Monthly Archives: July 2010

Kung Fu Fighting and Guitar Lessons

Two important things that you need to know:

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1.?This Sunday, August 1st we begin a new teaching series ONE HIT WONDERS. Think “Kung Fu Fighting” – “Earth Angel” – “Funkytown” or “Achy Breaky Heart”. Awesome, very well known songs but it’s the only chart topping hit that the band (or singer) ever had; thus the song is a ONE HIT WONDER. Our 6 week teaching series will look at the 5 one chapter books in the bible – small but awesome! Can you name all five? Get ready for this Sunday by taking three minutes to read Obadiah.

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2.?Last Sunday at the beginning of my sermon I interviewed our worship team’s most excellent guitar player – Brian Sherrill. The lesson Brian taught us is that while he makes guitar playing look easy – the truth is it is not easy at all – his expert playing represents literally hours of diligent practice, lots of hard work. We cannot learn to play guitar by trying hard, we learn by training – practicing. That is how it is to live for Christ – the key is not trying harder, the key is to training. That means committing ourselves to regularly practicing the spiritual disciplines. Anyways…in our interview I promised to give you the link to Brian’s cool website – you can take guitar lessons from him! Check it out: http://www.activemelody.com/

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See you Sunday!

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Peace,
?Dave

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First Dibs

Yesterday morning at ACC we received a great challenge from James and Jana Gunn. They took about 20 minutes to teach us what God has been teaching them about the spiritual discipline of giving. Good stuff!

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One principle that both James and Jana emphasized was that God should get “first dibs”. It is the idea that God gets paid first – before our electric bill, phone bill or mortgage; before going out to eat or buying a new iPad. The first check written is to our home church and everything else comes after that.

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Is that hard? Is that a step of faith? It is. Yet it is within that type of obedience and faith that God generously provides for our needs and blesses both us and our church.

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You have probably noticed – great things are happening at ACC: growing attendance – so many new families, 4 mission teams sent out in the last 9 months and lives being changed by the good news of Jesus Christ. It is all very encouraging and exciting!

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This is exactly why we do not want money to get in the way of ministry. We want to move full steam, ahead – to take advantage of every opportunity and impact our community for Christ. We are all challenged to do all that we can – and then a little more!

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I shared some of the following facts:

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•?Last fiscal year’s target offering: $7,700 per week
?•?We had to reduce our budget to: $7,150 per week
?•?What we actually received: $7,000

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It doesn’t take a CPA to see we ended in the red.

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Now for this year:
?•?This fiscal year’s target offering: $8,100

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Our current reality:
?•?Average weekly offering per giving unit: $42.50 per week or $170 per month.

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What this means:
?•?We need each giving unit to increase their normal monthly giving by $20 per month.

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God can and will provide – through his people. Please join me in praying that money will never get in the way of doing ministry at ACC!

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Peace,
?Dave

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The Sandpaper of Community

Friday was a great day. My twin brother and sister-in-law (Nick and Amy) were in town and helped with our youth group trip to Six Flags Great America. I really enjoyed having them on the trip. I think the students did as well – I know they heard a few embarrassing stories about me growing up and had fun with the whole twin thing.

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Yesterday ended up being a great day for a trip to Great America. We got rained on a bit and it was hot and humid (not as bad as it was here), but that also meant not many people at the park. I think we waited a max of 20-30 minutes for a ride and that was only a couple times. Most of the time there was no wait at all.

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Most of the day, our group was all together. We gave them plenty of opportunities to split up and go different directions to cater to their personal ride preferences, but they didn?t seem interested in that. Again and again they chose to stay together, even if that meant they were going to wait with the group and not ride the ride.

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Nick, Amy, and I talked about this a bit at the end of the night. I thought they had some great insight. They thought that was indicative of the value our group places on community. That the students so valued being together, that they were willing to put aside their personal preferences to go along with what the group wanted.

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I think that?s a great picture of community and a great reminder of the importance of being in community. I?ve been told that I?m a pretty particular guy, that I have strong opinions…polite ways of saying I like things my way :). Being in community helps me put things in perspective. It?s good, I?d even say necessary, for me to put my personal preferences aside and be a part of the group. It can certainly be challenging, but I know it?s a tool that God uses to smooth out my rough edges and make me more like his Son.

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Grace,
?Chris

Twenty Things That Bug Me

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1.?People who think you are unloving simply because you disagree with them.
?2.?NBA players making oodles more money than teachers, cops and firemen.
?3.?Food I like the most is really bad for me.
?4.?Store cashiers that make no attempt to be friendly or say thank you.
?5.?Christians who are convinced that Jesus must have been a white, middle-class Republican.
?6.?Coffee breath.
?7.?Crunchy peanut butter.
?8.?Oprah.
?9.?Little yappy dogs.
?10.?Liberal theologians and pastors.
?11.?Drivers that can’t be bothered to use their blinker.
?12.?Litter bugs.
?13.?Christian TV.
?14.?The ACLU.
?15.?Anything involving a dentist.
?16.?Weather forecasts that are nowhere close to being correct.
?17.?That creepy old, bald guy in the Great America commercials.
?18.?Neck ties.
?19.?Church hoppers.
?20.?My tendency to live independently from God.

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How about you?

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Peace,
?Dave

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Day Camp 2010

As I type this, the church is full of children and an awesome group of volunteers! Today is the end of a great week of Day Camp. It?s been an exciting week. Here are a few things I love about the ministry of Day Camp…

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- Children learning about God. This year we had around 55 kids participate in the program. That?s 55 kids that have spent a full week in an environment intentionally crafted for their spiritual growth.

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- The Gospel message being presented. On Thursday, we present the Gospel and invite children to place their trust in Christ.

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- The volunteers. A program like this requires a LOT of help. We had a top-notch group of dedicated servants this year. Some who even used vacation time to help out. I love seeing so many ACC-ers passionately serving!

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- Community outreach. Some of the children involved in the program come from families that don?t have a church home. I love that Day Camp provides an opportunity for us to love and serve the children of our community and introduce their entire family to the role the local church can play in their lives.

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This Sunday, we?ll be taking some time during the church service to share some highlights from the week and show a video recap. I hope you?ll join us!

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Grace,
?Chris

Babies, burning leaves and ribeye steak

The birth of a child. A juicy rib-eye steak. The smell of burning leaves. The beauty of the Smoky Mountains. A ride on the Raging Bull at Great America. The refreshment of jumping into a cool pool on a scorching hot summer day.

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What do all of these things have in common? You have to experience each of them yourself to really have a clue. Reading about each of them won’t do the trick. A friend telling you about them won’t cut it.

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“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8

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In his commentary on this Psalm, Charles Spurgeon, the famous British preacher of the 19th century, wrote: “Our senses help our understandings; we cannot by the most rational discourse perceive what the sweetness of honey is; taste it and you shall perceive it.”

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We are meant to experience God with our senses – to really encounter him and interact with him – not to simply have a certain amount of “head knowledge” about him – or knowing a list of facts about him. If we do indeed “taste” Him we will discover that he is truly “good” – in every sense of the word!

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The classic spiritual disciplines allow us various ways of tasting him. Ways that He uses to engage us: Scripture, prayer, fasting, mediation, worship, fellowship, solitude, silence, journaling, service, etc.

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Have you tasted Him lately???

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The awesome thing is that whatever we apprehend of him here in this lifetime is but a “taste” – the full feasting experience will be our face to face fellowship with Him in heaven!

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In the meantime – get tasting!

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Peace,
?Dave

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Lessons at Fifty

1.?Worry is extremely unproductive.

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2.?Prudence is often used as a euphemism for fearing men.

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3.?Free is seldom really free.

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4.?Being a Cubs fan is not a choice – it is a personal destiny and a cross to bear.

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5.?The Bible is to be sipped, not guzzled.

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6.?God loves you enough to often say no to your prayers.

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7.?Life is often hard and confusing yet obedience must be consistent.

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8.?Obedience is only possible with a lot of help from God.

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9.?Not everyone will like you – no matter how hard you try.

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10.?Relationships are way more important and satisfying than pretty much anything else.

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Nothing new or profound here – just what I was reflecting upon at this milestone in my life.

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Peace,
?Dave

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Back Home

It?s good to be home!

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Our HS mission team had a great trip this past week. We?re so thankful for such a memorable and spiritually significant week. We were stretched beyond our comfort zones, challenged emotionally and physically by the work we did, and encouraged by the joy of those we were there to serve.

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I?m continually grateful for how God blesses us as we chose to be obedient and serve. As our team took time to reflect each day, we heard story after story of how much God was teaching each of us.

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I so appreciated Dave?s message yesterday about developing an lifestyle of serving others. I know I was challenged by what he had to say and will be looking for ways to put into practice the 4 next steps he listed:

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- The service of listening

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- The service of hospitality

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- The service of sticking up for others

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- The service of being interrupted

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Grace,

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Chris

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