Jamey's Newsletter: Sunday, March 5, 2023
I love scripture. The longer I continue in the faith, the more I appreciate the Bible. Every year I make it a goal to read through the Bible. I have discovered that clarity comes through trust when it comes to scripture. I trust that through the pages of Scripture, God will serve as my guide and lead me to a deeper understanding of the character of God. Trust leads to greater clarity.
The goal of reading the Bible is not to get more information. It is formation. We invite God through the Bible to form and recreate us as people of love. If my scripture reading is not shaping me into a more loving person, as reflected in the person of Jesus, then I am reading it wrong.
Our lives are not clear-cut and direct paths. The same is true for the characters of scripture. They lived chaotic and complicated lives. Yet, God didn’t remove the multiple perspectives from different books or the challenging viewpoints found in some of the stories when allowing the stories to be told.
I appreciate that God didn’t need to clean up the messiness of scripture before giving it to us as the sacred text. We grow in our Christian life when we stay in constant dialogue with the Bible and are faithful to the community entrusted to interpret the Bible.
(Pre-recorded online worship from Gainesville First UMC, Gainesville, Georgia)
Trust leads to greater clarity.
We are brought into a relationship with Jesus by the witness of scripture.
Does this narrative tell us what God thinks or what a human character thinks about what God thinks?
If you are in (or near) Gainesville, Georgia, and would like to explore this topic more, plan to join us on Wednesday at 6 pm at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. It is a discussion open to everyone.
Meme of the Week
Where is the first tennis match mentioned in the Bible? When Joseph served in Pharaoh’s court.
Did Eve ever have a date with Adam? No, just an apple.
I Have Been Thinking……………
How do you react to conflict? How do you respond when a crisis occurs in your organization? In your family?
If you are anything like me, you want to hide behind your desk, close your office door, take the telephone off the hook and ignore emails.
When dealing with a crisis, a good working rule is that the less you want to be around people, the more you need to be around people.
Being approachable allows people to feel safe around you.
Book I am reading this week
See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur
INTERESTING ARTICLES, PODCASTS, OR VIDEOS FROM THE WEEK
Gen Z Wants to Talk about Faith
How My Wife and I Took Back Our Sundays
What's next for the Southern Baptist Convention after it ousted 5 woman-led churches?
He proposed 60 years ago, then broke her heart. Now they've finally tied the knot
How Jimmy Carter integrated his evangelical Christian faith into his political work, despite mockery and misunderstanding
Add These Southern Music Festivals to Your Bucket List
11 Southern Events, Festivals, And Happenings Not To Miss This Spring
Top Ten (This is a little brain exercise I do - since I don’t do Wordle). I have a notebook where I make a list of ten things that serve as sort of a brain dump for me. It is random but fun. I plan on sharing it with you in 2023.
I ran into the grocery store after work, but two people blocked the entrance and conversed as I tried to navigate through the doors. So, here is my list of ten things not to do at a grocery store. Some things I have seen in my grocery-shopping adventures are:
Do not block aisles while pouring your heart out to someone while someone else is trying to get a box of Cheerios.
Do not open up spaghetti sauce jars and stick your nose in them to determine if it will be “too oniony” for your husband.
Speaking of onions….. do not grab a bag of Lay’s sour cream and onion potato chips open them and eat them while you do the rest of your shopping.
I look in the mirror as I say this…….the aisle says ten items or less for a reason. Not eleven, not fifteen, and no, six two liters don’t count as one item even if they are six two liters of the same brand.
There is no reason to put your loud aunt on speakerphone while you are walking up and down the aisles. No one wants to be part of your conversation.
When checking out, give some personal space. I am not trying to give out my pin number on my debit card to the whole world.
It isn’t the Daytona 500. You don't need to come out of an aisle at 100 mph. Look both ways before you exit an aisle.
You don’t have to touch every piece of fruit. You cannot make the bananas ripen any quicker by standing and staring at them.
If you don’t want the chicken breast you got out of the meat cooler, you don’t need to stash it behind the cake mix. Put it back in the meat cooler.
I like kids. But don’t turn to me and ask me to tell your kid why he/she should not have Fruit Loops because you don’t want to be the bad parent. I am probably gonna side with the kid.
What about you? Are there any annoying practices you have seen at the grocery store that needs to stop?
Women’s History Month
Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions to American history.
We all have women who have impacted us in ways that have made us better human beings and challenged us to live into a better version of ourselves.
Who are you celebrating? I encourage you to nominate someone who has impacted you or the community and write a summary of the contributions you want to celebrate. Send a photo to email@example.com, and I will include it in the March newsletter.
My person is my wife. She is resilient, determined, and a fighter. She is strong and wise and kind and loving. She brings joy to others and is the rock in our family.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Sunday, March 12 / 12 pm / Reception Hall
The Foster Care Ministry of Gainesville First United Methodist Church will host a lunch and learn event on Sunday, March 12, at Noon in the Reception Hall.
If you want to learn how to be involved in a ministry that impacts children in Hall County, we invite you to join us. This is a free event. Email Misty Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Weekly Blessing and/or Quotes
People do not mortify themselves during Lent
out of a sick desire to suffer.
God did not make us for suffering.
If we fast or do penances or pray,
it is for a very positive goal:
by overcoming self
one achieves the Easter resurrection.
We do not just celebrate a risen Christ,
distinct from us,
but during Lent we prepare ourselves
to rise with him to a new life
and to become the new persons
that are what the country needs right now.
Let us not just shout slogans
about new structures;
new structures will be worthless
without new persons
to administer the new structures the country needs
and live them out in their lives.
February 17, 1980