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The Parents' Room is also available if you need to step out for a moment with your child.


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The worship style St. John is known for with biblically-sound real life messages, band and vocal music that enhance worship and the message while maintaining a focus on the sacred and encouraging you on your LIFEjourney with Christ.

9:00am* and 10:45am*|Sanctuary

 

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*Children's Ministry options are available for children from birth through fifth grade at the times marked.  Children are always welcome to worship with their families. A Parents' Room is also available if you need to step out for a moment.


 

 

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Showing items filed under “June 2013”
in Edify

Plot Twists

I’m enjoying reading of Elisha’s life from his call to ministry in 1 Kings 19, until his death, recorded in 2 Kings 13. He is not as well known as his mentor Elijah, but those chapters are rich in stories that reveal his character and the surprising patience and power of God.

When Elisha was first called to become a prophet, he was insecure and overwhelmed by the expectations Elijah and God placed in him. Elisha refused Elijah’s request to stay behind while the older prophet went to be with God. He would not allow Elijah out of his sight. He got even more upset when God sent messengers who predicted the imminent departure of his mentor. When the inevitable separation finally came, Elisha begged God to give him an even greater blessing than He had given Elijah.

Fast forward to the end of Elisha’s life, and we discover he has become a confident prophet whose wisdom and blessing were desired by his king. What happened to cause that transformation is called “Life.” God used the events of Elisha’s life to reshape and mature him for useful service. Life has a way of doing that … IF we remain teachable. (And that’s a big “IF.”)

My friends know I’m not inexperienced when it comes to home rehab projects. Over Memorial weekend Carol decided it was time for “us” to replace the vinyl floor in the laundry room. Now to my way of thinking, the vinyl floor had done nothing to deserve her disrespect. It was doing an adequate job of laying there. Oh sure, the seam where the main floor connected to the closet was starting to curl a little, and the original color was turning yellow, but hey, who wouldn’t after ten years of laying in the sun? Besides, there was a perfectly good door there! If those minor flaws were upsetting, we could always close the door. J Buddy the dog didn’t seem to mind, and he ate his dinner there every night.

But it was decided. The floor would have to be replaced with some form of ceramic tile, preferably of the earth-tone variety. Like most rehab projects, it seem perfectly easy in theory. But, before the tile could be laid, the baseboards would have to be carefully removed so they could be reinstalled later. The washer and dryer would have to be disconnected and stored in the garage, and the existing vinyl floor would have to be removed along with the underlayment to which it was glued. That’s when the plot began to thicken. What takes words to describe, took hours to accomplish.

The baseboards were cut to allow the sliding closet doors to cozy up to the wall and to accommodate the dryer vent, but the new tile floor height rendered those cuts useless. A new baseboard would be needed. Have you ever tried to match existing baseboards to baseboards ten years old? Then there was the problem of the existing floor. Not even Hercules could have peeled the existing vinyl floor away from the underlayment to which it was glued. Fortunately, the underlayment was not glued to the subfloor but the worker who stapled it in place was no minimalist. It took a wrecking bar and a prayer vigil to uncover the subfloor and make it receptive to the tile-backer. But, not even those obstructions were the most challenging part of the project.

All clothes washers are connected by means of hoses to a hot-and-cold water supply box that includes a drain for the machine’s spin cycle. Unfortunately, the shut-offs for my connections had nylon valves that were frozen in the “open” position. The handles turned but the valves did not, so when the hoses were disconnected, pressurized water erupted from the wall. J In order to remove the washer, the water supply for the entire house had to be turned off and the open lines sealed. If I had recorded the event I might have won $10k on America’s Funniest Home Videos. But in retrospect, I wasn’t laughing at the time.

Life is like that. You have a plan that is clear, concise and reasonable. But as soon as you move towards your preferred future, SURPRISE! Life happens.

Someone said, “You can curse the darkness or turn on a light.” You can work through the plot twists that stand between you and your preferred future, or you can take a defeatist attitude and keep your vinyl-floor-life. Who cares that the seams are curling and the once bright surface is turning a bit yellow? The dog likes it just fine.

Let’s face it, life is hard even when times are good, and times aren’t often good. Elisha embraced the plot twists of his life. In fact the plot twists of his life were used to turn an insecure, fearful man into a confident and capable prophet. God won’t patronize you. He expects us to exercise faith as we embrace life’s difficulties. When Jesus asked His followers to “take up their cross and follow Him,” He was not kidding. Sacrifice is a part of being faithful and required of all the faithful.

But Elisha was not ask to go it alone. God granted him a “double-portion” of Elijah’s spirit. A friend of mine signs all her emails with the thought, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” (BTW…. The floor in our laundry room turned out just awesome, and two new brass valves now control the water flow to the washing machine. The Bibles says, “It is through much hardship that we enter into the kingdom!” Amen to that.)


The Scripture

“I (Paul) know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians, chapter 4

  • If someone asked, what lesson in life has experience taught you recently?
  • What season are you in; abundance or scarcity?
  • What important is faith in God in handling the setbacks of life?

Survey

How have the plot twists in your life shaped you?

A. I feel stronger and closer to God because of them.
B. They got me down for a bit…I’m stumbling.
C. I have no idea how this story is going to end

Click here to take the survey and take a moment to leave a thought or opinion.


Online

If you were unable to attend services last weekend and would like to listen to the message, visit our homepage at www.stjstl.net and click on Media at the top right of the web page. Growing Deeper, a Bible study, written to accompany the message series is also available to download.


LIVEstreaming

St. John Church is now live streaming Sunday service at 9:15am and 11:00am. Join us!


A Prayer

Gracious Lord Jesus; I am so thankful that you walked the earth and experienced first-hand the emotions I experience. You, too, know the blessings of good times and the hardships of struggle. Through it all, You remained steadfast and focused on the greater meaning of life. You never allowed the praises of people to turn your head and “make you their king.” Neither did you permit the gossip and criticism of others to drive you to despair and resentment. Breathe Your spirit into my soul. Enable me to continue my walk with optimism and eager expectation about my future and Your partnership in life. As You were patient with Elisha, be patient with me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Prayer Requests

In need of prayer? E-mail your prayer request to and our staff, our prayer partners, and the people of St. John will pray for you. Or consider joining our Prayer Ministry by either being on a team that meets once a month, or by receiving prayer requests through our email prayer chain.


Brief Notes

Click on the links below to learn more about what's going on at St. John!
  • Celebrate with us on the Fourth of July!
  • Just a reminder, Children’s Ministry is on break during July. Our nursery rooms will remain staffed for your infants and toddlers

Stephen Hower, Pastor

Challenging the status quo to awaken an appreciation for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Phil. 3:13,14
(and to lower my golf score)

   

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Posted by Stephen Hower with

Smiling Faces

For the past two days we have put on VBS for kids living on the Wind River Indian Reservation. It was a lot of fun leading actions to christian songs with them, and seeing there smiling faces as they danced along. All of the kids are so unique and have different personalities. They like to have a lot of fun and want so dearly for someone to love them, and play with them. The group and I have really enjoyed taking on that role. VBS on the reservation is a little different from VBS at St. John. At first the kids were hesitant to sing and dance to the songs we performed on stage. The first time we told the kids to get up on their feet to sing and do actions, we got some no's and boo's. But gradually they got into it. It was cool seeing them go out of there comfort zone by standing up to do actions to songs. Many of the kids have experienced and are experiencing some sad events, that I believe no kid should have to go through. Some have parents in jail, parents that are no longer living, and many other sad experiences. To them, these things are normal, and they are able to shake it off and be happy. It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity to be their friend and tell them about Jesus. So far, the trip has really changed my view on things and I am eager to go on the trip again next year.

Matt Howard

Posted by Jennifer Dotson with

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