I don’t know if you read or heard about the deaths of three utility workers in Key Largo, FL on Monday of this week. There had been reports of a foul smell and the possibility of a sewer back-up, so the men went to investigate. He opened a manhole cover to see if the sewer was the reason. He went into the hole and within seconds, we’ve been told, he died. A second utility worker went in also to help his colleague. He too expired. A third worker then went in to see if he could help save his friends. Yes, tragically, he also died in the hole. Even when the emergency services came, and a firefighter went in also to save any or all the men, he too was overcome, but could be rescued by his team. He remains hospitalized at this time.
In less than a minute of time in the hole, three men perished and a third almost did. For many, the first question is “How could God let this happen? How could He allow their families to be left without husbands and fathers?” To be honest, I don’t know. Without the mind of God, I’m left without the answers that these families are looking for, perhaps you also.
What I’m left with is the fact that our living God of love is leaving good things in the wake of this tragedy. He tells us: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 This is great news to us all that God has placed people in our lives who would do just this for us. It’s comforting because each of us have been given the strength and ability to do the same. It’s simply the way that God wants us “to do life together.” We are to live out our faith by putting others first in our lives so that we can make ourselves available to help those in need. Will we need to pull helpless people from their burning car on I-94? Only God knows. Perhaps it will be something a little less dangerous: Letting another person in front of us at the check-out, even when it may inconvenience us. Doing a “pay-it-forward” sort of thing by paying the bill for the person in back of you at McDonald’s or Tim Horton's. It’s truly a humbling experience when we are able to… humble ourselves toward others.
We’ll talk a bit more about this on Sunday as we continue our sermon series “End of Me.” This week’s topic will be “Humble to be Exalted.” We’ll meet at the same time as we do each week: 10:00 am at the East China Education Center at 301 N. 6th St.
Humbly yours in Christ,
Good morning! As opposed to asking you how your Christmas was, I’m going to greet you with “How is your Christmas going?” Remember, we’re still in the season of Christmas, even though we’re well into the new year!
Speaking of new years, my resolution for the year is to get into better shape. I have an elliptical trainer in the basement that was purchased five years ago and hasn’t seen much use until lately. I’m still doing pretty good. Keep that in your prayers, would you please?
As I spend time exercising, I’m realizing that God is giving me that opportunity to not only get into physical shape, but also energize my faith life in Him. So often I’m running here and there, doing this and that, and for some reason expect this amazing relationship with God to just happen. I have my morning time in prayer and devotion, but I’m realizing that I need more… More God.
So as I spend 30 – 60 minutes on my elliptical, I’m finding that He is using this time to talk to me. There’s nothing else to do during that time, no getting off the machine, and it’s now become this intimate time of spiritual exercising and spiritual reinvigorating that’s occurring during this time. It’s absolutely amazing! I’ve more time to direct my thoughts to Him and hear what His response is. Granted, I don’t receive all of the answers to the questions and requests that I have of Him, but that’s ok, since I let Him be God and me be me.
He places on my heart some unique thoughts regarding the Scripture I was reading earlier in the day; or giving me insights to what I’m going to talk about on Sundays. I oftentimes try too hard to let all the spiritual refreshing and sermon prep to be initiated and sustained by me and my efforts. This takes so much pressure of me and allows me to simply be a receiver of what God wants me to know about Him. It’s so cool!
The reason I’m bringing this up is to pass on to you my newly-discovered way of joining with God in another intimate way – just you and He – and “exercise your way to a better you and grow closer to God in 30 days!” I know that last part sounds like some kind of infomercial (and it was intended), but sometimes we need to hear the “how” of what can benefit us in our spiritual walk with Him, and you and I know that those 30 second ads do get our attention! I’m going to challenge each of you, then, to begin a new exercise regimen, and in the next thirty days, see what God is doing in you. You will improve both your physical shape and your spiritual also. Guaranteed! Or twice your sweat back!
Please join us this Sunday as we begin our new sermon series titled “The End of Me.” In it, we’ll see how God carries us with Him, but it all begins and ends with our understanding that we have to give up on our efforts and intentions to even attempt to do this on our terms or efforts or conditions.
Again, by surrendering ourselves to Him is liberating and blessed. Join us at 10:00 am!
Yours in Christ,
FISHERS COMMUNITY CHURCH
Pastor Joseph Doenges
WORSHIP SUNDAY 10:00 AM
301 N. 6th Street
St. Clair, MI 48079
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization