Eating Humble Pie
I spoke a bit too hastily, this past Sunday morning, near the conclusion of my message. Seeking to help listeners apply the message on the Great Commandment, I suggested ways to develop friendships with neighbors. Then I added, “Invite them over to watch the Bills lose.” There was, as you may expect, a groan. To make my faux pas even more egregious, I added, “I speak truth!” Well, as you may know, Buffalo beat Chicago that afternoon. I was wrong and I am sorry.
Pastor Mike sent me this email: “I am not superstitious but…if the Bills win every time Pastor Wally says they are going to lose, then I’m okay with him making that prediction every week.”
Pastor Jeremy, also seeking to come to my rescue, wrote to me saying, “His statement is open to exegetical interpretation. Was the original intent of his comment that the Bills would lose [Sunday’s] game or did he mean they would lose the season? If we examine the historical context of that statement, it was said less than two decades after the Bills went to the Super Bowl four times in the 1990s and lost each game. I’m just saying….!”
I’ll try to be more supportive of the home team in the coming weeks! My apologies to all the Bills fans!
The Authentic Life
This weekend, I will begin a new series of messages on the book of James. I’ve titled the series “The Authentic Life,” because I find this relatively short New Testament book pushes me to seek an authentic Christian faith. James, it appears, had little patience for those whose faith did not translate into a corresponding lifestyle. Read the first fifteen verses of chapter one in preparation for this week’s message.
To complement the series, I’ve selected two excellent books for us to read as a community of faith during these months of autumn. The first is The World is Not Ours to Save: Finding the Freedom to Do Good, by Tyler Wigg-Stevenson. This significant book was selected by Christianity Today for their 2014 Book Awards as the best book about Christianity and culture. This is a challenging read, as it prompts some careful consideration of how Christians should seek to impact our world. You may not agree with all that Wigg-Stevenson writes, but he will certainly help you clarify your own calling to serve the Kingdom.
In an interview, the author responds to the question, “Who do you hope reads this book?” by saying:
“Believers want to live out their faith in public. People want to do good in the name of Jesus Christ. That’s a fantastic thing. But it can also play out in ways that are less good – with spiritual and practical pitfalls all around. My hope is that this book will encourage and equip Christians who are passionate about serving their Lord in public, by linking up the activism we do in the world with the core of our spiritual foundation and calling.”
The second book comes highly recommend by Dr. Linda Adams, our denominational director of International Child Care Ministries. It’s a book titled When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. First published in 2009, this has become a contemporary classic for those concerned about discovering healthy ways to address the impoverished areas of our world.
Copies of both of these books are on the foyer book rack for a suggested donation of $13.00 each.
Two New Groups for Those in their Twenties
I am pleased to announce that, beginning this weekend, there are two opportunities for young adults in their twenties to find community at Pearce. So if you were born between 1985 and 1994, this group is perfect for you.
The first opportunity is on Sunday mornings at 9am. Matt Kerwin and Mary Stewart are hosting a class on the book of James. This is not a lecture format, but more of a dialogical discussion group. Join them in Room 141 in Pearce’s education wing.
The second opportunity for community is a small group at the home of Scott and Beth Bellinger (207 Chambers Street in Ogden) on Sundays at 6:30pm. I’ll be leading this group in a study, also of the book of James.
If you have questions about either of these new groups, contact me at email@example.com.
Free This Saturday?
Karen Hopkins, the chair of Pearce’s Great Commission Leadership Team, will be attending this Saturday’s (September 13) “Poverty Simulation” from 12:30 to 4:30pm in Shewan Recital Hall. This event, sponsored by the student group Enactus, will help you better understand what it is like to walk in the shoes of those living in poverty. Go tohttp://robertsenactus.org/povsim/ for additional information. Registration is limited, so act promptly if you wish to join Karen!
This Coming Wednesday Evening
Two new seminars begin this coming Wednesday, September 17. Pastor John Keller and Dan Pappa will be leading Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, a wonderful way to learn how to better handle your family’s finances. Pastor John Tassone will be leading a class entitled “Outflow: Outward-Focused Living in a Self-Focused World.”
Both of these are nine-week courses. The “Outflow” course will be held in Room 134 of Pearce’s education wing. Financial Peace University will be held in Room 81 of the education wing. Registration is required for the Ramsey class and may be made by going to daveramsey.com. As of this past Monday, 28 people have registered for the Financial Peace course.