E-bulletin 10-19-18

***********  Today’s Announcements*********   
  • This Week (Oct. 20th) – Potluck!   Thursday Family Night Please sign up to host or bring sides!   Meal Train is up and running although organized a bit differently to account for the new way we are doing it.   There will also be a physical sign up sheet at church this week!  
  • STEP-IN:  www.wellspringfellowship.net/step-in Our capital campaign is under way.  All the materials are produced, stuffed, and ready for deployment.  If you need packets please see Glen Ehrhardt!  Please be encouraging people to watch the 360 video!  It only takes 360! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh99woCj3cw
  • Amazon Smile – Amazon has a deal where our church can receive a portion (.005) of every purchase we make.  It is a small amount but every little bit counts! So if you use Amazon please support our church. Here is a link to our smile account.   https://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-8024575
  • Timothy Project Update: Drake is back in school!  Please keep him in your prayers!


Self-introductions

You’re in a social situation and you are by yourself. You need to get connected to what is happening but it is not like there is a caller at the door that introduces you. For some this might be a nightmare, for others it is no problem whatsoever.   It kind of depends on your personality type and the reason you are there. But self-introductions can be tricky.
 
For instance, what information do you include when you introduce yourself.? “Hi I’m Chris” has a nice general roll to it. But depending on the setting, it may not include enough information.  We often include our last names, but unless you are famous does that really help?  If my last name was Gates, Trump,  or something recognizable that might be vital information.  Do we include some kind of title?  I know when I am in a church setting “pastor” is helpful.  Not because I am pulling rank or something but rather because I want people to know how I belong here.  When I am duck hunting introducing myself as Pastor Chris doesn’t really come off right.
 
Then there is the ever difficult question of what do you do with your hands?  Extending your hand in a hand shake is often good but there are some situations where it is not.  If you come up on a circle of guys wearing camo sometimes just the head nod “How’s hunt’n?” works great, but an extend your hand kind of thing would just be weird. As a male I will confess I have no idea how women introduce themselves to each other, maybe I should see if there is a nature documentary on it.
 
Once you get past name, then what?  Often we try and connect through some kind of shared context.  “Yeah my little Jonnie is in the second row fourth over”  or “Yeah my kid plays 4thstring quarter back, he is right there on the bench”  or we begin sharing some kind of information about ourselves.  Things like job, title, how long we have lived here, marital status, children, grand-children,  etc etc. But all are intended to somehow connect our context to theirs so we have mutual ground on which we can interact and we can move toward the purpose in the introduction in the first place.
 
This week we will look at a great self-introduction. Absent are all the awkward decisions that we have to make.   It is done with style and even flare, and includes information not just for the one being introduced but for all of humanity as God introduces Himself to Moses. In it we see who God is and what he is up to, but we are also given a pattern which can help us introduce others to Him as well.
 
See you at church,
 
Pastor Chris


Step In – 5-4-2018

Step In

The Jordan River was in spring flood and there was no easy way to get across. God did not tell Joshua to hold up Moses’ staff so they could go across on dry land. Just the opposite, they had to Step In. When they did God worked a miracle and the people of God were able to cross over into the Promised Land. Acting on faith is difficult. We don’t do it out of blind trust but rather the informed trust of relationship. God has demonstrated his faithfulness over and over so we are willing to act in in faith, willing to Step In.

We as a church are being given an incredible opportunity and an incredible responsibility.  God is calling us into a neighborhood where there isn’t a church.  We do not have a reputation there, and we are not known to the vast majority of the folks who live there.  How will they know us?  What is the reputation we will build in this neighborhood?  What impact will we make on their lives?

For us to get to the important task of answering those questions we have to cross over a river in flood to get there.  Gone is the era where the neighbors all come together and raise up a church.  The planning, permits, studies, drawings, and the entire process is complicated and daunting. God is already at work in providing some great friends to walk with us on this journey in the engineering, design, and construction fields.  Praise the Lord!  And when the time comes, it will take a lot of hard work as we will all have a part in digging, building, painting, etc.  But before we can get there we will have to raise the funds.

“Step In” means that we are going forward.  We don’t yet know how we will accomplish it.  We can’t see how God is going to work it all out.  But we are confident that he will not leave us standing in the middle of the Jordan.  This week we launch our capital campaign.  We begin the process of seeking the funds we need to accomplish what God is calling us to. 

God does not have a cash flow problem. Our God has the resources to accomplish this and much more! Our part is to go out and invite people to participate in the blessing of joining in an effort of God.  We are going to make our need known to the community, our friends, and our fellow laborers in the gospel.   Our hope is that people who have a heart for children, a heart for the lost, a heart for a community, a heart for being a neighborhood church will see our heart for these as well and be drawn by the Spirit to join with our efforts.   Is that your heart?  Are you ready to Step In?

See you at church,

Pastor Chris



E-bulletin 11-10-17

Thanksgiving Potluck NEXT WEEK! WOW Where did the time go? Signup will be in the lobby and on meal train.

Wednesday Worship- Great time of worship and corporate prayer.  No children program.

Christmas Play Practice Schedule:  

Nov. 11 – 5:30pm

Nov. 18 – 6pm

Nov. 25 – 5:30pm

Dec. 2 – 5:30pm

Dec. 9 – 5:30pm

Dec. 13 (Wednesday) – 6pm – Dress Rehearsal

Dec. 16th -7pm  Performance!
 

Save the Date:  Ladies brunch and Christmas cookie exchange Dec. 3rd 10 am. 

Amazon Smile – Amazon has a deal where our church can receive a portion (.005) of every purchase we make.  It is a small amount but every little bit counts! So if you use Amazon please support our church.  Here is a link to our smile account.  

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-8024575

 

Timothy Project Update:  Lets not forget our Timothy project even though we are working on a building!  $11,189 has been committed and given to the Timothy project.  We are past the halfway point with only  $10,811 to go! Drake is done with his first quarter and starting his second!.  If you have made a commitment but have not yet paid, please bring your commitment to completion!  

There is still a ways to go, so if you have not yet given please prayerfully consider what you can give!


What Happens Next?

Did you ever read one of those books that was so good you just couldn’t wait to see what is next? Page after page as the story unfolds you want to know more and more. The characters develop and texture and depth is added. The plot thickens and the protagonist faces the conflict, you never want it to end. But the thing is, it always does. The same is true for us.

Our lives develop and add layer after layer of depth and texture. Relationships are built, grow, and sometimes even end. We can’t wait to see what comes next whether it is because we anticipate great things or we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Ultimately we never want it to end, but it always does. Or does it?

There are all kinds of speculations about what happens when you die. People make up all kinds of metaphors and euphemisms to try and explain the unknown. Things like “Well he is in a better place.” “He is with mom now.” “He is in the happy hunting grounds, killin ducks.” (I confess I never really heard that last one but it does sound pretty comforting). But in all of those sayings is there any truth? When it comes to what comes next, I don’t want to hold onto platitudes and wishful thinking. I am not interested in your mind fantasy or even what someone thinks, I want the truth. Scripture does not leave us to the imaginations of humanity, but God clearly lays out what happens next.   Because we know, we have the opportunity to live into it even now, and that makes all the difference.

This week we explore the Biblical doctrine of resurrection. Come discover what happens next.

See you at church,

Pastor Chris



It Can’t Be Fixed

I have a love hate relationship with cars.  I love them when they work and do what they are supposed to.  But I hate them when they break down.  It is the nature of cars that you might in one moment happily cruising down the road feeling no pain, and then suddenly that moment your car decides to have issues.  Well I know it doesn’t decide but sometimes it feels like it.  And now you have to try and fix your car.

The thing with car repairs is that at any given moment it can become a fatal brokenness. Fatal not in the life of the driver or passengers , but fatal to the car.  You can take it in to the mechanic and he can tell you; “Well your doosenhimer regulator has fibulated and it can’t be repaired.”   That is what you never want to hear.  It just can’t be repaired, there is only one solution.  It has to be rebuilt or junk the car.

I have heard about people rebuilding engines and transmissions  and any number of essential car parts.  And while my knowledge is minuscule concerning all things cars,  I have picked up a little bit about the rebuilding process.  They take an engine or transmission down to to its essential parts and then replace the broken bits, recondition the ones that are not broken but have wear, replace all the gaskets etc. and then put it back together so that it has been rebuilt.  Sometimes because of upgrades or newer replacement parts, the rebuilt component of a car can actually be better than when it was new.

Man had a sin problem.  It was a fatal problem and the issue couldn’t be fixed.  We can not rebuild ourselves, by deciding to be good, or avoiding making mistakes.  Our problem was bigger than good intentions could solve. In fact, no stick on Band-Aid or external solution would be adequate.  We could not just be repaired.  There was only one thing that could be done,  we had to be rebuilt and the one to rebuild us is the Holy Spirit.

Have you been rebuilt?

This week will be talking about the work of the Holy Spirit as he applies the salivation provided by Christ to our lives in regeneration. 

See you at church.

Pastor Chris



Dramatic Entrance

 This week at church we mark one of the most significant events recorded in the Bible; the entrance of the Savior to the world. John describes it as ” ..the Word became flesh.” In this amazing event the rescue plan of God went from being the promised plan on paper, to reality. Because of sin, we needed it. Prophets had foretold it, and the people of God anticipated it. When the Messiah finally appeared, His entrance was dramatic.

The miraculous movement of God surrounded his entrance. John the Baptist’s conception and arrival, angels appearing to Mary, and then in dreams to Joseph helping them understand what was taking place. Then the very night of His birth there were angel hosts who proclaimed that the time had come!

Christians all across the globe will in this week be thinking of that incredible time and celebrating. Some will follow family traditions that have been with them for a very long time. Others may celebrate with quiet reflection or prayer, and still others with singing and worship. No matter the manner of your celebration, be sure that Jesus Christ is in the center of everything you do!  

This week at church we will indeed celebrate, and I hope to encourage you to celebrate like the people who witnessed this dramatic entrance.

See you at church. 

Pastor Chris



Grace with teeth?

What image comes to mind when you think of grace? Grace is kind of a soft concept in my way of thinking. I think of kitties and soft flowers. I think of a gentle look and expression that says “Its all right.” But I don’t often think of grace as 20 feet long, 7000lbs and really big teeth. In fact, a 20 foot Great White Shark did not even make my top 10 list of images that might invoke the idea of grace.

Was it grace that prepared a big fish to swallow Jonah whole making him the first ever submariner or did grace only come into play when the fish spit him out? Put another way, is grace only about the forgiving of our sins or is also helping us see them in the first place? What happens to our understanding of God when we expand our definition of grace to include the whole process, the journey as well as the destination? What kind of God has us swallowed by big fish?

I would suggest that it is a God who truly loves us. It is not His will that anyone would perish. It is His will that everyone would receive eternal life. Jesus Christ came to redeem the whole world and the price he paid was for the whole word. God is willing to allow us to encounter trouble, pain, difficulty, and even terror in order for us to see the need for His grace. He is willing to do what ever it takes to break the illusion and defeat the lie that we all to often hold onto, that we control the universe, that we do not need God.

Coming to our senses is the moment we recognize our need for His grace and we cry out. Hopefully that is way before we see the teeth.

This week we will look at grace from inside the fish. Hope to see you at church.

Pastor Chris



The Main Character

I love the way that God uses story and narrative to teach us.  I think it is because that is the best way we learn.  We relate to each other through the stories of our lives.  The gospels are so powerful because they represent the greatest story.  And Jonah is indeed on of the greatest stories we love to tell and we love to hear.  But who is the main character?
 
There are a few characters in the story that are vying for the Oscar.  In the category of best supporting actor there are three nominations.  The fish obviously plays a big role, but so does a very important duo the vine and the worm.   Sailors we helpful in revealing the crisis but still none of these are significant enough to be the main thing.
 
The King of Nineveh might come into view as an important character. He does show us an amazing transformation story and a leader whose direction and instruction saved his people.  But he too is not the main character of the story.  The obvious choice would be Jonah himself.  He presumably wrote the book, so surely it must be all about Him?  But even Jonah is secondary to the real concern of this book. 
 
The main character is who the main character always is in the Bible: God.  And specifically in this book one particular character trait is developed, God’s grace.  God’s grace is the most spectacular thing in this book, just as it is the most spectacular thing in our lives.
 
Come discover Grace Unexpected in the story of Jonah.
 
See you at church,
 
Pastor Chris


What Happens At The End.

When our children were growing up they would often play a game.  Whenever we used the microwave they would run for cover when the timer hit 10 seconds.  In their wonderful imaginations a bomb was about to go off and they had only 10 seconds to take cover!  Kids would go scattering behind couches and under coffee tables.   The buzzer would go off and they would laugh and go back to playing.  The excitement of a countdown is pretty irresistible.  From “ready or not” to the last 10 seconds in a close basketball game, there is just something exciting about coming up on the end.

Scripture teaches that we will indeed come up on the end.  This life and the existence that we currently know will stop.  What comes next has been the pursuit of endless flights of imagination; some are even playing in the movie theatres right now!  Fortunately we are not left to the wild tides of imagination and endless speculations.  Scripture reveals a solid and unambiguous answer: resurrection.

Everyone great and small, good and bad, followers of Christ and followers of self will experience a resurrection.  There is of course the notable exception of those who are alive and “in Christ” when Jesus comes back (personal favorite club to belong to … Lord willing!), but everyone who dies will experience a resurrection! There is more than just this life ahead!

However, that is just part of the news.  Even though everyone will be resurrected not everyone will face a bright future.   What happens after resurrection is still being decided, if you are yet alive.  Some will be resurrected into a new body and eternal life, and others will be resurrected in order to face judgment and ultimately justice.   Are you looking forward to the resurrection or do you fear what happens at the end?

Come discover some good news and learn how you can rest in confidence of  the essential truth of resurrection.

Hope to see you at church.

Pastor Chris