__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

COMPLIMENTARY MIDDLE GEORGIA

Connection

MIDDLE GEORGIA

Finding

Purpose! Seeking the Spiritual Purpose that God has given all of us. A CHRISTIAN HRISTIAN C HURCH HURCH P UBLICATION UBLICATION O OCTOBER CTOBER 2015 2015 -- D DECEMBER ECEMBER 2015 2015


Message From The EDITOR

Local

CHURCH CONNECTION Volume 5 No. 3

W

ow! Hard to believe it has been 5 years since we printed the first edition of Local Church Connection. On one hand it seems like yesterday, but on the other, think of all that has happened in our world in the last 5 years. lt is disturbing, to say the least, when you hear of how Christians around the world are being treated. Because of this, society is drifting further and further from God. Now more than ever we need to be bold about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in our cities, states, and countries throughout the world. lt is time for Christ followers to stand up and take responsibility for teaching the next generations that salvation from Christ alone is relevant today and will be forever regardless of what they are taught in the universities and by the media. We must offset societal teaching with the teaching of God's word. Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 says "These words, which I am commandinq you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the door posts of your house and your gates." Why are we surprised at the things that are going on in the world when we are not offsetting the evil teachings with the teaching from the word of God? There is a constant battle going on: Good vs. Evil. Christian are being openly persecuted more than ever. Whose fault is that? Satan is steady in his pursuits; are we as Christians? At some point we as Christians must quit being complacent and get out there and accept the responsibility and the command given in Deuteronomy. lf no! we are going to be like the frog in a pot of water coming to a boil that perishes because the temp change was gradual enough that it never noticed a big enough change until it was too late. Please consider partnering with Local Church Connection as we continue to take the message from our local churches to our communities to fight back against the evil that is gaining momentum. Thanks to our advertisers that have partnered with us to assist the local churches in their attempt to carry out the commands in Deuteronomy. These business owners are not just advertising their business, but are helping take a stand in support of the local churches in our community. lf you are not currently a Christ follower, we would like to encourage you to find a church in this magazine that looks like it would be a good fit for your personality and attend this Sunday. Seek out a pastor and ask him what it means to have eternal salvation through a relationship with Jesris Christ. Your life and the lives of those around you will be forever changed for the better! Cover Photo of Andrew Chalmers

For more information, please contact Sandy Ellingson or Robbie Burns sandy@localchurchconnection.com • robbie@localchurchconnection • www.localchurchconnection.com


Cliff (Cag) Gradwell, II President

CCN Distributing, Inc. P.O. Box 99 • Bolingbroke, Georgia 31004 Office: (478) 992-5757 • Fax: (478) 992-9092 • Mobile: (478) 954-0249 Email: callawayblue@bellsouth.net www.callawayblue.com

Ed’s Country Cooking & Bar-B-Que Craving good Country Cooking!!

1017 12th Place • Phenix City, AL 334-298-2007

WORLD CLASS BAR-B-QUE SERVED DAILY Open 7 Days a Week 10:30 AM - 8:00 PM

4

Catering Available!


Lights!

O

By Kelly Philbrick

ne extremely dark night when I was driving home it was pouring down rain. Periodically I would see a porch light on or a light flickering in the window of someone’s house. This caused me to start thinking about how unbelievers are walking in total darkness and how dark that must be. As I approached our street I got this crazy idea to turn off my headlights while driving. I desired to get a more vivid picture of what being in complete darkness felt like, especially while moving. For safety reasons, every few seconds I turned the lights on to see. Many thoughts began to flood my mind. It occurred to me that I could always turn my lights back on to see where I was going which kept me from being in perpetual darkness, unlike unbelievers. If I started walking in darkness instead of following the direction the Lord had for my life, I could immediately turn to Him, the light of the world, to keep me on the right path. Without any light I could have been stuck in a ditch, stranded in a cow pasture, or visited a tree head on. Thankfully, the Lord has given me His word to be a light unto my path. If I follow it He will keep me under the shadow of His wings. Unfortunately for the unbeliever, that protection is forfeited. Therefore, danger is lurking in every corner of their lives. This should compel us to be more diligent in praying for lost souls. Another thought was just how few lights were on along the way. I pictured those places as believers spread out to be lights in this dark world. It is amazing how far a little light goes and what a difference it can make on a lonely dark road. Some lights were off in the distance, some were closer, some were dim, and some were brighter. All of them had one thing in common, Jesus Christ, the light of the world!

“It is amazing how far a little light goes and what a difference it can make on a lonely dark road.”

If all the houses on the street had every light on inside and out of their dwelling, the whole street would have been lit up. Imagine a traveler coming down that road. It would have been nearly impossible for him not to see the difference on that street as compared to others he had been traveling. I think he would have been perplexed or intrigued by it and maybe stopped along the way to ask what was going on. All this causes me to examine my own heart to see whether my life is a reflection of Christ, thus drawing others to Him, the true light of the world, or is it a dim flicker of light barely noticed by others. May we all remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16. “Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

5


6


The Shadow of Shaddai

O

By TREY DICKERSON

ne of the major roles of a parent is to protect their children. From the time our children were brought into this world, we put so much focus on protecting them from ever being harmed. First time parents are great examples of this. Beginning parents spend much time baby proofing everything! They put corner guards on all the sharp corners of their furniture, outlet covers on all the electrical outlets, and baby gates between all the rooms of the house. They do this because they know this world is a dangerous place and they want their children kept from harm.

Well, I am here to tell you that we have a Heavenly Father who wants to protect His children more than we even want to protect our children. Where do you think this protective nature in parents comes from anyway? Yes, friends, God wants to keep you and yours nestled under the shadow of His wings! 2 Timothy 3:1 says that in the last days “perilous” times will come. This word “perilous” can also be translated “dangerous.” Saints, we live in a dangerous world, and things are waxing worse and worse every day! Around every corner and in the air we breathe, there are people and things that could harm, injure, or even kill us. It does not matter how much we try and protect ourselves, our children, our possessions, we can never guarantee that we will not suffer harm, hurt, or loss. But, praise God, there is a way to guarantee that we and our family will be protected in this dangerous world and that is through the dwelling in secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of Shaddai.

... God wants to keep you and yours

nestled under the shadow of His wings!

We see this promise made to God’s children in the 91st Psalm- which is widely considered to be a psalm of God’s promise to protect and deliver His people from the dangers and harmful things found in this world. Now I know that people try to spiritualize all of the statements found in this psalm but I guarantee you its author was not just talking about “spiritual” threats. No, he was talking about actual physical things that can harm people. So in light of this, I encourage you that if you do not do so already, begin to meditate on the 91st Psalm and then begin to pray these promises back to the Father in faith. I have heard countless testimonies of how when God’s people began to mix faith with the promises found in this Psalm, they received supernatural protection and deliverance. It is true! Saints, the Bible says that while we are in the world, we are not of the world! Sure, in the world we will have tribulation, but Jesus also said to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world! Hallelujah! We have His promise to care for and keep us in the midst of this dangerous world and in these perilous times. Therefore, we do not need fear the dangers of this world. Amen? But we have to trust God. It doesn’t just happen because God says it is ours. We must believe what He said and mix faith with His Word by declaring the truth with our mouths. Just as many of us parents have had to learn concerning our children- we are not going to be able to totally protect them. There is a point where we have to come to the conclusion that we need God’s help in protecting not only our children but everything concerning us. So I encourage you to come to that place today. Begin to put all of your confidence, not in the arm of the flesh, but in the mighty arm of God to keep you and your family. And you can do this by adding Psalm 91 to your prayer life and begin to cover you and yours in God’s promise that under the shelter of His wings is all the protection you need. Amen? If you would like more on this subject, I taught a series last year at the church I pastor- High Point Church located on 2963 Hollis Rd, Macon, GA 31206- entitled “The Shadow of Shaddai.” You can listen to this series based on Psalm 91 by visiting our website @ www.highpointmacon.com and clicking on the media tab. Feel free to also contact me via phone @ (706) 207-4337 or via email at trey@treydickerson.com if you would like more information on our ministry. Be blessed!

7


8


W

How Does Your Purpose Show Up At Work or School? By Sandy Ellingson

e’ve been exploring purpose through this issue and we had the privilege of interviewing John McLemore, CEO of Masterbuilt this month. John is the second generation CEO of his family run business. The company was started by his dad, Dawson McLemore, as a backyard business. You know, it was the kind you do on the side while you have a “real” job that pays the bills. As the backyard business began to grow rapidly, Dawson knew that it was going to take a leap of faith to quit his “real” job to continue growing his backyard business. After all, he had a wife and children that depended on him. As he drove down the road and pondered this opportunity, he pulled over to think and pray. In what he called a frank conversation “with the good Lord” he said, “If You’ll help me with this business, I’ll name it after You.” In that very moment, the name Masterbuilt came to his mind. “Our company was built by the Master and we’ve always said God is the true CEO, we just run it day by day,” said John. Growing a backyard business into a worldwide products manufacturer took a lot of hard work and a lot of faith, but God honored the work. Today, John McLemore is not only CEO of Masterbuilt, but the author of 3 cookbooks, a pilot, fun-loving storyteller, practical joker and a man who has found his purpose. John’s sense of purpose was passed on to him by his father. “We all have heroes in our lives. Mine was never a comic book character—it was a real man named Dawson McLemore,” said John about his Dad. “He taught me if I dreamed about something and worked hard enough for it, I could accomplish it.” “From Bible studies at Masterbuilt, to a quiet moment before a QVC airing or an especially touching moment where my entire company joined together to rally and pray for my brother’s health, I’m surrounded by so much love and support,” said John. This is what makes Masterbuilt a success when it comes to being a company defined by purpose. “A business has to make a profit, but recognizing the greatest assets are the customers and employees, allow you to not only make a profit, but also have Purpose. It’s about impacting the lives of those around you for Christ.” When asked if he had any advice for Christian business owners, John said, “Don’t be afraid of the repercussions of bringing Christ into your company, God will take care of that”. God has given us the opportunity to be on CNN, Fox, Steve Harvey, Sean Hannity, QVC, 700 Club and more. When given the opportunity to help others, we make it a point to get involved, not just write a check. We take every opportunity to impact the lives of those we serve in a positive way. My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Masterbuilt is a shining example of work, purpose, and faith being executed simultaneously with great results. Do you know what your life purpose is? Where do you fulfill that purpose?

9


Proudly supporting individuals and businesses in central Georgia and beyond for more than fifty years 577 Mulberry Street, 14th Floor | Macon, Georgia | (478) 746-8521 | (877) 220-2859

Sell & Melton, L.L.P. is home to one of the most trusted law practices in central Georgia. Serving businesses, churches, nonprofits and charities, families, and individuals, we skillfully advise our clients not only to protect them from future litigation, but also to add value to their assets, operations, and life experiences. How can we help you? Business & nonprofit organizations Estate planning & probate Real estate Employment Personal injury & wrongful death

10

Government Adoptions & guardianships Mediation & arbitration Health care Tax-exempt bond financing


M

Safe Sanctuaries and Verified Volunteers

By Julia H. Magda

y son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight . . . Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. Proverbs 3:21, 23

As a United Methodist and attorney, I applauded the roll out of “Safe Sanctuaries” notwithstanding all of the due diligence necessary to comply. A good friend that is part of a smaller UMC congregation recently remarked that, until she became a Sunday School teacher for young children, she thought “Safe Sanctuaries” was literally a contingency plan in the event something violent happened on the church property! It occurred to me in talking with her that the church universal – not just mine – should do a better job of explaining why and how we act intentionally to protect our most vulnerable members like children, youth, and senior adults. I cannot speak as to what each church’s individual rules may require, but my aim here is to inform you how a little risk management goes a long way in serving God as long as legalism is not allowed to trump love and grace. Before you can appreciate the “how” of screening volunteers, you must get a taste of the “why,” and how better than with a real example (with names omitted to protect the parties involved, of course). A church in central Georgia contacted me years ago when a volunteer began acting peculiar, openly sharing doctrine that clearly did not line up with that church’s beliefs, and otherwise overstepping the role of volunteer with regard to minors, first innocently enough and then more aggressively. The church’s leaders stepped in and handled the situation delicately; as you might expect under the circumstances though, the volunteer parted company with the church. Fast forward a year or so, and this volunteer showed up in another church that I advise. This church had not checked any references for the volunteer and was just happy to have a “young person” passionate about working with other young people. Needless to say, when the pastor approached the youth leadership with concerns about the lack of screening, the volunteer caught wind and moved on to another church. Children and youth are natural targets for predators, and the intimacy of small groups that build meaningful Christian relationships also creates opportunities for exploitation of those kids. Additionally, seniors are at risk of financial exploitation. Consider, for example, a lonely person who may crave human interaction outside Sunday morning’s worship and Tuesday afternoon’s Bible study. An otherwise unknown volunteer may find a way to learn sensitive information about the older member that is then used to gain the person’s trust and favor financially. To those who say it is far-fetched to suggest such a scenario, I can vouch that it happens, even here. We cannot protect every person from every harm, but we can be on guard and avoid being the very means to harm our own brothers and sisters. Our church members will be able to worship and serve in ministry without worrying about safety, and visitors will likewise notice the best practices implemented to make your church activities safe for all ages. In the next issue of Local Church Connection, we will cover the " how" to manage potential risks.

11


12


Purpose in the Pickles By Brandon Jones

W

hen I was four years old my mom returned home from 2 weeks of training in New York learning how to own and operate a Subway restaurant. At the time I was simply excited to receive a Cabbage Patch Kid doll that she bought for me on the trip (a little too excited considered I wasn’t a four year old girl), I didn’t take time to contemplate that 20 years later I would be asking God how in the world I was supposed to serve Him and find purpose by making sandwiches for a living. Could I really spend my entire life counting out the pickles on a six inch sub (three)? Honestly, if that’s all my job was then no I probably couldn’t. But by watching how my parents did work and life I knew that God does great things through the small details. Being faithful in the little things brings about a life of great purpose. By simply living a life counting the pickles we are able to show our 400+ crew the importance of serving others and the beauty of how people respond when you choose to live out Galatians 5:22-23. Counting the pickles gives us a sphere of influence greater than I would ever find in my dream job (that job at Ben & Jerry’s where you get to try all the new flavors). Not only are we able to share our testimony with our crew and as best we can impart Biblical wisdom with them, but we are also simply able to do life with people. We share excitement as people are promoted up into “careers” vs “jobs”, celebrate births, mourn deaths, talk through marriage issues, offer support as people deal with hard things like depression, and on and on. Hundreds, thousands of unique opportunities to live life with other people we would probably have never known outside of Subway. That is our purpose. I promise, if I make your sub, you’ll have three pickles (probably). But, the reason we do this day in and day out is for people. It’s the opportunity to work with our crew and show them who this God we serve is, what he’s all about, the grace that He offers, and how he can give their life purpose too even as they count the pickles.

13


14


Our Perspective on Purpose

P

By Marti Sullivan Tidwell

urpose has somehow become the holy grail of adulthood. Searching for purpose, what we were created and designed to do, has become a quest towards a mecca of perhaps questionable existence. While the search for our gifts and talents and ways to utilize them and gift them in our daily lives is a noble and worthwhile and even godly pursuit, perhaps our created “purpose” is something entirely different… Maybe it’s time to change our perspective on purpose.

My father recently retired after over 40 years as a hospital administrator. His career, on paper, was impressive. He started in small community hospitals early in his career, and then in the mid 90’s moved to executive management of a large healthcare network based in North Carolina…but he chose to close out his career doing something he had never done before, building a community hospital from the ground up. In 2008, at the age of 59, he moved to Mt. Pleasant, SC to do just that. Today, 7 years later, it is built, staffed, accredited, and profitable, and one of the most successful regional hospitals in its network. He’s good at running hospitals. It’s a gift, a talent. His purpose, however, I would argue is a different story. If you will, indulge me while I brag on my dad a bit…which is something you will never hear him do. Forgive me, but I am proud that a little fella that came from a preaching father with an 8th grade education out of Flat Rock, KY made his way, found his gift, worked his tail off, and became successful because of his own hard work and God’s grace. But you will NEVER hear him brag, never find a hint of pride in him. He will “thank the good Lord for all our blessings.” Right there. That is the heart of it.

...“thank the good Lord for all our blessings.”

If you ask the folks that my dad has worked with and for to tell you about John Sullivan, they will not tell you about the success of his hospitals or his career, they will tell you about his heart for people, his kind spirit, and his passion to do what is right and to serve others with humility and honor. They will tell you how he put himself last and others first time and again. They will tell you about a time he extended grace to them, gave them a second-chance, validated their gifts, gave them sound wisdom, or looked them in the eye and asked about their children or spouse…by name. My whole life, when I have walked through the doors of his hospitals, I’ve heard comments like “Your dad is so wonderful to work for.” “Your dad is an amazing man.” “We are so fortunate to have your father.” “Your dad is such a godly man.” “I just WANT to work hard and do my best for him.” I know the feeling. I want so much to be like him.

The eternal story of the life of John Sullivan is not in the bottom line of any hospital he ever managed or his own personal net worth, but in the hearts of the people he poured into as he exhibited great character and kindness while he did his job. And now, in his retirement, his purpose lives on without his career as he treats the people he encounters in his day to day life with that same measure of love and kindness and generosity and that same servant’s heart…representing His Savior well wherever his life leads in this new season. So wherever life has placed you, whatever work you are doing at this very moment, whether you love it or detest it, whether changing diapers or managing a real estate empire or something in between, do it with purpose. Wherever God has placed you in this particular season, serve the people in your path with honor and humility and graciousness, and represent your Savior well. That, my friends, is living a life that matters…eternally. That is living with purpose. There will be no agendas, no selfish ambitions, and certainly no dollar bills in our pockets in heaven, but there will be people we poured ourselves into with purpose, that may not be there at all if we had not… Ephraim.

15


World Changes Tabernacle Church

Pastor Christopher D. Smith 929 Ft. Benning Road Worship Services Sunday School – 10:00am Sunday Service – 11:00am Bible Study/Prayer/Praise Wednesdays – 6:30pm Friday Night Fellowship 2nd & 4th Fridays @ 7:30pm Mission Statement: To Draw the Lost with Love, Peace, Joy, Hope and Faith through the Word of God…..

16

Prathan L. Powell, Sr. is a native of Columbus Georgia. Mr. Powell accepted his call from God to create World Changes Tabernacle Church, a non-denominational five-fold ministry, where he is Senior Pastor. Reverend Powell’s mission for World Changes Tabernacle is to teach and preach a simple gospel so that all might be saved. He is the CEO of PLP Ministries, Inc., a non-profit faith ministry dedicated to teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a simple way that can be received by all. Reverend Powell is a well-known Community Advocate in the Columbus, Georgia area. He serves as a Chaplain for Gentiva Hospice as a community coordinator; he also serves on several community humanitarian boards and is Chief Executive Officer of Miracles in the City Foundation, Inc. Reverend Powell is the first recipient of the Carmella A. Morales Humanitarian Award, Miracles in the City Foundation, Inc. Our World Changes motto is the "Word is On!" We believe that Christianity is a lifestyle and we are committed to teaching, learning and living the Word of God. It is more than a song, more than a shout, more than a dance...Whether you are a committed follower of Christ or just curious about God, YOU are invited to visit with us. Come on, check us out, and experience the World Changes Effect.... 1241 Alta Vista Drive Columbus, GA 31907 706-562-8070 Service Times: Sundays at 11am & Wednesdays @ 7pm Website: www.wctministries.org Live stream: http://livestream.com/worldchangeswct Download Free App: Android — Google Play Store Apple Products — iTunes Store


Take The City By Andrew Chamlers

I

n the past nine years God has transplanted my life to over ten different communities all around the United States as well as parts of Asia and South America. He has allowed me to love, learn, and serve alongside other world changers in the mountains of Colorado, beaches of Indonesia, the farms of New England, lakes of Washington and volcanoes of Ecuador. God has surrounded me with the beauty of His creation and people. So to be completely honest, I was a little surprised when God directed my path to Columbus, Georgia. But God’s ways are higher than my ways, and God surely has a great purpose for His people in the Chattahoochee Valley. I didn’t want to miss it.

Over the past few weeks I have heard from countless prayer warriors, God is doing something new in Columbus. We are living in the days of God pouring out His Spirit to unite churches to see our city revitalized. God is stirring the hearts of young, old, rich and poor, change lives and setting people set free. These prayer warriors are seeing answers to their prayers through a Christ-centered ministry, Take The City. Take The City’s vision is to see churches and organizations across the Chattahoochee Valley come together to love, serve, and pray for their region. Take The City is a bridge for building greater unity and collaboration among civic, corporate, and church leaders. It’s heart is to establish sustainable efforts unique to each neighborhood to revitalize entire areas for God’s Kingdom. The goal of Take the City is not to build a single church growing a huge ministry, but to serve local churches and ministries that already exist. Our hope is to serve and for Jesus to be made famous in our community. One way Take the City accomplishes their mission is through monthly outreaches. Each month dozens of churches are represented when people gather to pray, worship, and serve. Take the City offers training to send small groups into target communities to serve in practical ways, share the gospel, and build lasting relationships. At the end of the outreach we gather to share testimonies…my favorite part as we celebrate what God is doing. Every outreach the Kingdom of God advances, bodies are being healed, hearts are being set free, and families are being transformed by the power of Jesus. Take the City’s vision is big, but what I’ve learned is Father God loves to partner with His children who step out of the boat and trust Him. Jesus always shows up when we say, “Yes” to Him. Many who come to the monthly outreach are new to Take The City, excited, but timid about outreach. However, after their return from praying with people and experiencing the presence of God, they are full of joy, excitement, and thanksgiving. Even though Columbus may not be as hip as Seattle or as beautiful as Bali or breathtaking as the Rocky Mountains, I am thankful God has brought me to Columbus for such a time as this. God is doing amazing things in and around our community. So I hope you will join me and Take The City as we say, “Yes” to Jesus, for His Kingdom to come and His Will to be done in the Chattahoochee Valley. To learn more about Take The City http://www.facebook.com/takethecitycolumbus

find

them

on

Facebook

17


MACON GYN/OB ASSOCIATES, P.A. A. Taylor Coppage, III, M.D. • Timoty E. Carter, M.D. • Cindy Lucas, RNC, W.H.N.P., B.C. • Stephen M. Durkee, M.D. 650 Coliseum Place • Macon, Georgia 31217 Phone: (478) 745-7935 • Fax: (478) 745-7806 • (800) 342-8626 If no answer (478) 750-4858

18


Young At Heart By David Duncan

A

s I approach the looming 60th mark of my experienced years with birthday candles, I admire my wisdom frosted hair in the bathroom mirror. Silver highlights! Ugh! Never mind that the wrinkles remind me of ruts in the road that I have traveled, and the fact that they were not paved with Oil of Olay! LOL. It has been a fun ride anyway, and there is a lot more to experience on the journey to Senior Citizen-ville! The local TV station here has asked me to consider having a weekly comedic look at growing older with grace and calling it “Tuesdays With Metamucil”!!! I would come on right after the Community calendar featuring noted obituaries of the week. Can you just imagine? I think I could sit wrapped cozily with a quilt in a lift chair beside a table with my teeth in a glass and numberless medicine bottles lined up in a tattered old robe, drinking a cup of steaming prune juice while gumming a bran muffin! LOL. Maybe I could be on oxygen as if taking my last breath. Of course…you guessed it…the sponsor would be the Funeral Home Association. LOL. Oh my! I am sure the ratings would bust right through the roof!!! Reminds me of a favorite quote that I saw on a plague on the wall of a local nursing home: “I’ve got used to my arthritis, To my dentures I’m resigned, I can cope with my bifocals, But, Lord, how I miss my mind!” LOL. Has anyone noticed out there in Church Connection Land that as we get older, we become obsessed with digestive and intestinal functions? Why just the other day, I was minding my own business in Walmart and happened to notice out of the corner of my eye that a Senior Citizen was wobbling along like a turtle. I looked and LO AND BEHOLD it was a sweet little old granny type who had on an Early American flowery dress but her pantyhose was sliding down and had stopped just below her artificial knee replacements. The poor thing was so bound up that she probably thought an acute onset of her rheumatoid arthritis had hit as she could barely shuffle through the store. I got so tickled at the sight that I bent over my shopping cart moaning, and while I was in that position, another lady came up beside me and whispered lovingly, “Got gas and irregularity problems, honey?” (I looked up and she was grinning at me.) “Don’t be embarrassed, I do, too…just follow me to aisle 6…I am headed there myself!” LOL. I don’t think that it is so much that I am getting old as it is just that I’m ‘settling’. You know, like an old house. There’s a few cracks, and some of the plumbing doesn’t work like it used too, and it needs a fresh coat of paint. Yeah…I’m just ‘settling’ and BTW: I need to post some signs for those who come in close contact with any Seniors or what I call them, KEENagers. Here’s a few to ponder: • Watch Out For Falling Parts. • Dead End. (Listen…as hard as we may try, none of us gets out of this life alive!) • Bridge May Freeze. (Dentures do too if you eat ice cream.) • Curves Ahead. (Yep. Over the hill is not a piece of cake) • Hot Flash Zone. (Hormones go AWOL so it promises to be a sweaty ride from here on out.) • No Passing Zone. (That kidney stone is a stubborn old goat.) • Beware Of Droopy Tattoos. (What used to be a rose is now a hanging plant.)

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

All of this is offered in good, clean fun and I want you to remember that God has given us the incredible gift of laughter in order to lubricate our lives with joy. It just helps oil the machinery in order for us to be full of His joy, complete, and our cup is running over. Proverbs 17: 22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength.” In other words, laughter is good for you and it brings back a zeal and enthusiasm for life when often things go sour on us. God has given us a sense of humor as part of His divine plan for our daily life. Discover it, engage it, and enjoy the art of living according to His will. I want to confess to you that I am so looking forward to moving into a retirement assisted living home one day, or as I call it an AQUARIUM. (Yes. You read that right!) First, aquariums are soothing and relaxing. All the fish do is swim around. Someone cleans the tank and feeds them on a regular basis. I sorta like that idea. They don’t work up their blood pressure or lift a finger to do anything except what they want to do. Someone even gives them their medicine if they get sick. Fish can even wear diapers if they want too. Hey, sometimes you just don’t want to miss an important part of the movie so a DEPEND is a convenient necessity. Now, count me in on that! They can watch each other all day or just stare into space. Some swim all around and even change their course on some days. They might have breakfast for supper or play checkers in the bath-tub. They can entertain themselves and chew the fat with other oldsters. It sounds to me like the life of riley. LOL. One final word: just because your skin used to fit, don’t be discouraged. While the wrinkles may appear in the mirror NEVER allow them to take over your heart. After all, I’m YOUNG AT HEART…slightly older in other places! LOL In His Love, David Duncan Contact me on Facebook or dedsld13@juno.com.

19


Blessed Assurance Baptist Church "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes." Psalm 118:23 8:00 A.M. Morning Worship each Sunday First Sunday Evening Worship at 6:00 P.M. (first Sunday of each month) Tuesday Morning Corporate Prayer 6:30 A.M Tuesday Night Bible Study at 7:00 P.M. Men and Women's Fellowship 2nd Saturday of each month at 11:00 A.M.

5603 Luna Drive • Columbus, GA 31904 (706) 561-1128 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blessed-Assurance-Baptist-Church/214071498694982?fref=ts 20


Celebrate Recovery By Jessica Clark

E

very Thursday evening, dozens of people descend on Columbus’s Christ Community Church (CCC) for a gathering called Celebrate Recovery. They come from all over the Chattahoochee Valley, and from all walks of life. They dine together, worship together and find healing together – healing from life’s “habits, hurts and hang-ups,” as CR describes it. The struggles differ and the people differ, but there’s a common bond that knits this community together: The person of Jesus Christ.

CR’s focus is to bring people to holistic sanctification through the power of Christ. It’s not merely a program designed to heal physical or mental impairments, but rather, to guide the broken back to Jesus. “I owe my life to Celebrate Recovery and Jesus Christ,” says Patrick Grant, the CR worship leader at CCC. “Had it not been for CR and Jesus Christ, there’s no telling where I would be at this time.” Celebrate Recovery was founded at Southern California’s Saddleback Church in 1981. A Saddleback member, John Baker, took the initiative after noticing people’s brokenness all around him. Today CR is in more than 20,000 churches worldwide, including CCC, which celebrates 10 years as a CR host in September. CR is a safe place for people struggling with anything from substance addiction to pornography to less-obvious issues such as co-dependency, depression, anxiety, anger, pride and more. In addition to large-group and small-group settings, CR also offers “Step Study” groups in which members walk through a Christcentered 12-step healing process; and “sponsors,” mentors who serve as accountability partners and make themselves available in day-to-day life. “I remind them how much better it’s been since knowing the Lord and being a part of this ministry than where they were before,” says Rob Deloach, a sponsor and member of the CR leadership team at CCC. CR has impacted countless lives, and not just those who already were part of the CCC body. In fact, many aren’t even members there. Others, such as Grant, came to be an integral part of the congregation after finding healing and acceptance at CR. “I’m that light that keeps on shining now,” Grant says. “Even in my bad days I can shine, because Jesus gave me another chance. CR helped me have a relationship with Jesus Christ.” Looking for healing from life’s habits, hurts and hang-ups? Come check out Celebrate Recovery. CR meets at Christ Community Church, 4078 Milgen Road, Columbus every Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, visit ccclive.org/celebraterecovery.

21


22


Purpose: The Glory of God - A Pastor’s View

By David Baum, Pastor-Fountain City Church, Columbus, Ga

B

efore becoming a pastor I graduated from West Point and then served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. During the first 5 years I served as an Airborne and Ranger qualified infantry officer. For 17 years I served as a chaplain. In those years the Army taught me that before going on missions it is critical that each soldier understand their purpose. In the Army every soldier has a purpose they need to fulfill if the unit is to be successful. As Christians we have a purpose. Isaiah 43:7 states plainly that we are created to bring God glory, “…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory…” Wayne Grudem in Systematic Theology states that living for this purpose brings great joy, “”When we realize that God created us to glorify him, and when we start to act in ways that fulfill that purpose, then we begin to experience an intensity of joy in the Lord that we have never known. When we add to that the realization that God himself is rejoicing in our fellowship with him, our joy becomes “inexpressible and filled with heavenly glory” (1 Peter 1:8, Grudem’s expanded paraphrase).” But how do we “glorify” God? One way is to become like Jesus because he always honored and “glorified” his Father. We teach at Fountain City Church that through intentional relationships with church leaders, with family members, with other Christians, with civil authority, with unbelievers, and with those in need we can grow to become like Christ. My prayer for you is that you understand your purpose in honoring God with your life and that it leads you to peace and joy.

See www.fountaincitychurch.com for info on our pastor and for info on our small group and women’s & men’s study groups. Or contact us with questions: fountaincitychurchemail.com, (703) 895-8852

23


831 6TH AVENUE • COLUMBUS, GA 31901

123rd Church Anniversary October 18, 2015 3:00 pm Quest Speaker: Bishop Ronald K Harris Canaan Baptist Church For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. - Psalm 100:5 (KJV)

SOUTHERN GLAM 7160 Moon Road Columbus, GA 706.507.4999 Tuesday to Saturday Walk-ins Welcome!

GET YOUR GLAM ON! 24

Early Worship: 8:00 am Breakfast: 9:00 am Sunday School 9:30 am Morning Worship: 11:00 am Baptist Training Union: 4:30 pm Children’s Church: 11:00 every 2nd Sunday Church: (706) 323-6996 Prayer line: Mon-(Youth Thursday)-Fri 6:00-6:30 am (712) 432-1212 Code: 324651483# Prayer Line Contacts:(678) 463-3005 Rev. Vincent Bell (706) 464-4090 Dea. David Ebron Fax: (706) 322-7596 Email: friendshipbaptistcolumbus@gmail.com

Striving for Excellence, while showing God’s everlasting love to Generation to Generation.


Discover, Discern & Dwell By Tonya Powell, Door Network

“T

hose girls have shown me more love this whole summer than I have ever had in my entire life," stated Mr. Leonard. Mr. Leonard is one of the man recipients of the Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR) in Atlanta. He is one of over 7,000 individuals in Atlanta, GA struggling with homelessness. Fortunately, this summer he was able to find out he was not in his struggle alone. On days when the hot Georgia temperatures reached in the nineties, Door Atlanta’s volunteers (the young girls) brought him ice and water. On days when he was hungry, they not only gave him food, but would say a little prayer and offer some words of encouragement. Those girls are a part of DOOR Atlanta’s Discern program. This program teaches youth how to be young leaders in their communities, and encourages them to look beyond the bright lights and tall buildings their city has to offer, into the faces of those who are in need. By their actions these participants hope others will be able to “See the face of God in the City” through them. DOOR Atlanta’s purpose for hosting urban mission trips is to teach individuals how to live in solidarity with the people they serve. Groups from across the United States and the Atlanta area answer the question of “who is your neighbor?” through service and reflection. This year alone about 400 young people have participated in these programs, serving the elderly, the mentally disabled, and people who are struggling with homelessness. DOOR provides day, weekend, week, and yearlong service opportunities through our three programs- Discover, Discern, and Dwell. For more information about DOOR’s programing please visit www.doornetwork.org. Tonya Powell is the Atlanta City Director at Door Network in Atlanta, Georgia, 404-438-9859.

25


26


It’s Not About Us! By Neil Stephens

J

anuary 2015. I was putting away the music accessorries I had gotten for Christmas because . . . well, I had no gigs coming up.

It was a typical Georgia January day. A bleak afternoon cloaked in the typical post-holiday hangover - an appropriate backdrop for my state of mind. It struck me that I, like those gifts, was made to do a job but had no place to do it. Purpose with no opportunity. My sixteen year position as worship minister had been eliminated. Sure, I needed a job. More important, I was convinced that God had more in store for me. August 2015. Bethel Church, about six miles north of Butler Georgia. Close to absolutely nothing else except acres of beautiful pasture. As I step outside the summer sun surpasses every synonym of “brilliant” that I could hope to think of. The field across the street embraces the adjective “pastoral”. I’m almost amused at the contentment I experience, light years away from the desolation of that dreary January day. I had come to several places in one. The first: being willing to go where God wanted me, with no reservations. I thought I was already there. The journey was a bit longer than I anticipated. That place of willingness led to a church I might not have considered earlier. It brought me to a place of fulfillment. And purpose. This church I had never heard of, in a place I was barely aware of, knew their target and moved inexorably toward it. Their next step -find a leader with the particular set of skills that God had given me. Now my personal purpose is intertwined with their corporate purpose, both of which come from God. The common theme is this: It’s not about us. The purpose of my music and leadership is not to make me feel better, or to make others think more highly of me. Or to help me get a job. It’s to focus on God and to remind others how awesome He is. The purpose of Bethel Church is not to have nice buildings (which they do) or to get people into those buildings. It’s to focus on God, and to make a difference in the lives of others. Purpose flows THROUGH you, but doesn’t END there. If it does, it becomes stagnant. Unfulfilled. And quite honestly begins to stink. My choice for what I thought I needed would’ve missed out on God’s best. If Bethel chose what was most comfortable for them, they would never make a difference. So next time you feel like you have tools that are unused, and your purpose in life seems way out of reach, remember this: to find your place of purpose, you must go to another place – a place of willingness to let God use the tools that you think belong to you. After all, He made them. And what He builds with them will FAR exceed anything you can imagine.

27


28


Wrapping It Up: What IsYour Life Purpose? Following God’s Plan!

I

f finding your life purpose seems like an elusive undertaking, don't panic! You are not alone. While it's true some people seem to find their life purpose easier than others, it's also true that God really does have a plan for every single person, even if it takes a while to see what it is.

Most people think finding their life purpose means doing something they truly love. It's an area that just seems natural and things just seem to fall into place. But what if things aren't so clear for you? What if you're not sure what your gifts are? What if you haven't discovered any particular talent that makes you think it could be your true calling in life? Or what if you're working somewhere and you're good at it, but you just don't feel fulfilled? Is this all there is for you? There are lots of people in the same boat. Just take a look at the disciples in the Bible. They started out as fishermen and tax collectors and then once they met Jesus their true calling came into focus very quickly. What the disciples didn't know is that God wanted them to be happy—even more than they did. And following God's plan for their lives made them happy inside, where it really matters. What a concept? Do you suppose it could be true for you too? God wants you to be truly happy and fulfilled even more than you do. And once you discover your purpose it can’t be contained. It is not something that you do only at home, or only on Sunday, or on an occasional mission trip. It is part of who you are. Your purpose will be fulfilled wherever you exist! Do you know what your purpose is? Do you know how to find out? Check out this resource on our website to find out more. http://www.localchurchconnection.com/purpose

29


Print works. 73

% of consumers prefer mail for receiving new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with as compared to 18% from email. 63% of consumers report that they bought something they saw in a custom publication.

PANAPRINT PANAPRINT (The Value of Print, Printing Industries of America)

800.622.0676 www.panaprint.com 7979 NE Industrial Blvd Macon, Georgia 31216

30

31


31


Profile for Russ Cooke

Local Church Connection  

October - December 2015

Local Church Connection  

October - December 2015