I’ve seen rain go around us so many times, that I had started to doubt the power of my own prayer. Shame on me! A few hours after speaking openly about my doubt, we received a blessing from heaven of 8/10ths or 80 points of rain! Now please understand, the doubt was never if God could provide, but if I was worthy enough for my prayers to be heard, much less answered. Thanks be to God for removing any doubt about the power of prayer and reminding me that “all things happen in His time.”
I will be changing the format of my article, because it’s become a little lengthy. Within our two congregations (TrinityUMC-Castell and Art UMC) we have many blessings and prayer requests each week. Pastor Cliff does an outstanding job of listing these in his e-mails throughout the week. If anyone would like for me to specifically mention a blessing or prayer request in my article, please let me know on Sunday at church or by e-mailing me by 10:00pm on the Sunday of the request. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. or you may send letters to the editor with comments or suggestions. I will continue to list congregational blessings and concerns as a whole, as well as birthdays, anniversaries, announcements, and tid bits of Art and Castell. Please understand that I feel the message we receive each Sunday is a blessing and should be shared. Many folks are unable to attend church for various reasons and perhaps Pastor Cliff’s message can be passed on to them through this column.
Those celebrating upcoming birthdays will be Barbara Foster and Annette Leigh Ashby on the 15th, Danny Mac Jordan on the 17th, Susan Ceyonwa on the 18th, and Brandi Lewis on the 19th. Happy Birthday to all! Mark and Barbara Krause and Sam and Maribelle Hoerster will celebrate anniversaries on the 19th. Congratulations to both couples!
Just a reminder the Texas Sales Tax Holiday begins this Friday, August 17th. Next Sunday the 19th we will have the blessing of the backpacks and our Church Potluck Dinner at noon after church. There will also be a Young Life Committee Meeting on Sunday at 3:00pm. It will be a busy Sunday coming up! A new Bible Study, “Perfect Love of God and Neighbor” starts Wednesday, August 22nd from 10:30 – noon. The study will be held at Trinity UMC in Castell in the Fellowship Hall. This is a short, 6 week Bible Study which will highlight the beginnings of our Wesleyan views of God’s grace. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
The 1st reading last Sunday was from Ephesians 4:25-5:2 Paul calls for believers to speak the truth, defuse your anger, do not steal from others, toil honestly (an honest job is rich and rewarding) and share with others. When speaking with others, build them up, don’t insult. Paul summarized Christian character as that of being kind, well disposed, benevolent, gracious and gentle mannered as opposed to being harsh, hard, bitter or sharp. Be tenderhearted and thus forgiving. This is a willingness to be understanding of and patient with the faults and failures of others. We are all human and this may not always come easily, however, God’s forgiveness is the model, the motive, and the measure of our forgiving others. Even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us. Paul goes on to direct all to be followers of God through our daily conduct and speech, thus proclaiming our acceptance of Christ by walking in love as He did for us.
The Gospel Reading was from John 6:35, 41-5 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.”
Bread of Life means “bread which supplies life.” The manna that had come from Moses supplied physical needs for a while; Christ satisfies spiritual need forever. The Jews still questioned Christ’s claims. After all, they knew his human heritage………. he was the son of Joseph and Mary! How could He have been sent from heaven?
Christ continued his message of life by saying that for one to come to the Bread of Life, the Father must draw him. God’s process of drawing is accomplished through the Bible, the word of God. Everyone then who hears and learns from the Father will come to Christ. Moses’ bread was not eternal. In contrast to the manna, this true Bread of Life (Jesus Christ) will not let man die. Christ further describes this Bread. It is His flesh. He clearly refers to His death on the cross that will provide life for the world. Peace to all