follow me on TWITTER

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

volunteer of the week GREG REYES

This week we honor Greg Reyes as The Community Fellowship's Volunteer of the week.


Greg Reyes has been attending The Community Fellowship for a year.

 

He is the owner of a landscaping company and has generously volunteered his time and energy to mowing and grounds keeping of our new campus since first becoming a part of our church.

 

Greg is a Team Leader of REACH Ministry and dearly blesses the community through his efforts to not only feed the people he interacts with, but he also strives to make them feel welcome, valued and appreciated.  REACH Ministry serves a meal each Saturday evening at 5pm at the Martinsville Hotel an area where many homeless friends of ours stay.  Greg and his team serve a meal, connect through starting relationships and prays with many of the people served.

 

During our back2school preparations, Greg volunteered with Pack the Bus Ministry at Wal-Mart helping to collect school supplies for children that might otherwise not have what they need to begin school in the fall. He also has helped with our Trunk or Treat event this past Halloween.

 

Greg enjoys cooking, playing his guitar and singing and would like to be the owner of a store in the future.  He enjoys spending time with his 11 grandchildren as well.

 

Greg reminds us of Colossians 3:23 “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

 

We are very happy to recognize Greg Reyes as our Volunteer of the Week. Thank you, Greg, for all you do to bless others as well as your church family!

 

 

***  for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276-647-8231 or email cmartin@thecommunityfellowship.org.  to give online click on this link   https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift ***

THURSDAY work at our new campus

Here is another chance to help at our NEW CAMPUS.  Almost every Thursday a group from "Baptist Builders" comes to do work on our new campus as we prepare this new home for our church and ministries.  You are invited!!!!  Come out and help!!!!  Community friends and family, join Kasim Adams and this work team as we move forward with our new home.  

The new campus of The Community is located at 700 Commerce Court in Martinsville, VA.  If you have questions, call the church at 276-647-8231 or contact Kasim.


***  for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276-647-8231 or email cathylorenmartin@gmail.com.  to give online click on this link https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift ***

I am grateful for Scripture


It was late fall, if I can remember correctly.  Sitting in a room of 30 or 40 pastors who had been soaking up the heart of a champion that has been a great mentor to me.  There were stories shared.  Scripture was read and explained.

Woven within the days of our time together were stories of brokenness and stories of victory.  I recall one of those stories that drove home the point of little with great integrity.  It was capped off with the conviction that wrapping our lives in the verses of the Bible will keep us when nothing else will.

Jesus used Scripture when He was tempted by Satan.  We can do the same.  The word of God is powerful.  It was that week way back in the mid 1990’s that I was challenged to make reading the book of Proverbs part of every day life.

The truth help within the 31 chapters of Proverbs will ring in your heart and in your mind and be found in the words and actions that form the days of life that you share with God and with the people around you.  For me God has brought many of those verses to mind when nothing else seem to come up. 

I am grateful for the overflow of the Bible.  I am grateful for the wisdom that God’s word flows through our lives.  I am grateful for the transformation that verses of the Bible have brought to my life.  I am grateful for Scripture.

Yesterday was one of those days where the verses of Proverbs 19 continued to ring in me, and I’d like to share some of those verses with you as this day begins.

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.

To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.

17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—
and he will repay you!

20 Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.

21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

23 Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.

27 If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

yesterdays


POEM: Yesterdays by Father Abram Joseph Ryan

Gone! and they return no more,

But they leave a light in the heart;

The murmur of waves that kiss a shore

Will never, I know, depart.



Gone! yet with us still they stay,

And their memories throb through life;

The music that hushes or stirs to-day,

Is toned by their calm or strife.



Gone! and yet they never go!

We kneel at the shrine of time:

'Tis a mystery no man may know,

Nor tell in a poet's rhyme.

When I was in college studying English literature, I read many different authors.  Father Ryan was one of my favorites, but it might not be for a reason you would guess.  He was the “Poet Laureate of the Confederacy” and stayed at a home that a friend of mine once owned in Biloxi, Mississippi. 

I recognized the spiritual side of his writing as well as the historical value of the things that Father Ryan put on paper.  It is my understanding that the things we share, write and voice go much further than the first hearing or reading.  They seem to reverberate in the lives of the people that those words attach themselves to.

Ryan’s words attached themselves to my mind and heart just as so many other books, poems and many Bible verses have been attached to my life.

But what sticks out to me is the historical value of what is written or the happenings that become part of our part.  Literature is important.  The Bible continues to come to life as we read it, and as the Bible attaches itself and we allow it to shape our lives.

Where am I going with this?  Thanks for asking.

Sunday evening we spent with a friend who is a photographer that was taking pictures of our oldest daughter Rebecca.  He was taking her senior pictures.  As I looked on the picture taking, saw the pictures later or just stood and thought, I was struck by the truth that this beautiful young lady was the same infant that was crying so quietly some 17 years ago as I couldn’t stop crying.  She is growing up so fast.

History is standing before me and standing strong.  She has become a beautiful young lady full of character and strength.  I have watched her make choices that I am so proud of.  The story can go on and on.

But the day will come when my daughter will go to college.  One day she will announce that she wants to get married, but I will stop there.  Don't think I can handle any more as a dad right now.

We must cherish the time we have.  The children grow up so fast.  We lose friends to death or to moving across the country, and things simply change.  Take up every opportunity that God gives you.

Yesterdays are important.  We cannot get them back, but we can and must learn from them.  Yesterdays afford us memories that strengthen our hearts, they are points of the past that will remind us of happenings, good and bad, as well as things that we must learn from and leave better. 

Thank God for your yesterdays. Allow yesterdays to run through your mind, but don’t allow yesterdays to hold you back from growing stronger and allowing yourself to move forward with freedom and grace.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

Monday, August 18, 2014

find a way


One of the first movies I saw with Robin Williams was Dead Poets Society, and it was had a line that stuck with me, with lots of people actually.  It was “carpe diem” or “seize the day”.  That movie depicted a teacher influencing the students entrusted to his care.  Williams was the kind of person that questioned the norm and helped others find their purpose.

On a side note, I have refrained from giving my thoughts on Robin Williams’ death and his battle with depression, but I plan in the weeks ahead to share my understanding as well as the struggle that so many people battle that leads to choices such as Williams made.  Continue to pray for his family and those influenced by him.

What I see in the character Williams played in the movie Dead Poets Society was the need we all have to make a difference.  We have been challenged by God and by the needs around us to find a way to serve, to make a difference and to live with purpose.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.  There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

We have the Spirit of God living inside of us, and He has given us boldness to share truth and to find help.  That is why we have to share Christ and tell others our story of how God showed up to meet our needs.

They share freely and give generously to those in need.  Their good deeds will be remembered forever.  They will have influence and honor.

The people who seek God and who care about others will be generous in the way they find to meet needs.  As Zig Ziglar said, You can have everything in life you want, if you'll just help enough other people get what they want.”  That is simple.  Serve others and blessings will come in your direction.  Influence and honor will be part of your life as you make others a priority.

Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.

Pursue God.  Notice what is right and strong as you see the direction that your life is intended to go.  Life is not a set of good luck happenings or of coincidences.  Life is full purpose when lived the way God intended.  It begins with salvation by Jesus and continues as we apply our salvation to serve others.

Those who obey him will not be punished.  Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right,

Waiting till later is not an option.  Knowing the right time is a good thing.  Another way to look at this is to make sure you have what you need to help someone help someone.  If you meet someone that needs food but you have no food, then how can you help?  That is why God will fill you and refuel you to be able to help others.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

Think about ways to serve.  Serving will open people to be able to see God.  Share His love without words but with actions.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

I praise God for our freedom.  We can do almost anything we want to do, but many people chose to use all they have and spend on their time serving themselves.  Being selfish doesn’t accomplish what God wants.

We must find a way to serve others just as Jesus found a way to serve us while we were in need.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blood Drive in honor of Catrina Lawless



Monday, August 18th is our annual Red Cross Blood Drive at The Community Fellowship, and we want to invite you to take part in helping make a difference.  It is our desire to make a difference  by demonstrating the love of God to our community.  By giving blood you have the opportunity to not only make a difference but possibly save 3 lives.

We also want to announce that this year's blood drive is being given in honor or our own Catrina Lawless.  Catrina, her daughter Ashlyn and her husband Dennis have been attending The Community for several months.  Catrina and Ashlyn volunteered during our back2school outreach earlier this month well.  She has been battling cancer for sometime and will begin hospice care later this week.

During the blood drive we will ask participants to pray for her, to sign cards, to make financial donations and to give blood in her honor.  Please help us pass the word about this event.

To make an appointment call the church at 276-647-8231 or send an email to cathylorenmartin@gmail.com stating the time you like to give blood between the times of 1 and 7pm.  Thank you ahead of time for honoring Catrina and for making a difference!


***  for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276-647-8231 or email cathylorenmartin@gmail.com.  to give online click on this link https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift ***

Friday, August 15, 2014

speaking strong truth


One of my favorite heroes of the faith and writers is Catholic priest Henri Nouwen.  I may not find common ground in all of what he taught or wrote, but Nouwen stepped in to places where few others dared go especially when it came to speaking God given potential in to the lives of the people he ministered to.  Nouwen’s letters overrun with the things we can help believe about God and himself.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

I’ve chosen some quotes from the Henri Nouwen Soceity’s “Daily Meditation”.  These speak life, truth, courage and more to those who will spend time thinking over and applying what Nouwen shared.

--- Jesus shows us the way of being witnesses.  He was so full of God's love, so connected with God's will, so burning with zeal for God's Kingdom, that he couldn't do other than witness.  Aug 10 ’14 “Burning with Love”

--- The ups and downs of our spiritual lives depend on our obedience - that is, our attentive listening - to the movements of the Spirit of God within us.  Without this listening our spiritual life eventually becomes subject to the windswept waves of our emotions.  July 16 ’14 “The Dynamics of the Spiritual Life”

--- He came to open our ears to the voice that also says to us, "You are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter, my favour rests on you ."  When we can hear that voice, trust in it, and always remember it, especially during dark times, we can live our lives as God's blessed children and find the strength to share that blessing with others. July 14 ’14 “Being Blessed”

--- When we think about Jesus we mostly think about his words and miracles, his passion, death, and resurrection, but we should never forget that before all of that Jesus lived a simple, hidden life in a small town, far away from all the great people, great cities, and great events.  Jesus' hidden life is very important for our own spiritual journeys.  If we want to follow Jesus by words and deeds in the service of his Kingdom, we must first of all strive to follow Jesus in his simple, unspectacular, and very ordinary hidden life.  Aug 12 ’14 “The Hidden Life of Jesus”

You can got find his books or search online for his letters, and you will see for yourself the depth of Henri Nouwen’s work.  You will be challenged.

Thursday I read notes from the Global Leadership Summit put on by Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek Church.  One quote stuck out to me that I’d like to ask us, especially as leaders, to think through.  It went something like this: “the best leaders work more on themselves than on your church (or business)”.

May God help us to lean in to Him so we can serve others in greater ways.

But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

annual BLOOD DRIVE is Monday

Community family!!!

This coming Monday from 1 to 7 pm is our annual BLOOD DRIVE in partnership with our local Red Cross.  This is one more way that we can demonstrate the love of God to our community in a tangible way.  Would you consider making an appointment to give blood?  Also, would you ask others to come and give blood?

To make an appointment call the church at 276-647-8231 or send Cathy an email at cathylorenmartin@gmail.com.

Thank you for making a difference in our community.  I look forward to seeing you guys Sunday for worship at 10:10am and Monday for the blood drive!


With GOD as my guide,
Pastor Michael Harrison
-- James 1:5

***  for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276-647-8231 or email cathylorenmartin@gmail.com.  to give online click on this link https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift ***

pursue your dream


Note: much of this post was first shared in January 2011, but I believe the heart of what is shared will inspire us to know and pursue the passion that God have given each of us.

John 2:17 NLT
Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: "Passion for God's house will consume me."

Jesus did some things that were pretty far out there.  He didn't follow the status quo or anyone else's code of conduct or even what the religious leaders said was right.  Jesus passionately did what God said His purpose was for being on earth.  The from John 2 quoted above comes right after Jesus had cleared the temple when people had made it a shopping center or flea market rather than a place of worship.  What was wrong with the situation?  The people forgot the purpose of the temple.

When we forget the purpose of the church or our purpose, we will do things that are not right.  Yet when we remember and pursue our purpose, the things we do will seem wrong to some people, but our actions and our choices will fit well because of our calling from God.

It is kind of like helping the poor.  It might be uncomfortable and difficult, but we go there and do this work because it is our calling.  Maybe it is like the guy who is called to work with AIDS orphans or with people who committed difficult crimes and people, even some very close to us, don't understand why.  Jesus spent time with lepers and prostitutes and even tax collectors.  The people who considered themselves normal couldn't understand why Jesus did what He did.  Jesus knew who needed the truth He shared.

Knowing our purpose and pursuing our passion will drive us to do what we have to do and not to let things get in the way of that purpose, yet we have to be reminded of this truth from time to time.

Luke 4:18 NLT
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,

Those words first came from the Old Testament, but Jesus read them in the Temple where almost no one understand what He read.  Jesus knew His purpose.  Do we?

Mark 2:17 NLT
When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

Knowing our purpose will give us so much to do that we won't let anything take our minds and our actions off of the right target.  Jesus knew that too many lives were at risk, and they still are today.  God’s church, you and I, must know our purpose and pursue our God given passion no matter what it takes.  For me that means I must seek the Lord with all I have, lead with passion and minister to others with great compassion.  In doing that we will lets others see Jesus in our every day words and actions.

Know and pursue your passion!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

volunteer of the week JENNIFER TERRY

This week we honor Jennifer Terry as The Community Fellowship’s Volunteer of the Week.

 

Jennifer has been a part of our The Community Fellowship family for 6 years.

 

We are blessed that Jennifer has a gift for teaching and devotes much of her time and talent to being the leader of our Youth Ministry.  

 

Jennifer has been a teacher at Sanville Elementary School for 20 years and is currently teaching 4th grade there.  She has been involved in Youth Ministry for 16 years and has been, and continues to be, a great encourager and role model for the students that she ministers to.

 

On Sunday mornings Jennifer can be found leading the congregation in worship and blessing those attending with her beautiful voice that she obediently uses to praise our Lord in song and prayer.

 

Jennifer is a part of our Leadership Team and recently was part of our back2school ministry where she loves serving in the foot washing area, interacting with the children and praying with them.

 

In her spare time, which is limited, Jennifer enjoys reading and spending time at the lake.  She also enjoys snow skiing and spending time with her husband David and their children, Angel, Eric, Anna, Jeremiah, Matthew and their 2 year old grandson, Nate.

 

Jennifer’s favorite Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 which she feels has held her life together through many tragedies… “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD.  “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

We are extremely honored to recognize and celebrate Jennifer Terry as The Community Fellowship’s Volunteer of the Week!  Thank you, Jennifer for leading, teaching, ministering and demonstrating the love of God to others!

 

 

***  for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276-647-8231 or email cmartin@thecommunityfellowship.org.  to give online click on this link https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift ***

seeing miracles


The facts are in and research has been done.  There are all kinds of miracles that have happened around you and me.  If you have not seen any, you have not be watching, listening or expecting to see what God has done.

Through my years I have seen and even experienced the work of God in many ways.  It would be a great way to glorify God and encourage each of us to list those miracles.  Some include healing.  Some have to do with protection.  Some have to do with the connections God makes or with the wisdom that God gave at a particular time.

Miracles happen, and we should be watching for them!

He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes.

One of the things that will open our eyes to see miracles is focusing on God.  Put your mind into the Bible.  Spend time worshipping.  Give some of your time or money to serve others.  God is faithful and will display Himself to His people.

For the Lord our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes.  As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us.

He preserves His people.  He does miracles.  There is a connection between God and His people.  What gets my attention most often are the things that only God can do.  When God is our focus and our driving force, we can accomplish more than we can without Him.  That is a miracle too!

So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.

Nehemiah experienced miracles as He led God’s people to rebuild and to recharge their faith in God.

Job 5:9  NLT
He does great things too marvelous to understand.  He performs countless miracles.

Miracles are hard to understand.  But maybe the no understanding really has more to do with having a closed mind or thinking that God won’t do certain things or cannot act in such ways.  It is not our place to limit God, and we must admit we cannot limit Him.

That is why we need to watch what God does.  He is ready and willing to do miracles around us and in the lives of the people we encounter.

Psalm 66:5  NLT
Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!

When you see miracles, tell others.  Draw attention to what God has done and is doing.  The miracles God does is not about things.  Miracles are about the people God cares do much about.  My prayer is that each of us will seek God and look for the miracles He preforms. 

Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.  His faithful love endures forever.