First United Methodist Church

Family Devotions – Week of June 1

Friday, June 5


Thursday, June 4


Wednesday, June 3


Tuesday, June 2

Check out this week’s Elevate playlist inspired by our fav songs from Warren Willis Camp!


Monday, June 1

It’s Movie Monday! Join us on Rightnow Media to watch the following selection.

Superbook: Season 2 – Episode 15

For the whole month of June, we will be learning about the story of Joseph. The Superbook series recalls this story in a different way. Enjoy! ?

On My Knees by Arnetta Rodgers, Gracious Hosts Pillar Leader

On My Knees by Arnetta Rodgers, Gracious Hosts Pillar Leader

Hard to get my “bearings…”
Where am I?… Who am I…?
How to make sense of it all…
Adrift…

On my knees…

Psalms 105:4 “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.”

Around the world… no “home” to “shelter in place,” to practice “physical distancing…”
Hunger…
No clean water… to drink, to wash my hands
Immigrants without a home… unwelcome
Children… empty bellies… crying
Everywhere: the “marginalized…”
Where to begin???

On my knees…

Who is my neighbor?
A cup of cold water… a crust of bread
Family Promise
Feed the Need
Community food drives
Save the Children
International Rescue Committee
Aqua Viva Serves
Water for People
Center for American Indian Health
Inua

Proverbs 19:7 “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done.”

On my knees…
On my knees…
On my knees…

“In quietness and trust is your strength.”  Isaiah 30:15

Amen

Family Devotion – Week of May 25


Friday, May 29


Thursday, May 28


Wednesday, May 27


Tuesday, May 26


Monday, May 25

It’s Movie Monday! Join us on Rightnow Media to watch the following selection.

Movie – “The Story of Joseph”

All month long, our church will be looking at the life of Joseph and how he overcame tremendous challenges because he believed in the grace of God. This movie is a great way for your child to learn about the life of Joseph.

Family Devotions – Week of May 18

Friday, May 22

Click the images above to download PDF.

Thursday, May 21


Wednesday, May 20

This week’s Godtime and weekly activity is to go along with the Bible stories and videos from Wednesday Night Worship.


Tuesday, May 19


Monday, May 18

It’s Movie Monday! Join us on Rightnow Media to watch the following selection.

Preschoolers
Boz the Bear – “RescueMan to the Rescue”

Our young ones always need to be taught how God wants us to be helpers. In this episode of Boz the Bear, we see how RescueMan saves the day!

Elementary Kids
“The Messengers”

Vision video presents the works of Jesus’ friends after he ascended to heaven. Your child will witness the Pentecost and the acts of the apostles.

I Am Groot – Devotion by Laura Paquette

Last year, I became a composter.

I’ve always thought, and said, yard work is for suckers. It doesn’t matter to me what the people driving by think of my lawn. But with young kids in the house, I began throwing out an enormous amount of food. Bananas, tainted by a brown freckle only visible through an electron microscope. The inch around the peel and the core of an apple. Rejected blackberries that don’t taste as good at our house as they did at that birthday party. As a result, I started trench composting. This just means, instead of throwing plant waste into the trash, I dug a hole in the backyard and buried it. That seemed easier to me than a pile. I don’t know why.

Eventually, I got tired of digging, so I did my research and started a pile. (It required 10 minutes setting up a 20 dollar mesh off Amazon. Lesson learned.) This led to me composting my eggshells, coffee grounds, Amazon boxes, and the 9000 flyers that come home from my kids’ school. Then I asked for a compost tumbler for my birthday. Had my first grubs move in, wept with pride.

It’s a weird hobby. But I love its flexibility. With zero-knowledge, I still reduced my weekly trash and improved my soil quality. My yard was the only one around with dozens of earthworms that summer. I can collect extra scraps from local apartment-dwellers, carefully balancing the “greens” and “browns,” grab coffee grounds from Starbucks and turn it daily to improve aeration and discourage ants. Or I can get busy and not go in the backyard for a month. Or two. Or three. Summers are hot here y’all. Either way, things will slowly turn to dirt. I can speed up the process and optimize the nutrients for my garden, or I can do nothing. Decomposition doesn’t depend on me. And that’s the kind of grace I’m looking for in my life. Lesson 1: Do your best, but trust that the world will spin on without you.

Compost was also responsible for my first ever avocado sprout. I have put dozens of those seeds in a glass with three toothpicks over the years. Dozens. And I am here to tell you, people who say they grew one that way are rotten, dirty liers. “Oh I grew one that way!” Leave a picture in the comments friend. Because I’m not buying it. But I chucked one mushy avocado in the compost bin, and next time I went to turn it, bam! Roots and sprout poking up. Lesson 2: If you are in the right environment, your growth will be sudden and astonishing.

I was thrilled. I put it in a Groot tiki-cup we have and moved it carefully to my windowsill where I could water it and talk to it daily. I watched videos about how to care for a baby avocado while ignoring my human children’s request for snacks. Grimacing, I cut the stem I had worked so hard for in half when it reached 6 inches so that more sprouts would grow, certain I had just Marie Antoinette’d my pride and joy. But a few agonizing days later, it did begin to regrow stronger. Lesson 3: What doesn’t kill you, etc, etc.

Finally, Groot was big enough to go outside. I picked a sunny place of honor right in front of the house so I could see it often and eventually our grandchildren could pick us avocados as they came in to visit. (Did I mention avocado trees are not fast growers?) I dug a hole and put up a little divider and mulched and prepped, then I half-buried the seed and let it be. Every day it grew. I was overjoyed.

Then that fall, about 3 months later, one of the neighbor kids kicked a soccer ball into it and snapped the stem. I know, right!? Devastating. I actually cried. It had been almost a year since the thing had sprouted. I was so very sad. I couldn’t even bring myself to move the remains or plant something else there.

Until New Year’s Day. I was loading the kids in the car, and I glanced over and saw a stem. And five leaves. I couldn’t believe it. Like its Marvel namesake: resurrected! To me, it signalled a season of rebirth and new growth. Forgiveness. Miracles. And it taught me my final lesson — give it time, don’t despair, and keep the friggin neighbors off my lawn.

~ Laura Paquette, Family Council Chair

May 14 – Devotion from Pastor David


So, I lost it the other night.  It was about 10:30 and I was in bed.  That’s really early for me!  I was super tired.  I had just drifted off to sleep when I was awakened by this thudding noise.  And yelling.  When it didn’t stop, I dragged myself out of bed to find out what was going on.  Evidently, child number 1 – I am not using pronouns to protect the innocent – child number 1 had turned of the wi-fi router to reset it.  Said it wasn’t sending out much signal.  Only child number 1 had turned it off without warning.  Which unexpectedly interrupted whatever child number 2 was doing on-line at the moment.  In response, child number 2 decided that banging on the door was the best way to express frustration with child number 1.  Which child number 1 countered by standing in the middle of the kitchen and yelling at child number 2.

Let’s just say I wasn’t terribly sympathetic.  I don’t have vast reserves of compassion on a good day.  After being woken up, my compassion tank was empty.  And truthfully, I’m pretty much done with this whole idea of wi-fi.  Spending hours and hours on-line.  Zooming and teaming and meeting.  So, I did the only thing a responsible wise parent would do.  I yelled.  I yelled and then I yelled some more.  And then just to drive home the point I yelled again.  Just because I could.  It wasn’t pretty.  Let’s just say the longer this season of pandemic goes on, the lower my tolerance for the petty squabbles and minor interruptions of life.

Thankfully, we have a Shepherd who cares.  In verse 5 of Psalm 23, David talks about God’s antidote to the irritations of life.  “You anoint my head with oil.”

Phillip Keller was born in East Africa and spent his life in wildlife management.  A man of deep, faith he wrote over 40 devotional books based upon his experience of being a shepherd.  In A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, Keller shares that a shepherd cares for the sheep by putting oil on their heads.  Turns out, summertime is fly time in sheep country.  Warble flies.  Botflies.  Heel flies.  Black flies.  And Deer flies.  They like to deposit their eggs in the damp membranes of the sheep’s nose.  If they are successful, the eggs hatch in a few days to form small worm-like larvae that crawl up the sheep’s nose and burrow into its brain. Okay, I made that last part up.  But they do burrow into the nasal cavity of the sheep and cause infection.  And the sheep just have to take it!  I mean, it’s tough to pick your nose with hooves!

Anyway, Keller says that an infected sheep will bang its head against trees, rocks, or brush.  They will roll and thrash around in the soil.  Sometimes they will go blind.  It is only after the shepherd applies an antidote of oil and Sulphur to the sheep’s head that the flies will abate.  And peace returns again.

Thankfully, we don’t experience the same kind of torment from actual flies.  But we do know the annoyance of the little irritations that are a part of daily life.  The petty squabbles and interruptions that become burning issues.  Consuming us and leading us to bang our proverbial head against the wall.   Especially during this time of isolation. We too need to be anointed with the oil of God’s Spirit.  Not just once but repeatedly.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.

In Luke chapter 11, it says – “…how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  And in John 14:15 it says – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth.”

In other words, we too can know the love and the peace and joy – not to mention the patience and the kindness and the self-control that comes from being in the presence of God’s Holy Spirit.  It is ours for the asking.  In fact, Paul says that the Holy Spirit is already in you (1 Corinthians 6:19).

How is your tolerance for interruption?  How well are you handling the petty squabbles?  As this season of pandemic wears on, are your weathering the minor irritations?  Or are you yelling.  And yelling some more?

I pray that this week you will encounter an even greater awareness of God’s Holy Spirit in you.  And that you will be filled with the love, the joy, the patience and the self-control that comes from being in the Spirit’s presence.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Family Devotions – Week of May 11


Friday, May 15

Click the images to download PDFs.


Thursday, May 14


Wednesday, May 13


Tuesday, May 12


Monday, May 11

It’s Movie Monday! Join us on Rightnow Media to watch the following selection.

Bibleman: Melting the Master of Mean, Episode 3 – Dr. Fear’s Almost Perfectly Disastrous Day

In our quarantined homes, the subject of fear can still be a discussion point for you and your kids. Bibleman shows a hero’s way of conquering fear.

May 8 – Devotion from Pastor David


Eight!  The world record for number of rattlesnakes held in one’s mouth at one time is eight!  Which is crazy!  I mean, I could see six rattlesnakes.  Maybe seven – tops.  But eight?  That’s just dangerous!  Did you know that the world record for fastest 100-meter hurdles wearing swim fins is 22.35 seconds?  Or that the most spoons ever balanced on one’s face is 17?  Clearly, I have been spending a little too much time on the web. 

So why would anyone want to hold the world record for most rattlesnakes held in your mouth?  Or the highest number of spoons balanced on your face?  My guess is significance.  We all want to want to leave our mark.  We all want to be known.  To feel like we are unique.  And that we are important.  Why else would we endure 37 weeks of little league sports for a plastic trophy worth $2?

I was thinking about this the other day.  I was reflecting on Psalm 23.  And I came to that verse that says – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5

Up until this point, Psalm 23 is all about green pastures and still waters.  About the comfort of the Good Shepherd.  And the protection of His rod and staff.   But now, the Psalmist turns to enemies.  I love that he does this.  The Psalmist has known failure.  He has lost.  His life has not been easy.  And he has enemies.  This is not a psalm of pious hopes and false platitudes.  This psalm is real.

Especially, if we consider the Hebrew word he uses for enemies,  Tsarar.  It means affliction or oppression.  Specifically, it refers to those things we struggle with internally.  Things like insecurity and confusion and addiction.  Things like loss and fear and weakness.  It’s right in the middle of these enemies that God prepares a table before us.

The location is crucial.  The Psalmist says that the banquet is prepared BEFORE US!  Not before Him.  Where the grass is green, and the waters are still.  And all enemies are vanquished.   Rather, God throws a lavish party in the midst of the mess.  God meets us right where we are.  Even in this season of pandemic.  We have always known insecurity and fear and loss.  Now, they are here all the more.  And right in the middle of it is God’s banquet table.

And the host is significant.  Our Creator, the designer, and sustainer of the universe, the giver of life, the source of all hope and joy and love, has prepared a feast for you!  Why?  Because you matter to Him!  Not because you can hang 17 spoons on your face or run the 100- meter hurdles in swim fins.  But because God made you.  He had you in mind from long ago.  He knitted you together in your mother’s womb.  He gave you life.  And ever since, God’s Spirit has been at work within you.  And that makes us significant!

That is something I need to hear right now.  And it’s something that our children and our grandchildren need to hear.  And it’s something that our neighbor needs to hear right now.  As this season of Pandemic drags on, it is becoming easier and easier to feel insignificant.  To feel powerless.  And afraid.  Author Elizabeth Gilbert says that of all the species on earth, human beings are the most anxious.  Because we have the greatest ability to envision our future.  How easy it is for us to project the suffering around us onto some imagined future for us.  What if, instead of focusing on what might happen, we focus on the banquet table before us?  What if, rather than dwell on our vulnerabilities we were to dwell on the presence of the Shepherd and our significance to Him?

Today, I invite you to sit down with God and take delight in the goodness that He has set before you.  That you may know His peace.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Reeves Center May Update

Despite the COVID-19 shutdown the Reeves Center continues to move forward! Orange County Planning and Zoning has approved the future ministries on this campus. The following ministries will be joining the TCA Preschool at the Reeves Center:
  • Counseling Center
  • Coffee Shop
  • Dance Studio
  • Foundry
  • Celebrate Recovery
This approval is very exciting as we continue to fulfill our vision in the Colonialtown Neighborhood!
We have also completed the landscaping around Building 200 as well as a pathway from the parking lot to the meeting space. For more information about the Reeves Center, contact Denise Meyer at [email protected].

Family Devotions – Week of May 4th

Friday, May 8

Click images above to download PDF.


Thursday, May 7


Wednesday, May 6


Tuesday, May 5


Monday, May 4

It’s Movie Monday! Join us on Rightnow Media to watch the following selection.

For Preschoolers and Elementary Kids:
Bible Force, Season 2, Episode 18 – Jesus Ascends Into Heaven

What happens to Jesus after the resurrection? Kids of all ages can enjoy and learn about what Jesus taught his disciples and what He has done for all of us.