Thurs. Jan 16, 2014

DEVOTION:  Some time later  God tested Abraham.  He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," Abraham replied.   The God said, "Take your son, your only son, who you love-- Isaac-- and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you."   The Story pg. 19  Genesis 22:1-2
Have you ever thought that God was testing you as you go through a particularly tough time?  You may have wondered what God wants you to do in a particular situation.  You may have wondered what God's purpose was in letting you go through some of the toughest and most trying times in your life.  He may just be testing you.
A test is a measure of how much you know, how strong you are, how much you have gained or lost, or just where you are at a certain time in your life.  The test isn't as much for the one giving the test as it is for the one taking/going through the test. 
Every time you take a test you then know what areas need work.  If you take a math test you know after the test if you know everything well enough or if you have to work a specific area that you don't know well enough.  If it is a fitness test it will tell you whether you are fit enough, if you have to lose weight, if you have to get a certain muscle group stronger, if you have to eat better, or whatever the case might be.
There are spiritual tests that God puts us through from time to time.  These tests do a number of things:
1. They show you who is in charge, that as much as you like to think you are in control of your circumstances, you aren't.
2. They show you that you need to pray more.  Every test I have ever been through in my life has caused me to talk to God more. 
3. They show you where you need help in your spiritual life.  A lot of times you need more humility.  Sometimes you need to learn to confess your sins more.  Still other times, you need to give or receive forgiveness from someone else or from God.  Etc.  When you are going through tough times you need to ask God what He is trying to teach you.  If you need help with the answer to your questions or how to deal with what God is telling you, that is what pastors are for!
4. They make you stronger.  Just knowing your weaknesses gives you clarity of lie and helps you grow in God's strength.
5. It helps you to appreciate all the more God's mercy and grace. 
Prayer:  Lord God help me to grow through my trials and to even appreciate them as times of growth and repentance.  Make me see your work through these times that I may grow in your grace till the end.  Amen.

WEDNESDAY'S QUIZ: What chapter in Hebrews is about Abraham?  Chapter 11  (Can anyone answer before Dianne?  She seems to be the quickest!  Let's see who else has the answer.)
THURSDAY'S QUIZ: On what  mountain region did Abraham almost sacrifice Isaac?
Fri- Jr Hi and High school lock in 7pm-7am
Sat- Life Study 4pm; worship 5pm
Sun- worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school  and Adult Bible class on Life issues 9:45; Elders meeting noon
Acolytes- 8:30- Grace Hargrove; 11- Alaina Heitgerd
Altar guild- Set up Marilyn Foster and Sue Ruhl; Clean up- Terry McKenzie
Greeters- 8:30- Dianne Feldkamp; 11- Charlie and Lynn Figura
Elders- Sat- Don Turnure; 8:30- Randy Sweet; 11- Charlie Figura
Lay Readers- Sat- Marcia Sevier; Sun- Lynn Figura
Sat. Pianist- Tim Sherman
Ushers- Alan Hoeldt, Tim Linke, Rich Talbert, Don Turnure
We are going to take a short break from The Story to celebrate life.  For 44 years now on the third weekend of January (around the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade).  We celebrate the life that God has given us which begins at conception.  God formed us in our mother's wombs and we have no right to ever take that life away.  For the moment of conception to our last breath God is the one in control of our lives.  This weekend we are going to celebrate God's gift of life to us!!  Please join us in celebrating life!!
All kids in 7-12 grade are invited to attend and bring friends!!  We are going to have a lot of fun!!  Let pastor know that you are coming!! 
A big part of The Story experience is that the whole family grows together in it as each person in the family reads it, you will all literally be on the same page.  yet, it may be hard to get discussion going or to help you get started together.   Are you looking for a way to connect with your kids as they and you read The Story together?  There's help!
If you click the link below you will find parent pages for all age groups that you can use to connect with your kids at least once a week.  Whenever your "together" time is, make it productive.  It is a .pdf file of parent pages that goes from lesson one all the way through 31.  Check it out and tell me what you think.  I think they are excellent!!

In order to give everyone a chance to participate fully in The Story we have added a Saturday afternoon Bible study at 4pm.  This is especially good for those who normally attend worship on Saturday evening, but is for EVERYONE who wants to attend!!

If anyone is interested in starting a small group Bible Study, please call, text, or email me.  I am ALWAYS OPEN FOR NEW IDEAS!!
Please be there so we can start the new year off on the right foot!
PRAYER REQUESTS:  (If you have a prayer request please reply to this email or call me at 636-359-1061)
JONAS BORCHERT, grandson of Don Nolte, as he continues to deal with cancer in his lungs.

MARY AUBUCHON who is back home and recovering from pneumonia.
DONNA HEITGERD recovering at Scott and Lani Heitgerd's from a broken hip.
WILMA WEIGLE as she continues to recover from pneumonia and other complications due to brain surgery. 
PAMELA, a friend of Kathy Fischer, who is suffering with a different types of cancer and is recovering from surgery. 

Winter Jam at Scottrade this Sunday, doors open at 5pm

WInter Jam is an even Contemporary Christian Music festival of all the best artists and musicians in Christian music. 
The cost is $10 at the door. 
We will need to leave church around 2:30pm and stand in line for an hour or so to get decent seats.
DOES ANY ONE WANT TO GO?  If you do please reply to this email asap so I know how many are going.