Monthly Archives: March 2009

Prayer Requests – no thanks!

Every Sunday morning in church I talk to people and discover that they have tremendous needs and burdens in their life: a hospitalized spouse, upcoming surgery, job related stress, unemployment, etc. I almost always encourage them to share their need on a communication card as a prayer request – to get the support of our entire church family. More times than not, when I check the cards on Monday morning I find that they didn?t bother to write it down and share it. I get frustrated and wonder why. Why? Why wouldn?t they let their need be known? Why wouldn?t they want the support of their brothers and sisters in Christ?

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But then just this morning as I was thinking about this I realized that I do the same thing quite often. I keep it private. I do not take the time to write it down as a prayer request. I wonder why? Why would I deny myself the available prayer power of ACC?

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“Carry each other?s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

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I am committing myself to open up more – to share my burdens more.

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Peace,
?Dave

Space Station Oblivion

Last night I stood in the dark on a small hill at Lake Arlington with my daughter Lacey and watched as the International Space Station came into view at 7:47PM in the South-west sky. It was visible for about 5 minutes until its unrelenting orbit carried it out of sight into the eastern horizon. It was pretty amazing.

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As we stood in the chilly night air waiting for its arrival Lacey commented on all the people going by (in cars, jogging around the lake, riding bikes, etc.) that were completely oblivious to what they were about to miss. It was just another night to them – something unusual and amazing was happening right over their heads – all they had to do was look up.

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I would have never known about this astronomical event myself, had not my daughter Emily sent me an email earlier in the day with all the details. I was really glad she let me know – I enjoyed seeing the ISS go by. Pity the poor folks who missed it simply because know one told them about it!

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All this made me think about the amazing love of God found in the person of Christ. How many of our family, friends, classmates and co-workers have never responded to the love of God simply because they’ve never been told? Probably more than what we think. God is so close to them – yet so far. If only they would look up.

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May we care enough to let them know.

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Peace,
?Dave

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P.S. As we approach Holy Week I hope we at ACC will take advantage of some events happening here and extend invitations to unchurched friends and acquaintances. April 5 at 5PM – Passover Seder Dinner / April 10, Good Friday at 7PM – showing of the movie: The Passion of the Christ (not suitable for children) / Easter Sunday, April 12 – Celebration Services at our usual times of 9AM and 10:30AM. Check out our website for more details: www.acchurch.org.

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Complaining in the Church

We need to be dead serious about living out our faith as a church, so that we will shine like stars in the universe. That was Paul’s challenge to the church in Philippi. That is our challenge as well. One specific application: Do not complain. A complaining church is NOT a shining like a star church. (See Philippians 2:12-14)

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I am extremely grateful that there is not a complaining spirit at ACC. We have enjoyed much unity and peace in the last three years.

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But, what do you do if you do have a complaint? Can you never disagree with leadership? Can you never express a dissenting opinion? Is there no legitimate way to articulate that something at church is bugging you?

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Let me share some random thoughts –
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?•?It is never right to complain to others who are not going to be part of the solution; never belly ache to just whoever will listen in the lobby. You need to go to whoever will be key to a possible solution – whoever is responsible.

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•?Before you ever open your mouth take the time to evaluate your issue. Are you being selfish? Is your concern merely a matter of your own personal preference? Maybe you’re just in a bad mood?? It might be best to just let it go – remain quiet.

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•?Complaining is different then constructive criticism. Complaining is typically demanding, rude and self-centered. Constructive criticism / negative feedback should be done gently, humbly and privately. Attitude is everything!

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•?Anonymous negative feedback is cowardly and wrong. I made it a policy early in my ministry life to first look for a signature before reading a note – if it’s unsigned, it goes straight into my trashcan – unread. If you have something to say – own it.

Leadership is inherently stressful, difficult and often lonely. That’s not a complaint – it’s simply a fact. You in positions of leadership know that it’s true! Many of our leaders at ACC are volunteers – people who have stepped up to the plate and taken serious responsibilities onto their own shoulders. Let us continue to commit ourselves to being supportive of our leaders and be respectful when we disagree.

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Peace,
?Dave

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