This newsletter comes to let you know about happenings at Grace, and to invite you to reflect on your walk with God as you strive to follow Jesus’ summary of the commandments: to love God, one another, and oneself.
Be ready to imagine the impossible!
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance” 2 Thes. 3:5
“The naturalist and environmentalist Kevin Scribner tells us that salmon make their way upstream by bumping repeatedly into blocked pathways until they find where the current is strongest. Somehow they now that the unimpeded rush of water means that there is no obstacle there, and so they enter this open fervently, for though it is the hardest going, the way is clear”. Mark Nepo.
When I thought about the salmon, I couldn’t help but to think about the many obstacles that I face. I thought about how I have a choice, to continue moving forward with God or I can turn around and wait until I think the road is clear. The scripture from 2 Thes. 3:5, reminds me that God is always directing my path. Because He knows the way, because He loves me, I know that no matter what obstacles I face, the way with God is clear.
When I read that the salmon know that the rush of water means that the way is clear, I can’t help but to think that when I feel like things keep happening in my life, God is right here telling me to keep going so I too, can make it through.
I know, that “life happens” and when it does, I’m to not let it determine my path, but to let God. Inside you will find words of inspiration from our own Grace members.
Blessings & Peace,
Grace to you,
We begin this note with a very special “Thank You!” to all who participated in the “Over and Above Giving Sunday” that took place on April 21st. Based on the initial report from finance, you did more than expected. Some of you even committed to more than you could do on April 21st and for that we are extremely proud. Rona and I are proud of that fact that we are partnered with a committed group of people that are willing to invest in the vision;
At Grace UMC Arlington, God has called us to;
Bring people into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ, by making disciples through our words and actions in cooperation with God’s grace.
Remember to attend the “Financial Freedom Seminar” at the church on Saturday, May 11, 2013. We believe our guest presenters will give great practical insight into securing your financial heath as we continue to look to God for wisdom and freedom in every area of life.
Finally, set your calendars now for “Immersion in Grace 2013” which will be a time to immerse ourselves in the Word of God for three straight days. On those dates, August 18-20, 2013 we will have special speakers nightly at 7pm, powerful worship and music ministry,and daily 9am teaching services where we will dig deep into God’s word.
Take a few vacation days, schedule time away, do what you have to do in order to immerse yourself in the grace of God!
Let’s continue to stay faithful in cooperating with God as we fulfill this ministry! Stay in Love with God and each other,
Pastor Bates and Rona
I went to church this morning, to lift my hands and pray.
All dressed up, and looking good at least it seemed that way.
No one knows my brokenness, no one knows the pain.
No one knows my inner thoughts no one sees my shame.
I find it so amazing how we can gather in.
And laugh and smile and talk awhile not knowing where we’ve been.
Many have great sorrow, many are filled with fear.
But you’re in church, compose yourself – don’t let them see your tears.
What will people think of me if I break down and cry?
Minds rushing in all directions; subconsciously asking why?
Why is she crying? What does it mean? Are things really that bad?
I thought she was a Believer! Where’s the faith she had?
Ignore the things they’re thinking and focus on the One.
Who knows the heart, the inward parts - He gently whispers “Come”.
Come my child and lean on me and lay your shoulder here.
Let me hug and kiss your neck, and whisper in your ear.
Remember that I love you and I will never leave.
You’re not alone, I see your tears. I hear you when you grieve.
Yes, you’re all dressed up and lifting hands and trying to pretend.
Just be yourself, and worship me… my glory I will send.
I’ll shower you with blessings more precious than fine gold.
I’ll take you to the mountain top, My beauty to behold.
We’ll go into the valley with shades of green and blue.
Then journey down beneath the sea – seeing things you never knew.
Alas we’ll journey into heaven, but not for you to stay.
Just want to take you to remind you… Remember – I am the way.
I am the way of peace and joy, the comfort that you need.
I am the way, the only way. Won’t you let me lead?
Oh yes my Lord, I seem to forget that you are all in all.
I had forgotten that you hold me, you never let me fall.
I journeyed through the valley and went beneath the sea.
And all the while you held me close, you wouldn’t let me leave.
We journeyed into heaven, I saw angelic hosts.
The streets of gold, the healing leaves - the pillars and the posts.
I heard the people cheering, I saw the pearly gates.
It’s just too much to comprehend… Ahhh.. Holy Spirit - heavy weight…
Then suddenly I realized that I was back at church.
Lifting my hands and praising God…. but not like it was at first.
Your love had over shadowed me, You held me to Your breast.
Your glorious love had lifted me; You’d given me Your best.
Thank You, Lord, for the reminder - of Your abiding love.
Thank You for the blessings You showered from above.
I went to church this morning, to lift my hands and pray.
And in the lifting, He lifted me… what more can I say.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, The evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Living the Mission Statement
This is an excerpt from an article entitled, "The Discipleship Experience"' written by Paula Geister. It caught my eye because of our Mission Statement:
"Grace UMC Arlington seeks to bring people into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ, by making disciples through our words and actions in cooperation with God's Grace."
"One day I received a lesson about discipline. I learned that the word comes from the root word 'disciple', which means to teach.
Of course, discipleship was modeled perfectly by Jesus Christ to the twelve He chose to be His apostles. He taught them everything they would need to know once His mission was complete. He knew they would need to be able to carry out the Great Commission, which is to make more disciples. He knew they would be building up the Kingdom of God.
Other places in the New Testament in which we can see examples of discipleship are Paul coming under Barnabas' wing when, out of fear, no one wanted to come near him. Barnabas could see the change in Paul and wanted to encourage him.
Once he became a leader and an apostle himself, Paul took Timothy and Titus as students and made them leaders in churches he planted. He must have learned well from Barnabas because he wrote encouraging letters to both Timothy and Titus. Those letters, as well as others, can encourage us today."
We gather each week so our pastor can help us become better disciples. This equips us to live our Mission Statement in our daily lives.
Submitted by Billie Ray
Think this is newsletter material! To God be the glory! In His service, Carole Jones-Lofton
The Power of Eternal Thinking, by Rick Warren (April 13, 2013)
From: "Daily Hope with Rick Warren" <firstname.lastname@example.org