Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
   September 14, 2016   

I welcome you to Bethany Renew! This is our church's weekly online spiritual connection.
Every midweek, you will receive a devotion, a prayer, or an essay that are intended to stir up conversations and ideas of how we will proceed on the path of renewal. Feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think will be interested in receiving these readings.  You are welcome to respond or make com ments, or otherwise just sit back and enjoy your weekly readings and reflections!  

I will be in Oregon to attend a training. In case of pastoral emergency, please call Barbara: 
 Or call my cell # 
I will be here Sunday.

October 16
A Sunday that we will recognize our food bank ministry volunteers.

Sept. 23 at 6pm

Because of lack of sign-ups, the 
 u-journey study will be cancelled. But you can still follow the online posts on FB. I will send you invites.

In consultation with Nancy, we are scheduling two Council Meetings prior to Charge Conference
OCT. 9 & NOV. 13
(After worship)

Nov. 20 
12:30 noon
Please put in your calendar. 

What does it mean to be spiritually lost? Based on the context of our scripture today and the context of our experiences, I think they fall in any of the following descriptions:
  • When we lose our way in a series of wrong choices.
  • When we are lost in negative thoughts about the past that we cannot change.
  • When we are lost in worry about a future that we can never be entirely certain.
  • When we are lost in a culture that values only the excellent or righteous.
  • Or when we gradually abandon healthy spiritual practices that we feel unsure, adrift, unguided, lost.
Jesus using 3 "lost parables," gave us a glimpse of what happens when God "loses" you. When we feel lost, these parables show us # 1:
That is, that the lost has a special place in God's heart. Through these 3 parables: Jesus described the passion and intense love of God. Like a shepherd who will leave his flock of 99 to brave the woods and wilderness to seek for his lost sheep. Or like a woman who will not sleep nor rest, who will not leave no furniture unturned until her precious lost coin is found.  The same is true with the heart of God. For some reason or another, the mercy of God is drawn to those who are outside the sheepfold.
Who are the lost sheep? We are-- one season of our lives or another.
  • Those times that we lost our way.
  • Those times that we did not made it to the cut.
  • Those times we are labeled as the unlikely, unworthy.
Jesus demonstrated this seeking, redeeming, restoring love of God that is available to anyone who feels lost.
That is to say, God's resolve to seek you out. There is a divine intentionality that will provide everything that you need so you can find your way home.
  • So after being emotionally scattered, we can be once again spiritually centered.
  • Or after being lost in thinking, we can come back to the present moment. 
  • Or after a time of being lost in discontent we can go to the Shepherd, and a place of contentment.
May this message today, be to you and me an awakening moment: You are not just seeking God. God is seeking you.
That is to say, God's party to celebrate your return. These parables seem to suggest that God likes to throw parties.
Verses 4-6, referring to the lost sheep, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." Verse 9, Parable of the lost coin, the woman announced, "rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin." Verse 23 in the parable of the lost son, the father said, "Bring the fatted calf; Let's have a feast and celebrate."
Do you want to make the heart of God leap for joy? It is not by getting trophies, and promotions. It's not by impressing God with our achievements and attainments. If we want heaven to throw a party, let's "Come home."
  • Come back to a spiritual condition of trust, contentment, and centeredness.
  • Come back to an inner posture of surrender.
  • Come back to spiritual practices that make you alive, strong in Jesus Christ.

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Please click here.
Visit our website for other church info, and you can listen to sermons:

MONDAYS 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Pastor Ferdie Llenado
Bethany United Methodist Church
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