Thursday, 06 May 2021 12:24
Dear Living Water Friends and Family,Written by Jeron Parkins
One of my favorite places to go fishing (when the snakes aren’t thick) is on the Rio Grande, east of La Jara and down into New Mexico. I really enjoy the solitude of the canyons and once in awhile I’ll actually catch a fish. When you are down near the river the canyon walls are 50, 100 or 200 feet high, so you don’t have a lot of perspective on where you are. When you walk the canyons far enough the river runs right up against the canyon walls and to move forward you either have to wade the river or climb out of the canyon, and once you get back on top you can see for long distances. Sometimes after walking and fishing for hours, I’ve climbed out of the canyon and realized that I’d misperceived my location – I hadn’t traveled nearly as far as I thought I did.
Perspective is important when it comes to living our lives by faith. A faith perspective will see things differently than a circumstantial perspective. And if you are like me, you know that it’s easy to live by what we perceive is happening and not by faith. A great biblical example of both a circumstantial perspective and a faith perspective comes from Elisha’s time. During Elisha’s ministry as a prophet, the King of Syria was at war with the King of Israel. At some point the King of Syria realized that Elisha, the prophet of God, was helping the Israelites by notifying them of where the Syrian army was going to be. So he made up his mind that he was going to kill Elisha. So the King of Syria was told, “Behold, he is in Dothan. So he sent horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God (Elisha’s servant) rose early in the morning and went out, behold an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas my master! What shall we do? He said, ‘Do not be afraid, for those who are with you are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed and aid, ‘O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2nd Kings 6:13-17).
Elisha saw the same army of Syrians that his servant did, was in the same circumstance, but because he was living by faith he wasn’t consumed by fear. The vision of God’s angelic army was a mind blowing perspective for the servant of Elisha. He didn’t realize the extent that God was at work nor did he perceive God’s presence with them, until he was given the grace to see the chariots of fire. He didn’t have the right perspective. He needed to live by faith in God’s word, as Elisha was.
You and I shouldn’t expect to see angels, such visions are rare and most Christians live full lives without realizing they were in the presence of angels. But we are called to live by faith. We are called to believe that God is at work in our midst. I read this morning in Colossians that “the word of truth, the gospel… throughout the whole world is bearing fruit and increasing” (Colossians 1:5-6). Do we believe that God is still working today? Do we believe that God is in the “business” of saving people and that he is actively working around us (even in the San Luis Valley!)? We are called to serve and love people by faith, and are sent to proclaim the gospel by faith, even when we don’t see evidence or even when our circumstances aren’t encouraging. Living Water should boldly attempt to introduce people to Christ. Living Water should boldly start new ministries that bless those in need. Living Water should in faith reach out to the needy in this community in Jesus’ name, and by faith that God is still mighty to save, we should share the gospel. If we gauge or evaluate things empirically (through our senses) or through our feelings or emotional perceptions we will likely not be in accord with what Jesus is doing. We are called to step out in faith, believing what God has said more than we believe our eyes. Are you living by faith in God today? How might you need to trust God more than you trust your current perspective?
Maybe you aren’t trusting that he is for you and not against you? And therefore are not confessing his name in public? Maybe you are thinking that he doesn’t care (based on your circumstances) rather than what he’s said about you in his Word? And therefore aren’t giving him the worship he deserves? Maybe you believe that he can’t use you to be a vehicle of the gospel to your neighbors or co-workers? And therefore you aren’t looking for opportunities to help people discover Jesus? Maybe you’ve talked yourself into believing that your marriage doesn’t have a future because of circumstances or miscommunication? And therefore aren’t praying or depending on God anymore?
What does the Bible say? What has God spoken? What has God promised? How might looking at things from the vantage point of the word of God change your behavior or your decisions? Could it be that it’s time to climb out of the canyon and take on an Elisha perspective? Elisha knew that he was in God’s care even before he saw the angelic army with his physical eyes, so he lived by faith and carried out his mission. Are you living as a Christian today, living by faith, living in dependance upon the Spirit of God or have you forgotten that God is with us?
SUMMER SERMON SERIES
We start our summer sermon series on Sunday, May 9: The Book of Daniel; Standing Strong in the Winds of Change. The world continues to shake and shift. Nations and rulers are falling and rising. Historic changes and new systems keep coming at us with lightning speed. Even in our rural area life is changing. How will we stand in the midst of such unsettled times? Daniel lived from biblical principles as the institutions and structures of his day were being radically changed; he stood for the Lord no matter what came his way. As we study Daniel’s life and times, may we become those who understand our times and make our stand for Christ.
WORSHIP SERVICE UPDATE
- For the time being we’ll continue to receive offerings in the boxes in the foyer rather than pass the offering plate (you can also drop it off in the church mailbox on the street, or send it to 2910 Clark Street or use our text to give app).
- Also for the near future we’ll continue to ask you to receive communion at the tables rather than pass communion plates. We realize that sometimes its difficult for some to move to the tables and sometimes the double stacked cups stick together – if you need assistance ask one of the Deacons on duty.
- Worship service times continue at 9:00 and 10:45 A.M. We are studying the possibility of having new worship service times in the Fall, in connection with the opening off the Christian Ed building and expanded adult classes.
LATIN NIGHT May 21
Living Water’s Mission Board and Family Team are planning a fun night of fellowship, dinner and some dancing lessons on Friday, May 21. Proceeds will go towards Guatemala Mission Team projects. More information to come!
LOOKING FOR LADIES BIBLE STUDY LEADER
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATE
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL June 28-July 2
REIGN YOUTH GROUP MISSIONS WEEK July 11-16
While the Gallup reservation is still not open for the youth to serve, they will be working locally to bless our community.
EAGLE LAKE DAY CAMP July 19-23
Please go to https://eaglelakecamps.com/camp/livingwater/ to register your children.
Please contact Pastor Bo for more information.
Dates: July 19–23, 2021 Ages: 6-12 Length: Mon–Fri, 9 am- 4 pm Cost: $200
Activities: Arts & Crafts, Block Racers, Gagaball, Group Games, Inflatables, Laser Tag, Speakers & Worship, Tie Dye, and Many More!
MISSION BOARD UPDATE
Living Water’s Mission Board consists of Nichole Defee, Jeron Parkins, Alex Toth, Joy Massey and our chairperson is Eric Palmer. This Summer we are expecting to have Deric and Rebecca Sneller and family (Missionaries to Japan) visit us in late May and Jeremy and Beth Schmidt and family (Missionaries in North Africa) join us in August. Please watch for opportunities to interact with your missionaries. Recently we were happy to donate $1,000 toward the Baskets of Hope Easter Project initiative sponsored by our missionaries Wendell and Heather Garrison serving with SOAR International. Eric Palmer and the Guatemala team have their plane tickets and would appreciate your prayers to accomplish all their ministry plans and for safe travels and that God would use them for his glory. The FOCUS Nicaragua Team was able to meet on Saturday morning, April 17 with Jimmy Smith (Converge Mobilization Specialist), who helped us prepare for implementation of our plan to start sending groups to Nicaragua. If you would like information on our missionaries there are Mission Books in the lobby.
Joy Massey is our prayer coordinator and she said the next Nicaragua Prayer Meeting is Friday, May 7th at 6:30pm.
Join in person at the church or Zoom Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78447538281?pwd=VE1wQkhOeFVWYzdDazFZWnpyZ0x6dz09
Meeting ID: 784 4753 8281
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMMIT August 5-6
We’ve hosted the Global Leadership Summit for several years now. Most of those registering have been from the local businesses or city and county employees. It’s been nice to serve our local community by hosting this uplifting and encouraging leadership conference at Living Water. If you want to participate the cost is $99 until July 13th. Click on the following link and when prompted insert this code 21SVTEAM https://register.globalleadership.org/#/reg/trans/one?invtID=EV-LSS2108-MAIN-SVA00028&orgCustomerID=704772&priorityCD=21SVTEAM
Thanks for Reading!