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This weeks "Gold Nugget" comes from I Corinthians 1;18 which says, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
An observation was made one day by someone watching a leaf cutter ant carrying a piece of leaf across an old concrete step. The leaf section was a huge burden for the ant, but it labored on until it came to a large crack in the concrete. It paused, and the observer wondered, "Would it turn back? Will it descend into the crack?" As it turned out, neither. Instead it maneuvered it's leaf into position across the crack and released it. Then it simply walked across the leaf-bridge to the other side, where it again picked up the leaf piece and continued on. The observer then reflected on the fact that the burdens we carry today may be building the character - bridges we will need to cross the hard places down the road in our lives.
And how true that is, but let's make the scale much larger now. Instead of a daily journey - a life long one. Instead of just two sides of a step divided by a crack - This life and the next divided by the valley of death, only this "crack" is bottomless and horrible. Instead of just character flaws - the accumulating weight of our sin debt. Instead of a temporary burden - a growing burden of guilt, inadequacy, and confusion about life after death.
As we approach the end of our life, will we be drawn into the abyss by the penalty and weight of sin? Is there a way to the "other side" where we continue on eternally in the new Heaven and Earth? I'm afraid our leaf-bridge of religion, Psychology, Evolution, and Science wont cut it here. We need a bridge that is secure and SURE and can withstand the flames of the abyss. One that will bring peace, relieve our burden of sin debt and give a true answer to our questions. What is it? The Cross! God is so wonderful to have provided the way for you. Hopefully you won't think it to be foolish, and reject it.
Miss Aimee Neild (pictured), of Brackney, PA has been chosen as the recipient of the William Jasper Burchell Memorial Scholarship for 2002. This scholarship was set up to help students from South New Milford Baptist Church who plan to serve in some type of full-time ministry or missions work. Aimee has attended the Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, NY for one year, spent a year in Argentina in the Word of Life program, and is now studying at Practical Bible College in Binghamton, NY to attain an Associate Degree in Bible. She has plans to be married in May, 2003 to Michael Archer, of Chicago, IL, and then hopes to attend the Moody Bible Institute. Her future goal is to be a full-time missionary in a foreign field. Aimee is a 1999 graduate of Montrose High School. Her parents are, mother and stepfather, Dawn and Lynn Haskins, and father and stepmother, Lindsey and Audrey Neild.
Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D. and her husband Kevin Burke, M.S.W., founded Rachaels Vineyard in 1994. In 1986 Theresa had started the first therapeutic support group for post aborted women with the founding of The Center for Post Abortion Healing which, in 1995, was expanded into a format for weekend retreats.
Rachaels Vineyard Ministries (www.rachaelsvineyard.org), a division of American Life League, Inc. will hold a retreat in our area for women who are troubled by a decision to abort. Some women experience post-abortion syndrome, a sense of depression and anxiety that can last a lifetime. Common signs of post-abortion syndrome are extended grief and heartache over the procedure and feelings of loss and victimization. Many have problems processing the trauma and deny or repress her thoughts and feelings. When a traumatic abortion experience is not acknowledged, a psychological barrier is erected and an emotional toxicity is perpetrated. In addition to denial and avoidance, a woman may experience numbing, amnesia, phobic responses and interpersonal distancing. Other symptoms of post abortion syndrome include guilt feelings, dreams and nightmares about the baby, flashbacks of the abortion, remorse, low self-esteem, sexual coldness, abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, promiscuity, depression and a withdrawal from their church.
The upcoming retreat, which will be held at St. Gabriels Retreat Center, Clark Summit November 1 3, will be focused on emotional and spiritual healing, helping the women to forgive themselves as well as accepting forgiveness from God. The retreat is private and available to any man or woman grieving an abortion. Lodging and meals are provided. Participants are asked to contribute only what they can afford toward the actual cost of the weekend. For more information or a registration form you may call 570 756-2915 or 570 207-2228.
A very special evening program will be held at Montrose Bible Conference on November 12. This "Ladies Night Out", with a theme of Abundant Joy, will provide a refreshing break from normal busy schedules.
Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm in Dreyer Lodge Tea Room and after the meal Carrie Brush, vocal soloist, will be in concert. The program will conclude at 8:00 pm. Childcare is available (feed children before arrival please). Reservations requested.
The registration desk will open at 5:30. Contact Montrose Bible Conference at (570) 278-1001 or 1-800-598-5030 for reservations.
The Springville United Methodist Church is offering a series of grief healing groups, beginning October 22. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Grieving is an active process, more than a slow passive waiting, or an attempt to divert the pain until, "it doesnt hurt so much." It can also be an occasion for growth.
A series of videotapes has been produced with the hope they can provide a new and significant breakthrough in an effort to help heal the wounds of the spirit called grief.
Topics are: the five tasks of grief work; healing guilt; fear and anger; growth from divorce; infections of the grief wound; saying "good-bye" to our losses.
The basic skills needed to use grief as an opportunity to grow can be taught and learned. The power to transform loss into growth is released in two ways; by being in relationships of mutual caring and by finding spiritual meaning in losses. A grief healing group can help.
For more information contact Reverend Sandy Kraft, at 965-2304.
Father Pio Mandato, a Capuchin priest from Auburn, will celebrate a Mass for Healing on Thursday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. at Holy Name of Mary Parish in Montrose. Following Mass, Eucharistic Adoration will be held and Father Pio will pray for the healing of Jesus Christ for all who wish to approach him. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will also be available during this time. The evening of prayer for healing and reconciliation will conclude with Benediction. The Franciscan Capuchin Sisters from Tunkhannock will enhance the Liturgy with their music. All who seek spiritual or physical healing are invited to attend this special evening. Father James Nash serves as Pastor of Holy Name of Mary.
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