God Surprises

We have seen it all.Image result for god surprises

Well, sometimes I feel like I’ve been there, done that, and I know exactly what is going to happen next.

But is that true? Do we always know how things will turn out? Just when we think we know it all…

 

God surprises us.Image result for you have searched me and know

When you ask God for help, God might provide it in a way you never even thought of. God is wild like that–you see, God knows each of us inside and out, better than anyone else, and God knows EXACTLY what each of us needs. And God provides.

Skeptical? You’re not alone.

There are times when I think I know everything, when I forget to focus on God and, instead, put myself in charge of everything. And guess what? I make mistakes. God, however, does not make those same mistakes and does the best for each of us. The Bible (“Scripture”) is a guide for life, and one of its most brilliant uses is to show us examples of God’s forever faithfulness. When we doubt, we can see hundred’s of examples in this book. God is faithful through being always present in our lives, always loving us, always nurturing us, and as our eternal guide and strength.

Bible? Check.                        Image result for surprise

Here are a few examples of times when God remained faithful AND surprised people:

  • Moses’ entire life [basket road trip  amp; adoption as a baby; God talks to Moses Image result for biblethrough a burning bush & made his staff a snake; includes Aaron and rod; plagues; safe exodus; sweet water and manna; ten commandments] (Exodus 3-15)
  • Joshua and the fall of Jericho (Joshua 5-6)
  • Ruth and Naomi’s new life and legacy (Book of Ruth)
  • David is anointed as King & defeats Goliath; becomes friends with Saul’s son Jonathan (1st Samuel 16-17, 20)
  • Esther becomes queen (Esther 2)
  • Saul/Paul’s Conversion (Acts 9)
  • Cornelius gets the surprise of his life (Acts 10-12)

These are just a few examples, and I didn’t even include Jesus’ actions in this list! What

Image result for lo i am with you always bible verse
–Jesus

are some examples from the Bible when someone was surprised by God? Can you think of a time when God surprised you?

 

So, next time you think that you KNOW what will happen, crack open your Bible and remember that God is full of surprises. As we remain faithful to God, we can count on God always loving, nurturing, caring and protecting us.

 

 

As


Another way we can experience God’s surprises is through hanging out with people who are also seeking God’s guidance and embracing God’s love. (Church is a great place to start!) To attend organized friendship-making, be sure to check the EVENTS page for upcoming events, or read our weekly blog posts.

https://holmeswoodfam.org/events/

Related imageALSO…we have a new page :

BFG Corner

  • Here, you can view the most up-to-date Nursery Volunteer Schedule, Elementary BFG teaching/lesson Schedule, and find out more about the Youth BFG….all in one place! Check it out!

 

Happy Week! Be open to the ways God will *surprise* you!

~Laurel

Epiphany Day!

The twelfth day of Christmas is upon us, so Happy Epiphany! 

We remember the story in the Gospels of the Wise Men (Magi) traveling to visit King Jesus. They disobeyed Herod’s orders to send word back to him when they found the baby, risking their lives to help keep the Holy Family safe. Thanks be to God for the helpers who risk their own security and safety for us to stay safe and have our basic needs met. 

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And welcome to 2020!! We are so excited to spend a fresh, new year with you and your family in 2020. A new year brings up questions:

  1. What happened in 2019 that… I’m really proud of? …I’m ready to let go of? …I learned from?
  2. How will God shape me and how will I grow in this new year? What will happen? 
  3. What are some things about 2020 I can share with God, leaning on God for support/strength/courage/confidence/care?

Using yesterday’s Star Words from Worship (pick one up this week if you didn’t grab one!), use your Star Word and question 3 (above) to start your prayer journey with God this year. When you aren’t sure what to say to God, simply start telling God (out loud, silently, on paper) how you’re feeling and what is forefront on your mind right now. You’ve got this!

As far as your church being there for you…we are! Always. And this relationship goes both ways, as we support each other together. To attend organized friendship-making, be sure to check the EVENTS page for upcoming events, or read our weekly blog posts. 

https://holmeswoodfam.org/events/ 

Related imageALSO…we have a new page :

BFG Corner

  • Here, you can view the most up-to-date Nursery Volunteer Schedule, Elementary BFG teaching/lesson Schedule, and find out more about the Youth BFG….all in one place! Check it out!

 

May God’s love and care for you be very obvious in the new year. And may we all share the love of Christ with others, both as helpers and protectors, like the Magi. Amen.

~Laurel

12 Days of Christmas…and Refugees?

Image result for 12 days of christmas

When I first learned the “12 Days of Christmas” song as a child, I used to love the actions that went with the lyrics. Lords leaping, ladies dancing, drummers drumming…it was all pretty fun and silly.

What I didn’t realize was…

the 12 Days of Christmas are about Jesus…the time period in Christian theology between Jesus’ birth and the arrival of the Wise Men (Magi). December 25/26 to January 6.

The actual events most certainly took longer than 12 days, with a range of between a couple of months to two years, for the Wise Men to meet little Jesus. It is even likely that the Magi’s gifts were used to financially sustain the Holy Family on their long, dangerous trip to Egypt. Instead of merely traveling to Bethlehem to register for a census (which was the first part of their trip), Joseph was instructed by an angel of the Lord to take his family from Bethlehem to Egypt in secret, for King Herod had instructed his army to kill all boys two years or younger who were in or around Bethlehem. It was a very different second leg of their road trip, and it was a really scary time.

Therefore, when we think of the 12 Days of Christmas…

let us remember refugees.

May our hearts and our minds focus on God’s children who are fleeing unrest in their homelands and seeking asylum and safety in a new, unknown place. Jesus and his earthly parents were once refugees, and they were assisted in survival by God through people like the Magi.

How can we serve as Magi (or helpers) to refugees today?

  • Do we have to be wealthy and well-connected? [No.]
  • Do we have to be open to serving God’s most vulnerable in their time of need? [Yes.]
  • Do we need to educate ourselves about refugees, be creative, and work together with reputable organizations and each other to help refugees, like the Holy Family? [Yes again.]

Imagine what the Holy Family would have done without God’s helpers (like the Magi).

  • We are given opportunities daily to learn and share God’s love to some of the most vulnerable and traumatized people today. And there are times when you and I need help from God via others. Let us follow God’s light, like the Magi followed the star, and find ways to love all God’s children, particularly those in such great limbo.
  • Just like the 12 Days of Christmas song, let’s take action and LEAP!

Refugees…starting at the beginning (a very good place to start):

This video is recommended for ages 12+. (Source: https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/teaching-about-refugees.html#words)

Figures at a glance

YES, this can be overwhelming.

However, when Christ followers get together to help others, really wonderful things can happen. It’s pretty awesome. And it’s important to remember–as many suffer around the world–we can be those helpers (like Mr. Rogers talks about), and we have the holy, humbling opportunity to look out and stand up for justice for all of God’s children.

When it seems way too big and too hard…let us remember that Joy comes from God, and helping others grows JOY. When things seem overwhelming, look for ways to remember God is always here to protect and love us. God brings me peace and joy in hard times through people and through music, so here is a bit of joy for your day…

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your God in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Merry Christmas for 12 days and Beyond!!

~Laurel

Christmas time is (almost) here!

advent & christmas schedule 2019

Coming Up…

  • Sunday, January 12 from 11:30-12:30: Family Ministry Team Meeting
    • All Parents, Kids and Teens are encouraged to attend this meeting! We will make our annual plans for 2020, so join in. If you have an idea of an event or mission project, bring your idea and we will talk about it!
  • Monday, January 20: Annual MLK Day of Service
    • Students–please don’t go to school (wink) and join us for this awesome day of service, as we honor God and the life of Dr. King. Mark your calendars! Details soon.

God’s Promise

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Want an Advent book AND want to help homeless families? Read and follow this Reverse Advent Guide 2019 written for you.  = )

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Advent begins 12/1-this Sunday!

 

COMING UP:

  1. Image result for happy thanksgiving"Your church family hopes you have a wonderful time with family, friends and neighbors this Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t have plans, try to spend some time with people; you never know who you might meet or whose day you might make!
  2. **5 tickets left!** The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Saturday, Dec 7, 2:00pm

    • ALL AGES bestwelcome. Join us for an outing to Union Station’s City Stage Theatre to see the Christmas decorations and this humor-filled musical production of a Christmas classic. The story is about a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant, since being faced with casting the Herdman kids–probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! Tickets are only $5 each and on a first come, first served basis; contact Laurel or purchase your tickets at the front desk on Sunday.
  3. The Youth and College Students are going to San Diego thisImage result for san diego pretty" Summer!

    1. Mark your calendars: July 18-24, 2020
    2. Information and Registration Forms will be available NEXT WEEK. (I’ll post here about it!)
    3. Curious who we’ll be working with? Learn more here: https://sierraserviceproject.org/locations/san-diego/

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Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your crew! You are so very loved.

~Laurel

The Ultimate Pie, Part 2

**Reminder: This Sunday, October 27, the kids (and some youth) will start writing and preparing their speaking parts for Children’s Sabbath on Nov 10 in Worship. Be sure they’re in BFG and ready to get creative! 

What is The Ultimate Pie? See last week’s post about this short series on The Ultimate Pie.

Today, let’s look at where we are on The Ultimate Pie (AKA Church Year wheel)…

mid oct church wheel

This wheel is the Church Calendar, also called The Liturgical Calendar. Christians all over the world use this Ultimate Pie as a way to center their life around Christ. 

Fun Facts:

  1. The Liturgical Calendar (AKA Church Calendar) is used and celebrated by Christians and ch

TODAY…we are at about the “10:30” spot on the clock or Church Calendar.

Some observations…

  1. We are currently in the GREEN spot. This is for Ordinary Time, which is far from boring and every day blah. You can also call it “common time.” This green pie slice of time refers to Tempus per annum,or “time through the year.” Ordinary time celebrates the mystery of Christ in all aspects, a reminder of Jesus performing miracles all throughout the year.Whoa!
  2. The green is a symbol of our growth and learning, our thousands of everyday actions that all bundle up to show who we are and whose we are. And green is the most “ordinary” color found in nature, the most common. Just like the green grass or green leaves on summertime trees, our minutes and hours and days all add up to our entire lives. How we spend our minutes is how we rank our priorities. And we are constantly growing–sometimes physically, but usually we are becoming kinder, stronger, smarter, more loving people. At least, that’s God’s hope. Image result for colossians 2 6-7
  3. Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
  4. There are some special liturgical days during Ordinary time: Trinity Sunday, All Saints Day, Christ the King Sunday, etc.

Something Random…Looking for Fall ideas under $5? This is a fun list:

50 Fall Fun Ideas under $5

And we’re doing #22 on Nov 3!


Here a couple of highlights for your week:

  • Holmeswood’s Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 11am-2pm
    • It was a great day! Thanks for coming out for this fun time.
  • Sundays during BFG (Oct 20 & 27): Kids (& some youth) prepare for Children’sgoat

Sabbath. Be sure your kids attend to help out!

  • Day on the Farm – Sunday, Nov 3, 2:00-3:30pm. Families with kids/youth are invited to an afternoon at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. Free admission; bring money to feed animals, ride a pony or for human snacks. Please RSVP to Laurel.cluthe@holmeswood.org or (816) 942-1729 by 11/1.
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  • Children’s Sabbath – Sunday, Nov. 10 17!!. Kids will lead Worship! Be sure to attend Kids BFG Oct 20 & 27 to sign up for parts and to write our prayers and practice them. This will be an awesome Sunday!
  • Crafting Worship — Saturday, Nov 23, 1:00-4:00pm. Kids, teens and all ages of adults are invited to a party to learn about the Church Year! Make a Reverse Advent Calendar, learn to bake delicious bread, contribute your art to our worship banner and table runner. Learn about the church seasons and why Christians around the world celebrate them. Plus, there will be active games, too!
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Saturday, Dec 7, 2:00pm  ALL AGES bestwelcome. Join us for an outing to Union Station’s City Stage Theatre to see the Christmas decorations and this humor-filled production of a Christmas classic. The story is about a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant, since being faced with casting the Herdman kids–probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! Tickets are only $5 each and on a first come, first served basis; contact Laurel to reserve yours.

HBC Family Calendar - October 2019 jpeg

HBC Family Calendar – October 2019 – Download the PDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiest of Mondays!1-john-4-18.jpg

~Laurel

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