Teach Us To Number Our Days

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” In looking back on the days of 2022 these are some things I’ve learned or relearned in my life…

1. Above all guard your HEART (Proverbs 4:23)

2. It’s not about me.

3. God’s grace still amazes me.

4. The more grace I show, the more I understand it.

5. I pastor the best church in the world!

6. You grow more when times are bad than when times are good.

7. No matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt.

8. There really is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE going on!

9. The greater the battle, the greater the spoils.

10. God NEVER wastes a hurt.

11. Your greatest ministry is most likely to come out of your greatest hurt.

12. God can use my mistakes.

13. The only mistake is a mistake in which nothing is learned.

14. Just because I can’t understand God’s love doesn’t mean it’s not real!

15. Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.

16. You can run, but you can’t hide from God.

17. God often has more faith me than I have in myself.

18. There’s no sin that’s too big for God not to forgive if we simply take it to Him through Jesus.

19. You don’t have to clean up your act before you come to God; you come to Him so that He can clean it up.

20. Priorities is often a matter of distinguishing what is best from what is good.

21. God is BIGGER than my ability to figure Him out.

22. That when I step into heaven, I’m going to have a HUGE red mark in the center of my forehead from me hitting it with my palm and going, “OH, NOW I get it now!”

23. That I’m not a Calvinist or an Armenian, but a CALMINIAN.

24. Time is too short, and hell is too hot to argue about little things.

25. It’s a lot easier to react than to think.

26. Fasting isn’t something you do, it’s something that happens to you.

27. You can’t make someone love you.

28. Love isn’t something you feel; it’s something you DO!

29. I HATE religion, but love JESUS.

30. There is no such thing as a little sin.

31. I need more COWBELL.

32. Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.

33. Faith is found when it’s tested.

34. God is not enough; He’s TOO MUCH!

35. You can’t really embrace the Good News until you come to grips with the Bad News.

36. You really can read God like a Book.

37. I don’t have to know all the answers, it’s more important to know the One who as ALL the answers.

38. All men die, but few men really LIVE.

39. If you’re going to be stupid, you better be tough.

40. I can never out give God.

41. It’s easier to forgive others that to forgive yourself.

42. There are some things I really don’t want to know!

43. God helps those who cannot help themselves.

44. God’s not done with me yet.

45. It’s Friday, but Sunday is a comin!

46. Don’t follow the Crowd.

May God bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may the Lord lift up your countenance and give you peace in 2023

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The Cast of Christmas

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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,

Pastor Bill

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The Cast of Christmas: Joseph

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The Cast of Christmas: The Shepherds

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The Cast of Christmas: The Angels

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Praying as a Couple

I believe one of the most powerful prayer teams is when a HUSBAND and WIFE pray together as One Flesh. I think this is one of many reasons why the enemy tries to destroy marriages. He realizes their potential in Christ. I know many Christian couples that PRAY on a regular basis, but not together.

Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 that where two or three are gathered together in His Name, that He is there in a powerful way. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. There is POWER when a couple comes together for PRAYER.

When I think of praying together I think of Gary Thomas’ book SACRED MARRIAGE. I love the subtitle of that book: What if God designed marriage to make us HOLY more than to make us HAPPY. I think of a quote out of that book, “We truly do not know how selfish and sinful we are until we live with someone in marriage,” and he goes on to write, “Our spouses to do not change us as much as they REVEAL US.”  Wow.  That is so TRUE.  Personally, I have found MARRIAGE to be the single greatest tool God has used to expose my own SELFISHNESS and NOTHING brings that out than PRAYING with my wife. Praying with my wife has also been one of the most INTIMATE things I have ever done.

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It’s Done..

Medina Community Church Family,

On Tuesday, September 6th at 7 PM, Medina UMC had its official Church Conference vote to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church under paragraph 2553 of the UMC Book of Discipline. There were 95 people in attendance (surprising, being it was the day after Labor Day). The vote was unanimous to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Conference.

The reasons for disaffiliation were that we, as a church body, could no longer in good conscience be in a denomination that ignored or in some cases celebrated the practice of homosexuality. I want to make one thing clear: we grieve the fact that the United Methodist Church forced us to take such action. We love the homosexual, but we will not be a part of celebrating sin. I could give multiple examples at every level of United Methodism where such disobedience is taking place, but I am tired of fighting over this issue.

I do not intend to comment on the subject of disaffiliation again. I am ready to shake the dust off my feet and move forward. I think of Paul’s words in Philippians 3:13-14, “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.” I encourage you to join me with that upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The good news is that a great deal of the hard work is done. There is bureaucratic paperwork that still needs to be done; however, now we feel free to pursue our mission of “Knowing Christ and Making Him Known” with all our hearts.

I encourage you to keep Medina Community Church in your prayers, asking God to give us visions and dreams of all the things He has for us to do. May we give Him all the praise and all the glory.

Your Pastor,

Bill Stegemueller Pastor, Medina Community Church

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Clown’s preaching to Goats

A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats. – Charles Spurgeon

The picture is Ms. Penny Cost (a play on Pentecost). Ms. Penny Cost is reportedly the first Drag Queen in the world to become a Certified Candidate for Ordination within the United Methodist Church. As a member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the UMC, he works as the Associate Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church.

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How to Fight

The Eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battleground, and then it releases the snake into the sky.

The snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is powerful wise and deadly.

Take your fight into the spiritual realm by praying and when you are in the spiritual realm God takes over your battles.

Don’t fight the enemy in his comfort zone, change the battlegrounds like the Eagle and let God take charge through your earnest prayer.

You’ll be assured of clean victory.

Pray without ceasing.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Exodus 14:14

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