An interesting or fun quote:

"Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments, TRUST GOD. Every moment, THANK GOD..."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We ♥ Children!

Witness – Share – Equip – Partner – Care
We ♥ Children!
Thanks be to God! We are blessed by the gift of many young people. Especially during the Lent and Easter season, we've been blessed with young people sharing musical, dramatic, reading, and service gifts as they go about doing God's work in the world. Today's society has many opportunities and distractions that call and distract us all from knowing Jesus and doing God's work in the world.
Thanks be to God! Here at AGLC we are undertaking a long-range plan that guided by the Holy Spirit, we might know Jesus, and do God's work in the world. We are equipped for this long-range plan every week, as we gather in worship to hear God's Word and eat at God's table. When I grew up as a grandson and nephew of preachers, church and worship was an expectation without much competition. For today's young people -- children and families, the competition for participation in this "voluntary” activity is high due to things such as work, school, sports, and many many other activities.
Thanks be to God! Here at AGLC we are blessed with the gift of many young people, children, and families that have heard the call of the Spirit to be a part of our community. For me, multimedia meant books, newspapers, and magazines. Today, multimedia means radio, satellite TV, iPods, text phones, Xbox, Wii and so many other things competing for attention with incredible stimuli. We are incredible multitaskers working at a frantic pace needing someone to teach us the value of Sabbath and how to take time to center ourselves and spend time with God. We need people to gently teach us ways to worship and pray while being open to be taught ourselves. Taking time to model how we worship, pray, and sing is a wonderful gift to others. The gift of a little extra activity and noise in worship shows us that we serve the living God actively bringing people in to know Him. The joy of life and vitality that is brought to worship by those learning to worship brings us opportunity for new and deeper relationships with God and one another. As we witness to and care for one another in this manner, we create a safe and welcoming worship space inviting others to join us in knowing Jesus and doing the work of God in the world.
Thanks be to God! The Capital Campaign is off to a fantastic start! We give thanks for the gifts of the pianos and pledges that are all ready here! As we move Forward in Faith... together in mission please remember this mission is something that we are undertaking outside of our regular realm of church activity. As we are called to this new mission, please remember we are still called to be church and our regular gifts and tithes are needed.
God bless, Chris Church Council President
We ♥ Children!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Some shared thoughts on grandma's passing

On Friday, March 26 just before Palm Sunday my grandmother died. We were blessed with her for a long time, 86 years, and her death was quick and painless. For me, the timing was also a blessing as we rushed into Holy Week I was very vividly reminded of our resurrection hope in the promise of Easter.
Here is a reading I shared at grandma's funeral.

Isaiah 43
Restoration and Protection Promised

But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

As Leslie's grandchild I’m pretty sure that there are many people out there who can identify with her generosity. Many a tongue has tasted her cookies, angel food cake's, and peanut brittle. Many a foot, hand, and head were warmed by a knit slipper, mitten, and hat. Many a table was blessed by her presence at a church function or a funeral luncheon.
As one of Leslie's grandchildren I have been able to experience her love and generosity ever since I can remember. I know, if I talk about grilled cheese, Leslie bars, or Leslie wrap I could probably get a smile from my siblings or my cousins. Things were not always perfect, but she loved each one of us, constantly keeping us in her thoughts and prayers and always willing to welcome us into her home.
The reading from Isaiah speaks of God's faithfulness to God's people -- a faithfulness that grandma tried to share with each one of us. Someone once said share the gospel in every way and when necessary use words. I don't remember ever seeing grandma get up in front of a roomful of people and give a sermon out loud, but I hope we can all see her life as a testament to faithfulness to God and family.
In the coming days, weeks, and years we will all experience different feelings about our relationships and memories, but I pray that we will all remember our hope in God's faithful promise revealed in Revelation.

Revelation 21
The New Heaven and the New Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’
And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’

Scripture quotes are from the Oremus Bible Browser: The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.