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July Pastor's Points

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Church Family,

Last month I shared with you my deep affection I have for you as my church family.  I am so thankful for the loving relationship that we have with one another.  It is so easy to take for granted the great blessing of the love and friendship of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  My prayer is that our love will grow deeper and deeper as we navigate the changing landscape of the world around us.  As I shared Sunday, it is imperative that we love God completely and love others compassionately in the months and years to come.  If we will live this way we can be sure that our relationships inside the church family and outside the church will grow stronger, and we will be able to give a wonderful Gospel testimony with our lives.

As we hold on to these two truths let me encourage you to consider six actions that we as believers can take as well in light of the recent Supreme Court decision.  These were shared this past Sunday by Pastor Greg Laurie as he spoke to his church family.  Laurie shares…

There are at least six things Christians can do in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and other attacks on Christians and Christianity, Laurie suggested.

One, "don't panic; God is still on the throne," he told the church. He quoted Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, as saying: "The Supreme Court can do many things, but the Supreme Court can't put Jesus back in that tomb. Jesus of Nazareth is still alive; He is still calling the universe toward His kingdom." The church thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the culture around it, Laurie said, giving the example of the first century Christians, who also lived in a pagan culture where immorality was rampant. Yet, "they turned the world upside down." They didn't do it through protests or marches, the pastor said. "They
out-loved, outplayed and out-gave the non-believers."

Two, “we need to remember that Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible,” Laurie told the congregation. "Even a ruling like this can, in God's sovereign will, work together for our good and His glory," he said.

Three, “we need to show this culture what a biblical marriage looks like,Laurie shared. A reason why marriage is a big deal to God is because "of all of the pictures, of all of the illustrations He could have chosen to illustrate His love for the Church and His Church's love for Him, He chose marriage." "Your marriage should be a testimony and an example" to the non-believing world, Laurie urged. If you have problems in your marriage, "forgive and move forward," the pastor said, explaining that differences between spouses are bound to happen but love can overcome them.

Four, “we need to show the love of Christ to everyone,” Laurie said. To do that, we need to meet them where they are and greet them with the Gospel, he added. "God loves everyone, no matter what they have done." Nobody is born a gay, the megachurch pastor said. One may be tempted with attraction for the same-sex, which can be resisted, he explained, and read out a letter a former lesbian woman wrote to him about how she turned away from homosexuality after her conversion as she listened to his messages on the radio. "The Gospel does not define us by our temptations, but by the righteousness of Christ," Laurie stated. Laurie also said we need to love homosexual people but not condone or accept homosexuality. Evaluating and speaking the truth in love are not judging or condemning, he explained.

Five, “we need to engage all people with the Gospel,” Laurie said. Deep down, everyone is searching for a relationship with God, he said. "God can change anyone."

Six, “we need to pray no matter what,” Laurie said. "We need to pray that America has a spiritual awakening." There's no political messiah that is going to save us now, Laurie underlined. "This is bigger than politics, this is bigger than culture … this is a spiritual war we are engaged in, and we need a spiritual solution. … America needs a revival like she has never needed it before." We might lose a few battles, but the Bible says we're going to win the war, Laurie emphasized, stressing the importance of being equipped with the armor of God. He quoted Ephesians 6:10-13: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done
everything, to stand."

I love you and I love being your pastor,

 Pastor Alan

Posted by Alan Scott with

July Beats by Mark

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Student Mission Trip to Refuge Louisville

This past June we took a group of our students to Louisville, KY to partner with Jonathan Braden, Founder of Refuge Louisville. The mission of Refuge Louisville is to “mobilize the Church to bring wholistic change to bless the nations.” One of the ways they do this is through allowing short-term teams to come and build relationships with international refugees that have been placed in Louisville.

There were so many moments where our team felt like we were in another country as we are surrounded by people from all over the world and playing soccer in the hot sun. One of the students who has been on mission to Belize said there were moments where he felt like he was back in Belize. It’s hard to believe that our students got this type of experience just two hours away!!

Our students had the opportunity to experience a lot of different ethnic foods. The first night Jonathan took us to Little Jerusalem which served Pakistani food. Food was one of the big fears many students had, so it was amazing to see them try new things, overcome fears, and find out that they had worried for nothing (in most cases :) We also got to try multiple types of Indian and Cuban food!!

One of the most important learning experiences for our students was getting to eat in the home of one of the Nepali families that Refuge has partnered with. Our students got to taste and see what an actual Nepali dinner would be like...pickled mangos, goat meat and all! (See above) It was so cool for them to listen to these people’s stories and get to be an encouragement to them.

Each day we would spend time at an apartment complex that was home to refugees from all over the world. We had the tremendous honor of making friends with people from Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, the Congo, and Iraq. Kylie and Sydnie built a great relationship with Najma, Nasteho, and Bora (pictured at above). It was beautiful to watch our students play soccer and jump rope with them, and then to listen to their stories and talk to some of them about the Love of Jesus Christ.

I’m eager to partner with Jonathan and Refuge Louisville again very soon. The first year is set up so that groups primarily observe and learn a lot about other cultures and how to share the Gospel across different cultures. As we continue to work with Jonathan and Refuge, our group will have the opportunity to build more intentional relationships with one particular people group and invest more deeply into one particular area of the city. A huge thank you to everyone who helped us go on mission!!!

Much Love - Mark

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