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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today at Church

Pastor David Miller spoke on “the forgiveness of sins” as part of what we believe as expressed for centuries in the Apostles’ Creed.  He mentioned that forgiveness follows if we truly repent and are heartedly sorry for our sins.  In Sunday school we studied three lessons from the Upper Room.  The scripture from the first lesson (05/16/11) was Zephaniah 3:17 (NRSV): “The Lord, your God,…will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” The core of the lesson dealt with the “noise” we can encounter while trying to live as God has called us.  We must “learn to tune out negative voices and to listen to the voice of God, who loves us and always cheers us on.”  We must distinguish between constructive criticism and simple negative disparagement, an important skill being the ability to filter out the latter and to not let it intimidate us.  The second lesson’s (05/17/11) scripture was Psalm 119:173 (NIV): “May your hand [O Lord] be ready to help me.”  This lesson dealt with those times in which details are obscured; a time when we “may see the broad outlines of the path but not the potholes, loose stones, or muddy patches.” In short, we must understand that under certain conditions a degree of stumbling and failure are virtually unavoidable.  Even so, we are to keep our eyes on the prize and understand “God holds our hand or carries us over the rough and treacherous places.”  The final lesson (05/18/11) began with the following scripture: Romans 8:38-39 (NIV).  Paul wrote, “I am convinced that neither death nor life…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  This lesson taught that even in life with all its vast uncertainties, “we can retain faith and hope if we remember that nothing can separate us from God’s love.”  We may have to endure pain and affliction, but we need to maintain perspective.  The scripture helps us remember that God has not forgotten us.

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