I'd ask you to pray for God to lead this discussion.
Our next steps will be to get final approvals for building use, and to work out finances. To purchase the building and to build out phase 1, we will need about $8 million ($2 million less than the original asking price for just the building, alone).
We will reach that goal by:
1) Raising funds internally
2) Renting the building for community use activities
3) Taking out a loan
Significant hills still lie before us. Taking them will demand intensified prayer, faith, and sacrifice. The great news is that God is for us! Hang on to your hats. God is doing more than we could ask or imagine.
Brett Andrews, Lead Guy
You see, the basic process of developing any relationship (in this case with God) is to spend time and communicate with the person. The challenge is how can you do that with the God of the universe with whom you cannot sit down at Starbucks and chat about your life. The short answer is to listen to Him (options include listening to sermons, reading the Bible and quietly praying listening for Him to speak to your soul), to commune with other believers (small groups), and to serve the one you love (either at New Life or in the the community or both).
So the first questions are: Do you regularly attend worship services? Are you in a small group? Do you read the Bible on a regular basis? Do you talk to God in prayer? Are you serving Him and His cause?
If you can't answer yes to each of those I would encourage you to do what you aren't sooner than later. They pay off can be huge. As we interview people who feel distant from God we find those key things to be missing. Rarely do we find someone who is consistently doing them feeling distant from God.
Okay ... so by now you are thinking, thanks for the "church answer"... but really, how do I do those things?
- Find a small group. These are informal groups that meet in people's homes, often with dinner, that talk about God and how He is working in our lives.
- Read the scripture listed in the program each week (it is also sent out in our twitter feed - www.twitter.com/nlcc)
- Pray. It doesn't have to be a big deal, just find a quiet spot and tell God what you are thinking.
- Find a place to serve. We always need people to help as we impact the community around New Life, and many people find serving others the most therapeutic way to deal with their own lives and grow closer to God as they act as His hands and feet.
Pat Furgerson, Utility Guy
Last night our AAA Nationals played our final game. I'm at work this morning wishing this team could stay together. We won a bunch; we lost a few; but that’s not why I am saddened the season is over.
Our kids and parents were the best! Win or lose, our parents were enthusiastic, positive, & supportive. The players reflected their good parents: well-behaved, disciplined, and respectful of coaches and each other.
Do you know how rare it is to find a team full of families like that?
I’ve experienced 3 kinds of players & families:
Type 1: After the season if you find out they are part of a church, you think, “I’d go to church with them.”
Type 2: After the season if you find out they are part of a church, you think, “Either they are part of a weak church, or they aren’t serious about their faith.”
Type 3: Those who claim no faith and bring no shame to Jesus.
In the heat of battle, I am the FIRST to forget this momentarily! My Nats families have reminded me how much our conduct matters more than what we claim. New Lifers, you matter to your coaches – more than you may realize.
Thanks AAA Nationals.
Brett Andrews, Lead Guy
I think we like to give up. I look around and listen to people's stories, and it always seems to me that we look at our lives and figure it is easier to just give up than to keep pushing forward.
There are 2 places I have noticed this lately - in marriages and in ministry. Sure, the m&m's if you will. As I read stories and listen to people talk about their marriages, the phrase that seems to keep popping up is 'it would be easier to just make a change'. Wow! Make a change. Do things differently. Move on. How's that been working for people? Stats show that 50% of 1st time marriages end up in divorce and if that group remarries, their divorce numbers for marriage #2 shoots up to 80%. Hmmmmmm ... not good! Oh well, I'll give up anyway.
In ministry I see the same thing. Now, being in ministry I know it can be tough and hard and sometimes unrewarding, but so many guys I know are packing up, leaving ministry and going into other fields of work. And they love it! They jump from ministry to the work force and they tell me, I have more time for my family, I can relax on the weekends, I can leave my work at the office. I hear that and wonder, are they just giving up? (Or are they being smart?)
Both of these - marriages and ministry - are tough. But they are also so important to bringing the best out in the world. I hope less people will stop giving up and start giving in - to their marriage relationship and to impacting the world around us through ministry. Giving in to how God has made you and created you, giving in to the attention and love your spouse needs and wants. And in it all, putting Christ first.
Putting Out House Fires, Reigniting Passions
By NEIL GENZLINGER
“Fireproof” may not be the most profound movie ever made, but it does have its commendable elements, including that rarest of creatures on the big (or small) screen: characters with a strong, conservative Christian faith who don’t sound crazy.
The movie is about a firefighter named Caleb (Kirk Cameron) whose loveless marriage to Catherine (Erin Bethea) is headed for divorce court until Caleb’s father (Harris Malcom) talks him into trying a 40-day caring-for-marriage regimen with a Christian underpinning. “The Love Dare,” it’s called.
The screenwriters, the brothers Alex Kendrick (who also directed) and Stephen Kendrick, give the story some pull by not making Catherine into the usual neglected wallflower of a wife. Instead she’s a publicist at a hospital who spends most of the film contemplating whether to hop into bed with one of the doctors.
For two-thirds of the movie, the filmmakers show a restraint rare in the movie-with-a-Message genre, so much so that the two most appealing characters are those nudging Caleb toward Christianity (Mr. Malcom and Ken Bevel as a fellow firefighter).
The story may be a bit gimmicky — yes, there are dramatic firefighter rescues that have little to do with the main plot — and the central couple is thinly drawn. It’s never clear what attracted these two to each other in the first place, and the hard-edged Catherine’s inevitable coming-around hinges, disappointingly, on some simplistic sensitive-male displays. (He does the dishes!)
But the cast of mostly amateurs (Mr. Cameron of “Growing Pains” being the exception) is surprisingly good. And the moments of comic relief are mildly amusing.
Only at the end do the filmmakers get heavy-handed, and they seem not to know when to wrap up, letting the movie run on for several smarmy scenes beyond its natural endpoint. Until then, though, this is a decent attempt to combine faith and storytelling that will certainly register with its target audience.
And maybe with other folks as well: among those caring-for-marriage tips are some that anyone could use to improve any type of relationship, with or without the God part.
Dad grew up on a farm, so the school of hard knocks taught him how to repair almost everything. (He saved us over $400 in repairs this weekend. He needs to come down to watch baseball more often!)
While I was at work Monday, Dad took Logan golfing. As Laura tucked Logan into bed, he said, “Mom, do you know what spending time with Papa John has taught me?”
“It’s taught me that I need to spend more time with Dad.”
I feel the same way. My Dad is 74 years old. Because he’s always been so vigorous and active, I’ve not appreciated that he’s not as young as he used to be. While he was here, I was struck in the heart by the thought, “I need to spend more time with my Dad.”And, Logan, as your Dad, I enjoy every minute I get to spend with you. As you grow, it will be easy for me to not appreciate how quickly your time with me is passing. Whatever minutes we have together, I want to spend more of those minutes enjoying you, not distracted by all the things that clutter my time.
Brett Andrews, Lead Guy
Pat Furgerson, Associate Guy