Thursday, January 26, 2017

Grow Through Worship. Stave Without It


“Do not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encourage one another, and all the more as you
see the Day [of the Lord] approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)

I’ve heard it said somewhere that an action repeated for at least 21 days can create a habit.  Well, I want to challenge everyone reading this article to make a “habit” this new year of being in God’s House each week for corporate worship, fellowship, and learning.  Perhaps your life has gotten busy and you’ve “gotten out of the habit” of being in worship.  Maybe you’ve cherished a few extra minutes of sleep on Sunday morning, or have grown accustomed to tuning in to a favorite television ministry or church service in your pajamas, with coffee mug in hand.  Or, you might have unwittingly developed into a “C&E Christian” (attending only at Christmas and Easter).

But as the scripture text above reminds us, there’s simply no substitute in our own personal, emotional, and spiritual life for participating together with sisters and brothers in the worship and praise of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  With it, we experience God’s presence in a powerful way, and lives are touched and changed through it.  Without it, we starve our spirits. The same can be said of not only corporate worship but also in small classes and groups for prayer, Bible learning, and fellowship.  In other words, when we worship, fellowship, and learn together at church, we’re fulfilling our own church’s purpose of being “Christians SERVING in love, CARING with compassion, and SHARING (Christ) with boldness."

So, I hope you won’t miss out on the blessing God has in store for YOU through regular participation in weekly worship and small group fellowship and learning!  I plan on being here, and I look forward to seeing you, too, as we all make a “habit” of “meeting together” at church each week!  Remember that God loves you and I do, too!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year's Gift

"If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“In your hand has been placed a priceless gift. Look at it closely. There is no price maker stamped on it. It cannot be weighed, because no scale can balance its value. A king's ransom in comparison is as nothing yet it is given to beggar and prince alike. The giver asks only that it be used wisely and well.

This jewel, rare and unique, is not displayed in any shop window. It cannot be purchased, cannot be sold. No other treasure holds the possibilities this gift offers -- none can surpass its golden splendor.

Of all gifts, this is one of the most precious. It has been offered many times before; today, from the depths of a limitless love it will be given again. It will be left to you to find the golden thread running through it. Only with great care will the jewel retain its luster. Carelessness, ingratitude and selfishness will tarnish the brilliance, break the unspoiled thread, mar the perfection.

Guard it closely, lest through weak fingers it slip from the hand. Look often at its faultless beauty. Accept it as it is offered from the heart of the giver. Consider it is the most treasured of possessions, for of all gifts it is by far the greatest. It is the gift of the New Year.”

           [--Cited from timothyreport.com,  December 27, 2004]

As we begin a new year, I hope and pray that you will keep and use each moment to God’s glory. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of weekly worship, now’s an excellent time to start back. Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Preaching Rotation

Beginning January 8, 2017, Pastor Brian and Pastor Blake will experiment with rotating their preaching schedules into four week blocks. For example, one pastor will preach for 4 weeks in our "Morning Glory" contemporary service while the other pastor preaches in both our traditional services in the Chapel and Sanctuary. After their four week series ends they will then switch to preaching in the service(s) they did not preach in during the previous 4 weeks.

Both Blake and Brian are excited about this new rotation because it will:

1) It will increase the momentum during each of their sermon series’
2) It will accentuate both of their unique preaching styles
3) It will allow for both members and friends to choose either the preaching style or worship style that best fits their spiritual needs.

We pray that this rotation will stretch your faith and allow you to experience God’s diversity through our many worship opportunities!  If you have questions or suggestions during this trial period (through the end of Spring), please contact Brian and/or Blake.