Monthly Archives: June 2009

All-Star Team

This week marked the end of the 08-09 Youth Group season. Youth group (Oasis for high school, and Pit Stop for our middle school) runs September – June. July is when we do most of our summer events, and August is reserved for planning/prep for the next year.

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As I look back on the year, I?m so thankful for such a great ministry team. Each team member makes a commitment to be with us for the whole ministry year. In addition to our normal weekly meeting, we have special events, weekend retreats, Lock-Ins, and so much more. These adults selflessly carve out time in their schedule to serve the students and families of our church because they believe that youth ministry can make a difference in the lives of our students.

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Here?s a list of our dedicated team members.

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Oasis
?-Lisa
?-Dennis
?-Carla
?-Eric
?-Dave (Sunday School)
?-Jane (Sunday School)

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Pit Stop
?-Steve
?-Pavan
?-Chris B (not me)
?-Jana
?-Kristen
?-Carolyn (Sunday School)
?-Doug (Sunday School)

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You guys are awesome! Thanks for a great ministry year!

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How about you? Have you found a ministry in our church that you?re passionate about? Some place where you can jump in with both feet?

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Grace,
?Chris

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Don?t say it – Do it!

Coming out of great conversation at our MEN WHO READ group (meets Monday nights out on the picnic tables at church) I wanted to share with you a challenge that I gave to the guys – something specific to do in the next week. It is a practice I have tried to implement into my own life in the last few years.

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The challenge: instead of saying to someone, “I’ll pray for you.”, instead ask them, “May I pray for you right now?” Whether on the phone, in the lobby at church or across the backyard fence – whatever their need is – pray for them out loud right there! Just a brief, sincere prayer on their behalf. I have never had a person tell me no.

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The benefits: The person may at first be a bit taken back but then really appreciates the gesture of love, support and encouragement. What a fantastically simple way to build community and communicate love. Plus, I must admit – most of the time when I tell a person I’ll pray for them – I forget. If I pray immediately upon learning of their need then it doesn’t require me to remember – boom! – It’s done!
?Try it. See how it goes.

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Peace,
?Dave

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The Church of the Firstborn

I just finished up reading the book of Hebrews the other day in my personal quiet time. I was reading chapters 12 and 13 and I stopped at a phrase that I realized I?ve often skipped over. In Hebrews 12:23 the writer says that as believers, we have come “to the church of the firstborn”. The idea of the “firstborn” is a theme that is woven throughout the Old and New Testament (or the 1st and 2nd testament as one of my high school students likes to say). I grabbed a commentary and looked up some information about this phrase. Here are a few thoughts that stuck out to me:

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-The term firstborn was used to convey rank, power, and inheritance.

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-When applied to Jesus, we understand that not only was he Mary?s literal first born, but that he is the firstborn over all creation. He is the rightful heir of all creation. He is not only heir, but LORD over all creation.

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-When applied to the church…as in the Hebrews verse mentioned above, “the church of the firstborn”. We understand that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are co-heirs. We will receive an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade as I Peter 1:4 states.

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Following the lead of our Apostle?s Creed series, why is this important? In other words, how should this inform my daily life? Some things I?ve been thinking about in this regard…

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-Because Jesus is the rightful heir and LORD of all creation, I should view all creation as his property and care for it as such. (Read environmental stewardship…recycling, reducing carbon footprint, etc.). You may think this a little bit of a stretch, but I honestly believe that caring for God?s creation can and should be an act of worship.

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-Because I am a co-heir with Christ, I can be confident that my inheritance (heaven) is secure. Christ defeated death and sits with power and authority at the right hand of God the Father. My inheritance is secure.

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What do you think? What are some things that you would add to this list? What encouragement do you derive being “the church of the firstborn”?

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Grace,
?Chris

Gut Check (Literally and metaphorically)

About six months ago, on December 31st, I posted this:

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I usually don?t do stuff like this, at least in conjunction with January 1, but this time I am making a few plans for 2009:
?* For most of this year, if not the entire 365 days, I plan to mega-saturate myself in Romans 12. Maybe memorize it??
?* I?m going to drop 20-25 pounds. Mark my words – by 2010 you?ll be calling me “Slim”.

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Now that we are almost half-way through 2009 I thought I’d give you a quick update:

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•?Just a few days ago I finished memorizing the entire chapter! It was a bit of a challenge to my old brain but it was very rewarding and worthwhile. I have spent a lot of time thinking through it and trying to work it into my soul. Now I will spend these remaining six months digging deep – studying the passage very carefully – learning all I can and seeking to let His word change me. From time to time I will share here a few of the things I’m learning.
?•?I have lost a grand total of seven pounds. I wish it was a lot more but at least it’s better than nothing – and a lot better than gaining weight! Yet to reach my goal of losing 20-25 pounds I need to pick up the pace a bit! I gotta nix the turtle sundaes at Culvers!!

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Please pray for me as I desire these changes for my spiritual and physical health. Thanks! How are you doing?

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Peace,
?Dave

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September

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I stumbled across this awesome remake of Earth, Wind and Fire?s classic “September” by one of my favorite gospel artists – Kirk Franklin. I love the sound and the energy and it brings me back to my freshmen year in college – me and my roommate would jam to this song!

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Youtube wouldn?t allow me to imbed it so just follow this link, it?s worth the 4 1/2 minutes!

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http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=90545051268&h=rX2Mi&u=vsnfA&ref=mf

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Enjoy! God is good!

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Peace,
?Dave

Give It Up For Guest Services

Recently there was a survey done of new regular attenders at ACC, and the overwhelming majority stated that one of the first things they noticed about our church is the friendly, welcoming atmosphere on Sunday mornings. Today I want to give a shout out to our Guest Services Team – our ushers, greeters, and welcome center workers – who serve to create this kind of welcoming atmosphere week after week. Some of you may not even know that there are greeters assigned to stand in the lobby and welcome people each week, but I believe that this team helps facilitate one of our church’s greatest strengths: a friendly, welcoming community. This strength of ours also flows directly from one of our core values as a church: We will be a loving community where grace propels and permeates everything we do by serving each other humbly, living in harmony, and seeking relational authenticity.

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So next time you see our Guest Services team in action, join me in thanking them for making everyone who walks through our doors feel loved and welcome. (Hint: look for the people wearing the blue nametag lanyards!)

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Peace,

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~Scott

My Backpacking Adventure

Back from backpacking on the Appalachian Trail with my son Micah. We were on the section just northeast of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee / North Carolina. We got rained on everyday; actually we got soaked to the bone everyday! In spite of the less than ideal weather we had a fantastic time.

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A few of the highlights:

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•?Our first night at a shelter we killed a 5 foot long snake that was creeping above us in the rafters. At times we both may have been screaming like little girls but in the end we triumphed!

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•?We got caught on top of a mountain in a very intense thunderstorm. Three different times I was literally brought to my knees by the volume of the thunder – it was deafening! We got off the top as quickly as we could. It was a total rush but at the time it was quite scary!

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•?We saw fresh bear tracks on the muddy trail. There had been a lot of recent bear activity in the section we were on – warning posters everywhere – though we never actually saw one.

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•?The scenery was incredible – the most beautiful waterfalls, wildflowers and vistas. My favorite thing though is the trees – I’m always amazed by the majestic character of the forest.

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•?We met some really cool people. This trip was the most social with fellow hikers that I had ever previously experienced – one night we played euchre until dark.

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God was in it all. I felt so blessed to be with my son doing something I love to do.
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?The thumbprint of God was all around us 24 / 7. That is pretty hard to beat! Nature is truly God?s cathedral. Now I am rested, refreshed and ready to do my best at ACC.

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Peace,
?Dave

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To see some great pics of my trip go to: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=25372&id=1068695981&l=ffec5b4403

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