First Steps – August 1, 2022

 I’ve been in ministry for over 25 years.  I’ve watched God move in some incredible ways over the decades. Sometimes God breaks into a person’s life with signs and wonders causing a 180-degree change. Sometimes, it is a slow steady change where one is introduced to the gospel from an early age, and it is all that person ever knows. Although I’m delighted whenever and wherever God breaks in, I think I prefer the latter work of God to the former.

I witnessed this through the ministry of a staff member of the church I serve. Mrs. Grace Bailey has served the St. Paul community longer than I’ve been in ministry. In various ways and through different staff positions, she has taught, cared for, loved, and ministered to children. Because of her longevity, she now has the pleasure of doing the same thing to the second generation of children. Those very same children that she took to camp, taught in Sunday school, and served in mission projects now have children of their own. It is fascinating to watch all of this. Where one generation was influenced by the gospel little by little, growing in the maturation of faith, now they are doing it with the next generation. I think this is the preferred way of faith. Granted I’m delighted for those Pauline conversations, but this is better.  

As I think of Grace’s ministry, I’m mindful of Paul’s words to Timothy:  
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also (2 Timothy 1:5).

The work of a Gospel Sower (meaning anyone who is a follower of Christ) is a long-haul endeavor.  It is never a one-and-done, but a way of life that is modeled for all to see. Be a Gospel Sower!  


This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Ephesians 6
*Tuesday – Philippians 1
*Wednesday- Philippians 2
*Thursday – Philippians 3
*Friday- Philippians 4

Prayer Requests:
*Children’s safety as summer activities come to an end and the new school year approaches. 
*An immediate end to the crisis in Ukraine.
*Heal those who are sick and protect those who are not.
*Comfort those who are grieving and in distress.
*Wisdom for our leaders as they navigate through uncertain times.
*Guidance for those seeking to find their way.
*Continued Growth Inside and Outside the Walls of St. Paul UMC.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6