Stephen Ministry
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. Hebrews 10:25a

 

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Did you know that the idea of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3000 years to the ancient Babylonians. Is there something magic that happens at midnight on December 31? Is there something about the start of a New Year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning? Perhaps it is that things we have kind of messed up or things we have not done that we wanted to do in the past year kind of ends on midnight on December 31 and we have a new start or new beginning starting on the 1st of the New Year. Even us, little church “meeces” has ideas on what we may want to change or may want to do differently in the New Year. Now I don’t smoke and I really like our church potlucks too much to realistically think I may lose weight and I have no money to worry about investing differently or managing differently; so what should I be thinking about changing? The vast majority of New Year’s resolutions, even among us Christians, is in relation to physical things. What kind of spiritual resolutions should I as a “church mouse” be thinking about?


Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are great; but, these New Year’s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Year’s resolution. Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?


Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God-honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution. So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make? Here are some suggestions: (1) Pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regard to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make; (2) Pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you; (3) Rely on God’s strength to help you; (4) Find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you; (5) Don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead allow them to motivate you further; (6) Don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”


WOW, I wish I had come up with all those thoughts and suggestions, but you know me as just a little “church mouse” and I had to rely on my computer “nerdy spiritual meeces” to help me with some of the above thoughts, but they are good, HUH??????


I think they are worthy to think about and hopefully in 2016 we all can seek to obtain some of these suggestions. And deep down I know I should also work on my weight, but gosh how I love our “church potlucks.”


Squeak, Squeak and Happy New Year “changing” from Stephen Ministry



“I preached on the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of faith. While I was speaking, several dropped down as dead and among the rest such a cry was heard of sinners groaning for the righteousness of faith that it almost drowned my voice. But many of these soon lifted up their heads with joy and broke out into thanksgiving, being assured they now had the desire of their soul – the forgiveness of their sins.” ~ John Wesley


Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.


1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Shepherd of the Hills UMC Stephen Ministry gives thanks to God for all of you!

 



People often ask, "What exactly is a Stephen Minister?" One way to put it is that Stephen Ministers are the After People.

 

  • after the phone call you hoped you'd never get.
  • after the divorce papers are served and the bottom falls out of your life.
  • after the funeral, when everyone has left and the emotions you've held at bay come crashing in on you.
  • after the doctor says, "I'm sorry, but there's nothing more we can do."
  • after the nursing home director shakes your hand and says, "Welcome to your new home."
  • after the last child honks the horns, waves, and drive away—and the house seems suddenly empty.
  • after the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on, and your loved one is led away.
  • after the baby arrives, demanding more of you than you ever dreamed possible.
  • after you find a pink slip with your final paycheck.
  • after your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk it out.

Stephen Ministers are the "After People." They are ready to come alongside you—or your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives—and provide comfort and support for as long after as needed.

 

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