Pray for College Freshman

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A coming of age for me as a pastor happened Sunday when I said goodbye to several students who were leaving town for college. There are still a few more goodbyes ahead of me this week. I have been at CIL 9.5 years now, so it was both sobering and fulfilling to see these children become adults.

They were my friend’s children, who became my friends – and so they always will be.

Pray for all of our college freshman.  The first few days at a new college or a new season at home is crucial for a college-age student’s relational and spiritual success.

Prayer is a form of mentoring.

Charlottesville calls us to better angels

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Despite the evil in Charlottesville on August 11-12, I believe that most Americans are united in love and respect. My heart breaks for the loss of life, the visible hatred, and the hurtful visuals of protest that have stirred valid emotional pain.
 
The key to being a united nation is to love and respect everyone, every day.
 
Abraham Lincoln spoke elegant words we need to meditate on in his inauguration speech of 1861:
 
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection … The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
 
With God’s help, let us appeal to the better angels of our nature.

The Victorious Limp

1024x768-0006Years ago I concluded, I never trust a person who doesn’t have a spiritual limp.  You know the type.  The person who never admits a spiritual setback or struggle.

While Christians are called to pursue holiness, that does not make us immune from setbacks or struggles.  In fact, God is in the struggle!  As I spoke on Sunday (August 13) on Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32:22-31), it reminded me that God is in the struggles we encounter.  Often, He is the struggle. God can be hard to understand, and sometimes we do not even agree with Him. Yet, He loves us, and we can love Him, in the midst of the struggle.

So, if you are struggling with your faith, don’t despair.  Do not give up.  Keep wrestling with God.  Like Jacob, you may have a limp after the struggle, but it is a victorious limp.

Pray for the North Korea situation

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The United States and the free world face a grim responsibility to keep the world safe from the unstable North Korea. I am deeply concerned for our military and our South Korean friends.

We need a miracle! Pray for wisdom, protection and resolution to this international crisis. An unbearable multitude of lives will perish if there is not a turning. We need the help of the LORD!

I look forward to the day when . . .

“… they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4).”

 

August – A time for church growth

20161107-singleportrait-dark-60God is doing a tremendous work at CIL right now!  We are witnessing higher participation, a deeper passion for worship, a hunger for Scripture, service to our community, and a culture of love.  Together, we are being Jesus!  We are the body of Christ!

August is traditionally a month of harvest for our church.  Many visitors discover CIL during June and July, and when the rest of the congregation returns from vacation season, we usually have an electric atmosphere.  With this probability in mind, here are a few things I am asking you to do:

Invite.  It’s a great season to bring friends to CIL.

–  Pray.  Let’s ask God for a season of momentum to help our church be everything God intends us to be.

–  Be friendly.  Your hospitality creates the culture of love the church needs.

–  Volunteer.  The nursery, elementary services, cleaning team and welcome team are some areas current and new volunteers can make a kingdom impact!  If you are interested in joining one of those teams, let me know and I will connect you to those leaders.

–  Give.  The summer months has the highest expenses and the lowest contributions.  As we anticipated, we have some catching up to do from this incredible summer of ministry.  We plant in early summer, and harvest in August. Your tithe and generosity will help us remain strong financially.  You can always give financially online through the church’s website.  God uses your giving to build His kingdom.  Here is the online giving link – https://my.simplegive.com/g3/

I am so excited about the future of CIL.  I have been the pastor here for 9.5 years now, and I feel like things are just now starting!  The best is right before us!

I love serving Jesus with you!

Aaron Name

Chasing Progress during Ordinary Time

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My current message series is called Chasing Progress.  In the church calendar, we are in a period called ordinary time – which are the days between Pentecost Sunday and the Advent season (approximately early June through the early December).  

The color for ordinary time is green, which reminds us that this is a season of growth.  I hope that the messages, your personal devotions, our prayers, and other spiritual exercises will help you grow during ordinary time.