If you have a concern or need prayer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 304 485 5171. Pastor Kurt Busiek
Healthy Living Emphasis at Emmanuel
Our Adult Ministry team will lead Emmanuel in a focus on healthy living in April and May. During these two months, we will be suggesting a variety of programs and activities that will encourage all of us to lead healthier lives. In Daniel 1 we find Daniel in Babylon being groomed for leadership in Nebuchadnezzer’s court. When Daniel and his friends were given the rich “royal food” to eat, Daniel asked if they could eat the healthier food (vegetables and water) that they ate at home in Israel. The King agreed and after ten days, Daniel and his friends were noticeably healthier than the other royal interns. Rich Warren has taken this story as the basis for his healthy living program called The Daniel Plan.
The Daniel Plan is a practical lifestyle program designed to improve your health at every level. We’ll be taking this journey together, one step at a time. Health experts have found that small changes in our diet and daily activity can equal big results. The Daniel Plan Essentials include five key areas: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends. When individuals address health in each of these areas, they can attain transformational results that include, less stress, more peace, lost weight, increased energy, better sleep and a reduced need for medication.
Here are the Daniel Plan Essentials that will be covered in the six week study:
Session 1-Faith: Nurturing Your Soul. God is the power and energy behind all transformational change and that includes making the lifestyle choices necessary for you to become healthy. As you follow The Daniel Plan, you will discover that you have a part to play in getting healthier, but God will energize your efforts and give you his strength to do it (Philippians 4:13).
Session 2-Food: Enjoying God’s Abundance. The Daniel Plan is about abundance, not deprivation. You will be invited to eat delicious whole foods that bring vitality and energy to your body and mind. It’s all about learning that even your food choices can honor God and his purposes for your life (1 Cor. 10:31).
Session 3-Fitness: Strengthening Your Body: We believe the most effective form of exercise you can do to achieve lifelong health is the one that you will actually do. We encourage you to discover movement that you will enjoy and treat your body as a gift from God (1 Cor. 6:19−20).
Session 4- Focus: Renewing Your Mind. In a world where so many distractions compete for your attention, it is more important than ever to renew your mind with truth (Romans 12:2) and break negative thought patterns. Focus your thoughts on God’s plan and priorities for your life. Express your gratitude to God and make the choice to dwell in God’s goodness.
Session 5-Friends: Encouraging Each Other. When it comes to getting healthy, two are always better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9). The Bible says God created the universe in such a way that we need each other. One of our key teachings of The Daniel Plan is that everybody needs a buddy because, in truth, we are better together.
Session 6-Living the Lifestyle. Integrating the Essentials outlined above can lead to a more vibrant life. Our hope and prayer is that, by following the Daniel Plan, you and your group will develop the energy necessary to fulfill your God-given mission here on earth. God will provide the power for all that is ahead for you as you lead others on this journey. Paul says in Ephesians 3:20 that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, because his power is at work within us.
The six week Daniel Plan will be offered on Sunday mornings at 9:30 by the Seeker’s Class beginning Sunday, April 10. Pastor Kurt will also be offering the Daniel Plan on Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. beginning April 13.
Serving with you, Pastor Kurt Busiek
Discovering God during Lent, Holy Week and Easter
“Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” – Roger von Oech.
Think of the word “discovery” in the quote above. You could replace “discovery” with “worship” and the quote would still work. John Fisher observes that “worship consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” Real worship involves discovery. As we find out more about who we are and why we are here, we discover that God is more involved than we thought. When you find out the truth about God, it’s like discovering what was always there; we just missed it somehow. C.S. Lewis coined the phrase “of course” to describe the discovery of God’s presence in the world and in our lives. Worship is the uncovering of God at work in the world. It’s all about discovery. For instance, when you find out you were made for God, it’s not like some radical thought that never crossed your mind. It’s almost as if you knew it, but you forgot. The phrase “of course” seems to capture this discovery aspect perfectly. The Christian life rings true because it confirms something we already knew deep inside. Learning to “see” is a lot of what it means to be a Christian. Christ gives us new eyes, and nothing looks the same to us anymore.
A follower of Christ looks at: losing and thinks winning, tragedy and thinks opportunity, brokenness and thinks humility, accidents and thinks purpose, despair and thinks hope, failure and thinks success, history and thinks God’s story, science and thinks God’s laws, the human body and thinks God’s dwelling place, the cross and thinks forgivness, death and thinks life.” The Christian looks at Christ’s death on the cross and sees life because three days later Jesus rose from the dead.
Lent is a time of discovery. Lent is season in the church calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday (February 10) and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, repentance of sins, acts of service and personal discovery through self-denial. This year Emmanuel will offer a five week discovery class that will begin on Sundays and Wednesdays, February 14 and 17. These classes will cover the basics of the Christian life including: faith, the ministry of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forgiveness, the resurrection and eternal life. Discovery classes will be offered on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday nights at 6 p.m.
Lent and Easter services at Emmanuel:
February 14 and 17: Five week Discovery classes begin
March 20: Palm Sunday/ Friendship Sunday with Guest Lunch; Baptism service
March 24: Maundy Thursday service with communion at 7 p.m.
March 27: Easter Sunrise Service in the church courtyard at 7 a.m.
Easter breakfast will follow the Sunrise Service at 7:30 a.m.
Easter services will be offered at 8:30 and 10:45 a.m.
We are Saved to Serve
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each person has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Every person at Emmanuel is uniquely gifted by God to serve. Where are you using your gift? If you would like to get involved in the ministry at Emmanuel, talk to Pastor Kurt or Jon. Teddy Roosevelt once said: “The credit belongs not the critic but rather to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds…” Where are you “striving valiantly” for God’s Kingdom?
Eileen Mayer recently sent me this note from Germany: “Could you ask people to pray for Germany and the refugee situation. Two days ago, 8,000 refugees moved in to Munich, 2,000 into Dusseldorf… In this year, Germany has agreed to accept into citizenship 800,000 more refugees. There are only 8 million Germans. Can you imagine, every 10th person living here soon will be a refugee. Pray the Lord will bless Germany for welcoming these people and that good will come out of it for the refugees and the Germans. The refugees come from a Muslim country – but many are open to Christianity! Pray that Christians will so manifest the love of the Lord, that it will draw these people – who are experiencing massive change – to Him. – Eileen Mayer
Eric Metaxas recently wrote: Turmoil in the Middle East has created one of the worst human disasters of our time, and a tough problem. The unfolding humanitarian catastrophe, which has resulted in 250,000 deaths in the Syrian civil war and at least 2500 deaths by drowning, is largely being driven by people seeking to escape the civil war and the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Words can scarcely do justice to the scale of the crisis. An estimated 11 million people, more than half of Syria’s population, have been displaced. While most have remained within Syria, nearly four million of them have fled to neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and especially, Turkey. The sheer numbers—one in every five people in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee—have overwhelmed these countries’ capacity to respond. And now they’re attempting to reach Europe, increasingly via Turkey. More than 30,000 Syrians are applying for asylum every month and the number shows no sign of ebbing.
In Matthew 25, the word translated “stranger” in the passage “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” is xenos, the Greek word for “foreigner.” What’s more, the Greek word translated “welcomed,” sunago, means to join or gather together, aswell as to receive into one’s home. It’s the same word from which we get “synagogue.” Jesus goes beyond Leviticus’ command to treat the stranger as one of our own, and instead, commands us to treat them as we would treat Him.
Join us as we worship together and seek ways to respond to those in need…
Serving with you, Pastor Kurt
July Update: The Doors of Salvation and Service for the Summer
In April, I was able to travel to Missouri to see my dad and family. When I’m home, I always try to find a work project around dad’s house. The house is surrounded by four large oak and sycamore trees. Leaves from these trees were piled under scrubs and covered the yard, so I threw myself into “Project Leaf Removal.” Dad has a large leaf trailer with chain link fence panels on the sides 6 foot high and 12 foot long. By the time I was done, this trailer was filled with compressed leaves. While I was raking around the house, I came across a door from the garage behind some bushes. I stopped and looked at it. I had forgotten it was there. I grew up in this house and walked around it 100s of times but I had forgotten the garage had a back door that led to the front of the house. I began to reflect on the important “doors” in our lives that we may pass by and even forget but which are important portals into another place. C.S. Lewis’ Narnia adventures begin when the Lucy Pevensie and her three siblings, Peter, Susan and Edmund, make their way through a door in a wardrobe into a magical forest where they meet Mr. Tumnus, the White Witch, the Beavers, and a host of interesting characters.
Doors remind us of salvation. In John 10: 9-10 Jesus says, “I am the gate (the door); whoever enters through me will be saved…. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” In Revelation 3: 20, Jesus tells the Christians at the church in Laodicea: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” This summer, we will host a Vacation Bible School program, July 12-16. Pray that God uses this outreach as a door to challenge children to receive the salvation found in Christ. Volunteers are needed. Let Jonathan Delgado or Rhonda Johnston know if you can help.
Doors remind us of service. In Revelation 3:8 Jesus says to the Christians in the church at Philadelphia, “See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” This summer, we will send a Mission group to NY, June 21-27, to help in the many Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens that serve the poor. Pray that God blesses this door of service. We will report on our mission trip on Sunday, June 28.
I think of the doors of our church. The church building is a place where we gather to worship God and enjoy the fellowship of our church family. Why not invite someone this summer to join you as we seek God together in worship and fellowship.
I think of the doors of our homes. Your own home can be a place where you can invite friends and neighbors. In our homes, we can build relationships that may become the door that allows us to share our faith in Christ. This summer, pray about the ways that God may want you to open up the door of your home so that others may come in and come to know the God who made them and loves them.
This summer, let’s think about the doors of salvation, service, worship and fellowship and pray that God may use all of these doors to draw us closer to Himself.
Serving with you, Pastor Kurt Busiek
June Update: Moms and Questions of Life…
I was able to get home to Missouri for a few days in April. It was good to see my dad and family. While I was home I spent some time at my mom’s favorite McDonald’s restaurant. She would stop in almost every morning for a coffee and conversation with a few of her friends. On my visits home over the last 25 years, we had some of our best talks in that McDonald’s over coffee. My mom was proud of all her children and when any of us were with her, she would introduce us to people who were nearby, whether she knew them or not. I remember many times how mom would introduce me to a total stranger at McDonald’s: “This is my son from WV. He’s a minister.” It was always fun to see people expressions and reactions. Some seemed friendly, confused or annoyed; most seemed to be taken by surprise by being introduced to a “real minister from WV.” Being with mom was always an adventure because you never knew what she was going to say and to whom; a trait that lives on in her son.
The important thing I remember was that my mom was proud of me and wanted others to know who I was. As we approach Mother’s Day (May 10), I can say that I am proud of my mother. She passed away two years ago this August. I continue to be a living legacy to a woman who loved me, cared for me, took me to church, encouraged me to do what is right, surrounded me with beautiful music, and who listened to my questions and tried to help me find the answers.
I remember a time when I was young and became interested in the basics of “human reproduction.” I asked my mom a question like, “where do babies come from?” She tried to answer as simply and clearly as she could. I asked her a follow up question. I remember the question now and smile because it showed my complete lack understanding about the subject. Mom just smiled, then laughed, and then quietly responded that I was mistaken. She answered my questions, corrected my misconceptions and helped me grow up. That’s what moms do and it’s why we honor them with a special day.
I came across an article recently with the headline: Moms Are the Most-Quizzed People: A survey from the U.K. involving 1,000 mothers found that moms may be the most quizzed people on the planet. On average, from breakfast to afternoon tea time (remember this was in the U.K.) the average stay-at-home mom faces one question every two minutes and 36 seconds. That adds up to about 105,120 questions per year. The questions spike during meal times. Girls aged four are the most curious, asking an incredible 390 questions per day. On the other end of the spectrum, boys aged nine ask the least amount of questions. According to the survey, the moms claimed that these were the top five toughest questions (in order): 1-Why is water wet? 2-Where does the sky end? 3-What are shadows made of? 4-Why is the sky blue? 5-How do fish breathe under water?
I miss my mom but I thank God that he gave me a faithful and loving person who was there for me during the important and formative years of my life. We had our struggles and there were times when we clashed, but I thank God for giving me a loving mother who helped me grow in wisdom and faith.
On Mother’s Day, May 10, we have scheduled a child dedication service to encourage our parents and to bless the children that are growing up in our church family.
Serving with you, Pastor Kurt Busiek
Again, if you have a concern or need prayer, please email me at email@example.com.