The dog days of summer are here, 105 by mid afternoon and I’m back inside looking out at a tough but withering garden. On the positive side, we have not had near as many 100+degree days as last summer and our garden has produced a bountiful harvest. I’m so happy for the wonderful squash, zucchini, and tomatoes that we have enjoyed and been able to share with others. Our new hens have all started laying eggs and we are ever so thankful to our wonderful friends for sharing half their brood of chicks with us. We have been blessed again this year with the opportunity to pick black eyed peas from one of our dear relative’s field and for that we are most grateful. Ron has picked peas for 3 years now, so I’d say he’s an official PEA PICKER!We had several joys raised in church Sunday. Vacation Bible School was a huge success. It was great to see so many kids learning about Jesus in such a fun environment. Thanks to all who helped make VBS possible. John Ceynowa expressed gratitude in that all his grandchildren returned home safely. We were informed that Clara McInnis is on the mend and doing well.
Prayer request included peace in Syria, rain and peace on earth. Jean Lyon asked for prayers for the passing of James Lyon. Please pray for Brook Rosberg as she is experiencing blood pressure issues associated with her pregnancy. Roger Jordan asked for prayers for his daughter Cindy and her family as they travel with the children for 2 weeks in Colorado. Kathy Jordan has been having eye problems, so please keep her in your prayers.
Those that will be enjoying birthdays include; Kenneth Durst on the 1st, Robert Grant Durst and Jolie Emma Parker on the 2nd, Jessica Bibb and Lincoln Jordan Calhoun on the 4th, Jean Lyon and Leslie Toone Cope on the 5th, Sam Jordan on the 6th, and Josh Calhoun on the 7th. Happy Birthday to all!
Sunday was the 9th Sunday after Pentecost and the Gospel Reading was John 6: 1-21. Pastor Cliff told us there are thirty seven miracles in the four gospels found in the New Testament. There is only one of these miracles found in all four of the gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.
At this time Jesus has reached the height of His popularity among the people because of His power to meet their physical needs. Crowds followed Him everywhere. After crossing the Sea of Galilee and arriving on land, Jesus climbed a mountain and sat down surrounded by His disciples and observed the huge crowd that had followed Him. Jesus asked Philip if he knew where they could get bread for the people to eat. Jesus asked him this question to test his faith, fully knowing what He was going to do. Philip answered, “Six months of wages wouldn’t be enough to buy bread so that each person could have a small piece.” Andrew brought forth a young lad that had five barley loaves and two small fish, even though he knew it was so little to meet the need of so many. Jesus now takes command of the situation and has everyone sit down on the grass. Before He performs the miracle, He gives thanks and then gives the food to the disciples to distribute to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled and all the leftovers were collected so that nothing would be lost. They filled twelve baskets with leftovers. (One should never waste God’s blessings) The people realized that God was at work among them by what Jesus had just done. They were so impressed that they proclaimed Him as that prophet (Deut 18: 15-18) and wanted to make Him king, even to the point of taking Him by force. Jesus immediately instructed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side of the sea and He left and went back up on the mountain to be alone.
Pastor Cliff concluded by saying he believes this miracle story teaches several key principles for the Kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven. It is normal for people of God to doubt as Philip did. We see only what is tangible. We don’t see God in the picture. We don’t stop to think that God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, will accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. He said a very important part of this teaching is in Verse 12: they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told His disciples, “Now gather all that is left so that nothing is wasted”. We don’t give out nearly that amount of food at the food bank, and no family leaves with all that they want or need. God has called the church to feed the poor, not only food for their stomachs, but for their souls and job skills for their minds. His hope and prayer is that the folks of Mason County can unify to feed the poor among us by believing that God will take our offerings of five loaves and two fish and multiply it to feed the poor and feed them generously. Our task will be to have faith in God and bring our offerings. Pastor Cliff’s prayer is that all of us may experience the love of Jesus, though it is too great to fully understand and that we will be made complete withal the fullness of life and power that comes from God. He said that if and when we can unify on that, we need to have a community visioning meeting. We need to hear God’s voice calling us to build a community center that will graciously feed the poor among us; their stomachs, souls and job skills that will give them the dignity of caring for their families, and in time, help lift other folks from poverty.
Perhaps we could start right now by giving more of our time and money to the food bank. Feed their souls every month by having several of the Ministers from the different churches in the Ministerial Alliance greet, converse and invite each food recipient to church. Volunteer to teach a skill that might help someone get a job or find a better one. The food bank is small, but if allowable, there is room for small classes or even at designated churches. There may be folks that need to learn how to write a resume, prepare for a job interview or need help in learning English. The library has classes that teach computer skills. There’s so many ways to “feed” those in need with the resources we have if we just take that step of faith and trust God.
Peace to all