Church Family Newsletter | February 5, 2022
On my way to drop off Morgan at band practice, we noticed two beautiful deer standing in a field by the side of the road. They were so sweet-looking and poised ever so gracefully. Of course, they were trying to remain camouflaged in the scenery, but I saw them. Morgan laughed at me because I squealed in delight. I didn't mind.
I wonder how many beautiful things you pass by each day and you do not notice them? It could be a flower that has come up through the sidewalk, a card in the post, a smile from the cashier, a hug from your child, a pass given on the freeway, or a lunch date with a friend. Life can seem very stressful and busy at times, but notice that God gives us these good gifts along the way to encourage us. You may long to be somewhere else but find the good where you are now.
As you know, I like to find music videos with a message. This one may seem a little darker or somber than normal, but it points to the fact that there are hurting people around us. YOU may be the blessing that they need to get through these dark days. You may be hesitant to reach out to them. Don't. When the Holy Spirit prompts you, take action! There is a reason for the sense of urgency.
Maybe you may feel in desperate times and no one seems to care. We might have the wrong impression that you are okay. It's okay - to not be okay. Reach out. Ask for help! Let us know. We genuinely want to be there for you - and we know you want to be there for each other.
There are so many local or divisional opportunities to fellowship with each other, but don't neglect to create connecting points yourselves. As Gwyn mentioned in his message last week, three cords are stronger than one. (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12).
We are stronger together.
Major AnnMarguerite Jones
I have a mental collection of aphorisms that I like to trot out in conversations when the opportunity arises. For example:
“Where there’s a will, there’s a lawyer.”
“The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”
“Don’t cross your bridges before they hatch.”
“He who hesitates is not only lost but miles from the next exit.”
“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”
“Patience comes to he who waits.”
I try to make them short, humorous, and state some truth. I will unashamedly borrow from any and all good ones I hear, too.
All of this comes to mind because of a dinner conversation my wife and I had recently with some friends in Scotland.
As Salvationists always do, we were catching up with the news of many mutual friends and acquaintances and reminiscing about our roots which had only recently sadly slipped into the category of “history." We weren’t longing for ”the good old days” because I’m not sure there was such a thing when you take into account the deluge of blessings we are privileged to enjoy in the present. Certainly, there were fond memories of practices and adventures in which we happily took part before health and safety regulations kicked in.
For example, I remember as a child going to a shoe store where they had a machine that looked like a scale for weighing, but actually provided a live x-ray picture of my not fully grown feet in order to determine the best fitting shoes! That would (rightly) be a lawsuit tsunami today! Or spending the night on the stone floor of a cold and drafty church hall with pre-teen cub scouts (we called it “camping”) - with no indoor toilets or washing facilities. That would never happen these days.
Our conversation turned to the many traditions that had evaporated during COVID to be replaced by different opportunities.
It was time to throw in one of my aphorisms - usually attributed to writer Michael Chabon in 1963 - “Man plans, God laughs!”
As my friend reminded me, it’s all too easy to assume that the time we are living in is the most crucial to the plan of salvation for the human race. We forget that God knows the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, of His will — we don’t, and don’t need to. We need to get over ourselves. What we do know is that God does have a plan and we are privileged to be part of it.
God reminds us of this in Isaiah’s prophecy:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV]
The truth is we get to be participants in the plan, we don’t get to make the plan for the participants!
It is all too easy to become depressed and despondent by the seeming advance of evil and godlessness in our world today, especially with the loss of cherished values, standards, and traditions. We should remember that none of this is a surprise to God. He’s not watching from heaven saying, “O my goodness, look what they’re getting up to now!" He knew this would be the case and has planned around it. But He is counting on us to be faithful participants in his plan for the here and now. We don’t need to know where in the timescale of His grand scheme our little segment of time falls, but we do need to do our part in it. He has “baked us in”!
As the wisdom of Solomon — a great aficionado of aphorisms! — puts it,
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” [Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV]
I often get asked if I think we are living in “end times”? This is a question that has been asked continuously for at least the last two thousand years. My answer is always a definite “maybe” or an absolute “perhaps” and then I point out that when asked the same question, Jesus shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know, the Father has that information.” Well, if Jesus didn’t know, I am not going to be arrogant enough to try to one-up him!
What I do know is that we are told to be ready at all times for His return! It could be ten
minutes from now!
I don’t know if when it’s time for me to be rewarded with eternal life there will still be ten minutes or ten thousand years left to run in the great sweep of the history of God’s plan for humanity. But one thing I do know and it’s summed up in one of my aphorisms:
“I’ve read the end of the book, and we win!”
Or better yet, let’s remember a couple of aphorisms from Jesus himself:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.” [Matthew 6:34 NIV]
I think I’ll borrow those for myself!
Chin up! We’re on the winning team!
Blessings on you and yours,
2022 Sermon Series: Ecclesiastes & Romans
This Week's Schedule
- 9:30 AM - Praise Team Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Small Classroom
- 10:00 AM - Corps Cadets - Library
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Meeting - Prayer Room (in the Courtyard)
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Streaming on Concord Corps Family Facebook Page and In-Person
- 12:15 PM - Singing Company Practice - Chapel (be sure to bring a lunch for the break)
- 1:15 PM - Junior Band Practice & Music Electives - Chapel
- 7:00 PM - Corps Council Meeting - Zoom
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Women's Bible Study - Hybrid, Zoom & In-Person
- 7:00 PM - Songsters Practice - Chapel
- 8:00 PM - Senior Band Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Recipe for Friendship - Zoom
- 9:00 AM - Teens prepping for Friendship Luncheon - Fireside Room
When: Every Sunday at 10:15 AM
Where: Prayer Room
This has become a very precious time where a small group gathers together to pray for over the concerns that have been shared through the week via the prayer chain emails or any other requests that have come our way. It is a time of interceding for others and seeking God's will for us as a body of Christ. Feel free to use the link below to share any other prayer requests or praise reports that can be shared with the group.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." (Ephesians 6:18, NIV)
Click here to share your requests. Requests will be prayed for in our Prayer Room and distributed through our Prayer Chain. Requests can be made anonymously.
Coming Up Soon - Don't Miss Out!
Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for children (0-11)
RSVP by February 9th.
Corps Cadet Rally
"To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God." (Micah 6:8)
When: February 19, 2022
Location: Suisun Kroc Center, 586 E. Wigeon Way, Suisun City, CA 94585
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Registration at 9:30 AM)
Cost: $10 includes lunch and activities
This day will be filled with music, games, certificates, workshops, food, and God's Word. Delegates will safely rotate and enjoy the amenities at the Kroc Center. (CDC guidelines will be implemented.)
Registration is due by February 10th. Let Major AnnMaguerite Jones know if you want to go. Delegate forms must be signed ahead of time.
Women's Weekly Fellowship Program: February through May
Save the Dates
Women's Day Retreat
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." (Titus 2:11-12)
New Date: March 12, 2022
Time: 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Concord Corps
Cost: $10 per person and includes lunch (craft workshops may require a fee)
We are hosting our very own women's day retreat! Please feel free to invite your friend, a neighbor, and family. They don't have to attend our church or any church for that matter. The program includes an Over the Top Hat Fashion Show and a homemade Hat Contest. Prizes awarded!
Our guests include Colonel Donna Igleheart, Major Pam Brackenbury, Major Candi Frizzell, and Major Dianne Madsen.
There will also be an accessory and clothing exchange. Bring gently used and in good-condition items to swap with someone else's items. You can get 1 item for every item you bring in. Maximum of 10 items. After that, you can purchase additional items for $1 each.
RSVP with Major AnnMarguerite Jones by March 7th:
Del Oro Women's Retreat
Dates: March 13-15, 2022
Location: William Jessup University
Cost: $75 which includes housing, food, materials, and a t-shirt
There will be workshops, fun activities, inspirational worship, and fellowship. They are even putting on a Prom! So start getting your outfit together!
Registration is due April 13th.
See Major AnnMarguerite Jones or Major Willdonna Rich if you would like to attend.
Volunteer Disaster Action Training
Location: Camp Del Oro, Nevada City
Current Emergency Disaster Service volunteers, new prospective volunteers, church members, and community members are welcome to attend. This training is intended to grow and advance Corps Disaster Deployment Teams and get them ready for the next activation for incidents both divisionally and locally. Training is being organized by the Divisional Disaster Services Team.
More information and registration details to come. This is a SAVE THE DATE announcement.