Friday, November 16, 2018
TIM Good morning, I’m Tim Wise, Senior Adult Minister and Sanctuary Choir Director at Central. In Matthew 14, the author tells the story of Jesus walking on the water. Amazed and surprised, Peter calls out to Jesus and says, “Lord, if it is you, then call me to come to you.” Jesus does so, and Peter begins walking on the water to Jesus. But then he gets overwhelmed with fear at the storm around him, and he begins to sink. Jesus reaches his hand out and pulls Peter out of the water and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” So, why did Peter begin to sink? He lost his faith, he began to doubt, he got scared, and he took his eyes off of Jesus. Now, let's give Peter some benefit of the doubt here…put yourself in his position. Can you blame him for getting scared and losing faith and not trusting in this guy that they are still really getting to know? Of course, we can’t blame him because we do it ourselves! When we as followers of Jesus take our eyes off of Jesus, we begin to sink as well. But praise be to God for Jesus who reaches out and picks us right back up and pulls us out of the water. We are humans and we are going to have doubt. It's in our nature. And then…when we turn our eyes upon Jesus…and look full in his wonderful face, the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
GLENDA Good Morning! In Psalms 19:14, David prays these words to God: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” He was asking God to approve his words and thoughts as though they were offerings brought before the altar. When you think about it, God does hear all of our words and he knows what’s in our hearts; therefore, we do need to be careful of the words we say and the things we think. Anyone who knows me knows that this is certainly a verse I need to be praying constantly! Which means, I’m not perfect, and I don’t know anyone who is. The good news is God loved David with all His faults and still used him. He loves you and me the same way, and if we let him, he can do wonders for us and through us. So, let’s ask God to guide our words and thoughts and let’s go out and make today a wonderful day!!!
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
SABRINA There is a children’s book, “How Full is Your Bucket?” This book is told through the story of a boy named Felix who learns a valuable “bucket filling” metaphor and watches it come to life as the day unfolds. Felix begins to see how every interaction in a day either fills or empties his bucket. He then realizes that everything he says or does to other people fills or empties their buckets as well. Before the day is over, Felix discovers that filling someone else’s bucket also fills his own. Each of us has an invisible bucket. If we fill our buckets with only business and work, we turn into businesspeople. If we fill them with arguments, we become critical. If we fill them with a cynical spirit, we’ll become cynics. If we fill them with joy, we’ll experience tremendous happiness. Here’s the simple message Jesus has for us: If we fill our buckets with love, we can actually become love. It’s how we engage with those we come in contact with that shows who and whose we really are. People don’t grow where they’re planted; they grow where they’re loved. So today, go into the day like Felix – with the sole intention of filling the buckets of others, and in the meantime, you will find your own bucket filled.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. I grew up in a household that loved the outdoors, and we especially loved hunting season. As a child, I could not wait until it was that time again when we would head to the woods and the dream of harvesting a trophy was always on my mind. As a follower of Jesus, you and I have been called to go into the world and invite others to follow the way of Jesus. The earliest moments of our movement were filled with the stories of men and women that gave everything they had to influence others to follow him. I hope that as we are able to see a new year in the distance that we start to reclaim the passion of seeing people come to a saving faith in Jesus. It should excite us more than sports, outdoor adventures, or traveling the world. If we shift our focus from seeing each other as competition and instead see each other as co-workers, then maybe this passion will change the communities that we live in. Jesus is worth being passionate about. If you want a better life, I invite you to come and follow Jesus with us at Central.
Monday, November 12, 2018
BENJI Good morning! I’m Benji Riddle – Director of Youth Ministry at Central United Methodist. Here is some inspiration to make sure this Monday is a fun day. We can experience true freedom in Christ, for the chains of sin have been broken for all who seek to be loosed from them, if we would only have a child-like faith. A man was traveling during a storm and decided to stop and get out of the rain until it blew over. When he did, he saw a large tent where a revival was going on, unabashed in the face of the tempest. He went in and was struck by the unshakeable truth he heard preached. He surrendered to the Lord and rose from his knees a new man. By the time the revival ended, the storm had done so as well, and the man walked out of the tent declaring loudly “I’m Free…I’m Free!” There was a child near him who joyfully returned the man’s exuberant exclamation with this “That’s great, but I got you beat. I’m four.” May we go to the Lord this week knowing we are God’s children, set free and loved above all else.
Friday, November 9, 2018
MATT FARMER Good Morning! I’m Matt Farmer, Associate Pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Meridian. When I first got married, I called my dad on a regular basis for advice. At some point in the conversation, I would say “I’ve got a question for you.” Eventually, it became a running joke between us and he would sometimes answer the phone and say, “What’s your question?” One day I a replied, “No question, just wanted to talk.” Have you ever just called a friend or loved one just to talk or hear their voice? There is something about hearing the voice of those you care about. It’s an important part of building up our relationship with that person. But what about in our prayer life? Do we call on God just when we need something, or do we talk with Him regularly just in hopes of hearing from him? Prayer is essential if we want to deepen our relationship with God. It aligns our heart with His and our will to his will for our lives. I encourage you to pray - not only when you are in need or when you have a question but just in hopes of hearing his voice.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
TIM Good morning, I’m Tim Wise, Senior Adult Minister and Sanctuary Choir Director at Central. Jesus is preaching to the crowds on the mountains of Galilee when Jesus tells those gathered around that we are called to be the salt of the earth. Salt has three major uses: preservation, flavor, and medicine. Salt prevents rot and decay. So, when we are the salt of the earth, we are called to live lives free from sin and corruption, and therefore, we can help preserve those around us. We add salt to food when it is bland don’t we? Food that tastes good makes the consumption more experiential and meaningful. As salt is to food, so are Christians to be to life. We are called to add flavor and good taste to the world around us. Salt can also be used in medicine. It helps kill bacteria and cleanse disease. It's also an old trick to gargle salt water to help a sore throat. Salt helps cleanse and nurse back to life that which is not well. And we are called to cleanse those around us and help them heal. Finally, also note that salt creates thirst. Salt by itself can leave your mouth dry and in need of water. The world around us is spiritually dehydrated and needs nourishing. So, we are called to be salt so people thirst for something more! We can make them thirst for it by the way we live our lives. It will invoke the thirst and God will do the hydrating. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” May those around you sense your “saltiness” so they may receive God.