loving God, loving people
and bringing the two together
Church of Christ
Volume 51 February 25, 2024 Number 8
FROM YOUR MINISTER: I guess it goes without saying that Jesus should be our example in all that we do and in all that we are! Therefore, His words have just now jumped off the page before me! “Follow my example: Even the Son of Man did not come for people to serve him. He came to serve others and to give his life to save many people” (Mark 10:45). Jesus came to serve, and that’s His desire for us as well! “Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God” (Ephesians 6:6-7, MSG)
QUOTE FOR THE WEEK: Serving God is one of the most important principles of the Christian faith, as believers are expected to help the church with a joyful spirit. “Love one another.” “Care for one another.” “Pray for one another.” “Encourage one another.” “Help one another.” “Counsel one another.” “Support one another.” Scripture repeatedly tells us of our relationship to God and others through service. ~biblestudytools.com
THIS WEEK FROM THE BIBLE: Luke 5:15-16 But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
FAMILY NEWS: If you haven’t picked up your invitation to Marnita & Stan’s wedding, it’s on the table in the foyer!
We thank John Wood for teaching 1 John in the Adult Bible Class. Please join us!
Please note the flier on the bulletin board for the Informational Fundraiser for Night Off the Streets March 2 at St. Peter’s Church. (NOTS provides winter nighttime housing for the homeless.)
Congratulations to Katie Wood upon the publication of Lizzie’s Journey – a three book Christian novel! Check it out on Amazon!
It’s time to bring back your baby bottle for Life Choices Community Pregnancy Clinic’s fundraiser! Please do so NOW and thank you!
The Who’s Who That Really Matters
by Rubel Shelley There seems to be an almost limitless number of "Who's Who" books. There's one for every state, for colleges and universities, for every major sport and most of the minor ones. There's one for television, movies, and the stage. Major professions have their own lists. And if you are inclined by now to think every specialty on earth has a "Who's Who," surely you wouldn't be surprised to find that heaven has one too.
All the earthly "Who's Who" volumes carry a high entrance fee of achievement. You have to be the fastest or smartest, richest or most powerful, first to discover or last to abandon. You might get in if you win enough medals, lose enough pounds, or draw the most beautiful pictures. Practically all firsts get in, maybe a few seconds, and practically no others.
The heavenly "Who's Who" has a different criterion for being included. Oh, none of the pretty, smart, powerful, or first-place people are necessarily excluded from it. On the other hand — and this is what is most important — people who belong to none of these categories may also be included. How does someone qualify? Just think of some of the names already on the list, and identify what they have in common. There are women like Sarah, Rahab, Deborah, Mary, and Dorcas. There are men like Noah, Moses, Amos, John the Baptist, and Timothy. You will find kings and fishermen, farmers and seamstresses, a few the world called "somebodies" and several it called "nobodies."
A few had their names included for big things they did, and many, many more for little things. One I recall led forces that defeated a much larger and better-equipped army. Another only shared his sack lunch that contained five pieces of bread and two smoked fish.
Figured it out yet? It has nothing to do with greatness in the eyes of the world, for God's standard of excellence is totally different. In the words of T.W. Matson, "In the kingdom of God, service is not the path to greatness. It is greatness."
Jesus said it very simply: "The most important person among you will be your servant" (Matthew 23:11). Heaven's "Who's Who" lists servants, only servants.
PRAYERTIME: “The Prayer Service” was once a common expression! Our sister Melinda (Lindy) Long is hospitalized in Reno for tests and treatment. Please be praying for this loved one and her family. Let us all be in prayer for Uday’s mother in India as she undergoes surgery and treatment. Please pray for him as he is with her. Let us keep praying for Juniper Ammons (In Texas treatment and therapy), Aulika and Mickey (God’s guidance), Reuben Crowder (for continued spiritual growth), Russ and Kim Garvin (long term health issues), Ansley Griffin (daily strength), Bill Kenson (daily blessing), David LaCuse in Oregon (immunotherapy), Lori Mendez’ husband Pete (cancer treatments), Al and Susan Sheehan (daily blessing and guidance), Sergio Torres (housing and transportation), Zoe Ward (Now at UCSF for the third trial treatment), Fred and Linda Welden (recovery of health), and John Wood (continual eye problem).Please also be praying for our mission works in Venezuela with Daryl and Valerie Griffin and in Vigan City, Philippines with Rolando and Ludy Azurin. 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
Father in heaven, I stand before You today in Your omnipotent presence to ask that You grant me strength. I want You to give me the strength to power through all of the tasks today — whether little or big. It is by Your will that I live oh Lord. And I know it is also by Your will I will not go weak today. I will not go lazy nor will I fail to do all things set before me because You strengthen me. Thank You for Your everlasting presence Lord and in Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen ~pray.com
Volume 51 February 18, 2024 Number 7
FROM YOUR MINISTER: Ancient Jewish services began with reciting the Shema. Note its beginning…“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Parents and grandparents, let us take these words seriously. Children are important!
QUOTES FOR THE WEEK: It is only rest in God’s presence and grace that will make you a joyful and patient parent. - Paul David Tripp
The goal of parenting isn’t to create perfect kids. It’s to point our kids to the perfect God. - Lindsey Bell
Raising children to love and follow Jesus is fulfilling one of God’s highest callings upon your life. -Elizabeth George
THIS WEEK FROM THE BIBLE: Exodus 2:21-22 Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses. Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
FAMILY NEWS: Uday has flown back to India as his mother is ill and about to have surgery. Please keep his family in prayer.
Welcome home to Kathy Fosnaugh who celebrated her birthday in Missouri with her grand and great granddaughter and family. O, and Happy Birthday!
Please note the flier on the bulletin board for the Informational Fundraiser for Night Off the Streets March 2 at St. Peter’s Church. (NOTS provides winter nighttime housing for the homeless.)
This Sunday our adult Bible class will begin studying 1 John under the direction of John Wood. Thanks, Brother! Congratulations to Katie Wood upon the publication of Lizzie’s Journey – a three book Christian novel! Check it out on Amazon!
It’s time to bring back your baby bottle for Life Choices Community Pregnancy Clinic’s fundraiser! Please do so soon and thank you!
What If? by Amy DiMarcangelo
What if instead of dreaming for our children’s earthly success, we dreamt for their godliness? As we invest in them, academically and vocationally, we can excite them to use their gifts for the sake of God‘s mission rather than personal ambition. There are loftier goals to pursue than financial security and career fulfillment. Almost any career can either directly or indirectly serve the ministry of mercy, so let’s help our kids aspire to make the glory of God, and the good of others the highest goal of their work. we can encourage them to resist the elusive search of self-fulfillment to instead find the life-giving satisfaction and happiness that comes when we ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness’ (Matthew 6:33).
Mothers Pray for Their Children by Melissa Troyer
Lord, We pray for them late at night and early in the morning; when we stand face-to-face with our own failings as mothers. We ask that You fill them with the knowledge of Your will. Give them all spiritual wisdom and understanding to walk in ways that fully please You.
Let their lives bear fruit to every good work. Let them increase in the knowledge of You: Not just in empty words. Not just in Christian culture. Not just in religious appearance. Work in them a nitty-gritty, real deal, connection with You.
We pray for Your life to pulse through their veins, guiding their choices, shaping their character, and being their North Star in a dark world. I can’t give this to them. Only You can. And, I’m so grateful that You are pursuing them already.
As you set the stars in the sky, you also know each of our children intimately. You know the desires that You planted deep in their hearts. Fan the flame within them for You, and for good. Set our children on fire for You. We, as mothers, pray this prayer for our children in the mighty name of Jesus, the Christ, Savior, and Lord. Amen.
PRAYERTIME: Lord, hear us as we pray for family! Let us all be praying for Uday’s mother in India as she undergoes surgery and treatment. James Fisher is recovering from COVID but is going through asthma attacks. Please pray for him. Let us keep praying for Juniper Ammons (Now in Texas for a month of treatment and therapy), Aulika and Mickey (God’s guidance), Gary and Reuben Crowder (for continued strength and spiritual guidance), Russ and Kim Garvin (long term health issues), Ansley Griffin (daily strength), Bill Kenson (daily blessing), David LaCuse in Oregon (immunotherapy), Lori Mendez’ husband Pete (cancer treatments), Al and Susan Sheehan (daily blessing and guidance), Sergio Torres (housing and transportation), Zoe Ward (at home in Carson City waiting for next trial treatment at UCSF), Fred and Linda Welden (recovery of health), and John Wood (continual eye problem).Please also be praying for our mission works in Venezuela with Daryl and Valerie Griffin and in Vigan City, Philippines with Rolando and Ludy Azurin. 1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
“The Light of God surrounds us. The Love of God enfolds us. The Power of God protects us. The Presence of God watches over us. Wherever we are, God Is, and all is well!” (James Dillet Freeman).
Volume 51 February 11, 2024 Number 6
FROM YOUR MINISTER: Last Sunday was truly something! Saturday night’s snow continued until bedtime Sunday night! Only nineteen made it to services, and I spent the rest of the day trying to keep walkways clear. My driveway was even more than the snowblower could handle! BUT afterward, wasn’t it beautiful? Life is often that way, and God reminds us that sin is as well! “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Let us daily experience that beauty!
QUOTES FOR THE WEEK: ~When we stray from His presence, He longs for you to come back. He weeps that you are missing out on His love, protection, and provision. He throws His arms open, runs toward you, gathers you up, and welcomes you home. - Charles Stanley
~And you know, when you've experienced grace and you feel like you've been forgiven, you're a lot more forgiving of other people. You're a lot more gracious to others. - Rick Warren
~To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. - C.S. Lewis
THIS WEEK FROM THE BIBLE: Psalm 16:9-11, MSG- I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. You canceled my ticket to hell— that’s not my destination! Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.
FAMILY NEWS: Your baby bottle for Life Choices Community Pregnancy Clinic’s fundraiser can be left in the church office. Brother Rolando’s mission report for January is on the bulletin board. Please read it and pray for these good works! Are you praying through the prayer list on the last page of the bulletin? Please let us know what needs to be included, as we try to keep it updated. We thank all those who serve in our worship services! In addition to those who prepare communion, lead prayers, and wait on the table, we thank Stan McGarry for the song service and Bailey and Ansley Griffin in the media booth! We give special thanks this week to Tom and Erin Rahme for the new entryway mats!
WHITER THAN SNOW! By Steve Ridgell, heartlight.org
I love the way fresh snow looks. Everything is beautiful and clean. Snow can be so intensely white that it causes snow blindness. New snow is so pure, it seems as if I am the first person to ever set foot on this landscape. There are no tracks, no ugly ruts, and no old footprints. Culture is full of references to the beauty, purity, and cleanliness of snow. Snow White. Pure as the driven snow.
My own backyard is magically transformed by new snow. No barren spots show in the yard. Uneven spots are leveled under the blanket of snow. The dog trail is covered over. New. Clean. Pure. Spotless.
Maybe that is why he used the analogy about snow in Psalm 51. He was a man who committed adultery with one of his employee’s wives. When she got pregnant, he tried to cover it up by having the husband come home so people would think that was when she got pregnant. When that deceit failed, he had the man posted to a high-risk assignment that resulted in his being killed, took the widow as his wife, and tried to make the whole affair respectable.
But he was a man of God. When confronted with the enormity of his failure to live according to his commitment, he was devastated. He begged God to forgive him. He begged God to wash him in order that he would be whiter than snow. Forgiven. Cleansed. Restored. Faithful.
And God did. His name was David and he was one of the great heroes of the people of God. He was a great King, a mighty warrior, and man of faith. He was an adulterer, a murderer, and a hypocrite. Clearly he was a man who could not manage his own life. How could he ever make this right? How could he atone for the horror of his actions, his betrayal of all that he believed? He couldn’t make it right. But God could and did.
Have you ever longed for a new life, for forgiveness from past mistakes, for a clean slate? Have you wanted to start again with a life as clean and as pure as snow? Have you wanted the blackness of your life to be white again? Even the darkest life can be made whiter than snow. Jesus can do that for you. He has for me, and he has for people all over this world.
PRAYERTIME: Lord, as we have been forgiven, may we be those who forgive others! Please keep praying for Juniper Ammons (Now in Texas for a month of treatment and therapy), Aulika and Mickey (God’s guidance), Gary and Reuben Crowder (for continued strength and spiritual guidance), Russ and Kim Garvin (long term health issues), Ansley Griffin (daily strength), Bill Kenson (daily blessing), David LaCuse in Oregon (immunotherapy), Lori Mendez’ husband Pete (cancer treatments), Al and Susan Sheehan (daily blessing and guidance), Sergio Torres (housing and transportation), Zoe Ward (at home in Carson City waiting for next trial treatment at UCSF), Fred and Linda Welden (recovery of health), and John Wood (continual eye problem).Please also be praying for our mission works in Venezuela with Daryl and Valerie Griffin and in Vigan City, Philippines with Rolando and Ludy Azurin. James 5:17-18 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
My precious Savior, thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for a new life through Jesus Christ. Thank You for the breath in my lungs and another day to experience your lovingkindess! May I live today in full freedom from sin, alive to grace! ~Christianity.com
Volume 51 February 4, 2024 Number 5
FROM YOUR MINISTER: Recently, I have discovered how much I enjoy comparing different translations of the Bible. Old, memorized words often take on new meaning! I was just reading Psalm 23 in the Easy to Read Version and stumbled upon Psalm 23:5. “You prepared a meal for me in front of my enemies. You welcomed me as an honored guest. My cup is full and spilling over.” Even in the presence of his enemies, David realized how blessed he really was—even overflowing with blessings! His words remind me how blessed I really am! How about you?
QUOTE FOR THE WEEK: Giving thanks right where we are opens the door to joy where we are. Thankfulness blankets our heart with peace and steadies us with content. Gratitude lets us see our cup is neither half-empty nor half-full, but more than enough. ~Lisa Appelo
THIS WEEK FROM THE BIBLE: Matthew 13:31-33 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
FAMILY NEWS: It’s that time again for Life Choices Community Pregnancy Clinic’s Baby Bottle Boomerang fundraiser! Don’t forget to fill your bottle!
The Ladies Luncheon for February will be Thursday the 8th at noon. Bring your own lunch and join us!
Brother Rolando’s mission report for January is on the bulletin board. Please read it and pray for these good works!
In Everything Give Thanks... in EVERYTHING!
By Melissa Troyer
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Should we be thankful just because God wants us to? Maybe we should let Him transform the way we view His wishes and learn to view them as an invitation to experience His mysterious blessings in hard times and places — view them as opportunities to find gifts we could easily have missed.
Choosing gratitude and thankfulness when life isn't easy is powerful----
~Instead of glaring at the hard things, we hunt out beauty.
~Instead of resenting our husband's long hours, we can tell our children how blessed they are to have a daddy who works hard but loves most when his shifts are over, and he comes back home, tired but delighted to see us.
~Instead of sulking about unfinished houses or projects, we can grow flowers and cultivate a culture in our home that is welcoming and joyful- even mid-process.
Our kitchen remodel taught me that years ago. Our kitchen was SO bad when we bought this house that the listing agent didn't even post photos of it. It truly was the black hole of the house — with toenailed, mismatched cabinets, countertops cobbled together, and heavy drawers that smashed fingers far too often. Our roof and siding were much more pressing needs. So I told Daniel, "I won't complain about the kitchen," knowing full well it would be years till it reached the top priority on his "to-do" list.
God held a finger to my lips and whispered, "Really? No complaints!" I gulped and nodded. In those following years, as I smashed fingers and glared at annoying kitchen features, God held my tongue. And then one day, the old kitchen gave way to a new, lovely one. A well-waited, long-anticipated space for me to use to host and serve.
But the real project wasn't over. I had just begun discovering the power of thankfulness in hard seasons. Daniel began school, and once again God invited me into a powerful journey of acknowledging the hard but focusing on the beautiful moments. “I won't complain," I said again. This time I knew what I was signing up for.
It was much like that moment on the Honduran mountainside as we buried Issac (my brother who tragically drowned) when God whispered, "But will you worship?" And there I began hunting out places of worship through tears of joy in pain. It's that peace that makes no human sense. Choosing to be thankful isn't denying the hard moments. It's acknowledging God IN those hard places.
Finding things to be grateful for in the saltiest seasons carves DEEP examples for our children to follow. It shows them HOW to live well. How to develop GENUINE character. It shifts the focus from our hard to His STRENGTH. Once again, following God's ways isn't suppression but a lovely invitation to live life with deeper delight than we ever imagined — not just finding God in the good but in the hard as well.
What are you grateful for today?
PRAYERTIME: Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One. ~Henry Smith Please keep praying for Juniper Ammons (Now in Texas for a month of treatment and therapy), Aulika and Mickey (God’s guidance), Gary and Reuben Crowder (for continued strength and spiritual guidance), Russ and Kim Garvin (long term health issues), Ansley Griffin (daily strength), Bill Kenson (daily blessing), David LaCuse in Oregon (immunotherapy), Lori Mendez’ husband Pete (cancer treatments), Al and Susan Sheehan (daily blessing and guidance), Sergio Torres (housing and transportation), Zoe Ward (at home in Carson City waiting for next trial treatment at UCSF), Fred and Linda Welden (recovery of health), and John Wood (continual eye problem).Please also be praying for our mission works in Venezuela with Daryl and Valerie Griffin and in Vigan City, Philippines with Rolando and Ludy Azurin. James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Good morning, Lord! Today's a new day, a chance for a new start. Yesterday is gone and with it any regrets, mistakes, or failures I may have experienced. It's a good day to be glad and give thanks, and I do, Lord. Thank You for today, a new opportunity to love, give, and be all that You want me to be. Amen (Rebecca Barlow Jordan).