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November 2021

 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he wi
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October 2021

  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. - I John 4:16 I have two dogs. I also have a cat, but I’ll write about her some other time. For right now, I want to write about my dogs. One of them specifically. If you’ve never owned a dog, you may wonder why I’m writing about mine for the church newsletter. If you have owned one, though, you know that there are dozens of things that a dog can teach you about the nature of God, the nature of humanity, and the nature of… nature I guess. They teach us about loyalty, and total devotion. They teach us about obedience and disobedience and how the two have outcomes and consequences. They teach us about persistence and endurance. And on top of it all they’re just magnificent creatures that show off the handiwork of the creator. One of my dogs is a husky with white fur and striking blue eyes. He’s a beautiful boy and everybody who meets him will tell you the same. He’s get

September 2021

  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Dear Markle UMC Family, As we have been continuing in our series The Images of Faith and looking at our stained glass around our beautiful church building, God has been showing me something deeper than just beautiful colors and great artistry. He has been showing me the deeper truths of living a life with Him. Each image points towards living a life of hope, faith, and love. It gets me thinking about how other things in life point towards deeper meanings. If we take a moment we realize we are surrounded by them like brand logos, emojis and gifs on our phones, and other symbols. But have you ever realized that each one of us is an image pointing towards something greater? In the very first book of the Bible

August 2021

  My wife and I recently planted a little redbud tree in our yard. We’ve wanted one for a while, so we decided that we were going to buy one and plant it just on the edge of a little woods that we have on our property. Unfortunately, when I bought the little tree, I didn’t realize that the main trunk of it was pretty much dead. Like, dead as a doornail dead. We talked about just returning it to the store and getting our money back to buy a different one, but it wasn’t that expensive so we decided instead to just plant it and see what happened. A day or so later, these little green shoots came up around the base of the dry, dead trunk and within a week they were six inches or so tall. The wait for a big, beautiful redbud tree might be a little longer, but, in the end, I’m glad we decided to keep it. I’m reminded of a passage from Isaiah 42 as I think about this little tree (and, if I’m being honest, a lot of the little baby trees we’ve been coaxing along at our house). It’s one of many