Have Faith
June, 2021 - Issue #200
courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock

We Need a Truthtopia by Dave White
There's a lot of talk these days about what makes the perfect society. Terrible utopian ideas are nothing new. Plato had his suggestions for the perfect society in the "Republic." Thomas More had his radical egalitarian ideas in the "Utopia." Thomas Hobbes had his all-powerful state in the "Leviathan." Karl Marx had his class struggle in the "Communist Manifesto."All these ideologies were nothing more than soulless statist societies that worshiped the state. And all have failed to respect human rights, to honor individual liberties and to unleash freedom. Our world is floundering in fake news, alternative facts, relativistic nonsense and lie after lie. If you want a better nation and a more united world, I say we shoot for a Truthtopia based on God's Word. The Bible is filled with incredible wisdom and practical insights for great living. It's said to be "more desirable than gold" and "sweeter than honey" (Psalm 19:10). It claims to be "better than thousands of silver pieces" (Psalm 119:72) and greater than "all riches" (Psalm 119:14). Forget utopian politics. We need a Truthtopia!
Dave White, PhD, of The Bridge.

Valencia UMC Celebrates 50th Anniversary by Michelle Andrews
With the hope of continued lightening restrictions there is an excitement building. Can you feel it? Graduations, Father's Day and summer weddings are right around the corner. What will you be celebrating this summer? Valencia UMC has special plans for July as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary. For 50 years, we have been #hereforgood in the SCV as a church that welcomes all, helps those in need and offers hope. Since 1971, we have provided a safe place to experience God's grace and love through worship, Bible study and by serving in our community. As we prepare to celebrate our first 50 years, we are also looking ahead with excitement to what God will do in the next 50 years. Come and celebrate all of God's goodness with us. We hope you'll join us - no one belongs here more than you.
Michelle Andrews is associate pastor of
Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301

The Importance of Simplicity in Worship by Jack Winkle
I am often amazed - and amused - by people's attempts to get God's attention. First of all, He's omniscient - all-knowing, so He already knows who we are and what we need even before we approach Him. Second, He's omnipresent - everywhere at all times, so we don't need to search hard to find Him or get His attention. Third, He loves us more than we could even imagine, so He's always waiting and listening for us to come to Him anytime, day or night. We don't need to use extravagant, theatrical, even lavish methods to gain God's attention. While it's important that we respect His power and authority, it's His kindness that draws us to Him and allows us to experience His goodness and love.
The best times spent with God are simple. Just praise Him and thank Him for all He's done and all He's doing for you, your family and your loved ones. Of course, we can also go to Him with our times of desperation, but He already knows our needs. Just talk to Him. And listen. There's tremendous power in that "still, small voice." He's always there for you. Looking for a church that is open, indoors, and teaches God's Word? Come see us.
Pastor Jack Winkle of Calvary Chapel Golden Valley.

The Key
A leader was asked by the rabbi to give a keynote address - a meaningful, powerful talk that would inspire the community. The leader studied and prepared like he had never done before. Finally, the moment arrived. The speaker reached into his pocket and his heart froze - no speech! With a despairing heart, he spoke the bits and pieces he recalled, avoiding eye contact.
At the conclusion of the meeting the rabbi made his way to the leader and stated, "That was an extraordinary speech today! In the king's palace, there are many gates and doors leading to many halls and chambers. The palace-keepers have great rings holding many keys, each of which opens a different door. Your motivations are keys, each unlocking another door in our souls, each accessing another chamber in the supernal worlds. But there is one master key that unlocks all doors that opens up for us the innermost chambers of the divine palace. That key is a broken heart." At times we may feel desperate, having no power, or simply disconnected. When we do our best from our authentic self we can never lose. Let us all find time to turn what we may perceive as a negative to an inspiration that generates possibility - the essence of all motivation.
Congregation Beth Shalom 254-2411
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