August 2018: A Response to Pain
I paused on Psalm 22 today. It felt vaguely familiar: “I’m a bucket kicked over and spilled, every joint in my body has been pulled apart….” [The Message]
Pain is a warning that something is wrong. I went six months with ankle pain before I saw the doctor. That’s called being stubborn and foolish. I kept putting it off thinking the pain would go away by itself. It didn’t. The bad tissue in my Achilles got worse. By the time of surgery, 60-70% of the tendon had to go. I had no idea it was that bad. I wish I had done something sooner.
The pain David describes in Psalm 22 is a different kind of pain. It’s the pain of being mistreated by people, even by life in a sinful world. The Psalm continues by showing us that David didn’t make the mistake I made. He turned quickly to the one who can help, the Lord. David promised to tell his friends about God’s faithfulness, goodness, and glory, even in the midst of a fallen, painful world.
Pain is a part of life. It is a warning that something is wrong with the world that was supposed to be Eden. We hurt one another, we are hurt by life circumstances, we are hurt by people and systems in power over us. There is not a person you will meet who is not feeling the effects of a fallen world.
Part of being a disciple is following Jesus’ example of stepping into the pain of others, caring for them, encouraging them, listening, and supplying help when possible. Jesus did that countless times in the Gospels. That was what David was doing, in part, when he pointed other hurting people to worship God. David focused less on his pain than on the God who will restore everything to its rightful place. He encouraged others to do the same.
We have opportunities to do that every day. Participating in the 21:5 projects is one way to do this. The most powerful ways to do care for others are always the most personal. FBC has cared for Ann and me through meals, cards, encouragement, etc. Let’s do the same for co-workers, neighbors, and friends. They are in pain, they know something is wrong. We can point people to the Lord by sharing how He took care of us in our pain. The faster we do point people to the Lord, the faster they will meet the one who can cure them. That seems like a great response to living in a painful, fallen world.
Thank You from the Malones!
Ann and I are very grateful for your generosity during my recovery from surgery. The meals were a blessing – and always delicious. Please feel free to cook for us anytime. Thank you also for the notes of encouragement. We feel loved by this wonderful community of believers.
PROJECT 21:5 UPDATE
Our 21:5 projects are under way; there are lists for the first six projects which constitute Phase 1 of our Project 21:5 initiative at the Outreach Desk in the foyer. You may talk with a project representative and sign up for projects at that desk.
We have projects of all kinds, so there is something for everyone. Look over the lists at the Outreach Desk this Sunday. Choose your project, sign up, and get involved in blessing our community with the love of Jesus!
Phase 1 will last from July 29 – August 12, when all items are due to be returned to the labeled boxes in the foyer.
Phase 2 will begin August 12. More details will be coming soon about these projects. A number of them will be hands on service projects.
Revelation 21:5 is the basis for these projects: “And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.”
Let’s let our community know that Jesus does indeed make all things new by investing in outreach efforts that show them we, as the hands and feet of Jesus, see and care about them.
KIDS’ MINISTRY CHANGES
Ginny warned me five years ago that she planned to retire eventually. I told her I supported a retirement date eight years from then. I had in mind a rolling eight years. Every year I told her that she had eight more years. Then she went part-time. So I told her that she now had 16 years. She always laughed, as if it were a joke. It wasn’t.
Ginny sat down with me at the end of last year and informed me that, all kidding aside, she couldn’t see herself running Children’s Ministry after she turned 70. Since she turns 70 in November (yes, I have her permission to say that), she wanted to fully retire by the end of this year, completely disregarding my 16 year time frame. Sadly, I relented.
Rebecca Simcox, who has worked with Ginny in Children’s Ministry, will move into Ginny’s role. When Ginny came to me about retirement, she strongly advocated that Rebecca should replace her. Ginny continued advocating for Rebecca in the months since. Rebecca will provide fresh vision and ideas that Ginny believes will allow the ministry to build on what she and Kim (and countless others) have established.
The Children’s Ministry is in great hands. Kim Auran is incredibly gifted – this ministry would not function without her. I am not even giving her a 16 year option; she has to stay indefinitely. Fortunately for FBC, she’s going to continue to provide her excellent ministry.
Jean Fletcher is also a key staff member in Children’s Ministry. Jean will continue her ministry to our 456 grades. She’s another one who I’m trying to keep indefinitely.
Ginny has provided unbelievable leadership to our Children’s Ministry. She has guided us through curriculum changes and the move into the Tree House. She forwarded our vision for ministry to families, and found creative ways to impact children and families outside of FBC. It is impossible to overstate her blessing to our church. She also a good friend.
We will have the chance to say thank you and celebrate her ministry toward the end of the year. Of course, it is completely appropriate to start letting her know now how much you appreciate her. Ginny will still be a vibrant part of FBC. She asks you to join her in praying for wisdom about how she continues to impact lives her at FBC and beyond.
All kids who have completed kindergarten through 3rd grade are invited to join us in watching “The Star” on Friday, August 3rd from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Parents may sign their kids in starting at 10:00 and the movie will start at 10:15 a.m. All are welcome join us for lunch at Chick-Fil-A on 4th street afterwards.
Moving on Up!
This is an exciting day when we “promote” the kids to their new classes on Sunday morning! From nursery through kindergarten, the child’s birthday must be before September 1 (like the school districts) in order to move up to the next class. In the elementary, the kids move up with their grade levels in the 9:00 Life Groups and in 123 and 456 Churches at 10:30.
On Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m., parents can register 2-year-olds through 6th graders for the new AWANA year. Then plan to stay for the hot dog supper to celebrate!
We look forward to a great year of learning with your children!
Awana Bible Club for Kids
It’s almost time…Awana time that is. This month will be busy with the hustle and bustle of getting ready to welcome boys and girls back to learning God’s word in Awana for the coming school year.
Registration will be on August 19th starting at 5 pm with a hot dog supper for parents and kids, an overview of our ministry and registration for 2 year olds (Puggles), 3 and 4 year olds (Cubbies), Kindergarten thru 2nd grades (Sparks) and 3rd thru 6th grade (T&T).
First club will be on August 26th beginning at 5 pm. Come join us in the adventure of a lifetime as we share God’s love with children.
Fellowship Women — PIZZA & PRAYER
August 4 | 6:30 pm | FBC Gym
Fellowship Women will enjoy a time of fellowship over pizza, and then we will enjoy a time of praying for all the teachers, students, families and logistics for all the schools (public, private and homeschool) for the coming year. Bring your favorite pizza to share. Join us as we come together to cover the next generation and those who teach them in prayer!
Fellowship Women : LIFE TRANSFORMATION GROUPS
Ladies, are you looking for a small group of women you can do LIFE with, dig into the WORD of God, and PRAY for one another? Then you may be looking for a Life Transformation Group (LTG). Rebecca Williams and Lauren Gibson are starting a ministry position as LTG coordinators. We want to help you link up with other like-minded women and study scripture together and hold one another accountable. During FBC women’s gatherings, we will begin to share testimonies from these groups and share more about how they work. If this is something you are interested in, please send an email to Lauren and Rebecca at LongviewFBCwomen@gmail.com (or you can connect with us through Facebook) with the following information: your name, your address (sometimes location can help form a group), your phone number, if you prefer daytime or evening, and what you are searching for in an accountability group.
Tell me more! What is an LTG group?
– Your group will decide on a book of the Bible to read and each week you will read 1-2 chapters of that book. The intent is to read the chapters every single day so you have read the chapter 5-6 times before you come back together. (See Psalm 1:1-2)
– During the 2 hours of meet time, you spend about 1 hour discussing scripture and what you have learned. Then spend the next hour sharing life and prayer requests and praying for each other. (See James 5:16)
– The ideal group size is 3-5 ladies. Once you hit 6, then you MULTIPLY (See the book of Acts for our Biblical instruction to multiply).
– Groups may have a mix of life seasons in the groups (see Titus 2 for our Biblical instruction for the more mature in faith to teach the less mature in faith).
– Groups usually meet once/week, but may also take breaks or have social nights (including families and maybe invite non-believers!) as their schedules dictate. Because the groups are so small, you can be flexible as you need to be.