…and thank you for your prayers during the time Terri and I were adventuring. We have returned safely with many wonderful experiences and some stories to tell.
That having been said, so much has happened in our world since we have returned. The primary issue that has grabbed our attention is the attack by Hamas on the southern border of Israel and some incursions into Israel’s north by Hezbollah. The animosity between the radical arms of Islam and the Jewish state, the refusal of many of Islamic faith to recognize Israel’s right to exist fuels much of these attacks. Israel’s actions of confiscating land for Jewish settlements aids in the hostile climate. The history and complexity between the parties is great. As a result, there are no simple answers.
Aiding the complexity of this conflict is the reality that Israel is dear to the hearts of most Christians. It is the land where our story of the Bible unfolds. It is the homeland of Jesus as he walked this earth, ministering to our bodies, minds and spirit and calling us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness…” It is where Jesus died on the cross for the sin of the world and where he rose from the dead and ascended back into the presence of God. Israel holds a fond place in our hearts.
Over the years of many uprisings and in my discussions with and listening to people of faith, one of the recurring questions that surfaces every time major conflicts like this arise is, “Is this the end times when Jesus will return?”
When Jesus walked this earth, his disciples asked him about how human history would come to an end. Matthew 24 gives us their question and Jesus’ response. They asked:
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately saying, “Tell us, when will this be (the destruction of the temple implying Israel as well), and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age? (3)
Jesus responded with an honest and troubling response. The end would not be a pretty picture. He said there would be wars and rumors of wars; famines; earthquakes; persecutions of his followers; etc. The events we see happening (and by all implications greater devastation is yet to come) must happen before the end will come and Jesus will return. Jesus wanted his disciples then and we who follow in their footsteps now to be prepared and not become disillusioned.
So, knowing that horrific events will take place; knowing that we will find out about them because news travels so fast in our day and age; knowing that hatred and violence will grow and impact the whole world; what are we to do?
1. Pray and work for peace (Matt. 5:9; Psalm 122:6). Even though that peace may never come in our lifetime, we shape our hearts, minds, and souls by what we focus upon. I would much prefer to fail seeking and praying for peace than succeeding at desiring war, revenge, hatred.
2. Pray for sanity and strength for those leaders who make decisions. Most of us are Monday morning quarterbacks. We have little knowledge and no decision-making ability. We do have the power of prayer and we should lift up those people who are in decision making roles (1 Timothy 2:1-7).
3. Don’t lose hope…God is still in charge working in the good things as well as through the bad things toward his eternal purposes.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36
News & Events
Sunday, October 15th:
9:00 a.m. Bible Study in the Chapel, Acts 18
11:30 a.m. Fellowship Luncheon, Spaghetti Dinner
Monday, October 16th:
5:30 p.m. Handbell Practice
7:00 p.m. Choir Practice
Tuesday, October 17th:
7:00 a.m. Men’s Bible Study and Breakfast
1:00 p.m. Presbyterian Women
Wednesday, October 18th:
L.A.M.B.S. will meet in Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m.
Bible Babes will meet in Fellowship Hall at 12:30 p.m.
Check out the Events Calendar for more upcoming events.
Prayers for the Life of My Church
Over the next several weeks our congregation will be receiving a prayer during worship service with the idea that we will all be praying for the same thing on the same day. This Sunday you will be given our first prayer with a ring attached. As we work our way through the next several weeks, we will be adding prayers to our rings. If you would like the prayers via email or snail mail, please contact the church office.
Trick-or-Treat Street will be here soon!
FPC will be participating in Whitefish’s Trick-or-Treat Street again this year. Please consider bringing a bag of candy into the office to donate to this fun children’s event. Volunteers will be needed to pass out candy. There is a signup sheet in Fellowship Hall or contact the church office for more information.
Church Information Class
Sunday, October 22
11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
This class will provide some background on the origins of the Presbyterian Church, a review of its central beliefs, a look at how a Presbyterian Church organizes to do the work of the Lord and a look at our local congregation, its vision and mission. This class, although focusing on information, is also a great step toward membership in this church, making this “officially” your church home.
Please let the church office know by Wednesday, October 18th if you are planning on attending so the proper amount of materials can be prepared. Also, if you need assistance with childcare, please let the office know as well.
Sunday, October 15th following Worship Service
The Fellowship Committee will provide a delicious spaghetti and meat sauce entrée for our Fall Potluck Luncheon immediately following our worship service. Please bring an appropriate side dish or dessert.
Tuesday, October 17th
Presbyterian Women will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 17th , in the Fellowship Hall at 1:00. The hostesses will be Mary Ellen Barr and Betty Monsigno and the program will be presented by Marlene Barnes and Alma Ramlow. The Thank offering will be collected and explained at this time. Please come and join us and enjoy an afternoon of fellowship and devotions.