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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Peace in the Fray

I’ve discovered a new (new to me) cooking technique. Infusion. Not marinating, but infusion. There’s a difference. Infusion is designed to get into the food or drink, to become a part of it. My husband used a butter infuser on the Thanksgiving turkey, and it was so juicy and tender, it just about fell off the bone!


I once had a pitcher with an infuser. The difference between that pitcher and the average, ordinary pitcher was what was inside (that’ll preach!). The infusion pitcher has an empty cylinder in the middle with a little container that slides in & out. You can put fruit in the container, slide it into the pitcher, add water or your favorite beverage, and voila! - the flavor of the fruit "infuses" the liquid in the pitcher! The liquid takes on the "flavor" of the fruit.


Before Jesus left this earth, He infused the disciples with His Peace:


"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled,

and do not let them be afraid.”

John 14:27


You may be thinking “that’s easier said than done! Have you seen the trouble in this world?” But look at the verses again. Jesus didn’t just say “go in peace” or “I pray you find peace.” No, Jesus GAVE them peace. But not just any peace, HIS peace. That’s not the same kind of peace that you find in the world. A world that is so bent on self-help that everybody is a guru on mindfulness now. A world that is so consumed with instant relief that we medicate, over-medicate, and self-medicate in harmful ways. Our hearts can become troubled and fear sets in.

But Jesus has given us His peace. Not one of those “Peace be with you” phrases that we tell folks. Jesus said that He was leaving His peace with us. As a permanent part of our spiritual DNA. When we give our life to Christ, His Spirit infuses us with His peace. He fills us, permeates us, to the point that we take on His peace. We're infused by the Holy Spirit.

The more time we spend in the Lord's presence, the more peace we’ll have. After all, who better to give us peace than the One who is the Prince of Peace…


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6


Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the Presence of God! Spend some time in the Presence of the Holy One, and let His peace infuse your heart and your soul. Then everywhere we go, the world will see the peace we have in Him. And it will draw others to Jesus, bringing Peace, the Prince of Peace, to the world! What an Advent!

This Sunday is the second Sunday of the Advent season. A time of peace. A time when we remember the birth of our Savior, the long-awaited Prince of Peace.


I invite you to join us for worship this Sunday, as we continue the Advent Sermon Series: The Heart of Christmas. This Sunday’s message is: Peace in the Fray. You can worship in-person or you can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


Christmas Cantata! This Sunday, December 4, during worship, experience the sounds of Christmas like never before. There will hymns, a festival of carols, our beautiful organ on full display, and Holy Communion! And of course, a word from the Lord! To God be the glory!


Advent Bible Study “The Heart of Christmas”continues this Wednesday. We will talk more about experiencing the peace of God in a noisy world. Join us for a potluck dinner at 5:45 and stay for the discussion on finding peace. If you’re coming for the discussion only, it starts at 6:30pm and ends at 7:30.


Let it Be Christmas! Do you have your tickets yet? This is a truly unique musical performance that uses the music of The Beatles to tell the Christmas story! And it’s written and produced by our very own Rocky Marlowe! My husband, Dr. Antonio Settles is the narrator, some of our praise team and musicians are performing, and yours truly will be part of the choral finale! The Dec. 20 show is sold out, but tickets are still available for Dec. 21. Let’s show our support and celebrate together. For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/let-it-be-christmas-tickets-369237749047?aff=ebdssbdestsearch


Schoolhouse Project is still getting press coverage. The Kelly Clarkson Show reached out for an interview! I don’t know yet where it will lead, but they saw the story on the KSDK website. I guess good news really does travel fast! God continues to use us to keep the hope of past generations alive. Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!


CDCSurvey As part of the church’s participation in the Children’s Defense Fund cohort, each congregation is being asked to complete a survey on the ministries of your church. It’s pretty generic and shouldn’t take long to complete. The surveys will be compiled by an independent company and the overall results will be compiled for the cohort. Please click the link and complete the survey at your earliest convenience. The deadline for surveys is December 15. There will also be an opportunity to complete a paper copy at the Wednesday night Bible study, and after worship on Sunday, Dec. 11. But if you complete it electronically, there is a gift card incentive! Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UnitedMethodistGreenTrailsCDF


Today, may you be INFUSED by the Prince who brings Peace!


Blessings,

Pastor Linda

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