SHARING WITH STEVE
One of our men gave me an article to read that concerns why we go to church. In our world today we are encountering all sorts of reasons why people do not go to church. This article addresses that. The article is by Daniel Fachting who is a Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, Michigan. This article is written from a Roman Catholic perspective, but still speaks to our need for the Church. Here is the article:
“Often I hear people say that they believe in Jesus, but prefer not to go to church saying that they see no purpose in it. These same people also say that they see people go to church on Sunday, and sinning on Monday. What difference does it make whether we go to church or not?”
“I have many reasons why I go to church. I love Jesus and I love the Bible. I love my fellow parishioners. But also, I love the Church. Some 2,000 years ago Jesus suffered, was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead for me. For that I will be eternally grateful. I would never have known about my salvation, had it not been for the Church. How many people shared the faith with each other over 2000 years until it reached my ears? How many monks copied the scriptures by hand so that I might learn of God? How many men and women dedicated themselves to a religious life until it reached me? Were it not for the Church I would never have been baptized, confirmed, forgiven, received eternal life in Eucharist, or sacramentally married. Were it not for the Church, I would never have known Jesus! Were it not for the Church, I would not have the Bible. I would not know how to pray. I owe the Church a debt that can never be repaid.”
“I go to church to worship, praise and honor my God and receive the graces to live a good life, even knowing that I am a sinner who will always be a sinner, but hopefully I will become a better person. Here is a big secret for you, ‘The Church is full of sinners!’ At the same time I believe God is calling each of us to be the best we can be. If I were a tomato plant I would want to be the best tomato plant ever. I wouldn’t want to be planted in a forest or a hay field, but in the best possible soil–a garden. In a similar way, for me to be the best person I can be I need to be planted in the Church, the community that will nurture me and guide me to be the best person possible.”
“Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave us the Church and for over 2,000 years that Church has thrived. Through her He continues to call each of us to a better life of holiness and salvation through a personal relationship with Jesus. Maybe I’ll see you there. Thank you, Father, for giving us the Church!”
What a simple question. What an easy word to say. What a headache it can cause.
Three year olds can master the asking while seventy year olds struggle to answer.
College freshmen use it to lob questions tenured professors can’t answer.
Yet, most Christians fear the word “Why?”
We look down on people who use it in times of distress. We shake our heads and say things like: “Time heals all wounds.” “You’ll understand someday.” Or the ever popular: “Only God knows.”
But God gave us the ability to ask, so why don’t we?
He gave us a world filled with wonder and possibilities. Most of the time we answer that wonder by closing the door, building a fortress, and calling anything we don’t know “Out there,” or “Unsafe.”
We sit in our fortress of self-imposed boredom and wonder when God will show us how amazing he is; how transformational Christian living really is.
I watched a movie called The Maze Runner. The basic premise was simple: A boy awakes to find himself trapped in a maze with other teens. They have to work together to survive and hopefully escape the maze.
The main character is different than the others though, he has an issue.
He can’t stop asking “Why?” He can’t stop until he finds the answer.
He is punished for his questions; for his disobedience to “Order.”
But he keeps asking. He keeps searching. In the end (no spoilers), he is the pivotal character because of that question.
Think of this in Biblical terms: The heroes we know and love asked that very same question. From Abraham (Why destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?) to Moses (Why me?); from Jesus (Why did you doubt?) to Paul (Why do you judge your brother?). The heroes of scripture asked that question.
They got sucked into the sin and societies around them. They fought to stay in their small world and eliminate anyone who questioned them, or, even worse in my opinion, we don’t even know they existed.
Can you name Abraham’s father?
His name was Terah. The Bible says he set out for Canaan just like Abraham would years later, but Terah never made it. Some scholars believe Terah might have had the same calling as Abraham, but Terah gave up. He stopped seeking, stopped pushing toward his goal. He lives in a genealogy in Genesis instead of being the father of a nation.
This is my question to you: Are you willing to step out of the comfortable and ask why?
Are you ready to be the main character instead of a footnote?
A hero of the faith instead of a name in a genealogy?
It’s never too late.
Scripture says Noah was 600 when the flood began.
Abraham didn’t have Isaac until he was 100.
God is big enough to handle your why.
Participate in the Neighborhood House Giving Tree Project
Sisters in Service is partnering with Neighborhood House again this year to help provide gifts for needy children in our area. Gift tags listing children’s specific gift requests are hanging on the Christmas Tree in the lobby. To participate, take a tag from the tree, purchase the gift, and return the unwrapped gift by Nov. 29. We will make some children happy while we enjoy the gift of giving.
The SIS monthly meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 23, at 7:00 p.m. We will be wrapping Christmas presents, while enjoying refreshments and fellowship. A devotion will be presented by one of the ladies. See Ruth Lindhagen, president, if you have questions.
Red Cross Blood Drive Coming this Month
The Red Cross is coming to Meadowbrook on Wed, Nov. 25, from 12:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Yes, the day before Thanksgiving. Blood needs are always there, even during a holiday. To make a reservation, please sign up in the lobby.
Consider Giving to the Thanksgiving Project
Meadowbrook is partnering with Lighthouse of Oakland County to help provide food for Thanksgiving baskets for our neighbors in need in Oakland County. Please bring your donations on any of the following Sundays: November 1, 8, or 15. There is a collection area set up in the foyer to place your items. More information is available by calling the church office. Thank you for being a blessing to families in need this Thanksgiving season!
The Men’s Breakfast will be held on Saturday, November 14. at 8:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall. We will have scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits and a time of devotion and prayer. A sign-up sheet is posted in the foyer. All men are invited to join. See Steve for more information.
Adult Bible Study is meeting on Wednesday
We will be meeting on Wednesday, November 11, to continue our study in 1 Thessalonians. We have just finished the introductory material and chapter 1. Please come and share with us. We meet at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall. There is also a class for youth at the same time. Join us for knowledge and fellowship.
By Art Drake
A Life of Excellence – “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 life lesson that stands out to me is it’s better to live a life of excellence. The key to living an excellent life is to think excellent thoughts. If we can control our thoughts, this will shape who we are and what we become. However, this requires self-discipline. I have had the occasion in the last few years to become acquainted with many people who were very successful in life and excelled in their chosen field. All had one thing in common – they led a disciplined life. They excelled in school, they pursued higher education, and they worked hard – often 80-90 hours a week. They held themselves to a high standard.
A life of excellence is not easy. It is easy to drift through life only seeking pleasure and the things of the world. It takes discipline to achieve the things that God has planned for us, to accomplish the harder right over the easier wrong. Yes, we rely on God’s strength but we must also do our part.
In order to achieve everything God has planned for us, and to experience all His blessings, it is necessary to fix our thoughts on what is excellent in God’s eyes. Notice that Paul continues in the last part of Philippians verse 9 to say, “Then, the God of Peace will be with you”. The first word of the passage, “then”, implies that if we do what Paul suggests, only then we will get the desired result. Now, I don’t believe Paul was saying God is not always with us, or even that God’s peace is not always there, but that we are not always at peace. If we choose to dwell on the things of the world, instead of the Spirit, we may choose to separate ourselves from that peace.
One of the things I have discovered is that when I become too worldly, I have a vague sense of uneasiness. The farther away from living in the Spirit I am, the greater the uneasiness. This feeling is the opposite of being at peace and the result of not living the way God desires for me. When I return to the path He has chosen for me, I once again experience His supernatural peace. If one totally rejects God, however, the results can be more than just uneasiness. Paul describes in Romans 1:18-32 what life is like for those that reject God. Some of the conditions Paul mentions are greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, and malicious behavior. That passage is a close description of our life today.
Next month I will continue with the theme of living a life of excellence and describe some of the things that have been of benefit to me in keeping God first in my life.
Events coming in December . . . . . . . . . .
- December 12 – Adult Christmas Party – 6pm
- December 20 – Christmas Caroling – 5pm
- December 24 – Annual Christmas Eve Service – 7pm
Mimi Romaella – Nov. 1
Phil & Jessica Johnson ( Ann.) – Nov. 6
Bridget Kochan – Nov. 9
Debbie Stallings – Nov. 10
Andrea Schwartzenberger – Nov. 16
Tabitha Martin – Nov. 20
Bill Bradford – Nov. 23
June Adair – Nov. 24
Tristian Cox – Nov. 24
Patti Bradford – Nov. 29