Greetings! As the sun struggles to make an appearance in the springtime sky, I read these words in Proverbs...
"A [person's] pride brings them low, but a [person] of lowly
spirit gains honor." (Proverbs 29:23)
Dutch author and priest Henri Nouwen admits in his book In the Name of Jesus that he came to a place where he felt as if his life was stuck in a rut. On the surface, it would seem that Nouwen had it made. He possessed an impressive resume in a noble field of study. But after twenty-five years in the priesthood, he found himself praying poorly, living a life isolated from people, and preoccupied with doubts.
Finally Nouwen asked God if he should leave his prestigious role as a distinguished professor. The answer was clear. God led Nouwen to the L'Arche Community for the Mentally Handicapped. In Nouwen's words, "God said, 'Go and live among the poor of spirit, and they will heal you.'" So he did.
In his new role, Nouwen faced numerous lessons, some painful, a few humiliating, but all in all, he learned humility, compassion, and caring. Pride in his own accomplishments could have kept him from finding the fulfillment he was so desperately seeking. Nouwen's willingness to swallow his pride and answer God's call led him ultimately to buried treasure.
If you lack purpose and fulfillment, maybe God is asking you to turn your life over to Him. Don't let pride stand in your way!
No one ever choked on swallowing pride! --- GOD
+++ This Sunday is the 6th Sunday after Epiphany and we continue looking into the 5th chapter of Matthew's Gospel account. And this week Jesus will be teaching us about the law... murder, adultery, and divorce. My message, "Living by Both the Law and Love" has me wondering about how we can live according to two different sets of rules? Can we live by both the law and love? Come and join me as I think this through. We gather at 8:30am and 10:00am and, of course, our 10:00am worship is "live-streamed" on the church's Facebook page. And then, after worship is completed, we "upload" the worship service to the church YouTube channel. However you choose to join us, be with us for worship this week!
+++ We are looking for a few adults to spend some time with Alex in our Kidz Club program each week. Our Safe Sanctuaries policy requires a two adult rule and beginning this week we will return to following that rule. Can you sign-up to spend one week every couple of months with the kids? There will be the opportunity to sign up after worship this week. Thanks!
+++ New editions of the Upper Room magazine are on the table in the Narthex. These new editions are for March and April.
+++ Please remember our upcoming Newsletter deadline is February 20th for articles for the March/April edition of our church newsletter. Please make sure your articles are in the office by the 20th. Thanks!
+++ Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd! We will worship that night at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary and we begin our Lenten theme, "God's Amazing Grace". Did you know that great hymn was written 250 years ago this year? This year we will meet friends from our Scriptures who were certainly in need of God's Amazing Grace. We hope you'll like meeting these new friends each week.
+++ We will offer a Lenten study, "Finding Jesus in the Psalms". The in-person group will meet each Thursday afternoon at 1:00pm in the Fireside Room and we can make available a "hybrid" model for those who would like to join us on ZOOM at that same time. So all you Florida "sunbirds" can still be a part of the study if you would like! Just let me know if you would like to join us. There is a book to purchase and it costs $14. And... we can even mail it to those who are out of town for your use! A sign-up sheet is on the white board outside the Fireside Room for those attending in person. I will also offer an evening group, via ZOOM, on Wednesday nights if we have 6 people who are interested, since this is really the minimum for a good discussion group. Again... sign-up outside the Fireside Room and let me know if you are interested in an evening ZOOM format!
Make this day a great day and never let pride stand in the way of your relationship with God!