NO FEAR, NO COMPROMISE
When businessman Alan Emery was in the wool business, he once spent an evening with a shepherd on the Texas prairie. During the night, the long wail of coyotes pierced the air. The shepherd's dogs growled and peered into the darkness. The sheep, which had been sleeping, lumbered to their feet, alarmed, bleating pitifully. The shepherd tossed more logs onto the fire, and the flames shot up. In the glow, Allen looked out and saw thousands of little lights. He realized those were reflections of the fire in the eyes of the sheep. "In the midst of danger," he observed, "the sheep were not looking out into the darkness but were keeping their eyes set in the direction of their safety, looking toward the shepherd. I couldn't help but think of Hebrews 12: "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..."(as told in "Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes.")
In these troubling times as our community faces COVID-19, we are learning A LOT! We have figured out how to SAFELY gather for worship and the education of our children… how to make ends meet when our workplaces are shut down, etc. In the midst of learning how to keep our ‘social distance’ from one an-other, we have learned how to be together in new ways! We are all in this together. In fact, we could even learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors ...but they all have to learn to live in the same box. Amen?
We have learned and continue to learn how to Love the Lord AND Love one another in new ways… yet, we all keep asking the Lord “WHEN will this end”?? I’m reminded of a story I read once in Guideposts magazine.
“Preparing for a family vacation, my sister-in-law and her husband explained to their young children that they would be sitting in the car for a very long time. The kids were told they would not be arriving at their destination until after dark, and were warned not to keep saying, "Are we there yet?" After a few minutes of peaceful driving, their five-year-old daughter asked, "Is it dark yet?"
Indeed… while we continue to pray to our Lord that this plague of Corona Virus might end, we are reminded that all things happen in HIS time, not our own. Our calling is to continue to Love the Lord, Love One Another, and Make Disciples of Jesus Christ. Trust in the Lord and lean not unto your own understanding. His perfect time to crush this virus under His heel will come! SO… Give’em Heaven!!
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 Scott Walsh
Pastor Jan Walsh
Child Care & Learning Center Director
Praise Team Leader
Chief Financial Officer
IT and Technical Director
Bell Choir Director
Child Care Custodian