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Sacrificial Love May 27,2018

May 30th, 2018

Sacrificial Love

Isaiah 6:1-8 and John 3:1-17

(Quoted scripture is New International Version)

 

Private Desmond Doss, unarmed and under constant fire, single-handedly rescued 75 wounded soldiers, lowering each one 400ft to safety on a makeshift rope sling he devised, in the Pacific theatre’s bloodiest battle of the Second World War.

The battle took place on a boulder-strewn clifftop named Hacksaw Ridge on the Japanese island of Okinawa in late April 1945. Desmond Doss was the first conscientious objector to win America’s highest military award-the Medal of Honor.  Private Doss did it without ever firing a shot.

Have you seen the movie Hacksaw Ridge? The movie is extremely violent and bloody, yet unless you’ve been in battle you really do not understand what our soldiers are dealing with. I saw it, and I’m glad I did. The movie gives meaning to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

After US troops, facing a deadly network of machine gun nests and booby traps, retreated in the face of a merciless onslaught, Doss remained atop the escarpment.

“Dear God,” he prayed, as he perilously made his way to each wounded man, “let me get just one more.”

Gunfire and bombs exploded around him as he hunted survivors. Doss said: “I just caught them by the collar and dragged them. You made yourself as small a target as you could and just hoped and prayed they didn’t hit you.”

He was scared but relentless. “What I did was a service of love,” he explained. “I should have been killed. I didn’t get wounded. The Blessed Lord was with me to where I was able to take care of one more until I finally got my last man off.”

The US Army calculated that he rescued 100 wounded soldiers from certain death atop Hacksaw Ridge. Ever modest Doss believed he saved closer to 50. They split the difference and settled on 75.

Doss dismissed acclaim of his heroism, placing credit elsewhere instead. “All the glory should go to God,” he said. “No telling how many times the Lord has spared my life.”

Raised as a Seventh-day Adventist he swore off firearms for life after witnessing a fight between his father and uncle over a gun.

The son of an alcoholic carpenter, Doss grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia, in a home dominated by a framed poster of the 10 Commandments, atop an image of Cain killing Abel.

“When I looked at that picture I came to the sixth commandment, thou shalt not kill.”  I wondered, how in the world could a brother do such a thing? It put a horror in my heart of just killing and as a result I took it personally. God said to me, ‘Desmond, if you love me, you won’t kill’

Desmond did not come out of war unscathed. He spent five years in the hospital recovering from his injuries and ultimately lost a lung and five ribs to tuberculosis contracted while on duty in the Pacific.

 

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, when we honor the American men and women who have died for someone else’s freedom. WWII deaths 291,557. On our own American soil during the Civil War, when brother fought against brother, the casualties were 214,938.

When I watch the Memorial Day parades, honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom, I can’t help asking, why? Why can’t we find a solution for war? The only answer I come up with is that we are sinful human beings, in need of a Savior.

Poppy seeds lie dormant until the soil is disturbed. Throughout Western Europe fields disturbed by the battles of war turn bare land into fields of blood red poppies.

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae, May 1915

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

 

What those who serve in our military have given, I consider a Loving Sacrifice.

There are Memorial Day Services in our community, please attend those services and honor the Loving Sacrifice our military men and women have made for you.

While I was pondering what a Loving Sacrifice looks like in my own life; parenting came to mind. When I became a parent, I began to appreciate what Loving Sacrifices my parents made for my three brothers and me.

As I began to sacrifice my time, most of it spent caring for my children; my emotions, having a child means laughter, tears, a heart broken by what the world does to my child and what the child may do to me; money, we spend most of our money providing shelter, food and care for our children; relationships, when baby comes often the relationship between husband and wife is affected in detrimental ways; and freedom, when the children come along the parents basically lose the freedom they had before they became parents.

As I began to make loving sacrifices for my children, I began to recognize the loving sacrifices my parents made for me. I’m blessed to be able to care for my mother when she is not longer able to live on her own, to show her how much I appreciate what she sacrificed for me.

Sometimes we don’t appreciate what our spouses do for us, because we may not know all the do. One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?” She again smiled and answered; “You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world did I do today?” “YES” was his incredulous reply. She said, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”

It may be a good idea to appreciate what other people do for us, especially our spouses!

Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. We prayed the Apostle’s Creed for our unison prayer. We declared that we believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I’d like to take a moment to explore the Loving Sacrifice of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Let’s begin with the ancient prophet Isaiah. We read in the 8th verse of Isaiah 6, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, “Here am I. Send Me!”

Isaiah is considered the greatest prophet, and when he said, “Here am I. Send me!” he began a ministry that would last for 60 years, and it was a ministry of misery. He prophesied Judah’s doom, if they didn’t turn from their sinful ways and turn back to God. As a result, he was despised and executed during King Manasseh’s reign.

As was the case of Desmond Doss, when Isaiah decided to put love of God above the will of man, he made a Loving Sacrifice to God and to his fellow human beings.

The last Loving Sacrifice I want to address today happens in verses 16-17 of the 3rd chapter of the gospel of John. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

What do you think God went through when he came to the world through his Son Jesus to die on the cross?

Think of the parents who have lost children to war. Imagine them dreading the phone call or the visit from the military telling them their son or daughter had been killed in battle. Imagine their heart being torn apart by the news of the death of their child.

Imagine God as He knew His Son would suffer and die an excruciating death on a Roman cross. Think of how God’s heart was torn apart when He watched His Son die. God had tried over and over again to show us how much he loves us, and now he makes the ultimate Loving Sacrifice. He sends His Son to die for us.

Imagine Jesus, who knew the death he would face. We read Jesus’ prayer in Luke 22:42-44, ‘“Father, if you are willing take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”’

Now imagine the Holy Spirit of God, as he prompts us again and again to make the right choices, to love God above all and our neighbors as our self. Yet we fail again and again.

The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 4:30-32, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

If only we humans could get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, and every form of malic; and be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other as Christ forgives us: There would be no more war in which hundreds of thousands of men and women die.

Yet, we cannot, can we? What Jesus told Nicodemus in the 3rd chapter of the gospel of John, is the only way to end the onslaught of war. We must come to Jesus, confess our sins, receive the forgiveness that is readily available through the grace of God, and be born again though the Holy Spirit’s presence in our heart. This is the only hope for the end of war.

I’ll leave you with an illustration of how Jesus is the only hope for the world we live in.

One rainy Sunday afternoon, a little boy was bored and his father was sleepy. The father decided to create an activity to keep the kid busy. He found a large map of the world in the morning newspaper. He took scissors and cut it into a good many irregular shapes like a jigsaw puzzle. Then he said to his son, “See if you can put this puzzle together. And don’t disturb me until you’re finished.”

He turned over on the couch, thinking this would occupy the boy for at least an hour. To his amazement, the boy was tapping his shoulder ten minutes later telling him that the job was done. The father saw that every piece of the map had been fitted together perfectly. “How did you do that?” he asked. “It was easy, Dad. There was a picture of a man on the other side. When I got him together right, the world was right.” The picture on the other side of the world map was Jesus!

A person’s world can never be right until the person is right, and that requires the miracle of new birth. Don’t stop asking God for the experience of new birth until you can shout from the housetops, “Through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit has changed my life!”

May God bless you today, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

 

Pastor Rosemary DeHut                                                                     May 27, 2018

By: Ironwoodumc

May 30th, 2018

Wind + Fire = Wimps to Warriors May 20, 2018

May 30th, 2018

Wind + Fire = Wimps to Warriors

Acts 2:1-21, John 3:6-8 and Luke 3:16

(Quoted scripture is New Revised Standard Version)

 

Erasmus, the famous Renaissance scholar, once told a classic story which was designed to emphasize how important it is that we take up the torch of Christ’s ministry with great commitment. In the story, Jesus returns to heaven after His time on earth. The angels gather around Him to learn what all happened during His days on earth. Jesus tells them of the miracles, His teachings, His death on the cross, and His resurrection.

When He finishes his story, Michael the Archangel asks Jesus, “But what happens now?” Jesus answers, “I have left behind eleven faithful disciples and a handful of men and women who have faithfully followed me. They will declare My message and express My love. These faithful people will build My church.” “But,” responds Michael, “What if these people fail? What then is Your other plan?” And Jesus answers, “I have no other plan!”

Jesus’ plan succeeded because the Holy Spirit, who came in wind and fire turned those wimpy disciples into warrior apostles!

Jesus talks about the wind of the Holy Spirit in John 3. The Pharisee Nicodemus has come to Jesus under the cover of darkness, because God is prompting him that Jesus just may be who he professes to be. Jesus tells him he must be born again, and Nicodemus doesn’t understand. Jesus says, “Very truly, I tell you no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above. The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (vv. 5-8)

Think of the power of the wind in tornadoes and hurricanes. Those powerful winds change landscapes and as a result change lives in an instant and forever.

A tornado churned through a dog boarding kennel in Michigan and later on one of the dogs in that kennel was found high in a tree half a mile away—unhappy, but unharmed.

Another tornado tore all the shingles off one side of a school, raced across a road, took the roof off a barn, crossed the road again, and lifted a horse about thirty feet before setting him down. The horse was unharmed.

A cow in that same area was found lying on her back, four legs in the air, anchored to the ground by her horns. The cow was otherwise unhurt, but the farmer chose not to milk her, thinking the milk might be sour after such a traumatic event.

Meteorologist watch hurricanes forming in the ocean and can track them, but humans have no power over the power of hurricane winds.

We read in Acts 2:1-2, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” The wind of the Holy Spirit of God is the first part of the equation, Wind + Fire = Wimps to Warriors.

When the Spirit comes in the Bible, it’s never a gentle breeze, it is a powerful wind.  God’s Spirit called the prophets to speak to Israel in words that were bold and sometimes dangerous. Ezekiel saw a vision of God’s Spirit blowing through a valley of dry bones and bringing them to life.

What about Fire, the second factor in the equation, Wind + Fire = Wimps to Warriors.

John the Baptist dressed in camel’s hair and eating wild locusts proclaimed in Luke 3:16, “I baptize you with water but he who comes after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

We read in Acts 2:3-4, “Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”

How are they able to speak in other languages? These were not highly educated men. They were fishermen, tax collectors, common laborers. These were men who were wimps, hiding in locked rooms for fear of the Romans. There was Peter who denied Jesus, and Peter along with James and John who fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked them to watch and pray, and all of the disciples ran away when the Roman guards arrested Jesus in the garden. How then did these wimps become warriors who had the courage to build the church of Jesus Christ? They had the power given to them by the Holy Spirit of God!

Peter, who often stuck his foot in his mouth, now stands up and speaks, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38). Three thousand people repented of their sin and this was the birth of the church and the Kingdom of God!

Peter and John healed a lame man who begged by the temple gate, and people began bringing the sick and the demon possessed to them and they too were healed. In a short while another 5,000 people repented of their sin and came to believe in Jesus as the Son of God!

These disciples who were afraid, confused, unsure, overwhelmed wimps, were given this incredible gift of the Holy Spirit! It turned their lives around and empowered them to become warriors who would go out and turn the world upside down!

In less than 100 years the fire of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was carried as far as Spain to the west, India to the east, and Ethiopia to the south. It subsequently took several hundred years for the Gospel to arrive in the northern reaches of Europe, but it did. Down through the centuries the flames of the Fire burned brightly. The Christian faith gained and its ranks grew because people who were attracted to Christ had their lives changed. When people were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, they came to know the peace that passes all understanding.

Oscar Cervantes is a dramatic example of the Spirit’s power to transform lives. As a child, Oscar began to get into trouble. Then as he got older, he was jailed 17 times for brutal crimes. Prison psychiatrists said he was beyond help. But they were wrong! During a brief interval of freedom, Oscar met an elderly man who told him about Jesus. He placed his trust in the Lord and was changed into a kind, caring man. Shortly afterward he started a prison ministry. Chaplain H. C. Warwick describes it this way: “The third Saturday night of each month is ‘Oscar Night’ at Soledad. Inmates come to hear Oscar and they sing gospel songs with fervor; they sit intently for over 2 hours; they come freely to the chapel altar…. What professionals had failed to do for Oscar in years of counseling, Christ’s Holy Spirit did in a moment of conversion.”

I’ll close with the story of a little girl who was visiting her grandmother in a small country town in the South. They attended a very emotional religious service, where people expressed their feelings by jumping about and shouting . . . what we might call a “Holy Roller” service.

The little girl asked her grandmother if all the jumping meant the Holy Spirit was really there. Her grandmother said, “Honey, it don’t matter how high they jump up, it’s what they do when they come down that will tell you if it is the real thing.”

The church at Pentecost set the pattern for us. Pentecost is not about jumping up and down. It is about building strong bonds of fellowship in the church and studying God’s Word more intently. It is about seeking God constantly in prayer. It is about getting out from behind our closed doors and going into the streets to do the work of building the church of Jesus Christ. That’s what Pentecost is really about. Pentecost is about the wind and the fire of the Holy Spirit turning wimpy Christians into Christian warriors and going out to build God’s kingdom. I don’t want to be a wimpy Christian, I want to be a warrior for Christ. How about you?

 

Pastor Rosemary DeHut                                                                    May 20, 2018

 

By: Ironwoodumc

May 30th, 2018

There Is Power in the Blood May 13, 2018

May 14th, 2018

There Is Power in the Blood

Ephesians 1:11-17 and Acts 1:1-11

(Quoted scripture is New International Version)

 

Some ideas for this sermon come from a book we are doing in a Bible study on Wednesdays with some of the members of the Ironwood Wesley United Methodist Church; Relying on the Holy Spirit by Charles F. Stanley.

Emilie Vinson shares her testimony of the how the power of God worked in her life.

“I never knew my Dad. He and my mom divorced before I turned one so I never even had the chance to form a relationship with him.”

“After my mom and I moved to the United States from El Salvador she got remarried and I finally felt like I had a family. But my relationship with my stepdad was never good.”

“I desired so badly to receive love from a father and to have that special relationship, but I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be loved and was constantly trying to establish my identity in other things like friendships and material items.”

“But nothing filled that hole. I felt like I needed the approval of those around me in order to feel valued and loved. Around my junior year of high school, my mom and stepdad got divorced.”

“I was angry, confused, hurt and felt unwanted. I turned to boys, alcohol and drugs to gain approval and love. Substances became my escape and a way to avoid my emotions. It was in that time that I was raped.”

“Before leaving for college, I was at my lowest. I felt worthless. I had nothing else to offer. I was so lost in a partying lifestyle and I was convinced that what I was experiencing was what life was all about.”

“The second week of college I was invited to Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Central Florida where I signed up for a small group. I left feeling surprisingly good.”

“I remember feeling loved and watching the other girls and the joy they had while talking about this “Savior.” I wanted what they had!”

“As I attended small group and began to be discipled I began to understand the gospel. I wasn’t ready to make the decision to follow Christ until I went home Christmas break. For the first time, I became aware of the weight of sin in my life and my need for a savior.”

“It was as if a blindfold had been removed from my eyes. I was able to see and understand why I needed Jesus, and that he LOVED me. In that moment, I accepted Christ into my life.”

“I have seen God teach me so much, I’ve come to understand that I have a heavenly Father who is crazy about me. He genuinely cares, and knows me.”

“Because of Christ’s death on the cross, I can be forgiven and live a life free in Christ. I no longer turn to temporary things for approval or worth. I know that my worth and identity lie full in Jesus and what he did for me. Although I continue to sin daily, I am daily shown God’s grace and reminded of just how much I need Him.”

Emilie does not say, yet I believe, when Emilie received Christ, it was through the power of the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, that Emilie had the power to overcome her past and her addictions. There is power in the blood of Jesus!

What is this power and how does it work in us?

Jesus tells us in John 16:5-7, “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor, (the Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” The power comes from the Holy Spirit of God!

What about this Holy Spirit? In the Old Testament there are appearances of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon people so they could complete certain tasks the Lord God wanted them to do. The prophets so they could prophecy, kings so they could rule justly, and in Exodus 31:1-11 we read of different artisans God used in the work of the Tent of the Meeting, which the people carried with them and set up as a place of worship, and the Ark of the Covenant they carried with them containing the 10 commandments.

Exodus 31:1-11, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “See I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set the stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you: the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent—the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand—and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.”

When God wants something specific done, He sends the Holy Spirit. The trick is the person He sends the Holy Spirit to, must receive and obey, or God’s work will not get done.

Do you listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your life, so that God can use you?

There is no evidence in the Old Testament that the Holy Spirit continued to be with those artisans after the work was done. I believe God would send the Holy Spirit to people when He wanted something done, and when the task was completed the Holy Spirit would depart.

Look at King Saul. God anointed Saul with the Holy Spirit when He made him king, but then Saul messed up. After David was anointed with the Holy Spirit to be king, we read, in 1 Samuel 16:14, “Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.”

One other point about the Holy Spirit: Until Jesus’ blood was shed on the cross, the Holy Spirit would come and go in people’s lives, then Jesus says something in John 14:15-18, that changes that. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

Up until now the Holy Spirit would come and go, but now, since Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus says the Holy Spirit will not only be with those who believe in Him, the Holy Spirit will be in them and this will be forever!

Today we celebrate Jesus’ Ascension back to the One from whom he came. How does Jesus’ Ascension to His Father fit into the giving of the Holy Spirit of God?

Jesus tells us in John 7:38-39, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the (Holy) Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

Jesus prays in John 17:1, 5, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. – “And Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”  When is Jesus glorified? When He is in the presence of His Father God!

          The Apostle Paul writes to the young Pastor Timothy, this about Jesus. “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

After Jesus tells the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit’s power to come upon them, we read in Acts 1:9, “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.”

Jesus was not glorified until after His ascension back to His Father God. The disciple John, who was there and saw Jesus ascend, would later write in John 1:14, 18, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”

John was there when Jesus ascended. He knew that Jesus was now at His Father’s side!

Today we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus, and we also celebrate our mothers. Mothers have great influence in the lives of their children. My greatest sadness comes from the fact that mothers do not bring their children to church with them, if they even go to church at all. How are the children going to learn about Jesus being glorified in his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven; and how the power of the Holy Spirit is important in their lives, if we do not teach them? They will not. The world has convinced the young families in our culture that they do not need Jesus Christ in their lives. They think they can fill the emptiness inside of them with material things or drugs and alcohol. They only time some people pray is when they want healing for a loved one, or something for themselves. It breaks my heart.

With what we know about Emilie’s mother, I don’t think she was a good influence on her daughter with the lifestyle she chose, and Emilie would never have found Jesus if she hadn’t encountered Campus Crusade for Christ.

There are, in my opinion, good mothers who live out their faith, by making sure their children receive a Christian education, which teaches them how to cope with life; as well as secular education, which teaches them how to make a living. Both are important to living a full and productive life.

There is an example of what I would call a good mother in today’s reading, May 13, from the Upper Room. Written by Susan Bates from Oregon, Susan writes of a doctor’s visit with her mother.

“Betty, you are my favorite patient!” the young doctor greeted my 90-year-old mother when my sister and I accompanied her to a regular checkup. Mom has been dealing with dementia for many years. The doctor asked Mom detailed questions to gauge her mental capacity. She had difficulty answering trivial questions, so the doctor asked, “Betty, can you write a sentence or two?” Without hesitation, Mom quickly wrote on a piece of paper, folded it, and handed it to the doctor.

The doctor read aloud, “Jesus said…’I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6)

“Doctor, you can believe it!” Mom said with her countenance glowing. The doctor smiled as he completed his notes.

After the appointment, we took Mom back to her assisted living residence, where she is cherished by the staff and other residents as she shares God’s love through her joyful spirit. We will never forget how Mom ended her prayer with us that day: “Jesus, I hope you have a wonderful day!”

Despite her illness, Mom continues to be an example of God’s faithfulness, inspiring us as she leaves her spiritual legacy. Her prayer reminded us that we can always talk to Jesus as a friend. (page 19)

What a witness that mother is to her children and to the people God puts into her life. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that mother attended church with her children.

I’ll leave you with some questions.  Does the Holy Spirit live in you? And, do you listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, so God can use you? Do you witness to your faith in the thoughts you think, the words you speak, and the things you do? You may answer ‘yes’ immediately, but I would caution you answering too quickly.

The world we live in is very noisy, and we may use the excuse our lives are too busy to spend time with God. Yet unless we make time to spend with God; reading the Bible and spending time communing with God in prayer, we will not know what the Holy Spirit of God wants us to do for God. If we do not make time to get to know God as He knows us, we will not hear what the Holy Spirit has to say to us. Prayerfully examine your heart before you answer these questions.

We cannot be the Christians we are called to be without the power that comes from the blood of Jesus poured out when He was crucified on the cross. There is power in the blood! Live in the power of the blood of Jesus, by spending time with the Holy Spirit of God, whom Jesus sent when he ascended back to the One from whom he came!

 

Pastor Rosemary DeHut                                                                                     May 13, 2018

 

 

 

 

References: Stanley, Charles F., 2008. Relying on the holy

                    spirit, Nashvillle, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

By: Ironwoodumc

May 14th, 2018

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Our Hours

Sunday Service 11:00 A.M. Central Time (nursery available)

Phone Number: 906-932-3900

Pastor: Rev. Rosemary DeHut

Pastor Rosemary is in the office on Wednesdays and Thursdays

Prayer

~~ For the renewal of the church Spirit of promise, Spirit of unity, We thank you that you are also a Spirit of renewal. Renew in the whole Church That passionate desire for the coming of your kingdom Which will unite all Christians in one mission to the world. May we all grow up together into him who is our head, The Savior of the world. Amen. ~~