Roger here this week enjoying the snow and cold weather. Mary Jo and I have already burned through a few logs on the fireplace, trekked the snow-packed park next to the church, and savored a cup of coffee or two. These are memory-makers that remind us of seasons and the beauty each brings. I love this time of year for its uniqueness. Of course, I'm looking forward to the colors of Spring just around the corner, too.
"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." - 1 John 4:7-8
These verses are the first verses I memorized through song. Maybe you know the medley and just sang it as you read it. Maybe not. I learned it KJV-style like this:
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love....Beloved, let us love one another...1 John 4:7-8."
I learned from an early age the importance of loving God with all that I am. As I grew into my teen years and then into young adulthood, I began to place barriers in front of that love. These self-imposed barriers create a void that lasts for many years if we are not diligent in recognizing them and removing them. We must begin to release and trust.
In my message for Sunday, we will take a look a three barriers to love as we gain wisdom from John's gospel, chapter 4. Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well provides the framework. I invite you to read ahead and come ready to explore God's love as we worship Him this Sunday. We will sing a few familiar hymns, read Scripture, and encourage each other in fellowship.
NOTE: Our Sunday service continues to meet at 9:30am, with two options for participating.
NOTE: For the month of February, our "after-church" zoom gathering will be joining our discipleship class titled, "Resolving Everyday Conflict". See below for information on the class. To receive a book, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Mornings in February: “Resolving Everyday Conflict”
You will need a copy of the book “Resolving Everyday Conflict” and your Bible.
In-person and Zoom options
Link for zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84125779768
We all encounter conflict - whether it be with a coworker, family member, friend, or complete stranger. And yet we all desire harmony in our relationships. Resolving Everyday Conflict is a practical, biblical, and concise guide to peacemaking in everyday life. This biblical guide written by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson will take you far beyond simply ending conflicts. Instead, true, life-changing reconciliation can take place in your relationships.
Topics that will be covered include:
Finally, attached is our weekly prayer list.
See you Sunday!
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17
God's never-ending, unconditional, unfathomable love is the focus of week #4 of Advent. Any doubt of God's love disappeared the night God was wrapped in strips of cloth and laid in a manger.
Don't miss our online service this Sunday at 9:30am, as we continue our series, Surprised by Jesus.
As we continue to have church online, I want to remind you how to access our livestream service. You can access the livestream on our website, www.parksidefellowship.org. Click on the "YouTube live" link located on the home page where it reads "Schedule". Once you click on this link, you will be directed to our livestream service that begins at 9:30am.
Note: There will NOT be an After-Church Zoom Gathering this Sunday.
Please continue to pray for each other, our neighbors, our community and our nation.
"See" you Sunday.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! For most of us, this day can be summed up in one of two words that both begin with the same letter......LOVE and LONELINESS! To love and be loved is the bedrock of our existence. Thankfully, we have a God who at His core is love. John 3:16 says it best, "For God LOVED the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life".....now that's love!
What about the lonely? What about those who don't have a relationship with our God of love? How can we show them God's love? Let me share with you a story I heard about one person's desire to love others to Jesus.
"I work at a local community college and often buy lunch in the cafeteria. When I first encountered the lunch lady, she was taking my money. I noticed that she had short, gray hair and the kind of fingernail polish that changes according to the holiday. I also noticed that her nametag said "Dottie". The next week I told her I liked her nails, and I noticed that she had a bad chest cold. I prayed for her health, but I didn't mention my prayer to her. The following week, I asked how her cold was. She said it was getting worse and she was worried because she is a cancer survivor. She was afraid that the cancer might have come back. It was two more weeks before I saw Miss Dottie again. When I asked how she was, she said the doctors had confirmed the return of her cancer. We teared up together, and I promised to pray for her. The next week I brought Miss Dottie a present. It was a book on facing cancer with faith, hope and humor. I also gave her a card thanking her for always being there to smile at me, and I offered to go to treatment with her sometime. She grabbed my hand and said, 'Thank you so much!' Then she asked me to come around to the other side of the booth to give her a hug. Later Miss Dottie had to quit her job due to her cancer. Our church hosted a 'We love Miss Dottie' fundraiser and raised over $1,000 for her family. She was astonished that strangers would care for her in this way. I'm grateful to God that I noticed Miss Dottie. God has planted her family in my heart, and I can't stop praying for her."
We have an opportunity to have God plant a "Miss Dottie" in our lives. This Sunday at 3:00pm, Parkside Fellowship is in charge of leading the worship service at Creekside. I want to ask you to consider clearing your calendar and joining myself and several others as we simply love others who are lonely. We also want to do the same for Beaverton Lodge and will be planning opportunities to love this community as well.
Again I hope to see you Sunday, both at one of our morning services and again at Creekside Village at 3:00pm. Until then, remember this, noticing others will change your life. It will plant people firmly in your heart. When that happens, everything changes......including you!
See you Sunday.
I often wonder how much of our spiritual activity boils down to us managing God, instead of seeking Him. I also wonder which we love more, our dreams for our lives or God's dreams for our lives. While most of us might quickly say, of course I desire a life that seeks after God and why wouldn't I want to pursue God's dream for my life, the truth is, this is easier spoken out than lived out.
Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, turned some loose change into a multi-million dollar company that had sold more than fifty million videos, when it all came crashing down with one lawsuit. Fourteen years worth of introducing kids to God, Jesus and some of the incredible stories found in the Bible went up in smoke. Phil's dream of continuing to impact kids with the message that God loves them, quickly vanished.
Phil was left to do some serious soul-searching, when he heard a pastor make this statement: "If God gives you a dream, and the dream comes to life and God shows up in it, and then the dream dies, it may be that God wants to see what is more important to you---the dream or Him".
As you strive to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, is it because of what He can do for you or because of who He is? In its purest form, loving God is loving God for God.....nothing more......nothing less.....nothing else.
In Phil's words, "The impact God has planned for us doesn't occur when we're pursuing impact. It occurs when were pursuing God. At long last, after a lifetime of striving to serve God, God was enough. Not God and ministry. Just God."
This Sunday, we will wrap-up our focus on the Great Commandment, which asks us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. As we pursue this type of love for God, which simply loves God for being God, then our lives will exceed our wildest dreams. Why? Because God's love and His dreams will shine brightly through our lives.
See you Sunday.
This Sunday, at 9:15am, we will continue our series on The Great Commandment, which Jesus clearly states is to....
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength."
This week, we will focus our attention on loving God with all of our soul. For me, prayer, perhaps more than any other activity, is the best way for me to show my love for God with all my soul. In addition to all the other work that gets done through prayer, perhaps the greatest work of all is the knitting of our soul with the soul of God. I have never hear anyone regret the amount of time they have devoted to prayer.
"For where there is much prayer there is much love." John Ortberg
Allow your soul to be united to God's through prayer.
One last reminder that the Celebration of Life for Letha Lane with be held this Saturday, January 19th, at 10:30am in the worship center.
Also, this Sunday at 11:45am, we invite you to join us in room #307/308 for a special Adults on Mission lunch. Julie Calvert, a missionary with the International Mission Board, is home on furlough from her work in England and will be sharing with us how God has been working in and through her life as an international missionary. Parkside Fellowship will provide salad, bread and drinks. Please bring a soup to share.
I think that's it for now! Hope to see you on Sunday.....if not before.
Doug Boyd - Sr. Pastor