There will be no Good News Brief next week since Pastor Ryan and his family will be on vacation. While away, if you are in need of pastoral care, please contact one of the deacons.
Second, because of the lingering effects of COVID, Pastor Ryan will continue to have irregular office hours and limit visitations until after he returns from vacation. The weekly schedule and pastoral care hopefully should be restored to normal by the time he returns.
RECAP: COME ALIVE based on Ezekiel 37:1-14
Ezekiel had a vision of a valley filled with dry bones. This valley was symbolic of the nation of Israel which had become spiritually dry and dead. How did they get here? First, they were spiritually dry. As a nation, they came to a place where they stopped receiving the regular nourishment from God and had become starved for water. They became dry and cracked open, much like the experience I had in El Paso, TX when I encountered extreme drought for the first time! And even when it rained, the ground was so dry, that instead of absorbing the water, it whisked off. Israel had lost its source of nourishment. That lead to second, losing their hope. Instead of being anchored in God and holding on to the hope that He can provide, they lost sight of hope in the midst of their dryness and their affliction. And when we lose hope, we lose the will to persevere and keep fighting. Israel stopped fighting the spiritual fight and simply caved in under pressure. The loss of hope led to third, feeling cut off from God. They felt that God had abandoned them and was nowhere to be seen. But the reality is the nation had cut themselves off from God through their disobedience and stubbornness. Instead of going to God for nourishment and hope, they kept him at arm’s length and failed to regularly soak in him, then blamed him for their troubles. This ultimately led to fourth, feeling lost. They had lost their homeland, lost their identity, displaced, despondent, and in a state of wandering. They were spent and had nothing left, becoming a pile of dry bones.
Sometimes, we feel this way. We feel like we are spiritually dry, that everything is going wrong around us and we just can’t catch a break. We are dry and cracked open, desperate for the relief of the living water. Sometimes we give up hope, feeling all is lost, and lose the will to keep fighting. We grow weary and tired of being knocked down and trying to keep getting back up. Sometimes, we feel like we are cut off from God, noticing the distance, and wondering if God will ever feel near to us again. And sometimes we feel like we are lost, in a state of wandering, wondering if the nightmare will ever end. But friends, we have good news–dry bones can come to life! By the end of this vision, the dry bones became a vast army!
How do we come back to life? How can we be rejuvenated?
1) Believe. God asked Ezekiel if the dry bones could live again. Ezekiel’s answer affirmed that in his sovereignty, all things are possible. Jesus was not able to do many miracles in his hometown because of a lack of belief. Jesus also said that all things are possible for those who believe. We have the miracle worker in our corner, the one who can do what humanity deems impossible. God can make a way when there seems to be no way, but we have to believe in it. Unless we are willing to believe, we will not be able to see. If we want to be rejuvenated, we need to believe in what God can do!
2) Accept the Word. Ezekiel was challenged to prophesy over the bones. As Ezekiel brought forth the Word, the bones answered the call and came back together. The Word of God never will return empty and will accomplish God’s purpose. But we need to both speak the Word and embrace the Word by acting upon it! We live in a day where the Word of God is silent or diminished, where people try to discredit its pages (miracles don’t really happen, that’s the Old Testament, Paul is not as authoritative as Jesus, etc.). But when the Word comes forth, and we say yes to the Word, things begin to happen! What will change this world and our circumstances is declaring the Word and putting it into practice!
3) Shake off the decay. The nation, in order to come back to life, had to come out of the grave. Like Lazarus, who had to shed his grave clothes before truly being set free from death, we too need to shake off that which keeps us bound. God is in the restoration business. If he rejuvenates us, we need to remove the very thing in our life that brought us to that place of death or bondage in the first place; otherwise, we will go back there! If Jesus has set us free, we need to remove those things which held us hostage in the first place! Israel had to remove the syncretism and the idols. What do we need to remove?
4) Breathe in the Spirit. The dry bones did not fully come alive until they breathed in the very presence of God. For the Spirit is the source of life and spiritual power! The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives within us! Without oxygen, we die; yet we try to live the Christian faith without a regular intake of the Spirit of God and the power of Jesus. As we breathe in the Spirit, we are filled with God’s life, and we truly come alive!
We do not have to become a valley of dry bones. God wants to rejuvenate us individually and corporately. Will we believe? Will we accept the Word? Will we shake off the decay? Will we breathe in the Spirit?
Questions for Reflection
1) What is the true state of our spiritual walk with Jesus? Do you need rejuvenation?
2) What is your biggest barrier to walking in spiritual freedom?
3) Which is harder, to believe for the impossible or accept and practice the Word? Why?
4) What decay do you need to shed from your life?
5) What adjustments can you make in your life to breathe in the Spirit?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan and his family are on vacation. Bill Wood will be sharing the message from Acts 10:27-48 called “We Are the Outsiders.”
The following Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the series called “A Fresh Start” with the sermon titled, “Setting Things Right,” based on 2 Chronicles 7:1-17. What does God really desire from us? And what does the devil try to convince us to bring instead? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for June 7 – June 20
June 7: Amos 5:4-15 How could Israel come alive again?
June 8: Micah 4:1-5 What is God’s vision for an alive people of God?
June 9: Acts 2:1-13 How did God make the upper room come alive?
June 10: Acts 2:14-41 How did Peter say Israel can come alive again?
June 11: Acts 2:42-47 What are the marks of an alive people of God?
June 12: Leviticus 19:1-18 How did God make provision for the outsider?
June 13: 2 Samuel 9:1-13 How did David show kindness to an outsider?
June 14: 2 Kings 4:8-37 How did Elisha show kindness to an outsider?
June 15: Jonah 4:1-11 How does God feel about the outsider?
June 16: Matthew 15:21-28 How did Jesus show kindness to the outsider?
June 17: John 4:1-26 How did Jesus extend kindness to the outsider?
June 18: Ephesians 2:11-22 How does Jesus extend kindness to us as outsiders?
June 19: Joshua 24:1-27 How did Joshua and Israel seek to make things right with God?
June 20: 2 Samuel 6:1-23 How did the restoration of the rightful place of God change things?
This Week’s Events:
Tuesday, June 7–Women’s Fellowship @ 1 pm
Thursday, June 16–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Saturday, June 18–Father/Son Breakfast @ 8 am
Sunday, June 26–Outdoor Worship & Communion
Sunday, June 26–Summer Vespers @ 6 pm
Sunday, July 10–Baptism
Camp Staff Blessing
Katie has been chosen to serve as junior staff this year at Brethren Woods. She will be serving the final two weeks of June. One way we could bless her as a counselor is to provide some snacks for her to share with her fellow counselors when she is there. There will be a box in the narthex for the donations. Here are some items you can donate (her personal likes):
–Cheese it crackers (snack package size)
–pretzels (snack package size)
–chips (snack size) variety of flavors
–Doritos (snack size)
–Takis (snack size)
All goodies need to be placed in the box by Sunday, June 19.
Women’s Fellowship will be providing a special breakfast for all fathers and sons on Saturday, June 18 at 8 am in the fellowship hall. Please sign up in the narthex or by contacting the church office to make sure we add your name to the list!
We will have summer vespers on the final Sunday of each month for June, July, and August. We will gather for a meal over the fire, sing some hymns and camp song favorites, play a camp-style game or two, and conclude with a vespers devotional. Come out and enjoy!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
If you are interested in water baptism, please email Pastor Ryan in the next few weeks!
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Sandy Bennington (health)
Samantha Cooper (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Leroy Makely (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Torrey Meyer (well-being)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Cooper Saum (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Roger Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Norma Suter (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Winnie Wilfong (knee)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Joyce Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church