Bulletin for 1-2-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries:

1-7 Paul Tyler

Prayer requests:

Marilyn Jones maintenance chemo has been a little tough but doing well with physical rehab.

Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, small cancer spots on liver, therapy ongoing.

Paul Tyler, recovering from a fall with wrist injury and head wound. Back trouble.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.

Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, small setback. Had an ulcer and needed blood, but doing ok.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Some of our Spanish brethren have covid.

Eleuterio & Lidia Oviedo have not been well.

Steve Weeks, sleep apnea, got the mouthpiece, struggling with it.

Sharon Gerstman, regular member of our radio group, hip surgery in Jan.

Gary Nelson, all tests good, dental work coming soon.

Robert and Sue Waller, Robert has a severe toe infection, Sue is very ill.

David Shaffer, being treated for leukemia, had bone marrow transplant last week.

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, stage 4 kidney disease.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

If you have more prayer requests, just message or text Steve and we will update!


Struggling with God

“He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28 NASB).

Jacob’s new name, given to him by God himself, is transliterated in our English Bibles rather than translated. That is, it is simply the Hebrew word spelled in English letters providing as close a phonetic equivalent as is possible between the two languages. The occasion of the renaming of the younger son of Isaac was a nighttime struggle with God immediately before a reunion with Jacob / Israel’s older brother Esau.

The new name was both prophetic and complimentary. The text of Genesis explains it, “You have striven with God and with men and prevailed.” A note in my edition of Scripture defines Israel as, “he who strives with God” or possibly, “God strives.”

Modern readers of this story find it difficult in that it seems to record an actual physical wrestling match between Jacob and God (in a human form) himself. Not only that, but the contest ended with Jacob prevailing. That is hard for us to comprehend, yet it is central to the point of the story.

Previously Jacob had been the clever usurper who obtained blessings and rights which had belonged to his brother (Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-41). He continued that persona in his relationship with his father-in-law, Laban (Genesis 29-31). But upon his return to Canaan with his family, God revealed to him the change in character which he had achieved. He was no longer dependent upon trickery and deception but could stand up to all opposition with faith and courage.

Modern readers benefit from Jacob’s experience. That experience reveals that faith is not simply a passive acceptance of God or his will. Jacob wrestled with God – that is, his relationship was at times a struggle. God presents challenges to his people. God invites humans to participate with him in developing and growing our relationship with him. Our prayers may often include not only praise, petition, and thanksgiving, but also questions and laments.

It is natural that God’s will may be in opposition to our own. When that is the case, it is unlikely that we will surrender to him calmly or joyfully. There will often be a period of struggle in which we evaluate the situation and (hopefully) come to an agreement with his superior knowledge and wisdom. Giving up our own desires and opinions is never easy, nor does God expect it to be. But when we struggle and come to acceptance of his will, our trust in him grows.

Israel was an older and wiser man than Jacob had been. He was a man of greater faith, and of a closer walk with God. Much of that change may be attributed to his having strived with God and man and prevailed.

Michael Brooks, link to original article