Living Water United Methodist Church
Living Water United Methodist Church

Welcome to the Living Water UMC website

Pastor Brian invites you to join us for contemporary Sunday worship

at 9:30 a.m.

Come as you are

Grow as you're led

Serve as you're able

 

Sunday School starts September 11...

Our church is handicapped accessible--no steps!

 

September 2016 Streams of Thought

 

The rock band Disturbed released their 6th album, Immortalized,
last summer; on it was a song called "The Light." The music video
tells the story of a badly injured firefighter who is befriended by a
therapist who looks past his disfigurement and helps him heal in
body and soul.

 

The chorus says "When you think all is forsaken/
Listen to me now [all is not forsaken]/ You need never feel
broken again/Sometimes darkness can show us the light."

 

The band's music often has religious themes that reflect the Orthodox Judaism of lead singer David Draiman. We think of darkness as a bad thing yet Scripture sometimes connects darkness with God (Deut. 5:22-23; II Sam. 2:12). God is described as "light in whom there is no darkness" but there is a divine darkness which conceals Him from us. It's not moral or spiritual darkness; it's about God being ultimately unknowable.

 

We glimpse reflections or slivers of the glory, wonder, power, and greatness of God; even the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, as revealing as it is and was, only shows part of God's infinite nature. In the darkness of grief, pain, confusion, or uncertainty we naturally look for God's light, some indication He is still with us. In brief moments we might remember He's the One who called light out of the dark, pre-Creation chaos (Genesis 1:1-3); He calls us from "darkness into His wonderful light" (I Peter 2:9); He walked the earth as the "Light of the world" in Jesus Christ (John 8:12).

 

Because of God's grace darkness can "show you the light." Just as "God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom" (I Corinthians 1:25) so God's divine darkness is brighter than the darkness of grief, pain, confusion, and uncertainty. We might not have our questions answered and our hearts might still ache but God's light will shine through and show us His grace and goodness in unexpected ways.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Brian

 

 

August 2016 Streams of Thought

 

I recently started a devotional book by Ann Spangler titled Praying the Names of Jesus. The first name the author explores is Immanuel or "God with us;" found in Isaiah 7:14 & 8:8 and Matthew 1:22-23 this name reminds us God is always with us. The Gospel of Matthew, the only place in the New Testament where this name is found, starts and ends with the promise that God is with us (1:22-23/28:20).

 

God has always been with His people; the Old Testament records the rainbow after the Flood, pillars of cloud and fire that led Israel through the desert after

her Exodus from Egypt, and the Ark of the Covenant as signs of God's presence with His people. Leaders like Moses, Joshua, David, and the prophets were reminders of God's reality among His people. 

 

Then came Jesus, God's most direct, in-your-face way of being present. The life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ represents a shattering paradigm shift in the history of the world.

 

God Himself showed up in Jesus, living the same messy, earthy existence we live. The Son of God, the "Word who was with God and was God...became flesh and lived for a while among us" (John 1:1-14). But it didn't end there; Jesus promised His disciples and His Church that even after He left this earth He would still be with us through His Holy Spirit (John 16-17). That is the reality and truth we live today; Jesus is still Immanuel, God with us, every minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade.

 

What are some ways you feel Jesus is with you?

 

Pastor Brian

 

 

July 2016 Streams of Thought:

 

We look forward to being in ministry with you. God is with us and will
guide us into the future as a community of Christian believers. I’d like to talk about a hobby of mine that seems far removed from ministry but has taught me much about life and ministry. I build scale models of military vehicles, ships, and planes. I’ve learned some things in the 40 years I’ve been doing this.


Lesson 1: it seems obvious but there is no such thing as absolute perfection. The ancient Greeks believed being perfect meant something fulfilled its intended purpose. And when Jesus said “be perfect like Your heavenly Father” (Matt. 5:48) the idea is being complete in faith, living and doing what God intends for us. One of my modeling buddies says, “Aim for a ‘four-footer;’ if it looks good from 4 feet away you’ve done well.” His finished models looked good from four inches away but I get it. My hobby has blunted my perfectionism; I still struggle with “getting it right” but I “sweat the small stuff” less.


Lesson 2: practice might not make perfect but it gives us confidence as we gain proficiency; a model kit that seemed daunting 10 or 12 years ago I now feel confident tackling because my skills have improved. As we live our faith on a daily basis we learn how to better resist temptation, curb a bad attitude, stop gossiping, love those who rub us the wrong way, be more confident in sharing our faith, or trust God more in uncertain times.


Lesson 3: when I’ve done all I can on a project I let it be. A song by the late Keith Green talked about how God asks His people to do what wants and then to let Him “take care of the rest.” Sometimes we fall in the trap of thinking if we miss a detail or forget to say the “right thing” our efforts will fail. I think God honors what we do when we do everything we can in our human limitations then let go and let Him “take care of the rest.”

 

There are lessons we all have learned from a job, hobby, or other
experience that have helped our faith and life. Let’s thank God for those lessons and continue applying them to our faith and ministry. God will honor that and continue to teach and lead us in His ways.

 

Pastor Brian

 

 

 

 


 

Contact Us Today!

Living Water UMC
1155 Grand Ave

Marion, IA 52302
 

Phone: 319-368-6418 Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Closed Friday + Saturday

 

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