Pastor’s Column In the series called “The Real Thing” that we recently concluded, we discovered that our challenge as genuine followers of Christ is to be missionaries to our culture. We know we have been sent on this mission, because the “great commission” is given to us in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” We said that our “preaching” will sometimes be with words, but more often will be done through our attitudes and actions.
help her, which was generally unheard of in those conflict-filled times of the 1960’s in the South.
Let me share with you four stories that illustrate some ways that we can live out the “good news” as missionaries to our culture.
highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.” It was signed, “Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.”
The first is told by a woman reflecting on her college days. She said, “During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one, which asked, ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?’ “Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. ‘Absolutely,’ said the professor. ‘In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”’ I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.” The second story is this: One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to
The young man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached which said, “Thank you so much for assisting me on the
The third story is about a wise young boy. Back in the days when ice cream sundaes didn’t cost as much as they do now, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” the boy asked. “Fifty cents,” replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now, more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip. Continued on page 3
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I don’t know if the final story is real or fictional, but it makes a point. In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and nobles came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear. But none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never
understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to do something good and improve an unpleasant condition. Now, the point of these stories is not about being rewarded for good deeds. The point is that a variety of situations present themselves to us as followers of Christ. Our task is to keep our eyes and ears open for these opportunities, and then to be faithful in doing the right thing. Obviously, this is not all there is to being a missionary in our culture, but if we are sensitive to these opportunity that arise, it may well lead to further openings to live out the good news, and ultimately to have the occasion to share the reason for the hope we have in our lives. That’s my thought for this month. Let’s keep working at being effective missionaries.
Steve Smith, associate director of worship arts at Harvest Bible Chapel in Naperville, Ill. ‘It’s his‐ torical, it’s biblical, it’s bigger than us. We’re joining together with the voices of generations of believers in this practice of sing‐ ing to God.’” Aren’t you glad we get to be a part of something bigger than us? God is moving in his Church and Kingdom, and I for one am hon‐ ored to be a part of that move‐ ment! The article continued:
A recent article from RELEVANT magazine enti‐ tled, “What’s the Point of Worship?” definitely caught my attention. It included various topics in regards to corporate worship, but one that stuck out especially to me discusses the role of singing in worship. I know not everyone enjoys singing as much as I do…but give this a read anyway! Maybe it will spark something within you as well… “Singing is one of the most elemental ways Christians respond to God in worship and tell the Gospel story. Song has always been a central wor‐ ship practice for the people of God: The Israelites celebrated in song after crossing the Red Sea, and Paul talks about hymns, psalms and spiritual songs in Ephesians 5.
“Singing opens the worshiper up to God, Smith says. ‘There is something about song that ex‐ presses the inner heart of the singer that just saying the words can’t express. It allows communication from our souls.’ But worship isn’t merely an emotional response. It’s profoundly holistic. ‘When you are a part of a body of people singing to some[one] greater than them,’ says Lisa Gungor, who—with her husband, Michael—is part of the band Gungor, ‘it’s hard to not be engaged with your whole person.’”
Now, obviously we recognize that worship is so much more than just singing. But singing does have its role as well. So here’s a little challenge to those who might not call themselves “musically inclined”: try singing your worship to God (even if it is when you are all by yourself) and I know that as it comes from your heart God will be pleased.
‘I think there is some mystery in song,’ says
IMPACT Kids Ministry As I sit and write this article for this month’s Online, I can’t help but reflect on my own personal life journey after reading the Iverson’s own story. As I reflect on my own childhood, I can remember those that invested in my walk in Christ. First, I remember sitting around the supper table and before anyone went their own directions, dad would get out his bible and read to us. We would discuss what he just read and then our day’s events, but we would always end in prayer. We would often hear him downstairs praying (he had is own prayer room) for us kids, for others and the world leaders. His prayer room was right under our bedrooms, how comforting to know someone was praying right under the room in which you slept. Others that come to mind are my Sunday School teachers and other church leaders that invested their time each week, teaching me about God’s love and His truths. I remember sitting in Marilyn Mathias’ class, I must have been in 1st or 2nd grade, and thinking I want to be teacher just like her. She had a grace and gentleness about her as she portrayed a calming atmosphere in which you really wanted to hear what she had to say. As many of you know I did go on to become a preschool teacher. Marlene Holtz was my Missionette leader (now known as Mpact Girls Stars Club). I can still remember things to this day that we did in her class that left an impact on my life. She really knows how to have fun and learn at the same time. As an adult I became a Star’s
Travis and Michele Iverson
My name is Michele Iverson and I have been attending CLF since 2004. As soon as we started attending CLF, I got actively involved with the children’s ministry. I started with volunteering in the preschool area, coordinating VBS, and on Wednesday nights, I also helped out with the 3rd and 4th grade girls in the Star’s Club. After 2 years of helping with Star’s Club, God led me to step out of my comfort zone and teach. This year God had stretched me again as I take on the new role of the Girl’s Ministries Coordinator. Just recently, God has truly showed me that I love elementary aged kids. My husband and I now minister to kids in our Impact Kid Zone on Sunday mornings. I love serving and teaching kids that God loves them! It has been very rewarding. My name is Travis Iverson. In April of 2004, I made CLF my church family. I am not like my wife, so it has taken me a while to get into the groove of things. Over the past 7 years, I have helped my wife out with many things. (I like to be behind the scenes!) 3 years ago, God called me to step out and help with the Royal Rangers on Wednesday nights. I have enjoyed this time with the boys and especially with my own son. Recently, God has put me all out there as my wife and I teach 1st‐6th grade in Impact Kid Zone on Sunday mornings. God is doing amazing things with our church family and I am glad to be a part of it!
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leader and also a Missionette Coordinator. I had a grandmother who knew that it was important to live for God and would share with us through words and her actions. Where would I be without these people and the many others that have touched my life? Has my own journey been perfect? Not by a long shot. Do you have to be a perfect teacher to touch a child’s life? The answer is no! None of us are! All you need is a willing heart to give time to invest in a child, a child, which may become a church leader, a teacher, business leader or even the president of the United States. Who knows what that child will become? But would it not be great if he became a child of God, a child of God that would grow up and raise a family for God all because you made a difference? Who will stand in the gap of our church, our families and our communities? God is looking for faithful leaders to stand and say, “I will do it! I will help people to a faithful way of life through following our faithful God.” Thank you to all of our faithful leaders! Thank you for filling in the gap! If you are looking for opportunities to serve we have them available. Some are long term, for several months, to short term, once every 3 months. We invite you to the Promiseland area just to see what it is all about. In the 3, 4, and 5 year old classes, we provide a lesson, snack and a craft. The week before you serve, you would receive the lesson in the mail and when you come to class everything else is provided for you. Come and check it out! No strings attached! Also another area of ministry is the Special Hearts class and they meet during 2nd service each week. Special Hearts provide a safe and activity filled environment for children with special needs while their parents are attending church service. See Julie Overturf or Paula Heil, if you are interested in filling in the gap! I leave you with a verse from God’s word that is found in Ezekiel 22:30. “I looked for a man among them who would build up a wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land. Let’s help them to learn it and then live it! Investing in the children,
Books of the Bible Challenge!!
We have 3 kids so far that have memorized ALL 66 books of the Bible! Congratulations to Miguel Mathias, Ethan Hess and Michael Iverson! We also have some adults that have memorized them as well. Congratulations to Julie Overturf, Michele Iverson, Jim Alft and Ronda Alft! Those current totals put the adults ahead by one!! Come on kids, you can do it! You have until Christmas break to win this challenge. Tell your Impact leaders when you have memorized all 66 books. This challenge is open to all ages so anyone can participate. Remember you can go online to www.clfkids.org and watch the GoFish video if you need help. This group has put the books of the Bible to music for much easier learning! So will it be the kids that win or will the adults stay ahead and win the challenge? Page 9
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