Archives for October 2014
As I look forward to spending Thanksgiving with family and friends, I remember that I have much to be thankful for, and when you think about it, I bet you do too. And, who created all these things we’re thankful for? Yep, God. For preschoolers this month, our BASIC TRUTH is: God made me. Our BOTTOM LINE is: Thank You, God, for everything.
This month our preschool friends are learning to say, “Thank You, God, for everything.” Thank You, God, for the trees outside. Thank You, God, for the food I eat. Thank You, God, for my toes and my feet. They’re learning that everything comes from God, and we should thank Him for it. When is the last time you said “Thank You” to God? Yesterday at the dinner table? Or was it last night before bed? Did your preschooler hear you thanking Him? Does she know you are thankful, too? Model a thankful heart this month and watch your child join in the fun while growing in gratitude. Help your child start a “Thankful Tree” on the kitchen wall. Let your preschooler draw or write something she’s thankful for on a paper leaf each day. Parents and siblings can play, too. Soon, you will have a wall full of thankfulness. Visit www.TheParentCue.org and see how others are not just surviving, but thriving during these parenting years.
Now, onto our Elementary friends…..
Have you ever been watching a sporting event where one of the teams played like they were falling apart at the seams?
The pitcher giving up run after run.
The defensive line that just can’t stop anyone.
The full-court press that simply can’t get the ball back.
It’s a mess. Finally the coach calls it: “Time out!”
He brings the team in, takes a moment to regroup. He adjusts and recalibrates to get his team ready to get back on the field and face their opponent.
The same goes for life.
Everything can be going well. You’re happy at work. The kids are excelling at school, and they are even getting along with each other at home. Life seems pretty perfect.
Then over time something happens. Not overnight and maybe even so gradually that you don’t notice it. But one day you wake up and it seems like nothing’s going right and everyone is grumpy.
Something is off.
Something is broken.
And everyone needs a time out.
There are just some things that need an adjustment.
God wants to work in your life and the lives of your kids to tweak some things in your character. In a lot of ways, He’s taking a time out and making adjustments to conform you to the image of His Son. In those times, it’s like God is pulling us over to the side and reminding us when we need to recalibrate a few things.
And it makes sense, really. If God made us, He knows what we need to give attention to. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to His instruction manual and what He has to say about certain attitudes. Take the idea of GRATITUDE, for example. If we never take the time to acknowledge what God has done in our lives or how others have helped us, we may develop an unhealthy ego or a growing frustration at the people around us. We might become bitter and complain about every little thing.
That’s why GRATITUDE is a really big idea that God talks about so much. It affects more of your life than you probably have ever imagined. That’s why we’re taking this month to talk about what it means to show GRATITUDE: letting others know how they’ve helped you.
For week one, we kick off the month by taking a closer look at our memory verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It says, “Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.” (NIrV)
We want to help kids understand why God wants us to give thanks in all circumstances. We believe something will happen in the heart of any child when they learn to take a TIME OUT, think about this verse, and remember the Bottom Line: You always have something to be grateful for.
At the ROCK this year, for the 2nd year in a row, our Advent mission is going to be supporting the local community by growing the MCC scholarship fund. These scholarships are used to provide preschool education to families experiencing hardship. You can support this mission through a donation that can be used in a silent auction basket &/or by joining us for dinner the night of the auction – eat with us and bid on auction items! The dinner and auction are Wednesday, November 19th. There will also be bouncy houses on the playground starting at 5p and the Book Fair going on in MCC that night . You won’t want to miss it!
Holy guacamole – you read the whole thing. Thank you! Here’s this week’s lessons:
Have a great week!
Click here for the daily health tips for November!
Just before moving here, I read a book on leadership about your first ninety days in a new job. What you do, what your first steps are, how you navigate the change for you and the organization – that kind of thing. I was initially astonished when I read that one of the things that you should do is “promote yourself.” It struck me as rather self-serving and a tad obnoxious. You don’t get off on the right foot by promoting yourself with new co-workers and colleagues.
I would have done well to have remembered that when reading, one should read all the way to the end of something in order to get its meaning. The author continued in this chapter (much to my chagrin) to say that he was not, in fact, encouraging you to boast on why you have the new position or seek to advance even further. What he meant by “promote yourself” was to begin seeing yourself as your new role called for you to be. In other words, I should, in my own mind and soul and being, begin to act and think like the Lead Pastor of First UMC of Cary. By doing so, I would actually be the Lead Pastor of First UMC of Cary.
That made more sense. In some ways, we are who we believe ourselves to be. If we live out of a set of convictions and principles that dictate who we are, if we live into our true identity, then we gradually become exactly that.
For Christians, this is vital. We are the baptized; the body of Christ; the church. We are “a holy people.” If we live and act that way, then we actually begin to be that way. A change takes place within us and it shows in how we live. We actually, as Paul might put it, begin to be the saints of God.
It’s hard for us to consider ourselves saints. Saints, we think, are people of extraordinary holiness or virtue. But for the New Testament, “saint” meant baptized. To be a “saint” was simply to be a member of the community, someone water-washed and seeking to live the Jesus life. It was that simple; it was that complex.
This Sunday, we will gather and observe our annual “All Saints'” remembrance. We will read the names of church members who have joined the Church Triumphant in the past year; we will give time for you to name others who have mattered to you on the journey who have gone ahead. We will gather at the table and join the communion of saints in the holy meal. We will give thanks for the witness of those before us and we will name them as saints.
And we will look forward to living into our own title change. We will remember that Christ calls us to be saints. We will try together to find ways to act like saints and discover that is what we are becoming: not extraordinarily holy or virtuous, perhaps, but becoming so by God’s grace.
Grace and peace.
THANK YOU NOTES
November 9 – Thanks for Nothing – Exodus 16:2-15; Matthew 20:1-16 We tend to grumble while God is extremely generous.
November 16 – Thanks in Advance – Philippians 4:4-9 We make requests known to God as we give thanks. We find in giving thanks that the peace of God stands guard over our hearts.
November 23 – Thanks for Everything – 2 Thessalonians 5:16-24 To be found blameless at Christ’s coming, we live grateful lives.
His Way to Start Your Week will begin their Advent Study on Nov 17th and they have a few openings available! They will continue on after Advent with some other great studies! They meet on Monday mornings. Click Here for more information and to register!
The MCC May calendar of events is now available on the Calendars Page. Take a look at what’s in store for the end of the year so you can plan to share in all your child’s fun activities. Each classroom will receive specific information on times and locations closer to the specific dates of their events. Happy Planning!
“One of the happiest moments ever is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.”
Witness! 4th Sunday in the Sermon Series
Go! Make! Invite! Share!
This Sunday we have a lengthy encounter with Jesus, the man born blind, the man’s parents, the disciples, and a whole community of religious leaders and neighbors. John 9 is a wonderful story of healing and redemption that brings great glory to God! This healing brings new life and hope to a man who has suffered for years! It is worthy to be shared! And yet, there are so many other things happening that we almost fail to see the reason for celebration! There is conflict and argument and fear and doubt: these other layers almost make us miss the opportunity to rejoice and share in the good work of God!
How often do we miss sharing God’s life-giving and redeeming work with others because our own lives are too full or have too many “unhelpful” layers! This Sunday we will peel back the layers and see what we can see from everyone’s responses to Jesus. That is a good and helpful thing.
But we do not gather just to learn about how everyone else responds to Jesus. We will peel back the layers to our own responses for we want to encounter Jesus! We want to confront our own spiritual blindness so that Jesus can heal us, and send us out to share God’s good work with others! And this is cause for great celebration and rejoicing!
Jesus is who he says he is! All the signs and healings validate that he and the Father are one; Jesus is the one sent from God to save us. Let none of us delay healing even one more day. See you this Sunday.