It's Just a Phase

It's just a phase . . . so don't miss it. 
 
Every one of us can point to somebody who showed up to make a difference in the different phases of our life. And because someone showed up for us, we should show up for somebody who needs us now in whatever phase they’re in. One of the best ways to show up is to understand the six things every kid and teenager needs. Last week, we introduced you to the first three things that every kid or teenager needs from their parents and adults who want to have an influence on the next generation.
 
Every kid and teenager needs…
            TIME over TIME because it gives a relationship HISTORY.
            LOVE over TIME because it gives them a sense of WORTH.
            WORDS over TIME because it gives their life DIRECTION.
 
Allow me to share something personal about myself, and this won’t go into too much detail. I grew up in a very turbulent household. My father was violent and his violent nature took over our family’s home. There were many times where I felt unsafe, unwanted, and unloved. I credit the many adults who decided to show up in my life--grandparents, teachers, church members, neighbors, Scout leaders, and adults who simply cared--for carrying me through that time in my life. Few people know that Robin Duncan (Ms. D!) was my chorus teacher through the worst season of my middle school years when my family began to implode. Her hospitality and mentorship provided a safe place for me to shelter in that storm. She is just one of the many adults who showed up for me every single week.
 
The expression “It takes a village to raise a kid” has been shared with me several times in the past few weeks. I feel this expression falls short in that it only addresses the number of people needed in a loving community to help parents raise adults. It fails to address the amount of consistent TIME that is needed to raise a kid. Please remember over the coming weeks: everything that we must do if we want to have a positive influence in the life of a kid and teenager must be repeated OVER TIME. I am thankful for those adults who remained in my life not just on the days when things seemed the roughest, but were there for me OVER TIME. They were the key to my survival and set me up for who I am today.
 
Join us this Sunday for the continuation of our series on family and what it means to show up in the lives of kids and students. We’ll share with you the last three things that every kid and teenager needs OVER TIME. Gail, Kym, and I are excited to continue to share this message series with you all!
 
With love and blessings,
Jeremy Crum, Director of Ministries with Young People

It's Just a Phase

It’s just a phase… so don’t miss it!

Last Sunday, we redefined phase as a timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence a kid’s future. Whether or not you are a parent, this applies to you! We all have stories from when an adult stepped into our lives and changed our future. As you prepare for this Sunday’s message, I encourage you to think about those adults who made investments over time in your future.

This Spring, we have been blessed by several members of our church who have either shared or donated marbles to our Ministries (one member donated over 1800). We hope that you have enjoyed the marble displays outside of the Sanctuary. As we’ve thought about a kid or teenager’s future, we’ve been thinking a lot about these marbles. You see, a kid has 936 weeks from when they are born until they become an adult. Marbles give us a visual representation to see the collective value of our influence over time. When you decide to be physically and consistently present—week after week after week—your influence begins to have a cumulative effect. We may not see the immediate results and we may be tempted to become frustrated and back out. When you decide, either as a parent or as a Christ-follower, to be present physically and consistently in the life of a kid or teenager, amazing things will happen for that kid or teenager.

It’s not just a jar of marbles; it’s your time. Gail, Kym, and I are excited to share the first three things that kids and teenagers need from the adults in their lives (and the adults who want to influence their lives) over time.

With love and blessings,
Jeremy Crum, Director of Ministries with Young People

It's Just a Phase

It's just a phase . . . so don't miss it.

Whether or not you’re a parent, we all have kids in our lives. And if you care about the future of the world, or at least the future of those kids, you need to have influence. And . . .

. . . your best chance to have an influence in someone’s life is to actually show up.

It’s impossible to remember what it was like in preschool. Nobody does.

It’s difficult to remember what it was like in elementary school. It was a long time ago.

It’s scary to remember what it was like in middle school. Most of us have blocked it out.

It’s easy for us to remember what it was like in high school. Or, we’d like to think so.  

Odds are, it's difficult for us to remember much about what it was like growing up, let alone knowing what it's like for kids today. But one thing we can remember is the people who showed up for us.

If you knew that you had 936 opportunities (sounds like a lot, right?) to influence the faith of a generation, would you take on the challenge? Would you be willing to stand in the gap with parents and families?

As a part of this series, we are offering a new study called Parenting Through the Phases. We’re inviting parents, grandparents, step-parents, any adult who is helping to raise a kid or teenager, or any adult who wants to influence the faith of a generation to participate. These are inspiring, guilt-free parenting small groups that will help you make the most of the developmental phase your child or teen is in right now. It’s never too late, even if you’re parenting a twelfth grader.

Join us this Sunday for the beginning of a new series on family and what it means to show up in the lives of kids and students. Gail, Kym, and I are excited to share this message series with you all!

With love and blessings,
Jeremy Crum, Director of Ministries with Young People

Easter Hope

This year once again we gather during Holy Week and remember and reflect upon the story of the Passion, Christ’s trial, crucifixion, death, and burial together.  Two thousand years after the Christ’s death, however we have the luxury of being what some call “Easter people.”  
We know how the story plays out, and we know that Jesus does not stay in the tomb.  As much as the story affects us when we hear it again, we have that consolation. Good Friday is not the end.

Yet today as much as we are Easter people, much of the time we still live in a Good Friday world.  That means that on most mornings, a fair number of people are feeling the same way the disciples must have been that day. They’re wondering where hope has gone. They’re crying out for another way. They’re listening for any news that suffering doesn’t win. That death doesn’t get the last word. That God is so good, and so full of grace, that God doesn’t give up on the world, and the stone rolls away from the tomb.

There is a world that needs to hear that. Maybe even you need to hear that. I know there are days when I need to hear that.  And I don’t think I’m alone.  And that’s what the Easter story teaches me.  Good Friday is not the end of the story.  Love wins.  There is hope.  Light overcomes darkness.  Sin and death have been defeated.  


On Easter Sunday we will offer six different Easter Celebration Worship Services:

6:30 AM           Sunrise Service             Front lawn of New Creation UMC
6:30 AM           Sunrise Service             Bennett’s Creek Park pavilion
8:00 AM           Praise Service                Sanctuary
9:30 AM           Traditional Service      Sanctuary
11:00 AM        Traditional Service      Sanctuary
11:00 AM        Modern Service            Fellowship Hall

Please find someone who needs to hear the good news of Easter Hope this year and invite them to join you on Sunday as we celebrate this glorious Good News!

Randy

Proclaiming the Kingdom

In our 5:17 Breakthrough Prayer we have been asking for God to, “Show us how to make a difference in our community and in the world.” God has been answering that prayer! This week we want to share with you a Breakthrough Testimony from one of our church members, Sheila Poindexter:
 
We first started giving out the Breakthrough Prayer Cards at the Food Pantry and explained to
the people what we would like them to join us in doing with this prayer and what it means.
Then I decided to keep some in my purse since we had extras, and when I sense God guiding me to share a card and explanation with someone -usually a stranger - I do.  I can't tell you the peace and joy I receive when I let God lead me in doing this.  Since I have been a member of New Creation, first through Grace Harbor, I am not as shy about sharing the Lord with others and sometimes in strange and different ways, yet effective.  
 
Just recently I went to a new dentist and at the end of the visit I was put with the lady in charge of explaining cost, procedures etc.  When I went in the office that day, I felt like I was supposed to share with someone, but didn't know who, and then the Lord gave me a strong push to give and share with her.  She thanked me and said she would share with her Mom who is a pastor in a non-denominational church.   It definitely pays to let the Lord lead; He truly gives and gave me boldness as our prayer says in the end.  Amen!
 
Thank you, Sheila for allowing God to use you to make a difference! If you have a Breakthrough that you would like to share, please pass it along to us.
 
Sunday, we continue our series entitled Gospel. This week is also Palm Sunday. As we celebrate Jesus our King making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we will also be exploring the kind of Kingdom that He came to usher in. Invite a friend and join us for an exciting week of worship!
 
Randy

Holiness of Heart and Life

I have spent the last few days in Disney World after helping my son, Ricky, relocate to a new home in Orlando. As I was walking through the Magic Kingdom, I passed one of the most popular attractions, Peter Pan’s Flight. The ride takes you through the scenes of the classic movie, Peter Pan. During the ride you hear one of the movie’s most famous songs. It goes    like this:

I won't grow up,
I don't want to go to school.
Just to learn to be a parrot,
And recite a silly rule.
If growing up means
It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,
I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
Not me!

Peter Pan is the boy who wouldn’t grow up. He doesn’t want any responsibility. He doesn’t want to go to school. He wants to go and come as he pleases. He wants to live all of his life in “Never-Never Land” where he and his friends can laugh and play and battle the evil Captain Hook forever without ever having to grow up.

Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up makes a charming story on the movie screen. But a Peter Pan Christian, the man or woman who will not grow up, make a tragedy in real life.

The Christian life is a journey. It is a path that each of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ walk. And there is one thing that is certain, it is impossible to stand still in the Christian life: we either go forward and claim God’s blessing, or we go backward and wander about aimlessly. We do not live in a “Never-Never Land.” We live in God’s world. And it is a fact that, whether we like it or not, we all must grow up.

This week as we continue our series entitled Gospel, we will look at the process of growth in the Christian life. In our Methodist theology we call this process of growth, sanctification. Join us as we explore how we grow up in holiness of heart and life.

Randy

Transformation

We as a church have now been praying for 3 months our Breakthrough prayer. We have been praying for God to breakthrough in our lives and in our church and community. Many of you have been sharing these breakthroughs, as God has nudged you to do something or you have had an answer to prayer. 

Kathy Williams had a powerful breakthrough to share: I was recently at a local store looking at furniture.  After seeing various styles of furniture, the salesperson and I sat down to talk about prices.  While we were talking, the alarm on my phone started playing "Morning Has Broken" at 5:17 pm.  As was I pulling my phone out of my purse and stopping the alarm I apologized and told the salesperson it was time to pray.  She looked at me with wonder, not sure what I was going to do next.  Then I explained that our church had a breakthrough prayer that we were praying everyday at 5:17 am and 5:17 pm.  Although it was not intentional, it was certainly a great opportunity to tell her about New Creation UMC.  She even asked me why I go to church there, which made me think, "Why do I go to church at New Creation"?   As I turned to leave the store, the Holy Spirit "nudged" me to turn around and go back and invite her to church, which I did.

We worship a living God who is constantly reaching out and nudging us! This week we are exploring transformation, how God transforms us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We explored why we need a savior, how our sin has separated us from God and how Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. We know that even once we acknowledge and accept God, we are not immediately perfect people. We are still 'works in progress' as God continues to make us new every day. We praise God that when we are in Christ, we are a New Creation! Join us as we explore how God transforms us.

Blessings,
Pastor Stephanie

The Cross

At the heart and center of the Christian religion stands one symbol - a cross. Other systems revolve around other symbols; the crescent, the lotus flower, the sun’s disc, a bronze statue - but Christianity revolves around a cross. It is our symbol that identifies both who we are and why we are who we are. We see them on our altars. We use them in our decorations. We even wear them around our necks. Crosses come in almost every form, size, and color.
 
On Sunday as we continue our series entitled Gospel, we will survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died. Why has this symbol, the first century equivalent to the gas chamber and electric chair been so jealously guarded and retained, given such a hallowed place of honor in our churches?
           
We will ask:
 
What is the importance of the cross? 
Why does it speak so powerfully to us? 
How does a thing of such brutality serve as the thing that brings comfort and reconciliation?
What ultimate truths of life and the power of God does the cross reveal to us?
 
I hope you will join us as we explore these important questions.
 
See you on Sunday!
 
Randy

Sin

In our 5:17 Breakthrough Prayer we have been asking for God to, “Breakthrough in our lives and in our church.” God has been answering that prayer! This week we want to begin sharing with you some of the Breakthrough Testimonies we have received from members of our congregation. The first one below comes from Terry Rivenbark:

When visiting my mom who lives in a nearby “super senior” residence, I always read passages from the Upper Room before leaving. Recently, I have also started reading her one of 120 daily readings from Billy Graham’s book “Breakfast with Billy Graham.”  Pastor Randy and Pastor Stephanie’s first 2019 sermon on January 6 (which was My relationship with God) introduced us to 5:17 where the focus is on how we can become a new person, or new creation in Christ.

 Back to my mom…

On my first visit with my mom after their sermon, I randomly opened Billy Graham’s book and started reading “Christ Made Me Want to Change.”  After a few moments I realized this is 5:17! He even quoted 2 Corinthians 5:17 later in the reading!  Rev. Graham wrote that after he accepted Christ he became interested in helping people, which he had never done before. He also started looking at people in a different way. In closing he stated that Christ will change the way you think and thus you will become a new creation. Just think if 5:17 was instrumental in changing Billy Graham’s life and helped him to bring so many to Christ, then the possibilities must be endless for us at New Creation! 

As a believer this has to be God speaking to me and not just a coincidence. I was flabbergasted!  God just challenged me to change and to be a better person! I have accepted the challenge and started working on becoming a better me. Now I must say that the jury is still out on my improvements.  However, I know that because of Christ, I am a new creation!

If you have seen breakthroughs in your life, we would love to hear from you! Please email Pastor Randy or Pastor Stephanie with your story.

 

Grace

A message from the Pastor


This week we enter the season of Lent. This is a season to deepen our devotion to God and to add a new discipline to our routine. Last week we challenged you to take our Breakthrough Prayer to a deeper level by giving you 5:17 Prayer Timers and asking you to spend 5 minutes and 17 seconds each day in prayer. We hope you are using those to intensify your prayer for breakthrough in your life and in our church.

Each week in Lent we want to share a “Timer Tip” from one of our members to encourage you in this Lenten Discipline. This week’s Timer Tip comes from one of our Lay Leaders, Michael Strickland:
 
Friends - After several weeks of praying the Breakthrough Prayer at least twice a day, and as we now move into a new phase of using the 5:17 minute prayer timer, I want to develop a more complete understanding of what this prayer can mean to me and the life of our church.  So, as I consider how to incorporate the 5:17 timer into this prayer innovation, I am moved to do the following.   
 
The Breakthrough Prayer comprises 5 sentences that begin:
 
1.  Almighty God, today breakthrough...
2.  Make us...
3.  Transform us...
4.  Show us...
5.  Give us....
 
I want to spend at least 1 minute each day more deeply meditating on each of those sentences and listening for God's voice and God's wisdom as to what each sentence means to me and New Creation today.  I believe this will result in a more personal attachment to these wonderful words and a path forward to service, whatever form that may take.  Only God knows what breakthroughs await!
 
May you have a great week as you decide how to use this with your timer for prayer!

Randy

Good News

A message from the Pastor

The birth of a new baby. A wedding or engagement. When something exciting happens in our life, we want to share the good news with others. We may put an announcement in the newspaper, call or text a friend, or update our social media status. Modern-day technology makes it easier than ever to share our announcements with people all over the world. When we have good news, it is hard to keep it to ourselves.
 
Whether face-to-face or through social media, we are not ashamed to share the latest happenings in our lives. Shouldn’t we be even more excited to share the message of God’s great love and grace with the world? Events such as births, engagements, and weddings are certainly exciting, but what better news could there be to share than the good news of Jesus and His salvation?
  
Paul declared that he was unashamed to proclaim the gospel. He understood the power of the gospel message in bringing God’s eternal salvation to all who put their faith in Christ. With the Spirit’s empowerment, the bold apostle would let nothing deter him from proclaiming the powerful message that people so desperately need. Centuries later, the same gospel message still has the power to transform lives. Let’s not be ashamed to testify to the good work God is doing in our lives and our world today.
 
Join us on Sunday as we begin a brand-new series that will take us through the season of Lent where each week, we will explore the core elements of the good news of the gospel from our Wesleyan Methodist perspective and how to live it and give it away to others.
 
Randy

Joining The Lord

A message from the Pastor

As followers of Christ we are constantly surrounded and even bombarded with the needs of others. There are physical and spiritual needs crying all around us. The physical needs are not only in far-off places where political unrest, civil war, earthquakes, floods, famines and other natural disasters take many lives and leave thousands homeless.

But we also have a responsibility to meet the needs "at home." There are many physical and spiritual needs right in our community, in our schools, in our work place, our neighborhood and our church. In fact, when we take off the blinders, we find that there are so many needs around us that we don't know where to begin! The problems seem so gigantic and complicated and hopeless and frightening that we get discouraged and end up doing little or nothing.

What can we do? What should we do? The answers to those two important questions are given to us in one of Jesus’ most famous miracles; the miracle of the feeding of the 4000 thousand. This miracle is a separate event from the feeding of the 5000.

Once again, Jesus sees the large group of people who had gathered, and his heart was filled with compassion. The disciples are perplexed as to what to do in this situation. Imagine the disciples' thinking and reasoning at this point! "Hey, wait a minute, Lord. This isn't our responsibility! These people came over here on their own, without any food or forethought. Why should we get involved in bailing them out? Look at the magnitude of the need! We just don't have the resources! Jesus asks, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” And once again, Jesus took what the disciples had to offer and multiplied it to meet the needs of all the people in abundance.

The lesson for us is clear. "Give what you have." We are not expected to give what we don't have, but we are expected to give what we do have! As we strive to love the 757, that is what we must do. Our responsibility is to give what we have to Him--no more but no less! The little we have can meet the greatest need when it is given to Christ and then multiplied by Him.

See you Sunday,

Randy

Engaging With My Neighbor

On the 15th of May, in the Jungle of Nool, In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,        He was splashing… enjoying the jungle’s great joys… When Horton the elephant heard a            small noise.”
 
These are the classic opening lines of the Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who, which is a tremendous story about an elephant named Horton who one day discovers and hears this small community of creatures living on a speck of dust called “Whos”.  And Horton is convinced of their existence and he hears them.  And the story tells of him persevering and promising and vowing to care for and protect these small creatures called Whos amidst persecution and harassment from Sour Kangaroos and a gang of monkeys and a vulture named Vlad. 
 
And he does.  He protects them.  One of the driving motivations, one of the driving sayings, one of the driving truths that motivates and pushes Horton is this: “A person’s a person no matter how small.”

You know this phrase seems to be a truth that comes out of the very heart of Jesus, doesn’t it?  Perhaps our Savior might say, “A person is worthy of love…no matter how small.”  Or maybe, “A person is worthy of love…no matter how large; no matter how poor.  No matter how smelly.  No matter how ugly or mean.  No matter what color their skin or what language they speak.”

This week we continue our series Loving the 757. We will look at how we can follow the example of Jesus and engage with people around us in a way that enables them to know that we care. We will also look at the early church and the approach that they took to reach out to persons great and small.

Randy

Praying for my Neighbor

Coca-Cola is one product that has far outgrown its humble beginnings. In 1886, Dr. John Pemberton first introduced Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. The pharmacist concocted a caramel-colored syrup in a three-legged brass kettle in his backyard. He first "distributed" Coca-Cola by carrying it in a jug down the street to Jacobs’s Pharmacy.

 

After little more than 130 years later, surveys show that 97% of the world has heard of Coca-Cola. 72% of the world has seen a can of Coca-Cola. 51% of the world has tasted a can of Coca-Cola. All due to the fact that the company made a commitment years ago that everyone on the planet would have a taste of their soft drink.

 

We should stand up and take note here! 97% of the world has heard of this sugar and water concoction while 2 billion people worldwide have no access to the good news of Jesus Christ! It is estimated that 17 million people die every year without having heard the name of Jesus! 

 

This Sunday we will continue our series Loving the 757. There are many persons right here in our community who do not know the good news of Jesus. There are many people who are hurting, seeking, and searching for something or someone to fill the void in their lives. We believe that Jesus is the answer and that, “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation!”

 

How do we spread the word about who Jesus is and what he does in our lives? How do we live so that our lives are a living testimony to the Good News of the Gospel?  What are we doing as a church to spread the word so that the people in our community can “taste and see that the Lord is good?” (Psalm 34:8)

 

Randy

 

Raising the Temperature

A message from the Pastor


2019 is off to an awesome start at New Creation! As we began the new year, we introduced our 5:17 Breakthrough Prayer. We want to thank you for making that a part of your daily routine! We believe there is tremendous power when God’s people join together in prayer. Many of you have shared with us how praying that prayer has impacted your life.
 
During the month of January our 5:17 sermon series focused on the first portion of the Breakthrough Prayer: “Make us a new creation. Transform us by the power and presence of your Holy Spirit.” We found that God and His Word is full of wisdom and direction to transform us, to make us a new creation in just about every area of life; our relationship with the Lord, our time, our health, and our finances.
 
As we move into the month of February, we are going to focus our attention on the next portion of the prayer. The Breakthrough Prayer continues, “Show us how to make a difference in our community and in the world.” If we truly mean what we pray as we offer these words, it leads us to ask ourselves some important questions: How well do we know our community? Who are our neighbors? Do we see them the way Jesus sees them? Do we really care about hurting people?  Are we convinced that everyone we know, without exception, needs to find the forgiveness, friendship, life, and leadership Jesus offers?  Do we really believe that?  If so, are we willing to take risks to share that good news with them?  And are we willing to invest our time, energy, and resources in developing a church that will attract, challenge, and teach them to step across that line of faith?
 
Join us on Sunday as we begin a new series entitled Loving the 757 as we explore some of these important questions.
 
As part of the series we challenge you to add to your daily 5:17 prayer a time to intentionally pray for our community. A guided prayer calendar is being provided to help you target your prayers.
 
Randy

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

ike most pastors, I’m always reading—books to help me with sermon prep—books dealing with church leadership and growth—books for Bible studies—books for my own personal spiritual growth—and sometimes a book for just plain fun. A few years ago, for one of my “fun reads” I read John Grisham’s novel, King of Torts. If you’ve read it, then you know that the main character is a young lawyer working for the poor down in D.C. One day he is offered a chance to make a great deal of money very quickly on a mass litigation lawsuit. He accepts the offer, makes millions almost overnight, and then—working on a hot tip—goes after another lucrative case—a huge malpractice suit that yields him even more millions—so much money in fact that the papers dub him, “The King of Torts.”
 
Now—you would think that with all those millions, our hero would be happy, but not so. In fact, as the months go by, he finds that his vast fortune causes him a lot of anxiety and stress—mainly because as his income increases, so do his expenses and because they do his millions begin to slip through his fingers like sand through an hourglass. So, instead of ENJOYING his money he constantly WORRIES about it and works harder and harder to win the next big case so that he can garner even more wealth. By the end of the book the “King of Torts” realizes that money can be a source of distress and tension. He learns an important truth—which I think is the moral of Grisham’s story and here it is:
 
Money isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it can bring more pain than pleasure!
 
And Grisham is correct, because no matter how much money we have if we’re not very careful, it can become one of the most significant sources of stress in our lives. In fact, that’s why at the beginning of the year many people make resolutions that have to do with money.
 
Join us on Sunday as we conclude our 5:17 series by examining some of the things Jesus has to teach us about our attitude toward our money.
 
Randy

You Are What You Eat

The New Year is off to a great start! Thank you to everyone who has taken the challenge to pray our 5:17 Breakthrough prayer. I have already heard a number of you share with me testimony about how God has been moving in your lives and in our church. Breakthroughs are happening! God is doing new and exciting things among us! Please continue to keep praying our breakthrough prayer as you are able every day at 5:17 AM and/or 5:17 PM.
 
This Sunday we are going to continue our 5:17 series by addressing another of the most prominent areas that we  often desire to make changes at the beginning of a new year.  Often after the holiday season, a time for most of us when we over indulge, we resolve to eat less and exercise more.  We resolve to live a healthier lifestyle.  For me this is a resolution I seem to make every year.  Why is it so difficult for us to maintain discipline in this area? 
 
On Sunday we are going to explore some biblical principles that will help us gain better perspective on the issues that surround our bodies and our physical health.  We will look at how God can help us to overcome destructive thinking and behaviors so that we can live healthier lives both physically and spiritually. 
 
Let’s continue this positive momentum and fill God’s house as we learn and grow together as God’s people!
 
See you Sunday!
 
Randy
 

Its About Time

A message from the Pastor


As we seek to make changes in our lives one of the areas we tend to focus on is the use of our time. Many of us resolve to slow down and not live at such a hectic and busy pace.

Why do we do live our lives like this?  Why do we continue to try to keep up this pace? I think it is because we have bought into what one author calls the Four Myths of busyness.


Myth #1: Busy equals important.

We have a warped sense of pride when we are able to report, “I am just too busy”.  We seem to feel more significant when we report that we have “too much to do”.  We actually take a measure of pride in announcing to people that we are workaholics!  Actually, being overly busy cuts us off from the time we need to spend cultivating the important relationships in our life: with our spouse, our kids, our friends, our God.

Myth #2: Someone wins the rat race.

This is a lie because the rat race is all about "what you do" and God is more interested in "who we are."  God will not ask at the judgment, "How busy were you?" Rather, He will ask, "Are you like Jesus?"

Myth #3: Hurrying will buy us more time.

All this technology we now have was supposed to create tons of free time, but in fact it has increased the pace at which we have to work.  Our society is hurrying faster than it ever has, yet, ironically, we seem to have less time than ever before.  Someone said, “The problem with living life in the fast lane is that you get to the toll booth quicker!”  Hurrying will buy more heart attacks, ulcers, stress, and headaches; but not more time.

Myth #4: "Down time" is wasted.

We are made to feel guilty if we aren’t constantly "doing something."  But God instituted the Sabbath into the system and the Scripture is filled with the idea of "God’s rest."

I hope you will all slow down long enough to join us on Sunday as we explore this in              more detail.

Randy

A Fresh Start

As we begin 2019 it is my prayer that we will be focused with a renewed passion and intensity on the vision that God has set before us.  Focus is so important.  For example, diffused light has no power at all.  On the other hand, focused light has tremendous power.  For instance, by focusing the power of the sun through a magnifying glass, you can set a leaf on fire.  But you can’t set a leaf on fire if the same light is unfocused.  When light is concentrated at an even higher level, like a laser beam it can even cut through a block of steel. 
 
In the same way a focused life and a focused church will have far greater impact than unfocused ones.  I believe that is what God desires of us, a focused life and a focused church.  I want to challenge each of you to join me in doing three things that I believe will help us maintain a powerful focus:
 

  1. PRAY – Prayer must be at the foundation of everything we do. This year we will introducing a process of breakthrough prayer. We will be joining together to pray daily for God to breakthrough in new and miraculous ways in our lives and in our church.      A praying church is a powerful church.

 

  1. PARTICIPATE – Be faithful in your attendance in worship, Sunday school, and other important meetings. Get involved by using the gifts and talents that God gave you to make an impact. We cannot afford to remain in neutral.

 

  1. PRIORITIZE – Let us put Christ first in everything. Let us come together in unity under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As we listen and follow Him we will not have time to become diffused and distracted by trivial issues. Instead we become a powerful force unyielding in our pursuit of our mission and goals.

 
I believe that if we are faithful in these things God will do the rest, empowering us to shine brighter than ever before.
 
Happy New Year!
 
Randy
 

Luke 2:41-52

We have just celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, the light that came into the world. We remember what happened in Bethlehem so long ago, how the whole world changed that special night.

We tend to jump right into Jesus' baptism and ministry. However the gospel of Luke offers us a glimpse into Jesus' early years, telling of Jesus presented in the temple and when Jesus is 12 and stays behind in Jerusalem. We can imagine the panic Mary and Joseph felt as they realized a day's journey into returning home that their oldest son Jesus was not with them.

Jesus reminds us of what is most important, spending time with our father. As we close out 2018 and look forward to 2019, it is a good time to reexamine our faith. Are we as close to God as we can get? Can we spend more time in our father's house? Do we need to recommit our lives to God? 

Cara Geiger will be preaching at the modern service. Cara will be preaching on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, how we are the body of Christ together.
 
Pastor Stephanie