Staff Corner

Staff Corner

Demonstrating Love

Dear Friends,
The picture I’ve attached shows our grandson, Judson (7), and our granddaughter, Rylee (3), holding hands as they walk to the parking lot after one of Judson’s football games. Rylee loves her big brother, whom she calls, “My Bubba,” and Judson loves his little sister, whom he calls “Sister.” This picture is a visible symbol of the love of Christ within them.

In John 13:34, Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” Galatians 5:14 reads, “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 1 John 4:16 teaches, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” Though love makes the world go round, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of (Dionne Warwick). God’s Word clearly tells us that love is the one thing that can make life meaningful and worthwhile for all of us

Our world is filled with harsh debates, endless conflicts, merciless criticisms, and angry tones. As Christ’s ambassadors, it is more important than ever for us to demonstrate his love through our kind words and loving acts of service. Find someone to love for the sake of Christ this week, and you will help make His Kingdom more visible and attractive.

Love to All,
Biff

Staff Corner

God-Given Desires (from Joyce Meyer Ministries)

This is one of my favorite devotions from Joyce Meyer Ministries. I hope it blesses you all as much as it has me!


God-Given Desires

“…For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit…”
-Romans 14:17 (NIV)

One of the ways God speaks to us is through the sanctified desires of our hearts. God places right desires in our hearts and then He gives us those desires.

I remember a time when I had a desire for homemade zucchini bread but had no talent or time to make it. I simply said, “Lord, I sure would like some fresh zucchini bread,” and did not think about it again. About a week later a lady who knew nothing of my desire handed me a box and when I opened it, I found homemade zucchini bread. God delights in doing small and large things for us and we should never fail to appreciate all of them.

We need to ask God to give us sanctified, or holy, desires. We usually have desire for natural things such as success, finances, nice homes, and good relationships, but we should also desire spiritual things. We should desire to know God in a deeper and more intimate way, to always display the fruit of the Spirit, especially love, to serve God in ways that glorify Him, to always be obedient to God, et cetera. Let us ask God to take away fleshly desire and give us sanctified desire.

God puts in us desires that will bring His righteousness, peace, and joy to our lives (see Romans 14:17), and they never disagree with His Word. Wrong desires torment us, and we are impatient about receiving them, but sanctified desire comes with a willingness to wait on God’s ways and timing. Place your desires before God, pray about them and trust God to give them to you if and when they are right for you.

Father, help me to want what You want. I lift up all my desires to You right now and ask for You to give me what’s best for my life—in Your way and in Your timing.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have a great week!

-Gail Korpal
Administrative Assistant

Staff Corner

Labor Day Observations

Labor Day Observations

On this Labor Day weekend it seems appropriate to think for a minute about the word “labor”. You say that word to any mother and we all certainly have a clear understanding of what that means! But the reason we observe this day in our country is to celebrate the contributions of all the people -big and small- who have “labored” in the pursuit of making their lives and our country better and brighter.

In I Corinthians 15:58, Paul said:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm! Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Paul was saying to them, and to us, remember that Christ has already won the battle on this earth! Christ is in control of all the ultimate outcomes that we face. We are to stay committed to our faith in Jesus Christ and work hard on His behalf while we are here. But we aren’t in control of the outcome.

It’s easy to be discouraged when immediate results aren’t visible. But we should never let that keep us from working hard for the Lord. All of us have different gifts, but whatever your’s is, use it with your whole heart! If you can teach, teach; if you can sing, sing; if you can be an encouragement, encourage! We can all give and we can all pray. When we all do what we have been called to do, Christ’s church benefits from those gifts.

We are all right here, right now for a reason. It’s exciting to watch and see what God can do when we are willing to be part of His plan!

-Cheryl Coker
Interim Children’s Director

Staff Corner

Counting Our Blessings

This morning I received pictures from Eileen of our own Necdet taking the oath to become a citizen of the United States of America. I have to tell you how moving it was to see those pictures. Necdet put in a lot of hard work as did Eileen helping him with studying and preparing for the testing. We are all so proud of your desire and dedication to become a citizen of our wonderful country. It has it’s problems but is still the best country in the world in which to live.

Then my thoughts went down another path. It is sad to realize how much we take for granted in our everyday lives. When I awaken in the morning, I don’t give much thought to the fact that I have clean water in which to bathe or brush my teeth, OR to turn on the TV and be able to watch “fake” news, OR to go to the frig and know that the orange juice will be nice and cold, OR have bright lights to see how to brush my hair, OR to get in the car and have a comfortable way to get to the church, OR plenty of gas to get me there…..the list goes on and on.

Sure, we always say we are thankful for our many blessings and we are. But more often than not, we let ourselves lose sight of just how many blessings we have been given – including living in a country where we still have the right to worship our Lord and Savior without fear of being persecuted or killed.

We also take for granted what Necdet had to do to become a United States citizen. It came so easy for most all of us but the joy on Necdet’s face says what it means to him. Remember the hymn, Count Your Blessings?

“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God hath done.”

It’s worth the time.

-Gail Korpal
Administrative Assistant

Staff Corner

A Special Staff Corner with Beth & Larry Tyrer

Philippians 4:6 (NIV) tells us:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

About a year ago, as part of a special prayer during worship, various bible verses were handed out for each person to silently repeat and pray over. This verse just happened to be on the card I drew. As someone who personally tends to obsess over details and worry, A LOT, I kept it and have it displayed near the desk area in the choir room to serve as a reminder.

Fast forward a few months, and my family was suddenly thrust into an unimaginable turmoil when my husband, Larry, was hospitalized with life-threatening pancreatitis. As the hospitalizations and procedures continued, with no clear answers and multiple “end-alls” coming and going without success, it admittedly became more and more difficult not to worry or be anxious; however, our prayers and petitions never ceased, and God surrounded us with so many answered prayers, many of which came through as acts of love from this very congregation.

There are no words sufficient to express how truly and humbly grateful we are to be a part of such a loving church family. Thank you, thank you, thank you all, for sharing the love of Christ and being God’s answer to our prayers!

-Beth Tyrer
Interim Music Director

Thank you for all the support, love, and prayers you have given to me and our family. These truly have been trying times, and I don’t think we could’ve made it without God’s grace or the graciousness of our church family. My illness has forced me to think about my life and what’s important to me. It has strengthened my love of family and has brought me closer to God.

I recall praying while hospitalized in Macon. I said, “Lord, I don’t know what you want me to do, but I want to do it.” I knew I would make it out, but I didn’t know why it happened to me. I think I’m better for it, and in some regard, thankful for it.

I am thankful that my family has found a larger family with all of you at Covenant Presbyterian, and look forward to the journey that yet lies ahead of us. Thank you and God bless you.

     -Larry Tyrer

Staff Corner

The Least of These

The Biblical foundation for our Whiz Kids Mission is from Matthew 25:40 which reads:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.’”

This verse reminds us that we should go out of our way to care for, not just children and our Whiz Kids, but for all people who might be considered to be “the least of these.

One category of people that is often forgotten is found in Nursing Homes. There are many “shut ins” in Nursing Homes who need our love and care. Some of the people have loving families who regularly visit, but sadly others have no one. Going into a nursing home and having people in wheelchairs lift their arms for a hug or a handshake is both heart wrenching and heart warming. That may be the only human touch they receive that day.

Such a small gesture…

… such a powerful witness.

As Christians, we do carry one another’s burdens. Christ commands us to love one another and to demonstrate this love through action. Every time we love someone for Christ, we are fulfilling his command to do it for “the least of these.”

 

 

May the Blessings of Christ be with You,
-Linda Walters
Financial Secretary

Staff Corner

Beginnings and Endings

  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End”
-Revelation 1:8

Beginnings and endings have a profound impact on the way we live out our lives, the choices we make, and the quality of our relationships with family, with our neighbors, and with our God.

Most of our lives are filled with a series of beginnings and endings; school, work, retirement, and many more in between. As followers of Christ, we prepare for most of these. We save and invest for our future so we can be secure when our formal career comes to an end. We celebrate these events with the ones we love and care about. Graduation gifts and advice are common when a student finishes College, High School and even Kindergarten. The final ending is when we die and our life here on earth ends. This is a sad and traumatic time for our friends and loved ones because they know they won’t ever see or talk to us again.

But when we are saved, this is not truly an ending, but a beginning; the beginning of our eternal life. A life free of pain, problems and suffering, free of all stress and uncertainty. A prefect life with no beginning or ending.

 

-John Bullock
Church Sexton

Staff Corner

Summertime – Vacation Time!

This upcoming weekend marks the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season. For years the media has oftentimes referred to this season as the three-month period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Many families will be going on trips of varying lengths, anywhere from a few weekend jaunts perhaps to the beach or the mountains to more elaborate trips across America or even abroad.

I have always enjoyed traveling and still do although I don’t take as much time off for vacations as I used to. I have been in all the states except for Hawaii and Alaska and also have been in the western part of Canada and in the area of Mexico south of San Diego. Beginning in high school and continuing to the present day, I have served in the music area of probably a dozen or more churches. But in the summer when vacation time rolled around, I would always find some places to travel and to visit.

When on vacation, come Saturday night, I would oftentimes look around and find a church where I could attend the next morning. This certainly was a great experience for me as over the years I visited a number of churches of varying denominations and was much interested in the different styles and types of worship. And although I was not perfect in attendance and did miss a few Sundays from time to time, I did not want to forget God, because He has never forgotten me as I walked along the road of life. So I hope that as you plan on trips and vacations this summer that you will always seek out a church come Sunday morning where you can worship, and I know that you will receive a blessing from having done this.

May all of you have a happy and healthy summer, drive carefully, and BE SAFE!

Love to all and may God bless.
-Richard Miller
Worship Accompanist

Staff Corner

Sharing the Love

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

-Acts 2:2-12 (NIV)


Today’s scripture from Acts describes the amazing phenomenon in which Jesus’ first disciples were struck by the Holy Spirit and began to speak in known languages that were not their own. All of those around, who were native speakers of these languages, were amazed to hear the wonders of God in their own tongues and many began then to follow Christ. There is a single, universal language that we can all use to reach others who may not speak the same as we do: love.

The incredible gift of love that God has shown us through the sacrificing of Jesus, his only son, is not ours to keep, but is meant to be shared, and there are so many ways we can do that every day. Some outside of the church may argue that you don’t need to be a Christian to “be a good person” or to “do the right thing;” or they may ask “how can I show love to someone who seems unlovable?”

Well, they’re right, you don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to be nice, and it can be difficult at times to show love towards “difficult” people; but as Christians, we have been called by Christ specifically to graciously share his love, unconditionally, without restraint, with everyone, as Christ first showed to us. In fact, we sing about this very thing in “Sharing The Love,” the response to the benediction at the end of our worship services:

“Sharing the love and the grace of our Lord is what we are
called now to do. Go forth, make disciples, our Savior commands
to love others as God has loved you.”

Father God, we thank you for your amazing love, which we have done nothing to deserve but you so freely offer anyway. Help us to always be outpouring vessels of your love towards everyone we encounter. Amen.

 

 

-Beth Tyrer
Interim Music Director

 

Staff Corner

Youthful Exuberance

Nearly every successful revival in history has begun with youth. The Great Awakenings were led by youthful pastors, the shift to contemporary worship was caused by teenagers coming to Christ, even the disciples themselves were no more than 30 when Jesus called them. Some scholars believe that John was as young as 13!

This is due to a youthful exuberance and an eccentric streak that we as adults often lose as we age and become more comfortable with our place in the world. While we adults can tend to become “the frozen chosen” and stop worrying about evangelism, to a teen, every part of following Christ is a new revelation about who God is and what he calls us to do.

1 Timothy 4:12 reminds teenagers to “Let no one despise [them] for their youth” but to work hard in spreading the gospel.”

As the older members of the body of Christ, we have a responsibility to support the youth and help them spread the gospel message any way we can. So hang out with a teenager. Teach them what you know.

And who knows, maybe they can teach you something, too.

-Matt Howard
Youth Director