February 14th E-votional

When looking for a subject for this week’s e-votional, obviously there is a holiday that should be discussed.  That’s right….Groundhog’s Day!  That’s right!  Groundhog’s day was almost 2 weeks ago.  The legend is that when the groundhog comes out, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter.  Puxatawney Phil did not let us down.  He didn’t see his shadow, which means an early spring!  As a side note, I’ve met Phil.  Try not to be jealous.

Of course, I can’t talk about the holiday, without thinking of the classic Bill Murray movie, “Groundhog Day.”  Bill Murray plays a weatherman who is forced to go and report on the weather predicting “rat” as he calls it.  He makes no secret of his displeasure at this and that the thinks this is below him.  Imagine his horror, when he wakes up the next day and it is groundhog’s day again!  He relives the same day over and over again.  Eventually, he figures out he can use this to improve himself.  He really gets to know the people in the town, he learns another language, he learns how to play the piano, and of course, because it is a movie, he gets the girl to fall in love with him.

What would it look like if we started each day with a fresh start?  What if we woke up and our mistakes from the day before we magically erased?  We might not get to live the same day over and over again.  However, we do get to start every day with a clean slate.  Every day when we wake up, God, through Christ, will forgive our sins.  This isn’t a get out of jail free card, we can’t sin without impunity, we must truly be remorseful and repentant.  When we are, through God’s grace and love, God forgives us.  The sins of yesterday are forgiven and we get to start anew!

Lamentations 3:22-23:  “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”


February 8th E-votional

You know that I love movies, although that I don’t see as many as I used to.  I like most genres of movies: sci-fi, fantasy, drama, horror, comedy, superhero, thriller, mystery, even some romantic comedies.  One of the best movies I saw last year was “Crazy Rich Asians.”  It was about a woman who travels to Singapore for her boyfriend’s best friend’s wedding.  Once there she finds out his family is “crazy rich” and he is considered the most eligible bachelor in high societal circles.

In addition to being a good movie, it was ground breaking for being the most successful movie with an all Asian cast in at least 25 years.  However, it wasn’t without controversy.  Come complained that the cast wasn’t Asian enough.  Henry Golding, who plays the male lead, is part Malaysian and part English.  There were complaints and op-eds that it would be nice to see a “full Asian lead for once”

One author took exception with this.  She related to this, having both Chinese and Italian heritage.  She said part of the problem is that she refers to herself as half Chinese and half Italian.  This is not uncommon language for people with mixed ethnic heritage.  She suggested we reframe our language and our thinking.  The author said that instead of “half” she will start using “both”.  She isn’t half Chinese, half Italian, she is both Chinese and both Italian.  This recognizes both without diminishing either one.

I think we fall into this same trap when thinking about Jesus.  We know Jesus is human and God.  However, we often act as if he is half God and half human.  We attribute actions or sayings to his human side or his divine side.  When we take this approach, we either diminish his divinity or his humanity.  He is not 50-50, but 100% human and 100% divine.  This is important.  Because he is fully human he can relate to our temptations and weaknesses.  Because he is divine, he is able to show us the true nature of God.  Because of our sinfulness, humanity owe a debt to God.  Unfortunately, it is so vast that humanity cannot pay it.   Only God can pay it, but it is not God’s to pay.  Because he is fully human, he is able to assume ownership of it.  Because Christ is fully divine, he is able to pay the debt.  Christ is BOTH human and BOTH divine and because of that, he is able to be our savior.

John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”

February 7th News and Notes


Chili/Dessert Cook-Off

Our Chili and Dessert cook-off was a success this year.  Cathie Lambert had the best chili and Hannah Deacon’s cake won the desert category!  We raise $453 for our Mars Hill mission trip!

Super Bowl Challenge

The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Superbowl XIII.  Our congregation thought the Rams would be victorious.  43 cans were donated for the Rams and 27 for the Patriots.  With the match for the Patriots, that is 97 food items for the Bowie Interfaith Food Pantry!


Our next Cross-Gen event will Sunday, February 17th.  Bring a snack or appetizer to share and plan on joining us!

Year-end Video

If you missed the annual meeting, you missed our year-end video.  You can view it here!

Warm Nights

UPB will be participating in the Warm Nights Program at Village Baptist Church on March 16, 2019. A sign ise available in the Narthex.  Our meal selection will be: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and desserts.

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.


Two Week Outlook

Sunday, February 10th

  • Worship, 10:00, worship
  • Christian Spiritual Formation committee meeting, following worship

Wednesday, February 13th

  • SEEDS, 6:00
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Thursday, February 14th

  • Men’s Breakfast, 8:30 am, Nautilus Diner, Crofton
  • Ladies Luncheon 11:30, First Watch

Sunday, February 17th

  • Worship, 10:00, worship
  • Cross-Gen, following worship

Wednesday, February 20th

  • SEEDS, 6:00
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Looking Ahead

  • March 6th, Ash Wednesday
  • April 21st, Easter
  • April 27th, Christmas in April
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip
  • July 22nd-26th, Art & Music Camp