2900 County Barn Rd. Naples, Fl. 34112

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There is so much misinformation about Jesus today.  Sadly a lot of it comes from news and social media.  Both avenues of spreading ‘news’ most often shows the extremes, the negative, those seeking publicity around an event for their own gain and so the average person who does not have a life of faith or knows little about Jesus, is very jaded by all aspects of social and news media. 

How do we counter that?  It is difficult, but necessary.  From the time of Jesus, it has always been an uphill battle.  Societies will do all they can to try and contain the work of Jesus and the work that churches and people of faith do in the name of Jesus.

The best way to counter all the negative talk and hype about Jesus, religion and the church is to do just the opposite.  Be positive about Jesus.  Share with others what Jesus does for you each day.  Explain to those who do not know Jesus, what he did while he was on earth, what he stood for while he was on earth and how the church today does the best it can to emulate Jesus in its work and mission.

What Jesus stands for goes against the cultural norm.  He stands for love, compassion, forgiveness, grace, peace, mercy, helping the helpless and marginalized.  That is just the beginning.  The more one learns about Jesus, the more appealing he is to follow.  That is the beginning of a life of faith, following Jesus and becoming like him in our lives.

The political machine is in full swing already for the next presidential election.  By the time the person is elected, my guess would be most of us will be tired of the whole thing. Regardless of which person you listen to, vote for, or like, they all promise things that are very similar, and in the end there is little difference between any of them and the changes to our everyday life is miniscule.  Take an honest look back at your life and has it changed all that much because of one person elected at President? 

There is one who can make a real difference in your life.  There is one person who can bring about real freedom for you.  Sadly, you cannot vote for him.  He died a long time ago. His followers to this day claim he is alive but in a different form.  While he was alive as a person he never ran for any political office.  In fact, he would rather have nothing to do with the political leaders of the day.  He drew crowds of followers wherever he went.  He reached out to the poor, the sick and marginalized.

Ultimately he was killed by the political machine as the sacrificial lamb, but God allowed him to rise from dead and he exists today in the hearts, minds and souls of his followers.

Of course it is Jesus who offers this real freedom.  If you read his words and learn about what he did while he was on earth and what he does today in all who believe, you will see examples of real freedom.  Give Jesus a try.  What have you got to lose? 

When was the last time God took you out of your comfort zone?  What did it feel like?  Were you a bit apprehensive?  Were you eager to serve?  How long ago was it? 

God has been getting people out of their comfort zone since day one.  Once we begin to pay attention to God in our life and follow as faithfully as we are able, God will take us to places we would never dream of going and doing things we thought were impossible.  But as we know, nothing is impossible for God.  All God needs is a willing heart and great things may be accomplished.

While Jesus walked this earth he did the same thing.  He invited ordinary people to drop what they were doing and work with him.  Men and women gave up their trade craft, their lives to follow this man.  They learned all they could from him.  They witnessed who he was and what he did and then went out into the world spreading the good news that the Messiah had come and new life was possible in the midst of the trials and struggles of life.

Where has God called you to minister?  What has God asked you to do? Is it out of your comfort zone?  Most likely it is, but that is when God is most at work in us, when we put our agenda aside and serve in the name of Jesus.

Whenever we see a rainbow it causes us stop and admire what is before our eyes.  It is also a reminder that God is always with us.  That is the promise of the Gospel.  May you feel and recognize God's promise to you today and everyday.

I sometimes post sunset photos on my Facebook page.  Some might say, too often.  I took one the other night and received the usual round of comments. There is something special about a sunrise, sunset or just the sky in general that on any given day or moment it causes us to pause and reflect on this wonderful creation we are part of.  But it’s not me, is it?  It is God’s great handiwork providing the show and causing us to pause, take a breath and remind us of who we are and whose we are on this living dynamic planet.  In those moments we find ourselves more relaxed and at peace with ourselves and the world.  The cares of the day and stress we may have been feeling seem to drift away.  We are blessed to live in this place and time.  May you pause today and reflect on your part in creation and how you may serve God and love all. 

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MAYFLOWER CONGREGATIONAL UCC

2900 County Barn Rd 
Naples, Florida 34112

Office Hours: 
8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mon - Fri.

Sunday Worship 9:30
            Refreshments 10:30

Church Phone: 239-775-0055
Fax Number: 239-775-3253

Pastor Alan's Cell: 239-227-8500

office@mayflowernaples.com
pastor@mayflowernaples.com

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