Dear Sisters in Christ,
Thank you to Maggie Parrish for our devotional this week.
Faith Alone Ephesians 2:8-10 AMP version
8 For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. 10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
I like this Amplified bible version for the way it expands on the simple words of grace, saved, etc. As I read and reread these verses I find that by making it personal it’s even more powerful. For example, “For it is by grace(God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing me to Christ) that I have been saved. Isn’t that awesome? Try reading it that way for yourself and see if that doesn’t just make you tingle down to your toes!
These verses carry so many wonderful messages of God’s love. You and I are all saved by grace, through faith. Jesus did all the work for us. Nothing we do influences our salvation. It is a free gift (best gift ever!) that we simply have to receive. That is an upside down idea in our culture. In this culture, we are rewarded based on what we do. We receive promotions and or salary increases if we do our jobs well. We receive awards of recognition for doing good things. We receive the approval of others for leadership. The list goes on and on, we do well…we receive.We are achievement/reward oriented.
When I think about these verses, I think of a conversation with my Mom. Mom worked, raised a family, took care of all the household tasks, served the church and the community through various groups and organizations. She was always busy and served others with much of her “spare” time. Yet, toward the end of her life she was not sure of her salvation because she wasn’t “good enough”. We talked at length about that and these verses, and I do believe that she understood that she was saved by grace through faith, not by her works. She believed, but in times of doubt, she struggled with relying on faith alone. It’s one of the things I’ve struggled with and so has my daughter. Being good, doing good things for others. Isn’t that how we’re brought up? How do we “unlearn” this mindset? Through prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit we can all unlearn. It really is Faith Alone.
Dear Father, I know that I am saved by your love and precious gift of your son’s death and resurrection, taking all my sin unto himself. I know that with my head, but sometimes my heart forgets. Help me always remember that Jesus did it all, the gift of salvation is mine through faith alone. I could never earn eternal life on my merits. Thank you for this most precious gift. Amen.
Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) – The study for this year is Romans
Starting tonight! Join over 100 women from the surrounding area Monday nights 7:00-8:30 at Central. Contact Kris Studniski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Prayer – Monday evenings 5:45-6:45. Join Judy Hovis and Kris Studniski in the chapel.
Lifetree Cafe – new location starting on the 20th (508 Freeport Ave Ste A
(Guardian Angels Corporate Office board room)
10/4 – Making life’s toughest Decision
10/11 – Toxic Faith – when religion hurts
10/18 – Greater Confidence
10/25 – Mysteries of Mental Illness
Mothers of Preschoolers are looking for more volunteers to help Thursday mornings at Central with childcare. Contact Bailey Gerdes for more information.
The Quest – (Beth Moore)
In this six-session Bible study, delve into Scripture to explore how God created us to seek after Him—a God who desires to be found and known. In this lifelong quest of faith, learn to develop your intimacy with Him and embrace the adventure that comes with living a life for God.
Tuesday evenings – 7:00 to 8:30 pm
November 7 through December 12
Led by: Stacy Minor
Cost: $15.00 per person
Register by October 15
Central Women’s next book discussion will be Tuesday, November 7 at 1:30 p.m.at the Elk River Activity Center. The book will be Rosemary, The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson. This New York Times Bestseller is the true story of the intellectually disabled daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy, her father’s decision to have a lobotomy performed on her at age 23, and the family’s complicity in keeping the secret. Only years later, did the Kennedy siblings begin to understand what had happened to her, and thus began their quest to improve the plights of the developmentally disabled in America.
The book is on sale at Holy Grounds Coffee Shop on Sunday mornings and at the church office during the week. Women of all ages are welcome.
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!
Price Oct. 1 – 15th is $99 per person. Discounts are offered for Military, single parents, and senior citizens. More details can be found on the website (click here).
Pre-order your lunch for Saturday.
All lunches are $12.25. Choices are:
- Ham & Turkey Combo Sandwich (Multi-grain bread, ham & smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, sandwich fixings), side of Italian Pasta, fruit wedges, and cookie.
- Club Wrap (Garlic herb tortilla with turkey, ham, bacon, cheddar cheese, and toppings), side of Italian Pasta, fruit wedges, and cookie.
- Chicken Cordon Blue Salad* (Mixed greens chicken, ham, Swiss cheese, eggs, onion, salad dressing on the side) and cookie. *Gluten Free option.
Sorry, no substitutions. Pre-order your lunch by filling out this form.
Love, Peace, and Joy!
The She Leadership Team