The Fourth Commandment
By Pastor Manny
Adultery, murder, and worshipping idols are cool with God now.
How did that statement strike you?
The reality is, if a pastor preached that message, a Sunday school teacher taught that lesson, or an elder in the church lived as if that statement were true, they’d all have some serious explaining to do.
Why then, are we okay with omitting the fourth commandment? Do you even know what it is? Go ahead, look it up, I’ll wait…
Did you read it? What does that mean to you? What is a “Sabbath” anyway?
Well, let me explain it in the context of the other commandments. The first three commandments are about our relationship with God. The last six are about our relationship with each other. The fourth one, well that is the bridge that connects them all together. The fourth commandment, the little cousin of the “Big Nine” gets overlooked, ignored, and omitted so often that we are guilty of not really even knowing what it is for or why we need to “Sabbath” anyway.
Imagine it like this. There are six days every week where we are fully engaged in the world around us. We work, we provide, we protect, we interact, we give of ourselves socially, emotionally, and physically. Not only do we know it, but God does too. So, on the seventh day, the day of rest, God comes out to us. He crosses over and enters our rest with us. Not that He isn’t present at those other times in our lives, but let’s be honest, we aren’t as aware of Him in those times, are we? The rest isn’t for God (He doesn’t get tired). The rest is for us. It’s for us to remember who we are in light of who He is. It’s a time for us to be recharged, not just physically, which is really important, but spiritually, which is even more important.
The problem is, when we skip taking a regular Sabbath, we are standing God up. God comes into the rest to meet with us, but we don’t show. We mean to, but then we remember that project, that paper, that game, that other thing that we’ve been putting off, and pretty soon our day of rest becomes our seventh day of work.
I won’t go into the science behind it, but trust me; our bodies were made for rest. Our minds subconsciously prepare for a day where it can work in a different way that it does the other six days a week. When this day never comes, there are physical and chemical things that take place in our bodies that are not good for us.
So, my prayer for you is that you can find your day of rest. You’ll have to be intentional about it, sometimes even ruthless. You have to be willing to say “no” and willing to put off some things in order to give your body, mind, and spirit the break it needs and deserves. And remember, Sabbath isn’t just about us. Sabbath is the bridge between God and humanity. A Sabbath isn’t a Sabbath without including God in all we do. Eugene Peterson says that the two most important things we can do on a Sabbath day or rest are, “pray and play”. If you can do these two things, you can find rest in Him.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
-Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
Remember in Prayer
~Friends/family/neighbors suffering from
the flu, colds, or other viruses.
~House of Compassion Supply Closet and
the many who visit the closet monthly.
~The Iowa Yearly Meeting Superintendent
~Nathan & Briana Martin & boys in
Cambodia, especially for their language
learning trips to Phnom Penh to bear fruit
and for their friend, a new believer, who
was run out of her home recently by her
son who is very angry about her faith.
~Wings of Refuge Ministry in Iowa Falls
who help victims of exploitation recover.
~Sam & Becky Barber in Belize who
continue to feel called to continue
~The Mesquakie Board as they re-evaluate
the future direction for Mesquakie Friends.
Worry ends where faith begins.
From the Iowa Friend Newsletter
-Thank you to all who helped Iowa Yearly Meeting end the year with a negative balance of only -$275.88 after having a negative balance at the end of November of -$19,111.01. Several churches and individuals gave year-end gifts or extra support.
-Following the end of the salaried Campus Ministry position at William Penn University, a new Campus Ministry Committee has been formed under the guidance of President, John Ottosson and Ron Bryan. There are presently four different ministries active on campus. Fellowship of Christian Athletes, InterVarsity, Team Christ, and Campus Worship service are all functioning. Campus Worship Service on Thursday mornings is being coordinated by Pastor James Tower from College Avenue Friends. FCA, InterVaristy and Team Christ are all working with a singleness of purpose and that is the Ministry of Jesus Christ for students but each in a different manner and timeframe. The committee’s present task is to clarify how they can all work together in a coordinated fashion.
-During a called meeting of the Mesquakie Friends Board on January 31st a decision was made to no longer continue Deneen Ahumada’s contract as Director of Mesquakie Friends Church. All programs and services have been suspended through the end of March 2015. During March the Mesquakie Board will reevaluate the future direction of Mesquakie Friends.
-A new maintenance/storage building is taking shape at Camp Quaker Heights and will be ready to use by this summer. The building is located at the far end of the RV area and will provide a much needed area to store machinery and equipment. Also, Camp qualified for a Trees Forever grant and will be planting new trees this spring! A date will be announced for this event.
HOC Meal Report
On Thursday, February 26th, five from BLFC and 3 from HCNP Friends Church were involved in preparing, serving and clean up for the meal for 52 guests. The menu was sausage gravy, potatoes, biscuits, green beans with bacon, carrots, mixed fruit, angel food cake, milk and coffee. Thanks to all of our great volunteers! Our next meal responsibility will be Friday, March 27th.
Our son, Ashden, was born last week and as he was born, I thought about new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
We have new life with Christ.
Just as a baby is born, they have new life. We can experience that new life when Christ is the Lord of our life. When we have a relationship with Him, our new life begins.
One of the definitions of “new” can mean different. When we know and love Christ, we are different. Different in the things we do. Different in the things we say. Different in what we watch. There are a thousand things that can make us different when we know Christ.
I know I am different because I met Jesus. I used to live life one way. I met Jesus, and now I am different. My life is new because of Christ.
How are you different since you met Jesus?
The end of I Corinthians 15:22 says, “…everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.” Have you experienced a new life?
Kris Smitherman, Youth Pastor
Our Monthly Potluck meal will be held on Sunday, March 8th after Worship with Rick’s Seekers Class hosting.
The Christian Ed Committee would like to encourage you to participate in the Wednesday night DEEPER classes. It’s never too late to drop into a study. A meal is furnished each week, beginning at 6:15, for your free will donations. At 7:00 we have several options for adults and classes for youth and children, as well as a nursery. Many stay after 8:00 to continue visiting. All are welcome. Feel free to bring a friend along. Don’t let the dreary winter keep you away from Bible study and fellowship. Join us at DEEPER this week!
Bangor USFW ladies will meet at Ann Nichols’ home at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, March 17th. All ladies of the church are welcome to attend.
Liberty USFW ladies will meet Thursday, March 19th, details to be announced.
BLFC April Monthly Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 29th due to Easter falling on the first Sunday in April.
Youth Group News
Saturday, March 28 - SkyZone, Lunch, Movie, all for $20. Let Kris S.
know ASAP if you are going!
Wednesday, April 29 - 5th Wednesday, Youth Night at BLFC - Fundraising
meal/activities, all ages. No DEEPER
Iowa USFW Spring Fling
Lynnville Friends Church
Saturday, March 28th
Theme - “Here I am, Lord. Send me!” Registration 9:30 am.
Program, 10 am to noon, Lunch. Concluding Program, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. To register, please email Lyn Kinney: mirror at netins.net or call Lyn
Get ready for a little “Friendly” competition this month!! The Missions Committee has chosen the House of Compassion supply closet for its monthly emphasis. We will have a competition for all ages between the men (and boys!) and women (and girls!) to see who can bring the most items for the closet. There will be a pink box and blue box in the fellowship hall for your items! Items will each be worth a certain amount of points (since some are more expensive than others). The team with the lower score at the end of the month will have to serve (prepare, serve, clean-up) the winners at our next potluck meal!! Items to bring: Disposable diapers (5pts), laundry detergent (3pts), dish soap (2pts), paper towels (1pt), and Kleenex (1pt). Let’s get those shelves stocked up and have some fun at the same time! All items are due by Sunday,
March 29. BLFC Missions Committee
Children’s Easter Party
Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. to Noon, BLFC
Children, 4th grade & under, are invited!
Easter egg hunt, crafts, games, the
Easter story & lunch
Easter Services at BLFC
-Maundy Thursday Service/Prayer Vigil
on April 2nd
-Children’s Easter Party, April 4th
-Easter Sunrise Service & Breakfast on
April 5th followed by Sunday School
and Worship. Times of these events
will be announced.
Coming in April!
Garrison Memorial Golf Scramble
4 person, best position tournament
9:00 a.m. shotgun start
April 25, 2015
Oakland Acres Golf Club
$200 per team, includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, lunch and prizes.
Need more information or want to register a team? Contact Anthony Nieuwsma at
641-236-6412 or at www.grinnellfriends.org/scramble.
IAYM Missions Board invites you to help with a special Easter project.
Through Ron Bryan’s visits to Friends in southern Tanzania we have been given a glimpse of how God is working through a small group of Friends to expand the kingdom of God.
God is using these people to not only grow a church in their own area around Kyela but they have already started five churches in Dar Es Salaam and they are planning how to share the message of God’s love in the bordering country of Malawi.
Friends in Tanzania are choosing to build a church in Kyela that can also serve as their headquarters for Friends in southern Tanzania. If you would like to join with other Friends in giving to this special Easter offering you may send your gift to the Missions Board Treasurer, Dorothy Taylor, 1121 Parkway Drive, Boone, IA.
Are you on a fixed income?
Are you elderly (62+)? Disabled? Or have kids in your home?
Do you need help paying your rent?
The City Housing Office in Marshalltown may be able to help. They now have a very short waiting list for families who meet the preferences of elderly, disabled or households with dependents. It is a great time to apply. If you are in need of assistance or someone you know could use the help contact the housing office at 641-754-5756, go online to www.ci.marshalltown.ia.us, or visit us at 36 N. Center Street in Marshalltown. We cover Marshall, Tama and Hardin Counties. The HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance program is a federally funded program and the City is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider.
Dates for Summer Camps at CQH
Little Fry (k-2nd grade) June 12-14
Elementary (3rd-6th grade) June 21-25
Jr/Sr High Camp (7th-12th) June 14-19
Young Adult - June 5-7 -
(college freshmen-age 35)
We do have a scholarship fund to help all
our youth attend camp if they wish
to do so. Camp brochures & costs
will be available soon. (Last year the costs ranged from $175-$315.)
*Youth will need to let Youth Pastor
Kris or Ann Rogers know they plan
to attend a summer camp
before the end of April.
Library Ledge Snow, Ice, Winter Weather Warnings & Lent!
Winter is not over yet, so curl up and read a book. Spring will emerge soon. It is now time to observe the Lenten season. Many Christians are now committing to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a means to focus more on God. Many also add a spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional, to draw themselves nearer to God. We have many such books in our library.
"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller
Kris and Amber Smitherman welcomed a new son, Ashden Lee, on Wednesday, February 25th at 11:01 a.m. Ashden weighed 8 lbs, 12 ozs, and was 21” long at birth. Welcoming him home were siblings, Aiden, Adaline, Zander, and Ava.