As we wrap up the last few days of our 139 Challenge (to read Psalm 139 once a day, every day in the month of July) I was wondering how God spoke to you through this passage of Scripture. So, what did you get out of it? What is your favorite verse? Why?
I love this Psalm. I have for many, many years. If I had to choose a favorite verse, I think I would probably need to go with verse 7:
“I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence!”
These words give me the courage to take risks of faith. To share the gospel with someone who intimidates me. To have a difficult conversation with someone who may not be pleased with what I have to say. To get on an airplane even though I hate to fly. To accept a speaking opportunity even though it puts me way out of my comfort zone. To forgive someone even though I don’t feel like it. To extend a hand of friendship to someone who I fear will suck me dry emotionally.
In all of these situations I am confident God is with me. In fact, I cannot think of a situation where he would not be with me. That means that in all times and in every situation I have access to his strength, wisdom, courage, discernment, peace, and love.
Therefore I can go anywhere and do anything as he leads me! The same is true for you…
It’s finally here! Our 2013 Honduras Mission Team leaves at 5am Saturday morning. We’ll be spending the week in Tegucigalpa doing medical missions and evangelism. I’m excited to be a part of the team and look forward to what God has in store for us. Please remember to pray for our team throughout the week.
Here’s our team…
- Mark Hagen
- Karen Jackson
- Allison Johnson
- Jordan Kerr
- Kevin Kerr
- Marianne Kerr
- Vickie Kerr
- Chris Modrzejewski
- Amy North
- Bailey North
- Andrea Olson
- Jonathan Pederson
- Gregg Ray
- Jessica Ray
- Scott Williams
- Elissa Young
Make sure to check out our church Facebook page facebook.com/acchurchorg and twitter account twitter.com/acchurchorg for daily updates from the team.
Yesterday we continued our Familiar God series as Elliott Glynn took us through Psalm 139:13-16. What an impactful message on how God has created each one of us uniquely, with intentionality and purpose, to reflect His glory.
Below is the video we showed of Patrick Dawson’s story. Patrick is an ACC partner who shares his journey of understanding that he has been fearfully and wonderfully created by God.
Take a few minutes today and watch this powerful video!
I’m writing this from the snack shop at Conference Point Center, Williams Bay, WI. There are students hanging out eating pizza, drinking milk shakes, and having a blast. We’ve had an awesome week! I’m blown away at what I’ve seen in our students this week. They’ve worked together as a team during our game times and encouraged one another. They’ve served others selflessly during our scheduled service times as well as spontaneously throughout the day. They’ve whole-heartedly engaged in worship and sought God during morning worship, devotions, chapel times, and group discussions. They’ve prayerfully considered application steps from this week and began praying for their friends to come to know Christ. God has truly done big things in our group this week. Thank you for praying.
Here are a few pictures:
Getting ready to do the zipline!
A very muddy game of steal the bacon
Shoveling rocks and clearing brush at Inspirations Ministries
Playing volleyball with some of the residents at Inspiration Ministries
God’s Kingdom Rocks!
What a fantastic week we had last week during our 2013 Day Camp! Here is a little bit of a run down of the exciting week that our campers experienced:
- Day 1 Bible Point – God’s love helps us stand strong
- Day 2 Bible Point – Family and friends help us stand strong
- Day 3 Bible Point – Prayer helps us stand strong
- Day 4 Bible Point – Trusting God helps us stand strong
- Day 5 Bible Point – The Bible helps us stand strong
What fantastic truths to be teaching our children, and to remember ourselves! We had 49 campers and 10 preschoolers who learned these truths throughout the week as they traveled through various “stations” – Epic Bible Adventures, Imagination Station, Royal Theater and Missions…just to name a few. The children looked out for God Sightings throughout the week – how God is at work in the world around them. I know God was present on Monday and Tuesday afternoon, as He cleared away the rain so our campers could enjoy our exciting field trips!
Our campers learned all about the upcoming mission trip that our ACC mission team is taking to Honduras. They were able to get involved in the mission trip by making 465 Gospel Bracelets that will be brought with our missions team as they travel to Honduras as the end of the month. Faith in action!
The week ended with a performance by Sir Randall and a very well attended family picnic for volunteers, campers and their families. The children participated in the closing program, and were able to tell their parents about what they learned during the week, and perform a few songs. A wonderful highlight video was shown – if you missed it, take a look at the attachment.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the wonderful dedicated volunteers that made this week such a resounding success. We had 43 volunteers on-sight throughout the week, as well as several who worked behind the scenes in set design, tech, graphics and administration…..not to mention those who donated items that were used throughout the week. A very special shout out to Christine Dunkle, who was our day camp director this year. Christine did a fabulous job heading up the week. If you see her, give her a big fist bump for a job well done.
This Sunday, 7/14, our high school ministry will be heading to Lake Geneva area for a combined camp/mission trip. We’ll be joining some other churches and look forward to working/learning together. Camp will take place at Conference Point Center (CPC) in Williams Bay, WI. It’s a beautiful setting on Geneva Lake. We’ll have the opportunity to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities at CPC. Several of the afternoons, we’ll be serving with a local ministry to children with disabilities.
The theme for the week is Love Recklessly. Students will be challenged to love God and love others with a reckless abandon and selfless heart. Please join me in praying that God would do big things next week…that he would change hearts and transform the lives our students for the long haul.
P.S. Next Friday’s post will include some highlights from the week as well as some pictures from camp. Check back to hear all about the week.
Today I was reminded of an important life principle: the only person responsible for my spiritual health is me!
I cannot blame my church – my job – my spouse – my kids. I alone am responsible for my walk with God. Unfortunately it is a pattern that I’ve observed many times in my life: When I get careless and lackadaisical in practicing spiritual disciplines (Bible reading, prayer, solitude, etc.) my spiritual growth quickly comes to a grinding halt. Symptoms include: irritability, selfishness, impatience, pride, laziness, etc.
On the other hand, when I am prioritizing the spiritual disciplines, hitting on all 8 cylinders spiritually I miraculously see: a genuine love and patience with others, inner strength to face critics and trials, peace in the midst of adversity, words of wisdom to encourage others (that seemingly come out of nowhere!), and a deep satisfaction that I am in a good place, etc.
How have you been doing in your walk with Christ? Are you giving your spiritual life the attention it deserves? Our decisions will always determine how our life plays out. Don’t make the mistake of blaming anything or anyone else if you are not the Christian you know you should be.
The only person we can legitimately blame stares at us in the mirror.
I read this blog post this week and found it fascinating.
The top 5 regrets of the dying…
1 – I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2 – I wish I didn’t work so hard
3 – I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
4 – I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
5 – I wish I had let myself be happier
It’s interesting to me that these are largely relational in nature. When we get to the end of the line the things that matter most are relationships. I find myself in need of a good reminder like this from time to time.
Yesterday morning I challenged ACC to take the 139 CHALLENGE. The 139 CHALLENGE is to read Psalm 139 once a day – every day in July – beginning today, Monday, July 1st. I am praying this will be an inspiring and life-changing month in the life of our church. Sunday mornings in July our teaching series is titled FAMILIAR GOD – a study in Psalm 139. Our reading through this on our own will greatly enrich the teaching on Sunday mornings and better prepare our hearts for what God wants to teach us.
Still not sure you want to take the challenge? Then read on…
THE TOP 10 REASONS TO TAKE THE 139 CHALLENGE:
10) It will make the month of July 84% more satisfying.
9) It’s more inspirational than reading the back of the cereal box.
8) You will more fully realize how awesome our God is.
7) You get to attend the root beer float party on Wednesday night, July 31st.
6) Any self-esteem issues you might have will greatly diminish as you learn that God made you – and God doesn’t make any junk!
5) If you don’t, you’ll feel like a chump.
4) One word: WISDOM.
3) You don’t have a good enough excuse not to.
2) All the cool people are doing it!
And the #1 reason to take the 139 CHALLENGE…
1) God’s word is sweeter than honey, sharper than a two-edged sword, and more precious than gold!
So are you convinced yet? I hope and pray you will take the 139 CHALLENGE.