Think about the question: "Is it possible for two people to stay happy together forever?" Is it even in our imagination for this to be possible? Happy together? Forever? What would it take for any relationship, romantic or otherwise, to keep love on the forefront for a long period of time? Where is God wanting to challenge you in this area of your life? Join us Sundays for the next four weeks at 10:30am! (YouVersion Event!)
Reflection Questions for Week 1:
1. What is one thing that stood out to you from this week’s message?
2. If a young teenager asked you that question- "How possible is it for two people to stay happy together forever?" -how would you answer, and what reasons would you give for your answer?
3. Think of the relational habits promoted by our culture. Which ones have you noticed work against enduring love relationships?
4. When you think about Jesus telling us to love one another as he loved us, what standards and guidelines for relationships does that bring to mind?
5. What do you think it means in a marriage to practice mutual submission out of reverence for Christ? What typically keeps couples from practicing this in their marriage, from always giving priority to the other person?
6. How can we encourage each other to respond to what God has for us?
We are starting a new series tomorrow called The Christmas Option. Christmastime can be a rough season for some. But with Christ in our lives, we have some options on how we respond to disappointments. Over the next few weeks, we’ll read the entire Christmas story and we are going to examine what each of the major characters in the narrative had to endure. Hopefully, we’ll begin to see ourselves in their stories, as well as see the opportunities within our own disappointments... the hope... even at Christmastime. The Christmas Option! Join us at 10:30am for worship.
I am so excited about this weekend and the time we have set aside for Spirit Week. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit stills speaks and helps and heals? As we prepare for this time as a church, I am reminded of the story we find in Luke 10 of Jesus visiting the home of Mary and Martha. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to every word but Martha was distracted. What was she distracted by? Ministry! Life!
Let's not miss this opportunity. We take this time once a year to sit and rest and listen and respond to what the Spirit of God has for us. Can we find a way to clear our schedules and take advantage of this important time? We have something for everyone... Pastor Pam has a great teaching time prepared for the kids as well, so come and be filled.
The times for the services will be: Sunday 10:30am and 6pm. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7pm (all in the sanctuary). They will not be long, drawn out services but important times with the Lord. I would encourage you to bring a notebook/journal to write down what you feel the Holy Spirit is speaking to you about and what your response will be. We will give you some time each night to listen and respond. Our theme will be: Winning Our City through a Jesus Lifestyle.
Prepare your hearts for this time. Pray for God to move. Invite friends who the Spirit may be laying on your heart. Read Scripture passages about the Holy Spirit. Here are a few: Ephesians 1:13-14, John 14:15-17, John 14:26, Romans 8:26, Isaiah 11:2, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, John 16:7-11, 1 Corinthians 2:7-13. You might start with reading Romans 8. Let's be ready for what God has for us.
We also have small groups prepared to offer us some snacks for a quick fellowship time afterwards. If you have any questions, let me know.
May God's blessings be on you all!
In a well-known story, D. L. Moody was asked how the night’s evangelistic meeting had gone. His celebrated response was, “We had two and a half conversions.” His interviewer responded, “You mean two adults and one child?” “No,” Moody replied, “two children and one adult. The adult only has half his life left to follow Christ. The children have their entire lives to do so.”
This exchange reminds me of the inclination to think about children as “not-yet participants in the kingdom of God.” This cannot be further from the truth! Great leaders think of children as essential players in God’s kingdom and God’s plan of reconciliation. They see them as central to their mission.
Jesus used children to illustrate some of the greatest truths about the kingdom of God. Jesus reminded the disciples that not only are children a model of faith to enter the Kingdom, but we are required to examine ourselves on how we welcome children in our midst.
What does it mean to put children in the middle?
Matthew records the disciples discussing greatness in the kingdom of heaven. Before Jesus responded, He painted a vivid metaphor in leadership: He placed a child in their midst. Putting children in the middle means that we cannot think of children as peripheral. True leadership conversation must start with the perspective that children matter and are at the core of God’s plan of redemption.
Children are a model of faith. Jesus’ bold response to the disciples highlights the damaging power of “growing up” (Matthew 18). “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Child-like faith is absolutely necessary to enjoy the fullness of the riches of His kingdom. A child’s faith is unspoiled, genuine, and unbiased. As children grow older, their faith, already tainted by the Adamic propensity to sin, becomes spoiled by the agnostic, materialistic, self-centered societies that shape and train them. As our faith becomes sophisticated, we begin to question even the most evident truths. To enjoy the rich, unadulterated blessing of God’s kingdom, we must become like children.
Children are the most ripe and ready mission field. Around the world, in any country or culture, more than three-fourths (75 percent) of adults now filling our churches received Christ between the ages of 4 and 18. Missiologists have defined this group age as the 4/14 window, the world’s most ripe yet unreached people group.
Unfortunately, we think of them as “ways to attract their parents,” “a drain on our budgets and programs,” “a distraction to our solemn services,” or even as “non-productive entities who do not vote and who do not give.” The disciples were in the same boat. Matthew 19 narrates another event with Jesus and children. As people brought their children to Jesus for Him to pray and bless them, the disciples rebuked the parents. Jesus’ response was emphatic: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Do not hinder children. You were one of them.
Throughout church history, theologians and practitioners have discussed the “reliability of the faith of a child.” Well-intentioned leaders, infected by the “grown-up bug,” question the validity of a child’s conversion. To them, D. L. Moody responded: “It is a masterpiece of the devil to make us believe that children cannot understand religion. Would Christ have made a child the standard of faith if He had known that it was not capable of understanding His words?”
Children are the most prolific mission field. Harvest it!
Children can be agents of God’s mission. We cannot stop at ministering to children and youth only. Great leaders invest in children and youth as agents of the transforming mission of God. Children and youth are capable of sharing the love of Christ to their relatives, friends, and social networks and leading others to join them in their faith.
The Scripture is full of stories of children and youth used by God to accomplish His mission:
…a trafficked child, Joseph, brought hope to his people…
…a shepherd boy, David, defeated a giant and became king of Israel …
…a young minister, Samuel, led God’s people while serving in times of dryness and desperation…
…an anonymous, well-prepared boy provided resources for Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand…
…and Jesus Himself, while still a young boy, declared His commitment to the Father’s business…
It was said by the prophet Isaiah: “…and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).
Great leaders express their greatness by thinking small. We must focus on the child in our midst.
-Written by Dr. Gustavo A. Crocker, General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene
We are starting a new series this Sunday, September 23rd. We will be traveling through the Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of Luke can be summed up in one phrase: It’s all about Jesus, and Jesus is for everyone. Throughout the book of Luke, Jesus is constantly reaching out to people pushed aside by the society of that time. Women, a thief, gentiles, fishermen, and “sinners”—they’re all here, and they’re all seen. This series will offer a snapshot of Luke, touching on some of the major topics in the gospel. The hope is to learn more about Jesus and the good news He brings into our lives! Come and journey with us! The worship gathering starts at 10:30am.
It's that time of year when the hot summer days start cooling off and the kids head back to school. Life has an opportunity to settle down a little bit in time for all the fall activities to kick into gear. I thought I would share a few of the many things going on here at the church that you might be interested in.
#1 End of Summer Picnic-- Every year we celebrate the end of summer as a church family by having a picnic at Triangle Park along the reservoir. It starts at 1pm with a great potluck. The church provides chicken and drinks. We need you to bring a main dish or side/salad and a dessert. Then we'll hang out by relaxing in the shade together and playing any yard games you might want to bring.
#2 Small Groups-- We have lots of opportunities to connect with each other, and one of our favorites are our small groups. If you want to look over the list to see topics and times, click on www.emmettnaz.org and then click on groups. Request to join from there.
#3 Men's Steak Night-- This is one of the favorites for the guys... obviously! This is simply a gathering of the men of all ages (kids can come with their dads!) to enjoy great fellowship and great steak... all by donation! The first one is Tuesday, September 18th, at 7pm. I heard they have some great plans this year to make it even better- including some door prizes! This is a good one to invite your friends!!
#4 Family Fan Nights- One last one I will mention. This is an opportunity to have some great fellowship while you are supporting one of our teens. Each week we pick a different sports activity and all plan to show up there. Look for the list in the Upcoming Events and then come have a great time!
We are starting a new series this Sunday that has been on my heart for a while. It reaches to the foundations of how we see life and God. There seems to be some thought processes that are not helpful in navigating the ups and downs of life. The first one we will look at is Christian Karma... this idea that says if we are good enough, we can expect God to send good things our way... and of course the opposite is true as well. Why is this harmful? What may be a better way to see things? Come and join us as we worship God as God! Tomorrow at 10:30am.
Can you believe we are entering into November?! Yes! November! We just finished two busy months celebrating all that God has done for us over the last 100 years. So many people were involved in getting everything ready and it was amazing! You all did an incredible job! And God showed up, didn’t He?! What an unbelievable finale service. We have so much to be thankful for.
Now as we turn our attention back to the future (nice pun, yes?), I can’t think of a more important thing to do than to be part of our Spirit Week starting this Sunday.
Why Spirit Week? Well, to be honest with you, we have not scheduled Spirit Week because everyone is bored and needs one more thing to do. We actually schedule Spirit Week knowing you are busy and it will take a major effort to engage in it. The busyness is why we need it.
As I shared with you last year, throughout the last two thousand years, Christians have been practicing retreat. It is a time when we get away from our regular routine and focus our attention on God. We get away from the busyness, and quiet our hearts and listen to what God wants from us. Spirit Week is our opportunity to experience the practice of retreat…to spend focused time in His presence. We need these times in our walk with the Lord.
We have things planned for all ages. During the evening sessions, the teens and adults (5th grade and up), will meet in Big City. Cliff Purcell will lead us through some great teaching to help draw us nearer to Jesus. Our emphasis this year is the Holy Spirit. May He set a fire in our hearts!
Kids ages 5 through 4th grade will meet with a team led by Pam Lidik. She has planned an experience your kids will not want to miss. For those who are four years old and under, we will be providing childcare. Everyone is covered. It all starts at 6:30pm and should be done by 8 each night.
God has great plans for us. I encourage you to begin preparing your heart and clearing your schedule. He wants to spend time with you and your family. Invite a friend. Make the effort to be here. Let’s experience all that God has for us!
Our Centennial Weekend is here! Everyone is welcome! Today festivities start at 2pm. The church buildings will be open to view... and check out our history walls and tons of pictures in the sanctuary building. There will be a BBQ and children's games from 2 to 5 in the North Building... free for all... and it will be inside out of the rain! A bon fire starts tonight at 5pm.
Tomorrow the doors open at 9am. Prelude music played by Becky Nelson begins at 9:45am. The Centennial Worship Celebration will start at 10am. We would love it if you could join us for a potluck afterwards. (Potluck info: If your last name starts with A-K: bring a main dish & salad, L-Z: Main dish and dessert. If you are from out of town... just join us!).
Come and celebrate with us all that God has done over the years... but also is doing and will do in our future!
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