News & Announcements
If you’re reading this, you probably know Abby and I are on vacation at my sister’s this coming week. It’s not the most ideal vacation—we aren’t really doing anything special. I’ll probably be doing schoolwork throughout the week and my brother-in-law has to work. It’s one of those “get it in while you can” type of deals. Between babies, work schedules, and other conflicts, this was the best our family could do this year. And that’s ok.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the story in Genesis 32 where Jacob wrestles a being (God? An Angel?) all night long. The story is really fascinating and all sorts of questions could be asked. Who was the participant in the wrestling match—God? An angel? Who won—Jacob? The other? The most important part of the story, however, is the purpose of the match and what happens to Jacob after everything is over. Prior to this encounter, Jacob is running. He’s been running most of his adult life—from family, from consequences, from responsibility. When he meets the angel, or God, in chapter 32, he is about to meet his brother Esau again for the first time in years. Jacob is scared because the last time they saw each other it didn’t go well—Jacob cheated Esau out of the birthright that was rightfully Esau’s. Jacob wrestles with this individual in the story and they end up deadlocked. The character reaches out and dislocates Jacob’s hip. After this, the mysterious individual blesses Jacob and announces his name change from Jacob (which means “Deceiver”) to Israel (which means “strives with God”). Jacob walks away with a permanent limp, and his life is never the same. From that story on, Jacob’s dealings with people are different. He reconciles with his brother. He doesn’t run anymore. He is changed.
Similarly, when we truly encounter God in our own lives, we are changed. We find forgiveness and mercy, and we become more forgiving and merciful. God convicts us of our anger, deception, anxiety, gossip, pettiness, idolatry, lust, and other vices. We begin to understand what it means to live in His image and God works on us through His Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds.
At least, that’s how it should be. If it isn’t, questions need to be asked. Why? Are we missing out on something God is offering? If we go years in our walk with God and little to no transformation is seen, what is wrong? Have you been changed? Are you a different person because you met God? God wants to change you, but He won’t force you. The change happens when we open ourselves up to the work God is trying to do in our lives by His Spirit.
O.V.U. will be hosting their Quartet Sing on Saturday, June 5, 2021, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Ohio Valley University Campus, Vienna, W.Va.
If you are interested in filling a M.A.G.I box for children in need of a Christmas present this year, please sign up in the foyer. The deadline to return them to the church building is May 16, 2021. If you would like us to reserve a M.A.G.I box for you, please call the office at 740-472-5321.
Sophie Nalley, the 2-year-old niece of Brent Roth had a successful heart surgery and is recovering.
If you have extra egg cartons, the church is still accepting them. Please leave them on the stand in the foyer and someone will pick them up.
Thank you for all of the prayers, calls, cards and well wishes for my shoulder surgery. I’m in physical therapy now and my recovery is going great. Your concern was very appreciated.
Love, Kathy Beardmore
Dear church family,
We want to express our sincere appreciation for the prayers, phone calls, cards, and flowers during the illness and recent passing of our loved one. The past year has been difficult but your prayers for our family, your love and support gave us strength. Your kindness will always be remembered.
In Christian Love, The Gary Alleman Family
Potter Children’s Home
Potter Children’s Home is having a Commodities Outreach. They will be here the week of April 18th to pick up any donations. The items requested are: Corn Flakes cereal, Grape Juice, Hamburger Helper, Pull Ups 3T/4T, and durable plastic forks.
Monroe/Noble Stepping Stones are selling Texas Roadhouse items as a fundraiser for OVU. They have the frozen dinner rolls for $5 per dozen and an 8 oz. cinnamon butter for $2 per container. The last day to order is February 19th and the money will be collected when the items are delivered, which will be before Easter. Thank you for your support. If you want to place an order, contact Merna Bettinger or Leah Hickenbottom.
There are also still 3 bags of walnuts available at $10/bag available in the back of the church if you’re interested.
I appreciate the opportunity I had to serve this congregation for 37 years. I also thank you for the acknowledgement of my 37 years of service although it was quite embarrassing.
Thanks again and love to all,