Friday, June 30, 2017

Is Church Optional

Across the nation, church attendance is down. Very few families have the commitment that was held in the past that leads to faithful attendance. Families are loaded down with responsibilities and activities, church attendance can easily shift down the ladder of importance. Excuses run rampant, family time, recreation time, catch up on chores, rest...all valid needs, but a glimpse of where our commitment lies.

Christians know we should 'go to church', exposing excuses and bringing convicting reminders doesn't get to the heart, where true change occurs and priorities are set. A recent article revealed biblical truths about church attendance that remind us of the blessings that a church body offers and the joy that comes with obedience.

1. Church attendance is a visible expression of an invisible reality: that you are a member of Christ’s Body.
To be a part of the church is precisely to be one member of a much larger people; no one believer can be the church on their own (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). The Body of Christ is a universal, physical reality; Christ looms through Creation by His Spirit that inhabits believers across the globe. And if you claim to be a member of that Body then we will find you within the Body, doing the things that the Body is doing, going the places the Body is going (Ephesians 4:16). If you claim to participate in Christ, it would very naturally follow that you would also be participating in His Body.

2. Church attendance is a physical practice that forms us.
 As Christians go to church, we embody the identity with the Body of Christ that we claim. As we sit in the pews, we are taught to wait patiently for the coming of the King. As we kneel for confession, we remind ourselves that our God is greater than we are. As we listen to the sermon, we are reminded that His Words are our authority. And as we rub shoulders with other believers, we are reminded that we are not in this journey of faith alone. For Christians, church attendance is a physical practice that forms us into the identity that we claim.

3. Church attendance is Christian obedience.
We have adopted a church culture that is heavily based on preference. If I don’t like the worship style at the church, I’ll attend another; if our congregation doesn’t agree on worship style, we’ll offer two different styles of worship services. And while this is not entirely bad, it certainly isn’t a foundation we want to build our theology or our churches on. 
Participation in the Body of Christ is not optional for believers, but is a matter of obedience. The Word of God makes it imperative that we don’t neglect the gathering of believers (Hebrews 10:24-25), and reminds us that faith festers in community, in the gathering together of believers (Colossians 3:16).

Christ does adopt an authoritative tone when He calls believers to the sacraments. Regarding the Lord’s Supper, He commands that when believers meet together (the Text assumes that they do) they receive the elements of communion. Likewise, the Word of God commands believers to be baptized and to baptize (Matthew 28:19, Galatians 3:27, Acts 2:41, Acts 22:16). The grace that is extended in the Supper and baptism cannot be received in isolation. You cannot give yourself communion or baptize yourself; they are primarily and fundamentally acts of community. Commanded to participate in these means of grace, believers must participate in the local church as a matter of obedience.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rediscover This Day...

Apparently Google has this little tool called 'rediscover this day' where it recalls the pictures you posted on this date a few years ago.  Here are some beautiful pictures from a few years ago:  Look how they've grown!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Habits of Highly Effective Christians

HABITS – These are actions that are engrained, that have become natural because of continued repetition. They are the things we do without thinking but accomplish with skill and precision.

EFFECTIVE – This word refers to the quality of our lives and our service. People can be Christians, deacons, preachers and elders in name and in title. But to be effective as disciples of Jesus, or effective as His ministers, elders or deacons, means that we produce fruit in our personal spiritual lives as well as our particular ministries. A person can wear a title without actually being effective.

Habit #1
Effective Christians Read and Obey God's Word
Effective Christians are effective because their lives are powered by the Word of God. They know what God says and that knowledge empowers them to make right choices in more consistent ways. 

Habit #2
Effective Christians Have an Active Prayer Life
We cannot effectively experience the life of Christ unless we read about it in God's Word. God cannot effectively change, shape and mold our lives unless we share it with Him in prayer.
The habit of prayer is what keeps us tuned in to God and sensitive to the Spirit. Without the habit of prayer the noisy demands of the world and the impulses of our flesh are all we can ever hear. The effective Christian succeeds in keeping the faith and growing in faith because he stays in touch with the Spirit of God through prayer.

Habit #3
Effective Christians Set "Spiritual" Goals
 Effective Christianity requires that we set personal spiritual goals and actively work towards them, making the necessary sacrifices to eventually reach them.  So whether it is to be more faithful to services, or starting to help out in some way; a commitment to changing a bad habit for a good one, or doing a better job in what we have already been given to do.

Habit #4
Effective Christians Cultivate Talents of Others
Barnabas was one of those people in the Bible who so clearly demonstrated this habit, starting with Paul as a new convert and later continuing with Mark the young missionary.
Effective Christians realize early on that in order to stay effective they need to build up others in the body.  Note that the body builds itself up. When I build you, I also build me. Effective Christians are easy to spot, they are the ones asking for volunteers.

Habit #5
Effective Christians Take Responsibility for Souls
 They have the habit of putting what is good for souls first. This is why these brethren are so interested in saving souls, why they are good at it, why they work hard in evangelism and visitation: they know the value of a human soul. 

Habit #6
Effective Christians Serve Others
Effective Christians have cultivated the character of Christ within themselves by cultivating His character of selfless service to others for their good, their advantage and their salvation. For effective Christians, service is not an inconvenience they must bear in order to avoid guilt. service is a way of life born out of love for Jesus.

Habit #7
Effective Christians Remain Focused on the Kingdom
Effective Christians have learned to keep the kingdom first and have not allowed the "cares" and the "desire for riches" overwhelm their spiritual lives. Effective Christians continue to increase their involvement, their love, their very lives in the affairs of the kingdom and decrease their involvement, their love and their lives in the world. Effective Christians know that the kingdom is forever, is reality, is life itself, and the world is temporary, is sinful and full of death. They know this and live accordingly.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ross and Taylor Wedding Celebration

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There will be a wedding celebration for Ross and Taylor W. on Saturday July 8 at the church from 5:00 - 7:00 PM.  This is an event all church family and friends are welcome (men and women).  We will enjoy a meal together and spend some time blessing Ross and Taylor with items for their new home. All gifts are welcome, those for men and women along with gifts for the home. They are registered at Wal Mart if you would like ideas.  
Please mark the date and plan to come celebration and be a blessing to the new couple!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Camp Sonrise 2017

It was a wonderful camp this week! Worship, Bible Studies, Laughter, Fun, Swimming and Relationships are some of the things the campers will take away from camp, but keep in their hearts forever.  Thanks to all who helped support the camp this year!

Monday, June 19, 2017

This Week on the Blog

There may not be much posting this week on the blog due to children's camp.  But do keep checking in, we will have lots of camp updates and photos!!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Our relationships with our fathers are complicated. For some of us, our father's love is like God's love—too deep, too long, too wide, too strong to measure. Some of our dads are here; some were never here. For some of us, God's love fills in the empty spaces our fathers left behind. All of us are shaped by the relationship or lack of relationship with our fathers.

On this day when we remember what it means to have a father or be a father, we recognize the importance of fathers in our communities. We pledge as a congregation to love and nurture the fathers among us so that they will manifest the love of God in all that they do.

Here is a powerful quote on the importance of our fathers.  Today, we honor and appreciate all you do and the influence you share. 

"Fathers play a unique and important role in the lives of their children. As mentor, protector, and provider, a father fundamentally influences the shape and direction of his child's character by giving love, care, discipline, and guidance. As we observe Father's Day, our nation honors fatherhood and urges fathers to commit themselves selflessly to the success and well-being of their children. And we reaffirm the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Raising a child requires significant time, effort, and sacrifice; and it is one of the most hopeful and fulfilling experiences a man can ever know. A father can derive great joy from seeing his child grow from infancy to adulthood. As a child matures into independence and self reliance, the value of a parent's hard work, love, and commitment comes to fruition.
Responsible fatherhood is important to a healthy and civil society. Numerous studies confirm that children whose fathers are present and involved in their lives are more likely to develop into prosperous and healthy adults. Children learn by example; and they need their father's presence as examples of virtue in their daily lives. A child's sense of security can be greatly enhanced by seeing his parents in a loving and faithful marriage." 
George W. Bush

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Father's Day Breakfast

This Sunday is Father's Day and we have some special plans for our dads.  The special day will begin at 8:45 AM with a breakfast.  Please plan to bring Dad and the family for a delicious breakfast with a few fun activities planned!  We will be extending our love and appreciate to him for all he does.

What more does a Christian dad desire than to have his family worshiping with him in church?  Let's carry on the legacy he is leaving that is able to impact generations to come. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

VBS This Week!

Vacation Bible School is going full force this week!  The kids are loving it and our staff is working hard to share the love of Christ and instill the Word of God into these hearts!  Please continue to pray and support this ministry. 

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Ladies Fellowship

Our ladies enjoy a time each month to gather, fellowship together and grow as Christian women together through the sharing of God's Word.

We love to meet in homes because...we feel welcome and comfortable:

Times like this give us a time to relax and enjoy one another:

There is always an abundance of food and lots of time lingering over the table:

And opportunities to cherish these special moments:

There is the beauty of Titus 2 - women of all ages growing and learning from each other:

Friday, June 9, 2017

Class of 2017

Praying for VBS

Our Vacation Bible School starts next week!  This is one of the biggest evangelistic opportunities our church has.  It enables us to invite children from our church and community to hear the Word of God and experience His love as we share, serve and love them.

The effectiveness of this ministry is directly related to what is put into preparing for it.  There is much planning, recruiting teachers and workers, gathering materials, decorating, food preparation and much more.

It is understood that not everyone is able to participate in serving at VBS. But...all church family has the powerful privilege to pray for this outreach.  In fact, your prayers are desperately needed if this ministry is to be fruitful.  Will you help?

Here are a few ideas on how to pray for VBS:

Pray for the children who will attend. Pray that God will prepare their hearts to learn about Jesus.

Pray that compassion would fill the hearts of every adult and student leader.

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed boldly, compassionately, and clearly.

Pray for the enemy to be defeated in the lives of leaders, parents, and children.

 Pray for the parents and/or caregivers of the children who will attend. Pray that they will be engaged in conversation with their children about what their children are learning.

Pray that the Lord would work through the lives of the children to reach their families with the Good News.

Pray that this week will be the catalyst for all believers involved to begin a passionate pursuit of sharing the Gospel each opportunity they have.

Pray that those who attend who are hungry for love and affirmation would find it not just from the leaders but in Jesus.

Pray that the Celebration Presentation will draw unchurched family members to our church.

Pray that those who do not have a church home will be compelled to get connected at our church.

Pray that “hands-on” activities will lead to “open-hearts.”

Pray for strength and endurance both physically and spiritually for all leaders and children.

Pray that our church can begin to help meet needs that are discovered during the week.

Pray for unity among the leaders as they serve together.

Pray that what is learned will make a difference in the lives of all who participate.

Pray that all leaders will offer their service to the Lord and work for Him and Him alone.

Pray that all involved will realize the vastness of God’s love for them.

Pray for those who accept Christ. Pray that they will get involved in discipleship and grow as Christ-followers.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Harris 60th Wedding Celebration

Church family is welcome to celebrate the 60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration for Mr. & Mrs. Harris. This event will be held in the church fellowship hall this Thursday (June 8).  Please feel free to drop in between the hours of 6:30 - 8:00 PM.

The Harris' are a lovely couple brought to our church by the Lord and serve as a godly example is such a variety of ways. We are truly blessed by their godly lifestyle, love, influence and service.

Please be encouraged to stop by and wish them a happy anniversary on Thursday.  There is a request for no gifts as your presence will be the perfect gift for them! 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Services for Mr. Winburn

Edward Lee Winburn

Many of you know that Caroline's father passed away last week.  The arrangements have been set and will be held in his hometown of North Carolina.  The link below will take you to his obituary.

Please continue to remember Caroline and the family during this difficult time.

Edward Winburn Obituary

Friday, June 2, 2017

Graduate Sunday

Sunday morning we will be recognize our graduating seniors. We are proud of their accomplishment and celebrate their achievement.

A breakfast for the graduates and their families will be served early Sunday morning. During the morning service there will be a time of recognition and a gift from the church presented to each graduate. 

Church family is encouraged to come be a part of this special celebration.  Cards, prayers and encouragement are welcome to share with our graduates.

The 2017 Seniors are:

Chris D.
Isaac G.
Aleigha L.

As a church family, let's continue to keep them in our prayers as we celebrate with them during this time in their lives. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Your prayers are requested for Caroline Mc. and family.  Caroline's father passed away last night after a long and strenuous battle with his health. 

Mr. W. was a delight to our church during his visits. We enjoyed seeing him and his smile and share in the love he had for his family.  He will be sorely missed on earth, but we rejoice that he is now whole, healed and in heaven.

Welcome June!

June is here! It is always surprising how fast time goes by, especially when we recall that June marks the halfway point of the year. 

June is a busy month, but a month full of opportunities in the church to serve and to celebrate!

Here is a quick rundown on some important dates in June.  More details will be shared for each activity, but be encouraged to pray for and support the opportunities that you can. 

  • June 2 - Aleigha L. Graduation Celebration - 6:00 PM
  • June 6 - Hanna R.'s Bridal Shower - 6:00 PM
  • June 8 - Harris 60th Anniversary Celebration - drop in from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • June 12-16 - Vacation Bible School - 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • June 18 - Father's Day Breakfast
  • June 19-22 - Camp Sonrise

Please mark the dates and let's get ready for summer!