When is the last time you heard someone defend their uncooperative position or negative attitude toward someone else by justifying their conviction with, "They never did anything for me"? When is the last time you made such a statement? It may have been about a church, a Sunday School class, an individual, or a particular ministry you were invited to share in. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm not going to get anything out of it, so why should I be a part?"
Jesus Christ never made such a thoughtless, selfish, and arrogant remark. And thank God He didn't, because truly, how many of us would be found wanting, having done nothing for Christ. Think about it. Most of the religious things we busy ourselves with are not for Him, they are for us. We wrap ourselves up in myriad activities and busyness, struggle trying to figure out how we can make it work, complain and become frustrated in our efforts, and in the end bear little or no fruit that yields eternal benefits. In other words, we put on an active show with lots of fluff, trying to mask our unwillingness to become living sacrifices, but hardly a soul is introduced to Jesus Christ or nurtured in regards to spiritual things.
What Jesus desires is that we become so identified with Him that others cannot tell us apart. He looks for holiness, obedience, sacrifice, humility. Isn't it most curious how we can look so cleaned up on Sunday morning only to discover that come Monday we are wallowing in the same filth and ugliness that those of the world find pleasure in?
"I'm not going to give anything to that church, because they never did anything for me." "I'm not going to take part in that ministry effort, because they never did anything for me." I'm not going to waste my time in the Association, because they never did anything for me." It's all about me and my wants. If I am lifted up, if I receive some benefit, or at least if there is some reciprocity, then I might consider a greater commitment.
It is sad to hear someone at church respond, "They never did anything for me" when the invitation is given to become involved in another's life or misfortune. How it must honor the Lord when another chooses to be helpful and supportive, even quietly sacrificial, in order to be an example of the Master Giver.
Jesus Christ should be our example and mentor. He is the one we should be striving to imitate, and His response by word and action was always, "I have not come to be served but to serve." No matter that most have never really "done anything for Him," His love is unconditional and enduring. Oh, that we in our relationships and partnerships would grow into the full measure of Christ so that we would respond, "How may I minister to you to bring glory to God and help you find His best?"
Mentow will sponsor their 2nd annual See You at the Pole rally on Sunday September 24, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Last year Palestine and Bethesda churches joined with them. This year they invite all teens and college age students from around the Association to be part of the rally. If someone from your church would like to participate, please contact Rock Chocklett of Mentow so they might plan accordingly. You may reach Rock by e-mail or phone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-297-4051. Please be in prayer for the event, and thank you for your help in spreading the Word.
The 5th annual Hundreds of FeetóMiles of Care carewalk for Bedford Hospice will be on Saturday, October 14, 2006, at Bedford Memorial Hospital. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the walk will start at 8:45. This year, a child's fun-run has been scheduled at 10 a.m. Funds raised go directly for patient care services, helping to provide for needs not covered by insuranceónone of the money raised is used for administrative costs. To participate, phone 540-587-6592.
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Women on Mission: Bedford will lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor in September; Beaverdam will lead them in October. Thaxton will host the September birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Timber Ridge will host it in October.
Attention WMU Directors: Please mail your Annual Reports to Lois Stevens, Associational WMU Director, by September 30. The report forms were included in your State Missions packet. If you do not have a form, please contact Lois. (The forms should be mailed to the address shown above, not the associational office.)
The Women on Mission Get-Away will be held on November 3-4 and November 4-5 at Eagle Eyrie. The Women's Rally/WMU Annual Meeting will be Saturday, November 4, at 2 p.m. We can rent a lodge if enough people are interested in attending for the first session, November 3-4. If interested, please contact WMU Director, Lois Stevens, at the phone number or email address shown above.
CenterFest is about a month away, and we still need volunteers to officially sign up to work the water/lemonade booth, baby changing station, and the streets. All churches and individuals who will take part in the booth ministries need to call or e-mail Julie Arthur at 540-537-4455 (evenings) or email@example.com. Julie will fit your team into the Saturday schedule to work an hour or two, depending on the number of overall volunteers. The more volunteers, the lighter the load on everyone! We also need stage ministry teams. These folks will share with puppets, clowning, mime, interpretive movement, balloons, face painting, etc. These, too, will only need to minister for an hour or two. The booth will be set up early on Saturday prior to CenterFest's 10:00 a.m. start. We will pack things up and be gone by 8:00 p.m.
Remember our rally on Thursday, September 21, 7:00 p.m., at Trinity. We will provide an overview of the schedule, assignments, booth how-to's, street visitation, and prayer walking. By the time we leave the rally we'll have an understanding of how to make our CenterFest experience a good one.
Brethren, unless we minister to the lost and needy before our eyes, this county will continue to stumble in darkness. Let's not miss a perfect and divine opportunity to meet our neighbors and share something of the love of Christ with them.
October 11 Rick Dellinger (Music Evangelist)
October 24 Ken Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
October 25 Chris Smith (Staunton)
October 29 Todd Childers (Norwood)
October 8 Bryan & Ada Sheehan (Pecks)
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