Chilkat Mission Bell
Editor Doris Ward
Changing Our Focus
Most of us focus on ourselves too much. We are concerned about what we need and what we want. Instead of being self-centered we need to be God-centered and to focus on Him. The best way I know to do that is to praise God.
We can learn how to praise God by reading and studying the Psalms. Psalm 8 is one of my favorites, and before you continue reading this column, I recommend that you open your Bible to this psalm and read it. First, consider just how majestic is God’s name. God’s name reflects the Presence of God, and the first verse emphasizes the majesty of God’s Presence. David states that God’s glory is above the heavens. Even children and infants can recognize and praise God. Children are able to trust and praise God without doubts or reservations. As we get older, many of us find this more and more difficult to do. Do you have childlike faith? Do you trust in God more than a 2-3 year old trusts in his or her earthly parents? Ask God to give you childlike faith, removing any barriers to having a closer walk with Him.
To understand God’s majesty, this Psalm suggests comparison between ourselves and God’s greatness. When we look at creation, “the work of His fingers,” we often feel small by comparison. Can we have an impact on the moon and stars? No, but God set them in place for us to look on and to see His greatness. When we look at the vast expanse of creation, we wonder how God could be concerned for people who constantly disappoint him. Notice that David also questioned this-- “what is man that you are mindful of him?” Yet God created us only a little lower than the heavenly beings, the angels. The next time you question your worth as a person, remember that God considers you highly valuable. You bear the stamp of the Creator. Because God has already declared how valuable we are to him, we can be set free from feelings of worthlessness.
God gave humans tremendous authority—to be in charge of the whole earth. We are “ruler over the works” of God’s hands. But with great authority comes great responsibility. Consider your family pet. You own your cat or dog, you are the ruler over your pet and have authority over him or her. But you also have the responsibility to feed and care for your animal. With authority over a pet comes an obligation to care for them. What about the other works of God’s hands. We are the ruler over the whole earth, the ground under our feet, the flocks, herds, beasts, birds, and fish. Are we caring for God’s creation or destroying it? How do you personally treat God’s creation? Do you think God will hold you accountable for your actions and responsibility over what He has given you?
Psalm 8 can change you from being self-centered to being God-centered. Consider God’s heavens, the works of His fingers, the moon, stars, flocks, herds, beasts, birds and fish. Think about them; God created them and we should praise God with faith like a child. Praise Him now for all the wonders He has given you. Once your eyes firmly focus on Him, then He will reveal your needs to you.
Praise is always an appropriate place to begin our prayers, just as we begin our Sunday worship by praising God. This month, try praising God the first thing each morning to help you change your focus to Him. Ron
Sunday School Over for Summer
The last day of Sunday School for this year is May 5. Teachers and students get the summer off. Thank you to teachers Ron Horn, Bill Daniels, Crystal Badgley, Lauren Daniels, Stacey Clark, Jacque Horn, Shannon McPhetres and Holly Davis. Thanks to all substitutes we’ve counted on throughout the year. A recognition service will be held in May.
Congratulations to Graduates, Families, Teachers
As the school year ends, we extend congratulations to all graduates, families and teachers. Several will go to Flagstaff, AZ for commencement at NAU for our graduates Renae Miner, Ryan Olson and Payson Schnabel. Special recognition for our HHS seniors, Margarette Jones, Jess Giddings and Chris Olson, will be May 26 during morning Worship. Prayers for each one.
Women Continue Bible Study in Summer
Women’s Bible Study is continuing through summer. They have just started “Becoming a Woman of Strength” so you can still join them Fridays at 10:30 a.m.
VBS: Where Kids Stand Strong for God
Community kids from age 3 and going into 6th grade are invited to Kingdom Rock at our church June 3-7 daily 9 to noon for Bible-learning activities, catchy songs, team games, treats crafts, and Bible adventures. They will collect Bible Memory Buddies to remind them to stand strong and learn to look for God Sightings all around. Each day concludes with Fanfare Finale when family and friends are invited to join them at 11:30 a.m. Kingdom Rock kids will join an international mission to share God’s love with children in India.
To pre-register call Nancy Schnabel 766-2578, Bonnie Sharnbroich 766-2287 or Ron Horn 766-2377. We thank congregation and community helpers who bring this active time to our children, Bonnie, director, said. Volunteers are welcome. June 3-7. 9 to noon.
Deacons Keep Up With Updates
May looks just as busy as April. Deacons help plan Baccalaureate, end of school events, and Donna Walter has plants ready for Mother’s Day. Also ask Donna today for your own transplants that will be ready for warm days. Deacons kept things going smoothly during Presbytery and Blessing of the Fleet, and continue serving meals to shut-ins. They’ll send special cards if you let them know. This month they expect to update congregation photos and prayer concerns. See Donna, Judith, Myrna, Susan, Darlene or Jacque for updates. Thanks for all you do.
Closing Season for Women’s Fellowship
Women’s Christian Fellowship will meet for their last meeting until Fall on Saturday, May 11, at noon for a potluck luncheon as Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Bring a dish (with food) and share fellowship and fun. Haines women carpooled for the April 13 meeting in Klukwan Assembly of God. Becky Nash brought a lively, thoughtful message about God’s plan for her and how she grew in faith from age three when she received Christ through Christian teaching from her parents. Hosts served delicious food for a satisfying hour together.
Luckiest Girl in Alaska: Sierra Clark
I just turned 9 years old in April (April 20). It was one of the funnest birthdays ever! We went skiing and snowmachining at the pass And, when we were at 33-Mile we met a lady who has puppies. I found out that day we are getting a puppy! The puppy is not old enough yet, but we will bring her home in May. I think I’m the luckiest girl in Alaska. Sierra
Veterans Village Groundbreaking Downtown
Cold and snow did not deter celebrants who showed up April 27 for the groundbreaking of the Soboleff- McRae Veterans Village on the site of the old Thunderbird Motel near Haines Assisted Living (HAL). Former Rep. Bill Thomas emceed the celebration that moved from the building site to the American Legion Hall for more speeches and a fine dinner of prime rib or halibut. Dr Walter Soboleff, chaplain of Alaska National Guard and a dear friend of our congregation, lived 102 years. CSM Howard McRae, a Special Forces 23-year-veteran, still has relatives in Haines.
Loss of Loved One
Douglas Ellis, 87, died in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, Mar. 10. Ellis, wife and 5 children homesteaded near Chilkoot River bridge and he worked at the Tank Farm 15 years. His daughter Jeanne Bitzan can be reached at Box 298958 Wasilla AK 99629.