Monthly Archives: September 2012

Don’t Forget!

Don’t forget! This Sunday is a special day here at ACC. It’s our annual Faith In Action Sunday. We’ll take the morning to BE the church and serve our community. It’s an exciting Sunday and I hope you’ll join in on the fun! The weather is looking perfect, but we’re committed rain or shine. See you Sunday!

Grace,

Chris

WHAT MAKES A CHURCH POP?

How can a church really be effective? Seeing lives changed, seeing people consistently crossing the line of faith, baptisms being a common occurrence…

Different churches likely answer this question many different ways.

They might say the key to being a prevailing, dynamic church is to have a…

  • Gifted and high energy staff
  • State of the art facility
  • Clear vision and an insightful strategy
  • Powerful teaching ministry
  • Creative, contemporary, rockin worship service

While there is certainly nothing wrong with any of these attributes, I think to depend upon them for fruitfulness is a mistake. None are to be trusted in.

Now, the church was booming in the book of Acts – so let’s go there to look for an answer!

In Acts 11 we read an account of Jewish converts, scattered miles away from Jerusalem due to the persecution that followed Stephen’s martyrdom, going to Antioch and sharing the good news of Jesus with the Gentiles. Check out verse 21:

“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

The “Lord’s hand” was a common Old Testament metaphor for the manifestation of God’s presence and power. That was the key to their success! The Lord’s hand was with them.

I want the Lord’s hand to be with ACC. I want his presence and power to be our primary quality!

That’s why I want to urge you to join us here this Thursday, September 27th at 7PM for our NIGHT OF WORSHIP AND PRAYER. Together we must demonstrate our dependence on him through prayer. We must seek his presence, we must plead for his blessing, we must humbly ask for him to use us and meet our every need.

All we seek to accomplish at ACC will be in vain unless we are a church that prays.

Peace,

Dave

Food For Thought

The following quote has really got me thinking this week.

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.  - A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.

A few thoughts:

  • What are my gut level reactions when I think about God and what do they indicate about my current spiritual condition? What feelings surface when I think about God? Am I excited? Scared? Embarrassed? Comforted? This seems to me to be a good indicator of the condition of my heart.
  • What do I believe about God’s work in my life and how does that affect my actions in this moment? Do I believe that I can trust God or should I take matters into my own hands?
  • In what ways do my ideas of God not match up to His Word? Am I more interested in my idea of God, or the truth about who He really is?

Tozer goes on to say, “I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.” In other words, what we think about God is so important because what we believe affects how we act. A lie believed to be true, will affect us as if it’s true.

Thankfully God has revealed Himself to us and invites us to seek Him. In the process of getting to know Him, our wrong ideas are corrected. It’s a lifelong process and we’ll never run out of things to learn about Him.

Grace,

Chris

Faith In Action Sunday – September 30th, 2012

One of my favorite Sundays of the year is coming up in less than 2 weeks!

On Sunday, September 30th we cancel both of our morning worship services. Instead, we all gather to receive our assignments and then go out into our community to serve. Faith in Action Sunday!

We go door to door collecting non-perishable food items for the Wheeling Township food pantry. We do the same by manning the doors at local grocery stores. We assist the elderly with minor house projects and yard work.

It’s fun. It’s rewarding. It’s being the church.

I hope you’ll plan to join us for this special day. Dress for the weather. Arrive at church by about 8:40AM. Wear good walking shoes. Plan to stay for the picnic lunch afterwards.

Here is how you could help us get ready…

Do you have any friends / neighbors that could use a little help? Maybe a single mom or an elderly person? If so, approach them about the possibility of us serving them on this morning. If they are receptive – let me know and we’ll make the official arrangements.

Any leads you could give me would be helpful for keeping everyone busy but it would also allow you to share the love of Christ in a very tangible way with someone you know.

Let me hear from you, ok? Soon!

Peace,

Dave

Baptism Sunday!

This Sunday is an exciting one. We have several people being Baptized. Baptism Sundays are always a ton of fun.

Baptism is an important step of faith that every Christ-follower should take. It’s a step of obedience to the teachings of the New Testament. We know that it’s through Christ alone that our sins are forgiven and our eternal destiny is secured. Our sins are forgiven when we cross the line of faith. So baptism is an outward expression of an internal reality. Baptism is way to “go public” with your faith and identify yourself with the family of God.

As part of our Baptism process, we have individuals tell their personal faith story…how they crossed the line of faith. I love to hear people’s stories. It’s exciting to hear how God has worked in their life. It reminds me of the personal nature of our God. That He is intimately involved in our lives.

Don’t miss out on the action! I want to encourage you to join us this Sunday for service this Sunday at 9 or 10:30am.

Grace,

Chris

12 Facts About Acts

Yesterday we resumed our study in the book of Acts.

Such great stories. Historical. True. Supernatural.

The world was changed forever through a few followers of Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit.

I pray God uses ACC to make an eternal difference, to truly touch the lives of those around us!

Peace,

Dave

Pain in the Foot

Exercising has become a given in my schedule. I LOVE running and cycling…I’ve even come to enjoy swimming (hated it at first).

I’m currently training for a marathon in the beginning of November, but my exercise routine has been sidelined this week. During a long run last Saturday, I started experiencing some foot pain. Like the stubborn man I am, instead of stopping, I just pushed through it :). It honestly wasn’t very painful while I was running, but man have I paid for it since. It’s been so painful, I haven’t been able to run or ride all week. I’ve been doing everything I know of to “fix” it and even had my podiatrist friend take a look at it for me. It’s slowly getting better, but in the meantime, I’m struggling huge with missing all these workouts.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed. Missing my workouts has drastically affected me. I’ve had a difficult time focusing, my attitude has been terrible, and I’ve been eating a lot of junk food. I’m honestly shocked at how much missing these workouts has affected my overall well-being.

Here’s the scary thing…how often am I missing my spiritual “workouts”…spending time with God through worship, prayer, Bible reading, etc? And how is that affecting me? I think it’s a lot easier to be running on empty spiritually than it is to be on empty physically.

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” –I Timothy 4:8 

As I reflect on this verse and think back on my week, I’m reminded that my identity is found in who I am in Christ, not in who I am as an athlete. Ultimately it’s more important that I am investing in my relationship with God than it is that I am improving as an athlete.

While this isn’t a new lesson for me, it’s an important one that I need to be reminded of on a regular basis. I have a tendency to chase after other things for fulfillment rather than going to the only One who can truly satisfy my soul. How about you? Do you have something you chase after thinking that it will satisfy the longings of your heart? Hear these famous words from Saint Augustine of Hippo

“You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” –Confessions, chapter 1

Grace,

Chris

 

TO BE A WITNESS

 

Since we are resuming our teaching series in the book of Acts (WITNESS) I have been reading through the book penned by Dr. Luke. As I’ve been reading,  I have been struck by one thought.

 

As 21st century American Christ followers we have a weird, unusual, twisted view of our faith.

 

We tend to think that our Christianity makes us safer, more secure – like a protective “God-bubble” meant to keep us healthy, pay our bills, protect us from violence and tragedy, and keep us happy. Like a guarantee of experiencing the American dream! For many decades being a Christian in our country gave you an increased social standing – some respectability.

 

Yet the 1st century believers began to face difficulties almost immediately.

 

And the truth is that in most places, at most times throughout history – embracing Christ has brought social isolation, prejudice, persecution, and sometimes martyrdom.

 

And I think things are shifting fast here. There are many disturbing signs that we may increasingly face negative consequences for naming the name of Christ.

 

Should we be surprised? Frightened? Intimidated?

 

Let God’s word speak to us:

 

 

 

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:8

 

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… 2 Timothy 3:12

 

 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4:12-14

 

 

 

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

 

 

 

Be sure to join us on Sunday mornings, beginning September 9th as we find instruction and inspiration from those who have gone before and paid the ultimate price.

 

In the original language the word translated WITNESS is where we get our word MARTYR.

 

Gives a whole new meaning to what it means to be a witness for Chris, doesn’t it?

 

Peace,

 

Dave

Christians Inconsistent?

Ever hear someone say that Christians are inconsistent because we don’t obey all the Old Testament laws? Seems to be a very popular “argument” in the debate about homosexuality. The argument seems to be that since we don’t follow all the OT laws, we should toss out the prohibition of homosexuality as well. OR follow every OT law in order to be consistent. Ever wondered how to respond to that?

Tim Keller nails it in this article. So thankful for his ministry. If you haven’t read anything by Tim Keller, I’d highly encourage you to pick up one of his books. You’ll be blessed. I’m sure of it! I’ve read The Reason for God and Prodigal God and loved both.

Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

Grace,

Chris