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Pastor Norman 9/2019

From Your Pastor’s Heart I would like to thank the Finance Committee for its hard work in preparing the proposed 2020 General Operating Fund budget and Goals for Mission Offerings. Preparing a budget is no easy task, and no budget is perfect. I believe, however, that this budget is sound and is aligned with our vision of “reaching our world and community for Jesus, and discipling them, one person at a time.” Our goal is to be an “outwardly focused” church that reaches out with Christ’s love to our growing community with the Gospel . To reach our community and world requires a financial commitment. This budget includes financial resources for our local community outreach, our Baltimore partnership, and our Nicaragua partnership.
 
We are also building a new worship center that requires a financial commitment from each member of our church family. This new facility will enable us to continue to grow in number so we can effectively minister to those around us. I encourage you to give to this project as generously as you are able.
 
I wholeheartedly endorse this budget, and I encourage you to support it. Together, let us trust God to accomplish, not what man can do, but what God can do through us.
 
Pastor Norman

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Pastor Norman 8/2019

From Your Pastor’s Heart
Where did the summer go? It is hard to believe how quickly time passes. We are approaching a new church year when we will be adopting a new church budget and electing new officers, teachers, committees and teams. Please be in prayer for our finance committee and nominating committee as they finish their work. I ask you to prayerfully seek God’s will for the place He desires for you to serve. We are called to serve Christ in and through His church.
 
Construction on our new worship center is steadily moving forward. We are thankful to “Carpenters For Christ” for their labor of love and those in our church and others who are working daily to complete the project. More needs to be done, but the finish line is in sight.
 
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our worship center totally paid for before we move in? Do you believe it could happen? Humanly speaking that seems unlikely, but we worship and serve a God “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). This means nothing is impossible for God to do, but He will empower us in accomplishing what is humanly impossible! Will you be a partner with God in accomplishing the impossible?
 
Many of you are giving faithfully to our GROW campaign. Thank you! Will you pray about giving more? Maybe you haven’t given up to now. Will you begin giving? This building is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end! It has never been about a building. The building is a tool to help us fulfill our vision of reaching and discipling those in our growing community. It is a God-sized vision that is worthy of all our toil, prayers, service, and sacrifice.
 
I am blessed to be your pastor! Pastor Norman

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Pastor Norman 7/2019

From Your Pastor’s Heart
Over ninety of you posted on the cross in the worship center the name of the person you are lifting up in prayer, building a relationship with, and looking for an opportunity to share your story and the Gospel. Can you imagine what God will do if we start FISHING for our one? God will do great things because Our Lord is still “seeking and saving the lost!” I am asking you to do two things for the month of July. First, briefly share during our worship service a testimony of a conversation you are having with “your one.” It might be a Gospel conversation or a way you are building a relationship.
 
Second, on Sunday, July 28th, there will be a “Bring Your One Sunday.” We are asking you to invite “your one” to church to hear the life-changing message of the Gospel.
 
William Carey, the great missionary, is quoted as saying, “Expect Great Things From God.” Let’s do the same. If we do, He will do great things!
 
Pastor Norman

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Pastor Kent 9/2019

Worship Matters September, 2019
As we continue this month to dive into the differences between Praise and Worship, I want you to be thinking about how you come each Sunday. Do you come with and attitude of awe toward to Lord, or do you come to just put another check mark on the board. Well, I did my duty for church this week. Remember that worship is not just a Sunday event. It is a lifestyle where each day we wake up and seek the Lord in intimacy. This month we will look at two different aspects between Praise and Worship.
 
First of all, Praise is always seen and heard. Worship isn’t. I can remember when I was 22 years old that I chose to run from the Lord. I dived into a life of sin for about 8 months. I would come to church every week and I would praise the Lord, but I could not worship Him with sin in my life. Sin will always put a wall between you and the Lord. Worship requires intimacy. You don’t always see that on the outside. We can see people praise, but only God knows whether or not it is true worship. Also, worship can happen without even saying a word. Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks our heart and worship to the Lord. I know there have been times I was in awe of God that I could not say a word. I just stood there in deep intimacy with the Lord. Secondly, Praise is more horizontal and worship is a vertical interaction. We can praise openly as we sing or talk about the Lord to one another. Worship is more private and is focused on God. When we worship we lose ourselves in deep intimacy with our God and Savior. Praise is more preparatory to bring us to the act of worship. You could say that Praise is the doorway into worship (Exploring Worship by Bob Sorge pg. 68-69).
 
Everyday we can experience worship if we set our hearts on God. Remember that what proceeds from the mouth, comes from the heart first. What do you talk about more than anything else. That is where your worship is! “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” Psalm 95:1
 
Yours In Worship,
Pastor Kent Wilson

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Pastor Kent 8/2019

Worship Matters
The University of Northern Iowa once offered a general art course that included a most unusual exercise. The teacher brought to class a shopping bag filled with lemons and gave a lemon to each class member. The assignment was for the student to keep his lemon with him day and night–smelling, handling, examining it. Next class period, without warning, students were told to put their lemons back in the bag. Then each was asked to find his lemon. Surprisingly, most did so without difficulty. (Ministry, September, 1984.)
 
This month I want to begin looking at the differences between praise and worship. The above gives a great illustration of one of the differences we will begin with. One of the biggest differences between praise and worship is intimacy. You can praise God from a distance. Even in scripture it tells us that the rocks, trees, mountains, stars, and all creation praise Him (Psalm 148). Yet all of these things do not have a relationship with Him. Even Hank Williams was not a religious man, and yet he wrote the popular gospel song I Saw the Light. Worship involves intimacy. It is communing with the heart of God. It is falling deeper and deeper in love with the God who saved us. Worship involves the vertical more than the horizontal. It brings us closer and closer to our Heavenly Father.
 
When you come into a time of worship, do you have a million other things on your mind? Or do you come with an anticipation of knowing God deeper and pouring out your love upon Him for all He has done for you? You can come and praise and miss out on the worship. My prayer is that you desire a deeper and stronger intimacy in your relationship with the Lord!
 
Yours In Worship, Pastor Kent Wilson

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Pastor Kent 7/2019

Worship Matters July 2019
Have you ever been so captivated by something that it just took your breath away? I can remember when my oldest son Chandler was born. He was laying under the warmer after the doctor and nurses were done examining him. He was shaking and whimpering. Missy said to me, “Go over and sing to him his song.” When Missy was pregnant I would sing to him Because He Lives while laying on her stomach. I went over to him and began to sing. I was entering into my first moment of worship with my son. He quit whimpering and he turned and looked at me and just focused on my singing. In that moment I stopped singing because I was so overwhelmed with this tiny blessing God have given to me. Even His presence was so overwhelming to me that I could not speak or sing!
 
In II Chronicles 5:12-14 it tells of the story of the first worship in the Temple after Solomon had completed it. In these verse the musicians and singers began to worship and a cloud engulfed the entire Temple as the presence of God filled the place. It tells of how they could not continue to minister because of the cloud (presence of God). Can you imagine what that must have been like? They were so engulfed by the presence of the Lord that they could not see anyone or anything around them. All they could see was God’s Holy presence. This should be our goal each time we worship. To come into His presence and get so lost in him that we see nothing or no one around us. In that moment we are completely taken up with God! Bob Sorge, in his book Exploring Worship says, “This is the supreme goal of worship: to see only the Lord. There is no higher fulfillment for us, nor will there ever be.”
 
I believe for this to happen we must come with the right attitude and mindset. If we come with our hearts and minds focused on the issues of life and other things, we will miss out on seeing God in all of His glory! How you come to worship will determine how your worship experience will go. I have said this many times: If you come expecting nothing, then that is what you are going to get. If you come expecting God to move and work in your life, then that is exactly what you are going to get!
Yours In Worship, Pastor Kent Wilson

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