Centerport United Methodist Church
The Pastors' messages comes from the July issue of our monthly church newsletter - The Focus.

Unshakeable, Unremitting Love

Seed-Sowing

    John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was a man of many interests.  Not only did he preside over the development of the Methodist movement, travel hundreds of thousands of miles, preach over twenty thousand sermons, write numerous books, pamphlets and hymns, he also authored books on medical advice, personal finance, and other practical guides for living.

 

In this latter vein, Wesley started a seed-planting program.  Noticing the drabness of the English villages through which he rode in the last half of the 18th century, Wesley began to distribute flower seeds to local townspeople.  Through this form of horticultural evangelism, many beautiful gardens came into bloom.  Call him the "Johnny Flowerseed” of Great Britain.

 

It is an exaggeration to attribute (as some do) the transformation of the English countryside into one of the most colorful in the world solely to the seed-distribution program of the Methodists.  Yet no doubt there are more gardens throughout the British Isles today than there would have been, had not Wesley imagined a way to brighten and beautify the lives of those around him.

 

To the gardeners among us, this story may serve as an inspiration to combine a love of God’s creation with service to God’s kingdom.  Such synergisms are very Methodist---putting together the practical and the spiritual in a potent blend.

 

For the rest of us, nature lovers or not, there is this: We are all planters.  By our words and by our actions we sow seeds that blossom often long after our planting of them.  Seeds of love.  Seeds of understanding.  Seeds of hope, peace, joy, and faith.  Or seeds of distrust, dishonesty. and discord.

 

As kingdom-planters, God asks us to envision the resplendent possibilities lying beneath the present drabness.  What is God wanting us to plant, that it might take on shape and form?  Like traveling seed-sowers, we may not be around to see the harvest.  But our job is to plant and to water and let God do the growing, in God’s own time.

 

All it takes is a little faith, some creative imagination, and a willingness to drop seeds into what may appear to be lifeless soil.  It is remarkable to see what God can grow from the smallest of beginnings.

 

For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains; nothing will be impossible for you.                                                                                                                                                                    - Matthew 17:20

 

Happy Planting,

 


    

 Pastor Roy        

 

“Turn your eyes…upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face…

And the things of earth…will grow strangely dim…

In the Light of His glory and grace” UMH # 349

 

The Glory and the Grace of Jesus, when you turn to him and seek him out, will have a way of overpowering, overshadowing and completely blocking out and the trials that we face during our time on this earth.

 

My brothers and sisters, while life presents challenges to us, the most effective way of dealing with them is through Belief and Obedience

 

· When we cannot see the end from the beginning, we walk by faith

· If we are traveling on the wrong road, we must leave it before we can begin to follow the right road

· A way must be entered… There comes a definite time in our Christian experience when one makes a choice, and decides to enter the way

· A way must be followed… There is a variety of scenery along the journey; green pastures, still waters, dark valleys of shadows; but we are called to follow the way

· The way leads to the Father’s house, where a table is prepared, the head is anointed, the cup runs over, and the inhabitants who have a place at the table, shall dwell in His house forever

 

We must be very careful in our actions and responses to the challenges of this earth, as despite the numerous deviations which Satin throws in our path, we have to be strong and committed, and cannot allow ourselves to be drawn out of the way… even for a short time.

 

“Turn your eyes…upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face…And the things of earth…will grow strangely dim…

In the Light of His glory and grace”

 

We live in a world where we are turned, persuaded… lead down the wrong path by others.  We too readily forget that we are commanded: Love One Another. All too often instead of  walking in faith, we find ourselves walking alone, and in utter darkness…We Must Love One Another.

We must learn to accept this as our responsibility.  We love to  cry out and say that others don’t like us, that they don’t accept us, that we are never at fault. But do we treat those who come across our path in the same manner that we desire to be treated? We Must Love One Another… as God loves each one of us.

 

We need to walk in the light, to walk in the truth, and to accept that we are responsible for how we react to other, how we treat each other, never forget my brothers and sisters, that Jesus is the Truth and the Light, for Jesus is love.

 

As a congregation, as a family of believers and followers of Christ, we must be one. We need to focus on being one body in unison, in love with each other. And I am not talking romantic love, I’m talking respectful love, nurturing love, supportive love, building up instead of tearing down and criticizing love, working together love… Christian Love! Helping each other to do one thing, to be more Christlike and once again, to love each other, as God loves every one of us.

Now I know, this is much easier said than done… but then again, whoever promised you that your life would be easy?  God didn’t promise you that… But God did promise to always be with you…All that you need His hand will provide” but He never said the journey would be easy. When we are faced with challenges, we must remember to

 

1) Start Where You Are

2) Use What You Have

3) Do What You Can

 

Reflect on this: With his death, Jesus took the burden of our sins with him, he lightened our load and cleared our pathway to a relationship with the Father. Now that path, was one that many couldn’t see, as it was, darkened by sin, shaped and blocked by the trappings of our human life, that road to God the Father, was a road lined with temptations to go in another direction…

However, that same path which was blocked is now open to us, it is clear, because of Faith our in God.  Faith opened our eyes, illuminating our pathway to God.  This precious gift from God to us, His creation, His children, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, His only Son, empowers all of us who believe, to skip around like children filled with joy, because our Faith enables us to Now, Be happy all the day. 

 

We have now entered the season of Summer, and our lives rapidly become filled with activity, as we take a break from our work and our normal routines and seek to enjoy the outdoors…I implore you to utilize this time, as a time of Spiritual Renewal. Take the time to look at your life and rejoice in all that God has provided for you. Take the time to pray, in fact strive to make the Spiritual Discipline of prayer a staple component of your daily life. Give Thanks to God, for all that He is, and all that He will be in your life…and Love One Another!

 

Have a Blessed, Safe and Joyful Summer!

 

Brother Wayne Redman
Certified Lay Minister