THE BLOG

23
Sep

60 reasons why you SHOULD come to church this week!

In getting ready for our first Sunday service I started asking myself and our team a few questions:

“Why do we go to church? What benefit is there in attending church regularly… for me, for you, for others?”

So one thing lead to another and our team started giving reasons for why they come to church. Some of these are inspiring and then others are just funny. Hopefully all of them will make you want to come to church! We hope to see you this Sunday, at 11a.m.

1. Jesus went to church.
2. The Cowboy’s don’t come on till later in the day.
3. You might make new friends.
4. All the free donuts and coffee you can eat/drink!
5. Getting to be a part of something that is making a difference in the community/world.
6. We have been praying for you to come!
7. Your kids will love it.
8. Help you find your purpose in life.
9. Worship with other believers.
10. Deepen your relationship with God.
11. It is a great stress reliever.
12. God is honored when we go to church.
13. You belong HERE.
14. There is nothing else good on tv at 11am on Sunday.
15. You will find hope.
16. It is better than staying home and mowing the yard.
17. You will leave feeling inspired to make a difference.
18. Your kids will learn about Jesus.
19. It is fun!
20. When we take time for God it is amazing what begins to happen in our life!
21. Gives you a bigger vision for your life.
22. Helps give life meaning.
23. Jesus will be there.
24. If you are single you might find your future spouse ☺
25. It helps to know there are other people that have the same struggles as you.
26. Church is where you can learn that GOD is FOR YOU.
27. The music is AWESOME!
28. The church is a shelter for you when life is tough.
29. You’ll be loved.
30. You know you want to go!
31. God has a word for you.
32. We are better together.
33. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain!
34. You will be accepted just as you are!
35. You could meet your new best friend.
36. You can receive Jesus as your Savior.
37. It will be your kids favorite day of the week!
38. The best people we have ever known, we have met at church.
39. The Bible tells us we should.
40. Life is more fun when you are a part of your local community.
41. You could lead others to the HOPE you have found!
42. You are always glad you went!
43. You can get prayed for
44. It helps you live life to it’s fullest potential.
45. It will help change your perspective of the world around you.
46. You will understand the Bible better.
47. It will help grow your walk with God.
48. Being there will set a good example for your kids.
49. We want to meet YOU!
50. It is a place you can come laughing or crying and find just what you need, safety.
51. Because life is not meant to be endured but LIVED to the fullest.
52 Those who are planted in the house of God will flourish in the courts of their GOD.
53. The people are genuine.
54. Church is the birthing place of dreams and development facility of your talents.
55. The people are genuine.
56. You will like it!
57. The messages are inspiring.
58. Church is a great place to find great people.
59. Because everyone wants to be a part of something that is making a difference!
60. It can change your life forever!

 

15
Sep

Is Jesus BIG Enough?

Summer goes by so fast. Throughout the summer my kids live in flip flops and, for some reason, since their little feet aren’t contained in shoes, they get plenty of sunshine and grow quickly over the summer. When it gets close to the start of school, I take them school shopping, which always results in us going to buy new shoes for their first day at school.

This year was no different. The salesperson working in the shoe section asked their shoe size and I told her. She looked at my kid’s feet and asked, “Do you want me to measure their foot?” My reply was, “No, I am sure that is still their size,” so she went to get shoes in the size I told her. To my dismay, they didn’t fit at all. Then she asked again, “Do you want me to measure their foot?” Brailey’s foot didn’t grow just A size, but 3 sizes! The lady looked at me in disgust and said, “She has been wearing shoes 3 sizes too small!” (She clearly doesn’t have kids, because she didn’t know that summer sunshine makes feet grow quickly! Ha!) I left the shoe store in disbelief that my child had gotten so big during the summer, and also a little troubled that I got scolded by the shoe sales lady.

Colossians 1:20  So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in Him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of His death, His blood that poured down from the cross.

I was thinking about this encounter, and realized that this is how many people think when it comes to church. We have the idea that we will come in and “shoe” a vulnerable part of our life to someone in church, and they will be in total disgust as they tell us that it is bigger than what we thought and that it just doesn’t fit the way we thought it would.

I want to ask a question: Is the gospel we preach big enough? Is it big enough to cover the alcoholic? The drug addict? The person who got an abortion? It is almost as though people in the church have become like this shoe sales lady. Instead of being thankful that you came in, they are critical and judgmental about your condition. Let’s be a people that declares that God’s grace is big enough to cover every sin. Let’s be the one that tells people that there is nothing too big for God; nothing for us to be ashamed of or leave feeling like we are less than human.

-Crystal Sparks

10
Sep

Never Run the Same

I was never an athlete growing up. I think I still hold the record at my middle school for the most hurdles successfully knocked down consecutively during one run. I was never what you would call graceful at all. I was 5’10” by the time I was 12 so I was lanky and awkward most the time. A few years back, I was driving and saw a lady running. Her running looked more like a speed walk. I was laughing in my mind thinking, “Just go home! You aren’t even running!” I came home and, laughingly, told Bryan that I wasn’t sure what she thought she was accomplishing.

Some time went by, and I got this urge to go run. Bryan laughed at my idea, but was supportive for me to go and attempt to be a runner. I started out on my first run. At first it was amazing. Wind blowing through my hair. I had a great pace. I felt like someone from a Nike commercial. This is awesome. I go to check my phone to see how far I had gone at my lightning pace: .1 mile! WHAT???   My prideful stride went to a comfortable jog and then to a labored run. All of a sudden, the picture of the lady flashed through my mind from just a few months before. I realized that other people were looking at me as they drove by, unsure if they should stop to help me or if they should just keep going. I realized this is a lot harder than what it looks.

I have never looked at runners the same since.

It is amazing how easy something is when you are watching, yet how much harder it is when you are doing it. In life, it is so easy to become critical and judgmental when it isn’t something you are personally going through.

Now, when I see people struggling while running, I want to cheer them on, roll down my windows and blare out the “Rocky” music theme song to keep them going.

Let’s be that way when people are going through struggles and difficulties. Let’s be the voice that is cheering them on and not the voice that is keeping them from succeeding! You don’t know the difficulties they are facing. It may be taking every ounce of strength they have to even get up and go to work. Let’s be the voice that gives hope, strength and courage!

John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

02
Sep

Will Work for Food

I know I’m not the only one who has passed by more than one of these signs. The truth is, it’s hard to go anywhere in any major city in the U.S without seeing at least one person holding one of these signs at a busy intersection. 

Not long ago, a friend and I were driving to dinner when we came to a red light where a rugged looking man was holding one of these signs. I was lost in conversation so honestly I hadn’t paid much attention to the man or his sign. Apparently, my friend noticed because he quickly pointed out the man and his sign and said what almost everyone has probably thought at some point in their life. “He needs to stop holding that sign and get out and get a job,” followed with, “You know, he’s just going to spend all of his money on booze or drugs!”

I wish I could say I’ve never had a thought like that but, honestly, I have. Not many years ago, I might have said the same thing my friend said. But years earlier, something changed my perspective of the people holding those signs: I saw the situation through the eyes of my daughter. 

One day, as we were driving down the road, we came upon a man holding one of these signs at a red light. My daughter who was 4 years old at the time was in the back seat and saw the man. Her little voice came from the back asking a question about the man outside our car window. She asked, “What does that man’s sign say?” I quickly read the sign to her and went back to listening to the radio. Then came the little voice again, “If he needs money, dad, why don’t you give it to him? Why don’t you???” Honestly, the question caught me off guard. 

I had no reasons, no excuses not to give the man money. So I rolled down my window and gave him the $2 I had on me. That was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done. The truth is, I realized in that moment that it didn’t matter what the man did with my money. I realized in that moment that God had blessed me to be a blessing; He hadn’t blessed me to be judgmental.

And honestly, it didn’t matter what he did with my money at all. God only cared about what I did with my money.  

Hopefully, for a few of you who are reading this that might have had the same outlook on the people holding these signs: maybe this will change your point of view. Maybe the next time you pass by a sign like this you’ll think twice. Maybe you’ll even roll down your window and give whoever it is behind that sign a few bucks. I think you’ll find that although it may not change their life, it will certainly change yours……

Why don’t you?


-Bryan Sparks