PastorDarlene@ChristUMC.com's blog

April 2014

I recently read an article by Max Lucado entitled, “Lent and the Joy of Sacrifice.” In this article he talks some about his visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. He also mentions the death of his father who passed away in his late sixties. Max asks this question, “…for isn’t Lent all about life and death, sacrifice and renewal?" I believe so. He then ends the article with these words which I think are quite helpful and a great reminder about the season of Lent and Easter. He says, “We face our fears, we grow in our struggle, adversity deepens our faith. There is always something wonderful and surprising around the corner on earth and beyond. That is the sacrificial truth of Lent, the music that builds to the miracle of the Resurrection.” It is my hope and prayer that you would remember these words, especially, as you are challenged by life circumstances. Our ultimate hope is found in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross and the Resurrection.

Part of the message of Easter is all about Jesus and His death upon the cross. However, it doesn't end there. He also rose again from the dead with all power in His hands. He also has given us an opportunity to spend life in heaven with Him in eternity. All we need to do is to accept him or receive him into our hearts as our personal savior. If you have not done so before, then this is something that you need to do NOW!!! Jesus is waiting.

Remember that our mandate as Christians and as a church is to fulfill the Great Commission which leads others to eternal life. “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Mt. 28:18-20). I hope that you all have a blessed Easter but most importantly a blessed eternity.

I hope to see you at some if not all of our Holy Week and Easter services. Please pass the word out about our Children’s Easter Party on Saturday, April 12 and the Sunday School special activities/events for children on the following Sunday, April 13 which is also Palm Sunday (we will need children to parade the sanctuary waving the palms during one of the songs during morning worship). Be encouraged in Christ!! Happy Easter to all!!!!

Much Love and In His Service,
Pastor Darlene Robinson

March 2014

March 2014

Come on Spring!! Hurry up!!! Wow! I am ready for Spring! So…….think Spring! Think Spring! Think Spring! This winter has certainly taken a toll on all of us. So do not be surprised if you are feeling a bit depressed.

 

Lack of sunshine may cause some of us to enter “depressionville”. A lack of “SONshine” in your spiritual life will also cause the same thing, even worse. So take heart! Let the Lord shine through you, in you and all around you. Read your bible, study and continue to pray often. Spring will be here soon!

 

Wednesday, March 5th is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the start of our church season of Lent. Lent is a time to prepare our hearts and minds to receive the Easter message. Lent is a time of year to step back from our busy lives so that we may be more thoughtfully focused on what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We do so in imitation of Jesus who also, from time to time, withdrew to quiet places where he could be alone with God. We pray that you may find a place like this yourselves during this Lenten season.

 

In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to

set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. (Wikipedia)

 

It is our hope that during these 40 days we will all fill this time with reflection, repentance, sacrifice, prayer, study and praise. Isaiah 1:18a says, “Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord…”. Let us all set aside time in our busy schedules to set things right with the Lord. God loves us and wants to forgive us and to heal us. Also remember this as we move into the season of Lent: God is moving by His Spirit and the best is yet to come!!!

 

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson

January 2014

January 2014

Dear Christ UMC Family,

It is the year 2014!!!! Wow!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! Can you believe it? The future is now. We are not quite like the Jetsons with everyone using flying cars and having robots as maids but still the future is now. Since the future is now, we need to act like it. We can act like it by Rethinking Church. The possibility that the church in general will return to her former days is probably unlikely and so it should be in some things. The growing churches of today do not necessarily resemble churches of yesterday. There are new ministries and new ways of and to worship. That is the direction that both Christ UMC and Simpson UMC will need to move toward in order to grow.

Some aspects of the “world” are enthusiastic about the future, so why can't we also be enthusiastic about the future of our church and what God can do? The SyFy (Science Fiction) channel had a theme entitled, “Imagine Greater.” One cell phone company had as their logo, “ Believe in Something Better.” Oprah was even counting some of the blessings of the world with an article called “100 Things that are (actually) Getting Better.” Now if those outside the church, per se, can be enthusiastic, positive and hopeful, how is it that we, the people of God cannot do the same or believe even more? We, who name Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, must believe that God can and will act on our behalf especially as we are faithful to Him. So as to borrow and add to a slogan I heard a few months back from one of my favorite beauty products, “bliss”, let’s get and stay “Revived, Regenerated and Renewed in Jesus” in 2014!!

God has been doing some pretty awesome things here at Christ UMC. We look forward to the future in terms of what other wonderful and awesome things He will continue to do. Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard to build up the Kingdom of God in this place and time. May God continue to bless you all.

Please consider coming to the North Coast District United Methodist Church Leadership Academy 2014 on Saturday, February 1, from 8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m., to learn more about leadership roles and church growth. Please see the rest of this newsletter for more detailed information. The theme is “Willing to Risk…Willing to Follow Jesus”. And the question is…Are you? Are you willing to risk and willing to follow Jesus? I hope and pray so. The future of our church and your very lives depend upon it.

Happy New Year to you all!!!

On Jesus we will lean in 2014!!! (I know… kind of corny but I just couldn’t help myself!!!)

Be Encouraged In Christ!!!! and Believe in Something Better....with God!!!!! Pastor

Darlene Robinson

November 2013

"I am grateful for the things that you have done. Yes, I am grateful for the victories we’ve won. I could go on and on and on about your works because I’m grateful, grateful, so grateful just to praise you Lord. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart, it is gratefulness. Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful! Gratefulness is flowing from my heart. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart. It is gratefulness!" These are the lyrics from the song called, "Grateful" by Hezekiah Walker. As we are all hopefully blessed to see yet another Thanksgiving, we need to ask ourselves what issues are flowing from our hearts?

Are we counting our blessings or are we just dwelling on the negatives in our personal, professional and church lives. Are we spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and all the good news about God’s bountiful blessings or negative gossip? In the midst of challenges that we face in our lives and our church life, it is my hope and prayer that we would continue to focus on and count our blessings. Why? It is because God has been so good to all of us. Yes, there are stumbling blocks along the way but gratefulness should flow from our hearts. Why? It is because we know that even in the midst of the stumbling blocks, God is with us. I hope that you let gratefulness flow from your heart and from the words of your mouth instead of anything else that registers in the realm of negativity.

I am personally grateful and thankful not only to God but to all of you as well. Both churches have experienced major change and restructuring, yet even in this situation many of you have stayed the course and persevered. You have been faithful in your attendance, your giving, your participation, and most importantly, your prayers. God has seen your faithfulness and has heard your prayers. He has blessed both Simpson UMC and Christ UMC and will continue to do so especially as we continue to lift up the name of Jesus inside and outside of the walls of our buildings. I feel like the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the Thessalonians. I will end this letter with this passage of scripture and my deep gratitude not only for my personal family and friends but also to you, my church family and friends.

Second Thessalonians 1:2-4, 11-12 reads like this,

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Love Ya!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! Please remember our sick and shut-ins!!!!

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson