AUGUST 9, 2016
My dear Covenant family,
Some of you missed this that I shared with the congregation during worship on Sunday. This amazes me and makes me give praise to God -- the United Methodist Church has 320 congregations in Vietnam, all started within the last eight years, and has a goal to reach 800 churches in Vietnam by 2020. I reflect on this and have two thoughts: 1) This could not happen without your generous, faithful giving. Part of your offering every week goes to the international work of the United Methodist Church. Thank you for giving. 2) This means the communists are not winning. Yes, the communists may have taken over Vietnam after the United States pulled out in the 1970s. But they are not winning. There is no power on Earth that can defeat the Church or overcome the Kingdom of God. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Vietnam where the Church is growing but persecution from the government is severe.
This Sunday, August 14, I invite you, I urge you, I respectfully request that you stay after worship for lunch at the church (fried chicken -- yum!) and then stay a little longer so I can share with you about Building a Church. This is not about building a new building; it is not about relocating. I want to share with you from Acts 11:19-30 a Biblical model for "building a church" that honors Jesus Christ and reaches people with the good news of Jesus. This time will help you consider your part in the congregation and how God wants to use you in the ministry of Covenant Church.
I know it is asking a lot of you to give your time and to listen to me talk two times almost back to back. But I believe it will be worth your time -- not because I am such a great speaker but because the Word of God is alive and powerful, and God's call on our lives is the most important aspect of our lives.
And now, for Southern Speak -- this is not a joke per se, but I think it will bring a smile to your heart and maybe a little chuckle to your lips. Here are a few phrases that only Southerners use:
He was funny as all get out
Too big for his britches
Can't never could
Heavens to Betsy
Hold your horses
If the creek don't rise
She's as pretty as a peach
It don't amount to a hill of beans
She was madder than a wet hen
If I had my druthers (just what is a druther?)
and of course, the Southern classic
Bless your heart
I love you all with the love of the Lord.