Volume 46 For the week of November 17, 2019 Number 45
From Your Minister: Well, the fall harvest is about over. I have been surprised that in some areas the crops weren’t as abundant as expected, while even more productive than usual in other nearby places! One thing is perfectly clear however--an apple tree produces only apples and a tomato plant only tomatoes! That’s the natural process. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). God’s Spirit in us also produces fruit. We cannot on our own do it! We must stop trying to fake characteristics like love and gentleness. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25). Yield to God! Let Him do His work!
Quotes for the Week: When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time. Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength. - Francis de Sales
Jesus made this absolutely plain. The chief characteristic of Christian leaders, he insisted, is humility not authority, and gentleness not power. - John Stott
Bible Gem for the Week: Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.
Family News: We are continuing to collect articles for the Domestic Violence Shelter. For Nov. we need Shampoo, Cream Rinse, Body Wash, and Hand/Body lotion. Thank you!
Thanks to all who participated in the 19th Annual Churches of Christ Orphan’s Sunday last week! We’ll announce the total amount soon.
Bruce enjoyed last week at the preachers’ retreat near Pollock Pines then a few days with Darby in Monterrey!
We are again cooperating with the Dream Center, so sign up TODAY for Thanksgiving baskets. We need them next Sunday!
Gentle Like A Lamb -- Or A Lion!
But the fruit of the Spirit is… gentleness (Galatians 5:22-23)
Remember the motto of a “kinder, gentler nation”. Even back in 1988, that hope seemed unlikely, maybe even naïve. And I doubt than many of you would characterize your community today as “kinder” or “gentler”. I’m even afraid that “gentleness” is now looked upon more as a weakness than a strength.
In Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus thanks the Father for committing everything to His care. Especially in light of this declaration of Jesus’ authority and power, how noteworthy it is that He then describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart”. Few if any leaders today would claim an ambition to be “gentle”. Do you aim for gentleness?
But there is great strength in gentleness! The strength to control one’s emotions, to respond with kindness when no kindness was given, to listen when others are hurting, and to work quietly to make situations better rather than worse. As part of the fruit of the Spirit, this is the kind of person God calls us to become! Let us fix our minds on Jesus, seeing His gentleness to all those who sought Him. He gives opportunities for gentleness and the strength to offer gentleness to others.
Jesus meek and gentle, Son of God most high, pitying, loving Savior, hear Thy children’s cry. ~George R. Prynne, 1856
Dear God, help us to hear Your Word and yearn to be the people You want us to be. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
~ Kevin B. Rachel in Power for Today
Prayer Time: It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart. ~Mahatma Gandhi We rejoice that Bob Wittbrod, Elaine Kirk’s brother, has received good news following his cancer treatments! Let’s continue to keep in prayer. Let us be praying for: Aulika and Mickey, June Cantwell, Gary Crowder and his mother Joan, Cindy Gregory, George Harper, Marjorie Hendersen, Jo Ella Jones, Gail Kimbro, Stan and Millie McGarry, Mike and Judith McKay, Cheryl Miller, Grecia Ramirez, Anna Rigsby, Al and Susan Sheehan, the Shriker family in No. Carolina, and Jon and Allison and Megan Van Grimbergen. Let us keep Daryl and Valerie Griffin and the people in Venezuela in prayer. Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Church of Christ
loving God, loving people...
...and bringing the two together