Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hospitable Thoughts

Here are some great thoughts from an article on Christian Hospitality. 
  Hospitality is something that should permeate the church. It should be the lifeblood of community that should be thriving in each church so much so that your neighborhoods feel the affects of hospitality. 
Hospitality is not about having the perfect house or showing off your cooking skills. Hospitality is about meeting people where they are and learning how you can best serve them - whether that be with a warm meal or friendly conversation.
Hospitality doesn't need to be expensive. You don't need special skills or resources. All you need is a willingness to serve and the motivation to go do it!

Provide Coffee or Dessert - Keep it simple

Having people over doesn't always have to be for dinner. So have the single mom from down the street over for coffee. Invite that new family at church over for dessert after the evening service. Don't over-think it. Just provide some hot coffee or some cookies and get to know each other!

Meet at a Park

I know a big concern for many people who want to practice hospitality is having enough room. An easy way to have a big family over is to meet at a park for a picnic lunch. Each family can bring their own meals {maybe you can provide dessert} and you can get to know each other in the sunshine while your kids play together.

Use Your Gifts

Think of some ways that you are gifted and can bless others with that gift

Have a BBQ

Invite your neighborhood over for a backyard BBQ, get to know those who live nearby, and be good witnesses of the Gospel!

Host a Potluck

If you are inviting others over often, this can create quite a financial strain over time, especially when you are committed to eating healthy. Invite a large group over and ask each family to bring a main course or a side dish.
Hosting a potluck opens up the door for hospitality without putting all the strain on you and your family. You can easily have large groups (like your Bible study group) over without feeling the financial strain and having to spend days in preparation.

Practicing hospitality doesn't have to be overwhelming, scary or financially stressful. The threat of feeling like we have to be perfect can cause us not to open our homes and our lives to others. It can feel like we have to have a perfect house and be a gourmet chef in order to have people over.
We can be paralyzed by the fear of hospitality, but hospitality doesn't have to be intimidating. Whether you live in a big house with lots of room or a small apartment, hospitality is doable and vital to the health of the church. Here are a few resources to get you started if you want to practice hospitality for the first time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How To Be An Encourager

Why should we be an encourager?  Here are a few good reasons!!

1. You never know what other people are going through.
This point is probably not a great revelation to you, but it is worth repeating. That cashier who isn’t smiling? Maybe she sat up all night with a sick child. The fast food worker that seems slow? Perhaps he gets up at 4:30am and works two jobs while in school. The point is: you just can’t know.

2. You cannot judge a person by their appearance any more than you can judge a book by its cover.
Sometimes people look like something they are not. Maybe she enjoys fashion and has a tendency to overkill on the makeup. Perhaps his clothing choice isn’t the most accurate display for his heart for missions. Everyone, no matter their appearance, can use a little encouragement. From the best-dressed executive on Wall Street to the homeless man begging on the corner.

3. When you encourage others, you will be encouraged.
I like to call it “The Cycle of Joy.” You spread joy; you receive joy. Seems simple enough, yet I sometimes struggle to be the one to begin the cycle.
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Prov. 12:25

4. When you encourage others, you are obeying God’s Word.
Paul knew the importance of a good word; I’m guessing it just may have saved his thought life a time or two!
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. I Thess 5:11

5. You are making a worthy time investment when you encourage someone else.
The encouragement you invest in others will reap rewards. You may not see them the same day you make your investment, but you never know what the future yield will be either! The value of encouragement can’t be measured in a simple solution because it is always calculated on a compound interest level.

6. You are building confidence both in yourself and the person you seek to encourage.
When you give someone else the gift of affirmation, your words are providing the power of hope. Hope to take the next step. Hope to do the right thing. Then your own confidence is uplifted because of the empowerment you offered to someone else. God wants us to be confident in our work for Him because it is through Him that we can find the strength for each day!
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6

From 6 Chipper Reasons to Encourage Others

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Believe

Ladies, are you familiar with Journey Magazine?
Journey is a monthly devotional magazine for women with wonderful feminine appeal. The daily devotional content is substantive but not overwhelming for women with jam-packed schedules. Journey's focus remains consistent - to help women develop a daily quiet time that allows them to pray, read God's Word, and listen for God to speak to them. These wonderful magazines are put out in our church foyer at the first of each sure to look for yours!!
On the back of this month's Journey is a graphic of what Journey believes and stands for.  It is a powerful reminder for each of us in to hold fast to in our homes and church.
We Believe in the Home:
It's the place where ministry
starts and ends
day in and day out.
We stand for dynamic marriages
that beat the odds
and practice commitment.
We believe in family meals
and talking about your day.
We believe that your corner of the earth
whatever it looks like, is an
extension of the church.
A place where community is
grown and nurtured.
We believe that if you
change the home
you change the world.
There is a lot of life
between Sundays.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Remember the Mission Team

Please keep the Association wide mission team in your prayers this week as they minister in Kentucky.  There are two from our church who have joined over 40 others from various churches in our association for a week long trip sharing the love of God with the people in Kentucky. 
The team will return Friday and there will be a special time of sharing about the trip on Sunday morning.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Youth Month of "Daycations"

Our youth will be participating in 'daycations' or day long outings each Friday from until school begins in August.  Here is a schedule of dates and activities.  All youth are invited!
July 26 - Youth Lock-In at church
August 2 - Fanning Springs Trip
August 9 - Movie, Ice Cream day trip to Valdosta
August 16 - looking at trip to Wild Waters in Ocala
If  you have a teenager or know of any who may be interested, please encourage them to come be a part of youth Bible Study each Wednesday night at 7:00 PM. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thought for Worship

As we prepare to gather on the Lord's Day, may our heats be open to Him.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Guest Speaker Sunday Night

On Sunday night, Missionary Lorna Bius will be sharing with us.  Born in Valdosta. Ga., Bius was raised in a Christian home and surrendered her life to Christ at age 9. Her family moved several times in her formative years, but their commitment to raising her to follow Christ never wavered.  
“From an early age, God has given me a passion for His kingdom work expressed through His people. I genuinely love the Church and the impact it makes in families and communities. The opportunity to serve with Southern Baptists in a renewed effort to share Christ’s love across the west was the big factor in joining the West Region Team. It’s a blessing to see how local churches are strengthened as SBC entities partner together. I want to draw the attention of Southern Baptists’ to God’s work in the west, as well as help connect the support of the NAMB to the west,” says Bius.
LoveLoud ministries communicate the gospel in both word and deed. Lorna Bius works with churches in 13 western states to to help them discover creative ways to reach out to neglected neighbors, communities, and children. Befriending refugees, helping local schools, providing food to families, and offering free medical/dental clinics are some examples of how LoveLoud helps churches turn "inside out". Identifying church planting opportunities, networking among existing churches, and multiplying compassion ministries are all part of Lorna's work with LoveLoud.
Be encouraged to come out Sunday  night at 6:00 PM to hear what God is doing around our country through missions.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Come For a Sundae on Sunday

During the week of emphasis on home missions, our youth send a card to each missionary that was highlighted.  A few of them wrote them back, thanking them for their prayers.  One of the missionaries, lives in Valdosta, GA!  She will be coming to minister on Sunday night and share about her mission work.
Following the evening service, we will gather in the fellowship hall for an ice cream buffet - ice cream with all the toppings!  All are welcome to stay and enjoy a sundae on Sunday!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

VBS Family Night

Our Vacation Bible School ended Friday and on Friday night we celebrated “Family Night”.  A great crowd of parents came to see the things their children had learned through the week.

One common theme through the night as classes were identified and certificates given out was how much the adults learned from our children!  This week some precious children passed through our church and learned about the armor of God. They laughed, played, sang and grew in the Word. 

Some of our adults ‘dressed up’ for Family Night.  Here are some of our princes and princesses!

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Drop a Pebble in the Water

Drop a pebble in the water, just a splash, and it is gone;
But there are half a hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water; in a minute you will forget,
But there are little waves a-flowing and there are ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there's half a hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go.
And there is no way to stop them, once you've started the flow.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there are half a hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave,
Till you wouldn't believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there's gladness still a-swelling, and there's joy circling yet.
And you've rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard,
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Camp Sonrise 2013

Our kids had a great time at camp last week!  Here are a few things they did:

Why We Call It Camp Sonrise


Our Girls


Early morning fishing


Play Practice


Lots of Walking and Talking


Our Kids


The Whole Gang