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by Sharon Leaman
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
I am so thankful that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but instead sent Him to give us life abundant. I am no longer condemned by [all] my mistakes, but instead I am made whole and restored because of His perfection.
I know a little about this. I grew up with my father restoring old furniture. He has this amazing talent of finding a piece of broken down, dull, marred furniture in a musty antique shop and he restores it to its original beauty. I’ve seen him spend countless hours sanding, reshaping, hand-polishing one piece of furniture. This gives him much joy and satisfaction. When the project is finally completed, he and my mom ceremoniously bring it upstairs to the “Great Room” and set it in its place. And if it is real special, he secures a plaque with the inscription: “Restored with Love by Your Father.” As his daughter, I have lived my life seeing the delight in my father’s eyes as he shares with me his finds and the finished products.
This simple pleasure of my earthly father is a picture of my heavenly Father’s work in my own life. I am imperfect. I am marked with mistakes and I am in His workshop. But this is why Jesus came to earth – to restore me. He came so that when I stand before The Father on that great day, I have His inscription that says, “Restored with Love.” He restores me not only to beauty and usefulness, but most importantly to Himself. The restoration’s result is that I may have the joy of knowing Him, and one day be with him in the “Great Room” of heaven, on display for His glory.
For me, the above, while amazing, is not the most meaningful part of this living analogy. This is: The joy my father feels over restoring a piece of furniture must be similar to the joy our Heavenly Father feels as He perfects me. To think that The Father could find His joy and delight in restoring me – in this life time – is incredible. I understand the joy of admiring the finished product. But that He could find joy in the restoration process (when it can be so ugly and hard and time consuming)?
Often I look at my restoration (a.k.a. sanctification) as a necessary endeavor, one to be endured – by both of us. Just as I don’t find it pleasurable at times, my view of God is that he doesn’t find my ugliness all that pleasurable either. But seeing my dad find his passion in the process, gives me hope. It gives me a sense that I am valued not only when I get to heaven, fully restored, but I am a source of joy and delight to Him now in the process. HE is passionate about restoring me. He rejoices over restoring ME. He whistles while He works! (Zeph. 3:17) “Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to give us life abundant.” (John 3:17) While in His workshop He’s not grumbling about the terrible state I’m in or how much work I’m making for him. He knows what I am to be and He works joyfully to that end. How sweet is that? It is overwhelming love.
I know that every earthly analogy falls short when describing the Creator of all things. But I consider this analogy a personal gift to me from His hand.
Just yesterday, my dad sent me an email with a picture of his latest project (attached). This is an old drop-leaf table I found at the Salvation Army for $5. My dad took it into his workshop after Christmas and it is now “restored.” In his email he writes, “I love doing these things, especially for you.” (And true to form, I got a phone call from my sweet mother who ceremoniously told me of how they were “admiring the work over a glass of wine, sitting by the fire.”)
About Sharon: Sharon is the wife of Bruce Leaman, and mother to four beautiful children, Daniel, Emilee, Kathryn and Nathan. She has been a covenant member of New Life for 23 years. She serves as a teacher in Christ Covenant School and Pioneer Girls. She loves to think, sing, and love on her family.
New Women’s Ministry Committee Members
We welcome Kathryne Marple as our new Chair and Phyillis DiBella and Julie Root as new members to the Women’s Ministry Committee. Returning members are Brenda Deaconson, Christine Fulcrod, Heather O’Hara, Barb Plating, Gale Puffenberger, Eileen Roberts, Frances Sexton, Gretchen Trump and Carrie Verbosky. Thank you to Annie Page and Annie Jedick for their faithful service on the Women’s Ministry Committee this past year as they go on sabbatical.
Accepting Nominations for Women’s Ministry Training
As Kathryne Marple expressed so well on Sunday, the Women’s Ministry Training is applicable to a woman in any season of life and has been a great encouragement to those of us who have gone through it. It is not necessary to serve on the Women’s Ministry Committee after completion of the training. Please let us know by March 9th if you would like to join us or if you know of a woman that you think should serve on the Committee. The training is a prerequisite to service on the Committee so we want to make sure that those ladies are encouraged to participate. Submit your nominations on the flyer in the bulletin or email to Kathryne Marple at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date Change – Women’s Retreat Meeting – Thursday, February 20th at 7pm
We’ll meet in the red conference room across from the kitchen. We’d love to have you join us!
Personal Safety Class Monday, February 17th at New City Fellowship
The New City Fellowship ladies have invited us to a women’s personal safety overview on February 17th @ 7:15pm in NCF Fellowship Hall. RAD Instructor and Spotsy Sheriff Deputy Allen Lucas will speak for an hour about simple defense techniques and awareness that women can employ for their personal safety. He will give an overview of the RAD class that he can offer (free of charge to participants). They hope to identify at least 8 women and/or 12-17 year old girls who would like to take this class. Childcare will be available at this meeting. Email email@example.com today for contact information; RSVPs due today.
Missions Month Help
- Help with morning coffee treats for Missions Month HERE. Sign up to bring international cookies or pastries or your favorite treat one Sunday morning in March.
- Check for additional opportunities to help with Missions Month in the bulletin flyer.
Office Help Needed
- Christine in the office is looking for some help with archiving our church history. If you would be interested by sorting records and/or church pictures, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-786-4848.
- Please let Christine know if you would be interested in helping to update the Missions Bulletin Board on at least a monthly basis. We would like to keep our missionaries’ information available to the congregation as many of them take time to send newsletters and pictures. Also we like to highlight New Life trips and teams that are ministering on behalf of our congregation.
- Do you have a couple hours on a Friday afternoon you can spare? Sign up HERE to fold bulletins after 1pm some Friday. Takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours (faster if you bring a friend!) Questions? Ask Pam in the office.
Gretchen Trump prepared this Women’s Ministry Committee prayer focus for February:
The month of February is National Heart Health Month, where Americans are to focus on the physical health of the heart. Let us pray for each woman of New Life in Christ Church’s physical and spiritual heart health. You may wish to use the following Scriptures to help you pray for one another– and for your own heart’s health.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
in His grace,
for the Women’s Ministry Committee