Monday, November 20, 2017

Give Thanks

Shoeboxes filled with gifts for children abroad.
Pastor Terry White welcomed us and as it is Thanksgiving week today's theme is about gratitude.

Announcements
Tuesday, Men's Prayer Group, 7:00 a.m.
Thursday, Free Thanksgiving Dinner at 2:00 p.m. (Please call RSVP so we know how much food to prepare.)
Saturday, Noon to 3:00 p.m., Easy Peasy Painting ckass fir 12-16 year olds. No experience necessary. $20 fee includes supplies.
There was a brief reminder that we are collecting things for the needy at the Salvation Army. Long underwear and warm socks are always welcome.

Pastor Terry opened by reading from Psalm 100, prayed and led us in a time of song.

Susan Jessico led the Children's Challenge, which had as its theme Thankfulness. The kids each shared something they were thankful for. It's certainly heartwarming to hear all these things that were so special to our little ones. There are more than 30 verses in Scripture about giving thanks beginning with "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."

An offering was taken as Grace Heine played Nearer My God To Thee on the violin. We spent time in prayer before Pastor Terry stood to present the message.

Give Thanks

Terry had us turn to Psalm 100 again. He noted that the feather we have been given are for us to write something we are thankful for. These will be collected and shared. The message revolved around the idea of thanksgiving as a mindset.

He began by sharing an observation from coaching girls basketball. Sometimes we hear so many good ideas that we are overwhelmed and can hardly take in any more.

When the pressure is on it's even worse. We screen out everything, and have difficulty focusing on what matters.

This applies to more than just sports. It's the way things are in all of life. How does our faith hold up when we encounter injustice and when we're mistreated, misunderstood and experiencing unfairness.

Though Scripture calls us to be thankful at all times, it is not always easy.
Terry asked "What are some moments when it is difficult to be grateful?" Many items were shared, including the loss of a loved one.

Terry again read Psalm 100, and shared how grateful he is for the evidences of God's work here. We were reminded of recent sermons about the life of Joseph and its many lessons. One lesson is that even when sold into slavery by his brothers he did not abandon his trust in God.

How has God's faithfulness been a blessing in your life? God is faithful, his mercies are new every morning.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is a good time to be mindful of the the things we can be thankful for. What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What Do You Want?

Pastor Terry White was clearly moved by last week's tragic shooting at a Baptist Church in Texas last week, fully conscious of the reality that a church sanctuary is intended to be a safe place, a sanctuary in the true sense of the word. We were reminded of the pain many people must carry in a broken world, and today's service was intended to be a time of healing for each of us.

Announcements
Joanne shared that this Wednesday we will be packing of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. You may bring items for boys or girls in variety of ages. Join us.

Veterans Day was yesterday and Pastor Terry preceeded worship by having our veterans stand up to be honored, those who have served on behalf of our freedom. There was an impressive outpouring of appreciation. 

Darlene shared that our Faith & Fabrics group meets 2nd Thursday of the month from 10-2.

Terry pointed out that we have now added a visitor card to the seatbacks. It includes a place to write your prayer requests so you can drop these into the offering plate when it comes around.

* * * *
Each of the bulletins today had a Post-It note in it and we were asked to write out a list of things keeping us separated from God. Terry then asked us to write I John 1:9 at the top of this list: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

The theme for today's service is Healing. It's time to surrender to what God is doing in us. "Time for a milestone, to begin again, re-evaluate who I really am.... It's time to surrender to what's going on inside of me... Time to face up, clean this old house; time to breathe in and let everything out."

Terry read some passages pertaining to our theme today:
Joel 2:12-17

Psalm 139:1-6, 17-18, and ending with verses 23-24.
Search me, God, and know my heart; 
 test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
See if there is any offensive way in me,
 and lead me in the way everlasting.

Romans 14:7-12

Luke 5:17-26

Darlene and Terry sang a moving and sensitive duet during the offering, a prayer for healing, wisdom, comfort, and blessing.

We closed with the song "Whom Shall I Fear?"