Pastor Shayna wound up May’s sermon series about hospitality this past Sunday urging the JCC congregation to get out of their comfort zones and learn to practice hospitality as a means to win people to Jesus. She suggests that hospitality does not necessarily involve cooking a big meal and inviting people over, but can also encompass different forms of reaching out and connecting with others. Click on the arrow to listen to the message. Click on the Publications page to read this week’s bulletin.
There’s an old saying that tells us that anything worth having is going to cost us something. For the Christian having the character and nature of Christ is definitely something worth having, and, yes, it’s not a free ride on easy street to obtain it. Compassion is one of those highly prized attributes that will not be cheaply won. Today’s devotional by Craig Groeschel, reposted from faithgateway.com, explores the cost of compassion for those who would follow Christ and become like Him.
Compassion not only requires action, but it also pays a price and sacrifices something. In Luke 10, Jesus tells a compelling story about a man from Samaria who went out of his way to help a Jewish man. In their culture at that time, these two men would most likely have hated each other. But when the Samaritan found the Jewish man beaten up by the side of the road, he put bandages on him, took him to a hotel, and paid two days’ worth of his wages to the hotel owner to let the man stay there and to take care of him.
Who would do read more
Jesus told His disciples that they were to love one another. But what does that mean? What does it look like? How can you love others well? One great way to love others is by serving them. Click on the arrow to listen to Sunday’s message by Pastor Marlan and discover some practical ways to love through serving.
Don’t forget to click on the Publications page to read the July/August newsletter.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just wish I could get a spiritual eyeball transplant so that I would be able to see myself, circumstances around me, other people, and even God like God does. As humans our “sight” is so limited sometimes and we really need some help seeing from a different perspective. Today’s devotional by Lee Strobel reposted from biblegateway.com encourages us to see those around us in a new way: through Heaven’s eyes.
I periodically need to remind myself of the value that God places on other human beings, even when I don’t know the other person or when he or she is very different from me. But to be honest, that’s not natural for me to do.
Every once in a while, though, I get a reminder, like reading about an incident that occurred in North Carolina in 1995. Ten year-old Lawrence Shields was picking through a bucket of debris in a gemstone mine when a rock piqued his interest. “I just liked the shape of it,” he said.
When he knocked off the dirt and grit that were clinging to it, and as he rubbed it on his shirt to polish it up, he saw that this was much more than just a rock. It turned out to be read more
source: Bible Gateway
There are very few among us who do not have a person – or several – who are just flat out difficult to love. Today’s devotional addresses the problem from the perspective of a gardener. It offers helpful suggestions as we navigate these relationships.
Who is the seemingly impossible person in your life whom you must interact with on a regular basis? There’s someone like that in everyone’s life. Perhaps we work with them, serve with them, gave birth to them, married them, or go to school with them. These people are often socially challenged or just plain self-centered and stubborn. We make various attempts to develop a harmonious relationship, pleading with God to enable us to love this person with His love. Nothing works. Even if we managed read more
I don’t know about you, but all the anger and craziness that’s out there right now is getting old. I was hoping things would calm down on some of the social media sites I’m on, but it hasn’t gone away. Not to say that we shouldn’t stand up for what’s right or we shouldn’t have the freedom to voice our opinions, but things have gotten way out of hand. Today’s devotional, reposted from Holley Gerth’s blog, addresses the issue and gives us some down home advice on a way that we can help diffuse rather than inflame the emotions of those around us.
“…But what if instead of those angry words and that tirade online we simply go to the person who is standing in our kitchen today and say, “I love you and I am for you”? Or we reach out to someone who is different than us? Because we also fear what we don’t understand. And if we’re spending all our time saying, “here’s my opinion” then we’re not listening, not understanding. Fear wins.
Jennifer asked, “What would it be like if we made a commitment to fight for each other instead of with each other?” It’s a question worth considering if we want to defeat fear. Because if we live with swords drawn in defense then we are always on guard, looking for the next fight, seeing threatening shadows in every corner.
We have a Protector. He is good. He is wise. He is kind. And here’s what we need to know: He hasn’t asked us to be right all the time. He has called us to love. This is the harder, braver choice. Because it requires read more
(c) 2016 Holley Gerth Used with Permission
Love is a way overused word. We say everything along the spectrum
from “I love peanut butter and jelly” to “I love my dog” to “I Love God”. But what does it mean, really, to love? Not in the shallow, generic “I love everyone in the whole wide world” sense, but really loving? The rubber-meets-the-road kind of love. Click on the arrow to listen to Sunday’s message on the subject of love.
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