Pastor Shana’s February Reflection

Putting Love Into Action

from Pastor Shana’s Newsletter Article

30 Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. 31  Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. 32  Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. 33  A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. 34  The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. 35  The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ 36  What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”37 Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” ~Luke 10:30-37 Common English Bible

On June 17th 2015 a young man entered the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston South Carolina, sat down and attended the prayer service. After about an hour of meeting with these people 21 year old Dylan Roof pulled out a .45 caliber Pistol and shot 9 church members multiple times. The next day Roof was apprehended and arrested in Shelby North Carolina. Relatives of those who were killed told suspect Dylan Roof during an initial court appearance that they forgave him. These people forgave someone who took the lives of their mothers, fathers, siblings and children. This may seem like an impossible task, but it is possible with God! The natural response would be to seek revenge. But the members of that church illustrate how to show the love of Jesus in the most difficult of times. Those people do not just attend church, they show us how to BE THE CHURCH!

Being the church is not just following Jesus in “doctrine” or “belief”…It is following Him out into the streets, among the people, mingling with them and loving them where they are.

We can preach Jesus with our words but we will reach people with our actions! Yes, we are to tell people that Jesus loves them. But we will have a greater impact when we SHOW them the love of Christ!

Obviously this “Samaritan” who showed compassion to this man was the one who acted as a neighbor.  It is not hard to love our family, our faith family and our friends. But nowhere do you find that Jesus commands us to only love those who deserve it. He says that we are to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. In His closing words to this “teacher of the Law” He says “Go and do likewise”. That is our assignment today. It is not enough for us to say we love others. We must show that love each and every day.

Love is not an option… it is a command. My prayer for you as we go into this Lenten season is to take this command to heart and put our Love Into Action.

Peace & Love Always,

Pastor Shana Dry

Pastor Matt’s February Reflection

Pastor Matt’s February Reflection

(Here is my Reflection from this months newsletter.)

Lent is coming! Ash Wednesday is Feb. 14th The season of Lent is used by Christians as a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is also utilized as a time of self-examination and reflection.

How do you hold yourself accountable in your relationship with God?  Have you ever seen John Wesley’s Accountability questions that Wesley would use with his Holy Clubs? John would use these questions with his Holy Club over 200 years ago. I find them very helpful in centering my relationship with God. (

  1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
  2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
  3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
  4. Can I be trusted?
  5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
  6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
  7. Did the Bible live in me today?
  8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
  9. Am I enjoying prayer?
  10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
  11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
  12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
  13. Do I disobey God in anything?
  14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
  15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
  16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
  17. How do I spend my spare time?
  18. Am I proud?
  19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
  20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
  21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
  22. Is Christ real to me?

I want to invite you this Lent to consider these accountability questions and see where they lead you.

Lent is coming, Easter is coming. But it will all be ok, just breathe and open yourself up to the nudges and whispers that God is presenting you.


Peace be with you,

Pastor Matt Franks

Advent Devotional: Missing King Kong by Rev. George Warren

Missing King Kong

Why do some people see opportunities others miss? In the book Did You Spot the Gorilla? psychologist Richard Wiseman describes an experiment that provides a clue:

Volunteers watched a 30-second video of two teams playing basketball. They were asked to count the number of times one of the teams passed the ball. What they weren’t told was that halfway through the video, a man dressed in a gorilla suit would run onto the court, stand in front of the camera, and beat his chest. Amazingly, only a few of the volunteers spotted the man in the gorilla suit. Most were so intent on counting passes that they completely missed the gorilla.

Wiseman concluded that most people go through life so focused on the task at hand they completely miss “gorilla” opportunities.

He gives the example of a team of 3M researchers who were trying to develop a high-strength adhesive. One of their attempts produced a product that was actually the opposite—a very low-strength adhesive. Most of the team thought the result was a failure, but one saw it as an opportunity. That failure became the glue on 3M Post-It Notes.

If we aren’t careful, we can be so fixated on the mundane, that we miss God-given opportunities of significance.

Advent Thursday’s Devotion by Rev. Wayne Loftin

Malachi 3:1-7 CEB

Look, I am sending my messenger who will clear the path before me; suddenly the Lord whom you are seeking will come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you take delight is coming, says the Lord of heavenly forces. Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can withstand his appearance? He is like the refiner’s fire or the cleaner’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver.
 He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. They will belong to the Lordpresenting a righteous offering. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in ancient days and in former years.
I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers, the adulterers, those swearing falsely, against those who cheat the day laborers out of their wages as well as oppress the widow and the orphan, and against those who brush aside the foreigner and do not revere me, says the Lord of heavenly forces. I am the Lord, and I do not change; and you, children of Jacob, have not perished. Ever since the time of your ancestors, you have deviated from my laws and have not kept them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of heavenly forces. But you say, “How should we return?”

     We often get caught up in being busy for weeks only to miss Christmas completely.  Even with our best intentions, some are just glad when it is over. This need not happen nor be the case. The Advent season is indeed a perfect time of personal spiritual preparation to joyfully receive the promise of God in His Son, Jesus.

Malachi, a prophet of Israel, wrote 3:7b “Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, “How shall we return?”

     Jesus did not come to complicate our lives, but to bring to us that the assurance of a new or renewed relationship with God was possible.  When we understand Advent is about getting a fresh start in our faith, Christmas can be a new beginning.  The story of Christmas itself teaches us how the new or renewed journey to life in Christ can begin for us.

    Hopeful shepherds set out in faith on a search until they found the promised one.  Magi, from a distant world searched against odds until they too found the one who was to come.  Traveling through this life in a world offering little hope, may we keep searching until we too have found the faith, hope, and peace in God’s promised Son.