Change is hard. That's usually the way it is for big things in life. The sleepless nights when babies are crying every 2 or 3 hours, learning to drive a car or balance your check book for the first time, going off to college - all things that are worth the effort.
But the question we have to ask is this: is it worth it?
At Girard First United Methodist Church we are going thru a time of change. It's hard to work out all the details. But it's also exciting - new faces, new energy, renewed spirits abound.
All of the time, energy, and money we are expending is worth every minute, ounce of effort and penny. Why? Because the results are changed lives. Period. Full Stop.
What would you give for your children and grandchildren to live lives characterized by the transformation provided by Christ's love more fully realized in their hearts?
We all need to do the hard work of dealing with change. Because the consequences are so wonderful, and so very necessary. Your sacrifice honors Christ, and benefits our church and your family. Thank you for making hard choices.
Below is a chart that I recently found. It shows us that it gets better if we stick together as a family. We adapt, we find excitement again, there comes a 'new normal', a better normal, with a brighter future. Stick with us. I can't wait to see where we will be a year from now!
In a local realtor trade magazine I received for many years, they would have a profile of the month featuring a specific agent. They asked various questions like their favorite movie, food, vacation spot, etc. One of the other questions was favorite book. Not being an avid reader, I often wasn't familiar with some of the book titles mentioned. However, a few times, people said the bible. I always found that odd, not being a bible reader. I mean, once you've read it, you've read it, right? How could that be someone's favorite book? I never thought of it as "a book", I thought of it as 'the bible".
Move forward a few years later. I still am not an avid book reader, though I do read occasionally; however, I am a news nut. I watch it whenever I work out in the morning and I can't get enough of it. I especially love all the news feeds on Twitter. Anyway, getting back to my thought. After friends like Jim Celedonia and Richard Brunton opened up my heart and soul to "THE BOOK", I can honestly say that I love it and can now see why people answered that their favorite book was the bible. So the answer to the title of this post is a resounding NO!!!!! Once isn't even close to enough.
Let's travel back a few years. How many Seinfeld or Friends junkies are out there? You've watched those episodes so many times, you have lines memorized. How about movie junkies? Admit it, if Shawshank Redemption comes on, you'll stop what you're doing and at least "see what part it is at" and an hour later you're still watching. And guys, if the first Rocky is on, you're stopping to watch. What about even farther back, Andy Griffith, Gilligan's Island, Gomer Pyle, USMC, you name the show. You still watch them when they're on, I know you do. So do I! And how about current TV fanatics. How many movies, shows, or series, have you watched on Netflix more than once? Now, why is it we can watch the same shows, or the same movies over and over again? It's because they make us feel good, they make us laugh and often cry. We like the familiarity and comfort of an old favorite and we usually like how they make us feel. And often, we see or hear something we missed before.
That's how I see the bible now. I am not even close to knowing much of it, even though I have read the New Testament many, many times. OK, I've only read Revelations completely through one time. I'm still working on that book (HELP). And the Old Testament continues to grow on me, though I still struggle with many books. But the books I've read more often, the ones I've truly come to know better and to understand and have read again and again, they're like an old favorite movie or TV show. And just like when you go back and watch an old movie or show and hear or see something you didn't before, that is exactly how the bible can be!! I can't tell you how many times that has happened to me over the years and continues to happen. It's one of the most exciting things about reading the bible over and over. There is so much in it, it is absolutely impossible to get all, or even most of it, after one complete read through. Which by the way takes awhile. In fact, I would venture to say that as long as we live, the bible will continue to give us more each time we read it. It's likes a never ending data base.
So if you're in a good place with your scripture reading, great, keep it going. If you aren't, that's OK. Just try to find some time to get back. Early mornings work best for me, when the phone isn't ringing (or texts aren't coming through), the TV isn't on and everyone's usually asleep. If you've read it multiple times, don't be afraid to go back. I guarantee you that you'll see something you never saw before, or interpret something differently. It's one of the best things about scripture. One passage can have multiple lessons and often, you don't see them all the first, or even second or third time through. And finally, if you've never read it, like I hadn't for most of my life, there's no time like the present to start. And if you don't know where to start, talk to someone you know that does read the bible, or your minister. Some people even like bible reading plans, which I know have worked very well for many individuals. Just Google bible reading plans. There are a gazillion. Just start. It truly will change your life. And I should know, because it happened to me. And if you think you're too old, you're not. I was nearly 50 when I started!
Join the conversation live @ 9:30 am on Sundays as Dave begins a new group, or @ 11 am at Asbury class as Chris begins a new study on Making Sense of the Bible.
By Sally Wagner, Church Historian
We left our church family at the end of September, 1940, getting acquainted with their new pastor, Arthur Maly and his family, while worrying about the world war that had engulfed Europe and Asia. As always, we are indebted to the Girard News, our town’s weekly newspaper, available on microfilm at the Girard Free Library, for much of our information. This is supplemented by minutes of meetings, and our financial reports, from our archives.
The first Sunday in October fell on the 6th. The News in the “Church Notes” column stated that: “Rev. Arthur S. Maly, who comes from Ridgewood Methodist Church, Cleveland, will assume charge of his new pastorate.” However, on the Saturday before that, Oct. 5th, Rev. Maly presided over his first wedding in our church. The October 11th edition of the Girard News, in the Society section, reported that: “Miss Margaret Jane McCorkle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O. F. McCorkle of Broadway Avenue and Samuel Walker McCune, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. W. McCune, Jr. of Wilmington, Delaware, were married Saturday morning at 10:45 in the Methodist Church, Rev. Arthur Maly officiating.” So, we know that Rev. Maly got off to a busy start in his new pastorate.
The October 11th edition of the News announced that Registration for Selective Military Service would be held on Wednesday, October 16th, at the voting precincts in Girard, from the hours of 7 AM to 9 PM. Approximately 1,000 men were expected to register from the city of Girard. Some of these men would have been from our own church family. This was the first ever peacetime draft in our country’s history. It had been signed into law, just one month before, on September 16th. Now it began with the registration which would sign up approximately 16 million men in the U.S. This was bringing that war over in Europe and Asia up close and personal if you were one of the men who had to go and register. When you read the headline that Friday afternoon, it would have affected you deeply.
The News generally came out on Friday morning and was delivered by schoolboys immediately after school. Thus, the men who were affected by the draft would had read it then and begun to wonder how their lives would be changed. What would happen later that same evening after the football game at Niles, however, would strike immediate fear into parents of Girard high school students. The game itself was apparently uneventful. Niles, the home team, had won the contest 13-0. All the Girard players got on the bus and went home peacefully. However, the two band buses were stoned by a group of Niles boys, resulting in ten broken windows on the buses, and injuries to two band members. Many of our Girard band youth were frightened, rightfully so. Eventually the Niles police scattered the offending youths, and escorted the Girard buses as far as McKinley Heights where they were met by Girard Police, who escorted the buses back to the high school. Apparently the injuries suffered by the two band members were not serious enough to require hospitalization, as there is no mention of that, or even of the members’ names in the Girard News.
The following Tuesday, at their regular monthly meeting, the Girard Board of Education adopted a resolution “that all athletic relations be severed between Niles and Girard”. I know the relationship between the two schools has often been contentious. I do not know how long the severance lasted from October of 1940. If anyone knows the answer, I would be happy to include that information in next month’s blog.
We will conclude our look back at October of 1940 on a happier note. The last Sunday of the month, October 25th, was Homecoming Sunday at our church. After the church service, at about 12:15, there was a covered dish dinner downstairs where everyone could visit and enjoy the fellowship. After the dinner there was some “peppy” singing and a talk by Dr. Schuyler Garth of Trinity Methodist Church in Youngstown.
That was our church family in the month of October, 1940, seventy-five years ago.
Connect with Pastor Vicky, Dave DiBernardi, Sally Wagner, Meghan DeGregory and Shane Russo as they share what God is doing in our lives and what we are learning as we grow.