Again this year, Lakeview Church will participate in the Toys for Tots program through Lakeview School.This year’s distribution is December 19. This is atremendous program making Christmas brighter for many children. We are asking you to bring stocking stuffers or small toys for both boys and girls. Bring them to the church any Sunday no later than December 16.
Johnnie has completed the beginning course on the way to becoming a Certified Lay Servant. His next step will be an advanced course. Good Job!
Greyson and Anmerie McDaniel who were joined in marriage, Sept. 30
Have you ever tried running away from something? At one time or another, I suspect we have all triedrunning away. Maybe it was a task we really didn’twant to do. Prior to becoming a pastor, my father and I were in private business. We owned and operated truck stops and gasoline stations. One of the hardest things for me was to tell an employee that we no longer needed them. I would procrastinate (run away) from that although I knew it had to be done. As a pastor, I have been called several times by law enforcement to go with the officer to break the bad news that a loved one had died. Several times it was due to a motor vehicle accident. I remember oncewhen it was a gunshot wound. It’s hard and nobodycan deny that.
Sometimes we try to run away from God, especiallyif God is calling us to do something we don’tnecessarily want to do. Remember Jonah? God wanted him to tell the people of Nineveh that unless they repented, (turned their lives around) they would be destroyed. Jonah chose to run away on a ship. That did not deter God. A great storm arose and Jonah was thrown overboard. Then a great fish swallowed him and then vomited him up (you knowwhere)….Nineveh. God said, “Now, will you do what I asked you to do?” Jonah did what God wasasking him to do and both he and the people of Nineveh were saved.
It is entirely possible that there is someone God wants you to talk to about His love, His grace, His forgiveness and his power to change lives.
Who is it? A friend, a co-worker, a family member? Whoever it is, if God leads you to it God will lead youthrough it. That’s the power of God’s love for all of us Jonah’s.
As I sat down to write this article, I want to thank thechurch for your many prayers through Amanda’ssurgery. It is a humbling experience to see over 100 persons responding to that request. She is getting along just fine and the surgery was far shorter than we had anticipated. So, again we all thank you.
As we think about prayer, it is important to know that all prayer is answered. Just not always the way you and I want. Garth Brooks once wrote a song about unanswered prayer. While, I understand what Garth was trying to convey, all prayer is answered and thank God, not always the way you or I ask. Thelyrics of that song go on to say, “Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs that just because hedoesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care.” We are God’s children and God loves all his kids, even thoselike me who are often stubborn and even angry. God also knows what we need, not just what we want. Prayer is as much about us as it is the persons or things we are praying for. Prayer is really an honest and open conversation with the giver of all life, both in the physical realm and the spiritual. Scripture tells us in Matthew 6, “ But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done insecret, will reward you.” That being said, in Matthew18:20 we hear about the power of praying with others,“For where two or three are gathered in my name,there am I among them.” So pray in private but also know that others will pray with and for you. Prayeris powerful. It’s a conversation with God and Godhears and responds. There is no such thing as unanswered prayer.
We will begin preparing for our annual Church Conference in late August and early September. Have you considered being part of the Church leadershsip? There will be several opportunities for you to serve. If you have an interest in serving on a committee talk to Pastor Ray. Several person’s termswill be expiring and some committees need to be expanded.
With school starting this month we are collecting some items that will serve the elementary students. Time is short so do your shopping now. Items include:
- Boys & Girls underwear (various sizes)
- Socks (boys and girls)
- Sweat pants
- Pencils, markers, erasers, tablets, etc.
Sometimes I will go to the grocery store for Maggie. She gives me a list of things she needs, and yet I can’t seem to find what I am supposed to be looking for. I wander around the store going from aisle to aisle. I do pretty well in the produce section. A banana is a banana, right? Pretty hard to mess that up. I do okay with eggs, soup, etc. Even I can find the egg case, but admittedly I sometimes struggle with bread and milk. There may be several varieties of bread by the same company, yet eventually after a call to Maggie I find the right item. We use a certain kind of Almond Milk and I have messed that up. Supposed to be original 30 calories and I end up with vanilla and sweetened. Things have changed. Used to be one variety of each item but now there are dozens of different tomato soups.
Church can be the same way. They may all have some shared characteristics such as a cross, stained glass, hymnals, THE OFFERING, and even a Bible Study. In most cases they are all very good. But what sets a church apart is really none of those things. It is simply, “Are we making disciples?” What is a disciple you might ask?
First, a disciple is a student, a follower. But more than that, a disciple is one who accepts the calling to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and stays with a person helping them to become a disciple. Christianity is far more than a weekly worship service or having a Bible study or serving on a committee.
A disciple strives to live out the calling that Christ places on each who is called by his name. Discipleship is not a secret society. It is taking the call of Jesus seriously to go and make disciples. It is to be “prepared to give a reason for the hope you have.” It’s like when we were children, “Show and tell.” Do you know people who need to know there is good news? We all know those folk. It’s sharing the love of Christ, the forgiveness of Christ and the good news that God is madly in love with us and we are his kids.