~ The Washbucket laundromat has been reserved for another community wash day. It was a great experience last year when members of New Life Covenant helped wash clothes for needy people in West Duluth. Last time we washed almost 300 loads. The date this year is November 20. We could use help with wash detergent if you want to bring some. Quarters always welcome.
~ Operation Christmas Child underway. Collecting goods for the showboxes we're packing for needy people in all parts of the world. November 19 will be filling shoeboxes. Costs $7.00 per box for shipping.
~ Free Thanksgiving Dinner, featuring Leonard's cuisine.
~ Walt shared progress on the building progress. At least 16 helping yesterday with more than 100 hours in. Putting up walls and ceilings. Steeple now in place.
Brad introduced the trio by suggesting a name for this trio who has sung together for so long. His idea, The Pine Tones, as opposed to the Pine Cones. A fun moment as we transitioned into worship.
As we prepared to take the offering Brad stated the secret of joy is found in humility, service and generosity. The trio then sang "Come to the Waters."
Lillian Peterson is celebrating her 95th birthday from 1-4 at Viewcrest today.
Jesus can truly become a Non-Anxious Presence in all that takes place in this world.
Matthew 6:25-34 goes like this:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Brad said children worry a lot, too. He thought about the things he worried about as a kid including grades, Dan Seibell the bully, getting into trouble. He used the think, “Won’t it be great when I grow up and I won’t have to worry any more?”
When Jesus gave this sermon, conditions were not good, especially compared to today. Plagues were a problem. Poverty was typical. Life was hard.
In our day, conditions are better. We're better educated, healthier, better resourced, cleaner. And yet depression anxiety has increased 10X over the past 20 years.
More money, health or success doesn’t free us from worry. The only way to live free from anxiety is to put your life in the hands of the Father.
We need to find a way to let it go.
Jesus said, “Look at the birds. They don’t store crops. They don’t harvest. Yet God feeds them.” “Look at the flowers of the field… they don’t spin or weave, yet they are better dressed than the very best-dressed of this world.”
Brad shared some of his experiences in Mexico and Ecuador. "What’s interesting is how much joy people in Mexico and Ecuador have even though they have so very little."
He related how Dave Abrahamson had had a stroke, but expressed such gratitude when he was eventually able to swallow again.
He then shared the story of the disciples in the boat when the storm arose. Panic set in, and these are pro fishermen long accustomed to life on the water. Where was Jesus? Sleeping. Completely at ease.
Jesus was a Non-Anxious Presence in their midst… Jesus is also in our midst.
We ourselves can be a non-anxious presence for others, giving comfort, hope and relief from anxiety.
There is a good God at work in our world. He is always there to catch us when we fall.
Jesus did not say, “If you follow Me you will not have problems.” In fact, you can almost count on it if you follow Christ.
Do not worry, because nothing that ultimately matters is at risk. Even death itself is not a thing to worry about.
As Paul wrote to the Phillippians, 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The way to overcome anxiety is not to try harder. It’s to pray, and cast our concerns on outrvery big and capable God.