During the coming weeks, as you or loved ones celebrate graduation, remember it isn’t a closed door, an end or a farewell. Instead, it’s an entryway threshold, a beginning, a hello — and one of many such opportunities that mark life.
“God wants us to know that life is a series of beginnings, not endings, just as graduations are not terminations but commencements,” writes Bernie Siegel. “Creation is an ongoing process, and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease.”
Of course, we can “create a perfect world” only by letting God guide our actions. So, dear graduates, may you partner with God to meet suffering with love, kindness and compassion through all the new beginnings of your life!
AWANA Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 3rd at 6:30PM in the sanctuary at Jay First Baptist Church. Join us for the ceremony and help the kids celebrate their success. Refreshments will be served in the Family Life Center immediately after the ceremony. Our 2017-2018 AWANA year will start in September. Please remember to sign-up in August for another exciting year of AWANA.
Great group of young women and men. Our time for this year is almost up. I’ve truly enjoyed being able to try and help you see the path that God has for you. Stay true to your beliefs, serve God everyday and in every way possible, pray daily, and always give God the glory. I love each of you.
The world is filled with wonders, writes Nathaniel Olson. Consider chemistry: Salt is formed by two poisonous substances (sodium and chlorine). The alnico magnet, the world’s strongest, contains three nonmagnetic substances (aluminum, nickel and cobalt). And water consists of oxygen (which is flammable) and hydrogen (which burns easily); yet water puts out fires!
That pales in comparison to the wonder of salvation through Jesus. Every day, Olson writes, Jesus transforms filthy, hopeless sinners into new, forgiven creations. “On the skid rows of our cities, in wealthy and poor homes, in jungles … whenever any soul wants Christ, the wonder of the new birth is taking place.”
Our God is the true Wonder of wonders. “None can compare” (Psalm 40:5).
Running late for a meeting, a man circled the block, looking for a place to park. Desperately, he raised his eyes toward heaven and prayed, “Lord, if you’ll find me a parking spot, I promise I’ll start going to church again.”
Just then, a car pulled out of a space right in front of the man. “Never mind,” he said to God. “I found one!”
Let’s all try to remember to give credit where it’s due. God answers prayers!
“The way you celebrate Christmas can be a gift in itself,” said Fred Rogers, “handing on traditions that will give your child a feeling of continuity, comfort and joy in all the Christmases to come.” In American homes, common Advent traditions include wreaths, calendars and logs. Did you know about these European traditions?
• In Normandy, children used to set fires in fields during Advent. The flames killed caterpillar eggs and drove away rodents. The tradition reflected good conquering evil, just as God’s perfect Son rescues us from sin.
• On December 13, Scandinavian countries honor Saint Lucy (or Lucia), a third-century martyr who, according to legend, brought food to people in the catacombs during winter. For light — and to be able to carry as much food as possible — she wore a wreath of candles on her head. On St. Lucy’s Day, the oldest daughter gets up early and brings sweet rolls to family members. The tradition reminds Christians that Jesus is a gift of light and love for our dark world.
Thankfulness is not a minor virtue. It is not one of the elementary virtues [that] may be left behind as we become more mature. I believe that thankfulness is essential to the strength of every virtue, and that without it every other branch is starved and lean.
Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.
—John Henry Jowett
It’s Time! We would like to invite our AWANA and 24-7 Clubbers to come Wednesday, August 24th and 31st to register for the 2016-2017 Club year. Registration is from 6PM-7PM. AWANA Clubs starts on Wednesday, September 7th at 6PM; but if you like to sing, come on out at 5:30PM for Children’s Choir with Mrs. Robbi. Hope to see ya’ll there!
Vacation Bible School will be held June 20th-24th, from 9:00AM – Noon for grades Kindergarten thru Sixth grade. Registration forms are available in the church office. Come join us for an exciting week while we submerge ourselves in God’s word. It’s going to be a splash!
The message of Easter is not only that Christ is risen, not only that suffering is not the last word, not only that God gives new life, but this: Nothing is impossible with God.
—The Rev. James Martin, S.J.