As we start this new month (one month closer to springtime, friends!), I read these words from Psalm 27...
"The Lord is the strength of my life."
(Psalm 27:1 KJV)
From the very first moment when we open our eyes each morning until we close them again at night we must remind ourselves that the challenge is not what we can do for the Lord but what the Lord can do through us. There is so much to be done, so many people to reach, so many needs to be met. Sometimes we are asked to undertake a worthy objective, but feel so inadequate to achieve it.
Thankfully, our hope is not in our own personal abilities. We don't need to bear the burden of saving the world single-handedly. Our strength comes from the Lord, and we are only one small part of the great body fulfilling God's purpose in the earth. God not only promises to show himself strong where we are weak, but God will also give us the measure of faith we need to trust Him. The biggest challenge is learning not to try to rely on our own limited knowledge and personal strengths, but to rely on God's wisdom and strength working in us and through us.
So join me in praying, You are my strength, O God, when you're asked to do something you've never done or your emotions are taking over. When your buttons are being pushed, or you feel inadequate or afraid, God offers you strength to make it through the crisis!
+++ We have another wonderful day of worship planned for this coming Sunday! As we celebrate this 5th Sunday after the Epiphany, we will hear from Mark's Gospel where Jesus heals many at Simon Peter's house and then heads off for a preaching tour through Galilee. My message, "I Will Raise You Up" has me thinking about how even in the most difficult of times... God will not abandon God's promise to redeem and raise us up. We worship at 8:30am and 10:00am and, of course, we will be "live-streaming" on the church's Facebook page at 10:00am. Following worship we will upload the completed worship service to our YouTube channel, as well. We will also celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion at each service on Sunday!
+++ Following worship a dedicated group of volunteers will deliver this month's Meal Ministry meals and we will surpass the 600 mark for meals delivered in this wonderful ministry! Thanks to Sam, Marilyn and all the drivers who continue to spread the love of God to our shut-ins each month!
+++ Annual reports are completed and available for your use on the table in the Narthex. Thanks to all our Team and Ministry leaders for all their efforts and for providing the reports for us!
+++ Don't forget to sign up this Sunday for next week's Second Sunday Luncheon after worship! A delicious meal is planned and we need to know an accurate count for how many friends to expect to join us. Thanks!
+++ On Monday night you are invited to meet our new Bishop, Bishop Hector Burgos Nunez at the Fayetteville UMC. The Bishop will be gathering with laity from 7:00pm-8:30pm to share some thoughts on our United Methodist Church and to worship and listen and learn. All laity in the Crossroads District are invited to attend.
+++ LENT BEGINS ON ASH WEDNESDAY, February 14th. On that night we will gather in the Sanctuary at 7:00pm and begin our Lenten journey toward the cross. Our theme for the journey this year is "Guided to the Cross" and at every worship service you will have a chance to bring elements of your life to the cross of Jesus. You'll hear more about this on Sunday and we hope everyone in the congregation joins together for this year's Lenten journey!
Make this day a great day and remember to pray, You are my strength, O God each and every day!
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