1 Corinthians 12:11-20 All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when. You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive. I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Greetings brothers and sisters from Bomi, Liberia The last few days have been unproductive and frustrating. It is terribly hot which really limits the amount of work...as well as workers. On Tuesday none of the crew from surrounding villages came to help. This was in part due to a "meeting" called on Monday by Chief Morris asking for more help. The workers seem to feel that Jesse and Jess and Pauline, because they are white, are the "bosses" and have much money, They have therefore been a bit manipulative in trying to negotiate wages and conditions. Pastor David spoke clearly to the crowd assembled that he is the leader and that each plays a vital part in bringing the fullness of this vision to completion. He encouraged the villagers to be confident in themselves and their abilities, and to look to the gift they are providing their people. I am reminded of how too often here in American Churches we become divided in our sense of belonging and value. We feel un-validated, unappreciated, unsupported. We begin to look for fault in our brothers and sisters in an attempt to find goodness in ourselves. Paul clearly speaks against this to the Corinthian church. Please be praying for unity of believers both near and far. That we all would stand confident not in ourselves but in our Lord Jesus and all that He has called us to be and do. Trusting that He will give us the ability to carry forth His Story to all the lost and powerless that He came to seek and save. The plants in the nursery have already sprouted and are doing well. Today was to be fishing day to stock the aquaponics tank. A large concern currently is again related to the need to have the truck back. They are out of water and without the truck to haul from the river it will be a long day hauling by hand in buckets. Sure wish Ray was with them. He would have it fixed in no time! This of course has slowed the plastering work done on the buildings. Jess and Pauline took the motorcycle on an adventure to the nearest city Tugemborg. Pauline is a bit of a city girl and the long days in the bush become quite wearing. They were interested in finding a book on learning Gulla the dialect spoken in the area. Many of the women have been teaching them as they work. They discovered the journey was not as simple as it sounded. Carrying the moto across bridges... pushing it up hills... I forgot to mention Palm Sunday was celebrated by dancing around the village of Bugbay with palms singing praises... I love how literally they take Gods word and how un-abandoned they worship. I remembered the story of David dancing through the streets... and Mical being furious...feeling like he had embarrassed her. How would you feel if your pastor asked you to dance around the streets of your city singing praise? Would you feel uncomfortable?...feel it wasn't traditional?... feel it wasn't necessary to change how you normally worship? As you continue in your Holy Week reflection may I challenge you to ask God ..."What would you have me do to speak peace, and love to my people" The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.