follow me on TWITTER

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

volunteer of the week WENDY MITCHELL

This week we honor Wendy Mitchell as The Community Fellowship’s Volunteer of the Week!

 

Wendy Mitchel has been a part of The Community Fellowship family for about a year.  She loves working with people as is reflected in the job the Lord called her to as a Private Duty CNA.

 

On Sundays Wendy can often be found teaching our children in Kids Worship and being an active encouragement to them.

 

Wendy is a gifted cook and leads a Cook Team in our REACH Ministry where she is instrumental in blessing her team members as well as our friends Uptown at the Martinsville Hotel where hot meals are served every Saturday from 5 until 6pm. 

 

Before becoming a leader in REACH Ministry and building her own team, Wendy volunteered with one of our teams that goes out to serve meals to the homeless.

 

Wendy loves serving the Lord in any way that He leads her and feels she is blessed by doing so.  In the future Wendy plans to continue her schooling and get back into the Health Science field.

 

In her spare time Wendy enjoys spending time with her family in the beauty God has created whether it’s going up on the mountain or going fishing.  

 

Wendy’s favorite Bible Scripture is Philippians 4:13 “I can so all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  This verse helped her through her time in school while she was caring for her mother as well as during life situations in general.

 

We are honored to recognize Wendy Mitchell as our Volunteer of the Week!  Thank you, Wendy, for being a tremendous blessing to our church family through your obedience to the Lord of serving 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  ***

Scripture and our hearts


As I have shared before, Henri Nouwen is one of my favorite writers.  Here is a devotion from his “Daily Meditations” about meditation:

When Jesus says:  "Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Luke 21:33), he shows us a direct way to eternal life.  The words of Jesus have the power to transform our hearts and minds and lead us into the Kingdom of God.  "The words I have spoken to you," Jesus says, "are spirit and they are life"  (John 6:63).

Through meditation we can let the words of Jesus descend from our minds into our hearts and create there a dwelling place for the Spirit.  Whatever we do and wherever we go, let us stay close to the words of Jesus.  They are words of eternal life.

Those are incredible thoughts about our hearts absorbing what God says.  To believe the truth of Scripture we must allow what runs through our heads to sink deep into our hearts as Nouwen wrote about.

How can we on a daily basis let God’s truth settle into our hearts?  There are many methods people have used to digest the treasurers found in the Bible.  Memorizing Scripture pays off because it comes to memory when we need it.  Reading Scripture gets our mind working in the direction of God.  Praying by using verses of Scripture lets us think about how this truth can be applied to our lives.  Another way to let Scripture sink in is share what you’ve read, or memorized with someone you are talking to.

Psalm 63:6  NLT
I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.

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

The key to meditating on the word of God, applying the word of God and making the word of God part of our lives is letting our hearts hold tight to what Scripture says.  Our actions and our words flow from what is in our hearts. 

David said that at night when he couldn't sleep Scripture is what he thought about.  Then he said that hiding the Scripture in his heart kept him on the right path.  Scripture changes the way we think and act.  Scripture changes what we think and what we say.

May God help us moderate what goes in to our hearts and what guides us forward, and thank God for the blessings of Scripture to give us joy and to guide our lives!

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

help a local ministry

It is an honor to point you to our friends at ACTS 4 MINISTRIES led by Ron Harris.  We get to help people in our community that are in need, and as we help them, we get to share Jesus with them.  That is what God called us to do ... demonstrating the love of God to our community ... and beyond through acts of kindness.

Acts 4 is expanding their work and need our help.  Please take a minute to read the following, and if you can help, please contact Ron using the information below.  Thanks ahead of time!

ACTS 4 MINISTRIES

With our Transitional Housing Program for Single Mothers expanding, we need the following items:
 
  • 4 Twin Size Beds/Bed Frames,
  • 4 Twin Size Box Springs,
  • 4 Twin Size Mattresses,
  • 4 Portable Cots,
  • 4 Pack 'n Plays or 4 Cribs,
  • 4 Dressers,
  • 1 Queen Size Box Spring,
  • 2 Side Chairs for an Office,
  • 1 Couch for a Family Room,
  • 2 End Tables for a Family Room,
  • 1 Bookshelf/Hutch for a Family Room,
  • 1 "Set" of Towels/Washcloths/Bath Mat for a Bathroom.
 
We will also either be buying or building in place a large, 5 section pantry if anyone would like to donate Lowe's gift cards for this purpose. 
 
If you have any of these items available or would like to make a monetary donation towards their purchase, you can either respond to this email or call/text to the number provided below.  Please remember that not only will your donations help provide a safe environment for single mothers and their children, they are also tax-deductible.
 
Thank you!  To assist contact Ron Harris, Executive Director of Acts 4 Ministries, Inc., at acts4@acts4ministries.com or 434.728.1199


*** for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276.647.8231 or email cmartin@thecommunityfellowship.org.  to give online go to this linkhttps://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift and thank you for helping us demonstrate the love of God to our community and beyond.  join us this Sunday for Community worship at 10:10am or at one of our outreach opportunities ***

freedom in Christ

 

You are important to God. That is a true statement.  Not only did God create you, but at one specific point in time our God said I love you, I believe in you and you are awesome.

Romans 5:8  NLT
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

While we were lost, while we were trying to do things on our own, before we knew we had a need … Jesus died for me.  Do you get that?

The most important person in the universe said you are important.  Hear that again.  The most important person in the universe said he loves you and that you are important!

There is a problem.  What about the person or the people who don’t think God is important?  Until we have an accurate view of God we cannot have an accurate view of God.  This view and faith comes from a personal relationship with God himself.  We can know Him.

Knowing God changes things.  Really knowing God changes everything.  That is when we have the ability to believe and accept that we matter to God and that we are important.

Freedom is an awesome thing.  Victory is an incredible reality.  Some of you have a tough time with victory because you see yourself as a losing and not a winner.  This isn’t about football.  This is about life.

Romans 8:37  NASB
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

For us to be a conqueror, for us to know freedom, for us to claim and live in the victory, we have to live in and trust in Christ and what He did for us.  Victory, freedom and literally being set free from what often ties us up makes life so much easier.  Again, believing what God says, applying what we get from God will help us know that we are important.

Stay free.  Don’t let things tie you up.  Whether that stuff that ties you or me up is from within us or if it comes from the outside, what holds us back and ties us up has to be taken care of with God’s truth.

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

We are free.  It is our choice to be set free and to live an abundant life.  God provides.  We apply it.

Romans 8:2  NASB
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

I pray that as I find freedom from Christ that we will help others find the same kind of freedom and be set free to really begin living life.

Monday, September 29, 2014

you matter to God


In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

That is a powerful verse.  Far too many people look at the people around them, the people they encounter, and just at first sight.  Be honest.  You’ve done that, and so have I.  I would dare say that we are wrong a lot when we chose to judge in ways that don’t come from God nor do they honor Him.

One of the reasons that our thinking is flawed is that we put too much weight on things that don’t matter.  When someone is attractive, they are considered more worthy.  When someone comes from a wealthy or well-known family, that they are important or have more value.  Whatever our measure if Christ is not the mean and the mark we are headed in the wrong direction.

“Christ is all that matters.”  That is a great thought each of us have to examine.  Examine it honestly making sure that we value what God values and help people know that they are valuable to God and to us!

“He lives in all of us.”  If Jesus is our Savior, then that is a fact.  He lives in us, and that fact cannot change by our choice, and we have a promise from God that He won’t change that fact.  Doesn’t this truth reinforce the fact that we are valuable to God?  Christ matters most because He will be with us longer than anyone else will be.

Be careful how you judge.  We all should be careful.  Be careful about where you place the great value.  We all need to value what God says is valuable.  In our “Every 1 Matters” series at The Community Sunday we talked about how God gives us freedom as we allow His truth to impact what we believe. 

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

If we judge on the same merits that Jesus does, things will be much better.  Plus we will have to lean on God.  He is the one who knows the heart of every person.  It is our job to let people know they are important.

People are valuable to God and to us.  Our opportunity is remind others that they are valuable and have great God-given potential.  Jesus is what matters.  Jesus is who fills us with value and potential.  Let’s share that fact!

Friday, September 26, 2014

RUSS & MICHELLE KASEY -- help us honor some of our family this Sunday

Recently we learned that some of our family, Russell and Michelle Kasey, will be moving to Wilmington, North Carolina.  And any time one of your family moves away it is not easy, and we lose a sweet and important piece of who we are.

But God has a plan.  He has a plan for our church, The Community Fellowship, and for our family members, Russ and Michelle.  This is a time to say “thank you” and to celebrate what God has done for us.

Please bring a thank you card for Russ and Michelle this Sunday, September 28th, to our worship time as we together and very loud say THANK YOU to the them.

Pastor Michael moved to Virginia in the summer of 2001 and met Russell and Michelle when they all attended Orchard Drive Baptist Church in Bassett.  In 2006 a group of people from The Orchard left to start a new church that we now know as The Community.  Russ and Michelle have been part of The Community from day one, and they have served their Savior and us very well.

Michelle has many, many skills, and she employed them in several ways at church.  She has been part of the counting and financial teams who prepare the offering for deposit many Sundays.  For over a year Michelle was employed by our Dream Center as our bookkeeper and administrative assistant.  Michelle gave much of her time, energy and resources to help many of the people we served find what they need to succeed.  Lives have been changed by her time with the Dream Center.  One of the roles she will be remembered for the most was as the leader of our back2school outreach where she helped us prepare for and serve thousands of students.

Russell began to lead worship at The Community when we started meeting in our present building which was in November of 2006.  Since that time Russ along with several people has led us to worship the Lord with joy and excitement.  Russ is a gifted vocalist, guitar player and musician.  His heart to lead worship allowed us to gain depth and to learn more about worshipping as a church family.  Russ will be greatly missed by our worship band and our church family.

Join us this Sunday as we celebrate the ways Russ and Michelle Kasey have and all that God has done through their lives to impact the lives of others.  We hope to see you Sunday at 10:10am!  God is good…all the time…

*** for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276.647.8231 or emailcmartin@thecommunityfellowship.org.  to give online go to this linkhttps://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift and thank you for helping us demonstrate the love of God to our community and beyond.  join us this Sunday for Community worship at 10:10am or at one of our outreach opportunities ***

Thursday, September 25, 2014

using our skills for the kingdom


God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.

What are the skills God has put in your life?  Some people work well with their hands with special skills like a carpenter or an artist.  Other people are great leaders or teachers that help other people join in the process.  The strongest people are those who have joined their skills with others which actually makes everyone involved much stronger.

The same is true of The Community Fellowship over the last eight years that God has used us to impact our community.  We have been part of a group of churches known as the SBC of Virginia or SBCV since we began.  Not only have there been people from this organization that helped us organize, but along the way we have been able to work together on various projects across our region of the work.

The last week of September is the week of prayer and offering for the SBCV, and that is why I have been sharing about our partnership and how we have worked together for the purpose of honoring God and the growth of His kingdom.  Please pray for the churches involved in winning our state to Christ and who are serving the people in the communities in which we live.

It was in May of 2012 that our church family was able to buy the former American Standard Building Systems property.  It is 22 acres and over 140,000 square feet under roof that will one day become the home of The Community Fellowship and our ministries.  This past summer has an incredible time of transformation for this new building.  We have a very long way to go for the move, but we continue to move in that direction, seek the resources needed, continue building and seek God for our future.

One of the ways we have seen this property transformed is with the help of Baptist Builders led by our friend Bill Miller from Danville.  Several Thursdays each month Bill leads a group of 5 to 10 men who are working throughout our building.  These men are skilled laborers most of whom are retired and love giving their time and effort to churches like ours.  They are helped with our new stage but are currently working on the walls in our new children’s building.  Baptist Builders is a ministry of the SBCV that supports new construction, renovation or current property and often help with disaster relief work in our state and beyond.

I have to also thank the group of almost 70 men known as Men on a Mission that came to help us the last week of May.  These men helped us and through their labor of love gave us a gift worth far more than $100,000 in free labor to help prepare our new campus.

Another of our partners is SBC Disaster Relief.  Our new campus has become a hub of resources for disaster relief work for the east coast of the United States.  This began not long after we took possession of the property and will continue for a long time.  It is incredible to look back at how disaster relief workers have been helped by things we can assist with.  When a natural disaster happens on the east coast, often we get the call to assist with resources.

There are lots of other people and partners that have helped our church family grow and get stronger, but we would be so wrong if we did not acknowledge the fact that our greatest resource is not in buildings or in material things.   Our greatest resource is people.  The people who are part of our church and the people who have chosen to partner with our church family are a tangible gift from God allowing us to do more and share Christ more often.

When we use our skills for the good and growth of the kingdom of God, we are doing more than we know.  May God use our people, our greatest resource, to make a huge impact in Martinsville and Henry County, throughout Virginia and the United States and to the ends of the earth.

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

volunteers of the week RUSS and MICHELLE KASEY

This week we honor Russ and Michelle Kasey as The Community Fellowship’s Volunteer’s of the Week!

 

Russ and Michelle Kasey have been a part of The Community Fellowship family since the church began, and this week we say a huge THANK YOU as they prepare to move to Wilmington, North Carolina.  Russ and Michelle have worked and volunteered in a number of ministries. 

 

Michelle served as our Dream Center’s bookkeeper for several years.  She also was instrumental in being a strong role model for many of our Community Service workers.  Michelle consistently went the extra mile with them by inviting them on her family outings and being genuinely concerned about their safety, choices and well-being.  Many of these young people had not had the experience of being held accountable or of being in positive settings until she graciously included them in hers.

 

Other ministries Michelle has served in include our 2nd Saturday Meal, assisting with the offering on Sundays, serving in the Nursery and doing Administrative work within the church and The Community Dream Center.

 

Michelle also lead our back2school Ministry for several years and oversaw the organizing, planning and operation of it so that the children being blessed felt special and cared about on the day they arrived to get their new shoes, socks, book bags, haircuts and clothes.

 

Russ has been the leader of our Worship Team, though he sees himself more as a “Band Director”.  On Sunday mornings Russ leads the church in praise and song. 

 

Seeing himself more in a behind the scenes capacity, Russ has worked in many of our back2school Ministries doing the necessary, and often unseen, jobs that ensure the success of the events.  He also did many renovations on our present church building helping to make it into our place of fellowship and worship that we now enjoy.  

 

Russ and Michelle enjoy boating, the Autumn Leaves Festival in Mt. Airy, getting together with friends and neighbors and especially spending time with their grandchildren Mia and Jaden.   

 

A favorite Scripture for Michelle is Philippians 4:6-7Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

 

A favorite Scripture for Russ is Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exhalted among all the nations and the earth.”

 

We are honored to recognize Russ and Michelle Kasey as our Volunteers of the Week.  Thank you both for over seven years of leading, serving and sharing with us, and others, whose lives you have dearly touched, blessed and enriched through knowing you. You will be missed, and your church family is grateful for the difference you have made in our lives and in the lives of many other people too.  We love you!

 

NOTE: please help us honor Russ and Michelle by bringing a card for them this coming Sunday to worship with you.

 

 

*** 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  ***

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

find a need and meet it



Titus 3:14  NLT
Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.

The title of this post, find a need and fill it, was coined by one of my heroes in ministry.  He is Tommy Barnett the pastor of First Assembly of God in Phoenix, Arizona and the founder of the Dream Center in Phoenix as well as the co-founder with his son Matthew of the Dream Center in Los Angeles.  Both of those men and their work to serve people in poverty has been a huge inspiration to me.

From the beginning of The Community Fellowship in 2006 we have had a passion to meet needs for the purpose of sharing Christ with those in need.  The tangible act of our serving began with clothing and has extended to feeding, helping kids prepare for school and meeting all kinds of needs here in our community and beyond.  It really is an honor to serve the people we come in contact with.

Yesterday was an example of this fact.  A mom with five kids came to our church looking for assistance.  As we were able to meet one of her needs a lady from our church talked with this mom about Jesus, and this mom accepted Jesus as her savior.  As she left the church she said that she was going to help her kids meet Jesus too.

That is what it is all about.  To share Jesus with people is the highest calling and the greatest honor.  Not all people agree with that thought, but I believe we are to be unapologetically Christian as we share Christ and be as gracious as we can to those we share with.

Another example of this was a meeting I was part of yesterday.  It was put on by a state government agency that has a huge budget and deals with thousands of people every day.  As the meeting was coming to a close the facilitator of the event asked for comments for the many attendees.  By the way, the facilitator acknowledged that he is not a Christian not followed any organized religion (please pray for his salvation).  Being a government meeting I was excited to hear around the room person after person, government employees and workers from private agencies talked about the impact that their faith has on their work and on those they work with.  It was eye opening to say the least.

Almost two years after The Community Fellowship opened we believed that God was leading us to begin to feed hungry people in our community.  We attached ourselves to a great pastor in Roanoke, a city one hour north of us, who helped us learn how to feed the homeless population in our community.  For one year we partnered with Matthew Murphy and his church, and after that year we began to feed people in Martinsville and Henry County.  It has been an awesome ride, and we have been able to feed thousands of people each year since.  Pastor Matthew was also a part of the SBCV at that time.  I learned much from this great man.

Since that time we have been able to partner with the SBCV and the North American Mission Board as we receive funds to help hungry people.  With that money and the encouragement and partnership we have with these great organizations we are able to do more than we can do alone.

The great part of this is that there are many churches across our state doing much of the same thing.  We are not alone.  There are hungry people and people who need Jesus all over the world, and we have the opportunity and the responsibility to meet needs and share Christ.  That is our commitment, and it is also part of my daily prayers that God will use churches everywhere to meet needs and make a huge impact on the people that we and them are blessed to serve.

I love this quote from Matthew Barnett: whoever shows up most in someone’s life wins the battle of influence.

This week of September each year is the time that the SBCV shares the ministries and work that our hundreds of churches are part of.  Our church has been blessed to be part of this convention, and this partnership makes us stronger.  They help us feed more people and share the Gospel even more.

Will you pray with me for the churches of the SBCV and other churches across the world that are meeting needs and sharing Jesus with those we serve?  Maybe God is encouraging you to help your church take the next step in meeting needs in your commitment.  Do it.  Start now.  God will honor what you do in His name.

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

partnership works


Luke 19:10  NLT
For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.

This is the time of year when one of our partners in ministry, the SBCV, shares ministry in Virginia and how churches are making a difference.  We really are stronger when we serve together.

The SBCV is made up of hundreds of churches that believe Jesus is the reason we do everything.  Some of the churches have been around a long time and some are pretty new.  Some of the churches are just now getting started.  What excites me most is that we are partners because of Christ and with our varied talents are making an impact in our communities for Christ.

There are some great churches in the big cities such as Richmond, Virginia Beach and in the areas surrounding Washington, DC.  Many of those are doing ministry to the poor in their community similar to what we do and to the people we serve in our community.  Then there are churches in the most rural parts of Virginia.  They too are making an impact in their community.

Why does partnership work?  It works because we make a choice to “bloom where we are planted” or to “influence the people around us”.  We can do that in all kinds of ways.  Some people really like a more traditional church while others like less tradition.  All have their place and can do great things for God.

I challenge you and ask you to join me and others praying for God to work throughout Virginia and through the churches.  Prayer makes a difference. 

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from my friend Aaron Evans.  He and his wife, Joy, have been working and planting a new church in Ruckersville, Virginia called Gateway Church.  Yesterday was their kickoff and first public worship service.  71 people attended and many of them were visitors.  I have been praying for and celebrating with Aaron for sometime.  I am proud of this young man and all God is doing in His life and ministry.

I may not live in Aaron’s community and don’t get to see him very much.  But I can partner with Aaron and Joy in prayer.  I can encourage them with every opportunity I am given.

How can you and your church partner with others for the good and growth of the kingdom of God?  Prayer works.  Money is needed.  Help in all kinds of forms is needed as well.

In fact many people from across our state have come to help The Community Fellowship as we prepare our new campus as the new home for our church.  At this point most of that partnership is from people who have skills in construction.

We need each other.  We are stronger together.  This week is called “Vision Virginia: week of prayer and offering for state missions”.  It is an honor to be part of the SBCV and work with some awesome people.

You see, in 2006 there were many from this organization that helped our church become a reality.  We are indebted to these people and this group of churches as we partner to win our state and beyond to Jesus!

Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.