God of Wonders
On a recent visit to a park, our family had a picnic under a group of pine trees. After enjoying the meal, the boys ran around playing chase and climbing trees. It wasn't too long before our youngest discovered pine cones that had fallen to the ground. He would pick them up and bring each one as a prize to be shown off to us. He was amazed by them, and, when we got ready to leave, he wanted to choose a couple to bring home.
The wonder of a child is a thing to behold. To a child, the world is full of awe-inspiring, wonderful things even though these things may be so simple and common. As adults, we have learned to take these things for granted, so much so that we barely notice them when they surround us or we simply write them off altogether. Growing up in Georgia surrounded by Southern yellow pine everywhere, I have learned to see pine cones only as a prickly nuisance to be picked up before mowing. Seeing the wonder in my son's eyes, however, tells me I am not as wise as I would like to think. Which of us is right - that these are miraculous creations to be marveled at or that they are instead no more than a nuisance? I have to believe that my son knows more than me on this one.
It makes me wonder if we do not do the same thing in lives of faith. Does seeing God at work in our lives ever become commonplace and something we take for granted? Do we - in our worldly wisdom - lose sight of the miracles that abound around us? Do we lose the wonder and awe of God and all that God has done?
May God refill our hearts with wonder and give us eyes to see the miracles all around us!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Equipped by God's Word
(2 Timothy 3:10-17)
God has prepared good works just for us to do and is preparing us to do them. Paul wrote to Timothy that God has given us Scripture so that we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work. God's Word of course tells us of salvation but it also prepares us in the ways we need it to so that we are ready for what God wants us to do. First of all, Scripture teaches us - it tells us how we should live our lives (what we should and shouldn't do), who God is, and who we are. Knowing more about God and what God wants from and for us, we are more ready to do the good works God wants us to do. When we know more about what God wants, there are still times when we will stand against what God wants. It is then that Scripture rebukes us and convicts us of what we ought to be doing. Even when we are seeking God's purposes, there are times we are on the wrong path for us and don't know where we should go. It is not that the path before us is bad as much as it is just not the right path for us. Scripture then corrects and guides us to the path meant for us. Finally, Scripture trains us in righteousness. Just as physical training entails practice that makes difficult things becomes easy and conditioning that helps us to endure, Scripture helps us build faithfulness into who we are so that we can endure when difficult situations arise. Scripture teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains us in righteousness, so that we are thoroughly equipped for every good work. But to be equipped in this way, we must make use of Scripture - not just when we are troubled or looking for answers, but consistently letting it form who we are. Let us open the toolbox of Scripture that equips us!
Responding to God's Call
What is your favorite Scripture? What Scripture have you read lately for devotions or study? Spend some time this week reflecting on how these holy words equip you to for the good work God intends for you.
How is God equipping me to do good?
Join us this Sunday as we explore how we are "Gifted by God's Spirit" to do the good works God has prepared for us!
Living in Community
Thanks to Barbie for leading our prayers in worship this week!
Thanks to Debbie, Martha, Pam, and Susie for serving as office volunteers!
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, April 20
9:30 am - 2:00 pm - Office Hours
Thursday, April 21
9:30 am - 12:00 noon - Office Hours
10 am - Sunshine Seniors
Sunday, April 24
9:30 am - Worship Service: "Gifted by God's Spirit"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Deadline to register for Camp Overlook.
Talk with Dinah or Pastor Jim for more details.
VBS Training - May 22
Vacation Bible School - June 27-July 1
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!