Monthly Archives: May 2010

Direction Perspective

I know from experience that if I’m on my bike zipping down the street and I suddenly see debris in the road – in order to avoid hitting it I must look away from it. It might seem a bit counter-intuitive but it’s true. If you focus on what you are trying to avoid – you will hit it. If you focus elsewhere you’ll automatically veer away from the danger in the road.

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In fact, www.megarider.com states it this way:

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?Direction Perspective
?The eyes play a major role in the control of a motorcycle. On a motorcycle, where you look is where you go and, to establish your direction perspective, the motorcyclist must use his eyes correctly. The way the rider uses his eyes also plays an important part in anticipating the actions of other vehicles around him and in the messages he sends to other motorists in conflict situations. Target fixation is also part of this. The rider who looks at the roadside furniture s/he is trying to avoid is sure to hit it!
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?Me thinks there is a spiritual application here!

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When we focus on our problems / sin / challenges – we will keep smashing our face into them repeatedly. Complaining. Pornography. Unhealthy introspection. Marital conflict. Stress. Fear. Worry. Gossiping. Addiction. Pride.

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When we instead focus on God – we experience his transforming power. He changes us from the inside-out. Genuine – real – lasting change. We grow spiritually (focus on God) and we end up steering clear of those things that threaten to wreck us.

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It reminds me of the Israelites focusing on Goliath – one gigantic problem (no pun intended). As long as they stared at him – the more freaked out they became and nothing improved – victory was nowhere in sight.
?Young shepherd boy David comes along and promptly buries a rock into Goliath’s forehead. David wasn’t focusing on how big Goliath was. He focused on how big God is. You do that and problems are placed into a proper perspective.

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Beginning this Sunday, June 6 we’re beginning an 8 week teaching series: Cross Training. We’ll be looking at holy habits – practices that can help us connect more deeply with God. Often these are referred to as spiritual disciplines. It’s about focusing our lives on God.

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When we do that, we avoid a lot of problems!

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I hope you’ll be with us for Cross Training. As a supplemental resource we are selling an excellent book by John Ortberg – The Life You’ve Always Wanted. Pick one up and read it! This could be a life-changing summer!

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Peace,
?Dave

Michelle will be Missed

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As many of you know, Michelle Smith has been acting as our Children?s Ministry intern here over the past twelve months. Michelle has done an outstanding job organizing our Children?s Ministry and showing our kids the love of Christ, and this is her last week here as an intern.

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Here?s a few reasons why Michelle will be missed around here:

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-She has brought organization to our awesome Children?s Ministry, and has been a regular Sunday school teacher
?-She has brought a female perspective to our leadership team (if it weren?t for Michelle we might have made some rash masculine decisions, such as deciding to serve bacon every Sunday or display a Chuck Norris cardboard cutout in the church lobby)
?-She has been a great example to our children of what it means to love Christ
?-She has a passion for worship and prayer
?-She plays a turquoise acoustic guitar – how cool is that?

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If you have a favorite memory of Michelle and her time here at ACC, please leave a comment and share it.

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We also ask that you would join us in praying for God?s continued guidance on Michelle?s life and future plans!

Honesty and Mobile Homes

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One of the many things I love about ACC is how our people are so unpretentious. Everybody is loved and welcomed – no need to be anybody but yourself.

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Honesty. Authenticity. Just being real.

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I know Jesus likes that too.

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With that in mind – watch this: now my all-time favorite TV commercial. Right now I?m fighting off a strong desire to go buy a mobile home from this guy even though I don?t even need one – just because of his being so honest! I love it.

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May we never be tempted to try passing ourselves off as someone we are not.

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Peace,
?Dave

What do you want to be known for?

Last night, at Pit Stop (middle school youth group), I asked the question, “what do you want to be known for?” another way of phrasing it would be “If a friend was describing you, what would you hope that they would say about you”

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I really like this question. I think it reveals a lot about who we are and who we hope to be. For some of us those are 2 very different things.

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How would you answer that question?

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My answer, I want to be known for being loyal and honest.

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Grace,

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Chris

The Hole in our Gospel

Guest Book Review by Allison Bies

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The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., is a powerful and convicting book. Stearns served as C.E.O. of several prominent U.S. companies. He was a devoted Christian yet lived a “safe” life and initially resisted the idea of candidacy for president of a Christian relief organization. However, God?s mission for him was to ultimately lead World Vision.

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The book chronicles the process of Stearns coming to leadership and outlines conditions of people throughout the world. I was recently reminded of information presented in the book following our Honduras team?s report. Americans live differently than most of the world, and it is easy even for Christians to develop a sheltered mindset. I struggle to consistently consider the plight of people living thousands of miles away. The book fueled renewed personal thankfulness for basic needs such as clean water and food but also blessings such as my car, job, and opportunities.

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Stearns argues that the “hole” in the gospel is perhaps a neglect of the modern church to address people?s physical needs. The gospel is a holistic message including spiritual healing; if a person?s physical needs are not met, he or she will not understand or be open to the relevance of the gospel message.

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The Hole in Our Gospel challenges each Christian to seriously consider the question, “What is God?s will for my life?? God does not expect each person to evangelize to remote tribes, provide medical relief after natural disasters, or fight for unfair labor conditions in Indonesia. However, each Christian needs to be open to God’s personal call while supporting those who represent the church in other nations.

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This book has caused me to examine my lifestyle, financial giving, and serving roles. I trust that it will challenge you in the same way. The Hole in Our Gospel website provides more information and resources. If you do read the book, I’d love to discuss it with you!

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Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

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Becoming People of the Book

Yesterday we considered the Spirit’s ministry of guidance in the life of Christ followers. I emphasized (or at least tried to!) that the primary way that the Spirit guides us is through the Scriptures. We must be people of the Book if we are to grow spiritually.

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Yet what we know to be true is that many (most?) Christians do not read their Bible regularly. We are usually pretty good at giving lip service to the concept of reading our Bible – but our actually doing it is often pretty pathetic. For many years I struggled huge in seeking to develop this crucial habit. Even now I sometimes hit periods of time where my track record is less then stellar – yet in my own experience and in seeking to encourage others I’ve picked up a few ideas on how to make personal bible reading happen. Here are a few random ideas – grab the ones that resonate with you and run with them!

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•?Ask God to help you with this – do not attempt merely with your own strength.

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•?Commit yourself to do it – like a diet, an exercise program or taking piano lessons – you need to determine in your heart to make an effort!

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•?Learn to crawl before you run; that means have realistic expectations – aim for 2-3 days per week and notch it up from there.

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•?Do not get all legalistic on yourself – if you miss a day or two or three – God still loves you, you are not a horrible person. God wants you to meet with him in his word – see it as an opportunity to fellowship with your Heavenly Father – not as an obligation.

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•?Set aside a specific time of day to read. Routine is usually helpful in developing a habit. Most people find that earlier in the day is best but whatever works for you!

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•?Read for quality, not quantity. There are no bonus points for reading a lot – better to read a little but really understand it, think about it, remember it and do it.

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•?Begin with prayer – ask the author of the Book to help you understand it and apply it.

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What other suggestions would you give someone?

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Peace,
?Dave

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Help our High School Mission Team

First, I want to say a big thank you to all of those who showed up for the High School Mission Trip Cookout last Sunday. We had an excellent turn out and your generosity helped us make some ground on our fund-raising goal.

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We?re taking a team of students to Boston, MA this summer. There, we?ll partner with existing organizations to minister to children and the elderly. As you heard in the Honduras mission team presentation this past Sunday, these trips have a profound affect on the participants. Each time you donate, you are not only serving those in Boston, but you are also making a difference in the life of one of our students. Here?s a list of our upcoming fundraisers:

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SUNDAY, 5/16 – Donuts and Coffee for sale in the church lobby
?SATURDAY, 5/22 – Date Night 4 – 9pm We?ll watch your kids so you can have a night out with your spouse.
?SUNDAY, 5/23 Donuts and Coffee for sale in the church lobby
?SUNDAY, 6/13 – Cookout at the church 11:30 – 1pm
?STUDENT FOR HIRE: Need work done around the house or in the yard? How about a babysitter? Hire a student @ $10 an hour. Contact Chris if you are interested.

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I hope you?ll consider joining us for some of these.

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Grace,
?Chris

Top Ten Thoughts about Honduras

1.?The landing and take-off from the airport in Tegucigalpa wasn’t as scary as I anticipated.

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2.? The poverty I witnessed was far worse than any I had previously seen. How does a family live in a 10’ x 12’ shack with a dirt floor and without running water or electricity? Where do they go to the bathroom? Where is their food? What do they eat?

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3.?On Wednesday we took a tour of Rancho Ebenezer – an orphanage on a mountain top outside of town. Turns out the woman who runs the ministry with her husband and gave us our tour had my wife as her S.S. teacher when she was in junior high in Phoenix and she actually appears in photos from our wedding! Small world or what?

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4.?The coffee grown by the orphanage ministry rocks! I had a delicious cup this morning. Go ahead – order some for yourself – www.hondurascloudforestcoffee.com . We got to see how they roasted and packaged it!

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5.?John Beckley has still got it! He scored three goals in our soccer game! (Of course, he could hardly walk the next day!)

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6.?If you think driving in Chicago is crazy…

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7.?The people of Honduras are so desperate for help – the 2nd poorest nation in the western hemisphere – 2nd only to Haiti.

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8.?One of my greatest joys was watching members of the ACC team step up and share the gospel one on one with the Hondurans. For many it was out of their comfort zone but they did it – and did it well!

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9.?The ministry of World Gospel Outreach (www.wgoreach.org ) is awesome! They are passionate, organized and faithful.

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10.?You should prayerfully consider going to Honduras with us in 2011 – it will change your life!

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Peace,
?Dave

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