All posts by Pat Gustafson

NOVEMBER DATES TO REMEMBER

Wednesday’s With Pastor Stan – Join the Pastor every Wednesday at 10:30 am or 6:00 pm. Focus of this small-group study is “Living A God-Pleasing Life!”

Mexican Consulate    The Mexican Consulate will be here Tuesday-Saturday, 13-17 November in the Activity Center.

2018 Charge Conference to be held at Bethel Wesley UMC on Sunday, 18 November at 6:00 pm.

Ecumenical Service set for Sunday, 25 November hosted by Pastor Stan and Reverend Grimes of Churches United at 5:00 pm on Sunday, 25 November. A nice group of local pastors will be here and your support of this service is greatly appreciated.

SIGN-UP FOR CHURCH AND SOCIETY EVENTS

We will be accepting cash for our Thanksgiving Baskets on Sundays November 4th and November 11th.  The money will be used to purchase food for filling baskets to be distributed for Thanksgiving.

A sign-up sheet to make sandwiches for Kings Harvest will be in the hallway on the following Sundays:  November 11th – 18th – 25th.

FROM THE DESK OF PASTOR STAN: “The Undivided Heart” (part 2) by Carolyn Moore

Paralyzing fear takes away our power to fight the enemy.  We become reactionary and prone toward survival-level decisions.  Fear makes for terrible career choices.  What spiritual work do you need to do in order to admit to and deal with the irrational and self-limiting fears in your life?  Are you resolved to do that healing work?  Resolved does not mean “only if it gets out of control” or ‘until something better comes along.”  Resolved means surrendered, submitted, committed, sacrificially obedient.  Being resolved to devote myself wholly to God means going after wholeness in my life, no matter the cost. <!–split–>

Too much of our conversation in The United Methodist Church is driven by fear.  For decades, fear has kept us from talking lovingly and honestly about our differences.  Fear is keeping congregations from frank discussions about our current crisis.  Fear has kept us in a defensive crouch.  Fear has kept us from acknowledging the depth of our divide. We have wanted to characterize it as a simple paper cut when it is in fact a gaping wound breeding infection.  By minimizing the differences, we may stifle a crisis that is actually our opportunity – if we’re bold enough to accept change as a good thing – to give clearly unique theological positions a chance to live with more integrity and to prove themselves by their fruit.

I hear echoes of angels in this moment before us, encouraging “Be not afraid.” Meanwhile, we shrink back, for fear of what we might lose if we act boldly.

Fear is the great enemy of wholeheartedness.

Two years after the Israelites were delivered from their five hundred years of oppressive slavery in Egypt, they found themselves standing on the brink of the land God promised them.  To get to this place, they had seen waters part and enemies drown.  Yahweh was intimately involved with their lives.  They knew him.  They followed him.  And just two short years after packing up and moving out of bondage, there they stood on the brink of God’s best.  Yes, there were vicious armies and untamed wilds on the other side of that border, but they had the smoke and fire of God blazing their trail.

Then it happened.  Human nature kicked in.

They became more cautious than optimistic.  There at the edge of God’s plan, they sent a dozen spies into that question mark of a promise to check things out.  Then returning spies slinked back with a warning: “Don’t do it! It is great real estate, but the people are giants.  We will all die if we go over there.” The majority report was full of fear and trepidation.

The other two spies – young men named Joshua and Caleb – looked on that land and saw a future with hope.  For them, the land was more possibility than problems.  “I think we should do this,” they challenged.  “This is God’s land and God’s fight.  Let God defend us!”

“Generosity – A Path to True Discipleship”

October is Stewardship month.  During this month, you are encouraged to be generous with your time, talents, gifts, and service to support Bethel Wesley.

In mid-October, look for a letter from the Finance and Stewardship Committee with more information on our theme – “Generosity – A Path to True Discipleship”, and a pledge card requesting for you to prayerfully consider your support of Bethel Wesley for 2019.  On Sunday October 28th, we will have commitment services to collect the pledge cards.

Please pray for Bethel Wesley, our conference, and what part of God’s generosity you can share to support our mission of being a ”True Disciple” of God.

— Finance and Stewardship Committee

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

We’re counting on the Bethel Wesley congregation to let   Pastor Stan know how much we appreciate his time and talents.  We have not planned any special events, but will leave it up to each individual to decide how you wish to let him know what a blessing he has been to you.  Hugs, cards, gifts, kind words are just some suggestions!

– Staff Parish Relations Committee

COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease that, over time, makes it hard to breathe. COPD is used to describe a variety of lung diseases, including, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. An estimated 24 million people have COPD today, but about half do not realize it. <!–split–>

Many people mistake shortness of breath as a normal part of aging or a result of being out of shape, but that is not necessarily the case. COPD develops slowly, so symptoms may not be obvious until damage has occurred. Common symptoms include an ongoing cough, a cough that produces a lot of mucus, shortness of breath (especially during physical activity), wheezing and chest tightness.

Those most at risk are smokers, former smokers over the age of 40 and people who have had long-term exposure to other lung irritants like secondhand smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes and dust. Additionally, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, a rare genetic condition known as AAT deficiency, can increase the risk of developing COPD.

If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, you need to get tested by your doctor. Spirometry is a simple breathing test that your doctor can use to tell if you have COPD and, if so, how severe it is. Early screening can also identify COPD before major loss of lung function occurs.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD. However, if you do indeed have COPD, you need to know that there are things you can do to help manage symptoms and protect your lungs from further damage, including:

  • Quit smoking: If you smoke, the best thing you can do to prevent more damage to your lungs is to quit. To get help, the National Cancer Institute offers a number of smoking cessation resources at gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. You can also ask your doctor about prescription anti-smoking drugs that can help reduce nicotine cravings.
  • Avoid air pollutants: Stay away from things that could irritate your lungs like dust, allergens and strong fumes. Also, to help improve your air quality at home, you can remove dust-collecting clutter, keep carpets clean, run an exhaust fan when using smelly cleaning products, bug sprays or paint, ban smoking indoors and keep windows closed when outdoor air pollution is high (see govfor daily air-quality reports).
  • Guard against flu: The flu can cause serious problems for people who have COPD, so you should get a flu shot every fall and wash and sanitize your hands frequently to avoid getting sick. You can also ask your doctor about getting the pneumococcal immunizations for protection against pneumonia.
  • Take prescribed medications: Bronchodilators (taken with an inhaler) are commonly used for COPD. They help relax the airway muscles to make breathing easier. Depending on how severe your condition, you may need a short-acting version to use only when symptoms occur or a long-acting prescription for daily use. Inhaled steroids may also help decrease inflammation, reduce mucus and prevent flare-ups.

For more information, visit the COPD Foundation at copdfoundation.org or call the COPD information line at 866-316-2673.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of “The Savvy Living” book.