Posted by: Pauline | September 10, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday September 17

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Being able to know someone else’s thoughts has long been a feature of science fiction, allowing us to speculate how life would be better – or worse – with the ability to actually know what someone else is thinking. But in real life, as Paul points out here, no one can know someone’s thoughts except that person.

Yet as Christians we have the privilege of having some of God’s thoughts made known to us by His Spirit. While anyone with a Bible can read the revelation God has given us humankind, only those who come to God through Christ are given insight to really understand His purpose.

Matthew 13:10-16

We like to think that we are fair- and open-minded, examining the facts carefully before coming to a conclusion. But psychologists tell us that in fact we tend to filter everything we hear through what we already know – or think we know. If what we hear confirms what we already believe, it makes our belief stronger, but if what we hear is counter to what we believe, we tend to come up with reasons why it is not reliable information.

In the same way, people who heard Jesus’ parables came away with very different impressions. Those who recognized him as one speaking for God gained insight into God and His purposes. But to those who saw Jesus as a challenge to their traditions, or who were only interested in the spectacle of miracles or of witnessing Jesus’ clashes with the religious leaders, the truths of the parables remained a closed book.

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Posted by: Pauline | September 10, 2017

Upcoming events: week of September 11

Tuesday, September 12

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, September 13

4:30 – 6 p.m. Clothes Depot

Thursday, September 14

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

Saturday, September 16

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, September 17

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, September 19

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, September 20

1:30 p.m. Journey
6:30 p.m. Bible Study
6:30 p.m. Youth Group
6:30 p.m. Session

Thursday, September 28

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

Posted by: Pauline | September 3, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday September 10

Psalm 149

The juxtaposition of praising God and at the same time raising swords to take vengeance probably makes many of us uncomfortable. Too many times in the past, people have claimed to wield a sword in the name of Christ, while acting contrary to the gospel of Christ. We can join enthusiastically in the praises of the first half of the psalm and the ending, but we don’t know what to do with the verses that speak of the honor of executing God’s judgment on people.

This psalm may have been written to celebrate a military victory, and it has been suggested that it was when David conquered the city of Jerusalem. Others tie this psalm to the return from the exile in Babylon, and still others see it as referring not to a past event but the future triumph of the Messiah over the enemies of God and His people. Whatever the case, it makes a clear distinction between those who know and serve God, and those who make themselves enemies of God and His people. We never want to use Scripture as an excuse to take vengeance into our own hands, but we do have to recognize the terrible reality of God’s judgment.

Rom. 13:8-14

Our society talks a lot about the importance of love, but often does not seem to understand what it means to love. Paul identifies love as that which fulfills all the requirements of the law, but by this he does not mean some vague feeling of goodwill to all people, but the active practice of doing what is right, to the benefit of others rather than to fulfill one’s own desires.

The commandments Paul quotes, as well as his own moral instructions, tend to be phrased in terms of what not to do. Love is not fulfilled merely by refraining from doing what is wrong, but we do have to stop doing what is wrong in order to do what is right. Perhaps in Paul’s day, as in our own, there were people who thought they could do what they pleased so long as they as they felt love for people. But Paul makes it clear that is not the way of Christ.

Posted by: Pauline | September 3, 2017

Upcoming events: week of September 4

Tuesday, September 5

8 a.m. Rummage Sale set-up
No Bible Study

Wednesday, September 6

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Friday, September 8

8 a.m – 4 p.m. Rummage & Bake Sale

Saturday, September 9

8 – 11 a.m. Rummage & Bake Sale

Sunday, September 10

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service including Communion for all ages

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, September 12

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, September 13

4:30 – 6 p.m. Clothes Depot
6:30 p.m. Youth Group

Thursday, September 14

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

Saturday, September 16

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Wednesday, September 20

1:30 p.m. Journey
6:30 p.m. Bible Study
6:30 p.m. Session

Thursday, September 28

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

Posted by: Pauline | August 27, 2017

Upcoming events: week of August 28

Tuesday, August 29

No Bible Study

Wednesday, August 30

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Saturday, September 2

No Clothes Depot due to holiday weekend

 

Sunday, September 3

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service with guest speaker Larry Fletcher

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, September 5

8 a.m. Rummage Sale set-up
No Bible Study

Wednesday, September 6

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Friday, September 8

8 a.m – 4 p.m. Rummage & Bake Sale

Saturday, September 9

8 – 11 a.m. Rummage & Bake Sale

Posted by: Pauline | August 20, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday August 27

Romans 12:1-8

At the beginning of Romans, Paul described the sinful behaviors that characterize those who turn away from God. Now, having explained in detail the salvation provided by God to those who turn to Him in repentance, he begins to describe the behavior of those who are being transformed through their faith in Christ.

This transformation changes not only our behavior as individuals but also how we relate to one another within the church. The world teaches is push to get ahead, and to value achieving better positions or possessions than other people. But God teaches us to act in humility and in service to one another.

Matthew 16:13-20

It is popular in our culture today for people looking for truth to believe they will find it within themselves, rather than accepting the teachings of a religious institution or ancient writings. But any reliance on human wisdom, whether ancient or modern, is liable to the errors that grow out of of sin-corrupted minds and hearts.

People who had seen or heard of Jesus had come up with a variety of theories about who he was. Jesus doesn’t comment one way or another on those ideas, but when Peter gets it right, saying Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus makes it clear that Peter is blessed by having come to that knowledge by revelation from that same living God.

Posted by: Pauline | August 20, 2017

Upcoming events: week of August 21

This Week

Tuesday, August 22

10:15 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, August 23

4:30 – 6 p.m. Clothes Depot
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, August 24

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

Sunday, August 27

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service including Camp Wyoming report

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, August 29

No Bible Study

Wednesday, August 30

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Saturday, September 2

No Clothes Depot due to holiday weekend

Posted by: Pauline | August 13, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday August 20

Genesis 45:1-15

Joseph’s brothers have reason to be afraid of him, this powerful ruler over Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh. Then when they find out he is their brother Joseph, they still have reason to be afraid, because of what they did to him back when he was a teenager.

Joseph does not want them to go on living with the guilt of what they had done, however. He sees the hand of God in what happened, turning their attempt to get rid of their brother into the means of saving the lives of their family and the entire land of Egypt.

Psalm 133

This psalm extols the excellence of brothers dwelling in unity – perhaps because it seems to appear so rarely in Scripture. Joseph and his brothers certainly did not get along well. David, to whom this psalm is attributed, had plenty of conflict in his family, first with his own brothers, and then among his sons. In a larger context, the people of Israel, all descendants of Jacob, often had conflicts among the different tribes.

We need some cultural context in order to understand why unity among brothers is compared to oil running down someone’s beard or to dew from Mount Hermon winding up near Jerusalem. But these are clearly superlatives intended to show just how wonderful unity is, and our own experiences of family – in unity or disunity – confirm the psalmist’s elevated praise for living in harmony.

Posted by: Pauline | August 13, 2017

Upcoming events: week of August 14

This Week

Tuesday, August 15

10:15 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, August 16

1:30 p.m. Journey
6:30 p.m. Bible Study
6:30 p.m. Session

Saturday, August 19

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, August 20

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service including Blessing of the Backpacks

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, August 22

10:15 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, August 23

4:30 – 6 p.m. Clothes Depot
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, August 24

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

Posted by: Pauline | August 8, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday August 13

Romans 10:5-15

Since Paul is contrasting the righteousness based on law with the righteousness based on faith, readers may be surprised to find him quoting from Deuteronomy and the giving of the law to support his teaching on faith. Moreover, the passage from which he pulls these phrases says that the commandment “is not too hard for you.” But if it was not too hard, why did they fail to keep it?

The law contained no commands too hard to understand or to follow, but because of sin, even doing the right thing can often be done in the wrong way. Trying to follow the law could become a burdensome duty resented some, while others took pride in how well they followed it and became self-righteous.

But the way of righteousness Paul is talking about isn’t about trying hard. It’s about accepting the righteousness of Christ, and it’s available by simply trusting in Him and confessing Him as Lord.

Matthew 14:22-33

Why did Peter want to walk on water? Did he want confirmation that it was really Jesus and not a ghost? Was he eager to follow in his Master’s footsteps? Did he long to show Jesus how fully he trusted in Him? Or was he just not thinking too clearly at all, and said the first thing that popped into his head?

Regardless of his motivation, he provides a vivid example of faith, fear, and being kept from falling when he called on Jesus to save him.

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