Goodbye 2016, Welcome 2017! Wow! 2016 came and went, and to some of us we didn’t even noticed it came and then its gone. But it did came and then it’s gone. That’s how time flys we exclaim, and if we really got a lot of things done in the year 2016, we can really say, that surely it has quickly passed. Another year older and for sure we all anticipate new things instore in the year 2017.
One of the things I muse to hear from friends and other people is as the years are passing, is the need to stay young. Maybe younger in appearance or perhaps young at heart. Those of you who live in De Kalb county are familiar with the Orange Peel magazine. You will found these in grocery stores or restaurants for free. A short article caught my keen attention in the December edition which was entitled; How To Stay Young. It says, Here are some good advice….
Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes your age, weight and height. Let your doctor worry about it. That’s why you pay him/her.
Keep only a list of cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down and bring negative vibes.
Keep on learning. Learn and study the Word of God. Read the Bible, attend Sunday school. Learn more about the computer, the web, arts and crafts, gardening, weaving, quilting, flower arranging, etc. Never ever let the brain be idle. Remember that, “An Idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and the devil’s name is Al Zheimers.”
Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for your breath.
The tears and sorrows happen in life. Endure the grieving, and then move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is God and ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
Surround yourself with what and who you love, whether family, friends, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, sports, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
Cherish your health. If its good, preserve it. If its unstable, improve it. If its beyond what you can improve, get some help.
Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT where the guilt is.
Tell the people you love, that you love them at every opportunity and time.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER…
Life is not measured by the number of breath we take. But by the moments that take our breath away!
Here’s wishing you and your household A Happy New Year 2017 full of God’s grace and blessings!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR GREAT THINGS GOD HAS DONE! AMEN!
Rev. Dr. Noah R. Panlilio
On my way back to the US from my trip to the Philippines last month, I had a stopover in Seoul Korea. While waiting at the business lounge I saw a Christian magazine somebody must have left on the table. There was a very interesting poem that says;
“God won’t ask the square footage of your house. He will ask how many people you helped who didn’t have a house.
God won’t ask how many fancy clothes you had in your closet. He will ask how many of those clothes you gave away to those who didn’t have any.
God won’t ask how many material possessions you had. He will ask whether those material possessions dictated your life.
God won’t ask what your highest salary was. He will ask if you trampled over any people to obtain that salary.
God won’t ask how much overtime you worked. He will ask did you work overtime for your family.
God won’t ask how many promotions you received. He will ask what you did to promote others.
God won’t ask what your job title was. He will ask did you perform your job to the best of your ability.
God won’t ask what your parents did to help you. He will ask what you did to help your parents.
God won’t ask what you did to help yourself. He will ask what you did to help others.
God won’t ask how many friends you had. He will ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights. He will ask what you did to protect the right of others.”
Friends, this Christmas season let the Word of God become part of us. The Word of God that becomes flesh and dwells among us (John1:14). This Word is eternal. It never runs out of power or energy—and it empowers us and energizes us. The Christmas story is so familiar to us—and yet each year, its powerful message speaks to us again. We never tire of it, and it never wears out.
A very Merry and Blessed Christmas to you and your Family
Rev Dr. Noah R. Panlilio
Annual Church Conference Report
Once again we are here tonight as the household of the faithful, celebrating the work of God in the life of this church. Again we thank God for giving us this privilege of serving God’s people in this community thru the year.
This report seeks to lift up several acknowledgements with appreciation with gratitude for the work of the church, the body of Christ. Let me walk you through our concerted efforts in advancing the ministry we took upon ourselves as a church. First of all we would like to thank our District Superintendent The Rev. Young Mee Park for her support and counsel in my ministry and the whole ministry of our congregation.
First off, we would like to recognize the efforts of responsible disciple making through the nurturing of our children, and adults to become disciples of Jesus Christ through our Christian Education program. The time and effort invested in promoting our stewardship of our spiritual gifts and financial stewardship program that enables us to support the goal and mission of the larger church through our Finance & Stewardship committee. We acknowledge the ministry of the Missions/Outreach committees for initiating efforts to lift up the downtrodden, the hungry, the poor and those who are hurting both locally and globally and the intentional mission initiatives promoting church growth, evangelism and outreach is very invaluable. As the church called to reach out to the needs of our immediate community we respond to the needs of those who are experiencing the pangs of our economy’s crisis problem through our donations to the food pantry and food for sharing programs.
We also acknowledge the efforts of those maintaining the upkeep of our church properties, buildings and parsonage thru the untiring efforts of the Board of Trustees. We continue to enjoy a spirit filled worship experience brought together by our Worship committee and the music ministry of our chancel choir. We recognize the encouragement, and untiring support of the church council to me and my daughter Reanna. The ongoing fellowship program meetings of our church organizations like the Mens Breakfast Fellowship, the Womens Fellowship. In addition the appendant organizations that utilize our facilities like the Cubs Scout Pack, Lions Club, Masons, and the 4-H club. Through these groups we are extending the fellowship of the church to our immediate community and foster binding friendship, our mission and ministry which strengthens our witness and outreach. All these are the efforts of each ministry area teams and program ministry teams and committees, church organizations, that made our mission and ministry goals intentional and possible for this year.
Friends let us continue to be a progressive church, a church that always progresses and marches onward. Heeds to God’s call to minister to the least and the deprived. God’s plan for this church is before us, new beginnings new challenges new hope, and new opportunities to serve. Giving God all the glory and praise. Thank you once again for giving me the privilege of serving in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ. For all of the above, my thanksgiving and praise to God for all of you and all that you do as partners in ministry.
To God Be The Glory For Great Things God Has Done!
Rev. Dr. Noah R. Panlilio
Like many of you who receive all sorts of inspirational stories via the internet, here’s one that caught my eye. It’s entitled “The Smile of God”. A wealthy oil magnate from Texas gave a testimony to his pastor about the story of his childhood. He said that when he was about three years old, one fine Autumn day he saw the sun shining through the old porch roof where his mother was knitting. He asked his mother what the light spot on the floor was. His mother knew that it was the sunlight, but decided to relate the sunny spot to God. That, she answered, “it is God smiling down on us.” The boy walked over to stand in the light and trying to look at the sunlight for a couple of times as he squints his eyes. “What are you doing?” the mother asked. “I’m standing in God’s smile!” he joyfully replied. Years past, the little boy grew up, finished college, went into business, gained money and success, lived a life of folly, and drifted far away from God and from the church. His mother grew old and spent most of her ailing years in the nursing home. After his mother died, he had the task of selling the old home and dealing with all his mother’s possessions. One day he was in her mother’s attic trying to sort out her mother’s belongings, when he noticed a small pair of boy’s shoes. He picked them up and discovered a folded piece of paper inside one of them. When he unfolded the piece of paper, he saw these words written in his mother’s handwriting: “These were the shoes my little boy wore the day he stood in God’s smile,” That was the day the young man was challenged to change his pattern of living. Tears welled up in his eyes; the man told his pastor that the experience prompted him to begin getting right again with God and returning back to the church.
A very simple, touching, unrelutionary story but had a revolutionary change in the life of this man. Have you ever experienced the smile of God in your life? Have you ever considered that every morning when you wake up and open your eyes, God smiles at you and says, “Welcome to another day in your life; allow me to be part of your life today. Please let me hold your hand and guide you each step of your struggles that’s ahead of you. Because there’s nothing that you and I can’t handle today my child.”
Friends, like the boy who stood in God’s smile when he was three years of age, and in the course of time strayed away from God. Then was challenged to change his pattern of living upon discovering his own pair of shoes with a note written by his mother, God’s smile of grace and love is always available for us. Inspiring us, encouraging us, and assuring us that all things will work together for good to those who love him.
As members of the body of Christ, let us allow God’s leading and God’s will to manifest in the life of our congregation. This Fall we will be in the process of getting an inventory of our time, gifts, and service for the ministry of the church. Let us be part of the church’s ministry and mission. Let the church life be part of your family life. Let Jesus be part of your family schedule and your personal itinerary. Finally, let us continue to pray unceasingly for one another and for the ministry and mission of our church. Trusting that the smile of God’s love and grace is upon us thru Christ, guiding us, and drawing us beside still waters to restore our souls when we feel down in the dumps.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR GREAT THINGS GOD HAS DONE!
The month of September signals that we are almost close to the end of the hazy hot days of summer. Some of us if not many, will ask, where did our summer go? This month also signals to us that in a short period of time Autumn season is already here. For us a church it gives us a sense of excitement because we will again gear up to enrich and enhance our commitment to our church’s’ mission and ministry program. This month also makes the parents, kids and teachers busy when they go back to school. I don’t know how many kids and youths are excited start school or go back to school, missing all the summer fun with family and friends. Well, there’s always an end to every season and a new one comes to bring us fresh and new experiences.
For us as a church, we should all be excited as well to be back from our vacation and hibernation with renewed and soaring spirits ready to work in the Lord’s vineyard. Part of that excitement is the start of our Children Sunday School here in Malta and the Youth Programs in partnership with FUMC of De Kalb. This month I will start another Bible study series called Bread for the Journey every Thursdays at 6p.m. All are welcome. We are alo gearing up for our Annual Fall Beef Supper on the 24th which is already in the works. A New Member Orientation class will be offered this month for those who have been attending our worship services and have been involved in our ministries but never had the chance to signify their membership in this congregation. The Volunteers In Mission presentation is on the 16th at 7:p.m. Snacks and refreshments are provided please come to watch and see what we have accomplished last Spring in the Philippines. In commemoration of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I am celebrating an Animal Pet Blessing ceremony on the 17th at 3p.m. This is a special prayer service of blessing for all animal pets that you can bring or carry at the church parking lot. The invitation is also extended to the entire neighborhood as well.
Friends, the month of September might be a hectic month for you and your families. But please know that the church and its ministry programs should also have a place in your priorities as Disciples and members of the household of faith of God. I believe that this is a great time to be back on our feet working in the Lord’s vineyard.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR GREAT THINGS GOD HAS DONE!
In God’s love and peace,
Rev. Dr. Noah R. Panlilio