Things to be Excited About
Today is the eleventh Sunday of the new year. Since the beginning of 2018, many things have been going on with our local work. On January 10, brother Jaime Restrepo joined us and has been doing a great job. All of you have done such a wonderful job in encouraging him. We’re looking forward to a great year with him working with us.
Two weeks ago our children’s Bible classes began a new curriculum. It has been exciting to see our classroom teachers in and out of the building spending hours working hard in preparing for their class. If you haven’t taught one of our children’s classes in awhile, our new curriculum offers a chance for a fresh start and I’m sure Jeremy Price can fit you in the schedule in a teaching and/or helper role. See Jeremy for more details.
Two weeks from today, we are excited to announce our new WebCast. Your Pathway Home will appear on Facebook Live every Sunday morning at 8 am. Brother Jaime and I will serve as co-hosts. You’ll be able to access the program live through our Facebook page (facebook.com/ ketteringchurch) or on demand after it airs on our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/ TheKetteringChurch). When you watch the live broadcast, you can type in your Bible questions or send an email to your hosts who will answer them on the air.
One week from tomorrow, our marriage class will begin. Jeremy Price and I will be teaching these classes every Monday evening at 7 pm. The class is open to all.
Finally, four weeks from Friday our Spring Bible Forum on Finding Comfort in a Troubled World begins. Aaron Kemple will be our keynote speaker. On Saturday, we’ll have a number of very practical and encouraging breakout sessions led by Jaime and me. Please be making plans to attend. Be sure to invite your friends and neighbors.
As you can see, there are many things going on and there is much to be excited about. We ask for your prayers and participation in these events. As always, thanks for what you do to make the Kettering church what it is. To God be the glory!
- Matthew Allen
That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
– 1 Corinthians 12:25-26
The Parable of the Mouse Trap
A mouse saw through the opening of a wall a peasant and his wife opening a package. It was very shocking to see them take out a mousetrap from the package. The mouse ran to the corral saying, “there is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The hen cackled, raised her head and said, "I see that this worries you a lot, but it does not affect me. I will not listen to you”. The pig said, "I'm very sorry, but I can not do anything but pray.” The cow said, "I feel bad for you, but it does not affect me."
That night there was a loud sound in the house, it sounded like a mousetrap killing its prey. The farmer's wife ran to see what the mousetrap had killed and in the darkness did not realize it was a poisonous snake whose tail had been caught by the mousetrap. The snake bit the wife and she began to suffer and developed a fever. The remedy for a fever is chicken soup and therefore the farmer went to the corral with an ax to kill the main ingredient. However, the lady got worse and many neighbors came to comfort her. The peasant killed the pig to feed the visitors. Then the lady died and many came to the funeral services. The farmer killed the cow to have enough meat to give everyone to eat. The mouse observed everything with great sadness from its hole in the wall.
Our lives are interwoven by God and we are partners in this journey of life. The next time a brother has to face a problem and you think it is not your problem, remember, when something threatens you, we are all in danger.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
- Romans 12:15.
- Jaime Restrepo
God is the God of refuge. He is our shield and protector. In a previous lesson, we examined Isaiah 4.5-6 and discovered God’s vision for His church. God has covered His people with a canopy, providing protection from harmful things. Today, we, as God’s body, dwell together inside a safe and encouraging place. God intends for us to keep it that way.
As growing imitators of God, it should be becoming natural for us to look for ways to encourage others. How much are you allowing God to work through you in order to impact the lives of others? This is very important. God charges us to meet people where they are and demonstrate His love.
How can we all contribute to keeping this church as a place of refuge, as God intended?
On Sunday, we’ll focus on 1 Thessalonians 5.14-15. We’ll discuss:
- How every church has those who struggle.
- Five things you can do to help those who do.
- Who you can personally help, encourage, and do good for.
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- Read 1 Thessalonians 5.14-15. How does Paul describe those who are struggling? Have you ever been on one of these lists? How did you feel?
- Look back on your life. How do you feel today about those who admonished you in the past? Are you thankful for their love and help?
- Why is giving encouragement so important?
- How can you grow in patience as you work with others?
- Who is someone you can do good for this week?
Sunday Scripture Reading: Dan Teater
Sunday Song Leader: Roy Pyle
TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5.14-15
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if to live in the flesh,--if this shall bring fruit from my work, then what I shall choose I know not. But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better. – Philippians 1:21-23
KEEP YOUR FORK
There was a woman who had been diagnosed with an incurable disease and had been given only three months to live. So she started putting her things "in order".
She contacted her priest and summoned him to her house to discuss her funeral arrangements. She told him what songs and readings she wanted, and what clothing she wanted to be buried in. The woman also asked to be buried with her favorite Bible.
Everything was in order and the priest was preparing to leave when the woman remembered something very important for her. “There is something else and this is very important,” she said. “What is it?” asked the priest. The woman continued, “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”
The priest just looked at the woman, not knowing exactly what to say. “That surprises you, doesn’t it?” asked the woman. “Well, to be honest, I'm intrigued with the request,” said the priest.
The woman explained, “In all the years that I have attended social events and engagement dinners, I always remember that when the plates were removed after the main dish, someone would inevitably bend over and say, ‘Keep your fork’. It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was to come ... like chocolate cake or apple pie. Something wonderful and substantial!. So I want people to see me inside my coffin with a fork in my hand and I want them to ask themselves: ‘What about the fork?’ Then I want you to tell them, 'She kept her fork because the best is yet to come’."
The priest's eyes filled with tears of joy as he embraced the woman saying goodbye. He knew that this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death, but he also knew she had a better concept of Christian hope than he did. She knew that something better was coming.
During the funeral, people passed by the woman's coffin and saw the beautiful dress she wore, her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Again and again the priest heard the question: "What's going on with the fork?" And he just smiled.
During his message, the priest told the people about the conversation he had with the woman a short time before she died. He also told them about the fork and what it meant to her, and how he could not stop thinking it, and also that they probably would not stop thinking about it either. He was right.
So, the next time you hold a fork let it remind you that the best is yet to come ...
- Jaime Restrepo
Today many Americans seem to be telling themselves they don’t need the church. They want Jesus without His church. This is impossible because if you want Jesus, you get the church because that is where He is - among His people. You can’t have one without the other.
How connected are you to the local church? How much is it a part of your life?
When we look at God’s word, we find that He has given us the church. He has a purpose for it in your life. It’s been designed as a place of comfort, refuge from the world, and hope for the world to come. As a church family, we share a common faith, love, and concern for each other.
On Sunday, we’ll focus on Isaiah 4.2-6. We’ll learn about
- How God foresaw a time when His rescued people would be partakers of His glory having been made holy through a washing and cleansing.
- How God covers the church (Mount Zion) with a canopy of protection.
- How God desires to be your place of refuge and shelter from the storms of life.
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these questions:
- How would you describe your connection to the Kettering church?
- What does God intend to do with your life and how can you cooperate with that? (4.3)
- In what New Testament book do we read of Mount Zion and to what does it refer?
- What does it mean to you that God has provided a place of refuge and shelter in the church?
- Can you have Jesus without the church? Why/why not?
Sunday Scripture Reading: Chris Fles
Sunday Song Leader: Jim Rutter
TEXT: Isaiah 4.2-6