Our inside-out habits: We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
Friends, It’s Fall Kickoff Sunday at St. Luke’s! (Cheers from the crowd.) I hope you plan to be here. I am beginning a new sermon series aimed at building your life and your family on a solid foundation – “Starting with Middle C.” Over the next three weeks, we will be going to the basics. Convictions – in what do you believe with all your heart? Commitment – for what are you willing to sacrifice? Community – with whom do you want to spend your life?
In addition, our children will be moving up to their new class grades. Our contemporary service will be moving into our newly remodeled Fellowship Hall (yay!).
But wait, there’s more! We will all gather for an all church lunch from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. There are activities for the kids (and it’s free!), just come on down after worship/Sunday school.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
Sometimes I feel like I am being tossed and turned by the winds of the world. The television and internet bombard me with all sorts of options about what is good and right and acceptable. Friends and acquaintances are vehement in their beliefs about right and wrong, good and bad. And with the people I meet, everything is nuanced. Very seldom is there a simple answer to their struggles, their questions, their decisions.
But God, I thank you that I am convinced beyond a doubt that you love me unconditionally, and that Jesus demonstrated that love for me on the cross, and that God guaranteed our future in the resurrection. So God, in all times, good and bad, I will anchor my life in these convictions.
I heard again today, God, the great gospel anthem:
I realize that sometimes in this life
You’re gonna be tossed by the waves
And the currents that seem so fierce
But in the word of God I’ve got an anchor;
And it keeps me steadfast and unmovable
Despite the tide
But if the storms don’t cease
But in case the wind keeps on blowing, (in my life)
My soul has been anchored in the Lord
My soul has been anchored in the Lord
In the name of Christ, who holds me fast in his love, I pray. Amen.
(Listen to Douglas Miller sing “Anchored in the Lord” here)
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Last week, we heard a wonderful message from Dr. Maria Dixon Hall on building bridges across race and culture. If you weren’t present, you can watch the sermon here. If it speaks to your heart, send it to a friend.
Men’s Life begins this coming Wednesday, September 12 at 6:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Our topic this semester is The Passionate Jesus, and we will be discussing the personality of Jesus and how it differs from the Jesus we may have learned about in Sunday School. All men are welcome. You can sign up here.
The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church Core Leadership Team invites you to attend Heart & Mind Listening Sessions. These listening sessions, approved by the body of the 2018 Annual Conference, are presented to help you to discern the issues before our February 2019 General Conference dealing with matters of human sexuality. These sessions invite you to engage in “Holy Conferencing” with guided discussions about the various plans before the General Conference. The session for our area will be held on Sunday, September 23, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at First UMC-Westchase, 3663 Westcenter Dr, Houston, 77042.
Sunday, September 9
God of forgiveness and power, Thank you for fresh starts and new beginnings. Work within me and this congregation that we might forget what lies behind and press forward toward the high calling you have for us. Make us a better reflection of your truth and grace. Amen. -Prayer by Dr. Tom Pace
Monday, September 10
God of all things good, open our eyes so that we might see the beauty that surrounds us. Open our minds so that we might seek to find higher, better thoughts. Open our hearts so that we might feel your great love. Let us see your kingdom here on earth. Amen.
Tuesday, September 11 – Patriot Day
Heavenly Father, we pray that you would be with all of those who serve as first responders and those who serve in the military. Protect them as they protect and care for us. Bless them and their families always. Amen.
Wednesday, September 12
Almighty God, you have blessed us each with unique gifts and talents to be used for your Kingdom. Unite us in your church to use these gifts and talents to show the world your love. Amen.
Thursday, September 13
Heavenly Father, we ask for the gift of your presence. We pray that your presence would be with us so that everyone we meet will see your love in us, will know that you are with us, and will want to come to know you also. Amen.
Friday, September 14
Omnipresent God, you see our actions, you know our thoughts, you hear our words, and you love us anyway. Create in us a desire to please you in all that we do, think, and say so that we may bear the fruit of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Amen.
Saturday, September 15
Merciful God, help us to keep our eyes on you and not look back on sins of the past. Teach us to trust you and to fully accept your gift of forgiveness. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.