~Thursday June 29 there will be a baby shower for Alicia Benson and Jacoby, 10:00 a.m.
~New Dimensions W.L Group, Wednesday 6:30
~Faith in Fabrics Kickoff, Friday and Saturday September 9 & 10
~VBS was awesome this year with over fifty kids every day and ample numbers of volunteers.
Chuck read a passage from Jeremiah about the prophet's visit to the potter's house, in which God showed Jeremiah this truth:: "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand."
After a time of singing from the blue hymnal an offering was taken with the VBS young people singing a song they learned this week. "I was made for this, built for a purpose," a truly important message in our post-modern age with its cynical messages that say life has no real meaning or purpose.
Darlene led us in prayer this morning, beginning by reminding us that God is always there for us, even when we don't feel it.
The current sermon series is called BLESS, an international evangelism initiative. The Acronym goes like this:
BEGIN with prayer
LISTEN with care
SERVE with love
SHARE your story
Eating together is one of the special times in our holidays, a time in which we connect, tell stories, listen to stories. It's a time we share with our families. It's a moment of intimacy and of hospitality.
Pastor Terry turned to Luke 19:5-10 and the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector, one of the most hated people in the community. Yet Jesus, who saw him, said he would welcome the opportunity to go to his house and dine with him.
We then turned to Acts 2:42-47. Notice how the common things of eating together is listed in the midst of these other "spiritual" activities they share, prayer and teaching.
Eating together is a way we connect.
He then asked us what Hospitality was. Words like caring, friends, welcoming, inviting and sharing were shared.
"One of my favorite authors is Henri Nouwen who said hospitality is the ability to invite people into your home and life without making them keep all their stuff outside." Being able to have them in your home as they are, including the baggage they bring. We need to let them bring who they are into our presence, not make them drop that at the door.
Intimacy is the ability to be close with someone else. We've sexualized it so much that we can hardly talk about it anymore.
Fear is the great enemy of intimacy. The aim of intimacy is freedom so that we're able to have interactions in which we can be ourselves.
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We love God because He loved us first. That love teaches us that we're accepted as we are. And we're invited to extend that same kind of "as you are" love toward others.