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Coming Up at Ebenezer

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For Meditation:

"I don't let compliments go to my head, or let insults go to my heart." Dennis Prager

Blood Drive Coming Jan. 24

Our winter blood drive for the American Red Cross will be held on Monday, January 24 from 2:30-7:00 p.m. We will serve free soup and sandwiches and snacks to those who come to donate or help.

Go to RedCrossBlood.org and enter: Ebenezer UMC to schedule an appointment or call the church office at 828-396-2214, Monday-Friday, 8:30 - 1:00 p.m. and the office manager will sign you up online. We thank you for your support of this worthy endeavor.

Prayer Focus for January 16-22:

Robin's Nest (ministry to children who have experienced sexual abuse).

Cornhole/HotWings Challenge

On Saturday, January 15, 4-7:00 p.m., we invite you to come prove your Cornhole prowess or your ability to stand the heat on hot wings. The Cornhole Tournament begins at 4:30 p.m. and cost is $20 per team. Even if you can't throw, you can come to watch, and cheer on the competitors.

The Hot Wings Challenge begins at 6:00 p.m. Each challenger will eat 10 hot wings starting with a mild sauce and going to extremely hot! During the event, the eaters will discuss questions provided by an emcee. No winners, but those who make it to the end will have bragging rights!

Hamburgers and hot dogs will be on sale to those who come to watch or participate.

Proceeds go to help a family in the church. We thank you for your support.

Mini-Bible Lesson 15: Seeing Jesus

References: Luke 24:28-34; Interpreter’s Bible, vol. 8, pp. 426-427.

When [Jesus] was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…       Luke 24:30-31a NIV

The two disciples who were walking along on the road to Emmaus, were very concerned and disappointed about what had happened recently in Jerusalem. The death of the man whom they believed to be the long-awaited Messiah had died on a cruel Roman cross at the instigation of their religious leaders. There were rumors that the tomb where he had been laid was now empty; but they were unsure of what that meant.

Life hits us all this way, sometimes. We think everything is going well; then tragedy strikes in the form of a financial setback, sickness, or accident, or emotional trauma. Our world is moving along great, then insane things begin happening over which we have little or no control.

Yet, there is a stranger waiting to join us in our journey, to guide us through the scriptures, to show how God is looking out for us, and always keeps his promises. But do we recognize him for who he is? Do we acknowledge his presence?

After expounding on the scriptures and still not being recognized by the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus started to move on down the road, until the two disciples asked, and even compelled him to stay with them. Jesus complied; and, at the breaking of the bread with Jesus acting as the host, the eyes of the disciples were finally opened, and they saw Jesus for who he is.

Jesus does not push himself on us, neither does he reveal himself to us completely, until we invite him into our homes, and our hearts. He wants an intimate relationship with us, but he will not force it upon us. The men let Jesus be the host of the meal in their lodgings; then their eyes were opened. Let Jesus be the host of all your life, and he will reveal himself daily. Obey him, and you will become a partner in the work of his kingdom here on earth, and live eternally with him beyond death. Let Jesus be your host and your anchor in a topsy-turvy world, and in the good times,too.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

The sinking of the Dorchester, which was being used to transport 930 soldiers, merchant marines, and civilians to the WWII front, was sunk by a German U-Boat. Only 230 people survived. Four chaplains gave up their life vests to others, and stood praying together on the deck as the boat sank. The chaplains consisted of a Jew, a Methodist, a Roman Catholic, and a Reformed Church in America minister. The chaplains have been honored several times for their bravery and self-sacrifice.

In later years, the survivors of the Dorchester actually got together with survivors of the U-boat that attacked them. That U-boat was later sunk itself. One of the U-boat survivors was Gerhard Buske, the executive officer. He said that at the time of the sinking, the soldiers on his submarine at first celebrated the accurate hit of the torpedo, but then lasped into silence as they realized that people were dying from their action. Buske picked up a harmonica and "blew a slow, warbling renditon of 'Amazing Grace.'

War is a divider, and a horrible way to resolve problems, though sometimes necessary to avoid greater evil or problems in the future. But, it does not need to define us afterwards. Enemies do not have to remain enemies. This is where Christ steps in to absolve the guilt associated with wartime activities.

As Buske said during a speech at a reunion with some of the Dorchester survivors:

"We ought to love when others hate; we ought to forgive when others are violent," he said. "I wish that we can say the truth to correct errors; we can bring faith where doubt threatens; we can awaken hope where despair exists; we can light up a light where darkness reigns; that we can bring joy where sorrows dominate."

The dead cannot be brought back to life. Unforgiveness only brings more sorrow and bitterness, and destroys the life of the survivors from within. Letting go of hate releases the living to truly live again.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14 NIV)

Reference: Good News, Jan-Feb 2022, pp. 26-29, "Life Vests and Torpedoes" by Steve Beard.

Thank You for Your Generosity!

During December, we collected one person meals and snack items for the food pantry at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. The Thank Bank money for December goes to this mininstry, too. This helps feed students on campus all day, who may not be able to afford to eat out (they no longer have a food service on campus).

Our members and friends gave $135 to this ministry, and all these food items in the picture below:

Special Resources

In the slide show above (not seen in the mobile phone version of our website) there are pictures showing some current bulletin boards at Ebenezer put up by the Haas Family, Tasha, Emily, and Abby, and of our new Resource Room.

We thank the Haas girls for working to put up these delighful boards. Please take time to look at them when you come to church. The bulletin board shown below also provides you with Bible verse clips that you can take with you if you need encouragement or reassurance. The other picture is our new Resource Room with books, dvds, videos, and a TV screen (not shown in photo). Individuals are encouraged to take resources home for Bible study or reading; and classes can use the room to show videos related to their studies.

Ongoing Collections - Updated

We are collecting some items for our local teachers by helping fill up the Teacher's Closet. This ministry provides items for teachers and their students that they cannot obtain through the regular budget.

They include the following: Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towels, facial tissues, sharpies, dry board markers highlighters, black/blue/red ink pens. colored pencils, glue sticks, composition books and notebook paper (wide and college ruled), crayons, scissors (children's type), index cards, construction paper, pencil sharpeners, sheet protectors, file folders, large and small legal pads, white out, paper clips, staples, pencil pouches, markers, rulers, ring binders, card stock white/assorted, 3 ring note books, large and small pencil top erasers, and post it notes.

(NOTE: they have plenty of regular pencils at this time.)

We are collecting non-perishable food and clean used clothing in good condition that will be taken to South Caldwell Christian Ministries. You may leave the items at the church on Sundays or during normal office hours (8:30 to 1:00 p.m., Monday-Friday).

We thank you for helping us to minister to the needs of our community.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5: 16)

Our vision is to let our light shine into the dark world so that the world may come to know The Light, which is Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Contact Information: 828-396-2214 or ebenezerumc@yahoo.com;
4948 Burns Rd., Granite Falls NC 28630