From Pastor Todd Malone
Going to one worship service was meant to last for the summer. Summer travel schedules created an opportunity to come together as one body on Sunday mornings. The feedback has been amazing. People love worshipping together. Just this morning I heard that one of our Encore members has been moved by worshipping with people in other generations. That’s exciting! In response to such overwhelming feedback, we are going to continue with one service. This creates challenges for some folks. Please let me know if you are in that category. I want to help you overcome them if possible.
Jim’s sermon contrasted the Pharisees and a Gentile woman. The Pharisees cared a lot about checking boxes. They wanted Jesus (and everyone else) to live by their rules in order to be acceptable to God. The problem, of course, is that someone can obey the rules but have neither faith in God or love for God. The woman lived outside of the Pharisees’ rules, but she had faith. Jesus blessed the woman, not the Pharisees.
I can be like the Pharisees. It’s easier to reduce my walk with the Lord to checkboxes than to rely on him by faith. I can control checkboxes. It gives me the illusion that I’m in control of life, even of the Lord (“If I do ‘x,’ then the Lord will have to do ‘y.’) The woman pursued Jesus, depending on and trusting in him.
How to Pray for FBC
Pray for FBC’s board. This is the time when we consider possible board members for 2018. This year’s board is in the midst of several big decisions. Pray for wisdom.
Continue to pray for FBC’s finances. Our June giving came in about $2,000 below budget. That’s not bad, but we are still digging into our reserves to pay the bills.
How to pray for our Community
Today’s Longview News-Journal featured a picture of the new Montessori school on the front page. This is the school that will be headed by FBC’s Dr. Jacqueline Burnett. It is one of the schools we will support through a book drive and tutoring and mentoring in the Fall.
Pray for the final details to come together for the new facilities, the new staff and faculty (Dr. Burnett is interviewing teachers). Let’s pray that many people will come to know the Lord because he is at work in that school.
How to pray for our World
How do we pray for a world experiencing so much violence and tragedy? I have been reading Psalm 5 recently. It’s a good place to start. It calls out to the Lord to deal with the arrogant, wicked, and violent. It asks the Lord to hear the victims and shelter them. When you hear news of tragedy (like this week’s fires in southern France) or terror, read through Psalm 5 and pray along with it.
Praying for Our Kids
Our kids at FBC are the next missionaries, teachers and leaders of our world. They need your prayers! Please join us by agreeing to pray for them weekly or once a month on campus. We will send out weekly prayer needs through email and once a month we will join to pray for each child by name. Please let Rebecca Simcox know if you would like to be a part of one or both of these. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text or call her at (903) 445-0472.