Words from Russ:
Nicholas Herman was a simple man born into poverty in France in 1611. He became a soldier to provide for himself. Soldiering gained him a wound which left him lame in adulthood, not an asset for a man who described himself as “a very awkward fellow” who “seemed to break everything.”
At the age of 18, Nicholas gave his life to Christ and began to serve as a “lay brother” in a monastery in Paris. Nicholas became known as Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection.
Conversion changed his heart, and the monastery changed his name, but Brother Lawrence remained a bumbling and awkward guy assigned to work in the monastery kitchen, service for which he felt ill-suited. But serve he did.
(At this point I hope you are wondering where this is going….)
Here’s the thing: Brother Lawrence lived a life that revealed a deep, intimate relationship with God. He was surrounded by men whose purpose and calling were to a life of love and devotion to God, and those men saw in Brother Lawrence a profound, ongoing presence of the living God.
When asked “How do you do it?” his answer was appropriately simple. “Do everything you do for God instead of for yourself.” If we do this, we don’t even have to use words to explain Christ to others. They will see the real presence of God in us just by being around us. Our every day lives become a living testimony when people see our hearts filled with love for Christ and that is evident in our attitudes and actions.
Work can be a burden. “Big” work can be a big burden. Wrapping up our lives in Macedonia and packing up everything we own surely qualifies as “big work and big burden.” It’s clear moving belongs at or near the top of the list of life’s most stressful events—and biggest burdens!
It needn’t be. We can turn any work into a blessing simply by following Brother Lawrence’s approach, and consciously choosing to do the work we do for God, not self, not others. I’ve found that this simple thing (or attitude) makes a big difference for me and for those around me. We are richly blessed when we keep loving the God Who Loves by doing the work before us for Him.
I look forward to living life this way with you as we start writing the next chapter of our faith journey together!
See you soon!
Finding Hope in Christ,
Words from Lynn:
A week from the day we’re writing this, we’ll be arriving in Conneaut! We are so looking for-ward to meeting all of you and sharing life’s journey together! You, us and God!
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9
I’ve texted this verse to many who were beginning something new and exciting and it’s perfect for us right now! Year after year we’re blown away by awesome, surprising things God does in our lives. Things we could never imagine—like moving to New Leaf! Like answering prayer after prayer in ways that were so much better than we could even think to ask!
What will we do together to reach more people with the truth about Jesus? How will our lives be blessed as we continue to get to know Him better? We will have a blast working together and playing together as we serve Christ together!
We appreciate your prayers for us as we juggle all the stresses of moving, wrapping up our lives in Macedonia, and navigating our way into a new community and a new house and job! We are praying for you all, too, as we know you will be grieving the departure of Scott and Jan, who are very talented, caring pastors. They have had a tremendous impact on your faith lives and we understand how much you will miss them.
To add to the demands of Moving Week, our nephew is getting married in Canal Fulton July 3 and Russ is doing the wedding! So, we’ll just start unpacking then
we have to turn around and drive south for the rehearsal Friday night and the wedding at 4 p.m. Saturday. We wanted you to know this not just because we could use your prayers for time management, but also so you don’t wonder where we are if you happen to drive or stop by!! We’re hoping to catch some of the 4th of July Festival!
See you on the 4th for Sunday worship!!
Blessings and love,
WHAT IS THE VISION OF OUR CHURCH?
Obviously we have God’s Great Commandment and Great Commission as our number one priority, we want to love God, love others and make disciples.
“Without a Vision, the people perish.” This short verse found in Proverbs 29:18 tells us that we should not be a people who are willing to “Ready! Shoot! Aim!” We should have a target to shoot at and be prepared to Ready! Aim! Shoot! God has led us this far, and He shall surely lead us on! Really? To where shall He lead? Do we have a plan? How wonderful to know that God met us in our need and loved us to much to leave us there – that He has a plan for our life and it is this: 2 things. To:
Doing life with others helps us to connect in community and establish meaningful relationships.
Jesus had a team He "did life" with. He ate with them, walked with them, and ministered with them. He developed meaningful relationships with them and developed a strategy through which all humankind could be reconciled.
The early church connected in very natural, organic ways: "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts" (Acts 2:46 NIV). They loved to eat a good meal together, laugh together, and pray together in one another's homes as well as in their large temple gatherings.
Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52 NIV). Once you have connect-ed in relationship within the church, it is time for you to grow!
I read this story about a father talking with his daughter and her five-year-old friend, Elizabeth, about birth-days. Elizabeth’s was March 30 and the father’s was March 27. "Our birthdays are three days apart," he said to her. She looked up at him and remarked, "Yeah, but you grew much faster than I did."
That brings us to a question…How fast are you growing?
I know some of us are growing in places that we don’t want to. I am reminded of that as I look at my own expanding waistline! But there is a kind of growing that we are considering that we want to be a part of our lives. This is in the growing of the church – not just in numbers, but in our knowledge of God’s Word while being in Connection with one another.
We are developing a plan that will offer home group studies on different books of the Bible: the first book being the book of John. Scott will then be preaching on what we have studied the following week. This is a great way to connect with others your age within the church while learning by digging deeper into God’s word. There will be LOTS more information in the coming weeks as to how it all works, but plan on being a part of the growth and vision of our church by joining a home group.
So, Connect (join a home group) and Grow (by learning more of His word with other believers)! This is the way it happens! Now, Go Give ‘em Heaven!
There will soon be a meeting for all those interested in being a part of our home groups. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open as to the date and time. It IS coming!
Pastor Russ Ham
Child Care & Learning Center Director
Praise Team Leader
Chief Financial Officer
IT and Technical Director
Bell Choir Director
Child Care Custodian