Friday, October 26, 2012


     Do you know the feeling that you've forgotten something...?  Your keys, your phone, your jacket, your children...ha.  I've been missing my daughter this week because she's been in D.C. with the 8th graders from her school.  Each day the students were off to an early start and their itineraries were jam-packed full of tours and museums and historical monuments.  Just reading it made me tired.  Like I mentioned, I've been missing her something awful.  Even her brother will be happy to see her when she returns this evening, not to mention her little kitty who's been acting like she lost her best friend.
     Whom are you missing?  A friend far away?  A member of your family that you haven't connected with in a long time?  A loved one who has recently passed?
     Each of us as God-lovers will carry around with us a piece of "something's missing" until we get to Heaven, where we'll finally be whole and complete, in our Lord and Savior's presence forever.  Until then, we should look nowhere else than to Him to help us feel loved, connected, and fulfilled...because no one else and nothing else has the power to do that.
     This Sunday's message will continue in the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality series, with a close look at the Sabbath.  How can observing the Sabbath draw us closer to the Lord, and help fill the gaps in our lives?  How can one day of the week help us be centered, relaxed, undistracted, rested, contented during the other six?  
     One thing have I desired of the Lord...that one thing will I seek after:  to behold the beauty, the beauty of the Lord...   Come to the Rock, let Him hide you and surround you with love and mercy, as you meditate upon Him.  Psalm 27 paints a beautiful picture of waiting for the Lord and enjoying His presence.  You can read it by clicking here.
     As we fill our dinner plates tonight at a special homecoming celebration, I'll remember the blessing of family and the fullness of heart that comes from resting in, and delighting in God's presence.  Truly, there's nothing else like it.


Friday, October 19, 2012


     Have you ever responded in a way that you later regretted?  Of course. We all have.  Perhaps an outburst of unrighteous anger, spreading a morsel of gossip, or silently taking offense at something that wasn't intended to bother us.  When these harmful behaviors become a pattern in our life, how do we break the pattern, and become more like our Savior?

     The current sermon series, "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality", aims to help each of us realize that we cannot live out the fullness of Christ in us until we deal with our areas of emotional immaturity.  

     Growing out of a dysfunctional pattern requires us to humble ourselves before the Lord, commit to change, and persevere until we are abundantly above and beyond what we could have asked or imagined for God to do in us.

     Steps we can all take to reach emotional maturity: 

1.  Ask the Lord to reveal to you a subconscious behavior or a piece of your character that needs renovation. 

2.  Listen. Wait. Once He shows it to you, invite Him to heal you

3.  Confess, forgive, seek to understand where that particular area of “immaturity” came from.

4.  Break the lies that are suffocating your ability to be set free, and substitute them with the Truth - the powerful, life-transforming Word of God.  

     We can indeed become emotionally healthy Christians, but it takes conscious efforts - and humility. We might never be able to master our emotions, but with the Lord’s help, we can master the beliefs that drive our emotions, and become mature, 100-fold fruit-bearing ambassadors of Christ.

     If you would like to go deeper into the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality series, join us on Sunday mornings at 9:30 in Courtyard Room #3.  Anyone is welcome.
-Shara Martin

Friday, October 12, 2012

Missions Month

"Missions Month"

     October is Missions month.  So many great things are happening in fellowships of believers all around the world.  I'm excited about this year's Taste of Missions event because the topic effects us right here in Ohio: Human Trafficking.

     27 Million people are enslaved in the world today due to other people's greed.  Trafficking is a daily occurrence for these victims.  Here in Ohio the number of victims is 2,000. 

     When looking at the problem of traffickers selling other people for personal gain, it seems overwhelming and impossible to fight.  It's the second largest crime in the world and quickly growing.  

     The focus of this year's Taste of Missions is about the hope of God reaching down, hearing victims' cries, and responding to their desperate situation.  There are many things you and I can do to help others right here in our own backyard.   There is much to learn about this world problem, and Orange Friends Church is making it easy to be educated, empowered, and inspired by hosting an informational presentation during the Taste of Missions night this Sunday at 5:30pm.

     Come interact with those who are making a difference in victims' lives, every day.  Hear from speakers who are facing this startling reality and succeeding in overcoming it on a daily basis.  Visit the exhibit tables and meet real survivors who are thriving with the help of people like you and me!  Come to Taste of Missions, and find out how God is making a way for us to bring about change in hearts and lives. 

~Dee Dee Ball

Editor's Note:  Please go to the website below to sign up to bring a dish to the poluck-style evening of local and global cuisine!