Dear Good Shepherd,
Wasn’t that thunderstorm on Wednesday night amazing? So often I’m overcome with the beauty and majesty of God’s creation.
This is the time of year that we ‘garden nuts’ start planning for the new season of growth. I spend hours and hours poring over beautiful seed catalogs, dreaming about wandering through my lush, well organized garden each year, hoping to harvest a bounty of foods to feed my family nutritious fresh meals throughout the summer, and putting up foods to help sustain us through the normally brutal New York winters.
It’s always amazing to me that I drop a hard, dried up, dead looking seed into the ground, and despite the cold temperatures, the wind, weather, and probably most of all, my neglect, God has created such a perfect plan that this little plant develops, practically before my eyes. It’s especially appropriate to me that at the time of Lent and Easter, here in the Northeast, my family gets to watch this small everyday miracle happen. It’s a gentle reminder that we are born new every day, and that Christ’s love is abundant, and his forgiveness is never-ending.
I pray you’ve all had a good week, and am looking forward to worshiping with you again this Sunday.
What’s Happening at Good Shepherd
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 All of the baby bottles are due today. Less than 20 of the 40 bottles that were taken have been returned. 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!
Special Prayer Request from the Freunds The Women of CHE training pof the Trainers went very welll last week. Pease pray for the new community leaders. The CHE ministry has only been in the community for a few months. The response is great now, and we pray that the women will draw close to Jesus as they participate in discipleship classes.
Tonight a small team of women from PA is joining us, so please pray for them as they spend time in 3 different areas with CHE ministries, teaching a crafts class, and visiting homes.
Anne and Bill
Special Event Our own Joe Osgood has a leading roll in the Susquehanna Valley production of Little Shop of Horrors. If you have the time and are looking for something fun to do this weekend, please consider coming out to support him. Here’s a link to more info about the show, including showtimes and prices.
*note, this show is probably not suitable for small children.
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 Love your neighbor as yourself is an oft quoted Bible verse. If we think on it hard, we wouldn’t deprive ourselves or our families of basic needs like food, clothing, or shelter. If we truly believe this verse to be a command from God, then we should not deny the benefit of life giving food to those who use our member food pantry. When we give generously to our pantry, we can be thankful that we are able to do our part, and know that those who use the pantry won’t go hungry.
Pantry Needs: macaroni, pasta sauce, peanut butter, 1 lb. bags of rice, canned soups and stews, canned fruits (other than applesauce), one box meals (other than macaroni and cheese), canned meats (other than tuna), and anything else you’d like to bring.
Prayer Shawl Ministry Members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry are quietly sitting by the fireplace knitting. We are looking forward to meeting again in the Spring!
If you, a family member, or a friend is in need of a prayer shawl for comfort or joy, please, see Beverley Williams or Christine Osgood.
Last week’s sermon ‘Receiving and Responding to God’s Word’ was based on James 1:19-25. It can be listened to or downloaded here.
Tuesday Morning: This Tuesday morning’s Bible Study, ‘The Faith of Abraham‘ was based on Romans 4. It can be seen here, or you can 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.
Mission Group Discussion Questions
· The word of truth is the gospel message that has already saved us from the condemnation of sin, and continually sanctifies us from the residual power of sin.
· Sanctification has two parts: putting away sin and receiving the implanted word.
· Acting on and by the word of God sanctifies. Only hearing, but doing nothing, has no sanctifying power.
1. What does it mean in verse 18 that “of [God’s] own will he brought us forth?”
a. If you are a Christian, what role did you personally have in achieving your salvation?
b. Is it easy or hard to accept that you were born again of God’s own will and not your own? Why or why not?
2. What is it that we should be “quick to hear?”
a. Why is it sometimes difficult to be quiet and listen to God speak?
b. Why does God’s word sometimes provoke “the anger of man?”
c. If human anger “does not produce the righteousness of God,” what does?
3. What are the action verbs in verse 21?
a. The command to “put away” seems simple enough, but why is it so difficult to “put away” sins?
b. Discuss the word “receive” in this verse. How does it mean more than just to get something?
c. How is verse 21 an outline of the process of sanctification?
4. How are “hearing” the word and “doing” the word different from each other?
a. Which is passive and which is active?
b. Why does hearing without doing have no positive effect?
c. How does verse 25 relate to the development and practice of “steadfastness” that was presented back in verses 3 and 4?
This week’s sermon is based on James 1:26-27.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
(James 1:26-27 ESV)
Team Romans is working on the altar this Sunday with Chris Jones.
The readings for this Sunday are: Exodus 3:1-15 and James 1:26-27.
The PDF Bulletin for this Sunday’s 10:30 service can be downloaded here.
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