A PERSONAL PRAYER
Without letting go of some things, we can’t take hold of anything else. There is no growth without change. There is no change without loss. There is no loss without grief. There is no grief without pain. And the pain is real. Just because our grief is inevitable doesn’t mean it hurts less.
Yes, we believe there is heaven ahead. But still it hurts. Yes, we believe that one day there will be no more tears. But there are tears now.
In your Scripture, you promise to bind up the broken-hearted. You promise to comfort those who mourn. Jesus wept for his friends who were grieving. God, I pray that you would comfort all those who are mourning, whose hearts are broken, and that you would show us how to be your instruments of comfort.
We pray in the name of Christ,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Read the whole passage for Sunday’s sermon here: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
What do you grieve? What has provided you comfort and encouragement as you grieve?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
2018 All In Generosity Campaign
We still have a good many folks who have not made commitments toward St. Luke’s ministry for 2018. We have some important decisions to make in the next week about our expenditures on ministry and staff, and it is important for us to be able to estimate what our contributions will be. While we finished 2017 strong, with contributions that covered our expenses, our commitments for 2018 are behind where we were last year at this time. If you have not made a commitment, but are able to do so for 2018, please email Karen McCarver, firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online here to make your commitment.
St. Luke’s Family Reunion and Church Conference, 2018
Our mission statement states who we are: “We are one family in Jesus, putting our faith to work in love.” On Sunday, January 28, at 6:30 pm, in the Story Houston Building, our Traditional, Encounter, The Story, and Gethsemane communities will gather as that one family. We will reflect on and rejoice in what God did through St. Luke’s in 2017 and hear from our pastors about plans and hopes for 2018. We will elect our officers for 2018 and approve our 2018 budget as well. All are welcome and encouraged to join this evening of worship, vision and good news.
Men’s Life was canceled last week because of the ice, so it begins this coming Wednesday, January 24, from 6:30-7:45 a.m. As the Fellowship Hall is under renovation, we will meet on the third floor of the Johnson Education building, rooms ES308-314. This semester I will be teaching a series called “Just Regular Guys.” When Jesus was putting together his leadership team, he picked twelve regular guys. They weren’t especially brilliant, or courageous, or influential, but Jesus could see in them the seed of the Kingdom of God. Jesus chose them intentionally, and he chooses you and me as well. This semester we will consider these twelve regular guys and see if we can find a reflection of ourselves in them. If you have been a part of Men’s Life before, we look forward to seeing you. If you have never come, you are still welcome. I think it will be a good experience for you!
Sermon Series: Getting Through The Storm of Grief
We all grieve. If we love, we grieve. Sometimes we grieve the loss of someone we love, and the pain is enormous. Sometimes we grieve the loss of a job, or a home, or a marriage, or our health, or beauty or many other things. How do we get through that grief? Come and join us.
Sunday, January 21
Dear Heavenly Father, you have promised to make all things new. Send us your spirit to change hearts in our world—in Houston, in our neighborhoods and in our families. Teach us to wait for you and teach us to long for you in all things. May we be ready to greet you with joy when you come again. In your son’s name we pray, Amen.
Monday, January 22
Most gracious Heavenly Father, Be with us as we begin a new year. Guide us in your ways and help us to be just who you want us to be. Help us to share our blessings with a grateful heart. Amen.
Tuesday, January 23
Most gracious God, thank you for the blessings that come to us each day. May we see, hear, and recognize your goodness in this world today. Help us to not be defeated by the news and violence of each day for God you are good, and scripture says man is made in your image. This day, be with us to pay your goodness forward to people we encounter. Calm our worries so that we may live in peace and thanksgiving. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. -Prayer by Chicky Fowler
Wednesday, January 24
Dear Heavenly Father, Keep me from being so busy that I do not notice those around me. Help me to see when others need a hand, a friend, or a little help. Let me show your love to others. Amen.
Thursday, January 25
Dear Lord, when we think of you, we think about your unconditional love and compassion for us. Help us channel that same love and compassion towards our fellow man. We get lost in our struggle for money, power and fame and need your caring and guiding spirit to set us back on the right path to salvation. We pray for all those people in various countries that are caught in the middle of war, terrorism or just even malicious politics. Please give them hope and keep your guiding hand in their everyday lives, so they may benefit from as many blessings as you have bestowed upon us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. -Prayer by D. Verma
Friday, January 26
Lord, thank you for loving us patiently and kindly. Thank you for a love that protects us and never fails. Amen.
Saturday, January 27
Dear God, As believers, we truly want to please you, but we so often fall short of that mark; selfishness surfaces, inconvenience happens, and our lack of sensitivity occurs. Sharpen our hearts and heads to seek your guidance in all circumstances and then help us to be willing to act as your hands and feet that we might glorify you. In Jesus’ powerful name. Amen.
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