Month: September 2018

Our New Outdoor Gathering Space

Check out the new additions to our pavilion!

Thanks to our amazing ministry partners and  facilities team, we now have 12 picnic tables that should be available for use by the beginning of October.

This is going to be a great place for gathering and eating, and since it’s under cover there’s no need to worry about the weather (although it might be a bit cold this winter).

To reserve the pavilion for an event or gathering, please contact Pam Myers.

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Growing as Worshippers || guest blog by Chris Smith

When you hear the word worship what comes to mind first?

Many people would say “the time of singing on Sundays” or “the music that we use to sing to God.”

It is natural for us to think of worship in these terms – singing, music, Sunday services. From the very beginning, Christians have gathered together each week, and when they did they sang. The Book of Psalms is a collection of poems that God’s people have sung for over 2,000 years. God has given us the gift of music as a means of expressing our hearts and emotions to him.

Worship is a core value at Living Word as we gather each week to sing and respond to God’s presence and Word. But worship also goes beyond Sundays and includes our whole lives. Worship is our response to God – all of us responding to all of who he is and what he has done.

As worship leaders, we want to see our community grow as worshippers – people who know, love, and follow God. People who are so moved by who God is and what he has done that they can’t help but want to respond in …

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The Power of Commitment

What Shall I Do?
What Shall I Do to write a better story for my future?
What Shall I Do to serve the purposes of God in the world?
What Shall I Do with my one wild and precious life?

However you answer this, you will need commitment to see what you shall do through to the end. Here are a few great quotes on commitment.

Great organizations demand a high level of commitment by the people involved.
-Bill Gates

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
-Vince Lombardi

Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.
-Erich Fromm

Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.
-Unknown

May you grow strong and deep in your commitments, and may the people who depend on you flourish because of your commitment to them.

Pastor Brian

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Responsibility Mistakes

Being irresponsible, of course, is the most frequent mistake about responsibility. There are others as well.

Codependency: This is when you take on too much responsibility for another person, which enables them to continue in their irresponsibility. This is a common mistake that happens often with spouses of addicts. It also happens in almost any situation where one family member chooses to be irresponsible. Others jump in to pick up the slack. The irresponsible person is then let off the hook. They have gotten away with their irresponsibility by you being overly responsible.

Independency: This is when you are only responsible for yourself and you don’t assume any responsibility for others around you. Not only do you not want help from others, you do not want to help others. That’s a mistake on the other end of the spectrum, and one that is pretty common in our culture. Other people need you. You need other people. It is one of the reasons for over 30 “one-another” commands in the New Testament.

Interdependency: This is not a mistake. This is the right way to approach responsibility. This is when you take full responsibility for yourself (Galatians 6:5 – each one should …

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Duty Filled With Love Becomes Your Delight

When did duty, responsibility, obligation, and commitment become bad words in our culture? I asked that question on Sunday. For many people, they are bad words. They speak about things we don’t want to do. They talk about things we would prefer to avoid. And they describe what has gone wrong with our culture.

What’s gone wrong? Too many of us neglect our duty, avoid being responsible, renege on obligations, and don’t care about commitments. And when that happens, others suffer.

How can a society ever survive with such thinking? With such behaving? How can a marriage or a family survive? Answer: They can’t.

Christianity does not eliminate duty, responsibility, obligation, and commitment. Christianity transforms them. It does so with love, with grace, and with power.

Duty apart from love becomes drudgery. And we all know what happens soon after that. Too much drudgery and we just stop doing it. Raising kids without love is drudgery. Being married without love is drudgery. Working at your job without love is drudgery. Whenever you are compelled to do your duty, you won’t do it very well.

But, when duty (even difficult and challenging duty) is filled with love, it becomes your delight. …

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Fully Human, Fully Alive

There were a few things that resonated for quite a number of people in the first message of our new series What Shall I Do? For the next few days, I’ll blog a bit on follow-up thoughts.

Today, I want to say a little more about the sources that have shaped my thinking on this.

Preachers always preach out of a context. I am grateful that our preaching team studies, reads, has conversations with others, goes through our own experiences, reflects on experiences, does pastoral ministry . . .  and all this shapes how we think and then what we say in a Sunday message.

I personally have a very high sense of responsibility. If I am going to make a mistake, it will not be from avoiding responsibility, it will be from taking on too much responsibility, more than I can handle, and more than what God actually has for me to do.

This summer, I had a convergence of reading that helped me think more deeply about what it means to be responsible as a human being, and responsible as a follower of Jesus.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote a wonderful book, To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics

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Five Things You Must Do to Recover from Mistakes

Because you will make them.

Sometimes they will be minor. Other times they may be quite the spectacle. Sometimes the consequences are mild, other times – whoa! Look out! Ouch!

ONE:  Own up to the mistake promptly.
As soon as you realize it has been made, own it. Take responsibility. The worst thing you can do is deny, cover up, minimize, rationalize, blame shift, etc. That multiplies the power of the mistake. It also makes you look bad. President Truman had a plaque on his desk that said, “The buck stops here.” It’s not a bad idea for all of us to have something similar to remind us that we are responsible.

TWO: Discover why the mistake was made?
Use the occasion to learn what happened, why it happened, and what can be done so it doesn’t happen again. You either learn from mistakes or you repeat them. I recently made a medium size mistake. It was frustrating. I knew I was making it and still went ahead and made it. Afterwards, I did an immediate assessment of what went wrong and why it went wrong.

THREE:  Use others in the process.
Include anyone who has some responsibility and/or …

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Five Questions That Can Help You Do a Better Job

No matter what your job is, do it well. 

We all want to do good work that makes a difference. No matter the job. Being a firefighter, nurse, working in the construction industry, at a computer screen, tuning an engine, cooking a meal, making a sale, fixing something that is broken, making someone smile, providing love and support to someone in need, making a home, raising a family… the list is endless.

Here are five questions you must ask (and answer) to do good work.

ONE: Why am I doing this?
Why does this matter to you and what different end result will it bring about? These are questions of motivation and purpose. If it doesn’t matter much to you, you won’t do good work. If you don’t care about the results you get – you won’t put your heart and soul into what you are doing. Passion, conviction, and love fuel great work.

TWO: How well am I doing this?
Assessment, evaluation, and an accurate awareness is needed for great work. To work efficiently and effectively that gets desired results (productivity and fruitfulness), you need to take a good look at how you work. The problem is …

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