MEMORIAL UMC’s MISSION…
We are CALLED by Christ to GROW in faith, BUILD relationships, and SERVE all people.
MONDAY – FRIDAY
10:00 a.m. “10@10” Weekday Devotions via Facebook
8:00 a.m. Men’s Prayer Meeting Online via Zoom (contact Brian Russell)
5:30 p.m. Outdoor Yoga in the Church Back Yard (Weather permitting)
If you or a loved one would like to be added to the prayer list, please contact Lorna McCullough at 336-259-5814. If you put a name on the list, please keep in touch to let us know how that person is doing, as names are removed after three weeks.
During the coming week, please pray for…
George and Florence Highsmith
Peace and justice in our nation, state, and city
Grant Brinkley and Family
Finley Price Family
Our First Responders, Medical Community, and Essential Workers
All those affected by Coronavirus/COVID-19
Andrea Cain and Family
Our UM Missionaries
All Military Personnel
The United Methodist Church
R.L. POPE CLASS NEW ONLINE LESSONS
SUNDAYS AT 10:00 A.M. on WGOS
The R. L. Pope Class is excited to announce the return of new, weekly online lessons. Tune in to WGOS on your radio or computer.
July 26 Kyles Wallace
August 2 Richard Herman
August 9 Allen Brown
August 16 Harold Vannoy
August 23 Kyles Wallace
August 30 Stan Styers
REV. KELLY CARPENTER TO SHARE ON ANTI-RACISM
Join us for our first congregation-wide Zoom discussion on Anti-Racism. Pastor Kelly Carpenter of Green Street UMC in Winston-Salem will lead us in dissecting the definition of racism so that we can all begin to listen and learn together. Green Street’s work and learning around anti-racism is ongoing. You can read about it on their website.
Zoom Call Details (And more information on accessing this call will be forthcoming!)
Time: Aug 12, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9185537002
CLERGY AND STAFF ARE AVAILABLE
You may contact members of the staff directly or by calling the church office at 336-472-7718 and following the instructions on the recording. Here is a list of staff phone extensions and email addresses, for reference:
Danny Leonard, Senior Minister – Ext. 16; email@example.com
Rodney Denton, Minister of Youth and Young Adults – Ext. 18; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynda Hepler, Minister of Children and Families – Ext. 11; email@example.com
Brian Russell, Director of Contemporary Worship – Ext. 20; firstname.lastname@example.org
Danny Frye, Director of Music – Ext. 12; email@example.com
Susan Frye, Secretary – Ext. 14; firstname.lastname@example.org
Peggy May, Financial Secretary/Treasurer – Ext. 13; email@example.com
Jarry Oldaker, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds – Ext. 17; firstname.lastname@example.org
FINANCIAL GIVING OPTIONS WHILE THE OFFICE IS CLOSED
Thank you for your ongoing generosity to Memorial. While the office is closed, there are three options for making gifts to Memorial:
The address for mailing checks is:
P.O. Box 428
Thomasville, NC 27361-0428
Online gifts can be made securely at https://onrealm.org/mumctville/give/now which can also be accessed from our website homepage.
Electronic funds transfer (EFT) giving can be set up for your recurring tithe. For information on how to arrange this, please email or leave a message for Peggy May, Financial Secretary, at email@example.com or 336-472-7718.
We close this week’s eNews with a 10@10 devotion shared by Rodney Denton on June 12, 2020.
Garbage IN, Garbage OUT
Good morning. I am so glad that you decided to join me this morning for a few words to get your day started off in the right direction!
So, this week is the official first week of summer vacation for my kids. And, well, since they no longer have any school work to keep them busy, AND the summer camps we had planned for them have been cancelled, AND the community pool doesn’t seem like a great place to practice “social distancing” so isn’t an option for us right now, AND we have had to pull back on the reins on Daelyn, who loves to bake (it’s just not a great situation having homemade cupcakes and brownies and macaroons lying around the house all day!) … we are sort of having to regroup and figure out what to do to keep the kids busy and not killing each other during the day. This all sort of hit me last week when Gracen had a doctor’s appointment and the doctor asked me how I was managing screen time with the kids these days. As I quickly began calculating in my head the daily amount of TV binge-watching marathons, video games, iPad time, and phone usage that they have been engaged in, let’s just say that they had “WAY exceeded expectations” in the screen time area. I left the doctor’s appointment sort of deflated, like I was failing as a parent, realizing that the kids just used a screen the majority of their waking hours, and we needed a new daily plan.
But the quality of my parenting is not the topic of my 10 @ 10 today; that will have to wait for a different day. What I do want to talk a little bit about in a way is screen time—not just for kids, but for all of us. I mentioned to my kids, as I was pleading with them to find something to do this week, that the more they set themselves in front of a screen, the more they are influenced by the images and messages and things that they see on their screens. I once heard this described as “garbage in, garbage out;” if kids have a steady “screen diet” of junk, it will eventually affect their thoughts and their attitudes, which will eventually affect their actions. That same premise is true for all of us. If we consume nothing but garbage through our screens, then there is a good chance that garbage will be the end result of our media bingeing.
Many of you may have seen a Facebook post or two about my dog, Charlie. He is a great dog! So patient and good natured, which is a necessity for a house like ours! However, before there was Charlie, we had a dog named Knuckles. Knuckles was not quite as obedient or easy to get along with as Charlie. Now, Knuckles was a girl dog, and you might think Knuckles is a weird name for a girl dog. But that name was given to her because it was short for “Knucklehead,” and she owned that name from the very first day that she came home with us as a puppy. Knuckles was mostly Labrador but had just enough hound dog in her to keep us all on our toes. Hound dog is code for when she got on the scent of something she found interesting, NOTHING would distract her from tracking it down. We would always have to be on our A-game because Knuckles was like a toddler who would get single-minded and cross the road to find a dead squirrel, with no regard for the four-thousand-pound dump truck approaching at 50 mph.
One summer Knuckles discovered something delicious in our back yard—the drip tray underneath our outdoor grill. Whenever we grill burgers, steak, chicken, brontosaurus. . . anything, the fat, of course, drips off the meat down through an opening in the bottom of the grill, collecting into a disposable tray that was several inches deep. This tray wasn’t small. In fact, it could probably hold almost a pint of drippings; and by “drippings” I mean greasy, nasty, and—to Knuckles—delectable pure fat!
One night, I was grilling some burgers and gave one that had fallen to the ground to Knuckles. The next morning, Knuckles was walking around the backyard and must have caught a whiff of the previous night’s drippings, along with whatever had accumulated since the last time I had cleaned it out. Basically, a huge, pint-sized tray of lard! Knuckles wandered over to investigate, sniffing the edge of the tray. I told her, “No, you don’t want that.” But Knuckles looked at me like, “Uh, I assure you, I definitely DO want that.”
Over the course of the next few days I caught her loitering by the grill, attempting to poke her snout into the tray of fat. Each time, I stopped her, and warned her, as if she understood anything I was saying. “Knuckles! No! Yuck! Stay away!” But each time she looked at me, confused. Her little canine brain was determined that this aluminum tray of savory goodness would bring her unending joy and satisfaction. So, I decided to reason with her. I sat her down and said, “Knucklehead Denton”—I always used her full name when she was in trouble—“you need to trust me on this one. If you eat that vat of lard, it’s going to rock your world, and I don’t mean in a good way. Your seventy-seven-pound body just isn’t ready for this concentrated dose of congealed fat. Knuckles, my friend, it will wreck you! Please stay away!” Knuckles just peered up at me with those big brown eyes as if to say, “Can I go eat the fat now?”
The next day I was outside trimming the bushes and turned to look for Knuckles. The sly little rascal wasn’t lying by the shade, chewing her rawhide bone as I thought. She had quietly crept away. I walked around my house searching for her and calling her name. Nothing. Then I remembered—that tray of fat! I walked to the back of the house over by my grill. Sure enough, there she was, muzzle deep in grill grease. As I approached her, she looked up at me, startled, with her glistening muzzle covered in the risky indulgence that I had warned her about. She paused, and then literally doggy-burped right at me. I said, “Oh, if you only knew what else is coming.” She had cleaned that drip pan out, not one coagulated glob was left. I warned MJ. “Knuckles just ate like three months’ worth of grill drippings.” “How much?” she asked, laughing and shaking her head. “Oh, almost a pint of pure grease.”
And then it happened. It wasn’t instantaneous. It took about an hour. But it was time for the grease to leave its host. First, it came out the front end. I’ve never seen so much doggy puke. Then she ran to the door. We let her out, and I won’t describe the rest. Poor Knuckles was as sick as a … well, you know … sick as a dog. She was sick for probably thirty-six hours, lying on her side, looking up at me as if to say, “Just kill me!” This pup, who normally was nonstop energy, bouncing off the walls, didn’t want to run, walk, play, anything. She didn’t even look at her dog food. She just kept lying there gazing at me lethargically like, “Why?” And I would simply reply, “I know, right? You should have listened to me.”
About three days later she was back to normal. The following day I grilled some burgers, and guess who was trying to shove her muzzle in the tray of fat? It’s like she didn’t even remember the source of the misery that she had just experienced. It’s like she couldn’t remember that the garbage that she put into her body was the source of so much pain and displeasure. The takeaway is pretty clear: dogs don’t have the ability to reason about the quality of the stuff that they consume. Dogs can’t determine, “This won’t be worth it. It is not good for me!”
But humans can. Can’t they? This thought began when I was watching how my kids were slowly turning into “vidiots” over the last few weeks because of all the screen time they were engaged in. But it also applies to me. There are times when I want nothing to do but sit down and mindlessly chow down on some greasy, lard-like TV entertainment, regardless of the consequences. It’s “garbage in, garbage out.”
I guess what I am saying is that it matters what we expose ourselves to—especially these days when there is so much spin and misinformation and, for lack of a better term, “fake news.” And it’s all freely available for our intellectual and spiritual consumption. It all seems so seductive, sort of like that drippings tray full of glistening goodness and satisfaction. And, regardless of whether you are drawn to the lip-smacking lure of political rhetoric, the seductive enticement of all that social media, or just the straight up decadence of mindless TV and movie entertainment, there is an agenda in everything that we watch. The worst thing is that when we let other people do the thinking for us and we mindlessly consume the media in our world without filtering it, we are sort of like poor Knuckles, ready to chow down on something that looks promising but ends up being the source of pain and displeasure.
Now, my point this morning is not to suggest that we stay away from media all together, because there is some good stuff out there. But I am suggesting that when we are consuming media in any way, we need to be able to think for ourselves and weigh what is being said with our own faith convictions. I have found that often I end up in an “echo chamber” of voices that continually confirm the convictions that I already hold, right or wrong. If I didn’t weigh the messages that I am exposed to against the message of the Bible, my own personal faith journey, and faithful people in my life who I trust and admire, the world would be a pretty scary and confusing place.
An example of this is when I recently watched a documentary on “flat earthers” who are convinced that the earth is flat. The weird thing is that some of what they are saying makes sense, until you see pictures from the International Space Station to the contrary. My point is that if I never took the time to investigate the big picture and was only exposed to flat earth documentaries, and flat earth media, and other people who believed in the idea of a flat earth, then I would probably begin to be convinced that the earth was flat.
The same thing can be said for other areas of our lives. We need to see the big picture. We need to investigate our world through the lens of Christianity. I believe that God is big enough to answer our questions, and I believe that the Holy Spirit can help us filter all the competing messages that are out there and help us weed through the lard to get to the parts that can really feed our soul. We should weigh every bit of the rhetoric and opinion that parades as facts with what we know to be true.
This is not a new struggle for people. Paul was dealing with a very similar issue when he was writing his letter to the Romans. In chapter 12, verses 1 and 2, he writes these words:
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Paul is urging his listeners to test what they are being exposed to against the truth of Holy Scripture. This is not an easy task, but perhaps the easy way is not always the best way. Perhaps we need to do a little more thinking for ourselves, instead of allowing media personalities to do the thinking for us. Perhaps when we are really honest with ourselves, we realize that at least some of the messages that we are consuming are negatively impacting us and the people around us. Perhaps we need to transform our thinking and allow God to be our guide, instead of worldly people who would happily put themselves in the position of receiving our worship.
This week, I challenge you to pay close attention to the things you are exposing your soul to. I challenge you to analyze your media and ask yourself, “What is really being said here?” Ask yourself, “Do I truly believe this message?” Ask yourself, “Is this true?” And maybe even ask yourself, “Why do I believe this is true?” Armed with a filter of faith and the ability to think, perhaps you can weed through all that screen time and make sense of this really confusing time.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN.
YOU CAN WATCH AND READ ALL 10 @ 10 DEVOTIONS HERE.