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Pastor Post: February 9, 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.

 

 

February 9, 2012

Dear Church Family,

Genesis 1-11 portrays a world spiraling down into evil, confusion, and destruction. All human attempts to achieve victory, prestige, and honor have come up short (particularly  manifested in the construction of the Tower of Babel). There is no hope. In fact, the closing verses of chapter 11 show us that the seed of promise (Gen. 3:15) has arrived at a dead end. The promised seed of Eve has fallen upon an aging husband (Abram) and his barren wife (Sarai).  This cycle repeats itself in every generation. In every generation, great minds pursue great wisdom, great craftsman design greater tools and technology, and greater souls devise greater advances to save humanity. And yet, as Christopher Wright observes in his book, The Mission of God, “The greatest human achievements cannot solve the deepest human problems.”

But then God shows up and He calls Abram to go and to be a blessing (12:1-3). The power to be a blessing is not in Abram; the power to be a blessing is in the God of the call. God’s call transforms people. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:24 “…to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” By God’s call, we come to see the power and wisdom of God in the person of Jesus Christ. This call leads us to saving faith and then onto obedience. This call leads us to the greatest achievement in all of history: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

Friends, as we meditate and learn from the life, faith, and obedience of Abram, let us not forget that Abram is who he is only because of the call and power of God active in his life. It is because he belongs to God that he lives a life of faith. Similarly for us, our obedience and life of faith is because of the work and power of Jesus Christ in our lives. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24). The same God who took a broken and aging man, along with his barren bride, into a journey of faith still takes broken and barren people today and invites them onto the victorious journey with Christ the LORD.

Upcoming Events in the life of Cornerstone Church:

Baby Bottle Boomerang: Your contributions to Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center are due this Sunday February 12.

Ministry Community Meeting, Feb. 13: Reminder to the ministry leaders that we will meet to discuss your Ministry Action Plans for 2012. Please bring 2 copies of your MAP to the meeting. Be thinking of 1-2 prayer requests you can share for your ministry area for 2012.

February 19 Church Family Dinner at the Olive Garden: We have room for about a half dozen more attendees for our 6-8PM dinner. We plan to enjoy fellowship, good food, and a bit of fun on that evening. RSVP to Annette Goater.

The Journey of Faith Sermon Series: We encourage you to be a part of this sermon series by: 1) Attending our weekly worship services. 2) Joining a sermon-based small group. 3) Using the daily Bible-reading guide and 4) Committing to memorize Scripture (these resources are located on the offering table at the back of the Sanctuary).

Thank you friends,

Pastor Matt


 

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Pastor Post: January 26, 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.

 

 

 

 January 26, 2012

Dear Church Family,

This Sunday we start our new series, “The Journey of Faith.”  My hope for 2012 is that each of us would allow God to take us to new places of depth and intimacy. But the only way for faith to deepen is for each of us to take God at His Word in daily, joy-filled obedience. One writer explains, “Every obedience, however small (if any obedience is ever small) quickens our sensitivity to God and our capacity to understand Him and so makes more real our sense of His presence.”

Jesus promises that everyone who obeys His commands, God will come and make His dwelling with them (John 14:21). Then, He will guide us in our journey to the places He longs to take us. Come with me on this journey of faith. O God, take us where you want us to go.

 Things to know:

 Small Groups start this week: If you are not in a sermon-based small group, please plan to join one this week. More information in the bulletin insert or at http://cornerstone-marion.org/2012/01/16/new-sermon-series-the-journey-of-faith/.

 Baby Bottle Boomerang: Our church is partnering with Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center (formerly Aid to Women) through the 2012 Baby BottleBoomerang during the weeks of January 22 to February 12.  Baby bottles will be handed out after the service on January 22.   They should be returned on Sunday, February 12.  Bridgehaven is a ministry that reaches out to women experiencing unintended pregnancies with truth and love, empowering choices for life.  You can learn more about Bridgehaven at www.bridgehavencr.org

 February 19 Post-Valentine Dinner at the Olive Garden:  We have room for a few more attendees for our 6-8PM dinner. We plan to enjoy fellowship, good food, and a bit of fun on that evening. RSVP to Annette Goater.

Blessings to you,

Pastor Matt

 

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Pastor Post: January 5, 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.

January 5, 2012
Dear Church Family,

A Scriptural Meditation: In preparation for this Sunday’s sermon on the Trinity, I spent some time meditating on Isaiah 59. For the first 15 verses of Isaiah 59 we read that humanity’s condition is pitiful. We have set up a barrier between ourselves and God because of our sin (v. 2); we have defiled our entire person through injustice, violence and a hell-bent passion for evil (vv. 3-8); and as such, we are groping and stumbling for hope, but we are incapable of rescuing ourselves (vv. 9-15). But then Isaiah speaks in verses 16-17, “The LORD saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.” God acts to destroy the barrier, cleanse our defilement, and lift us up from our paralyzed condition. And how does this happen (from verses 20 and 21): “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the LORD. What I am struck by is the involvement of each member of the Trinity in bringing about our salvation. The LORD (God the Father) plans, the Redeemer (God the Son, Jesus) comes, and the Spirit (Holy Spirit) confirms this truth on  our very lips. Glory to the Triune God who has worked our salvation! May our lives be overwhelmed in 2012 with this Great God of our Salvation.

What’s Coming Up in the Life of Cornerstone Church?

Membership Class starts this Sunday at 9AM: A member of Cornerstone Church covenants to grow in Christian community, to invest in the church family and the Gospel with their time, talent and treasures, and to submit themselves to the church family and its leaders for accountability, protection, and growth. If you are considering church membership, we encourage you to attend a 4 week Membership Class Sunday mornings January 8, 15, 22, 29 at 9AM. We will also meet an additional time outside of the Sunday morning for a more intimate, homey gathering. At the end of the class, individuals can decide if they would like to take the few additional steps toward membership in our church family.

“Delighting in the Divine” Sermon Series Continues: We will have part 2 of our journey into Article I of the Evangelical Free Church’s Statement of Faith this Sunday. The big question we are trying to tackle is this: How can Christians believe in both a singular Godhead and three Divine Persons? (That’s just bad math.) In the first sermon we addressed this particularly controversial question: How can God be “infinitely perfect” and yet do “all things for His own glory”? If you missed last Sunday’s sermon, you can download it our webpage here.

Missions Month, January 2012: Ever wonder about the ministry behind the Christmas-time red kettles and bell ringers? Join us during the 9am Sunday School hour each Sunday this January as we learn about the action-packed story behind “The Salvation Army” and its founder. William Booth was a preacher in England in the 1800s. He and his wife Catherine were called by God to serve people who were not welcomed in the established churches of that time. The Booths followed God’s call, even when they were in danger.

Small Groups are coming…Our Spring 2012 small groups will be launching at the end of January. Keep on the lookout for meeting times and locations. Cornerstone Church is passionate about people sharing life together around God’s Word. Please make joining a small group a priority for you in 2012.

Visitation in 2012: Starting in January, our elder shepherds are going to begin an intentional process of meeting with each household in our church family throughout 2012. The goal is simply to love, support, and pray for our church family at a more personal level. These will be approximately 1 hour long visits involving 1-2 elders. These will start up at the end of January, and you will be called in advance…no surprise visits 🙂

Facebook Users:  If you haven’t “liked” or “subscribed” to Cornerstone Church Marion Marion please do. We are using Facebook to keep people updated on important announcements, new sermon podcasts, and the like. For those of you who do not use Facebook, we are posting regular updates on our website at this address:  http://cornerstone-marion.org/category/news/

Ministry Community (Monday Jan. 9, 7PM): This Monday the elected leaders will spend the first portion of the Ministry Community Meeting in prayer together. We will read Psalms, spend time in silence, small group prayer, etc. The final portion will be spent in the elder shepherding teams in order to focus on our ministry goals at the beginning of 2012. If you would like the Ministry Community to be praying for anything on your behalf, please let me know by Sunday.

I’m excited for our journey together in 2012!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Matt

 


 

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Membership Class in January 2012

 

A member of Cornerstone Church covenants to grow in Christian community, to invest in the church family and the Gospel with their time, talent and treasures, and to submit themselves to the church family and its leaders for accountability, protection, and growth. If you are considering church membership, we encourage you to attend a 4 week Membership Class Sunday mornings January 8, 15, 22, 29 at 9AM. We will also meet an additional time outside of the Sunday morning for a more intimate, homey gathering. At the end of the class, individuals can decide if they would like to take the few additional steps toward membership in our church family.

If Church Membership is a new concept to you, you may appreciate a short explanation Pastor Matt wrote on his blog previously: Click here to read the article.

If you miss out on this class and are interested in participating in a future membership class, please contact Pastor Matt.

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Delighting in the Divine – New Sermon Series

New January 2012 Sermon Series:
“Delighting in the Divine: An Exploration of Article I of the Evangelical Free Church Statement of Faith”
A.W. Tozer has rightly observed, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” As such, the elders plan to set aside the first 3 Sunday worship services of 2012 to look at the theology of God as it is stated by the first article of our Statement of Faith. We will return to Genesis and our sermon-based small groups at the end of January and throughout the Spring.

We will tackle these 3 questions that deal with 3 seemingly contradictory ideas that are stated in Article I of our Statement of Faith:

January 1: How can God be “infinitely perfect” and yet do “all things for His own glory”? (Isn’t living for your own glory the epitome of evil?)

January 8: How can Christians believe in both a singular Godhead and three Divine Persons? (That’s just bad math.)

 January 15: How come an all-wise and all-powerful God needs to redeem anything? (How could such a “perfect” God make a mistake?)