12/7/2019 8:33:26 AM
First Things - December 5, 2019
Joni (pronounced “Johnny”) Eareckson was an active American teenager, growing up in a Christian family. At age 17, she dove off a boat into the Chesapeake Bay, not realizing that the water was less than three feet deep. Her spinal cord was injured in the dive and she became a quadriplegic. Over the next two years she experienced anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and religious doubts. She writes: “I was once the 17-year-old who retched at the thought of living life without a working body. I hated my paralysis so much I would drive my power wheelchair into walls, repeatedly banging them until they cracked.”
But…she continues: “What a difference time makes — as well as prayer, heaven-minded friends, and deep study of God’s Word. All combined, I began to see there are more important things in life than walking and having use of your hands. It sounds incredible, but I really would rather be in this wheelchair knowing Jesus as I do than be on my feet without him.”
Joni realized that in spite of what happened, Jesus was her Savior and still loved her. And she realized that she could still serve him. And she did: She not only became a role model to thousands of disabled individuals. She also learned how to paint, holding a brush in her teeth. And she also authored 48 Christian books.
The Old Testament Prophet Habakkuk expresses the same desire to praise the Lord even when times are bad:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
By God’s grace, most of us will never face the life challenges that Joni Eareckson Tada has faced. But as we face the lesser challenges in our lives, may God the Holy Spirit fill us with the same knowledge that we have a Savior regardless of what happens to us. And may the Holy Spirit give us peace and comfort, and lead us to find ways to serve him and others.
Many thanks to those who helped with refreshments last weekend.
The Live Nativity continues on December 14, 15, 31, 22, and 25.
Sign up to help at: https://www.facebook.com/
Upcoming Special Services
- Sunday School’s Christmas Program – 12/22 at 9:00 AM
- Christmas Eve Worship – 12/24 at 6:30 PM
- Christmas Day Worship – 12/25 at 9:00 AM
- New Year’s Eve Worship with Communion – 12/31 at 6:30 PM
- St. John’s Nodine Old Fashion Christmas potluck meal, Saturday, December 7 at noon.
- LHS Christmas Concert, Sunday, December 15 at 2:00 PM
Sunday School Dates to Remember
12/8 – Rehearsal for Christmas Program during class.
12/15 – Rehearsal for Christmas Program during class.
12/21 – Saturday Rehearsal, 9:30-11:00 AM.
12/22 – Sunday School’s Christmas Program, 9:00 AM.
Board for Lay Ministry Meeting - Monday, December 9 at 6:30 PM
Call Meeting – Sunday, December 15 after worship
The new Meditations devotion booklet with devotions from December 1 through February 28 are available in the church entryway.