A Moment of Prayer

Rev-Stu-01-webFrom Rev. Stew Royce, Senior Pastor, Noelridge Christian Church

For an hour every Wednesday, we have a special time to gather at the church for a unique opportunity to pray. Our weekly “prayer meeting” runs from 5:00 – 6:00 pm and is based on Psalm 46:10:

“Be still and know that I am God.”

In this quiet hour we have heads bowed and hearts open, listening for the “still, small voice.” We begin with an opening   prayer and then pray together as a group at the end of the hour. The leaders of our prayer ministry provide this service and no one is ever expected to pray aloud.

Prayer is a mysterious force that brings spiritual energy to our lives. When we look at the life of Jesus, He always set time aside to pray. It was a daily habit for Him. Jesus prayed regularly, and so can we!

Take time to energize your life, as well as the lives of others, through prayer. Once there was a little boy who wrote a letter to God. He said: “Dear God, You do a lot of things and are really busy. Now here is my question. When is the best time I can talk to you? I know You are always listening, but when will You be listening hard in Toledo, Ohio? Sincerely Yours, Donald.”

Be assured that God listens hard all the time, and everywhere, including the state of Iowa.

Going back in time to my childhood years, I remember receiving a card with a prayer on the front of it. Although the details are sketchy, I must have read that prayer with interest because my mom framed it for me. Over the years to the present day, that little framed prayer has hung on a wall, been stored in a box, and gathered dust on a shelf. There was a time when I even thought about throwing it away!

Fortunately, I have kept it all these years. This prayer is a source of inspiration, sending a reminder that God will meet us at every turn in life. For all our varied needs, we are given new resources when we take, as the title by Jon Gilbert says: “A Moment of Prayer.”

If dark clouds fill the sky and our plans go awry,

And our dream castles fade in the air,

Peace and strength will be found and new hope abound,

When we spend just a moment in prayer!    

There is guidance and grace for each problem we face,

There is comfort and courage to spare,

And we’ll find a new lift in God’s wonderful gift,

When we spend just a moment in prayer!

Prayer helps us put our priorities in order.

Hope to see you Wednesday, sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 pm!

Blessings,

Rev. Stew

Use That Sunscreen!

Piper-Denise-web-02-2012From Denise Piper, Parish Nurse

Use That Sunscreen!

The perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and… you are wearing sunscreen!!

Most of us are aware of the benefits of sunscreen use. These include decreased wrinkling of the skin, discoloration, and development of skin cancers. Yet only one-third of the population uses sunscreen regularly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The need for sunscreen use applies to both men and women.

Skin cancers include:

  • Squamous cell and basal cell, which are often called non-melanoma, because they respond well to treatment and rarely spread.
  • Melanoma, which is more aggressive. It can develop anywhere on your body, but develops most on areas that have been exposed to the sun. It can also occur in areas that don’t receive much sun exposure, such as the soles of your feet, palms of your hands, and fingernail beds. The risk of melanoma seems to be increasing in people under 40, especially women.
  • Factors that may increase your risk of skin cancers include:
  • Fair skin. Less pigment in your skin means less protection from UV radiation.
  • History of sunburn. One or more severe, blistering burns increases risk.
  • Excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. This comes from the sun, tanning lights, and beds.
  • Having many moles or unusual moles.
  • A family history of skin cancers or melanomas.

Reduce your risk of skin cancers by following these tips:

  • Avoid the midday sun. Sun rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat.
  • Don’t forget the sunglasses. Look for those that block UVA and UVB rays.
  • Avoid tanning lamps and beds.
  • Wear sunscreen year-round, even on cloudy days. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Don’t let this information frighten you, only inform you.

So… use that sunscreen and enjoy these summer days!

Cameron’s Corner

Staff Sullenberger Cameron WebWon’t You Join Us?

Hello Everyone!!!

We will have our Chancel Choir start-up dinner on Wednesday, September 2 at 6 pm. Bring a friend, drag a stranger!? If you haven’t thought about getting active with the Chancel Choir, please consider it this year – even for a season.

You will certainly amplify your worship experience and God will be magnified as we serve Him in our services.

Worshipping through singing is open to anyone here at Noelridge. We welcome anyone who’d like to sing alongside us. If you are new or even someone who “took a break”… we would love to have you.

September 2 – We will have food, fellowship, and will sing through some anthems, as well as preview a song or two from our Christmas Cantata.

Where: Narthex

When: Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Time: 6 to 7:30 pm

Who: Anyone

Contact: Cameron Sullenberger or Joanne Pruitt for details or questions.

Choir meets every Wednesday in the sanctuary from 6:30 – 7:30 pm during the fall through spring, starting on September 9.

See you then!!

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Sullenberger, Music Director

June is Men’s Health Month

Piper-Denise-web-02-2012From Denise Piper, the Parish Nurse, Noelridge Christian Church

Tips for a Healthy Life for Men

Eat Healthy:  What you eat and drink can definitely make a difference to your health.  Have a balanced diet, and watch how much you eat.

Maintain a Healthy Weight:  Those who are overweight or obese have increased risks for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Eat better, get regular exercise, and see your health care provider about any health concerns you may have.

Get Moving:  For adults, thirty minutes of moderate   physical activity on most days is recommended.  It doesn’t take a lot of time or money, but it does take commitment.  Find fun ways to stay in shape and feel good, such as gardening, cutting the grass, swimming, walking, or jogging.

Be Smoke-Free:  Health concerns associated with smoking include cancer and lung disease.  Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among those who are middle-aged.  If you smoke, quit today!  There are many forms of support available to help you quit.

Get Routine Exams and Screenings:  Based on your age, health history, lifestyle, and other issues, you and your health care provider can determine how often you need to be examined and screened for certain diseases and conditions.  When problems are found early, your chances for treatment and cure are better.

Get Appropriate Vaccinations:  They’re not just for kids.  Protect yourself from illness and disease by keeping up with your vaccinations.

Manage Stress:  What’s your stress level today?  Protect your mental health, physical health, and spiritual health by being involved in activities that help balance the obligations in your life.

Be Safe — Protect Yourself:  What comes to mind when you think about safety?  Your thoughts should include simple things like fastening seatbelts, applying sunscreen, wearing helmets, and having smoke detectors.  And the easiest of all … washing your hands.

Be Good to Yourself: Take steps to balance all areas of your life.  Pay attention to your health and make healthy living a part of your life.

Source:  Men’s Health Month: NC State Health Plan

Making the Most of Today!

Rev-Stu-01-webRev. Stewart Royce, Senior Pastor, Noelridge Christian Church

A passage of scripture that can help us begin every day with hope and encouragement is       Psalm 118:24:

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

What a clear and wonderful message! This verse brings to mind the faithfulness of God and His provisions for us. In an unpredictable world, a day is something we can depend on!

Each day comes to us one at a time. No one can ever buy an extra day, nor can it ever be lived over again. For most of us, each day is usually filled with all kinds of different activities. The following “Ten Rules for Daily Living,” composed by an unknown writer, is a great reminder of how to make the most of a day.

Today, I will not strike back. If someone is rude, impatient, or unkind, I will not respond in like manner.

Today, I will ask God to bless my “enemy.” If I come across someone who treats me unjustly, I will quietly ask God to bless that person. This may be a family member, neighbor, co-worker, or stranger.

Today, I will be careful about what I say. I will carefully choose and guard my words, being certain that I do not spread gossip.

Today, I will go the extra mile. I will find ways to help share the burden of another person.

Today, I will forgive. I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way.

Today, I will do something kind for someone (but in secret). I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another.

Today, I will treat others the way I wish to be treated. I will practice the Golden Rule: Do unto others as I would have them do unto me – with everyone I encounter.

Today, I will raise the spirits of someone who is discouraged. My smile, my words, or my expression of support can make the difference to someone who is wrestling with life.

Today, I will take care of my body. I will eat less. I will eat healthy foods. I will thank God for my body.

Today, I will grow spiritually. I will spend a little more time in prayer. I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational. I will find a quiet place (at some point during this day) and listen to God’s voice.

Treasure every moment you have because “This is the day the Lord has made.” Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. A day really is a special gift from God. Use it wisely!

Blessings, Rev. Stew

Giving It Up!

Rev-Stu-01-webReverend Stew Royce, Senior Pastor, Noelridge Christian Church

Lent is our spiritual journey with Jesus during the last days of His life. Throughout this season of the church year, we meditate on His character, His teachings, and His sacrifice on the Cross. During His earthly ministry, Jesus said and did many wonderful things, and He challenges us to follow in His way.

The Lenten season is also a time when we are encouraged to practice the discipline of self-denial. This involves “giving up” something we enjoy as a way of keeping in mind the great sacrifice Jesus made for us. Some people will give up eating meat for Lent. Others give up sweets, or alcohol, or television. Here is a real Lenten challenge: Try giving up your cell phone for forty days!

These may be BIG things to us, but Rev. Craig Gates offers some other suggestions for our Lenten “sacrifices.” He says we could:

  • Give up grumbling! Instead, “In everything give thanks.” Constructive criticism is all right, but “moaning, grumbling and complaining are not Christian disciplines.
  • Give up 10 to 15 minutes in bed! Instead, use that time in prayer, Bible study, and personal devotion. A few minutes in prayer will keep you focused.
  • Give up looking at other people’s worst points. Instead, concentrate on their best points. We all have faults. It is a lot easier to have people overlook our shortcomings when we overlook theirs first.
  • Give up speaking unkindly. Instead, let your speech be generous and understanding. It costs so little to say something kind and uplifting. Why not check that sharp tongue at the door?
  • Give up your hatred of anyone or anything! Instead, learn the discipline of love. “Love covers a multitude of sins.”
  • Give up your worries and anxieties! Instead, trust God with them. Anxiety is spending emotional energy on something we can do nothing about; like tomorrow! Live today and let God’s grace be sufficient.
  • Give up television one night a week! Instead, visit some lonely or sick person. There are those who are isolated by illness or age. Give someone a precious gift–your time!
  • Give up buying anything but essentials for yourself! Instead, give the money to God. The money you would spend on the luxuries could help someone meet basic needs. We are called to be stewards of God’s riches, not consumers.
  • Give up judging by appearances and the standards of the world! Instead, learn to give yourself up to God. There is only one who has the right to judge, Jesus Christ.

Lent is a special time of prayer and reflection, of confession and self-sacrifice. Look within your heart, find something to sacrifice for Lent, and use it to think more of God. May our journey during Lent lead us to new life, new ministries, in service to the One who gave His all – Jesus Christ!

Blessings, Rev. Stew

A Special Observance by Rev. Stew Royce

Rev-Stu-01-webRev. Stew Royce, Senior Pastor, Noelridge Christian Church

President’s Day is observed on the third Monday in February to honor the leaders of our nation. Originally, this day recognized the birthday of George Washington (February 22nd) and later included honoring the achievements of Abraham Lincoln.  In more recent times, this day recognizes the efforts of all the past Presidents.

In Virginia, near the historic town of Williamsburg, is a tourist attraction called “President’s Park.” This is a museum dedicated to all those who have served as President of the United States.  An impressive exhibit includes an outdoor walking area with statues of many different Presidents, each monument between 16 to 18 feet tall!

On their promotional material, there was a trivia question that caught my attention:

“This first lady refused to move into the White House until it was equipped with two things: a Bible and a bathtub.”

(Just in case you don’t know the answer, it was Abigail Fillmore. Now here is another trivia question for you – what years did her husband serve as President?)   We know at the White House years ago, the Bible ranked up there in importance with the bathtub!

Certainly, among the U.S. President’s, Abraham Lincoln stands out in our memories. He was the 16th President, but one of the most remarkable things he did was call for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer. The date was April 30, 1863, and to briefly summarize his proclamation, Lincoln wrote that the nation had grown in prosperity. A problem that arose as a result of America’s unprecedented growth and success was that God had been forgotten. The final sentence of his declaration reads:

“It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Just as Abraham Lincoln called for repentance, the season of Lent does the same for Christians. Every year, the purpose of observing Lent is to remind us of our dependence upon God. For a period of forty days leading to Easter, we meditate on the great truths of our faith in Jesus Christ. We reflect on the person of Jesus: His teachings, His revelation of God, His sacrifice on the Cross. We remember the awe-inspiring way in which Jesus redeems those who believe in Him. The season of Lent, like all Christian observances, is meant to deepen our relationship with Him.

Blessings, Rev. Stew

From The Parish Nurse: High Blood Pressure

Piper-Denise-web-02-2012

Denise Piper, Noelridge Christian Church, Parish Nurse 

High blood pressure, also called hypertension is a major risk factor for both heart attack and stroke.  High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder than normal.

That means the heart and arteries are more prone to injury.  It also raises your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and heart failure.  Several factors may increase the chance of having an elevated blood pressure.

Age.  The older you get, the higher your blood pressure tends to be.

Family History.  People whose parents have high blood pressure are more likely for it to develop.  Also, African Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure than Caucasians.

Weight.  Excess weight is one of the avoidable risk factors for high blood pressure.

Alcohol.  Excessive alcohol consumption also increases a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure.

Sodium.  A diet high in salt may be a factor for some people who are “Sodium Sensitive”. Most Americans consume much more salt than their bodies need.

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, nonfat dairy products, using less salt, losing weight, exercising regularly, and possibly taking medication.

Always read labels and look for warnings on all over-the-counter medications, especially if your blood pressure is 120/80 or greater or if you take blood pressure medications.

People with elevated blood pressure should be aware that the use of decongestants may raise blood pressure or interfere with the effectiveness of some prescribed blood pressure medications.  Many over-the-counter cold and flu preparations contain decongestants.

Source:  American Heart Association  www.americanheart.org

A BRAND NEW YEAR

Rev-Stu-01-webFrom Rev. Stew Royce, Senior Pastor, Noelridge Christian Church

 HAPPY 2015! Another year has dawned, and we usually welcome its arrival with enthusiasm. Along with fastening a new calendar to the wall, we’re reminded once again of God’s faithfulness and love. He has blessed us with the gift of a New Year, to focus on the future with dreams for a greater tomorrow!

Although January 1st each year encourages us to adopt a positive new outlook, we need to pause and look back over the last 365 days. The year 2014 is now done and in the history books. There is no point in dwelling on the mistakes of the past. The apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 3:13-14:

“… but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

As we are about to launch into the New Year, all of us need to prepare ourselves spiritually for a fresh start. A poem called “The Way to a Happy New Year” by Robert Brewster Beattie says it well:

“To leave the old with a burst of song,
To recall the right and forgive the wrong,
To forget the thing that binds you fast,
To the vain regrets of the year that’s past,
To have the strength to let go your hold,
Of the not-worth-while of the days grown old;

To dare go forth with a purpose true,
To the unknown task of the year that’s new; To help your brother along the road,
To do his work and lift his load;
To add your gift to the world’s good cheer
Is to have and to give a glad New Year.”

 

Let go of any grudges, old failures and mistakes of years gone by, especially 2014. May 2015 find us with a fresh, new attitude and a better outlook on life. As the New Year unfolds, God will reveal His will for each of us, as well as our church. Gazing at the far horizons and what the coming months will bring, we can look forward with excitement to new adventures and new hopes in 2015!

Blessings, Rev. Stew

JANUARY is GLAUCOMA AWARENESS MONTH

Piper-Denise-web-02-2012 From Denise Piper, the Parish Nurse, Noelridge Christian Church

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions resulting in optic nerve damage, which may cause loss of vision. Glaucoma is called, “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness.

Types of Glaucoma: There are two main types of glaucoma; primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma. Their symptoms are completely different.

Primary Open-Angle glaucoma signs and symptoms include:

  • Gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision, usually in both eyes.
  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma signs and symptoms include:

  • Eye pain, severe.
  • Nausea and vomiting accompanying the severe eye pain.
  • Sudden onset of visual disturbance, often in low light.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Halos around lights.
  • Reddening of the eye.

Secondary glaucoma refers to any case when other disease causes or contributes to increased eye pressure, resulting in optic nerve damage and vision loss.

Risk Factors: People over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted are at risk. Also at high risk are African-Americans, and Hispanics in older age groups.

When to See a Doctor: Don’t wait for noticeable eye problems. Regular eye exams for all adults starting at age 40 are recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology

In Addition: Severe headache, pain in your eye, nausea, blurred vision, or halos around lights may be symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma. If you have some or several of these symptoms together, go to the emergency room or an eye doctor’s (ophthalmologist’s) office right away for evaluation.

Sources: