Monthly Archives: March 2008

Easter Matters

Easter matters because it changes people’s lives. Nothing gets me more excited than that! The resurrected Christ is active in people’s lives and he desires to enter into each of our lives and begin to change us from the inside out.

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?Being a follower of Christ is often pretty difficult. I sometimes find myself worrying instead of trusting, doubting instead of believing, getting angry instead of staying mellow, being apathetic when I should be enthusiastic. I struggle to do the right thing, have the right motives and put others in front of myself. I was having lunch with a friend today and he was talking about a spiritual mentor of his that would always have him say aloud, “I am a work in progress”. I like that. Becoming like Jesus is a life-long process, a journey filled with times of great progress and times where it feels like we’re taking three steps forward, two steps back.

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We celebrate the fact that God is patient and merciful and that he does indeed have the power to help us overcome the devastating effects of sin in our lives. Grace is a good thing. We are saved by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ and now we life the life the same way – by grace through faith; sometimes messy, sometimes hard but always worth it!

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?Enjoy the video of the interview from Easter morning with Mary Ellen, Lisa and Mike. Connect your friends with this link too. It’s good stuff!

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http://acchurch.org/video/EasterMatters.wmv

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Peace,
?Dave

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Say It Well

?Your friends may not believe the Bible but they probably believe you! One of the most effective tools you can use to share the good news of Christ with others is your own personal faith story. Paul wrote in Colossians 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Peter had similar thoughts when he wrote in I Peter 3:15 – “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

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?So, are you prepared to answer someone if they asked you why you follow Christ?
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?God could use just a few minutes of preparation time on your part to effectively witness to your unbelieving friends. To help organize your thoughts, try the following outline and ideas…

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1.?My life before I trusted Christ
?Avoid slamming other denominations or using religious lingo – use the same words you use everyday. Tell about your view of Christ and Christianity prior to becoming a Christ follower. What attitudes and lifestyle choices directed your life before God? Don’t make your self better or worse then what you really were – just shoot straight!

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2.?How I came to Christ
?Be specific – if possible answer the who, what, when and where. Include a verse of Scripture that God used to bring you to Christ. Were there specific circumstances and / or people God used to help you cross the line of faith??

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3.?My life after I trusted Christ
?Talk about a change He has made in your life, and what He means to you right now. Be as specific as possible – give concrete examples of life-change, whether – attitudes, actions, priorities or relationships. Be sure to clearly communicate that you are not now perfect or problem free!

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The truth is that you have a story to tell and your friends need to hear it!
?Peace,
?Dave

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MOPS Rocks!!!

This past Thursday I met with the leadership team of MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers). It launched this past fall and what a great first year they are having! Meeting the 1st and 3rd Thursday mornings of each month, this ministry reaches out to moms who are stretched to the limit in just about every way and in desperate need of some adult interaction! Monthly attendance has been great, attracting a wide variety of moms from the area. They love it! I am so grateful for this outreach ministry of ACC and I’m excited about its future.

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A big time THANK YOU goes out to the ladies of the leadership team: Marie, Jane, Joan, Lisa, Rachel and Sue. They have put out an extreme effort in order to deliver a new, exciting and badly needed ministry to moms in the Arlington Heights area.

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As they plan for the ’08 – ’09 school year they have two BIG needs. The first is loving and reliable child care workers. Could you devote just a few hours a month to give a little badly needed rest to these young moms? Secondly, a few new women are needed on the leadership team; women who have a vision for this type of ministry and are willing to take on some responsibilities. Can you meet either of these needs? If you can help or if you have any questions just contact MOPS Coordinator Marie Brannigan at mops@acchurch.org. I am praying God will supply the reinforcements necessary to keep MOPS going strong!

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Peace,
?Dave

Sixty Years of Cussing

Sixty years of cussing; in the Navy, on the job as a pipe fitter – cussing was just what everybody did. He could turn the air blue with his language! Dick did have his limits though. He tried hard to not cuss in front of women, NEVER in front of his mother and he avoided using the Lord’s name in vain.
?Dick also has an anger problem. In his own words, he would “fight at the drop of a hat.” He could get upset easily and literally see red! One day a man followed him home after a minor traffic altercation they were involved in. Seeing the guy pull up in front of his home Dick greeted him at the curb with a gardening tool in his hands. The man left promptly – once Dick explained to the guy that if he stepped a foot onto his property he’d bury him with it!
?While sitting down watching the Bulls game with Dick Sunday afternoon he shared with me just how much the passage of scripture we had looked at that morning in church had affected him – Colossians 3:1-17. The words of Paul jumped out at him: “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Col.3:8). The light bulb turned on as he realized there were things in his life that were wrong, that needed to change! He also told me how much God has been working in his life since he began attending ACC about 1 ½ years ago. As he eyes welled up with tears he expressed gratitude to God for the people and ministry of ACC. It was a very awe inspiring and encouraging conversation.
?Dick is almost 71 years old. He is teachable, learning, growing, changing, confessing, testifying and desiring to be more like Jesus! He is currently learning to trust God and draw strength from him in the midst of some serious health issues. When I asked him for permission to share his story with you he said, “Sure, I’m not embarrassed. These things are fact. I can’t change the past but I can change the future. Maybe someone will be encouraged by my story.” He knows the change might not come easy but it’s what he needs to do. He knows God will help him.
?Dick is experiencing “the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.”
?How cool is that?
?Peace,
?Dave
?P.S. Karen?s dad is doing great following his surgery. Thanks for your prayers!