To what extent do people’s religious beliefs impact the way they live? That’s the question a new Pew Research Center study intended to answer. The research demonstrates that “people who are highly religious are more engaged with their extended families, more likely to volunteer, more involved in their communities, and generally happier with the way things are going in their lives.” While those conclusions probably shouldn’t shock us, it is interesting to see them validated by a scientific study.
It’s worth noting that they defined “highly religious” as:
· those who pray every day and
· attend religious services weekly.
The people this study had in mind were those people whose faith was an integral part of their daily lives —- NOT something they did when circumstances allowed or demanded it. Essentially, it’s those who took their faith seriously.
This distinction matters because it shows that a marginal or circumstantial faith really doesn’t make much of a practical difference in our quality of life. God doesn’t like to be put second (Exodus 20:3), and we shouldn’t expect him to bless a life where he’s not Priority #1. The results showed a clear correlation between what people believe is essential and the way they live on a daily basis. It can be easy for us to say that something truly matters, but far more difficult to actually live it out.
As James warns, James 1:22 and remember it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. There have been many occasions when I have fallen prey to such deception and I think most Christians would agree. That’s part of why it’s so vital to regularly ask God to help us see any disconnect between what our words and our actions say is important.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus had very little patience for those whose lives preached a different message than their words as clearly seen in Matt. 23;1-7. He doesn’t think much better of us when we make the same mistake today. While there will always be grace for those times we err, God has called us to a higher standard and a fundamental part of that is making sure that our obedience extends beyond words.
July 9 & 10 – Celebration Services – continuing to beat the “Summer-Slump”
July 10 – Sunday Evening Prayer gathering – drop in prayer between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM
July 11- 15 – V.B.S. combined with Blue Ridge Church
July 11-15 – D-Groups continue to meet – respective times – and places
July 23 – Potluck Club dinner after evening Celebration Service
· Patrick Fleenor – had a serious mishap with a firecracker July 4th. Following surgery there is a lot to be encouraged about. Continue to pray for complete healing of Patrick’s left eye.
· The Marshall’s were back from Columbus, OH with some answers to Kiki’s health concern — for this we praise God
· Tom Detore’s brother Dan received sad news recently. Some months back Bro Tom went to Nebraska and they harvested some stem cells and gave them to Dan. Things looked good for awhile. Sadly, there has been a turn of events. Tom and Dan were always together – and Bro Tom’s heart is beyond sad at this time. Please lift Tom and Eileen up in prayer in these days
· Our D-Groups will have a wonderful – joyful – victorious summer – encouraging each other – growing in faith and love for one another and Jesus.
· The Gospel as lived out and proclaimed by our lives/words will make a huge difference in Northeast Columbia
· There will be a great turn out of Children at the Combined VBS this coming week at Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge Church
6:30 – 8:30 PM
Preschool (3 yr old) – 5th Grade (11 Yr. old)
5 Reasons you don’t want your child to miss VBS next week
· Great Music – Fun…singable songs you child will love
· Make new friends & meet others friends they had in school last year
· It’s FUN FUN FUN – games…crafts…snacks…stories and more
· Our unique method of story telling helps children remember the Bible stores
· Your child is precious! We promise to help every child know just how precious he/she is to God
Please read Paul’s prayer Eph 3:14-21, before you attend our Celebration Service this weekend —-
Of all Paul had going for him – I find it interesting that he relied so much on prayer. John Bunyan said “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed”…Wisdom to be learned by me and you….What I also find unique this weekend is that we will be looking at Paul’s prayer the same day we have our July Sunday Pray Gathering (July 10 – drop in prayer from 5 PM – till 7:00 PM)…
Paul is still caught up thinking about the Great Mystery of God – how through Calvary, God brought the Gentiles into His family —– so taken back by God’s love he falls to his knees in prayer….
Taking personal inventory today – would you say that Christ is happy at home in your heart? In his prayer in v17 he uses an interesting term – it is agricultural – ROOTS – thinking out loud – is our spiritual roots as deep as our physical height…in other words do my spiritual roots go down 6’1” in God’s love?
Please consider the last part of v18..how WIDE…how LONG…how HIGH….how DEEP is God’s love?
Every Tuesday afternoon – Doug/Jackie – Annie and I – meet at the church to pray. After a period of visiting – we get down to the business at hand. If you have any specific request you would like us to pray – please text…email…instant message – any of us and we will be privileged to partner with you over your concern.
Just received word that Karen Tompkin’s ex-husband, and the father of her children, Aaron and Erica died in China. Please be in prayer for Aaron and Erica as they mourn the passing of their father.
Discovery Giving June 2-3, 2016:
General Fund $2411
Mission – Panama $1.00
Eph 4:1-10 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all,vwho is over all, in all, and living through all. 7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift[a] through the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.