A PERSONAL PRAYER
Father, Son, Holy Spirit…
As Trinity, you are a family in and of yourself. You exist as a relationship, and you tell us that we were created to be in relationship with you and with one another. I want to do that well. I want to be a part of a healthy family, a thriving workplace, a strong neighborhood, a Spirit-filled church. I want to have loving and supportive friendships. But it isn’t easy, God. Sometimes, other people drive me crazy. They don’t always act the way I would want them to. And I confess that sometimes, I get drawn into a negative spiral and contribute to that destructive spirit.
Forgive me God. I want to be a builder in every circle of which I am a part. You call me to build up rather than tear down, to help you build the body of Christ. You ask your followers to be salt and light, to be a positive, transformative influence everywhere we go. Show me how to encourage my family and friends, to offer grace to those with whom I disagree or have conflict, to be willing to help others reach a little higher and persevere toward the dreams you have planted in their hearts. Help me to be a builder.
I pray in the name of Christ,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. –Romans 15:2
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
In what circles do you find yourself feeling like “it’s about you?” What habits do you have that tear down? What is one step you can take to be a better body builder?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Fall Kickoff this Sunday
This Sunday is our Fall Kickoff, and children are invited to go to their new classes for the year. It is a day of celebration at St. Luke’s, and we hope you will bring a friend to be a part of it. We will have ice cream on the south lawn (the “ellipse”) after each service. We’ll have photographers on the ellipse, just off the Fellowship Walk, ready to take family photos or friend group photos! We continue our Fall series titled “Be a Rebuilder.” It is so much easier to tear down than it is to build up. This week, we consider how to be builders in our relationships. I really hope you will consider inviting a friend to be a part of worship with you. You can send an evite to invite your friends to church this Sunday by clicking (https://www.stlukesmethodist.org/come-and-seek/)
We begin Men’s Life this Wednesday, September 20, in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30 a.m. All men are welcome to come and be a part of it. I will be leading a study titled “Freedom!” based on the letter to the Galatians and some of Paul’s other writing. Sign up here.
There is still much work going on to respond to the storm, and there will be for some time. It is great to be the first in, but we want to be the last to leave. Why? Because we live here. This is our home. You can find out more about that work on our website here https://www.stlukesmethodist.org/houston-flood-relief/ One important need is for food, distributed through our wonderful partner Christian Community Service Center. So around the church this week there are collection baskets for you to bring the following badly needed items:
- Canned Fruit
- Pinto Beans (2lb bags)
- Rice (2lb bags)
I have to say thank you so much to all who have been so generous with financial donations for flood relief. We currently have received over $300,000 in contributions specifically for this effort. Those funds will go to provide direct assistance to those impacted by the storm, and will not be used to offset out of pocket expenses the church has incurred. A team of staff and laity have developed a specific process for identifying and assessing families in need, based on referrals from members and others connected to our ministries on both campuses and interviews with those families. The priority is to help people both inside and outside our congregation, who do not have the resources to respond to the hardship presented by the storm, and to couple financial assistance with other resources including volunteer labor, expertise provided by church members, mental health resources, and good follow-up care. Additionally, we want to be a part of community-wide efforts at rebuilding in the days ahead, and are in conversation with others in our city’s faith community as those plans are developed. One of the names of God is “Yahweh Yireh,” the God who provides. Through this generous congregation and that of other caring people around the country, God has provided resources to make a difference. Our commitment is to be good stewards of that generosity and use it to help the people who need it the most. Let us “help those in trouble… that we might be a rebuilder of walls and restorer of homes in which to live.” (Isaiah 58: 10, 12 NLT)
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
Sunday, September 17
Fall Kickoff Sunday
Loving God, It’s hard to believe we are kicking off another fall season filled with new opportunities to learn and grow, and to serve. Stir within us a desire to grow into the likeness of Jesus; and then help us to be open to your leading and direction. May all that we set out to accomplish be inspired and enabled by your Holy Spirit. Amen. -Prayer by Dr. Linda Christians
Monday, September 18
Father God, thanks for this wonderful earth that you have blessed us to live in and care for. Teach us how to be better stewards of our planet in order that our children will live well after we have left. Thanks for your son, Jesus. Amen.
Tuesday, September 19
Dear God, I pray for all those who are in need of your help. I pray for the people who are in need of your guidance, and I pray that you would watch over me and my loved ones. Amen.
Wednesday, September 20
Lord, I pray for the unemployed among us. Open doors for them to get new jobs and find renewed joy in the workplace. Help us to lovingly remind them that their identity is in you and not in their vocations. Amen.
Thursday, September 21
Lord, I pray that I would find my purpose in life. Lord grant me hope, faith, love and happiness today. Amen.
Friday, September 22
Lord, protect my home, cultivate a healthy, happy, and loving family that grows up learning to love you. Show me how to be a better parent to my children and spouse to my partner. Amen.
Saturday, September 23
Lord, I need more motivation and a sense of purpose at work. Help me enjoy what I do again, and inspire me to rise up above the negative and share grace with others. Amen.
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