Thursday, 03 December 2020 16:09
You Are Loved!Written by Jeron Parkins
I pray that you are well today. More importantly I pray that you would be able to more thoroughly “comprehend with all the saints, what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19). I always smile when I read the Apostle Paul’s prayer because he prays that we would understand what he describes as an incomprehensible love! Ha! But don’t we struggle to understand and accept God’s love? Don’t we find it incomprehensible? How could God love someone as imperfect and unfaithful as us? It seems to me that many of our fears and anxieties as well as our attempts to earn people’s favor / acceptance flow out of a failure to believe we are loved. One of the reasons we started observing the Lord’s Supper at every worship service this Fall was to help people grasp the incredible love of God – to remember week by week that God has loved us as no one else has – dying for us so that we could have life! “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved god but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). When we know we are loved by the Lord Almighty, by the God of the angel armies, by the maker of heaven and earth, we are set free from crushing worry or twisted imaginations because we know that whatever happens, or that whatever could happen, we are ultimately safe. Even now, as so many people suffer the loss of so many things, those who are in Christ, who trust in his love, experience peace and joy because our faith and hope aren’t rooted in material possessions, temporal dreams nor human acceptance. When we give ourselves over to God and his love, we have a treasure that can’t be repossessed nor destroyed by government regulations, looters or lockdowns. What does safety look like when you know you are loved? How can we be set free from fear? “Henri Nouwen, a Dutch priest, professor, and author, found the answer in the Flying Rodleighs, a trapeze troupe from South Africa. While in Germany, he attended a performance out of curiosity and found himself transfixed by the artistry of the acrobats But in the flying and spinning Nouwen saw more than an exhilarating show – he saw theology in motion. Nouwen observed that the flyer – the person souring through the air – is really not the star of the trapeze performance. While everyone is focused on the flyer’s arial maneuvers they sometimes fail to see the maneuvers are only possible because the flyer fully trusts that he will be caught. Everything depends on the catcher. This led Nouwen to a new way of understanding his life with God. “I can only fly freely when I know there is a catcher to catch me,” he wrote … Rather than trying to overcome our fears by seeking more control, the solution offered by LIFE WITH GOD is precisely the opposite – we overcome fear by surrendering control. But surrender is only possible if we have total assurance that we are safe … This assurance only comes when we trust that our heavenly Father desires to be with us and will not let us fall” (quote from Skye Jethan, from his book “With”). My brothers and sisters, may you believe that God loves you today. May you live freely (not in slavery to fear, nor trying to control people or circumstances) in the knowledge that you are loved. May you fly and love freely, doing the will of God, knowing that whatever happens, you will be caught! “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, who will he not also with him graciously give us all things?... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors though him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39).
Here's some of what is planned and happening at Living Water in the coming weeks…
SATURDAY MASK ONLY SERVICE at 6:00 P.M.
SUNDAY at 9:00 A.M. NURSERY
SUNDAY at 10:45 A.M. NURSERY; CHILDREN’S MINISTRY; TEEN BIBLE STUDY
Just a reminder that you are encouraged to wear masks when you come to services and events at the church. Though for most of us the chance of death through Covid-19 or through influenza is very low, it’s still no fun to get sick! If you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. It’s okay during this season to not shake hands or hug and to physical distance to stop the spread of viruses. Let’s keep praying for the Lord’s protection of our church family and for the overall health of our community.
Thanks for your continued prayers and faithful giving for the Christian Education and Community Building. We remain ahead of schedule and under budget. As construction continues, work is underway to restore heat into the Sprung Building (the gas line had to be temporarily disconnected and reconfigured). Our hope is that Sprung Building heat will be restored by December 12th. Curb and Gutter has started to be installed in the east parking lot. The setbacks and the “bump” near Clark Street are by city code. We’re excited to be able to do some landscaping over the coming year! Won’t our campus look so much better with pavement and plants and trees? Coming into and out of our parking lot will take some getting use to but we’ll get the hang of it! By the way, if you know folks from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, please thank them for the use of their north parking lot – it’s been a blessing! If you haven’t driven by the building lately the outer shell of the building is nearly complete. On the north side there has been lots of interest in the two tone with an almond color on top and silver on the bottom. The bottom portion will have different colored panels affixed soon which will provide what we think will be a nice look with the almond color of the metal building. Windows will be inserted soon which will allow for temporary heat to be used for internal construction to take place over the winter. Please continue to pray for the safety of all the contractors and workers. Please keep praying that the year two of our fundraising efforts for this ministry tool go well! Check out www.bringinglifeproject.org for more information or give anonymously or to make a pledge.
A PODCAST FOR MEN
From Pastor Bo: “Back in August I started a personal podcast that is broadly about masculinity and Christianity. I wanted to share this resource with you. By clicking the link, you'll notice that I cover a lot of different topics that you might find interesting. I release a new episode every Wednesday. If you tune in, let me know what you think.”
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24
We’re making plans for Christmas Eve Services. In years past our services have been very full and for obvious reasons we’d like to have less congestion this year. Our plan is to offer more services this year to bless more people with the hope of Jesus and we’re wrestling with a number of different options for service times and will certainly add a mask-only option and a live online option. We’ll get you a complete list of times as soon as possible, but for you traditionalists who’ve been hoping for a midnight experience we are planning to have an 11:00 p.m. service.
Every year we take a special offering at Living Water in recognition of Jesus’ arrival (advent). The proceeds of this offering will go to the SLV Life Center (this organization helps women in crisis pregnancies and resourcing new moms and helping the family – formerly known as the Women’s Resource Center), La Puente Homeless Shelter (provides shelter and food for homeless in our community), and Living Water International (drills and repairs wells around the world so that people can have clean water to drink). There will be special Advent Offering envelopes available in the church office if you want to participate.
The Deacon Board has placed a large wooden box in the Fellowship Hall for the reception of non-perishable food items (no foods that can rot or spoil). We are no longer offering a non-perishable food bank here at the church building but the Deacons will transfer all donated items to the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley (513 6th St, Alamosa) for distribution.
If you need prayer there are several ways to do so:
- Get your prayer need on the Prayer Chain: Call Teresa Harmon at 580-1930 or Shirley Bervig at 480-1683. You can pray for people by joining the prayer chain. Just call the church office (589-6351) and ask to be added to the prayer chain contact list.
- Go to our website www.livingwateralamosa.org and click on the prayer link at the bottom of the page
- If you use Facebook, Living Water has a closed group where updates and prayer requests are shared. Just let myself (Pastor Jeron), Rick Dunnahoo or Bo Hutches know you want to part of this group and we’ll send you an invitation.
- Call Elders or Deacons or Pastors directly
PASTOR, ELDER AND DEACON BOARD CONTACT EMAILS:
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for serving the Lord!