After God had called Abram to leave his country and his father’s house, we read in Genesis 12:8, “From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.” Bethel literally means “House of God” and Ai literally means “ruins.”
Worshipping the Lord and calling on His name will keep our lives from ruin. That is why we need to be people of worship. If you do not have a personal worship space, I encourage you to build an altar of worship. It could be a quiet room in your home, on your patio, or under a tree (maybe not this time of year!!). If we do not have an altar of personal worship, we will not be able to really join in worship when we gather as a congregation. Some people do not enter into worship at church because they have not learned to worship alone with God.
When famine came Abram lost trust in God and left Bethel (House of God). He went to Egypt (which represents the world) and almost came to ruin, as we read about in Genesis 12:10-20. It is only when Abram returned to the altar at Bethel that his life was back on track – as we discover later on in Genesis 13:1-4.
Sometimes when famine comes (hard and lean times in our lives) we tend to trust other sources rather than God. That is what Abram did! Instead of remaining at the altar and trusting in God he fled to Egypt. When he finally came back, he returned to the same altar and once again called upon the Lord. We can discover about all the trouble he went through and the lie he told as he went on this little detour. The wonderful thing is that God did not cast him off but graciously received him again as he humbled himself before this altar of personal worship.
I would challenge you to begin making personal worship of God a priority in your life – spending regular time worshipping and meeting alone with the Lord every day. It is only then that you will be empowered to worship God in times of corporate worship with our church “family.” And, it is then as you worship the Lord and call upon His name that even in hard times your life will be kept from “ruin!”
Pastor Glen will continue the sermon series, Ephesians: Our Identity and Purpose! His sermon this Sunday is “Do You Sing?” based upon Ephesians 5:19. Please read this text in preparation for worship.
The psalmist declared, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Do you love to sing? Come join our Hope Choir to celebrate the Thanksgiving and Christmas season together in song! Our first practice is THIS SATURDAY at 10:00 a.m. at the church. All are welcome!
Adult Sunday School
Our Adult Sunday school class will meet this Sunday immediately after worship in the large Sunday school room. Please join Deborah Kleinschuster and others for a wonderful time around God’s Word!! We will be continuing a study of the Gospel of Luke. This Sunday we study Luke 3: What does it mean to be baptized with fire? Please bring your Bible!!
Men’s Bible Study
Our Men’s Bible Study meets each Tuesday morning from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. at Panera Bread in the Community Room. We are currently studying the letter of James. Come on out men . . . and bring a friend!!
Tithes and Offerings
An offering box is available when you enter or exit the sanctuary. Additionally, online giving opportunities are available on the website.
Prayer Concerns and Praise Reports
If you have any concerns you would like to add to the Prayer Concerns and Praise Reports list or give an update, PLEASE contact Janet Coiner (540.447.0918) by THURSDAY at NOON!! Thanks so much!!
September Financial Report
Offerings: Monthly: $13,920 YTD: $141,828.60
Expenses: Monthly: $20,549.95 YTD: $140,765
We have also received monies designated for our capital campaign and restricted giving. In August we received $70.00 for restricted giving and $960.00 in our capital campaign.
Cindy Roberts (11/16); Kathy Doyle (11/17)