Sunday, November 6, 2011

All Saints Sunday

On the piano there were photos of loved ones who have passed that people brought today as we reflect on those who have gone before us who have influenced our lives in positive ways. These remembrances were used as a challenge to be that kind of person to others.

Brad talked about a vehicle he has in which the battery is always going flat. This story was an illustration of there being two kinds of people, those who fill us and those who drain us.

Events and Announcements
November 16: Operation Christmas Child. A larger than usual dinner will be served at church including desserts. Afterwards we will pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, an annual project of Samaritan's Purse.

Soup covers and labels were passed out to be placed on our counters for collecting loose change. The money raised by this ministry of our denomination goes to help meet many needs around the world including famine relief, digging wells and redevelopment of poor areas.

November 19 is a women's brunch at the Swamp Sisters. Join us at 10:30 a.m. for lefse and other homemade delights, or come a little earlier to take part in making the food.

A free Thanksgiving dinner will again be served at church for anyone in the community who would like to join us.

Congratulations to Shaun & Kim Frye who had a baby girl this week.

The Message

The Bible often tells us to encourage one another. Barnabas' name meant Son of Encouragement. This friend of Paul's was from Cypress, which meant that not being from Israel he would not have been able to help in the temple. He was excluded, yet he didn't stand apart and remain uninvolved. The Bible says he sold his land and gave it to the Apostles. He gave generously to a larger need.

Think of the people in your life who have helped you sacrificially in some ways. That's what we're called to be. When we give we tap into God's resources and into God's joy. If you are stingy you lose your joy.

No one trusted Saul, who became Paul, because he had persecuted the early believers. It says that they sent Barnabas to see him. Barnabas didn't let the past that people knew about Paul dictate what sort of person he would become. Instead, he became an advocate for him to the others, telling of his conversion. (Acts 9:26)

The message of the Gospel was now going beyond the Jews for the first time. Previously it had only been amongst the Jews. When the message went to the Greeks there was much drama and much change. Again, in this time of upheaval the people sent Barnabas who sees potential in people and gives encouragement. (Acts 11:19)

In the Bible when names are listed it is important to note whose name is listed first. Up until Acts 13 it is said "Barnabas and Saul" because Barnabas was considered more important. In Acts 14 it now says Paul and Barnabas.

Barnabas is the kind of person who is all about giving the other person a second chance, and giving the other person power. At a previous time John Mark had deserted them and Barnabas does not want to desert him. He wants to bring John Mark along and give him a second chance. We believe John Mark to be the author of the Gospel of Mark.

There is a great cloud of witnesses, people who have not deserted you, who have encouraged you. What will people say about you at your funeral? Who have you encouraged?

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