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A Word from Pastor John
I have been reminded this week about some of the natural consequences that come with long term social distancing. It can be challenging for many to keep a positive attitude and a healthy mind when they are physically separated from others. It has been on my heart this week that we must do everything we can to reach out over the phone or over the computer to those within our church who cannot be physically present at this time.
While it sometimes feels like this season will never end, we know that God gives us perseverance. When we do look back on this season one day, my Hope is that it would have been a season where we proactively engaged over the phone with others even when they could not be physically present with us.
My simple challenge for us this week, especially if we find a little extra time on our hands, would be to reach out over the phone to at least one person daily. Ideally we would be reaching out to those who live alone or to those who are far away from their family during this time. May we continue to stick together as the church and allow the God of perseverance to carry us through.
Pray For One Another
To request prayer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (520) 709-0815
Our pastors and their families
The world as we all continue to navigate this Covid-19 pandemic.
Barbara Gionfriddo's dear friend's Sister
Barbara Gionfriddo's friend's Mom
Barb Keeler's sister Frankie
Brenda and Karen's brother, Wes
Judy's Baker's great grandson
The many unspoken requests
Make sure you're a part of our Facebook group to get prayer requests as they come in: https://www.facebook.com/groups/21109057279
Useful in the Potter's Hands
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”—2 Corinthians 4:7-10
The Word of God helps us understand that we are all made of clay. That truth has become clearer, especially during these days of social unrest, increased distrust, and the threat of a pandemic. Our human frailties and limitations are on full display, and many of our plans have been placed on hold.
How can admitting my frailty add any positive outlook to my life? There are several observations that float to the surface when I recognize that I am only dust and that my life is held in the hands of my Creator, the Potter.
No one fights for my position. In this competitive world, none of us would like to be seen as fragile as clay. Our dreams can be disconnected from reality, and we may assume, especially those in the throes of youth, that we will reach every star. Some find it easier to step on others to reach their goal, which is normally viewed as mere ambition. I am confident that no one will fight for a position that would easily expose his or her weaknesses.
I admit reality. One of the keys to healthy emotional intelligence is the ability to see oneself as one truly is. Arrogance and false humility provide a mask that hides the fear of discovery. I am only dust; I am only clay. It is freeing to be that transparent.
I am fragile and delicate. A potter knows how to handle pottery. The Lord knows how to deal with me. He treats me gently. James 4:6 reminds us that God opposes the proud but is gentle with the humble. I find the Lord speaks to me with gentle love when I am shattered and broken at His feet, but with firm exhortation when I have been self-sufficient and proud. My greatest embarrassments have come in times of pride, and when I admit I am weak, He lovingly restores me.
No matter how God chooses to use me, we are all made of the same clay. I can freely embrace my life’s purpose and condition when surrendered to God. What does it matter if I am called to serve on the board, asked to preach, or needed to clean the bathrooms? Just as our Creator formed Adam, so He has formed me. He has purposed a clear direction for my life. Why do I compare how He chooses to use another?
I am replaceable. No matter how loved or special we are to the Lord, we can always choose to walk away. We often tilt our will away from God’s plan, which makes us utterly useless for the purpose we were once called. He restores and gives second chances. However, the void created will be filled by another vessel. I am inclined to be careful and reverent when called to serve Him.
The Lord looks at the heart. The most beautiful of Christ’s disciples are those who allow His light to shine through them. We become more valuable to the Kingdom of God as we get filled with love, joy, purpose, patience, and grace. As we age, outwardly we diminish, and our youthful beauty fades; our talents can get overshadowed by that of others. But the more I allow His infilling, the more valuable I become to the Kingdom.
I give myself grace. When I know I am clay in the Potter’s hands, I am gentle with myself. Forgiving ourselves, our mistakes, carelessness, and even our sins, allows us to focus away from ourselves and look expectantly into the eyes of God.
I treat others with grace. As I forgive myself, I can forgive others. I can move on, even when treated unjustly. I can let you be who you are, even if it is not how I am. For you are clay and so am I.
It is incredibly refreshing to recognize our mortality. Yes, I am made of clay. And I can't imagine anything better than clinging to that identity formed by the Potter’s hands.
Robin Brunson Radi, along with her husband and children, serves as a Global Missionary for the Church of the Nazarene in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Bible Reading Plan:
Can you believe that we are over halfway through our Bible reading plan? If you've been keeping up with this schedule, WAY TO GO! I pray that God is blessing you.
If you haven't kept up or haven't even started, it's not too late!!
Pick up bookmark ONE in the church lobby and join at your own pace.
This year, we are reading through the Bible chronologically using The Bible Recap Plan in YouVersion.
Take a bookmark from the front lobby if you'd like to keep track that way and go through at your own pace. Bookmark SEVEN is available now!
Day 204: Isaiah 31-34
Day 205: Isaiah 35-36
Day 206: Isaiah 37-39
Day 207: Isaiah 40-43
Day 208: Isaiah 44-48
Day 209: 2 Kings 19
Day 210: Isaiah 49-53
Before you read God’s Word today, seek His help with these 5 prayers:
1. God, give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. 2. God, let any knowledge I gain serve to help me love You and others more, and not puff me up. 3. God, help me see something new about You I've never seen before. 4. God, correct any lies I believe about You or anything I misunderstand. 5. God, direct my steps according to Your Word.
Lord Help me
Dear Heavenly Father,
So far, today, I've done all right. I haven't gossiped or lost my temper. I haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, or self centered. I'm really happy about that so far. But in a few minutes I'm going to be getting out of bed and then I'm going to need a lot of help. Thank you! Amen
Adam and the frog
Adam was spending the day naming all the creatures in the garden when he realized he was alone as a human being. Then came the very last creature and he named it "frog". He spoke to the frog in his loneliness and asked it if it had any ideas as to how he could not be so lonely. To Adam's surprise, the frog opened it's mouth and replied, "Rib-It!", then the rest was history...
Golf during church
The Pastor woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf. So.... he told the associate pastor that he was feeling sick and convinced him to preach for him that day. As soon as the associate pastor left the room, the Pastor headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his church.
Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church! At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from heaven and exclaimed,
"You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?" The Lord sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."Just then he hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole. IT WAS A 435 YARD HOLE IN ONE! Saint Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked,
"Why did you let him do that?"The Lord smiled and replied,
"Who's he going to tell?"