Advent is a time of Waiting. Waiting and Watching.
Thank You…Two small words that can make a world of difference in the World. Thanksgiving is one day in the whole year, but isn’t everyday an opportunity for Thanksgiving? Every day is a gift of new beginnings and “fresh starts”. What if you and I began every day with a Thank You to God? What if every day we expressed our gratitude to God for the incalculable blessings that flow from God?
The Psalmist well understood the importance of expressing our unending gratitude. What if we not only expressed our gratitude to God, but to each other as well?
Consider the story of one person who learned the power of gratitude. Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!'” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today.”
Plumb couldn't sleep that night thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform – a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.” Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who's packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory; he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this month, why not recognize people who pack your parachutes?
Thanking God for each of you every day! Thankful for the shared journey and for the opportunities to share the Love of God with ALL God’s children. Adopt and attitude of gratitude, it’s contagious!
Speaking of “adopting” -Here is an opportunity to help “Pack a Parachute” – You are invited to the inaugural Serve Rome Lunch and Learn. Lutheran Services of Georgia, a Serve Rome Partner, is hosting the Lunch and Learn on November 16, from Noon – 1 PM in the Wilder Dining Room. In celebration of National Adoption Month, come and learn about all things adoption. Lutheran Services will present a brief presentation on their adoption program, the children who need homes and how you can help. Lunch will be provided. Please R.S.V.P to Laura Fowler at email@example.com or (706)372-0625 by Noon Thursday, November 15.
See you here this Sunday as we gather with thankful hearts to give God Thanks.
October promises to be a month filled with significant milestones in the life of Rome First. What is a milestone? Milestone: a stone by the side of a road showing the distance in miles to a given place or: an important point in progress or development. The illustrious history of Rome First has positioned us today at a critical juncture for significant growth in ministry and mission to and with the community.
Grace and peace to you in the name of our risen Savior! You are receiving this letter for two reasons- the first is to say thank you for your faithful support of the dreams, mission and ministry and Vision of Rome First. The second is to invite you to make your commitment to “LET’S DO THIS...Buckets of Love” the 2019 ministry funding commitment for Rome First.
As I write this blog/article for the July 2018 Rome First Herald, I rejoice that Bishop Sue Haupert Johnson and the Cabinet of the North Georgia Annual Conference have reappointed me as your Pastor for a sixth year! Denise and I are delighted to be a part of the wonderful welcoming worshipping community of Rome First. So there will be no Pastoral Change this year! Hooray!
In July of 1888 the Sanctuary of Rome First was completed and consecrated. 130 Years as a Beacon of Hope from our location on the hill at the corner of Second Street and Third Avenue. So much has changed in 130 years! And yet the purpose and reason for the existence remain constant - To Glorify God and fulfill the mission of the church. The mission of the church is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
WHEN JESUS FED THE 4,000, the disciples were concerned because they could not see how to meet the needs at hand. Jesus said to them, “How much do you have?” Jesus showed them it was enough. After all were fed, there was an abundance left over. God has given us all we need and more if we each share what we have…and Trust God.
There once was a church who was known for compassion, empathy, and concentrated efforts at making their city a place that was welcoming and inviting to all. A church that sought to turn its focus outward into the community and to “pour themselves” into the people who lived in the city and surrounding area. The members of this church gathered to worship and study together on Sundays and for the other six days of the week volunteered, served and gave of themselves and their resources throughout the whole week to live out their understanding of what it means to be the church. The church enjoyed a long and illustrious history of finding creative solutions to
Daylight Savings Time officially ends on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 2:00 AM. So, when you go to bed on Saturday night, you can “Fall Back” an hour to save daylight and get an extra hour of sleep that you “lost” on March 12, 2017. The idea of saving daylight is not a new idea; it actually was instituted in 1918 when Congress enacted the STANDARD TIME ACT, and the time zones were set and regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
A Strategic Future is ahead for Rome First. By location, tradition and disposition we are ready to serve creatively in a rapidly changing culture. Never in her illustrious history is Rome First more needed than at the present hour. And I am convinced you will rise to the occasion. The “DNA” of Rome First contains strong “markers” for Missional and Social engagement. If you look back in the history of Rome First, you see an amazing record of forward looking Faith that is demonstrated in so many varied ministries and missions that are still vital in the community today. These forward looking Ventures of Faith that, at their inception, required a measure of “corporate” Faith. A “corporate” Faith that allowed the Body of Believers called Rome First, to look and see what others could not see, to listen and hear what others could not hear, to understand the future by remembering the past.
The Eclipse event is over. The next time a solar event of this magnitude will occur in a path across North America will be April 8, 2024 even though it will not be the same path as the one this year. The last solar eclipse that crossed the contiguous United States was in 1979. With all the advancements in science, technology, space exploration, and computer modeling we still marvel at the wonders of creation that were set in motion at the moment this universe came into being. The “universal constant” in the ever changing and constantly evolving nature of living systems is they all have life spans. According to Planetary Science website – “A star like the Sun which is classified Gv2, yellow dwarf, has a life span of about 10 to 12 billion years. The Sun is now @ 4.6 billion years old, which makes the Sun middle aged. Alpha Centuari B is an Orange Dwarf about the same size as our sun, but is a Kv5 Star, has a life span of 15 to 30 billion years.”
The Race continues…
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT) – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Nicknames -Son of Tater –
or A Single Word can change a whole LIFE…
His family was poor. A fire in their small farmhouse destroyed almost everything they owned, and they owned very little. They were able to toss a few belongings out of the door before the flames engulfed the wooden frame structure and quickly reduced it to ashes and memories. They were able to rebuild and start over. He was 9 at the time, the year was 1927 and times were hard. He and his brother, who was 12 at the time of the fire, did what they could to help the family start over. He was nimble of feet and strong for his age. He could plow the mule and hoist a 90 pound sack of feed over his shoulder with ease.