We had a great day in the Lord together as a church family this weekend, hosting our missionaries, fresh from their ministry work with Shanxi Evergreen Services in China. They were able to spend time talking about their work in the Adult Sunday School class, and then in the Worship Service itself -- and on a more personal note during our delicious potluck lunch afterwards (I don’t know where they picked up those dumplings, but they were amazing).
We also shared some more about the opportunity to participate in our 40 Days for Life campaign, beginning on September 24. Over the span of these 40 days, we’re asking every FCCer to simply sign up to take one half hour, on one of those days, to pray for the 1.2 million abortions which are performed every year in the United States -- almost 2,000 of them here in Peoria. This isn’t a protest, but rather an opportunity to lift up our nation, the doctors and nurses, and the families represented by every abortion that’s being contemplated, in prayer before the Lord. The sign-up sheet is available in the Narthex.
Another tangible way that we can help those going through crises as families is to support our new MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) ministry here at FCC. It begins on September 26, and focuses on providing love, encouragement, and a Biblical foundation for young families. We could use your prayers most of all -- but if you’re interested, contact either Nikki Andrews or Sarah Uhler to see if there’s any other way that you might be able to help.
In the message that our missionary shared this week, we looked at a familiar passage from Ecclesiastes -- the poem from chapter 3 immortalized to the secular world through an old Byrds song from 1962.
Our missionary rightly reminded us that this poem isn’t really about the various seasons of life and how we need to discern which one we’re in at any moment -- instead, it’s about the fact that the one constant in such an ever-changing, inconstant world, is God Himself. The times may shift like the wind, but God and His will are solid and unchanging.
So whatever life brings you -- whether it be a hard day or an easy one, or a time to build or a time to tear down, or a time to plant or a time to harvest what’s been planted -- you should stop and see it as a time given to you by God, and a time that fits into God’s own, perfect timing.
So can you decide -- as an act of worship -- to take joy in the days that you’re given by our sovereign God? Can you find joy at work, and find joy on vacation, and find joy when eating with your family, and find joy when you’re alone?
Stop and think today about the attitudes that you have about the days that you’re given. How often do you find yourself grumpy, or complaining, or frustrated, or controlling, versus how often do you decide to find joy in the gifts of God?