As we follow Jesus together this year, we want to focus on two things that everybody needs. Everybody needs to know how to read. Everybody needs a church.
We're hosting a one-day seminar on personal finances called You Need A Budget. It's free and you can sign up here because I'm convinced it will change your life and change our city. Let me explain.
In 2014, we're praying for God's kingdom to come to Athens. We're leaning into God for a manifestation of the real Jesus in our city. We're asking for a movement of God that makes the real Jesus impossible to ignore - a movement that takes place in our church as we follow Jesus together as a family, people who have been humbled because we realize our helplessness apart from the power of God; a movement that begins to change our city because we are not content for racism to continue and we are unwilling to stand by as the unborn and the orphan are turned away.
I believe God is birthing big dreams that will take more than a lifetime to live and begins with a God who is bigger than our dreams. Take your bank account, for instance. I find that most of us would love to be in a financial position to be more helpful than we currently are. Perhaps the reason we're not more generous is that we need to be bringing in more income; I don't think it's a bad idea to do great work that makes a lot of money. But I don't think the issue for most of us is that we don't make enough money - I'm increasingly convinced from my own life and my conversations with you that we're scared and we're stressed.
We're terrified that the money will run out. We're stressed because we always feel like the money will run out. There's no denying that we feel that way and a community shaped by the gospel shouldn't feel the need to put on airs and act like we're not scared and stressed. The question becomes, what will we do about it?
On Saturday, January 25 we want to help you stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, save money faster and live generously. We're hosting a one-day seminar called You Need A Budget and if you don't have a budget or if your current budget isn't helping you meet your financial goals, you need to be there. It's free, the concepts are simple and I believe it will change you and it will change our city. Click here to register. And if you have any questions, email our Finance Director, Micah Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich - 2 Corinthians 8:9
We're excited to announce that after taking 10% of May 1 and May 8's offerings to give to the Immediate Tornado Relief Fund, we were able to raise $1,078 for this mission. This money will go to provide for people's basic needs (food, clothes, toiletries) that were devastated by the tornadoes in the Southeast. We talk a lot about being a part of restoring the world back to the way God originally intended it, and we love seeing our family doing it. Thanks so much for your generosity, and may our God be seen as a generous God because of it.
If you want to check out the organization we're giving to, this is their website: http://www.immediaterelief.org/
In light of this week's catastrophic events in Alabama and NW Georgia, we're taking up the following items when you show up for our worship gathering on May 1st and May 8th [NOTE: we're finalizing plans to also make a financial contribution to the relief efforts. We'll update you as soon as we nail down the details]: General Household Items:
- Paper towels
- Toilet Paper
- Garbage Bags
- Wash Cloths
- Blankets (gently used and clean are ok)
- Ziploc Bags
- Hand Sanitizer
Toiletries – (new and packaged)
- Feminine Hygiene Products
Baby Supplies – (New and Packaged)
- Sippy Cups
- Medical Supplies
- Band Aids
- Work gloves
- Work boots
- Wet Wipes
- Non Perishable Canned or boxed food
Gently used and clean clothes and shoes for Men, Women, and Children of all sizes. Underwear must be new!
This is my dream for the men of Christ Church this year - may God grant us: The focus to dream of a world bigger than us.
The perseverance to finish the kingdom project God intends for us to build out.
The curiosity to seek new solutions to insolvable problems.
The guts to both throw and take proverbial punches in order to protect each other.
The passion to follow Jesus wherever he leads - particularly towards hard people and hard places.
During last night's worship gathering, we took in money that people are investing in this year's Advent Conspiracy projects in Ethiopia and here in Athens. Between the money given in the gathering and online, we've taken in $8700 to provide assistance to these ministries. I'm blown away by your generosity. And I know that some people who intend to give weren't able to do so last night so let's pray for a final total of $10K and pitch in to make that happen.
You can make a financial investment in Advent Conspiracy by giving online through our secure network here. Select 'Advent Conspiracy' from the drop-down menu.
We're pleased to announce that Lewis Hensley, Sam Marion, Ryan Schulze, Stephen Terry and Jim Tocci are now members of Christ Church. For us, becoming a member is a commitment to pitch in and help people become family and follow Jesus. Our leadership invests time, money, prayer and energy into helping members live out this vision for the glory of Jesus and the good of our city.
If you're interested in membership and already part of one of our community groups, plan on being a part of Connect IV: Membership on Sunday, February 6 from 2:00-4:30pm. You can sign up by contacting the church office (email@example.com).
Love anything and your heart will get stomped. So do you build a fence around your heart and never give yourself fully to anyone or anything? Perhaps that's the smart play but we weren't made to live with barbed wire between us.
Here is one gift of Christmas - instead of placing artificial partitions between us, I can give myself to you without reservation and without fear of rejection. Because Jesus is born into a world that wants nothing to do with him. He holds nothing back and we nail him to a cross.
And as we take in the crazy lengths Jesus goes to persuade us of his never-stopping, always-and-forever love, we find that we can love with reckless abandon. You might crush me but I won't stop loving you - I can't stop loving you - because the Love that I crushed refuses to give up on me.