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Summer: The One Thing to Be Concerned About This Summer and 7 Warning Signs we may be running on empty.

As Christians, we tend to add things in order to become more like Christ – but what if what we need to do is to subtract? If God was in charge of our life, what might He cut out of our schedules? It’s hard to help others when we are running on Empty. Summer, when schedules lighten up a bit, is a terrific time to fill back up.

In John 10:38-42 Jesus tells us there is only one thing we need to focus on this summer. We will look at that one thing on Sunday. In the meantime, here are Seven Warning Signs we may need a fill-up. I’ve stolen them from Rowland Forman, and added some notes.

7 Warning Signs for Christians by Rowland Forman

Fatigue. I’m running on fumes when my soul output exceeds my spiritual intake

Question: If I were told about a new opportunity for ministry, or for my family, or at work--would it excite me or immediately overwhelm me?

2. Pride. In Second Chronicles 26, King Uzziah was on a roll. He had reigned successfully for 52 years. He was famous, creative and marvelously helped by God until he became aware of his own power. He stopped listening to the correction of those closest to him, and ended up his days as a lonely leper.

Question: Have I heard myself embellishing my accomplishments to find worth or value?

3. Prayerlessness. We can run our lives, even a ministry without prayer—but it also has no power. This summer, take some time each week to go outside without an agenda, and pray.

Question: When is the last time I had an agenda-less prayer?

4. Insensitivity. No amount of success is worth failure at home (1 Tim 3:4-5). I know things are out of sync when I’m caring for those outside of my own family while being insensitive to my own.

Question: After God, am I putting my family first?

5. Joylessness. Ecclesiastes reminds us that enjoyment of life is a gift from God. I remember coming out of a tough season of life when I suddenly realized  I had not laughed in months.

Question: I know I’m running on empty when I’ve lost joy. When is the last time I had a good belly laugh?

6. Immorality: King David is our go-to example. He had it, and lost it all. I wonder, would he have felt embarrassed if his family and co-workers had an insight into his spiritual walk the months and weeks leading up to his adultery?

Question: Have I been taking liberties at becoming more intimate w/members of the opposite sex?

7. Impatience. In Numbers chapter 20, God wanted Moses to do three things. Take the staff, gather Israel, and speak to a rock. He hit the rock. I must have faith in God’s word despite what I see now.

Question: I know I’m in danger when I get impatient with people and God—so am I getting impatient?

This summer, there is one and only one thing we need to be concerned about. Find out what on Sunday.

 

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5 Reasons VBS Is Still Worth It – and 3 Ways to Get Involved

It had been years since I had been involved in Vacation Bible School – then last year I got to help at Rio West. What a blast—the craziness, chaos and total fun were great, but the excellence of the program was unsurpassed. Who makes their entire worship center into a massive cave with bats? It’s too bad more kids weren’t here to enjoy it. VBS gives us the opportunity to move into our community in a personal way, and it can make a difference for eternity.

Here is why:

1. VBS is Our Best Opportunity: For AnchorPoint, the week of VBS is our best opportunity to reach more kids at one time than any other time of the year. VBS naturally brings out kids and families who otherwise might never go to church. According to LifeWay, about 30% of families who attend VBS are unchurched. What an opportunity!

2. VBS Shows We Care. New kids come with watching parents—watching to see how friendly, how organized, and how loving (like Jesus) we really are. If we love these kids, we will build a connection that has the potential to share the gospel.

3. VBS is a Cram Course: It crams over three months of Kids Church into 5 days. Our children are in Children’s Church (not counting worship) for about 45 minutes a Sunday. VBS focuses on specifically connecting children to God from 6-8:45, three times as long, for five days. That’s 15 Sundays worth of gospel exposure, a tremendous window of opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work.

4. VBS is Effective: Almost nothing is more effective than VBS in bringing people to Christ.  The Christian Post reports, "Statistics show that more people have come to know Christ through VBS than from other church events." And Kidology.org affirms that "…over 25% of adults state that they came to faith in Christ through VBS. No other piece of our ministry can really say that."

5. VBS is Strategically Focused: VBS focuses on the evangelism of those who are most likely to respond to the Gospel—young children. George Barna, in his book, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, writes that the probability of someone embracing Christ as Lord is one in three during the ages of 5-12, but drops to one in twenty-five from the ages of 13-18!

How Can I Help? Glad You Asked!

Pray for VBS. We need the Holy Spirit going ahead of us, in our preparations, planning, invitations and hearts.

Invite to VBS. Invite your neighbors kids, families you work with, grab some slow kids off the street – well, maybe not. Lord willing we will have invitation cards at church on Sunday, as well as Facebook posts you can share that are already online at www.facebook.com.AnchorPointRR

Give Kay Lynn a call (269-7122 or email ) and see what help might still be needed. We need everything from people bringing meals for workers to stage construction to kid herders (kidding, kind-of). Don’t be shy!

AnchorPoint VBS – June 5-9, from 6-8:45 PM. See you here!

Are you a sports fan? If not, I’m sure you know someone who is. The best times are when two fans from rival teams get together to watch a game. It’s amazing though how many times two fans can watch a game, the same game, and disagree on the outcome of a play. One might say their running back crossed the plane for a touchdown, the other staunchly objecting that his knee was down before the ball went over the goal line. Usually these disputes can be resolved with the aid of slow motion and instant replay, but sometimes the game will end with the two fans disagreeing about what really happened. How can that be? Isn’t there an objective reality of what happened?  Only one can really be true, either the ball got across the goal line in time or it didn’t, right?

In today’s world, people have a harder and harder time telling fact from fiction. The information age has given us a lot of knowledge…but also a lot of opinions. You read an article that says eggs are bad for you? Here is one that says they are good. You bathe your child every night? This book says to only do it once a week.  Whatever the topic, we are all only one Google search away from finding the "real story" that supports our view. How can we know for sure what the truth really is?  The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of truth, and makes it clear that there is one genuine Truth that we can all look to for guidance. 

Join us this Sunday as we look into scripture and learn how to separate the "truth" of our postmodern world with the Truth found in Christ. See you there!

Aaron

Do I Even Matter: The Struggle for Mom’s

It’s Mother’s Day Sunday! Was your mother sometimes a Dr. Jekyll – and other times a Mr. Hyde? My mom used to give me the evil Mr. Hyde eye in church. That’s when I knew a spanking was coming.

Nancy Ortberg has a great talk entitled, "The Jekyll and Hyde of Motherhood." Here is part of it, enjoy!

When I became a mother, I found a Jekyll inside of me. For the first time there was a person in my life whom I loved more than I loved myself. I was doing unselfish things because I wanted to. I was becoming a patient and kind, calm, reasonable, generous, thoughtful, loving person. I thought, this is a good thing, this person who is emerging. I loved being a mom.

But then there is another person who comes out sometimes when I am a mom, a person I don't know, and I want to say, "Who is she? How can I make her go away?" At one time I had a three-year-old, a two-year-old, and an infant. I awoke to the fussy baby. He clung to me like a baby monkey hangs onto its mother and would not let me put him down.

While Johnny was clinging to me, my toddler was unwinding the toilet paper and making designs in every room of the house. She also took all of the books off the shelves and started tearing pages out of them. While this was going on, my three-year-old was begging me to play Candyland. I hate Candyland. There was a mound of dirty laundry threatening to suffocate me. There was no food in the house, and I had to go to the grocery store.

At the grocery store, I had a baby clinging to me, a toddler in the grocery cart, my other one running up and down the aisles; and the grocery cart was so full I had to kick the pad of diapers down the aisle. In the toilet paper section, I fought to hold back the tears as I thought, what am I doing with my life? Look at me.

Back at home, I unloaded the groceries, fixing lunch while the ice cream melted. Then I took the kids to the park before rest time. A park with three children is not fun. I kept counting, one two three. I came with three; I've got to leave with three. By the time I got home I hated myself. I hated my children. I put them in their rooms and shut the doors. Of course, none of them slept. And I went into the garage, and I cried. I just thought I was going to lose my mind.

I felt like I was becoming an impatient, frazzled, rude, angry, frustrated mom; and I was splitting into two people. Not all moms are like that. I know moms who are patient and kind toward their children almost all of the time. I admire them. I don't like them, but I admire them. That is not me.

But just when you think you've got God figured out, he goes outside the lines; he meets you in a hundred different ways. And he does something amazing by telling you that he loves you even with that Hyde creature living inside of you. God is interested in redeeming that creature and changing it. If you're honest, you can say that Hyde lives in you. I know Hyde lives in me. But the good news is that Jekyll lives there, too. And I celebrate that person who is like God.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Dan

What are you worth?

According to thoughco.com, the elements in our body are worth about a buck. Our skin, if tanned and sold as leather, would be worth another $3.50, so we could round it up to 5 bucks - if we had a lot of skin.

However, let’s say we aren’t worried about legalities here. If we sold our body parts on the black market, Wired magazine says we could be worth up to $45 million. That’s way better than my life insurance. Don’t tell JoLynn.

But God says we are worth more.

Much more.

He says we are worth the sacrifice of His Son.

Inconceivable. Incomprehensible.

And true.

As soon as we believe, God gives us a new life, brings us into his presence, makes us a new home and prepares for us a new name.

We may not understand it, and we may fight to get the truth past our heads into our hearts. But, truth isn’t reality as we see it. Truth is reality as God sees it. What are you really worth?

See you Sunday.