Just a quick reminder - Our Kid's Easter celebration begins on March 31st at 6:30 pm. There will be an interactive service followed by a Great Candy Hunt! Things like this make you wish you were a kid again! Hope to see you there!
Jenny Kirchhoff's Father Jim came out to the church today with his tractor and pulled all the gravel out of our grass. What an amazing guy!! The winter had caused such a huge mess of our grounds that we were concerned about summer activities. Thanks to the Kindness of Jim - We have a nice parking lot as well as a maintained landscape. Thank You Jim!!
Finally! The weather is warming up. We even played Capture the Flag last night for about 20 minutes. It was so nice to be outside. We celebrated with Tammy Glenn on her Birthday - Enjoyed some St. Patrick's Day Treats and had a chat about "Perfectionism and Criticism". Later in the evening we hung out at BK (Burger King) and enjoyed some cheap refreshments. Many of the students are on Spring Break right now so Kelly and I stayed up late playing Shot Online with Jordan Mauk. We all nearly finished under Par... I can say that I finished under par; but, only because I was -5 when I began on hole 18. If it wasn't for that I would have finished +1 due to my many errors on the last hole.
I am so glad that Summer is around the corner - I have had a serious case of "Cabin Fever". So glad to see the grass again - even if it is brown! Blue skies today and gorgeous weather! Thank you God for allowing me to experience a beautiful and peaceful day !!
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else:
"Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank You, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don't cheat, I don't sin, and I don't commit adultery. I'm certainly not like that tax collector!
I fast twice a week, and I give You a tenth of my income.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.' I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
I don't think this story is about self-infliction, but rather self-reflection. "He beat his chest in sorrow, saying 'O God, be merciful TO ME, For 'I' am a sinner!' " I have often failed to realize that this "Tax Collector" would have been considered a believer... in fact - both were considered believers. What is interesting is the tax collectors identification with sin. "I am a sinner" you can just hear the "ME" in his voice as he beats on his chest.
I don't believe this Tax collector was a pagan or he would not have come to God as he did... but rather, in relative terms "A Saint Who Sins". Is it possible - that a believer can be a sinner? I believe so - and I believe God is the Merciful one in the story who identifies with the humility of this Tax Collector as he recognizes his lowly position with God.
I need the Lord Jesus Christ everyday and I wish Godly sorrow would fill our churches as we humble ourselves in our right place with God in the "Mercy Seat". What causes you to "Beat Your Chest" before God?
Loving God, Life & People is what 1st Assembly is all about. I love making memories and experiencing the monumental moments of life with those around us. I love that we laugh together, cry together, play together and pray together. I love being a part of the Family of God - the universal church of believers everywhere! It is simply beyond words | by Lee Havemeier (Youth & Worship Director)