Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
Please consider donating rainbow colored items to the OCC project. That could mean coloring books or something to color with (or another colorful item). We also need shoeboxes and shipping costs.
Join us on Wednesday, May 31 at 6pm for church clean-up. There are plenty of things to do inside the church and fellowship hall. There will also be yard work to perform if you would prefer to be outside. Thank you in advance for your help!
This is the 77th anniversary of our church! We are excited to invite you, your family, and your friends to join us on June 4th in celebration. Also, if you have pictures of any church activity or ministry from the last 77 years, please bring them to Sis. Joyner to be displayed.
We will celebrate fathers on Sunday, June 18, with breakfast! The gathering will begin at 10am, as usual, but the entire event will be in the fellowship hall. If you are a father, had a father, or belong to the heavenly Father, you are invited!
Luau for HCOG
Because Hawaii has so few Churches of God, they are considered a "mission state". We would love to be able to bless the churches there financially. You will have an opportunity to give "Pennies to Pineapples" throughout the month of June, all culminating in a luau celebration (date TBA)!
Biney English and his family will, once again, be joining us. Saturday, July 8th, you and all your guests are invited to enjoy this singing event. Stick around for a meal after the performance.
Luau for HCOG
Keys to Keeping Your Focus
Like any new habit, taking time to study God’s Word will take a purposeful effort. At first, it can be a struggle to spend even a few minutes with God each day, and in the midst of a busy schedule, adding another thing to the list may not seem easy. But it is most definitely worth it!
I also believe the enemy fights us hard in this area. Satan knows how powerful God’s Word is, and he knows what it will accomplish in our lives. When I first began to make it a priority in my life, it seemed like I was faced with constant distractions. Things would come up to prevent me from spending time with God. Or I would begin my time, then lose focus or start to fall asleep.
Again, it comes down to treating our time in the Word as a vital necessity and choosing to do whatever it takes to make it a priority. So, here are just a few tips I have learned over the years to help me stay focused.
1. Make an Appointment with God
Choose to treat your time with God like you would any other appointment and work your schedule around that time.
I can still remember the early years when my kids were young and living at home. At first, they were a bit frustrated when I would go to my room and study the Word. They were used to me always being available. But, little by little, they saw the positive changes in my life—I was nicer, more loving and generally a better mother. In fact, it became our joke. When I was having bad day and being grumpy with everyone, they would tease me and say, “Mom, go to your room!”
God used this to teach my children (and me) a valuable lesson—that our time in His Word is where transformation begins. Putting God first is the best thing for you and the people you love!
2. Eliminate Any Potential Distractions
As much as possible, eliminate anything that will distract you. This can include things like turning off the TV or silencing your phone. If someone is calling and you know it can wait, choose to call them later when you are free.
3. Pick a Time When You’re at Your Best
As I’ve mentioned, choose a time when you will be most alert and able to focus. For many people, studying God’s Word works best in the morning because they are rested and fresh. However, if you’re a night person and concentrate better at the end of the day, then set your routine accordingly.
4. Keep a Notebook Handy
During my study time, I’ll occasionally get a good idea for a book I’m writing or remember something I have to do. In the past I would let that distract me, and I would stop what I was doing to go take care of it. Now I keep a notebook nearby to jot these things down to do later. I encourage you to do the same. When things pop into your mind, make a note on paper or in your phone, then choose to follow up when you’re finished.
5. A Little Is Better Than Nothing
When “life happens” and you don’t have as much time as you normally would, it’s still good to use the time you do have. There have been days when I have taken just 10 minutes to sit quietly with God. I’ll say, “Lord, this day didn’t go as I planned, but I want to at least check in with You. I love You and I know that I can’t do anything without You.” I’ll then meditate on a Scripture or sing a song of worship.
The enemy will try and make us feel guilty for not doing more. But remember, we don’t spend time with God to earn His love or approval. We do it because we love Him and can’t live without Him!
6. You’re Never Too Busy
Several years ago, my then 10-year-old granddaughter came to me and said, “Grandma, I want you to tell me how to spend more time with God because I’m so busy.” I thought that was cute. I thought, Honey, if you think you’re busy now, you just wait!
All of us have busy lives, and the enemy will use this busyness to distract us from our time in God’s Word. However, the busier we are and the more we have to do, the more time we need with God. He is our strength!
I will tell you what I told my granddaughter that day: Just start somewhere. If you’re schedule looks too busy to add one more thing, don’t let it stop you. Take what time you have—even if it’s just 15 minutes—and build from there.
As you do—as you take these steps to put His Word first—God will honor your efforts and show up in your life in ways you never imagined.
Pray: “God, I want to bear good fruit in my life, and I need Your help in planning and following through to simply meet with You. Help me not to get distracted by time wasters that get me off track and frustrate me. Even on my busiest days, help me to treat my time with You as a vital appointment that I just can’t miss. In Jesus’ name, amen.”