We all have varying feelings about Halloween. What we can all agree on is that any opportunity to interact with our surrounding community is a great thing! That is why, this Friday on Halloween night from 5pm-7pm, ACC will be hosting our very first Trunk or Treat. We will have some trunks all decked out with themed decorations, a campfire blazing where you can roast marshmallows, a S’more Station and various hot beverages for you to enjoy!
You are free to come and go as you please. If you are planning on going around your neighborhood with your family just make the church one of your stops! Just think of it as multiple houses in one spot! What a deal!
While this event is obviously going to excite some little Princess’s and Superhero’s it is not only for them. I encourage you to come and get to know our surrounding community around a warm campfire. Come and have fruitful conversation over a hot cup of Apple Cider. Let’s show them what the community of Christ is all about.
There’s also still time to get involved too! I am looking for 5 more trunks. If you have not signed up yet because decorating isn’t your thing, have no fear! You can just pop your trunk, throw a pumpkin in there and call it a day. JYou can do as little or as much decorating as you want. There are a couple of other opportunities for you to serve in as well. Email me at email@example.com if you are interested or have any questions!
I look forward to seeing you on Friday and will save a spot by the fire for you!
Are you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted? Is there a growing sense of apathy towards things that you used to be passionate about? Does God seem distant and silent to you?
If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions you may be living a life that is out of rhythm. God created a world that is in rhythm. Sunrise – sunset. The tide goes in – the tide goes out. A season for planting – a season for harvest. Autumn gives way to winter – winter to spring – spring to summer – and then back to autumn. In the creation account in Genesis God himself set the example for us – a period of intense work, followed by rest (Sabbath). God didn’t rest because he was tired. He rested in order to set the pattern for us. God had to teach us that without rest we will be miserable, increasingly ineffective and eventually we will burn out.
Is there a rhythm of work and rest in your life? Or is it all work? If so, it is just a matter of time until you crash and burn. No human being can sustain the pace of life in our modern world without taking a regular pit stop. And I’m not just talking about catching a nap or getting enough sleep at night (though that is very important). I’m also talking about taking time to be spiritually rejuvenated through time with God; intentionally developing our relationship with him. Scripture reading. Prayer. Meditation. Reflection.
In his book, REPLENISH, author Lance Witt says, “Leaders who stay spiritually healthy long-term are those who learn the sacred rhythm of advance and retreat.” You, my friend, are not exempt from this principle. I have been in full-time ministry for over 33 years now and I wholeheartedly agree with what Witt writes, “The triple – A of adrenaline, ambition, and achievement aren’t enough to sustain you anymore.” Boy, do I feel that! I have no doubt that if I am to finish this race well, I must practice the ancient principle of Sabbath.
I pray that God would help each one of us to be honest in evaluating our lives and schedules and then making the choice to follow the rhythm that he has ordained.
I was sitting in Panera this morning munching on a bagel and sipping coffee while reading John chapter 6, when I came across this:
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them,“This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
In spite of the loud talker sitting in the booth behind me, God seemed to prompt me to pause and think about wonderful thing Jesus said.
God is not looking for us to do any heavy spiritual lifting, good deeds involving tremendous sacrifice, mortifying feats of contrition, or a set of religious rituals that would impress Mother Teresa.
All he is looking for us to do is believe in his Son. Our spiritual striving can cease. All we need to do is simply trust in the sacrificial death of Christ and his bodily resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins. Wow! That my friend is GRACE! And for that I am eternally thankful.
Our new capital campaign has me thinking a lot about stewardship. It’s not a word we use often, but it’s a principle that permeates so much of the Christian life. Here’s a quick definition…
Proper stewardship recognizes that God owns everything (Psalm 24:1) and I’m just managing the things He’s entrusted to me. We often think of this in terms of finances/possessions, but it’s about more than that. I find it helpful to think of stewardship in 3 categories:
Time. We’ve each been entrusted with a certain amount of time here on earth. The question to ask is “how am I using my time to honor God?”
Talents. You might call them gifts, abilities, etc. God has wired us uniquely. It’s up to each of us to seek out how we’re wired and how we can contribute to the work God is doing here on earth.
Treasure. Finances (and possessions). Whether we have a lot or a little, the idea is to honor God with our money. This certainly means giving, but it can also mean careful spending, avoiding waste and excess, etc.
This kind of thinking is counter-cultural. It places God on the throne of my life as I seek to honor him with all that I am and do. I pray you’ll take time to consider how you are doing at managing the things God has entrusted to your care.
P.S. You can find out more about our Committed Together capital campaign here.
I need Christian community. And so do you. It’s the way God created us (Genesis 2:18). The NT is full of verses that describe how we should act toward one another. It’s clear from the scriptures that God often uses our brothers and sisters in Christ to aid in our spiritual growth. While it’s theoretically possible to grow in isolation, it certainly isn’t ideal. We need each other. Here are few of the benefits of community that I’ve experienced in my life.
Insight. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Have you ever felt “stuck”. Some times what we need most is an outside perspective. Talking through a reoccurring emotion or action with a trusted friend can often shed some light on the issue. We all have blind spots. A friend can help us see past those.
Support. Galatians 6:2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Whether we’re going through a difficult time or need prayer for a big decision, having others people with you in that can be a tremendous support. Knowing we’re not alone can often give us the boost we need.
Encouragement. I Thessalonians 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. Life is tough! We could all use some more encouragement. As I share with our Middle School and High School students often, encouragement is more than a compliment (“your hair looks pretty today”). True encouragement affirms the person and builds them up (“you’re a valuable member of our group. I appreciate you”)
I’m sure we could come up with many more benefits of community. These are just 3 that top my list. Wherever you’re at spiritually, I hope that you’ll make efforts to engage yourself in community. It requires intentional effort and a willingness to be open with people. It’s worth every bit of the investment though.
I never even gave it any serious thought until just a few years ago. I am not a big fan of needles so the idea of donating blood didn’t exactly thrill me! Conceptually I knew that donating blood was an honorable and right thing to do – an important, very needed thing to do – it just wasn’t for me.
But once we started hosting quarterly blood drives as a church, I felt like I ran out of excuses. I needed to donate in order to be an example to our congregation. I did it, and guess what? It was easy. It didn’t take long. And it was painless. (Okay, maybe a slight pinch – but that’s it, I promise!) I have been giving blood regularly ever since.
How about you? Have you ever donated blood? You can literally have a direct role in saving someone else’s life! Please think about it. Pray about it. I hope you will go for – once you do, I don’t think you’ll have any regrets.
Our next blood drive is this Sunday, October 12, from 8 AM – 12:30 PM here at ACC. All healthy adults, 17 years and older, may donate. A photo ID is required.
Because of my visit to Mozambique this past summer, I am disqualified from donating blood for one full year. Bummer. Would you be willing to take my place?
What if prayer was our first impulse rather than used as a last resort?
This was our challenge from the first chapter of Nehemiah this past Sunday. When Nehemiah heard the emotionally devastating news that the walls of Jerusalem were still in ruin – his first response was to pray. He would, in time, develop a plan. There were other action steps to follow. A team would be built. Resources would be gathered. But first – he prayed.
It was through prayer that Nehemiah determined that he was the man called to the monumental task of rebuilding the walls. It was through prayer that he demonstrated his dependence upon God, not his own skills or determination. It was through prayer that he tapped into the greatest resource of all – an all-powerful, all-knowing, all providing God.
What need or crisis are you facing today? Let me encourage you to pause for a few moments, even now, and pray. Put first things first. Let prayer be your first impulse.
P.S. If I can pray specifically for you now – let me know!