“When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

O God, Our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home! 

Isaac Watts, the composer of the beloved hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past was considered the father of English Hymnody.

Choose this day whom you will serve. “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15 

This week we will celebrate those students who are graduating from High School. This is a tremendous milestone with many reasons to rejoice. This also means you who are graduating or those of you have children who are, will experience a major shift in your life. For myself, college was the place where I became the person I am now and discovered what God was calling me to do. It was at college that I was able to discover my true self, and not have to follow the decisions of others.

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

Summertime is almost here! Things seem to slow down at the church during the summer. I hope that you will find ways to stay connected through the summer months. I invite you to sing in the choir this summer. During the months of June, July, and August, the Parish Choir will rehearse every other week and we would like to invite you to join us for rehearsals and sing during the worship services.

Mother’s Day 

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...Today is a good day to have a good day.” When a church member said this a few weeks back, I began thinking about our need to make every day a good day, and came up with a few ideas to make our day a good day. 

First, notice the good God has already dropped into your day. As the Psalmist reminded God’s people long ago, and Ms. Dell reminded us every Sunday, “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Recalling how miraculous it is that I can see well enough to read, to hear well enough to comprehend and understand well enough to grasp,

Finding The Way Home 

Because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24 

The story of the prodigal son brings the message of the grace of God to life. We see the father offer forgiveness and reconciliation even before his son asks.

Over 10,000 people a day turn sixty-five in America each day. We are in the beginning of the largest bubble of retirement aged citizens in the history of our society. This growth in seniors will continue well into the next decade. In fact, the population of sixty-five plus will outnumber under twenty- five in that time span.

Awaiting the return of Jesus 

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9: 27-28. 

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...I want to go back to something I briefly mentioned Sunday: the difference between a dead hero and a Living Lord. We all know the names of many dead heroes like Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa, Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr., national military leaders and local school teachers. For each one of those, we remember things they said, what they did and even pass on their wisdom to others. We might even have a day set aside to remember them. But Easter was meant to be a day set aside, not for a dead hero, but for the Living Lord.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

We are in the midst of Holy Week. We began our journey last Sunday as we waived our palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!” “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the LORD!” How quickly this parade turns into the darkest day in history. I hope that you have been able to come to the church this week (or will by Saturday) and pray through the Stations of the Cross. This truly humbling reminder of Jesus’s last hours on earth, from the Garden as he prayed alone to being laid in the tomb, is a transformative glimpse into what our Lord suffered.

The Folded Napkin 

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. John 20:1-7 

This past week you may have seen images of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, but those images were not what you expected to see. The Cathedral caught fire and was severely damaged, while burning for several hours. The timber roof collapsed causing the fire on the inside of the stone walls to rage, all this while firefighters, first responders, and even some priests attempted to save whatever they could while also calming the blaze. One aerial shot of the fire at night was even more disconcerting for me, because the cathedral was built in the shape of the Cross, and so it was just a cross of fire and destruction. With this happening at the beginning of Holy Week, the images are even more powerful. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

A word about Holy Week Services... 

We are fast approaching one of the most holy experiences of the Christian year, Holy Week. As we draw closer to the cross, we are reminded of the final days of Jesus' life. We stand at the gates to Jerusalem and shout "Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!".

Walking in the Humbleness of Jesus 

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus......He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death-even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-11
During our Lenten journey we have looked at unveiling the gospel, understanding the grace of God, being a faithful disciple and church, and focusing on our relationship with Christ.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...Are you ready for the rapid series of events in Holy Week? Our reading last Sunday (John 12) came right after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11. Chapter 12 starts with Lazarus’ sisters hosting a great feast, which is also where Mary anoints Jesus with the alabaster jar of expensive nard (“for my burial,” Jesus says). John jumps from that dinner to Jesus riding a donkey colt into Jerusalem as crowds shout “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 

Lenten Services 

- Lenten Midday Prayer on Wednesdays at 12:05 p.m.

- Holy Week Prayer Stations 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (in the Sanctuary/garden area, Use the Troy Door entrance to the Sanctuary.) 

The power of Jesus is alive in you 

“By what power or in what name have you done this?...... let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene- whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead- by Him this man is standing here before you healthy.” Acts 4:7,10 

Transitions of Dyer County is a local ministry that operates a residential recovery program for women with life controlling problems. The women are nurtured and discipled in the love of Jesus Christ in a safe environment conducive to life transformation. Transitions operates primarily on donations which are tax deductible and is very grateful for your help in changing lives and restoring families. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

We are halfway through this season of Lent. I hope that this season of prayer and reflection has been transformative for you; it certainly has for me. I want to invite you to some special times of worship and prayer during these next few weeks. 

Youth Sunday Is This Sunday! 

The Youth Group, volunteers, and I want to invite you to join us in worship this coming Sunday. The entire service will be youth led and you will witness these amazing students pour out their hearts to our Savior!

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...When George Walton died in a 1962 car accident, authorities found a strange nickel in a velvet package at the crash site. Walton knew the value of his special coin because he had researched how a rogue worker at the US Mint made it fifty years before. When the US Treasury decided in 1913 to change the image on nickels from the old Liberty Head to the Buffalo nickel, long-time mint worker Samuel Brown was changing the plates late one night so they would be ready the next morning. After changing the year plate to 1913, Brown decided to keep the Liberty image plate and run five coins for safe keeping. For years, the story and the value of those coins was known by few people,

Happy Spring Break!

See Brian for Deere Run sign-up’s. We have a few extra spots available. Thank You! 

May you and your families have a Blessed Week, Brian, Mary, Brylee, & Holland Funderburk 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1 

As we journey through this season of Lent, we see glimpses of grace and truth.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.”—Mark 10:13-16 (NRSV). 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified”

We are now in the season of Lent. The Lenten season has always fascinated me; you must admit, it is sort of strange. We come to church, have ashes put on our forehead, and are asked to keep a Holy Lent. Then we spend the next 40 days (not including Sundays) in sort of a mournful state... or at least most of us do!

A Righteous Relationship

During Lent we are called to focus on our relationship with Jesus. Preparing for Easter includes preparing our hearts to receive the resurrected Savior. Our scripture reading this week focuses on maintaining a pure way of life, this is the only life that Jesus can be apart of. How can we do this on our own? How can we live up to the expectation of a perfect God? How can we live Christ like in a world saturated with sin? “With my heart I seek you.......

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...In last Sunday’s Episcopal address to over a thousand churches in Tennessee & West KY, Bishop McAlilly reminded us that General Conference did not bring peace to the group called Methodist. This lack of peace, absence of unity is too common in today’s society where people talk much more about what they stand against than what they stand for. Even the term “disaffiliation” is being named as a social trend because we as a society spend more time and energy deciding what we don’t like than what we do, declaring who we reject, and why, than who we accept, and why. We as the Church must give society a better alternative. In this season of Lent, we must practice the alternative now.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

Today marks an important time in the life of the Church – the beginning of Lent. Today is Ash Wednesday. This evening we will gather together in the sanctuary to pray and be reminded of our mortality. As we receive ashes in the sign of a cross on our foreheads, we will be reminded “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

A faithful disciple of Jesus 

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34 

We must first deny ourselves. It is not what we want for our lives but what Christ wants for us. Our thoughts and ideas apart from Christ are leading us away from him.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...The best of intentions does not guarantee the best of outcomes. Leaders in church, non-profit and in corporate America have listened for decades to the wisdom of Guy Kawasaki who helped Steve Jobs in the early days of Apple. One of the nuggets of wisdom Guy shares often came not from the business world but from the ordinary life—interesting but ordinary—life of being a husband and father. When Guy and his wife had their first child, they were determined to be politically and environmentally correct. They were going to use cotton diapers and wash them themselves. Two weeks went by. Doing your own cotton diapers, they discovered, is quite difficult.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

One of my all-time favorite hymns is Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. This well-known hymn was penned by Robert Robinson in 1758. Robinson was preparing to preach at the Calvanist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England and wrote the lyrics to this hymn to accompany his sermon for the day.

God’s Grace Is Greater Than Our Brokenness 

“Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right sprit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51: 9- 12 

Glimpsing Grace & Truth…Winners and Losers. “this % for; that % against”—difficult but decisive votes.  So last night, the Methodist pastor was asked by their neighbor about General Conference, “Who won?”  In today’s terms, it sounds like a good question. At least, it’s a normal question…because "winners and losers" is how we usually gauge things.  It’s how we gauge things in sports, since pretty much every sporting event has a winner and a loser (with the occasional tie). Every election has winners and losers.  Every ballot, every survey, every competition has winners and losers.  If we use such a strict definition of winning and losing, then our high school dance team’s 4th place finish last weekend in Orlando’s national competition was a loss.  And unfortunately, the way many view the last four days of General Conference, we talk in terms of winners and losers. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand And cast a wishful eye 

To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.
I am bound for the promised land,
I am bound for the promised land;
O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land. 

In times of trouble 

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. Psalm 37:39-40 

Unlearning Past Lessons to Reach Future Growth... After three and a half years with a large accounting firm, I received a promotion to Manager. My first order of business was going to our training facility outside Chicago, where I joined the 500+ others who had been promoted worldwide that year. We attended teaching sessions lead by some of the brightest minds in business, academia and industry. They helped us realize that despite any talents making us worthy of promotion, we all had many lessons to learn, and some lessons to unlearn. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified”
The season of Lent is just a few weeks away. Here is a look ahead to the many worship opportunities during this season of preparation.

Lenten Schedule

The Way of Love
As we approach Valentine’s Day I thought it would be fitting to look at what the Bible says about love. Love is required of us if we are to live in the image of Jesus. Our actions are without merit in the eyes of God without love. Our faith will make no impact without love. Love is the reason God sent Jesus to die on the cross; love is the reason Jesus endured the cross, and love is the reason we are to show people the way to the cross.

We live in a time of polarization, division, and conflict. In the world, in the church, and even in our personal lives it is becoming more and more difficult to be in community with people with whom we disagree. This does not mean that we should abandon this work, rather it is part of who we are in Christ’s Church, and this has always been a struggle for us as a people. The apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus and implored that unity was a mark of Christian discipleship. Paul writes “I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

“Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Thou art the potter; I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.” 

A Fisherman’s Tale 

We all have or at least know someone who has a fishing story. You know the one, where the fish gets bigger each time it is told. How about a story where so many fish were caught that it filled up 2 boats! In our lectionary reading for this week we see where Jesus heads out on a boat with James, John, and Simon. The men had been fishing all day with no luck, that is until Jesus stepped in. Jesus used the need that these men had to provide a real example of what faith can do.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...Some time back, I injured a finger on my right hand. After several days of the pain getting worse, I finally went to see a friend who is a hand specialist. There was nothing visible on the outside of my hand indicating it was hurt—not a bruise, not a cut, nothing suggesting an injury. But the pain I felt inside made it clear something was wrong. My friend used one of those state-of-the-art digital X-Ray machines, and within minutes, we could see on the inside of my hand the injuries that weren’t visible on the outside. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

Help us accept each other as Christ accepted us; teach us as sister, brother, each person to embrace. Be present, Lord, among us, and bring us to believe we are ourselves accepted and meant to love and love. 

Let your acceptance change us, so that we may be moved in living situations to do the truth in love; to practice your acceptance, until we know by heart the table of forgiveness and laughter's healing art. 

– Fred Kaan, 1975 

One day in the house of the Lord 

“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:10 

This week we laid to rest a husband, father, grandfather, a friend. A man who changed the life of anyone whom he came in contact with. This man impacted the lives of countless children and youth.

FEBRUARY COMMUNION OFFERING 

Our Communion Offering this Sunday will support Operation 20/20. Based at Emmanuel UMC the volunteers take our old glasses and sunglasses, clean, repair, and grade them so they can be sent out with international mission teams. Then the miracles happen. One of the missionary opticians told about one person they were able to help. A blind 2-year-old boy and his mother walked many miles to reach the mission. An examination determined what the little boy needed. The right prescription for the child was among the donations, but the donated glasses were adult-sized and the frames were so large that the eyeglasses fell from the child’s face.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified”
We’ve finished our Christmas celebrations, packed up our decorations, and now have some time to relax. Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the Epiphany of Our Lord (the arrival of the Wise Men) and a few weeks from today, we will celebrate the Transfiguration of the Lord. What comes after Transfiguration Sunday? That’s right! Lent. I would imagine that some (if not many) people dread the arrival of Lent. After all, we have to give up something! We tend to discipline ourselves more during this penitent season.

The Fulfillment of Scripture
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the Lord’s favor has come.” He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at Him intently. Then He began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Luke 4:18-21

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...Since we talked last week about puzzle pieces, let’s take a closer look at a piece that both fills its spot and touches many other pieces. This piece, our Lay Leadership and Nominations Team, works hard to identify, secure, equip, and assist our laity in reaching their potential as leaders in Christ’s Church.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified”
The phrase “Time flies when you’re having fun” seems to be true. But, perhaps more true, time seems to always fly. Days, weeks, months, and years fly by within the blink of an eye. We grow up, grow older, and begin families of our own. It all moves by so quickly. The seasons of the church help us to move throughout our lives, reminding us of the greatest stories of our faith. We have just finished one such season, Christmas. We are now in the Season after Epiphany. This is often thought of as a season of Light, for our light has come into the world, the Christ Child. In just a few short weeks, we will receive ashes and begin the holy season on Lent... more to come later.