Saturday, December 14, 2013

UBUNTU! - Bulletin 12-08-13

“An anthropologist proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.

When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said: “
UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad”?  UBUNTU in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are.”

Message:  we are one ... we are all connected.  A simple gesture carried out by one person creates a ripple effect through the fabric of mankind.  Something I do will somehow affect you someday so it is of utmost importance that we are mindful of what we say and how we behave.” (Steven Langley/FB)
The Apostle Paul takes this “Ubuntu” concept even deeper.  Not only is our humanity caught up and bound together, but so is our mental and spiritual connectedness in Christ!  We are ONE and are to be Jesus to each other and the world!
“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (Romans 12:4-5)”
UBUNTU!  Becoming closer and more connected with one another is part of God’s grand plan in presenting Jesus’ Body to the world!  Running together, hand in hand, is only part of the sweet fruit Christians enjoy!  God is good all the time!  Mr. Steve 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Almost Slipped - Bulletin 12-01-13


“But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped.  For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  For there are no pains in their death, and their body is fat.  They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind…. always at ease, they have increased in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence....” (Psalm 73:2-5; 10-14)

David almost slipped!  How?  Envy.  Not counting his blessings!  David began to compare his life with those around him; others who seemed to have it much better than he did.  Why do they have it so good?  Why are they not troubled and broken like me?  And that’s not all....David entertained the unimaginable: his quest for purity of heart being pointless.  
Have you ever done this?  Have you ever compared your life, your bank account, your concerns, your problems with those who seem to have it much better than you – financially, emotionally, relationally…?   And then speculated your pursuit for purity as futile?   
Yes.  David came ever so close to slipping!  So, what truth kept David from going under?  Read Psalm 73:16-20!  David perceived the end of all who live lives separate and apart from a holy God!  Eternal destruction!

Dear Rochester family, let us learn from David’s experience.  We don’t have time to waste by envying and comparing our lives with others – good or bad.  Jesus’ life reveals all our sin.  

Thank You, Jesus, for the greatest of blessings --redeeming us, forgiving us, and giving us the ministry of reconciliation!  AND FOR CATCHING US WHEN WE ALMOST SLIP!    
                                                                                                God is good.  Mr. Steve 

Tasty! - Bulletin 11-24-13


     I miss Patti’s grandmother; what a spiritual giant!  “Granny” passed away ten years ago, at the age of 95, but I still think of her often.  Right up until she went on to be with the Lord, Granny was leading Bible studies in the nursing home with other residents.  She brought several men and women to the Lord in her 90’s! 

    Yesterday I happened across Granny’s infamous pie crust & homemade cracker recipe: (2 and 1/4 cups unbleached flour; salt to taste; 1/3 cup of cold water; 2/3 cup canola oil; mix, knead, roll and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes).  If you’re making a pie, just add filling and bake. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Tasty!

      Granny’s recipe reminds me of God’s blueprint for a growing, loving church: Holy Spirit-led sheep; Bible-based teaching and preaching; compassionate care-giving; mission -minded focus; marriage and family support; THANKFUL HEARTS FOR ALL GOD’S BLESSINGS; James 1:27 authenticity – all mixed, kneaded, rolled and baked with 24/7 prayer!  Tasty! 

      I thank God for bringing the Sikes’ to ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA!  Like Granny, may we all continue to … “grow up in our salvation, if we have tasted that the Lord    is good (1Peter 2:2b-3).  TASTY!  

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!
Mr. Steve