Bellport United Methodist Church
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
He who abides in love, abides in God.

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Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”   —Jim Bishop    


 Giving Thanks for School Days: A Prayer
 A new school year can be exciting or scary--or both. We can try to make that transition easier by praying to God and giving thanks for the people in our schools. Click on the owl image to link to a prayer from the UM Discipleship Ministries.

  Be Yourself for God  
Rabbi Joseph Liebermann describes a dream where he dies and goes to stand before God’s judgment seat. As he waits, the rabbi fears that the Lord will ask him, “Why weren’t you a Moses … or a David ... or a Solomon?” Instead, God surprises him by simply asking, “Why weren’t you Rabbi Liebermann?” 

When our lives are over, God won’t ask us why we weren’t a Mother Teresa or another saintly soul. He simply wants us to be who he created us to be. 

“We are his workmanship,” St. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:10. In Greek, workmanship means “a piece of art.” You are God’s masterpiece. Life isn’t a game of comparison. It’s a journey of discovery of how God has uniquely created you to perform specific tasks in this life. 

Your life is God’s canvas. Don’t hinder the painting process!      —Mike Paulison



   Advice from a Pumpkin

   God's Left Hand

A 6-year-old and his grandma went for a walk one autumn day. “Look at the gorgeous leaves!” Grandma exclaimed. “Just think, God painted each one of them just for us!” 


“Yep,” said her grandson, “and he did it left-handed.” 

Perplexed, Grandma asked, “Why do you think God used his left hand to create all this beauty?” 

“Because,” said the boy matter-of-factly, “we learned in Sunday school that Jesus sits on God’s right one.”


Don’t worry about failures. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”    
Jack Canfield


  Appreciate -- and Act
October is Pastor (or Clergy) Appreciation Month, reminding church members to thank their hardworking ministry leaders. But the people in the pews — though they might lack official church titles — also play important roles in doing God’s work. 

In User Friendly Churches (Regal Books), researcher George Barna compares the behavior of people in growing vs. stagnant or declining churches. Members of growing churches actively participate in the church’s ministry. “They did not divorce their faith from their lifestyle; their faith was their lifestyle,” Barna writes. “They took seriously the classical Reformation doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.” 

By contrast, laypeople in stagnant churches tend to observe rather than participate. “They perceived their role as being in the audience in the stands,” Barna notes, “nodding approvingly in efforts to demonstrate religious behavior as the clergy went through their paces.” 

Appreciate your pastors, but then follow their example by living out your beliefs!



  A Prayer for Perspective
A prayer written for use during the Jewish New Year (September 30-October 1) is pertinent for Christians, too: 

Eternal God! Grant us gratitude enough to look 
    backward and be thankful; 
      courage enough to look forward and be hopeful; 
         faith enough to look upward and be humble; 
            kindness enough to look outward and be helpful.