Sundays in Lent, – The Meaning of the Cross. More than a symbol, but what does it mean? What does it mean that Jesus died for us? Why did Jesus have to die?
Volunteers are needed to help! Both people with sewing machines and those without!
Last year the students of Kingdom Keepers voted and selected a local mission project, Journey Bags for the Forgotten Initiative and the response was AMAZING! We collected enough items for 27 bags! The largest response they have ever received from a single source, way to go SARON!!
Students will again this year be collecting items for this mission beginning in March! Journey Bags are backpacks filled with basic items for children entering the foster care system who may arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs, or anything to call their own in a time of need.
These bags will go directly into the hands of foster children, and represent the extension of God’s love to these kids and support to the families that serve in foster care!
You can help by donating supplies such as back packs, pajamas, stuffed animals, books, children's shampoo, toothbrushes, etc., or even fill a backpack with your family.
The students of Kingdom Keepers will have tables set up in the Narthex through April 12th to collect donations and answer any questions you may have about this mission project.
This is a great opportunity to connect with a great need in our community, and a great way to involve students and families with giving in our community!
We are so grateful for you! Every one of you is important. We couldn't do it without you!
We want to thank you in person. Will you let us?
Saturday, March 7th, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Bring a little food (a side dish or dessert to share), we'll provide a magician, musicians, a message and lots of pampering.
Please RSVP (and let us know if you need the nursery, too) to
A Sign with Two Meanings
Ashes. Ash Wednesday. A ritual that seems almost primitive – certainly ancient. Ashes smudged on a forehead, in the shape of a cross. A tribal marking as if going into battle or dancing around a fire. It reminds us our bodies will one day decay and turn to dust, that we are mortal, that life is short, that we had better get our acts together and our lives in line. That we need to get right with God. It is an important sign.
A young man full of life and dreams knew loss at an early age as his dad was pulled into alcohol and, even when sober, rarely available for a kid that longed for a sign of acceptance and love. Before the young man was eight his father passed away. His mother had always been there for him through it all and he clung to that. One of their favorite things was to do the sign language for “I love you.” His mom would do it with her left hand and he with his right and they’d put their hands together. But after his dad died he grew restless and he grew tired of signs and threw himself into sports, “working hard and playing harder.” Soon he was rarely home. Each time he left in the morning, however, his mom would open the front door to wave and sign “I love you”. Once in a while he would look up and see it.
He left home, got a good job, married had a child and lived non-stop. He was a leader – the kind that you either ran with, or you were left behind or run over. His daughter was in preschool and learned to sign “I love you”. When she proudly showed it to him it was like a slap in the face. He yelled at her that she didn’t need to know sign language, that she should be learning numbers and words. To him that was a sign of loss and pain and he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. He withdrew more from his wife and daughter, spending more time away with work and with friends.
His wife and daughter left him. He didn’t even put up a fight. One night coming home late from work to an empty house he was sitting at his computer just trying to escape the emptiness but the walls seemed to close in on him. It was hard to breathe. He surfed the internet trying to get his mind off it when an image caught his eye. It was an ad, just a stupid religious ad – a cartoon of Jesus. What really grabbed is attention was that Jesus was holding up his hand in sign language for “I love you.”
He cried out to God, railed, screamed, sobbed, slumped over, surrendered…and he suddenly could breathe again and felt a warmth he had never felt before and a full heart and hot tears. He sought out his wife and daughter. The reunion was slow and shaky but he persisted and they reunited with a renewal of vows.
Ashes are not just a sign of our mortality and our sin, but are in the form of a cross to remind us of love – a love that spared nothing for us. A love that is life and that we live in. Ashes in the form of a cross are the sign that God has made things right through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. These ashes say, “You are alive in me!” and “I LOVE YOU!”
God wants your 2015 to be rock solid and stable – filled with confidence and strength. There will be challenges. What will help you keep standing?
1. HEART HABITS. A newly married couple, determined to make their relationship stand the test of time, knew that it would take lots of little, ongoing investments in each other. So they got in the habit of showing they were not far from each other’s thoughts: a heart traced in the dirt of her car’s rear window, picking up a banana-nut muffin for him while she’s at a breakfast meeting, loading the dishwasher the way she likes it, or warming up his car for him when he’s running late. These were little, regular investments that showed they were paying attention. And that paid off in building a relationship that would last.
Our relationship with God is the same way. God is always showing you that He’s paying attention: a dramatic sunset or frosty trees in the morning (those are for you!), the right help at the right time, a sense of peace in the middle of trouble, or a kind word or smile sent your way. We reciprocate when we take time to share our hearts with God in prayer, gather weekly with all God’s children in worship, serve and care for each other and give generously of our time and finances. These are heart habits that build a strong relationship and build YOU up!
2. MIND MATTERS. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above…” It’s easy to get caught up in “earthly” thoughts like anger, belittling someone (or ourselves), fear, lust or greed for more possessions. But when you were baptized you were raised from that. You have traded earthly thoughts for the mindset of Jesus: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Philippians 4:8 says, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” When bad thoughts enter, trade them in and you will find stability like you’ve never known before.
3. FAITHFUL FEET. We have no idea ahead of time what a day will bring. We often make decisions blindly and hope for the best. But as a child of God, when we follow His voice, we can know that our next step will land on solid ground. Always. Because God is already there in that place for you. Because God somehow always works things out for our good. Because God knows the plans ahead of time. Trust and your steps will be true.
God wants your 2015 rock solid – built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Set your heart, your mind and your feet where they will not be shaken.
When you hear that "still small voice" are you certain it's the Holy Spirit? We all want to hear Him speak, realize the Way He Speaks, recognize the sound of His voice, remember what He wants to accomplish, and ready yourself for even more.
Discover the treasure of recognizing how God keeps in touch with his beloved people and watch as He communicates with you. This Bible study is designed to help participants know the voice of God: His language, character, and tone of voice. By growing closer to God through His Word, participants will be able to discern God's voice from the voice of strangers.
Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Is Speaking by Priscilla Shirer is our next book, join us Monday mornings from 9:30a - 11:00a!
Saron is collecting snack items throughout the school year to distribute to the students in need at the Big Lake Elementary Schools. Ideas include granola, cereal or fruit bars, juice boxes, crackers, fruit or applesauce cups, etc. Place donations in the marked container in the Saron entry way. Thank you for your support!