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Something to Think About 4-6-20 Devotion

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“When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave the two disciples a task. He said to them, ”Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.” - Matthew 21:1-2

Perhaps your experience is like mine. When I sense that God is telling me to do something, I start coming up with reasons I should do something else. What if someone should ask why I am doing it? What if I don’t feel equipped to do what God asks? Is there something in your life that God is asking you to do today? Can you answer like Isaiah, “Here am I; send me!”

O Lord, give me the discernment and the courage to go where you send me. And give me the knowledge and certainty that you are with me every step of the way.

Rev. Keith E. Lawder
President/CEO
770-449-6726
877-220-5664
404-906-1425 (Cell)
klawder@gumf.org
Rev. Stephen A. Waldorf
Regional Vice President
478-738-0048 #115 (Macon)
478-747-0042 (Cell)
swaldorf@gumf.org


 

Posted: April 6th, 2020 | Permalink

A Magical Meditation - April 2020

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By Rev. Steve Waldorf, GUMF Regional Vice President

Magic tricks, be they sleight of hand tricks or mysterious appearances conjured up by a magician, seem to amaze most all of us. They cause us to observe, think, and then decide whether to believe or not what has just happened in front of our eyes.

The allure of magic captured me quickly when I was a young child. I was mesmerized as I watched magicians so skillfully captivating me with objects that they seemingly brought out of “thin air!” During one summer birthday party, a magician amazed us with his tricks with birds appearing from his coat pockets, coins falling out of our ears, and words appearing on cards that quickly disappeared! From then on, I always wanted to learn how they did it, but alas, no magician gives away their secrets! I watched every TV show, and when the circus came to town, I impatiently waited for the magicians to perform mysterious sleights of hands and amaze their audiences!

Imagine my amazement earlier this year when my wife, Sally, presented me with an unexpected gift: tickets to see the magicians Penn and Teller, and David Copperfield! Imagine all that sleight of hand in one evening!

I discovered my Christian faith is like my excitement for magic. If I am not firmly grounded in my faith and love for God, it is easy for me to fall for the allure of Christianity and not develop a deep relationship with God. I can easily experience an emotional high when I sing and praise Him alongside fellow believers in a worship service. If I want my faith to take root and grow, and for my knowledge and love for Him to flourish and blossom, I must develop a deep, abiding love for God.

What is crucial to me in my walk with the Lord is to seek Him, prepare my heart when coming before Him, and to give God the time to allow Him to speak first. I am embarrassed to admit that after all these years of calling Him Lord and Savior, it is still so easy for me to put Him second or third in my life.

As you study and pray this week, as you express your opinions and concerns about our denomination, may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is for us. May you experience the love of Christ, even though at times it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God as promised in Ephesians 3:18-19.

Posted: March 31st, 2020 | Permalink

He Said It! I Did It! Lesson 2: Give Generously, Yet Wisely

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In 2005, Georgia United Methodist Foundation Board of Trustee Charles W. Buffington Jr. and his son, Charles W. Buffington III, did what many aspire to do: They co-authored and published a book. “He Said It! I Did It!” takes readers on a journey to financial freedom that results in a life of abundance that honors God.

In the second lesson of this ten-part series, the Buffingtons provide great takeaways regarding the whole concept of generosity. They also emphasize that no amount of money is worth creating family strife. The following text reveals eight practices to help you and your family give generously, yet wisely.

Lesson 2: Give Generously, Yet Wisely

  1. Commit to tithing. You will be blessed for it.
     
  2. Give without expecting anything in return.
     
  3. Give wisely. Avoid setting dangerous precedents and damaging relationships because of unwise giving. Sometimes you can hurt people more than help them by giving them money.
     
  4. Establish criteria (not strings) for your giving. Having criteria for your giving sets personal standards that keep you from creating problems for yourself and your family.
     
  5. Develop an abundance mentality. Give generously knowing that there is more where that came from because God will continue to provide for you. Nothing makes you realize how truly blessed you are more than giving.
     
  6. The act of giving truly impacts people’s lives, even when it is not apparent to you. Your contributions could be helping a family create a secure home and generations of abundance and success.
     
  7. Get to know God, and giving will be easier.
     

Study the following Scriptures for a deeper understanding of what God says about these subjects:

Tithing

Malachi 3:10-12: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

Giving to Others

Psalm 112:5: Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.

Psalm 112:9: He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.

Abundance

Luke 6:38: Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Posted: March 31st, 2020 | Permalink

Do Good! April 2020 Calendar

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Jesus practiced radical hospitality. And you can too! In 2020, GUMF will publish a monthly calendar with ideas on how you can "Do Good!" To sign-up to receive the monthly e-calendar, email ddurie@gumf.org. You may also read the ideas below, download the April 2020 calendar or view daily posts at www.facebook.com/gumf.org.

Please note: this calendar was created before COVID-19.

  1. Go to bed one hour early.
  2. Lend money to someone without expecting repayment.
  3. Grocery shop for a senior citizen.
  4. Be kind to three strangers today.
  5. Buy your pastor his or her favorite coffee.
  6. Go on a mission trip.
  7. Be slow to speak.
  8. Donate food to a food bank.
  9. Volunteer for a cleanup in your community.
  10. Share God’s message of love on Good Friday.
  11. Plant a tree.
  12. Celebrate Easter with someone who has lost a loved one.
  13. Choose socially responsible and sustainable investments.
  14. Join a prayer ministry.
  15. Provide respite care for a caregiver.
  16. Welcome new neighbors with a housewarming gift.
  17. Change a senior citizen’s smoke detector batteries.
  18. Take your pastor out to eat.
  19. Support Native American Ministries Sunday.
  20. Volunteer to serve on a missions committee.
  21. Walk your friend’s dog.
  22. Be slow to become angry.
  23. Serve meals at a homeless shelter.
  24. Recycle!
  25. Make sure your beneficiaries are up-to-date.
  26. Pray with someone in person or over the phone.
  27. Go for a walk.
  28. Give a rideshare gift card to someone in need.
  29. Take a senior citizen out to eat.
  30. Do not criticize anyone.
Posted: March 31st, 2020 | Permalink

Something to Think About 3-30-20 Devotion

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“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand.” – Psalm 121:5

Take a deep breath! Look at God’s creation all around you. Realize that you are now in the shade of His presence. It is no longer a time to fear. It's a time to take comfort and assurance as God wraps you in His love.

Rev. Keith E. Lawder
President/CEO
770-449-6726
877-220-5664
404-906-1425 (Cell)
klawder@gumf.org
Rev. Stephen A. Waldorf
Regional Vice President
478-738-0048 #115 (Macon)
478-747-0042 (Cell)
swaldorf@gumf.org


 

Posted: March 30th, 2020 | Permalink