Dear Good Shepherd,
This week has brought a mixture of blessings and trials. Many of you know that for the last two weeks I’ve been fighting back this awful cold that’s been going around. Every time I think I’ve beaten it, it comes back even worse.
In my spiritual weakness, I’ve been crying out in a loud obnoxious voice to anyone who will listen that “it’s just not fair! I take my vitamins, I eat well, I try to exercise regularly, I even take herbal concoctions that many people would think were strange, all in an effort to boost my immune system, so why am I SO WEAK?!” I shout as I stamp my feet.
Then I realize that this weakness has forced me to go home each day and rest. It’s given my husband an opportunity to bless me though taking care of my daily chores. It’s given my daughter the opportunity to cook a huge pot of homemade soup all on her own for the first time ever. It’s given me time to catch up with old friends who call to check up on me. It’s given my husband and daughter extra time together.
In short, it’s given the people around me a chance to bless me with kind actions, and it’s made me slow down and notice all of the things going on around me that I have to be thankful for. So, once again, with a sheepish grin, I’ll praise God for great and small blessings. I hope you’ve all had a really wonderful week, and especially that you’ve gotten to enjoy some of this unseasonably wonderful weather!
What’s Happening at Good Shepherd
Shrove Tuesday Thank you Many thanks to ALL who worked to make the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and Mardi Gras Celebration such a wonderful event! Everyone raved about the food and the children had fun making masks, getting face-painted, and playing games. It was a great opportunity to share with our friends and neighbors and it was such a treat to entertain all of the Saratoga Youth Center with their director! At 6:30 the Shrove Tuesday Band, which gets better very year, played the Battle Hymn of the Republic and When the Saints Go Marching In. They led us outside for the burning of the palms accompanied by prayers. Not only was this a fun-filled evening, but it was an opportunity for some of us to share Jesus and to have meaningful conversations concerning questions of faith. May God use our efforts to further His kingdom! To see some pictures from the event, please click this link.
Easter Outreach to Saratoga Children Please consider giving a small money donation/individually wrapped candy or other small treats by Sunday March 20th to provide Saratoga Youth Center children with an Easter goodie bag from Good Shepherd. These will be given out at the Saratoga Center Easter Party on March 22nd when Jeremy the Christian Illusionist will share the gospel with the children in an amazing and powerful way. Please be in prayer over this event and contribute if you are able. Thanks!
Bread and Wine If you are interested in joining a group of moms for a monthly supper and discussion of women in the bible, please contact Liz Hull.
Life Choices Baby Bottle Collection Drive Please make every effort to return your empty, partially full, or filled baby bottles back to Christine Osgood.
Thank you for your participation in Change for Life 2016!
ACW There will be no March ACW meeting. The April meeting will be held in the parish hall at 11:15, Saturday, April 16th. The ACW meets the 3rd Saturday of most months.
Health and Wellness Our bodies are “the tents” that the Lord has given us to house our souls. Begin to take care of the body which God Has given you. Check your blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight every Sunday in the Parish Hall 9-10AM. Please see Dolly Shaller or Carmen Swoffer-Penna for more details.
Good Shepherd Food Pantry How can we distinguish between rich and poor? We as a church must be careful not to judge who should and shouldn’t be able to use the pantry. Each member of our church should be allowed to use it, if they need to. There shouldn’t be any discrimination there. So let’s keep it full for everyone’s sake so no one will go hungry.
Pantry Needs: canned meats (except tuna), soups, stews and one box meals (except macaroni and cheese), powdered milk packets, canned fruit (other than applesauce and cranberry sauce), oatmeal (instant or regular), pasta or cheese sauce, coffee and tea, and anything else you’d like to bring.
Mission Group Discussion Questions
- Judging the worth of individuals according to self-created standards is selfish and sinful. (James 2:4)
- There is no distinction in the eyes of God between any two believers. (Rom. 10:12, Gal. 3:28, Col. 3:11)
- Partiality is not part of the character of God and neither should it exist in the church.
- Partiality has no part in God’s plan to save sinners and count them as righteous. (1 John 2:2)
1) We are all guilty of showing partiality. List the self-created standards you’ve used before to rank the worth of individuals in your own mind.
- Who benefits from the application of these standards?
- Why do we so easily show partiality?
- What compels us to be partial?
2) Compare human standards to the standards of God.
- What are the similarities and the differences between them?
- What standard does God use to judge us? (Rom. 3:23)
- Does this standard of God show partiality?
- Who is the focus of self-created standards? Who is the focus of God’s standards?
3) What place does partiality have in the church?
- How is partiality destructive to the church body?
- How is partiality in opposition to the character of God?
- What message is presented to new believers when partiality is manifest in the church?
- What message is presented to the world when believers show partiality within the church?
Tuesday Morning This Tuesday’s Bible Study was called ‘Adam and Christ’. It was based on Romans 5. You can view it here, or watch it below. You can catch up on all of the older Tuesday morning Bible studies you might have missed here. You’ll need to have a LiveStream account, but it’s free and easy to sign up for.
This week’s sermon is based on James 2:8-13.
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
(James 2:8-13 ESV)
Team Galations is working on the altar this Sunday with Jerry Shriver.
The PDF Bulletin for this Sunday’s 10:30 service can be downloaded here.
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