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Rev. Ray's January 27,  2021 Devotion 

“So, I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3

There is a story from a few years ago about a preacher who met a bulldog on the sidewalk. He was going to visit a church member when he saw the big-muscled bulldog walking toward him right down the middle of the sidewalk. It looked neither to the left or the right. When they came close the dog seemed to not even see him, he kept a steady forward pace as though the parson was invisible. When they were a few feet apart the man stepped aside and the bulldog just plowed on as though he was singing, “I shall not be moved.”

The pastor made his visit and returned to the parsonage; however, he could not get the canine off his mind. That night he went to his study and got down on his knees and prayed, “Oh Lord, give me whatever that bulldog has got.”

I am thinking that we too can learn a lesson from the pastor’s experience. There is an expression that “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” It seems so easy to get distracted with social issues and news reports. These are important, but they are not the main thing where the church is concerned. Our first work is to bring people to Jesus. If we do not get that right, then nothing else we do will matter in the realm of eternity.

The Bible teaches us that Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem (the cross and resurrection); and if we follow him, we cannot look any other way; “The cross before me and the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back.”

Nehemiah accomplished a great work because he refused to be distracted. Paul got distracted with philosophers so much that he got off the subject of Jesus (and had little results). After that he wrote, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” He seemed to have found what that bulldog had, a determined mind.

Do you remember this hymn? “I am resolved to enter the kingdom, leaving the paths of sin; friends may oppose me, foes may beset me, still will I enter in.”

Grace and Peace, Rev Ray

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FUMC prays for our world and community during the trying times of the COVID19 Pandemic. We always long for in-person worship, but also have the health of those attending in mind.  Due to the uncertainity in the rise of COVID numbers, there is a possiblity that in-person may not be an option and worship is maintained vitrtualy at the best of our ablity through Facebook Livestream, this website and YouTube.   Please check with the Church Office during normal business hours if you are planning on attending to check time and in-person availablity.   

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