Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"From the Pastor" Messenger Article

From the Pastor...

Have you ever heard the phrase "Pay it Forward?"  Or what about "Random Acts of Kindness?" These phrases come from the popular notion in our culture that "what goes around, comes around."  And that goes for the good and the bad.  "Pay it Forward," is a turn of phrase used to encourage people to choose to participate in the good.  That one should do good in hopes of one day receiving good.  This notion toward the good has developed a wonderful movement in our society of doing kind things for one another, because it has a ripple affect, hence the word "Random." 

For the next four weeks, as we are in-between high holy celebrations in the church (Advent/Christmas and soon to be Lent/Easter), we will focus in worship on going deeper in our discipleship through what I am going to call a season of "Intentional Acts of Kindness."  As disciples of Jesus, we are expected to give our faith feet, and to live our daily lives in the Kingdom of God.  The kindness that we show to others is not so that we will receive their praise, it is so that our Father in heaven will see our good works and know that we have taken His love, grace, mercy and peace to the streets!  

Yes, we will all be asked to step outside of our comfort zones.  Yes, we will grow and be blessed in this process.  Yes, and most importantly, we will honor God in our expressions of kindness.  Get excited, because it means that God is going to show up!

As our scriptural foundation, we will journey through John's Epistles, letters written to believers about what it means to live out our faith in love.  The heart of this sermon series comes from 1 John 3:18 where it says, "Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."  Let's take it to the streets and show our neighbors "Intentional Acts of Kindness" because as John says a little later in chapter 4:19, "We love because he first loved us."

Hope to see you and yours in worship this Sunday.  Invite a friend to join you!  


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year!  Below is John Wesley's Covenant Prayer, an excellent prayer for centering yourself at the beginning of this new year.  Peace and Blessings to all!

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

St. Paul UMC- Fountain City

St. Paul UMC- Fountain City