A PERSONAL PRAYER
The prophets who speak for you come in all shapes and forms. Yesterday, a colleague said “Pace! Woah… would you just relax. Geez Louise.” I think that was you, using him as your voice. Then this morning, I heard you singing through my earbuds, using the voice of Paul McCartney, “Speaking words of wisdom… Let it be, yeah, let it be.” Then someone told me to take a chill pill. Perhaps I am pushing too hard. Too many “get to work” emails. Too much “what have you done for Jesus today?” sorts of talks. I am convicted by Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees, who “tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders…” (Matt 23:4) Instead, Jesus said we should come to him, and he would give us rest, that “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:30) The Christian faith shouldn’t be a burden. It should be a joy.
Your scripture tells me that I am to be growing, changing, so I push to do more. But when I read carefully, I find I am to “be transformed,” the object of that transformation, the transformee rather than the transformer. Holy Spirit, you do the work, if I will let you in. Jesus, you will bring the change in me if I will just put you in charge. Why do I feel I have to do it all by the sweat of my brow and the resolve of my will? Starting from my heart, to my head, to my hands, to my house… God, make me yours. I give in. I surrender.
In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. –Romans 12:2.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
In what ways are you different than you were ten years ago? Has the Christian faith ever felt like a burden to you? If so, how?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
We are currently involved in our 2018 Generosity campaign, called “All In.” We have some really significant dreams for 2018, as we take real steps forward on our five–year plan:
- Step up to support our key outreach partners: CCSC, and Connect Community with volunteers and dollars. We want to help CCSC build a new building right across the street, and we are going to make that a big part of our Christmas observance this year.
- A new Hispanic pastor for our Gethsemane campus.
- At least one new worship service at the Story Houston. Growing very fast, and we want to make sure we invest in that growth with appropriate staffing.
- Renovate the Fellowship Hall, and relaunch our encounter worship service.
- An important focus on engagement of visitors and members – working with a top rated consulting company to help us renovate those processes.
We would love to have you help us. Commitment Sunday is next Sunday October 22, and I hope you will plan to be present, or you can simply go online and give here: http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/give/. This week’s bulletin has a prayer calendar to help you discern how God might be leading you in your giving this year.
“Changed!” Sermon Series
This week, we continue our sermon series, “Changed!” How does “God-change” actually come about? We will look this week at the inside-out pattern of Christian transformation. Our sermon is “Heart, Head, Hands, House.”
Find out about how you can be involved in our flood response on our website here http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/houston-flood-relief/
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday.
Sunday, October 15
Lord, you are so good. Thank you for a church that makes faith an action. Please continue to instill a passion for your love that others won’t be able to ignore. In your holy Son’s name, we pray. Amen. -Prayer by Shelby Olive
Monday, October 16
Lord, guide each of us to walk our faith and live with a spirit of generosity. Amen.
Tuesday, October 17
Lord, let me give to you before I give to myself. Let me remember that if you hadn’t provided for me, I wouldn’t have it to give. Let me feel joy when I give so that giving becomes my favorite thing to do. Amen.
Wednesday, October 18
Heavenly Father, I ask that you would touch my heart and open my hands to share your love and my monetary gifts to the best of my abilities with friends and strangers alike to further your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thursday, October 19
Father God, you are the giver of good gifts. We love you and thank you for your love and grace. I want to shine the light super bright. Help me to give myself away and give my gifts and resources freely and abundantly. Amen!
Friday, October 20
God, open me up to be more giving of my time, my talents, and my service. Draw me closer to you through a generous heart. Amen.
Saturday, October 21
Lord, help me to be kingdom-minded, opening my life to others through a community of love and trust. Amen.
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