Monthly Archives: June 2008

Mustard, Bad breath and flys

If you’re sitting at Panera eating lunch with a friend and notice that they have a splotch of mustard on their chin – will you say anything? If a co-worker has breath that could kill Buddha – would you gently tell them? If you were in the church lobby on a Sunday morning and notice someone with their fly down – do you let them know?

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?More to the point, if YOU had a splotch of mustard on YOUR chin while having bad breath and YOUR fly down – would YOU want someone to tell YOU???

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??Sometimes the word of God comforts the afflicted but sometimes it afflicts the comfortable. The Bible is loaded with good news but I think to really appreciate it you need to know and understand the bad news. In order to grow we need to acknowledge the bad stuff in our lives.

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?When Jeremiah was prophesying against the priests and prophets of Israel, God leveled this accusation: ‘They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.’ (Jeremiah 8:11)

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?God loves us enough to tell us things we probably don’t want to hear. A good friend will inform you of splotches, funky breath and downed flys and the wise person will receive such news with humble gratefulness.

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Peace,
?Dave
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Meeting Sarah

Hello! My name is Sarah Muller. I have been working here for about four weeks as the summer intern for the Children’s Ministry. I will be here till the end of summer and in the mean time I will be planning the Summer Sunday School curriculum for the kids ages k- 5th grade. This summer’s curriculum is all about Service. I am so excited to see the kids learn about serving God, family, friends, and their community. I will also be helping out with Halo Hoops Basketball Camp and Power Lab Day Camp, both in July!

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I have loved getting to know all the different people here at ACC. Something I noticed right away was that the body of ACC is very diverse. There are various ages, culture groups, people in different circumstances, and no one looks or feels out of place. That is such a great characteristic about ACC; especially since the church that Christ has in mind has no limitations, requirements, or exclusions.

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If I had to list of the spiritual gifts of ACC as a whole, I think I would say… hospitality, encouragement, servant-hood, and evangelism! Not bad qualities to have at all! Another joy of mine has been to meet and interact with the staff for all the various classrooms of the Children’s Ministry and the families of kids in ACC’s Children’s Ministry. During the service after check-in, I would hang around and try to get to know a few more faces and names, but conversations would never end at just that. By the end of a conversation with various ladies in the classrooms; we have exchanged passions, God moments, and especially smiles over the kids playing! The families have been such a blessing; and I must say are one of my greatest joys on a Sunday morning. It is clear that the parents here at ACC are raising children that will grow up to fear and love the Lord with all their heart and that is an amazing thing to watch; in big and small ways every week!
?Thank you so far for such a great welcome and I look forward to getting to know more of you. If you are part of the Children’s Ministry, a parent of a child in the ministry, or really anyone- let me know how I can help you this summer at ACC!

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Pop Rocks!

My dad is awesome. I know full well that lots of people do not have a good relationship with their dad so I’m especially grateful for my pops. He’s coming on Sunday (Father’s day!!!!) for church and then a cook-out at my place.

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?One of the things a love about him is that he is always interested in my life and is always supportive and encouraging. Back in the 80’s when Karen and I and our four little ankle-biters lived in Joliet, the same town as my folks, my dad would come to every one of my softball and basketball games. He’d be in the stands cheering every time! Picture it: I’m married; a father of four kids and my dad is still coming to all my games. I loved it too! It meant as much or more to me then as it did when I was a child! Even as an adult I value his attention and praise and he gives it freely. I thank God for my dad.

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?How about you? What is one thing you appreciate about your dad? Post a brief comment on one thing your pops did right! Do it now!!!
?Peace,
?Dave

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Who Let the Hogs Out???

Last week I met a professional hog hunter. My friend R.J. and I spent 6 days backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. Late one afternoon we were trudging into our camp for the night and there in the shelter was a 30.06 hunting rifle leaning up against the wall and the hunter stretched out nearby taking a nap before the start of his work day.

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?We later learned that in the 1950’s some hogs escaped from a local farm and became illegal residents of the park. In the subsequent decades their population has exploded and they are wreaking havoc! These nocturnal feral hogs literally tear up the forest floor rooting for food – larvae, grubs and roots. These non-native intruders are doing severe damage to the natural environment – destroying native plants and young saplings. We witnessed with our own eyes the damage left in their wake – it looks just as if a roto-tiller has gone through the area. In fact, sections of the park our now fenced off in hopes of protecting certain fragile plant and tree species from the hogs.

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?So in recent years hog hunters have been employed by the park to eradicate these pests. The hog hunters typically leave camp shortly before dusk and stay out in the woods until 2-3 AM. Using night vision equipment, they stealthily track and kill the hogs – without mercy or compassion. While hunting is usually not allowed within a national park – these hogs have been identified as enemies to the ecosystem that must be eliminated. The health of the mountain environment is at stake.

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?When those farm hogs escaped in the 50’s, probably no one really cared; what harm could a few overgrown pigs do?

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?Now let me apply this little slice of life to our spiritual lives. God warns us to “not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27). A little compromise can lead to an eventual moral collapse, a casual neglect of our relationship with God can lead to a stone-cold heart that no longer even desires his presence, a bad habit tolerated can evolve into a life-style diametrically opposite to what we would have ever once envisioned. A foothold isn’t much space – it’s just enough to get started… an occasional night of partying, a tolerance for a little soft-core porn, a laziness that allows us to go weeks without reading God’s word, a seemingly justifiable bitterness toward someone who has wronged us, maybe an unkind attitude toward those who are different from us…

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?Any “wild hogs” running loose in your spiritual ecosystem?

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