Category: News

Pastor Post: January 17, 2013

The Pastor Post is a bi-monthly update from Pastor Matt with a brief meditation as well as information on upcoming events in the life of Cornerstone Church.

January 17, 2013

Dear Church Family,

I came across 3 powerful Bible verses this week in my reading through the Bible. NIV  Exodus 2:23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

4 simple truths stuck out: 1) God hears the cries of His people. 2) God remembers His covenant to His people. 3) God looks with gracious favor on His sinful and hurting people. 4) And then God moves to bring about their redemption. Friends, no mater the situation, keep praying. Keep praying for friends and family who still haven’t trusted Christ as Savior. Pray for the wicked practices of abortion, economic injustice, and world-wide hunger to be undone. God hears our groans and remembers His loving covenant.

Important Announcements:

Baby Bottle Boomerang 2013: Our church is partnering with Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center to observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (January 20) as a day to celebrate the intrinsic value of all human life.  In addition, we will be trying to raise money over the next 3 weeks to support and work and mission of Bridgehaven.  Baby bottles will be handed out after the services each Sunday for the next three weeks.  Then, over the next few weeks please add cash or checks to the bottle to support the ministry.  The bottles should be returned to the church on Sunday, February 10th.  Bridgehaven serves men and women experiencing unintended pregnancies with truth and love, empowering choices for life.  Please be in prayer for women, men, and families affected by abortion today.  You can learn more about Bridgehaven at www.BridgehavenCR.org.

Small Groups are still open….With the start of the new sermon series, our Winter/Spring 2013 Small Groups have begun meeting. If you are not in a small group, we encourage you to find a group and time that works for you. These groups will be discussing the 7 Marks of a Life-Giving Friend and prayerfully attempt to grow in these areas. Contact Pastor Matt if you want to get into a group.

Bible Readers!! Check out these links for getting the Bible on audio mp3s…

Lenten Prayer Guides: In the coming weeks, we will have some prayer guides for the 40 days of Lent. Leading up to Easter, we will be praying for our city, every country on the earth, and for our church family. For 40 days we will ask the Holy Spirit to move in such a way that Christ be glorified among all nations and all peoples in a way like never before.

Please keep our church, its leaders, and our community in your prayers.

In Christ,

Pastor Matt

Pastor Post: January 4, 2013

The Pastor Post is a bi-monthly update from Pastor Matt with a brief meditation as well as information on upcoming events in the life of Cornerstone Church.

January 4, 2013

Dear Friends,

Our dear church family member Joanna Weber would want us to know that it is a a new year… and a new start.

Unlike all the doubters and naysayers of New Year’s Resolutions, I’m all for them. Sure, we may not make it all the way through the year. Sure, we may not achieve all that we hope. But by the power of the Holy Spirit and with firm faith in the promises of God, we can have a new start any day of the year. Why not on January 1st or even today, January 4? God’s mercies are new every morning; great is His faithfulness.

With that being said, I want to drop one last encouragement to jump into a Bible Reading Plan in 2013 . You may choose to read through the Bible. If you’re looking for ideas on where to start, click this link to see 3 different reading plans (http://cornerstone-marion.org/2012/12/26/article-ii-the-word-of-god-sermon-series/) or download the You Version Bible App and set up your own plan.

If you are looking for a less daunting plan, I’m also providing a plan that goes through May 2013 that has about one to two chapters of Bible reading per day (think 5-10 minutes of reading per day). Available online here: http://cornerstone-marion.org/docs/Reading_Plan_Spring_2013.pdf

And don’t forget…the goal of Bible reading is not information but life transformation!

Some quick announcements…

New Series Kickoff: Starting January 13, I will begin a series entitled “7 Marks of a Life-Giving Friend.” Our major milestone for the 2012-2013 school year is that each person at Cornerstone Church takes steps to grow as and become a life-giving friend in God’s family. Thus, we are going to do our first topical sermon series in a long while and look at 7 different Bible passages and 7 different marks that should be reflected in our lives so that we can be life-giving friends. More info on the new series is posted online: http://cornerstone-marion.org/2013/01/04/7-marks-of-a-life-giving-friend/

Small Groups Kickoff: With the start of the new sermon series, our Winter/Spring 2013 Small Groups will launch. If you are not in a small group, I encourage you to find a group and time that works for you. These groups will be discussing the 7 Marks of a Life-Giving Friend and prayerfully attempt to grow in these areas. Contact Pastor Matt if you want to get into a group.

Ministry Community Meeting, January 14 @7PM: The first leaders’ meeting of 2013 will be at the church office.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Matt

7 Marks of a Life-Giving Friend

The Cheers theme song still always makes me smile: “Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came…” Why? Because it speaks to my heart, revealing a longing I believe is in the souls of all, a longing for a friend.

But what if the issue is not “finding a friend” but becoming the kind of person who attracts friends?

Starting January 13, we will begin a series entitled “7 Marks of a Life-Giving Friend.” Our major milestone for the 2012-2013 school year is that each person at Cornerstone Church takes steps to grow as and become a life-giving friend in God’s family. Thus, we are going to do our first topical sermon series in a long while and look at 7 different Bible passages and 7 different marks that should be reflected in our lives so that we can be life-giving friends.

Here are the ways you can take advantage of this new series:

1) Attend each Sunday service from January 13 to the end of February. Come prepared to listen, pray, take notes, and make immediate application. Let’s come and adore God with God’s people and sit under His Word.

2) A weekly small group. We have 7 different groups meeting throughout the week to look deeper and more personally at the marks of being a life-giving friend. Contact Pastor Matt to get involved in one of these groups.

3) Daily Bible Reading. Many of you are reading the Bible from cover to cover this year (see this link http://cornerstone-marion.org/2012/12/26/article-ii-the-word-of-god-sermon-series/ with options for reading through the Bbile ). Others are going to be reading one to two chapters a day with this reading plan: http://cornerstone-marion.org/docs/Reading_Plan_Spring_2013.pdf

4) Find a way to serve in God’s family. One key mark of a life-giving friend is sacrificial service. Who are you serving? How you are sacrificing for God’s family each week?


Article II: The Word of God (sermon series)

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8). As such, starting this Sunday December 30, we will begin a 2-3 week series on Article II of our church’s Statement of Faith. We will focus in on the accuracy of God’s written revelation and its authority.

The key application for this series is simple: Become a Scripture-Saturated Person in 2013. Read God’s Word, study God’s Word, memorize God’s Word, and most important of all, meditate on God’s Word.

There are two ways we’d like to encourage you can get into God’s Word this year:

1)  Use the Cornerstone Church Daily Reading Guides. Starting on January 13, Pastor Matt will provide a reading guide with 5-6 short Bible readings for each week. If you are new to the Bible or you want to be reading in passages that related to each week’s sermon, this is a great reading plan for you. (now available: http://cornerstone-marion.org/docs/Reading_Plan_Spring_2013.pdf)

2) Read through the Bible in 2013. There are many different ways to read through the Bible: straight through, chronological, a bit of the New Testament and Old Testament each day, etc. If you haven’t read through the Bible ever or in a long while, this is a highly recommended discipline for every Christian.

Here are a few options you might try:

Straight though the Bible: http://www.blueletterbible.org/reader/daily/PDF/Plan1.pdf

Following a historical timeline: http://www.esv.org/assets/pdfs/rp.chronological.pdf

Some from the OT and NT each day: http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.pdf or http://www.navpress.com/uploadedFiles/15074%20BRP.dj.pdf


Pastor Post: December 13, 2012

The Pastor Post is a bi-monthly update from Pastor Matt with a brief meditation as well as information on upcoming events in the life of Cornerstone Church.

December 13, 2012

Dear Church Family,

Today I’m reminded that the Christmas season is not “the most wonderful time of the year” for everyone. We remember lost and estranged loved ones. Many of us sense a lingering loneliness. We fear gathering with family who feel more like strangers, if not enemies. I have to think Joseph and Mary experienced some of these aches on the first Christmas…

Joseph and Mary didn’t choose to travel to Bethlehem. It had been dictated. Joseph was on his way to a forced “family reunion.” In reality, it was a nation-wide census, requiring various residents to return to their towns of origin to be counted. Lots of Joseph’s family were probably there. But who rolled out the red carpet for Joseph and Mary’s arrival? Who was extra careful the “barefoot and pregnant” Mary had a bed for her aching back and swollen feet? Answer: no one. No family took them in. Every inn was full. Instead, they cozied up in a barn (or possibly a cave–we’re just not sure). 

We don’t know if the contractions started on the way to Bethlehem or after they got there. We don’t know if a midwife helped in the delivery. All that we do know is that Mary and Joseph had been ostracized. Even years later, Jesus received slanderous accusations regarding the suspicious birth of his unwed mother (Jn. 9:34). I can’t fathom the ache Joseph and Mary felt to bring a little one into the world without any family or friends, comfort or care. 

Maybe that’s why God thought it fitting that the Great Shepherd Jesus Christ be first visited by some nearby shepherds. These shepherds were a little company for Joseph and Mary. Folks there to say (foolishly of course, but funny nonetheless), “Joseph, he’s got your eyes.” I bet Joseph gave Mary a knowing glance, and Mary simply paused in wonder that her virgin body could bring forth Immanuel (“God with us”). And there’s our hope too this Christmas season. We may feel alone, afraid, or even ostracized from friends, family, and society. But Immanuel (Jesus Christ) has not left us or abandoned us. He is with us. He loves us. Because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. So,

God rest you merry gentlemen [and ladies]
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
Announcements:

Carols and Cocoa, Wednesday (12/19) 6:30PM: We will meet at the Village Ridge retirement community, 365 Marion Blvd in Marion at 6:30 PM.  We will carol twice in 2 different areas.  We will, also, be sharing the Christmas gifts we made during the Sunday School hour last Sunday.  Feel free to visit with these dear people about their recollections of Christmas and what these songs mean to them. We will then proceed to the Olson’s, 945 Parkview Dr. in Marion, for some hot chocolate and Christmas treats and fellowship.  We may carol in the neighborhood, too.  If you’d like to share a favorite seasonal treat bring it along.  If you have questions or get lost call Jeff Olson at 573-0669.    

Christmas Eve Service, 6:30PM: Each year our Cornerstone Church family and friends celebrate Christmas with the residents at Cottage Grove Place  (2115 1st Avenue Southeast). There is always room for one more…come and worship the King with us.

Cornerstone Apparel: For those who ordered Cornerstone polo shirts, we will begin distributing shirts this Sunday. The t-shirt order may be in by this Sunday as well, but we have heard no final word from the screen printer. Please bring payment when picking up shirts. If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Taylor: jwardtay@mchsi.com

It’s a deep joy for me and my family to remember the Christ Child with this church family!!
Glory to God for His Glorious Gift of Christ. Amen and Amen.

Love,
Pastor Matt