February 5, 2017: Just when I thought I didn’t need God, I discovered I do.

Posted on : Feb 2nd, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

A few weeks ago there was a story in the news about Nina Saria. Nina is a 34 year-old mother who is married and has a young son. Her kidneys were failing and she needed a kidney transplant. A donor was found who offered her one of his kidneys. She was euphoric. She and her donor were rolled into the operating room and shortly thereafter, the doctors were trying to awaken her.  In her groggy state, they informed her there was a problem with the donor’s health and they were not able to do the surgery.

Once again, Nina, her husband and the organ donation professionals began the search for a donor. A potential donor was found, Nina’s mother. The only problem was, Nina had immigrated to the United States and her mother was a citizen of the country of Georgia. Georgia is a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, and was one of the states in the former Soviet Republic. It is very difficult to get a visa for someone from Georgia to the US. Even only a small percentage of “Humanitarian Visas” are approved for anyone living in a country that is not on the US’s “friends” list. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey intervened and was able to obtain a “humanitarian Visa” for her mother. This time, the surgery was a success.

In an interview with CBS news, Nina said, “I have never been a person who goes to church. I do believe in God, but not that much. But that day when I came out of the surgery, I looked up, and that was the day that I said: Thank you God – I know you are there.”

I’ll bet a lot of us have had a similar experience to Nina’s. We go through life thinking, “I believe in God, but not that much” until the time comes when we either really need God or we experience God in some profound way in our life. Or we may think, “I don’t really need God”…until we do.

This Sunday we will focus on that very experience of faith.




~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Mark 9: 14-24

From The Message, a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible.

There Are No Ifs

When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”

A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”

Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.

He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”

“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”

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