Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Family Matter

Rosie Peterson
The grey skies couldn't dampen the enthusiasm that seemed present in the sanctuary as we gathered for worship this morning. Pastor Brad welcomed us warmly, and said he would be talking about family business and unity in the church. The thoughts he wanted to share today had to do with small groups and the way it helps foster church unity.

1. Next week we will be worshiping at Walt and Gwen's... Bring a lawn chair and expect to stay for a pot luck afterwards.
2. Fall kickoff we will be worshiping at the Town Hall. It will be something of a tailgate party as this is also the opening weekend for NFL football.
3. Progress is being made across the street.... Check it out after the service.

Darlene ushered into worship after our traditional greeting.... a beautiful piece of music, sensitively rendered.

Bruce and Rosie Peterson, who have spent their lifetime in ministry at Covenant Pines Bible Camp in McGregor. Rosie was invited forward to lead us in some songs. She shared how she remembered Brad coming to camp when he was in second grade. Rosie's enthusiasm was energizing as she led us in a number of songs from the silver songbook. "Music does something to the soul," she shared, pointing out a number of written passages we'd likely never noticed before.

Steve Allison was a guest at our church this morning and was invited to make a presentation for the Covenant Trust Company. Steve reminded us that the Bible has a lot to say about "our stuff." The trust company is designed to help people manage their resources and make important financial decisions.

Following the offering and a time of prayer Pastor Brad began his message.

A Family Matter

Psalm 133
A song of ascents. Of David.

1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

Brad began by reading Psalm 133, pointing out that David was the author of the small psalm with wide applications. David seems to be saying, "How can I communicate how good unity is? Each image in the psalm is designed to convey this message as regards how good unity is.

Paul, too, in his letter to the Ephesians, also cites the value of unity, and how we need to preserve it once we have it.

As Brad reflected on his life this week, and perhaps because Rosie and Bruce were here, he said, "Most of the best things I've learned about church I learned at camp." Here were five lessons he wished us to take to heart this morning.

1) Encouragement 
The encouragement that took place occurred because they were a community together. The things they shared in prayer time would lead to friends inquiring about your concerns later. "How's your dad doing?" showed that you weren't carrying this weight alone.

2) Good Speakers
There were lots of good speakers at camp, with a lot of interaction afterwards. Small group dialogue was invaluable as you wrestled with the practical issues of working out what your heard and applying it to real life.

3) Confession of Sin
This happens when you have established trust, the essential ingredient in relational glue.

4) Accountability
Having people whom we can be accountable to will help keep us moving on the right track.

5) Value of Small Groups
Being part of a small group is something that is helpful on many levels. It is especially helpful for those times when we need help discerning God's direction for our lives.

If you're willing, begin by getting together with other couples and getting to know one another on deeper levels. We need a relational glue beyond being Sunday acquaintances.


Look for dramatic, visible changes in the weeks ahead. 

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