KinmundyChurch.org: Welcome to our church blog!

We Would Like You To Know —

1.  At this time, due to decreasing Coronavirus rates, the United Methodists Churches of our Illinois Great Rivers Conference are worshiping in face-to-face worship services. On May 14, 2021, the Illinois Great Rivers Conference announce a significant relaxation in safety standards in harmony with recent announcements by the CDC and the Illinois State Department of Public Health. You can read more about these changes below.

2. YOU HAVE SIX CHOICES TO PARTICIPATE IN WORSHIP, depending on what you feel is best for your own safety and situation in this Coronavirus season. We respect your decision.

Choice #1: You are welcome to attend live, Face-to-Face worship at Kinmundy United Methodist Church at 9 am Sunday morning OR at Wesley, 10:45 Sunday morning.

Choice #2: We broadcast the audio of the live service on your car’s FM radio, FM 87.9, to the parking lot at Kinmundy UMC at 9 am. This is a little safer than inside for those who are unvaccinated or concerned about safety. Just like a drive-in, you can bring snacks and coffee.

Choice #3: Please click on the link at the blog post for this Sunday in the “Attend Worship at Home” category to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone. Sermons and worship services for previous weeks are also available.
The same links will be provided on the Kinmundy Church Facebook page.
Pastor Dave intends to continue providing an online service on into the future.

Choice #4: You can also click on the links at the blog post of the day in the “Attend Worship at Home” category to have your own worship service experience, for whatever you are interested in. You can listen to the sermon on audio, pray the prayers, play YouTube versions of the hymns, and/or view the sermon slides with the sermon audio.

Choice #5: A copy of the “Worship at Home” service AND a sermon transcript will be emailed or sent by US Mail Monday to anyone who requests it. Call the church office at 547-7423 to subscribe. The transcript can also be read on the blog after 2 pm on Monday and used in your devotions through the week. Pastor Dave intends to continue provide this on into the future.

Choice #6: If you don’t have the internet and you would like to watch the worship video on DVD, please call the church office.

INFORMATION ON CURRENT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (August 26, 2021):

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor announced Thursday (8/26/21) a state-wide mandate beginning on Monday Aug. 30, that all people wear face masks while with non-household members in public indoor spaces. … As much as we’d like it be otherwise, COVID-19 is still a danger to our congregations and communities. As disciples of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, Christians are called to model the highest standards of care for others, especially those who are at higher risk of becoming sick. 

We
– Encourage you to wear a mask while inside the church building
– Encourage you to spread out, as social distance protects everyone.
– Worship is prerecorded, so if you are feeling cautious or not feeling well, you can watch on your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking on the link on the church Facebook page or the church blog at www.kinmundychurch.org—top right corner.
– Will continue to send the bulletin and a transcript of the sermon by US mail each Monday to those who request it. We can also provide you with a DVD of the prerecorded service to watch on your TV at home, if you request it.

OTHER GUIDELINES
Unvaccinated people who have been potentially exposed should
i) isolate for 14 days OR
ii) isolate for 7 days after exposure and after receiving a negative test result (test
must occur on day 5 or later) in accordance with CDC guidelines:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

Fully vaccinated people do not need to isolate after a possible exposure but should
do so immediately if they begin to experience any COVID-19 symptoms:
 Fever over 100° F.
 Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
 Cough
 Chills
 Fatigue
 Muscle or body pain
 Headache
 New loss of taste or smell
 Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
 Sore throat
 Congestion or runny nose

Maintain 3-6 feet of social distance between yourself and non-household members. Give everyone more space if you are speaking loudly or singing indoors.

Our communities need encouragement, hope, and love. Give everyone an extra amount of care, forgiveness, and grace. People are weary and heart-sick with the weight of COVID-19. Everyone is having to make difficult decisions and weigh complex risk-reduction strategies for themselves and others. Allow some extra grace for everyone. Listen and encourage before judging and attacking. Our successful witness as Christians is mostly about how we treat people, especially the people we encounter outside of our churches and ministries.

SOBER REALITIES:   Unvaccinated people may choose to wear masks for their own safety and the safety of other non-vaccinated people. Please do not crowd each other as we adjust to this change.  Physical distance is the most effective precaution against COVID!

It is possible but unlikely that a vaccinated person can get COVID. A vaccinated person with COVID is as contagious as anyone else, so some may choose to wear masks to protect others.  You can be contagious before you even know you are ill. Not everyone feels safe not wearing a mask—please be kind. We’ve had a tough year! Please pray for wisdom for our government leaders and a calm response throughout this current surge of the Delta variant.

INFORMATION ON PREVIOUS SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (May 23, 2021):

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW … Due to your careful love for your neighbor, the State of Illinois is relaxing COVID restrictions in response to lower numbers. Please pray for wisdom for our leaders and a calm response throughout to the gradual lifting of restrictions.

On Friday May 14, 2021, Curtis Brown, Director of Connectional Ministries for the IGRC, issued an Update on Wearing Masks for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to say: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has updated their safety guidance to state, “… fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting.” … This means that fully vaccinated people will not need to wear a face mask or physically distance in most of our churches during worship services, gatherings, and meetings, including while speaking and singing.” The IGRC recommends that churches should avoid creating special events, gatherings, or worship experiences only available to those who are already fully vaccinated. Our ministries are meant for all, and we need to be diligent in ensuring that an individual’s access to vaccination does not become a barrier for people’s full participation in the life of our churches.

Unvaccinated people may choose to wear masks for their own safety and the safety of other non-vaccinated people.

Additionally, some fully vaccinated people may wish to continue to wear masks out of an abundance of caution or in solidarity with children and other people who are not able to be vaccinated. Please do not crowd each other as we adjust to these changes.

We will continue to practice all safety measures recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health, as listed above. As a United Methodist Church, we do not wish to discriminate against unvaccinated persons, or require more from them than what we ask of vaccinated persons.

We will also very carefully and kindly respect anyone who chooses to not attend worship at this time, whether it is because they wish to be safer or because they wish to avoid wearing a mask. We love you and support your personal decision, and look forward to seeing you again.

Our goal is to provide the safest possible environment for inside worship at Kinmundy UMC and Wesley UMC, plus safe choices for our members to worship in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.  We will not compromise.

You may read the complete text of Dr Curtis Brown’s Update on Wearing Masks for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference by clicking here.

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KinmundyChurch.org: The Blog of the Kinmundy and Wesley United Methodist Churches, 308 E. 3rd St, Kinmundy, IL, 62854


Worship at Kinmundy: 9 am Sunday. At Wesley: 10:45 Sunday.
Visit us on Facebook here!
Listen to or download sermons and slides by clicking here.

Vision Statement: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
Mission Statement: “Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional.” (¶126, Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church)

The world has 2 needs and 2 kinds of people: People who need to become disciples
and disciples who need to become disciple-makers.
(T4T)

Kinmundy United Methodist Churches
308 3rd Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854
Worship Sunday mornings at 9 am.  Please join us!        

Wesley United Methodist Church
3381 Kinoka Rd, Patoka, IL  62875
Worship Sunday mornings at 10:45 am.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY:
PLEASE CHECK THE CHURCH FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION!

Weekday policy: if South Central public schools are closed because of bad weather,
church activities that day are postponed.
Be Safe!

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home", Overview | Leave a comment

Sermon January 23, 2022: Tool #3. Daily Following (Epiphany 3)

Construction Work via MaxPixel; Autopilot via Freesvg.org

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/669018931

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3V0e9VDnRN

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with this prayer:

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. 
Help me to realize your worldview.
Lord, I obey. Help my disobedience. 
Clarify my reality. Focus me; guide me. Prune me.
Lord, I follow;  help me to stay on the path. 
Thank you for the path, for guidance, for providence and protection.
I humbly ask for wisdom and for knowledge in every human situation. 
Lord, help me to flourish as a part of the vine. 
May this be true for me! Amen.

HYMN 378 Amazing Grace
IL DIVO – Amazing Grace (Live Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYMLMj-SibU

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − WESLEY COVENANT PRAYER

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 347 The Spirit Song
Spirit Song (with lyrics)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWEDBaFy0SI

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Tool #3. Daily Following
Text: Mark 1:17, Matthew 7:13-14, John 8:31-36, John 15:1-8
Series: Christmas Story Connections – We’re In This Together

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioSermon Audio Wesley UMC

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SERMON NOTES

Mark 1:17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

John 8:31 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.

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HYMN 338 Where He Leads Me
Where He Leads Me (I Can Hear My Saviour Calling)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9FqFC0WA-o

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

I’m wanting to answer the question that was often on our minds back in December. Why can’t people be like this, the way they are at Christmastime, all year long? Why can’t people be interested in God, be coming to worship, be gathering together, feel kindness and love toward their neighbors all year long the way they do at Christmas?

And the best way I can answer that question is this: if you’ll make a commitment to be a Christian all year long the way you are a Christian at Christmas, it will last all year long.

And I mentioned tools that will help us to keep that commitment. New Year’s resolutions, they last, supposedly, just a couple of weeks. What are the tools that can help us to keep this commitment?

The first one is to have some form of daily devotion, and the key point of a daily devotion is we surrender to Jesus Christ. We say, in one way or another, “Thy will be done.”

The second thing, as I suggested last week, is daily directions. Let Jesus give you directions about what you’re supposed to do today. And by the way, write them down because if you don’t write down the directions, it’s so easy to forget what Jesus tells us.

But today we’re going to deal with what I would call daily following because Jesus says to us, just like the other disciples – and this is the key to being a Christian all year long – not just simply to believe, not just simply to surrender, but to follow Jesus Christ. How do we do that? How do we become followers?

Well, people who are followers follow Jesus on a path. We started the service with this, the five-finger prayer:

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
Lord, I obey. Help my disobedience. I’m imperfect. I need God’s help to do what God wants.
Lord, I follow. Help me to stay on the path. Because you see, when Jesus leads us off and we follow, it creates a path.

Now, the Gospels talk about following. The book of Proverbs also talks about the fact that there is a wise path and there’s an unwise path. And it also talks about the need to stay on the path. Jesus has not just simply given us directions, go here, go there, go here, go there, go here, go there, Jesus creates a path.

And you get up in the morning, and you could walk on that path, the path that’s been created by Christians over all the centuries who have followed Jesus. There’s no reason why we need to invent something new every day. There’s no reason why we need to create something the world has never seen before. We can follow Jesus just like the disciples followed Him in the pages of the New Testament.

And we can be thankful that there is a path. We can be thankful for guidance. We can be thankful for providence because God provides for us. The 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Why? Because God will provide. And not only that. God gives us protection. We’re on a path.

Now, the picture in front of you is a road in the nighttime. You can’t see all the way down that road, but you know something? It’s enough to see the next 100 feet to allow us to follow the road. If we can see the next 100 feet of the path, that’s enough. Because as we move forward, the light will show us more that lies ahead.

Think for a moment about the disciples in the days of Jesus. Every morning, Jesus had the habit of seeking direction from God. Jesus literally said, “I don’t do anything unless the Father tells me. I don’t say anything unless the Father tells me.” So every day Jesus would be surrounded by crowds of people wanting His help. That’s what draws the crowds. They believe that Jesus can actually help them.

But the disciples are sitting and waiting because they don’t know what’s going to happen. They have to wait for Jesus to tell them. Friends, you and I are in the same position. We don’t know what Jesus is going to do today. But if there’s a path, if there’s a pattern, we can assume that we can do most of what we did yesterday and still be on the path. Because Jesus is not continually demanding that we switch or change directions. We are building consistently on what Jesus Christ asks us to do.

Now here’s the problem that we all face. W. Edwards Deming said it many years ago: Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. In nature, nature is made up– creation is made up of systems that interact with each other. And every system is organized to do certain things in a certain way and get a certain result. So if you’re getting results that you don’t want, if problems are rising up that are not what you like, it’s not because you live in a world that is in total chaos. The system is producing the results that are programmed into the system.

If you want different results, change the system. Paul talks about this in Galatians. “As a man sows,” Paul says, “so shall he reap.” You don’t put corn in the ground and get beans. So here’s the reality: if beans are growing out in your field and you wanted corn, maybe you should have sowed corn. If you want corn in the future, it’s time to sow it now.

Friends, we do not live in a world of chaos. And what that means is if you and I change what we do, it changes the way the world functions. Now, we don’t have control over everything but we have some control.

But what do we change? If you go into a computer software program, you have the hardware, the machine that does the work. But the machine is told what to do by software. It starts out as information, and information causes the machine to act. When carpenters build a house, it starts out as a blueprint, and that information becomes translated into actual things that happen in this world. If you’re getting bad results, it’s because in the system you’ll find there’s bad information. Back in the old days, I would print directions off of Yahoo maps and I would have them on the front seat of my car, and I would hold the directions in one hand and read them and try to turn left or right based on what the directions said. Friends, if the directions are wrong, you’re going to get lost. Quite often, problems in the results are because there’s bad information in the system. If the map is wrong, your destination will be wrong. If your directions are wrong, you’ll wind up where you don’t want to be. If there’s bad information, you’ll get bad results. Imagine a cookbook that left out essential ingredients. Imagine a cookbook that had you set the oven for the wrong temperature. Imagine a cookbook that told you to do it wrong. How could the recipe ever come out right?

This is the great power you and I have, friends. If we fix the information that the system depends upon, the results we get will change. There’s a principle from computer software, garbage in, garbage out. If bad information comes in, you’re going to get bad results out. Fix the bad information by loving the truth. At one time, everyone in the world believed that the Earth was flat. Here’s the sad reality. There are still people who believe the Earth is flat! But bad information is what causes us to have bad results. So let’s change the information we have and love the truth.

At the beginning of the Gospel, Mark chapter one, Matthew chapter four, Jesus looks at Peter and Andrew as they’re fishing by the side of the road, and he says to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Imagine just for a moment what it means to “follow me.” You can imagine Peter saying, “Lord, could we have breakfast first?” Well, not if you’re going to follow him. You don’t get to have breakfast till he stops for breakfast. Andrew thinks, “Lord, why don’t we go down that right road? It looks smoother.” Well, Andrew, if you’re going to follow, you no longer get to choose the road. You need to let Jesus make the choice and follow Jesus.

Now, as I said two weeks ago, sometimes Jesus will look at you and say, “You can choose.” I talked about how I would worry about whether I was disobeying God’s will when I picked out what dry cereal to eat for breakfast. There are many, many things Jesus just simply says, “You could choose that.” But the reality is if Jesus wouldn’t vote no, you cannot be a follower and vote yes. If Jesus stops, you cannot be a follower and keep going. If Jesus turns to one side or the other, you cannot be a follower and keep doing what you prefer. Because, of course, when we say, “Thy will be done, not mine,” we really mean it.

And so the question for followers is this, not only what would Jesus do, but what did Jesus do, and what did Jesus tell us to do? Because when we do that, we remain followers.

Now here’s the problem. One road will always look easier. I know I much prefer to go downhill than uphill. The problem is going downhill is not always the best way to go. Chesterton once said the problem with Christianity is not that it’s wrong, not that it’s a failure, but that it’s difficult. And because it’s hard, it’s not been tried. Sadly, the path that Jesus chooses quite often is uphill and we’re always looking for something easier.

In fact, that’s always the temptation. Jesus said in Matthew 7, “Enter by the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction and those who enter by it are many.” Friends, the common thing that every temptation has is it looks easy for the moment. But Jesus says, verse 14, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life.” And as Chesterton said, for that reason those who find it are few.

Now, I know our have changed since March of 2020, haven’t they? How they changed? It’s gotten harder, and the temptation to take an easier path is always pulling at us like gravity. Friends, the path of following Jesus can be hard at any time, but of course, also during this time when things are difficult. It may be uphill, but – here’s the whole point – it’s worth it because if we do what Jesus asked us to do, the world around us begins to change and we start to get different and better results.

For example, you’ve heard this saying before, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble …” because you can always learn. “But what gets you into trouble is what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Have you heard that saying by Mark Twain? Friends, you need to watch out for what you know for sure that just ain’t so because– by the way, Mark Twain never said this!

Here’s how Jesus said it, John 8:31, “If you continue in My word,” the words of Jesus, the words he said as the disciples followed them. And because they were following, they heard his words. “If you continue in My word,” Jesus says, “you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Friends, the truth is the information that changes everything, and it will set us free.

Part of being a disciple is a desire to seek the truth. Because unless we do, we’ll be led astray by things that we think are true, but they’re simply not. And I know you know there’s a whole lot of that going on all around us. The words of Jesus will keep us aware of the truth.

And not only that, they have another benefit. John 15: 1 talks about this being a part of the vine, being a part of the living thing that is following Jesus. “I am the true vine,” Jesus says, “and my Father is the vinedresser,” the gardener in other words. “Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes …” God keeps us focused on what matters, and God does this by pruning.

Now, you’ve heard me say this before, but it’s worth saying it again. One of my pet peeves is when preachers talk about how painful pruning is. Take a look at this verse. “Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, He takes away.” That’s a branch that’s dead. Pruning is not painful because pruning takes away what we don’t want. Pruning takes away what we don’t need.

I’ve been a type 2 diabetic since 2003. If I woke up tomorrow morning and God had pruned 50 pounds from my waistline, I would no longer be a diabetic! Friends, I guarantee you, if you could wake up tomorrow with those 50 pounds gone, you would say, “Me. Me. Me!” You’d be in the line for that pruning! You’d pay good money for that. You wouldn’t want it back. What a wonderful thing it would be if God would take away what’s dying or causing me to die, and set me free from it. That’s pruning.

But you may not have noticed this in John 15. John 15 very clearly points out what God uses for pruning shears. Here’s what God uses for pruning shears: verse 3, “You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you.” Here’s the pruning shears, friends. And if you let the word go through your life, if you let it go over what you’re doing, it will prune from you what should not be there. I don’t think I’m exaggerating the meaning of this verse. The words of Scripture will grow in your mind and in your heart, and all of a sudden, when you’re tempted to do something you should not, those words will rise up and stop you from doing what you know in your heart you shouldn’t do. If you give in to that temptation, those words will rise up to remind you that you need forgiveness and help. The way that God prunes us to help us to live is by letting Jesus’s words happen to us. And as they do, we will abide in Jesus and he will abide in us. Let the words of Jesus become true for you.

And just like the disciples listened to Him as they walked along with him, listen to his words every day. Because if you skip just a couple verses to verse 7, there’s a beautiful promise, “If you abide in me” – oh, don’t forget the next phrase; please say it along with me – “and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it will be done for you.”

Now, how is it that God can make that promise? Well, see, here’s the thing. If you let God’s words abide in you, it will change what you ask for. That brand new $100,000 Lamborghini will not be something you pray for. It’ll change how you pray. It’ll change what you pray for. It’ll change everything about what you’re seeking. If you let God’s words abide in you, you’ll begin to pray according to those words, you’ll begin to pray according to God’s words will, you’ll begin to pray prayers that God will be eager to answer.

“If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this, my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Now, you remember, way back at the beginning, Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men, fishers of people.” A lot of our prayers are going to be for people around us that they find faith and join us and follow. That’s the fruit that we’re talking about here.

So, friends, please remember, there is a plan. There is reason and order in the world around us. And for you and I, as followers of Jesus Christ, there is a path. Jesus Christ created the path.

And the fact that there is a path makes it much, much easier for us to follow. We get up in the morning, and we say to ourselves, “What would Jesus do? What would Jesus have us to do?” And the path that’s described right there in the Bible is right there for us to follow that day. We don’t want to over-function, to do more than Jesus would do. Certainly, we don’t want to under-function and do less than Jesus would do. It’s enough for us just to function and to do what Jesus would do.

I’d like to ask you to think just a moment and imagine that you’ve decided, as I quite often do, that it’s time to drive to Salem to get a Joe’s Pizza. (Joe’s Pizza, by the way, is the most powerful temptation I struggle with all the time.) Here’s the reality of a road. If you can find your way through Kinmundy and turn left on Illinois Route 37, you just have to follow the road to where you want to go. Where a bridge is needed, you’ll find a bridge. Where there’s an obstruction, you’ll find the road will curve around it. Not only that, the road will be smooth.

Now, you don’t have to use the road. If you want to, you can drive across country. But, friends, I don’t recommend it, especially when it’s muddy. How are you going to get your car through the creek? You have the freedom to get to Joe’s Pizza in all different kinds of ways, but the smart way is to take the highway. I had a cousin who lives in Kansas who, when they would come and visit in Illinois, they’d always ask me, “Is that a good road?” And I would say, “Well, of course, it’s a good road.” And they said, “No, you don’t understand. In Kansas, most of the roads are dirt roads, and they get muddy, and they’re not good roads all the way through the year.” What we want to know is the direction you’re giving us, telling us to take. And they literally called this the hard road. The hard road is the good road!

Friends, when Jesus makes a road, He helps us to get from where we are to where we want to be. When Jesus makes a road, He helps us to get from where we are to where He wants us to be. And you and I would be wise to keep this in mind. If we want to get from here to there, we need to let Jesus build us a road and then take the road. Now, it may be a little farther than going across country. But it will be easier, and we’ll get there sooner, and it will be safer. From where we are to where we want to be, let’s let Jesus build us a road and then follow along.

Let me mention one other thing that you know very well. A lot of us commute from where we live to work. We follow the road, of course. But have you noticed that, on your way home, automatically, you’re thinking of other things. You make the right turn. You make the left turn. And all of a sudden, there you are, pulling into the driveway. You found your way home without having to think about it!

And all of a sudden, you remember that you meant to stop and get a gallon of milk. If you and I follow the road that Jesus gave to us, it’s going to build up in our mind a habit. It’s going to build up in our mind a tendency to automatically stay on the road. If we let Jesus build a road, following Jesus on that road can almost be – well, you see the picture on the screen – like having an autopilot that keeps us on track. Let Jesus provide you with a road to follow him!

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, we don’t always know what to do. We don’t always know which way to go. But Lord, the path that you lay down for us to follow is trustworthy and reliable. And we pray that you will help us to see the path and, Lord, choose to follow you. And if every day is the same, if every day is filled with blessings, if every day is filled with answered prayers, Lord, we’re happy to receive and be thankful for those gifts. We ask you to help us to stay on the path. In Jesus’s name, Amen!

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS January 23 – January 30, 2022

THIS WEEK’S CHURCH CALENDAR

Sun 1/23
9:00 am … WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:15 am … GATHERING in Fellowship Hall for Coffee & Cookies
10:30 am … SUNDAY SCHOOL at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC

Mon 1/24 5:30-7:00 pm … HAND N’ HAND

Tues 1/25 — … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day

Thurs 1/27 1:00 pm … TWILIGHT CIRCLE meets

Sun 1/30
9:00 am … WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW

  1. Upcoming Committee Meetings
    Mon 1/31 11:00 am Missions
    Mon 1/31 7:00 pm AD Council
  2. HAND N’ HAND will meet tomorrow, Monday, January 24, at 5:30 – 7:00 pm.
  3. TWILIGHT CIRCLE will meet in Fellowship Hall on Thursday, January 27, at 1:00 pm. Jeanette Hoeinghaus will have Devotions and Refreshments. All KUMC and Wesley UMC ladies are invited to attend.

4 We —
– Encourage you to wear a mask while inside the church building
– Encourage you to spread out, as social distance protects everyone.
– Worship is prerecorded, so if you are feeling cautious or not feeling well, you can watch on your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking on the link on the church facebook page or the church blog at www.kinmundychurch.org—top right corner.

  1. OUR COMMUNITIES need encouragement, hope, and love. Give everyone an extra amount of care, forgiveness, and grace. People are weary and heart-sick with the weight of COVID-19. Everyone is having to make difficult decisions and weigh complex risk-reduction strategies for themselves and others. Allow some extra grace for everyone. Listen and encourage before judging and attacking. Our successful witness as Christians is mostly about how we treat people, especially the people we encounter outside of our churches and ministries.
  2. EVERY PERSON connected to our church remains a part of our church family and the history of our church forever. Sometimes people move away and over the years, join another church and we are not aware. We are going through the membership book alphabetically for Kinmundy first, listing four names each week for prayer: Bob & Patricia (Bailey) Sagadine, Abby Sauter, Branden & Sarah Sauter & Family, Brittany Sauter & Dustin Knott & Chevelle.
  3. CONGRATULATIONS to Chloe Pruden & Damien Leffer on the birth of their daughter, Whinnie Ray Leffer, born Monday, January 17, in Indianaopolis. Whinnie weighed 7 lbs 11 ozs and was 20 3/4 in long. She is the great granddaughter of Tim & Brenda Butts and the first great -great grandchild of Quinten & Barb Butts. Needless to say, Barb is very excited.
Posted in Bulletin, News and Prayer List | Leave a comment

OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — January 23 – January 30

Please Pray For Our Neighbors struggling with Covid and related illnesses, at home or at the hospital, and their families.

Please Pray For Our Pastors: David Kueker, our District Superintendents (Allynn, Charliam, Stan), and our Bishop, Frank Beard. If you need Pastor Dave for prayer, please call or text his cell phone, 618-780-0151, or email him at dkueker@yahoo.com or on Facebook as David Oliver Kueker.

Prayer Request From Jesus: Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Please Pray For God To Bless Our “Care Card Ministry” Person Of The Week –
K Marti Ambrose

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
K Rodney Armstrong – Has Covid, still in hospital, beginning to improve.
W Caitlin Engel – Her time is very near. Please pray for her mother, Misty, Julie Jones’ cousin.
K Gerri Molina – Jill visited Gerri on Friday and reported that she is having some pain and is waiting to hear when she can move closer to home. Prayers for pain relief, to regain her strength and to get closer to home.

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs –
Marti Ambrose, Larry Hebron, Marie Dickerson, Rock Landes, Joyce Holley, Rick White, Susan Smith, Gabina Lira, Molly Monical, Russell Kilby, Shirley Miller, John Holzhauer,
Aaron Guerrettaz (Jo Williams’ nephew, Jim & Nancy Guerrettaz’s son), Jim Guerrettaz, Quinten Butts, Kayley Wilhelm, Larry & Dolores Johnson (Kim’s Parents)

Please Pray For God To Bless Our Military Families –
Sgt Rusty & Nicole (Nolan, Michael, Lydia) Robb – US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland

Please Pray For Our Heath Care System. Everyone is overworked, overstressed and understaffed.

Please Pray For Those Grieving For
– Dave Ballance, K-A Class of 1957
– Michael Logue
– Gene Simmons, Farina

Posted in Bulletin, News and Prayer List | Leave a comment

Sermon January 16, 2022: Tool #2. Daily Directions (Epiphany 2)

Image by Quesnay Aguiar from Pixabay

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/666371857

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3VDciVoEjX

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with this prayer:

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. 
Help me to realize your worldview.
Lord, I obey. Help my disobedience. 
Clarify my reality. Focus me; guide me. Prune me.
Lord, I follow;  help me to stay on the path. 
Thank you for the path, for guidance, for providence and protection.
I humbly ask for wisdom and for knowledge in every human situation. 
Lord, help me to flourish as a part of the vine. 
May this be true for me! Amen.

HYMN 206 I Want To Walk As A Child Of The Light
Unionaires – 2014 – I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmcz2T5hCsY

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − WESLEY COVENANT PRAYER

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 601 Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet
Amy Grant – Thy Word (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OTVuGaiTsE

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Tool #2. Daily Directions
Text: Mark 1:14-15, Habakkuk 2:1-4, Jeremiah 29:10-14, 30:1-4
Series: Daily Christmas Resolutions

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley UMC Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

Mark 1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Habakkuk 2:1 I will take my stand to watch, and station myself on the tower, and look forth to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. 2 And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3 For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end–it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.

Jeremiah 29:10 “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Jeremiah 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. 3 For behold, days are coming, says the LORD, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the LORD, and I will bring them back to the land which I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.” 4 These are the words which the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah …

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HYMN 419 I Am Thine, O Lord
“I am Thine O Lord” by 200 Voice Mass Choir
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3OS0sHUwlk

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

It’s now been long enough since December that Christmas is beginning to be a memory. But you remember what we always say during the Christmas season: I wish people could be like this all year! Because, during the Christmas season, we pay more attention to God. We pay more attention to each other. We try to be more loving and kind. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be like that all year long? And so I want to suggest to us, you know what that is brothers and sisters, we need to be the kind of Christians all year long that we are at Christmas. And so I can’t resist giving you advice. And so I’m giving you advice about how I think it would help to do that.

Last week we talked about the tool of daily devotions. That if you stop each day to surrender, to yield, to pray in one way or another, thy will be done. That will make a difference all year long.

Today I want to add tool number two, which is in addition to saying, “Thy will be done in a daily devotion,” that you take time to listen to God and let God give you directions. Think about it. When we continually pray, thy will be done, should we be surprised that God actually wants us to do something specific? And if we would take time, not just to talk in our prayers, but time to listen, you might hear from God about what’s important and what’s not important.

And here’s the main point for today, what you hear from God when you listen– in order to be able to remember it– in order to be able to remember it, write it down. Because if you ever heard the phrase, “I made a mental note and lost it,” it’s so easy for us to get distracted.

But friends, if you write it down, God’s directions will guide you. Over all the years, I have different ways that I’ve done this. Nowadays, I keep all those directions on my phone. When there’s something I need to remember, I’ll literally create an alarm that will go off at a certain time and it will flash, “Don’t forget, don’t forget. Do this.” Putting a sticky note on the mirror where you shave if you’re a man, where you put your makeup on, if you’re a woman, that will remind you all day long. I used to carry index cards in my pocket and like you heard me say, I do this on my phone now, but I used to make little notes on index cards for what I needed to remember.

And you see, here’s the truth. If you write it down, if you make a list, what’s on your list, you’ll remember. If you don’t know that to be true, just think of the last time you went to the grocery store and came home with a basket of snacks and forgot what you came to the store to get! If you really want to remember write it down because that makes a difference.

Now Jesus would begin his day seeking God for direction. So I’d like to ask you just to imagine for a moment what a day was like for the disciples. Jesus said very clearly, “Everything I do is because the Father has told me.” What that means is Jesus didn’t make plans very far in advance unless God told him.

And all around Jesus is the crowd because Jesus provided healing. Jesus provided health. Friends, honestly, that’s all you have to do to gather a crowd, is to help people with what they need most.

But in the middle of that crowd around Jesus, the disciples are sitting and waiting. They are sitting and waiting every day because they have no idea what Jesus is going to tell them that they need to do. Friends, that is a characteristic of being a follower of Jesus. You have to check in on a daily basis, Lord, what’s on your list for my life today? Now, what’s on the list for the day in this picture is they’re going to take five loaves and two fish from a little boy and feed 5000 people. Do you think they could ever have predicted that? The only way that they know what to do, as followers of Jesus, and brothers and sisters, the only way we know what to do as followers of Jesus, is we need to check in each day and say, “Lord, what is it that you want us to do today?”

And you see that’s what’s at the heart of following, because what’s at the heart of following is what Jesus began to preach. You’ll see it there in verse 15: The time is fulfilled. Now is the time. The Kingdom of God is at hand. God’s ability to be the ruler, the King of this Earth, it’s about to happen. But you know why it happens? We repent.

And what repent means is we turn away from what we should not be doing and we turn toward what we should be doing. And by the way, it’s not enough to turn toward it and say, that’s a good idea and do nothing. We move forward in the doing of God’s will. And what helps us to do that is to believe the gospel. That doing what Jesus wants makes a difference.

In Habakkuk chapter two, the Prophet says, “I will take my stand to watch, to watch and pray, and station myself on the tower and look forth to see what he will say to me and what I will answer because, you see, prayer is a dialogue. What I will answer concerning my complaint.”

And here’s what God says to Habakkuk, “The Lord answered me, write the vision. Make it plain upon tablets, so that he may run, who reads it.” Now, I don’t know if that means that he should run and do it right now or if the print needs to be big enough so that as he’s running he can actually read what God wants him to do. Not sure which one it is.

But the clear thing is this, when God tells you to do something, in Habakkuk’s case, God says to him, “Write it down.” Verse 3: still the vision awaits its time. It hastens to the end. It will not lie. It’s going to happen. Habakkuk reminds us, if it seems slow, wait for it. It will surely come. It will not delay.

Many of us are familiar with this scripture. Sometimes we quote it out of context. Here’s the context from Jeremiah 29:10: for thus says the Lord, when 70 years are completed for Babylon — the Jewish people were taken away in captivity to Babylon, and people were saying, “The Lord’s going to help us. The Lord’s going to save us. The Lord’s going to send us back maybe next week, maybe next year.” But the prophecy comes to Jeremiah: it’s going to be 70 years, but don’t be afraid. Here’s what God says, “I will visit you after that time has passed, and I will fulfill to you my promise, and I will bring you back to this place.”

And here’s the verse we’re familiar with, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” But here’s the reality, God’s timing is not quite like ours, so how should the people of Israel remember that it will take 70 years, but then they can trust God to act?

Just a few verses later, the beginning of the next chapter, here’s how they can remember: God says the word came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Verse two: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Write in a book. Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When all the promises that God has made will actually happen.” But in order for us to hang on, in order for us to keep the faith, in order for us not to get confused, not to get bewildered, not to lose hope, we need to write it down and read it over and remember that we can trust God. So don’t trust your memory. Write it down.

Pastor Dave, someone might say, I think you’re right. I think I should pray. I think I should listen to God. But you know what happens, Pastor Dave, when I listen to God? 10 million things go flying through my brain.

It’s almost like a geyser, Old Faithful, one thing after another. Some of us have the problem. We wake up in the middle of the night and the brain just keeps throwing these things at us. It’s called rumination. Zen Buddhist monks who practice this stillness meditation called “mindfulness” – be still and know that I am God – recognize that when people get still, all of a sudden their mind starts acting like a monkey. They literally call it the monkey mind.

I kind of like the picture here. It’s a little prettier than a monkey mind, but just that everything that’s in your head turns into butterflies and roses and goes flying off in all directions. Isn’t it like that sometimes? But as all the ideas float up to the top, you can pull one off at a time and look at it and say to yourself, “Is this something God saying to me?”

It’s strange. Quite often I am still, and all of a sudden I think of everything I forgot to do and everything I need to do. When that flows to the top of my mind, if you write it down on your to-do list, you’ll stop thinking about it. Something somebody else has said to me floats up to the top of my mind. “Lord, is this just me being frustrated with that person, or is there something you want to tell me?” And if it’s from God, it’s worth writing down.

Well, Pastor Dave, someone might say, how can I know when God is talking to me, and it’s just not my own inner frustration or irritability? How do I know when it’s God?

In Galatians chapter 5:22, we have the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22 says the fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace. Friends, if God is telling you something, God will be telling you to love someone, not to harm them. If God is telling you something, it will bring you joy. It will not cause you disappointment. If God is telling you something, it will help you to find peace, not stir you up and make you more anxious.

If God is telling you to do something, God will be telling you to be more patient. Wouldn’t that be great? God will be telling you to be kind. God will be telling you to be good. God will be telling you to be faithful and trustworthy. God will be telling you to be gentle rather than harsh. God will be telling you to have self-control rather than to lose your temper.

God will be telling us, through everything that God wants to say to us, how to be a kinder, better person. You can test the ideas to flow to the top of your mind with the Fruit of the Spirit.

You can also test them by remembering that there are two basic directions to which God brings our attention. You see, there’s a command that we are to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength. And so, if something comes to your mind that teaches you how to love God, that asks you to do the work of loving God, that’s probably from God because it’s calling you upward.

The other direction is to call us outward into our neighborhood. Most of the time, when God has something for you to do, it’s attached to a person. You’re supposed to do something for some specific person. That’s why the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Quite often, what God wants you to do will be connected to a neighbor.

Oh, and you live in your neighborhood. A lot of times, the person that God wants to tell you to be kind to, to love and to help, will include yourself. Most often the person God wants to help is you. We’re all tied up in everybody else’s business, but God is tied up in our business.

So if what you’re hearing from God is about you or your neighbor, that’s probably worth thinking about. If what you’re hearing from God is how you can love God with more of your heart, mind, soul, and strength, that’s probably from God. Everything else, not so much!

The moment of surrender in your daily devotion, it’s a surrender to God’s will and it puts God first. But because it is what it is when we put God first, God provides us with direction and God frequently provides us with directions. Ben Franklin put it this way, his morning devotion, he would always ask one question: What good shall I do this day? He would then make a list and he would go do it. If you didn’t get it all done one day, well, there it was in writing for the next morning. Because the good that God wants you to do is still on your list day by day.

God lays down general principles for our life based on wisdom and common sense. It is also a reality that a godly, holy routine benefits us all. Whatever you have as a devotion, if you make it a habit, it will naturally begin to happen automatically. And one of the ways you do that is you have certain habits. You get up in the morning, you do this, this, this, this, this, this, and this because … habits stack in an order that feels very natural and normal to you. How do we make our devotions a habit? You insert them into that stack of habits that you’re already doing and all of a sudden it will begin to feel natural to you. Whether your devotion is one minute where you say, “Thy will be done, Lord, what do you want?” or whether it’s longer, it will become a habit.

When I was younger, I obsessed about whether I was doing God’s will. I literally did. I worried, “It’s the morning. God, should I eat breakfast?” I’d go to the pantry and there would be four kinds of cereal. And I would say, “Lord, which kind of cereal is your will? Because all the others are wrong.” Well, that’s the way I thought as a teenager. God finally got through to me to say, “Dave, I don’t really care which cereal you eat!” Some decisions, God just wants us to make a wise decision.

But some of us worry about the details like that. No one should need to seek God about whether to take a shower. Friends, you just ought to do that. [laughter] God is not going to change his mind and say, “Dave, I’m testing your faith. Go without a shower today.” God doesn’t work that way. In fact, most of the time it’s the devil that brings challenges and tests to us. God has a pattern of wisdom and common sense for our life. No one should have to seek the Lord about whether to take their medication today … because whatever is good, you should be doing that!

But occasionally God does ask us to do something specific for a specific person. And friends, if you have that sense and it passes all the tests that we’ve mentioned, write it down because you want to keep that on your mind to follow through. Because when you do God’s will, as God has asked you, you’ll begin to see miracles take place and prayers be answered.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, I thank you that I’m in the presence of such wonderful people. Lord Jesus, I thank you that I’m in the presence of people who are good Christians. But, Lord, even though we’re good, we sometimes get distracted. It’s hard for us to keep focused. Even though we’re good Christians, Lord, it’s hard for us to remember everything. And so thank you, Lord, that the way you help us to remember what’s important is that, if we write it down, it stays on our minds. And so, Lord, when we pray, when we listen to you, help us to take what you say to us when we are listening and put it on a list so that we will remember. Lord, help us as Jeremiah helped the people by writing down, making a book of everything God has said. Lord, help us to write it down and make our own little book of what you’ve asked us to do. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS January 16 – January 23, 2022

THIS WEEK’S CHURCH CALENDAR
Sun 1/16
9:00 am … WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:15 am … GATHERING in Fellowship Hall for Coffee & Cookies
10:30 am … SUNDAY SCHOOL at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC
2-4 pm … PASTOR DAVE at District Supt Carol’s Retirement Celebration, Olney Immanuel UMC.

Mon 1/17 — … MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY – Office closed
Tues 1/18 — … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day
Wed 1/19 1-5 pm … PASTOR DAVE volunteers at Kinmundy Library

Sun 1/23
9:00 am … WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC
.
WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW —

  1. Upcoming Committee Meeting
    Mon 1/31 11:00 am Missions
    Mon 1/31 7:00 pm AD Council
  2. We —
    Encourage you to wear a mask while
    inside the church building
    Encourage you to spread out, as social distance protects
    everyone.
    Worship is prerecorded, so if you are feeling cautious or not feeling well, you can watch on your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking on the link on the church facebook page or the church blog at www.kinmundychurch.org—top right corner.
  3. OUR COMMUNITIES need encouragement, hope, and love. Give everyone an extra amount of care, forgiveness, and grace. People are weary and heart-sick with the weight of COVID-19. Everyone is having to make difficult decisions and weigh complex risk-reduction strategies for themselves and others. Allow some extra grace for everyone. Listen and encourage before judging and attacking. Our successful witness as Christians is mostly about how we treat people, especially the people we encounter outside of our churches and ministries.
  4. EVERY PERSON connected to our church remains a part of our church family and the history of our church forever. Sometimes people move away and over the years, join another church and we are not aware. We are going through the membership book alphabetically for Kinmundy first, listing four names each week for prayer: Rodney & Sami Rose, Karli, Tori Rose, Mackenzie Ross Castaneda, Megan Ross
  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LILLYANNA! Lillyanna Price will be 1 this Friday, the 21st. She celebrated her birthday on January 2 when family was here for the Christmas Holidays.
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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — January 16 – January 23

Please Pray For Our Neighbors struggling with Covid and related illnesses, at home or at the hospital, and their families.

Please Pray For Our Pastors: David Kueker, our Superintendents, and our Bishops, Frank Beard and Gregory Palmer. If you need Pastor Dave for prayer, please call or text his cell phone, 618-780-0151, or email him at dkueker@yahoo.com or on Facebook as David Oliver Kueker.

Prayer Request From Jesus: Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Please Pray For God To Bless Our “Care Card Ministry” Person Of The Week –
K Helen Sullivan

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
K Rodney Armstrong, Has Covid, very sick.
W Caitlin Engel, Her time is very near. Please pray for her mother, Misty, Julie Jones’ cousin.
K Gerri Molina – Waiting to hear back so she can move closer to home. Prayers for healing, to regain her strength and to get closer to home.

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs –
Marti Ambrose, Larry Hebron, Marie Dickerson, Rock Landes, Joyce Holley, Rick White, Susan Smith, Gabina Lira, Molly Monical, Russell Kilby, Shirley Miller, John Holzhauer, Aaron Guerrettaz (Jo Williams’ nephew, Jim & Nancy Guerrettaz’s son), Jim Guerrettaz, Quinten Butts, Kayley Wilhelm, Larry & Dolores Johnson (Kim’s Parents)

Please Pray For God To Bless Our Military Families –
Sgt Rusty & Nicole (Nolan, Michael, Lydia) Robb – US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland

Please Pray For Our Heath Care System. Everyone is overworked, overstressed and understaffed.

Please Pray For Those Grieving For –
– Gene Simmons, Farina
– Jon Kline, K-A Class of 1967.
– Naomi Sullivan, Helen’s sister in-law
– Bertha Wright, of Ramsey, Special aunt of Jenny Waggoner.

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John Kline Funeral Service

Order of Service for Jon Kline
January 10, 2022, at the Kinmundy United Methodist Church

Prelude Mrs. Cheryl Gilley “My Tribute”

Introduction & Apostles’ Creed Pastor David Kueker
Music “I Asked the Lord”
Comments & Prayer Bro. Mike Williams
Music Amazing Grace, My Chains are God”
Comments Read from Steve Higgs
Comments from Family: John Wesley Kline
Music “It is Well”
Message Bro. David N. Gilley
Closing Comments & Prayer Bro. David Vaughn

Postlude Cheryl Gilley “There’s Something About That Name”

You can listen to the entire service at the link below:
– Right click, “save link as” to download to your computer.
– Right click, “open in new tab” to listen

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/122aOxKJkAShrzA9iNx4FhuYuTlpruj_m/view?usp=sharing

OBITUARY

Jon D. Kline, age 72 of Kinmundy, passed away at his home on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

Jon was born on December 1, 1949, in Vandalia, the son of Merle and Vivian “Peggy” Kline. He married Linda Elaine (Leidner) Kline on December 7, 1969, in Pleasant Mound and she preceded him in death on December 1, 2006.

He is survived by two sons, Jon Wesley Kline and wife Fleshette of Arcola, and Stephen Calvin Blair Kline and wife Connie of Lerna; grandchildren, Michael Stephen Kline, Amelia Elaine Kline, and Kaitlyn Elizabeth Kline; two sisters, Gayle Clark of Jacksonville, FL and Susan Smith of Kinmundy; two brothers, Brian Kline and wife Tracey of Tucson, AZ and James Kline of Salem; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; one brother, Gary Kline, and wife Barbara; and two brothers-in-law, Mel Clark and Keith Smith.

Jon was a United Methodist Pastor for over 20 years and attended the Kinmundy United Methodist Church. After his retirement from full-time ministry, he served as a prison chaplain for many years. He enjoyed traveling, pistol shooting at the range, at one time enjoyed raising bees and harvesting honey, and most importantly, spreading the gospel. Jon was a member of the Elks and had served in the United States Navy.

Funeral services for Jon D. Kline will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, January 10, 2022, at the Kinmundy United Methodist Church with Jon’s cousin, Pastor David Gilley, officiating. The church is located at 308 E. 3rd Street in Kinmundy, IL. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery at Kinmundy. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm at Crouse Funeral Home in Salem and again on Monday from 10:00 am until the time of the service at the church. Memorials can be made to Full Armor Christian Academy and can be left at Crouse Funeral Home who is assisting the family.

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Sermon January 9, 2022: Tool #1. Daily Devotions (Epiphany 1

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/663804047

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3VQVHVoZY1

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with this prayer:

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. 
Help me to realize your worldview.
Lord, I obey. Help my disobedience. 
Clarify my reality. Focus me; guide me. Prune me.
Lord, I follow;  help me to stay on the path. 
Thank you for the path, for guidance, for providence and protection.
I humbly ask for wisdom and for knowledge 
in every human situation. 
Lord, help me to flourish as a part of the vine. 
May this be true for me! Amen.

HYMN How Great Thou Art
Josh Turner – How Great Thou Art (Live From Gaither Studios)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpyRCB7uy0o

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − WESLEY COVENANT PRAYER

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Lord, I Want to Be a Christian
Lord, I Want to Be a Christian by the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church (Michigan) Virtual Choir with James Biery, director and organist.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M212opRGkEw

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Tool #1. Daily Devotions
Text: Mark 1:35, 12:28-34
Series: Daily Christmas Resolutions

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video Audio

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SERMON NOTES

Mark 1:35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.

Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any question.

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HYMN I Need Thee Every Hour
Randy Owen, The Isaacs – I Need Thee Every Hour [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfPZ9mRIKgs

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Last Sunday, the very last part of the celebration of Christmas, I suggested this to you as our New Year’s resolution, that we choose to be a Christian all year long. We go through the Christmas season, and we think to ourselves, “Why can’t people be like this all year long, drawn to God and loving that Jesus came at Christmas, kind to each other? Why can’t we be like that all year long?”

And the answer is very simple, we can. The problem is we have to work at it now.

Now, you are people who have worked hard your whole lives. Working at something is not something that’s difficult for you to do. But it doesn’t just happen unless all the advertising pushes us along. But it can happen if we are willing to work at it, to allow Jesus to come into our lives, not just as he did at Christmas so long ago, but to come and stay, to be present, to be a part of every day as Emmanuel – one of those names for Jesus we talk about a Christmas – which literally means God with us. So what do we do, and how do we work at it?

Well, tool number one, I would suggest to you is a daily devotion. A daily devotion can be an hour spent in prayer. But it can also be a minute. But the key part of that minute is that we realize and remember who we belong to and surrender … to ask Jesus to be Emmanuel, God with us.

Sometime later this month, certainly by the Super Bowl, I will actually watch my first NFL football game this year. I hate to tell you that’s the kind of quality sports fan I am. It’s only as it heads toward the playoffs that it starts to get interesting.

And you know how it works. The players are down on the field and the fans are up in the stands. All of the fans are so happy when their team is winning.

But let me ask you to contemplate for just a minute who is actually winning? It’s the team down on the field that is winning. And they’re working very hard to win. But all of the fans are along for the ride. They’re in the audience. They’re happy. They’re excited. But you know something? The team doesn’t win because of the fans. The team wins because of what they do.

Friends, I don’t know what the Super Bowl this year is going to be like, but it might look like this. This is the first major League Baseball game that was played without anyone, any fans in the stands. It happened on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. It was a regularly scheduled game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox. Articles have been written about how this was so unusual. The Orioles won eight to two, and four of those runs came– I think it was in the third inning when a player for Baltimore hit a home run and the ball soared up into the seats … in complete silence. The players ran around the bases and there were no cheers. But the score is still counted because whether there’s an audience or not, the players still do what the players do and they do their best.

Friends, it’s a wonderful thing for the audience to be full. Prior to this, the lowest attendance at an Orioles game was 600 fans. But whether there are any fans in the stands at all, the players will still play the game and do their best because that’s what players do.

And the United Methodists– the early Methodists, they were here to play. They were here to work. They were extremely serious and committed. In fact, they were so serious and committed, people made fun of them because of how committed they were. In fact, the word Methodist was one of the words that were used to make fun of them because they had a method and they were going to work their method all year long.

Like it says in the Wesley Covenant Prayer, the prayer believes that God is wiser than you and I, and so they literally surrender. Lord, do what you will. Let me be full. Let me be empty. Put me to doing. Put me to suffering. Let me be employed for thee. Let me just sit and do nothing and wait for thee. Exalted, brought low. Lord, whatever it is, Thy will be done all year long. I freely and heartily yield all things to Thy pleasure and disposal.

And that’s what it meant to the early Methodists to be down on the field. They were players and participants in what God was doing, and they were ready to work hard at it for God. And they were ready to trust God even when times were hard and did not seem to be going their way.

Friends, I want to suggest that that sort of surrender is the essential part of a daily devotion. As one song says, “God is God, and I am not.” And in this surrender, that’s what we acknowledge.

Well, if you’re going to have a daily devotion, what time? Well, I recommend that it comes first. In fact, this was Jesus’s habit. We believe Jesus’s practice: Mark 1:35. “And in the morning, a great while before day, he wrote that went out to a lonely place. And there he prayed.

Your devotion needs quiet. Your devotion probably needs for you to be alone, so that you will not be distracted. This is a picture of the sun coming up over the sea of Galilea. Jesus might have actually seen the sunrise just like this, on this day described in Mark 1:35.

But before Jesus did other things, he surrendered and made things right with God. And took this time to inquire– and to consider what God’s will was … for this day. That’s at the heart of a daily devotion.

Here’s what I think is the other part. Let’s call this the question. Mark chapter 12:28, one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another. For some reason, people wanted to argue with Jesus! And seeing that Jesus answered them well, one of the scribes asked Jesus – which commandment is the first of all? The rabbis would have this kind of debate all the time. They would say, “If you had to choose between– breaking this commandment, or breaking that commandment, which one would you choose as the priority?”

Jesus did not fall to the trick of trying to choose one over another. Here was his answer: “The first is: hear, O Israel. The Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall – in other words, what you need to do – you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart. And with all your soul. And with all your mind. And with all your strength.”

And I think you could call this your daily emotion, because it may be possible for you to love like a machine. Or a computer. But the way God made people to love is with emotion. In fact, one author on the subject of change and getting things done says, “Emotion is the fuel. It’s the energy. To do what we need to do.” Let yourself feel. Let yourself feel the daily emotion.

And what follows that is, well, you could call it the daily direction. Where does God want us to direct our attention? The second is this, Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And then, he answers that question of priority, “There is no other commandment greater than these.”

These two statements summarize everything that God wants from us. Everything. And so, therefore, as you go through your day, your day of prayer, your day of work, your day of interacting with people, everything you do fits into these two. The emotion of love toward God, the direction of attention toward your neighbor.

And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is and there’s no other but He and to love Him with all your heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength and to love one’s neighbor as oneself – listen carefully here – is much more than anything that happens in the temple. It’s much more important than anything that happens in the church. It’s much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices, which was the heart of their worship. These two things are more important!

And Jesus says something very amazing to this man. And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, Jesus said to him, “You are not far. You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any question. Do you know why? His answer would have been the same. “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.” He had answered every possible question that they might use to trap him or debate him.

So here’s the thing about your devotion. There is a question, “How far are you from the Kingdom of God? What is your daily distance?” And the purpose of your daily devotional is to make that distance zero. It is analogous to taking the power cord and plugging it into the power of God. Because you take the time to have a daily devotion, there is no distance.

Let’s talk about that, however. How far to the Kingdom of God–? You see, when people think about churches, they have this question, “Does God want me to be a fan? Or does Jesus want me to be a follower?”

You see, fans have to make their way to the game, which is on Sunday. So you can see all the fans going down that wide level, easy highway to get to the game on time. And in the same way, I know on your way to church this morning, you saw all the traffic jam as everybody competed for the closest parking spot to get to church this morning … Or well, maybe it wasn’t like that as you were coming to church. But wouldn’t it be great if it was that way?

The road is always emptier if it’s the road of following. And our daily devotions … which help us to focus our emotion on God, focus our direction on our neighbor … help us to go down that road less traveled, that is the road of the follower rather than the fan. And that leads to the difference.

When you think about it, here you have thousands of people in the stands at a professional football game. They love the game. But there is a vast difference between a fan and a player. They view the game completely differently. They see what is going completely differently. And what makes that difference?

What makes that difference, literally, is their practice. You see, the fans show up on Sunday. And then they’re done for the week. But the players go out to practice every day. They spend more hours in practice than they ever spend on the field in the game. And day by day, friends, that difference seriously adds up.

There’s an old story. I don’t know if it’s true or not. The very famous concert pianist, Patirowski, was on the streets of New York City and was approached by a young man who had tickets to a performance. And he asked the conductor– he asked the pianist, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” You may have heard this. The conductor looked up in the sky, and he shook his head. And he looked at the young man, and he said, “Practice, practice, practice.”

Now, I have always known my entire life that I was never going to be a professional football player. I was never going to be a professional basketball player. And I’m sad to tell you I had to realize I was also never going to be a professional guitar player because I didn’t practice.

In fact, they’ve studied this. They’ve studied high school basketball teams. Typically, they’re divided into the first string, the second string, the third string. Psychologists actually studied this. What is the difference? And while some young men had natural talents, what the study showed is that the most profound difference was this: the young boys on the first string spent significantly more time practicing, more time than the young men on the second string. And the young men on the third string, literally, they never had a basketball in their hands until it was time to go to practice all week long. The more practice time, the more a person achieved. And the first string, they would come home from practice, have supper with their family, and they’d be out on the driveway shooting baskets until it was too dark to see. And over the years, thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of more practice made a better, more skilled player because the things that we do as regular practice add up.

And so you and I have to consider as a part of our faith … it’s a wonderful thing to come here to Church and hear a brilliant sermon. Someday, that will happen. But the truth is, friend, it’s when we practice our faith that our faith gets stronger. We can be inspired and worship. We can turn on Christian radio and listen to songs that move our spirits. But when we practice our faith, our faith, perhaps inspired by what we hear, our faith gets stronger.

You may have heard the name … Tony Dungy became the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, perennial losers in the National Football League. Within a year of him being there, they were in the playoffs again and again and again and again. And the team that he built– he actually got fired, but the team that he built won the Super Bowl the year after he got fired.

He was hired by the Indianapolis Colts and led them to the playoffs, immediately, the year he was hired. He soon led them to their first Super Bowl in 30 years. And he had one philosophy– by the way, Tony Dungy is a very deeply devoted Christian man, but his philosophy was this, my players are making too many decisions on the field during the game. And so he guided everything in practice so that a player would automatically understand what was needed and begin to do that before they even consciously understood what was needed on the field.

Here’s what Tony Dungy said. He said, “Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking; too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”

Tony Dungy simplified the offense from a giant playbook down to just a few plays. When they hiked the ball, the other team always knew exactly what they were going to do, but they did it so well. They did it so quickly. They did it so automatically that they were ahead of the other team’s attempt to stop them. And friends, this is what won Super Bowls. By doing what they needed to do, they got better and better at it until they became unstoppable.

So how can our church be a Christian church all year long? How can we practice our faith all year long? Well, simply, we need to get started. And as we do what God wants us to do, we will steadily improve and gain in strength.

So I want to suggest to you this reality. This year, shall we practice what we preach? Shall we do all week long what we talk about on Sundays? Why not? But it will start with our daily devotion. Again, whether you spend an hour or you spend 1 minute, will you begin by giving your life to God?

And from that devotional moment of surrender, whether it’s the Upper Room, or that you add to it, or something more challenging, will you build on that? And strengthen your faith to act not just as a Christian for an hour a week, but seven days a week listening to God and doing God’s will?

And what is God’s will? It’s that we let our hearts feel love for God, all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Love God and let God love you all year long. And this will build within our hearts and lives.

And as you listen to God, let God give you direction. Part of your devotion is to ask, as Ben Franklin did, “What good shall I do today?
“Lord, what do you want me to do today?”
And you know what the answer may be? “Just go out there and have a nice day.”

But if we begin by asking our Lord and Savior, “What’s my direction? What are the instructions for today?” – God will send us out to live in our neighborhood and to love our neighbor, and day by day, the benefits and the results will pile up.

Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, thank you that we can be in the audience, that we can hear a good sermon, that we can be inspired by the songs that we sing. Thank you, Lord, that we can sit and listen. But, Lord, I thank you even more that you want people to get into the game. That you invite us, not to be the audience, but you invite us to be on the team, to be the players, the people who are doing your will. And so, Lord, help us to show up for practice, to increase our skills, to increase our faith so that the quality of what we do as we do your will builds throughout the year. Help us, Lord, to use the tools to be faithful participants in all that you’re doing. And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS – January 9 – January 16, 2022

THIS WEEK’S CHURCH CALENDAR
Sun 1/9
9:00 am … WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:15 am … GATHERING in Fellowship Hall for Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC CANCELED FOR TODAY

2-4 pm … PASTOR DAVE & KIM at District Supt Carol’s Retirement Celebration, West Salem Trinity UMC, Mt Vernon.

Mon 1/10
10:00 am …JON KLINE Visitation – Funeral at 11 am.

Tues 1/11 — … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day
Wed 1/12 1-5 pm … PASTOR DAVE volunteers at Kinmundy Library

Thur 1/13 9:30-3:30 … PASTOR DAVE (pm) attends Quadrennial Sexual Ethics Training.

Sun 1/16
9:00 am … WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW —

  1. Upcoming Committee Meetings
    Mon, 1/31 11:00 am Missions
    Mon. 1/ 31 7:00 pm AD Council

    CORONAVIRUS – We
    – Encourage you to wear a mask while inside the church building
    – Encourage you to spread out, as social distance protects everyone.
    – Worship is prerecorded, so if you are feeling cautious or not feeling well, you can watch on your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking on the link on the church facebook page or the church blog at www.kinmundychurch.org—top right corner.

    OUR COMMUNITIES need encouragement, hope, and love. Give everyone an extra amount of care, forgiveness, and grace. People are weary and heart-sick with the weight of COVID-19. Everyone is having to make difficult decisions and weigh complex risk-reduction strategies for themselves and others. Allow some extra grace for everyone. Listen and encourage before judging and attacking. Our successful witness as Christians is mostly about how we treat people, especially the people we encounter outside of our churches and ministries.
  2. EVERY PERSON connected to our church remains a part of our church family and the history of our church forever. Sometimes people move away and over the years, join another church and we are not aware. We are going through the membership book alphabetically for Kinmundy first, listing four names each week for prayer: Larry Robb, Maurice & Linda Robb, Scott Robb and Karen Robnett
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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE – January 9 – January 16

OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE – January 9 – January 16

Please Pray For Our Neighbors struggling with Covid and related illnesses, at home or at the hospital, and their families.

Please Pray For Our Pastors:
David Kueker, our four Superintendents, and our Bishops, Frank Beard and Gregory Palmer. If you need Pastor Dave for prayer, please call or text his cell phone, or email him at dkueker@yahoo.com or on Facebook as David Oliver Kueker.

Prayer Request From Jesus: Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Please Pray For God To Bless Our “Care Card Ministry” Person Of The Week –
K Gerri Molina, Rm 403, Sellersburg Healthcare Center, 7823 Old State Road 60, Sellersburg, IN 47472

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
W Caitlin Engel, Her time is very near. Please pray for her mother, Misty, Julie Jones’ cousin.
W Julie & Sophie Pitts – Are not feeling well.
K Louise Cheatum – She is at Doctor’s Nursing Center.
K Gerri Molina – Waiting to hear back so she can move closer to home. Prayers for healing, to regain her strength and to get closer to home.

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs
Marti Ambrose, Rodney Armstrong, Doug Wilcoxen, Larry Hebron, Marie Dickerson, Ivan Linder, Rock Landes, Joyce Holley, Rick White, Susan Smith, Gabina Lira, Gene Simmons, Molly Monical, Russell Kilby, Shirley Miller, John Holzhauer, Aaron Guerrettaz (Jo Williams’ nephew, Jim & Nancy Guerrettaz’s son), Jim Guerrettaz, Quinten Butts, Kayley Wilhelm, Larry & Dolores Johnson (Kim’s Parents)

Please Pray For God To Bless Our Military Families –
Sgt Rusty & Nicole (Nolan, Michael, Lydia) Robb – US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland

Please Pray For Our Health Care System. Everyone is overworked, overstressed and understaffed.

Please Pray For Those Grieving For
– Jon Kline, K-A Class of 1967.
– Naomi Sullivan, Helen’s sister in-law
– Bertha Wright, of Ramsey, Special aunt of Jenny Waggoner.
– John Pitts, Odin, Wife Julie, and children, Sophia and Tanner. Mary Brimberry’s youngest brother.

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