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Upcoming Events
JUL

24

MON
Boy Scouts
7:00 PM
Meet at LVUMC
JUL

25

TUE
Cub Scouts Meet
7:00 AM
at LeValley UMC
Choir Practice
7:00 PM
Adult Choir group meets at LVUMC to practice
JUL

26

WED
Zion Food Pantry!
2pm-4:30pm at Zion UMC
http://www.zionionia.org/
Must be a resident of Ionia County and have valid Picture ID May receive food one time per month.
JUL

27

THU
SOUP KITCHEN @ ZION UMC
6:00 PM
http://www.zionionia.org/food-services.html
Free meal to all who would like to join us!
Drum Exercise Class
6:30 PM
at LeValley Church
JUL

30

SUN
Worship Service
9am - Berlin Center UMC
11am - LeValley UMC
JUL

31

MON
Boy Scouts
7:00 PM
Meet at LVUMC
Bible Search
July & August 2014 Greeting!

Dear Berlin Center and LeValley United Methodist Church Family,

Ty Cobb, all-time baseball great, played 3,033 straight games, and for twelve years led the American League in batting averages.  For four years, he batted over 400.  He was, arguably, the meanest and most unlikable man ever to play the sport.  On his deathbed, July 17, 1961, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.  He said, "Tell the boys I'm sorry it was the last part of the ninth that I came to know Christ.  I wish it had taken place in the first half of the first."

There are many ways we could look at the baseball career of the legendary Detroit Tiger and Cooperstown Hall of Fame member Ty Cobb.  We could list him as one of the greatest hitters of all time.  Perhaps Cobb is the greatest of the Detroit Tigers that have ever worn a Tiger uniform.

I think most of us baseball fans would say, yes as far as baseball statistics are concerned Cobb was one of the best players of all time.  However, greatness is not alway s measured in hits, batting titles, stolen bases, championships, home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, and games played.  I believe greatness has other intangibles.

Ernie Harwell, never played a game as a Detroit Tiger, but as a broadcaster he is also in baseball's Hall of Fame.  Not only was he a master of keeping us listening to the game on the radio instead of watching the games on TV, but he was also a kind soul who had a warm heart towards others.  He was humble about his great success as a broadcaster.  When asked about his success he would often say, "He was like a turtle on a fence post.  He didn't get there on his own.  Someone had to put him there."  Ernie would often give God the credit and his fans that listened to him for his great career in baseball.

Jesus was asked about greatness a number of times and this is what He had to say in the first of those responses that I want to look at.  The first passage reminds us that how we live our life in front of others is very important.  God is not pleased with those that cause children to sin.  Our God will also punish those that cause God's children to sin.  God has called us to turn from our sins and humble ourselves before God if we want to be great in God's eyes.

Mattew 18:1-10  The Greatest in the Kingdom

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is greatest in the Kingdom of God?"  Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them.  Then He said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like that little child, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

But if you cause one of these little ones who trust in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.  What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin.  Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.  So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off, and throw it away.  It's better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both your hands and feet.  And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It's better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.  Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones.  For I tell you that in Heaven their angels are always in the presence of my Heavenly Father."  Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, copyright© 1996, by Tyndale Charitable Trust.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publiishers.  All rights reserved.

The second passage deals with greatness as an issue of service in God's Kingdom.  Luke 22:24-27 Then they began to argue amongst themselves about who would be the greatest among them.  Jesus told them, "In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called 'friends of the people.'  But among you it will be different.  Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves?  The one who sits at the table, of course.  But not here!  For I am among you as one who serves.  Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright© 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.  All rights reserved.

Ty Cobb became a much better person and a greater person when he humbled himself before God, turned away from his sins, asked God for forgiveness and started a new life through faith in Christ.  We can be decent and productive people without Christ, but we become greater people with God's help.  With Christ in our lives we are not as focused on trying to fill up our lives with sin, but instead we are more zeroed in on pleasing God and serving others.

I want to thank each of you in this parish that have become great in God's eyes because you have faith in Christ, you have turned away from a life full of sin, and now you are spending your time in life helping to build others up in their life in Christ.  Thanks to all of you that helped with VBS this year, help out with Sunday School, Jr. Church, leadership on committees or serve on committees, work with youth, lead Bible studies or prayer groups, conduct outreach for salvation or to feed or clothe people, go on mission trips or invest in missions, help with funeral dinners or fund raising dinners, pray at home because you can't come to church, call on others in the prison, hospitals or at home, send cards or make phone calls, help out with folding bulletins and newsletters, or fixing things around the church building and on the grounds.  I am sure I have missed many things that people are doing in the life of the Church, but one thing I haven't missed is that Jen and I think you are great at serving God in our parish.  We believe God also sees you as being great because of your faith in Christ and your willingness to serve each other.

You're Servants in Christ,

Pastor Ray and Jen Sundell