Archive for May

May 2011 Crosstalk & Calendar

In the May 2011 Crosstalk: Pictures from Jerusalem Journey, end of year schedules for Sunday School, WNL & Confirmation. You’ll also find information on upcoming events for Middle School youth, Young Adults XYZ and Empty Nesters. Connect with ministry events at Habitat for Humanity, Crossroads Mission and our partner congregation in Eagle Pass, Texas.

May 2011 Crosstalk Newsletter

May 2011 calendar of Church Events

Daily Walk May 31 – June 6

Monday, May 31, 2010 Matthew 7
Jesus reminds us not to judge others, as we have faults, too (1-6). He invites us to ask God for what we need (7-11). The “golden rule” is found in 12. The road to God is narrow; the wide path leads to destruction (13-14). We can distinguish good and bad prophets, and good and bad disciples, by their fruits (15-23). Like a strong building, disciples must have a solid foundation (21-29). Practicing obedience to Jesus Christ becomes the solid foundation for battling the storms of life. To be a wise builder at this point in your life, do you need to learn more or practice what you already know? Are you walking on the wide road or the narrow? What will you have to do to build on the solid rock? What materials will you use in the coming weeks to build or maintain a firm foundation? Pray that God will fill you with the desire to build your life on him!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 Matthew 8
Peter’s mother-in-law is sick with a high fever (14-15). When Jesus touches her hand, her fever leaves her, and she immediately gets up and prepares a meal for him and his disciples. She immediately acts on her gratitude to Jesus in service. God continues to bless and heal, and we, like Peter’s mother in law, must look for ways to serve him now. Jesus tells the crowd that many religious Jews would be excluded from the kingdom due to lack of faith (10-12). Entrenched in their religious traditions, they cannot accept Christ and the new message. The Jews should know that Jesus’ blessings would be for the Gentiles, too (Isaiah 66:12, 19), but they are so wrapped up in their personal affairs and destiny that they refuse to see that God wants to reach all people. Jesus’ message is for everyone. What are we doing as a church to further his kingdom? What are you doing? What keeps you from wanting everyone to know the good news? Are there people that we keep out because of our religious traditions?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 Matthew 9
The Pharisees use Jesus’ association with “lowlife” as an opportunity to trap him. Do we think some people aren’t right for God’s message? God’s message is for all people: the poor, lonely, and outcast, not just the rich, popular and powerful. When Jesus calls Matthew to be his disciple, Matthew follows. He gives up a lucrative career and follows Christ. How about you and me? Are we willing to give up the trappings of this life to be a disciple? Do we find the calling of Christ too difficult or painful? Pray for a heart like Matthew’s, that truly knows what riches are in Christ, and for the courage and passion to give our lives totally to God.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 Matthew 10
Jesus calls common people to be his disciples: rich and poor, educated and uneducated. From the twelve disciples until now, God proves he can use anyone, no matter how ordinary he or she appears, to do extraordinary work. What is verse 16 saying? Who would persecute them, and why? What problems will they face? How should they respond? What would you need to hear from Jesus in order to represent him? When, or why, is it difficult for you to talk about your faith? What does the paradox in 39 mean to you? How can you lose yourself in Christ this week, and show others that the kingdom of heaven is near?

Friday, June 4, 2010 Matthew 11
How does prison give John doubts (3)? If John’s job is to prepare the way for the Messiah, why is he in prison instead of preaching to the crowds? Does Jesus answer John with promises or evidence? What does Jesus say about John? How do the people respond to John? How are they like the children? What kinds of “prisons” make us doubt Jesus? What renews our courage and faith? How can we encourage others? Pray that God will break down the bars of your prisons and give you passion for your journey.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 Matthew 12:1-21
The Pharisees establish 39 categories of actions forbidden on the Sabbath based on interpretations of God’s law and Jewish custom. Jesus illustrates that human need has precedence over ritual law. Mercy, not legalism, is the heart of God’s moral imperatives (see Luke 11:37-52; 13:14-17). Reacting to the Pharisees’ hostility (14) , how does Jesus fulfill prophecy? How does Jesus’ example encourage you when people are hostile to you? Isaiah 42:1-4 says that Jesus is the Messiah and King, but it illustrates a gentle ruler who brings hope and justice to all nations. We must remember this when we expect a king who brings visible victories. Christ’s work is often quiet. Pray that this gentle King will overflow in your heart.

Sunday, June 6, 2010 Psalm 103
This is a psalm of praise for God’s great love for us. What God does for us tells us what God is really like. David focuses on the good things that God is doing for him. We should also praise God for his mercies and blessings. No matter how difficult your journey, you always have blessings to count. When you feel as though you have nothing to praise God for, read this psalm and share David’s list with him. He redeems our souls and crowns us with love and compassion! Thanks be to our wonderful God!

Daily Walk May 24-30

Monday, May 24, 2010 Matthew 1
Some of Jesus’ ancestors were heroes of faith, like Isaac, Abraham, Ruth and David. But some had shady reputations like Rehab and Tamar. Many were ordinary, like Nahshon and Akim. Some were evil, like Manasseh and Abijah. Just as God used all kinds of people to bring Jesus into the world, God uses all kinds of people today to accomplish God’s will. What does it mean to you that God’s promises are trustworthy over many generations? Can you believe that God wants to use you? Why, or why not? How have your ancestors affected your faith? An angel tells Joseph that Mary is with child through the Holy Spirit (18-25). What must Joseph be thinking (19, 20-21)? What does Joseph teach us about faith? Jesus was called Immanuel, “God with us.” Have you experienced Jesus as Immanuel in your life?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 Matthew 2
The wise men travel thousands of miles to see the King of the Jews. What did they do when they see Jesus (11)? How is this similar to the way Christians respond to Jesus now? How is it different? What do the star, the gifts, the Magi, the hostility, and the prophecy tell us about the significance of Jesus? What is the gold, incense, and myrrh in your life? Have you offered your treasures to Jesus? Jesus’ family escapes to Egypt (12-18). Why does Matthew emphasize God’s watchfulness over Jesus? Reflect on how God uses prophecy, faith and circumstances to guide Joseph, and reflect on Joseph’s response. What does it tell you about faithfulness and obedience?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Matthew 3
How would John the Baptist’s dress be received in our church today (1-12)? Do we judge anyone because of image? Why do people go out of their way to hear this radical preacher? What is his message in 2? How do John’s and Jesus’ ministries compare? Why does Jesus ask to be baptized by John (13-17)? Repentance? Or to carry out God’s mission? Jesus accepts baptism in obedient service to the Father, and God shows approval (16-17). John puts aside his ego to point to Jesus. Can we do the same? Will we give up some of our status so that others will benefit? (See also John 3:30.) Pray.

Thursday, May 27, 2010 Matthew 4
The devil who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden now tempts Jesus in the wilderness as he fasts for 40 days and nights (1-11). Jesus isn’t in the temple or out preaching; he is tired, alone and very hungry. Are we usually tempted when we are tired, lonely, confused, overwhelmed, prideful, or filled with uncertainty? What is the nature of Jesus’ temptation? What might appeal to Jesus? What price would there be? How does Jesus overcome temptation? What is your greatest temptation? Take time to turn your temptation(s) over to Jesus. Jesus is able to resist all the devil’s temptations because he not only knows scripture, he obeys it. Can that be said of you? Commit to knowing God’s word and being faithful to it.

Friday, May 28, 2010 Matthew 5
Today’s focus is the Sermon on the Mount (1-12). How does each Beatitude relate to the promise that follows it? What is the opposite of each quality? The Beatitudes can be understood as: a code of ethics for the disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers; a contrast between Kingdom values and worldly values; a contrast between superficial faith and the real faith that Christ demands; and an illustration of how Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new Kingdom. These Beatitudes, like the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22), must be taken as a whole. We cannot pick and choose. Which Beatitudes do you desire in your life right now? Which are you avoiding? How are they related to being salt and light (13-16)? Focus your prayers on God’s blessings in your life.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 Matthew 6
This chapter includes ministry to the needy (1-4), prayer (5-14), private forms of spirituality (19-24) and leaving things with God (25-34). What does Jesus tell us about giving? If someone observed you for 48 hours, what would they learn about your prayer life? In the Lord’s Prayer, what three things are related to God (9-10)? What three things are related to our needs (11-13)? What does this prayer tell us about forgiveness (12, 14-15)? What does Jesus propose with respect to our treasures (19-21)? We are “to seek the kingdom of God above all else,” put God first in all areas of our lives (33). We are to pattern ourselves after God, and serve and obey God in everything. Spend time in prayer asking God to help you live out this chapter of Christian spirituality in your everyday life.

Sunday, May 30, 2010 Psalm 150
This is a hymn of praise! God’s creation praises him everywhere, in every way. We need to join this joyful song. When we praise God, we do not exclude anyone. We sing and play music and rejoice in our loving God. Listen to your favorite Christian music and join in with singing, dancing and joy! Praise to our loving, generous God!

Celebration Iowa Concert

A special benefit concert will be held outdoors at the church on Friday, May 14th at 7:30 pm. Classic rock, blues, and funk music will be performed by some of the With Faith band members. The concert will be a double benefit. A free will offering will support Colin Loynachan who will be touring with Celebration Iowa (a jazz band and vocal choir of high school students) this summer. Joining Colin will be Matt Evans, Tim Loynachan and Dave Bruce. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Additionally there will be High School Youth selling snacks and drinks. All proceeds from concession sales will be going to the charity: water well project.