Hey America, this just happened . . .

Remember the year 2000?   I can’t believe it’s been ten years, and I can’t believe what has happened to my country.

New York Times columnist Thomas Freidman summarizes our economic condition accurately:

We’ve just ended more than a decade of debt-fueled growth during which we borrowed money from China to give ourselves a tax cut and more entitlements but did nothing to curtail spending or make long-term investments in new growth engines. Now our government owes more than ever and has more future obligations than ever — like expanded Medicare prescription drug benefits, expanded health care, an expanded war in Afghanistan and expanded Social Security payments (because the baby boomers are about to retire) — and less real growth to pay for it all.” – Full article is here

We need:

#1. Courageous, Principal-Based Leadership who will make decision for the future of America, and not the next election.   Stop expanding government while the government is drowning in debt!

#2.  A Balanced Budget Amendment, or at least a cap on spending.  Thank you Bob Corker of Tennessee for at least starting that discussion – read here.

#3  A new definition of why we go to war, and how we win.   This “War on Terrorism” is too vague.  We have been in ten years of war (ten in Afghanistan, seven in Iraq), without any sacrifice from the average American citizen.   Thank God combat troops left Iraq last night.   Let’s get the job done in Afghanistan, or bring our troops home now! If we can’t reach our objectives in the next few months, then it’s time to pull back.  Ten years is way too long for a war that the average Americans thinks little about.

242 Groups Will Benefit Your Life This Way . . .

I had a blast at the Saylor 242 Group on Sunday (this is the pic of that night).

If 242 Small Groups is about community, here are the results of community:

1. Community brings you intrinsic fulfillment

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. – Genesis 2:18

Your never more fulfilled as when you are part of something that is bigger than yourself.

2.  Community creates unity that is unstoppable

When the Tower of Babel was being constructed, God revealed this truth:

The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. – Genesis 11:6

3. Community creates the anointing (the Holy Spirit’s power)

The Spirit chooses not to move when division and disunity occurs

Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head. – Exodus 29:7

1 How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down upon the collar of his robes
. – Psalm 133:1-2

Why go to a 242 Group?

“Community” is why you should attend a 242 Group tonight.   By Community, I am not referring to the NBC sitcom.  Long before that show became a hit, I was using the word “community” as a singular description of how God wants us to live our faith out with other Christians.   The following points are from a sermon I preached a few years ago called “What is Community?”   As you consider your 242 groups tonight, I hope you consider these observations about community.

What is community?

1. Doing life together (Acts 2:42)

2.  Weathering adversity together (Ecclesiastes 2:9-10)

3. Celebrating victories together (Psalm 20:1-5)

242 Groups Start Sunday Night!

Sunday Night at 6:00 p.m. people will be meeting across Sumner County for fellowship, discussion, prayer and deeper friendship.  You don’t want to miss out!

During the activity of fall, nothing is more important than fellowship with other people who want to know Christ better.  That is why I want you to participate in a 242 Group.

242 is the name of the CIL small group ministry. The name is based off Acts 2:42, which describes the early church this way:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (the Bible) and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

I believe every Christian should have a small group of people with whom they can spiritually grow.  I am very excited about our “fall” schedule, because I know that nothing will help our church grow more than people coming together in community.

Please know that I am available to help you get plugged into one of these groups!

“Fall” Schedule
Groups will meet every other Sunday night for 7 occurrences

Our fall schedule will take place on the following Sundays.

August 15
August 29
September 12
September 26
October 10
October 24
November 7

The Bridge Ministry in Nashville

On Tuesday (August 10) I will be preaching to the homeless under the Jefferson St Bridge in Nashville around 6:30 p.m. (Service starts at 6:00 p.m., I’ll speak around 6:30).  This ministry is one that CIL supports financially on a regular basis.

The Bridge Ministry began in November of 2004. Birthed out of a desire to help feed and clothe the homeless of Nashville, Candy Christmas began taking huge pots of jambalaya down to the homeless living under the Jefferson Street bridge.

Today, the Bridge Ministry is housed in a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Nashville that not only stores the food for the Tuesday evening services, but also acts as a local food bank for other area ministries. The ministry includes a weekly outreach under the Jefferson Street bridge.  In addition, The Bridge Ministry aids school children on assisted lunch programs by filling their backpacks with food on Friday afternoons so that they have food to eat over the weekend.

Provision in the Famine

Today’s message in our series Provision was called “Provision in the Famine” from I Kings 17:1-7.    The word famine can be replaced with word “recession” to give us a more contemporary reading.  Here is the outline:

1.  Famine challenges which “god” or GOD to trust

Significantly, Elijah means “The Lord Is My God.”

Elijah’s announcement that dew and rain would end was a direct challenge to Baal, the Canaanite god of storm and rain and good crops.

13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” – Luke 16:13 (NKJV)

“Mammon” is the Aramaic word for “wealth”

2.  Famine changes the old rules

God arranged for provisions to be flown in to Elijah by ravens, birds that were unclean (Leviticus 15) and could not be eaten

Twice a day he received a meal of bread and meat from an unclean bird

The Lord of all creation may use any means He wishes to feed His prophet, even the ravens.

3.  Famine points us to the Provider, not the provision

Be sure to trust the Provider and not the provision. Brooks dry up, but God never fails.