The Smelly Miracle of Changing Determined Self-Interest into Determined Generosity

I love the miracle stories in the scriptures, especially the ones in the Gospels.

They lift up these ordinary objects like bread, fish, water, and wine, and make clear that in the presence of the Divine ordinary things become extraordinary. A small bit can feed a bunch with God's blessing.

But even more than that, Jesus' very presence actually changes things. It's like he has his own gravitational pull making the regular orbit of the systems of world fall out of orbit and into a new pattern of holy rotation. Perhaps that's the best definition for the phrase Kingdom of God: that place where God takes our systems and replaces them with God's systems.

This Sunday we have another wonderful miracle story. Take a moment to read it (even if it's pretty familiar): Luke 5:1-11.

Ready? Onward.

So, did you notice the disciples in the story? Did you notice their state of mind? They're tired.

Exhausted, even.

The fishing the night before hadn't worked, and then this guy shows up, gets in their boat (literally, steps in their shoes), and suggests that they should do it again, but differently.

That is probably the phrase that I find riles people up the most: "do it differently."

Humans are animals of habit. We don't like "different," even when it comes from Jesus.

I'm going to write that again because I think it's probably an honest phrase that all Christians need to internalize: we don't like "different," even when it comes from Jesus.  Read more.

This Sunday's Readings
Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 138
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

Generations Forum continues this Sunday, 9:30-10:30 am, Underwood North - Join all the generations for the 3rd Generations Forum featuring Gen Z this week. Each week, the panel is asked the same questions, and you are sure to learn something new.

Let's Do Lunch! - All-Church Potluck sponsored by Way of the Shepherd - 12:00-1:30 pm in Fellowship Hall  -   We will be welcoming guests and prospective Good Shepherd members in church, then we will welcome them to our community with a meal. Come share this time with friends old and new. We'll provide the main course; bring a dish to share. All ages are welcome. RSVP to Jayne at 919-847-5434.

Do You Have Items that Could Be Given New Life as Bingo Prizes?
On Friday, February 22, Good Shepherd will host its 23rd Annual Coffeehouse Bingo night, and prize donations are needed.  Great prizes include gently used adult-sized sports team or college t-shirts, ball caps, backpacks, tote bags, purses, flashlights, playing cards, and costume jewelry. No candles or glass items please. Donations can be placed in the box in the Narthex.  Want to volunteer at Coffeehouse Bingo? Sign up here.

Memory Café - Monday, February 11, 4:30-6:00 pm in Fellowship Hall - Individuals experiencing dementia and their caregivers who wish to socialize with others in similar circumstances while enjoying an evening out are invited to join us for Memory Café. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, contact

WOW with Pizza Dinner - Wednesday, February 13, 5:15 pm, Fellowship Hall -  Is your family looking for a worship service that allows your young one(s) to move and respond creatively? This worship service is geared towards families with small children, but all are welcome! Join us for pizza at 5:15 pm followed by a family-friendly worship at 5:30-6:00 pm.

Rams Men's Ministry Hurricanes Hockey Night -  Friday, March 1, 6:30 pm - All men are invited to join Good Shepherd's Rams Men's Group to watch the Carolina Hurricanes take on the St. Louis Blues at PNC Arena.  $25 cost includes game ticket and transportation. Sign up online.

Take Some Time to Help Families in Transition March 3-10 -  In partnership with Family Promise, Good Shepherd will be hosting families in transition in our church March 3-10. Learn more and sign up to serve, password: homeless.

Registration for Agape Day Camp at Good Shepherd (July 8-12) is now open. Register online .

Preschool registration for the 2019-2020 school year is now open. Learn more and register online

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's bulletin announcements. 

Health and Healing  for Rachel Baumann.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Shuvai Gumbo and Faith Zhou.

Shuvai, who will be 24 in March, is an out-going, articulate, affectionate young lady.  She left school to marry and has a 2 year old son. The Mnene staff have stayed in contact with her.  With their support and advice, hopefully she was able to enroll in Vocational school to complete her studies in Hairdressing this month.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Cash family.

Faith, quiet and friendly, will be 20 in May.  She failed her "O" level classes last fall which was very upsetting for her.  She dealt with some personal and emotional issues this past year.  The Mnene staff will work with her to discern what her next educational path will be.  She spent time with our 2017 mission team.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Montgomery family.

Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.
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