Tahlequah First United Methodist Church

10:00 a.m. Celebration Worship | 6:30 p.m. Open Door Worship

Month: November 2017 (page 1 of 3)

Thanksliving Video: Nick Shaw-Bolen

This week we asked Nick Shaw-Bolen to share his Thanksliving Testimony.

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You can see the rest of the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8OwG5myLIpCDGnEAfHHnY5k2nBGfiDTC

November 25th Scripture Reading: Luke 17:11-19

Read: Scripture Reading: Luke 17:11-19 Common English Bible

11 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, 13 they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, show us mercy!”

14 When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. 16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus replied, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18  No one returned to praise God except this foreigner?” 19 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

November 24th  Devotional Title: Kenneth Mason’s Witness

Written By: George Warren

Let me tell you what I learned from Kenneth Mason.  When we served the church in Goodwell out in the Oklahoma Panhandle, we grew to love some amazing people.  One of those families was the Mason family—Kenneth and Margaret and their three sons, Jeff, Todd and Lee. Margaret was an accountant, working for one of the companies in the area. Kenneth was a farmer, growing mostly wheat and milo, and grazing cattle on the wheat over the winter.  Kenneth had lost one of his thumbs in an accident working on a combine many years before, and he used to startle the children by “pulling his thumb off” and showing the nub!  They were hard working folks, good folks.  But I don’t know how they paid the grocery bill for those growing boys!

I asked Kenneth to share his witness on why he gave to the church, and this is what he said.  “We make an estimate of giving each year because we know our church does great things in our community and around the world, and we want them to be able to plan on what they can spend.  You know that we farm.  Now farming for wheat is always a gamble.  I never feel the urge to go to Las Vegas to gamble for fun.  We do that every day, and all you farmers understand.  Some years the harvest is strong, but the prices will be low; some years the harvest is low, but the prices are up.  Some years we lose money on the wheat but make it on milo and cattle; some years it’s just the opposite.  Since we never know from year to year, we just make our estimate of giving based on our average income—Margaret’s salary plus the farm income.  When we have a good year, we pay off loans and buy new equipment.  When we have a bad year, we take out a loan to live on and keep farming.  With that loan we pay the mortgage on our house, and our living expenses.  Just because the harvest was weak, we’re not going to stop eating or driving to the boys’ basketball away games or buying clothes for them.  And with that loan we also pay our tithe.  That’s right.  We borrow money to pay our tithe.  Margaret and I figure that God has blessed us immensely with each other, the boys, the farm and so much more.  If I’m committed to pay obligations to the bank who doesn’t love me, (And don’t get me wrong, they’re good people; they just don’t love me.) then (At this point he pointed that nub of a thumb to his chest.) shouldn’t I be more committed to God who does love me?

I don’t remember what I said that Sunday, but I will never forget what Kenneth Mason said, “If I’m committed to pay my obligations to the bank who doesn’t love me, shouldn’t I be more committed to God who does love me?”

November 23rd Devotional Title: I Thank You God for Most This Amazing 

“i thank You God for most this amazing” by e.e. cummings from this book XAIPE

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


Shared By: Jane Bond

November 22nd Devotional Title: Thankslivng for me   

Written By: Rev. Matt Franks

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken, let’s continue to express our gratitude. With this gratitude, let’s serve in a way that is pleasing to God with respect and awe. (Hebrews 12:28 CEB)

Ever stumble across a verse in the Bible and go “Yes, this is it, this is what I needed!” This verse came to me as I was putting together the barebones of what this devotional book would look like. After reading it, I celebrated and thought to myself, “this is thanksliving!”  Thanksliving to me is sharing with the world what you have because you are thankful for what God has given to you. With 2018 around the corner, how will you express gratitude this year?

Here are some suggestions:

Praise God with gratitude. Read Psalms of gratitude and give God thanks for all your blessings each day.

Love with gratitude. Offer at least 365 acts of kindness, encouragement and witness this year.

Serve with gratitude. Check with myself or James Bon how you can serve in our Church and World.

Give with gratitude. Assess your financial goals and priorities and approach you prepare your 2018 annual giving commitment as an expression of your gratitude for the blessings you have received.

Share gratitude.

  • Recognize the people and blessings for which you are grateful.
  • Start a Gratitude Journal.
  • Send regular notes of gratitude.
  • On Thankful Thursdays Share your gratitude through social media if you have it.

With the hashtags #thankfulthursdays #quahfumc

November 21st  Devotional Title: Wesley’s Porter   

Written By: George Warren

In John Reynolds’ Anecdotes of the Rev. John Wesley (1828), he tells the story of Wesley’s student days at Lincoln College in Oxford. A porter knocked on Wesley’s door one evening and asked to speak with him. After some conversation Wesley noted the man’s thin coat, for it was a cold winter night. Wesley suggested that he had better get another coat. The porter replied: “This coat … is the only coat I have in the world and I thank God for it.”

Wesley asked the man if he had eaten and the porter replied: “I have had nothing today but a draught of spring water … and I thank God for that.”

Wesley, growing uneasy in the man’s presence, reminded him that he would have to get to his quarters soon or be locked out. “Then what shall you have to thank God for?” Wesley asked.  “I will thank Him,” replied the porter, “that I have dry stones to lie upon.”

Wesley was deeply moved by the man’s sincerity and he said to him, “You thank God when you have nothing to wear; … nothing to eat … [and] no bed to lie on. I cannot see what you have to thank God for.”

The man replied: “I thank God… that he has given me life and being, and a heart to love Him, and a desire to serve Him.” (8-9)

After the man had left with a coat from Wesley’s closet, some money for food and words of appreciation for the witness he had made, Wesley wrote in his Journal: “I shall never forget that porter. He convinced me there is something in religion to which I am a stranger.”

Are you a stranger to the strangeness of true discipleship?

November 20th Devotional Title: Our Attitudes Matter 

Written By: Rev. Matt Franks

“Unless we are thankful, we will suffer the leprosy of ingratitude. We will be depressed and full of self-pity and jealousy.” ― from “An African Prayer Book”

I say, “our attitudes matter,” a lot and they really do. When we are not living a life full of gratitude for all that God gives us we become self-centered. Psalm 43:5 reminds us to not be self-centered and to have our hope in God who is our saving presence.

When I was walking with my mother in the final months in her life we were not centered on the Cancer that was taking over in her body or the Early Onset Alzheimer’s that she was living with. Instead every meeting with her we focused on the hope that we knew this journey for her on earth was ending and that her time in heaven was coming. That hope did give us some comfort and we were so thankful we got the three months with her.

It was my mother who taught me that my attitude matters. We can take adversity head on with Hope that God is with us and we are not alone in this time. Or we can have a pity party that no one will attend. Living a life of thanksliving is sometimes taking a bad situation and finding the light in it. It is there, we just have to wade through the muck to find it and we go through the muck with God on our side.

This Sunday’s Thanksliving with Tate Schneider

Here is this Sunday’s Thanksliving Video with Tate Schneider

November 18th Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:14-30


14 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was leaving on a trip. He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them. 15 To one he gave five valuable coins, and to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. He gave to each servant according to that servant’s ability. Then he left on his journey.

16 “After the man left, the servant who had five valuable coins took them and went to work doing business with them. He gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two valuable coins gained two more. 18 But the servant who had received the one valuable coin dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.

19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received five valuable coins came forward with five additional coins. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’

22 “The second servant also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done! You are a good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’

24 “Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven’t sown. You gather crops where you haven’t spread seed. 25 So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what’s yours.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed? 27 In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest. 28 Therefore, take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins. 29 Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don’t have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them. 30 Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.’ “People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.

Matthew 25:14-30 Common English Bible

November 17th Read: Devotional Title: THANKS FOR FLEAS?

Written By: George Warren

In her now classic book, The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom tells about an incident that taught her the principle of giving thanks in all things.  It was during World War II. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, had been harboring Jewish people in their home, so they were arrested and finally imprisoned at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp by the Nazis.

Their barrack was extremely crowded and infested with fleas. One morning they read in their tattered Bible from 1 Thessalonians 5:18 the reminder to give thanks in all things. Betsie said to Corrie, “Corrie, we’ve got to give thanks for these barracks and even for these fleas.”  Corrie replied, “No way am I going to thank God for fleas.”

But Betsie was persuasive, and they did thank God even for the fleas. During the months that followed, they found that their barrack was left relatively free, and they could do Bible study, talk openly, and even pray there. It was their only place of refuge. Several months later they learned that the guards never entered their barrack because of those blasted fleas.  (Les Parrott III, “Thank God for fleas,” Rev., January-February 2001, 42.)

What would it mean for you to give thanks to God “in all things”?

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