All posts by Pat Gustafson

From the Desk of Pastor Stan – Praying With A Purpose (Part 3)

IV. His Concern for their Lives (11) – Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory of God. Finally Paul prays regarding their everyday lives and walk with the Lord. He mentioned: <!–split–>

A. Their Fruitfulness (11a) – Being filled with the fruits of righteousness … This is a natural desire Paul had for the church in Philippi and every believer for that matter. Paul well understood the initial filling of the Spirit at the moment of salvation, but this speaks of a continual filling throughout one’s walk with the Lord. He desired the church to be filled with the fruits of righteousness daily.

There is much we could deal with here regarding the fruit believers are to  bear. Suffice it to say that Paul prayed for the church to live in a way that revealed their faith in Christ, influencing those around them, and honoring the Lord. Each day we live, our lives should bear witness of the grace of God that was shed abundantly toward us in salvation. We are to bear fruit consistent with our relationship with Christ. As others view our lives, there should never be a question regarding our faith and walk with the Lord.

B. Their Filling (11a) – Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ. We discussed this being a daily, continual filling, but Paul also mentioned that the believer’s filling and fruitfulness are by and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Although they were aware of their need for continued fellowship with the Lord, Paul emphasized this great truth. The believers in Philippi would not be fruitful apart from the Lord. They must be committed to abiding in Him.

This great truth remains relevant for us today. Our only hope of bearing fruits of righteousness is to abide in the Vine that produces righteousness. Apart from Jesus, we are unable to bear fruit pleasing to Him. We too must maintain a daily, committed fellowship with the Lord to bear fruit. John 15:4-5 – Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. [5]  I am the vine, ye are the branches;: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

C. Their Focus (11b) – Being filled with fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. This is simple, and yet a needful reminder. Paul prayed their lives would bring glory and praise to God. He knew this was their purpose in life, and Paul wanted the church to have a proper perspective and maintain the right focus.

The believer is responsible for much as we walk and serve to serve the Lord. We are obligated to support one another and bear witness of Christ. However, our primary responsibility is to bring glory and praise unto the Lord. If our hearts are right with the Lord, we will have no problem accomplishing this, but we must focus on our priority. It is easy to become so busy in work that we fail to really bring glory and praise to God. At the end of the day, that is our primary obligation as believers!

Conclusion: The prayer Paul offered for the church in Philippi serves as a challenge for all believers. Not only should we  be willing to pray for the church, but we should use this prayer as we examine our lives. Are the elements Paul desired from the church evident in our lives? Are we living in a way that edifies the church, reaches out for the Gospel, and brings honor to the Lord? If not, our lives are lacking spiritually. I trust we will seek the Lord and strive to make progress in our walk with Him.

If you are yet unsaved, my prayer is that the Lord will convict you of your need, draw you unto Himself, and save you by His grace. If He is dealing with your heart, I urge you to respond in repentance and faith unto salvation.

Paul loved the church at Philippi and was committed to praying for them.

We need to share the same commitment to pray for Bethel Wesley.

There are real people with real needs who need specific prayers.

Nurse’s Notes – Your Recipe For Staying On Track No Matter What’s Cooking

‘Tis the season for family, festivity, and food – lots of food. Temptations are everywhere, and parties and travel disrupt daily routines. What’s more, it all goes on for weeks. How do you stick to your diabetes meal plan when everyone around seems to be splurging? Hare are 5 tips that can help. <!–split–>

5 HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

  1. Holiday-proof your plan. You may not be able to control what food you’re served, and you’re bound to see other people eating a lot of tempting treats. Meet the challenges armed with a plan:
  • Eat close to your usual times to keep your blood sugar steady. If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.
  • Invited to a party? Offer to bring a healthy dish along.
  • If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs (like potatoes and bread) during the meal.
  • Don’t skip meals to save up for a feat. It will be harder to keep your blood sugar in control, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
  • If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating your next meal.
  • Holiday hacks:
    • Have pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie. Even with a dollop of whipped cream you’ll cut calories and sugar by at least a third.
    • Break physical activity up into smaller chunks so it fits into your schedule, like walking 10 minutes several times a day.
    • Schedule some ‘me” time every day – a nap, dog walk, or hot bath to get your energy back for the next celebration
  1. Outsmart The Buffet. When you face a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices easier:
  • Have a small plate of the foods you like best and then move away from the buffet table.
  • Start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite.
  • Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food. Alcohol can lower blood sugar and interact with diabetes medicines.
  • Also plan to stay on top of your blood sugar. Check it more often during the holidays, and if you take medicine, as your doctor if the amount needs to be adjusted.
  1. Fit In Favorites. No food is on the naughty list. Choose the dishes you really love and can’t get any other time of year, like Aunt Edna’s pumpkin pie. Slow down and savor a small serving, and make sure to count it in your meal plan.

If you plan for it, no food needs to be on the naughty list.

  1. Keep Moving. You’ve got a lot on your plate this time of year, and physical activity can get crowded out. But being active is your secret holiday weapon; it can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year. Get moving with friends and family, such as taking a walk after a holiday meal.
  2. Get Your Zzz’s. Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for 7-8 hours per night to guard against mindless eating.

Most of all, remember what the season is about celebrating and connecting with the people you care about. When you focus more on the fun, it’s easier to focus less on the food.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

From the Desk of Pastor Stan – Praying With A Purpose (Part 2)

His Concern for their Learning (10a) – That ye may approve things that are excellent. Along with their love, Paul prayed for their wisdom in Christ. He spoke of: <!–split–>

A. An Examination – That ye may approve things that are excellent. As Paul dealt with their daily lives and Christian conduct, he challenged them to approve those things that are excellent. This is an interesting aspect of the believer’s life. It literally speaks of our discernment, the examination of various aspects of life. Simply, he called on them to put things to the test. They were to analyze the situation or circumstance and measure it by a biblical standard. Their lives were to be lived in light of the Spirit instead of the flesh. Their doctrine was to align with Scripture, not the desires of men or dictates of society. They were to please the Lord, not men.

B. An Estimation – That ye may approve things that are excellent. The word excellent in the text is interesting as well. It speaks of things that are different and those that make a difference. He in essence prayed they would approve those things that really mattered. Paul desired them to major on those eternal things. He knew there were good things, better things, and best things. He wanted their focus to be on the aspects of life that were worthy of their time and commitment.

Churches are filled with those who are engaged in good things, but are we really engaged in the best things? Having fellowship with those of like faith is great, but having an outward focus to share the Gospel in reaching the lost is best. We can’t afford to get bogged down with merely good things at the expense of accomplishing the best things!

III.  His Concern For Their Loyalty (10b) – that ye may be sincere and without offence til the day of Christ. Paul also prayed for their loyal allegiance to Christ. He prayed for:

A. Their Sincerity – Paul desired them to be sincere in their faith and walk with the Lord. This is one of my favorite word pictures in all of Scripture. The word literally means “judged by sunlight.” It is derived from the Latin word since cera, which means “without wax.” In that day, fine pottery was often thin and very fragile. As it was fired in the kilns to harden, cracks in the pottery were possible. Dishonest dealers would fill the cracks with wax that was unnoticeable when the pottery was painted or glossed. Buyers soon learned to hold the pottery up to the sunlight in order to reveal any impurities in the vessel. The sun’s light would reveal the crack and the wax. (Isn’t that beautiful and challenging? Our lives are to be judged by the Son’s light, free of wax and other impurities! His light will reveal the needed change in our lives.)

B. Their Purity – Paul prayed their lives would be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ, as long as they lived, or until the Lord called for them. He desired the church to maintain a positive witness among the world, being found blameless when examined by others.

There is probably little praying for purity in our day, and even less preaching on the matter. If we are honest, such behavior has created much harm to the church. We cannot expect to have a positive witness among the world if our lives are lived no differently than theirs. While none are perfect, we are held to a higher standard. We have been bought with a price; we are no longer our own and forfeited the right to live as we please. Those who have no relationship with the Lord will find it difficult to desire if they continually see those who profess Christ living in open sin without remore. We must live our lives above reproach before the world around us!

Paul loved the church at Philippi and was committed to praying for them. We need to share the same commitment to pray for Bethel Wesley. There are real people with real needs, that need specific prayers.

(Look for Part 3 to conclude Pastor Stan’s “Praying With A Purpose” in the December Chimes.)

UMW – October

  • Rebekah Circle: Wednesday, 4 Oct – 10:00 am – Activity Center.  Hostesses: Dolores Butter & Laura Smith.   Devotions: Donna Chyma.
  • Priscilla Circle: Tuesday, 10 Oct – 7:00 pm – Wesley Hall.  Hostess & Devotions: Judy Pikuza.
  • BW UMW Executive Meeting – Wednesday, 11 Oct – 10:00 am – Activity Center.

(No Unit Meeting in October.)

 

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OTHER OCTOBER EVENTS:

  • Annual Meeting of UMW Conference – at Springfield IL First UMC.
  • Church Women United, General Meeting – 9:30 am at Butterworth Center, Moline.
  • Pantry Sunday – Sunday, 15 Oct

Steak Supper – 14 October

Saturday, October 14th  – 4:30-6:30 pm – Activity Center

$10 Steak  –  $7.50 Ground Beef  –  $4.50 Children under 10

Includes: Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Cole Slaw, Roll, Beverage, Dessert

Tickets available at the door.

ALSO AVAILABLE:  2018 Dining Club Books Are Here –   Cost $35 (same as last year). $10 goes to the church. There are 150 restaurants (28 new ones) in the book. Good through 31 Oct 2018. This is a great way to support Bethel Wesley!