a Newsletter from Grace United Methodist Church, Arlington, TX. 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!
““He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he
sought the Lord, God gave him success” 2 Chronicles 26:5
I enjoy reading about the various Kings in the Book of 2 Chronicles. Leading normal lives, they built towers, fought wars, some did right by God; others chose to do something else. Uzziah, became the King of Judah at the age of 16.It is written that he made it a habit to seek God. And, as long as he did, God gave him success.
He had a well trained army, people all over the land knew of him. He had done just as his father. Things were going well until he let the fame and status get to him. Once it did, he was no longer faithful to God. It was as
though he no longer needed God. When we begin to think that we have it all together without God’s help,
we start to do things out of order. We do things that we know we should not do. Uzziah was raised to know God. However, He had gotten so bold that he went inside the temple and burned incense. He may have thought because he was King he could do what he wanted. Not so. That task was designated to the priests.
Ignoring the priests was the beginning of his downfall. When we, like Uzziah stop seeking God, and begin to ignore God, we set ourselves up for a fall.
God wants us to know him and be in communication with him. He also wants us to remember what it is he has called us to do and do it. He wants us to seek him, to keep our eyes on him so that we don’t become proud like Uzziah did. We have been talking about prayer in Bible Study and also during the worship services. It is through prayer and communication that we are able to distinguish God’s voice over any other voice. As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God gave him success.
It doesn’t take much for us to stop seeking God. The enemy is busy trying to puff us up all the time so that we take our eyes off of God. Telling us what “we” did, what “we” accomplished. Telling us, we don’t need to spend
time with God, we can do that later. God wants us to live successful lives. A way to do that is to take
advantage of the many opportunities that are offered here at Grace to enhance our relationship with God. I encourage you to continue seeking God. Let him know what’s going on in your life and expect a response from God when you do.
Blessings and Peace
Grace to you,
Happy Resurrection Time – Jesus is Alive and so is the Church!
I have to recount the awesome time in God’s presence during the 2014 Women’s Conference.
God used this time to bless us with an outstanding time in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I am so proud
of the persons who were involved and saw changes in their lives.
This month entails our Holy Week Celebration which gives us the opportunity to recognize that because of the cross, we have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. Wow! We no longer have to live lives that “look”like this world, but we can and should live lives like the world to come.
I want to make sure that you are aware that the next few months are full of life transformative events so please set your calendars for the 2014 Financial Freedom Seminar set for May 2-3. Also, set your vacation calendars for July 20-23, the 2014 Immersion in Grace is just around the corner. I have full confidence that these days of Immersion will change your lives.
I watch with all humility as God continues to bless us in many ways. Church, we are growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Remember, we exist 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.
Let’s continue to stay faithful in cooperating with God as we see His faithfulness towards us!
Stay in Love with God and each other,
Pastor Bates and Rona
Growing in Grace
The criteria used when evaluating the performance of our pastor is very detailed. I will not go into detail about the many different areas that we use to evaluate him in, but I will tell you that Pastor Bates' performance rating is off the charts in all areas. He has proven to be an outstanding leader and teacher. If you do not attend Tuesday night bible study, then you're missing a treat. Some of my friends that do attend bible study may say that I’m just saying that because I’m the teacher's pet. It's not that, they are just bothered because I am complimented when I turn my home work assignments in on time.
As a husband and father, Pastor Bates sets an example for all men to follow. Under his leadership Grace has grown spiritually, financially, and membership. Dallas may have their Evans and Jakes, but they don't have what Grace United Methodist Church, Arlington has, our very own Pastor Fred Bates Jr.
Scott Marshall, Chair SPPRC
What started as a journey of grief has turned into a labor of love. After the death of my Dad, Robert C. Jones, Sr., my heart was broken. Never would I have dreamed that being crowned a Queen and honoring my daddy's memory through speaking out against heart disease would afford me such amazing opportunities the past two years. I have so many testimonies! Someday I hope to share them.
Pastor Bates once said change is a product of human effort sustained by the grace of God and permanent change doesn't happen automatically. I'm a living witness! Through prayer, study, prayer and applying the three principles Pastor gave through the Word: 1) Make a change to the glory of God 2) Forgive and leave the past behind - move forward 3) Prepare. Identify and eliminate negative influences in my life, my passion for motivational speaking has emerged.
I will be honest that I have struggled, I have cried, I have felt the darkness, but God! I keep going back to the Word that Pastor preached that day. I read Philippians 3:12-14 and can still hear him say that I must have the
desire. Through my desire, I have continued to move forward living a heart healthier lifestyle, continuing to give back to the community through volunteering, presentations on heart disease, mentoring, speaking, modeling for
a cause (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) and becoming a Pageant Queen!
During the celebration of Go Red for Women, Heart and Soul Magazine chose several women to be cover
models and share a word. I'm honored to share I just recently became your reigning Ms. Arlington Texas Plus America. I need your continued prayers and support as I’m competing for the Texas Title April 25-27 in Garland, TX. I was one of the women! As a Pageant Queen I have a platform and visibility in the community that allows me to be a positive voice. To God be the Glory!
Volunteer Opportunities at Grace
Volunteers needed for VBS, July 7-11, 2014. Please see Jocelyn Hobdy.
Easter Eggs needed for the hunt on Saturday, April 19th. Please help us by bring filled plastic eggs to the church by Tuesday, April 22nd. Thank you