Pastor's Blog
December 1, 2017, 11:28 AM

December Blog

Mention Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and usually one of the first characters to com to mind is Ebenezer Scrooge.  Scrooge is a cold-hearted miser whose only interest seems to be in accumulating wealth.  In the beginning o fthe story he is so very self-centered and wants nothing to do with people except for the business they give him.  But, by the end of the story Scrooge is redeemed and finds new life - filled with hope, peace, joy and love.  If this miserly old man can be redeemed of his brokenness, then so can we.  I hope you join us on Sunday morning as we discover how the story of Scrooge fits into our own lives.

I found in the illustration below that the father in the story is very similar to Scrooge in his attitude.  He is redeemed in th ened and love wins over his heart as well.  I pray this story touches your heart as you prepare yourself for the birth of Jesus Christ who came to redeem each of us through his gift of sacrificial love.

This old story is about a man who chastised his 3-year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper.  Money was tight, and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.  Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy."

The father was embarassed by his earlier overreaction once he realized the gift was for him.  He opened the gift, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty.  He yelled at her, "Don't you know that when you give someone a present, there's suppose to be something inside of it?"

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty.  I blew kisses into the box.  All for you, Daddy."  The father was crushed.  He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her forgiveness.  He kept that gold box by his bed for years.  Whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from God.  Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God's "one and only Son," we are able to be in a personal relationship with God our Creator, Jesus Christ our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit our Sustainer.

While there are those times when it seems as if God has left us to make it on our own, and there are those times when it appears as if we cannot go any further in life, there is no more precious posession anyone could hold than the gold box filled with the love and grace of God.

May God bless you during the Advent and Christmas season,

Pastor Becky

October 31, 2017, 12:39 PM

November Blog

Covenant Discipleship Groups are a wonderful opportunity for each of us to grow in our faith and in community.  I have found being in a covenant discipleship group one of the most rewarding parts of my faith journey and I have participated in a group wherever I have lived for almost 30 years.

Jesus gave his disciples a new commandement:  "Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."  John 13:34-35

We are to follow Jesus'  teaching and one way to do that is to 'watch over one another in love'.  We are in the process of forming covenant discipleship groups.  As disciples of Jesus Christ we seek to become like Jesus.  As a disciple we seek to align our personal desires, goals, and habits with those of Jesus.

Covenant discipleship groups focus on support and accountability.  These groups have their roots planted within the Wesleyan tradition.  John Wesley met regularly with a small discipleship group and they came to be called "Methodists" because of the "method" they used to share how they were living out their relationship with Christ.

A covenant discipleship group is guided by a covenant the actual group writes shaped by the United Methodist General Rule of Discipleship.  The Rule is:  To witness to Jesus Christ in the world and to follow his teaching through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A sample group covenant might read something like this:

Knowing that Jesus Christ died that I might have eternal life, I pledge myself to be his disciple, witnessing his saving grace, and seeking to follow his teachings under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I faithfully pledge my time, my skills, my resources, and my strength to search out God's will for me and to obey.

I will worship each Sunday unless prevented.

I will receive the sacrament of Holy Communion regularly.

I will pray each day privately and with my family or friends.

I will read and study the Scriptures each day.

I will spend time each month to further the cause of the disadvantaged in my community.

I will not remain silent when I am aware of injustice to others.

I will obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit to serve 'God and my neighbor'.

I will heed the warnings of the Holy Spirit not to sin against God and my neighbor.

I will prayerfully care for my body and the world in which I live.

I make this commitment, trusting in the grace of God to give me the will and the strength to keep this covenant.

(Covenant Discipleship Groups Pamphlet)

If you did not receive a sign up sheet to be in a group in worship, please contact me.  We have just begun to sign up people so plan to be part of this wonderful journey of faith with others.  There will be more information in the weeks ahead.

God bless you as you grow closer to Christ and closer to each other.

Pastor Becky





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