This Sunday we begin a 6 week teaching series: BOOM (when God’s word blows you away!)
I (and a few other “homegrown” ACC preachers) will be teaching on passages of Scripture that have been particularly impacting on our own lives. Whether God’s word provided encouragement, conviction, guidance or whatever – you can bet the messages will be full of passion and personal application. I am praying that everyone who attends ACC will be challenged to truly become a person of the word. God calls us to know it, believe it and obey it.
What one passage of Scripture has had the greatest impact in your life? Why?
I hope you will be joining us on Sunday mornings in the coming weeks. Together we will learn that God’s word is powerful. BOOM!
We’re back! We had an outstanding week at camp this past week. I was so impressed with our students. They showed real maturity, engaged whole heartedly in our times of worship, and developed some great relationships.
Our camp theme was Lead Courageously. Not all of us view ourselves as leaders, but to follow Christ means that we’re going to look different than the rest of the world. We’re not going to just follow the crowd. The main idea our speakers drove home is that God uses ordinary people who do ordinary things to accomplish extraordinary things.
I’m returning from camp physically and emotionally exhausted, but spiritually full! I’m so thankful for such a great week.
- I’m excited that our middle school students are gone all week at Camp in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. I know from my own experience growing up that a week of camp can be a very spiritually impacting time. Please join me in praying for our students – that their hearts will be open to God and whatever he wants to do in their lives. Pray also for their leaders Chris Modrzejewski , Allison Johnson and Megan Weaver.
- I’m excited that in less than 2 weeks I leave with my wife Karen to visit Tim and Beth Wood in Mozambique. We look forward to spending time with them – seeing their ministry firsthand and and experiencing a small taste of their life. I have been given the great opportunity to speak at the Sofala Bible Institute Chapel on Wednesday, July 16 and at their church on Sunday, July 20. Pray that God would use us to bring great encouragement to the Woods.
- I’m excited that we had such a dynamic and meaningful building dedication service this past Sunday. There was so much energy in the room as we celebrated all that God has done and all that he will do in the future.
- I’m excited that we no longer have to put up with noise from the lobby during our worship service – that always bugged me a lot. Now it is a thing of the past!
- I’m excited that Jim young will be leaving on his well-deserved sabbatical beginning Monday, June 30. Please pray that Jim is refreshed during his time away. We are encouraging anyone who desires to come prepared this Sunday with a card/note/gift to hand directly to Jim as a token of your appreciation.
- I’m excited that we are sending a team to Honduras July 26 – August 2. Pray for Scott Williams and Jordan Kerr as they lead this team. We are currently in the process of collecting donations of medical supplies for the team to take with them. I’d encourage you to pick up a list of needed items at the Welcome Center and support this mission in that way.
- I’m excited about a new teaching series that we will begin in July. The series is titled BOOM – when God’s word blows you away! Various speakers, including myself, will be speaking from passages of Scripture that had a very distinct, personal impact on their life and want to share what they’ve learned with our congregation. These messages are sure to be passionate, practical, and powerful!
- I’m excited that this Sunday our missionaries John and Bonnie Nystrom will be speaking in both of our services. The story they will be telling is riveting and a true testimony to the power of the gospel. You will regret it if you miss this Sunday.
- I’m excited about the steady flow of visitors that God is bringing to us on Sunday mornings. I’m hoping that they will come back again and eventually become part of the ACC family. Let’s all make the effort to welcome them and help them feel at home.
- I’m excited that although many of our ministries are on summer hiatus, there’s a tremendous amount of prayerful planning going on behind the scenes so that we are ready to rock in the fall.
I love ACC. I am optimistic. I am faith – filled. I believe the best is yet to come!
It’s one of my favorite times of year. This Sunday, 6/22, we leave for camp with our middle school students. We’re headed to Williams Bay, Wisconsin to spend the week on beautiful Geneva Lake. Each day will be filled with wild and crazy games, time at the beach, dynamic times of worship, powerful teaching, and small group discussion.
Please join me in praying for a fun and safe week. More importantly, please be praying for hearts to be impacted for the Gospel…that students would engage with God in worship throughout the day and that HE would change them from the inside out. Our hope is that this week is a catalyst for long-term spiritual growth for our students.
Thankful. Excited. Nervous. Humbled. Overwhelmed. Expectant. Overjoyed. Exhausted.
These are just a few of the words that describe my thoughts and feelings as we worshiped in our new space yesterday, Sunday – June 15. It was a very emotional day for me; if you were there, it probably was for you as well. So much blood, sweat, and tears and money came to fruition on a beautiful Father’s Day morning. It was a long road, filled with lots of challenges. I guess that is why it felt so good to be there singing, praying, and celebrating with all of my ACC family.
I wanted to extend a special invitation to you to join us this coming Sunday, June 22 for our building dedication program in both services. We will be reflecting upon God’s faithfulness over the years, giving thanks for his generous provision, and looking ahead to what God has in store for us in the future. It is going to be a very high-energy, positive, faith filled time – please make every effort to join us and invite your friends and family!
There’s been a flurry of activity around the church this week. As we’re nearing the completion of our building project, it’s been “all-hands-on-deck” this week. You can check out our facebook page for some pictures. So many of our people have served over the course of the project. It truly has been a community building experience as we stand shoulder to shoulder building our church.
I’m reminded of the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah rallies the Israelites to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. In the process, the nation is restored and hearts are turned back to God. The people worked hard and with great enthusiasm. When the work was done, there was a great celebration. We look forward to that day in our church. It’s coming soon!
About 2 weeks ago we had to put down our beloved Stanley. It was absolutely brutal.
Stan had been a part of our family for 12 years. As a puppy he was my daughter’s faithful companion and constantly by her side while she endured some very difficult physical challenges. He had a loud, obnoxious bark but he was very gentle – he wouldn’t hurt a fly! He would play fetch until he was forced to quit due to exhaustion. He would chase his own tail with great gusto upon even the slightest prompting. He was deathly afraid of thunderstorms, firecrackers, garbage trucks and frying bacon (I guess it sounded too much like rain!). He once ate an entire extra-large pizza when we foolishly stepped out of the room for a few minutes. He was skunked 3 different times. He once suffered a severe poke in the eye as he ran full speed into a bush, seeking to retrieve a tennis ball. I could throw a tennis ball a hundred feet into thick woods and he would emerge with it within minutes (he would’ve made a great hunting dog if he had been trained). He loved to go swimming, though he seldom got the chance. He was actually a purebred of 2 different breeds – both parents purebreds – a beautiful offspring of an English setter and a Labrador retriever.
He was our Stanley and we loved him very much. He was a great dog.
Yet it felt dumb to grieve a dog. He was “just” an animal. But the grief was very real.
He was always there with an enthusiastic greeting every time I arrived home. He was always up to watch a ballgame with me on TV or to go for a walk. He had become such a part of our family. And now he was gone. Our entire family mourned his loss. I had never had to put down a pet before, so it hit me unexpectedly hard.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
Could such a promise from God be applied to the loss of an animal? Or is the death of a dog too trivial and commonplace for God to care?
Here is what I have determined. Not only does God know what happens in my life, but he also cares. He walks with me through good times and bad. When I struggle, regardless of the reason, he is concerned and desires to help. So, though for some it might seem stupid – for me it felt good to bring my grief to God. For comfort, for strength, for peace. It worked. I’m still a bit sad but I feel a lot better.
I think having a great dog must definitely be a gift from God. And for that I will always be grateful. Stan the Man will not be forgotten!
I’ve been reading the book Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel. In the context of providing freedom for children to be vulnerable, he writes:
There’s no sin too bad, no doubt too big, no question too hard, and no heart too broken for His grace to deal with. These are the very things that children need to learn early on in their lives, and God has given parents the responsibility to be the gatekeepers of His grace. It is your careful response to these fragile issues that plays the key role in whether your children will even be inclined to head down the path to God’s grace.
Kimmel goes on to use the example of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. In this passage Paul reveals that he was given some sort of problem to keep him humble. Rather than take the problem away, God used it as a teaching point to help Paul understand God’s grace. As parents, we’ve been entrusted with moments like that with our children. When we meet weakness and vulnerability with love and grace, we pave the way for our children to know the God of the universe who loves them unconditionally.
So, what does this look like in practice? A few things that come to mind…
- Providing an empathetic ear even when we think they’re being over dramatic about a situation.
- Meeting them with love and acceptance even when they disappoint.
- Taking their fears seriously even if we don’t think there’s much to be afraid of.
The parent-child relationship significantly influences how we relate to God as our Heavenly Father. The ideas above are great reminders for those of us who are parents, but they’re also worth reflecting on for all of us. If you find yourself having a difficult time believing God loves you, or that He is pleased with you, it may stem from how grace was modeled in your home growing up. We all have challenges to over come in this area, but let me remind you of the truth of God’s word!
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. -Ephesians 2:8-9