Friday, June 23, 2017

God is always working

Our youth from church have been on a retreat at the lake this week.  The last two nights I have listened to some friends share their stories and to challenges our students, and I have been challenged as well.

My friend and local pastor Derek Layman talked last night about the moments in life that often define us in various ways. We all have a testimony. Those moments make our testimonies, and those moments remind us that God wants to use us. There's always purpose behind what is going on. 

Derek challenged us to remember three things as we go through the moments of life that define us.  Each of these items are true and strong.  Acknowledge these

God is always present for you.

Psalms 139:7-10  NLT
I can never escape from your Spirit!  I can never get away from your presence!  If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

Don’t question His presence or His purpose because He is for you and with you always.  The situation doesn’t matter.  Whether good or bad, strong or weak, stressing or stress relieving, God has not left us to ourselves.

God is always working things out for our good. 

Romans 8:28  NLT
And we know that God causes everything to work together[a for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

He is working.  He knows best.  That is how our God can take what seems wrong or is crooked and make it is completely right.  Let Him work!

God is preparing a task for us. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  NLT
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

There is a task.  There is a purpose.  It might have far reaching outcomes or something simple and short, but God has a plan. 

His presence in our lives, His working in our lives and His task for us will make our testimonies and our work much fuller.  I look forward to the days ahead!

See you at church this Sunday.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

our core values

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

We need to be reminded of important things.  As parents we remind our kids of stuff.  Those we work for or serve with also will remind us of what is most important.  The same is true for the church.  God called us to share His love, to spread His word and to make a difference in the community we live in.

That is why I send this reminder in the form of our core values.  We’ve held these for 10 years, since The Community Fellowship began.  We believe that is it all about Jesus.  We find our purpose as we lose ourselves in serving others.  That is best summed up in our motto of demonstrating the love of God to our community

The Community has 7 core values that we have built on the premise that God set up His church to change the world.  Here are our core values:

COMMUNITY … We seek to build community in order to exalt God, influence people & encourage one another (read Acts 2:43-47)

RELEVANT … By sharing God’s message that is as relevant today as it was in Jesus’ day because that message through God still changes lives (read John 14:6 and 1 John 1:10)

ACCEPTANCE … We show the love of love by accepting people as they are (read Romans 14:3 and 15:7)

CREATIVITY … We use creativity in reaching people (read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23) because God's church is be the most creative institution on earth because we have the greatest message to share (that statement is adapted from Mark Batterson).
AUTHENTICITY One of the best ways to influence people is to be real (read Hebrews 1:3).  When others know our struggles, they will allow God to deal with their struggles.

UNITY … The church should agree to share God's vision (read Philippians 2:1-5) and the message of Jesus.  Agree on the most important thing that is Jesus!

EXPECTATIONS … The church will reach new levels as we seek to hold each other accountable to what God’s word calls us to do and how He tells us to live (read 2 Corinthians 8:5).

My purpose in life is help people reach their potential and to live with the purpose God has given them.  The best way to find our purpose is to serve others!  Matthew Barnett said, "whoever shows up the most in peoples lives is going to win the battle of influence".  I pray God will use each of us to influence many people for Him as we seek our purpose and serve!

God is always working

Our youth from church have been on a retreat at the lake this week.   The last two nights I have listened to some friends share their st...