July 3, 2014
Just a Little Note
The art of note writing is dying out. Really, when was the last time you sent a little personal note to someone? Now think back to the last time someone wrote you a note. Not a text, email or hallmark card
but a nice note composed just for you. Even the most gruff and hardened ones of us are touched by a
personal note. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us “(God) comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those
in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” Just as a lighthouse is a beacon
of hope to a sailor in a storm, a couple of well-placed words of encouragement can be that light in the
darkness of despair. Now there are no rules about of how long or short, funny or not, they just need to
come from your heart. I personally like to use a scripture or two, but it is not necessary. The important
thing is that you are reaching out and touching someone who is in need of encouragement or comfort. If
I may be so bold as to recommend that once a week, each of us pick up a pen and jot a little note to
someone you know is hurting, struggling or just had a bad week. Not sure who to send a note to? Might I
suggest you look at the prayer request in the weekly bulletin or in the e-prayer list Linda puts out each
week as a start. Still not sure what to say? Just say what is on your heart.
I will leave you with some examples of encouraging of notes recently sent to friends.
I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you. I want to encourage you to lean on the Lord. We
are told in 1st Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” Ralph, God does care
about you and I pray that the Lord will touch you and grant you the peace you are looking for.
Often at times like these I do not know what to say. It is not that I do not understand what you are going
through. It is because I do understand what you are going through that I am at a loss of what to say.
During trying times I reflect on Gods plan for me. Not that I come even close to knowing what His plan is
for me. None of us knows what He has planned for us. Though I do know that he loves us. The Bible
says that God loved us (the world) so much that he gave us his only son. We are told He knows how
many hairs we have on our head. If He knows something silly like how many hairs are on our heads then
it stands to reason, He knows each and every one of our fears, our joys, and our sorrows. With that
knowledge, when things are crazy and stressful, I take comfort in knowing that all things work for the good
of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Lisa, God loves you and He knows your current suffering and understands your desires. As a matter
of fact He knows what you need before you ask Him. There are a lot of times we do not understand the
why. As a matter of fact we will never know the reason behind most of life’s WHY moments, but we can
always trust in God. He is faithful even when we are not and His love is never ending. Be sure to lean on
God and not take this on alone. Please and let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
(John 3:16, Matthew 10:30, Romans 8:28, Matthew 6:8)
We’ve just finished another Vacation Bible School, and the parents and children who attended responded enthusiastically! One family was so pleased that they gave a $100 donation, and were in worship this past Sunday! Praise God for the excellent work He did through everyone who participated. While you V.B.S. workers are exhausted, it’s energizing to consider how God is preparing hearts to come to Him.
We’ve also completed our first Community Service Outreach. Thanks go to Joe Tipps for arranging and coordinating this, drawing young people from Grass Valley, Simi Valley, and from our congregation. People in our community were pleased with the young people who provided free yard work. They have now seen Christianity in action, serving them. These are more people whom God is preparing to come to Him.
Coming later this month are the Family Camp at Balch Park, the Tahoe Family Encampment, the Yosemite Bible Camp, and the fourth Wednesday Devotional at Hobart Park. These are all times of spiritual fellowship, growth and enjoyment. Relationships of a lifetime are often made at these events. Take part in all of these that you can.
This coming Sunday morning, we’ll continue with our emphasis on spreading God’s word, here and beyond. Eddie Ewald will preach on “The Challenge to Go”. In the Lobby there will be displays, materials and representatives from Adventures in Missions and Project Understanding. As with last Sunday’s presentations about Let’s Start Talking and World English Institute, the two groups coming this Sunday offer us more and different opportunities to share our faith in Christ – here and beyond. Consider which of these you might become involved in.
Following the emphasis on “missions”, we’ll launch into a series on discipleship. We’ll examine what it means, and its relationship to living and sharing our faith. We’ll look at Christ as the perfect example of being God’s disciple, and how He called and trained His disciples. We’ll look at the divergent lives of two of those disciples. We’ll consider how we can become and make disciples of Christ.
We’ll explore how we can become involved in our community as Christ’s disciples, and how we can call and train disciples. And we’ll learn how we can encourage one another as disciples through small groups.
The Summer has begun wonderfully, by God’s grace. Let’s join hands and hearts as one body, committed to Him, seeking to do His will in ever greater ways, to His glory. I wish you a blessed Summer in every way.
In April of this year I was fortunate to receive a Face Book post of a picture of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas. At 5 months and one week Samuel was diagnosed with spina bifida. Spina Bifida is a type of birth defect where the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don’t form properly around part of the baby’s spinal cord. Samuel’s mother, Julie, was told he would not survive if removed from her womb. Luckily for Samuel his mom was an obstetrics nurse and she had heard about a surgeon who had a remarkable surgical procedure. Dr. Bruner had perfected a process that was not without risk; but if successful, Samuel had the possibility of a normal healthy life. During this pro-cedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon’s finger. This incredible moment was captured in a photo. Strangely this event did not make it on national news, nor was it showcased in any but one newspaper.
We have a mantra in our home. “Integrity is exhausting”. If you have ever been confronted with a journey that is beyond your ability to comprehend you will understand what I mean. To do the right thing, to steadfastly adhere to the high calling of our God is not always easily obtained. What is it that makes this so difficult? For the first time in my life, I was faced with the fact that the “world” does not play fair. I knew this logically; I’d heard it, read it, watched it happen to others, I’d even been able to help those who had the experience of inequity thrust upon him or her. But now it was my turn. Moments of fear, frustration, anger, disillusion, rained down on my life. As a mother, when your child is hurt, you experience a helpless, desperate, need inside of you to “fix it.” But you can’t. The option given is to walk through the journey along side them. And you do.
I’ve often been amazed at the resilience of David. A shepherd boy turned King. Undeniably David was devoted to God, however, during his life, he became an earthly King who fell far away from the kind of man that had drawn God’s favor and devotion to him. In spite of his failures, David rose above himself, sought forgiveness, and went on to pen some of the most illuminating and beautiful Psalms of all time. But here within this conundrum lies the answer. It happens in the journey. It’s the journey that truly defines you. Without the journey, David’s Psalms would have no meaning. Without the journey, we would never know what we are capable of. Without the journey, we may never become humbled and know, without doubt, that it is God who is in control. It is often at the end of the journey that the total realization hits you; this could only have been a God sent journey.
To be a physician, a healer, a surgeon, must be as close as it gets to see God’s miracles in action, for we are truly, “Fearfully and wonderfully made.” Dr. Bruner said, “That when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.” Dr. Bruner made the conscience decision to live his life with integrity and determined to use his skill and education to save the lives of unborn children. For indeed it is easier to do nothing.
My journey is not over. I am finding that as one journey ends another one begins. Some are harder then others, yet I know that I am never alone. My God has plans for me, plans to improve me, lead me and mold me into his will. This journey has shown me that my life is not my own, that I am simply a tool in the capable hands of my Father.
The greatest challenge for me: Let it happen in God’s timing. I often fail at this, yet I truly know God is patiently willing to grant me grace and mercy as I walk the journey. I am his and for that I will always be thankful.