Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sticky Faith

I thought the attached article on teens leaving the faith was outstanding. My personal feeling is that we need to allow our children to ask questions as they grow in their faith walk. Even in the Bible, when Jesus miraculously drove out a demon from a father’s son, the man said, “I believe; help my unbelief”. I think it is normal for children and teens to ask questions. We need to be open to those questions and engage in honest dialogue with our children. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

Kris

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/ministry-family-Why-are-Teens-Leaving-the-Faith

 

Fall Ministry Kick-Off

The month of September is a very busy time around ACC, when all of our ministries kick-off for the new season.  If you are missing one of the strategies of “Worship plus Two” (Worship + Grow + Serve), now is the perfect time to get plugged in.

Men

Come to the Fall Kick-Off on Thursday, September 28th , starting at 6:00PM to see what FUEL is all about.  Bonfire, BBQ, bags and volleyball.  Cost is $10 in advance or $15 at the door.  Email mens@acchurch.org to register.

Women

Women’s Bible Study season starts on September 9th.  We offer a Tuesday morning, and Monday or Wednesday evening study.  No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, there is a place for you to develop friendships while digging deeper into God’s Word.  Register in the church office, or online at www.acchurch.org/grow/women.

Growth Groups

Growth Groups meet weekly in homes and are a place to discuss Sunday’s message, get to know others from ACC, share life experiences and grow.  The Fall session starts on September 28th.  Contact the church office for more information.

Students

Our student ministries kick-off next week!  Oasis (high school) meets on Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00PM, starting on September 2nd; Pit Stop (middle school) meets on Thursdays from 7:00-8:30PM, starting on September 4th.  These groups are a great way for your student to connect with new friends while learning about how God’s Word affects their life.

Children

The Awana season kicks off with registration night on Wednesday, September 10th, from 6:30-7:30.  In Awana, kids ages 3 years through 6th grade learn Bible verses, hear Bible stories, play games and earn awards by memorizing Bible verses and completing projects.  Awana meets every Wednesday from 6:30-8:00PM, beginning on September 17th.  Children can join any time throughout the school year.  Come to registration night, or preregister online at http://www.acchurch.org/grow/children/awana

Families

Family Fun Day is September 6th from 11:00-2:00PM.  Fun for all ages!  Pie social/contest, dunk tank, lots of grub, face painting, and much more!  If you are interested in helping out at this event, please contact the office.

Serving Opportunities

If you are looking for a place to get involved at ACC, we have ongoing opportunities throughout the year:

  • Join the Worship Team as a singer, musician or part of the tech team that works sound and projection on Sunday
  • Join the Guest Services Team as an usher, greeter, café server or Welcome Center Worker
  • Join Children’s Ministries as a child care worker or Sunday school teacher

It is our sincere hope that everyone is involved in something that provides you with a dynamic and growing opportunity to live out your faith.

In Christ, Kris

 

Woods & Karen

 

(Tim, Beth, Karen)

Theologians. Linguists. Mediators. Translators. Counselors. Teachers. Administrators. Spouses. Parents.

 

Generous. Hard-working. Frugal. Caring. Passionate. Humble. Insightful. Intelligent. Selfless. Respected.

 

After just returning with my wife Karen after spending 10 days in Mozambique with our missionaries Tim and Beth Wood – to say that I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for them and their ministry would be a gross understatement. Yes, they are human – imperfect just as you and I, but boy are they good at what they do. God is using them in some really cool ways to advance the gospel in the city of Beira and the surrounding region.

 

ACC sent out the Woods 19 years ago to do the work of God in Mozambique. Every last dollar and prayer of ours has been a worthy investment! Please take a minute right now to pray for the Wood family and their ministry.

Peace,

Dave

LIZ & JOEY’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE

Liz & joey & kidsLiz & kids

Today I’d like to introduce you to my good friends Liz and Joey Eells. As you read their story, you’ll learn that Liz was once a part of our ACC church family, and her mother Mary Ellen Wiertel  still is! I thought you’d be interested in their journey – I think it will be encouraging to you. My prayer is that you will be motivated to pray for them and perhaps even donate financially towards the adventure God has for them this coming summer.

 

This is awesome stuff. Read on.

 

 

 

Peace,

Dave

 

Dear ACC Friends and Family,

 

In 2007, ACC was the place that introduced me to my savior. Being raised Catholic; I really didn’t know much about “religion.” I will never forget some of the life changing conversations I had with Dave as I crossed the line of faith and devoted my life to following Jesus. ACC continued to be a huge part of my life, as it’s the home of my baptism and wedding. My husband Joey and I currently live in Peoria, IL but whenever we are home we are sure to visit ACC!

 

Little did I realize that crossing the line of faith would take me on an incredible adventure of searching for what it means to find and follow Christ. After a prompting from the Holy Spirit, Joey and I traveled on our very first mission trip to Malawi Africa last summer. Malawi is one of the 4 poorest countries in the world. Circle of Hope International provides care to more than 700 children through their orphan and education programs.

 

Our experience in Malawi last summer cannot even be put into words. The Lord truly transformed our hearts and we feel very strongly that our calling is to serve and love the children in Malawi. This summer, we will spend 8-weeks leading the teams that travel to Malawi. As we continue to explore the possibility of making a long term move, this summer will provide as an “internship”, where we can be tested, transformed and challenged on the mission field in preparation for our future.

 

What will we do? Simplest answer is that we are going to live and love the Malawians. More specifically, I will be using my nutrition background to plan the menus and teach nutrition education. I will also be leading bible studies to the women’s center and loving on the children (especially the babies!). Joey will be implementing new forms of activities and daily structure for the children at the homes, and working with the teachers at the Grace Center. He is also hoping to get more opportunities to preach at church, as he definitely enjoyed his title last summer as “Abusa” (pastor) Joey! In addition to these tasks, we will be receiving intensive language lessons in the hopes of becoming fluent in Chichewa, their native language.

 

We need to raise a significant amount of money ($4,000) for this trip. The money will be used to cover airfare, in-country expenses such as travel, food and lodging.  A portion of the money goes directly to the project to help the children.  Your gift is tax-deductible and will be receipted by Circle of Hope International.  You can read more about Circle of Hope on their website: www.cohcommunity.org. Our deadline to raise support is April 30th.

 

Send your gift to:  Circle of Hope International, 615 Bohicket Road, Wilmore KY 40390.  On a separate piece of paper, please mark your gift clearly:  Liz & Joey Eells. Do not put our name on the memo line of your check.

 

More important than finances, please keep the country of Malawi and The Grace Center in your prayers. Pray for the orphaned children in Malawi- that they may be healthy, safe and loved. And pray for us… We are a perfect mix of terrified and excited about the Lord’s plans for our lives. Please pray that this experience will help us to discover God’s direction for our future as we move toward the possibility of becoming part of the permanent staff living at the Grace Center.

 

Thank you so much for your love, support, prayers and generosity,

 

Liz & Joey Eells

Liz & kidJoey & kids

 

HOW TO PRAY FOR FRIENDS WHO DON’T KNOW GOD – PART 2

Many of you have taken up the 5×5×5 challenge. You have committed yourself to pray for 5 people for 5 minutes for 5 weeks, leading right up to Easter morning. Our hope is that each person we are praying for will join us at church for our resurrection celebration and that they would cross the line of faith sometime before the close of 2014.

 

But how do you pray for someone you love to cross the line of faith? Last week I shared prayer idea #1: Pray they would be convicted by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8). Let me now suggest another way to pray for your unsaved loved ones.

 

PRAYER IDEA #2

 

Pray that they would be unblinded. Paul explained the challenge we have in sharing the good news with those who do not yet know God:

 

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

 

We know from the Scriptures that Satan seeks to kill and destroy. He always opposes the work of God. He deceives and confuses unbelievers that they might remain disconnected from God. It takes supernatural enlightenment before anyone can cross the line of faith.

 

I was first exposed to this truth when I was a senior in high school. I was sharing the gospel with a very good friend of mine – someone I had gone to school with since kindergarten! In as simple and concise terms as possible I lovingly and prayerfully explained to him the basic gospel message: that our sin has separated us from God, that Jesus paid for our sin by dying on the cross, and that he rose again from the dead to give us new life. It is a gift from God that we receive by faith. My friend was no dummy, he had good grades and was above average intelligence yet you would’ve thought that I had been speaking Martian to him. He could not begin to grasp the concepts of grace, mercy and faith. He could not even repeat back to me verbatim what I had said – truly it was as if I were speaking an unknown foreign language. I was completely mystified at the time but in retrospect I realize that he was spiritually blinded.

 

 

This week as you pray for your 5, pray that God would enlighten their hearts and minds and not allow them to be blinded anymore by Satan. We must stand in the gap and engage in spiritual warfare for those we love; only then will the spiritual darkness be lifted and allow them the opportunity to make a decision for Christ. Remain faithful in your prayers – they will make a difference!

 

Peace,

Dave

Oasis Winter Retreat

This weekend is our annual High School Winter Retreat. We leave around dinner time tonight and will be home before dinner on Sunday. Students are really looking forward to the extended time together. We’ll have time to go snowtubing/sledding, ice skating, cross country skiing, play broomball, and more. When we get too cold, we’ll sit near the fireplace, play some games, and talk. In addition to all that, we’ll have 4 sessions that will include worship and a Bible lesson. There’s rarely a dull moment.

Trips like this are super valuable for the spiritual development of our students. The chance to get away from the distractions of everyday life and tune into God is huge. I’m praying that God would use this weekend to do some big things in the lives of our students. Would you join me in praying? Here are a few specifics to pray about:

1 – Safety as we travel and in all our activities. We had a couple minor injuries on this trip last year. It would be nice to be injury free this year.

2 – Healthy group dynamics. We want to avoid the distractions of petty fighting, misunderstandings, etc.

3 – Our teaching times. Several members of the high school ministry team will be helping me with the teaching. I’m excited to hear what God has been teaching them.

4 – Follow through. We don’t want this experience to be a spiritual high followed by a crash and burn when they get home. Please pray for students to follow through on commitments and to bring the retreat home with them.

Grace,

Chris

RESISTING GOSSIP

Resisting Gossip by Matthew C. Mitchell

 

I heard about Resisting Gossip from a blog and then perused some intriguing reviews and endorsements.  When my public library ordered a copy for the collection, I was the first person to check it out (assuming the risk that any damage to the book would be my fault!).  I found it to be an interesting, convicting, and extremely practical book that I would recommend to any Christ-follower.  The author, Matthew Mitchell, is a pastor in rural Pennsylvania.

 

I started reading with the mindset of, “I don’t really struggle too much with gossip.  I guess I gossip from time to time but not enough to do deep damage.  Perhaps I will pick up a few tips on how to be less critical with my words.”  Within a few pages, my attitude changed to understand how prevalent gossip actually is in my life.  Gossip is defined as, “bearing bad news behind someone’s back out of a bad heart.”  Gossip is everywhere in our modern world: in the media, at work, in families, and in the church.  My thinking transformed to, “Maybe I should wear duct tape over my mouth 24/7.”  Thankfully, believers should seek a balance between silence and excessively careless words.  Always focused on the gospel, Mitchell discusses why Christians should seek to eliminate gossip and use words in a positive and God-honoring way.

 

I particularly liked his discussion of the positive charge of Ephesians 4:29, to use words to build others up for their benefit.  For example, a Christian can speak highly of a co-worker who others are criticizing or give a person the benefit of the doubt before believing unreliable information.  Words can also be used to encourage, chart a new conversational direction, or share Christ, which are all preferred options to communicating “juicy tidbits” so others think we are in “the know.”  The workplace is an environment particularly prone to gossip, and Christians can embrace a renewed mission at work while taking the book’s message to heart.

 

Some other particularly noteworthy lessons I took away include:

 

- Gossip is not exclusively a “female” problem.  Both genders face the temptation to gossip.

 

- We like to be known as people who know information, so gossip is enticing.

 

- The remedy for complaining is contentment and thanksgiving.

 

- The antidote for prideful judgment is humility.

 

- Gossip is often downplayed as a “lesser” sin, but it has the potential to do great damage.

 

I feel encouraged that Christians can make a difference in the world by resisting gossip.  Our words are powerful, and God wants to use us in the lives of people with whom we interact.  Since reading this book, I have been more aware of what I say, and I pray that by God’s enabling, I would be wise, selective, and affirming with my words in 2014.

 

I would love to discuss this book with you if you do indeed read it!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Resisting-Gossip-Winning-Wagging-Tongue/dp/1619580764

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Allison Bies – guest blogger

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!

~Scott

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.

Peace,

Dave

An Advent Prayer

This Sunday, 12/1, begins the Advent season. Advent is time of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Christ. For me, it’s a helpful way to keep my heart and mind focused during the busy Christmas season. Here’s a prayer that I thought was particularly fitting for the beginning of Advent.

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and enlarge my mind;

Let me hear good tidings of great joy, and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,

my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;

place me with ox, ass, camel, goat, to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face, and in him account myself delivered from sin;

let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart,

embrace him with undying faith,

exulting that he is mine and I am his.

In him thou has given me so much that heaven can give no more.

–From The Valley of Vision\

Grace,

Chris