It looks as though we all survived the ice storm though I think the trees in front of the church lost several large branches. This is the problem with trees that spread out wide but do not have the strength in their limbs to bear the weight that inevitably comes winter by winter. Storms in general (snow, ice and wind) have a way of testing trees and often unmercifully so.
The storms in our own lives are usually related to relationships, health and income. And, like the trees, we too can become stressed to the breaking point. As I write this, West Texas crude stands at around $47 a barrel and I am beginning to hear rumors of layoffs. Midland and Odessa are certainly beginning to feel the stress of uncertainty.
But we are not like the trees that sag and break. The very strength of God upholds us. Isaiah 41 says to God’s chosen ones: “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”;fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” And Jesus says: “Behold I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 19).
So look to him for your strength in uncertain times and bear witness to his strength whenever you get the chance. Without him we are weak, but in him, we can do all things!
SCRIPTURE OF THE WEEK
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied– altogether there were about twelve of them. Acts 19:1-7 (We’ll talk about this one on Sunday :-).
As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.
Your fellow servant,
THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS
· Sundays, Classes at 9:15 am, Worship at 10:30am.
· Tonight, 6:30pm at the Oknefski’s, 2201 Hereford Blvd. The Bible Study Resumes.
· Friday, January 9th, 8:15am-9:15am. Shelf Stocking at Jubilee Center.
· Saturday, January 10th, 9:00am-12:00pm, Jubilee Center, Food Distribution. Just show up, we’ll find a place for you to serve!
· Monday, January 12th, 6:00pm. Vestry meets in the Parish Hall. Vestry meetings are open for all to attend.
· Friday-Sunday, beginning on January 16th, All Saints Women’s Retreat in San Angelo.
· Sunday, January 25th, The Annual Meeting after church. This will also be our “Second Sunday” so we will share lunch – bring your favorite sandwiches for all to share. On this day we will also be collecting macaroni and cheese for Jubilee Center.