John 3:14-21

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’

“I’m grateful for work more important than how I happen to feel about it on any given day.” – Fred Croddock

Let us Pray

Metaphor – Light

Nic at night – Jesus in the Light

Evil in darkness – Justice in the light

Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent. Being that it is the fourth week there are some people who are celebrating the fact that they are the fourth week in to their discipline of fasting from a specific food or activity that has given them more time to be with God in prayer and devotion. There are others who are totally frustrated because they have not been able to keep their commitment to God and their focus on being closer with God.

During this fourth week of Lent some people are clear about what they need to do as we approach the time of remembering Jesus on the Cross and celebrating the resurrection of our Lord to deal with the temptations, frustrations and distractions that keep them from being able to hear the voice of God, move with the will of God and experience God’s best for their lives.  There are others who are clueless about what to do next because they have allowed the issues and vicissitudes of life to overwhelm them and obscure their vision of having a closer walk with the Master.

This fourth week of Lent is a time deep discernment for both groups of people. The people who are celebrating their commitment and discipline are asking the question do I continue fasting lunch on Wednesdays and giving the money to the soup kitchen.  Do I continue taping Scandal and Empire so that I can spend an entire evening in prayer and studying God’s Word.  The group of people who have not kept their commitment are asking the question to I pick myself up and recommit or do I continue to make excuses which builds walls of nothingness rather than disciplines that keep us connected to the Master of the Universe.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

For both groups of people I would like to encourage you to keep focused. Resurrection Day is approaching and the good news is that God’s grace is available to all.  Those who have kept their Lenten commitments may be finding it difficult to maintain and the temptations that you didn’t experience in the first three weeks is not staring you in the face and even hunting you down. God’s grace is available to you to have strength to endure.  Those who experienced challenges may be asking what the point is.  God’s grace is available to you to start today ad to remain faithful to the commitments to fast, pray and study.

In this fourth week of Lent we are engaged in looking at a possibly the most familiar text in the New Testament.  John 3:16 is a theme for signs at football games, street corners, soccer games, Facebook pages, Instagram pages, billboards and tracts left in airport restrooms. Non believers can even quote the text

“ ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

This verse is first a Word to Nicodemous to clarify for him the need to be born again and what that means.  This verse is also the glue and connection that explains verses 17-

(more…)

For immediate release August 1, 2013

Media contact:  Donna Dodson 410.409.5378

____________________________________________________________
HOLLAND JOINS INFINITE GRACE FELLOWSHIP LEADERSHIP TEAM

Minister Ardenia M. Holland has been appointed as Director for Outreach and Missions for Infinite Grace Fellowship by resident Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  Minister Holland began her duties August 1. The church is located at 5130 Greenwich in Baltimore, on the city’s historic “40 West” corridor.

Minister Holland has served as an associate minister at First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church in Baltimore, where she has been a member from birth, since August 2008. Over the course of her membership she served on various ministries and in most recent years served as assistant ministry leader for the Ministerial Alliance, assistant to the executive director for Ministries of Excellence which provides oversight for church ministries and was co-facilitator for Baby Dedication classes.  In addition, she assisted with teaching in conjunction with prayer vigils and Bible Study.  She lives by the philosophy that it is her responsibility to use her life experiences to empower others to realize their God-given purpose and has a passion for community outreach, organizing and advocacy, especially in the areas of public health.

Min. Holland is a native of Baltimorean, and a graduate of Western High School.  She received a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She is the Executive Officer of her own consulting ministry, All His Glory Enterprises, and has a wealth of public health, public administration and communications experience.  Her work experience includes eight years with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and serving as Executive Director for the Heart & Soul Foundation.  In 2011 she coordinated the Heart & Soul Magazine Awards Weekend in Baltimore, MD, honoring 13 extraordinary women and men who advance healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyles. She has worked in a consult capacity with the Baltimore Washington United Methodist Conference of the United Methodist Church and coordinated Metropolitan United Methodist Church’s Full & Fit Community Outreach event in 2012.  One of her most memorable life moments is appearing as a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune in 1988.

Minister Holland is single and the mother of Aaron Holland and his wife Aerica.  She is blessed to still have the presence of her mother, Flora Holland, in her life and has four siblings.  Aware of God’s grace and mercy upon her life, she self-published her first book “Just Like Fire…God Said Testify” and believes God is capable of using our testimony to make us stronger as well as to spread the message of His saving, redeeming, and delivering power.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church is comprised of 694 congregations with nearly 200,000 members. It is the home of Methodism in America, with the founding of the denomination at Lovely Lane Chapel in 1784.

– 30 –

Morning comes early down here, even if it is an hour later than home.  We were up at 6:30 AM and enjoyed a great pancake and egg breakfast made by Ron.  (He brings his own homemade pancake mix.)  By 7:30 we had reported in to Sheila the coordinator, and had started to scavenge the warehouse for items for the day.  We found a spline tool, some spline, electrical boxes, outlets, 2 by 4’s, drill bits, paint, paint brushes, short scaffolding for starters.  We still forgot to look at the floor tiles (3rd time in a row).  We got on the road for the 20 minute drive to the work site.  Ron’s truck went straight to the work site, but Eddie’s truck stopped at Lowes.  We did get Eddie out in a reasonable amount of time with more supplies to add to the bathroom floor/deck project.  Eddie and Frank got to work on their bathroom addition project and have the base for the deck floor complete.  Tomorrow they will add the decking.  Ron got to read about the wiring and then went to work pulling wires for lights, switches, fire alarms, etc.   Marian went to work on the screen and finished 3 window screens and then ran out of screen frames.  Dave and Larry spent the day framing the ceiling for drywall and breaking drill bits trying to put up furring strips for drywall in the front room.  Sarah painted the walls in the center room to see if the paint and the walls were compatible.  They are, really nice.  Sarah also got to cut wood on the big table saw.  This is her new favorite toy.  

            Larry had trouble today keeping up with his pencils,   At the end of the day he had finally found one to call his own. If only he could remember that he put it behind his ear.

            Dave finally has the ants out of his computer.  Seems the first night he slept in a bed that had ants.  Monday he put his computer under his pillow to keep it out of site, Monday night when the computer came out from under the pillow it kept having ants come out on the table.  It took us awhile to figure out the whole story, but the end result he changed beds and does not have ants or aunts anymore. 

            Sarah is having way too much fun with the tools so everytime they need something from Lowes they send her.  She says it is because she has the credit card, we do not believe her.

            Eddie and Frank are just too gung ho on their project.  They played in the mud to get to the base of the plumbing, before putting their deck base up. 

            Ron managed to get so dirty that it took two shots at getting his elbows clean after the shower.  He was on the floor and ceiling all day with the wiring.

            Marian got high marks on her lunch for a second day, now they have nothing to look forward to tomorrow, she only knows how to make 2 lunches. 

            We are all really tired and exhilarated from completing more on the home today.  We didn’t get as far as we thought we would, but we are really excited that we got as far as we did.  We are on to drywall tomorrow and have a big truck to deliver it instead of us making lots of trips.  Glad for your prayers and love.   Marian
We finally go the internet access working so we uploaded the pictures to Dave’s online album. Check it out below:

  You are invited to view dave’s photo album: Katrina Relief Mission

Katrina Relief Mission D’Iberville, MS – Sep 22, 2009
by dave Biloxi Katrina cleanup mission in View Album
Play slideshow

Message from dave: here is the pictures If you are having problems viewing this email, copy and paste the following into your browser:
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=david.l.tingley&target=ALBUM&id=5384432681336729761&authkey=Gv1sRgCJvSya-c7ayaoQE&invite=CMyEgXU&feat=email To share your photos or receive notification when your friends share photos, get your own free Picasa Web Albums account.

 

Welcome all to Day one of the Biloxi Katrina Relief Mission.  Today was a day of making new friends, developing our teamwork skills, and despite overwhelmingly oppressive heat and humidity… dirty dusty demolition.  Upon arrival, the team assessed the home and quickly got to work on the jobs that were most needed.  Dave, Larry, Marian, Ron and Sarah put their muscles straight to work tearing up a good part of the back third of the floor.  Frank and Eddie set out tearing down the bathroom.  By noon, the first team had the entire floor out and was already setting replacement floor joists.  While Dave and Larry went for supplies, the rest of the team enjoyed lunch.  It was the best Bologna and cheese we’d ever had.  Frank and Eddie had hoped that much of the bathroom could be saved, but in the end, once they added Pastor Sarah to the bathroom demolition team, all that remained was the roof.  She went crazy once we put a saws-all in her hand. The homeowner, Shantdtea (pronounced Chant’a), also lent an enthusiastic hand and made a substantial collection of refuse.  By the end of the day, we had attracted a bit of attention and some of the locals also lent a hand. In particular Shandtea’s nephew, Denzel, came home from school and pitched right in helping Dave and Larry nail down the floor.

We’re getting ready to sit down to a well deserved meal, cooked by the loving hands of Sarah, Marian and Frank.  In reflection, it was a good day and I think I speak for the entire team when I say we’ll all sleep well tonight. The showers never felt better. We are all extremely grateful that Ron decided NOT to follow through on his threat to not shower for the week.

We are now making our plan of attack for tomorrow: Which looks like finishing the floor, wiring in lights and outlets, painting, starting some drywall, and starting to put the bathroom back together.  

Please keep us and everyone here in the Gulf area who is still suffering from Katrina in your prayers. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taylorsville UMC
http://www.taylorsvilleumc.org

Bottled water has become the indispensable prop in our lives and our culture. It starts the day in lunch boxes; it goes to every meeting, lecture hall, and soccer match; it’s in our cubicles at work; in the cup holder of the treadmill at the gym; and it’s rattling around half-finished on the floor of every minivan in America. Fiji Water shows up on the ABC show Brothers & Sisters; Poland Spring cameos routinely on NBC’s The Office. Every hotel room offers bottled water for sale, alongside the increasingly ignored ice bucket and drinking glasses. At Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFMI), the upscale emporium of the organic and exotic, bottled water is the number-one item by units sold.

Meanwhile, one out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water. The global economy has contrived to deny the most fundamental element of life to 1 billion people, while delivering to us an array of water “varieties” from around the globe, not one of which we actually need. That tension is only complicated by the fact that if we suddenly decided not to purchase the lake of Poland Spring water in Hollis, Maine, none of that water would find its way to people who really are thirsty.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

What is our response as Christians who believe in social justice?  Do we purchase the water and send it to the places where safe drinking water is needed?  Are we willing not to purchase a bottle of water from a company who does not drill wells or provide water for the indigenous communities where the water is not accessible to the people who actually work to provide us with this convenience.

Worldwide, 1 billion people have no reliable source of drinking water; 3,000 children a day die from diseases caught from tainted water.

This type of injustice should motivate us to take action.  We can offer prayers, and form discernment committees but really the people who are without water really need us to find ways to get water to their villages and towns.  Before you tell me that I am asking too much, read this.

So Quartey and his wife Grace, 40, also a Ghana native and a certified public accountant, founded the nonprofit Building Solid Foundations Inc., to ease the water crisis in their homeland, where their parents and most of their families still live.

The couple asked fellow members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in York to get involved.

“It’s divine,” says Grace Quartey of the resulting ministry. “I just believe God has his hand in this because how we all met and the group we have together is nothing more than a miracle.”

Even a cynic would be struck by events that turned the Quarteys’ dream into a $450,000 clean water project.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

We can make a difference whether we challenge the water bottling companies or help build water towers and drill wells.