There is currently a praise song out by the band Cain that contains the lyrics:
“On my best day, I’m a child of God and on my worst day, I’m a child of God.
Every day is a good day and You’re the reason why.”
Isn’t it comforting to know that God loves us the very same; He loves us unconditionally; regardless of what kind of day we are experiencing! As we learn from John 1:12, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” We first must believe God and accept Jesus as Savior to become a child of God. This is further explained in Ephesians 1:13-14, which says: “when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people.” Rejoice in being a child of God today and every day!
The Easter season is upon us and we praise and thank God for the gift of His Son and for the sacrifice that he made on the cross for our sins. Jesus Christ, who is without sin, took our place and died for our sins. If we believe and accept Him as our savior, our sins are washed away and we become a new person. Scripture teaches this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV) As we celebrate this Easter Sunday, let us remember these words and let us focus on becoming that new creation a little bit more each day.
The Shelby County YMCA Team wishes a very Blessed Easter to all of our members!
The month of March brings us St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday associated with good luck. It is common for good luck symbols such as shamrocks and pots of gold to be incorporated with St. Patrick’s Day decorations and advertisements. But the good news for Christians is, we don’t have to rely on luck if we have faith in God. Hebrews 11:1 tells us: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV). The words of Jesus, as recorded in Mark 11:24, also teach us: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (NIV) So, when we ask in prayer and believe, we are assured that we will receive what we have hoped for.
Faith is no match for luck!
The month of February is often symbolized with a heart since Valentines Day occurs within the month. The heart is not only essential to our physical well-being, but to our emotional and spiritual well-being as well. We know that our human nature is going to cause us to fall short, but we also know that God sees our heart and loves us unconditionally. The Scriptures teach us: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8, NIV) And from the Psalms we read: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10, ESV), and “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14, ESV)
Have a heart-healthy February!
Person of the Year
At the end of every year, Time Magazine chooses their “Person of the Year”. This began in 1927 when they chose Charles Lindbergh as their very first Person of the Year and continues to this day. According to their website, the criteria they use to determine the Person of the Year is: “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.” Essentially, they are looking for the most influential person. As Christians, the person with the most influence on our lives should be Jesus Christ and He should be our Person of the Year every year.
The Scriptures say Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8), and that His kingdom will have no end (Luke 1:33). Amen!
Presents and Presence
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)
December is here! The month when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The world puts a lot of emphasis on presents this time of year, but we need to put our focus on His presence. His presence in our life; His presence in our family; His presence in our Church; His presence in our community; His presence in our YMCA; His presence is everywhere we go! Even in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, His presence is there. As we go about all of the fun activities that surround this Holiday season, we need to remember and acknowledge His presence in our lives at all times.
The Shelby County YMCA staff wishes everyone a very Blessed Christmas!
The season of Thanksgiving is upon us and the holiday will soon be here when most of us will likely eat a little bit too much. Physical nutrition is important, but we need to remember that spiritual nutrition is just as important. There is a passage in John 21:15-17 where Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him and Peter always responds with “yes, Lord, you know that I love you!” Jesus answers with “if you love me, then feed my sheep.” Jesus is instructing Peter (and us) that we need to take care of each other and make sure that each one is fed physically as well as spiritually. Remember as you eat the turkey and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving holiday that spiritual nutrition is just as necessary as physical nutrition and that we also need to feed God’s sheep.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples that He would send a helper to all those that believed in Him. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon all the believers and is still present with all believers today. The Holy Spirit teaches us, guides us, and comforts us. When we study God’s word, come to Him in prayer, and take time to just be still, we will be able to discern the ways in which the Spirt is guiding us. The Holy Spirit will fill us with a sense of peace and joy and that will shine through to those around us so that they may experience it as well. Take time today and every day to study His word, pray, and listen, and you will find true peace.
The Shelby County YMCA has been open for one year as of July 26th! We are very thankful to the community and especially to our members for supporting us during our first year and we look forward to new and exciting programs in our second year! We continue to seek and to follow God’s guidance for ways to serve our members and for opportunities to contribute to the wellness of Shelby County. We would like to encourage everyone to spend time in prayer each day for our YMCA, for our community, and for our world. We can find strength, comfort, and peace in knowing that God is consistent, and is always in control.
June brings us the first day of summer, longer days, and vacation season! Vacations are a great time to relax; or to explore new destinations, but they are also the perfect time for renewal and refocus. Jesus even directs his Disciples to relax, as recorded in Mark 6:30-32
“The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.” (NLT)
Take some time to relax this summer, but make sure it is for the purpose of renewing your spirit so you can effectively carry out the specific tasks that God has called you to do.
February is commonly known as the month of love and it is the perfect time to reflect on God’s unconditional love for us. The familiar verse of John 3:16 summarizes God’s love well
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)
It’s difficult to grasp the depth of this love, that God would send his own Son to pay the price for our sins, but he does love us that much!
It is further explained in 1 John 4:16: “we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (ESV)
God also calls on us to do the same: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) (ESV)
Be thankful each day for God’s unconditional love and try to show that to others as He has shown it to us.