January 13, 2012
First UMC | eRevelations
January 13, 2012
First United Methodist Church—Our Purpose: As believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Bible as the inspired word of God, we 1) glorify God through worship, 2) build strong relationships in the church family, 3) grow in the knowledge of the truth as revealed through Jesus Christ, 4) serve people as a reflection of the love of Jesus Christ, and 5) spread the Good News of the Gospel so that others may come to salvation through grace.
In This Issue:
v Thoughts From Your Pastor
v Outreach Ministry News
v Church Meetings
Thoughts from Your Pastor
“Immersed in God’s Word”
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not towards selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
How much time and effort do you put in to reading, meditating on, and internalizing the Scriptures, which is God’s Word to us? Other than what you hear on a Sunday morning, how often do you allow God to speak to you throughout the week by reading your Bible, feeding on God’s Word? Where is this on your priority list?
Some of you might think that these questions, coming from a pastor, are intimidating. After all, I live in breathe within the pages of the Bible, right? Well, yes and no.
It’s true that I spend a lot of time in the Bible preparing for sermons, Bible studies, and writing I do. That keeps me in the Bible yes, but most of that effort is for you, not me. I’m reading and studying to teach and preach to others. But believe me, I can find myself having spent hours and hours preparing and then teaching and preaching the Scriptures only to find in the end that my mind, heart, and spirit have been tapped out, left bone dry and empty.
Like you, as fellow disciple of Jesus Christ, there needs to be time and space for God to speak to me for my sake. I need to allow myself to sit within the God the Potter’s hands (Jeremiah 18:6) to mold my life. And the Scriptures are one the primary modes of formation which God uses to shape us to be like Jesus.
This Sunday in our series called “A Life with God for Stressed Out, Overly Busy, Highly Distractible People on the Edge of Burnout” we’re going to look at spending time in the Scriptures as a way to shift the patterns of our thinking, our priorities, and our values to be more Christ-centered and Christ-shaped and less worldly-centered and worldly-shaped.
Reading the Bible is much more that just reading for information in order to know more “spiritual stuff.” It’s more than intellectual stimulation and fascination, which the Bible often is. Reading the Bible is more than reading for rules about what to do or not do as a Christian, although we find much of that.
Reading the Bible is a practice of immersion and even submersion into the mind, heart, and will of God as experienced and recorded by Israel and the Church. Let me offer an analogy. Let’s say you decide to go off and spend significant time in a South American country, say Peru. If you truly give yourself to that experience by opening your mind and heart, you’ll begin to see that Peruvians have ways of doing and looking at the world that are different from your own. Their values might differ from your own here and there. They have attitudes and outlooks on life, people, and God that are uniquely their own. If you really open yourself, over time, you would begin to think and act and look at things more like a Peruvian. Slowly but surely, as you made significant inroads with the people of Peru, the patterns of your life would alter. You would begin to resemble something more of them and less of what you used to be.
Friends, when we immerse and submerse ourselves into the Word of God, much of the same thing happens. The way we choose to think and react to things becomes more like Christ. What is important to us, the relationships we keep or throw away, how we use our time, how we treat God, other people and ourselves becomes more like Jesus’ ways. Before you know it, you’ll look back and see how this ongoing immersion experience has changed you in some small, moderate, or even fundamental ways.
Put all that together, and we can say that we read the Scriptures, not merely for information, but for transformation. Expect that transformation to be incremental and slow. And sometimes expect the Word to thunderbolt you to make a significant adjustment. We never can tell. But we can trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us and lead us into all truth (John 16:13).
So… I hope you will join me on Sunday morning for worship so that we can explore even more how to be immersed in God’s Word. And I also hope you will join me on a daily journey of reading, taking in, and being transformed by the Word of God.
Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Listening for God’s Truth in All the Chatter” and the scripture is from Psalm 119:25-40
Regular Practice Schedule
Chancel Choir – Wednesday Rehearsals 7:30 pm
Praise Team – Wednesday Rehearsals 6:15 pm
Worship Players – 2nd & 4th Saturday 9:00 am
The King’s Kids – Wednesday Rehearsals 6:30 pm….next practices will be February 1st and 8th
NOTICE!!! PRAYER MEETINGS
Our church holds prayer meetings every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary. We need supporters for this valuable mission so if at all possible, please join us.
Prayer concerns this week: Richard Hegg, Mark Straw (friend of Richard Reynnells), Sue Reynnells (sister-in-law of Richard Reynnells), Family of Steve Berstler, Gene Hoffmaster (Bonnie Frazee’s dad), Stuart & Darlene Weiss, Duke & Anne Clements, Family of Robert Norr, Gene Hoffmaster (Bonnie Frazee’s father), Bonnie Frazee & Family, Ligia Blanco (Becky Boeckman’s aunt), Lois Guthrie (Barb Miller’s mother)
General Meeting, Saturday, January 28th at 10:00 am in Fellowship Hall
Kathryn Eye Circle Meeting, Monday, February 6th at 1:00 pm
Sunday, January 15th – No Meeting
January 20th-22nd – Trip to ROCK in Ocean City, MD
Saturday, January 28th – MSP Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the Maryland Special Olympics, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD
Sunday, January 29th – Youth Sunday at both services; No Evening Meeting
First UMC’s Special Needs Ministry is once again participating in the Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland. The plunge will take place in two weeks on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at Sandy Point State Park. This year there will be a Pee Wee Plunge for those children up to the age of 10 years old who can take a dip in a special wading pool and still call themselves Plungers. Our own Jacob Owens will be taking the Pee Wee Plunge. Our team is called “FUMCL Special Blessings.” We are looking for two things:
- · team members – at least fifteen people who will “take the plunge” with FUMCL Special Blessings into the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay – we now have eleven team members, but could use a few more
- · funding – raising at least $5,000, all of which will benefit Special Olympics Maryland
To help FUMCL Special Blessings meet our goals, you can visit our team website at http://plunge2012.kintera.org/fumclspecialblessings. On our site, you can join the team or make a donation. Or you can write a check to “SOMD” and write FUMCL Special Blessings in the memo. If you have any questions, please talk to Blairlee Owens. Thanks in advance for all of your help!
Outreach Ministry News
The Mayor & City Council of Laurel & The Laurel Clergy Association present
Sing for King
A concert featuring ‘Trilogy of Dreams’, and excerpts from ‘The Cantata, Whence We Came and Where We are’.
DEDICATED TO THE LIFE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
JANUARY 15, 2012
First Baptist Church of Laurel
15000 First Baptist Lane
(off Cherry Lane west of Van Dusen Road)
No admission fee
‘Trilogy of Dreams’ and ‘Whence We Came’ composed by
Dr. Mack Statham
Organist, First United Methodist Church, Laurel
Directed by, Ned Lewis
Detra Battle, Soprano Soloist
Carlos Petersen, Tenor/Baritone Soloist
Sharon A. Lomax, Alto Soloist
Lolethia Lomax-Frazier, Alto Soloist
Lay Leadership Development Meeting – Thursday, January 26th at 7:00 pm
Other Important Items
Church Office will be closed on Monday, January 16th
Lovely Ladies of Laurel – Open House
(A PARENT OR GUARDIAN MUST BE PRESENT!!!)
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Laurel High School, New Building
The Lovely Ladies of Laurel is an all-girl mentoring organization for young ladies between the ages of 12 – 17. The principle purpose is to promote RESPECT for SELF and others at all times. We engage in community service activities to encourage intellectual performance along with high moral and respectful standards. We support academic achievement and personal and social development. RESPECT is the foundation for this organization RESPECT for SELF, others, and human diversity.
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning on attending.
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