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True Love Isn’t Free Free Love Isn’t True (or free)

10 lessons from “But the greatest of these is love” 64 years of marriage 1 CORINTHIANS 13:13 (NIV)







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In The Right Direction Experiencing the Greatest Love We live in a world starved for love. Look at any women’s magazine and you’ll discover the leading stories are about how to keep him interested. Web sites for men contain article after article about how to woo and win the woman of your dreams. But we know love can be fleeting. Kim Kardashian was married to Kris Humphries for a total of 72 days (did she choose him because his first name began with a K?). Sinead O’Connor’s lasted only 17 days. So what is the true love thing all about anyway?


Several years ago, National Geographic ran an article on the biochemistry of love. Scientists have discovered that “falling in love” produces intense levels of dopamine, a chemical that influences the pleasure centers of the brain. Maybe that is why people who first fall in love are a little dopey! They also discovered that the shelf-life of this dopamine flood is about 18 months. After that, we’re on our own! Loving others can be tough at times. That is because another human being can want different things than we do, can place their needs before ours, can misunderstand, can hurt. When the dopamine is flowing strongly, it’s easy to overlook these things (= love is blind). But as the dopamine wears off quirks can turn into irritations, and irritations into resentments. In the Bible, St. Paul knew that loving others could be hard work. That is why he devotes a whole chapter (13) of 1 Corinthians to describing it and urging people to work at it. That famous chapter describes how the grandest acts of sacrifice, if lacking in love, are worthless. In other places, Paul instructs people to work at loving one another (Romans 12:9; 13:8).


However, he also knew that love was a gift from God. In Ephesians 3:17-19, Paul expresses his desire that people be rooted in the love of Christ because that rooting is the source of love that will last a lifetime. It can supply us with love when all the dopamine has worn off and we seem to be running out of our own resources. But for us to draw on that supernatural love, we must be rooted in it, and developing a good root system takes time. You see, falling in love with Jesus can produce its own sort of high. Like a newly planted tree experiencing its first drink of water from the ground, everything in our new life in Christ can feel like a wonderful relief. But once the first flush of life is over, we need to find ways to dig deeper and deeper into the love of God. One way is to read and reread His love letter to us: the Bible. Another way is to spend quality time with Him. Towards the end of February, we will be transitioning into a time when together as God’s people we will devote ourselves to spending more quality time with God through prayer. Beginning on February 19th we will be celebrating 40 Days of Prayer that will lead us all the way through Easter. My hope is that each small group, each ministry team, each person at Aloma will find ways to spend more quality time with God in prayer. As we get closer to that time, I will be sharing helpful ways to do just that. In that famous passage from 1 Corinthians, Paul notes that “faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.” (13:13). The best way to taste the greatest is to find the source of the greatest, and that source is the love of God in Jesus Christ. That sort of love sets the tone for all the love in our lives.


Family Matters: Loving Parents Several years ago, I called a friend of mine I had not seen in quite some time. During our conversation, I asked how her husband was doing. She sighed and said, “There are some days when I do not know what I would do without him; but, there are other days when you could have him for a nickel!”


Parents can have similar feelings about their children. Most parents will tell you that they have always loved their children; but, there have been times when they did not like them very much! Any relationship that involves two or more people will have these kinds of extremes, especially when love is involved. Family members may love one another, but each one may express or show it differently. Stop and think about you and each member of your family. Within the walls of your own home, there are probably a variety of ways in which love is expressed or shown. The apostle, Paul, explained God’s love in this way: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8 NLT). The Greek word in this verse that we

translate as love describes a particular type of love. Agape love gives a person what is best for the person, rather than what the person desires. Parents show this kind of love to their children when they are born. Babies cry, and parents give them milk when they are hungry; blankets when they are cold; and clean diapers when they are dirty. And sometimes, babies cry out just to get some attention. Loving parents examine the cries of their children and respond appropriately. Our Father God has always operated in this way. The first man did not ask for anything, but God created what He knew the man needed, a helper. This couple did not know what their bodies would need, but God placed them in a garden filled with fresh foods to eat. As the couple got comfortable in their surroundings, they began confusing their needs and their desires. Instead of being satisfied with all that they had, they turned to one another and other parts of creation for satisfaction. They began chasing after things that God would not give them, because they were things that would never satisfy them. It is the same with children. They get comfortable in their surroundings and begin to confuse their needs and their desires. Instead of resting in the comfort of what they have, they begin to think that the latest gadget or game or piece of clothing will bring them satisfaction. They begin chasing after things that will never satisfy them. Parents, no matter the age of your children, examine their cries. Are they crying for want or desire? Respond appropriately. Your responsibility as a loving parent is to give your children everything they need, not everything they want.

Each month Family Ministries hosts a special “Family Dinner” in Aloma UMC’s Fellowship Hall. This is a great opportunity to meet our Family and hopefully decide to become part of the Aloma UMC Family! Please see the events calendar beginning on page 13 to learn more about this opportunity.



Playing to Win: Neighbor Love Jesus replied, you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39. Many years ago I discovered this amazing verse being lived out in the life of a man.


While walking through a church lobby on our way into the sanctuary, an elderly gentleman approached us and welcomed us to the church. We’re not sure how he knew that we were visitors, but somehow he did. We later discovered that this was his personal ministry. We had just relocated into the area and were checking out churches. We did not want to be noticed, wanting just to slip in and out of church. Well, that was not going to happen. Not while Walter was around. He was on a mission – the mission of sharing God’s love with everyone around him.

had run out of time; the service was starting and we needed to move into the sanctuary. We thanked Walter for welcoming us and listening to our story. Walter’s final words I still remember today: “Welcome to our church. We’re honored that you’re here; we love you, and more importantly, God loves you.” We left that day feeling welcomed, encouraged, valued and loved. In just a few moments, Walter managed to intentionally live out Matthew 22:39; ‘Love your neighbor...’ Now, eighteen years later, our family worships and serves in that same church because Walter took it upon himself to make us feel loved. I still remember his words and actions—to the point—so that it’s now become my personal ministry – everywhere I go. Men, I challenge you today to do the same. Share God’s love with those around you - your wife, children, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers. Lace your words with grace, mercy, humility, compassion and most importantly, love. Let your words and deeds show God’s love in action. That’s Godly love. That’s true love. That’s neighbor love For information on the Men’s ministry, please see the events calendar beginning on page 13..

The next several minutes were remarkable... Walter welcomed us, and then asked a very simple and engaging question: “What brings you folks here today?” That was it, nothing else. He then listened to us intently. He did not interrupt us; he just listened – all the while smiling. After sharing for several minutes, we realized that we had been monopolizing the conversation. We



To Win the Prize: Being a Guest at the Guests’ House 10 Lessons from 64 Years of Marriage


In 1967, Paul McCartney asked the questions in the Beatles famous hit, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty four?” Aloma members Bob and Anne Guest have emphatically answered that question with a “Yes”, not just for their lives, but for their marriage. This past March, Bob and Anne celebrated 64 years of marriage together! They met by virtue of their last names (Anne’s maiden name was Easlick) as their High School teacher sat them in alphabetical order in bookkeeping class. Anne, needing some help, asked red-headed Bob for some advice and he willingly responded and so began a friendship that they have shared for over 66 years! Bob soon ended the relationship with the girl he was going with and left to join the Military Police. In his new position he began transporting Italian prisoners of war at the end of World War II. Absence did make the heart grow fonder and it was during his time in the service that he sweetly asked if, upon his return, Anne wanted to “go steady”. This lost phrase defines how their relationship grew through dramatic and often turbulent changes in our world since Bob and Anne met. Anne and her sister (who had a car!), picked Bob up on Easter Sunday, 1945 from Fort Dix, New Jersey as Bob was discharged from the Service. Just two years later on March 22nd, 1947, their life as husband and wife began. I was privileged recently to sit down in Bob and


Anne’s Winter Park Pines home and talk to them about their marriage and some of the things that they have learned about “Real Love” during their 64 years together. As I processed our inspiring conversation, I have tried to capture some of their insights and lessons in the hope that their wisdom can be a blessing to us all! I thought about trying to prioritize these lessons, but doing so would do some of them an injustice. Here is my attempt to clarify Bob and Anne’s lessons for a healthy marriage. 1) Communicate well. For Bob and Anne, their ability to communicate in honest, submissive ways is one of the reasons that they credit their marriage longevity to. I lost count of the number of times during our conversation when they were able to finish each other’s sentences and fill in the blanks when the other struggled to recall the right word. 2) Never go to bed angry at one another. While jokes have been made about a spouse sleeping on the couch for months because she didn’t want to go to bed angry and the phrase has become a little clichéd, it’s still biblical and it’s still true. Anne’s sincere understanding of this saying is that, “You will never be happy until you have talked about why you are upset”. Both Bob and Anne affirmed that disagreements are a part of any marriage; it’s how you deal with them that make a marriage healthy. You can’t bury your feelings. With a giggle, Anne concluded that the sooner you work out your differences, the better and “Then often, you realize that the things you were upset [about] weren’t really worth being upset about”. 3) Let love grow stronger as you grow older. This is a beautiful thought. As monogamy and the institution of marriage becomes under threat, one of the most common attacks is that marriage gets, well, “boring”. Bob and Anne remind us that it doesn’t have to.


As they were talking about leaving their home of forty years in New Jersey they defaulted back to a principal that had served them well during their life together, “Do what’s right even when it’s not easy”. As you do what’s right, love naturally grows stronger as you grow older. 4) Set the promises of God as the foundation of your marriage. Bob is the son of English parents , who were raised in India and educated at Oxford as a Methodist preacher, and Anne grew up faithfully as a member of First Presbyterian Church of Mount Holly. It was these early exposures to the life of faith that built a foundation of faith in their marriage. Throughout their life they are able to give testimony to hundreds of answered prayers, clear direction from scripture and the ability to offer a hope from God and to each other even when their own hope had run out. 5) Keep reassuring each other of your love for them. Another constant in their marriage is that Bob and Anne have learned to find ways to reassure each other of their love. In talking with Bob and Anne, this isn’t because of any insecurity within their lives, but could in fact be the very thing that has made them so secure around each other. Bob and Anne shared that in their 64 years together (23,350 days – yes, I counted) they could only recall 10 days when they did not see each other – that’s a lot of reassuring! 6) The roles you have in relationship change as priorities do. Half-jokingly, Anne shared that their life is now organized around the various doctor’s appointments that they have. Throughout their life, Anne has faithfully served her husband through his career as a TV repair man, as they raised their daughter, and as she managed the home. Through most of the stages of their marriage, Bob drove. Now because of Bob’s health, Anne does most of the driving (although Bob still says he sneaks a drive here and there when Anne’s not paying attention!) As the priorities in life change, so do the roles that they need to play to keep their marriage healthy. 7) Take every day seriously – because they go quickly. As well as being bashful about the success of their marriage, neither Bob nor Anne could believe that they will be celebrating their 65th anniversary next month. They have lived each day as it


comes, and the time has just flown by. In their New Jersey high school, there were many girlfriends of Anne’s who married their high school sweet hearts in the Baby Boom after the war. Now only seven of these friends are still alive, and only two whose spouse is still living. The lesson is that time goes so very quickly, so take each day and each decision seriously. 8) Start living as “We” rather than “Me”. While not using the terminology, Bob and Anne have embraced the Bible’s standard for marriage which is “oneness”. The two become one. Both realized long ago, although by their own admission not soon enough, that real marriage isn’t about “me” and “my” needs. It’s about putting the other person first. In a healthy marriage, it is each spouse’s responsibility to realize that “I” am only one part of “us”. When there are three in a Christian marriage where God is the head, we all need to understand that we are not the majority stakeholders! 9) Take Oaths Seriously. As we started talking about some of the startling facts about marriages that are starting in 2012 (50% of them will fail within 3 years), I asked the Guests why they felt this was. Quickly they determined that often it is because people don’t take their oaths, their covenant promise until “death do we part” seriously. Sure, marriage is difficult, it requires self-sacrifice and a lot of other difficult challenges, but a promise is a promise – especially one that is made before God. 10) Laugh a Lot. Anne and Bob are now 86 years old and they have learned to laugh at themselves and the struggles that often come with the challenges of age. As we shared our conversation together, it was peppered with laughter as they recalled different events and memories. With a grin on her face, Anne commented, “Love is when you know each other real well and still like each other!” As I was driving home from our conversation, warmly grateful for the opportunity to receive such tender marriage tips, I was struck by the thought that often early in marriage we like to laugh at our spouse, but that as a marriage matures, we become more at ease with laughing at ourselves. “Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? When we’re 64?” These, and many more such questions, are ones that Bob and Anne continue to say “I do” to! The longevity of their marriage not only raises the bar for all of us, but it challenges us to greater levels of faithfulness.


On a Mission: BY: CATHY HATCHER February, the month recognized for love, valentines, hearts and candy. When I think of love and candy a picture comes to my mind that I took four years ago in the bush country of northern Zambia. The picture is of four African children sitting alongside a dusty rutty road out in the middle of nowhere. Each child is clutching a piece of candy I had given them. My husband, Rick, and I had been traveling alone in this beautiful wilderness. The van we were driving kept overheating every couple of hours and we would be forced to stop and refill the overheated radiator. This proved to be a very nerve wracking but exciting adventure. I remember this particular picture with fondness because out of the 2,000 pictures I took during my two month stay in Zambia this one picture was my favorite. To me the children are a reminder of God’s great love for ALL the people of the world. This picture also reminds me of God’s “love touches”. (Article continued on page 16).

Would you like a chance to demonstrate love to the people of Mexico? Join us for the Aloma UMC Mission Trip to Mexico, July 28th to August 4th. For more information, please contact Randy and Yvonne Thompson at

BY: MELENDA EDMISTON The teacher was sensitive to the feelings of her student. On Valentine’s Day, her box was stuffed full from students who loved her. She noticed quickly however, that the poorly dressed boy had no such popularity from the class and had no Valentines in his box. Quickly and discreetly she erased her name and substituted his on some of the Valentines and secretly placed them in his box. When the boy checked his box, he was happysomeone thought him worthy of love and acceptance. Jesus taught in his parable to go out into the street and bring people in to the banquet. He was always

surprising his disciples with his disregard for money or social status. Today, we still have over 340 Million people who have not yet received God’s love letter in a language they could understand. Their language and culture was not valued or esteemed as the predominant ones in their country or opposing religions blocked the opportunity. They have been left behind, while we have come to the banquet and eaten more than our fill of the Good News in many different translations of the same language! Aloma is partnering with Wycliffe to reach those last languages without God’s precious Love Letter!


BY: JEANNINE BRABON Missionary in Medellin, Colombia Three little Colombian boys played their hearts out around a soccer ball. Two were Colombian American just like me. They were my nephews- Harold, age seven, and Daniel, age nine. They were visiting while their father taught a course in the seminary. Christian, age nine, had never gone to school because his father had been murdered when Christian was just two years old. My nephew, Harold, was distraught! He wanted to make a difference in Christian’s life. Harold went to his father and said, “Dad, my eighth birthday is soon, so please do not give me a party and all. Instead use the money to help Christian start school.” Ten years slipped by, Christian did have a chance to go to school, but the story does not end happily ever after. Instead I had to call Harold with the sad news that Christian was dead. He had been shot to death. Neither Harold or I spoke.

We both felt the pain in the heart of God. The bullets fired into Christian nailed Jesus to the cross. We knew we were not alone in our pain. Christian died in place of his brother because he would not give away his location. Was Harold and Daniels investment in Christian worth it? Was Christ’s death worth it? Yes! Even today the profound victory of Calvary transforms horrendous tragedy. Jesus did not avoid the Cross. HE died on it and rose triumphant, transforming for all eternity the hopelessness of our deepest pain. Suffering will always mystify us. Yet an implicit trust in the omnipotent God opens a heart to the eternal working of His Holy purposes. God’s love for us ALL transcends all barriers. Please pray for the countless families in Colombia, who, like Christian’s have lost loved ones. Please pray that Colombians will respond to the love God offers us all.




True Love isn’t free. Jesus paid the ultimate Turns out it isn’t true or free. price to purchase Love in the truest form for all The stream of individuals who have passed who would accept His gift. His sorrow and through my practice doors looking for relief anguish in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46) are from the results of a compromised ability to evidence enough that He understood the relate is long and steady. While the details of magnitude of the price; and yet He was willing the stories are widely varied, the common to pay it. “For God so loved the world that he thread of deceit from the enemy of our souls is gave his one and only Son, that whoever always there at the core. God’s original plan for believes in him shall not perish but have eternal True Love included mutual appreciation, life” (John 3:16). Despite what the world tells us, respect, boundaries and self sacrifice. The True Love comes with not only a cost but also counterfeit promises to quench the thirst of with a set of boundaries or parameters which aloneness without these essential elements. are an essential part of this gift from Instead it runs out, leaving an emptiness “As the body of and a fatal fracture in the person’s ability God. Christ we are to relate to another in the True Love Free love isn’t true or free. In the called to wor- sense. 1960s the wave of “free love” swept ship in spirit over the land. It was selfishness and in truth by Enter Jesus! He is True Love’s greatest unleashed. It was publicized to be architect and benefactor. He not only participating designed the house, He paid for it and better than True Love; containing all wholly in the built it with His own hands. He is the that True Love entails but without the commitments, constraints or behaviors of living water which loves and instructs us boundaries. “Do whatever you want how to behave in love. He brings perfect True Love.” within your relationships and be peace to replace the human fear of being free.” While the phrase “free love” has long since alone (1 John 4:18). His Love is true and comes faded from popular use, the “bad apple” with all the selflessness, accountability and continues to spoil. The moral decline in our boundaries that were originally an essential society that it caused is not the only causality. part of the perfect design. This relationship The hidden damage that this notion has done language is straight from the Heart of God. to our ability to engage in real relationships has been devastating. As we celebrate Love during this Valentine’s month I have good news for you. Drinking the Love without mutual accountability or boundaliving water of True Love from the Creator and ries isn’t really Love at all. It is a cheap imitation Sustainer of your souls meets the need. Even if designed to masquerade as the real deal. It the world’s imitation has done some damage, selfishly satisfies only in part and only for the living water from Jesus will overcome and flashes of time. It creates a “thirst” for itself and restore the capacity to love and relate in the it never is quenched. The real need to relate to truest sense. As the body of Christ we are called another is sacrificed in favor of getting what we to worship in spirit and in truth by participating want, when we want it. Immediately we are wholly in the behaviors of True Love. Rejoice faced with the reality that our thirst is worse not only in your relationships, but in the now than before. The trap of attempting to be wonderful, beneficial parameters of True Love fulfilled through selfish pursuits is set. And that are part of the original perfect design. sadly, we find the real price we pay is costly.



Thoughts from under the hat: “It’s Complicated”: A look at Facebook relationships


In dealing with youth ministry, no matter where you are, there are always certain constants you always see; the biggest one is Facebook. My favorite thing about it is watching how quickly things change, especially Relationship Status. You have your usual selections, like “Single, Married, Engaged”, etc, but then there are some options that really get specific, like “In a Domestic Partnership, In a Civil Union, and In an Open Relationship.” They even provide a “It’s Complicated” option. People use their Facebook Relationship Status as their #1 source for “making it official.” I’ve even seen people pull out their phones during the wedding ceremony to change it from Engaged to Married before they kiss and say their I Do’s. It is so easy to just say “I love you,” and now it’s even easier to click a button to announce it to the world. I am reminded of a scene from the movie “Anchorman; The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” In the movie, a group of guys are sitting in an office discussing what is love. One character, Brick, looks around the office and says “I love Carpet... I love Desk...” The main character intervenes saying “Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them?” Brick responds “I love Lamp.” Again the main character says “Do you really love the lamp or are you just saying it because you saw it?” How true does


this sound in the backdrop of Facebook? Timmy may be “In a Relationship” and 5 minutes later he’s “Single” again. So, where in the Bible can we find an example of True Love? This is where people usually quote 1 Corinthians 13:4 saying “Love is Patient, Love is Kind...” but I want you to take a look at a different kind of Love with me. In 1 John 3:16 we read “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Think about what’s being said here; Jesus didn’t just say “I love you” and then dump us 3 weeks later, he did the unthinkable. He paid the biggest price to show his love for us. So, the next time you’re on Facebook and you think “Oh, that guy is sooooo cute” or “Dude, that girl thinks I’m cute!,” don’t pull out your phone, change a status, tell that person you love them and think that’s it. Ask yourself this question, “Am I ready to die for this person?” I bet you 99.9% of the time the answer will be no. And this kind of love isn’t just for the romantics, 1 John 3:16 is talking about loving all your brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s time to rethink the depths of a little thing called Love. This article was inspired by a Facebook post from one of our youth girls: “Wait for the boy who would do anything to be your everything.”


Final Take:


It is a bit of a burden being fashion forward. Having been the fashion editor of a respected and widely read journal of news and culture*, I think I can speak with some authority. People look at you differently, and, frankly, you expect a bit more of yourself. The other thing you need to know is that Asbury College, my alma mater, in the late 1970’s was quite a place. Chock-a-block with serious-minded and bright as newly shined patent leather saddle shoes young men and women bent on changing the world. Coming, then to a school of high moral purpose like Asbury, calls forth in one a sure and certain response. In my case, it was to pretty much charge ahead as I had in high school. This meant that I followed not only Asbury College’s dress code (the breaking of which cost me only a few demerits over the years), but my own. A dress code fraught not only with taste, but with logic. This would explain, why when Barb (now my loving wife) first met me at dinner one night, she smiled sweetly and said, “Aren’t you the guy that was wearing the wooden shoes and knickers the other day?” I felt a sense of pride. Of course it had been me. It had been a cold day, and knickers keep the cold wind from blowing up your pant legs. It had also been a wet day, and wooden shoes keep one’s feet nice and dry. I could tell almost immediately, though, that she was not expressing her thoughts on my sartorial choices with undiluted admiration. There had to be some admiration, of course. It just seemed to be mixed with other thoughts;


not all of them complimentary. Now this presented a problem, because I thought that Barb was awfully pretty, and someone that I thought would be swell to get to know better. If she didn’t regard me with mainly positive thoughts, then asking her out was going to be difficult. Well, asking wouldn’t be a problem – getting her to agree to going out might be. The deal was, that one of the dating opportunities at Asbury was coming up that weekend, and it seemed like a great opportunity. Especially since I didn’t have a car, and Asbury College is situated in the middle of pretty much nowhere (less chance of sinning…). So after dinner that night I steeled up my courage and left to catch up with Barb, who had already left to go back to her dorm. I caught up with her and blurted it out: “Would you go to Artist Series with me?” She hesitated. It seemed like hours. So to emphasize my desire that she accompany me, I added, “If you don’t, I’ll kill myself!” As soon as it came out of my mouth, I thought, “That might have been a bit much.” But the die was cast. She continued to hesitate. Finally she recovered her smile, which had dissipated after the suicide threat, and said “Uh… sure.” My heart leaped. She said yes! I thanked her and skipped back to my dorm. I had a date with the prettiest girl on campus, and I was pretty happy. Now… what to wear? *That would be the Winter Park Junior High School eighth grade newspaper – both editions of which were read by tens of people: many of whom went on to graduate.


February Events SPECIAL EVENTS Film: My House Should be Called a House of Prayer Sunday, February 19th 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Sanctuary Join us as we gather to view this special movie from Pastor Jim Cymbala. Childcare will be provided. Rummage Week! Sunday, February 26th to Saturday, March 3rd The Fall Rummage Sale is almost here! Help us support UMW’s mi ssion endeavors by becoming a volunteer or donating items and baked goods. Starting Points Cafe Sunday, February 12th 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm This is a great class for anyone who is looking to meet some more of our Aloma UMC members, get involved and connected with our church and those who want to join our church in full membership. Lunch and childcare will be provided. 30 Hour Famine Friday, February 24th - Saturday, February 25th 6:00 pm Youth Room (Room 17) This youth focused event is not just a great way for youth to grow together as a group but to also gain a better understanding of how some of the world lives, which is hungry. This is done by fasting for part of the event to simulate how long some people go without eating in their daily lives. The event will end with a time of breaking bread and thanking God for all that we have. Mexico Mission Trip Informational Session Sunday, February 5th 12:15 pm to 1:30 pm Room 25


To register for a special event, please visit and complete the Aloma UMC Upcoming Events Registration form found at the bottom of the homepage.

We invite you to come and learn about our plans for this year’s mission trip to Mexico! Pajama Party Friday, February 17th 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm BIG House, The Garage, Nursery This special event, hosted by Family Ministries, gives children an opportunity to connect with other children. Adults will also have a chance to use this time to relax and reconnect with their spouses and/or friends. The deadline to RSVP is Friday, February 10th. Women’s Spring Retreat Friday, April 20th to Sunday, April 22nd UM Life Enrichment Center in Leesburg This year’s women’s retreat is around the corner. It will be an enjoyable weekend full of praise, worship, inspiration, fun, and more. You don’t have to be a member of Aloma to attend, so bring your friends, sisters, and mothers. Amy Brady will be this year’s guest speaker. Learn more about her by visiting Prices are as follows: $160 (single room) and $115 (double, each person). Registration deadline is April 1st. Registration forms can be found in the information racks located in the lobby. Leadership Community Saturday, February 18th 9:00 am to 10:00 am Fellowship Hall This event will help our leaders stay connected as we look at a specific and relevant leadership topic related to leading within Aloma. Aloma leaders will be able to further develop and hone their leadership skills and apply them in practical ways.


February Events CHILDREN & YOUTH Sunday School Classes: * B.I.G House Sunday School 4-year-olds through 3rd Grade * Garage Sunday School 4th through 6th Grade * Youth Sunday School 7th through 12th Grade *For Sunday School classes, children, tweens, and youth join their families in the sanctuary at 10:30 for the opening of worship and are dismissed to their age-appropriate groups. Wednesday Night Bible Study (6:15 pm to 7:30 pm): *VIP Kids 4-year-olds through 3rd Grade * The Kool Crew 4th through 6th Grade * Youth Group 7th through 12th Grade For more information, please contact Merry Kendall at

ADULTS Men’s Prayer Meeting Every Saturday from 7:30 am to 9:00 am Located in Room 30

Friendship Class Every Sunday from 10:30 am to 11:30 am Located in Room 24 Insight for Living Every Sunday from 10:30 am to 11:30 am Located in Fellowship Hall Seekers Sunday School Class Every Sunday from 10:30 am to 11:30 am Located in Room 25 Couples and Spares Sunday School Class Every Sunday from 10:30 am to 11:30 am Located in Room 32 Life in Jesus Bible Study Sunday, Feb. 5th 9:00 am to 10:00 am Located in Room 25 Men’s Bible Study Every Tuesday morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am Located in the Church Office Building. *For information on how to join a small group, please contact Pastor Andy at Christian Quilters Every 2nd and 4th Monday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Located in Room 32 Aglow Meeting Saturday, February 11th 9:30 am Located in Room 24

Would you like to contribute to a future issue of ADVANCE? Let us know by sending your name and contact information to



February Events SENIORS Senior Exercise Every Tuesday 9:15 am to 10:00 am Located in Room 24

Senior Bible Study Every Tuesday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Located in Room 32 Senior Adult Council Wednesday, December 28th 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Located in Room 30

SPECIAL NEEDS Healing Time of Prayer Sunday, February 5th 9:00 am to 12:30 pm Located in Chapel/Prayer Room Family Prayer & Support Group Wednesday, February 15th 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm Located in Room 31 Contribute to our next issue!

On a Mission: (Continued from page 9). The reality is, I would never have seen these children if Rick and I had hurriedly continued on our way. (Well, as hurriedly as primitive rutty African roads allow.) Instead, we were forced by circumstances to slow down and stop. Those circumstances were unwelcomed and brought anxiety, but when we were stopped, time and time again, I had time to look out upon the world around me. I was so blessed and amazed by what I saw. God was everywhere! I saw Him in these children. I saw Him in the African family silhouetted by fire light in front of their African hut. I saw Him in the children that ran up to our van to sell us bananas. I saw Him in the amazing African animals. I saw Him in the sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly African landscape. In addition to all the “visual love touches” from God, I felt His presence so strongly, Zambia became a lasting part of me. I think too often we are in such a hurry to get from point A to point B we miss the “love touches” from God. I would have missed SO MUCH if “circum-

We will be collecting prayer stories for the March issue of ADVANCE! Please send in your stories of prayer to Please be sure to include your full name, email address, and phone number. stances” had not slowed me down. If circumstances have slowed you down, I want to challenge you to stop and look around you for all the “love touches” from God. They are there! Just take time to look for them. “Love touches” can come in something as simple as a cooling breeze on a hot day or a thoughtful phone call from a friend or loved one. Perhaps God wants to use you to give some of His “love touches”. Take time and ask Him what you can do to brighten someone’s day. Give a hug. Take some cookies to someone. Make a phone call. Send an email. Donate a few dollars to buy vitamins for a Haitian child. Or even consider making a difference by becoming a member of an Aloma mission trip and experience what it is like to give “love touches” in another country. Mission Trip Opportunities include: Mexico Mission Trip this summer (Contact Randy and Yvonne Thompson for information), Zambia, Africa summer of 2013 (Contact Rick and Cathy Hatcher at for information).





The Love Issue  

The February issue of ADVANCE focuses on love. Surprising, right? However, we focus on the different kinds of love that are available includ...