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2014 Issue 7

July & August 2014 ~ Reflections from Ray

  Take a look at one of the Bible’s most comprehensive lists of blessings: Deuteronomy 28: 1 – 14. According to this text, God says that He wants to pour out His favor in your city ~ in your country ~ on your children ~ on your crops ~ on your land ~ on the young of your livestock ~ on the calves of your herds ~ on the lambs of your flocks ~ on your baskets ~ on your bowls ~ on your coming in ~ on your going out ~ in your battles ~ in your barns ~ in your workplaces ~ in the respect you get from others ~ in timely rain ~ on your finances ~ on your leadership ~ on your status ~ on every good thing.
God wants to generously pour out His blessings on each of us who genuinely asks, seeks, and knocks on His door. (Matthew 7:7 & Revelation 3:20) This does not mean that we will be immune to natural disaster or famine or other problems. It just means that in the midst of it, God will never stop loving us even in times of extreme hardship. Please don’t misinterpret. Maybe you have heard preachers encourage their followers to treat God like a giant vending machine in the sky, dispensing big bank accounts and luxury cars. Some say all you have to do to get something out of the vending machine is to put money in the slot ~ by donating money to their ministries. And guess what they say ? ~ the more you give, the more you will get.
There is another unbiblical idea that seems very American, the idea that blessings are the natural result of hard work. According to this view, the more diligently you apply yourself, then the more favor you will earn from God. This gospel of hard work appeals to overachievers, but it is not the picture God has given us. He says: “To him who is thirsty, I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”  ) I believe that when we do not receive the things we are asking for, it is because we are not seeking first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. We are not attuned to His will, but only our own selfish thinking of our “wish list.” I have a little plaque that says: “Live simply so that others may simply live.” I am trying to practice contentment with what I have, and to realize I am truly blessed. I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:11 ~ “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” This year our theme at Annual Conference was “Drawn Deeper.” May our desire be for less “stuff” and more of God’s Spirit to permeate our lives, so that we will be motivated to use our spiritual gifts to make a difference right here in our community and to help transform the world ! Thank You, God, for I am truly blessed !
Joyfully, ~ Pastor Ray

Inside this Issue page
An Adventure in China 2
July  Birthdays 3
Things to Remember/ prayers 3
The Mouse 4
Mary Adams Reports 5
Announcements 6



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