FIRST UNITEDMETHODIST CHURCH
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017View the July-August, 2017 Issue
Because [Jesus] himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
- Hebrews 2:18 (NIV)
When I was young and did something I shouldn’t have, I knew I was about to get busted when my dad would come into my room, turn my chair around, and sit backward on it. One time when the chair came out and I braced for a scolding, Dad said a few words that have stuck with me to this day. He said, “Son, when you think you’ve found a gutter I haven’t crawled into, you let me know.” He was telling me two things: that he had been tempted by the same thing I had succumbed to, and also that I wasn’t fooling him. Knowing all this was unnerving, and yet it brought me closer to my father because I knew he could relate to my life, and that he cared for me.
Unlike my father and me, when faced with temptation Jesus did not succumb to it. He was persecuted for a righteous life, tempted in the desert, and died in a most hideous way. Our Savior understands our temptation because he too was tempted. Because Jesus loves us, he reminds us that we aren’t fooling him, and that we don’t need to remain distant because we think he can’t relate to us. At those moments, we can remember that Jesus knows, understands, and cares for us because he’s been there.
Shana Allen Jean Anderson Ernest Baldwin
Hoyt & Terry Barrett Johnny Barrett Gloria Best
Kirstan Brooke Ava Brown Barbie Chaney
Sandra Chaney Betty Clark Bobbie Cross
Medre Cruise Pete & Garnett Dunn Mark Evans
Larry Farmer Sandra Cassell Fisher Lee Gauldin
Naomi Glanzman Pastor Gary Grubbs Tim Hall
Donnie Hand Harold Hartman Judy Harvey
Babette Hawkins Tommy & Billy Heffinger Carl Hopper
Nancy Huff Donnie Hutcherson Janet Kissick Hug
Michelle French Johnson Millie Lancaster Carrie Lambeth
Ron & Buena Martin Sheila Mostella Jackie Myers Beckham Gray Nance Betty Jo Nance Tonya Nance
Pauline Overby Jimmy Perdue Rhonda Pulliam
Kelley Reid Chris Rice Roxanne Rigney
Austin Riker Janland Roberts Michael Rose
Peggy Ross Bill Rudd, Jr. Susan Clarke Pyron
Greg &Taylor Sayre Bill & Polly Setliff Parker Setliff & Family
Vicki Slaughter Aria Taylor Smith Doris Spain Mary Katherine Stone L. Keith Stultz Patrick Suits
Andy Talbert Susan Talley Cody Travis
Colleen Underwood Patsy Vestal Henry Voris & Family
Brandon Walker Brenda Westmoreland Lois Wilson Tommy & Kay Woodall Shirley Worsham Albert Wray
Jack Wright Robert Zaytoun Bonnie Zeiters
Christy Ann Bailey Ernest Baldwin
Dr. Rev. Arnetta Beverly & Family Dusty Britt
Katie Fargis Brooks & baby Stevie Chilton Judy Cox
Betty Cruise Vivian Durham Family Bruce Gauldin
Wanda Hawkins Shannon Haymore Family Rev. J.B. Helms Family
Bambi Holland Ronnie Hooker Elizabeth Kelly
Wendy Wood Lewis Lost Mary Love
Marvin Millard Buck Palmer Family
Rev. Raymond Perry Family Peggy Rawlins Family Pat Reynolds
Ricky Rose Wayne Sparks Family Barry Southard Family
Unspoken Timmy Weddle World Tragedies Chaplain Patricia Wright
Germaine Allen Kiyoshi DeLancey Chad Field
Jonathan Fugitt Brett Haskin Josh Hill
Michael Hutcheson Josh Jarrell C.W. Lawson
Drew Madison Patrick Maloney Patrick Martin
Lance Mason Zack Mayo Jonathan Murray
Will Voris Michael Watkins Caroline West
Colleen West Rayce West
Sunday, March 19th, 2017View the March-April, 2017 Issue
Jesus stood still and called them, saying, ?What do you want me to do for you??
- Matthew 20:32 (NRSV)
When I?m at a social gathering and someone discovers I?m a pastor, the person often responds with nervous laughter and says something like, ?I?d better watch my language!? Then sometimes people ask, ?What do I call you? Pastor? Reverend?? They need to know if there?s a pattern or some sort of etiquette they need to follow.
At our church, we meet a lot of people who are new to faith, and they often have similar questions about prayer. Is there a pattern to use? A system? Will God be mad if I don?t say it correctly? That?s one reason I find today?s reading so helpful. Jesus asks the two men, ?What do you want me to do for you?? Jesus wants to know their needs and desires. After calling out for mercy, the men say, ?Let our eyes be opened.?
This is a good model for our own prayers. Imagine Jesus asking you, ?What do you want me to do for you?? Christ wants to know our deep desires and then to open our eyes to see where he is present in our lives. When we are not overly concerned with how we pray, we can speak from our hearts and receive Christ?s abundant mercy.