It’s Confirmation weekend. Sunday, May 6, is the Confirmation service, 10:00 a.m., where Isaac Schumann, Faith Shimick, Madeira Wilde and Darcy Zobel will be confirmed. There will be a cake and punch reception after the service in the FLC. The Examination service will take place Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Next Friday is our school’s Entertainment Night. Each classroom will put on their own mini-skits. The fun starts at 7:00 p.m. Snacks will be served following the service.
Please continue to pray for Pastor Jeremy Cares ofLubbock, TX, whom King of Kings called to be our next pastor. If you would like to reach out to Pastor Cares, his cell is 806-773-0516 and his email is email@example.com. If you do email him, be sure to identify yourself and share with him why you’d like him to come serve here at KOK.
I found out this week that—by popular request—the deadline for Camp South 2018 has been extended to May 21. The cost is $285 per participant. The dates are July 23-27. We now have two chaperones and twelve kids registered between our KOK and Crown of Glory joint group. If you have already registered, please submit the money to the church office ASAP.
Our own King’s Camp (summer day camp) registration is also ongoing. You may register here. Tuesday night is Orientation at 6:30 p.m.
Finally, our local Crusaders for Life group is currently holding a fund drive for New Beginnings, a home for single mothers. The purpose of New Beginnings is to help and support pregnant women at risk for abortions. New Beginnings helps get them moving in the right direction and supports them in becoming self-sufficient. Click if you’d like to read their latest Growing Branches newsletter to hear how the donated dollars helps those in need. Coin boxes can be returned any time between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Now, here’s today’s devotion:
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen has the distinction of being the first Christian martyr. Illegally arrested, tried and convicted by enemies of the Christian Church, he was dragged outside the city of Jerusalem and pummeled with stones until he died.
Wouldn’t you like to be like Stephen? I’m not suggesting that any of us would revel in the idea of facing injustice, pain and death. What I am suggesting is that ANY of us would revel in the idea of facing injustice, pain and death with the kind of strength Stephen displayed: “While they were stoning him…” While the stones bruised and cut his flesh, Stephen prayed for those throwing the stones. What did he pray? He prayed that Jesus would forgive them.
Whom do you have to forgive? Is it a relative, a friend, or a neighbor? Is it a teacher or student or co-worker? Are you thinking, “I can’t forgive him for that?” What has the person done that is worse than stoning you to death? Stephen could forgive because he knew he had been forgiven. He knew he was no more deserving of God’s forgiveness than the men killing him were. And, he knew he didn’t need to get even with them. It was in Jesus’ hands. He could trust Jesus to do what was right and just.
You have that same security. You don’t have to hold on to those grudges and that anger. Jesus is alive and well. Easter assures you of this. You can forgive those who have sinned against you knowing that Jesus has forgiven you. You can forgive those who have sinned against you knowing that he is perfectly capable of doing what is just and right for those who have hurt you.
Wouldn’t you like to be like Stephen–strong enough to stand firm when persecuted, strong enough to forgive those who persecute you? You ARE like Stephen. You have the same living Lord he had. And Jesus will give you the strength you need.
Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you in prayer because I know you are alive and ruling all things. Grant me the strength you gave your servant Stephen that I may stand firm against those who oppose you and that I may forgive those who hurt me. Amen.