A tip of my hat to Malorie Unruh. Last Sunday, She sent Jenny and I a picture posted by a Facebook user named Makenzie Grace Tindall. It wasn’t big enough to use for a slide, but I recreated it in the slide below for my sermon tomorrow morning. I’ll be preaching on James 2:1-17.
“The fact is that when we forgive someone we not only release them from the burden of our anger and its possible consequences; we release ourselves from the burden of whatever it was they had done to us, and from the crippled emotional state in which we shall go on living if we don’t forgive them and instead cling to our anger and bitterness.” — N. T. Wright 
Let’s do ourselves a favor and pray for the grace to forgive those who have sinned against us. (Sometimes I have to start by praying for the desire to forgive.)
 N. T. Wright. Evil and the Justice of God (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2006). Kindle Edition, 135.
Jenny is on renewal leave this week, so if you need anything please contact me first.
The church office is closed today (September 3, 2018) in celebration of Labor Day. We’ll reopen for normal office hours tomorrow.
In last Sunday’s Stewardship Moment, I referenced expensive golf clubs (I also referred the expense of one of my own hobbies). I was sorry to hear that someone felt that I was looking directly at them. If I was, I don’t remember doing so and didn’t intend to do so. I bring this up to make a more significant point. If there’s something that I think needs to be said to you individually, I’ll say it to you personally. As far as I can remember, I’ve never singled out an individual for criticism from the pulpit, and I believe that doing so would be an abuse of power. That said, it may sometimes be the case that something I say hits home for you. If so, I would encourage you to follow Christian tradition and
blame that on attribute that to the Holy Spirit. In my life, the Spirit does that kind of thing on an annoyingly regular basis.
“It is not so much that God has a mission for his church in the world, but that God has a church for his mission in the world.” — Christopher Wright 
 Christopher Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006), 62, quoted in Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsityPress, 2015), 30. Kindle.
The larger pantry from which we stock the little free pantry has seen better days and so we’re asking for contributions to be brought this coming Sunday, September 2, 2018. A few needs: Canned fruit, vegetables, soup, and meet; cereal, breakfast, and granola bars; macaroni and cheese, ramen, spaghetti (and sauce); peanut butter and jelly, crackers (especially saltine crackers—they’re good for putting peanut butter and jelly on); add water only pancake mix and syrup; and fruit snacks.
A few final encouragements: ask yourself if you would eat what you are bringing and remember that the Little Free Pantry is, well, little.
A final note, people from the community not only take items but they also sometimes bring them and leave them in the pantry. This is a great way to involve the community in building for the Kingdom of God.
Learn more about the broader movement at www.littlefreepantry.org.
“When I pray, coincidences happen; when I stop praying, the coincidences stop happening.” — William Temple
William Temple quoted in N. T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996), 68.
Disciple Fast Track is a comprehensive Bible Study covering the majority of the Bible in 24 weeks. It is a reworking of the original Disciple Bible Study that reduces the time of the study by 8 weeks while still keeping most of the original content. The study includes 12 weeks studying the Old Testament and 12 weeks studying the New Testament, daily Bible reading assignments of 3-5 chapters per day, and a 75 minute weekly meeting with the group. Disciple is a great way to get a really solid overview of the Bible, whether you are new to reading the Bible or have read it for years. If you are interested in taking Disciple Fast Track, please let Pastor Jenny know in person, by phone/text, or by email at email@example.com. The study will have it’s initial meeting on Sunday, September 9, 2018, at 7 pm.
Hopefully, this obviously true, but seldom spoken insight will get your day off to a great start:
“The gospel says you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared to believe, but more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope.” — Timothy Keller
Timothy Keller, “Home Page,” accessed August 1, 2018, http://www.timothykeller.com.
It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him. . . . But we must not use the Bible (our fathers too often did) as a sort of Encyclopedia out of which texts (isolated from their context and not read with attention to the whole nature and purport of the books in which they occur) can be taken for use as weapons. — C. S. Lewis, Letter to “Mrs. Ashton” 
 C. S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis, ed. W. H. Lewis and Walter Hooper (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2017), 549.
This coming Sunday, I’m preaching on Ephesians 6:10-20 in which Paul writes:
Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. — Ephesians 6:11-12 (NRSV)
Here’s my question how do you, personally, take this passage? Do you take it literally, metaphorically, or a combination of both?
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.