LaVonte Dell was on a drive with his young daughter when Westland, Michigan police officer, Joshua Scaglione, pulled in behind him and turned on his lights. Suddenly, LaVonte was overcome with a terrible, sinking feeling in his stomach. LaVonte was being pulled over for having tinted windows that were too dark. What Officer Scaglione found when he approached the car was LaVonte’s young daughter, riding without a car seat.
I have been working in a childcare center the biggest part of my life. During that time, I have been responsible for a lot of teachers. These teachers are truly dedicated employees that love children. They do not always have great life goals when they start in the children’s center, they just know that they want to work with children.
Every year I have the privilege of leading one the Disciple Bible studies at St. Luke’s. Disciple Bible study is a 32 or 24-week course that requires each participant to study a significant amount of scripture each day. Once a week the participants come together to discuss all that they have read during the previous week. Disciple Bible study is a challenging class, but well worth the time and effort that it takes to successfully complete the class.
The apostle Paul was very influential in the spread of Christianity in the early church. He traveled to many places, sharing the good news of Christ and starting churches in many of these cities. He wrote letters to these churches and individuals as well, which became many of the books in the New Testament that we read today. Paul was put in prison and suffered many physical beatings throughout his ministry, even to the point of his death. Some of his letters were written when he was in prison, but they are filled with encouragement to persevere and to have hope, no matter what persecution or trials you may face in life.
One of the most powerful moments in the Church is when we participate in Holy Communion. During this special time, the people of God remember the sacrifice of Christ and encounter God’s amazing grace, a gift that comes in the giving and receiving of the bread and wine. I love Holy Communion because, I believe, it is one of those extraordinary times when heaven and earth seem to collide.
‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore, my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also dwells secure.
For thou dost not give me up to Sheol,
or let thy godly one see the Pit.
Thou dost show me the path of life;
in thy presence there is fullness of joy,
in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.
We often struggle with the question, “Am I really able to make a difference?” It is a good question to ask ourselves. The answer to this question is, of course, “Yes!” Each of us have the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around us and around the world.
Sometimes things happen in our lives and we wonder, “Why is this happening?” To us, events don’t make sense. We may become frustrated and angry because it is happening. We may even shout out to God and ask “WHY?” Even though we do not understand or do not see the big picture, God does. God is working to make something good from all the situations in our lives.
Many years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom and decided to enroll in a Bible Study at my church. To be quite honest, I was doing it more for the interaction with adults, than to study God’s Word. Although I’d attended Sunday school my entire life, it was the first time I’d ever enrolled in an adult Bible Study. I’d always been an excellent student, so I remember well the moment I realized that nearly everyone else in the class had much more Biblical knowledge than me. This “excellent student” was at the bottom of the class. That semester, I spent a lot of time listening to my classmates as they shared from their hearts. These amazing Christian friends were so kind and patient with me and helped me develop a real desire to know and understand the Bible; I wanted to have what they had!