The bluebonnets are out......what a beautiful sight! After surviving the drought of 2011 and being revived by the recent rains, they have returned for all to admire. Art UMC hosted the Community Lenten Lunch Gathering at the River of Life Church last Wednesday. Pictured above are a few of the Art Lunch Bunch helpers; L to R, Marge Boyd, Don Boyd, Jan Jordan, Susan Ceynowa, Monica Cotter, Susie Jordan, Tyra Jordan and yours truly. What fun we had. Pastor Cliff gave the Lenten message and everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship. The Community Lenten Lunch Gathering for Wednesday, March 7th will be at noon at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Cindy Jordan Ashby will be celebrating her birthday on the 9th and Nathaniel and Wanda Jordan’s anniversary will be on the 11th. Bring on the celebrations!This Wednesday, March 7th, we will have Christmas Play practice at 5:30pm, followed by the Revelation Bible study at 6pm. The Art/Castell United Methodist Women will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 13th, at 2:30pm, at the Art Fellowship Hall. The program will be given by Susan Ceynowa and the hostess will be Joann Coston. The group has really enjoyed partnering with the ladies from Castell and the last two meetings have been very educational and inspiring. For those ladies who haven’t attended or for those who have been away for a while, please come join us. Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 24th, 9am till noon for our Church Work Day. Please come and help get our church ready for Easter!The news indicated that almost one third of our country was hit by violent weather in the last week. The devastating scenes on TV have been heartbreaking. Please pray for these fellow Americans, their families, and for their recovery. May we find ways in which to help them in their time of need. Please continue prayers for Anna Grace Durst and her family. Ruby Toeppich fell and hurt her hand, so keep our sweet Ruby Do (as I call her) in your prayers. We are happy that Jackie Johnson has returned home from the hospital and is doing well.Last Sunday was the second Sunday in Lent. The Children’s Choir sang, “Zaccheus” and “Peter, James & John in the Sailboat.” What a delight! I’ve said this before and I must say it again, “I love all our talented musicians!” Maria, Nancy, Jan, Susan, and Lori……………I could listen to you all day!The Gospel was Mark 8: 27-38. (Peter’s Confession of Christ) Jesus and his disciples were walking along a road on their way up to the villages of Caesarea Philippi and Jesus asked them. “Who do men say that I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the prophets.” He then asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” He strictly warned them not to tell anyone about Him. (The warning was because the Jews expected the “Messiah” to be a political/military leader and Jesus’ first coming was to accomplish another kind of liberation…..release from sin. Jesus was careful not to use the title “Messiah” in public because He knew it was misunderstood by the Jewish people, their leaders and the Roman authorities. Jesus wanted His disciples to thoroughly understand His true identity before He told them the necessity of the coming events.) In verse 31, Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man (Jesus’ most used title for Himself) must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes (the Jewish ruling council—the Sanhedrin) and be killed and after three days would rise from the dead. He spoke this word openly. (No parables—He spoke plainly) Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. (Peter understood Jesus’ prediction of death but did not understand or accept it, probably out of fear and concern. Peter did not want things to go this way.) Verse 33, But when He turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind me Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Jesus knew Satan was tempting Peter’s thoughts and trying to stop His mission) Verses 34-38 Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Stop making it be about “ourselves”) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Jesus gave the disciples a look at the fulfillment of things to come; invest your life in the things that will last — love, obedience, faithfulness and honor.) Pastor Cliff put it this way: It’s on God’s terms and that is really Good News. He has an unlimited supply of grace and love, ready for you and for me…….if we choose. Those who choose will be rewarded before the Father in heaven. Peace to all.