- I am Sustained by the Word
- I am Dependent on Christ
- I am a Visible Reflection of Jesus
- I am the Missional Heartbeat of God.
- Set a timer and take two minutes each (eight minutes total) to look at the detailed descriptions/questions under each Life Mark. Write down your answers to each question.
- Take two more minutes to review all you’ve written and thought about and see if anything comes up that you’d like to change.
I AM Sustained by the Word.Bible: Am I reading, reflecting on, and responding to God’s Word daily? Grow: Would people closest to me recognize that I have a growing relationship with Jesus? Worship: Does personal and public worship hold a sacred place in my life? Community: Am I being sharpened by God’s Word in relationship with other Christians?
I AM Dependent on Christ.Grace: Have I received Jesus by faith and do I allow Him to love and accept me in spite of who I am? (Galatians 2:21) Surrender: Am I giving up my idols to give Jesus center stage in my life? Focus: Do my calendar, relationships, and checkbook display that I am fully relying on God? Prayer: Am I pursuing a more intimate relationship with God by allowing time for conversation with Him?
I AM a Visible Reflection of Jesus.Love: Am I intentionally blessing neighbors and friends with a compassionate heart? Obey: Am I listening for what God wants me to do and following through? Purpose: Can I complete this statement: “I am making disciples and glorifying God by ______________?” Team: Am I playing my part well alongside others to make a Kingdom impact? (Ephesians 4:16 & Nehemiah 2:18b)
I AM the Missional Heartbeat of God.Discern: Who is God placing on my impact list? Friend: Do I delight in sharing my life with others? (1 Thess. 2:8) Proclaim: Am I prepared and willing to speak the truth about Jesus when given the opportunity? (1 Peter 3:15) Teach: Am I helping another believer live life with Jesus? (2 Timothy 2:2)
Life Marks are a set of attributes in an individual’s life that reflect the Church’s Mission. As a result of Connecting People to Life in Jesus, we expect that followers of Jesus who are actively engaged in our Strategy (lifeWorship, lifeGroup, lifeServe) at the Church will be able to say: I am Sustained by the Word I am Dependent on Christ I am...
As we are learning about the unexpected beginnings in God’s Word it makes me wonder what it is that you are beginning in this new year? Perhaps you are beginning a new job or maybe being a parent for the first time. Maybe you are beginning a remodeling project in your home or trying a new hobby. I have begun a reading plan that will take me...
As we come to the end of another year, the Leadership Board is reflecting on those who have faithfully served on the board as well as those who are coming onto the board, either as a returning member or as a fresh face. Serving as a member of leadership on a board of church or other nonprofit organization is no simple endeavor. I currently serve...
Revive…to activate, set in motion, or take up again, to make operative, to quicken, or renew in the mind, to reanimate or cheer…
As we end this year with our 12th Household Well habit, remember our 2022 theme verse:
Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?
Psalm 85:6The gift of responsiveness revives the soul. There is transformative power in an obedient personal response to Jesus’ voice . So often we think about obedience as a weight, duty, or obligation. What if we viewed it as a gift? In fact, thinking about each of our 12 habits that we have discussed this year can and should be seen as gifts. They are habits that open us up to a fullness of the life that Jesus offers. Compassion, witness, discipling, commitment, awareness, listening, praying, rest, work, stewardship, relationships, and responsiveness…all gifts! Open them. Use them. Enjoy them. Lord, revive our responsiveness! Revive us again O, Lord, that we might rejoice in YOU! Throughout December we will be exploring the gift of responsiveness. For the rest of this article I would like to share one word of encouragement that I think is a key to the revival of our repsonsiveness. Resist the Second Voice The personal benefit we enjoy as we activate the life and presence of Jesus in the everday lies in learning to resist the "Second Voice" - that inner dialogue which tells you that you can't do what Jesus is telling you to do - and reject its attempt to hijack the leadership and encouragement of Jesus. Seems like such an obvious thing to say. Yet, how often do we choose to resist His instruction or encouragement because we give in to fear instead of saying YES to Jesus. Through this realization, we recognize our Second Voice (the voice of self-doubt). We also begin to see that the Second Voice is attempting to take control and convince us that what Jesus is telling us is too grandiose or unrealistic. In doing this, it can almost feel as if we are rejecting the very idea of leadership from Jesus Himself which isn’t intended! It shows just how powerful the human mind can be when trying to hold you back; but you don't have to let it. Knowing who you are and who God is can open so many new doors… including, of course, the opportunity for greater control over your own life! Identifying the Second Voice and rejecting it in favor of heeding Jesus' presence and promptings doesn't have to be a chore - make it enjoyable! Look at every response to Jesus’ voice as an experiment, an adventure. Assume His presence, His power, His purpose, and see how it turns out. The gift of responsiveness to Jesus is a blessing in and of itself. There are often additional blessings that we do not expect. We may find that responsiveness 1) brings us peace, or 2) guides us into an unexpected direction. Responsiveness can also allow us to 3) live in union with our Triune God When we are presented with a prompting from Jesus that pushes us out of our comfort zone,, it's natural for the Second Voice to try and delay our response. There is an enemy that is attempting to keep us from experiencing the fullness of life in Jesus. If we can remember this and the amazing gifts awaiting us in the response, perhaps we can act with immediacy and courage. After all, God so loved the world that He sent! What a response!
Revive…to activate, set in motion, or take up again, to make operative, to quicken, or renew in the mind, to reanimate or cheer… As we end this year with our 12th Household Well habit, remember our 2022 theme verse: Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Psalm 85:6 The gift of responsiveness revives the soul. There is...
Matthew 21:28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
31 “Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”This year we’ve been on a journey of revival as we have been asking God to revive our following of Him. Every one of the topics we’ve looked at, from Compassion to Relationships, deals with how we respond to God’s call on and in our lives. How do we respond to those who are hurting? How do we respond to God’s call to share the Gospel? And so on. We’re going to finish the calendar year with a dive into the topic of Responsiveness as we look at a few people in the Bible who were challenged to respond. Some responded quickly, while others were more reluctant (ahem, Moses). In these stories we’ll find people we can relate to, with difficulties we can relate to. We’ll see people who acted on faith, even when it didn’t make sense. And we’ll see people who changed their mind and obeyed the Father. There are times in our lives when we’re like the older son who says “no”, and times when we’re like the other son and say, “Yes, sir, I will” but don’t go. It’s into this world that God sent his Son, Jesus, to be with us, to die for us, and to rise ahead of us. Because of this we are God’s forgiven children, and belong to Him forever. God’s great love demands a response, that we love God with everything we are, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. And God calls His children specifically to spread the Good News even as we care for the poor and heal the sick. This is our response. As we look into these stories of people who foreshadow God’s action, people who foreshadow Jesus, and those who are His parents, may God revive our responsiveness by overwhelming us with His love for us, not just now, but into 2023 and always. “Come, Lord Jesus, revive our responsiveness to your calling. Show us how you respond to the desires of our heart, and overwhelm us with your love for us. Cause us to be so overwhelmed that your love overflows from our household WELLs into the lives of those around us, especially those who don’t know you yet. Even as we celebrate your birth, God with us, we look forward to you coming again. And we ask for your love that prompts our responsiveness to come quickly among us that many more would be connected to life in you, Jesus, today. Amen.”
Matthew 21:28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. 31 “Which of the two...
The holiday season is a natural time to nurture some of those relationships in your neighborhood. As Household Wells we are constantly looking to revive our relationships with those who God has placed around us. When we serve and love our communities we are also welcoming Jesus into our homes. The following guide is also available on our website...
A thankful spirit is what flows from a heart and mind that is keenly aware of God’s provisions and work in our lives. Giving thanks becomes worship when we give God the credit and glory for the all we have and all we are. You are invited to use this template as a way to engage your family in specifically reflecting on who God is and how He has...
(because generosity empowered by Jesus fuels a contagious, other-centered culture)is one of our values at the Church, and throughout the year we’ve talked about embracing generosity as individuals and as household wells. Generosity not only in sharing material things, but also generosity of spirit, of mind, and of heart. Going a bit further, what would a culture of generosity look like? We asked people both inside and outside the church for their thoughts, and here’s what we heard: “A culture of generosity would be one where people think about others first, and act on it.” “A culture of generosity would be a community based on service and giving. Serving others in need and giving to others without expecting anything in return.” “Everyone giving the extra you have to someone else instead of keeping it for yourself. The ‘extra’ might be money, or time and effort, or involvement. Because I’ve never had much financially, I volunteer what I have: my time and energy. Some places didn’t value that as much as giving money. It felt like they dismissed me and what I could give. Those places aren’t cultures of generosity.” “A culture that has the desire to look out for others. Putting others first before themselves.” “Everyone would have enough. We would take care of each other.” “Seeking God’s guidance on giving. Always having room for one more. Asking what the need is and then helping to fulfill that need. Making time for people.” “Wouldn’t we all like to live in a culture like that? (laughs). It would be humanizing, not de-humanizing. People wouldn’t be seen as things to be used or manipulated.” The common thread of outward awareness seems woven throughout these comments. Pastor Jeff shared his thoughts on some characteristics of communities that have established a culture of generosity:
- A clear purpose or mission that everyone rallies around and supports.
- Focused on serving others, not just themselves.
- A culture of giving, not only taking. Everyone is always looking for ways to help others.
- Constantly learning and growing.
- Inclusive and welcoming to all, not threatened by connecting with people with different views and opinions.
- All while maintaining a commitment to truth.
Generosity+ (because generosity empowered by Jesus fuels a contagious, other-centered culture) is one of our values at the Church, and throughout the year we’ve talked about embracing generosity as individuals and as household wells. Generosity not only in sharing material things, but also generosity of spirit, of mind, and of heart. Going a bit...
Today we begin our month-long series on reviving our relationships. Following Jesus is a community endeavor; it is a hard journey when we attempt it in isolation. Along with that, we share the Good News most effectively through the relationships where we are intentional. To celebrate this kick-off day, I am sharing some of the faces of valuable...
Wendie Bartelt, 57, and Chris Packard, 54 Wendie and Chris were members of Community of Life Church in Oregon, before it closed in May. Leaving one church and developing another community has been challenging. Your home church, Wendie said, “is kind of your family. You grew up with them, raised your kids together, did life group together, did...
Our Preschool has been loving the fall! The preschoolers enjoyed a beautiful day at Schuster's Pumpkin Farm last week. We enjoyed a hayride, corn maize and of course picking out a pumpkin. And at the end of the month, we’ll trick-or-treat through the staff offices upstairs.
“What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?”And here is how the same verse reads in The Message (MSG): “Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing?” We ask these 3 questions when we get together after reading a chapter from God’s word.
- Jesus where are you speaking to me? And what are you saying?
- Holy Spirit, what response are you forming in me?
- Father, what promise covers my next step?
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”Join me in giving thanks that God has given us all things and asked us to take good care of them and be generous with them. May we be thankful people filled with joy so the world will want to know more about our Father in heaven.
During my 1:1 meeting last week we looked at 1 Corinthians 4. We were pleasantly surprised to see the verses that lined up with our October theme of Stewardship. Here is what verse 7 says in the New Living Translation (NLT): “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a...