PAUL’S PAST.……….I have been spending more time lately studying the Apostle Paul.  The more I discover, the more I appreciate him.  Paul was someone who never looked to his past as an excuse for fruitless living in the present.  Rather, Paul looked to his past to see the special ways God had shaped and formed him for the present.  Huge difference.

Consider I Timothy 1:15-16, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.  But or that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”

It is so easy to play the victim when we think about our past.  How often have you heard someone say, “My friend really hurt me and it still affects me”?  Or, “I was wronged and it still hasn’t been righted!”  It is so easy to look at our sins of the past as an excuse not to live in new ways.

The good news is that our past is forgiven through Jesus.  In addition……every aspect of your past–even your sins–God has used to transform you for fruitfulness and the living of today.  How has God used each of these components in your past to shape you for the living of today?:

  • Family heritage
  • Friends and associates
  • Historical events around the time of your life
  • Personality traits
  • Birth order and siblings
  • Language and education
  • Passions and preferences
  • Mistakes/Failures/Sins

Paul knew that even from the beginning of life, God had specific plans for him.  This allowed him to look at his past in a whole new way.  I hope Paul’s way of living inspires you today!

FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN UPDATE………As of this morning, we have 450 volunteers signed up for the FMSC event at the Benton County Fairgrounds on May 6th and 7th.  Thank you for signing up, this is an amazing response already!  If you have not signed up yet, you should do so in the next couple of days, once we reach 500 volunteers we will have reached capacity.  Also, we still need to raise funds!  Save your nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies (yes, we’ll take dollar bills too!)  and place into the box in the narthex of church.  Plan on donating at the baked potato bar at church this Sunday after worship.

GAME NIGHT…………We are gathering for fellowship, dinner and games this Friday (April 15) at 6 pm.  Bring and share your favorite game.  Join in a game of cards.  Check in with someone that you haven’t seen for awhile.  Whatever the reason may be, come and take part.  Bring drink and side to share.  Pizza will be provided.

STONEYBROOK…………We are singing at Stoneybrook this Sunday at 3 pm.  All are welcome!

ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL……….This Sunday we are unpacking Chapter 21 of The Story.  This covers the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem as described in Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi.  Think about how God has and is rebuilding your life.  What makes the rebuilding process scary?  What makes it exciting?  Come and share this Sunday at 9:45.