Please welcome Fred and Nancy Liebers to Lakeview United Methodist as our two newest members.
Growing up in a farming community I learned a few lessons that apply to our faith and discipleship. First is that farming takes hard work. Second, farming takes a lot of faith. God doesn’t just miracously give you an abundant crop. Farming is a partnership with God.
For example, you are not going to get a crop unless you plant. And you can’t plant unless you harvest. It’s also true that sometimes a crop doesn’t produce as we had hoped. Drought, hail, too much rain and weeds can diminish, or even destroy, a crop. But those things don’t keep us from tilling the soil and planting still more seeds.
It’s the same with our discipleship. Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….”
Have you ever grown a crop whether wheat, corn, beans, or even garden vegetables without planting? Highly unlikely.
There is a process to farming, whether in soil or in a soul. You cannot plant what you do no sow. What does this mean for us as a church? Simply, it means that first of all, church is not a place we go on Sunday morning. That’s worship. Church is more than that. We can never afford to be satisfied with the gathering unless we also scatter. Part of being the Church is the gathering for worship, study, fellowship and outreach. But gathering a crop of corn in a bin will never produce a harvest. Those seeds have to be scattered. That’s where we come in as the Church. We gather together certainly, but we are called to scatter the seeds in others. Scripture says some “seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Will you commit to being both a gatherer and one who scatters? God will provide that harvest.
After church service on October 29th a few kids from the youth group took an outing to Roca Berry Farm. Jack, Christopher, Samantha, and Aubree made the trip. Based on the smiles in the pictures below, I think they had a great time.
The kids visited a few haunted houses. Including this one!
Three years ago on the first Sunday in July I was richly blessed. That was my first Sunday out of retirement and my first Sunday at Lakeview United Methodist Church. I had filled the pulpit a couple times for Pastor Call, so I had some knowledge of this church and the devotion of it’s people. I have served churches across the state and have never lived anywhere we didn’t love. Yet, to be part of this congregation of God’s people is amazing. Over these three years you have about tripled in attendance. You have started new ministries that many would have said was impossible.
What makes this so wonderful is that YOU did it! Not the Pastor or the District or the Conference! It was you, the people of God at Lakeview. You had a vision of what could be and you refused to listen to voices that said we were too small. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
I have many “favorite” Bible verses, but above them all is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I can’t wait to see what dreams you have for what is no longer a small church. You are vibrant and vital and God is using you. An old spiritual says, “It’s not the preacher nor the teacher…” It is YOU a body of believers actively engaged in ministry to God’s people.
As I write this article we are entering the season of Pentecost. Technically, “Pentecost” is 50 days from Easter Sunday including Easter itself. Theologically, this marks When the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and the other believers. You have probably heard of people “speaking in tongues,” and you may even know someone who has that gift. The primary purpose originally was that there were people from all over who spoke a variety of languages. So, when the disciples began to speak it was the language of the Holy Spirit and everyone in the crowd heard them in their own language.
In the church we celebrate Pentecost on one Sunday. This year it is June 4. In reality, Pentecost is every day. That’s because it is the language of God through the Holy Spirit. What difference does that mean for us living in Nebraska? It makes a big difference because no longer do we speak the language of the world which is filled with hatred, violence, poverty, corruption and more. But the language of God is simply when we share the love of God to a hurting world. It’s when we speak the language of caring, compassion humility. This is a universal language that can only be spoken by people with the heart of God for others. When you see someone hungry, hurting, sad, angry, etc. the language of God can restore hope to them. And “hope does not disappoint us.” None of us are perfect by any imagination. Yet, we can still speak peace to those who do not know it. We can speak the language of God to persons of different cultures and nationalities. And when we do “they may all be one as Jesus and the Father are one.” John 17:21
Pastor Ray will lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for ten days beginning October 17. We will spend two nights in Tiberias overlooking the Sea of Galilee. There we will take a boat ride and sing hymns. We’ll also see where the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish took place. The remainder of our time we will headquarter out of Jerusalem, pray at the Western Wall, Walk the Via Dolorosa, visit Jericho, the Baptismal Site, The Dead Sea, Masada, the birthplace of Jesus, Mt. Calvary, and much more. If you would like to know more there are brochures at the church or just call Pastor Ray.
The Outreach Committee has begun a new ministry to those who need a meal or just some great fellowship. The first dinner was May 25. We had a nice crowd, wonderful volunteers and it will only grow. Thanks to all who helped. A project of this size would not be possible without your help and donations. The next dinner will be June 29. If you would like to know more visit with Bobby Dasher on Sunday mornings or call the church 402) 474- 2816.