The next thing I remember is laying in the recliner at home with Doris texting videos to the kids and laughing hysterically at me sucking on the ice pack that was wrapped around my head. I seem to recall Dr. Chitwood saying, “This might hurt a little bit when you wake up, or it might feel like a mule kicked you upside the head.” I also recall his very helpful, but overly optimistic assistant saying, “You can probably go back to work tomorrow.” NOT TRUE, Gunga Din. Me and my elevated sinuses were swollen, groggy, and painfully black and blue for the better part of five days. I could imagine my clients pouring their hearts out about troubled marriages or distraught lives, only to hear me say, through gauze and an ice pack, “I really can’t remember a thing you said, but I’m sure everything will be alright.”
Healing is a wonderful thing. It is also a very painful process sometimes. The Words of Jesus that intrigue me this morning are found in Mark, starting at verse 40.
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Jesus was filled with compassion. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” NLT
Interestingly enough, this story is repeated almost verbatim in the other two Synoptic Gospels. Matthew 8 and Luke 5 tell the story almost word for word, complete with Jesus’s warning to not tell anyone. That’s unusual. Many, if not most, of the stories in the Gospel’s have some subtle little differences in timing, number of people in attendance, or the response of Jesus. This story must have such importance that Matthew, Mark, and Luke at least, said. “We have got to get this one right.”
If that is true, then what are the lessons for us on this Monday morning about healing? Here are four things that jump out at me:
First, Jesus is moved with compassion. The NIV says, “He was indignant.” Now, I know a little Greek and a little Hebrew. (The little Greek runs a restaurant and the little Hebrew runs a clothing store. I know, it’s a terrible joke.) It seems to me that most manuscripts use the word compassion, rather than indignant. I like that. I like the idea that the heart of Jesus is moved by the things that trouble us. I like the fact that He wanted the little children to feel safe with him, that He wept over the city, that His heart was broken at the death of Lazaruz, even though He knew that He would bring him back from the dead. Listen, whatever it is that has plagued you for so long, that gets you down, that keeps you from the “abundant life” that Jesus has for you, HE IS MOVED TO COMPASSION BY THAT THING.
One of the terrible pains of almost any sickness, physical, emotional, spiritual, even DENTAL, is that we begin to feel we are all alone in this. Nobody else has ever experienced it. Nobody else knows. Nobody else really cares. Jesus knows. Chonda used to sing this old song with us:
He knows each pain, He sees each care
He understands each lonely heartache
He understands. He always cares.
It seems to me in this story Jesus is saying, “Hey, let’s clear that up once and for all. I AM WILLING. My heart is moved by the things that trouble you and I am willing to make those things or loneliness, or anger, or fear. Yep. Willing.” The repetition of this story seems to me to say that this is a universal word. Jesus is right. That nagging back ache that won’t go away. I am willing to fix that. Those chronic headaches. I am willing. That depression, or loneliness, or anger, or fear. Yep. Willing.” The repetition of this story seems to me to say that this is a universal word. Jesus is willing to heal what hurts you.
Now I know, I know. The problem is that sometimes we don’t get healed. The third thing that grabs my attention in this story is that Jesus says, “Don’t tell anybody. Go to church. And (Pastor Eddie’s gonna’ love this one) take an offering.” There seems to be a process sometimes to our healing. Dip in the river seven times. Wipe on the mud and then wash it off. Stretch out your hand. A lot of times it seems we have a part to play in our healing. Here, the healing happens immediately. (That’s one of Mark’s favorite words.) But other times there was a delay, something that needed to be done. I don’t know all that I believe about that, but it does challenge me to do what I can do. Is there unbelief? Pray and read the Word more. Is there unconfessed sin? Deal with it. Is there a place where the hand of God is extended toward me? Reach out and touch it. Remember the woman with the “issue of blood” that pushed her way through the crowd and took the huge risk of reaching out and touching the hem of Jesus’s robe.
The healing that I deal with most often is emotional healing. Someone is depressed. Or angry. Or wounded. Almost always there are some things that THEY need to do; stop isolating, talk about it, be willing to forgive, break off toxic behaviors or relationships. I don’t understand this fully but it seems that sometimes, God loves me and He is willing, but there are some steps I need to take.
Which leads to the last thought, Jesus says, “This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” Leprosy was a nasty business. It was so destructive, and so contagious, that there was a very specific protocol to follow before the priests would let you back into society. You had to do the “public testimony” thing. I wonder if that isn’t true today? I wonder how many times I have missed out on “my healing” because I kept whining and complaining instead of expressing a confidence that God was at work? I wonder if I would not see Jesus healing me more if I was willing to talk more about His compassion than my calamity, to profess His power more than my pain, to testify to His Spirit in me rather that my sickness in me?
Listen, the last thing I want to do is inflict MORE PAIN, to make you feel guilty for feeling bad. My whole story is a story of God NOT healing. Cheralyn died. Dad left. I stay addicted for way to long. Even the Apostle Paul says, “I prayed for the thorn in my flesh to be removed and it wasn’t.” I don’t understand all of that. Sometimes it feels like we are doing everything right and healing isn’t happening. Well then I just go back to number 1, Jesus cares, and start over again.
I don’t know what you are facing. Depression. Cancer. Divorce. Lost kids. No money. Elevated Sinuses. But it seems to me that this morning Jesus is saying to you, “I do care. I love you and my heart is broken by this thing you are struggling with. And…I am willing. Let’s start taking steps together.”
Oh, and He also might be saying, “Quit sucking on that ice pack or I’ll put your picture on FaceBook.” Or maybe it was Doris that said that. I was groggy.
God loves you and so do I.
Let’s look at another healing tomorrow. Matthew 8:10-13
DR. MIKE COURTNEY
I am a life long recoverer. I am seeking everyday to be a more devoted Christ follower, a more loving husband and father, and a better contributor to my part of the world. I am a life coach and counselor. I write. I speak to churches, retreats, men’s groups. And I play with Jon-Mical and Jakson every chance I get. Doris and I live lives of quiet serenity in Middle Tennessee. We are blessed by God, graced by our daughters-in-law, made proud by our sons, and OWNED by our grandsons.
Caring Opportunities/Prayer Concerns
In the Hospital: HA Shelton (Health South), Suzi Fleenor (BRMC)
Assisted Living: Betty Boyer
Nursing Home: Johnny Brown
Home: Estelle Austin, Dail Rodgers
Illness: Bob Blazer, Misty Carroll (cancer), Virginia Harr, Jasper Ramey, Betty Tipton (Susan Gamble’s mother in Hospice Care), Barbara Knight, Charlotte Osborne (Tracy Campbell’s mother), Tricia Klug (health), Don Schultz, Emma Harrod, Randall Kidd, Frieda Horne, (Dreama Helton’s sister), Paul Jett, Lucas Kinley (Pam Howell’s great nephew), Tim Winkle
Recovering: Bonnie Blazer, Shelby Skeens, Keirsten Thompson, Janice Hutsell, Joseph Pitz, Josiah Porter (Ron & Kay Porter’s grandson), Ron Yeatts, Susan Gamble, Carrie Malone (Elizabeth Carey’s mother), Margaret Hamilton (Tony Ponder’s mother), Tim Herron
Special Concerns: Dennis Dykes (Afghanistan Veteran, illness), Erin Millington Meade, South Sudan, Zachary Beachley, Dwight & Barbara Miller, Ryan Maxwell, Lindsey Rufenacht, DonCulbertson, Patricia Petersen, Leroy Campbell (Chris Campbell’s father), Jane Frayer, Doris Parks, Ruth Ann Blix, Donna Thornton, Debbie Dillard, Nancy Osborne (Estelle Austin’s daughter), Judy Hoberg, Darci Ladabouche, Pastor Tom and the Mission Team, Evelyn Smith, Wade McMackin, Jackson Orfield, Marvin Bullis’ Dad, “Bull,” and mother, John Green, Karissa Deal (Connie Burleson’s daughter)
Those Who Are Grieving: Susan Gamble on the loss of her father and aunt, Vicki Kidd and family on the loss of her mother, Mildred Bragg
Serving Our Community: Matt Harrison, Lynn Feagins, Al James, Mark Lambert, Mike Laningham, Allen Faulk
Serving our Country: Tommy Dull, Hunter Roberts
Please send prayer requests to Don Cook at email@example.com or you may call or text him your requests at 423-967-6884.
Don will send out your prayer requests through email as the needs arise. If you would like to receive these emails in order to pray for one another, email Don at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pray for the lives that the Conference Mission Team has touched in Africa and the Czech Republic.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Ask for forgiveness for anything that may have come between you and a friend. Make a commitment to pray for each other.
Friday, September 22, 2017
Take time to reconnect with your spouse or significant other tonight. Tell them how much Jesus loves them. Tell them how much they mean to you.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Pray for your Pastor. Always remember that your Pastor is just as human as you are; subject to the same trials and tribulations that you are but (unfairly) held to a higher standard by the public eye.
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Pray for a renewed effort to spend more time with God. The more we interact with God the more he will interact with us.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Today remember to not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Pray for a renewed commitment to let others see Jesus by our words and deeds. Pray to be mindful that the whole world is watching.
Birthday blessings to the following people:
September 3 Benji Novak
September 5 Barry Alley
September 6 Pam Howell
September 7 Iris Brown
September 10 Austin Bullis
September 12 Allison Lambert, Nancy Maine, Ethan Price, Joe Sizemore
September 13 Nancy Holland, Meredith Harris, Bill Stuart
September 15 Annis Bass
September 16 Vicki Kidd
September 17 Fred Hutsell, Alice Sizemore
September 19 Evan Cook
September 21 Joan Faulk
September 22 Linda Gordon
September 24 Betty Boyer
If your Birthday is not listed, please notify the church office so that you can be added.
Christian hospitality is rooted in the self-giving love and nature of God. As followers of Jesus, we live into Christian Hospitality by intentionally creating a sacred space and place for others to hear, experience and become a part of the ongoing story of God’s grace and love for the world.
Please Join Us Tonight
Program is Welcoming Is For Everyone!
The menu is Soup Beans, Vegetable Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Cornbread, and Cobblers.
Church Leadership Conference with Dr. Rick Jordan
Presented by Cassidy UMC and Abingdon Baptist Church
Saturday, October 21, 2017 – 8:30 – 12:00 noon at Abingdon Baptist Church
Dr. Jordan will present: “The Spiritual Work of the Leader” for all leaders and “The Alphabet of Errors: How to Teach the Bible Better” for youth and adult leaders. Children’s leaders will also learn about Preschool and Children’s Classroom Management, and review Safe Sanctuary.
Please register with Margaret Deans by calling 323-8142. There is no charge for the conference except your time and your desire to become better at your calling to teach. I hope to see you there!!
Grief Share is being presented as a collaborative effort of Blountville UMC and Cassidy UMC. Grief Share is a support group to provide help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member or friend. We will start meeting on Thursday, August 10 from 3-5pm. We will meet at the home of Rob Owen, 23354 Larwood Lane, Bristol, VA 24202.This is a 13 week seminar. Each session is self contained, so you do not have to attend in sequence, but we hope you are able to. Registration fee is $15 and covers the cost of workbooks. Each week we will have a video seminar featuring leading grief experts followed by small group discussion of the content. Journaling and personal study exercises reinforce the weekly topics.
Please contact J. Suzan Alley, RN, Parish Nurse at 423-323-8142 for more information and to register.
Due to computer problems, we are asking that all communication to the office or the church be sent to the gmail account. If you have any questions, please feel free to give Tammy a call at 323-8142.
Covenant Bible Study consists of 3 eight week sessions. We will begin our first session on Monday, October 2, at 7:00pm. The first 8 weeks focuses on CREATING THE COVENANT: How the Covenant Community is Created and Established. The plan at this point is to complete the first 8 weeks only. Next year, the first and second 8 weeks will be offered. The year after that, all three sessions will be offered.
Please contact the church office if you are interested in attending.
Thank you, Cassidy Family, for the memorial to Cassidy Preschool in memory of Vicki Kidd’s mother, Mildred Bragg. Deborah Doan, Director
Attn: William Pendergrass
1333 Moursund St
Houston, TX 77030
to register your phone or give Suzan Alley a call if you need assistance or have questions at 423-292-4918.
We all love going out for a warm cup of coffee or tea with friends. And most of us long to extend those short visits and take time to slow down and really enjoy time together.
That’s exactly what we’ll do at Sweet Life Café. Join us at this retreat, where we’ll savor time with God and friends. Together we’ll experience meaningful Bible studies, flavor-filled activities, and scrumptiously delicious fun!
We’ll begin with dinner on the evening of November 3 and will finish by 11:00 on the afternoon of November 5. Our Sweet Life Café retreat will be held at Tennessee Dreamer Cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN, and the cost is only $110 per person! This covers lodging, transportation, food, and materials. A $50 non refundable deposit is due by September 24 with the remaining balance due on or by October 22.
Call Whitney Cook at 423-963-4300 for more information, or stop by our table at the church this Sunday to learn more and register.
Take time to relax, to make new friends, to worship God, and to savor your relationship with Jesus. We hope you’ll join us at Sweet Life Café!
Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser
September 30, 2017
Cassidy UMC Fellowship Hall
To help offset the costs of the retreat, we will be having a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser. Tickets are $10 and available on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
Also, if you would like to donate a contribution to help offset the costs of the retreat, please mark your check on the memo line Women’s Retreat offering.
The Men of Cassidy are invited to a time of breakfast on Saturday, September 23 from 9:00—11:00am in the Fellowship Hall. The speaker for our breakfast is Jonathon Anderson from Engage Tri-Cities. Engage Tri-Cities is an organization that partners with area churches to serve the needy in our area. The suggested cost for the breakfast is $5.00 per person. Any other donations would be accepted as well to help fund future ministry projects. I am opening this up to the men of the Indian Springs Area regardless of church affiliation. We would like a RSVP by no later than the Wednesday, September 20 to the church office if you plan to attend or by clicking the link below.
Combined service for the annual
St. Andrew’s Society Vegetable Drop
at Salem United Methodist Church
on October 8, 2017
More information to follow.