Small Groups Influence Last a Lifetime

This is a testament to the value of a LIFE long Small Group:

When I was age 2-5, my parents had a group of 6-8 families from our church that they “did life together”. My early memories are around huge bonfires and going to Dairy Queen after evening church almost weekly!

Fast forward 50 plus years and it has dawned on me this weekend, that us kids that grew up in that group still have a deep relationship. We have seen deaths, divorces and a lot of life happen since those innocent carefree years.  Even though I didn’t live around them and only visited occasionally, EACH ONE of them would lay down their life for Gary & me!!

That is all because of the COMMUNITY CONNECTION we had as children!!   

Are you in a small group???   

Are you influencing a “community connection” in your children in a godly way???   

We WILL connect to some community!  

We are influencing our children to connect with something.  I’m glad that mine is a godly community!!   

My story could’ve ended in a whole different way, but I’m so grateful that I am in community with SCC.

I LOVE MY CHURCH

(From a believer in community)

-Cindy Jayne

A Spiritual Leadership Angle

Recently we ordained a Pastor, named Kevin at Somis Church. We have come to love and respect Kevin as a Spiritual Leader in our Church Body. One of the points that stands out clearly is that he is a spiritual leader. He has an influence on others. Last Sunday there were 13 people attending our Service because of Kevin. And they are not just attending, they are growing in their faith.

A spiritual leader can turn around and see people following Jesus because of their influence. While Jesus walked on the earth He modeled to us what a spiritual leader looks like. 

“And Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men."”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

One more example of a spiritual leader from the New Testament. Paul said:

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

I Corinthians 1:11 NKJV

We could safely conclude that Paul had quite a following. Let me say that God has called us all to be a spiritual leader to others. This isn’t just for leaders in the church. One of the greatest joys of life in being a spiritual leader is to look over your shoulder and see who is there following Jesus... because of your influence. That my friend is one of the sweetest spots in life. 

-Pastor Gary

Intimacy with God

My son and his sweet wife lost their baby last Sunday morning, 2-24-19. Cody sent me some reflective thoughts and I asked him if it would be ok to share them. Here they are with his permission.
-Pastor Gary

“I feel like I should have lost my voice from asking why you took this life, yet I’ve never felt so sad, so comforted and peaceful at once. It’s overwhelming at times but I’m ok with that, your ways are higher then mine, the intimacy that I’ve gotten to experience thru this difficult time has made it all worth it. Do what you want with me as long as I can keep growing deeper and deeper with You! I’ll go thru a thousand difficult times for a second of intimacy with you! Thank you God”
- Cody Jayne

Use It or Lose It

Myra Hindley was one of the most notorious murderers of the twentieth century. Her crimes were almost unbelievably horrific. Yet, one person took it upon himself to visit her regularly while she was in prison.

Lord Longford (1905–2001) was a controversial figure who spent much of his life visiting prisoners, including Myra Hindley. Yet, no one can doubt his compassion and his faithfulness, both to God and to those he visited.

When he died, former prisoners joined hundreds of mourners to say farewell to the man who had spent his life faithfully fighting for society’s outcasts.

He found inspiration in the words of Jesus from today’s passage. On his deathbed he asked his wife, ‘You know what the most important quotation from the Bible is?’ He spoke his last words by answering his own question, quoting the words of Jesus: ‘I was in prison and you came to visit me’ (Matthew 25:36).

Life is not a competition that you have to win. It is not supposed to be a rat race. Life is a huge privilege and an opportunity. God has trusted you with gifts and abilities, which he wants you to use. Use them or lose them. He is faithful to us and he expects us to be faithful to him.

Bible in one year 2019.

Nicky Gumbel

What Would It Take?

I recently asked myself this question: what would it take for me to stop following Jesus? I have asked myself this question a number of times and I believe it is an important question for all us to ask. When I go through this process of digging for the answer, I sift through all the different circumstances of life. Would I walk away from God if He allowed cancer in my life? Or I became homeless? How about if one of my children suddenly passed away? Or if I was falsely accused? When someone I really respect offends or disappoints me? If a gun was pointed to my head and I was told to deny Jesus, would I? Is there a temptation of wealth, pleasure or popularity that would cause me to chose one of these and leave Jesus? What would it take?

I would like to think I would respond like Job said “Though He(God)slay me, I will still hope in Him!” I am not totally sure about how I will respond to each trial in life as the verdict is still out. But I do sincerely pray that with God’s help nothing will derail me from tracking with Jesus.

Got Fear?

I have fears yes I do… how about you? I think we all deal with some kind of fear in life. Some of us fear more than others. I think fear is a tradition on one side of my family. I even have a fear that someone from my family may read this. LOL!

Fear is from the curse that we have received from our fallen nature. God never meant for us to be afraid. Since we have the option to fear anything, God gave us a fear that will help us with all the other fears in life. Here it is: Fear God as it is the start of being wise. This phrase is mentioned multiple times in the Bible. Interesting! Just so you understand, this fear of God for the Believer has the element of awe and respect of God.

 So how can this fear help with all my other fears? When I place this fear on the top of my “Fear List” then all the other fears lose their power. All the other fears are absorbed through my view of God. It is like looking up at the sun next to a street light. My fears get lost when I am in awe and in great reverence for who God is, what He can do and how much He loves me.

The Word for today is WORK

Bertrand Russell, in his classic essay In Praise of Idleness,” said “A great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work.” 

Is work really bad-a curse or is it something good that we are designed to do?

Think about this:

God was the first one to do work on the earth. In Gen. 1 it says that God worked 6 days and rested on the 7th. This was before the fall of man and the curse upon the world. When he was finished – he looked back at what he had accomplished and with great satisfaction said it was good.

Isn’t that interesting?

We could say that God was the first one to work and the last one to work.

We would have to say Work couldn’t be bad if God is the origin of work.

We have been created in the image of God which means that we have been designed to work, to make things, and to be productive!

This is what God does and this is how we are designed…we are like God when we work hard and we step back and view what we have accomplished, our heart swells up and says IT IS GOOD!

Take away:

1.    Work in and of it self is not a curse as the origin of work is God – so work can’t be bad.

2.    Since we are created in God’s image, we have been designed to work.

3.    We are being like God when we are a good employee, and when we do our best in our work it brings glory to God

4.    The work that work accomplishes is a good thing. It is productive to fill a need. Whether you are repairing a car or sitting behind a computer, we accomplish good things in our work and at the end of the day we can say it is good. I did a good job!

 

 

I'M IN...HIM

There is a subtle but huge difference between what I “do” as a Christian versus God living through me.  One has me being the subject doing the action and the other has God being the subject who is the one performing. One has limits in its performance and the other dwells beyond limitations. One is filled with frustration and the other experiences a parade of celebrations. One wonders if I can do and the other says already done. One builds a weight too heavy to carry and the other is easy on the light side.

Listen to what Paul said to a crowd given over to religious things that they had invented and created through their own strength. “For in HIM (God) we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28  It is interesting that Paul borrowed this line from a poem called Phaenomena of Aratus which was written around 300 BC. Paul could use this line as it was totally the truth about our relationship with God. When we cease our operation through our plans and power, He performs the action that is essential for doing well.

Yes it is a subtle difference between what I do versus God living through me but major differences in how things will turn out.