Check out the Advent Conspiracy. It is great to know we are part of a church that is expressing the love of Christ during this time of year to those in our community and others around the world. Last week we collected almost $4,000 for the Salvation Army food hamper program, and we are over 1/2 of the way to our One Tonne Challenge for collecting food for area food banks. Our Love Uganda initiative with IN was so successful that IN is using this model for some of their other missions (Ghana, etc.). Thanks to all who are involved.
At this time of year, even in the midst of challenges, we are reminded how much we are blessed and that Christmas is first and foremost about relationships not the acquisition of things. Aim for relationships.
Penn of Penn&Teller talks about his recent encounter with a Christian after one of his performances. Watch it NOW .
I thoroughly enjoyed most of the discussion at our monthly elders meeting last night. I loved hearing all express their hunger for using scripture more in the application of our agenda items. I was inspired by Rick Allen-Jordan's devotional on peace and the quote he left us with from Archbishop Oscar Romeo of El Salvador shortly before he was assasinated in 1980.
"We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work… We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete but it is a beginning."
Robert Benson in his book entitled “In Constant Prayer” tells the story of a conversation he had with a pastor who had a member that was complaining about what he felt was an excessive amount of liturgy in the service.
The member said, “I don’t like all the rigmarole. I don’t get it. Give me a couple of good old songs, and then preach me a good sermon, and let’s go home”.
The pastor responded, “The liturgy is not for you. On Sunday our job is to put on the best possible show we know how for God . . . if you get something out of it, that’s fine but if you don’t that is okay to. It isn’t even for you”.
While I certainly believe our times of gathering together should be opportunities of receiving I think the key to receiving is in the giving, to God and others.
The next time you or one of your “friends” is thinking of leaving a church because “I’m not getting anything from the sermons anymore” or the services “just aren’t doing it for me anymore”, just say, “it isn’t even for you”.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network