What to Expect: Sunday Worship Service includes the singing of hymns, a children's message, prayer, a reading from the Scripture, and a message from the Pastor. Our desire is for you to experience the presence of God and the fellowship of believers.
June 22 - 26, 2015
To the family of Jenny Nelson (former Westover member) who passed away April 24, 2015 in Baltimore, MD. The family will receive visitors on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 6-8 pm at Witzke's Family Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Funeral and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Howard County Gilchrist Hospice Care, at their website, gilcrhristhospice.org/giving, or by mail at 5537 Twin Knolls Road, Suite 434, Columbia, MD 21045.
To Charolette Brown and family in the death of her sister, Stella Ford, on April 16, 2015 in West Virginia. Services were held April 20, 2015. She was the mother of former Westover attender Steve Ford.
I thank God for this opportunity to share with you as we welcome the month of May. During May, we will observe several important national recognitions. This month our congregation will express our gratitude to the Arlington Fire and Police Departments during the morning worship services on the first and second weeks of this month. This is in conjunction with the National Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/ Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) Recognition Week and National Police Week. In Arlington, the EMS and EMTs are a part of the Fire department. Please join me in prayer for these men and women who serve our community to help ensure our safety and wellbeing. We also join in the national recognition of Nurse’s week and Memorial Day. Memorial Day is dedicated to the men and women who served in our nation’s Armed Services and gave their lives for freedom and country. Last, but not least, this month we recognize our Mothers and women of the church on the second Sunday. These women are deserving of our appreciation each and every day. Members of all these groups deserve our gratitude for their contributions and sacrifices.
Sometime around 605 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian monarch, exiled Belteshazzar, and other nobility from their homes in Judah to Babylon, the capital city of the Babylonian Empire. We know Belteshazzar as Daniel, the prophet who God blessed with wisdom and the ability to convey the meaning of dreams as revealed to him by God. His enemies knew Daniel as a man who faithfully prayed to God every day and they plotted to kill Daniel by developing a decree that made it illegal to pray to anyone other than the king. The Bible says when Daniel learned that the king had signed this decree making prayer to other than him illegal and punishable by death, “Daniel went to an upstairs room in his house that had windows that faced Jerusalem and three times a day he would kneel down, pray, and give thanks to his God, just as he had previously done.” Daniel did not waiver from his commitment to maintain his prayer life with God, even when keeping his commitment to pray to God meant that he could be sentenced to death in the lion’s den.
And so, I pose the question: would you be recognized as a person committed to a consistent prayer life with God? Would you be known as a Christian who set aside a specified time that you prayed to God each and every day? Consider the impact on your life that comes from prayer, know that prayer is the process by which we share ourselves with God. A definition often associated with being a Christian is “to be Christ like.” Using Christ as our example, scripture says Jesus prayed regularly. This insight is gleaned from the passage Luke 5:16: "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. "The word "often" is not hidden, but makes it obvious that Jesus prayed regularly. Throughout the Gospels whenever we read of Jesus and prayer, it is cited regularly and naturally. It was simply a part of His devotion to God and was integrated into every aspect of His life. Can we say the same about prayer in our life? If we pray regularly, we create an intimate relationship with God. For example, who do you feel closest to: an individual you speak to once a month or a person you speak with several times a day? Using this example, who would know more about you and your concerns? The regularity of our prayers speaks volumes about our dependency and trust in God. Again, consider human relationships. Spouses, close friends, parents and children, are models of relationships where there is a dependency, where trust exists and is nurtured. God says you will call on me, and I will answer; I will be with you in trouble, I will deliver you and honor you - Psalms 91:15. Whatever your situation, God wants to be close to you to support you and deliver you. When Daniel knew that his life was in danger, he prayed. The night before His death on the cross, Jesus prayed; the Bible is full of examples of individuals who when faced with the difficulties of life turned to God in prayer for peace and deliverance.
How often does God hear from you? Thinking about the modern cell phone, would God recognize your number on His caller ID? Not that He has a limitation, but would He postpone attending to other concerns because He was expecting you to call in at a specific time of the day? God is omnipresent (in all places at the same time), omniscient (He knows everything), and omni-benevolent (He only does things that are all good). God wants to meet with you in prayer often and regularly. He has never indicated that you can pray to Him too much. As a matter of fact, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the Bible instructs us to pray without ceasing and Jesus said “…when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” - Matthew 6:6.
Finally, James 5:16b says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Would you join me each day in prayer for our church? As you pray, pray for those listed on our prayer list and also the needs expressed. God’s power is received through faith by prayer.
May Jesus ever sustain and keep you,
Reverend Michael Youngblood