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Showing posts from November, 2013

Give Thanks to the Lord in Worship, Education, and Service

"For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1 Dear Friends,     Perhaps it is time to slow down, set some priorities, and spend some time enjoying and giving thanks for the many God given blessings of our lives: food, family, friends, material possessions, talents, and the gift of time itself.  Perhaps it is time for us to once again take time to really give thanks to God the giver of all good things.  Here are a few suggestions of how we can give thanks: 1.  In offering our time and talents to others - Who is in need as Christmas approaches?  Who is lonely?  Who is sick?  How might you share your abundance with them?  How might this be a season for them to give thanks as well? 2. In offering of our treasures - If you are not sure of the channels to help others, or are limited by your time or ability, or frankly would like to do more, offering up your monetary gifts to God is certainly a way to give th…

Despair or Hope?

Dear Friends,

By now, many of you have been overwhelmed by photos and stories of destruction in the Philippines.  It's not just the images that are disturbing but the idea of so many human lives hanging in the balance.  At times like these, even as people of faith, we have far more questions than answers.  We can try to come up with explanations but they usually come off as trite, lame, insensitive, and unhelpful.  I think that the most helpful responses right now are compassion, prayer, honesty (about what we don't understand) and lament.  Perhaps the most well known story of human suffering in Scripture is found in the book of Job.  Notice in Job that the ones who think they have all the answers (Job's friends) are the ones who get it wrong.  Even when God appears to Job in a whirlwind, it is not to give answers but to honor Job's questions and to restore His relationship with Job.  We will not have all of the answers on this side of eternity.  What we do have is a …