Friday, April 27, 2012

Like a good neighbor...

I am blessed once again to be part of a community that rallies around those in need. A parent from my son Chance's school died suddenly leaving behind a wife and six year old son. The school has stepped in and supported this family in their time of need. Our church has come to the aid of the family and is walking with her through the steps of beginning a new phase of life. I have been blown away with the gifts and assistance offered to this family. They aren't "members" of our church, but rather members of our community. In the spirit of honoring the way of Christ and being good neighbors, we have intentionally invested in the lives of those around us. We are truly blessed with the opportunities God has laid before us. Those opportunities include caring for the grieving, the orphans and widows, providing resources for marriages to heal as well as compassion for those in addiction. There are many other neighborly gestures being given to aid those in need. I love the heart of service and ministry that is being lived out through GCC! Like a good neighbor, the people of Christ are there!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Family Bike Ride

We had a great time at Folsom Lake today. Jerry and Karen Green put together a "Bike Ride" cookout for GCC. The weather was sunny and hot which was reminiscent of summer in Bama. It was great seeing people of all ages riding bikes and enjoying a fun day. Our boys had a blast. Thanks to Chris and Katie Sanderson for leading the little guys on a fun and tiring trail ride. There were several skill level rides and a great meal prepared by the Green's small group. Thanks! It is inspiring to see others put together opportunities for people to connect. The "Bike Ride" was great fun and I am certain it will happen again. I am also excited because this has spawned other ideas in people to "host" opportunities for people to connect. Last week there was another "Bike Ride". There was a group of motorcycle riders that connected and took a trip. There are so many ways to get people together and invest in others. I love that GCC is a church full of people with creative ideas that are focused on relationships.

Friday, April 13, 2012

from the Ashes

For three years my family was blessed to serve the Norway Avenue Church in Huntington West Virginia. The church building overlooked the town and was directly across the street from the cemetery where the victims of the 1970 Marshall University Football team plane crash were buried. I am reminded of so many wonderful people tonight as we once again watched the movie "We Are Marshall".

The movie depicts the impact and devastation an entire community suffered as result of that plane crash. Seventy five people lost their life and thousands more were impacted. The story of recovery and new life is amazing. The community as a whole rallied around the University and forever entwined the two as one.

The imagery of what church should be is wrapped in and through the story. There is pain and triumph. There is loss and gain. There is love and hurt. There is destruction and rebuilding. There are ashes and there is hope. There is past and there is future. There is yesterday and there is today. In the midst of destruction there were those who would not give up on what could be.

The church should be filled with those who won't give up on what could be as well as filled with those who are seeking what could be. It is one group living as Christ to introduce Christ to those who are desperate for Christ. Those whose lives have been decimated to ashes receiving faith, hope and love from those whose lives have risen from the ashes by the power of God.

There is so much to the real life story of "We Are Marshall". Far too much to cover here. Let me invite you to experience it for yourself. But more than that, let me invite you to experience church as it should be. People helping people rise from the ashes of the past to live in the glorious now of Christ's Kingdom!

Monday, April 9, 2012

the day after

Loved celebrating Easter with GCC! The energy in the room was overwhelming as hundreds joined in worshiping our Risen King. I am hoping that today, the day after, the energy in our lives is greater as we walk out our faith. Live with joy and expectancy of what God is going to do.

I have already had half dozen conversations with people who are witnessing God's power today. I love hearing those stories of God moving in and through our lives. The day after is shaping up to be incredible!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter 2012

Today, as many took note of "Good Friday", the reality of Christ's crucifixion weighs heavy. The thought that man could not save himself is hard to deal with. As people who are fixers, we all want to handle our own stuff and not need help from anyone. The message of the cross, however; says we were hopeless without the sacrifice of Jesus.

In dealing with the somber and brutal reality of his crucifixion today, we gear up for the celebration of the empty tomb on Sunday. We celebrate because hope lives. All who have blown it in life, all who have been hurt, all who have doubts and pains and fears, all of humanity is welcomed to the celebration of an empty tomb. Death and hopelessness have been defeated. We live now with the reality of the Kingdom of God.

God has overcome and given us every Spiritual Blessing. I am looking forward to celebrating our second California Easter. I am excited about celebrating with new friends the hope we have in Christ. If you are in Auburn this Easter, join us at E. V. Cain as we encourage each other with the message of the finished work of Jesus Christ. He is Risen!