Not Too Late To Renovate

Not too late to Renovate

Not too late to Renovate

My house just turned six years old which is pretty new for a house.  Even so, there are plenty of things that we could do to our house.  There is always, always, always, something to be done. Just this morning I found my herb garden table broken and half of it on the ground.  We just had the patio and furniture pressure washed so now I notice the weeding that needs to be done and cutting back some shrubs.  Within the month the kitchen faucet was replaced due to the handle continuously falling off.  Since we have had a revolving door on our house the moving of furniture has caused some of the walls to already need painting.  Sometimes the list of things to do gets so long we become overwhelmed and do not know where to start!

Did you know that God describes us as houses in the Bible?  We are the temple for the Holy Spirit, so that makes sense.  1 Corinthians 3: 16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2: 5, “...you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” So if we are God’s house, are there some things we need to do?  Do we need to renovate?  Is the list so long and overwhelming that we do not know where to start?

While some of our “outsides” need renovating, all of our “insides” need renovating. God is most concerned with our insides - our souls.  Jesus wants us to make a “to do list” of ourselves.  All of our actions flow from the inside so how can we be a good witness to Him if we do not regularly do renovations?  It is time to make an examination of our heart.  Do we have anger?  Do we have bitterness?  Do we have jealousy?  Do we have lust? Do we have unforgiveness?  And the list goes on.  Do we have anxieties?  Do we have concerns?  All of us have times that we do not feel strong. That is why we all need renovations. 

Here is some good news: You have a foreman who will help you with this renovation. You will be restored!!  Peter 5: 10, “The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

As all renovations we will start with cleaning out and getting rid of. There are lots of things filed away in us that we need to look at and decide if we keep it or let it go. Then file it away - let go and let God have it! After all of the old dirty part has been torn away there we are buried in the mess - a child of God. When we get down to the foundation, it must be laid on Jesus. The foundation has to be right!  When we start with Jesus our foundation will be strong and steadfast! Renovations are hard work but exciting!  The finished product will be beautiful!  Ecclesiastes 3: 11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time...“

All of us need a renovation and many of us have needed one for a long time. Like houses, there will always, always, always be things to fix.  It is never too late for a renovation. Your name is already on the book, and all you have to do is just show up!

Renovations

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I continue to hear the word, “renovate” at church which is the name of the Pine Valley Lenten Spiritual Journey with a sermon series, small groups, and a study book. When I think of the word renovate I think of a very hectic time but because I can visualize things, for me, it was exciting also.

I remember riding in my Daddy’s sailboat as a little girl telling him that one day I was going to live on the waterway here. I even told him it would have a small sandy beach because I have to get in the water! God brought that dream to reality when we pulled into a yard full of old, big live oak trees with moss in them.  Inside the house, some cosmetic changes were needed.  The final walk was down to the water where there was one small sandy beach - on our property!

The kitchen consisted of an eat-in area, a galley kitchen with tiny cabinets and a formal dining room. Unless you sat in the eat-in area you could not see the view of the water.  We talked with our builder and decided we wanted to make some changes. Make things better.  Because we trusted our builder we let him guide us with his plans.  There would be more than a monetary price for this renovation - it was going to be hectic. Walls were going to have to come down.  If they were load bearing walls additional changes had to be made to get support from somewhere else.  We had to be patient and listen to our builder.  The frustrations of being under construction caused tears several times.  When we saw the finished product we were thrilled.  It was better than anything we could have imagined.  We were able to stand anywhere in our kitchen and see the water and the beautiful live oaks. That space entertained family and friends for 11 years and it was well worth the trouble. 

As I think back on that renovation I believe it is not much different than what God wants to do with us.  He wants us to be able to see and appreciate Him in everything!  Sometimes in order to have a more full and rich life we have to make changes.  God wants to renovate us.  He is our builder and He has the best plans.  We can trust Him!  Jeremiah 29: 11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”  If we want the best life we can have it is time to submit to God.

Submitting to God is simply letting Him have His way in our life. We are choosing not to make things happen for ourselves, but letting God control our situations.  We come under God’s authority, wisdom and power.  In other words, we are giving up control.  God has to tear down walls to rebuild us.  This can be painful and difficult and there may be tears but healing will follow. We have to realize Who our load bearing wall is! God will guide us to that place where we will be filled with joy and thanksgiving in the Spirit!   Philippians 1: 6, “...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

When the renovation is complete, it will be beautiful!  It will be better than anything we could have imagined.  We will see God all over it!  Ecclesiastes 3: 11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” 

Are you ready for renovations? Pick up a “Renovate” book and join a small group.  We are told when two or three are gathered together, the presence of the Holy Spirit, will be there. Matthew 18: 20, “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” Make plans to meet with your Builder - He has the best plans for you!  Better than anything you can imagine!

Wrapping People in Prayer

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Wrapping People In Prayer

A few weeks ago PVUMC got an email from a lady who works with hospice in New Mexico. While visiting family in Massachusetts over Christmas, she learned of our prayer shawl ministry. She was wanting to purchase one for herself because “it would be an awesome feeling knowing all the prayers would be with me as I pray with my patients.” She went on to say it would remind her that God would give her the words for her end of life patients. Often times she is the last person they see, and lots of them pass with no family or friends there, she explained. She prays for them to “accept Jesus in their heart.” She went on to say she would like to donate to the prayer shawl ministry because she would like to pray for her patients with the prayer shawl on her shoulders knowing that would be a wonderful blessing to all.

When our prayer shawl group heard of this they were thrilled! They chose three prayer shawls and 5 prayer pockets ( 4x4 square that have a cross and a card that explains we are praying for them) and sent them to New Mexico. They told their new friend to pick her favorite shawl and give the others to someone in need of God’s blessings. God is carrying these blessings over 2000 miles! What a wonderful ministry!

I do not know how to knit and I can only imagine the tangled yarn and knots that I could create! What I do know is that a pattern is picked, yarn is chosen, the correct tools are used and then the knitting is done. It is not thrown together haphazardly. This shawl is truly a labor of love. Much the same as Psalm 139: 13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” We were not thrown together either. The Lord carefully thought out all of the tiny details in our lives. He knit us together just as He wanted us making us each special and unique. He gave us talents and gifts that we could use to bring glory to Him!

After the prayer shawls are made they are put on the Altar and prayed over and blessed by our pastors. Colossians 2: 2, “I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ Himself.” Paul prays that the believers in Colossae will be encouraged by having their hearts knit together in love. I pray the recipients of these shawls, prayer pockets and baby blankets will be encouraged knowing these were knit together in God’s love and prayed over by believers! These shawls are given to any who are in need of comfort due to illness, grief or other times of transition.

Think through the talents the Lord has given you. For more information on the prayer shawl ministry, contact the church office.

An added bonus - it has been found that knitting provides the health benefits of lowered stress due to the rhythmic and repetitive action having a calming effect.

The IGNITE "And the Winner Is" Show

[NOTE: This blog is about the IGNITE fundraiser held March 2 and 3, 2019 to raise money for the Music in Mission Trip.]

As a newbie at PVUMC I decided to go to Ignite’s fundraiser, “And The Winner Is…”. I am so glad that I went, overwhelmed at the amount of talent our youth has.  I found myself thinking about our sermon series, “our best us.” Then I thought about my childhood and my girls growing up in the church.

Being our best takes practice and perseverance.  I look at these youth enjoying what they are doing and know they know this does not come without practice!  I found myself thinking of the parents who helped, carpooled, worked on costumes, etc. for their youth to be a part of this event. I am grateful for their sacrifice and that the youth get exposed to a variety of different activities.  This encourages their gifts and passions. Even if their passions seem unrealistic, we have no idea where God will lead them!

We are reminded in Hebrews 10: 24 - 25 that our youth need their church  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  They need models and mentors and what better way than working on a fundraiser together! Psalm 71: 17-18, “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.”  I believe that covered the Tutti Frutti Tots to the Gimme the Willies! [names of the groups performing in the show]

To Grammy and Oscar, I was so Happy that I saw the show I Was Over The Rainbow!  You Are The Champions!  What a wonderful fundraiser to benefit your mission trips - You will be On The Road Again spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ!  Thanks Ignite, PJ, parents, mentors, band, backdrop, sound, lights, video, AV, stagehand and all of the many talented persons involved for a wonderful afternoon!  Thank you for letting God use you and may God continue to bless you and your talents!

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IGNITE Fundraiser on March 3, 2019. All performers concluding the show with “We Are The World”