Updated: Jun 30, 2020
A Word From Pastor John~
As we celebrate membership Sunday, I think it is important to look back at our own history of being a church member. Perhaps we become so busy with the routines of church, that we forget to reflect upon the vast way God has used us within the church over the years. How many songs of worship we have sang, how many new folks we have greeted, how many people we have prayed over at the altar.
I believe God wants us to take our commitment to church membership seriously. And I think it is important to regularly remember the significance of our calling and role as a church member.
Hebrews chapter 10 reminds us "...to not neglect meeting together, as some people do, but to encourage one another, especially now that the day of Christ's return is drawing near."
Let's be reminded that our calling to the body of Christ is perhaps one of the most significant callings we have on our lives. The fruit of this work will not only be seen today and tomorrow, but will perhaps be seen throughout all of eternity.
May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us in how we might be the church.
Pray For One Another
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Our pastors and their families
The world as we all continue to navigate this Covid-19 pandemic.
Dawn and Frank Sundstom
Barb Keeler's sister Frankie
Brenda and Karen's brother, Wes
Phillis Bacon's friend Shirley
Judy's Baker's great grandson
Merritt's sister-in-law, Cheri
Pastor Rod Marion's son Shaun
Sandy and Cork Winebrenner
The many unspoken requests
“You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend.” —Psalm 88:18
Psalm 88 isn’t typically the first passage of choice when it comes to short devotional reflections. In fact, upon first reading this passage, it even feels out of place among the other Psalms. Many of the Psalms declare God’s goodness and give reason for praise, while others wrestle with pain and heartache. Yet typically, even the Psalms we would classify as Psalms of lament or supplication have some sentiment of “even still, God, I will worship you.”
However, Psalm 88 doesn’t seem to have an “even still, God, I will worship you” section. In fact, the last verse of the chapter ends with the psalmist blaming God once again for the trauma that is taking place and concludes with the grim statement: “Darkness is my closest friend.” I have to admit that this passage in its entirety leaves me feeling unsettled due to its lack of resolution. There are feelings of blame, anger, doubt, grief, and abandonment without any sign of relief.
Before you continue, read Psalm 88 and ask yourself, “What feelings, sensations, or thoughts come up as I engage with this passage?”
Psalm 88 invites us to create space for unresolved grief, trauma, and disappointment. As Christians, we tend to rush past moments that have wounded us. We say things like, “God is working all things for good!” and “Just trust Him, He will take care of it all.” These statements are true, yet at times they may do more harm than good if they are used to cover up the tender parts within our stories we are either too scared or uncomfortable to visit.
Are there any wounds of anger, disappointment, grief, or trauma that you or others have covered up? Please don’t misunderstand me—I don’t want to diminish the power of declaring God’s goodness in the midst of heartache. Choosing to worship despite what you are feeling and no matter your circumstances can be a redemptive, healing process.
However, Psalm 88 reminds us that we also need to create space to become undone.
The beauty of this passage is that these raw emotions were had in the psalmist’s dialogue with God. Rushing past or covering up wounds will only build walls between you and God, and perhaps with others. However, it is when you are boldly vulnerable and invite God into these spaces that He can begin to do His healing work within you.
Today, I challenge you to sit in the discomforts of your life and be completely honest with every part of your story. Remember, your relationship with God is upheld by His grace and love, not by your performance and effort.
Prayer for the week: Father, help us explore and tend to even the most broken and grief-stricken parts of our stories. We invite Your healing presence and trust Your steady hands.
Sarah Fredricks is Associate Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, USA.
Written for Coffee Break.
Bible Reading Plan: Week 27
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 SIX is available now!
Day 183: 2 Kings 1-4
Day 184: 2 Kings 5-8
Day 185: 2 Kings 9-11
Day 186: 2 Kings 12-13
Day 187: 2 Kings 14
Day 188: Jonah 1-4
Day 189: 2 Kings 15
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.
A Call to Prayer
Peter Turchin, an ecologist, evolutionary biologist and mathematician at the University of Connecticut.
Turchin has led the development of a field of study called "cliodynamics," in which scientists attempt to find meaningful patterns in history. He shared his findings in the following article in 2012.
Will the US Really Experience a Violent Upheaval in 2020?
Circa 1870, the North fought the South in the Civil War. Half a century later, around 1920, worker unrest, racial tensions and anti-Communist sentiment caused another nationwide upsurge of violence. Then, 50 years later, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement triggered a third peak in violent political, social and racial conflict. Fifty years after that will be 2020. If history continues to repeat itself, we can expect a violent upheaval in the United States in a few years.
There is no denying that America is currently experiencing levels of social unrest that rivals the ‘60s. Indeed, the tentacles of this unrest are spreading around the globe. Most people recognize that the problems stem from deep- seated issues and concerns that have not been addressed. But. . . there is a solution🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾
Prayer for Justice and Peace
Eternal Father, You created us in Your own image and likeness, but sin has warped the minds of men and throughout the world there is much injustice and much carelessness of the rights of other people and personal responsibility.
Lord when You are excluded from the hearts and consciences of men, the inevitable result is that people suffer and Lord, there is much injustice and corruption taking place in our world today, not only in the lives of individuals but also in the corridors of power and the council rooms of many nations.
We pray Lord that You will right all the wrongs that are taking place in our world and vindicate those that are being treated unjustly. Keep us Father from trying to take matters into our own hands for vengeance is your and You will repay - but Lord in your grace and mercy we pray that you would give justice and peace to all those that have been cruelly and unfairly treated by their fellow man and may injustice and carelessness that they have had to endure be the means to draw them into Your saving arms of grace - we ask this in the precious name of the Lord, Jesus.
- Author Unknown
Opportunities to Give and Serve
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Social Distancing Guidelines
Please keep at least 6 feet apart while sitting in the sanctuary if possible
Please practice social distancing on the church property as much as possible
Sanitizer and masks are available at the front table
If you feel sick or have a temperature, please stay home
Communion elements will be available on a table as you enter the church
Offering will be taken as you exit the church after service
Surfaces will be regularly cleaned and sanitized
Thanks for respecting the guidelines and one another!
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This weeks subject is THE BODY OF CHRIST
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What Would Jesus Do?
. . . if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron 7:14)
Our land is hurting and in deep need of God's divine healing. Appropriately, this admonition from God addresses the critical fact that the sin and wickedness in our life as a nation has direct — and disastrous — effects on our health as a nation and as a global community.(Rev. David Wilson Rogers | Carlsbad Current-Argus, Dec. 16, 2017)
On May 25, 2020 the world witnessed the murder of a suspect in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota and have collectively said, “enough is enough!” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
People of all races, ethnicities, religions, social status have spoken out against the reoccurrence of such inhumane and unjust actions and have come together in solidarity.
Protests have erupted across the United States and in several countries around the world. Our Nation is experiencing heart-wrenching pain, as well as righteous indignation. Enough is enough!
All four living former presidents spoke out against the horrific injustices and the need for change in policies. President Obama concluded his message with the following remarks. “The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.
It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions. In some places, police review boards with the power to monitor police conduct are elected, as well. These offices have a direct impact on social justice issues, not to mention the fact that who wins and who loses those seats is often determined by just a few thousand, or even a few hundred, votes.
Unfortunately, voter turnout in these local races is usually pitifully low. So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform. “
So, as a body of believers, what can we do? Start and end with prayer. Then, open our ears, our eyes our hearts and seek to understand both sides in social, economic and political issues to lessen the division. Engage in conversations to honestly examine preconceived notions about disenfranchised and marginalized populations. Advocate for change in policies and laws that are biased. And, vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!
“Stand up for justice, but always stand in love and if we stand in love, love will win every time.” - Rev. Raphael Warnock at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Ebenezer Baptist Church is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was baptized, co-pastored with his father from 1960 until his death in 1968, and where his funeral services were held.
Submitted by Talma Harmon