Hey, Reach Family!
I hope that you all had a blessed day yesterday on the day that we set aside to give thanks. Well, that's at least what we say that the day is for... It seems to, more often that not, be a day that is more about parades of cartoon characters, football and gluttony. If so, there isn't necessarily a lot of room in there for humility and gratitude to The One that we should ultimately be Thankful to! Then, today, being "Black Friday" it seems like that whole concept of being Thankful and Content gets thrown out the window in the culture by our obsession with going out and spend so much time and money (and possibly getting into a fist-fight over the five discounted 4K TVs available that we really wanted) on things we don't need, or even possibly want, but we just can't pass up the good deals...
What are we really ultimately Thankful for? Turkey? Family? Health? Or do we maybe need to have a long-view of what transcends all of these things in an order of ultimate value and importance?
What would we really have to be Thankful for if we knew that we would have no foundation for Hope for The Future? Nothing would have any real significance... Conversely, what does a secured Eternity in Christ hold for Value? It would be Eternally Important! If that is so, that would change the way that we value things, and what things we value.
Hebrews Chapter 13 states: "5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” - How content are we with this? Is God enough? Is His Presence and Promise enough?
Is Christ's Redemption and Payment enough? Is His Great Salvation enough?
I pray, for those that know Him, that your answer would be that Christ all sufficient for life and salvation. That nothing can be added to our existence that brings any more fulfillment that Jesus. If you aren't able to say that that is true of you, I pray that you seek Christ out so that you will be able to find out that He is all sufficient.
As you continue to digest from yesterday, and look forward to this time of Advent and Celebration of Christ's Incarnation, I pray that you find Jesus your all in all...
What an amazing weekend... We had the privilege of seeing people make a public profession of faith which was the result of the saving work of Christ.
I wonder if our baptism, while a wonderful event in our lives, doesn't get cut off short of the implications it has in the whole of our lives. I think about the celebration that happens when we are baptized, and we are congratulated, and cheered on, and hugged, and people cheer and we cry. All very called for things... But then Monday rolls around, and it is six years later, and we sometimes forget that our public profession doesn't cease because the event of baptism is over.
I wonder how our baptism as a subsequent result of Christ's saving us should look as we live purified, holy, lives? Like, when we have the opportunity to go to our place of work. When we go to our job, are we walking through the doors of our workplace not just to trade our labor for a paycheck (which is part of the reason we are there - 2 Thess 3:10) but also to show the life that has been washed clean by The Blood of Christ? When we speak to our spouse and our kids, are we speaking with a baptized understanding of how we should portray the changed life of one cleansed from the inside out by the Holy Spirit? What about our thought life? What about with our sexuality? What about with the money that we have that we work for, but understand that it is put on loan from God? Where does our public profession come in with these things?
The Apostle Paul gives an explanation to the reality of what it looks like to be alive in Christ, which is the symbolism of our being baptized. It is found in Colossians 2:9-14
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
It is good to always consider that covenants that we have made, particularly the ones with God. Live in the life that Christ has blessed you with, and remember the baptism that is only significant because of Christ, and our following Him.
Hey, Church Family!
This Sunday we will be preaching on the topic of Overcoming Discouragement. Come and be refreshed by The Spirit of God as you face adversity in life (which is promised by Jesus Himself.)
Also, please be praying for Sandy West's sister Mina and her husband Keven and their friend Jim as Kevin and Jim continue to recover from the accident they were in. Please continue to lift up Michelle and Andrew McCormick as Michelle waits for a transplant green-light for a kidney. Continued prayers for those at REACH, and those in the community and world, that are hurting and that are apart from Christ. Pray that we would continue to be transformed into a ministry that is powerful and effective through the power of the Holy Spirt to see souls saved and to see people given Hope through Christ and His love that is shown through us.
Do you have someone in your life that is church-homeless? How are you helping to draw them to the Truth of Jesus? Be Salt and Light!!!
Grace and Peace to you all today... PD <><
Hey REACH Family...
Thanks for an amazing weekend gathering, even though the room was kind of small, and that we were kind of out of our element a little. But, where you are is where the Church is, which is an amazing thing to remember...
I wanted to encourage you all as The Body of Christ to be praying for the needs of those in our Fellowship that need God's Grace in different areas of life. Whether they be physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual in nature (and all of these things affect the other areas in a person life). Also, please be praying about the building that we may be moving to. That in that decision we would be able to discern what God is calling us to do so that we may honor Him with the space and with the resources He puts before us to do what He has called us to. And would you all please commit to praying for a person or a family that is outside of The Church. That God would place someone on each of our hearts that we would seek to be Jesus in front of, and people that we could either re-establish as part of the local church, or someone that maybe new to hearing about Faith in Christ. If God brings someone to your hear and mind, ask Him what He would have you do with then sharing with that person about what The Kingdom is doing here in EC, and seeing if they would want to be a part of that.
Thank you so much for your faithfulness to Christ, and I pray for you all as you move through this week to Glorify Jesus.
(Also, please be praying for the Lead Team as we meet this Thursday to discern what God is continually calling us into.)
Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms, and those that have been acting Moms! You all deserve a huge round of applause! Thank the LORD for Moms who sacrifice so much for the sake of their families!
OK, so in an age of mass communication, and in people wanting to know what is going on, I thought that this would be an effective way to update REACH about what is going on, as well as be a source of encouragement to you all, and those who God is pursuing, and those whom He seeks to capture in His Love.
Today as I sit in Dunkin' Doughnuts trying to update the website, communicate things with people, and keep an eye on the world as it passes by me, I am reminded of the fact that there is so much that The Kingdom is doing. In the multi-faceted opportunities to be Salt and Light, today I have found myself in the middle of about 5 conversations, and it isn't yet noon. They all had the element of hopelessness and difficulties, but it was beautiful to be able to invite the God of All Grace into what was being said. It is interesting how many people want to just continue to try to solve things in their own power rather than turning things over to Christ, who is the only one that actually brings Hope. These moments help me to be more resolved to move forward in what God has called His Church into, and that is reaching a world that is far from Him in both thought and deed.
Thank you to all of you that are currently part of REACH, and that have sacrificed much for Christ to be honored in what your life is now, and thank you for all of the stories that speak of your selflessness in your own maturing process and in your personal points of ministry. Such an encouragement. Please keep fighting the Good Fight so that Christ might be lifted high in worship in our community and beyond.
Here are a couple of prayer requests from this past weekend:
Please keep Mark McKinney in prayer as he is in a new place medically.
Please pray for Sandy West's friend Ann that she would be comforted and drawn more to you through Sandy's witness.
Please lift up Mark Donnelly's friend Doug who desperately needs to know you in your fullness.
Please pray for Dennis and his monthly ministry, as well as his continued healing.
Please lift up Nate B. and Megan B. as they both have started new jobs, and are getting married in a month.
Please be praying for Michelle and Andrew McCormick. Michelle is going to be starting dialysis ahead of the scheduled time because it is a necessity.
Please lift up the Body at REACH. Many people are going through difficult times and need God's Grace and Peace.
Please be praying about the church being able to move into a location that provides 24/7 availability.
Pray the God is known to others in all we do and say...
Thanks for reading, and please know that you are all loved by the Infinite God, and also by your pastor.