Here are some words for us from Psalm 139....
"You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my
mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139: 13-14)
Daniel Webster's eldest daughter was married to John Colby, considered one of the most wicked, godless men in this neighborhood when it came to his awful behavior. He seemed to have no respect at all for God and often used God's name in a derisive manner. Then Webster heard that Colby had undergone a change. He decided to pay him a visit and see for himself.
On entering his daughter's home, Webster noticed a large-print Bible opened on a table. Colby had been reading it before he answered Webster's knock on the door. The first question Colby asked was, "Are you a Christian?" When he was assured of Webster's faith, he suggested that they kneel together and pray.
After the visit, Webster told a friend, "Here was a man as unlikely a Christian as any I have ever seen; and he has gone his godless way until now, with old age and habits hard to change! Yet he is now a penitent, trusting, humble believer!" It seems God never gave up on John Colby.
You too are precious to God. The Bible says that God knew you and loved you long before you were even aware of God. No matter how you treated God in the past, God has never given up on you. Just ask God and find out for yourself.
I don't take your name in vain. --- GOD
+++ We gather for worship on Sunday at 8:30am and 10:00am and our 10:00am worship service will, of course, be "live-streamed" on the church's Facebook page for all to enjoy. After the worship is completed, we "upload" the completed service to our YouTube channel, as well. We are so thankful that we have so many joining us in our "virtual" congregation each week. Don't forget to leave us a comment to say "Hi" while you are worshipping with us! This week is the 4th Sunday after Epiphany we will continue our reading of Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth. My message, "What Does God Choose?" has me thinking about each of us recognizing and accepting God's call on our lives. Join us for worship here in the Sanctuary or via the internet on Sunday morning!
+++ If you are a team or ministry leader please remember that Annual Reports are due in the church office by Wednesday, February 1st. We appreciate your help so that we can meet our publishing deadline schedule. Look for full copies of Immanuel's Annual reports to be available in the next few weeks!
+++ Just a reminder to SPRC and Ad Council members... our February meetings have been moved up one week to February 7th! Please mark your calendars!
+++ Our Dinner and a Movie night is filling up quickly! We will gather on Saturday night, February 11th for a potluck dinner and a viewing of "The Shack"! Please sign up this weekend, on the white board outside the Fireside Room, as seating is limited at this event!
+++ Look for details next week about our 2023 Lenten Study group! Plans are underway now and we hope to have a great group for our study and discussion each week!
Make this day a great day and remember... God loves YOU!
As we approach another weekend, I wanted to share with you that I read this article not long ago that informed me that during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, the British government ran low on the silver they used to make their coins. Lord Cromwell sent his men to a local cathedral in search of silver. They reported, "The only silver we could find is in the statues of the saints standing in the corners." "Good!" replied Cromwell, "We'll melt down the saints and put them into circulation."
Circulating melted-down saints? It's an unusual metaphor but good theology! God never intended for us to be silver-plated, highly polished ornaments, solely for liturgical use. God intends for us to be living, breathing people, working together to accomplish God's purposes in our lives.
God doesn't care about our money; God has all of that God needs. God doesn't care about our religious words or actions. God is more interested in the genuine good that flows from our hearts. God doesn't care about our social prowess; God is interested in our willingness to come humbly with our prayers and petitions.
Has your relationship with God been just for show? If so, it's time to shed the unnecessary trappings that have kept you standing in the corner accomplishing nothing. God is waiting, always ready to help you become all that God intended for you to be.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
1. We worship at 8:30am and 10:00am this weekend and we'll hear from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians and Matthew's gospel. My message is entitled, "Living and Singing in Perfect Harmony" and I am thinking about some sage advice given me by my high school chorus teacher a few years ago! Join us for worship and hear all about Mrs. Green's recommendations! If you can't be here in the Sanctuary you can join us on our Facebook page at 10:00am for the "live-stream" or watch the recorded service on our YouTube channel afterwards. And however you watch... Please leave us a comment saying "Hi"!
2. You can now check out our Staff page to learn more about our new Kidz Club Coordinator, Alex. Alex can be reached at her new email address: Kidzclub@churchofthebells.org. There is always lots happening for the young people here each week so make sure to bring the kids along for the fun!
3. Team Leaders please remember that your annual reports are due in the church office on February 1st. This allows us to put together the report booklets in a timely fashion. Thanks for your help in meeting our deadlines!
4. See Shelley after worship this week to get your 2022 Annual Giving Statements. Every one that gets picked up helps us save on postage! Thanks for all your gifts and for grabbing your reports!
5. We heard from our supplier that our 2023 General Fund giving envelopes have been delayed due to problems with the suppliers manufacturing abilities. It is likely that we will not receive the envelopes for another few weeks. In the meantime, your help in using a plain envelope, clearly marked GF (for General Fund) or M2 (for M squared) is really appreciated. We're sorry for the inconvenience for us all... but we are unable to do much except react to the supplier's problems at this point! Thanks!
6. And don't forget to sign up for our February Dinner and Movie night on Saturday, February 11th. We will be joining for a pot-luck dinner (I believe that might be a Methodist sacrament!!!) and watching the movie "The Shack". But we are limited to the number of people we can accommodate so sign up soon outside the Fireside Room!
I can't wait to see you in worship this Sunday!
Here is a story I recently re-read and want to share with you....
A man once sat down to have dinner with his family. As was their tradition, the family members joined hands around the table, and the man offered a rote prayer, thanking God for the food, the hands that prepared it, and for the source of all life. During the meal, however, he bitterly complained about his job and his boss... even offering some thoughts about the staleness of the bread and a slight bit of mold he found on one edge of the brick of cheese.
One night his youngest daughter asked him, "Daddy, do you think God heard you say grace before the meal?"
"Of course, honey," he answered confidently.
Then she said, "Do you think God heard everything you said during dinner?" Again the man answered confidently, "Why, yes, I believe so. God hears everything."
She thought for a moment and then asked, "Daddy, which one do you think God believed -- what you said before we ate or what you said while we were eating?"
God hears everything we say -- the good and the bad -- and so do the people around us. Honor God in all you say, and God's blessing will rest on your life as well as the lives of those who hear and heed your example.
STOP ALL YOUR DIRTY TALK. SAY THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME AND HELP OTHERS BY WHAT YOU SAY.
(Ephesians 4:29 CEV)
+++ As we get ready for worship this week we will hear from John 1: 29-42... and we will hear John the Baptist testifying about Jesus. In my message, "Pointing the Way to Jesus," I'll be thinking about how each of us is also called to testify about our Savior. We worship at 8:30am and 10:00am and our 10:00am worship service will be "live streamed" on the church's Facebook page and then "uploaded" to our YouTube channel. Last week saw a few audio problems which appear to not be our equipment, but the Facebook platform. We continue to work to make sure you get to see and hear EVERY word of our worship service. Thanks for your understanding as we work through a few bugs!
+++ After a great first week, Alex is planning another exciting Kidz Club party for Sunday. Kidz... make sure you are here to be a part of the fun!
+++ This Sunday is Human Relations Sunday, one of six special collections that we receive as part of the larger church. This collection benefits neighborhood ministries through community developers, supports community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services and works with at-risk teens through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program. There will be special envelopes in the Narthex or you can simply put your offering in the collection plate on Sunday. Please note in the memo "Human Relations Sunday." Thank you for your generosity.
+++ Remember our church office is closed on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We will reopen on Tuesday morning at 9:15am!
Make today a great day and look for opportunities to say the right thing at the right time!
In 1982, Eddie Espinosa read once again the great words from Isaiah 64:8 and wrote these words...
"Change my heart, O God, make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God, may I be like you.
You are the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me, this is what I pray.
Change my heart, O God, make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God, may I be like you."
Sometimes the best I can pray is "Change my heart, O God." I think about those times when the solution to a problem seems just beyond my grasp or I realize that not only is there a problem... but I am part of it! And then I have to turn once again to Eddie's words that implore God to change my heart. And the good news is that God is always in the heart-changing business! So when you realize that your heart too needs changing... give thanks for a God who is always willing, able, and ready to help you do just that!
Here is what we have planned for this weekend and the week coming up....
Enjoy this day and ask God to change your heart whenever it's needed!
Get Chimings by Email
If you would like to receive Chimings via email, notify the church office to be added to the list.