This week Ashley and I watched a powerful movie called Captive, the true story of how a killer took a young lady captive and how God used Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, to intervene in a powerful way. It is an intense show, but I do recommend it. Pastor Warren is shown at the end of the movie on the Oprah Winfrey Show and he states that everyone needs hope. That is so true! Everyone needs hope, that inner peace that comes from knowing that all will be okay. Recently I have begun reading novels by David Baldacci and others that write in this same genre of action thrillers. In the book Act of War, author Brad Thor states that everyone needs three things—someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. I agree. The Bible tells us that God is a God of hope. No matter how dark or dreary things are, God always comes to His children and grants us wonderful peace and hope.
We are off to a good start with our emphasis on the Art of Neighboring—Love Where You Live. On Sunday I enjoyed teaching on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. This week Pastor Stu will teach us the importance of utilizing our time wisely as we practice good neighboring where we live. Ashley and I are enjoying talking with our neighbors and encouraging them. Wednesday night we attended a “happy hour” at one of our neighbor’s homes. The invitation said please come by even if you cannot stay long. We went and represented Jesus through the ministry of presence. Will you pray for us that God gives us favor among our neighbors and we can be good witnesses for Christ?
Also, on the topic of neighboring, this year we will not have our Fall Fest on Halloween night. Instead, we are encouraging you to be in your neighborhoods and ask God to show you how you can love on, serve, and witness to your neighbors on this night when people literally come to your home! Pastor Ross and our education staff have come up with a list of creative ideas you can implement. Ask one of our staff and they will gladly send you this list.
We have some important and potentially great news about a ground lease on our corner property. On October 11, immediately after the worship service I invite you to join us for a business conference where you can hear this news and we can vote on a matter related to this corner property. It will not take long, but it is important for you to be there if you are a church member.
Sunday is our monthly Change-Your-World emphasis where we collect money for the benevolence ministry for people within our church family. Please drop off loose change or whatever amount God places on your heart.
Finally, like many churches, our church has fallen way behind in giving to budget. While our Building Vision Campaign is doing well, we really need our people to please remember to give their tithes in order for our church to be able to operate. Many of you give faithfully and sacrificially, and I thank you! For those who give very little or nothing at all, please realize we need you. As of last Sunday we were almost half a million dollars overspent for 2015, meaning we spent $476,000 more than we have received thus far in 2015. At this rate we will completely deplete our reserves and be in a very dire situation. Fortunately some have given this week and helped out greatly. Will you help us as well?
I hope to see you Sunday. We are going to have a great day in the Lord.