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Stories Are Meant to Be Shared

Stories Are Meant to Be Shared

How would you celebrate a major life anniversary? A trip to your favorite city? A party? Lunch with a friend? I’m always inspired by people who choose to share their joy with others. One of my colleagues in ministry encourages some unexpecting morning coffee-enthusiasts every year on the anniversary of her cancer-free diagnosis. Mary goes to her favorite neighborhood coffee store, and for one hour she stands next to a barista as she gently insists on paying for each customer’s beverage. It doesn’t matter what they order, small or large, plain coffee or a specialty drink, my friend reaches out with a friendly smile as she says something like the following: “I’m celebrating a special event today. Would you please allow me to share my joy? Your drink is on me.” And when asked why, for a brief moment, Mary shares her journey from the initial devastation of a lung cancer diagnosis to the joy of becoming a lung cancer survivor. Through medical intervention, prayers, a caring community of faith, and a loving, supportive family, Mary knows she beat the odds; and she wants to celebrate God’s grace in her life. What a creative way to inspire her community with a message of hope in a random, unexpected act of kindness!

In a world where we are inundated with messages of self-indulgence, few of us expect anyone to do something as simple and generous as buying a morning cup of coffee for a complete stranger. Can you imagine if you were one of those startled morning patrons at the coffee shop? Most of us would immediately begin to question her motives: “What’s the catch?” or “Is this some kind of marketing trick?” However, once we trusted the person enough to receive her unexpected gift, I’m sure we would be celebrating with her. A generous act of kindness – a morning cup of coffee – given by a complete stranger in celebration of her cancer-free anniversary would become a topic of conversation throughout our day.

One of the best opportunities we have to introduce people to Jesus Christ is through the power of our own personal stories. When we share our answers to prayer, the ways in which we’ve seen the evidence of God’s grace, and the acts of kindness that inspired us to press on – we can and will inspire people with the gift of hope. But that’s not all, we will share God’s love in the most tangible, unthreatening, and unintimidating of ways.

I wonder how you will celebrate your answers to prayer? The stories of your life – the moments where you know, without a doubt, that it was the gift of God’s grace that made a difference – those stories just might help someone else to begin trusting in God. And isn’t that the very reason God gives us our own unique personal stories? Because stories are always meant to be shared.

Share your story; inspire our world.

Rev. Adrian N. Doll

 © Adrian N. Doll, Green Valley Presbyterian Church, 2019

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From the Pastor's Desk: February Happenings

 

                             

 

Glorify God,   Grow in Christ,

Generously Share  God's Love and Grace

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I’ve lived in Nevada just long enough to know that spring is around the corner; and I can’t wait. Perhaps like yourself, by this time each year I find myself yearning for longer days, sunlight, and outdoor activities.  Just as we need sunlight to stimulate our minds and replenish our bodies with Vitamin D, spiritually we grow when we make room in our daily lives for time with God. 

As I look to the year ahead, I’m excited about numerous learning and growth opportunities at GVPC.  I’ve been given the opportunity to help lead an 8-day trip to Israel with Collette Tours from October 28 to November 5.  I hope you will consider being a part of this trip as we explore the landscape of Israel with its rich Biblical history and visit iconic sights such as the Church of the Nativity, the Sea of Galilee, Qumran, Masada, the Western Wall, the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.   For more information, reach out to me or plan to attend a meeting with a Collette representative on Wednesday, February 20 at 6 pm. 

Our Membership and Outreach Committee is planning a New Member Inquiry Class on Saturday, February 23 at 9 am.  If you’ve ever thought about exploring membership at GVPC, I encourage you to sign up for this class.  It promises to be a fun and informative morning of learning and making new friendships. 

On Wednesday, March 6, we will begin our observance of Lent with our traditional Ash Wednesday Communion Service at 7 pm.  Our service will also include the imposition of ashes.  This year during Lent we will be exploring guideposts on the journey of faith as we look at the stories of men and women in the New Testament who had life-changing encounters with Jesus.  Each week during Lent, I will also be leading a Wednesday evening worship service with a meditation designed to help us focus on our need for God’s gifts of grace. 

Have you ever wondered what takes place at a meeting of Nevada Presbytery?  Consider stopping by Westminster Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas from March 11-13 to learn more about how the churches in our presbytery work together, share ideas, and make decisions in order to help expand our collective ministry and outreach throughout Nevada.  

Following her popular presentation last spring, we will be welcoming Rev. Lydia Sarandan to present a workshop on “Faith, Perseverance, and Resilience in an Ever-Changing World.  Join us on Saturday, March 30 for this opportunity to explore practical ways to cultivate the Christian characteristics of perseverance and resilience as we encounter and work our way through life’s expected and unexpected challenges.  Our morning will begin at 8:30 am with refreshments and our class will begin at 9:00 am. 

Spring is coming and God’s abundant grace is always near.  Take time to bask in the Light of Christ. 

Rev. Adrian N. Doll

 © Adrian N. Doll, Green Valley Presbyterian Church, 2019

 

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