We’ve been studying the New Testament book: Acts of the Apostles, one of “Acts” is to heal the broken in the name of Jesus. Keep in mind that in some way or other we are all broken, this is one of the many reasons for the church, a place of peace, with a loving, embracing community working towards wholeness and healing.
Fred walks into a bar and finds the preacher there offering to pray for anyone. Fred gets in line, and the preacher asks: “What can I do for you?” He replies, “Preacher, I need you to pray for help with my hearing.” The preacher puts one finger in Fred’s ear and prays with all his might. Finally, the Preacher asks, “Fred, how is your hearing now? Fred says, “I don’t know, Reverend, it’s not ‘til next Wednesday.”
Upcoming events in September
Sunday Sept. 3 Labor Day Weekend
Celebrating Communion, after worship we will do a Sunday School volunteer walk through. Gwen and I will walk downstairs with you to the Sunday School room and explain the format (structure, schedule, lesson, activities, snack, etc. Copies of the Sunday School outline with approximate time for each segment (above) will be given in advance to the volunteers that have signed up for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th Sunday of the month which begins Sept. 10th. We are building our Sunday School program and our church’s future; we couldn’t do it without you.
Friday, Sept. 8 Youth Activity
Kids’ night out at Urban air in Crystal Lake 6-8 dinner (pizza) included. All welcome.
Sunday Sept. 10 Fall kick-off
Sports theme Sunday. Wearing your favorite sport team’s gear. Breakfast to follow worship. Confirmation & kids’ Sunday School will begin.
Sunday Sept. 17 & 24 Choir practice & performance
Choir practicing at 8 am on the 3rd & 4th Sunday (Sept. 17th & 24th, performing on the 24th).
John & Mari Aldridge will be leading, directing the choir, love to see you (hear you) sing in the choir. Joel A. is putting a schedule together for Whitechapel Handbells.
Blessings & Healing,
- Labor Day, September 4, 2023
- Grandparents Day, September 10, 2023
- Patriot Day, September 11, 2023
- First day of autumn, September 23, 2023
In September, Christian education programs are in full swing. How wonderful to see classrooms of children learning about Jesus! But what about the grown-ups? Some parents who make sure their kids get to Sunday school don’t attend Bible study themselves.
Following and learning about Christ are lifelong pursuits. If we are to love God with our mind (as well as with our heart, soul and strength), then we must keep learning even into old age. Plus, when we are well informed about God’s Word and our faith, we can share it with non-Christians and express the reason for our hope (see 1 Peter 3:15).
To love God with “all your mind” (Mark 12:30), find an adult Bible study or small group that dives into Scripture. Then humbly wear the label of lifelong learner, knowing that God still has new things to teach even the most seasoned Christian.
Who, me? Yes, you!
The Bible is filled with people who don’t feel up to the challenge of serving God, speaking for God or leading his people. But God always knows what he’s doing. Pastor Haviland Houston issues this challenge: “When you are hesitant to act, or feel a failure of nerve coming on, when courage lags, or even if laziness and the ‘I don’t care’ blues get you down, may the words of Mordecai to Esther burn in your hearts and minds: ‘And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’” (See Esther 4:14.)
Max Lucado offers a similar reminder in You Were Made for This Moment. “God always has his person,” he writes, also citing the book of Esther. “When we feel as though everything is falling apart, God is working in our midst, causing everything to fall into place. He is the King of quiet providence, and he invites you and me to partner with him in his work.”
Lucado continues: “[God] has a Joseph for every famine and a David for every Goliath. When his people need rescuing, God calls a Rahab into service. When a baby Moses needs a mama, God prompts an Egyptian princess to have compassion. He always has his person. He had someone in the story of Esther. And in your story he has you.”
Blessed with work
In the movie Return to Me, Grace works for her grandfather, Marty, in his restaurant, and the two live upstairs. After closing time one night, Grace looks through the apartment window and sees Marty cleaning tables. She yells down to ask if he wants help, and he replies, “No, dear, that’s okay. I’m blessed with work.”
Here’s a man well past retirement age laboring extra hours after his staff has clocked out. Marty simply continues to delight in his work, despite the late hour.
Although this snippet had little to do with the movie’s plot, I’ve always remembered Marty’s words. But I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be “blessed with work.” By contrast, I often sigh as I’m dealing with messes or long to-do lists. I can get so caught up in tasks that I overlook the incredible people around me. I miss out on the blessing — the joy — of work.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 (NLT) says, “To enjoy your work … is indeed a gift from God.” In what ways are you “blessed with work”?—Janna Firestone
Being NICER as Christians at work
“As working Christians, we are deeply aware of the gap that exists between Sunday and Monday,” writes Roland Heersink, founder of the God & Work Initiative. “Although the two days are next to each other on the calendar, they seem miles apart. On Sunday we hear that we are children of God, saved by grace in Jesus Christ. On Monday, there are endless emails to be answered, spreadsheets to be completed, people to be hired and fired, meetings to attend, and important decisions to be made.”
For a stronger relationship between our roles as faith-filled Christians and employees, Heersink uses the acronym NICER. How well do you live out these five essentials in your work life?
No Compromise (See Daniel 1:8-14.)
Integrity (See Daniel 6:1-5.)
Compassionate in Relationships (Follow Jesus’ example.)
Excellence (“Do your best, and let Jesus do the rest.”)
Responsible to Others (Be a good Samaritan.)
“I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Theresa