May 2016

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Dear Church

May 30, 2016

Paul reminds the church in Rome not to ‘conform any longer to the patterns of this world’. Our refusal not to conform to the standards of  this world must go deeper than behavior and customs. Because it is possible to avoid most patterns of this world and still be very proud, covetous, selfish and godless. Paul says instead be ‘transformed by the renewing of your mind’. Renewing of our mind happens when we submit (big word for us!) to the Spirit of Jesus to renew, reeducate and redirect our lives. It happens when we are totally in love with Jesus! When our lives are totally given over to expressing the life of Jesus. Our devotion is not based on theory but based on a living relationship expressed also in the trifles of life. When we sit outside with our morning coffee and smell the freshness of morning and listen to the birds sing, say, “Jesus I love you”. Watching our children play or hearing a piece of music we love, say Jesus, I love you. Looking at the album remembering life in its ebbs and flows say, “Jesus I love you. I Love you. I Love you! Bringing Jesus into the everyday pulse of our lives. 

·         Our Church Float was superb, thank you for everyone who participated  in making Jesus known to our community!

·         Curry on the Green – June 16th Thursday @ 6pm

·         White Water Rafting- June 25th Saturday, a few more sets available, Contact Rita ASAP

·         Navajo Mission, Little Waters, New Mexico: July 10-16

·         Honduras trip July 3rd week.

 

Let’s continue to lift those in our body who needs prayers and God’s intervention in their lives. 

And don’t forget to enjoy this beautiful Memorial Day!

Be Encouraged

Mathews

 

 

 

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Dear Church

May 23, 2016

In Luke 9:57 Jesus meets a man who said ‘I will follow you wherever you go’. Then Jesus in vs. 58 says foxes and birds have more in ways of natural security than the son of man. Quite a statement. This man was happy to follow Jesus to ”wherever” till Jesus said “There”. Believers are called to say yes to him before they even know the request. Jesus may point to Peru or just across the street to your neighbor to downtown Rutland or Jungles of Bolivia to the guy sitting across your desk to the single mom who finds it difficult to meet both ends. Many people want to treat Jesus as a good consultant, like a person whose opinion we highly value but, at the end of the day, we make the final decision. Jesus is not a consultant, never has and never will be one. He is Jesus. ‘He is before all, and in him all things hold together’. Let’s embrace him as our Lord! 

·         White water rafting June 23, Saturday, contact Rita for more info.

·         Navajo Mission Trip July 10-16 (support opportunities available! )

·         OCC collection items for May – Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, soap and washcloths.

·         Plug in with one of our groups. Men’s book study/women’s bible study/ life groups/Adult Sunday School. These are great openings to study the Bible and build fellowship with one another

Sunday Soccer was fun, fun, fun!! More than 25 kids of all ages (5- 60+) showed up. If you want to participate, show up Every Sunday @ 3pm at the Middletown Springs School Ground. NO PRIOR SOCCER EXPERIENCE NEEDED!! a great time to have fun and connect with our community. More info contact Dave C, Nate C or Josh Mathews

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Be Encouraged

Mathews

 

 

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Dear Church

May 16, 2016

This happens way before we meet Jesus. This is one of the core ideologies we lived with and sadly some of us still live with. ‘No matter what I am doing, it never feels good enough’. I become a believer at some point with this notion buried deep inside my psyche. This has absolutely nothing to do with who Jesus is and what he brings to my life. This is the baggage from my carnal nature that still hugs on to me like a chimpanzee. This is my brokenness and sadly it is shaping my relationship with Jesus. This was exactly what Jesus came to heal and restore.  What is the problem here? Do I find it hard to really believe that he truly loves me? Do I feel like I am always disappointing God? Does Jesus seem like a taskmaster who wants me to work harder? Does he seem distant, unapproachable and disengaged with my realities?

2 Cor 8:9 says ‘though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich’. Jesus invaded the whole ugly mess of our lives intentionally to restore and claim us back to him. There is no valley, there is no darkness and there is no brokenness in your life that his love cannot heal. We are loved not because of our inherent goodness. We are loved despite our inherent badness so that his forgiveness and grace can forge us ahead  in life. A life rooted in Jesus, Not just a forgiven sinner, but alive in Christ!

O God we trust in your strength, even as it is found in weakness, in your wisdom even as it is expressed in the foolishness of this world, in your wholeness as it is experienced in our brokenness. In your gentleness and comfort guide us O God.

 

Be Encouraged

Mathews

 

 

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Dear Church

May 9,2016

Sin is a deterrent that caps our desire to pray. Three voices, we don’t think we have time to pray, we don’t think it is important to pray or we don’t believe prayer makes a difference. According to a study, we spend over 70 hours on Internet per month(Twitter, Facebook, emails etc…) Social media can be addictive in nature. Unless we rein in the time and emotional energy we devote to social media they have the potential to deviate our attention from Jesus Christ. And when that happens anyone can predict the consequences.

The bible instructs us in Colossians 3:1 to ‘set our hearts on things above where Christ is seated’ and in verse 2 he says ‘set your minds on things above’. Our hearts and minds can function the way God desire it to function only if our priorities are authored and perfected from Jesus. Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. This happens only in prayer. Let’s be a church devoted to personal and corporate prayer. Yes ‘without ceasing’.

“A Christian is not his own master, since all his time belongs to God” (Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, martyred in Rome, c. 107 A.D.)

 

Be Encouraged

Mathews

 

cover pic resized 90%Dear Church,

May 2, 2016

Giving our lives for God’s conditioning is an all important element of our day to day living. This is not an easy thing, but the conditioning gives us the stability, perseverance, and insight to live up to the great task he has given us. Diligently finding time for God’s counsel through the scriptures, being there every time the church door opens (rain or shine), consciously committing time for the obedience of  prayer and family devotions are important. Faith needs to be authenticated by an uncompromising desire or Holy desperation for God and his presence in our lives.  Every tear that flows behind closed doors and in private moments of life, every loneliness of heart and strained relationship and life’s tall mountains  gives us an opportunity to get close to the Master and ‘gaze on his beauty’ as the Psalmist says. In line with the famous Hymn Take time to be Holy’ the whole hymn is wonderful but the fourth line stand out for me “take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul, each thought and each motive beneath his control. Thus led by his spirit to fountain of love, thou soon shalt be fitted for service above” 

Be Encouraged

Mathews

 

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Dear Church
May 9, 2016

Sin is a deterrent that caps our desire to pray. Three voices, we don’t think we have time to pray, we don’t think it is important to pray or we don’t believe prayer makes a difference. According to a study, we spend over 70 hours on Internet per month(Twitter, Facebook, emails etc…) Social media can be addictive in nature. Unless we rein in the time and emotional energy we devote to social media they have the potential to deviate our attention from Jesus Christ. And when that happens anyone can predict the consequences. 

The bible instructs us in Colossians 3:1 to ‘set our hearts on things above where Christ is seated’ and in verse 2 he says ‘set your minds on things above’. Our hearts and minds can function the way God desires them to function only if our priorities are authored and perfected from Jesus, where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. This happens only in prayer. Let’s be a church devoted to personal and corporate prayer. Yes ‘without ceasing’.                                                                                  Navajo Mission trip July 10th – July 16, 11 people have confirmed!

 

“A Christian is not his own master, since all his time belongs to God” (Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, martyred in Rome, c. 107 A.D.)

Be Encouraged
Mathews