Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

BOB Good morning. This is Bob Peden of Central, A United Methodist Community here in Meridian. Here is a wonderful thought from Max Lucado: “It's quiet. It's early. For the next 12 hours, I'll be exposed to the day's demands. It's now that I must make a choice. And so, I choose... I choose love. I will love God and what God loves. I choose joy. I choose peace. I will live forgiven. I choose patience — rather than complain that the wait is too long, I'll thank God for a moment to pray. I choose kindness — for that's how God has treated me. I choose goodness. I choose faithfulness. Today I'll keep my promises. My wife will not question my love. I choose gentleness. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. I choose self-control. I will be impassioned only by my faith and influenced only by God. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When this day is done, I'll place my head on my pillow and rest.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

SABRINA With a new year often comes a desire for things to change. We often find an element of discontent as we look back on the past. We may long for the bigger bank account, the nicer house, car, or to be more in control of our lives. We forget that what our HEARTS long for can’t be satisfied by what our LIVES long for. The temporal cannot satisfy the eternal. Does this morning find you in a season that feels heavy right now? Do you find yourself forfeiting God’s invitation to abide while stalled in the loneliness of the wait? We are so prone to searching for home in containers not made to carry its calling – whether in place or people, title or position, acceptance or belonging, wealth or fame – we instinctively seek to satisfy by human means. That discontent – it is because we are made in the image of God, and, therefore, our deepest needs are filled by eternal means. If this morning finds you wanting to make changes in your life, here these words from David, found in Psalm 121 “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from which comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” He then finishes reminding us, “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and forever more.” Go into this day, knowing and believing in God’s presence – in this world, in this day, in your life.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning, the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. In the Old Testament a story is told of Queen Esther and a choice she had to make. When Mordecai sent word to her about the great danger their people were facing, she could have simply tried to save herself. She could have kept quiet. Just hoped for the best, or turned the other way. But she and Mordecai both knew that God had given her great purpose in her position. She was wise, she made a plan, she didn’t stay stuck in fear or worry, she prayed and fasted, and asked for their people to do the same. She was willing to act, to follow God’s lead, to save the lives of her people, even if it meant she might lose hers. Though our current situations may look different than what Esther faced, we might still be struggling with great fear or uncertainty. The future may look dark. A hard diagnosis or recent loss may have sent us spiraling. Yet, often God places us in positions of influence, or in strategic locations, with great purpose in mind. Many times, the places where we find ourselves is not really “all about us.” It’s about Him. It’s about His bigger plan.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

TIM Good morning, I’m Tim Wise, Sanctuary Choir Director at Central. Confession is an important part of our relationship with God and to ourselves. James 5:16 says: Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. Confession is an important step for us because it is a part of getting ourselves right with God. We want God to see us as forgiven children, but how can we be forgiven if we don’t ask for it? At Central, each time we take part in the breaking of bread and taking of the cup through communion, we offer a prayer of confession. We confess many general things to God such as not loving Him with our whole heart, failing to be an obedient church, not fulfilling God’s will, breaking his law and some other things. While this seems very generic, it is a time that we become vulnerable and open to God about our sins. Although he already knows them, it is a time when we can accept the things we have done. Remember when you are working on your faith, confession is a necessary part of your spirituality. You are confessing to God what you have done and accepting it for yourself.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

GLENDA
Good Morning! This is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day...a day set aside to honor one of the most well-known Civil Rights activist in our country. I have a few little-known facts about him that I'd like to share with you. He was named Michael King, Jr. at his birth, but at the age of 6, his father had his name legally changed to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was incredibly smart. He skipped ninth and 12th grades and entered college at the age of 15.
There are over 900 streets named after him spanning over 40 states. King was the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He was arrested nearly 30 times trying to defend the civil rights of his peers. And a really fun fact about him...he was an avid Star Trek fan. The most important fact about him, to me, is that he wanted Civil Rights for all people. The best way to honor him today is to go out and find something to do for someone else. Celebrate his life and have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

DENNIS
 Good morning everyone. I am Dennis Gossett with Central United Methodist Church. The one thing we will never be able to do is to attend our own funeral. We will be there all right. It’s just that we won’t be there – be there. The Apostle Paul tells us we must host our own funeral, behold ourselves being laid in the ground and buried and then keep coming back to the cemetery and visiting the tombstone in order to remind ourselves. He writes, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Paul knows the secret to life is to die before you die. He wants us to attend our own funeral. There is actually a technical term for this phenomenon called Baptism. There are many metaphors and meanings for Christian baptism, but there is really only one: death and resurrection. “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” If ever there were a verse that needed to jump off the page and into our days, this is it. In an out of control world, we must remember there is hope through Christ. We don’t have to live in such a way that causes pain and heartbreak. In fact, we can choose a different life. What’s your choice?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

BENJI
 Have you ever noticed how small ten or twenty bucks is at a store or restaurant, but so much when the offering plate comes around or when you are asked to give to charity? An old story goes that a man had grown up needy but then amassed great wealth later in life and never wished to be parted with it, even in the afterlife. He was a pious and good man, living righteously before God, so the Lord told him he could bring one carry-on through the Pearly Gates. He withdrew all his money and decided against a check or cash, so he spent all he had on gold bars and coins and filled a suitcase completely with the precious metal. When his time came and he arrived at the gates of heaven, the angel at the gate wished to see what he had brought. When he opened his case, the angel exclaimed “You could bring anything and you brought pavement? When we one day walk those streets of gold, wealth and possessions will be left behind. So why do we hold so tightly now? Exercise extravagant generosity this week, think of others beyond yourself and see the peace it brings.