COWORKER MEETING & CELEBRATION: 30 SEPTEMBER
All our EM coworkers and volunteers are invited to join our meeting and celebration after the service on 30 September. We will have lunch together, discuss plans for the future, and celebrate our hard work over the past year. Please let Yvette or your team leaders know if you can’t come.
EM THANKSGIVING SERVICE: 7 OCTOBER
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and thank God for the many blessings he has given us over the last year, and to share our blessings with those in need. Every year we donate food at Thanksgiving to give to those who need it. On Sunday 7 October please bring your donations of dried and packaged food and supplies, and make this Thanksgiving a true time of joy for needy people in our city.
DISCIPLESHIP COURSE: STARTING OCTOBER
Jesus calls us not just to believe in him, but to follow him. But how can we transform our faith into active discipleship? This 1-year course will look at the meaning of discipleship and Jesus’s call for us to follow him with our lives. It will also look at ways we can put our faith into practice and really live as Christ’s disciples. Teacher: Pastor Lakkis. This group will meet once per month for 12 sessions. Date/Time: Monthly, every 2nd Sunday, 1:00–3:00 pm, starting October. Lunch, books and materials provided. This is a free course. Contact EM Secretary Yvette for details.
TEACHING AT-RISK YOUTH
The At-Risk Youth Center in Beitou is seeking volunteer English tutors to give occasional support to their high school students (possibly on Saturday afternoons). If you can help with this special outreach, please contact Susie Hong at: M3susie@gmail.com
SNACK SERVICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We are looking for friendly volunteers who can help serve at our snack table after service on Sundays. Can you make coffee and tea, and help serve people after Sunday service? If so, come speak to our secretary Yvette for further information.
EM ENGLISH KIDS' CLUB!
The EM English Kids' Club is for kids from 0–11 years old. It's a fun time when kids can get together to sing songs, play together, and learn about God. Join us from 11:00–12:00 every Sunday in the 7F Kids’ Room. Please send your child’s name and age to Yvette at email@example.com
SLPC BAPTISM CLASS
SLPC will host a baptism class for those wanting to be baptised on 30 December. If you want to join the class, contact EM Secretary Yvette at: firstname.lastname@example.org before 8 October. Total 6 classes are in Chinese, and meet from 21 October to 25 November, 9:00–10:00 (on Sundays) on the 9th floor.
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Bible Verse for the Week
1 John 5:4b
”This is the victory that conquers the world: our faith.”
Human relationships are complicated and fragile. It’s not always easy to keep a relationship going, and they fail so often for many reasons.
Sadly, far too many times I have seen people’s marriages fail. It’s gotten so bad that today many young people are even giving up on marriage because they see so many broken examples among their parents’ generation. And too many times in my life I have watched as men fall on hard times, lose their jobs, lose their homes, only then to have their wives leave them too. Every time I see that I wonder: Was there ever any loyalty there in that relationship? Was there ever any love? Was there ever really any intention to hold together through good times and bad? Or was the relationship only ever based on money? We see this same problem arise in Job 2.
When we think of Job’s story, we often forget that Job isn’t the only one who is suffering. Job’s wife also has to deal with these many losses. But what makes things more complicated is that it’s Job’s values and integrity that lead to his wife suffering. Her husband wants to do what is right, but the result of his integrity is that she loses her children, she loses her social standing, and she loses the wealth she had through her husband. No wonder then that in v. 9 she angrily shouts at her husband Job, “Are you still holding onto your integrity? Curse God, and die!” And maybe if her husband Job were finally dead, at least then she would also be free to remarry.
This cold and heartless attitude by Job’s wife leaves us all facing a very difficult question: Do we really want our spouses to have integrity and do what is right if it means that we lose out? Or is the only thing we want success? If having integrity means facing suffering and failure, are we really ready to accept that and stand by our spouses? Or will we just abandon our spouses when they fall on hard times and go searching for something (or someone) better?
It’s no secret that the business world in Taiwan is full of corruption and fraud, full of deceit, dishonesty and misconduct. But that’s why in our church communities we must have spouses who encourage each other not just to focus on getting ahead at any cost, not to give up on integrity, standards, and morality just to succeed. When a life of integrity leads to suffering, we need spouses who are willing to stay supportive and encouraging rather than just cutting their losses and walking out.
Job dismisses his wife’s words as foolishness. Yes, Job and his wife have lost everything. But Job knows that this is not a reason to give up on doing what is right, or give up his integrity. Money and house and position are really not the measures of a good and proper life. Instead it’s only in bravely doing what is right that we can find the type of good and blessed life that God truly wants for us.
With blessings for the week ahead,
Pastor Stephen Lakkis