Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
Sisters and brothers, it doesn’t take much work to find bad news. Bad news has always been used to encourage people to surrender control or even give up on a dream. Whether it’s starting your own business or seeking that promotion or moving out of a problematic situation, or simply trying to better yourself, there is never a shortage of people who want you to fail, because your failure benefits them somehow. It’s one of Satan’s favorite tactics. If you can be discouraged in the beginning, you will never reach the end. Makes sense, right? And so, the naysayers have their day because we listen to them. It is a fact: who or what you listen to and focus on will mean the difference between victory and defeat…every time.
There are those who want us to drop back down into the despair of the pandemic. Now I'm not saying don’t pay close attention to what’s new, and based on actual science, maybe modify some behavior temporarily…just maybe. What I AM saying is that there are LOTS of people who still want to use fear to control you, and they will use whatever is handy to distract you or change your focus. And COVID is pretty handy right now. I’m hearing this from lots of people, so I’m asking you to do a quick “gut check” on your level of actual peace in your heart and mind right now.
Please read the Scripture above again…slowly…and maybe a third time right now, and then come back here when you’re done.
What stands out to you? It is very likely God is telling you something in these words right now. What is it? Could it be that your level of real peace is pretty low? If so, why? What does His Word say about that? If you want “that” kind and level of peace, you need to do what? Friends, let Jesus guard you heart and mind, but that won’t happen unless you do what?
I’m doing it because His Word is true every time, and despite the bad news around me, my level of true peace is deep right now. How about you?
Pastor Rusty <><
MORE GOOD NEWS AND UPDATES:
1. Attention College, University & Trade School Students! If you are (or you are the parent of) an active member of Old Bethel and will be attending college, trade school or university this fall, and would like to receive encouraging notes and care packages during the school year through Old Bethel’s College Connect Ministry, please let us know by August 1, by emailing College Connect Coordinator Lynda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Through Old Bethel’s College Connect Ministry, our prayer is that students attending school, both locally and away from home, are encouraged and prayed for as they are making crucial life decisions. We pray they stay connected to Jesus while they are away and we pray for all the major life decisions they are discerning. There are several ways for YOU to be involved in this ministry, including but not limited to a) Being an intentional prayer partner to one specific student; b) Being part of a team who sends monthly cards/letters. You only need send ONE letter to ONE student ONE time during the school year; c) Adopting a specific student for his/her birthday; and/or d)Being part of teams who assemble final exam care packages. If you are interested in being a part of this vital connectional ministry in any way, please contact College Connect Coordinator Lynda Preston at email@example.com.
3. As we return again to two worship services next Sunday, the Staff Parish Relations Committee invites the full congregation for cake and conversation in celebration of the musical contributions of June Hannah between services next Sunday. As we all know at Old Bethel, a celebration is never complete without cake, and we want to properly convey our thanks to June for her tenure as a leader in this congregation. Please join us next Sunday, August 1.
4. The Old Bethel Travelers are back on the road! Join us October 6 for a bus trip to Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, Indiana where we’ll see The Mousetrap, an Agatha Christie mystery. The cost is $70 and checks must be made to OBUMC and either left in the Old Bethel Travelers mailbox in the church reception office or mailed to Brenda Maley, 1640 Park Chase Place, Indianapolis, IN 46229. Seats are limited and checks must be in by August 8. You may contact Brenda at 317-894-1178 with any questions.
5. School Supply Drive: Through August, we are collecting school supplies for our community partners at Pleasant Run Elementary School. We are only collecting the following items: kids scissors, pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, 8-count washable markers, glue sticks, 24-count crayons, rulers, and pencil boxes/pouches. You may place your donations in the special marked collection tub in the lobby.
6. Beginning Sunday, August 1, when we resume two worship services, our Parish Nurses will also resume taking blood pressures from 10:30-11:00am each Sunday. One nurse will be available for this half hour. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available for your use and all equipment will be cleaned between each patient.
7. Our annual Youth Group Open house is August 1! Parents of a youth students, both new or old you are invited to join them after service for a lunch and to learn about youth group. Youth group will be right after. Parents are welcome to stay or come back at 2 to pick up their students.
8. Next Sunday, August 1, is Centurion Cup Sunday. Bring your Centurion Cups to the altar. These donations go to the Angel Fund which provides one-time assistance to those in our community in crisis situations. To become an Old Bethel Centurion, contact Ric Gasaway at 317-894-1431.
9. Summer Fare is August 26, 27 and 28. Volunteer sign up continues through August 8 at church on Sundays or you may contact Janet or Mike Tucker. Janet Tucker 317-989-4562 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up early to get your choice of jobs.
10.Do you knit or crochet? The Prayer Ministry provides prayer shawls to those facing life’s challenges. Patterns and yarn are available if needed. Contact Marge Ohl at 317-894-0862 or Lynda Preston at 317-359-9651.
11.As we explore the possibility of resuming the Wednesday night Gathering, please contact Pastor Rusty if you are or interested in helping lead a small group class or discussion for one or both of the class sessions this fall or if you have any questions. Classes will run 6-6:55pm and 7:05-8:00 pm.
12.Looking to get out of the house for a little bit? We still have openings for volunteer receptionist for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon shifts. You can work each week or every other week. OR you might like to be a sub and serve when others are on vacation. Building traffic is slowly increasing and having receptionists to answer the phone is a GREAT help to our administrative staff! Contact Administrative Assistant Lynda Preston at email@example.com or 317-359-9651, extension 131.
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