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If you are a teenager, what is the most drastic change you could possibly imagine? Think about it: you are getting ready to go to school, checking your texts and facebook, the girls are hoping it is a good hair day—maybe the guys are too, and you are all thinking about how many days before Christmas break. Then, there is a knock on the door and someone you do not know says you will soon become one of the most holy, well-know people who has ever lived. In our society, when so many people are obsessed with having 15 minutes of fame, your first reaction might be, “Sweet!” Parents, you dream of seeing your children succeed in life—whether it is school, sports, relationships or work. We all want our children to be happy, fulfilled and successful. If your child came to you
How do you think Mary expected her life to turn out? She was probably 12-13 years old since she was already promised in marriage to Joseph. According to custom, Joseph and Mary would be married after being betrothed for a year. Life was pretty hard back then. Mary probably knew her future would be an endless routine of obeying her husband and scripture, picking and grinding grain for food, cooking, cleaning, caring for children, making fabric and sewing clothing. I think it is safe to say all her life Mary was raised to believe that being a good, obedient wife and mother was her destiny.
But then the angel Gabriel knocks on the door of Mary’s heart. In however long it took Gabriel to explain God’s plan to Mary she must have been wondering how life could change so quickly. One minute she’s probably wondering what to cook and the next she is realizing her world and the world is about to change in a big way. We have all been changed because Mary stepped into the unknown with a willing heart and it all began with the visit from an angel.
When you were a child and skinned your knee, didn’t it make it “all better” when mom or dad gave you a kiss or put a band-aid on a barely visible scratch? There may not have been much obvious damage, but you needed some reassurance, love and compassion to get over the hurt.
Whether it is wounded pride, betrayal by a friend, life threatening illness, the passing of a loved one or just being let down by life, we probably begin the process of understanding and healing by asking “why?” As your pastor, it is hard for me to admit there are so many questions beginning with the word “why” that I cannot answer.
In Psalm 73:21-26 we read, “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Learning to trust in the Great Physician for the healing only He can provide is a difficult process, but one which begins when we surrender our lives to Him praying, “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you” (Psalm 33:22).
HOPE IN CHRIST
What is Advent—a prelude for Christmas or something much deeper and more meaningful? Advent, from the Latin word adventus, means “coming,” and it is a season for us to prepare for the coming of Christ. For Christians around the world, with the coming of Christ, comes hope—hope for today and for all our tomorrows through all our struggles in whatever form they may come: health, relationships, finances or spiritual emptiness.
For the people in the leper colony on the island of Molokai, each day was identical to the day before: a daily struggle to exist, to survive without any hope until the love of Christ appeared in the form of a brave young Catholic priest. Father Damien brought hope to the 700 lost souls on Molokai by courageously and selflessly living among them and becoming one of them. Like Father Damien, the Son of God came to a lost world in the form of a man, Jesus Christ. He came to heal, to love and to forgive us for our sins.
What is Advent? Advent is about letting God come to us. We do the letting and God does the coming. Advent is letting God’s will be done in our hearts and in our everyday lives and filling our souls with the hope that can only come from knowing and loving our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sometimes when our stress and worries get us down we think the grass is greener on the other side—we think surely our friends, neighbors or coworkers do not have the burdens we bear. But, as King Saul and King David in the Old Testament would agree, no one is immune from dealing with life’s difficult issues.
When I was a child, the word “melancholy” was used to describe when someone was stressed, depressed or just worn out. I have dealt with those issues, too, and praise God for deliverance from the worry of my soul. To lose the joy of our salvation and let the worries of this world cause us to become weary or sink into depression is against the scripture and Jesus’ teachings.
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Over my 30 plus years in ministry I have performed 100 plus marriages. Unfortunately, over 50% of them have ended in divorce. Before I officiate a wedding, I counsel couples about what to expect from marriage because I know the glow of the honeymoon will fade. I do not claim to have all the answers, but I do know the pain and rejection of splitting up is almost unbearable for all involved. Our homes and marriages are under attack—if we are not vigilant in protecting them, we have already lost the war. Marriage is hard work—I truly believe it is the hardest thing any of us will do in life—and it takes two people who are committed to each other through thick and thin to make it work.
I believe it took Camilla and I 15 years of marriage before we really knew what we had. We are dedicated to each other, on peaks and in valleys, until the end. We are not just married we are best friends, confidants and each other’s biggest supporter. Though in turbulent times one of us gives more than the other, most of the time it is a 50-50. We love our children and our grandchildren, but after our love of God, there is nothing more important than our marriage. As Camilla will tell you our marriage is not perfect, but it is pretty great, and we wish each of you could know the joy we have in the peace and security God has given us in each other. Feeling Camilla’s love every day, in spite of, whatever mistakes I make, helps me to understand God’s unconditional love even more.
With all the pressure on marriage from the secular world, we are not doing all we can for you if we do not help you stay married. There is nothing we as parents can do for our children that is more important than having the best marriage possible. Whether you are a long-time married couple, newlyweds, divorced, engaged or a teen who wonders how marriage can work in today’s world, this message is for you. If I can be any help to you, your spouse, or your family, please let me know.
CAR & BIKE SHOW OCT. 20
Join us anytime 9-4 for Bar-B-Que, Burgers, Music, Fun. Bring an unopened toy to donate to the toy drive. It will be a great day to enjoy fellowship together.
MEN’S MEETING OCT. 15
Join us at 6:30 in the fellowship hall for food, fellowship and fun.
WEDNESDAY SUPPER OCT. 17
This week we will serve chicken/Rice, Corn, and Green Beans. Be sure you have signed up if attending by Tuesday noon.
GOLDEN AGE OCT. 18
Off Campus! If you are 50+ join us as we travel to Jaemor Farms in Alto, GA. We will meet in the lower parking lot to leave at 8:45/9:00.
CHANGE THE WORLD DAY OCT. 20
We will collect packages of rice to donate through Oct. 17. Help us help someone else.
MS YOUTH OCT. 31
Middle School youth are going to Hallelujah Night at Starlite Family Fun Center. Cost is $2 for skating, laser tag, pizza and drinks. Limited space (only 10 spots available). Must let Rachel know if you want to attend.
SET THIS DATE ASIDE NOV. 3
Our dear “family” at Prospect please join us in the fellowship hall on Nov. 3. We want to CELEBRATE each of you and what you have meant to us for as long as 32 years for some of you!!! Details to follow. We look forward to seeing you. Larry & Candee Brandau
What does it mean if you say, “I’ve Got Jesus?” Most Christians would probably say we try to live each day knowing we have Jesus in our hearts. As United Methodists that also means giving our prayers, time, talent, tithe, and witness. To give a tenth of each of these would be a gracious gift—some may give more time and talent, when others can share more prayers or tithe. All of these are important and are testimony of our faith to those around us.
I encourage you to be here as much as you can. You will be amazed at the love of Christ you see on the faces of our church family and our visitors. Encourage those you know to be here as we share the joy and hope found only in Christ.
As the Prospect church family, rather than, “Got Jesus?” I believe we should say “Got Jesus!” It is an exclamation that we have Him and wish to share His love with everyone we meet. I am so very proud to be your pastor and friend.
This year the Hallelujah Hoopla will look a little different. We are asking groups, Sunday School Classes, and/or Families to sign up for a space. You will be in charge of decorating that space, providing a game for the children to play, and providing volunteers for that space during the Hoopla. Think of it as an “Indoor Trunk or Treat”. Prospect Kids has several games available for use, but they will be on a first come, first served basis. Prospect Kids will also help supply candy and prizes for your games. Space is limited and will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. Register early!!
If you can’t sponsor a “Space” at the Trunk or Treat, please see other ways you can help at the bottom of the registration form.
Below you will find a copy of the registration form. Please print this and return it to the church office, to Gincy Moon, or in the offering plate on Sunday. If you have any questions, please contact Gincy Moon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Open Our Eyes That We May See”
In the Old Testament story in II Kings 6:8-23, armies of Aram and Israel were at war. During the night the king of Aram sent his armies to surround Dothan in the hope of capturing Elisha, the prophet Israel. In the morning when Elisha’s servant saw the army of horses and chariots surrounding the city, he was afraid and asked Elisha what to do. Elisha answered, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” After Elisha prayed, God opened the servant’s eyes so he could see hills full of horses and chariots of fire from God surrounding Elisha with protection.
Just like Elisha’s servant, when we are struggling with family issues, job stress, illness or just everyday life we sometimes forget God is always with us. We try to deal with problems on our own and our human will prevent us from seeing and feeling God working for us. There are times in our lives when circumstances bring us to our knees and it is there we remember that only He can give us the hope and the peace we seek.
My prayer for each of us is that God would open our eyes that we may see Him working in our lives, feel His love for us and know our hope is in Him alone. When we open our hearts and souls to the Holy Spirit, we seek His will for our lives and find the good God desires for us. We come together today to worship and praise Him who is for us finding the love and peace of Christ in this place.