Sharing With Steve
The last four years I have been associated with the Pre-Teen 2 Camp at Lake James Christian Camp. I have served two years as assistant dean and two years as the dean. They have been enjoyable weeks. I have met several of the northern Indiana ministers and church members who annually work at camp. Several of the people here at Meadowbrook have become involved. It is a week that I look forward to. For the last three years I have done the evening chapel service. I look forward to telling Bible stories in a way that will capture the imagination of the youth and spur them to find out more about the story. Late each evening we gather on the shore of Lake James around the campfire. We sing songs and listen to God’s Word being shared. At some point during the campfire the song leader or speaker will yell, “Attitude check!.” Everyone responds, “Praise the Lord!” If it is done right the words will echo back across the lake. It is pretty cool. It is something that we do nightly – for five nights. And then we wait until next year for the next week of camp.
I probably need an attitude check more than one week out of the year. My attitude tends to fluctuate. Too often it goes up and down depending on my circumstances. I often wait too long (until I am really down) to take stock of where I am and how I got there. I was going through old Discipleship Journals and I read an article about brokenness. I would like to share with you the end of the article which is by Alan Nelson (Discipleship Journal, #94). He asks several questions that we can ask ourselves about our attitude and then has a closing statement.
Just because we have experienced breaking does not guarantee that we are reflecting its benefits. We need to check our attitudes regularly to see if our souls are tamed. Here are a dozen questions to ask:
- Am I willing to let go of my dreams and ambitions if it is God’s will?
- Am I defensive when accused, criticized, or misunderstood?
- Am I coveting what others have instead of waiting for heaven’s rewards?
- Am I forgiving when offended, with or without an apology?
- Am I complaining or arguing because of unsurrendered rights?
- Am I thinking of others first out of love?
- Am I proudly appearing to be always right or to know all the answers?
- Am I practicing the spiritual disciplines (prayer, fasting, solitude, simplicity, etc.)?
- Am I being silent regarding self-promotion and letting God do my public relations?
- Am I daily saying, “God, whatever it takes, I’m willing to submit to Your leadership?”
- Am I expressing joy in the difficulties that refine me?
- Am I taking risks out of obedience to Christ instead of giving in to fear, pride, or denial?
If we’re lacking these attitudes, we may need further breaking—in the right place. It may also be a sign that we need to voluntarily surrender a part of our lives to Christ by periodically practicing one or more of the spiritual disciplines.
The beautiful thing about understanding brokenness is that we no longer need to fear it. This will not necessarily take away the pain. But it can help us manage it much better and even find joy in it, because we know it is not senseless. God leads us through these times for the purpose of creating new life, the life of a tamed soul.
SELF-NOMINATION PERIOD FOR LEADERSHIP
The self-nomination period for men who wish to be considered for the office of elder or deacon begins on September 1st, with nominations due not later than September 30th. Please prayerfully consider whether God is calling you to this area of responsibility and service. If you are led to self-nominate for the office of elder or deacon, please see one of the elders for a self-nomination form and screening questionnaire.
We have a men’s breakfast that meets every other month during the school year. Our first meeting is Saturday, Sept. 8, at 8:30 am in the Fellowship Hall for a home-cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits, gravy, sausage, and beverage. We’ll have a short time of study, and close with prayer. A sign-up sheet is in the foyer.
SATURDAY NIGHT SERVICE AND BARBECUE
September 22 is the date for our annual Saturday night service. There will be no Sunday morning service on September 23 because of the Brooksie Way Half Marathon. Most of the roads around the church building are closed. We will have a barbecue dinner at 5 pm. The church will provide the meat. Phil Newton and his team will be cooking a hog all day long. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer. Last names A – O please bring a salad or a vegetable. Last names P – Z please bring a dessert. The evening worship service will start around 6:15 pm. Plan now to join us for this special fellowship time and worship service.
Sisters in Service Starts Meeting in September
September brings cool temperatures, colorful leaves and the kick-off for Sisters in Service. The first get-together for the season is Monday, September 24, at 7:00 p.m. Plans for the new season will be discussed and there’s always a devotion and refreshments. The evening will be a good time of fellowship with your Christian sisters. Come to the meeting and share your ideas for monthly meeting activities.
Sisters in Service Afternoon Tea is a highly anticipated annual event that will be held this year on Saturday, Sept. 29, beginning at 11 a.m. The buffet table will be loaded with delicious food prepared by volunteers, beautiful tables will be decorated by hostesses, and the Fellowship Hall will be transformed into a delightful Tea Room. All ladies and girls are invited to attend, and please invite your friends to join us. Please let Kathi Tope know if you’re willing to host a table or prepare food. She will answer all of your questions as to what is required.
Donate Winter Clothing to God’s Helping Hands
God’s Helping Hands, a local benevolent group that Meadowbrook supports, is in need of blankets, and adult and children clothing and coats (new or gently used). As the weather turns colder and we enter the fall and winter months, keep in mind those less fortunate than ourselves. Please bring your donations to the church by September 30th. See Pat Sipe if you have any questions.
Focus this month is on the colleges that Meadowbrook Christian supports, one of which is Great Lakes Christian College.
Great Lakes Christian College’s goals:
To provide our students a foundation for Christian faith, thought, and character that is relevant to the challenges and opportunities of the world.
To develop in our students a greater awareness of the need for the Gospel in a fallen world and a personal commitment to be bearers of that message.
To prepare educated, faithful vocational ministers, able to lead and administer churches and/or Christian institutions throughout the world.
To prepare both volunteer and vocational Christian students for leadership and professional roles with the church and world.
To instill the restoration principles as espoused by Christian Churches/Churches of Christ in the life, faith, ministry and witness of our students.
To assist the churches in our constituency through special events and educational programming.
Besides enrolling as a traditional student attending on-Campus, GLCC also offers online courses. Read more about all that GLCC has to offer by clicking on their website at www.glcc.edu
Another college that Meadowbrook supports through our missions program is Johnson University, with its campuses in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Kissimmee, Florida. Most members at Meadowbrook know that Johnson is near and dear to Steve Martin, who graduated from Johnson Bible College a few years ago. Johnson offers a variety of educational programs, in Arts & Sciences, Bible & Theology, Business & Leadership, Communication & Creative Arts, Congregational Ministry, Intercultural Studies, Social & Behavioral Sciences, and Education. In each of these disciplines, Johnson University prepares students for ministry and outreach both locally and internationally. Every degree program supports the mission statement: “Johnson University educates students for Christian ministries and other strategic vocations framed by the Great Commission in order to extend the kingdom of God among all nations.” This September, Dr. L. Thomas Smith Jr. succeeds Dr. Gary Weedman as the seventh president of Johnson University. Get more details on their website at johnsonU.edu.
Also supporting college students, His House works at several campuses across Michigan.
His House Christian Fellowship
Beginning this fall and continuing the whole school year, His House plans to celebrate their 50th year of campus ministry. On Sunday, September 30th at 4 pm at St. Louis Church of Christ, they will have a Kick-Off Dinner. In the summer of 2019, their celebration will culminate with the 50th Anniversary Banquet the weekend of July 12th-13th. The location and further details are to be determined. His House has 16 non-coed Christian campus houses that hold 80 students on 8 campuses. They have 12 campuses in MI. All their current property is now owned free and clear by the ministry. However, just like our own houses, there are always needs for routine maintenance and repairs. They just started a, “Heat the House,” campaign to provide a much-needed boiler and the installation of new windows in their ministry house in Marquette that has no heat and leaky single-pane windows. Seventeen thousand dollars is needed, and winter is coming! Meadowbrook was able to donate $500 towards this from our contingency fund. Thank you to our faithful supporters of Faith Promise. Since 1969, 4,221 students have been baptized. Many more thousands of lives have been deeply influenced by this ministry. Gary Hawes was the original Executive Director and is the current Acting Executive Director. How fitting! Get more details on their website at www.hhcf.org.
Ron Meegan – September 5
John & Stephanie Ciuba (Ann.) – September 5
Rick & Pat Sipe (Ann.) – September 6
Phil Johnson – September 7
Mike & Linda Tingley (Ann.) – September 10
Hector & Laura Urteaga (Ann.) – September 12
Patricia Davis – September 17
Tim & Carol Howell (Ann.) – September 19
Jaysun Thomas – September 23
John Ciuba III – September 25
Pat & Nona Wundrach (Ann.) – September 26