Its About Time

A message from the Pastor


As we seek to make changes in our lives one of the areas we tend to focus on is the use of our time. Many of us resolve to slow down and not live at such a hectic and busy pace.

Why do we do live our lives like this?  Why do we continue to try to keep up this pace? I think it is because we have bought into what one author calls the Four Myths of busyness.


Myth #1: Busy equals important.

We have a warped sense of pride when we are able to report, “I am just too busy”.  We seem to feel more significant when we report that we have “too much to do”.  We actually take a measure of pride in announcing to people that we are workaholics!  Actually, being overly busy cuts us off from the time we need to spend cultivating the important relationships in our life: with our spouse, our kids, our friends, our God.

Myth #2: Someone wins the rat race.

This is a lie because the rat race is all about "what you do" and God is more interested in "who we are."  God will not ask at the judgment, "How busy were you?" Rather, He will ask, "Are you like Jesus?"

Myth #3: Hurrying will buy us more time.

All this technology we now have was supposed to create tons of free time, but in fact it has increased the pace at which we have to work.  Our society is hurrying faster than it ever has, yet, ironically, we seem to have less time than ever before.  Someone said, “The problem with living life in the fast lane is that you get to the toll booth quicker!”  Hurrying will buy more heart attacks, ulcers, stress, and headaches; but not more time.

Myth #4: "Down time" is wasted.

We are made to feel guilty if we aren’t constantly "doing something."  But God instituted the Sabbath into the system and the Scripture is filled with the idea of "God’s rest."

I hope you will all slow down long enough to join us on Sunday as we explore this in              more detail.

Randy

A Fresh Start

As we begin 2019 it is my prayer that we will be focused with a renewed passion and intensity on the vision that God has set before us.  Focus is so important.  For example, diffused light has no power at all.  On the other hand, focused light has tremendous power.  For instance, by focusing the power of the sun through a magnifying glass, you can set a leaf on fire.  But you can’t set a leaf on fire if the same light is unfocused.  When light is concentrated at an even higher level, like a laser beam it can even cut through a block of steel. 
 
In the same way a focused life and a focused church will have far greater impact than unfocused ones.  I believe that is what God desires of us, a focused life and a focused church.  I want to challenge each of you to join me in doing three things that I believe will help us maintain a powerful focus:
 

  1. PRAY – Prayer must be at the foundation of everything we do. This year we will introducing a process of breakthrough prayer. We will be joining together to pray daily for God to breakthrough in new and miraculous ways in our lives and in our church.      A praying church is a powerful church.

 

  1. PARTICIPATE – Be faithful in your attendance in worship, Sunday school, and other important meetings. Get involved by using the gifts and talents that God gave you to make an impact. We cannot afford to remain in neutral.

 

  1. PRIORITIZE – Let us put Christ first in everything. Let us come together in unity under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As we listen and follow Him we will not have time to become diffused and distracted by trivial issues. Instead we become a powerful force unyielding in our pursuit of our mission and goals.

 
I believe that if we are faithful in these things God will do the rest, empowering us to shine brighter than ever before.
 
Happy New Year!
 
Randy
 

Luke 2:41-52

We have just celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, the light that came into the world. We remember what happened in Bethlehem so long ago, how the whole world changed that special night.

We tend to jump right into Jesus' baptism and ministry. However the gospel of Luke offers us a glimpse into Jesus' early years, telling of Jesus presented in the temple and when Jesus is 12 and stays behind in Jerusalem. We can imagine the panic Mary and Joseph felt as they realized a day's journey into returning home that their oldest son Jesus was not with them.

Jesus reminds us of what is most important, spending time with our father. As we close out 2018 and look forward to 2019, it is a good time to reexamine our faith. Are we as close to God as we can get? Can we spend more time in our father's house? Do we need to recommit our lives to God? 

Cara Geiger will be preaching at the modern service. Cara will be preaching on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, how we are the body of Christ together.
 
Pastor Stephanie

Who Will Be A Witness?

One of the most influential men in all of history is a man who lived in the desert. He ate locusts and wild honey, wore clothes from camel’s hair with a leather belt, and lived for one purpose alone – to point others to Jesus Christ. His name is John the Baptist.
 
In his day John was a figure of national prominence. It is worth noting that the ancient historian Josephus wrote more about the life of John the Baptist than about Jesus Christ. John was so well known, so popular and revolutionary, that some even thought he was the Messiah.
 
The Bible says of John, “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light but was sent to bear witness of that Light” (John 1:7–8).
 
“That all through him might believe…” The word him is not referring to Jesus but to John. It’s saying that John was not the light; he was just bearing witness of the light. And it is also saying that through him people might believe. In other words, God was working through John.
 
John was a popular man. A lot of people admired him. If John had wanted it, he could have been a great leader. He could have made a lot of money. But John knew that is not what it was about. He was there to point people to Jesus. He used his popularity and the momentum God had given him to point people in the right direction.
 
This week we continue our Advent series as we take a deeper look at John the Baptist’s life and ministry and discover what we can learn from him as we strive to be a witness for Jesus and influence people in our family, in our neighborhood, or in our workplace and point them to Jesus.
 
Randy

Worthy of Worship

Christmas is a season of light. Everywhere you look there are lights; in windows, on trees, hanging from houses, lining fences. Lights are everywhere this time of year.  Why? Because lights are a symbol of hope. A person lost in a dark cave turns a corner and is relieved to see a ray of sunlight breaking through a crack. A person adrift on a life raft in the middle of the ocean at night is excited when he’s able to say, “I see the light of a ship on the horizon.”
And that is exactly what we need.  All around we see people who walk in darkness:

. . . the darkness of depression
. . . the darkness of disease
. . . the darkness of despair
. . . the darkness of doubt
 
Spiritually speaking, people are living in a world of darkness. We yearn for light to shine into the darkness around us.  Advent comes each year reminding us that into our darkness and night radiant beams of holy light have dawned.  The prophet Isaiah says it like this, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
 
That’s the good news! Just when the world most needed God’s light, a babe was born in Bethlehem of Judea. This Sunday as we begin the Advent Season, we will begin a new series of messages exploring the meaning of Christ’s birth as it is explained in the Gospel of John.
 
That is the first thing that we find is that in the birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ the redeeming Light of the World has come.  “In him was life, and that life was the light of all people.” (John 1:4) No wonder the star shone so brightly over Bethlehem. Light was coming into our world.  No wonder that our Christmas trees and our houses are adorned with hundreds of lights. That’s what Christmas is all about. Light has come into our dark world. 
 
Randy

Persistent in Prayer

There are some who would say to you, “If you have enough faith, if you pray God will answer your prayer.”  I wish I promise you that if you prayed nothing bad would ever happen to you; that you would never get sick, that you would never lose your job, that your kids would never go through a rebellious phase.  Sometimes you hear promises like that on the radio and television.  I would love to be able to promise you that, but I can’t.
 
 In fact, chances are you will go through difficult times; times when you pray for something and don’t get the answer that you want.  You may feel times of loneliness and desolation, and you wonder, “Is anyone even listening?  Is there anyone here?  Does anyone care?  What do you do about times like that?
 
On Sunday as we continue our series on being a “Circle Maker” in prayer we will deal with an issue that is common but can be very troubling.  It is one that occurs with everyone who prays at some point.  It is the issue of unanswered prayer.  There are extravagant promises in the Bible about how our prayers get answered.  And yet at some point, every one of us is going to pray a prayer that just doesn’t result in the answer we want.  What about that?  How does that work?   
 
Have you ever dealt with that question?  Maybe you or a friend or a co-worker, or a family member is struggling with that right now.  I hope you will invite them and join you as we gather in worship on Sunday and how we must be persistent in prayer.
 
Randy

Pray Hard

U.S. News and World Report in December of 2004 did a magazine focusing on the power of prayer: Jeffrey L. Shelter wrote in his article, "The Power of Prayer":

"A pierced and tattooed man quietly bows his head at a noisy lunch counter. A child in pink pajamas kneels at her bedside and recites a familiar blessing. A baseball player crosses himself as he steps to the plate on national television. A white-haired woman lights a candle and weeps silently into her handkerchief for her dying husband. A dark-suited minister prays for peace on Earth, and the Congregation in one voice cries out, "Amen."
 
Prayer has become familiar terrain in modern America. It is woven into the daily rhythms of life, its ethos embedded in the public and private experiences of millions. Indeed, a recent Roper poll found that nearly half of all Americans said they pray or meditate every day-far more than those who regularly participate in religious services. Over the centuries, its practitioners have included saints and scoundrels, skeptics and believers, the meek and the mighty-people of every creed and culture and of every station in life who, whether out of pious faith or primal fear, have reached out to a reality greater than themselves. Prayer has been called the native language of the soul and the universal expression of an innate human desire to make contact with the divine.”

I read that article and my heart and mind resonates with its assertion.  But I like many of you are still left to ask the question, “Why?” Why pray?  Does prayer really matter?  Is the time that we spend in prayer worthwhile or is it just wasted time?  Does prayer make any difference?  Is prayer really nothing more than just some sort of pious self-talk?  Does the God of the universe really care about little ol’ me?   Can God possibly care about my prayers?  Why pray if God already knows everything anyway?
 
On Sunday we will be looking deeper into these questions as we dig deeper into this very important aspect of our faith and relationship with God.
 
I will be looking for you on Sunday!
 
Randy

Pray Boldly

This coming Sunday, November 4 is going to be a very special and exciting day in the life of our church!
 
The morning will begin with our Praise Service in the Sanctuary. At that service we will celebrate All Saints Sunday.  The service will feature a special time to remember and honor those in our church family who have gone on to be with the Lord in the past year. We will also share Holy Communion together. 
 
Following the Sunday School hour, the entire congregation will gather in the Fellowship Hall at the 11:00 o’clock hour for Celebration Sunday! Our Stewardship Team has planned a very special morning that will enable the entire congregation to gather as one body for a time to fellowship and to celebrate the many ways God has used our hands to accomplish His plans.
 
This exciting event will feature remarks from our pastors and lay leaders and inspiring music by our Children’s Choir, Praise Teams and Chancel Choir. There will be a special memorial tribute to all of our members who have gone on to be with the Lord in the past year. The morning will conclude with our 2018 God’s Plans…Our Hands Video celebrating the many ways we have seen God working through our church in the past year and the announcement of the results of the stewardship campaign. These and several other surprises will make this a time you won’t want to miss!
 
Please come and join us as we celebrate and give thanks to God for the great things He has done!
 
Other important reminders:

  • In honor of All Saints Sunday please remember to bring a framed picture of those in your life whose legacy has inspired you in your journey of faith that you can add to our display.

  • Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend.  Please do not forget to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night before you go to bed.

  • Stewardship Commitment Forms:  If you have not yet had the chance to turn in your 2019 commitment form please consider doing that this week.  You may bring it with you on Sunday and place it in the offering plate.  You may also drop it by or mail it in to the church office. Or this year you may also complete a Commitment Form online by clicking the following link to our website: https://www.newcreationumc.org/2019-letter-of-financial-support

 

  • Thank you for your generous support of the work of the church!

 
Randy

Open Handed or Tight Fisted

As we approach Commitment Sunday on October 28 and the climax of our Fall Stewardship Campaign, I hope that you have given some time to prayerfully reflect on the stewardship of the resources that God has entrusted to you.  Stewardship for Christians is a way of life that recognizes that everything we have is God’s, and we are simply managing those resources while here on earth. Through our stewardship, we are the heart, spirit and hands of God, reaching out in love to share with our world.   
 
Hopefully you received the second stewardship mailing last week. The mailing included a letter with important information, a step-up chart, and your 2019 Stewardship Commitment Form.  Recognizing that the Lord calls us to use Our Hands to accomplish His Plans we pray that you will commit to honor Christ through the commitment of your time, talent and treasure in an even deeper way in the year to come.   Please complete the Commitment Form and seal it in the envelope and bring it with you to church on Sunday. You may also mail it in to the church office. This year you may also fill out a Commitment Form online by going to our church website.
 
During the service, together we will present and consecrate our gifts and commitments to the Lord.  This is always a very special and sacred service.
 
Thank you for allowing God to use your hands to accomplish His plans.  We really appreciate your commitment to our congregation!
 
Randy

God's Plans...Our Hands

This week we are beginning the final phase of our year-long stewardship emphasis God’s Plans … Our Hands.  In this campaign we have learned that stewardship for Christians is a way of life that recognizes that everything we have is God’s, and we are simply managing those resources while here on earth. Through our stewardship, we are the heart, spirit and hands of God, reaching out in love to share with our world.  It is this obedience and believing that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.  This is truly how God’s plans are fulfilled through our actions.   
 
We want everyone to experience the joy of sharing meaningfully in the ministry and mission God has called us to. I know that some react to the term stewardship by rolling their eyes and searching for the nearest exit. But that reaction indicates a misunderstanding of the concept. To expect that we won’t talk about stewardship, or that our members won’t encourage one another to practice it, would be like expecting a symphony director and its members not to talk about or encourage one another to play their respective parts.
 
The call to stewardship is the invitation for us to do our part as members of Christ’s Body on earth; to use our hands to accomplish God’s plans. We are not just observers in an audience witnessing the wonderful work of God. We are members of the orchestra who get to and, in fact, are expected to actively participate in that wonderful work. Doing our part so that the great work of God may unfold for the benefit of all—this is stewardship and it is where the joy of living the Christian life is experienced.
 
The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:16, “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”  Whether in ways that seem small or significant, whether with gifts that appear miniscule or major, the persistent call is for each of us to simply do our part. God alone knows which gifts are the greatest.  God alone is the one who can turn even the humblest offerings into those that change the world.
 
Randy

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

There is an old expression that goes, “There are two things you cannot avoid, death and taxes.”  Well I think that it would be more accurate to say there are three things you can’t avoid in this life; death, taxes, and temptation.
 
Temptation is something we all have to deal with in our lives.  It is always there.  In fact, someone has said temptation is like a telemarketer, it comes to us when it is least convenient

  • it comes back again and again

  • it keeps pushing even after you say "No"

  • it makes what it is selling sound great . . . but there is always a catch

Someone else asked, "Why is it that opportunity knocks only once . . . but temptation knocks persistently? 
 
This is especially true as we strive to live as Christians and to live a holy and Godly life in this world.  All of us who strive to live a Christian life know what it is like to be tempted.  It’s like the T-shirt that I saw one time.  It said, “Lead me not into temptation - I can find it for myself.”
We all understand that temptation is a part of life.  We also understand that temptation leads to trouble.
 
Jesus understood this, that’s why he concluded the prayer He taught His disciples with these words: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13) Join us on Sunday as we conclude our series on The Lord’s Prayer and as we explore how we can stand strong in the midst of temptation.
 
Randy

Our Daily Bread

Sometimes we can become so familiar with something that it loses its meaning, or we take it for granted. This is especially true with things that we have memorized and repeat often. Things like The Pledge of Allegiance or The Apostles’ Creed. Another one is of course, The Lord’s Prayer. Most of us learned the words of the prayer and memorized them as a child. We repeat those words every Sunday in our worship service. And many of us use it as a part of our daily devotional routine. I fear that the words of that prayer are so familiar to us the words just roll of our tongues sometimes without even pausing to realize their meaning and significance. I am hoping that is beginning to change. 
 
Over the last several weeks we have seen that Jesus was giving us far more than just a recitation to repeat. He was giving us a picture of God. He was helping us to see better come to know and love God.
 
So far we have seen that God is the perfect loving parent; Our Father in heaven. We have looked at the reasons why His name is great and is to be hallowed. Pastor Stephanie helped us see how by doing God’s will we usher in His kingdom here on Earth.
 
This week we will look at the next phrase of the prayer, “Give us today our daily bread.”  Are we merely asking the Lord literally for bread, or even to provide us with food?  What does bread represent?  What does it mean to depend upon God?  Can he truly be trusted to provide for our daily needs?
 
On Sunday we will explore these and other similar questions.  I believe that the truth’s we will share will open up a whole new way of looking at life in those times in life when you’re worried and anxious.  Join us as we learn what it means to trust in God to supply our daily needs.
 
I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!
Randy

Hallowed Be Thy Name

As most of you know Robin and I are soon to become grandparents for the first time. Our son Robbie and his wife Kelli are expecting their first child near the end of January. To say that we are excited is an understatement! We can hardly wait for that little one to arrive so that we can love and spoil them! In the next week or so, we will have “The Big Reveal Party” where we will all find out if this blessing from God will be a little boy or a little girl.
 
One of the things that we have all enjoyed in this time of anticipation is thinking about names for the baby. Robbie and Kelli have already given this a lot of thought. They have names picked out for both a boy or a girl. The names they have chosen have special meaning for them and will serve as a way to honor and identify that child for their entire life.
 
You know, there's great power in a name. It says who we are, it's what we are known by to all those around us. When you get to know someone, and you learn their name, you learn something deeper about who they are. And there's nothing so powerful as the name of our Lord God. There are over 256 names given in the Bible for Jesus, some used exclusively for Him and some used interchangeably with God the Father.
 
Meditating on God's names helps me to adore Him, to worship Him.  His names represent His character.  Our God is one God, but He is so complex that no one name can adequately capture who He is.  God desires for us to know Him and so He has chosen to reveal Himself through many different names. These names are a gift to us; each one has the power to draw us closer to Him, to help us better understand who He is.  The better we know Him, the more we are able to love and worship Him.
 
This week as we continue our look at the Lord’s Prayer, we will look at the phrase, “Hallowed be Thy name.” I used to think those words were a call to worship and pretty much dismissed them as part of the preface to the actual prayer. I hadn’t realized that they are the first petition (or request) the prayer makes. In those four prayerful words, “Hallowed be thy name,” we are appealing to God to help us keep His commandment about not dishonoring
His name! That sentence, however, means far more than just not cursing or committing perjury after promising to tell the truth.
 
I hope you will join us on Sunday as we explore the question, “Why should I hallow
God’s name?”
 
Randy

Our Father

The Lord’s Prayer.  Most of you have known the Lord’s Prayer; the Our Father, for many, many years.  Maybe when you were a child, you memorized it in Sunday school.  We recite it every Sunday in our worship services.  Most of you can pray it even without thinking about it.  “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth…” and you don’t even think about it.  But these are profound statements. 
 
Actually, The Lord’s Prayer is several prayers. Each phrase is really a prayer in and of itself.  With these familiar words, Jesus not only taught how to pray, but he described the God to whom we are praying. The prayer reveals to us the God He wants us all to know and love! Each of those phrases, if you look at them in detail provide for us powerful picture of who God is but also serve as a means of more profound connection with God and a source of inner peace. 
 
So on Sunday, we’re going to begin a new series of messages taking a detailed look at the Lord’s Prayer.  We will examine each individual phrase and what it means to your life.  I believe that as you begin to better understand the Lord’s Prayer and you don’t just pray it; you live it – it will change your life.
 
This week we will examine the opening phrase of the prayer, “Our Father who art in heaven.”
 
I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!
Randy
 

He's Still Got the Whole World in His Hands

 

How many of us have listened to the local, national and global news and wondered, “What in the world is going on?”  Just this week there’s been another mass shooting. Political rancor seems to be at an all-time high. There are daily reports of violence in the streets of our neighboring cities. Without a firm foundation of biblical truth, we can easily be overcome with fear and despair.

 

When I was growing up, we used to sing: “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” and I believed it.  I could just picture God’s huge hands holding the world.  Then we grow up, get married, have a family, get a job, and as life starts happening, we slowly lose focus of this.  Careers, problems, bills, responsibilities, and problems grow bigger and bigger.  And as that happens, the hands of God seem to look smaller and smaller. 

 

The good news is God’s hands have not changed.  What happens is our outlook changes.  He still has the whole world in His hands!

 

Do not lose sight of God’s hands.  When the news threatens to dislodge your peace or cause despair, when the ups and downs of daily life cause stress and frustration, remember who holds you in His hands.  Just keep singing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

 

See you Sunday!

 

Randy

 

My Story

We are finishing up an amazing week here at the church.  Each day over 80 youth have filled our building as through worship, study, prayer, missions, and fun around the theme, My Story, No Filter. They have learned that God loves us and cares about us and the story of our lives just the way we are, no filter needed.  As I have witnessed the energy and enthusiasm on the faces of all the youth as they worshipped and listened to our speaker and leaders I have been reminded of God’s unconditional love. As I watched the young people enthusiastically engaging in mission and service activities in our church and community I have been reminded that God calls us to help make a difference in the story of other people’s lives.
 
There are so many people to thank for making this amazing week possible - staff, leaders, and volunteers.  This is what makes our church so amazing; many people using their talents and gifts to reach out to the youth of our community to the honor and glory of God.  The effort of all these dedicated servants has made an impact on the lives of these youth that will not soon fade.
 
A couple of remarkable results have come from Youth Week. Our young people packaged 20,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. This makes 170,000 meals over the last ten years! And on Thursday our youth assembled and packaged 420 hygiene kits that will go to support the work of UMCOR. Finally, 11 young people who did not own a Bible of their own were presented with their very own Bible! The support of this entire congregation makes all of these ministries possible. Thank you!
 
Please plan to join us on Sunday for our Youth Sunday worship services. We will have services at 8:30 and 11:00 am. Our youth will be leading the services and sharing with the entire congregation their passion for the Lord.  The 11:00 AM service will feature one combined service so that the entire New Creation family can worship together and enjoy the service our youth have prepared. Please make a special effort to be here to support them.
 
See you Sunday!
 
Randy

Walking Obediently

Over the last several weeks we have been in a series called Walking in the Way. Jesus once described our faith as walking a road. Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” This is what this series has been about; how to walk this road that Jesus points us to; the path that actually leads to life.
 
Each week we have looked at one of the best places to learn how to walk this road, the book of psalms. We have learned how to walk blamelessly with God by staying in community with God’s people and immersing ourselves in God’s Word. We have learned to walk confidently with God even in times of trouble through when we remember His faithfulness and His greatness.
 
This week we are going to look at a third thing the psalms tell us is essential to walking the path that leads to life, walking obediently. Obedience is a difficult word for many of us. We think rules are meant to be broken. We think the speed limit sign is a suggestion. We mix the colors with the whites when we do the laundry. But what about in our walk with Jesus? There have been times in my life when I have walked disobediently with God. And in those times, I’ve found myself on this downhill, easy to walk road, that ultimately leads to a place of utter destruction. But as I walk obediently with God, even though often it is not as easy, I find I’m walking on a road that leads to life; that leads to joy.
 
I hope you will join us as we look at how we can walk obediently with God and be free for this joyful obedience.
 
Randy
 

Walking Confidently

As we strive to walk with God there are times when that walk is easy. The path is smooth and level. The journey is without any obstacle or complication. When everything is going well, it’s easy to believe in God’s faithful love and that He indeed is working out His plans for our lives.
 
But what about when the walk is tough? When things aren’t going well? When the path is hard and steep and fraught with danger and trouble? When our boss berates us, when our kids disobey us, when our spouse ignores us, and when our health fails us, has God abandoned us? Are His plans still in motion? How can we walk confidently even in the midst of all the problems?
 
That is our question this week as we continue our series Walking in the Way. Thankfully we are not alone when it comes to walking through trouble. King David is one of the heroes of the Bible and yet he experienced many times of trouble. He wrote many of the psalms, many of which were songs of lament in the midst of trouble. We will look at one of the most beautiful and powerful of those Psalms, Psalm 138.
 
We often struggle to be thankful and confident when we’re disappointed or hurt. We hold God responsible for our troubles and easily forget all the ways in which He has blessed us. Psalm 138 reminds us of the many reasons we can be genuinely grateful, without a hint of resentment or bitterness, even in the midst of our hardships. As we take a look at this psalm we will find the many reasons that we like David can walk confidently with God even in the midst of troubles.
 
We all face troubles and difficulties in life. We are in one of three camps. We are either coming out of trouble. We are in the midst of trouble. Or whether we know it or not we are heading towards times of trouble. Whatever road you are walking right now this message is for you. We will find that as David even when we are surrounded by trouble, we can confidently say, “Surely the Lord would work out the plans for his life.” How? By reflecting on God’s character.
 
Invite a friend and don’t miss worship this Sunday!
 
Randy

Walking Blamelessly

A Message from the Pastor

Do you like to walk? When we lived in Sterling one of the things I enjoyed was the walking trail that ran behind our parsonage. The W&OD Trail was an old railroad line that had been converted into a public trail. The trail was nicely paved, neatly kept, and well lighted. It ran nearly 45 miles from Shirlington near Washington, DC west through Sterling all the way to Purcellville, VA. I loved being able to walk right out of our back door, take the path cut through the woods and pick up the trail. I logged many miles running and walking along that trail through the years. The walking/running was good physical exercise and the beauty of God’s creation and seeing God’s handy-work was great for one’s spirit. I would often listen to uplifting praise music or spend time in prayer with God.
 
Along the trail, you would meet people of all ages some walking, some running, some riding bikes, some walking dogs, some walking as families and others by themselves. Some seemed to be on a mission as they walked, and others appeared to have no agenda. Some would smile and say “Hi” or ask, “How is your day?” and others wouldn’t even look your way.
 
When I think of “walking,” the similarities between walking physically and walking spiritually are a lot alike. Followers of Jesus often use the phrase “walk with God” to describe their relationship with God. The spiritual journey is a pilgrimage, a walk. Throughout the song and prayer book of the Bible, the Book of Psalms, the songwriters and poets use “walk” to describe this reality as well.
 
In these next four weeks of July, we at New Creation will look at four dynamics of this “walk with God.” We will examine four of the most well-known psalms in the Bible and explore what they teach us about walking in the Way.
 
This week we will begin the series with a look at Psalm 1 and how it teaches us to “Walk Blamelessly.” I pray that you will join me in praying for this week’s message as we begin this new series and I pray that you invite your friends and family to join us each week.
 
Randy
 

The Paradox of Freedom

A Message from the Pastor

On Wednesday of next week, on the 4th of July we will celebrate our nation’s 242nd birthday. It was nearly two and a half centuries ago that the United States of America was born. A nation based on the ideals of liberty, responsibility, Godliness, and the freedom to become what God intended us to become was a new and revolutionary idea.

The celebration of our nation’s birthday is really a celebration of freedom. We celebrate the precious gift of freedom we have because of the price others paid. You see, we must remember that freedom isn’t free. Freedom is very expensive. It has come to us because of the blood of many brave men and women shed in defense of our freedom. It has cost some people everything, including their lives. Freedom isn’t free, but it is infinitely valuable.
 
On Sunday we will exercise our freedom and gather to worship here in God’s house at New Creation UMC.  As we do we will celebrate another form of freedom; a freedom that has also been purchased for us by the shedding of blood; the blood of God’s only Son.  Scripture says, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:35-36)

On Sunday we will remember and celebrate His sacrifice that offers us that freedom as we observe Holy Communion.  If you want to be truly free, free from all that has tied your life down and buried you under a mountainous weight of fear and guilt, then this Sunday’s message is for you.

See you on Sunday!

Randy