Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vanport Presbyterian Church

Today we worshiped at Vanport Presbyterian Church, 289 Georgetown Lane, Beaver, PA 15009, 724.774.8874, www.vpchurch1.org, Rev. David D. Byers, Pastor.

Scripture –

Hebrews 10:1-18
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, O God.’” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

Then he adds: “Their sins are lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

Romans 13:8-14
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


Bob’s thoughts:

We were greeted and warmly welcomed at the door and got to chat a bit with the greeters. The building that houses the sanctuary is new and the restrooms are right off the narthex, so signage was not much of an issue. We didn’t get to see the rest of the building so I don’t know about other signage.

The sanctuary has a large wooden cross framed by the window, and very comfortable seating arranged to provide generous spacing.

The sermon, “Countdown to Glory,” had two points that really spoke to me. The first was about worshiping God wherever we are, that worship is not confined to church. I made a similar comment to my wife this morning when we were talking about what church to visit today. Today is 6 years since our younger son was killed, and my comment was that we could worship in a large fancy church or I could sit in the mud in my garden, it would not affect my worship. Everything we do can be an act of worship, wherever we are.

Another point had to do with the teenage years and the concern that teens not be swayed by the world, that they be different in faith. Our son Dan just gravitated towards trouble, but he was never embarrassed by his faith. With all the peer pressure growing up, the world could not separate him from Christ. The stories about Dan’s standing up for his faith were a major factor in our surviving his loss.

I didn’t get to hear the rest of the sermon; I thought there would be a speaker in the quiet room where we took my grandchildren. Maybe this will be a nursing area, but I was surprised that there wasn’t a window in the door. Also I hope the outlets get covered.

I was able to rejoin the congregation for the last hymn, a favorite, “Here I Am, Lord.” Perhaps it was a new song to the church, but the passion was missing.


Jan’s thoughts:

The stonework and the A-frame design of this building make it particularly attractive. The paved lot provides great parking.

We were greeted immediately upon entering, and shortly thereafter our daughter, son-in-law and grandtwins joined us. The little ones, of course, were charming conversation-starters.

The Sanctuary is simple and elegant with comfortable chairs and ample legroom.

We typically sit in the back because much more often than not the volume is too much for our ears, but today I found myself wishing we were further forward as I could barely hear the worship assistant. I was able to hear the preacher much better though.

The bulletin consisted of three 8 ½ x 11 pages folded in half and stapled, and is just full of information. I couldn’t help but notice next to the prayer list was a list of those serving in the military, one page was devoted to the Scripture much as we do here, and another with a suggested order to help develop the Discipline of Daily Prayer.

The pastor was on vacation so the message was presented by Mrs. Eva-Maria Barr, an elder from Mill Creek Presbyterian Church and a member of the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry.

The sermon, entitled “Countdown to Glory,” outlined Paul’s practical advice for living: do not sway from the faith or follow the culture – stand firm; we have a duty to use the spiritual gifts God gave us – use them and don’t be lazy; be content and humble.

I appreciated the message, but between my grandchildren and the anniversary of our son’s Homegoing, I had some trouble staying focused.


Our prayer for this church:
Dear Father, We pray, Lord, that You will use the members of Your Body with whom You have blessed this Church, and that the members will use their gifts to Your glory. May they do the work You have planned for them. We lift up their leaders as they discern Your will. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Christ Church at Grove Farm

Today we worshiped at Christ Church at Grove Farm, 249 Duff Road, Sewickley, PA 15143, 412.741.4900, www.ccgf.org, Rev. Jon Panner, Senior Pastor/Rector.

Scripture – Habakkuk 1:2-5; 3:2 & 17-19

Habakkuk’s Complaint
1:2-5      How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?

Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

The Lord’s Answer
“Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”

Habakkuk’s Prayer
3:2        Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

3:17-19   Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.


Bob’s thoughts:

We were welcomed as we entered, and many people greeted us.

The sanctuary in which we worshiped had an arched exposed steel ceiling, the seating was comfortable and some friends sat with us. There was what seemed like a small orchestra onstage, giving the traditional worship a contemporary feel. The highlight for me was the large cross: with the lighting there was a halo effect on the wall behind it.

I really appreciated the Scripture reading. I seldom hear verses read with feeling and inflection and it added a lot to worship. I wish I could have heard more of the female’s voice during an enjoyable duet as the offering was taken. It was encouraging how much prayer was offered. I was impressed that prayer was given for a youth leader who had resigned.

The sermon, “How Could a Good God Allow Suffering,” was a personal message for us. I appreciated the comment that there are “no intellectual answers”…so many were offered when our son was killed.

We are called to study God’s Word to know Him better, but with a little knowledge we too often feel we are able to understand God, and then we question whether He knows what He is doing. As we study we come to view our strengths as our god.

As we seek justice God calls us to wait for it, and He is never late.

Worshipers were offered an opportunity to come forward after the service for individual prayers.

I always look for signage and what I saw was good until we went to leave…we got to tour the whole campus looking for the exit.

I found an interesting flier on suggestions to support your Church Shepherd and I hope this includes the pastors.


Jan’s thoughts:

This is another of the churches I have driven past for a good while and today was the day we were called to worship here.

Parking space is ample for the large facility and indoor signage was plentiful, so we had no problem finding anything.

It was a joy to encounter several friends from the past who invited us to sit with them, and after worship we all chatted at a table in the Atrium. It was indeed a happy reunion! I can see where the café is a convenient place for members to pick up lunch and support a mission endeavor in the process.

Following intercessory prayer in the chapel at 8:30, there is a choice of the traditional or contemporary service at 9 and after the 10:15 Sunday School another traditional or contemporary service at 11:15. We attended the 9 a.m. traditional service and stepped in for part of a song at the 11:15 contemporary service. We learned that the pastors took turns preaching at the various services, and used the same Scripture and topic but wrote their own message.

I thought the music in the service we attended could more accurately be called “blended,” although it almost sounded like an orchestra leading from onstage. It was pleasant and professional-sounding.

The sanctuary was spacious and comfortable. I’m sure Bob will talk about the cross, but I appreciated it also.

The current sermon series is called “Tough Questions – Hot Potatoes and Disputable Matters” and today’s entry was “How Could a Good God Allow Suffering.”

What was going through my mind was, here’s a tough question for you: why would God lead us to hear a sermon with this title one week before the anniversary of our son’s going Home? I could think of only one answer for that question: He wanted us to hear it.

The pastor offered an excellent message based on Habakkuk’s “humble but bold” questions to God in his attempt to make sense of the chaos of his time, and I was surprised to find many of these questions were the same ones I have asked of Him: What kind of God is He? Is He incompetent? Does He not love me? Why did He not intervene? Where was He? Did He forget to watch over my son? How can I make sense of anything? What does this “failure” say about Him? How can I trust Him now? As the pastor put it, “Can we believe when things don’t work out?”

Then the pastor stated the truths Habakkuk learned and that have saved my life: “things crumble but God remains; if we lose our focus on God we lose our faith; God is in control and has never failed us; the Christian’s comfort zone is in Christ alone; look at the long plan and wait patiently.” It takes work, but “fear does turn to faith,” and eventually we learn “the reality that we can only trust God.”

I am grateful God led us here today. He was right, I did need to hear this sermon. I found it unexpectedly comforting and encouraging to hear a reminder of God’s sovereignty this week.

Sometimes I ask Him questions He does not answer, and sometimes He answers questions I do not ask.

Before we left we toured the building some, and it is an impressive facility. We encountered one of the pastors and enjoyed an uplifting conversation.


Our prayer for this church:

Father, we pray that Christ would continue to bless and guide this church and its leaders. Jesus, please equip and inspire this congregation to take Your message to their neighbors and the world. Encourage them to tell their story. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Church of Our Saviour

Today we worshiped at Church of Our Saviour, 2405 Clearview Drive, Glenshaw, PA 15116, 412.486.5171, www.churchworthfinding.org, Rev. Joseph Martin, Pastor.

Scripture – Ephesians 1:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.


Bob’s thoughts:

We entered the building from the lower level parking lot and were greeted on the stair to the Sanctuary, then welcomed at the Narthex, and again as we entered the company of, at a guess, about 30 worshipers…and I think we met everyone.

The Deacon shared some current history of the church and denomination. It helped to clarify for me some of what I had read on their struggles to remain true to God’s Word.

The Sanctuary is an elongated rectangle with a domed ceiling. The Chancel area seemed to be a third of the space, and I was pleased to see more than one cross. Most of the service was projected on a screen, but from where we sat in the back it was mostly unreadable. The temperature and humidity were up, and without an occasional breeze I don’t think I could have stayed.

The sermon was the first of an 8-week study of Ephesians, today of Ephesians 1:1-14: Paul’s witness that we are called by God into sainthood, He chooses us, that we become blameless in Christ. It brought to mind my own coming to Christ. I was in the world for the first 50 years, but in retrospect I saw many times when my life was spared and my family saved. People have always said you have to accept Christ, and maybe I did. What I remember is being totally overcome and Christ taking me. In hindsight I saw many things that were preparing me, but when the time came I was completely consumed.

I thought the pastor had a genuine passion for this message, but a reluctance to speak it forcefully. Hearing and reading some of the struggles of the Anglican Church is experiencing makes it understandable.

The Deacon invited us to come and take Communion when she saw that we had not come forward.

The organ was a little too strong for the closing hymn, it drowned out the other instruments and vocals; I imagine “Amazing Grace” would be hard to play softly on an organ.

I was impressed with some little notes, like the one in the restroom indicating the location of additional supplies, light switches, etc.


Jan’s thoughts:

I was unfamiliar with the Anglican Church, so I found today’s visit extremely educational.

We were greeted immediately, warmly, and constantly by most everyone present. The family atmosphere was comfortable.

The Sanctuary was attractively decorated and color was used well. The handmade banners and paraments were works of art. Although the only sign I saw was for the restroom, no others were really necessary.

The contemporary music was a pleasant surprise, and the volume was excellent. Unfortunately, since we sat in the back of the Sanctuary, I was unable to read the words projected on the screen up front. Oh well.

The bulletin consisted of one sheet containing the vital information, including the offering of personal prayer following worship. The liturgy was unfamiliar, but similar to some other churches we’ve visited.

Today’s untitled message was the first in an 8-part series on the Book of Ephesians. The pastor reminded that God chose believers to receive His generous gift of salvation. We did nothing – indeed, could do nothing – to earn God’s lavish gift; He died for us so we could be holy and blameless in His sight.

The only way for this to happen is for the love of Christ to enter our hearts and change us from the inside.

We all need occasional reminders of God’s generosity as well as reminders of our part: to believe, receive, and trust.

Communion was offered but we chose not to partake; however the Deacon came back to make sure we knew we were welcome, and I deeply appreciated this gesture of hospitality.

Following the service we joined the congregation in their social area for refreshments and enlightening conversation. It was a blessed morning.


Our prayer for this church:
Holy Lord, the Devil has placed a stranglehold on this congregation that only You can break. We pray they sense Your care and compassion as they struggle to remain faithful to Your Word. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Home

Today we worshiped at Home.

Scripture – 2 Kings 5:1-17
Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.

She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekel of gold and ten sets of clothing.

The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, He tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn is robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.

Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.

Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”

So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.”

The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

“If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.”

Bob’s thoughts:

When our children/grandchildren are visiting, our church visits are sometimes interrupted. Today I was up early and dressed for church but ended up staying home while our daughters worshiped at a church we had recently visited.

We were at a family wedding on Saturday without air conditioning and this morning I was so incredibly drained that I was afraid to go out. I have worked hard outside in any weather, and now not being able to breathe in extreme weather is hard to accept.

We did get to listen to another Andy Stanley sermon. I was impressed again how he can make sense out of simple issues that I didn’t realize confused me. In coming to faith we think God owes us an explanation, as if He is an elected official. Andy likened it to figuring out how a magician performs a trick and finding our opinion of him is lowered. As we understand some of how God works we begin to feel the same.

He stated that when we finally obey and step out in faith, there is always something more at stake with God’s request.

I have had the experience of God (after a few red bricks to my head) when I stepped out in faith, and this wondrous feeling of being one with God washed over me. I humbly admit, the next time He would call my memory was short.

The message wove around Naaman coming to Israel to be healed of leprosy and how we sometimes react the same.

I was reflecting this morning on Moses’ instruction for God’s people entering the land He was giving them. But what stood out to me today in Deuteronomy 30 was Moses telling them how God would bless them, then curse them when they disobeyed, disperse them to other lands, and rescue the remnant and welcome them back to Him.

This God that shared this with Moses knew my sins before I was born, and knows my struggles now. Our confession of our sins to God is not telling Him what He knew long before, but accepting our failures and agreeing with God that we have sinned.

We must recognize that “God is the reason we obey God.”


Jan’s thoughts:

We found ourselves still in recovery mode this morning after attending a very warm family wedding yesterday, so our health-conscious decision was to stay home and listen to a sermon online.

Last week’s Andy Stanley sermon was on our minds a good portion of last week, so we listened to a message from Andy’s series “Amazing Stories” entitled “No Explanation Required.”

He began by pointing out that with all the ‘figuring out’ the human race has accomplished, we have learned to control, predict, and manipulate, and in the process we have lost our awe of God. In our arrogance we think we have room to push back, and we often adopt the attitude that God owes us.

Point 1: Whenever there is something God wants you to do, there is always something more at stake than the details and circumstances surrounding your obedience.

Point 2: Like Naaman, we find God asks us to do things we would not expect, and when we obey even when it makes no sense, we will come to know God in a way that we could never know Him otherwise. That connection and intimacy with God only comes in moments when we choose to obey without understanding.

What we ultimately learn is that God is the reason we obey God.

When I heard this message, I felt convicted regarding asking for (demanding) an answer. I have only recently faced the fact that I was giving lip service to accepting God’s sovereignty in our son’s death but my heart was still searching for the reason. I’ve come to accept that some things are not mine to know in this life, and to trust that God has a reason for that also.

I recognize that this message may not speak in this way to everyone, but my battle to accept God’s unalterable decision is ongoing. Somehow it helps to remember that it is a battle that is not fought in vain, and knowing God more intimately is certainly an unexpected result of walking this path.


Our prayer for the Church:
Father, we pray the Church would preach Your Word without taking away or adding to it. We pray we would quit trying to be You and focus on being Your servants. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Northbridge Community Church

Today we worshiped at Northbridge Community Church, 216 Mystic Pine Trail, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066, 724.371.1180, www.northbridge.org, Jame Price, Lead Pastor.

Scripture –

Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Colossians 4:5-6
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”


Bob’s thoughts:

It was interesting to visit a church building we have been to with a new church at home. I would have thought there would be little to comment on as far as the physical plant, but there was a glaring change in addition to the name sign: there were directional signs at the two turns to get to the church. We had a long running joke about “the church you can’t get to” which Northbridge addressed right off. The second thing that jumped out was signs cautioning to slow down on the neighborhood streets leading to the church. I would think this is a gracious example of thoughtfulness to the neighborhood.

Another interesting change is a countdown on the screen showing the start time for the service. There was no cross, but hopefully one is still to come as this church is still moving in. The volume is still loud (for us), but I brought ear plugs for the music and liked what I heard with them.

I was blessed to have a young family sit right in front of us: I was playing peek-a-boo with their children then we had a very nice conversation with the parents after the service. Two people noted my Marine shirt and thanked me for my service…always humbling, and appreciated.

The message was presented on the screen by Charles Stanley’s son Andy. I felt Christ used him to speak to me directly (that has happened a lot lately). The sermon was about the church making a difference, not a point. We are embarrassingly quick to judge non-Christians, and invite them to change and be like us. It brought to mind the old comic strip Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

There was a thought toward the end of the message that we as a church should walk toward the messes, another correlation in my mind to the Marines running toward the gunfire. I need to do more of this for Christ.

I thought the next time t-shirts are printed they might consider exchanging “Guest Services” for just “Servant.”


Jan’s thoughts:

This building was formerly occupied by Grace Community Church, which has moved into their newly-built facility, and Northbridge is very excited to be here. Since we had visited this location when it was Grace, we remembered our way around. However, it was easy to know of whom to ask questions: just look for someone wearing a bright yellow t-shirt that read “Guest Services” on the back.

We were greeted at the door, at the visitor desk, and by several others who were not official greeters, including one young family who sat in the row in front of us. Mom and Dad let their 1-year-old play peek-a-boo with us, and then took the time to chat with us after worship.

Although this service contained the usual elements of praise music, prayer, announcements, and offering, there was something that was a first for me: a recorded sermon by someone other than a pastor on staff. And more than that, the preacher was Andy Stanley.

I have known of Andy Stanley for some time, however today was the first time I’ve heard him preach, and I’m very glad his sermons are available online because he is worth listening to. He is knowledgeable, he makes sense, is open and honest, and is incredibly good at engaging the congregation even from the screen.

His sermon was called “The Separation of Church and Hate.” (Love the title!) He began by stating that he grew up as part of a denomination that was against everything, so when he was 28 years old there was much ado when the city’s gay parade was scheduled to be out front of their building just as church was letting out. Everyone was upset, and when the time came and parishioners were confronted with the parade as they exited the church, and what they saw was that the church across the street from them had set up tables containing glasses of water which they were handing out to those in the parade. This made him think. (It makes me think, too…)

He went on to say that as he studied he learned that the only people Jesus or Paul were against were those who were against everything, and he then gave examples of how both Jesus and Paul leaned relationally toward those with whom they disagreed the most.

He pointed out that Jesus and Paul shared other similarities in that they were not concerned about guilt by association and they refused to be dragged into debates that distracted them from primary issues.

There was so much in this message that I can’t outline it and do it justice, but the bottom-line point was that when dealing with people it’s always easier to make a point than to make a difference, but if we live our lives loving others and giving grace, we will have made a point because we made a difference. Making a difference IS the point.

I would like to return to hear a message by the pastor from this church, but today I was incredibly blessed to hear Andy Stanley’s message. It was precisely what I needed to hear.


Our prayer for this church:
Father, we pray You lead this church to get down and dirty to reach those who don’t yet know how much they need You. Keep them from being a “clean hands” church, but let them experience the joy of serving You as they are called, and make a difference. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.