The worst is never the last

praymore“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done… His peace will guard your hearts and minds  as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6, 7b

Greetings, my Trinity UMC family!  My two-week vacation, which I spent in the loving company and care of family and friends in Texas, began on March 28th.  It was a time blessed by rest and acceptance, by joy and laughter, and by the kind of peace-filled contemplation which serves to nurture and nourish the spirit and soul.  In that time, in that place, I felt God’s set-tling and strengthening Presence gently yet faithfully reminding of and granting newness and life.

As I shared in my April 17th sermon, when I had begun my journey back to Mount Prospect, whilst inching forward in the security line, I saw what looked like an oversized sparrow com-fortably grooming itself, surrounded by passengers waiting to board, in one of the gate areas.  “Do many birds make their way into this airport?” I asked the agent inspecting my laptop.  She looked up at me and smiled.  “That bird has been in this airport for over a year.  When we first saw it, it was just a small sparrow.  But since nobody can catch it, it has tripled in size!  With food, shelter, and none of its’ usual predators, it now seems happy to stay.”

How often we, too, find ourselves in unfamiliar and even threatening places.  Life with all of its conflicts, contradictions and outright threats defiantly confronts most of us, every day.  And there are times when we not only yearn for, but actively seek escape…only to eventually realize the unexpected, God-given blessings of our circumstances.  My spiritual journey with my Savior has taught me, over the years, that we are never really able to see what shall be.  And that realization, experienced again and again, has also taught the lesson that the Spirit of the Risen Christ, who does know what shall be, ensures our continued provision and victory.

The Word of God invites – implores – us to cease our fretting, in order to pray with faith and trust.  Allowing the Holy Spirit to simply settle us in our Savior’s presence enables us to receive what only God can provide.  Within and with those of us who know and trust Him, the God of our salvation grants us confidence, strength and peace as our Good Shepherd always leads us safely along His Way.  We continue in this 2016 Easter season blessed with the knowing that only God has the last word!  Christ is risen!  Christ is risen, indeed!

See you on Sunday!  And please invite/bring someone with you to join us in worship.

Much gratitude to God and many thanks to the Rev. Dr. Mosby and Tyrone Mitchell, Sr. for the sharing of their ministries during my vacation.  The Rev. Dr. Mosby is a longtime colleague and servant of God.  Having heard nothing but praise for her presence and gifts, I pray for God’s continued blessings in her life and ministry.  Additionally, my brother in Christ, Ty Mitchell, Sr., along with the choirs of Trinity proved to be blessings to the Trinity UMC Family as they shared their musical ministries to the glory of God.  Thanks to and for all!

On April 17, we celebrated and prayed for our youth who attended the 4th Annual “Hide and Seek:  Straight Talk About God” Confirmation Retreat, conducted again at the Stronghold Castle in Oregon, IL this weekend.  Christ’s Church continues from generation to generation.  Thus, I give thanks for the young people committed to preparing for their life-long journeys with Christ, the Lord and for their families and the friends committed to walking with them.

On April 17, at the Pastor’s Bible Study Class, we began a new course of study:  “THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT”.  Jesus Christ preached with the authority of the promised coming King, and in this momentous sermon, the Lord taught about the wonder of spiritual transformation, about how the Holy Spirit works in supernatural and life-giving ways in believers’ hearts and minds and communities.  I encourage you to join us in this challenging and renewing journey – I believe it will be a great blessing to us all.

I also encourage you to be especially attentive to all of the upcoming activities at Trinity UMC.  Remember to support the church with your talents, resources, and prayers.  We need all that God has blessed you to share!

Reverend Colleen Norman

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