Birthdays and Anniversaries
3-23 Rosibel Mendoza, Bobbie Taylor
Stacey Esner has a severely sprained ankle, Joe had a growth removed from his scalp.
Chaney Reames is undergoing extensive dental work.
Gladys Ramirez will have a heart procedure soon.
Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.
Bill Grubbs recovering from back injury.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.
Teresa Weeks, Steve’s sister, having age related issues. She has Down’s Syndrome. Also a fractured shin.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, good report
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis
More than ever, Americans are answering the question, “Who are you” through increasingly diverse ways. We might define ourselves based upon our achievements, careers, relationships, ethnicity, positive or negative personal characteristics, gender, athleticism, academics, activism, hobbies, and the list goes on.
We live in a “you-do-you” age where it is assumed that the highest calling is to discover or create your own identity in whatever way you desire. Equally significant is the assumption that whatever you might choose is neither better nor worse than anyone else’s choice. Not so fast! Where we derive our identity matters.
Our identity might provide drive, focus and even happiness. Yet, if we anchor our identity upon something within this world, it will disappoint us sooner or later.
We know the signs of identity failure. Midlife crises raise the question, “Who am I?” Depression sets in when the current situation does not rise up to or align with who I want to be. Personal characteristics, like being humorous or athleticism wane with time. Once again, the list goes on.
And then there is the greatest identity failure of all, death. If you are the over-achiever, the family loyalist, the ethnic activist, the center of the party, or the female executive, who are you the moment you die? Where we derive our identity matters.
The New Testament describes an identity that endures. Unlike many earthbound identities it cannot be earned. It is simply given. Paul describes this identity as being “in Christ.” It is a significant phrase. Paul will use it and phrases related to it over 150 times in his letters.
In fact, it is usually part of the opening words in his letters to identify his recipients. “To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae” (Colossians 1:2).
If Christ is properly embraced, all other identities become secondary at most. While someone might be a plumber, a black woman, an overachiever, an athletic star, a member of the Jones’ family, each will realize that when they entered Christ they put on a new self and gained a new identity, more fundamental and foundational than anything they previously had.
In Paul’s words, “Since you have been raised with Christ …. and have put on the new self … Here there is no Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:1,10,11).
Death cannot touch this identity. “When Christ, (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him” (Colossians 34). Where we derive our identity matters.
Barry Newton, link to original article