New Beginnings & New Life
Posted on Jan 2, 2015 in Faith Updates
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? – Jesus to his followers (John 14:2)
I’ve been thinking about Heaven more lately. On the last Sunday of 2014 I had the privilege of being with Joy Ringold and her loving husband and family in a comfortable hospice room. I watched as Joy’s family said goodbye to their radiant wife, mother, grandmother, mother in law, and friend.
Actually I watched as they said goodbye for now. Joy’s Celebration of Life will be held this Saturday at Faith Covenant at 11 in the morning so more of us can say goodbye for now. But for those who won’t be there let me briefly share my experience. Let me share why I’ve been thinking about Heaven more this week.
You know how hard it is to say goodbye to those we loved. This is even hard for those of us who have the invaluable assurance of meeting our loved one’s in Heaven because we both trusted in, and trust in, Christ’s forgiveness of our sin. Yet knowing what awaits those who love God is more than a helpful hope—it’s a living hope—a joy that is present even in our tears.
That is why there was so much “joy” as we gathered to say goodbye for now to Joy.
You see I invited each family member present to share a quality they appreciated their beloved Joy. So in turn all the family members and friends shared their words and memories directly to Joy who I suspect heard every word.
It was a sweet sight indeed to watch the grandchildren all lay a hand on their beloved grandma. It was a sacred privilege to record those words. When the sharing was over the teary, smiling group of us held hands and all sang a worship song to comfort Joy. As we sang I thought of Heaven. I thought of the Bible’s promise of new bodies, no tears, a new and perfect heaven and earth—I thought of the joy that Joy would soon experience as she would soon embrace her Savior face to face. Jesus assured His followers He was going to prepare a place for them—a place in His Father’s house. What joy awaits those of us who know the way, the truth and the life—who have decided to live forever in that house with God!
Whatever you are facing today consider that if you trust in Christ, the fullest joy is yet to come! Dwight Moody once said: “Soon you will read in the newspaper that I have died. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.” Do you hear the joy of heaven in his words? Do you know it is available now in the form of joyful expectation? Think on Heaven this week and reference the happenings at FCC below.
See You Sunday,
Lead Teaching Pastor
Here’s What’s Coming Up This Week
The Gift of Psalms
Calling learners of all ages! When was the last time you read through the Psalms? Better yet, when was the last time you allowed God to speak to you through the Psalms? Join us on Sunday mornings at 11am as we read, study, and apply these powerful words. Class begins January 11 and runs through April. For questions, contact Monroe at email@example.com
Women’s Winter Bible Studies
New Women’s Bible studies will begin January 13 & 14. “Bad Girls of the Bible” and “Walking with God Through Pain & Suffering” will be offered on Tuesday mornings or Wednesday evenings, and “Bad Girls of the Bible” will also be offered Tuesday evening. All registrations will be done on-line through EventBrite. Register for the Tuesday morning study at https://eventbrite.com/event/14361620995/;
for the Tuesday evening study at https://eventbrite.com/event/15049995943/
; and for the Wednesday evening study at https://eventbrite.com/event/14733449143/
. If you need assistance with this, please stop at the desk in the lobby and a member of the women’s ministry team will help you sign up.
Parent class for Infant Baptism/Dedication
If you would like to either baptize or dedicate your child, please register to attend the one hour parent class scheduled for 11am on January 25. Class is followed by a service of celebration and welcome for your child during a later worship service. A parent application is required by Monday, January 19 – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Ministry Spa Night
Ladies of all ages! We’re delighted to invite you to our second annual Spa Night on Sunday, January 11, from 6-8pm. Join us for food, fellowship, laughter, and well-deserved pampering. Be sure to bring your daughters, mothers, neighbors, coworkers and friends! This event is FREE; however, a basket will be available if you choose to make a donation to help offset costs. RSVP to email@example.com
so we know how much food to prepare.
Faith Food Outreach
Sign up in the lobby today to serve at the January 12 food distribution. There are many ways to volunteer, and an hour or two of your time can make a huge impact in the lives of the 300+ families we serve each time from our community. Donations of children’s books or stuffed animals are also needed; please leave at the welcome desk in the lobby. For more information, contact Sue at 952.432.5745 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FCC has been given the opportunity to volunteer at the Dakota County Jail for a Sunday morning chapel service every couple of months, starting February 1. If you have an interest or a desire to hear more, please contact Pastor John at email@example.com
Prime Time Luncheon
Please note that our monthly senior’s fellowship luncheon will be held on the third Thursday this month; on January 15 at 11:30am.