This is a handy dandy business card holder made out of wood with a scroll saw. My dad made it for me. It’s been almost 3 full years since he’s been gone – October 5, 2010. I miss him so much and I look forward to the day when I see him again in heaven.
My dad always loved being in his workshop. That was how he relaxed. To unwind many dads play golf, watch TV, drink, jog, read, etc. Not my dad – he loved to be creative and work with woods or metals. In his later years he really enjoyed doing intricate projects with his scroll saw. He loved to give his creations away as gifts to family, friends, and neighbors.
Every time I smell sawdust, I think of my dad. Every time I walk through a hardware store, I think of my dad. Every time I see this sitting on my desk, I think of my dad. He was a sincere follower of Jesus Christ and I am so thankful to God for the dad he gave me. He was selfless, kind, honest, and had a great sense of humor. Man, I miss him. Its so great having this reminder of him on my desk.
It’s also nice to have a place to keep my business cards! You rock Dad!
Join us this Sunday, September 29, for Be the Church Faith in Action. From 9:00am-12:00pm we will be doing various service projects and collecting food for the Wheeling Township Food Pantry.
Here are some things you need to know:
- We are a go – rain or shine, hot or cold. Come dressed for the weather!
- Please arrive early on Sunday (8:30-8:40) to receive your work assignment. Upon arrival, check in at the table in the lobby. Donuts and coffee will be waiting for you!
- Regular Sunday offering will be taken – come prepared.
- There will be a serving opportunity available at ACC for people unable to go to work sites.
- Plan to stay for the picnic lunch at noon. Donations will be accepted.
- Families with young children are encouraged to bring a stroller or wagon.
Hope to see you there!
If ever you’ve been in my office, you’ll not be surprised to know I believe in the maxim: A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind!
With that said, I wanted to take the next few weeks to simply blog about things on my desk. They are there for a reason. They are meaningful to me. Maybe some of this will be encouraging to you. Maybe it will just help you to understand me a little bit better.
I begin with the photo you see above. My daughter Emily drew this and gave it to me for Christmas 2003. It is been on my desk ever since. It means a lot to me simply because my daughter created it, and gave it to me as a gift. But it also means a lot to me for what it represents.
A drawing of a man holding an elephant’s tail – it is here as a daily reminder to me to let go of the things I cannot control. To do otherwise is a futile waste of energy, not unlike holding an elephant by its tail. Sometimes I struggle with worry and anxiety. In retrospect, it usually comes down to issues about control. It is annoying and troublesome when I am not in control. But here’s the thing: as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that most of the time control is just an illusion. The truth is that the majority of things and circumstances in my life are beyond my ability to manipulate. Therefore I must let it go.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6
Thanks to my daughter, each day I am reminded to let go of the elephants tail and then spend my time and energy more profitably – in prayer.
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
I was reminded of the truth of this verse this week. While talking to a friend, he mentioned that we really only have 2 response to stress: to turn away from people or to turn toward people. It’s often not a conscious choice we make, but we always do one of these two in response to stress. We either chose to engage with others about it (there’s a lot of different healthy and unhealthy ways to do that) or we keep it to ourselves. Bottling it up and keeping it to ourselves is a dangerous place to be. As Ecclesiastes points out, we need each other. We are better off with the support of others. There’s no power in isolating ourselves.
We want ACC to be a place where you find the relationships you need. That’s one of the reasons we have so many great options for small groups. Have you considered joining one of our groups? We have groups for men, women, and sermon based discussion growth groups.
I love this poster. It is so true. Nowadays, families are so busy, including mine! It seems that I am always taking one kid to some activity or another. I must admit, and I think others could admit the same….we do this to ourselves. Is it really necessary that my child be involved in two sports? Does she really need to go to a movement class? Sometimes, maybe the answer is yes. If you are like me, you want your child to be well-rounded, active and to engage in things that they enjoy, hoping that eventually they may find their “niche” and some of the other activities will fall off.
What about us as adults? How much do we over-schedule ourselves? And how much is busy work vs. being truly important? One of the verses Dave mentioned during his message really resonated with me – Romans 1:14, where Paul spoke of having a sense of obligation. More and more, as the kids get older and have more opportunities to become a “part” of something, I find myself wondering how I can stay connected with them and take an active role in their interests, yet finding the time to do it (and not cramping their style, of course). I’ll be the first to admit – I don’t have the time. But that is why I love this poster…..I do often find that I have the heart. It’s hard saying no sometimes, and sometimes we need to – we need to prioritize what is really important. For me, it is my kids and being fully engaged in their activities, whether that means volunteering to lead a program, being a room mom, or simply just attending games or concerts on a regular basis.
What do you have a heart for? Maybe it isn’t children; or maybe you are more of a sideline sort of person, which is OK. Maybe your heart is for the homeless, or working with teens, or leading adult ministries, or youth sports. Whatever it is…search for it….find it.
With Fall ministries starting up here at ACC, there are so many opportunities to become involved:
- Join Women’s Coffee Hour
- Help with teen ministries through Oasis or Pit Stop
- Attend the Steak-N-Taters dinner and find out what FUEL men’s ministry is all about
- Volunteer with Awana and work with K-6th graders in learning about God
- Assist with children’s or youth ministries on Sunday mornings
- Dust off that instrument and join the Worship Team
- Lead a small group when they start up in October
- Become a coach or referee with Upward Basketball and Cheerleading
Become engaged! Connect with others who share your passion! You have an obligation, and it won’t be one that you’ll regret…I promise!
Meet John Folkerts. John is our HS Ministry intern this year. You may have had the opportunity to meet him on a Sunday recently as he’s been attending our church for a few weeks now. If not, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to introduce yourself on a Sunday sometime soon. John will primarily be working with our high school youth group – Oasis. His responsibilities will include leading worship, serving as a small group leader, and assisting in the teaching ministry. I’m excited to have John join our team. He’s a senior at North Park University in Chicago and expects to graduate this coming May.
Here’s a bit of biographical info to help you get to know him.
- Where are you from? I am from Aplington, Iowa. A small town in the middle of nowhere.
- What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy playing guitar, basketball, volleyball, xbox and hanging out with friends and family.
- When did you cross the line of faith? I became a Christian when I was about 6 years old. I have kept my faith as best I could ever since then and am continuing to grow every day.
- Why youth ministry? There were three adults in my life who were all a part of my development, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually during a time in which I needed it the most. It was through God’s intervention that these adults were able to keep me on the right path. Many youth are at a crossroads just like I was and it is my passion to make sure that crossroads doesn’t turn to a wide road, but instead a way that is straight and narrow leading to the King.
Please join me in praying that John’s time with us would be a blessing to him and to our church.
Brion, Annette, and Eli (Missing the newest Kendzora – Jonah!)
The Apostle Paul sensed a specific calling – he had a particular passion:
My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. Romans 15:20
The Kendzoras have this in common with Paul! In being obedient to their gospel calling they are hoping to leave in January of 2014 to Colombia. After a year in Bogota learning Spanish, they will then move into the jungle to do tribal ministry among those who have never heard the good news of Christ. They will live among them, learning their language and culture, developing friendships, and seeking to tell of God’s great love expressed through Jesus Christ.
I am excited for them and feel priveleged that ACC gets to partner with them on this adventure!
Let me request two things from you:
1. Pray for them. Pray God would prepare them in every way and that he will provide the necessary resources to leave in January.
2. Prayerfully consider supporting them financially.They are at almost 50% of their needed monthly support. We need generous people to step forward NOW to join their team. (They cannot leave until the needed support is in place.) If interested you can sign-up online: http://blogs.ntm.org/brion-kendzora/give/ or contact them directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe God is going to use the Kendzoras in big ways. Join us in partnering with them!
Lord teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, “Speak, for they servant heareth.” Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of the earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking voice. Amen.
The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer
I currently find myself in a very busy/stressful season of life. I read this prayer yesterday morning. It was just what I needed. I needed to be reminded that even when life is crazy, God is still present and active in my life…that He is speaking and I need to slow down long enough to listen. Early on in my spiritual journey, I learned the importance of retreating from everyday life in order to tune in to God. Getting away can be powerful for our spiritual development. That’s not always possible though…I can’t always get away physically. I can, however, get away emotionally. This quote reminds me that wherever I’m at, I can be tuned into God and ready to receive. I needed that reminder…do you?
Quote of the week:
Martin Luther, referring to the Reformation…
“I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s word… And while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends… The Word did it all.” (Cited in Saving Eutychus, by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell)
Luther was acknowledging the fact that the word of God is powerful. Allow the word of God to speak in your life and it will have an impact. God uses his word, the Bible, to shape us.
Are you allowing the word of God to speak into your life?
This Sunday, September 8, we begin a new teaching series: NOT ASHAMED – a study in the book of Romans. (The book that was instrumental in Luther’s spearheading the Reformation.) I am pumped, it is going to be awesome! I wanted to specifically invite you to learn alongside of me in the coming months. Most certainly I hope you sit under the teaching of the word on Sunday mornings, but I also hope you read through the book on your own. Together, let’s see what God will do through his powerful word!
See you Sunday.