Bible Year Week 1 (January 5-12)

Today marks the first full week of our Bible Year. We have read the first twenty-three chapters in Genesis, beginning with creation and ending with the burial of Sarah, Abraham's wife.  Our Bible Year Pastor's Bible Study begins tonight, Wednesday, January 12, at 5:30 PM! We hope you will join us  in-person in the Family Life Center, or online on Zoom ! Zoom Meeting Info:  Click here to join the meeting. Meeting ID: 837 8303 4354;  Passcode: 391975 I also encourage you to request to join the Ocala FUMC The Bible Year Small Group on Facebook. The group allows for ongoing discussion of the daily readings. The Bible Project is a great resource for short teaching videos on the Bible.  Here are a couple you may find helpful for our first week of readings from Genesis. Overview of the Old Testament Overview of Genesis 1 - 11 Finally, here is summary of my sermon from Sunday.  Y ou can watch the full sermon on YouTube (CLICK HERE) Sermon Summary In the first eleven ch


In the beginning . . . We read those words at the very beginning of Genesis.   Those words also begin our journey through scripture as we read the whole Bible together in 2022. Today (January 5) is Day One and we read Genesis 1:1 – 3:24. In the introduction to The Bible Year , Magrey deVega notes the metaphors that he grew up hearing about the Bible – that it was a road map, a how-to manual, or a cookbook. While those metaphors can be compelling, they ultimately fall short of the true gift of Holy Scripture. Thinking of the Bible in strictly utilitarian ways leads us to ask how the Bible is relevant or useful to me. But there are more important questions to ask: How does scripture draw me closer to God? How does the Bible lead me to be a more faithful follower of Jesus Christ? How do the readings help me grow in my knowledge and love of God and of my neighbor? Magrey deVega rightly points to the importance of linking prayer and scripture reading. As he writes, “We must read the B

Sunday's Message on Unity and Ocala First United Methodist Church

Luke 9:28-43 – Astound All the People 43  Everyone was astounded by God’s greatness. The crowds were astounded not because they saw Jesus transfigured. Only three of Jesus’ disciples had witnessed what had happened on the mountaintop. They were astounded by God’s greatness because they experienced their own lives changing because of Jesus.   They had hope where they had been hopeless. They found faith where there had only been doubts.   They found love where there had only been judgement. They found healing where there had only been brokenness. They found life where there had only been death.   After Jesus’ death and resurrection, on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and the church was born, the crowds were astounded once more. They were astounded not because they had witnessed Jesus’ resurrection or ascension, but because they were seeing the lives of the disciples radically change.   Those disciples who had hidden in fear behind closed do

Greater Gift: Week 2 - Gifted!

Pastor Anne gave a wonderful introduction and explanation of spiritual gifts on Sunday! Below you can watch her sermon from the 9:00 am service. Her slides are also posted below. We invite you all to take our Spiritual Gifts Assessment and share your results with us.    Go to the   Greater Gifts page   on our website. There you will find two links.  The first link is to a   Spiritual Gifts Assessment .   The second link is to an  online survey  where you can share your results.

Greater Gifts Series!

As we moved into the New Year and a new worship series, we decided it was time to resurrect the blog after a year's break. Our Greater Gifts Series is all about the ways God has gifted you to love and to serve.  So we invite you to go to the Greater Gifts page on our website. There you will find two links.  The first link is to a   Spiritual Gifts Assessment .   The second link is to an online survey where you can share your results. Sunday's Message: This past Sunday, we talked a lot about gifts and the three-fold pattern of gift-giving:  Expecting, Receiving and Sharing .   And then we ask the critical question: What do you expect from God?  We can expect God to be faithful to all God has promised! And what has God promised?  The gifts we received in our baptism - the  gifts of forgiveness, grace, love, salvation and new birth in Jesus Christ.   All this is God’s gift offered to us without price.  Baptism is a moment when we clearly see a

Sunday's Message: Love Risks Birth

Below is Pastor Rwth's sermon from this past Sunday (01-07-2018) including the slides she used during the 9:00 am Contemporary Service.  You can view the video from the 11:00 am service on our website: +++++ We’re not even two week past Christmas, and the Christian calendar already has us at Jesus’ Baptism. Maybe because Christmas remained fresh in my heart, I sat with the story of Jesus’ baptism with his birth still on my mind.    Maybe I had birth on my mind because I want God’s grace to birth some new things in my life and in the life of our church in 2018.    That said, connecting birth and baptism makes sense for us. There’s this conversation Jesus and Nicodemus were having in another scripture reading, John, chapter 3. Jesus says, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom. Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second ti

Thank you, Karlie Harper!

For the past 18 months, Karlie Harper has been the Director of our Tuesday Morning Outreach Ministries.  And her family has been an active and vital part of Ocala First United Methodist Church for several years. This week Karlie, her husband, Jon, and their children are moving to Oklahoma.   Below is Karlie's last devotional message from Tuesday Morning Outreach. As always, her words are challenging and uplifting, convicting and hopeful.  May you be blessed by her words!  And join us in prayer for traveling mercies and blessings for Karlie and her family as they start life anew in Oklahoma!  We love you, Karlie! +++++ Today is my last day as the outreach coordinator. I have loved serving with you and for you all. I want to thank you for walking along with me while I lived in Ocala and served this ministry. It has been easily one of the best experiences in my life. Please know that as I go to my next place, I will hold all of my special moments with you in my heart. Tha