Sharing with Steve
This is the year to “Fix Our Eyes On Jesus” here at Meadowbrook. It is a simple enough phrase, but one that is easy to dismiss. If we go to church aren’t we keeping our eyes on Jesus? If we read our Bible (even every day) aren’t we keeping our eyes on Jesus? If we give in the collection plate every Sunday aren’t we keeping our eyes on Jesus? If we pray before every meal and before we go to bed aren’t we keeping our eyes on Jesus? You can do all of these things and not be focused on Jesus.
I have started the year preaching a series of sermons on “What’s In A Name?” We have been looking at some of the great Christ hymns of the New Testament. These are verses that were possibly hymns sung by the early Christians or doctrinal statements learned by everyone. They are beautiful in composition and rich in knowledge. We have looked at Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-20, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:11-3 and John 1:1-5. I am amazed at the consistency and their brevity. They are like time release medicine capsules. They come in small packages but keep releasing the good stuff. A few things have jumped out about these passages.
There is no doubt that Jesus was there in the very beginning. Before God established time Jesus was there. He is not a created being or a lesser being. He is God. He shared in creation. All things were created by Him and for Him. Jesus holds everything together. He is the fabric that holds the world together. God did not create something and then something else came out of that first creation. Nothing has been formed that was not formed by Jesus.
Only through Jesus has redemption taken place. Though being with God and sharing the very essence of God He did not take advantage of that. He humbled himself and became a man. He became a servant. He identified with you and me. He accepted on himself our sins. Though sinless he became sin and died for us. He even suffered the indignity of beatings and scorn. He was placed on one of the most horrifying instruments of punishment every invented, the cross, and He did it for you and me. Then, in hurried fashion, He was buried in a tomb.
Only through Jesus has victory been accomplished. God raised Him from the dead. The grave was empty. The price had been paid and the enemy defeated. He returned to heaven where He took his place at God’s right hand. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. All men will bow down to Him at some point in the future. All men will confess His Name. The mission is accomplished. Mankind has been redeemed.
We have identified who He is, but knowing who He is and focusing on Him are two different things. We want to following Jesus, always keeping Him in sight. That means that there will be times that we have to pick up the pace. That means there will be times that he turns the corner and we must turn with Him. That means that there will be times when He stops to rest and we must stop and enjoy the simple presence of His company. To honestly follow Jesus is to fix my eyes on Him. As we join together this year, may we encourage one another in our daily walks. May we truly fix our eyes on Him.
A Word from Philly-D: March is typically the month where we see spring start to break through. Though it’s hard to imagine that right now with sub-zero temperatures each morning and tons of snow on the ground we can rest assured that it’s coming. Why do we like spring? Warm weather, swimming, ice cream (although that’s good all year round!), shorts, green trees, biking, in a word – change. It’s nice to have a change in the weather and daily activities. I love this time in youth ministry because we typically see a new energy in our students as the anticipate summer. This summer, here at Meadowbrook, our students are going to have numerous opportunities to connect with God in some pretty amazing ways. We are praying for you and your family as this time approaches! – Philly-D
Children’s Series: This month we are learning patience! Patience is waiting until later for what you want now. We live in such a fast-paced, have-it-now society and our kids realize that. This month our goal is to slow down and realize that most of the things that mean the most are things we must wait for. Patience helps us to be wise and make the wise choice.
Teen Series: We are in a series called “Red Letters” where we look at each of the four gospels in depth. Right now we are in Matthew. We are looking forward to growing closer to Christ this year. Students are encouraged to take what they learn and re-tell it to a friend as part of their every day conversations.
CIY BELIEVE REGISTRATIONS: The deadline to Register for CIY Believe is March 25th. It will be in Holland, MI this year. Here’s how you register: 1) let me know your student wants to go. 2) Pay the $55 tuition by the 25th. I will take care of the rest! Once they are registered I will get you the forms that need to be filled out.
Lake James Registration OPEN: Summer registrations for camp are now open on LJCA’s website. Head over to www.ljca.org and register your kids! There’s a week of camp for everyone. Please note that the church pays HALF of all the students we send to camp! The deadline to register for $20 off and a free t-shirt is May 4th so hurry over and do it today. It will be the best week your students have all summer!
- Emma Cox – March 3
- Philip Davis – March 12
- Toni Deaton – March 16
- Kathi Tope – March 20
- Joe Romaella – March 24
- Joyce Tenniswood – March 26
- Mike Tingley – March 28
- Anderson Tupper – March 29
- Zachary Kapusta – March 31
Annual Faith Promise Missions Rally
Our Annual Faith Promise Missions Rally is coming in March, this year featuring His House Christian Fellowship. Twelve Michigan colleges and universities have ministries with over 35 full-time campus staff, interns, and administrative staff. Currently, there are more than fifteen hundred students involved in some part of the ministry. God has blessed the ministry with fifteen campus houses for students, two church buildings and one office building.
Ron Meegan will explain how Faith Promise works on Sunday, March 8. The rally schedule is as follows:
John Gute, newly appointed Executive Director of His House Christian Fellowship, will make a presentation during the Sunday School hour. Then he will bring the message during the worship service.
A Pot Luck will follow. A signup sheet has been posted, just to indicate attendance numbers. You don’t need to list what you’re bringing, but the plan is that everyone brings a Main Dish; if your last name starts with A-L also bring Dessert; last name starting with M-Z also bring Salad or Vegetable. Singles need only bring one dish.
Eric Hammond, Campus Minister at UofM and EMU will be bringing the message during the service.
MISSION PROJECT – The Ann Arbor His House needs several rooms painted. We’ll be looking for contributions to help with the supplies.
Sisters in Service News
Sisters in Service made a stack of “heart pillows” in January for breast cancer patients. The following thank you note was received from Jeannine Mercurio, Nurse Navigator at St. John Hospital in Detroit:
“I received a donation of handmade heart shaped pillows from the ‘Sisters in Service’. I would like to thank them for this wonderful gift. I am a Nurse Navigator for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at St. John Hospital in Detroit. These pillows have been given to post-operative patients to use when traveling in the car (under the seatbelt), or just as comfort near their surgical areas. Patients appreciate and love these pillows….and so do I! Thank you again for the generous donation! YOU ARE APPRECIATED!”
THANK YOU LADIES for your kindness.
SIS March Meeting
Sisters in Service will be meeting on Monday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Linda Tingley will make a presentation about “Take Them a Meal”, an on-line service we have been using to schedule temporary meals for members who are ill, disabled, or for whatever need arises. If you’re not familiar with this service or what to learn more about it, please be sure to attend. As always, there will be a devotion and refreshments. Come on out ladies and spend a refreshing evening with your Christian sisters.
On Saturday, March 14, we will be having our every other month men’s breakfast. The breakfast starts at 8:30am and we are done around 10pm. Tom Schwartzenberger will be making his “famous” from scratch pancakes. We will also have sausage and beverage. We will eat and then have a time of devotion and prayer. We have been having great turnouts so keep up the good work. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer. Please see Steve for more information.
EASTER At Meadowbrook
We will begin celebrating Easter Sunday with a delicious homemade breakfast at 9:30 am in the fellowship hall, in lieu of Sunday school. This is a lovely time of fellowship before we join together for Resurrection Sunday Worship. Please sign up on the bulletin board if you plan to attend and also to volunteer your time or your food. Visitors are welcome to join us. This year we are providing recipes for egg casseroles, French toast casseroles, and cheesy potatoes. There will be dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and vegetarian options. See coordinator Cindy Gerstenlauer for recipes and for any special requests or questions.
Children’s Easter Egg Hunt
After the service our children will embark on an epic easter egg hunt! We will litter the main island outside with tons of easter eggs packed with candy! Come and be a part of the fun!
False Ways of Life – Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life – Psalm 119:104 NLT
David wrote in Psalm 119:104 that he hated every false way of life. How many people today are pursuing false ways of life? Not only alcoholics, drug addicts, and criminals, but those who are seemingly successful on the outside but remain hollow and empty on the inside. Many people are searching for answers.
Perhaps the oldest established community seeking answers is the educational discipline of philosophy. To quote from Wikipedia, “philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality , existence , knowledge , values , reason , mind , and language . Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach, and its reliance on rational argument .”
There exists a sub-discipline of philosophy called existentialism. This is a big word that seeks to answer an old question: what is the meaning of life? Existentialists seek to discover things such as what constitutes an authentic existence. What life experience provides true purpose and meaning? As with general philosophy there is a reliance on rational argument and reason.
There are many famous philosophers and existentialists that have brilliantly outlined the questions, but have not provided any answers. That is because of the reliance on reason to provide insight. King Solomon understood the folly of using human reason for answers when he wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 NLT).
The good news is that while human reason cannot provide the answers to life’s questions, the Bible can. The answers to all life’s question can be found in the Bible. David wrote in Psalm 119 about how he loved the Lord’s instructions because they made him wiser than his enemies, provided more insight than his teachers, and made him wiser than his elders (Psalm 119:97-103).
If you are searching for answers today, I encourage you to abandon human wisdom and rely on God for answers. The path to real wisdom is only found in Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”. We will never have answers and peace except through Jesus Christ.
God’s word is true. Read His word and pray for guidance. God created us for a purpose. Discovering that purpose and living according to His will provide the answer. In following articles I will discuss what has worked for me in discovering God’s will for my life.