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Dear AnchorPoint

What did you get for Christmas last year? Per The Onion, last year we wasted our money on:

Star Wars Battlefront - usually purchased by well-meaning moms for the wrong device.

A 6-foot "couples" ladder - that’s just weird, I can change lightbulbs alone.

America Pharaoh Meat – you could order five pounds of the Triple Crown-winning horse shipped overnight to your dinner plate. Really.

A Brookstone Foot Something – it pulsed or ionized or otherwise blasted your feet and even came with a blue light on it to make you feel like it’s doing something worthwhile.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son." John 3:16

God gave His Son, and we give each other horsemeat. This year let’s celebrate by giving to each other more presence and less presents. Then, let’s give our largest, most extravagant gifts to Jesus. It’s His birthday, after all.

It’s our prayer that every family at AnchorPoint will give something to Jesus this Christmas. Will you join us in this goal and give a special gift above your regular giving?

3 Possible Christmas Gifts for Jesus

International Help: Operation Christmas Child: We will be praying over our shoeboxes this Sunday November 20. The amazing story of the difference the shoeboxes make around the world can be found here

Local Help: Walk to the Manger: We are partnering with Care Net to help eight families who can’t afford Christmas without our help. On November 17 we will have little paper mangers you can pick up with a family need written on the back (i.e. boys pants size 10, girls shoes size 5, Reinaldo’s Ferrari color red – maybe not). We will have just two weeks to pick up and wrap our gifts. Then we bring our gifts to the service on December 11, when we will pray over them and give them to Care Net to present to the families.  more

Closer-than-local Help: It’s not glamorous or cool, but we need a bit over $20,000 to repair our parking lot. The longer we let it go, the more it will cost to repair. If you can give over and above your regular giving to the Christmas Fund, we will put it to that use. We will have Christmas giving envelopes available next week, but in the meantime you can designate, "parking lot" in the memo section of your check. If every family participates we can easily reach our goal. That’s because our goal is for every family to participate! Will you join us in giving to Jesus this Christmas?

Sincerely,

Dan

Why Sing?

 

This week our service title is Worship Through Music. Worship is our response to God’s revelation. But, since we can respond in lots of different ways, why sing? Doesn’t it bring conflict? Some people like rock, some like hymns, some even like country. But, this blog is about music, so country is another topic. 

One of the best sermons I’ve heard on the topic is by Bob Kauflin, who wrote, “Worship Matters.” He oversees the worship for Sovereign Grace Ministries. You can watch or read his sermon “What Happens When We Sing?” here Enjoy! 

Here are a few quotes from his sermon. 

“God is still worthy of our highest, purest, strongest emotions. Singing helps express and ignite them. Passionless singing is an oxymoron. John Wesley said it this way in an introduction to a hymnal: ‘Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half-dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.’” (John Wesley, Preface to Select Hymns [1761]) 

“People sing together in the strangest places. At sporting events, fans sing enthusiastically about their desire to crush the opponent. People sing at New Year’s Eve parties, Christmastime, rock concerts, weddings, and even funerals. When eating out we often have to endure well-meaning but musically challenged servers in restaurants attempt to sing some form of “Happy Birthday” to an embarrassed individual. I always ask myself, “Why do we do this?” It’s not as though anyone thinks this is enjoyable. Do they? 

While these events aren’t equally significant, something similar is happening . . .” 

Hit the link above to read or watch it all. Expect a different format this Sunday, hope to see you here! 

Dan

 

Thank You – and preaching on voting

Thank you so much for the wonderful Pastor Appreciation Sunday! The song - I don’t know what to say – that was amazing! The gift, and the love of the congregation for us, is something special. The end of Hebrews 13 asks us to live a certain way, so that our leaders will lead "with joy and not with groaning," you sure did that on Sunday. Thank you!

Tuesday is a big day– some believe it to be the most important vote in the history of our country. I’ve been given advice on how to preach on politics this year. But I’d rather have that discussion at Starbucks.

Here’s the thing. I love politics – well, I did before this election campaign – but I don’t see it as the purpose of Sunday morning worship. Worship is our response to God’s revelation. I believe certain things because of the revelation of God (like life beginning in the womb, caring for the poor, freedom of religion), and that influences my vote. But, on Sunday morning, we need a break from the yelling and shouting of life so we can refocus and respond to the revelation of God.

We will focus on what can change our broken world. It’s not the leader of America.

The church is the hope of the world. It’s the power of God pulsing through our veins, passed on to our friends and family, that can bring heaven to earth and hope to the world. That’s why child dedications are more important than what box you check on Tuesday.

This Sunday we plan to have the FIRST Child Dedications at AnchorPoint Church.

3 families

4 children

1 church

Hope you can join us.

Ways Outreach is Worship

Growing up my family "went to worship" every Sunday. I endured it. Going to church wasn't worship for me. The truth is, worship isn't going to a building or singing songs, or volunteering, or giving. Those may be forms of worship - but maybe not. Worship is our response to God's revelation. We can respond to God alone or in a crowd, with singing or silence, in a church building, or in a Ford. This month we want to encourage worship in some distinct ways.

I believe outreach is one of the supreme expressions of worship.

I believe outreach is one of the highest possible responses we can have to God’s revelation.

In Romans 15:16 Paul writes, "I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God." (NLT)  

Note the connection between outreach - bringing the Good News, with worship - presenting an offering to God. Bringing the good news is worship.

Here are five ways outreach becomes worship.

When we share our faith, we are worshipping God - whether people respond or not.

When others accept this faith as their own, they are worshipping God.

When we pray for others to recognize the grace of God, we are worshipping God.

When we help those in need, whether it is buying Christmas shoeboxes, or TP for Buena Vista, or peanut butter for Haiti, we are worshipping God.

When we invite unchurched friends to our backyard BBQ to mix with our church friends, we are worshipping God.

I could have worshipped as a kid in church, I’m sure my parents did, but I missed out. This week I hope you join us for worship on Sunday, but maybe even more importantly I pray you can worship through outreach this week. It’s an extreme expression of our response to God’s revelation. Don’t miss out on either one.

Dan

best cards

HOPE to Finish Well
Have you ever felt like God dealt you a lousy hand in life? I have. In fact, I've some suggestions for Him, if He ever wanted to start over.
 
Real shoulders would have been nice. A higher IQ wouldn't hurt. And, it would have been sweet to have been born into money, maybe a house with an inside swimming pool and a red Ferrari for HS graduation.
 
Sometimes, when I want to whine, life seems unfair.
 
It is.
 
That being true, how has life been unfairly good to you? Make a mental list of 5 things you have, that some others don't. You can read, aren't starving. . .
 
God doesn't ask us to be the best kids, athletes, students, husbands, or wives in the world. He tells us to rely on Him to do the best with the hand we've been dealt. One day we will get to give an account to God on how we played our hand, and He hopes to reward us.
 
Dan