The PATH to Prayer
This spring at Wednesday at the Port, the Little Fishermen are learning about prayer. For something as essential to faith as prayer, I often get questions about it even from faithful, committed adults. So I thought I would take some time to share with you what we are teaching our kids about prayer.
First of all, what is prayer? Some folks think of it as asking God for what you want. Others think of it as a special way of talking to God in which you need to say just the right things to please God. I tend to think of prayer as a conversation with a trusted friend. We talk, we listen, we share our lives, we sit in silence enjoying the moment together. We pray because we have things to say and not just because we ought to. The point of prayer is not to get what we want from God but to grow closer to each other.
So then, what kinds of things do we talk about with God? The simplest answer is anything. Some folks worry that there are things they shouldn't say to God - that they are angry, for instance - but how can we grow closer to God if we are afraid to share our deepest and strongest feelings. Although anything can be shared with God, there are many acronyms out there to help us remember different things that it is helpful to talk with God about. The simplest of these that I have found is PATH - Praise, Admit, Thank, Help.
Over the next few weeks, I will share more about the PATH to prayer, what each of these parts mean, and how to use it to grow our relationship with God. In the meantime, take some to talk with God and share your heart.
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Called: The Dangerous Gospel
Last week, we witnessed as Ananias bravely came face to face with Paul who had come to Damascus to arrest him. Ananias had been sent by God to heal Paul who had been blinded in his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet:
The Dangerous Gospel (Acts 9:19b-31)
Having been healed from his blindness, Paul got up and was baptized. He began to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. He showed the same zeal in defending the gospel now as he had previously demonstrated in opposing it. That is the kind of claim that the gospel makes on our lives. To encounter and accept Jesus is to be changed by the good news he holds for our lives. Yet this change comes at a price. The claim the gospel lays on our lives is one that has the power to change the world and so is a threat to the powers of this world. Paul learned this first hand as his former allies were not convinced by his preaching but instead sought to kill him. The believers in Damascus had to sneak him out of a hold in the wall lowering him to the ground in a basket. Paul would eventually find his way to Jerusalem where the believers were suspicious of him because of his past. A respected man named Barnabas vouched for him and his preaching in Damascus, and he was accepted. He began to preach boldly and argue with the Greek-speaking opponents. These were his people, and yet they too were not convinced and began to seek ways to kill him. Paul was snuck out of Jerusalem to Caesarea where he could board a boat going back home to Tarsus. Paul was finally trying to live up to his calling as an apostle and missionary, yet the gospel he preached was so dangerous that his life was being threatened. Whereas he had been willing to kill for his beliefs as an opponent of the gospel, he now had to be willing to die for the sake of that same gospel - something requiring much more courage. Yet we learn from Paul that being willing to die for our beliefs is not the necessarily the greatest sacrifice we can make with. Paul escapes with his life twice so that he can continue on in the mission God has given him, even if it is embarrassing or defeating in the moment. Following God's call means being willing not just to die but to live and even suffer for our beliefs.
Coffee Cup Challenge
Thank you to those who have helped us raise $90 for world missions through our Coffee Cup Challenge so far! The challenge is to find something during the week - like a cup of coffee - that we can forego so that we can then give the money to support the work of missionaries and new church starts across the world. Our goal is to raise about $2,400 this year.
Living in Community
Thanks to Dinah, Chris, Meg, Angela, Randy, Liz, and Steve for making this weekend's youth retreat and lock-in a great time for our youth!
Thanks to Meg, Chris, and Linda for serving communion and to Susie for running the computer in worship this week!
Thanks to Ralph for helping to lead worship, especially on Sundays when he is also preaching at one of Pastor Rick's churches!
Continue to pray for Margie and Larry as they recover and heal from their surgeries.
Thanks to everyone who donated items for the Food Pantry and SRES Clinic as a part of our Port Republic Super Bowl! Despite their loss in the big game, the Falcons were the winners of our competition.
This Week at Port Church
Bible Study cancelled this week due to illness.
Tuesday, February 7
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Wednesday, February 8
6:00 - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, February 9
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, February 12
Registration of $25 for Paint Night due to Lee
9:30 am - Worship: "Hurry Up and Wait"
11:00 am - Sunday School
6:30 pm - Financial Peace University
February 20 - CPR/AED Class
February 25 - First Aid Class
March 17 - Paint Night
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!