Do all things without grumbling or disputing,that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.  Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.  Philippians 2:14-18

Happy Birthday South Fellowship! It’s been forty years since this church started. Many, many pastors, elders, teachers, friends and members have poured out their lives as an offering to help this church grow. Our fellowship is a testimony to God working through the talent, abilities, resources, brain and brawn of its members. If you’re reading this, you might be a part of South Fellowship or you might not. Regardless, your life matters because you matter to God. He created you, gave you life, and unique gifts.

Brene Brown’s research found, “When we cultivate those gifts and share them with the world, we created a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Sharing our gifts and talents with the world is the most powerful source of connection with God”. He is working and willing his good pleasure in and through us. How can you be like Paul and others who have gone before, pouring out your life for the church’s maturity and growth? Here is a prayer delivered at South’s 25th birthday party celebration. As you think about what resources God has given you, and how you can use them well, pray this prayer today.

‘Lord, I give myself to you whatever the cost may be. Take every aspect of my life and use me for your Kingdom to glorify your name. I’m not here on earth to do my own thing, to seek my own fulfillment or my own glory, I’m not here to indulge my desires, to increase my possessions, to impress people, to be popular, to prove I’m somebody important, or to promote myself. I’m not here even to be relevant or successful by human standards. I’m here to please You. To live like this, I yield myself to you, to know you, to love you, to obey you and to grow in your holy fear. I desire to become a person who understands and lives in reverent awe of You. I’ll do anything that you want me to do, go anywhere you want me to go and say anything you want me to say. Father there isn’t any gift that you have for me that I don’t want. If you want to use me in a way that I’m not use to, I yield myself to that. Today I affirm my love for you, my God and I choose to live and minister in your way. I trust you Lord to do that which I cannot do for myself. Teach me, guide me, empower me to fear your name. In Jesus name. Amen.’ (portions authored by Myers, Jacobs, Schlafer).

By Donna Burns

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