power of naming to Adam.
The tower of Babel is about people “Making a name for themselves.”
As God calls people over and over, He changes their name, gives them a new future.
Jesus came and gave us a new name: Redeemed.
He called us Chosen, Loved, Friend, Brother or Sister, Called, and so many more I can’t list them here.
The power of naming hasn’t disappeared since the New Testament was completed.
We are all named, nicknamed, insulted, inspired, and complimented on a daily basis. Isn’t it time we were intentional about it?
My mother had this weird thing she would do when people would cut her off in traffic (Or generally make a poor life choice). She would say: “Well, that’s a choice, isn’t it?” Where most people would insult, degrade, or berate, my mother would simply acknowledge a choice made. One time I asked her why she did what I saw as ridiculous. “Everyone has a story,” she replied, “We don’t know why they did what they did. Maybe they had an emergency. Maybe they’re about to get fired if they’re late, or are going to meet someone in the hospital. We can’t call them stupid or dumb when we don’t even know them. All we can do is judge their action.”
Her words buried themselves in my heart, my core.
How many times are we swift to label someone because of their actions? Ignore them because we give ourselves a higher name?
As Christians, it is our job, our task to call everyone by their true, God given name: “Beloved.”
It is our task to look beyond what the World may see and love the broken mess that is all of us.
I challenge you, this month, pick one person to call by their true name, to love even though it’s difficult.
You will need God’s help, but you know he is just waiting for you to ask.
You are a beloved child of the living God, now go, call others to their true name as well.
Family Fall Festival is coming to Meadowbrook
We would be honored to have you join us on October 28th, 6-8:30 pm for our Fall Festival, where we will have food including hot dogs and candy, games, and prizes for kids of all ages. Adults are encouraged to fellowship, serve, and enjoy an evening with their church family. Please see Nathan if you would like to help.
Sisters in Service will host the “Community Kitchen” at the Rochester Community House on Sunday, Oct. 16. Dinner is offered to low-income families and seniors on the third Sunday of every month, at no cost, and is served buffet style complete with linen tablecloths in the banquet room. The dinners are an enjoyable community gathering for both diners and volunteers. About 85 dinners are served, along with about 85 dinner packages delivered to those who are house-bound.
We want to invite the congregation to join us in this effort. While Community House volunteers prepare the majority of the meal, Sisters in Service ladies will be assisting with the meal and serving. Additional volunteers are needed, and the list is posted in the church foyer.
Everyone can help either at the Community House or in another way. The Community Kitchen dinners cost $400. A free-will offering will be taken on the first 3 Sundays of October to pay for the dinner. Drop your donation into the basket on the foyer table or in the offering plate as it’s passed, designating Community Kitchen. Checks may be written to Meadowbrook Christian Church.
Please see Theresa Meegan if you have questions about this community out-reach project and THANK YOU!!
THE STORY – Continues . . . . . . .
We are closing in on the conclusion of The Story. It has been an exciting journey. We have been looking at how God’s story can be our story. We have seen how God worked in the Old Testament. We are currently looking at Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that He will make on the cross. We will then look at the Book of Acts and the Church followed by several sermons on Paul and what he taught. We will conclude with a look at the future (Revelation) and then a summary sermon. There are just seven sermons left. The leadership is starting to discuss what we will be doing in 2017 by way of focus and sermons. Please pray for God’s direction that we will keep Him in our sight, always moving forward.
The Wednesday evening Bible study has gotten off to an excellent start. We had a great crowd as we started the Book of Judges. “Judges” looks at the twelve tribes of Israel as they attempted to solidify their possession of the Promise Land and the difficulty that they had in staying faithful to God. God would raise up “judges” to lead the people and give them direction. We meet every other Wednesday evening in the fellowship hall. In October we will be meeting on the 12th and 26th. If you have any questions please see Steve.
Sisters in Service and the Leadership of Meadowbrook Christian Church would like to invite you to join in Operation Christmas Child. Steve has ordered 100 shoeboxes from Samaritan’s Purse. You can choose to fill a shoebox as individuals or as a family or you can donate items (list is in the foyer of acceptable items and is also available on samaritanspurse.org/occ). Sisters in Service will pack the donated items into shoeboxes. The National Collection Week is November 12-21. The shoeboxes will be brought to a regional collection center and will be sent to one of the national processing centers and sent overseas to be distributed by local churches.
Franklin Graham, is President of Samaritan’s Purse. This worthy project has been providing millions of gifts to needy children around the world for 23 years. In the hands of local churches, every gift-filled shoebox is a powerful tool for evangelism and discipleship – transforming the lives of children and their families around the world through the Good News of Jesus Christ! After receiving shoebox gifts, boys and girls are invited to enroll in The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson discipleship program where children learn to faithfully follow Christ and share their faith with others. Learn more about Operation Christmas Child at samaritanspurse.org/occ.
- Get a “Samaritan’s Purse” shoebox (as noted above)
- Select a quality WOW item
- Fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies
- PRAY for the child who will receive your gift
- Include a personal note and photo
- Include $7 to send your gift overseas
- Bring your shoebox to MCC November 14-21
What goes into the box is fun…What comes out is eternal.
2-4 years old boy or girl
5-9 years old boy or girl
10-14 years old boy or girl
Scrapbooking Crop is a Success!!
by Cindy Gerstenlauer
The third annual Meadowbrook Scrapbook Crop, held on September 17 to benefit the teen ministry was a resounding success! We had a full house, with 26 registrants and two vendors. Fourteen hundred dollars was raised from the fundraiser that will benefit the teen ministry for purposes such as CIY attendance. All expenses and time were donated.
Five teens and one pre-teen were able to help load and unload cars (scrappers bring in lots of stuff!), and helped set up meals, serve food, clear tables, sell raffle tickets and clean up. The participants were very thankful for the help and complimentary of the kids. They loved the great homemade food and the variety of dishes served. Many wanted to try everything and asked for recipes. One lady who has come previously but was unable to attend this year was sorry she missed it for the food alone. Everyone thought the raffle baskets were beautiful. Many ladies said, “this is the best crop I have ever attended.” They would definitely attend again and were already asking for next year’s date. We are gaining a reputation for a good crop to go to!
I certainly could not have done this crop without all the help and support from the church, and am really thankful. Many donated items for the raffle, including sewing & knitting beautiful homemade items. Several ladies donated their time & talent to make the baskets look really good. Many made food for lunch & dinner and delivered it over to the church. Several helped serve & clean up from meals. A number donated the use of the tables, cords & power strips that we needed. Several helped set up the hall and had everything ready to go. I am thankful for the Deacons who have not only been responsible for making the fellowship hall & kitchen look beautiful with new flooring, but also had the oven fixed just in time, changed the outside lights so the parking lot was lit, directed people to the crop, and changed the fluorescent lights in the fellowship hall that were not working during the event. Nathan did a great job speaking to the ladies and giving people an idea of what the money will be used for. The kids were great; they were enthusiastic, self-directed, very willing to do whatever was needed; their parents can be very proud of them. Last but not least, I would like to thank my husband for putting up with me having stuff all over the house for the crop, trashing the kitchen in a mad frenzy to cook the night before, and for helping me all along the way. We can all be proud of our efforts.
A Disciplined Thought Life
by Art Drake
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 NLT
One important lesson I have learned in my Christian walk is the importance of a disciplined thought life. Without disciplining our thoughts we can all too easily drift back into giving priority to worldly things. There is danger in this because evil surrounds us. If we give the devil the slightest foothold he will utilize that advantage to the fullest extent. Once we open that door we become susceptible to every sort of evil, anxiety, depression, mental illness, and disease. It is only by remaining in God’s protection that we can escape the traps of the evil one.
Like our earthly fathers, our Heavenly Father knows what we need and wants only the best for His children. As we mature we begin to understand how our earthly fathers understood the dangers in life and tried to protect us from these. As we mature in Christ we begin to understand how our Heavenly Father can see dangers we cannot. He tries to steer us away from things he knows are bad for us and, instead, onto the path of peace, joy, and righteous.
However, just as with our earthy father, we have a choice of whether to obey our Heavenly Father. Choosing to follow our sinful nature requires no special effort – we do it without thinking about it. However, choosing to follow the Holy Spirit requires a great deal of discipline.
Just as soldiers in regular armies must learn discipline, as soldiers in Christ’s Army we must learn to overcome worldly desires and discipline ourselves to focus on things of the Spirit. We commit ourselves to study and grow in the Word so we can become mature and accomplish the purpose for which God created us.
As we fill our minds with the things of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will transform us into being more like Christ, and we will reap the benefits of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
It is only by making the choice to follow the Spirit and then committing ourselves to grow in Christ that we reap the benefits of the Spirit and remain in His protection.
Tom Schwartzenberger – October 2
Arleen Rossol – October 3
Kathy Couture – October 8
Denis & Kathy Couture (Anniv.) – October 8
Carolyn Bennett – October 16
Norm Tope – October 16
Dan & Elaine Bright (Anniv.) – October 17
Wendy Kapusta – October 20
Ron & Theresa Meegan (Anniv.) – October 21
Pat Wundrach – October 20
Wayne Thomas – October 21
Jim Martin – October 24
Winona Wundrach – October 26
Jeremy & Brandy Cox (Anniv.) – October 28
Mary Koster – October 31
Stephanie Ciuba – October 31