A Gift from God
Our family truly enjoyed our time in Georgia with our family. It was good to catch up with them, rehearse the old stories, learn about new ones, and just spend time together. Such special time with family is good for the soul and indeed a gift from God for rest and renewal. As this summer winds down and we gear up for the fall to come, I pray that you too have time to slow down, visit with family and friends, and find some rest and renewal - all a gift from God!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
Faithful (Hosea 1:1-3, 3:1-3)
The story of Hosea is one of the great love stories of the Bible - even if it is not one that would fit into our notion of romances and fairytales. God told the prophet Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman, so he takes Gomer as his wife, and they have children. Not exactly what we would expect for a good foundation for a marriage - especially one willed by God. The story takes a turn for the worse as Gomer returns to her old ways and goes to live with another man. God comes to Hosea again and tells him to go after his wife and love her again. Hosea does so and makes a covenant with Gomer that neither should stray in faithfulness from the other. This is an odd story, to be sure, but it is one with an important point. Hosea's life is turned into a living parable for us to teach us about God's love - a love that believes in us and comes after us no matter what mistakes we may make. It also tells something important - that marriage and faith are similar. In fact, faith is also seen in light of a marriage between God and God's people throughout the writings of the prophets and into the New Testament. So how are marriage and faith similar? We can start with a word that is prominent in Hosea's story: faithfulness. To be faithful in a friendship means to be loyal and trustworthy, but in marriage we often boil it down to the fidelity of not cheating on the other person. If we are to be faithful in marriage, we need to live out all of our vows and not just the one that says we will forsake all others. (As an aside, vows themselves are one of the things that unite marriage and faith as well.) We need to love and cherish, to have and hold, in good times and bad. To be faithful also means to be faith-filled as well. Faithfulness means holding onto the faith we have in our partner - that they are good and worth our sacrifices. This can be challenged when we feel wronged or betrayed, but faithfulness means forgiving and continuing to believe in the other person. To be faithful in marriage and holy relationships means to live out our vows day by day and to have faith in the other person.
This Week's Challenge
What is something you have avoided doing that your significant other or a family member is counting on you to do? Make it a priority to do that this week.
Think about your significant other or a family member. What good do you see in them? What do you believe in them to do for your relationship? Write down your thoughts, and reflect on them each day.
Living in Community
Please continue prayers of Christian sympathy for the Craun family.
Thank you to Jeff, Susie, and Lee for leading worship
in the absence of Pastor Jim and the praise band!
Thank you to Bob, Dianna, and Meg for helping to serve communion this past Sunday
and to Linda and Donnie for setting the table for us!
Thank you, Dinah, Isaac, and the youth group, for representing Port Church
and serving our communityby volunteering with the custodians at South River!
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, August 8
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, August 10
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, August 13
9:30 am - Worship - "Building a Home"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Bible study on the Gospel of John led by Dianna, Financial Peace University - a class on how to handle money in a Biblical way, and the Legacy Journey - a class on living purposefully and creating a legacy through investing, estate planning, and generosity - will all be offered this fall. More details to come! Let Dianna know if you are interested in the Bible Study and Pastor Jim know if you are interested in either of the finance classes.
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!