It happens this Saturday, July 15, right here at Ocilla UMC. From 9:30 until around 11:30, children from 5 to about 10, (K to 5th grades) will swarm around looking to receive the blessings of Christ via fun, fellowship, school supplies and a “brown bag” lunch.
Jesus loves children! All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) carry the same story, this version is Luke’s:
This Tuesday, we celebrate a great day in the history of the United States. July 4th, 1776 is known throughout the country as the day we rejected British rule and declared ourselves to be a self-governing sovereign nation. Many of us will shoot off some fireworks, eat something from a grill, and enjoy family as we enjoy this yearly tradition.
In the preamble of the Declaration stating the intentions of the 13 original colonies, the founding fathers invoked the idea of “truths” which exist independently from human opinion, coming instead from “their Creator.” You’ve heard it. It is said to be “one of the best known sentences in the English language:”
Somebody shared this with me and I found within it some wisdom I wanted to share.
#1 Forget that your pastor is a sinner. Yep. Dwell on the fact that he is not perfect as often as possible and make sure to meditate on all his faults.
#2 Forget that the entire leadership is made up of sinners. While you are thinking about all your pastor’s weaknesses be sure to look for all the weaknesses in all the leadership. Criticize their every decision and talk to others, but don’t ever go to them with your concerns.
Kathy and I are very pleased to find ourselves in Ocilla and Irwinville for (at least) another 12 months. You are wonderful congregations to serve with and you certainly bless us every day!
When I responded to the call to ministry in the United Methodist Church I knew about the itineracy, that is the appointment system, which keeps clergy supplied with churches and churches with Pastors. I can’t say I understood it. I have seen the process work quite well and I have seen churches nearly destroyed with a wrong appointment and/or a poor response to an appointment.
A disciple is defined in several ways. The word comes to us from Latin and old French, which translates to “learner” in English. Bill Mounce, a renowned Greek scholar suggests these meanings for “mathitís,” from the Greek New Testament; “disciple, student, follower; a committed learner and follower, in the NT usually of Jesus Christ.” When Christians use the term it almost always means the later. And not just the Twelve we know about, but anyone who claims Jesus as Savior and Lord!
Disciples seek to know the Teacher, as well as the subject matter. In Christianity these two overlap, as the Teacher is the subject matter. The teacher uses a book given to us millennia ago which we call the Holy Bible, the Word of God, or the Scriptures. Not a book for everyone, but for the follower, those who want to know Christ.