10.14.2020 Devotional

10.14.2020 Devotional

Join us for Outdoor Worship this Sunday, October 18th at 2pm

Our first attempt at outdoor worship on Oct. 4th went so well that we decided to do it again. We know this is happening quickly, but the date for our next outdoor worship is October 18th. We have set the time for worship later in the afternoon at 2:00pm, so that we can take advantage of the midday sunshine.

We have a special treat at this worship service, Leroy and Jean Hartl, new additions to the Lacey family, will join the St. Andrew’s family. We hope that you will be able to come out to welcome the Hartl’s. If there are others who are interested in joining the church, please contact the church office at 360 491-2030.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, Oct. 18th at 2pm. - Pastor Denise


Dear Friends,

O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; for God’s steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those God redeemed from trouble and gathered in. - Psalm 107:1-3

I grew up in a church where giving testimony was a typical part of every worship service. Often, three of four people might share their testimony in one service. When we testify, we share with our churches, the steadfastness of God and how God has walked with us through the joys and the challenges of our lives.

I have discovered that here on the west coast, and even in the Midwest, we rarely use the term testimony. The term seems to make us uncomfortable. It’s easy to understand why. Most of us don’t go to church to hear a parent testify about their child running away repeatedly or getting hooked on drugs and dying from an overdose. We don’t want to hear someone talking about their upcoming court case where they might be sent to jail for the second or third time. We don’t want to share that when our child announced that he or she was gay, we made berated them and made them leave the house, for good.

Testimonies can be quite raw. We don’t want to hear about situations that either we cannot fix or that God has not fixed. We tend to not like the rawness of humanity.

Our preferred idea of testimony is when we have a problem in our lives, or in the life of someone we love, God intervenes in a positive and powerful way. We like turn-around stories. Those stories that demonstrate how we can rise up from rock bottom by leaning on the grace of God, and then miraculously, things work out.

I learned about testimony in church. Usually, right after we would sing the old hymn, I Love to Tell the Story. Even though the stories were sometimes more than I wanted to hear, I appreciated them, and I learned how vulnerable we can make ourselves when we are hurting, desperate and God seems far away.

I sometimes wonder what testimonies the people in our churches need to hear. Do they need to hear someone say that there is life after the marriage implodes? Do they search for assurance that chemo was hard for everyone else too? Do they long to know that everyone is a little afraid of growing older and depending on others more? Do they lose sleep worrying which will give out first, their health or their finances?

I think ministers should preach often and well, but I sometimes wonder if we ministers need to loosen our grip on the pulpit from time to time. Maybe there are some testimonies that we need to step aside and let be heard.

My experience as a child showed me that there are as many stories of redemption as there are people surrounding you in the pews on Sunday.

Church should be a place where our stories are not hidden, but are shared for others to hear. God has given you a story to tell; do not be afraid to tell it. Maybe God has a word of peace, hope for you from someone who has been where you are and is listening.

If you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to share your story, either verbally or in writing, please contact the church. God loves for us to tell the story of God’s love. Amen.

Prayer

God, you have redeemed me. Help me to tell my story, that through me you might redeem another. Amen.

Blessings,

Pastor Denise

 

Prayer Requests:

Janie Haney-Stover (Prayer request: My 93 year old Uncle Lindy in WV he was in the hospital with Pneumonia and dehydration and is home now. My Dear Friend Helen who is 94 years old and is declining in Health and her caregiver Sally. All those touched by cancer and suffer from Chronic Pain. All those touched by COVID 19. Peace and Hope for the world)

 
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