I AM BLESSED BY REACHING OUT TO OTHERS

Pastor Andy wrote us some special letters in the last two “Reach” newsletters. As he clarified, our pastors visit people in the hospital. I head up our Care Team; we try to help one another feel God’s love through difficult times. The team meets every two months for an hour.

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WONDERFUL THINGS ARE AVAILABLE

Do you learn best by experiencing, reading or listening? Our church provides all three! EXPERIENCE When you come here, you both experience and help others feel God’s presence. READ Linda Monks maintains a Book Table ministry- you can purchase items at the Family Life Center entrance, plus children’s items are

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The “Land of Pain”

Some live in the “Land of Pain”, whether physical or emotional (including grief). They cope as best they can with the tools they are given- prayers, help from people (family, friends, professionals), and/or medications…  One of my prayers is that our church family steps up to help. If you have

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IT IS GOOD TO GIVE THANKS

Our church prints a weekly Prayer Bulletin. Many pray for those listed, whether or not they know much about exactly why the prayers are requested. Our church member Larry Jones works with Stacie Bushong and asked us to list Stacie and her husband Greg on the bulletin. Stacie sent a

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ROCKS

The 8-25-2017 “Upper Room” devotion spoke of using a small, smooth pink stone as a daily reflection reminder. It helps the writer remember to thank God for her blessings. On my desk is a small, smooth rock painted like a red ladybug. It is a “worry stone”- holding it reminds

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VOICES AND WORDS

The Gift of Voice ministry in Edwardsville held a Pastor Resource Day this week. I attended and learned a lot about mental health resources. Did you know that the Illinois Warm Line provides free proactive wellness support to anyone in IL, 8 am- 5 pm M-F? (866-359-7953) We were united

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HIDDEN TREASURE AND PRIZE

I won’t tell you where it is, but we have a hidden treasure on our church property. It is a labyrinth, a long circuitous path for prayers and meditation. Ours is marked by a sign that explains it is a “quiet place of meditation dear to the heart of Sue

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SUNFLOWER PROGRESS

On Easter Sunday everyone who came to church was offered a little packet of sunflower seeds. The seeds are resurrection symbols: they look small and dead but when planted will grow into 9-12 foot plants with blooms up to 1 foot across. Pastor Dennis chose the verse from John (12:24)

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I WAS A STRANGER, AND SHE INVITED ME IN

One of my favorite Bible passages is Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.” A friend of mine followed Matthew’s words but would have read:

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LISTS

I love lists. They help me gather my thoughts and focus on what to do next. I like to write them in the order the tasks should be done. I like to group “like” things together on the list. Lists gladden my heart. As a teacher, I learned that not

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RECEIVING AND GIVING BLESSINGS

I often remind myself that “things work both ways”- When I took karate lessons with my kids 20 years ago, it was difficult for me to learn to kick/punch left-handed as well as right-handed. I try to remember that to have a good friend I must be a good friend.

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SERENDIPITY

The Cambridge English dictionary defines serendipity as “The fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance.”  Learning interesting and valuable things is something I love about being Director of Lay Ministry at our church, but I’m not finding them by chance.  God sends information in a lot of ways-

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FEAR

Fear feels like a huge, empty pit next to me sometimes. Like the Grand Canyon, it is easy to tumble into Fear and hard to climb out of it. Many of us fear health issues and the insurance problems that are tangled with our health issues. We fear growing old

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COURAGE

Courage is doing something in spite of your fear. I am afraid of many things, but God gives me the courage to do them anyway. God reminds me that I am capable of coping and helps me imagine doing things without disaster. When I was a child I could not

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BLESSINGS JARS AND PRAYER BOXES

On New Year’s Day I began choosing a blessing to write on a small slip of paper daily. All the little slips of paper are collected in a big glass jar in my office. This discipline helps me to look for the good God sends instead of feeling overwhelmed about

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