A Word From Our Pastor

Attributes of Love

On one of my visits home to Chicago, I noticed in my brother's room was a picture of me, placed in a prominent spot. Actually, there were not any other photos of anyone else on display. I thought it strange. When I asked him about it, he said something about using it for dart throwing practice. He then confessed that he had a picture of me in his wallet as well. He kept it there so he could show his friends.

Now what tripped me up about the picture and our conversation is that it occurred to me that my brother loves me way more than I love him. My love for him was more like obligation. I would do almost anything for him but simply because he is family. There was quite a bit I didn't like about my brother, and as his big sister I had no problem letting him know it.

Yet still he loved me more. He loved me like I was one of the greatest additions to his life. His love for me reminds me of Jesus love for me.

There is a beautiful prayer found in John 17. I see it as an expression of Jesus' love.

All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no long-er in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one… As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth. I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me…I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:10-26

Jesus loves us way more than we love him. However, he not only wants us to love him, he wants us to love each other. He wants us to be one. To live as one would require some intentionality on eve-ryone's part. Oneness doesn't mean we will agree on everything. Yet, somehow we are to move towards finding common ground.

I know there are some people we may think we have absolutely nothing in common with like me and my brother. However, the fact that we belong to Jesus proves that statement wrong. If nothing else we have Jesus in common. Jesus loves us and his love should reside within us so we have love in common. Starting with what we have in common, let us listen to one another, trying to understand why we have differences. Perhaps the end result could be an appreciation for one another.

That visit with my brother had me reflecting on my brother's attributes. There really is much about him to be admired. Today, my brother still loves me. He continues to brag about me among his friends. I love him way more today than I did years ago. The funny thing is he hasn't changed much, but I have.

Happy New Year Bethel Family! I love you!

Dr. Thacker


Youth Updates

Join us for SUNDAY NIGHT WORSHIP XPRESS (follows the school schedule)!
Normally the Youth meet for Sunday night worship from 5-7 pm (including dinner)! During the summer the schedule pauses for special events (listed below)

Happy New Year

Forbes Magazine reports that only 8% of people who make New Year's resolutions achieve them. Does that mean our intentions were not achievable? Does it mean that we do not have the ability to commit to anything? Or does it simply mean that we have competing interests? I, personally, do not think it means any of these. When we make New Year's resolutions, we have the best of intentions, we have the wherewithal to complete the task, and our calendars aren't any busier for having made the resolution in the first place. I think the biggest factor in not accomplishing our goals is MOTIVATION. What is your motivation?

The book of Hebrews speaks about the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and now line the tracks of our journey to cheer us on. From Genesis to Revelation, from Abraham to John we have but to open our Bibles to tap into the stories of one of these witnesses to see that we are not alone. We have our own cheerleading squad from which to draw strength, endurance, and perseverance. And if we still falter and find it difficult to continue, the cloud of witnesses do not leave. They are still there; their stories are still alive within the pages of the Word of God. All we have to do is open the Book.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Love.
Peace and Blessings,

Lahronda Little


Youth and Children's Activities
9:45 a.m. - Sunday School
11:00 a.m. - Children's Church – is held after the Children's message in the 11:00am Worship
Service except on first Sunday, everyone stays in the sanctuary for the
celebration of Holy Communion.
4:00 p.m. - Youth Band Practice (WC)
4:30 p.m. - Youth Fellowship (FH)
5:00 p.m. - Youth: Express Worship (LCH)


Children's Minister Updates

Please see Children's updates by clicking here.

Oreo's Blog

Now that we are through celebrating Christmas, people start thinking of what resolutions to make for themselves for the next year. When New Year's Day arrives they ask, "What can I do to make myself better?" This year, why don't we ask, "How can I make life better for other people?" God wants us to love others with our actions so they can see Jesus in us. It doesn't take much. As we discussed in Children's Church, let your light shine through your smiles. Smiling is an action that makes people feel good and special, and it doesn't cost a thing! I know your smiles and hugs make me happy! Happy New Year!

Love, Oreo

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Bethel United Methodist Church  |  245 Fairview Rd  |  Stockbridge, GA 30281  |  770-474-2570