Saint Andrew United Methodist Church

1528 Church Road

Toms River NJ 08755

Jesus is Lord

Posted by on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Golf is simple. But, that doesn't mean it's easy. For example, one of the most crucial actions in golf is to FOCUS ON the ball as you hit it with the club. Simple right? Yes. Easy? Ahhhh, I wish! The temptation to look up (just milliseconds before you make contact with ball) to peek at where you are aiming your ball to go...  is probably the single greatest cause of bad shots in the game. The eyes come off the ball...  the club hits it wrongly...  the ball goes to the wrong place. It's not so different with other sports and activities right? A baseball player has to keep their eye on the ball until the bat makes contact with it. If the batter starts looking to the fences or down the first base line...  they will miss the ball or hit it wrongly. A football receiver has to watch the incoming pass until it is in their hands right? We've all seen the receiver turn their eyes to run up field before the ball is securely in their grasp. Predictably, they miss or bobble the catch.

The Christian life is similar in many ways: simple but not easy. The foundation of this life is that JESUS IS LORD and we need to keep our hearts and minds and eyes focused on him only and always.

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:17-23)

Good Christians are like good golfers or good ball players. The temptation is always look forward before we've done the first, best, most important, and simplest thing: FOCUS ON JESUS. This is more than WWJD (what would Jesus do?), this is concentrating on keeping Jesus at the center of our lives. 'Jesus is Lord' literally means that HE is the center of our lives.

The best church sign I ever read said this: 'When Jesus is the center of your life...  your life is centered¬Ě."

May your life be centered on Jesus today and every day.

New Worship Theme: Chosen & Called

Posted by on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 @ 9:39 AM

The kids are going back to school. Summer vacations have come to an end. Everyone is beginning to turn their attention to new starts, new projects, and new opportunities. Here at St. Andrew, with the start of a new program year, we kick-off with a new worship theme: Chosen & Called.

For the next six weeks we will discover together how God has chosen each of us (and ALL of us together as the church) to a purpose and mission. We are indeed called to something special here in Toms River: to share faith, hope, and love. What is it? Where do we start? How will we do it? Who will we meet along the way? These are questions we will explore on this journey of faith. Here's an outline of what we have planned.

In this six week worship theme we explore each chapter of Paul's letter to the Ephesians looking for insight into the nature, identity, mission, and purpose of church. The letter is not believed to be intended solely and specifically for the church at Ephesus, but rather a circuit letter meant for all churches...  even ours today! Each week we will discover part of God's specific will and plan for our church St. Andrew UMC in this season of ministry. At the conclusion we should be able to chart a clear course forward in mission and ministry!

 

9/10/2017: Jesus is Lord:  Ephesians 1:18-23

When we were saved our lives became free from slavery to sin. With that freedom we live our lives for Christ. It's not our church that we point in the direction of Jesus. It's JESUS' church that we point in the direction he chooses for it

 

9/17/2017: From Death to Life:  Ephesians 2:1-10

The grace of God saves! All of us, no matter how different we are, got our start in Christ. We are nothing together if we are not a people that support and encourage all to start, restart, and continue in their faith journey. A big part of church is being the community where everyone has a chance to make a new start in life.

 

9/242017:  To the World:  Ephesians 3:2; 6-12

God doesn't just call us to be the church for our own sake. We are not an 'insiders-only' club, but are called to proclaim the love and grace of God in Jesus to all 'outsiders' who are not-yet-Christian.

 

10/12017:  Equipped to Serve:  Ephesians 4:11-16

The marks of a mature church is the diversity of gifts, callings, members who are unified into one body (Christ's Body) and equipped to serve and growing in maturity, unity, and love in that service. Christian living may begin with personal disciplines but culminates in interpersonal disciplines

 

10/8/2017: Beware Our Lesser Selves:  Ephesians 5:5-11

Checking our motivations is healthy for spiritual growth and maturity. A church cannot thrive unless it's people are full of the light of Christ not dwelling in their darkness

 

10/15/2017: Standing Orders:   Ephesians 6:10-17

The Christian life is not easy or without daily challenge. That's what we sign up for when we put our faith, hope, and life in Christ. In the struggle between good and evil we have to know where we stand, what we stand for, and what we stand against. Only then can we advance, extend, and expand the Good News and God's Kingdom in word and deed.

Posted by on Monday, August 28, 2017 @ 9:15 AM
https://vimeo.com/18243873

Everyday Heroes

Posted by on Monday, August 28, 2017 @ 9:08 AM

Everyday Heroes

ANYONE can be a Christian...  EVERYONE is called to be a Christian

Being a Christian means first and foremost being an "imitator of Christ".

When we imitate Christ something powerful and miraculous happens. By the power of the Holy Spirit we are filled with Joy, Hope, and Peace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, the world and people around us are impacted positively by our words and deeds.

Let me say again...  ANYONE can be a Christian...    EVERYONE is called to be a Christian

And everyone who is a Christian has this super-natural power of the Holy Spirit to example and work for good in the world. Everyone who is a Christian is a hero...  not by virtue of any skill, talent, ability, or even hard work, but by loving Jesus so much that they imitate him in everything they say and do.

Love Jesus

Imitate Him in all things

Receive joy hope and peace

Serve others in love

Impact people and the world for good

This is our calling. This is our process. No one is excluded. Everyone is invited.

In Christ we are everyday heroes.

You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead -Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1: 6-10)

Posted by on Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 8:30 AM
https://vimeo.com/18242843
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