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.

Pray for Frontline Camp

Frontline youth ministry is taking a record group of students to Panama City Beach, Florida, from June 23-26, 2017.  As a Jr. High student, my life was changed forever at a beach camp.  I am so happy my three teenagers get to experience God with their friends in such a positive setting!

IMG_0418Thanks to our youth team – Pastor Matt Malone and youth administrator Kyle Davis – for putting together this great trip (Here’s a picture of those guys and me a few weeks ago).

And thank you CIL for supporting our teenagers!  Your prayers, financial support, and supportive attitude is making a huge difference in many teenager’s lives.

The Joy of Prayer

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Our summer message series at CIL is titled The Joy of Prayer.  Pastor Deborah did a great job kicking off the series last Sunday (June 11) when she taught on contemplative prayer. From the influence of that sermon, I have taken more time this week to be aware of the presence of God.  Thanks Pastor D for pointing us to Him.

Take a listen to that sermon here:

Sermon on 6/11/17

I look forward to preaching on June 18, 2017, a message titled Partnership with God. I have learned some key concepts about prayer through study and reflection that I want to show you through this message.  No additional guilt will be placed on you from lack of prayer (we can all do better in this area).  However, this message will provide an opportunity to see the incredible privilege of pray.  Join me at CIL at either 9am or 10:45am.

Acknowledgments on Graduation Day

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Today is graduation day for me.  I hesitate to post something, because I have already been congratulated several times by so many of you.  But, I want to share my “Acknowledgment” page of my dissertation (I shared my dedication page a few weeks ago). I do this, because this accomplishment would not have happened without a team of people who believed in me and worked for me. No doubt, more people deserve to be acknowledged, but there was limit to space in the dissertation. I dedicated my work to my family, but they are rightfully acknowledged again. So to everyone on this list, THANK YOU in every way!

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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To Dr. Charles Lea, dissertation committee chair, thank you for your mentorship, encouragement, and friendship. You used your vast experience and network to help me succeed. This project would not have been a success without your excellent leadership.

To Dr. Bryan Carrier and Dr. C. William McKee, dissertation committee members, thank you for your guidance and encouragement throughout this process. Your contributions were key factors in my success.

To Mrs. Amy Heckman, your hard work and helpful attitude for this study were invaluable. I appreciate so much your professionalism and skill.

To Dr. Charles Gaulden, thank you for pushing me to pursue my doctorate at a time when I believed the dream had passed.  Your constant encouragement through this process has been a crucial guide.

To the leadership and people of The Church at Indian Lake, thank you for giving me the flexibility and shared resources to pursue this dream.

To my children, Abbey, Luke, and Lincoln, thank you for your understanding when I was distracted or not fully present for you during this project. I believe we have many years of great times together.

To my wife, Beth, your encouragement and support of me goes beyond what words can adequately express. You are my life partner, and I am so thankful we did this together.