An Amazing Quote: “The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him,” Oswald Chambers.
As you may remember, we usually cover the sermon from the Sabbath before to give our writers a week before the deadline for submission to the paper. Well, on the 10th we were expecting to be in the center of a severe ice storm about church time and so the decision was made to cancel church since so many of our members come from a distance in all directions. As it turned out, the ice came in late and not as severe in Ava as they thought, although some of our members did have it pretty bad.
So, I have no sermon summary to give you, but want to take this opportunity to write a little of what is on my heart.
When I took on the task of writing for our church in this column it was not an easy or quick decision. I knew it would take time and I didn’t know where I was going to find the time. But, I did see the need for it. I mulled the thought around in my mind for a long time – perhaps over a year before I finally consented. I wanted to give our community a window into our local church and hopefully over time help you know us better. I take the job very seriously because I do not want to misrepresent our church. It takes a lot of time. You take sermon notes, try to distill it in as few as words as possible, get the grammar correct, and communicate something edifying for all readers. I have a faithful proofreader I send a draft. And, lately, I even have occasional help with writing the sermon summary. One person I talked into writing a few times, said it was too much like school work and didn’t feel called. I understand.
I have been discouraged at times. You wonder if it’s worth it. Is anyone even reading it? And, at just the right time someone will say something so that I know they’re reading it and that is encouraging! So, I keep on writing. And, I do enjoy it. It is not always laborious.
But, again it takes time. Since I started writing in 2015 life has changed. My last child left our nest. I began working away from home and then recently began juggling two part time jobs. My mother’s health is declining and requiring more help so there are more trips out of state. I want to spend more time with her, my grandchildren, my family and friends. There is so much I want to do and learn! I love learning.
I have much to learn to be a better wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, teacher, nurse, friend, and neighbor. I desire to learn to be better equipped to serve…the body of Christ, my community, and those precious people the Lord puts in my pathway to minister to. Oh, for more time to prepare, to learn, to do, and to give.
But, is the business of life or even the pursuit of these worthy goals and high ideals keeping me from my most important appointment of the day? That would be my morning quiet time with God in prayer and in His word.
I read something long ago that often comes to my mind when I’m reading some bit of news or the like.
“We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are so often given to comparatively insignificant things…Even an acquaintance with facts and theories, important in themselves, is of little value unless put to a practical use. We need to feel our responsibility to give our souls food that will nourish and stimulate spiritual life.” A New Life 63
And then recently the Lord led me to this quote. “The greatest thing we have to offer our people is not our education. It is not our good ideas. It isn’t even our gifts and abilities. It is the fruit of the time we have spent with the Savior, the utterly unique and unparalleled thing that happens when we are simply in His presence.” Ben Patterson
Wow! That hit me hard. Read that again, and over and over until it sinks in. So, no longer shall I be tempted to think I am too busy performing important tasks and that a quick prayer and talking with the Lord as I go through my day is enough. The greatest gift I can give to those I love, the most effective way to work in their behalf, and to gain wisdom is to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him before the press of the day begins.
So, I solicit your prayers as I learn to say “No” graciously to anything keeping me from this time with God. And by making this public I am creating accountability. You have permission to ask me how it’s going. “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth,” John 17:19.
The Community Services Center, located on the church property, is open every Tuesday from 10:00 to 2:00. In January we served 76 people, 770 items were given away, and 58.75 hours were volunteered. We appreciate your support and donations to enable us to serve our community. You can reach us at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Please visit us at www.avaadventistchurch.org or follow us on Facebook!
May God bless and keep you!