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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
Lent Season

Dear LeValley and Berlin Center Parish family,

It doesn't seem possible, but Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Services are upon us.   This season of Lent started off well enough with our Ash Wednesday service and call from the prophet Joel to prepare ourselves for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days.  In the church, we focus in on getting ready for the second coming of Christ by remembering the first coming of Christ.  Turning away from our sins and putting on the forgiveness of Christ by faith in the death of Jesus on the Cross is just a starting point to our spiritual walk this year.

During Lent we are taking a look at some of the spiritual disciplines that are needed to move through our journey to become more like Christ.  At our first Lenten soup supper we were challenged to apply the Scriptures that call us not to take offense to each other.  It is a work of grace, to decide with God's help to not take offense at something another person says or does or a perceived injustice that was never intended.  I believe that future salvations are at stake if we don't apply this spiritual lesson and tie it to forgiveness.  For the sake of others that God is bringing into the church we need to set aside offenses and help maintain a soul winning atmosphere in the church.

1 Corinthians 10:32-33

Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.  NKJV

1 Corinthians 10:32-33 become offenceless, both to Jews and Greeks, and to the assembly of God, 33 as I also in all things do please all, not seeking my own profit, but that of many - - - that they may be saved.  YLT

Jesus takes a hard-line on those of us that profess faith in Christ, but refuse to forgive others.  Matthew 6:14-15 says, "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."  HBNLT

I am so glad that God did not take offense at my sins or your sins, but instead God decided to cover over our sins with his shed blood upon the cross so that by faith in his atoning death and by the power of his bodily resurrection from the dead we can have eternal life and victory over sin and death.  As a result we can have the spiritual victory we need to live lives that are pleasing to God.  I stand amazed at the love of God and how after Jesus was falsely arrested and charged, beaten and scourged, spit upon and mocked, Jesus refused to take offense at every one of us who's sins are nailed to his cross.  In Luke 23:34 Jesus said from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."  And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.  Holy Bible, New Living Translation ® , copyright © 1996, 2004, by Tyndale Charitable Trust Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.  All rights reserved.

Happy Easter!  Jesus Has Risen!

Pastor Ray and Jen