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May 15, 2024

 

Hello Living Word Church,

 

The origin of this weekly newsletter was the pandemic.  During that perilous time, our team made a commitment to communicate on a high level so that we felt connected.  Prior to the pandemic we wrote a monthly newsletter.  In fact, 17 years ago when I began, it was a printed bi-fold newsletter with calendar and clip art.  Well, times have changed a bit, and our calendar of events is on our website, and the clip art has given way to sharper graphics.  And yet the need to encourage and inform remains the same.  In fact, the scripture calls the church to encourage one another especially as the day of the Lord draws near.  The passage reads:

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near (Heb. 10:24, NLT).

Beyond emails, newsletters, phone calls, text messages and social media posts, the Bible’s main thrust for encouragement is meeting together.  The gathering or THE CHURCH is a prime source of encouragement, so we are not to neglect it.  I received this email message from one of our members this week, and she gave me permission to share with you – 

 

I was on the schedule to serve with the family ministry at 11am so my plan was to just watch the live stream later that day, but the Holy Spirit had other plans. I was prompted to go to the 9am service and to my surprise I found my Aunt sitting there alone, and then on top of that, the Word was delivered powerfully by Vida. While I know the convenience of the livestream is great for our busy lives it really brought home the intentionality and beauty of the spirit that happens in a community of believers. There is a watering down of the power of the word and spirit through the screen, and Sunday’s message was one that I needed to be a part of in-person.

 

For those who participate on livestream because you are home-bound.  Praise God!  We are delighted that we can connect on this level, and hopefully the occasional home visits and phone calls from our visitation team encourage you.  But for those who are now bound-to-stay-home because livestream is convenient, I implore you – came back to the sanctuary and gather with God’s people.  It’s encouraging, and There is nothing on earth like it!  The Lord inhabits the praises of His people, and we the Living Stones, the Temple of God are the structure that God inhabits as we gather.  Let’s not forsake what God has ordained.  

 

Pastor Brian

 

Connect Group Reflection Questions:  I invite you to consider Vida’s main Mother’s Day point – the mandate for parenting and raising children remains the same.  

  1. What are some scriptures that Vida used, or other scriptures that you have researched which outline God’s mandate for example setting and spiritual life in the home?

  2. What are some life lessons from your mother or from your own experience that have a Biblical basis?  

  3. If you could sit with a new parent, what wisdom would you share?

  4. How can you pray for and encourage the parents that you know?  Is there anyone on your heart to reach out to and encourage?  

 

p.s.  for my birdwatchers and nature lovers…. As I write, a turkey has returned to my front lawn.  Clearly, she is interested in the bird feeder and thankfully my dog has not taken notice!  Also keeping an eye on a squirrel who is trying to jump from the our outside light to the bird feeder…so far, not even close.

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