Dear Church Family,
Today is garbage day at my place. So too, a different truck drives by to pick up our yard waste. I counted 4 cans and 7 bags of yard waste. My wife has spent a few hours most days pulling weeds. My kids have pitched in; I’ve pulled a weed or two. Still you might drive by and say, “It’s a jungle out there.”
Sometimes life is like my yard. We identify weedy areas and pull out the junk, but there’s still so many weeds. Or we remove a nasty patch in our soul, only to have a different ugly thing take root and sprout.
Reading and studying the Proverbs has had a humbling effect on me this summer. The Proverb paints what a life of wisdom can really look like. God has a masterpiece in mind for us. Nonetheless, the lusts of the flesh, the lies of the enemy, and the allure of the world sow seeds of destruction. You may be tempted to give up. You might think it’s not worth working on your life if other weeds remain.
Let me offer 2 reasons to keep engaging with God on the weeds in your life:
Reason #1: God sent His Son to save us from our sin and sins. Jesus died to remove the debt of sin we owed to God. Jesus’ blood cleanses us from all sin. In addition, He seeks to purify us from all sins. Every little spiritual victory is joy for us and honoring to God. The Spirit of the Son never gives up, working to make us good and to heal us from evil.
Reason #2: Our good works lead others to turn and glorify God. Yes, we will not ever be perfect. You know that; God knows that; your neighbor knows that. But your neighbor notices those little transformations. She observes her girlfriend no longer gossipping. He notices that his buddy no longer speaks ill of his wife. They remember when you send encouraging text messages. They treasure your birthday notes and gifts.
Carrie and I worked together last night to get the final bags to the curb for pick up. Despite feeling pretty defeated that our yard is still a sanctuary for weeds, our neighbor spied us and said, “Wow, you’ve done a lot of work this week.”
Other Church Items:
A new video encouragement was uploaded today: https://youtu.be/73y5Ep38cAM
August 8th Membership Class (12-3:30/4PM) – Please let Pastor Gary know if you will join this class. Lunch is provided. This is the first step toward membership at Cornerstone Church.
ReviveCR (August 14-22) – Will you serve your city? Our regional coalition of churches, Serve the City, in partnership with Eight Days of Hope have teamed up to serve city parks, and families still in need from the Derecho. Here are a few details to put on your family calendar (this is for people of ALL ages)…
Saturday Aug 14: ALL DAY – Go serve the city…We’ll start at St. Mark’s Lutheran at 7AM and for the die-hards, you can go all day, and eat supper together at 6PM. YOU MUST SIGN UP HERE: https://eightdaysofhope.com/registration?ev=42
August 15-21 – You can go back any and all days to continue to serve.
August 22 @7PM – City-wide ReviveCR Worship at the NewBo Market Amphitheatre. Food trucks 5-7PM, more info @ https://www.revivecr.info/
Love ya lots,
Dear Church Family,
I crossed my 11 year mark this past Monday, June 21. You’ve been gracious and forgiving, encouraging and kind, generous and hard working. Thank you for the privilege of serving beside you. Our future together is as bright as the promises of God.
By way of reminders:
#1: Sunday Morning Prayer: There is an open invite every Sunday from 8:40-9:10AM to PRAY in Room 103. The head of every church is Christ; the backbone is prayer. Would you join us each Sunday for 30 minutes of prayer? You can cut out early if you have a Sunday morning service obligation; you can come late if 8:40AM isn’t feasible.
#2: Elder Retreat (June 30-July 1): Please also be in prayer (and potentially fasting) for the elders when they meet this coming Wednesday-Thursday for a 2 day retreat for planning, seeking the LORD, and assessing our body.
#3: Focus Group Summary Doc: I’ve attached a 2 page summary of the Covid-19 Focus Groups. Thanks for the feedback. Please read thru this to get a taste of the journey shared by your brothers and sisters.
Dear Church Family,
2 Corinthians 13:12 commends Christians to greet one another with a holy kiss. This verse speaks to the intimacy to which God desires the church to offer one another. The church symbolizes the welcome of God when we welcome one another in love. In the culture the Bible was written, this is how you greeted a close friend and family member. In today’s culture, we offer a handshake or lean in for a hug. After months of isolation and social distancing, I’d like us to move toward obeying 2 Corinthians 13:12 (with grace). Some of us are still going to offer a fist bump or a step back wave; still, let’s greet one another with love.
And here’s a new practice that can help us. When you come in this Sunday, you’ll see pre-printed nametags for our regular attenders and members. Would you please grab a nametag? If I misspelled your name or you accidentally didn’t get a pre-printed nametag, please create your own and let a welcome team member know so we can get you a nametag the following week. We’ve all forgotten names. We’re all seeing new faces. Let’s work together to know and receive one another this week!
5 quick items for prayer and participation:
#1: Please join a focus group to share your reflections on this past year. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hMws5cnOFH3PS0kNZmTzu_RdYND36nfrHoq26bw-zZM/edit
#2: Join us for the congregational meeting at the church building (11AM) and meal at Thomas Park (12PM) this Sunday.
#3: Enjoy my video encouragement for this week: https://youtu.be/WWdll2fnBL8
#4: Starting June 6 we’ll have pre-service prayer from 8:40-9:10 in room 103; open to all! Come for 5 minutes or stay for 30.
#5: Pray for our summer sermon series in the Book of Proverbs. When the great Charles Spurgeon was asked the secret to his tremendous success as a preacher and his church had in the city, without any hesitation replied, “My people pray for me.”
Lord have mercy,
In the words of Joanna Weber, “It’s a new week.” For some, this is a great encouragement; you’re excited to take on new challenges with a fresh start. For others, you feel behind the 8-ball at the starting gate. Wherever you fall on that continuum, I hope today’s Pastor Encouragement Video gives you hope (also, keep reading below):
Here are just a few church things to be made aware of:
#1: Matt Eden’s Funeral: We’re honoring the LORD and remembering Matt Eden this Saturday at 10:30AM at the Cornerstone Church facility. Please join Joy and family.
#2: May 23rd Church Family Events: We’ll have a church family meeting at 11AM, followed by a church family meal at Thomas Park. We’ll also honor our graduating seniors that morning during the service.
#3: Feedback Request: Please sign up for one of the June 1-13 Focus Groups and help our church family make wise steps into the future. These important groups will dialogue about the ups and downs of the past year and half, and Lord willing, be better prepared for our next challenges. More info here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hMws5cnOFH3PS0kNZmTzu_RdYND36nfrHoq26bw-zZM/edit
#4: Prayer Efforts: Our Sunday morning pre-service prayer ministry kicks off in June. Please come and pray for the body from 8:40-9:10 in Room 103. In other prayer news, pray for continued efforts at church planting. Please pray for our elders who will meet in June for a retreat and look ahead to the next 12-36 months. May we step out in faith, in the vein of William Carey, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
Finally, be on the lookout in your mailboxes for our May newsletter. Also, you’ll have an opportunity to serve our local schools and help kids in need in the near future. Let’s outdo one another in Christian love!!
Take heart; Jesus has overcome the world,
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