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It’s hard to believe, but 2018 is quickly winding down and November is already here. The days have shortened, the leaves are changing and the air is brisk and sometimes even cold. I enjoy each and every season but there is something about this time of the year as we give thanks at Thanksgiving and celebrate the Christ of Christmas that resonates deeply in my soul. It’s exhilarating and always a reminder to me of the gift and the Giver of life. We’ve all been wonderfully blessed.
Don’t miss the opportunities available this month. I would strongly encourage every follower of Christ to join us on Saturday, November 3rd from 8:30am to 12:30pm for our Millennial conference with Doug Rhodes. It will equip you to be a stronger witness, a more understanding parent or grandparent and give you a greater perspective of the culture we live in. Then on Sunday the 18th we will have our annual World Mission conference. Dr. Gordon Fort will be our keynote speaker and missionaries will be in our Bible study classes Sunday morning and many will participate in a panel discussion Sunday evening. After we celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd, our Parent-Baby Dedication service will be on the 25th.
As we rapidly move towards another Thanksgiving, let me challenge you to find yourself a quiet place where you’ll not be disturbed and take the time to give thanks, reflect on the goodness of God and fervently pray for our nation. I am so grateful for the blessings of God. I’m thankful for my family, my freedom and faithful friends, like many of you. We have so much to be thankful for, but I am deeply concerned and burdened over our country.
The spiritual climate is rapidly changing as our country grows progressively darker. The voice of truth is being silenced while the vices of men are becoming stronger. There’s a lack of leadership as a nation once founded on God has chosen to abandon God and is spiraling dangerously out of control. What once was considered sin is questionable among many, and accepted by others. Christians are continuously portrayed as intolerant, close-minded, mean-spirited people who are extremists.
Unfortunately, there are some who call themselves Christians yet live in direct opposition of Christ’s teachings. They are either spiritually immature or wolves in sheep’s clothing. Followers of Jesus Christ trust and obey Him, and their love for Christ and others consume them. Love doesn’t mean we go along to get along, nor does it mean that we ignore, accept or condone sin. We can’t accept what God says is unacceptable. Sin always brings heartache and sorrow therefore we must love people enough to tell them the truth. We must speak the truth in love.
As we move towards the conclusion of another year, may we have a greater boldness, a greater burden, a greater faith and a greater love for our Lord and others! May we work while it’s still day because night is coming.
Your Pastor and Friend,
P.S. Don’t forget to vote on November 6th. Our God is not a Democrat or a Republican but we have the responsibility to honor God concerning the issues of our day. There are no perfect candidates, but there are those who still stand for Christian values and morals. Pray and vote!
Fall is in the air and the month of October is going to be another opportunity to have fun, enjoy life, invest in the Kingdom and honor God. Christians should be the most fun loving, joy filled, positive people on the face of this earth; because, we know who we are, why we’re here and where we’re going.
“We know in whom we have believed and we’re persuaded that He is able to keep what we have committed to Him until that Day!” (2 Tim. 1:12)
October 7th is a special day this month and you need to circle it on your calendar. It’s our annual event called, “Compassion Can.” On this Sunday I’ll be encouraging and challenging every member of LCC to sacrificially give and then we’ll use the one-time love offering to help those who are hurting and desperately need Jesus.
This year, the Compassion Can offering will be evenly divided to support three needs.
Sujo John’s ministry "Youcanfree.us” which is instrumental in helping human trafficking victims to be rescued, restored and re-enter society. If possible, I plan to be in with his ministry in December to encourage and personally work with the staff and those who have been rescued.
Chris and Faith Anderson and their six children in Romania. They have served there since 2007 in Mangalia, a spiritually dark and difficult place with many needs. We hope this offering will be an answered prayer for them.
Lastly, Pastor Dean is going to begin a church plant in Marion N.C. on Easter Sunday 2019. As he has faithfully invested in us and blessed us throughout the years, we want to invest in him and this church plant.
In previous Compassion Can Sundays, we’ve received approximately $90,000. Please pray and ask God what He would have you sacrificially give.
After our Compassion Can emphasis that morning, we will be participating in Life Chain from 2:30-3:30pm that afternoon, Oct 7. This is an opportunity to unite with Christians around the Triad, and peacefully pray for the unborn, to be a voice for those who have no voice and to stand for those who can’t stand for themselves. Please join us as we meet on Battleground Avenue. (More details will be in the bulletin prior to that event.)
That same day, during our evening service, we will have Prayer stations emphasizing missions, the family, the Triad, our Country, lost family and friends and praying for the Compassion Can ministries we’re supporting. After you walk through the prayer stations with family or friends, you can conclude in a separate room where you can observe the Lord’s Supper and thank our Lord for the investment He made in us.
On Wednesday evening, October 31st, we will have our annual Fall Festival. It is an exciting and safe environment for our children and the community to experience an amazing evening of costumes, challenging games and candy as an alternative to Halloween.
It’s going to be a great month because it’s a gift from God! Let’s walk through October sensitive to the Spirit of God, praising Him, serving Him and faithful to Him. Soon and very soon we are going to see the King, and may we hear Him say, “Well done!”
Optimistic about October,
School has started, Fall is in the air, and our favorite football teams are ready for the gridiron. But it is also getting pretty exciting here at LCC. After having three construction companies bid the architectural design for our new children’s wing, we have chosen one and hope to break ground in the next 90 days. All three were very competitive and the bids were extremely close, but we’ve chosen Landmark, the same company who built our existing facility. We have $1.4 million in cash, and the project including the renovation of our children’s wing is going to cost approximately $1.9 million. If God has blessed you, and you want to invest in reaching children in our area, this is an opportunity to give a one-time gift, or you can give weekly or monthly towards this worthy project.
Our Sportsmen’s Wild Game Banquet will be held on September 11th, and we will have a patriotic theme this year. General Jerry Boykin, Commander of Delta Force and Green Berets, who has two purple hearts and a bronze star will be our keynote speaker. I’ve heard General Boykin on more than one occasion, and he has always encouraged and challenged me.
Men, invite your friends, and join us as enjoy foods like alligator, elk, turkey, ostrich, bear, quail, Hungarian partridge and pork BBQ. It will be an evening that you will not soon forget.
September 11th is not only the date for our Wild Game Dinner, but it’s the anniversary of the greatest tragedy that has ever occurred on American soil. In 2001, almost 3,000 Americans died in the World Trade Center in New York City. On that day, 19 men invaded our country in the name of their god and shook us to the core. In the name of their god 19 men brought their faith, their worldview, and their commitment from half way around the world to the most powerful country in the world and forever changed us. If 19 men, in the name of the wrong god, can come to America and bring us to our knees what do you think the Church, the people of God can do in the name of the True God, the Almighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords to bring this nation to its knees in reverence to the one true God!
In a world that’s becoming more divided with each and every passing day, may we become more unified in our purpose, reaching a lost and hurting world with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ! May we be authentic, genuine, followers of Christ growing in His grace and living for His glory!
Your Pastor and friend,
In just a couple of weeks, we will have a special evening service that you will want to attend. On August 19, we will honor Pastor Rob Emanuel. Pastor Rob has faithfully served Life Community Church for 14 years and has invested in the lives of hundreds of students. He has been a loyal, dedicated servant, but most importantly, a dear friend to me who has demonstrated a heart for God and for students. We will have a night of appreciation at 6:00pm that night and afterwards, we will be a special time of fellowship at the Life House. Bring your favorite snacks, foods and/or desserts for everyone to share while we fellowship.
Because we have known of Pastor Rob's upcoming departure from LCC, I have been praying and working hard to find a youth pastor for many months now - as well as a children's pastor to help lead that ministry to the next level. I have contacted and received resumes from pastors of some of the largest churches in the country. I’ve also corresponded with John Avant, the president of Life Action, as well as Ryan Loveing who oversees their ministry teams. I’ve spent countless hours contacting, talking, interviewing and having meals with potential prospects, but many felt they were where God would have them be, while others simply weren’t the right candidates for us. Even though the process has been difficult, frustrating and often draining, God’s presence and direction has been undeniable.
Pastor Rob and Pastor Dean recommended my son, Jake III, but because he is my son, I ignored it and didn’t give it a lot of thought. But a few months ago, God began to work in the life of my son, reminding him of the most satisfying and fruitful times in his life and ministry - his senior year at Wesleyan Academy when he was one of the student chaplains. There he began an early morning prayer time and spoke at chapel. He has also been reflecting on his ministry as an R.A. at Liberty University where he invested in the lives of many young men. His summer intern positions here at LCC and First Baptist Woodstock in Georgia and mission trips to the Dominican Republic, Africa and India also factored into his recent reflections.
As God was taking him down memory lane, Jake took a few students from Mosaic to Crossroads Camp for the week, and while there, God began to clarify and confirm direction in his life. When he returned home, he placed a resume in my box -- unbeknownst to me -- sensing God’s leadership to serve here at LCC as Youth Pastor. I spoke with our Pastoral staff, getting their feedback as well as the Personnel Committee. I interviewed my son for a couple of hours focusing on two questions: (1) How do you know God has called you here, and (2) What would be your direction and your strategy if you were serving here? After a couple of hours of conversation, I was convinced the young man who grew up in this church and was licensed and ordained to the gospel ministry by this church was ready to serve this church in this capacity.
Therefore, effective August 20, Jake J. Thornhill III will join our ministry team to serve as the youth pastor at LCC. I look forward to him sharing his strategy with the parents of our students in the near future. Before I began this process I spoke with Pastor Barry at Mosaic. I would never do anything to hinder the work there, nor would I hire Jake without Pastor Barry’s approval and blessing. Pastor Barry was in full agreement and thought Jake would excel at LCC. Jake has been meeting with a group of young men from Mosaic on Thursday nights in his home and will continue to do so even while he begins to serve full-time here at LCC.
Please pray for this time of transition and for the other staff positions that will need to be filled. Pray that God will continue to lead and send those who are called and equipped to serve here.
For the King and His Kingdom,
After being married for thirty years, a wife asked her husband to describe her. He looked at her for a while, then said, "A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K." She asks... "What does that mean?" He said, "Adorable, Beautiful, Cute, Delightful, Elegant, Gorgeous, Honey."
She smiled and said, "Oh that's so lovely, what about I, J, K?"
He said, "I'm Just Kidding!"
Some things are better left unsaid.
We, as followers of Christ, need to realize what we say and do really matters. We need to encourage one another and be equipped to impact a hurting world.
On April 27th, we'll have a leadership dinner for our staff, deacons, Bible study teachers and team leaders. I'll share a fresh vision for LCC with short and long range plans on how we can saturate our communities with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, on the following Sunday evenings, we'll share greater detail concerning God's direction for His church.
We need divine direction during these difficult days to impact our community. The prophet Isaiah said it this way, "Oh that you would rend the heavens! That you would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence!" (Is. 64:1)
Isaiah, the old, faithful, weathered warrior of God, is hungry for a divine manifestation of Jehovah God and says, "Oh Lord, that you might split the skies and come down, that the mountains might tremble at your presence." Isaiah wants God to show up and shake the unshakable. Is that the cry of your heart? Do you desire for Jehovah God to show up in such a way that there's not only a manifestation of His presence, but a demonstration of His power?
May God give us His vision for His glory. May every member of LCC know why we're here, where we're going and how we're going to get there. We need for God to burden us over a lost, lonely and hurting world. We need to love God and love others in such a way that it is contagious. Let's join our hearts together in unity and cry out with clarity, "Oh that you would rend the heavens! That you would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence!"
Do you know every year in America approximately 2 million patients become infected by germs in hospitals? In other words, they come to the hospital for healing, but get an infection while there. That is not on purpose, but it happens. Those who are spiritually sick ride by our church, and many others attend every week seeking answers and hope in the midst of hopelessness.
Do they find hope and help in their time of need? Or are there spiritual germs that contaminate and hinder them from knowing the truth? We have a responsibility to our Lord to be a lighthouse, a lifesaving station, a place of rest in the midst of restlessness. And if we seek the Lord and cry out to Him, He'll show up!
As we commemorate and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on Apr il 1st, don't miss the opportunity to invite family members, friends and neighbors to our Easter celebration. There will
be an exciting time of praise and worship in the morning services as we celebrate our risen Savior, and our evening service will be powerful and engaging as we lift up the Lord in song.
Jesus is alive and because He lives we can not only face tomorrow, but by His grace and for His glory we can change tomorrow!
"Oh that you would rend the heavens! That you'd come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence!"