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Words from our District Superintendent

Sunny LPD Updates!

I am a Type 1 Diabetic, yup that’s right I need a darn injection to enjoy a cupcake! In Type 1 Diabetes the body turns on itself attacking the Pancreas, seeing it as the enemy, brutally attacking the cells in it that create insulin, a hormone that unlocks the body’s cells allowing glucose in, necessary to provide energy and the ability to function. Without insulin sugar builds up in the blood and circulatory system and crystallizes leading to blindness, kidney failure, amputations, blood toxicity and in a relatively short time the body begins to die. Insulin is vital to life and I survive by taking 6-10 injections of the stuff a day, just to stay alive.


It seems silly to think of the body turning on itself and attacking vital systems necessary to stay alive, but it’s true, it happens. Its called an auto-immune disease. This is a strange phenomenon where the body attacks and attempts to kill itself. The only way to fix this is for outside intervention…i.e. me jabbing myself with insulin a few times every day…ugh, oww, *roll my eyes*.


It’s not just the physical body that does this, but even the church is guilty of turning on itself at times and the damage can be fatal. Paul clearly knew what he was talking about when he likened the church to a body (1Corinthians 12, Romans, Ephesians and others).


Crazy, huh? At times the church body encounters moments of disagreement, leading to conflict and turns on itself! It is not just the individual church family that goes through this, but even a whole denomination can face the threat of an autoimmune disease, the church body turning on itself and attacking itself, possibly leading to death.

                                                         So what do we do? Can we fix this? Is there help? Yes, I                                                                          believe there is! We have hope!


                                                           Prevention is easier to find than a cure! I cannot wait for a                                                                 cure for diabetes, but I can prevent the effects and disabling                                                             consequences of this disease. I can take my shots of insulin,                                                               eat less carbs (yes, those noodles, rice, bread, pasta are as                                                                 bad as eating sugar…grrr!), exercise, prick my fingers to                                                                      test my sugar levels regularly, and carry my diabetes kit in                                                                  case of emergencies.


In the same way a church (or denomination) can take steps to prevent conflict, division, be intentional about building relationships, trust, love, showing mercy, forgiveness, and grace. By being like Jesus we can prevent an ‘autoimmune disease’ from developing and destroying us.

Think of it like this…Can Jesus get ill or sick? Could He possibly struggle with an autoimmune disease? I would like to think, no, its not possible, He is…Jesus, the head of the body…the church! We are His body, the church, and so we ought to be the picture of spiritual health and well being! ‘Disease’ creeps in when we lose sight of Who we follow, serve, and are connected to. So…Here are some thoughts to preventing the onset of spiritual autoimmune disease….


1) Strive to see others in the body as important body parts, valuable, and even necessary for the body to live and thrive. See them as gifts from God to His church, each with a special ‘something’ to bring to the body (1Corinthians 12, Romans 12).


2) Treat others around you, even those with different perspectives and opinions, with an abundance of love, grace, and mercy (1Corinthians 13, John 13:34-35).


3) Dare I say…forgive…one another? I know, hard, sometimes seemingly impossible, be definitely necessary (Colossians 3:13, Mark 11:25, Matthew 18:22-25).


3) Encourage one another, build one another up, and push and point each other to better and greater works for the Kingdom we are seeking to build together (1Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:24-25).


4) Don’t speak ill of one another (it’s so easy, right, especially when they do dumb stuff or offend us!) - don’t be paranoid or suspicious of one another or their motives for doing something (ouch this sounds close to home!), don’t undermine their character or destroy them, just don’t do it (Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 6:16-19, Psalm 34:13).


5) Okay, look, just be like Jesus to one another ok? I mean, imagine what Jesus would say and what He would do if faced with the same hurts, anger, and frustrations…and then do the same thing. “…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant…” Yup, you got it, serve one another! (Philippians 2..just read the whole chapter, it says it best!)


6) “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable (about those who are a part of the body) if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8).


A cure for diabetes (and other autoimmune diseases) seem far away and out of reach (ya, that’s me with the sad face as I stare at a piece of cake!), but a cure for healing, hope, and spiritual great health in the body of Christ, the church, the EFCC, US, is only one small decision away. We can decide how we respond or react to others and that response can build up and heal, or break down and destroy. Be a healer, an encourager, one who builds up and leads forward. Be Jesus in the essentials where we find unity, and be Jesus in the non-essentials where we need love and charity. Be Jesus with flesh on, for the sake of the Body, be Jesus.

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