Loneliness is the feeling of isolation we feel at times, the feeling that we have no real companions with whom to share our life. It's not the same as solitude. We all need alone time, but though we need alone time, we are also wired as human beings for companionship, for someone to share our lives with, to talk to, to listen to, someone who cares about us and enjoys being with us. How can we meet our need for companionship?
True devotion to God, James said, doesn't show itself in grand words, whether they are lofty or angry. Our devotion shows most truly as we actively care for and help those who have to face the world alone. That can be as simple as extending friendship and human warmth to those whose circumstances leave them alone, or as demanding as becoming foster or adoptive parents.
* In the Roman empire, ordinary Christians suffered from social and legal persecution. But life in those conditions was even harder for orphans and widows, who had no family and no legal standing at all to protect them. Which, James asked, would help them more-a biting, angry tirade against the tyrants, or a tangible act of love and assistance? How can we apply the principle behind his words to situations we face today?
* "Orphans and widows in the Old Testament symbolize the most unfortunate members of society (see
)."* If James were writing today, who might he list in his letter as among the most unfortunate members of society? As you think about those people, is your heart moved with compassion, or do you find it uncomfortable and try to put them out of your mind?
* Patrick J. Hartin, study notes on James 1:27 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 456 NT.
I'm devoted to you.
Give me the insight and the courage to find tangible ways to live out that devotion, serving you by serving others who are alone and hurting.
The funeral for Asbury member Mark Schessler will be held Saturday, May 16 at 11 AM. Only family will be physically present for the service, but friends are invited to attend by livestream at
|Rather have all of this week's BLAST devotionals at once? Get them here
For SPARK (3-4yr olds)
For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)
Ever tried the cookie challenge? With an adult's permission, grab a cookie or cracker from the kitchen. Look up at the ceiling, place the cookie on your forehead and then, using only the muscles in your face, move the cookie from your forehead to your mouth. Were you tempted to reach up and grab the cookie to put it in your mouth?
Being still is hard and it was really hard for the Israelites, God's chosen people. They were trapped between the raging Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh's mighty army coming up fast behind. When Moses spoke these words, he had no idea what God was going to do. And then in one miraculous act, God parted the sea and the Israelites walked forward to freedom.
Being still was probably the last thing the Israelites wanted to do, but they chose to trust God. Sometimes determination requires us to be
still, to listen to God and then move when He tells us to move. We need to stop and listen, instead of moving ahead in our own strength.
For a few moments, bow your head and just be quiet. Read today's verse and ask God to help you understand what it means to be still and let Him fight for you.
Videos for this week (new for 5/10):
Asbury will be assisting the Sixth Street Shelter by collecting needed supplies for the Shelter. Donations are being collected from
4:00 - 6:00 PM on Friday, 5/29 and from 10 am - noon on Saturday, 5/30 in the church's upper parking lot. For the safety of all,
social distancing with be practiced during this time.
Items currently most in need of are:
Laundry detergents (no perfume or dyes if possible)
Mops (prefer Libman Wonder twist mops, they last us a lot longer)
Baby wipes (sensitive skin if possible)
dish washing liquid
Windex glass cleaners
Stove top cleaner for electric range
Diapers (sizes 2,4, 5 & 6)
Items listed may be out of stock. Substitutions are welcome and are gladly accepting donations shipped directly to the shelter location.
Any questions, please contact Debbie Holt at 610-392-4802 or Jenn Springer at 610-395-7812.
Don & Adele Bush celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on May 24!
You can help them celebrate by sending a card to:
Don & Adele Bush
4031 Coffeetown Road
Coplay, PA 18037-2131
Asbury's building is now closed indefinitely. When the time comes to re-open, rest assured we will send that communication as far in advance as possible (and very ready to celebrate gathering again!).
For the safety of all, and to keep Asbury's building virus-free, access to the building is now limited to office and custodial staff only. All other key cards have been deactivated. Should you need to gain access to the building, please contact Israel Olivieri, Business Manager, at
In the midst of a challenging time, we still have much to celebrate! Thanks to your amazing generosity, we have reached our goal for the Capital Campaign of $350,000 as of April 19, 2020! Praise God!! Thank you to all who supported this important initiative; and continue to watch for updates on project progress in the coming months.
Get information about and past updates on the Capital Campaign at asburylv.org/capitalcampaign.
For those wishing to support COVID-19 relief, we encourage you to consider giving to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Advance. 100% of donations to the Advance go to COVID-19 relief, as UMCOR's administrative costs are paid through connectional giving.
Summer Camping registration is underway! Camps realize that the future is full of uncertainties and are considering alternative plans, including some offering full refunds if camps are cancelled. Visit the individual camp sites to learn more about their camps and their policies related to COVID-19:
All updates regarding Asbury's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will also be shared at that page; as well as via email blast and on our social media feeds (
Please know that during the time that the office is closed, all calls to Asbury are being received by our answering service, as there is no one available in the office to take your call. Any messages you leave with the answering service are forwarded to us and we will relay your message to the appropriate staff member to respond to you as soon as possible.
now a drop-off site
for home-sewn masks for Lehigh Valley Health Network. The collection bin is located at the doors by the upper entrance to the building. If you're able to sew masks, but not able to deliver them,
email Pastor Barbara
to get connected with a helper. We do not have supplies available to offer; but could help coordinate a pickup for an order you place at a local fabric or craft store that's offering curbside pickup.
St. Luke's is also collecting personal protective equipment (PPE). Learn more about the items they're accepting and their drop-off locations (their Care Now urgent care locations in Allentown, Whitehall, Bethlehem, and more)
on their website
Include, but not limited to:
AIM Yard Sale (cancelled)
Reschedule dates (if applicable) will be communicated when available.
No physical meetings are being held at Asbury or off-site; but please check with your group/Circle leader to see if there are plans for your group to connect online.
f you are experiencing loneliness, or spiritual and emotional distress during these challenging days, or if there's someone you're concerned about, please reach out to Pastor Barbara at
We know that these stressful times have and will cause hardships for some in our community. The following groups, recommended by Asbury in Mission (AIM), have resources available for assistance if you or someone you know has a need:
Kingdom Life Family Center Food Bank
4333 Lime Kiln Rd, Orefield, PA 18069
1401 Linden Street, Allentown, PA 18102
AIM also reminds us that while volunteer opportunities are few due to the current crisis, our mission partners can still be supported financially. Learn more about all of our AIM mission partners at
If you are in a position to donate to the food banks, please be aware of the following information about donations:
Kingdom Life Family Center in Orefield wants people to make an appointment to drop off food on a Tuesday morning.
Salem United Methodist Church in Allentown, Food bank can take donations in the morning by appointment only.
Call Rev. Navin Satyarvata 610-432-2577