PASTOR GLEN'S BLOG
November 21, 2017
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it seems appropriate that we think once again about the gift of gratitude that warms the heart of our Lord. Gratitude is the opposite of grumbling. It is a source of continual joy. No matter what our circumstances during this season we can rejoice and be thankful. We discover in the parable of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19 that only one of the ten lepers returned to give thanks for Jesus healing him.
The ten lepers had been given back the gift of life itself . . . a miracle that should have awakened a remarkable response of gratitude and a desire to make some kind of return for this incredible gift.
In contrast to the nine lepers, the Psalmist models the heart of the one leper, who returned to say “Thank you:”
What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? . . . I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. (Psalm 116:12, 17)
This is how the nine lepers, who had been healed from a living death, should have responded.
What response have we made to God’s goodness? Do we verbalize gratitude but, in reality, believe it was our wisdom and perseverance that carried us? Have we given God anything more than a “TIP” of our time, talent and treasure in response to his goodness?
Do you want to make gratitude come alive in your life? Make the decision that you are not an owner, but only a caretaker of what God has entrusted to you. Understand that life was meant to be given away! Gratitude expressed through sharing frees us from the bondage or worry about future security, replacing such fear with the confidence that God will provide for our tomorrow. Our task as followers of Jesus is to be faithful today.
When we say thank you, we discover this wonderful truth about life:
God will respond to our “Thank you,” by giving us another gift . . . freedom:
- From the mad scramble for more and more,
rooted in our fears about future security.
- From the futility of self-indulgence
associated with getting and spending.
- From the task of seeking to impress others with what we possess, since thankful people know everything we possess is solely the gift of God's grace.
Take some time this week to write letters or make phone calls just to say “Thank you.” Take time to thank God for his indescribable gift of Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation through him! And, take some time to share that gift with others in your sphere of influence! Imitate that one leper who came back, “fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him THANKS!”
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Black
Stephanie recently attended a conference at Fuller with a group of African scholars from seminaries in the US and Canada, and a handful of North Americans who work in the area of African Christianity.
She says, "Through it all the Lord was reminding me, “Yes, this is important. These young leaders are the way I’m building my global church. This is where I’ve called you to serve.” I came away with my heart filled and re-motivated for the hard work of raising the financial support to stay engaged with this sort of ministry."
The rest of my month she's been visiting churches and small groups to tell people her story and invite them to partner with her in global theological education.
She continues, "I love all the visiting and meeting people. And I love helping people understand more about what God's doing in the church worldwide. But seriously, I have no idea how God is going to supply the rest of the funding to get me back to Ireland and my work as Serge’s international Theological Education Specialist – hopefully by March 2018. We’re still hovering at about 70% of the ongoing financial support needed. I just keep reminding myself that my job is to tell the story and God’s job is to supply the resources. Please pray with me that God confirms his call to this ministry by providing everything needed to make it happen – in whatever way he wants to do that, for his own glory. Thank you for praying!"
THIS SUNDAY Mike Adams will be giving the message during our 9:30am service. We look forward to hearing from our brother in Christ!
Children & Youth Sunday School - We will not have Sunday School after the service this Sunday but we will have a "thankful party" for the children during the service this week. Children may go up to the Sunday School floor after the opening worship music has ended.
Adult Sunday School – This week, we continue our study of the book of Colossians. We meet in the Chapel on the 2nd floor. Each class has a stand-alone focus and message so join us for one week or the whole series!
HELP NEEDED - We are in need of someone to install a ceiling fan in one of the Sunday School rooms. Please let Pastor Glen or Kelly King know if you are able to help with this project.
Cookie Exchange - The Women's Ministry presents our annual cookie exchange outreach at Cindy Roberts' home on Sunday, December 3rd at 3pm. This year the cookies will be donated to local Fire Departments. Please join us for some fun and fellowship! Bring a few dozen cookies (with a recipe card and a story if you have it!), a finger food to share and a friend as well! We'll also have door prizes so don't miss out on all the fun! Call Marty Porter at (540) 471-2619, if you have any questions.
Progressive Dinner - The church family is invited to celebrate the Christmas season as we have fun and break bread together on Saturday, December 9th! The evening will begin at 5:30pm and carpooling is encouraged. Our night ends with dessert and a white elephant RE-GIFT exchange. No gift buying please, just bring something from home to re-gift! Food is provided but if you would like to contribute a dessert, please contact Lynn Scott at (540) 447-4815. In order to prepare enough, we ask that you please sign up for the dinner by contacting Cindy Roberts at (540) 649-4448.
Appetizers: Arnie & Kathy Doyle's Home
Dinner: John & Sarah Todd Severs' Home
Dessert & Gift Exchange: Cliff & Lynn Scott's Home
Christmas Cantata - We will have a combined service with the Church of the Brethren on Sunday, December 10. The service will begin at 10:45am and we will have Sunday School at 9:30am that Sunday.
Jim Heafner Memorial Bible Study – The study meets Tuesdays at Panera Bread in Waynesboro. Men are encouraged to gather there around 6:45am to purchase breakfast and enjoy fellowship until the study begins at 7:00am.
Bible study/small group opportunity-Are you a person who would like to join a group of women and study God’s Word, pray and fellowship? We are always open to new folks, women or men. We are using The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Genesis 12 - 25: Be Obedient: Learning The Secret of Living By Faith. It is an exciting examination of the foundational truths of faith, sin and relationships through in-depth and practical study. We meet the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 11-12:30 at the home of Beth Laughlin, 525 Bader Ave., Waynesboro. For any further information or questions please call Beth at 943-0971.
HOME GROUPS – if you are not currently in a small home group and are interested in being in one, please contact Pastor Glen or Lynn Scott, our Small Group Coordinator. Please see other information about groups already meeting.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
Children's Ministry –As we prepare for the coming new year, we ask that members prayerfully consider volunteering with our children's ministry in 2018. Let's be disciples and make disciples of the next generation in our church! Pair up with a spouse or friend and teach a class once a month or every other month. Your time with these children, eager to learn, will bless you as much as it does them! Please contact Kelly King at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions or are available to help.
PRAYER CONCERNS & PRAISE REPORTS
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” - Colossians 4:2
Bill Hamilton- Bill’s cochlear implant surgery went well. He is home and recovering. Please pray that the surgery is successful and helpful.
Helen Wilson- Helen has made steady improvements and has appreciated all the prayers and support she has received.
Deborah Kleinschuster- Healing is proceeding nicely from recent foot surgery and she thanks all for their prayers.
Paige Holder- Paige’s shoulder surgery went well and he is now recovering at home. Plese keep Paige & Sherry in your prayers.
Paul Childers- Let’s continue to keep Paul in our prayers as he is recovering from shingles and a bad cold.
Rose Parler – Rose would like prayer for her autoimmune disease to be in remission or in control so she can have a needed surgery on her hip.
Massie and Shirley Wright – Pray for strength and balance while walking for Massie.
Don Acker (brother of Debby Ray) – Please continue to pray for Don whose is undergoing treatments for leukemia again. He has been fighting an infection and now pneumonia. It has been a very tough time for him this round. Debby is very grateful our continued prayers.
Walter Sass (Marge’s son)– Pray for Walter with various personal challenges at this time.
Jay & Dede Hamilton – Jay has passed all the pre-surgery, required tests, including a physical exam in which they declared him in excellent physical shape! His current aids needed to be repaired and by the grace of God, he was able to have the Director of Audiology at EVMS make them better than before! Please continue to pray for Jay and Dede as they make decisions regarding Jay's upcoming cochlear implant surgery. There are many risks involved in the surgery and they are waiting on the Lord's will for this decision. They send their love and appreciation.
PEOPLE WHO ARE UNCHURCHED in our community; there are people all around us who need the Lord! Pray that we will truly be salt and light in Waynesboro and beyond!
Communities devastated by the recent hurricanes– Continue to pray for those who have been displaced to receive the life-giving message of the hope we have in Jesus Christ along with material and physical support.
HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH – Please pray for God’s guidance as we discern the possible next location for our church family. Keep Larry Roberts in your ongoing prayers as he completes his training in becoming an Elder in our church. His term will begin January 2018.
Ruth Graham – Please continue to pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Pray also for Ruth in working to raise awareness in the Valley of our persecuted sisters and brothers.
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Brunson – EPC teaching elder Andrew Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey for over a year. Please continue to pray for his release!
Other Prayer Requests:
Corrie Green (friend of Kelly King) – Please pray for Corrie who was diagnosed with breast cancer last week. She will have surgery on Monday and then the doctors will determine the best course of treatment.
Peter Albert and Julia Bradley (friends of Beth Laughlin)-Please pray for Peter undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. He is scheduled for surgery November 30 to remove the tumor on his pancreas. Prayers also for Julia who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is receiving radiation through the first weekend November. Thankfully, both are mature Christians.
Dan Conyers (Friend of Blake & Marty Porter) – Please continue to keep Dan in your prayers. He has been moved to a nursing rehabilitation facility.
Tammy Lipscomb (friend of Candi Brown) – Praise for the report of ongoing healing of her torn retina. Please pray for continued improvement of the redness in both of her eyes.
Joan Bundy-She sends her thanks for our prayers as she has undergone radiation treatments for breast cancer. Dan Woodworth reported that she is improving in her recovery.
If you would like to add someone to the prayer list or would like to update a prayer concern, please contact Beth Laughlin at 943-0971 or Wink Brown at 540-241-5531.