Weekly Newsletter: March 18, 2016

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Verse for today:

Proverbs 1:20-23

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Call of Wisdom

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,[a]
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.

A stunning rose

The story is told about an old French priest who was having coffee at an outdoor table at a Parisian café with a young male parishioner, when a beautiful woman strolled past on the sidewalk. The old priest’s eyes followed the woman with delight. The young parishioner admonished him: “Father, certainly God wouldn’t appreciate one of His servants looking with lust upon a woman.

Lust?” laughed the old priest. “O, no, mon amí, there’s no lust involved. It’s gratitude, gratitude. If you were to stroll in a garden and you came suddenly upon a stunning rose, wouldn’t God appreciate your pausing for a moment to gaze upon His creation with gratitude?

Whether or not there existed lust in the old priest’s gaze is something that only God could know (Matthew 5:27-30). But what is pertinent in this opening story is that wisdom in Proverbs is depicted as just such an eye-catching woman, “a stunning rose,” one worthy of attracting our gaze and inviting us to take delight in her beauty.  Wisdom, as presented in Proverbs is God’s feminine qualities: Wisdom’s feminine personification. As an attractive woman, she appeals to men. As a true friend, she appeals to women. It is these traits that should make us both, male and female, want to pursue this woman ardently as friend and companion.

Another reason why Solomon personified wisdom as a woman might be the fact that Solomon understood that the perceptive woman is often much better at seeing through the posturing and pretenses of people than men are: it is often the perceptive woman who is able to discern matters of the heart while the man is often indifferent to these matters.

Wisdom, Divine truth, does not merely whisper its doctrine in secret places where there are few to hear; she does not reserve her teaching to the closed classroom to which only some favoured ones find admittance. She does not mince her words; she does not cut away the knots of the cord with which we are to be stirred to newness of life. She calls men simpletons, scorners, fools, and upbraids them for their stupidity and their folly (ver. 22). When we listen to the voices which are from above we must expect plain speaking. We must not start back with offence if we find ourselves condemned in strong terms.

«Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you» (ver. 23).

Its aim is spiritual and beneficent. God wounds only that he may heal. He sends «poverty of spirit» that he may thereby make rich forevermore. He humbles that he may exalt. His one desire is to make us like himself; to put his own Spirit within us, that we may be «the children of our Father who is in heaven.»

Prayer for the Day:

Father, please give me wisdom in my personal affairs so that I might walk in your blessings and prosperity, that I, in turn, might be able to bless others. Lord, give us wise men in the places of authority to lead us as a nation. May your wisdom be applied in the market places of our land and also to our economic situation at the highest levels. Father, give us wise men to rule over us — men who will be just and fair in their dealings, men of character. Thank you for teaching us your ways and giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen.


THIS SUNDAY AT BALBOA UNION CHURCH

Worship Service at 10 a.m. – ALL ARE WELCOME!

SPEAKER:  Pastor José Ordoñez

Sunday School Teachers: Jillian Monaghan

First Testament Readings and Psalm Isaiah 43:16-21, Psalm 126
Epistle Reading Philippians 3:4b-1
Gospel Reading John 12:1-8

Prayers Concerns

Please Pray for Our Brothers and Sisters from Siria and Iraq

Lord, please remind the world that we are all brothers and sisters and there should be no violence among us, only love and attempts to understand one another.

We also remember in prayer our former pastor: Luis Veagra – facing health issue, was in hospital on Monday but expecting to feel much better and hopefully join us for Easter.

We pray for Pastor Bill Wilbur, of our sister church: Gamboa Union Church, who has been feeling quite under the weather and undergoing various tests to find out how the doctors can provide him with the best treatment.


This week at BUC:

Saturday, March 19 – FAMILY PICNIC

Please join us for our family picnic and barbecue to celebrate the end of the Panamanian summer.

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Sunday, March 20 – 5:00 PM – our Spanish service

You are invited to join our newly started Spanish evening service, with a get together and then fellowship and sharing.   We look forward to having a youthful flavoured service, which draws in our Community to participate in fellowship, education, worship, and service. 

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Next week at BUC:

  • Easter Service – 10.00 a.m., Sunday morning
  • Potluck lunch – 11.30 a.m.
  • Easter Egg hunt – 1.00 p.m.

Saturday March 26th 10:00 am-AAAM Program

Please come and join us as we share with those in the community that most need it.  Our «oldies» would love to meet you! The 3rd Saturday of every month we have an opportunity to serve those in need, with food packages and not simply a Christian service and attention.  This is an opportunity to serve!

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Other news:

Pastor Douglas Shepler & his wife Aleta

Will be joining us for three weeks.  We are very excited to have them here in Panama, especially as Pastor Shepler has agreed to speak on Sundays while they are here visiting.  They will also be taking this time to spend time in our community, getting to know our various programs and seeing how they can minister to the Panama Community.

Fundraising effort – 773 Land Purchase

2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

It is the pleasure of the BUC Council to inform you that we are fundraising to purchase the land under Building 773, across the street from the Church & parsonage.  As many of you know, BUC applied in 2000 for the purchase of the land, according to the terms of the Panama Canal treaty, of all three of our buildings: the church, the parsonage and building 773.  In 2012, thanks to the efforts of past and current members, the purchase of the land under the church and parsonage was finalised, and we were given title to not only our buildings, but also the land.

We are asking all friends and members to collaborate and assist in any and all ways possible, financially, with their skills and time, so that we can make this purchase also a reality.  We ask you to give generously, as you are willing and able.

Please contact Leslie, our church secretary, for details on how you can make donations to this fundraising, or contact one of the Council members for more details if you have any questions. Thank you for your active involvement in these church plans for 2016!

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Good Deeds Program in Casco Viejo:

In  BUC Missions we are Collaborating with «Good Deeds » Program: Here is more information regarding the Good Deeds Program. And here is some information regarding their activities, if you want to participate and volunteer more actively.