News from Matt
Out of the Closet
I am going to talk about something that most of us donít want to think about. Well, actually, we talk about it quite a bit. We acknowledge how important it is. We talk about how often we do it. How good it feels when we do it. How we do it with our spouse every day. How much we get out of it. How bad our day truly is when we donít do it. How we canít wait to do it again. Iím talking about prayer of course.
Prayer is that spiritual discipline that we all engage in when we are at home, with family and alone. But if we are honest there are times, likely early in our Christian walk when we treat prayer like that closet just inside the front door of our home. You know the one Iím talking about. That closet that collects all the miscellaneous non-sense that enters our house for one reason or another but never really finds a place or a purpose in the home. Instead of disposing of these things we just set it inside the closet and forget about it. Itís now out of the way and out of sight. But then every few weeks, or months, we open that closet and realize that we really do have to do something about it. So we take an hour or so and clean it out, get rid of all the stuff that is nothing more than clutter and organize everything else so it is now a clean, orderly closet just as it was meant to be when we built the house. At that moment we walk away thinking well we really accomplished something. We feel good about ourselves, we pat ourselves on the back and bask in the euphoria of having done what was necessary. But deep down we know, as sure as the sun rises in the east, that in two weeks we will have to do the same thing all over again.
Too often we treat prayer not as a spiritual discipline but as a spiritual nuisance. Yes, we know it is necessary. Yes, we know it is expected. But so often, since it is something between just us and God we assume that God wonít mind not hearing from us today. Because today we are really busy. There is so much going on from work, to kids, to school, to whatever else we find to fill our time, that there is just not a good time to stop what we are doing and pray to our Heavenly Father. Next to trying to rid my vocabulary of those choice four letter words I learned so many years ago, having a regular, consistent prayer life has been the greatest challenge of my Christian walk.
How do you get past the days of the hall closet prayer life? For me the key was to make prayer a habit of my day. Itís a matter of training not just your brain, but your heart as well. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians to ďpray unceasingly.Ē That seems a little daunting, doesnít it? Unceasingly? Always? Continuously? Never stoppingly? What he means is always being ready to pray. Always looking for reasons to pray.
Habits are learned. We can train ourselves to adopt certain habits. We just have to have a plan for this. My breakthrough came when I discovered the smartphone. Make a list of items you need to pray for or about. Give each item an alarm and space these alarms throughout your day. To begin keep your list to five to seven things. Space your alarms/prayers about every hour to hour and a half. When the alarm goes off you look at your phone see what is on your list and move on. A prayer can take as long as it takes to put your phone back in your pocket. The idea is that after a number of days and by the end of your first week prayer is a habit of your day. This process keeps the items on your prayer list at the front of your mind, it also keeps the most important relationship you will ever have at the front of your mind. This isnít the end, itís the first lap of the race. While youíre making prayer a habit, you are also making it an attitude. Your habits, like your attitude say a great deal about the one to whom you belong. Itís not a matter of time spent praying. Itís a matter of taking the time in our day to acknowledge Him and our reliance on Him.
Volunteers are needed for Deeper Nursery Ministry, Worship Nursery Ministry, and Sunday School Nursery Ministry. Please see Jo Macy to have your name put on the list. This is open for men and women. We also need greeters.
We have a few more background checks in; if you need one please talk to Chris Evertsen
5th Grade & Middle School Bibles
Bibles have arrived and will be presented Nov 8, 2015 during church. Formal invitations will be sent.
LIBRARY LEDGE OTHER BIOGRAPHIES: Billy Graham Godís Ambassador, Footprints of a Pilgrim by Ruth Bell Graham, Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman, Honestly by Sheila Walsh, Still Growing by Kirk Cameron, Dear Zoe is about a premature baby girl written by her grandfather, and An Invisible Thread. Fall is a whirlwind of exploding colors and a time to begin new Bible studies. The library has many guides for both individual and group study. In September, I watched several movies that revealed the vast difference between going our own way, and following God, and the consequences that resulted. Come discover the timeless principles of Scripture. Letís find ways to grow closer to God. Check out the new books we have & watch for our book sale this fall. Love & Prayers, Kristy
Thank you so much for the kind words and prayers while I was in the hospital. Thank you for the flowers, they helped to brighten up my room!
Leah Kay Higgins