Are you happy? May 24th, 2013
I read the following quote this week in an article.
…happy is a word to describe a feeling… The problem with the feeling of happy is that it’s unsustainable. There are moments and seasons of feeling happy, but it is not an attainable state of being. From a Christian standpoint, nowhere in the Bible are followers of God and Christ told that happiness is a result of faith. We are promised persecution, suffering, and sanctification, but not happiness. Happiness is a symbol of mainstream culture and is often an idol.
Wow, there’s a lot there! I think it’s right on! We often use happiness as a reason for making changes in our lives (relationships, career, lifestyle, housing, etc.). As if getting the right fit in one of these areas will bring about lasting happiness. But it doesn’t work that way. Happiness is fleeting and chasing after it is futile. Perhaps this is why Paul could say in Philippians 4:12-13
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Contentment is a sign of spiritual maturity. Contentment requires us to look beyond our circumstances to something greater. Contentment requires us to believe that God is enough no matter what comes our way. Contentment is a sustainable state of being. May you find lasting joy in God!
Now that construction has begun… May 20th, 2013
After many months of planning, prayer, and working through the permit process we are so excited that construction begins this week!
As we move forward with GROWING TOGETHER, I’d like to share a few thoughts:
- We need to never lose sight of why we’re doing this. God has called us to make room for more people! There are many people in our immediate area that have not yet heard and responded to the good news of Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that we will be able to reach out to them and bring them into our church family. With that vision – we need to make sure we have plenty of room.
- A significant factor in our making budget on this project is our reliance upon volunteer labor. We need you to invest with your sweat, muscles, and skills. If you have not already done so, please stop by the office or the Welcome Center and fill out an ACC Volunteer Survey.
- As of May 12, 2013 we have received $514,197.06 in donations toward this project. That represents 58.7% of the total that has been pledged. Thanks so much for your generosity and faithfulness. Please continue to give generously – together we can do this!
- When will this project be completed? Though many different variables could alter the completion date, we’ve been told that though it won’t be ready for Christmas, it should be ready for Easter!
- We truly need God’s blessing and provision. So pray. Pray a lot. Here are a few suggestions:
- Pray for wisdom for Church Building Consultants and our Building Vision Team as they oversee the project.
- Pray for the many subcontractors and laborers that will be on our site. We hope our church can be an active and effective witness to each worker. Pray for safety on the job site.
- Pray for Jim Young, on staff at ACC as our Director of Operations. Jim will be the primary contact person between Church Building Consultants and our church. This is a tremendous amount of responsibility. Pray Jim receives wisdom and stamina as he will be heavily involved in this project, along with his many other responsibilities at the church.
This is truly an exciting time to be a part of ACC. Let’s enjoy the ride together!
True Freedom May 17th, 2013
I read an interesting article this week: “The Gospel of Gatsby and Draper: What if the self-made man wakes up one day and hates himself”. As the title suggests, it’s a look at the worldview of Jay Gatsby (of the Great Gatsby) and Don Draper (of the TV show Madmen). Both men despise their upbringing/family of origin and have created a new life/name for themselves. They are successful by every standard of the world, yet they are empty. These men are talented and driven and while their accomplishments are commendable, they remind us that happiness is not found in the sum of our achievements. These men love and worship themselves over and above anything else – a path that never leads to fulfillment.
The following quote from the article really stuck out to me:
Freedom…is about finding yourself in the steady, unrelenting, knowing, freeing gaze of someone who knows you—you, the you that you despise—and who is glad to be near you, who loves you anyways. Freedom, at its core, is about love, is inextricable from love, is love.
Wow! I think we all long for that kind of freedom/love. That’s exactly the kind of love that God has for us.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.
May you know the unconditional, steadfast love of God. May it bring hope, healing, and freedom in the deepest parts of your heart.
Thank You! May 10th, 2013
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
My family and I have been so very blessed by our church living out this verse! The past 3-4 weeks have been challenging to say the least. In the midst of this challenging season, we’ve experienced the love and care of so many of our ACC family. Things like a phone call, txt, note, or card to let us know that you’re praying for us have lifted our spirits and reminded us that we’re not alone in this. A home-cooked meal and a brief visit have kept us well-fed and provided much needed interaction with good friends. People generously giving of their time and energy to help Lisa with our kids have made it possible for me to return to my ministry here at church. Some have helped research car seats, provided gifts, gone shopping for us, and the list goes on and on. As I write this post, I’m overwhelmed! Thank you!
The verse above mentions the “law of Christ”. That’s a reference to John 13:34 where Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” In the next verse, Jesus says the result of this kind of love is that the world will know that we are his disciples. As you’ve helped carry our burden, you’ve expressed love in tangible ways and given our world a testimony of the power of the Gospel.
Well done church! Thank you for loving and caring for my family!