Its hard to believe, another Summer is nearly over. Time just seems to move along so quickly.
Are you desperate for some guidance to help you find hope in your present difficult circumstances?
Are you open to receiving encouragement and support from others?
If so, I would like to invite you to join us this Fall for a life-changing 13 week ministry called HOPE GROUP.
We’ll meet Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m., starting September 13th, at Harvest Bible Chapel on Randall Road in Elgin.
Let me encourage you to take a step of faith to finding hope. THINGS CAN CHANGE!
For more information, about Harvest Bible Chapel’s Hope Group ministry at their Elgin campus, please check out the link!
http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/event/summerhopegroupselgin/ (as an fyi, our Fall registration link is not up quite yet, but will be shortly—bookmark this link).
Harvest Bible Chapel- Love without condition …Forgive without limit >>>>>>>This is what we do!
The idea was to get men to come out 3-4 times during the year, Sunday night at 9 p.m. While at these hour and a half meetings, there would be two brief messages and then two discussion times with men in table groups.During these “connecting times”, men were encouraged to be transparent with one another, to let down their guard and be vulnerable. As we did, it was an opportunity to find support, accountability, healing, and encouragement.
IF, the men attended three of the four nights, they were then able to go a men’s Summer event called Palooza. It was designed to be an “over the top” weekend gathering in Michigan. The weekend would be packed with four messages and times of worship, and many, many activity guys would find challenging: events like softball, mud wrestling, free throw shooting, football tosses, and so much more.
I attended last year’s event. No doubt, it was a good time with many positive take-aways from it.
Then came round two during the past nine months, I believe there were four or five late Sunday night events where attendance at four events was required to qualify to attend this past weekend’s second annual Palooza.
Again, there was the same format of quality worship times and intense, competitive events.
And again, for me, there were many highlights that stood out to me from over the weekend.
But what set this apart, was that it wasn’t until the last 15 minutes of this weekend that Pastor James MacDonald said something that sent fireworks off in my brain (we actually had fireworks on Saturday night too!). He laid out a vision for what Act Like Men was all about.
He mentioned that the bar was set so high (in fact, next year, we are going to have seven late Sunday evening gatherings to attend) because he wanted the church to be calling out guys to break away from our addiction to our independence and acting like we are in control of our self. Too often, we have that “I want to do my own thing”.
We ARE responsible for our actions, but guys especially have a habit of acting from their own selfish and independent mindsets, and prone to isolation, so that we need to go radical and be challenged to a higher calling. Guys, we need to be involved in community.
I saw it!
I finally realized what I had been missing. It was the importance, rather the need of guys (WITH ME BEING RIGHT THERE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST) to do life together and encouraging, supporting, praying for, and holding other guys accountable. It was a matter of being a part of a community where we can not only receive the support and care from other guys, but also give it as well.
I had been experiencing that throughout the weekend, but was oblivious to what I was actually experiencing. I was missing the intentionality of it all.
But again, now I understood it.
I am so excited to be a part of a sea of voices, a band of Christian brothers intent on glorifying God by the way we live during this short time we are on this planet.
I just wanted to be transparent and let you all know what God was doing in my life and encourage each person out there, especially guys to get involved with a group like this, if you are not already.
IN 2 MORE POSTS, I WILL BE WRITING A SPECIAL 1000TH POST!—-CHECK IT OUT
Some times its good just to be reminded about our influence as parents.
So, with that in mind, I thought the following quote was a bit sobering in thinking about what kind of influence I am having on my children:
“kids will be blessed by their parents’ wise choices and bent toward their parent’s bad choices”
How about you? When it comes to your character decisions and how well you are fulfilling your responsibilities in these areas of your life. what kind of influence are you having on your kids:
Devotion to God (do you take time to develop a vibrant relationship with a living God and go far behind just empty words of belief that lack any tangible follow through?)
Personal Health- (are you being proactive with managing good health, or are you out of control and reacting to the latest ailment that happens to you (sometimes due to lack of exercise, good diet, and handling stress?)
Importance of Family (do you know the heart condition (and life circumstances of your spouse and kids?)
Acting wisely with your finances and possessions (and not letting them control you)
Work (excellence at work, but not obsession over it)
Volunteering (are you investing in others with your time and talents)
Leisure (is life just one massive treadmill, or do you regularly take time to relax and be energized from it?)
For many parents, going to Disneyland is high on their “parenting bucket list”. And why not? Any place that labels itself as “the happiest place on earth” sure would seem to be a place worth checking out.
I’ve been to Disneyland a few different times and it was a pleasant memory (though expensive).
I thought about that phrase, “the happiest place on earth” this weekend. Why? Because I thought Disneyland might just have a worthy competitor–the local church.
There are approximately 300,000 churches in the United States. I deeply hope that the you and the other members of your local church, as well as its leadership would see itself as a place that people just love to be a part of and could compete with Disneyland’s reputation. Why would they?
Well, I think that being in a place where like-minded people can re-assemble each week and share their similar experience of being a part of the family of God is a good thing and so are these reasons:
- being challenged weekly with firm and loving words preached directly from the Bible that confront us with the truths that a holy God exists, and that apart being involved in a relationship with Him (made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who died in our place), we would be forever lost and separated from Him
- being able to engage together in worshiping God in a joyous, celebratory kind of way
- seeing people who you care about and who care about you
- being involved in a culture that we are all just hurting people rubbing shoulders with other hurting people
- serving together in voluntary helpful works of service
- being encouraged by smiling people
- feeling you are a part of fulfilling a vision that is bigger than any one person
Those are just a few reasons that are top of mind to me as I was thinking about this after my church’s recent weekend’s Easter worship celebration!
I love it when I hear people tell me (as I’ve recently heard from some people I know who attend different churches than I do) that they hate to miss being a part of their church’s Sunday mornings because they just feel like their missing something. I hope you feel that way as well at your church.
Again, I hope that being involved in a vibrant local church has already been crossed off your bucket list. If it hasn’t yet happened for you, I trust that day will come soon where you will just know that you are a part of something very special.
(this was an amazing moment during the 3/27/16 Easter worship service where confetti helped the congregation at Harvest Bible Chapel celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!).
We are all affected by marriage, whether our marriage experiences have been good or bad, there are consequences that come from it.
Consider the health of your own marriage–how great is it? If it is not superb, wouldn’t you want it to be?
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not prove to yourself your commitment to having it be the best it can be?
Let me encourage you (and your spouse) http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/10780/content/content_id/307740/This-Weeks-Message at Harvest Bible Chapel, given the weekend of 4/6-7/2016.