STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 17.2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 17.2021

Gift from God

“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.”—Psalm 127:3-5 MSG

This morning we have this week’s scripture from The Message Translation. Jeff Everetts, who was recently appointed as the new pastor to the Russell United Methodist Church by Bishop Gary Mueller and the Cabinet, will be our speaker. It is Father’s Day, and Jeff has chosen a wonderful scripture to remind us that our children are God’s gifts to us. I hope you will be able to join us this week.

Lord, we thank You for your guidance as we raise Your children in Your sight…Amen.

Bethesda Campground, 9:00am Sunday; Central Avenue, 10:50am Sunday…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 14, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 14, 2021

Gift from God

“Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”—Psalm 127:3-5 NRSV

We welcome Jeff Everetts to Bethesda Campground and Central Avenue this coming Sunday. It’s Father’s weekend and Jeff shared with me that sometimes forget that children are a true gift from God and on loan from Him. I hope you will be able to join us this week.

Lord, we ask you to bless Jeff and all those accepting Your call…Amen.

Bethesda Campground, 9:00am Sunday; Central Avenue, 10:50am Sunday…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 10, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 10, 2021

Do You have a Mustard Seed Faith?

“Then Jesus said, ‘God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time! 30-32 How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like an acorn. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge oak tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.’ 33-34 With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.”—Mark 4:26-34 MSG

Today we have this week’s scripture from The Message Translation. We welcome Frank Tripp to Central Avenue and Bethesda Campground this Sunday, and I don’t know what translation he will use Sunday, but I like to read scriptures from The Message Translation because it is so easy to understand. I hope you will plan to be church Sunday to hear Frank’s inspirational message.

Lord, help our faith grow exponentially through your Son, Jesus Christ…Amen.

Bethesda Campground, 9:00am Sunday; Central Avenue, 10:50am Sunday…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 9, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 9, 2021

Do You have a Mustard Seed Faith?

“[Jesus] also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’ 30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’ 33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.”—Mark 4:26-34 NRSV

It was a pleasure to be able to worship with my church families last week. I had missed being with you all during the recuperation from my stroke. This past Sunday was already scheduled to be last Sunday, and although I will continue to be in and out of the office until July 1, the pulpit will be filled by Lay Speakers during this time. This week we welcome Frank Tripp to Bethesda Campground and Central Avenue. Frank is familiar to most of you. He has spoken at both of our churches as well as many other churches throughout the Northeast District. I hope you will make plans to attend and be blessed by his message.

Holy God, we thank you for Frank Tripp who is willing to serve as a Lay Speaker in our churches…Amen.

Bethesda Campground, 9:00am Sunday; Central Avenue, 10:50am Sunday…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 3, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 3, 2021

Following God

“So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.

15 If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.”—Joshua 24:14-15 MSG

I am at Annual Conference today and the worship service celebrating the retirements is at 10:15am. Some of the other retirees and I have worked together for the last 20 years. Along with the retirements we will celebrate those men and women who attended and passed their classes in the License to Preach School this summer. I am honored that two I have mentored in the past couple years, Jeff Everetts of Central Avenue and Kevin Gilbee of Calico Rock/Spring Creek, will receive their licenses this morning. We were laughing last night that it was kind of an “out with the old, in with the new” situation. You can watch the service on the Arkansas Annual Conference YouTube Channel.

Dear Lord, we thank you for the service of this year’s retirees and ask you to bless those just beginning their ministry…Amen.

Worship at Bethesda Campground at 9:00am Sunday and at Central Avenue at 10:50am Sunday…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 1, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for June 1, 2021

Following God

“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”—Joshua 24:14-15 NRSV

If you think Pastor Paul has preached this scripture before you will be thinking right. Twelve years ago, on my first Sunday at Central Avenue I chose this scripture to start my ministry here and I think it is appropriate for final message here at Central Avenue and Bethesda Campground also. You see, in 1995 I finally accepted God’s call to go where He led me. I didn’t know at the time where He would lead but I knew I would serve Him wherever the path led. I also figured out early on that God would have where He needed me in spite of the Bishop and the Cabinet. My health didn’t allow me to do all I wanted to the last few weeks but I’m looking forward to talking about our call from God this Sunday, because we all have one.

Holy God, help us to answer Your call…Amen.

Bethesda Campground, 9:00am Sunday; Central Avenue, 10:50am Sunday…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for May 13, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for May 13, 2021

God’s Testimony

“If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God’s testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God’s own testimony regarding his Son. 11-12 This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life. 13 My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion.”—1 John 5:9-13 MSG

This morning we have this week’s scripture from The Message Translation. John tells us in our scripture that God’s testimony is that God gave us eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. Whoever accepts Jesus Christ has life but if we choose not to accept Christ, we are calling God a liar. I have known those who spout anti-Christian statements and I pray that they will see the error of their ways. John wrote this letter so that we would know that through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, we have eternal life, and we need to never forget that.

Thank you, Lord for Your Son, Jesus…Amen.

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Bethesda Campground Worship Service, 9:00am Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP Study Guide for May 12, 2021

STP Study Guide for May 12, 2021

God’s Testimony

“Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you speaking with her?’ 28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29 ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’ 30 They left the city and were on their way to him.”—John 4:27-30 NRSV

I have always liked the story of the ‘woman at the well.’ Everything we read about the woman is telling us that she was far from perfect. But she has an encounter with Jesus Christ, and she immediately goes to share the Good News with the people of her village. She told the people in her community that Jesus had told her everything she had ever done. Jesus knew the good, the bad, and the ugly. That is what we need to remember. We can be untruthful with our friends, our family, and even our preacher; but God already knows the truth, and we best not forget that.

Lord help us to be honest with you…Amen.

Bethesda Campground Service, 9:00am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP Study Guide for May 11, 2021

STP Study Guide for May 11, 2021

God’s Testimony

“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. 20 I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.”—Philippians 2:19-24 NRSV

Today’s scripture from Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that all of those who are ready to do the work aren’t quite ready to do the work needed. Paul tells the people in Philippi that he wants to send Timothy to help them because he knows that Timothy will ‘be genuinely concerned about their welfare.’ Others who were supposed to be helping Paul spread the Good News of Jesus Christ were only looking out for their own interests. They were not putting Jesus first in their lives and were failing to serve Christ as they should. As Christians we need to be aware of our failings also.

Lord, help us to do the work You’ve given us…Amen.

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Bethesda Campground Worship Service, 9:00am Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for May 10, 2021

STP (Study, Trust, Pray) for May 10, 2021

God’s Testimony

“If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”—1 John 5:9-13 NRSV

Our scripture this week concerns God’s relationship with each of us. We cannot have a relationship with our creator if we don’t have a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. We need to evaluate our own personal relationship with Christ and see where we stand with God. Have you done that lately? Have you thought about your relationship with Christ, or do you just let it go thinking everything will be fine? Take a moment today to remember your Savior.

Lord, help us to be closer to You in our faith walk…Amen.

Bethesda Campground Service, 9:00am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/316159025410964/)

Central Avenue Worship Service, 10:50am Sunday

(https://www.facebook.com/CentralAvenueUnitedMethodistChurch/)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment