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“The NEW Man”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “The NEW Man,” taken from Ephesians 4:25-32.

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The Body of Christ at Work

Recently in our study on Ephesians we talked about how the CHURCH is a body made up of many different parts with EACH serving a purpose. 

(Ephesians 4:11-16,  Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

What is a Spiritual Gift?  It helps me to think about being BORN.  All of us have been born PHYSICALLY, right?   As we grow PHYSICALLY we begin to discover our PHYSICAL GIFTS AND ABILITIES.   Well, when we become Born Again, SPIRITUALLY the same thing happens; only SPIRITUALLY.  As we grow spiritually in the Lord, we begin to discover our SPIRITUAL gifts and abilities. 

A close up of a sign

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The beautiful thing is that when the Church’s Spiritual Gifts are pooled together you get a beautiful expression of the Body of Christ. 

For the next few Sundays we are going to HIGHLIGHT various ministry opportunities by having a Ministry Fair in the Foyer of the Church.   I encourage you to check it out every week to learn more about the ministry scope of the church and to prayerfully discern where you might fit into the body. 

This is the first time we’ve done this and it is a work in progress.  If you have any ideas or suggestions please feel free to contact anyone on the VISIONING COMMITTEE:  Janna Klein, Rick Turner, Inmann Dabney, Darlene Stevens or myself. 

The following is what is going to be happening for the next THREE SUNDAYS:

Sunday, February 2nd              Missions
Sunday, February 9th                 The Core House Ministries
Sunday, February 16th            Agape Ministries

More to come, were still fine tuning the calendar. 
 Pastor Bill

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A NEW YEAR

It’s a new year with NEW opportunities.

As we come into a new year, I want to encourage us to GROW and not be content where we are as a church.  We are taking some incredible momentum into 2020! 



John Maxwell calls MOMENTUM a Leader’s Best Friend and points out that you can’t steer a ship that isn’t first moving forward.  So my challenge for the new year is for us to keep moving forward using the momentum for 2019 to take us NEW places in 2020.

Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 gives a wonderful way to approach a NEW YEAR. 

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”    (Philippians 3:12–14, NKJV)

In Acts 2:17 it says, “I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.”   Those days are here!  We live in exciting times in terms of church history.  There has never been so many opportunities to reach people with the Gospel as we have today.  The harvest is truly plentiful. 

I want to encourage you to prayerfully dare to dream big for 2020!  I am convinced of the truth of Ephesians 3:20 that God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”   I think a lot of times we sell God short.  He’s waiting for us to step out in faith so that He can show us how big he really is!  Let’s let 2020 be another great year in which we can say at the end, “Look at what the Lord has done!” 

One of my major goals for this next year is to treat every Sunday as if it’s my last Sunday.   I think a lot of pulpits in America have lost the URGENCY to win people to Jesus Christ.   Therefore, I’m going to be INTENTIONAL about inviting people into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I invite you to be a part of this by PRAYING for the lost and bringing them to church.   Also, remember that you too preach a sermon.  I love what Augustine wrote, “Preach the Gospel always… if necessary, use words.”   I encourage you to be intentional on how you live out 2020.  People are watching you to see if what you claim you believe lines up with how you live.   YOU can be the most power sermon someone ever hears!

Finally, I want to remind us of our MISSION at Medina United Methodist Church is to “Know Christ and to Make Him Known.”

Let’s continue to let God show us how BIG He really is.

Bill

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You Don’t Have to be Home Alone…

A favorite Christmas movie is the kid’s move, “Home Alone.”  It’s a comedy about a little boy named, “Kevin,” who, as part of a big family, is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for a European vacation.  The comedy occurs as this little boy repeatedly messes up the plans of a couple of bumbling burglars by setting up all these wild traps. 

What captured my attention was what happened on Christmas Eve as Kevin is all alone.  He goes to church and meets an older man who is unhappy about family problems.  As the two talk, Kevin admits feeling guilty because right before his family left he told his mom in a fit of anger, “I wish you would just go away!”  and now he was missing her terribly.

The old man then said, “You’re in church now and this is the place to come when you’re feeling bad about yourself.”

He was right, wasn’t he?   The church is the body of Christ and it would have never come into existence if it wasn’t for Christmas.  It’s the place to come when we need comfort; when we need forgiveness; when we need strength; when we need direction; when we need a new start. 

In 1939 a man named Robert May worked in the publicity department for Montgomery Ward stores. He was asked to come up with a new story for Christmas so he mixed two stories… the story of Santa Claus and the story of the Ugly Duckling and came up with a new story called, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

You know why we like the Rudolph story so much, don’t you? Not just because it’s a cute story that was made into a catchy tune. No, we like this story because it’s about rising above defeat. It’s about turning a defeat into a victory.  Rudolph was teased and taunted because of his red nose… but then in the end, he becomes the hero.

Jesus came into the world as a baby.  He came into a world in which people felt down and out without any hope.  But Christ came to give us hope and confidence that with Him nothing is impossible.  He showed us from the manger to the cross that His love is the most POWERFUL and REDEEMING THING IN THE UNIVERSE… and that if we would simply believe and trust Him; nothing can defeat us. 

This Christmas I invite you to come and let us adore the one who is able to give us abundantly beyond anything we can think or imagine (Eph 3:20) and in His presence let us receive the ultimate healing that comes from His grace. 

Merry Christmas,

Bill

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DAYENU

As we approach our National Holiday of THANKSGIVING, Psalm 136 has been on my heart:

Psalms 136:1-9, 23-26
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
           His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
           His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
           His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
           His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
           His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
           His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights.
           His faithful love endures forever.
 …the sun to rule the day,
           His faithful love endures forever.
 …and the moon and stars to rule the night.
           His faithful love endures forever.
He remembered us in our weakness.
           His faithful love endures forever.
He saved us from our enemies.
           His faithful love endures forever.
He gives food to every living thing. 
           His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
           His faithful love endures forever.

I love the way the Message paraphrases it, “His Love never quits.”  I think that’s what God wants us to hear this Thanksgiving.  HIS LOVE DOESN’T QUIT!   Isn’t that awesome!

Back in the early 70’s Kris Kristofferson wrote a song titled, “Why Me, Lord?” He wrote the song in response to all the negative people who go through life having a pity party saying, “Why me, Lord?” and he reversed it and put a positive twist to it, “Why me, Lord, What have I done to deserve even one of the good things you’ve done.”  

I believe you can say, “Why me,” in two different ways.  Somebody once said, “Anything short of hell is grace.”   That’s rather strong language and has some rough edges, but I agree with the statement.  The Bible clearly teaches that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and that “the wages of sin is death.”  

My prayer for all of us is for this Thanksgiving to be a time in which all of us can take inventory on HOW GOOD GOD IS!  

The Jews have a word DAYENU (Hebrew:דַּיֵּנוּ) that means, “It would’ve been enough,” that they sing during Passover.  As they remember the FAITHFULNESS of God they sing,

“If God had delivered us out of Egypt, but had not parted the Red Sea.
DAYENU.”
“If God had parted the Red Sea, but had not fed us manna in the wilderness
DAYENU.”
“If God had fed us manna in the wilderness, but had not led us to Sinai
DAYENU.”
“If God had led us to Sinai, but did not give us the Tora
DAYENU.”
“If God have us the Tora, but did not give us the Promise Land
DAYENU.”
“If God gave us the Promise Land, but did not give us the Temple
DAYENU.”

… and I would add, “If God gave us His Son to die for our sins and give us His righteousness… DAYENU (It would’ve been enough!!)

Let us give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.   His LOVE endures FOREVER!

Thankful to be your pastor,

Bill

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Kairos 38 Eastham

October 24-27th was Kairos #38 in Eastham (Just outside of Huntsville Texas). It was a special, eye opening walk. It was a awesome thing to see these men who have been hardened by the prison system begin to open up and respond to God’s GRACE!

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What’s in Your Spiritual Wallet

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “What’s in Your Spiritual Wallet,” taken from Ephesians 1:3-7

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The Apostle’s Doctrine…

From the Heart of Bill

A couple of months ago  I opened up a dialogue on what made the early church so EFFECTIVE in reaching people for Jesus Christ.  We looked at Acts 2:42-47 and talked about FELLOWSHIP and PRAYER.  This month I want us to focus on the importance of the APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE

Acts 2:42–47 (NKJV) — 42 And they continued steadfastly in the APOSTLES’ DOCTRINE and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

What does it mean when it says that the church continued steadfastly in the APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE?  This is referring to the inspired teachings of the apostles which was delivered orally at first and is now preserved in the New Testament.   They were eager to learn everything they could about the Lord.

Notice this was something they CONTINUED STEADFASTLY in.    Just as they continued with FELLOWSHIP and PRAYER.  They also continued in the APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE.

I love the fact that Medina United Methodist Church has always been hungry for the whole counsel of God.  That’s one of the reasons we are very intentional about studying the Bible expositionally.  That is, book by book; chapter by chapter; verse by verse not skipping over the uncomfortable portions of Scripture.

No, the original apostle’s are no longer with us, but they left us the inspired written word that we can have access at any time.  That is HUGE! 

I encourage us to CONTINUE STEADFASTLY in the word of God. 

Remember my challenge as we work through the book of Ephesians?  There are six chapters in Ephesians.  Let’s read through the book (a chapter a day) every week in preparation of our Sunday Study.  Then let’s reread it and reread it; over and over again with the goal of not just knowing it, but OWNING IT and letting it be a part of it. 

Ephesians has been called, “The Grand Canyon of Scripture,” it is as DEEP as it is WIDE and it (through the Holy Spirit) will change your life. 

See you in Church as we continue to BE THE CHURCH!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Bill

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The Wealth, Walk, and Warfare of the Christian

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “The Wealth, Walk, and Warfare of the Christians,” taken from Ephesians 1:1-3

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Team Ministry Part 2

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in the second of a two part series, “Team Ministry,” taken from Ephesians 4:10-18

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