Sharing With Steve
In our LIFE Group we have just started a new series, “i am in.” We are using Right Now Media and this is one of the selections under the apologetics category. It is produced by Voice of the Martyrs. The title, “i am in,” is intriguing. Reading the introduction I quickly learned what this means. When ISIS would take over an area they would give the Christians several options. They could convert to Islam. They could leave, but take little with them. In those cases the Christians would leave and then run into roadblocks where all their money and possessions were taken. They could pay a tax which quickly took their money and they were back at square one. And this was only good if ISIS would honor the tax and not do even more radical things. Or they could die. To identify the Christians a red letter “N” (in Arabic) would be painted on their house. This signified that they were followers of the Nazarene. Much like the Jews in Germany and their yellow Star of David, these Christians were marked for persecution.
Christian leaders were forced to leave their homes. Some were even crucified and beheaded. ISIS would take their children to indoctrinate or to use as sex slaves. Possessions were taken. Money and passports were taken. They often had just the clothes on their backs. Yet they have remained faithful to the Lord. Several people interviewed in the first lesson counted it a privilege to suffer for the Lord. Despite the suffering they knew that God had not deserted them. They still gathered to worship. Local ministers, forced to flee, would find members of their congregations in refugee areas and continue to minister.
As I watched the video I became very uncomfortable (and I have five lessons to go). It takes so little for us to become frustrated with the Lord. When things don’t go our way we question God about why. Being faithful is expected to produce results. We find it so convenient to allow little things of the world to come between us and the Lord. Our persecution is a long sermon or a special offering. We stay up late on Saturday evening and then know God will understand when we want to sleep in. We, of course, will make it up next week. We feel that we have given everything when we tithe and spend Sunday morning and Wednesday evening at the church building. Throw in an extra service day and we almost consider ourselves as super Christian. Just about everything in our world comes before our relationship with the Lord – our jobs, our hobbies, our athletics, our leisure time, etc. I am not talking about legalism, doing things because we have to and then hoping that we get the reward. I am talking about an attitude where Christ is the most important thing in our lives. I am talking about an attitude where every decision that we make is predicated by our faith in Christ and a desire to please Him. I am talking about an attitude that realizes that we live in the world, but not of the world. You can win Olympic gold (and enjoy doing it), but in the grand scheme of things it is really just “dung” (Philippians 3:8) when compared to the overwhelming glory of Jesus Christ.
I fully expect that the remaining five lessons will be every bit as challenging and hopefully convicting as the first lesson. As a LIFE group we hope to do more than just study and discuss. We hope to find a way that we can help these people in a tangible way. We are not sure what that is going to look like, but God knows and we look forward to the time when He will make those plans known to us. Stay tuned.
NEW MISSION STATEMENT
Over the last several months the elders have been discussing our mission statement, “Meadowbrook . . . Where Jesus is renewing lives one at a time.” A consensus was reached that this was more of a description rather than a vision. So a new mission statement was drawn up. We feel that this more accurately describes what Meadowbrook is all about and our reason for being. The statement is as follows:
Meadowbrook Christian Church exists to honor Jesus Christ by:
Promoting Genuine Worship
Supporting His work wherever He leads
Please familiarize yourself with this statement. We hope and pray that everything we do will in some way fulfill parts or all of this statement.
NEW LIFE GROUP
LIFE Groups at Meadowbrook are small groups that meet at a member’s home every other week to study from God’s Word, pray together, and enjoy rich fellowship (and food). The small group setting allows for a more informal time of learning about God and His Word. If you are interested in joining a LIFE Group, please add your name to the list in the foyer and indicate the day(s) that you would be available. If you have any questions about LIFE Groups, please talk to Steve or one of the elders, or talk to a current LIFE Group member. They will be glad to share what LIFE Group means to them!
Communication from The Elders
We are beginning the search for the person who can fill the roles of Worship Minister and Family Life Minister.
Our Worship Leader, Randy Gilbert, is looking forward to retiring from his current role sometime this year. We have been without a Family Life Minister for several months (Note: we are very grateful for those who have stepped in to continue teaching and caring for our children and teens!).
We believe that God can provide the person to fulfill both of these roles at Meadowbrook. We have faith that nothing is impossible for Him!
Essentially, we are looking for a person (or couple?) who is passionate about worship and working with families with children.
This would be a full-time position, and we believe that one person could be effective in both areas – with the understanding that volunteers would continue to play a major role in support of our children’s ministry.
We covet your prayers, for God to direct our path in this very important step, making us sensitive and alert to His leading. Also be praying for the person God is already preparing for this role at Meadowbrook. If you have any questions, please contact one of the elders.
Sisters in Service will meet in March for “Leftovers”
What are Sisters in Service “Leftovers”? On Monday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. SIS will meet to finish multiple “leftover” projects, including End of Life blankets, complete Heart Pillows for cancer patients, finish Fidget Quilts and anything else anyone would like to work on. SIS has made and delivered in February, 28 Quilts to End of Life hospital patients for the “no one dies alone” program, and 24 Fidget Quilts which were delivered to the American House Memory Care unit and Medilodge residents in Rochester, all of the blankets are quilted, knitted and crocheted. Along with blankets, SIS knitted 60 preemie hats that were delivered to the NeoNatal unit at St. Joe’s Hospital in Pontiac. More then half of the preemie hats were made by Kathi Tope’s 92 Year Old cousin, Katherine Campbell. Sisters in Service is a blessing to Meadowbrook and to those they serve.
These worthy projects are ongoing. For more info about these lovingly-made items and if you would like to add your time and/or treasure, contact Ruth Lindhagen or Elaine Bright.
Mark your calendars that Daylight Savings time has arrived. Reminder to move your clocks forward one hour on Saturday evening, March 10. Sunday, March 11, marks the start of Daylight Savings Time and that Spring is on its way!
The next men’s breakfast will be on Saturday, March 10, at 8:30 am. We will be having a home cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits, gravy, and beverage. We will have a short time of study and then close with prayer. We are currently in a new study, “Seven Questions That Rattle In The Minds Of Most Men.” There is a sign up sheet in the foyer. Plan to join us for this time of good food, fellowship, and prayer.
Celebrate Easter with Breakfast and Worship
Come Celebrate Easter with a delicious homemade Easter breakfast on Sunday, April 1, at 9:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall. Easter is a family and friends’ affair, and what better way to get in the Easter spirit then to join us for a truly memorable Easter Sunday Breakfast. This is a lovely time of fellowship before we join together for Resurrection Sunday Worship at 10:45 a.m. Sign-up sheets are in the foyer to indicate if you plan to attend and also to volunteer your time or your food. Guests are welcome to join us. Please see coordinator Cindy Gerstenlauer for any special dietary requests or questions.
Donate blood to help save a life
The American Red Cross will be at Meadowbrook on Wednesday, April 4, between 12:30 and 6:15 p.m. You can make an appointment to donate by either calling Theresa Meegan at 248-340-9215, or sign up in the lobby during March, or go on-line to www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code meadowbrookchristian.
Each of us have a heart condition. God always wants to transform our old hearts into something new. In this new study, Refresh Your Heart by Claudia Barba, we will learn there is hope for our sin sick hearts. God is the only One capable of changing our hearts. Join us on Thursday, April 12, in the church library. For more information please see Phyllis Martin.
Faith Promise Meets Special Needs for Missions
Our annual Faith Promise Missions Rally is coming in April (details in the April issue of the Messenger}. Thirteen missions are supported through a combination of both the General Fund and Faith Promise fund. While specific allocations are made to each mission, funds raised through Faith Promise over the allocated amounts are maintained in a contingency fund to meet special needs of our missionaries. These requests are considered prayerfully every missions meeting.
Last year the contingency fund was able to assist in many ways:
- $1300 in March for each mission to receive a gift of $100.
- $200 to IDES for the honorarium of Gary Finley speaking for Faith Promise Rally 2017; $565 for Gary’s travel expenses. Also contributed $295 to make the donations for the sewing machines come to $1500 so we could sponsor 15 sewing machines from Meadowbrook to India.
- $1,000 to Kerala Christian Mission as a one-time gift for a $250,000 building project that already has a matching donor of $125,000.
- $750 for IDES African Famine Relief.
- $750 for Asia Christian Services new church building in the middle of a completely Buddhist community in Myanmar.
- $1500 to IDES for Hurricane Relief
- $200 to New Churches of Christ Evangelism for Church Plant in Fruitport, MI
- And finally, we celebrated Christmas with each of our missions with a $200 gift.
This is a total of $9,160! It is through the generosity of those participating in Faith Promise that Meadowbrook is able to reach out to Christians around the world in their extreme time of need.
Anyone wishing more details about the missions we support can contact Missions Chairperson Cindy Gerstenlauer. Links to all of our missions that fully describe their work can be found on the Missions Page of our website.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS INVENTORY
We had some technical difficulties with the Spiritual Gifts Test on our website. We have discovered that the link was taking everyone to the general test and not the test that was under our account. The tests are the same, but we were not getting the results. The link has now been fixed. We would like you to take the test again. Please go to the adult ministry page or teen ministry page on our website and click on the spiritual test link. Take the test which will take about 10-15 minutes. At the end of the test you will be able to see your results. The results will also be recorded under the Meadowbrook Christian Church account. The leadership will use this information to better match people with their giftedness. If you have any questions please see Steve. This is a great way to find the areas where you can serve best and be used in God’s Kingdom.
Emma Leigh Cox – March 3
Bethany Thomas – March 4
Kathi Tope – March 20
Joe Romaella – March 24
Jacquelyn Thomas – March 25
Mike Tingley – March 28
Zachary Kapusta – March 31
Marion Thomas – March 31