“Listen to your heart!” How many times have you heard that? Well, I got to do it recently. During a doctor’s visit, I saw and heard my heart beating. It was amazing! I mean, I knew that it was beating because I’m still here, but to see it in black and gray, pumping in and out, in and out. Then to hear the echo sound, “wha, wha, wha.” At least that’s what it sounded like to me. I was so in awe that I teared up.
I told the technician that I was a pastor and that this Sunday I was preaching about love and the heart. And who knew (but God!) that I would get a right-on-time example of listening to my own heart.
It fascinated me to see her do the ultrasound from my clavicle, my chest, and my stomach, being careful to meticulously capture all 100 pictures. I understood the chest scan, but my neck and stomach? She told me that if she could see my heart from various views, it would give the doctor a clearer picture of what was going on.
Well, that’s all I needed to hear! She could see my heart from my stomach, from my chest, and from my neck. Amazing! Church, can people see your heart wherever you are, wherever you go? From whatever angle? Can people see it when you’re shopping or at work? What about when you’re serving or when you’re giving?
Sixty years ago this week, an English rock band hit the shores of America and the Beatles soon turned the music world upside down. In July, 1967, John Lennon (partnering with Paul McCartney) wrote a song, All You Need is Love. The simple lyrics emphasized the simple ideal that love can overcome anything. All we need is love. But what is love? It’s such an elusive thing, isn’t it? The Apostle John saw it this way:
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
1 John 4:16b
What is love? God is love. So, if all you need is love, and God is love, then all you need is God. See what I did there?
Join us this Sunday as we celebrate LOVE! Not just because Valentine’s Day is approaching, but because the season of Lent is approaching. A time of contemplative reflection, when we look inward and discover how we can reflect the love of God outward. See you there!
Prayer and Condolences Please keep Dave and Lynne Thorpe in prayer. Dave’s sister passed last week after a long illness. May the comfort of the Comforter bless and keep the family in their sorrow.
Book Drive is going strong! Our service goal this year, as in past years, is to partner with Union Memorial UMC to collect as many books as we can and donate them to Pierre Laclede School! The books we collect should either be written by African Americans or written for African American students. The students are elementary and middle schoolers, and they especially need books for the older boys. The collection has started and will continue to the end of February. You can also order online and have them shipped to the church. God bless you for your generosity!
Souper Bowl on this Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday! This is a fundraiser for our youth, so bring your favorite soup or chili to share and have a good time eating, fellowshipping, and showing your support for our awesome youth group!
Going Red! Since we’ll be celebrating love, and since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, and since February is American Hearth Month (get checked!), and since both Super Bowl teams have red in their colors, let’s just go red this Sunday! No matter what team you’re rooting for, or if you’re doing it for love, sport your favorite red outfit and let’s fill the sanctuary with red and have our own worship tailgate party!
Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day this year, Feb. 14. I can think of no better way to express our love to the Lord and to receive His love back than by the celebration of ashes being imposed on our foreheads. A visible reminder of our humility and Jesus’ great love for us. We will do something new this year, drive-thru ash imposition! From 11:00am-1:00pm I will be on the parking lot praying and imposing ashes on anyone who stops by. Then we will have Ash Wednesday Service at 6:00pm with Holy Communion and ash imposition. Feel free to come to one or both!
Women’s Gathering Don’t forget to sign up ladies! This year we will once again gather as a community of women for the IF:Gathering women’s conference! It will be Friday evening, February 23, and Saturday, February 24. Spirit-filled worship, engaging speakers, and a little sister-time are on the agenda. Registration is $15 and college students are free! We also have a scholarship available. Sign up at the Welcome Center or click here to register: https://watch.if2024.com/register/join-group/?groupid=3346
Vision for 2024:
A House United:
Strong Faith, Strong Families, Strong Future!