Watching the Wind and Water
reI am so thankful for the worship service we had this past Sunday in the park for many reasons - the graduates, the confirmation class, the music, the food! But I am especially thankful for the time to worship God together outside. There is something about being in such a beautiful spot as Bradburn Park, watching the tall trees gently swaying in the breeze and hearing the waters churning and flowing by on their long journey to wide open sea. It is no wonder that the wind and water have been symbols that remind us of God's Spirit. We do not see the wind itself, but if we slow down long enough and watch we see how it moves. We do not know each movement of the waters - flowing over rocks, cutting around barriers, swirling in inlets - but we can see it moving by. We do not see the Spirit nor recognize its every movement, but given a little time we can see the Spirit at work and how it is moving in our lives. I am especially thankful for the reminder that comes from a little, laid-back time worshiping in the park: God is all around us working in ways we scarcely realize until we take the time to watch. May God reveal the work of the Spirit in your life today!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe! (Proverbs 16:1-9)
Making decisions - big decisions - can be difficult and even paralyzing at times. When we were kids, we could simply use the old rhyme "Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe" to help us make our decisions. Even if we skipped a word to make the choice come out the way we wanted, at least our true heart was revealed. As adults, though, our decisions are often too important to trust to this simple rhyme. So what do we do? We can take comfort in Scriptures that tell us of the plans that God has for our lives, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans for a hope and a future. If we can just figure out God's plans, we do not have to make the decisions ourselves. God can decide the big stuff, and we work on the small details to make it happen. Yet this is not the picture we find in the wisdom of the Proverbs on how our decisions relate to what God is doing. Verses 1 and 9 tell us that plans belong to us while God is in control of the details - the words we speak and the steps we take. We choose the path, and God directs the steps. Verse 3 tells us that if we commit our decisions and work to God, then they will succeed. This is cooperation with us making big decisions and God helping us along the way. So how do we make a big decision if God gives us the freedom to choose? Verse 2 tells us that all ways look good to us - we can justify even the worst decision to make it look good in our own eyes - but that God looks at the motives. So perhaps we should too. The verses in middle of these bookends give us some clues at how we can look at our motives when we weigh certain decisions. 1) Verse 5: Our arrogance leads us to think we have to do things alone or for our own benefit. Remember it's not all about you even if it is your decision to make. It has an impact on others who support you and count on you. 2) Verse 6: We are going to make mistakes - even sinful ones - when we make decisions, but remaining faithful and loving is all that matters. Do not worry so much about making a mistake as keeping your heart pure. 3) Verse 7: Far too often, we worry about what others think about us and our decisions, and sadly we worry far more about what those who do not like us anyway think than those we care about. Worry about pleasing God and those close to you - not those who cannot be pleased. 4) Verse 8: It is better to do good than to be rich, powerful, or in control. No amount of worldly riches are worth selling your integrity or your soul. Make you decisions based on this wisdom, dedicate it to God, and let God guide your steps.
Living in Community
Thanks to everyone who made Praise in the Park possible this past Sunday!
Dave, Jason, Adam, Tyler, Keith, Brad, and Linda for setting up for praise music
John, Chris, Chris, and Bob who transported chairs,
Sue and all the ladies who organized the potluck
Sue, Dinah, Jean, and Joe for making our graduate recognition special
Dinah for assisting in baptisms
Curt for mowing and cleaning the park (and his skills as a snake wrangler!)
Meg for printing song sheets
Lee for preparing our bulletin and handouts
Debbie for folding and stuffing bulletins
Welcome to our newly confirmed brother and newly baptized and confirmed sisters in Christ:
Zach, Kaylin, Savannah, Avery, Daisy, and Aliyah!
Congratulations to Isaac, Josh, April, Zach, and Hannah on graduating this week!
Thanks to Dianna for helping out with our confirmation mission project - visiting Journey's Crossing!
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, June 6
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, June 8
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, June 11
9:30 am - Worship - Guest Preacher: Rev. Gene Williams
11:00 am - Sunday School
June 24 - Maker Fun Fest VBS Kickoff Party
June 25 - VBS Training and Walkthrough at SRES
June 26-30 - Vacation Bible School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!