Monday, February 10, 2014


FROM 5:30 TO 7:30 P.M.   

* Happy Anniversary 

Larry and Amber McClain!



From Moses' final sermon: There are two
ways—life and prosperity or death and
endless troubles. The way of life requires
us to walk in God's ways and not bow
down to or serve any other gods.  Neither
Moses nor Jesus offers a compromise.
Choose life, or death; obey God’s laws or
prepare to be destroyed, Moses says.
Neither Moses nor Jesus intended life to
be out of reach.  Both longed for their
people to experience life with abundance
and joy.   

15 Look at what I've done for you today:
     I've placed in front of you
      Life and Good
      Death and Evil.

16 And I command you today: Love God,
your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his
commandments, regulations, and rules
so that you will live, really live, live
exuberantly, blessed by God, your God, in
a land you are about to enter and possess.

17-18 But I warn you: If you have a change
of heart, refuse to listen obediently, and
willfully go off to serve and worship other
gods, you will most certainly die. You won't
last long in the land that you are crossing
the Jordan to enter and possess.

19-20 I call Heaven and Earth to witness
against you today: I place before you Life
and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose
life so that you and your children will live.
And love God, your God, listening
obediently to him, firmly embracing him.
Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled
on the soil that God, your God, promised
to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob.
PSALM 119:1-8 (UMH 840)

You're blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by
You're blessed when you follow his
      doing your best to find him.
That's right—
you don't go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
      now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
      keeping to the course you set;
Then I'd never have any regrets
      in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your
      I learn the pattern of your righteous
I'm going to do what you tell me to do;
      don't ever walk off and leave me.
Paul has been clear from the beginning of
this letter to the Christian community he
founded in Corinth that he knows they
have been given abundant spiritual gifts,
and he rejoices in this fact. At the same
time, however, here he is just as clear that
despite the abundance of those gifts, as a
community they continue to live “in the
flesh” and not “in the Spirit.”
Despite their spiritual riches, they live in 
cliques forming around preferred leaders.
To live by the Spirit is to recognize they
are God's field, God's building.  Paul says
think about your leaders and yourselves
as a body in the Spirit. It’s time for them
to recognize their own spiritual role as a
people. It can’t be just about leaders

1-4 But for right now, friends, I'm
completely frustrated by your unspiritual
dealings with each other and with God.
You're acting like infants in relation to
Christ, capable of nothing much more
than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I'll
nurse you since you don't seem capable
of anything more. As long as you grab for
what makes you feel good or makes you
look important, are you really much
different than a babe at the breast, content
only when everything's going your way?
When one of you says, "I'm on Paul's
side," and another says, "I'm for Apollos,"
aren't you being totally infantile?

5-9 Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or
Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of
us—servants who waited on you as you
gradually learned to entrust your lives to
our mutual Master. We each carried out
our servant assignment. I planted the seed,
Apollos watered the plants, but God made
you grow. It's not the one who plants or
the one who waters who is at the center of
this process but God, who makes things
grow.   Planting and watering are menial
servant jobs at minimum wages. What
makes them worth doing is the God we are
serving. You happen to be God's field in
which we are working.    
9-15 Or, to put it another way, you are
God's house. Using the gift God gave me
as a good architect, I designed blueprints;
Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each
carpenter who comes on the job take care
to build on the foundation! Remember,
there is only one foundation, the one
already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular
care in picking out your building materials.
Eventually there is going to be an
inspection. If you use cheap or inferior
materials, you'll be found out. The
inspection will be thorough and rigorous.
You won't get by with a thing. If your work
passes inspection, fine; if it doesn't, your
part of the building will be torn out and
started over. But you won't be torn out;
you'll survive—but just barely.
MATTHEW 5:21-37
Jesus strengthens what were normally
thought of as basic rules for relationships
in today’s reading, often introduced by
“You have heard it said… or  but I say unto
you….” The common understanding of the
“basic rules” about murder, judging others,
reconciliation, adultery, divorce, or taking
oaths had come (and often still come!) to
reflect too much the way of the kingdoms
of this world rather than the way of God’s
Jesus names the way of God’s kingdom
and teaches his disciples to take it up.
How we speak of others, how we prioritize
reconciliation with others and with God,
how we handle the gift of sexuality and
the bond of marriage, and how we speak
with unquestionable integrity—all reflect
the degree of our reliance on God’s words
and lead us to lives that participate in the
blessings Jesus named in the beatitudes.
21-22 "You're familiar with the command
 to the ancients, 'Do not murder.' I'm
telling you that anyone who is so much as
angry with a brother or sister is guilty of
murder. Carelessly call a brother 'idiot!'
and you just might find yourself hauled
into court. Thoughtlessly yell 'stupid!' at a
sister and you are on the brink of hellfire.
The simple moral fact is that words kill.

23-24 "This is how I want you to conduct
yourself in these matters. If you enter
your place of worship and, about to make
an offering, you suddenly remember a
grudge a friend has against you, abandon
your offering, leave immediately, go to this
friend and make things right. Then and
only then, come back and work things out
with God.

25-26 "Or say you're out on the street and
an old enemy accosts you. Don't lose a
minute. Make the first move; make things
right with him. After all, if you leave the
first move to him, knowing his track
record, you're likely to end up in court,
maybe even jail. If that happens, you
won't get out without a stiff fine.    
27-28 "You know the next commandment
pretty well, too: 'Don't go to bed with
another's spouse.' But don't think you've
preserved your virtue simply by staying
out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted
by lust even quicker than your body.
Those leering looks you think nobody
notices—they also corrupt.

29-30 "Let's not pretend this is easier than
it really is. If you want to live a morally
pure life, here's what you have to do: You
have to blind your right eye the moment
you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to
choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped
on a moral trash pile. And you have to
chop off your right hand the moment you
notice it raised threateningly. Better a
bloody stump than your entire being
discarded for good in the dump.

31-32 "Remember the Scripture that says,
'Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it
legally, giving her divorce papers and her
legal rights'? Too many of you are using
that as a cover for selfishness and whim,
pretending to be righteous just because
you are 'legal.' Please, no more pretending.
If you divorce your wife, you're responsible
for making her an adulteress (unless she
has already made herself that by sexual
promiscuity). And if you marry such a
divorced adulteress, you're automatically
an adulterer yourself. You can't use legal
cover to mask a moral failure.

"And don't say anything you don't
mean. This counsel is embedded deep in
our traditions. You only make things worse
when you lay down a smoke screen of
pious talk, saying, 'I'll pray for you,' and
never doing it, or saying, 'God be with you,'
and not meaning it. You don't make your
words true by embellishing them with
religious lace. In making your speech
sound more religious, it becomes less true.
Just say 'yes' and 'no.' When you
manipulate words to get your own way,
you go wrong.
• 1857 - Frederick Douglass was elected
President of Freedman Bank and Trust.
• 1923 - On this day Bessie Smith made her
first recording, "Down Hearted Blues,"
which sold 800,000 copies for Columbia
• 1951 - New York City Council passed a
bill prohibiting racial discrimination in
any city-assisted housing developments.
• 1957 - Actor LeVar Burton was born in
Landsthul, Germany. Burton won fame for
his acting in the television movie "roots,"
which was based on a novel by Alex Haley.
He was a celebrity once more in the 1980s
and 1990s for his role as Geordi La Forge
in the "Star Trek, Next Generation" series
and movies, and as a host of Reading
Rainbow on PBS.
• 1970 - Joe Frazier became heavyweight
boxing champion of the world.

Happy Birthday Joyce Rochholz!

• Clergy Day Apart will meet at Creighton 
University from 10 A.M. til 3 P.M.     
Today is President's Day.
• 1870 - Congress passed resolution
readmitting Mississippi on condition that
it would never change its constitution to
disenfranchise black people.
• 1891 - A. C. Richardson, a black inventor,
invented the butter churn, patent #466,470.
• 1902 - Opera singer Marian Anderson was
born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was
entered in the New York Philharmonic
Singing Competition at age 17 by her music
teacher, and placed first over 299 other
singers. Awarded a Rosenwald Fellowship
in 1930, Anderson went to Europe for a year
of study. She returned to the United States
but went back to Europe in 1933 to debut in
Berlin and again, in 1935, to sing in Austria.
In 1933, Anderson performed 142 concerts
in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
On Easter Sunday in 1939, Anderson had
an open air recital at the Lincoln Memorial
in Washington, D.C. The performance was
scheduled for the concert hall controlled
by the D.A.R.  The concert was cancelled
when the D.A.R. refused to allow Anderson,
a black lady, to sing there.
In 1955, Anderson signed with New York
Metropolitan Opera Company.
• 1963 - Michael Jordon, basketball player,
and former minor league baseball player,
was born in New York City, New York.
• 1973 - The Navy frigate USS Jesse L.
Brown was commissioned. The ship was
named for Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the first
African American naval aviator killed in
combat over Korea.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH — ————————————————————
• 1688 - First Protest Against Slavery
against slavery by an organized white body
in English America made by Germantown
Pennsylvania Quakers at monthly meeting.
The historic "Germantown Protest"
denounced slavery and the entire slave
• 1894 - Paul Revere Williams, renowned
black architect, was born this day.
• 1931 - Author Toni Morrison was born
today Lorain, Ohio. She will win a Pulitzer
Prize for her novel “Beloved.”
Martha Circle will meet in Casey U.M.C. 

at 7 P.M. 

• 1919 - Pan-African Congress, organized
by W.E.B. Du Bois, met at the Grand Hotel
in Paris, France. There were fifty-seven
delegates. Sixteen from the United States
and fourteen from Africa.
• 1940 - Soul singer William "Smokey"
Robinson born in Detroit, Michigan.
Robinson's first singing group was the
Miracles which he formed in 1955 while
still in high school. Their first success
came in 1960 with the hit, "Shop Around."
• 1942 - Tuskegee Airmen were initiated.
The Army Air Corps' all African American
100th Pursuit Squadron, later designated
a fighter squadron, was activated at
Tuskegee Institute. The squadron served
honorably in England and in other regions
of Europe during World War II.
• 2002 - Vonetta Flowers became the first
black gold medalist in the history of the
Winter Olympic Games. She and partner
Jill Brakken won the inaugural women's
two-person bobsled event.

Happy Birthday Bob Ranney!
Happy Birthday Duane Nelson!

• Deborah-Mary Circle meets today in 

Casey U.M.C. at 2 P.M.
• 1927 - Actor Sidney Poitier, was born
today in Miami, Florida.  He will be the first
African American to win an Academy
Award for a starring role.  The movie was
Lilies of the Field.  He is a citizen of the
United States and The Bahamas.
• 1936 - Jazz singer, actress, Nancy Wilson
was born in Chillicothe, Ohio.
• 1963 - Charles Barkley, basketball player
was born in Leeds, Alabama.
• 1991 - African Americans won eight
Grammies today. Ray Charles, Anita Baker,
Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald,  B. B. King,
Aaron Neville, M.C. Hammer, and Luther
Vandross were the eight. 

• 1936 - Barbara Jordan, who will be the
first African American woman elected to
the House of Representatives, is born.
• 1965 - Malcolm X (39) assassinated in the
Audubon Ballroom at a rally of his own
organization, 11 months after his split from
Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam. Three
Blacks were later convicted of the crime
and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Happy Birthday Janet Wedemeyer!

FROM 9 TO 11 A.M.
• 1888 - Painter Horace Pippin born in West
Chester, Pennsylvania, African American
painter, Pippin is considered one of the
major American painters of his period. One
of his more significant works, "John Brown
Going to His Hanging," is owned by the
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
• 1950 - Julius ("Dr.J") Irving, basketball
player, was  in born Roosevelt, New York.

Ash Wednesday is the start of the Lenten
journey of 40 weekdays (Monday through
Saturday) that takes the church to the eve
of Easter.   Remember: Ash Wednesday is
deeply penitential in purpose and feeling.
This service is about penitence. It is about
confronting our mortality and sinfulness.
Simplicity and solemnity, quiet and focus.
These are the atmospheric touchstones for
We embrace our mortality through the
imposition of ashes. We confess and turn
away from our sinfulness through our
confession and pardon. These two actions
prepare us for Holy Communion.

God Bless and Keep You,

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