Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Manchester United Methodist Church has welcomed five new members!  On April 7, students completed their Confirmation class and took a vow to serve MUMC with their prayers, presence, gifts, and service.

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From left to right: Kelsey Anderson (Youth Director), Alyssa Sellner, Nick Andregg, Nolan Lyness, Liz Koloc, Hanna Koloc, and Pastor Mike (Senior Pastor).

bioWe give thanks for all that God has already given you and we welcome you in Christian love.  As members together with you in the body of Christ and in this congregation of the Manchester United Methodist Church, we renew our covenant faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Mercy

We’ve been in Lent for a few weeks now.  Lent is the season before Easter, a time of anticipation for God to reveal His GRACE and MERCY.  Those may feel like mamby-pamby words until you experience them–truly experience them–for yourself.

Here’s an example of our ol’ buddy Paul, always showing what it means to experience God.  Here’s a passage from his first letter to Timothy:

12 I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost.16 But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life.17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.[a] Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17, NRSV, emphasis added)

Here we have a man who did some pretty bad things.  He does not seem like someone who deserves a spot in Heaven and a relationship with God Almighty.  But that’s why I can’t keep this “Jesus stuff” to myself–because mercy is God the Father using Jesus to rescue us from what we deserve.  It’s knowing we deserve a punishment, but finding out that someone else took the punishment for us.  Mind blowing, right?

I believe we’re all looking for mercy.  We all want to be a part of a bigger story of being rescued.  Take a look at another example of God’s mercy in action:

35 As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth[a] is passing by.” 38 Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”40 Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” 43 Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.  (Luke 18:35-43)

In this man’s brokenness (remember, he was physically blind) he cried out for help.  Jesus, being the compassionate, loving, merciful Savior that He is, healed the blind man.  I’m sure Jesus was quite busy, and probably had many better things to do than waste his time with a blind man.  Yet.  Just like Paul, God used this man as an example of healing and transformation.  He was merciful.

And He longs to show His mercy to you as well.

If you’ve never cried out to God for help and mercy, now is the perfect time to do it.  We have two great examples of God answering our prayers for mercy, and scripture is choc-full of other broken, hurting people who received God’s mercy when it was asked of Him.  He ALWAYS extends His love, grace, and mercy.

Maybe you’ve already done this, but your relationship with Jesus has become stale, routine.  It’s been a long time since you’ve experienced this desperate need for God’s mercy in your life.  If this describes you, I encourage you to treat this season of Lent as a time for reflecting on past mercies God has shown you, and refreshing your faith through spiritual disciplines such as meditation, fasting, or solitude.

We are drawing near to Easter–the moment when Jesus displays His most awesome act of mercy.  Prepare your hearts!

“He loves like a hurricane and I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.”  ~David Crowder Band, How He Loves Us

Inspired by the Lenten service at Manchester United Methodist Church, March 13, 2013.  [Senior Pastor: Michael Druhl]

For those of you who have been keeping up (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4,), we have been talking A TON about the idea of #sacrifice.  It was starting to feel pretty dark, like being a Follower of Christ is a terrible death sentence.  Well, I suppose there is a death sentence involved…

Luke 923

The death sentence I am referring to is a death to ourselves, and a death to anything we may love more than Christ.  We are called to #sacrifice the things that distract us from a closer walk with the Lord.  We are called to kill anything that robs us of the presence of Jesus in our lives.

There I go again…getting all intense.  So I started asking the students of CORE Youth Ministry a few questions, like:

What motivates your #sacrifice?

The answer I heard brought tears to my eyes.  “Love.”  These Christ-followers in Manchester, Iowa pointed back to Luke 9:23, describing “…take up his cross daily,” as a picture of love.  When Christ took up His cross, it was motivated out of His deep, wild, extravagant love for us.

ephesians

Our #sacrifice–whatever form it takes in your life–is motivated by our deep, deep love for the Lord.  And our love for the Lord is a response to His deep, deep love for us.  I promise that it is as simple as that.

How will you live this love out during this season of Lent?  Maybe it’s #sacrificing something that has kept you from spending time with the Lord.  Maybe it is adding something to your life that brings you closer to Christ.  Either way, here is our prayer for CORE Youth Ministry, and our prayer for you for the next 40 days:

Final Lent Prayer

Inspired by “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman, and the Ash Wednesday Service at Manchester United Methodist Church.

Mission Info

 

My office will be open on Mondays from 3:30-5pm to research and explore ways we can serve.  Feel free to join us then, or research on your own.  Not sure where to begin your research?  Check out the amazing organization @coreyouthmin follows on Twitter, or take a look at some organizations on Kels’ Ministry Resources Board on Pinterest.

 

 

Praying for CORE graduates who are exploring the world around them, exploring higher education, exploring careers, exploring adult responsibilities, exploring God in a new season of life.  We pray boldly for…

Last night was a chance to dedicate our upcoming year to the Lord.  We prayed with passion because we believe that there is POWER in prayer.

We prayed–and continue to pray–for…

…growth in our faith.

…the ability to see people through Christ’s eyes.

…those taking the ACTs.

…jobs: those who have them, and those who need them.

…the opportunity to be a peacemaker.

…friends to become more accepting of the Gospel.

…the courage to be open about our faith around others.

…Sydney’s brother (Ben): health and encouragement.

…depression of a family member.

…our busy activities.

…an increase in our love for God.

…Grandma’s health.

…future plans (college, jobs) to be in God’s will.

…the discovery of our God-given passions.

…our families.

…the desire to glorify God is all that we do.

…a cousin’s brain tumor.

…a brother’s leg injury.

…the courage to stand up for others.

…transformation.

…the preparation of the 2013 mission trip.

…the dedication to complete our schoolwork with excellence.

…becoming one with the Father.

…frequency in our prayer life.

…peace in the Lord.