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Anchored In 1200School is starting, who doesn’t need supernatural help? Parents are now broke, students are anxious, and teachers are overwhelmed. It sounds like Nehemiah chapter 1. The city walls had been broken down, the gates burned, leaving the city vulnerable. The people were broke, anxious, and overwhelmed. So Nehemiah prayed.
 
And God answered. Supernatural help was needed – and secured.
 
Below we have a prayer written by one of our Anchor Group leaders for our 2016 school year.
 
God still answers.
 
Dear Lord, 
 
Thank you for the gift of our children and young adults.  As they head back to school, we trust them to you.  As our teachers head back to school, we look to you to guide their hearts and the words that come from their lips.  Please hear us as we pray Your promises over them:
Please help them to grow in wisdom, in stature and in favor with You and others this year (Luke 2:52).  
Let no one look down on them because of their youthfulness, but in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, let them be an example of those who believe.  (I Tim 4:12)
Let them be strong and courageous.  Let them not tremble or be dismayed, for You are with them. (Josh 1:9)
Let them be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let their requests be known to You.  And let your peace, which passes all understanding, guard their hearts and minds.  (Phil 4:6-7)
Remind them that no temptation will overtake them but that which is common to man; and You are faithful.  You will not allow them to be tempted beyond what they are able, but You will provide the way out, so that they will be able to endure it.
Finally Lord, please surround each of our students and teachers with Christian friends who can be encouragers and counselors this school year, who will always turn them back to You.  
 
In Jesus' name we pray, 
 
Amen
 
See you Sunday,
 
Dan
 
anchorpoint1I hope you were able to make it to AnchorPoint this morning! At AnchorPoint, we envision becoming a gospel-centered family impacting our community with the hope of Christ. However, that will only happen as we all work together. Here are five things we all can do for AnchorPoint, stolen from this mornings’ service.
 
1.       Shun Scoffers. Christianity isn’t a game, following Christ is the most important thing we do in our short time here on Earth. Moses had his grumblers wanting to go back to Egypt. Nehemiah had jerks scaring the people.  Psalms 1:1 says, (ESV)  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. People will scoff at our outrageous vision of becoming an anchor point that impacts our community with the hope of Christ. That’s OK, we’re in good company, and God will see us through!
 
2.       Soak in God’s Word. Instead of listening to complaining, we need to listen to God. Psalms 1:2 goes on to say… 2  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The best way we can help our new community of believers move forward is to give God the first of each day, the first of each week, and the first of each dollar. If we do this passage says we, and then as a result AnchorPoint will be blessed and prosper. This means our community will be impacted with the hope of Christ!
 
3.       Engage then evaluate. Please don’t evaluate us now, we will be making too many mistakes! Instead, be part of the family. Get involved now, then evaluate later.
 
4.       Engage in your area of passion. On August 24 we hope to have a Ministry Fair, highlighting the ministries of AnchorPoint, and giving a path to start new ones. We hope you can be here!
 
5.       Pray for your leaders.  Children’s, men’s, elders, pastors, deacons, etc - if you know them please be praying for them by name. Jesus tells us the gates of Hell can’t stop the church – but He didn’t need to add that storming gates isn’t for wimps. OH, and please be praying the Merger Prayer.
 
Merger Prayer: Lord, we praise you for your grace in answering our prayers according to Your wisdom. You led our churches to join together to expand your kingdom and to make disciples.  You're stretching us beyond our comfort zone.  We have difficulty with change and ask for courage and patience to overcome our fear.  With faith in You, we will intentionally reach out and to fully use our spiritual gifts to unify this new body of Christ. We want to glorify and serve You, without reservation. Amen
 
God Bless!
 
Dan
 
07102016I (Dan) am back this week – and we will be meeting at Rio West. How about this for a fear test – lets mix our churches up a bit by inviting someone out to lunch after church you don’t know. It could be fun. OK, it could be awkward and miserable too, but lets give it a shot anyway!
 
Matthew 8 is a story about fear. Anxiety. Dread. The very words make my stomach cringe. They bring back memories. Memories of – 
·         Our son Caleb being diagnosed with Kawasaki’s Disease at six months.
·         My dad’s last breaths in the hospital. 
·         Our church in Canada tearing itself apart.
 
What do they have in common? Powerlessness. As a parent, son, and pastor all I could do in each situation was watch and pray. 
 
And sin of course. I could worry. And fear. And live with dread. Just like the disciples in Matthew 8:23-27
 
We all have our powerless fear stories.
 
This Sunday we will look at some promises Jesus makes through His actions. It’s a cool story with lots of ramifications for how we live today. I hope you can make it, and…
 
take someone out to lunch.
 
Blessings! 
 
Dan
 

2merger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions Jesus (might have) Asked: Moving Any Mountains Lately?

Thanks for praying for our Haiti team! Lord willing, we are flying home from Haiti during the July 3 Sunday service, and you will be meeting at Rio West.

 If this year is like others, we will have felt the power of God, our mountain mover in Haiti. But it’s not just Haiti that brings God’s power. We felt His power when helping in VBS, when we put the well in Ira’s home town, when going portable, when Max was healed, and when we bring gifts to the Manger at Christmas. It’s when we get involved in something larger than ourselves, something that only God can accomplish, that we feel His power. That’s when we need His power. WE need it now. Would you start praying this prayer with me?

Merger Prayer: Lord, we praise you for your grace, mercy, wisdom, and answers to our prayers.  Thank you for Cottonwood Church and Rio West Church and the work you have done through your servants. You have led us to join together to better reach out to the lost of Rio Rancho and beyond to expand your kingdom and to make disciples.  You are stretching us beyond our comfort zone as we asked.  We have difficulty with change and ask for courage and patience to overcome our fear.  With faith in you, we will intentionally reach out to establish new friendships and to fully use our spiritual gifts to unify this new body of Christ that we may glorify and serve you without reservation.

 

Speaking for me as I sleep on Delta Airlines is Don Schlichte. His title – Beyond the Merger: Perspectives on the Future

DAY 5 IN HAITI, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

 

First, i apologize for no pictures. I could not get them to upload through my Haitian connection. Today is the start of English Camp. 400 kids have been signed up, photographed, and had name tags made for them. 400 parents have been interviewed and cleared. 450+ kids will show up with their parents and 50 will have to be turned away. That’s no exaggeration. It’s always a struggle on day one. But, once we are under way, English camp will be awesome and hopefully I can get you some great pictures.

 

The Good:

We met at the church office at 2:45am on Wed June 22, and arrived here in Haiti that night about 7pm. All our luggage made it, and we only lost one American off of the back of the truck driving to our compound, so we are mostly all here. Tegan was being difficult anyway. (yes, I’m kidding) It was a great flight. Thursday – Sunday was all about doing repairs and preparing for English Camp. Andrew, the director, had been working with over 80 Haitian HS kids who want to help as interpreters and leaders. He could only keep around 30, so telling 60 kids who tried to be a part of the program NO made for a difficult Friday, but the result is well-trained help. Everyone is getting along well, and the 12 or so interns (HS/College workers from the states here for the summer or longer) are amazing.

The worship, led by Ben, one of Byron and Shelley’s kids – our missionaries here – has been amazing. It’s so encouraging to see their kids, which we have seen grow up over the last 10 years, following God and growing in grace.

 

The Bad:

Our missionaries main vehicle is a 2010 Toyota Diesel Hilux. If there are machines in Heaven, we will all drive either a Hilux or a Ferrari. The clutch had recently been replaced but the throw out bearing was now making noise and it was shifting poorly, so we had to pull the transmission and transfer case. It weighed, like, 2000lbs. Not that I would exaggerate with my spaghetti arms. The worse was, late at night when we finally finished and took it on a test drive, it was not much better. Yesterday we checked the transmission oil. We put in 3 quarts. It holds 3 quarts. Not a good sign. It’s quieter now, but will cost thousands to fix so that it runs correctly. IT would be nice if it would actually shift into first gear and stay there without cramming it in and holding it there. You expect that in a Jeep, but it’s sad in a newer Hilux.

Sue, who runs the Cresh came down with Zika. No Bueno. Two of the interns are also very sick, one was sleeping in the bathroom last night to be close to the toilet. Bueno no.

 

The Ugly:

There is a tiny bathroom here inside the front door that is always extremely hot, full of mosquitoes and due to its location in constant use. I believe it is a portal to hell. The toilet wasn’t working, so I had to replace everything in the toilet, removing the tank, etc. When I finally got everything back in I was tremendously relieved to hit the flush knob and get out of purgatory. That’s when I realized I had installed it incorrectly and had to remove the tank and start over. Ugh. A good thing that didn’t happen on the Hilux!

 

Speaking of the Hilux, I have a picture of Theodore here. He isn’t an especially bad dog, great for protection I suppose as most people run away when they smell him coming. The only issue was when Jeff, Bill and I were laying under the Hilux. It seems Theodore likes to mark his territory, and he believes the Hilux and everything under it belongs to him.

OK, time to go to group devotions and help with breakfast for 400 screaming kids and all us workers. IT really is a blessing to be here, I’ve the best job in the world!

 

Dan