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Friday, July 31, 2015

it's here #back2school 2015


But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”   

The stories from our back2school events of the past never get old.  When someone speaks of their experience, my passion gains even more momentum.

At last night’s volunteer training a teen girl raised her hand to share her story.  The church that she is part has become one of our partners and has helped us prepare for the success of this year’s event.  I didn’t expect her story.  But this precious girl said that when she was younger that her family came to our church and received help through the event that gave supplies, shoes and backpacks.  She said that is not only grateful for the help, but she is now excited that she gets to give back through serving.

I was speechless.  My eyes began to grow tears.  How this touched my heart because we were reminded why we do what we do.

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

It is time.  #back2school 2015 is today and tomorrow.  We have prepared.  We have prayed.  We are ready to serve.  Many children have registered and are coming to be blessed, and many of these students will in turn bless those who are serving.

There really is nothing like pouring into a child because they have great value planted in their lives by God.  These children have huge potential, and it is our job to speak into their potential, to help prepare each for a great school year and to demonstrate the love of God.

We do this because God has called us to serve others.  There is still time for you to join in; if not for this year, for the years to come.  God is good.  Awesome days ahead!

3 John 1:4  NLT
I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.


NOTE: Pray for Mt. Calvary Church, Mercy Crossing Church, Fairway Baptist Church and The Community Fellowship as we partner for this outreach.  Join us Sunday at 6pm at The Community for a celebration service!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

special needs kids @ #back2school


PRAY FOR the #back2school outreach 2015: special needs students being served on Friday and all others being served on Saturday (almost 1,500 students are registered for this event).

Luke 18:16  NASB
But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

There are several part of our #back2school outreach that get me excited, but I would like to share one of the more recent and most challenging.

A couple years ago we added an extra day to our event.  It is the day before the big day, and that is when we have chosen to serve children and their families who have special needs.  It really is an incredible day with all kinds of blessings as well as challenges.

Some kids have special needs that make being in a crowd difficult.  Other students have some health problems that make getting around a struggle.  No matter the challenge we are ready and willing to meet them.  Bring on even more of these awesome students!

I am so proud of our team that has stepped up to do more than we have in the past.  It is not easy to serve some, but when we meet these kids, we see they are more than worth the effort.  Some require one on one interaction.  Others want very little interaction.  Some don’t want to go through the process.  What I believe is that ever child has great value and needs to know and hear and learn even more that God values them.

We can take the opportunity every day to help the people we come in contact with to know they are special to God.  No matter their situation or status, God loves each and offers hope.  When the church reaches people with challenges, I believe the church looks more and more like the church God intended us to be.

Some of the roadblocks are put up for the wrong reason.  Some people simply don’t serve or share with others because it is uncomfortable.  Jesus was uncomfortable often, but He was willing to do things to make a difference.

What are we willing to do so that another person can accept the fact that they are valuable to God?  Try that today.

Tomorrow is Friday.  We will serve some incredible students.  Pray for great impact!

and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

together for #back2school


Ways to make #back2school 2015 a success: pray for all involved (those served and those serving), volunteer at one of 4 churches, give to support the events, be part of the big event on Friday and Saturday, AND attend the celebration Sunday, August 2nd at 6pm at The Community Fellowship in Collinsville!

For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.

It is incredible to get together with a couple hundred friends for a common cause.  One of my favorite happenings of #back2school is when we come together to put the school supplies in backpacks.  I cannot even come up with the right words or how grateful I am for all the partners who are joining us this year.

It is for the children and their families.  When they receive their backpack as well as the other items, we will be able to bless these people and tell them about the hope that comes from Christ.  The partnerships of church groups and friends coming together is something like an explanation point at the end of a huge event. 

This is the 8th year of the #back2school outreach.  There are lots of new people and new students joining in this year.  I cannot wait for the weekend.  I love the smiles on those kid’s faces.

But the looks on the faces of the people on the back porch of The Community’s new campus was so excellent tonight.  I met some new friends and rekindled some old friendships.  I left rejuvenated and excited about the future of our church and our work in our community.  We are not alone.

Together we accomplish more.  Together we gain momentum and strength.  Together we make more noise.  Together we have a louder voice.  Together we are seeing God change more lives in our community.  And there is more to come.

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#back2school is almost here

Mark 10:13  CEB

People were bringing children to Jesus so that he would bless them…

 

This is one of the greatest weeks of the year as we celebrate the children of our community through our #back2school outreach.  This will be our 8th year, and there are 1,450 students registered to be blessed at the 4 churches serving this year (Fairway Baptist, Mercy Crossing, Mt. Calvary PH, and The Community Fellowship).

 

These children will hear the Gospel of how Jesus will change their lives and will be reminded that they have great potential.  What an incredible thing it is to bless children!  Just like the verse above, Jesus lived out the blessings.  We can do the same.

 

Pray for the students we will serve that God will change many lives and many families.  Some do not go to church.  Some do go to church.  But each and every child is important to God.

 

At 1:30 on Saturday afternoon at The Community Fellowship we will serve students who are not registered as long as supplies last.  Please help us pass this information and invite to those who need it.

 

Thank you to all who have given, served and worked hard to make back2school incredible.  Please spend some time each day praying for all the aspects of this awesome event.  I cannot wait to share the stories that will come our of this event.

 

 

NOTE:  Thank you for praying for our back2school event that is this coming weekend, and ask God to provide what is needed, including all the shoes.

 

HELP #back2school in these ways

1.  volunteer at one of the churches including the clothes closet at The Community Fellowship.

2.  be part of packing backpacks tonight, Tuesday, beginning at 6pm at our new campus.

3.  give to support the events 

4.  purchase shoes for the children

5.  be part of the big event on Friday or Saturday

Brenton Hall funeral and BACK2SCHOOL

Community family -

​This is of the fastest moving weeks of our year as we are almost to back2school.  Continue praying for this event, for our church family and for our community!

As you know Brenton Hall passed away this past Saturday ending his battle with cancer.  This is difficult, yet we know that this precious 2 year old got his healing in heaven.  The visitation for the family is tonight, Tuesday, from 6 to 8pm at Moody Funeral home in Stuart.  The funeral will be at the same place Wednesday morning at 11am.  Please continue to pray for this family and for me as I share at the funeral.

Being our back2school week there is much to get done.  If you are able, please volunteer during the day at church in the clothes closet or in other areas.  Tonight at 6pm at our new campus we will be packing backpacks with all the other churches taking part in this year's event.  Wednesday afternoon and evening we will be setting up the church, and as much help as possible would be great.  Thursday at 7pm at our location in Collinsville will be our volunteer for back2school training.  Friday is our special needs day, and Saturday is the bing event with volunteers arriving at 6:30am.  Remember, your help is needed as we prepare and during the event.

Thank you for blessing the hall family and being part of our back2school outreach.  Once again we are demonstrating the love of God to our community and beyond.  I will see you soon!

With GOD as my guide,

Pastor Michael Harrison
-- James 1:5


[ to learn more about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center give us a call at 276-647-8231 or email us at mharrison@thecommunityfellowship.org . Please give online at https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/w_give_online.php ]

Monday, July 27, 2015

what is YOUR VERSE?



I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

It is Scripture that can pull us out of the most difficult of situations if we have allowed verses to come alive in our hearts and minds.  Scripture was given to us by God, and God made Bible verses to give us power and freedom to live.

Hebrews 4:12  NASB
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The Bible is alive.  It is active.  The reason this is true is because the Bible contains God’s word, it is God’s word and Jesus is the Word.  We will see this again in a few minutes, but the Bible is a gift from God for us.

The Bible is not only full of life giving truth but is full of the person of truth, Jesus.  The only book to come alive and to stand the tests of time is the Bible as Jesus was and is the gift from God as well as the start and finish of all of our lives.  We need Jesus.  It really is that simply.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the word that came to life.  In Matthew 4:1-11 (the passage I shared with our church Sunday morning) is about the event where the devil tempted Jesus.  It happened right after Jesus’ baptism and during a 40 fast.  The Bible says that Jesus was hungry.  It was a blessed time.  It was also a time of struggles like many of us go through.

How will I deal with the trials and the struggles and the temptation that comes my way?  God provides for us.  We are human.  THAT means we are stubborn, seek to rely on ourselves or our own logic rather than rely on God.

God’s desire is for us to fully rely on God.  He will prepare us for the adventure and the struggles ahead if we listen to Him.  He wants not only our interaction, but He wants intimacy.  He wants us to know Him and Him to know us more and more.

Interacting with the Bible not as a tool, though we do that, but allowing the God of the universe, the creator of all, our friend and our God to help us through life is the way to success and to abundant life.  A living conversation with God and reminders of His truth will help us through life.  In temptation God helps us know His truth and find His help.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

That is the promise of God.  He will see us through or take us out of the temptation.  Back in Matthew 4 the devil questioned who Jesus was and His confidence.  If we do not know we are saved and have confident in Christ, we will fail or fall to the temptations that come in to our lives.

It is time to take a stand.  It is time to choose now how you and I will deal with struggles, pain and temptation.  By trusting God, by applying His word, we will live differently and find Jesus alive and living well in and through our lives.

Ephesians 6:10-11  NASB
Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand form against the schemes of the devil.

To deal with the tough things we have to live in and trust His strength, not ours,  We must put on His armor which is best shared and spelled out in Scripture. 

What are the verses that God continues to bring to your mind and that you share with others?  Feel free to email me those verses to mharrison@thecommunityfellowship.org

As I asked others for their verses from God here is what I got from them (and these are awesome verses to use in life):

Jeremiah 29:11
Romans 8:28
Psalm 27:1
Galatians 6:9
Isaiah 38:20
2 Corinthians 5:21
Isiah 53:17
Isaiah 40:31
2 Samuel 22:33
Matthew 7:7
Philippians 4:13
Philippians 4:8

Look up those verses, and ask God to give you YOUR VERSE.

Colossians 3:16  NASB
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing once another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your heart to God.

Friday, July 24, 2015

do right from the heart


He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.

That verse was written about a king.  He was the leader of people and of the land.  Specifically that king’s name was Amaziah.  The content of that verse said this man had problems.

Far too many people are living that same way.  They are the faithful at church and even serve in ministries as well as do great things, but their hearts, motives and actions are for the wrong reason.  The phrase “not with a whole heart” troubles me greatly.

I believe that God’s desire is to have men and women who are completely sold out to Him.  Our world is in deep desire of real people who really live for God.  These kind of people stop playing games while they are living for God.

Let me make this clear.  I did not say this person dresses right, acts right and is always serious.  The man or women I am speaking of can come from all walks of life and have many different callings.  What is difference about this person is that they seek God first and do that with all their heart.  It is first priority to see to it that God is first in their lives.

Matthew 15:8  NASB
This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.

We cannot say the right thing and do something different.  That person is a hypocrite.  This could also be the person that tries to cover up their sin.  The issue is the heart, and God knows our hearts. What is real will one day be seen by others because God will reveal it.

God desires to have people serve and worship beginning from their heart and that overflowing with their words and actions.  May our lives be real, be transparent and match in every area as we live and enjoy life.

I believe this person is one who seeks God and allows the Holy Spirit to lead their lives!

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Francesca Battistelli’s song the “Holy Spirit” says this:

No thing can compare.  You're our living hope.  Your presence, Lord, I've tasted and seen Of the sweetest of loves Where my heart becomes free And my shame is undone, Your presence, LordHoly Spirit, You are welcome here

Further, Hillsong’s “Oceans” says:

And I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves.  When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace For I am Yours and You are mine.  Your grace abounds in deepest waters.  Your sovereign hand Will be my guide.  Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me You've never failed and You won't start now

With a deep relationship with God and allowing the Holy Spirit of God to lead, we will make sure that our lives and our hearts match.  It grieves me big time when I see people playing a game with faith or just being religious.

May our lives be deeply seated in God where our actions and our hearts are fully directed by God so that we are where God shows up and God shows off!


NOTE:

Please pray for our back2school event that is one week away.  Ask God to provide what is needed, prepare the workers and students that will be a part.