Monthly Archives: February 2013

TALKING TO MYSELF

Recently I’ve been in the process of reading through an excellent little book titled Humility by C.J. Mahaney. Going into it I was pretty sure that I had this humility thing down pat, so there wouldn’t be much I could learn from this book. (Ha-ha! That was a joke.) I was wrong.

I unearthed a profound thought that I wanted to share with you. Mahaney quotes Martin Lloyd – Jones from his book Spiritual Depression:

 

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

 

Wow. I’ve thought a lot about that. The idea being addressed is that we need to take control of the thoughts we allow in our mind. On a daily basis I entertain thoughts that are negative, self-defeating, discouraging, and downright sinful. These thoughts color my attitudes, which in turn influence my actions, which in turn dictate my very demeanor. I listen to my own stupid, sinful self-speak and I get pulled down.

 

The encouragement that both Mahaney and Martin Lloyd – Jones gives is that I must instead speak truth into my own life. I need to articulate what I know to be true about God: he loves me, he is in control, he can provide for me, he can strengthen me, and his grace is sufficient for me. I also need to articulate that I am completely dependent upon him; he is God, and I am not!

 

This is especially true for me first thing in the morning. When I get up I usually feel pretty bad; I stumble into the shower grumbling and groaning and often start my day off on the wrong foot. Just in the last week it is made such a difference for me to instead begin my day by talking to myself! Telling myself what I know about God and that I make the choice to submit myself to him.

 

This is, in fact, the biblical admonition given in Philippians 4:8 -

 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

 

That is what I intend to do! I’m tired of listening to myself – from now on I’m going to talk to myself!

 

I highly recommend it.

 

Peace,

Dave

College Prep Seminar

Know anyone considering college? This Monday, 2/25, the student ministry will be hosting a FREE college prep seminar from 7-8:30pm. This event is designed to give parents and students an opportunity to hear from an admissions professional on how best to prepare academically, financially, and spiritually for college. The presentation will include lots of practical tips as well as a time for open Q&A. Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone you know who may be interested.

Grace,

Chris

Being the Body of Christ

Yesterday I had a pretty cool opportunity.

 

It began to develop about a week earlier. I was contacted by a young couple in our church who are dealing with some troubling health problems. While many people are already praying for them, they specifically requested for the elders to meet with them – in order to lay hands upon them and anoint them with oil.

 

I loved that kind of initiative! And the request was very biblical:

 

“Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14

 

About 15 minutes after the 2nd service yesterday, a small group of us gathered in the front of the auditorium and fulfilled the teaching of James 5:14. We prayed for a miracle. We prayed for strength and grace, if a miracle is not God’s will. We requested wisdom and skill for the doctors. We did this while laying on hands and anointing with oil.

 

It felt so right. We were functioning as the body of Christ is designed. Lifting each other up. Strengthening each other. Looking to God for his generous provision. Praying to God as a first option, not a last resort. It was pretty cool! It was a good reminder to me of why the church is, indeed, so awesome!

 

Peace,

Dave

Reading Plan

One of the things we’re passionate about here at ACC is helping people get into the Bible on their own. Developing the habit of reading the Bible on your own is essential for your personal spiritual development. We know that can be a challenge, which is why we love to pass along resources to help you succeed in this area.

Have you explored youversion.com? It’s an online Bible for your computer, tablet, or smartphone. It’s free and easy to use! I’ve had a youversion account for a few years now, but only recently started using it as my go-to Bible for my daily quiet times. I wish I would have started doing this earlier! In my opinion, the best part of youversion is the reading plan option. They’ve got a ton of plans to chose from and more are being added all the time. You can chose a plan that will help you read through the entire Bible, a topical plan that focuses on something pertinent to your life (parenting, marriage, anger, etc), or you can even chose a plan written by Christian musicians that relate to some of their current songs. The plans vary in length from a couple days to a full year. Once you’ve selected a plan, you can set it to send you reminders. I get an email every morning to remind me to take the time to do my reading. If you download the app for your smartphone, you can set it to remind you as well.

Let me encourage you to take a few minutes right now to check out youversion.com.

Grace,

Chris

GO BIG OR GO HOME!

This morning I was reading in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. It is a veritable gold mine of leadership principles.

 

The one lesson that jumped out at me today was this: Go big or go home! In other words, why not ask for a lot rather than a little? Why not take big steps of faith rather than little steps of faith?

 

Nehemiah was a Jew who was in exile in Babylon. He was serving as cupbearer to the King when he became aware of his beloved Jerusalem’s current condition. The walls of the city were broken down and its gates burned with fire. This terrible news destroyed Nehemiah; he wept and prayed for days. Eventually he came to the conclusion that God was calling him to go and do something about it. He was to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem! But he couldn’t just walk away. Now he needed to speak to the King and ask permission to do what he felt called to do.

 

He prayed. And though he was afraid, he mustered up his courage and made his bold request to King Artaxerxes. The King graciously gave him permission to go. The king said yes! But Nehemiah didn’t stop there. He then asked for letters from the King so that he would have safe passage along the way. He then asked for authorization to receive lumber from the King’s forest. After all, he needed to get there safely, and once there he needed building materials. I love it! Nehemiah didn’t ask small – he asked big. And on top of all that, the King also sent army officers and cavalry to guard him along the way!

 

I think that’s an important lesson for all leaders. Think big. Pray big. Ask big. After all, why not if God is in it?

 

Peace,

Dave

Oasis Winter Retreat 2013

In just a few hours, our high school ministry will be leaving for our annual winter retreat. We’re headed to Camp Awana in Fredonia WI for a weekend designed to help students take their spiritual life to the next level. We’ll have a ton of fun as we enjoy the tubing hill/toboggan run, ice skating, cross country skiing, broomball, and lots of other games/activities. Through our times in worship and teaching, students will be challenged to go deeper in their relationship with God.

We’d appreciate your prayers for safety, for quality relationships to develop, and for spiritual growth. You can check out our Facebook page for pictures/videos throughout the weekend.

Grace,

Chris

He Said What I Wanted To Say!

I regularly read the blog of Ron Edmondson. He is interesting, insightful, and encouraging. I like his sense of humor too!

Instead of jotting down my thoughts today, I wanted you to instead check out Ron.

Last week he wrote on “7 Ways to Support Your Pastor on Sunday“. I so resonated with what he wrote that I wanted you to read it. He is dead on (as far as I’m concerned!) – this is exactly what I feel and think. Thanks Ron!

Please read it and share your response.

Thanks!

Peace,

Dave

Honduras 2013

We’re taking a team to Honduras again this summer. I want to encourage you to consider joining the team. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Pastor Scott will be co-leading the trip with me this year (he’s cool and he’s bringing his guitar to lead us in worship!)
  2. The WGO staff is awesome. World Gospel Outreach is the missions organization we partner with for the trip.
  3. We stay at a super nice mission house. We work hard all day, but have a safe, comfortable place to rest and recover each night.
  4. The bus rides are a thrill
  5. You’ll develop some great relationships as you get to know the other team members.
  6. The Honduran children will bless your heart.
  7. Working with the poor will help put life into perspective
  8. You’ll learn a lot about yourself as you are stretched and challenged in good ways.
  9. You’ll grow in your faith in ways you haven’t imagined
  10. God commands us to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)

We’re offering informational meetings this Sunday 2/3 after each service. This is a great way to learn more about the trip and ask any questions you may have. Hope to see you there!

Grace,

Chris