ANNOUNCEMENTS

Next Sun. Aug.27

10 am Sunday School

11 am Worship

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sun. Sept 3      Potluck after worship

Wed. Sept. 6       7 pm Council

Sun. Sept. 10

10 am Rally Day with brunch, bring as you are able

11 am Worship with installation of Sunday School teachers

Wed. Sept. 13 4:30pm Set up to serve Christian Buffet at Twin Oaks.  Meat and potatoes provided.   Have food to bring over at church by 4 pm.   Contact Norma Miller with questions.

Sun. Oct. 1 Mission Fest

CRUMBS, PLEASE

(Matthew 15:21-28)      Pastor Carol Weist

Crumbs, please.

I have not heard any prayer requests for gold-plated mansions lately.  Folks seem to be content to wait for those mansions in heaven.  Actually, the description is dwelling places in heaven,  the streets are described as gold.  There are many dwelling places, many abiding places in heaven.

Meanwhile, those prayer requests on earth  generally amount to crumbs, please.  People don’t tend to ask for the moon.  Praying for decent health is not asking for the moon.

Jesus spoke many, many words. Think of each word as a crumb.

That Canaanite woman knew that just a few of those crumbs,  just a few of those words, could connect to healing for her daughter.  A few words from Jesus could mean the end of her daughter’s torment. Continue reading

BUYING IN

(Isaiah 55:1-5)        Pastor Carol Weist

What are you buying into?
There are things that cost money to buy into.   It is said what you buy into reflects your values.  There are other things that don’t cost money to buy into.   Those things might cost some time and effort,  but you don’t have to have money.

The most important thing is that you buy into Jesus.  It does not take money to buy into Jesus.  It simply takes accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Jesus does not charge you anything to be your Savior.  Jesus paid the cost. Jesus picked up the tab, and it was a horrendous tab.  Jesus paid the bill. Jesus paid the bill and keeps giving us new life.

We can’t buy into Jesus with any money we do or do not have.  Buying into Jesus as an active disciple does take listening carefully to Jesus.

A disciple is a learner. Being a disciple is life-long learning.  Listening to Jesus we learn to digest what is good and act accordingly.   This includes much more than good, nutritious, healthy physical food.  It includes more than what we eat and chew. It includes what we see and hear.

There are a lot of things to see and hear that are not good or delightful.  There are a lot of bad things to see and hear  part of which we can avoid and part of which we cannot avoid.

Listening to Jesus, buying into Jesus, teaches us discernment  strengthening and empowering us to face and deal with bad things as that is called for and to avoid them if need be. Continue reading

TRAINED FOR THE KINGDOM

(Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52)           Pastor Carol Weist

Trained for the kingdom.

The Lord plants a tiny mustard seed in a field.  Jesus came, a tiny seed to a tiny portion of the world we call Israel.  That tiny seed of grace grew and encircles the earth.  Christianity has branched out around the world.  Many Christians nest in its branches.

When the ice storm came in January, many trees lost branches, leafy branches in the summer where birds came to rest at night.  Around dusk and dawn you could hear them chattering away by the dozens. I wondered if they would be back this spring and summer.  Would there be enough branches for all but a few?   Many are back, gathering in the evening and scattering in the morning.

The Lord plants a small seed that provides rest and shelter for many.  The birds don’t forget to come and rest and visit in the evening.  They may flit around during the day, busily flying about here and there seeking food and provision, but at evening they gather and visit and rest, and after visiting again as the light dawns, they fly off for their daily work. The birds are more faithful to gather and rest than people.

The Lord has branches everywhere where we can gather and rest.  That is what the kingdom of heaven is like.  There is not a place where it does not reach.

When we are trained for the kingdom, when we are scribes trained for the kingdom we are masters of a household where we have new and old treasure to bring out.

Scripture is one of our treasures, scripture that tells us the kingdom of heaven branches everywhere for sabbath rest and fellowship.  Sabbath rest and fellowship is not just limited to Sundays.  As you turn in for the evening and set out for the day, have a little fellowship with Jesus.

The Lord gives spirit to our lives, not just any spirit, not mean-spiritedness or a dejected, hopeless spirit.  The Lord leavens our life with hope.  Leaven is what makes bread rise so that it isn’t flat like a cracker.  Yeast is leaven.  When moistened and mixed with flour it creates air bubbles that get baked into the bread.  We can’t see the yeast once it is dissolved and mixed with the flour. We can see the bread.  We can enjoy the ongoing nourishment of the bread of heaven in the kingdom of heaven.  Proverbs 20:27 says: “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” One of our treasures is the lamp of the Lord, the Spirit of the Lord, searching our inmost parts, lifting us up, raising us up, nourishing us.  That is part of being trained for the kingdom of heaven.  That is part of seeing things with a godly perspective. Continue reading

MINDSET

(Romans 8:1-11)    Pastor Carol Weist

Have this mindset. Practice this mindset:  “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

To condemn is to severely judge, to condemn is to give a death sentence.  People judge themselves and others severely at times.  There is wrongdoing that merits severe judgment.  However, we can catch ourselves judging ourselves
and others severely for every little thing  such as the frosting on the cake we just made is not even in the corners.  In a high end cake decorating competition that is serious demerit,  but for everyday enjoyment, the cake is still delicious.  In Christ Jesus there is no condemnation for an unevenly frosted cake or  for a person facing a death sentence.
Jesus does not re-frost the cake or take away the earthly judge’s sentence. Nevertheless in Christ we have eternal life.

Our mindset is important.  Jesus does not want us to spend our day
condemning every little and big thing we do.  Jesus wants us to enjoy that imperfectly frosted cake and to live in the assurance of forgiveness by Jesus himself for what we forgot to do that truly inconvenienced another or what we said or did that truly hurt another.

In Christ our sins are forgiven and just as we enjoy a child’s first attempts at frosting cookies or cupcakes, Jesus enjoys our attempts at making enjoyable things.

Mindset is important. We need to practice not having condemning mindsets towards ourselves and others. We need to practice having promising, spiritual mindsets.
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6) Continue reading

COME ANY WAY, COME ANYWAY

(Matthew 11:16-30)                Pastor Carol Weist

Have you ever seen young children play the flute, and no one danced?  Perhaps not.   However, perhaps you have seen a young child read a book out loud, and no one listened.  Admittedly, adults do have tasks to get done, such as get the next meal on the table so everybody gets fed.

Have you ever seen a young child wail and no one comforted that child?  Perhaps that child is wailing because the answer was no to a request.  Perhaps that child does not need to make such a big commotion about every stubbed toe and nicked elbow.  Perhaps that child is wailing about something truly sad.

Jesus did not come playing the flute.  At least there is no mention of Jesus playing the flute in scripture.

Centuries earlier, when David who was to become King David was a youth he was known for his musical skill, for how beautifully he played a small easily carried harp called a lyre.  Many psalms, prayer songs, are attributed to David:  songs of rejoicing, songs of lament, songs of instruction, songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.

When Jesus came many did not go along with him.  When Jesus came, he was grieved by the state of humankind, all the sin, evil, immorality, lying, deceit, and corruption.

Not everybody was grieved by all that sin, but Jesus was. He came to give us another chance, not just another chance but transformed lives.  He came that we might sing praise to God the Father with renewed and transformed vigor, rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn.

Yet so many are weary and carrying heavy burdens.  They are like sheep without a shepherd, neglected, ignored.  When they have a happy song, no one hears.  When they are sad, no one hears.  So many, so lonely.

And Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30) Continue reading

NOT A PART, NOT APART

(Matthew 10:24-39)                 Pastor Carol Weist

None of us are a part of everything.   Not all of us went to the same school.  Not all of us are part of the same extended family networks.

All believers are a part of the church universal.  The church is a group that does not depend upon what school or schools you attended for how many years or what your family connections happen to be.  The church depends on Christ. The identity of the church comes from Christ, not what grade school you attended or who your grandparents or in-laws are.

Jesus Christ is our Savior and that includes being our teacher.  When no other teacher will take us on, Jesus takes us on as his students.  Jesus is the only teacher who can take on an unlimited number of students who are called disciples.   There have been many teachers who have been blessings in our lives.   Thank God for them.  Jesus is the greatest blessing of all. Continue reading