- ReadWeekly UpdateMarch 5, 2021
“Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel,” Philippians 1:27
The Church today has lost this message. I read this verse and I do not hear Paul talking with the Philippians, I hear Jesus speaking to us. Paul wants to hear a positive report about the Philippian church and a positive report is that they stand firm in the Spirit and endeavor to live united. He does not want his presence to be the force that scares the church into acting right, rather he wants the church to live united recognizing that our love for one another reflects our love for God. It has been trying for me this week as I have read the announcements about the purposed Global Methodist Church and the comments around it. The trouble is unity is difficult, it is hard to give up the right amount of my self to another. It is difficult not to give up so much that I am simply dominated by the other person while giving up enough to let that person influence and mold me. Everyone who is married knows this lesson all too well. And when things get difficult, we tend to want to blame the other person for how he or she is ruining the relationship. Unity begins with me. I am responsible for listening to the other person and I am responsible for making my thoughts and feelings known in a loving responsible way. To be one in Spirit requires that I understand where the other person is coming from. It means listening to their story so I can empathize with their hurts.
If my wife is upset about something, I have three options: ignore her, blame her, or listen to her. The third of these is the hardest, the most necessary, and the most rewarding. There are times where I listen and I might conclude she is upset for an invalid reason, there are times where I hear her and push back with my own thoughts and feelings, but when I do, I must begin from the context that I want the relationship to be stronger at the end of the conversation than at the beginning. The trouble is the Church is so fractured and cares so little for unity that we do not mind leaving one congregation for another. We do not mind blowing up storming out and finding a new church. That cannot be our approach, we must be committed to forming a family and promoting the unity of the body. Our witness to the work of God is how we have been healed. If our relationships, congregations, and denominations are fractured we are a poor example of the healing present in the blood of Jesus.
- Mar13Saturday, March 13th, 11:30 am (EST)
- Office PrairieChapel published a bulletinReadPrairie Chapel UMC MARCH 7, 2021 WORSHIP SERVICE 10:30 AMPASTOR WES GEORGE CELL: 740: 381-3345 CHURCH OFFICE: 740-622-3992
- ReadLenten DevotionalMarch 3, 2021
PREPARING FOR EASTER
Preparing for Easter for me is to sacrifice something during Lent. This usually was a favorite food.
Now when I look back, I was continuing my failures from New Year’s Resolutions.
This year I ask myself, Do I trust God or do I worry?
My family considers me a worrier. I believe in the diety of JESUS and I need to remember that worry is a mild form of atheism. To believe in God, is something greater than merely to believe he is.
PSALM 94-19 LORD When doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.
COLOSSIANS 4:2 Devote yourself to prayer being watchful and thankful.
Growing up in the 40’s and 50’s, having a new hat or new Easter outfit was important. This is what the stores and newspapers wanted us to think.
Wear your Easter Bonnet with all the thrills upon it was playing on the radio.
I was blessed with 4 sisters and 2 brothers. None of us received New Easter outfits, there were No Easter Bonnets for we sisters. I never felt slighted, I may have envied someone with a beautiful new Easter outfit.
We attended a small country church and you didn’t see many new outfits and Easter Bonnets. What was instilled was the powerful Easter message and singing the inspiring Easter hymns,
—Alleluia-Christ Is Alive
- ReadLenten DevotionalFebruary 28, 2021
Mr. Spade, our former superintendent, often said, “So goes the senior class, so goes your school year.” I echo those sentiments every year with our seniors as we meet as a group. If the seniors have a good year, the building will have a good year. And it has held true. This year we have a great group. I am blessed to have the opportunity to interview each senior during the year. It is a great way for me to hear about their future plans but more importantly to evaluate their experience at River View High School and find out how they believe we can improve things. It is time-consuming but very worthwhile. During the conversation I allow them to ask me questions, also. Some do not, but many do. Over the years, many have asked about my Christian beliefs and where I attend church. They can see the values, morals and ethics that I bring with me everyday to school and know that in God we do trust all things.
One of the most important things each of us do every day for the people that we serve is give them HOPE. Hope at River View High School means...
Helping students create their own Opportunities
and Persevere with the Encouragement of the RVHS Community.
There is a lot of research out there stating that having HOPE is a better predictor of future success than the SAT, ACT, or GPAs. Having hope for a brighter future… Isn’t that what each of us do as educators, pastors, leaders? …provide HOPE that tomorrow will be brighter than today? That the coming of Christ will save us from our sins? That no matter what is going on in our lives today, Jesus Christ knows, and gives us the HOPE that we have for our future.
- ReadWeekly UpdateFebruary 26, 2021
The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Psalm 97:1
What about God's reign makes you rejoice?
Think about that for a few minutes, what is it about God being king over the earth that makes you praise? How is God's reign different from the George's and Louis' of the past or the Elizabeth's of today? How is God's reign different from that of the American president? Why do you rejoice over God's reign?
When the Church Fathers thought about this question they came up with answers like:
"Hear Jesus speaking to the apostles: “Take no thought what you shall eat; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they do not sow, neither do they reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” If clothing should fail you, set the lilies before your eyes. If hunger should seize you, think of the words in which the poor and hungry are blessed." St. Jerome
"I should not pass over without investigating the significance of the phrases, to love God and to love one’s neighbor. A person who loves God will do the following: obey his command in all respects; observe his laws and precepts; attempt to sanctify himself because God is holy, as is written: “Be holy, because I the Lord your God am holy”; fulfill the direction of the prophet: “You that love the Lord, hate evil”; think of nothing but divine and heavenly subjects, for God is a lover of nothing but holiness, justice and piety; do only what God seems to love." St. Augustine
What is your answer to the question, what about God's reign gives you encouragement?
Be part of the conversation in the Church Facebook group.
- Office PrairieChapel published a bulletinReadPrairie Chapel UMC FEBRUARY 28, 2021 WORSHIP SERVICE 10:30 AMPASTOR WES GEORGE CELL: 740-681-3345 CHURCH: 740-622-3992
- ReadLenten DevotionalFebruary 24, 2021
February 12, 2021
It was a couple years ago, I guess, that I noticed a story in the The Beacon about Gwen Stotler, who, when active in our church, once taught my Sunday School class in the old church kitchen of all places. The story said that she was turning 100 years old on February 12—also the birthday of President Lincoln! It gave details of her growing up in England including a few of the same things she’d told us kids years ago—her school days, getting married and moving over to the US, and so on. (Between her stories and those of Doris Howell, I always felt like there was a connection from the birthplace of Methodism right to our own congregation.)
I know that newspaper story is stuck in my files somewhere as I was thinking about it a couple weeks ago; finding it would take several days. Then just the other day, The Tribune carried a display ad reminding us to send Mrs. Stotler a birthday card for her 102nd birthday! The very next day, coincidentally, I dug out a copy of our *first Lenten devotional booklet, and lo and behold, worked my way over to the contribution for Saturday, April 17, 1971—by Gwen Stotler!
That first booklet, grandly titled “Thoughts and Meditations of Canal Lewisville United Methodist Church by Laymen and Youth” contained not only 40 devotionals to cover the days of Lent, but ones for the Sundays as well; moreover, contributions blew right by Easter (the 11th) and extended to the 18th. Most interesting—a blessing of sorts—is that 24 of the contributors (current and former members) are still with us, though now the ages range from about 60 to . . . yes—102!
Here’s Mrs. Stotler’s reading, based on John 1:16-19:
“A friend of mine in England keeps a little box on the kitchen table. She calls it the ‘Blessing Box.’ She puts pennies in it every time a blessing comes her way. She finds blessings in adversities; we can, too, if we look for them.
Every week her little box would be full and she’d empty it and take the money to put in the basket along with her offering. ‘Blessings for others’, she’d say.
Prayer: Our Father, we thank you for the greatest blessing of all, Jesus Christ, your Son, whom you sent to us, the make your ways understood to us, and who died for us so that we could live. We pray to be worth of such a loving blessing, We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
As we enter Lent, may the past light the way for today and tomorrow