Dear Sisters in Christ,
Thank you to LeeAnn Simonson for our devotional this week on John 4:1-38
JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
I recently returned from a visit to my son and his family who live in Siem Reap, Cambodia. While there I attended the small Christian church where they worship. I had worshiped there on my last trip, too, and watched as my son and his wife took their marriage vows at the same altar. All three occasions had a great impact on me. How and why…since I could not understand their language and knew no one?
It was their JOY, JOY, JOY! It showed in their faces, their movements, their animated stories. The children quietly sat on the floor in front of the church, then danced in the aisles to the music as everybody sang songs of praise. Joy even showed as they followed along in their Bibles (or the Bible app on their cell phones!) as the Scripture was being read. Believers would come up front to share their stories of how they had come to know Christ and people would clap and cheer for them.
It was obvious to me that JESUS HAD CHANGED THEM. I am certain that most of them were first-generation believers. Somehow and somewhere they had encountered Jesus, just as the Samaritan woman at the well had. And just like her, they responded to Him, accepted Him, and then began worshipping and telling others. It was a radically different life for them, no longer worrying about appeasing the spirits in animism, or worrying about the karma in Buddhism. They celebrated the fact that Jesus means grace, undeserved forgiveness, and joy, regardless of circumstances.
My question for each of us is this: Do we respond to Him in joy? Do we arise in the morning with this verse on our lips, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us REJOICE AND BE GLAD?” After all, this same Jesus that lives in the poverty of Cambodia is the one that can change us, too.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you with great joy because of your love and grace for each of us. I pray that every morning we will respond to your call to repentance and then share the good news to those we meet. I pray that Christians throughout the world will not be apathetic, but will listen to the Holy Spirit’s nudges to be joyful and eager to tell others about how Jesus has changed them. Amen
Lifetree Café new day of the week! ELK RIVER YMCA !!!! Wednesdays at 7:00PM in Community Room A. Gathering on neutral ground makes it easier for you to be able to bring a friend who may never agree to go with you to church. We appreciate all your prayers and continued prayer as we move forward in our mission to get God’s message out to the masses who will no longer go to a church to find it.
TAKE A LEAP – Join a Journey Group – A small group of women who commit themselves to each other for the course of a year to meet regularly and talk about faith and life. Contact Ryan Braley.
Mission Madness Sunday May 21, 2017 – A day set aside to work on community projects. Contact Sonja Knutson.
Weekly prayer groups.
Monday 4:30 in the chapel prayers for Central – Judy Hovis/Kris Studniski
Tuesday 8:00 a.m. Moms in Prayer – Elk River High School
Wednesday 8:00 a.m. Moms in Prayer – College and Career
SHE Book/Bible Study The End of Me
In his award winning book, not a fan., Kyle Idleman challenged us to pick up our cross and die to our self. But what does that actually mean? Join Kyle as he explores the upside down paths that lead us to Jesus. Featuring the true testimonies of author and spoken word artist, Jefferson Bethke, NBA star, Landry Fields, Founder and director of Scarlet Hope, Rachelle Star, and the former US manager of Apple Records, Ken Mansfield – this cinematic journey unpacks the counterintuitive truths of Jesus:
You must be Broken to be Whole | You must Mourn to be Happy | You must be Authentic to be Accepted | You must be Empty to be Filled
Join Us! Please RSVP in the Hub.
Dates: Oct. 13 & 14
Location: St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center – 10 4th Ave South, St. Cloud, MN 56301
Speakers: Lysa TerKeurst, Ann Voskamp, Bianca Juarez Olthoff, Peter & Carolyn Haas
Worship: River Valley Worship
Emcees: Susie Larson & Amber Gerstmann
Shopping, Thrive Girlfriends Party, Giveaways, and More!
Register by May 13th to receive discounted tickets. After Mother’s Day the price goes up $20 and then the price goes up again Oct. 1 – 15th to $99 per person. Additional discounts are offered for Military, single parents, and senior citizens. More details can be found on the website (click here).