From a devotion by Pastor Ralph J. Mineo: “Why did God create poison ivy?” Everyone fell silent, struggling to find a reasonable answer. Finally, one of the quietest kids in the group said, “I know this one! The reason God made poison ivy”……
One of my favorite church-camp stories was a discussion on the topic: “God has a purpose for every created thing.” The camp counselor and the youth discussed the wonder and the purpose of clouds, trees, flowers, rocks, rivers, animals, and of course human beings. Eventually, one youth asked, was to teach us that there are some things we should just keep our cotton-pickin’ hands off.” Disciples of Jesus Christ get the truth of this answer! God sends reminders to us so that we might avoid sin, and the pains and consequences of sin. God created poison ivy! The poison ivy of life is a reminder to stop in our tracks and go forward with caution. One of the first things I remember learning as a Boy Scout was to recognize poison ivy. In daily living, such “poison ivy reminders” might take the form of a guilty conscience, a good friend’s counsel, remembering a teaching we heard as a child, even remembering something in last Sunday’s sermon.
Unfortunately, sometimes we end up injured by not recognizing the reminders soon enough, or by intentionally ignoring them, thinking “I won’t get hurt this time” or “I can avoid the pain of this sin.” God gives us the choice to avoid the poison. God also gives us the choice to roll in the poison. When we do, the results aren’t pretty. God never wants us to fail. God doesn’t place temptations in our way, or make bad things happen to set us up for failure. God doesn’t create havoc, chaos, poisons, even a death in our lives to turn us away from God. The world isn’t God’s chess game where God moves the pieces around controlling every little thing that happens (as some ancient people believed about their multiple gods).
I believe our God is a God of order, goodness, and love. From the beginning of creation, God UN-DID chaos! God created order and time. God created us for lives of goodness and love. Jesus went to the Cross to carry our sins and offer forgiveness. As disciples, we are invited to bring our sins to the foot of the Cross of Jesus, and place our sins there. Once they’re there, and God, in Christ, forgives us, let’s keep our cotton-pickin’ hands off that sin, once and for all, no matter how appealing it may be to return to them. Cling to the Cross of Christ. Cling not to your sins. Cling not to the poison!
Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist will celebrate the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, and All Saints’ Sunday on November 2, with worship beginning at 10:15 am. Rev. Susan Kronbach will invite us to remember all those who have been the saints in our lives – teaching us about faith and life! Sunday School for youth and adults is held at 9:15 am; Sunday School for children is held during worship after the children’s moments. Please plan to join us!
Other activities at the church this week include choir practice each Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm (with cantata practice immediately following at 7:45).
Bairdstown United Methodist Church
Church news for Sunday, November 2, 2014 –
The Bairdstown United Methodist Church will be celebrating the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, and All Saints’ Sunday, on November 2, with worship beginning at 9:15 am. This Sunday, Rev. Susan Kronbach will invite us to remember our saints – those who have come before us to teach us about faith in God. Sunday School class is held immediately following worship. Please plan to join us as you are able!
“Ya Done Good!” is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in North Baltimore & at St. John’s Lutheran Church in McComb on Sunday, November 2
We are Remembering the Time Change!
Lutheran Church News – Nov. 2
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
“Ya Done Good!” is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in North Baltimore on All Saints Sunday, November 2 at 10:15 a.m. The congregation follows the tradition of remembering in thanksgiving the saints (believers) of the congregation who have died in the past year. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated as traditional “Table Communion.”
Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m.
The new Confirmation class will have an “Acolyte Training Retreat” on Saturday, November 1 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
“Ya Done Good!” is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. John’s Lutheran Church in McComb on Sunday, November 2 at 8:00 a.m. Sunday School begins at 9:15 a.m.
We are Remembering the Time Change
We are remembering to set our clocks back one hour, as Daylight Saving Time ends the first Sunday in November.
Now the work begins… A new NBXpress.com is being born.
Now the work begins… A new NBXpress.com is being born. After 5 years we are finally making a move to new software and servers! We will now be using WordPress. Please bear with us as we try to get the site re-populated and properly archived. We have plans and hopes for a much improved viewing experience!
We will have much greater flexibility in organizing our postings for your viewing pleasure!
At this time we are not sure what will happen with all of the content that existed on the previous incarnation of NBXpress. We hope to be able to present that content as an archive in the near future.