A Word From Our Pastor

My Best Self

There are historic questions asked of every United Methodist clergy person. Three of them are cur-rently on my mind. Are you going on to perfection? Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? Are you earnestly striving after it? The answer to each should be yes. As Christians we are all called to the highest of standards as we follow Jesus Christ. We are to grow in faith, and in love. Although, we may not look perfect in all that we do, perfection is the goal that Jesus has given to us.

With each New Year we ponder ways in which we can improve. We want to start the New Year being our best selves. Gym memberships are being obtained. Some of us are preparing to diet, so we are eating the last of the sweets or throwing out all temptation.

As we start abstaining from foods there is good news and bad. The good news is that it helps that we don't have a major holiday until Easter. With Lent preceding Easter we can remain in the fasting and moderation mindset for quite a while. The bad news is that Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, is known to be a day of great indulging. Well even if we are not perfect we can remain committed.

Committing to be the best we can be should have us looking at every aspect of our lives. Areas of improvement may include keeping a positive attitude, better management of our finances, organizing our time differently – balancing work, family and rest. Perhaps our best self can be seen as we determine what we want the future to look like. A prosperous future will require planning, working and investing today.

We may not think about it much, but the New Year is also a good time to reflect on the vows we have made. Vows to love, honor and respect our spouse until death. Vows to love God and neighbor as ourselves. Vows taken in church membership – committing to support the church and her minis-tries with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.

Each New Year ushers in a fresh start, a time to begin again. Are we going on to perfection? If we are not on the path now, this is the time to make it our goal. Remember Matthew 5:48 tells us Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Perfection, being like Christ, or at least aim-ing to be our best selves. As we walk this path with Jesus, we may mess up along the way. It hap-pens. However, let's not just give up and throw in the towel. Instead, get up and press forward. We can thank God for his patience and allowing us second chances. It's a New Year, a good time for new beginnings. Remember the goal is perfection. Let us earnestly strive for it.

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own…but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14

Dr. Thacker

Youth Updates

Join us for SUNDAY NIGHT WORSHIP XPRESS (follows the school schedule)!
Normally the Youth meet for Sunday night worship from 5-7 pm (including dinner)! During the summer the schedule pauses for special events (listed below)

Lessons from a Hover Board

Several years ago, with fanciful thoughts of zipping through crowds and flying above traffic, a new craze was born, a new fad pervaded our culture - the famed hover board. My sons were too young at the time to consider one of these devices, and quite frankly, these toys were pretty scary. Apparently, these Back-to-the-Future-esque gadgets were exploding and causing fires; unfortunately, some people lost their homes. It seems that the cause of these fires were faulty batteries and no mechanism to stop the hover board from overcharging.

Hopefully, those defects have been resolved because my son received one for Christmas. And not wanting to be left out of the fun, I decided (foolishly) to try this thing out. Immediately it became apparent that hov-er boards and I were not friends - my backside can attest to this. But isn't that just like life? Sometimes we see something that seems like a lot of fun at the time and since everyone else is doing it, we want to do it too. This is not always wrong; it's normal to want to join in the fun. But we must maintain our sense of BALANCE - heart, mind, and body. Though our minds say "do it," our bodies may no longer sustain the con-sequences. Though our hearts are in it, our minds and our bodies may be encumbered and overly tired. And maybe our bodies can endure, but our minds say "STOP, that's foolish."

The New Year brings new opportunities, new ideas, new avenues through which to enjoy life; but we must always maintain our balance. Landing on the floor in an ungainly, embarrassing heap is no fun. Balance is the key to living a good, productive, successful, and godly life. Or worse yet, making an uninformed pur-chase could end in a very unfortunate situation. Too much of a good thing is never all that good.

"You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability." 2 Peter 3:1

Peace and Blessings,

Lahronda Little

Youth and Children's Activities
9:45 a.m. - Sunday School
11:00 a.m. - Children's Church – is held after the Children's message in the 11:00am Worship
Service except on first Sunday, everyone stays in the sanctuary for the
celebration of Holy Communion.
4:00 p.m. - Youth Band Practice (WC)
4:30 p.m. - Youth Fellowship (FH)
5:00 p.m. - Youth: Express Worship (LCH)

Children's Minister Updates

Please see Children's updates by clicking here.

Oreo's Blog

Happy New Year! So, what was on your list for 2017 that you wanted to accomplish and did not? Will you carry that over on your list for 2018? Will you make it the most important item on the list since you didn't get to it in 2017? I hope one item on your list for this year, is sharing Jesus in your heart with everyone you meet. No matter what kind of day someone is having or what kind of news they may have received, sharing your love of Jesus (whether it be kind words, a smile or a hug) will warm their heart and their day. Share the love!

Love, Oreo


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Bethel United Methodist Church  |  245 Fairview Rd  |  Stockbridge, GA 30281  |  770-474-2570