As the school year winds-down, the same can't necessarily be said for our church calendar. In fact, the final two weeks of June will be pretty busy ones here on our church campus. With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful if I filled this week's edition of Think, Act and Be Like Jesus, with some "Dates to Remember". So, below are some important dates and information on upcoming events at FBC:
Friday, June 15 (tomorrow): Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age @ 7:00pm in the Sanctuary. This is a great documentary looking at the impact of technology on our kids and grandkids. In our effort to "Grow Younger" this would be a great opportunity to invite a family with Junior High or High School-age kids.
Saturday, June 16th: Concert of Prayer @ 5:00pm in the Sanctuary. Join us as we cry out to God, asking Him to redeem our church for His purpose and glory.
Sunday, June 17th: Sunday Worship Service @ 9:00am in the Sanctuary. This Sunday, as we conclude our series on Faith, our focus will be on Jesus and how the greatness of His faith was rooted in the greatness of his surrender to His Heavenly Father.
Wednesday, June 20th: Adults on Mission @ 10:30am. This month's meeting will be at the home of Troy and Lenora Smith (14285 SW Cherryhill Drive, Beaverton) Our focus will be on the kids in our community and how we can reach them with the story of Jesus.
Saturday, June 30th: Landscaping and Cleanup Day @ 9:00am (FBC Campus). Help us clean-up the exterior of our church. We will focus our attention on weeding and cutting back vegetation near the buildings.
Sunday, July 1st: Sunday Worship Service @ 9:00am in the Sanctuary. On this first Sunday of July, we will begin a new summer sermon series on the book of Philippians. Join us as we walk through the most intimate of Paul's letters, where he paints for us a beautiful picture of what it is to be a mature Christian.
WOW! I know your thinking, "That's a lot of dates/times and information to remember", which is why you now have it in an email and can refer to it as needed.
I hope you will take advantage of all or at least most of the opportunities listed above. Each opportunity, even cleaning the church grounds, serves to help us accomplish our mission to Preach the Gospel in Beaverton!
See you tomorrow and/or Saturday and/or Sunday and/or...…
I want to thank you for voting last Sunday in favor of selling our rental properties. Our hope is that as we sell these homes, we will be able to significantly reduce our monthly loan payment. All this will help us to further our calling to "Preach the Gospel in Beaverton". The vote was unanimous with 73 yes votes and 0 no votes. I want to give praise to God for how he is continuing to clarify for FBC, His plans for the future of His church.
As we continue to ask God for clarity in moving forward as a church, I want to invite all of you to join us on Saturday night June 16th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, for a Concert of Prayer. I also want to ask you to take time each day, between now and June 16th, to read Psalm 90:12-17. These final six verses of Psalm 90 were written by Moses as a prayer by and for people who are in need of God's grace...….that includes you and me.
In this prayer to God, Moses asks for two things. First, he prays that in view of life's limitations, in view of life's frustrations: give us the grace to live life wisely. Look at what he wrote, "teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom". Moses is asking God to help the nation of Israel "get it right", to help them live life in the awareness of their limits. I want this to be our prayer, too!
Moses goes on to make a second request in verses 13-17. In these verses, Moses prays for God to remove their limitations and frustrations, but only after he'd prayed for God to give them the grace to live in the midst of their frustrations and weaknesses. He then ends his prayer by asking God to use their hands to bring His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. This was the prayer of Moses for the nation of Israel and I want this to be our prayer today.....that we would gain hearts of wisdom, that God would continue to show His splendor to future generations, and that our hands and feet would be used to share the message of the cross.
Please block-out 9:00am to Noon on Saturday, June 30th, as we take time to do some much needed work on the exterior landscape of our church campus. The focus will be on weeding and cutting back vegetation near the buildings. See the bulletin on Sunday for more information.
This Sunday, we will continue in our series on Faith, as Larry Annes will share how to have a rock-solid faith.....even when God says "NO"!
See you Sunday
This Sunday, we will continue are series called Faith, Hope and Luck. The first week, we talked about the dangers of circumstantial faith and the importance of having our faith anchored to the resurrection of Jesus. The reason for this is if God never does another thing in your life, never answers another prayer, never heals another illness, never performs another miracle, we can still maintain faith in our God. Why? Because our faith is not based on God showing up in our lives or in our circumstances, instead, our faith in God is based on the reality that 2,000 years ago He sent His only Son, Jesus, to walk on the earth, live a perfect life, die on a cross, predict his own resurrection, which he fulfills, and then appears to over 500 people. Our faith is based on the simple truth that God loves us.
Then last week, I gave you this definition for faith…..
Faith is confidence that God is who he says he is and that he will do everything he has promised to do.
This simply means that we can, with confidence, bring all of our requests, all of our hurts, our doubts, our fears to God, knowing with absolute certainty that he can overcome any obstacle we place in front of him, but having the type of faith that trusts God to do His will……not ours!
This Sunday, we will unpack the second half of our definition for faith…..that God will do everything he has promised to do. Our focus will be on answering the question, "What has God promised to do?"
Take some time over the next two days to read Romans 8:28-39. As Paul wraps up chapter 8, he writes with full apostolic authority, "For I am sure (or convinced)". The verb is a Greek perfect tense, indicating that something occurred in the past with ongoing results to the present time. He was convinced that nothing in life, or even our archenemy, death, can keep the love of Christ from us. His own death and resurrection reveal His power over anything and everything that threatens us in the natural realm. Furthermore, nothing in the supernatural realm, including angels and spiritual forces, can harm us. God created all things, including everything in the supernatural realm, and He continues to rule over His universe.
Because God rules over everything in time and space, nothing can subvert His will, which is to bring His people to Himself, cleanse us of sin inside and out, shape us into the image of Christ, restore us to life, and allow us to enjoy "peace with God" forever! Can I get an "AMEN!"
Don't forget that tomorrow, Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, is a time for you to drop by the Fireside room and ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church. Then on Sunday, you will have the opportunity to cast your ballot on whether or not to sell these properties.
See you Sunday.
What is faith? How would you define Biblical Faith? Is it the same as hope? Is it a formula? Is it the ultimate Christian "power-tool"?
In Old Testament times, men and women had to rest on the promises of God. God had told them of a coming Messiah, a Deliverer who would take away sin. He told them that one day all Israel would be made clean and be ruled by this righteous Messiah. God's faithful believed God's promises, as incomplete and vague as many of those promises were. They did not have a great deal of specifics, by New Testament standards, but they knew God was in the specifics, so they put their full trust and hope in it.
That is what faith is. Faith is living in a hope that is so real it gives absolute assurance. The promises given to the Old Testament saints were so real to them, because they believed that God was who He said He was, that they based their lives on these promises. All the Old Testament promises related to the future--for many believers, far into the future. But the faithful among God's people acted as if they were in the present tense. They simply took God at His word and lived on that basis.
Hebrews 11:13 tells us that these Old Testament saints "died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them......from afar". They saw the fulfillment of God's promise with the eye of faith, which, when it is in God, has immeasurably better vision than the best of physical eyes.
This week, we will put a definition to true Biblical faith. As you prepare your hearts and minds for the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, I want to encourage you to take some time over the next few days to read the story of Noah, in Genesis 6 and 7, along with the story of Abraham in Genesis 12. As you read these stories, ask yourself this question, "Why did Noah build the ark"? Was it because he prayed for rain and wanted to be ready just in case God answered his prayer? What about Abraham? Why did he leave everything that was familiar and comfortable in order to travel to an unknown land? Was it because he got bored of Haran and wanted a change scenery? Was it because he prayed to God asking God to take him on a great adventure? What motivated these men to act in such a seemingly foolish manner?
Join us on Sunday at 9:00am as we look at the actions of these Old Testament heroes and through their lives, gain a better understanding of what true Biblical faith looks like.
Please Note: Members of FBC are invited to a special time of Q & A next Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Fireside Room. This is an opportunity for members to ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church.
See you Sunday.
WHEW.....I think this word best describes this past week. Besides the "normal" ministry activities that take place every week on our church campus, this week, through our Room 4 Hope ministry, we hosted 2 families who are struggling with homelessness. Each family came to us with their own unique set of circumstances, but as God has allowed us to minister to them throughout the week, I believe that they will leave with a better understanding of God's love! As they prepare to leave us on Sunday morning, please continue to pray for their practical, emotional and most importantly, their spiritual needs.
It's also not too late to get involved. We have 2 unfilled volunteer opportunities. We need a couple people to provide and serve dinner tomorrow (Saturday night) and we also have a need for an overnight host to sleep on campus and provide a safe environment for our guests. Larry Collins has already volunteered to be one of our Saturday overnight hosts, but we need two and I know Larry would appreciate the company.....right Larry!
If you are able to help with either Saturday night dinner or as an overnight host, please call Pastor Doug at 949-838-6981. I also want to take this opportunity to say a huge "Thank You" to all those who donated food, prepared and served meals, helped set-up and tear-down bedrooms, helped with breakfast, spent time talking with and playing with the kids and spent the night on our campus, thus providing a safe experience for our guests. We could not have done it without all of our amazing volunteers!
This next week will again be a busy one for our campus. On Thursday, both our Adults on Mission and Young at Heart will hold their monthly gatherings. Adults on Mission will meet at 10:30am in the Fireside Room (East), followed immediately by our Young at Heart Luncheon at Noon, also in the Fireside Room. Please join us on Thursday as we pray for those who are on the frontlines of spreading the Gospel. Then stick around for what is always an amazing lunch! Hope to see you there!
On Sunday morning we will begin a 4 week series on Faith. Some of the questions we will answer are:
1. Where does faith in Jesus begin?
2. What is the definition of true Biblical faith?
3. What role do the promises of God play in our faith?
4. How can my faith stand the test of time?
This week, our focus will be on the anchor for our faith.....Jesus! In preparation for Sunday, take some time over the next few days to read and meditate on I Corinthians 15:3-17, then join us on Sunday at 9:00am and learn about this God that loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. Don't come alone.
Finally, a few weeks ago, our church council hosted a Soup Sunday business meeting. At this meeting, our leadership provided you with an update on the refinance of our church loan, that has a balloon payment due on June 5th. During this meeting, we shared with you the possibility that our refinance application could be denied and that we would need to consider selling our rental homes. We learned late last week that in fact, our request for a refinance had been denied and were encouraged by the bank to consider selling these homes.
I then contacted the Northwest Baptist Foundation about the possibility of securing financing through them. They too, felt that our best option was to sell our rental homes, which would greatly reduce and possibly even help us eliminate our debt altogether. I then contacted Umpqua Bank, who is our current lender and asked them about the possibility of providing us with a 6 month loan extension, while we worked on selling these homes. They have verbally agreed to begin the paperwork to extend our loan, provided that we also begin the process of selling these properties.
Because our Church Council views this as a significant decision in the future of our church, we are requesting a vote be taken of our church membership, seeking your approval to move forward in the sale of these homes. The opportunity to vote will take place on Sunday, June 3rd, immediately following the 9:00am service. Our Church Council would also like to provide you with the opportunity to ask questions prior to Sunday's vote. To accommodate this, members of our church council will be available to answer questions on Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Please note that this Q&A time will not be a formal meeting, but is simply an opportunity for you to ask questions and make an informed decision as you cast your ballot.
I want to personally thank all of you for your prayers during this season of transformation. I know God has an amazing plan for FBC and that His desire is for us to remain faithful to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Please continue to pray as God continues to move and always remember, God still sits on the throne, He is in control and His plan, in His time, is PERFECT!
See you Sunday.
Because this Sunday is Mother's Day, I want to devote this week's edition of Think, Act and Be Like Jesus to honoring mothers. If there's one attitude families are guilty of more than any other when it comes to mothers, it's presumption.....taking them for granted. As a child and even well into my teenager years, I never lost sleep wondering who was going to type my history term paper. Never felt compelled to make my school lunch before I went to bed. Never thought about making sure the clothes I wanted to wear where clean. All of those things just magically took care of themselves.....THANKS MOM!
As each of us, in our own way, prepares to honor the mothers in our lives, I want to encourage you to think about her example, her support, her humor, her counsel, her humility, her hospitality, her insight, her patience, her sacrifices.
Old "honest Abe" was correct: "He is not poor who has had a godly mother." Indebted, but not poor.
Moms, on Mother's Day Sunday we rise up and call you blessed. But knowing you, you'll feel uneasy in the limelight. You'll probably look for a place to hide. True servants are like that.
In preparation for Mother's Day, I would encourage you to take the time to read Proverbs 31:10-31 and thank God for the "mother" in your life!
Finally, before I wrap-up this edition of my weekly email, I wanted to let you know that beginning Sunday evening, we will be hosting two families on our campus through our Room4Hope outreach ministry. I think it is only fitting that the two families we will be hosting are both single moms who need our love and support during this season of transition in their lives. If you are interested in volunteering, we are still in need of overnight hosts for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Dinner hosts for Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and breakfast hosts for Monday, Friday and Saturday. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Pastor Doug at email@example.com.
See you Sunday.
That's right......Pastor Doug is back from cruising the Pacific Ocean and, although not as rested as I would like to be, ready to continue serving alongside you to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Beaverton. I want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to Pastor Avery, Pastor Norm and Larry Annes for preaching in my absence. We are so lucky to have such gifted preachers in our church family.
This Sunday, we will conclude our series in Joshua. Over the past 4 weeks, we have been reminded.....
1. Be strong and courageous as we follow God into the "Promised-Land" Life that is waiting for all of us.
2. Don't let the pressures of life divert our eyes from God's presence, because God's presence will lead us to places that we have never been before.
3. Pastor Norm asked the question, when facing our own "walls of Jericho", will we flee back into the wilderness or by faith, stand and face the challenge of the wall, knowing that by faith, the wall will fall.
4. A "Promised-Land" life needs to be prayed for and fought for, but it will be worth it.
On Sunday, we will dive into the life of Caleb and see how his faith had God saying....."But my servant Caleb has a different spirit." What do you think God meant by "different spirit"? As you prepare your hearts for Sunday, take some time over the next few days to read Joshua 14:7-12 and look for the secret to Caleb's faith that is revealed within this text. You might just receive a prize!
Also, don't forget that this Sunday is a special "Soup Sunday" business meeting. Join us at noon in the Fireside room for some good soup, even better desserts and hear from our church leaders about topics ranging from community outreach to finances.
See you Sunday.
Seven years of total domination. Seven nations conquered. At least 31 kings defeated. Approximately 10,000 square miles of choice real estate claimed. They were vastly outnumbered, under equipped and voted least likely to conquer some of the most barbaric armies in history. Most historians, unless they've taken the time to study Hebrew history, would never associate these facts with the nation of Israel, but this is exactly what transpired in the lives of God's people and it is all chronicled in the book of Joshua. Joshua documents for us the journey of this often forgotten nation, as they exit the wilderness and enter the promised land of Canaan. As we study their journey into a land "flowing with milk and honey", a land that was promised to Abraham, we too want to embark on our own journey out of the wilderness and into the land that God is waiting to give us.
Don't miss this Sunday as Pastor Avery, from Common Ground Church, will be preaching from Joshua 3. His focus will be on the challenge of crossing over the Jordan River (fear and doubt) and leaving our past behind, so that we can experience the promised land (Canaan) that awaits us on the other side. I would encourage you to take some time over the next few days to read Joshua 3 and ask God to show you what current challenge is hindering you from seeing the future that God has for you.
Over the next 3 Sundays, you will hear from Pastor Avery, Pastor Norm and Larry, our council chairman. Please be praying for these men as they seek the Holy Spirit for guidance as they prepare to preach God's message to his people. Also, our family is leaving tomorrow (Saturday) morning for some much needed rest and relaxation. During my absence, if you hear of any congregational needs, please inform Cheryle Douglas in the church office.
See you in a couple weeks!
As the memory of Easter Sunday fades I can't help but wonder, what must have been going through the minds of those early followers of Jesus. Followers who had committed to travel with him all around the known world, listening to him preach and watching him perform miracles. Followers who watched in disbelief as Jesus was arrested, tortured and put to death on a cross. Followers who had given up hope, only to be overcome with joy over his resurrection, but then, as Jesus ascended into heaven, left to ponder life without their Savior.
Can you at all relate to the roller-coaster of emotions this small band of Christians had been subjected too in such a short period of time? If we're honest with ourselves, sometimes life's challenges can be overwhelming. You want to remain faithful. You want to keep up. But life happens and you just have no fight left in you.
The book of Joshua is in the Bible for seasons like the one I just described. Join us for the next several weeks, as we walk with the nation of Israel on their journey from the arid desert of the wilderness to the fertile fields of the promised land. Along the way, you may be forced to ask the question, "how would my life be different if I put aside fear and followed God's vision for my life?" God has a "promised-land" vision for all of us, but it's up to us to take the first step.
In preparation for Sunday, I want to encourage you to read the first 2 chapters in the book of Joshua, especially focusing on verse 9. Also, our theme verse for this series is taken from Joshua 21:43-45, where we read....
"Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass."
See you Sunday.
As we continue on our journey towards Good Friday and Easter, I want to turn our attention to the Last Supper. During this Passover ritual, laden with symbolism, Jesus suddenly interrupts the progress of the meal. This is how John describes this peculiar scene.....
"During the supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him." John 13:2-5
What a strange way for the guest of honor to act during the final meal with his friends. What kind of behavior is this from someone who called himself the Son of God? In those days, foot washing was considered so degrading that a master could not require it of a Jewish slave. However, with this one act, Jesus symbolically overturned the whole social order. Hardly comprehending what was happening, even his own disciples were horrified by his behavior.
Jesus asked his followers to do three things to remember him. He asked us to baptize others, just as he had been baptized by John. He asked us to remember the meal he shared that evening with the disciples. Finally, he asked us to wash one another's feet. The church has always honored two of those commands. But today, the third command of foot washing is practiced by only a handful of denominations. For the rest of us, this act of humility seems primitive, rural and unsophisticated. There is some debate whether Jesus intended this command only for the twelve disciples or for all of us. Although, even the twelve who witnessed this command first-hand, struggled to follow it.
In foot washing, the disciples had seen a living example of how Jesus wanted them to portray who he was and what he stood for.....a humble servant who just happened to be the Son of God. Who's feet is Jesus calling you to wash? Could extending an invitation to our Easter Service be considered an act of foot washing?
Don't forget to join us at 6:30pm for our Good Friday service and Sunday at 10:00am for our Easter gathering.
In His Grip.