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Heaven Questions

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Last Sunday, I shared the Heaven questions that I’ve heard through the
years. The messages during Lent will seek to answer many of these
questions. In case you missed them, here is a copy of my Heaven Questions
I have heard or read through the years.

  • Does Heaven really exist?
  •  What happens to me when I die?
  •  Will I recognize my loved ones?
  •  Will I be sad if a loved one does not go to Heaven?
  •  What about my pets?
  •  Does everyone go to Heaven?
  •  Is there a Hell?
  •  How can I be sure I’m going to Heaven?
  •  Will Heaven be immediate or when Jesus Comes Again?
  •  Is Jesus the only way to go to Heaven?
  •  What about those who lived before Jesus?
  •  What about other religions?
  •  What about those who never hear the good news of Jesus?
  •  What age will I be in Heaven?
  •  What kind of body will I have?
  •  What about babies that die?
  •  Where is Heaven? Is it a real place?
  •  Does it matter cremation or burial?Do you have questions about Heaven?

Please feel free to submit your questions about Heaven over the next few weeks and we will seek to answer them. Hope to see you in worship this Sunday as we hear more of what Jesus taught us of Heaven.


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Around Shalimar this Week

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Wednesday, February 26th was Ash Wednesday. We held three services: 6AM, 12 Noon, 6PM. With the coming of Ash Wednesday, we begin the journey of Lent for 40 days (46 days if you count Sundays. The early church considered Sundays to be little Easters so they did not count them). What a great way to start Lent!

Lent is a season to remember and follow Jesus. 40 days comes from the length of time Jesus spent praying and fasting in the wilderness. Jesus fasted and prayed and resisted the devil in this season while remaining true to God’s purpose. Jesus began His public ministry after His time of spiritual preparation. In following Jesus’ pattern, we can prepare our lives for God’s purpose. In the journey of Lent, we will remember and meditate on Jesus’ passion. Lent will culminate with Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter on April 12th.

There is exciting news for this season of Lent. We will be preaching about Heaven. Over the next six weeks of worship we will offer teachings from the Scripture. We will focus on these questions. Is there a Heaven? What will it be like? How do I know for sure I’m going to Heaven when I die? If you have questions, please let us know and we will address them? Hope you make plans to be in worship every week through Easter. Invite others to come and learn more about Heaven.

Our 144 discipleship/leadership study had our opening launch last Monday. Most of the groups have open spots and are awaiting your participation. We will launch a 12th group after the first 11 are filled. Please go to our website and read more about the options which range from varying days and times. You can also watch our launch service and teaching about the 144. You are invited to jump in and invite someone to participate. We will keep participation open the first 3 weeks until March 15.

Are you looking for an idea to incorporate in Lent? I received this idea from Bishop Leeland several years ago. It is called 1-1-1. The plan is each day we will seek to send 1 letter or encouraging email, make 1 phone call or text of encouragement daily, and make 1 personal visit to someone each day. Can we imagine how many people we would impact for Jesus in Lent by following this plan?

May all here at Shalimar UMC, the community, and region have a high and holy Lent! May we seek to be more like Jesus every day! May grace rise like a tide and sweep through our hearts and campus!


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A Special Invitation to Be in Worship This Sunday

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This week, I ask everyone to attend one of our four worship services. Can you take the time to be in worship this Sunday? I will address the very important topic of church forgiveness. Please pray for me as I prepare and deliver this message to our church. I am praying for all of you as we engage in a topic I have never preached exclusively on before. I have spent hours and in some ways months preparing for and thinking about this sermon. Worship services will not be typical on this day and there will be some added elements to make it very special. Please be present unless you are otherwise prevented from doing so.

The message will focus on Jesus’ words from Matthew 6:12-15, “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This text is actually from the Sermon on the Mount and also contains the words of the Lord’s Prayer.

We will also be announcing Ash Wednesday plans at worship which will include services at 6 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm on February 26th. I hope you plan a great start to Lent by being present on Wednesday. We have such a great church! Ash Wednesday is one of the few days of the year we are able to experience persons from all services and ages come together for the disposition of ashes. Do not miss Ash Wednesday! May God bless you during the upcoming season of Lent!

Speaking of Lent, our focus will be on 144 during the 40 Days. At 6 pm on Monday night, everyone is invited to join us for the launch of 144. There are plans for beginning 12 new small groups during Lent to learn, lead, and love together. The groups will meet throughout the week at different days, times, and locations. 12 leaders and 12 co-leaders will be in place to provide guidance to each group. 144 will lead us to being disciples and helping to make disciples. Make plans to attend and bring others with you. You do not have to belong to our church to participate. In fact bring someone from the community with you.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday where we will draw again from the words of Jesus on forgiveness.


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