Jul 16, 2017
Jesus Is King
Series: The Story
Pastor Todd's Sermon from 7-16-17
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  • Jul 16, 2017Jesus Is King
    Jul 16, 2017
    Jesus Is King
    Series: The Story
    Pastor Todd's Sermon from 7-16-17
  • Jul 9, 2017What Faith Can Do
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  • May 14, 2017Revelation 1, The Story #31
    May 14, 2017
    Revelation 1, The Story #31
    Series: The Story
  • Apr 30, 2017Paul’s Mission, The Story 29
    Apr 30, 2017
    Paul’s Mission, The Story 29
    Series: The Story
  • Apr 23, 2017Holy Spirit, The Story 29
    Apr 23, 2017
    Holy Spirit, The Story 29
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  • Apr 16, 2017Resurrection, The Story 27
    Apr 16, 2017
    Resurrection, The Story 27
    Series: The Story
  • Mar 12, 2017Jesus Birth #22
    Mar 12, 2017
    Jesus Birth #22
    Series: The Story
  • Mar 5, 2017Rebuilding the Walls #21
    Mar 5, 2017
    Rebuilding the Walls #21
    Series: The Story
  • Feb 12, 2017Esther in The Story #20
    Feb 12, 2017
    Esther in The Story #20
    Series: The Story
  • Feb 5, 2017Ezra in The Story #19
    Feb 5, 2017
    Ezra in The Story #19
    Series: The Story
 
 
 
 
 

Todd’s Monthly Letter

Vision, Values, and goals are the hard work it takes to reach a new place for the church.  We are in the middle of sorting out where God wants us to move in our ministries at Delphi UMC.  The blessing is that we are a vibrant church with a compelling message and have built excellent credibility in the community.  Now we need to step into the flow of God’s Spirit and see where the Holy Spirit moves us.  We must proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in our community and to do that we need to submit to the Lord leading.

For summer, I would like this to be a summer of prayer around three things: 

  • God to move hearts to repentance for individuals, groups, and the church.
  • God to reveal the ways to follow His lead in ministry.
  • God to bring fruit in our lives, the groups of the church, and the church itself.
Why prayer?  It moves us to the heart of God.  Why prayer around these things?  In order to live into God’s call in the world, we need   Holiness of heart.  That Holiness of heart is important in our community for the movement of God in the Holy Spirit.  And the movement of God I am longing for is not a good feeling on Sunday morning.  Frankly, it is to see God change lives, people come to Christ  in baptism, and radical change to take place. 

We need an awakening like no one in our time has witnessed, and prayer is where it begins.

Peace,
PT


We Did It!

Genesis to Revelation from August to May!

“The Story has come to an end, and God’s message rings loud and clear: I have opened the door; I have made a way—come to me and have life!

              The Good News has gone out to the world. Jesus has come to provide salvation for us all! All of God’s story has led up to this ultimate news that we can experience and share with others. It has survived for thousands of years, marching forth to all cultures and peoples, leaving behind an incredible wake of transformation and change. Many have tried to put out its fire, but God’s words have proven to be true, “My Word will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

              And now, God’s triumphant Word has found its way to you. You’ve read The Story. You’ve heard the truth. You’ve come face to face with the most important message you will ever hear: Jesus, God’s Son, came, lived, died and rose again.”   From The Story, page 471

So now the question remains…What will you do with The Story?

              >How will you align your life with God’s Upper Story?

              >In what ways will you change your focus from “Lower Story Living” to “Upper Story Living?”

              >How do you see God’s Upper Story playing out in your own life?

              >As you live your life in your Lower Story, how are you sharing God’s Upper Story with people around you?

              >In what ways are you inviting people into God’s Upper Story?

God’s blessing on you as you continue to write your chapter of The Greatest Story ever told!
 
By: Sheila Wilimitis


Letter to Leaders who serve the body of Christ at Delphi UMC:

First of all, thank you for serving our family of God as leaders in our church. Often, the word “leader” is shied away from. People often don’t feel qualified to lead. And if they do feel qualified, they are afraid to own that for fear of being perceived as arrogant. Let me assure you that leading others is a God-ordained sacred offering of service to God and to His Kingdom. It takes humility, courage and trust in the Holy Spirit–that He will work through your unique personality, spiritual gifts and abilities. Your commitment to God and His Church, your life experience, and your character qualities have contributed to you being placed in a position of leadership under the authority of God, His Word and His Spirit. This is a big responsibility. In your role, you not only lead and influence the direction of our church, but you also model how others can follow Christ fruitfully. I encourage you to carry this responsibility with prayer and humility. But also with confidence in the God who called you and empowers you for such a time as this. Don’t forget, Satan has a kingdom too. And he is out to destroy the Church. In fact, he is out to steal, kill and destroy life from all of the people around us. Our church and our community need strong, confident leaders to push back the darkness and bring the Light of Christ. Take up your mantle with Courage and unashamed Confidence in the God who has called you. We need you! And we appreciate you!


All Paths lead to God

“All paths lead to God.” I really wish this were true. If it were, I wouldn’t have to feel so concerned for those who are following a path other than Christianity.

 I have studied many world religions and philosophies. I have met people around the world who follow paths other than Christianity, and many of them seem to live lives of integrity, peace and love. But Jesus makes it very clear that unless the path leads to the Cross, it does not lead to the One, True and Loving God. The Cross truly changes everything. I can’t think of one other religion or philosophy that includes anything like the Cross; a Savior who takes on our sin so that we can be forgiven of it and set free. We are all Barabbas, a thief and rebel who was freed in exchange for Jesus’ conviction.

 I sometimes think lightly of my own sin because of God’s grace. But when I read about the torture and humiliating abuse perpetrated against innocent Jesus on behalf of my sin, I think again about it’s severity. What Jesus endured was God’s wrath for my sin, and for the sins of the world. It makes me see sin as utterly disgusting.

 I hate it, what Jesus went through. I hate that sin put Him through it. And then, I realize this must be one small measure of how much God hates it. Reading through the Passion narrative always returns me to my knees with deep remorse for my sin, and deep gratitude for Jesus taking my sin upon himself (substitutionary atonement.)

 Life can be downright brutal. Jesus experienced brutality at its depth, and redeemed it. The path of the Cross is the only path that sees the world, our human depravity, and our divine potential as it truly is. May we be faithful leading others to the Cross of death that leads to life.

 I encourage you, this Resurrection season to be praying deeply for those in our church and community and in your life who don’t yet know Jesus as their Savior. Maybe THIS will be their year of Salvation!
 
Written by Sheila Wilimitis, Director of Discipleship and Outreach at Delphi UMC


Portion Control: Jesus is More Than Enough

“I really hate all of life’s goodbyes. It hurts so much, this life of limits and not-quite-fullness.”

I recently shared these feelings with a friend. It’s a sentiment I express often. Life includes small goodbyes; when relationships end due to relocation or circumstance. Life includes painful goodbyes; when we are forced to say goodbye due to death or divorce. And, as our community has recently experienced, life includes tragic and excruciating goodbyes; when evil abruptly rips loved ones from us with violent depravity.

But it’s not just the goodbyes I hate. It’s the limits. Life includes circumstances and situations that fall short of our hopes and dreams with painful regularity. Life includes limits. I seem to have a particularly hard time acknowledging this fact and allowing it to shape how I set expectations. This is partially due to the fact that I’m a dreamer, a visionary, always seeing what COULD be. This positive trait is coupled with the negative trait of being a raging perfectionist (every bit as self-destructive as a “raging alcoholic.”)  These traits fuel high expectations that end up dashed by real life. Limited life. A life of goodbyes and let-downs and disappointments.

I should not be caught off-guard by these disappointments. After all, Jesus says of His followers in John 17:14-15, 17, “they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” This world is not our home. Heaven is. Earth is limited. Heaven is unlimited. Be careful what you wish for.

In Psalm 73:25-26, the Psalmist empathizes with my plight, but also corrects my focus. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

The day after I shared my song of lament with my friend, the Lord led me to listen to Kari Jobe’s song, “Healer.” In that song, she sings, “I believe, You’re my portion. I believe, You’re more than enough for me. Jesus You’re all I need.” As I sang these words, I realized that my disappointment was the result of “portion distortion.” I had been focusing on the portion that life on earth had served me, and ignoring the portion that Jesus had served me: a portion without goodbyes, without limits, endlessly satisfying, more than enough for me.
 

By Sheila Wilimitis, Director of Discipleship and Outreach at Delphi UMC



Comments on The Story Chapter 25 “Jesus, the Son of God”

This chapter shares pictures of Jesus’ life as it was leading up to arrest and crucifixion. It includes many stories of Jesus facing opposition from the Pharisees and religious leaders. The fact that Jesus was claiming to be one with God was just too much for them. Jesus’ way of doing life with God threatened their way. In John 11:48, the Pharisees say, “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” So they plotted and schemed to stone Him, silence Him, persecute Him, and ultimately kill Him. I noticed that several times in this chapter the word “but” comes in between a description of his followers listening and his opposition plotting.

For me, I struggle like Peter did with the reality that Good must suffer at the hands of Evil in this world.

Here is one of the toughest passages of Scripture for me (Luke 9:22-24):

“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priest and the teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when Jesus turned and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ He said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
 

When it comes right down to it, following Jesus makes my life better. Would I really follow Jesus if it meant great suffering and early death here in this Lower Story? Do I really “live” in the Upper Story Kingdom of Heaven that much?  (I remember sharing a very similar sentiment several months ago when we began The Story.) I share this because I think it is good for us to wrestle with these sayings of Jesus.

 

From the Participant’s Guide, Question 2:

“Jesus told His followers they would do four things as they walked with Him day by day:

(1) deny self; (2) take up His cross; (3) follow Him; and (4) be willing to lay down their lives for Him and the Gospel.

What does it look like, in an ordinary day of your life, for you to seek to do these things?

 

I often feel I am not really laying down my life…I think about our brothers and sisters around the world who really are and wonder how our “sacrifices” for Jesus can be anywhere near similar. It makes me want to be more engaged in their world in some way…supporting those who are really suffering and dying because of their commitment to Jesus.

 

Hebrews 13:3 “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to earth with human flesh. Thank you for teaching us about the amazing Kingdom of God. Thank you for showing us your compassion and power by healing people and working miracles. Thank you for loving us enough to tell us the truth about suffering in the Lower Story…that Upper Story people will suffer here on earth as we follow your commands with passion. Please be with our brothers and sisters around the world who suffer and die for their faith in you. Be their comfort and peace as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Help them to fear no evil, for you are with them. Prepare a table of feasting for them in the presence of their enemies. Make their cups of salvation overflow. In the name of Jesus, the Messiah, Amen.
 
–Sheila Wilimitis


Bonked

I have often joked that if God wants to speak to me, He will have to bonk me over the head!  I’m not like those who seem to hear God speaking to them; I seem to second guess if it is actually God or just my mind trying to think it is God.

 

That changed last week. 

 

Upon hearing some disheartening news, I immediately started to feel nervous and anxious. I got myself all worked up worrying about a situation I had no control over. I began to run through scenarios in my head, only to stress myself out even more. And while this behavior is very self-destructing, it is normal for me. I tend to think of the negative in a situation, and always plan for the worst. 
 
 
Fast forward to 30 minutes after hearing my bad news:  My phone randomly made this weird noise. I swiped it and realized I didn’t recognize the notification at the top. Out of habit, I almost deleted it without looking at it. When I did look at it, I saw it was a Bible verse. What???  How did THAT get there? Never has a Bible verse just popped up on my phone. For some reason, I hesitated and then read it. It said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and also trust in me.” John 14:1. I paused as I was awestruck… 

 

How that notification got there was beyond me, but it was meant for me at that specific time. I interpreted the verse as God saying, “Girl, chill out. I’ve got this!”

 

GOD JUST BONKED ME OVER THE HEAD!

 

Did I continue to worry and stress over this issue? At times, yes. But then I stopped and pulled up that verse on my phone and re-read it. Again. Over and over. Until I had it memorized.

 

And here’s the icing on the cake:  In less than three days, the issue resolved itself—perfectly, and on its own. I had nothing to do with the solution. I just waited and trusted that God would have this. And, like always, He did. 

 

–Sarah Cross



New Year’s Day Service

Reminder:  On Sunday, January 1st, we will have one combined worship service at 10:00 AM.  Come start the New Year off right and worship with us!



Art of Marriage Retreat coming very soon!

Please join us here at Delphi UMC Friday evening,
January 13th from 7pm – 9pm and then again on Saturday, January 14th
from 9am – 4:30pm. This retreat is for any couple (married or engaged) who wants to strengthen, rebuild, or work on healing their marriage.  
 
This 6 session video event is funny, practical, and straight to the heart.  It is interactive with your spouse and you will also hear live testimonies from other couples in various life stages.
 
Tickets are $49/couple and includes course materials, refreshments, and lunch on Saturday.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, call the church office at 765-564-3791. 
 
**Hosted by Marriage and Family Life Ministries**


Worship Service update for Dec. 18

We will hold our two worship services at Delphi UMC this morning.   Please use your own best judgement.    Please be sure to park on the black top parking lot and be cautious when walking up to the church.  The snow does provide some good grip when walking. When Pastor Todd drove to church this morning, the city streets were snow covered but passable and the highway was clear, as well as the Hoosier Heartland.  Drive safely.