We sure have been blessed with great weather this winter. My nephew in Kansas was snowed in almost all of last week and last night they were expecting the next go-round. He calls it “Snowmageddon.” I know we need rain, but I’ll take our Hill Country weather any day!
One of our fellow American Christians is incarcerated in Iran and is being physically and mentally tortured in an effort to get him to deny Jesus Christ. U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested in Iran in September of 2012 and given an eight year sentence while on a mission trip to help build a children’s orphanage. He was accused of endangering National Security by aiding underground Christian Churches. Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned Iran’s continued violation of the universal right of religion and has called on the Iranian authorities to release Pastor Abedini. Pastor Abedini has been told by Iran that he will be released if he publicly denies his Christian faith. He refuses to deny his faith. There are so many Christians throughout the world that have to pray and worship in secret. By praying and being a voice for Pastor Saeed Abedini, we can be a voice for Christianity everywhere. Please go to the website savesaeed.org to see how you can help.
Happy Belated Birthday wishes are in order for a few of our friends that recently celebrated birthdays; Sam Jordan Hoerster and Ella Mae Hall on the 22nd, and Vondell and Jennifer Hitzfelder on the 25th. Hope you all had a great day! Happy Birthday to those with birthdays coming up; Tabitha Cunningham on March 3rd, Randall Brown, Johnita Bohmfalk, and Brandon Herrington on the 4th.
The Lenten Luncheon for this week will be today, Wednesday, February 27th at noon at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mason. The Art Missions Team Meeting will be tonight at 6pm followed by the Art Men’s Choir practice at 7pm. The Mason Food Band needs help. For those interested in helping, a meeting will be held on Thursday, February 28th, at 3:30pm at the Mason Food Bank located at 601 Brazos Street. You may contact Eva Tannehill at 347-1518 for further information. The Confirmation Classes will meet Friday, March 1st, in the Gathering Room of First United Methodist Church in Mason from 3:30 to 5pm. All grownups are invited to drop by and tell us how the Lord has saved you. There will be a Women’s Inner Faith Connection event called “The Women’s Garden of Prayer” on Saturday, March 2nd, from 10am to 1pm at the River of Life Church in Mason. This will be a great time of fellowship, learning, games, prizes, and meeting new friends. As a blessing to all who attend, a light lunch will be served. The featured speaker will be Susanne Brantley. All women are invited and encouraged to attend. The Art UMC Pastor & Worship Chair Meeting will be at 12:00pm on Monday, March 4th and the Pastor & Ad. Council Chair meeting will be at 12:00pm on Tuesday, March 5th.
Art & Trinity UMC will be hosting the lunch for the Habitat Care-A-Vanners at 12 noon at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mason on Tuesday, March 5th.
Last Sunday was the second Sunday in Lent. The Gospel was taken from Luke 13: 31-35.
The Pharisees warned Jesus that Herod Antipas was planning to kill Him. Jesus knew that Jerusalem, not Herod, was the real threat to His life. Jesus told them He would continue His work. In Verse 32, Jesus said, “I shall be perfected”, which meant His work of redemption would ultimately be completed in Jerusalem. In Verses 33-35, Jesus was sad because He knew that Jerusalem, the nation’s capital had executed a long line of God’s messengers. Jesus was obedient to God’s plan despite opposition. He compared God’s desire to gather the nation as to a hen that gathers her baby chicks under her wings to shelter and protect them from harm. Unfortunately Jerusalem was not listening and did not want to be gathered. They did not understand that this Messiah was willing to die for their salvation and the salvation of the world. The people of Israel would be abandoned by God and they would not see the Messiah again until the time comes when they would say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Pastor Cliff reminded us of how we are to get our plans aligned with God’s will and be the Good News even in the face of suffering and opposition.
Peace to all