SHARING WITH STEVE
We are in the middle of a sermon series entitled, Christian Counter Culture. All of these sermons are from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7. I have always enjoyed these chapters and have studied them several times. I have always known that these words are important and speak to us today, but Jesus’ words have taken on a new sense of urgency. With recent decisions reached by all three of our branches of the government, how are we as Christians to respond? Do we retreat as the monks did in the Middle Ages behind our walls and hope that we can be protected from the world? Do we actively engage in government with the idea that the more Christians we send to Washington, that Washington will change and not the people we send? This question becomes more critical as we prepare for the upcoming presidential election. Do we boycott and refuse to obey laws that we disagree with citing our Christianity? Do we throw up our hands in despair and resign ourselves to whatever will come?
I wish that I could answer these questions as easy as I pose them. I do know that the Sermon on the Mount gives us some ideas. The sermons have only covered chapter 5 so far, but Christ has spoken loudly. We are to realize that we need God desperately. We are to admit our sinfulness and act humbly in the world. We are to hunger for God and show mercy instead of judgment. We have been called to be peacemakers. The world will not understand nor will it tolerate that position. Instead the world will revile and persecute Christians. Our response is to be salt and light in the world. We are to flavor the world; showing how Christ brings joy and contentment. We are to be light revealing His goodness and showing the right path in a world that is increasingly becoming darker.
We will find it easy to become judgmental and then justify it by quoting book, chapter, and verse. Instead we are not to become angry. In a world that is more and more driven by sex we are not to lust. In a world that has redefined marriage and made divorce a viable and easy choice, we are to stand firm for marriage and encourage forgiveness and reconciliation. We are to be people who speak honestly and are known for keeping their word. We are not to retaliate and try to get even. That is the way of the world. We are to not only love those who love us or are close to us, but we are to love our enemies and we are to pray for those who work against us. We are challenged by Christ to be perfect as God is perfect. He is to be our goal. We are not to give up because we cannot attain this. We have Christ in us. We have been given the Holy Spirit. We must echo the words of Paul, Phil 3:10-14 “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Let me start off by saying: “Hello!” I’m glad to be here and be a part of your community. It is an honor to serve alongside Steve and the amazing group of volunteers who keep Meadowbrook going on a daily basis. I’m looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you throughout the upcoming weeks, months, and years here. Some of you may be wondering what we are up to in the Family Life Ministry. Some of you may never have heard what a Family Life Minister is. Well, here’s the bottom line: I have the honor of overseeing programs from nursery all the way up to 12th grade, but I don’t stop there. My goal as a family life minister is to make sure we are working to encompass the whole family in the amazing gifts God has given us. Family doesn’t stop when it leaves the church building and neither should our work in God’s Kingdom.
Nursery/Pre-K – Available on Sunday mornings, this is the first stop for most families with small children. Let our dedicated volunteers give you a little respite from sleeping/feeding/cleaning schedule. They are also dedicated to teaching basic concepts of God’s love and compassion.
K-6 – We have Sunday School first hour which compliments Jr Church second hour. Bring your kids so they can participate in the stories, games, and interactive learning experience. This will allow you to plug into the adult Sunday classes being offered and get to know others in the church even better.
7-12 – We offer a class first hour on Sunday morning which challenges our teens to grow, but it doesn’t stop there. Sunday nights, starting back up in October, we are having Youth Group. It will be held at the church from 6-7 p.m. We are also offering a Bible Study Wednesday, Oct 14th and 28th to be more intentional about building community.
Post 12 – If you already knew all of this, or are intrigued by any of it, let me know! We could always use more help to bolster our current volunteer ranks. What are our qualifications? 1) A love for the Lord. 2) A passion to exemplify that to our youth, and 3) A clear background check. While I would love to have an over abundance of volunteers, I believe our children deserve to be kept safe and all of our parents deserve peace of mind.
Please join Sisters in Service (SIS) on September 26th at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall for a time of fellowship, refreshment, devotion and education. We are pleased to have Cindy Gerstenlauer, Nurse Practitioner, as our guest speaker. Cindy will be sharing a presentation on Diabetes.
If you Google Diabetes on the Internet you will see that it is being classified as a worldwide epidemic. We tend to think of an epidemic as a widespread occurrence of a disease. However, changes in human behavior and lifestyle have resulted in a dramatic increase in the incidence of diabetes worldwide. There has been a 4- to 8-fold increase in the number of persons diagnosed with diabetes within the last 50 years.
What a wonderful opportunity to invite friends, family, coworkers and neighbors to SIS. This is a “must hear” lecture that will benefit everybody. Looking forward to seeing you all on the 26th.
Annual Fall Festival Coming
Our Annual Fall Festival is set for Friday, October 30, between 6 and 8 p.m. There will be games, food, and plenty of candy. . Hot dogs, chips, and drink will be served. along with fresh popcorn. There will be plenty of games to test your skill and win candy. We always have a good time at this event and are looking forward to seeing you on Friday, October 30
Candy Needed – We would appreciate it if you would please bring bags of individually wrapped candy and place them in the office for the Family Fall Festival. Kids love candy. We pass the candy out to the youth as they play the games that are enjoyed by all. Thank you in advance for your help and generosity.
Men’s Prayer Breakfast will meet in November
During the school year the men meet every other month on the second Saturday to have breakfast. We have a cooked meal followed by a devotion/lesson and prayer. We resume this activity on Saturday, November 14 at 8:30am for scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage, and drink. This is always a good time of fellowship. A few weeks before the breakfast a sign-up sheet will be in the foyer. For more information please call the office.
Adult Bible Study Resumes
The Wednesday evening Adult Bible Study has resumed. We meet every other Wednesday. The next day we are meeting will be October 14 when we will be concluding a study of the Book of Esther. Soon we will start a study on 1 & 2 Thessalonians. We meet at 7pm and study for 45-50 minutes and then have a prayer time. This is a great way to learn scripture and become more knowledgeable. If you have any questions please see Steve. There is also a class for the youth that takes place at the same time (see “Nathan’s Notes”).
Phone Tree Message System is Operational
Our phone message system is back up and running. If you are not receiving prayer messages and reminders please contact the office so that we can fix that. We are still working on the e-mail and texting parts of the program.
Several of our people are facing physical obstacles and we need to be praying for them. Bonnie Iseman remains in Heartland undergoing therapy for a broken leg. She will be there at least three more weeks. Patricia Davis is undergoing cancer therapy. Charity Clodfelter is facing the return of cancer. Pray as she looks to the future. Please pray for Ken and Carolyn Bennett as they look to the future and taking care of Ken. Dick Tenniswood is struggling with kidney stones.
Also, please be praying for Nathan North as he begins here at Meadowbrook as our Family Life Minister. He will be ministering to the youth and their families.
FROM THE PEW
By Art Drake
GOD’S PEACE – “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give…” (John 14:27 NLT)
I would rather have God’s peace than anything in the world. To feel His presence and experience His peace produces a joy that is beyond words to describe. His love, His healing, and His Grace are gifts beyond measure. To be able to commune directly with Him, and receive His incredible wisdom are gifts beyond our understanding. To live in the shelter of the Most High brings indescribable comfort and rest. These gifts are almost beyond our comprehension, but God knew what we needed before we did. To experience these gifts however, we must first accept them. We must dwell in His mansions and not in the world. It is very sad to see the way many people live their lives today. As a manager, I must deal with people’s issues, many of which are self-inflicted. I don’t know if it’s the influence of reality TV, but many seem to experience the same sort of drama on a daily basis. They live with anger, resentment, and turmoil. They are like Isaiah describes in 57:20, “a sea that is never still, but continually churns up mud and dirt”. For myself, I choose the fruit the Holy Spirit produces as Paul describes in Galatians 5:22, “love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”.
Next month we will talk about living a life that produces the fruits of the Spirit.
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
Jim Martin – October 24
Winona Wundrach – October 26
Jeremiah & Brandy Cox (Anniv.) – October 28
Mary Koster – October 31
2741 Walton Blvd. Rochester Hills, MI 48309