40 Days of Community: I triple Dog Dare You

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Have you met Jess?  The woman behind the sweet voice you hear harmonizing with Alan and Pastor Brandon in Sunday morning worship experience?  She’s super sweet and bound to get a laugh out of everyone.

I asked Jess to to put pen to paper–err–rather her fingers to the keys and write a little something for us.  She did not let me down.  I’m so excited to share Jess’ post with you. Hope you enjoy!

“We are never closer to the heart and mind of God
than when we are serving.”

–Pastor Brandon Cannon

One of my very favorite Christmas movies is, A Christmas Story. I know it’s only August, but I’m going somewhere with this, I promise!

We all know the story. A few dares are made, and a kid gets his tongue stuck to a metal pole. I hate when that happens! I mean, er, I don’t know anything about doing that. Anyways, here’s the deal. These were not just any regular old dares that were being thrown around in the schoolyard. This was a TRIPLE DOG DARE. The all or nothing, the capstone, the ultimate, all chips in of dares. There’s no going back. A ‘no guts, no glory’ situation.

This week as I read over the notes from the 40 Days of Community series, I couldn’t help but think that sometimes I feel like that’s what God is saying to me in the area of generosity.  He says, “GO!” I say, “I don’t have time.” He says, “DO!” I say, “I don’t have the talents or skills.” Or, “It doesn’t fit in my budget.” And, “That doesn’t seem like much to give so I’d rather not do it at all than look like a fool.”

This really made me do a lot of heart checking and soul searching. Here I am worrying and fretting about my own comfort and temporary things when God is asking me to simply carry out His heart to a world that needs to know His love.

Whether it’s your time, your talent, an extra $5, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a laugh, a high five–big or small, and as crazy as it may seem, there’s a purpose for it.

While talking to a pastor friend of mine this weekend, I was really encouraged when our conversation turned to this topic. His heart has always been to feed the hungry and share the love of Christ. When he started pastoring at the beginning of 2012, the food bank they had was only reaching about twenty people. He knew there had to be more and he wanted to do more, reach further. He prayed, “God, I don’t have the means, I don’t have the skills, and I don’t have the manpower, but I know what you’ve called me to do. So I’ll start with what I have and trust you for the rest.” Their food bank now feeds three hundred people, and they don’t have enough room to hold the amount of donations they receive each month.

What may seem to you like the smallest act of generosity and obedience may turn out to be the greatest blessing to someone in need. In Luke 12: 32-34 (MSG), Jesus tells his disciples:

“Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself. Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank robbers, safe from embezzlers-a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

So what are you waiting for? Go. Do. Be. Love. I triple dog dare you.

 

Written by mchapman

August 21st, 2012 at 1:05 am

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40 Days of Community: Your Generosity Outlives You

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This past Sunday, at Real Life Church, Pastor Brandon did an amazing job at wrapping up his series, 40 Days of Community.  His message was very inspiring and a great reminder that we’re not in this alone.

In the worship guide notes, Pastor Brandon said the following:

When you give, the impact of your generosity often outlives you.

The statement was supported with John 3:48 which goes something like this:

I sent you to reap what you have not worked for.  Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.

I thought a great example of this would be our children.  So often, we tell our children what to do and how to act.  However, we may not always be the best at showing them how to live it.

Our attitudes and actions towards helping others greatly impacts children.  When they see us giving and doing for others freely, with a happy spirit, we can impress on them so much more.  We teach them its not a hassel to help others.  Helping others becomes a joy rather than another thing to add to the to do list.

You could try inviting a child to join you in being generous.  Maybe bake a neighbor some cookies, just because.  Or perhaps offer to watch a friend’s new baby so they can enjoy some down time to themselves.  Be sure to express your happiness while performing these tasks, so the child sees what joy can come to them from bringing joy to others.

What are your ideas for passing along the generosity to generations to come?  I’d love to read them in the comments, below.

Also, have you seen the video preview for the upcoming Church at the Movies series??  I’m so excited!!

Written by mchapman

August 17th, 2012 at 12:31 am

40 Days of Community: Reaching Out via Socia Media

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This past Sunday, Pastor Brandon continued his series 40 Days of Community.  In his sermon, he discussed reaching out.

One of the points that spoke to me the most was his last one: “Represent Christ with your lives.”  I don’t know about you, but this is a point which seems to keep popping up in my reading and thoughts, lately.  I love the scripture he used to follow this point:

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands,
just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of others.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
 

Something I personally struggle with is reaching out to new people; starting new relationships.  My husband on the other hand is a different story.  I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Billy is the king of small talk.  It doesn’t matter who you are or whether you’ve just met or known each other for years.  He’s comfortable talking to anyone.  Me on the other hand?  Not so much.  I often worry this hinders me from sharing my spirituality with people, though.

{source: My Faith Works}
 

Pastor Brandon showed us another way, though.  He suggests asking God to use us.  He can speak to others through our every day lives.  We don’t have to announce we are Christians.  Our lives should represent that.

From the way we handle frustration to the things we talk about.  I was thinking about this and then something popped into my mind: social media.  I don’t know about you, but I hear a lot of people complain about the junk in their Facebook feed.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t one of them.  What if we changed that?  What if we filled our own timelines with positive posts?

We leave a trail every where we go online.  What does your trail look like?  Can your followers see your faith and obedience in the Lord through your online presence?

I’ll be the first to say we shouldn’t live our lives worried about what others think.  But this lesson is different than that.  Its more a lesson of not just talking the talk, but walking the walk in hopes that others may follow.

So, the next time you go to honk and throw a hand up at the guy who cut you off in traffic, let it go.  Hold your temper, because you never know who may be watching: the bad driver, the person in the passenger seat, the little ones in the back seat, or maybe the guy behind you who was just checking out your fish bumper sticker.

Hope your week has been a good one!  See you Sunday!

Written by mchapman

July 20th, 2012 at 3:00 am

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Hello, There!

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As the new voice for the Real Life Church blog, I thought I should kind of introduce myself.  Not necessarily so you can put a face with the words, rather know that I really am a real person.

I’ve never held any sort of leadership position or spoke for a church.  I have a messy history and more flaws than I can count.  Ask my old college girlfriends, if you don’t believe me.

Its not just my history, that’s messy either.  I’m selfish, judgmental and impatient.  My fingers can’t even start to count my present flaws.

I used to think I needed more work and to be closer to perfection to ever really help out and be effective with my fellow believers.  Recently, though, I’m learning different.  I’m learning people love me and want me there in their lives anyway.

Basically, I am, by no means, in a position to tell you how to live your life.  I’m not here to tell you what’s right and wrong or what to believe.  I simply hope to inform you about church events, encourage you in your daily life and hopefully even make someone smile along the way.

I also want to take this time to invite you to connect with us via Facebook and Twitter.  We’ll use that to share fun and useful links as well as news and announcements.

I hope to hear from you along the way!!

Written by mchapman

July 10th, 2012 at 7:30 am

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Attention Women of RLC: Let’s Get Together!

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Calling all Ladies!  The women of Real Life Church will be gathering for a time of fellowship at Panera Bread Co. in Bowling Green.  All women of the church {new and old} are invited to join this coming Saturday, July 14th at 9:00am.

There’s no agenda.  This will just be a time for the women to get together, chat with friends and/or make new ones.  Eating is optional, but not provided.  Hope to see you there!

 

Written by mchapman

July 10th, 2012 at 1:41 am

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