This week God called home, arguably the most influential evangelical evangelist of our day. Billy Graham was called by God to give his life to preaching the gospel and he did that in such a simple way that it inspired millions to become followers of Jesus.
On my shelf are several books by Billy Graham and my favorite is a daily devotional titled, "Unto the Hills". As I picked it up and read the devotional excerpt for today, I thought to myself, "How appropriate for what we are currently experiencing in our nation." Below are Billy Graham's thoughts for February 23rd.
"Have you ever seen someone unconscious? Such a person will usually have vital signs but is not aware of anything that is occurring. There is a lack of any perception of reality.
There is a difference between revival and resuscitation. Resuscitation is used on a person who is dead and whom the doctors are trying to bring back to life. Revival is for a person who is alive but unconscious. Spiritually, we can be unconscious and completely out of touch with the Spirit of God. We may be unaware of the God who made us and what He wants to do in and through us.
When one comes to Christ in faith and is born again, he or she is brought back from the dead into life. But when revival occurs, a person who is already a Christian is brought back from the brink of apathy, of taking God for granted, of ignoring God and trying to live under one's own power and strength. This can be deadly for others, because the Christian in need of revival is not producing any fruit for God. "I've got mine and that's all that matters" is not an attitude that is pleasing to God.
We have not seen a revival in America since shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. But, as the hymn says, "Lord, send a revival and let it begin with me." If we are to see a revival in our nation, it must begin in the hearts of individual believers. What are you doing in your daily walk with God that will bring revival to your life?
Our Father and our God, I pray for Your forgiveness and mercy. I know that I need to be revived from apathy in certain areas of my spiritual life. Please renew my spirit, Lord. Build a fire within me again that will warm the hearts of others around me. I pray this through Jesus, my constant Companion. Amen
(Excerpt from Unto the Hills by Billy Graham)
Just a reminder that tomorrow at 3:00pm, we will gather together for our annual worship and celebration meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to elect new members to church council, personnel committee and legal committee and to approve our church budget for 2018. You will also hear from some of our leadership, as they share where God has taken us this past year and where we believe He wants to take us this next year. We want to spend time thanking God for the blessings of the past and praying about the open doors he will place in front of us in the future. We will meet at 3:00pm in the Fireside Room.
Finally, join us Sunday as we conclude our series in the Beatitudes.
Hope to see you then.
Our church By-Laws state that “A meeting of the members shall be held annually at such a time determined by the Church Council.” The date for this year’s meeting will be Saturday, February 24th at 3:00pm and will take place in the Fireside Room. The purpose of this meeting is to elect new members to church council, personnel committee and legal committee (see the nominees below); as well as to approve our church budget for 2018 (see attached).
The other purpose for this meeting is to allow our leadership to share where God has taken us this past year and where we believe He wants to take us this next year. We want to spend time thanking God for the blessings of the past and praying about the open doors he will place in front of us in the future. Please join us on Saturday, February 24th for a time of testimonies, music, prayer and celebration as we continue on our journey to Think, Act and Be Like Jesus!
Church Council Nominees: Mary Stevens, Sidney Moore and Nina Hoopes
Legal Committee: David Douglas
Personnel Committee: Nancy Hester, Larry Bell, Bitsy Law
Don't forget to join us tomorrow, at 9:00am, as we learn that in order to see God at work in our lives, we must commit ourselves to maintaining a pure heart. We will also be celebrating with two members of our church family who will be taking the next step in their spiritual journey and will be baptized! Don't miss out on this opportunity to show your love and support.
See you Sunday.
WOW......I can't believe that Christmas has come and gone. It seems like just last week, many of you were helping me, as we decorated the church for our combined Christmas Eve service. Before I continue, I want to say "THANK YOU" to everyone who helped make this year's service a huge success. It was an amazing morning as six churches (Anthem, FBC, New Creation, Global Community, Common Ground and International Church of Oregon) joined together to celebrate the birth of Jesus! We had over 290 people who, along with a combined worship team, lead by Pastor Avery from Common Ground, lifted their voices (and instruments) to heaven, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, Peace....." Pastor Peter from Global Community opened our service in prayer. Pastor Paul from Anthem, Pastor Tom from New Creation and I shared in the telling of the Christmas story and we closed our service with the traditional singing of Silent Night, as 290+ candles twinkled all around the sanctuary. What a special service it was. If you weren't able to attend the service or would like to share it with others, here is a link where the service can be viewed in its entirety. Simply copy and paste this link into your web browser and you will be taken directly to the video. https://youtu.be/8TP6vrY7rK8. ENJOY!
As we close the book on 2017, our focus as a church, now shifts to some business items that must be addressed so we are prepared to walk through the "Open Doors" that God will place in front of us this next year. One of those is our church budget. The Church Council and I are putting the finishing touches on next year's budget and we hope to have the 2018 proposed budget to you by mid-January. Other aspects of our church that help keep us on mission are the church council, the legal committee and the personnel committee. Each of these entities play a critical role in the life of our church and our Bylaws clearly state the process for choosing individuals to serve on these teams.
Under our church’s Bylaws, our Nominating Committee will present a slate of nominees for three different entities – the Church Council, the Legal Committee, and the Personnel Committee. These nominees will be voted on by the Church at our Annual Meeting in February.
Mary Douglas, Howard Martin and Jim Small along with consultation from Pat Erp from our Church Council and Pastor Doug Boyd are on this year’s Nominating Committee. Over a period of three weeks (December 31st through Sunday morning, January 15th), the committee will be glad to receive any suggestions you have for these positions. These can be submitted on the suggestion sheets which will be in the foyer, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by setting up a time to talk personally with a member of the committee.
This year the committee is responsible for nominating the following:
Three members for the Church Council.
1. Vacancy - Steven Osborn and his family have relocated to another congregation and he has resigned his position – filling for this vacancy through 2019
2. Vacancy - Houston Irby and his family have relocated to another congregation and he has resigned his position, prior to its completion at the end of 2017. Filling for a new 3 year rotation through 2020
3. Vacancy - Duane Fulps has completed his term and is not eligible to be nominated again until next year. (Members who rotate off of the Church Council are eligible to be nominated again after one year has passed)
Continuing to serve on our Church Council are:
4. Laura Small (through 2018)
5. Pat Erp (through 2018)
6. Larry Annes (through 2019)
One member for the Legal Committee:
Continuing to serve on the Legal Committee:
· Jamie Sims (through 2018)
· Bev Lynam (through 2019)
Many thanks to Laura Small for her service on this committee as she rotated off when joining Church Council!
Two members for the Personnel Committee:
1. Vacancy - May Ramos has vacated her position and we will be filling for this vacancy through 2019
Continuing to serve on the Personnel Committee.
· Aaron Brown (through 2018)
Many thanks to Kurt Lynam for his service as he completes his term of service on this committee!
Only active church members who have “demonstrated participation in ministry leadership” are eligible to serve on the Church Council, Legal Committee, or Personnel Committee. Here are descriptions from our bylaws concerning each of these entities:
The primary responsibilities of the Church Council are to:
1. Keep the Church sharply focused on its Great Commission purpose (Matt. 28:18-20)
2. Oversee and ensure the Church’s spiritual health and doctrinal integrity
3. Develop and adopt policies that provide guidance and boundaries for the Church Council, Lead Pastor, Staff Members, and lay volunteers
4. Provide supervision of, accountability for, and protection to the Lead Pastor
5. Ensure that the Church operates in a legally sound and fiscally responsible manner
The Legal Committee shall advise in matters related to the following:
1. Legal issues
2. Insurance on church property and personnel
3. Property and real estate transactions
4. Facility Usage contracts
The Personnel Committee shall advise in matters related to the following:
1. Develop, review, and update job descriptions for staff
2. Review applications, conduct interviews, and make staffing recommendations
3. Research and make recommendations for staff compensation and benefits
4. Recommend disciplinary action for and termination of staff
5. Maintain the Personnel Handbook
Please keep in mind that all nominees must be active members of the church who "have demonstrated participation in ministry leadership."
Before I close this edition of Think, Act and Be Like Jesus, I want to ask you to take some time tonight or in the morning to ask yourself, "What does it mean to Think, Act and Be Like Jesus?". How did Jesus think and act? What changes do I need to make in my life so that I can be more like Jesus?
See you Sunday.