Welcome to Filling Up and Pouring Out

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Dear Friends,

Filling Up Pouring Out“Filling Up and Pouring Out” is a phrase that captures the heart of who we, as children of God, should long to be. In Romans 5:5 Paul says that, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Our lives are filled continually with God’s love and we are called to share that love with others.

We are travelers together on this journey of faith, supporting each other along the way. My  hope and fervent prayer is that you will experience God’s overwhelming love in ways that transform your life and the lives of those around you.

Blessings on you and yours,
Allen

Arthur Raymond – A Poem

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in Olive Branch, Mississippi. They were simple people, not very religious, but they loved with fierceness. Memories I have of my grandfather, “Tataw” I called him, are more precious to me now than ever. I’m not much of a poet, but the following is just something I wrote in honor of him. I hope you like it.

——————————————————————

Arthur Raymond

As old as I was young
yet closer than a minute
Tall as a memory
in tee shirt and tan pants

Smells of blue Aqua Velva
     sweat and cigarettes

A roofer by trade
building men by vocation
Patching leaks dripping water
and a boy losing father

Fishing for the fish
     catching for the cooking

A soldier you would think
Sharp dressed in Army khakis
Just a photo on the wall
Not a warrior, just a roofer

He warms a feather pillow
     cool on the underside

while Roofer sleeps us away
in his big iron bed
To a land of giants and pigs
Where we dream of nothing

And everything, everywhere
     and nowhere, because

Another roof needs roofing
His garden needs tending
Pocket knife needs sharpening
And I am always listening

And the roofer simply says
Yea the lord would say
     unto thee,
“Peace on you boy, get outta here"

That’s My King

Jesus is taken by the religious authorities, tried, brutalized, tortured, and crucified. We proclaim this Jesus to be our king. His crucifixion says as much about who God is and who we are as the resurrection.

Sermon Title: That’s My King
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 11/24/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 22:33-43

He Went Home With Who: Sermon Audio

Zacchaeus is a tax collector, hated by his neighbors. Yet, Jesus sees fit to not only speak to him, but to invite himself to his home. What does this say about who we are to be as Christians in the world today.

Sermon Title: He Went Home With Who
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 11/10/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 19:1-10

Extravagant Generosity: Sermon Audio

“Extravagant Generosity” is the fifth in a series of sermons dealing with the 5 Practices of Fruitful congregations. All that we have is given to us by God. How do we take what God has given us and honor him in its use?

Sermon Title: Extravagant Generosity
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 10/13/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: John 3:1-6

Risk Taking Mission and Service: Sermon Audio

“Risk Taking Mission and Service” is the fourth in a series of sermons dealing with the 5 Practices of Fruitful congregations. Life changing, world changing mission and service requires risk. It’s not easy, but it’s who we are called to be as Christians

Sermon Title: Risk Taking Mission and Service
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 10/6/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Matthew 25:31-46

Intentional Faith Development: Sermon Audio

“Intentional Faith Development” is the third in a series of sermons dealing with the 5 Practices of Fruitful congregations. Being a disciple of Jesus is not a “one and done” proposition. It takes an intentional effort to daily follow him. Along this journey of faith that we are on, there will be many questions, but it is important to remember that we are not searching for answers, we are searching for a person.

Sermon Title: Intentional Faith Development
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 9/29/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Matthew 4:12-22

Passionate Worship: Sermon Audio

“Passionate Worship” is the second in a series of sermons dealing with the 5 Practices of Fruitful congregations. What is necessary for us to ensure that our worship is “passionate”? Can worship that is not passionate really be worship? Why do we gather for worship? Hear the responses to these questions and more.

Sermon Title: Passionate Worship
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 9/22/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 4:14-30 (Isaiah 6:1-8)

Radical Hospitality: Sermon Audio

“Radical Hospitality” is the first in a series of sermons dealing with the 5 Practices of Fruitful congregations. Throughout the Biblical witness, God’s call has always been one of welcome. To be a church that takes that call seriously, we must learn to see others as Jesus sees them.

Sermon Title: Radical Hospitality
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 9/15/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Matthew 25:31-40

Your Cross to Bear: Sermon Audio

The call to be a disciple of Jesus is no easy task. Those who think so haven’t heard Jesus clearly. Especially when we consider passages like the ones where he tells us we must “hate” our families and give up all our possessions. Jesus tells us to “take up our cross” and follow him in death. Is that in any way what you signed up for? Jesus urges you to count the cost.

Sermon Title: Your Cross to Bear
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 9/8/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 14:25-33

Yes, You’re Invited: Sermon Audio

Jesus has been invited to share a meal at a Pharisee’s house. From the outset you can feel the tension as we are told that they were “watching him closely.” Jesus proceeds to give them a lesson in what appears to be table etiquette. But a closer examination reveals that this is more about who we, as the people of God, are called to be and what Christian hospitality is all about – welcoming the least, the last, and the lost.

Sermon Title: Yes, You’re Invited
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 9/1/2013
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 14:1, 7-14