JEFFREY SWAINSTON, CHAPLAIN
P.O. Box 77
Manton, MI 49663​
(616) 405-6921
revjeff82@gmail.com

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 GRANGE NEWS

First Fall Breeze
You think it will never happen as you perspire your way through the dog days of summer. When the fans run full blast and there isn’t enough sweet tea in the world to quench your thirst. The pavement is hot, the air is thick, and the mosquitoes outnumber the people. You begin operating in survival mode, believing that, maybe, this will actually be the year when it doesn’t show up.
Then, one morning, you step outside onto your front porch, and you feel it. There’s something different in the air — a coolness that tells you fall has finally arrived. There’s a crispness to the wind that invigorates you as the burden- some heat of summer fades away. Your heart is lightened, and your spirit is revived. There isn’t anything quite as refreshing as that first fall breeze that announces the arrival of a new season.
Our lives go through seasons, just like the calendar. There are periods when we feel weary from the weight of our sins. The guilt and shame we carry are as oppressive as the heat of a Southern July day. There seems to be no end in sight, and we find ourselves just trying to survive. That is not the life our heavenly Father desires for His children. Thankfully, just as we turn a calendar page, we can turn from the heaviness of our former ways.
Just like that first fall breeze, repentance will bring a refreshing new season into our lives. When we turn from our sins and turn toward God, forgiveness blows over us like a crisp autumn wind, and new energy is instilled in us. The sky is a little brighter, the colors are a little bolder, and our steps are a little lighter as the burden is lifted. Walking in freedom with God is as stimulating as that first fall breeze. Everything
that once weighed us down just falls away, and a fresh beginning is ours for the taking. Everything is brimming with possibility, and the opportunities are endless.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 GRANGE NEWS

To celebrate Winston Churchill’s 80th birthday on November 30, 1954, the British parliament commissioned artist Graham Sutherland to paint a portrait of the celebrated statesman.
Churchill was not happy with the results. Sutherland’s portrait had Churchill slumped in a chair wearing his trademark scowl, true to reality, but hardly flattering. After its official unveiling, Churchill hid the painting in his cellar. It was later secretly destroyed.
Like Churchill, most of us have an image of ourselves we want others to have of us. Perhaps deep down we fear we won’t be loved if the real us is known.
When the Israelites were taken captive by Babylon, they were seen at their worst. Because of their sins, God allowed their enemies to conquer them. But He told them not to fear, He was with them in every trial.
They were secure in His hands and precious to Him. Despite their ugliness, God loved them.

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Remember this – God knows the real us and still loves us unconditionally
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