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godisGod is Able
 
A few months ago, right about the time we all decided to merge churches, I received a request to have a special speaker come in for this week. I have to admit, I was skeptical.
 
I didn’t yet know Jon King, who recommended him, and this guy, Ron Bouthillette, is from New Hampshire. Can we trust people from out east? People whose last names we can’t pronounce? People recommended by a keyboard player?
 
I’ve gotten to know Ron over email. He’s been a source of advice and encouragement to me through our merger process. He also recommended first two, and now three books. The first book, How Your Church Family Works, is worth a buck a page. Mercy was it helpful and fun to read – I’ve already ordered more to give away. The next book is helpful, both for working through change in church and in getting sleep at night. The last one is fun again – thanks Ron!
 
OK, here is the scoop on Ron, and why his wisdom has proven so helpful. Ron was not only Jon’s pastor and friend, but now is the Lead Pastor at The Bridge Community Church in Milford, NH. He is also the Adjunct Professor of Practical Theology at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary – hence the help in our merger.
 
Ron also has a bunch of degrees, children, and grandchildren. But, you will get to learn all that on Sunday, when he speaks on: God is Able. Meanwhile, as God would have it, Ron was coming here the same weekend JoLynn and I were planning to go to Camp Peniel’s 70th anniversary in Marble Falls Texas. Lord willing, that is where we are now.
 
See you in a week, let me know how Sunday went!
 
Dan

NehemiahWhat does God want from me? How can I know His will for my life? What if I miss it? If I marry the wrong person, will the rest of my life be worthless? What if I go to the wrong school, buy the wrong car, or wear the wrong shirt? He won’t ask me to do stuff I don’t want to do, will He? 
It’s amazing how small we can make our God, thinking that He can restore the Earth, but can’t restore our lives. Sometimes we are afraid of surrendering to God, believing that He somehow wants to make our lives miserable.  
Is that really God? Could not, and would not, He create us just right to accomplish His will for our lives? 
This week we will be in Nehemiah 2, when he goes from prayer to action, from being a cupbearer to the King to the leader of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. It’s fun stuff, a cool story, and a great example for our own lives. Hope you can join us.
 See you Sunday
Dan

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