Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Trip That Will Change Your Life

We are preparing to take a team back to Honduras this summer from July 26 – August 2, 2014. There is nothing that accelerates and serves as a catalyst for spiritual growth like a mission trip. Those of you who have been on a mission trip before, especially a cross-cultural trip to another country, understand that. That’s why I couldn’t be more pumped to be going back to Honduras this year!

This Sunday, February 2 after each service, there is a brief information meeting for the Honduras trip in room 410 (at the top of the stairs above the gym, right across from the main office), where we will give the details on the trip and answer any questions you might have. I’m praying that many of you make the decision to go on this trip, and see God work in ways you never could’ve imagined.

Below is the highlight video from last year’s trip. Check it out!


Honduras 2013 Highlight from Arlington Countryside Church on Vimeo

The Best News You’ll Ever Hear…

I kind of doubt you can adequately sum up the book of Romans with one verse, but if I were to try – this might be it:

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1


I cannot think of better news! Though I was in rebellion against God, he loved me when I was unlovable. Though my offenses against him were worthy of death, God provided pardon through the sacrificial death of his son.


I am so thankful that I belong to Christ Jesus! I did not choose him – he chose me! And because of his grace and mercy I have a confidence that my sins are forgiven, I have been made a new creation, I have the Holy Spirit living within me, and I am heaven bound!

This coming Sunday, February 2 we continue our teaching series in the book of Romans – diving into chapter 8. Take time to read it this week, especially the first 17 verses. You will be encouraged and blessed by what you read.



MS Winter Retreat

This weekend is our annual MS Winter Retreat. We’ll leave ACC around 5:30pm tonight and travel to Lake Geneva, WI. We’ll be back home Sunday afternoon. The weather looks a bit rough, but we’re thankful it looks to warm up a little bit.

Our theme for the weekend is relationships. We’ll hear from some awesome speakers (husband & wife team), engage with God through some powerful times of worship, discuss what we’re learning in small groups, and have a ton of fun playing in the snow. Trips like these are some of my favorite times of the youth ministry year. So often, students point back to trips like these as spiritual high points in their lives – important decisions, spiritual breakthroughs, and solid friendships are formed. It’s a privilege to walk through those moments with them.

I’m really excited for what God has in store for us this weekend. Would join me in praying for our retreat? Please pray for safety and hearts that are open to God’s word.






Well folks, it’s crunch time for our Growing Together building project.


We need volunteers. Lots of volunteers. In order to remain on budget and to remain on schedule we need a steady flow of volunteer labor for the next few months.


Men. Women. Skilled. Unskilled. Old. Young. Republicans. Democrats. Bears fans. Packers fans. We need everybody.


You probably invested some of your money toward this project. Now it’s time to invest your time and energy!


We will be having a workday this coming Saturday, January 25 from 8 AM – 3 PM. Join us whether you can come the whole time are only a portion of the day. Lunch will be provided. If you have not previously signed up, please do so by emailing Jim Young at


Moving forward, we anticipate every Saturday being a workday from 8AM-3PM until we move into our new space. If you can’t make it this Saturday, we hope you’ll be sure to join us in other, upcoming Saturdays. We are also praying that some of you will be led to devote some vacation days, perhaps even an entire week, to devote to working on the building. If you are unavailable on Saturdays we can likely accommodate you some weekday evenings – contact Jim young.


Volunteering in this way will give you a sense of fulfillment and a special bond with those you are working shoulder to shoulder with. Please join us – you’ll have no regrets!


Together we can do this!



Movie Suggestion


If you’re anything like me, the winter weather triggers a desire to hibernate. This time of year, I tend to read more and watch more movies…things I can do from the comfort of my couch. I’ve got a great movie suggestion for you. Have you seen End of the Spear? It’s based on the true story of 5 Missionaries who were martyred in the Ecuadorian jungle in 1956. It’s an amazing story of how God used the sacrifice of these young men to reach an entire people group. It’s not filmed as a “boring documentary”. It involves some violence and might not be suitable for small children. I’d highly recommend you give it a view sometime soon. I think you’ll enjoy it and be encouraged in your faith.



Top 7 Reasons to Partner Up!

Partnership is an annual, formal commitment to the life and ministry of Arlington Countryside Church. In many other churches it would be called membership. Semantics helped us to decide to call it partnership rather than membership. We felt like membership denoted privilege, while partnership emphasized responsibility. We wanted to emphasize the responsibility of each follower of Christ to the church.

If you attend ACC regularly, I want to encourage you to partner with us. Here are the top 7 reasons why you should become a partner:

  1. The health and effectiveness of ACC will undoubtedly increase through a deepening commitment of its participants.
  2. Such a commitment sends an important message to everyone around you – especially your fellow ACC ‘ers.
  3. Free back rubs from Pastor Chris. (By appointment only)
  4. As followers of Christ, God has called us to be committed to the life of the church.
  5. We’ll teach you the secret handshake.
  6. There is a tremendous sense of fulfillment when you fully engage within the body of Christ and follow its leaders.
  7. You will boost your spiritual growth as you clarify and fulfill your commitment to the work of Christ.


You can become a partner at any time, but it is the month of January when we emphasize and encourage everyone to partner up for the year. It’s easy. If you are already a partner, all you need to do is sign the Partnership Commitment and turn it in at the Welcome Center. If you are not currently a partner, pick up a Partnership packet at the Welcome Center and follow the directions; you’ll definitely want to plan to join us for our Next Step class on Monday, January 27 from 7 – 9 PM at the church. You can register for that class on your communication card this Sunday or call the church office.


I look forward to you joining hands with us!




5 Things I’m Excited About

  1. MS & HS Winter Retreats. Our annual weekend retreats are just around the corner. These are great times to get away together, have fun playing in the snow, and help kids grow spiritually. Winter retreats are some of my most vivid memories of my own youth ministry experience.
  2. Getting back into a routine. I’m a creature of habit. I thrive on schedule and routine. It helps me to focus and to keep moving forward. Routine sort of goes out the window around the holidays. I enjoyed that time, but I’m happy to be settling back in to a rhythm.
  3. A new endurance sports season. I took December off from running/triathlon training. I’ve picked out some races for this year and started training this week. I’m looking forward to tackling some new goals and setting some new personal records.
  4. My new iPad. My wonderful wife coordinated with my family on a group gift and purchased an iPad for me for Christmas. I’ve wanted one for a long time and look forward to using it when I teach on Sunday mornings and at youth group…now I can look as cool as Dave!
  5. The start of Upward Basketball and Cheerleading. I love the ministry of Upward. It’s such a great ministry and I’m looking forward to another great season this year. Practices began this week and games begin toward the end of the month.





brady bunch

I was watching an episode of The Brady Bunch recently. I loved that show and watched it all the time as a kid. (I’m assuming you’re real familiar with it as well – so I won’t give any background info or explanation.)

Obviously the show is very dated, but I was particularly blown away by the change in our culture, specifically parenting, in contrast to the way Mike and Carol handled a situation with their kids.

Peter, Jan, and Cindy come home from school ecstatic because they auditioned for and made their school’s glee club. Bobby walks in the door a few minutes after them bummed out because he auditioned, but didn’t make it.

Now here is the shocking part: Mr. and Mrs. Brady did not make an angry phone call to the glee club director. They did not make Peter, Jan, and Cindy quit the club since Bobby didn’t make it. They did not sue the school district. They did not start a petition seeking to ban auditions and instead insist that every child who desires should be able to be a part of the club.

Rather, they gently explained to Bobby that not everybody can be a good singer. (In fact, in private they both acknowledged that Bobby was a horrible singer!) They reassured Bobby that he was undoubtedly good at something, and they would help him find out what he did have a knack for. They ended up trying various musical instruments in their quest for Bobby’s niche. (I won’t spoil it and tell you how it turned out!)

What a huge difference between then and now. Today’s kids are so often sheltered from the harsher realities of real-life. We falsely inflate their confidence/self-esteem/egos by assuring them that they are awesome at everything. We’ve done away with award systems that distinguish between excellent and mediocre. There is a prevalent mindset that either everyone gets stroked, or no one gets stroked.

The result? A generation of kids with a false sense of confidence, a shocking sense of entitlement, and an inability to handle rejection or failure.

I think Mike and Carol Brady handled the situation perfectly. What do you think?


Introducing Melissa Reddin

It’s an exciting time in the life of our church! We continue to see new faces each week and look forward to the completion of our building project. God is doing some big things here at ACC. As we continue to reach young families for Christ, our Children’s Ministry plays a critical role in accomplishing what God has called us to do. God has blessed us with a wonderful Children’s Ministry Director in Kris Milashus. Kris has done an excellent job and has juggled many responsibilities for quite some time. In an effort to allow Kris to focus more of her attention on the growing needs of our Sunday morning programming, our leadership team decided to create a new position – Children’s Ministry Coordinator. This position will oversee all non-Sunday morning children’s ministries: Upward, Awana, Day Camp, special events, etc.

As you’ve most likely heard, we’ve hired Melissa Reddin for this new position. I’m very excited to welcome Melissa to the team. Here’s some info about her…
  • How long have you attended ACC? We have been attending ACC for 2 family1/2 years. We moved here from a twin city called Texarkana. It sits on the AR and TX state lines. My husband, Scott, decided he wanted to attend a seminary and God led us to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL.
  • Can you tell us a little about your family? I have been married to my wonderful husband Scott for 8 years and we have 2 amazing boys: Ethan – 4 and Nathaniel – 1.
  • Hobbies/interests? Of course you all know I love to sing and play the keyboard. I am a very dedicated member of our worship team here at ACC. I consider it such a privilege to have the opportunity to lead God’s people to worship him and to sing/play alongside some very talented men and women. We are blessed at ACC! I really enjoy making desserts. I used to own a chocolate business called Chocolate Bliss back in Texarkana. I’ve also been a Licensed Massage Therapist for almost 11 years. Once we moved here I had to give up these professions but I still make my truffles and other chocolate goodies whenever I can and maintain my Massage Therapy license in TX.! But one of the things I thoroughly enjoy more than anything is sipping on some coffee or tea with good, rich conversation. I am a very sentimental person at heart.
  • What are you most excited about in this new position? I am most excited to be able to invest myself even deeper into the body of ACC. This church body has blessed my family so much and to be able to support them with this position is such an honor. I believe in what this church is doing and am overjoyed that God has given me the opportunity to be a part of it. 

Please join me in praying for a smooth transition for Melissa and that God would bless her efforts as our new Children’s Ministry Coordinator.