Like a Volcano

Pastor Charlie Wilfong – Lead Pastor, cwilfong@pumc.org

They are powerful. Our feelings that is. It can be overwhelming when we are mad, sad, glad, afraid, jealous, or frustrated. Sometimes we ignore strong emotions because they are negative, and we don’t know how to handle them. Sometimes the feelings just come bubbling out of us. We express joy, care for others. . . or perhaps even anger.

Think about a volcano.

Like a volcano, our emotions are often below the surface of what we can see. They just happen like lava. Sometimes they glow and boil underneath. At other times, they can erupt in a powerful expression. Positive and negative emotions often operate the same way.

The Bible tells about people with strong feelings.

I’m grateful that the Bible includes stories of people with strong emotions. We are not alone in feeling them or dealing with them. Moses lets his anger get the better of him. Paul and Silas are sad when they are in jail. The books of Psalms, Lamentations, and others give full expression to the range of feelings we all experience.

The Bible helps us with our emotions.

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus tells about the two houses. One was built on sand, and the other was built on rock. When the storms came, the house built on sand fell down. The house built on the rock stood in the storms. When stormy emotions bubble up in your life, you can build your house on Jesus, the Rock, and weather the storm!

Kids deal with feelings, too.

Just like adults, kids have all the feelings. They get mad, sad, glad, afraid, and all the rest. The stories in the Bible and the Lord Jesus can help kids, too.

This summer, our Vacation Bible School for kids is called “Lava Lava Luau.” It is happening on the mornings of June 20-24, Monday-Friday. You can find the details and how to register in this edition of the Circuit Rider or at pumc.org.

There are biblical ways to express and deal with strong emotions. The kids will learn what the Bible says about anger, sadness, jealousy, and frustration and learn how to respond to others who may be feeling these emotions.

Trust and talk to Jesus.

When your feelings seem too much to handle, you have options. Talk to a friend. You can also pray about it. Be open and honest with Jesus about everything you’re experiencing. In 1 Peter 5:7, we are invited to “Cast all your anxiety on God, because he cares for you.” Trust the love Jesus has for you in each circumstance of your life.

You can also bring your kids or grandchildren to VBS—and even volunteer—to learn some of these helpful Bible lessons.

Go in peace. Go with God. And be well.

Shalom,

Charlie

Resurrection Power

Pastor Charlie Wilfong – Lead Pastor, cwilfong@pumc.org

They are everywhere. Batteries make so many of our devices work. It’s portable power. They power our phones, music players, computers, and even some cars. You can replace some batteries. Others just receive a fresh charge of power and are ready to go again! Delivering the power that makes things happen.

Easter is about power.

Easter is a celebration of God’s power that brought the crucified Jesus back alive from the dead—from the grave. That’s some enormous, spectacular, supernatural power! The resurrection of Jesus was no simple resuscitation after a brief time of no heartbeat or breathing. It wasn’t a few minutes of CPR. Two Roman coroners signed Jesus’ death certificate. Their punishment for getting that wrong would have been their own crucifixion and the death of their families. The dead Jesus was laid in a tomb. Then, the third day after his death, he emerged fully alive. He spoke, ate, and received the touch of his followers. The resurrected Jesus appeared to hundreds of people. He kept on loving, teaching, and giving the Holy Spirit of peace to people.
When you conquer death, is there anything you can’t do? With power like that, you could change the world.

We have that power.

After coming alive from the dead, Jesus is still generous. He did it all for us. And we are blessed with his grace, peace, hope, love, and . . . power.
In Ephesians 1:19-20, the Apostle Paul writes, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”
The power of the resurrection is at work in us. Me and you. It makes things happen. It changes the world. It brings God’s love to fruition in our lives. The work of Jesus Christ can be summarized like this, “Bethlehem was God with us; Calvary was God for us; Pentecost is God in us.”
Pentecost is about God’s power in us.
Sunday, June 5, is Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in each of us. Resurrection power is at work in us. It’s the Birthday of the Church. The followers of Jesus continue his work of bringing God’s love to the world.
That Sunday morning, our Superintendent, The Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright, will bring the message to all adult worship services at PUMC. She has been a blessing to this congregation as we have faced some significant decisions in recent years. We look forward to her presence and message that day.

Receive God’s power.

The Gospel accounts take us there. The story explains what happened. The details testify to God’s grace and love at every turn. Acknowledge God’s presence in your life. Cherish God’s love for you through the cross of Christ. Receive God’s power in your life. It will keep you going. It will make you a bright beacon to the presence and love of God in Jesus Christ.

Go in peace. Go with God. And be well.

Shalom,

Charlie