I want to quickly thank all of those who attended our church's annual meeting last Saturday and took the time to vote on our 2019 proposed church budget. The budget passed with 100% approval.....God is good!
In case you missed the meeting, below is a recap of the main talking points:
I shared some facility projects that we will be focusing on throughout the year.....
This Sunday at 9:15am, we will begin a 9 week journey through the book of John. Take a few minutes and read John 1:1-18, as we will take this first Sunday to look at the purpose behind the writing of this book.
At 10:30am, we will continue to navigate the multi-faith maze that exists in today's religious landscape. Greg Malinowski will be presenting the differences between Roman Catholicism and our Christian faith.
See you Sunday!
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! For most of us, this day can be summed up in one of two words that both begin with the same letter......LOVE and LONELINESS! To love and be loved is the bedrock of our existence. Thankfully, we have a God who at His core is love. John 3:16 says it best, "For God LOVED the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life".....now that's love!
What about the lonely? What about those who don't have a relationship with our God of love? How can we show them God's love? Let me share with you a story I heard about one person's desire to love others to Jesus.
"I work at a local community college and often buy lunch in the cafeteria. When I first encountered the lunch lady, she was taking my money. I noticed that she had short, gray hair and the kind of fingernail polish that changes according to the holiday. I also noticed that her nametag said "Dottie". The next week I told her I liked her nails, and I noticed that she had a bad chest cold. I prayed for her health, but I didn't mention my prayer to her. The following week, I asked how her cold was. She said it was getting worse and she was worried because she is a cancer survivor. She was afraid that the cancer might have come back. It was two more weeks before I saw Miss Dottie again. When I asked how she was, she said the doctors had confirmed the return of her cancer. We teared up together, and I promised to pray for her. The next week I brought Miss Dottie a present. It was a book on facing cancer with faith, hope and humor. I also gave her a card thanking her for always being there to smile at me, and I offered to go to treatment with her sometime. She grabbed my hand and said, 'Thank you so much!' Then she asked me to come around to the other side of the booth to give her a hug. Later Miss Dottie had to quit her job due to her cancer. Our church hosted a 'We love Miss Dottie' fundraiser and raised over $1,000 for her family. She was astonished that strangers would care for her in this way. I'm grateful to God that I noticed Miss Dottie. God has planted her family in my heart, and I can't stop praying for her."
We have an opportunity to have God plant a "Miss Dottie" in our lives. This Sunday at 3:00pm, Parkside Fellowship is in charge of leading the worship service at Creekside. I want to ask you to consider clearing your calendar and joining myself and several others as we simply love others who are lonely. We also want to do the same for Beaverton Lodge and will be planning opportunities to love this community as well.
Again I hope to see you Sunday, both at one of our morning services and again at Creekside Village at 3:00pm. Until then, remember this, noticing others will change your life. It will plant people firmly in your heart. When that happens, everything changes......including you!
See you Sunday.
I'm excited for this Sunday and hoping the potential forecast, that calls for snow, will not interrupt our Sunday service. Myself and several others will be watching the weather and monitoring the roads and our church parking lot to see if we feel comfortable asking our congregation to drive to church. Please check our church website after 7:00pm on Saturday, as we hope to make a decision by that time. I will also send out an email update around that same time and ask that you relay the message to those you know who do not have email access.
With the weather report out of the way, let me tell you why I am so excited about this Sunday. First of all, at our 9:15am service, we will kick-off the second half of our two part series on Loving God.....Loving Others. We have spent the last four weeks looking at what it really means to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Loving others is the external manifestation of this internal love for God that we are commanded to do. Our main passage for this series is Matthew 28:19-20, which is commonly referred to as the Great Commission. Over the next three weeks, we will break this passage down into three separate requests by God: the command to go; the command to baptize and the command to disciple.
Then at 10:15am, we will continue our series titled, "Who Needs God?" This week, I have invited three individuals to come and share their views on faith, God, church and culture. Each of these panelists brings their own unique view of God and faith, based on their life experiences. They don't all have the same faith in God that we do, which presents each of us with a unique opportunity to hear and ask questions about how to live out our particular faith in today's world.
Finally, attached is the proposed church budget for 2019. Please take the time to look it over and then join us at our annual meeting on Saturday, February 23rd at 3:00pm. At this meeting you will have the opportunity ask questions regarding the budget and hear from myself and our church council, on where we see God leading our church in the future.
Hope to see you Sunday......weather dependent!
I often wonder how much of our spiritual activity boils down to us managing God, instead of seeking Him. I also wonder which we love more, our dreams for our lives or God's dreams for our lives. While most of us might quickly say, of course I desire a life that seeks after God and why wouldn't I want to pursue God's dream for my life, the truth is, this is easier spoken out than lived out.
Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, turned some loose change into a multi-million dollar company that had sold more than fifty million videos, when it all came crashing down with one lawsuit. Fourteen years worth of introducing kids to God, Jesus and some of the incredible stories found in the Bible went up in smoke. Phil's dream of continuing to impact kids with the message that God loves them, quickly vanished.
Phil was left to do some serious soul-searching, when he heard a pastor make this statement: "If God gives you a dream, and the dream comes to life and God shows up in it, and then the dream dies, it may be that God wants to see what is more important to you---the dream or Him".
As you strive to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, is it because of what He can do for you or because of who He is? In its purest form, loving God is loving God for God.....nothing more......nothing less.....nothing else.
In Phil's words, "The impact God has planned for us doesn't occur when we're pursuing impact. It occurs when were pursuing God. At long last, after a lifetime of striving to serve God, God was enough. Not God and ministry. Just God."
This Sunday, we will wrap-up our focus on the Great Commandment, which asks us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. As we pursue this type of love for God, which simply loves God for being God, then our lives will exceed our wildest dreams. Why? Because God's love and His dreams will shine brightly through our lives.
See you Sunday.