SFFC NEWSLETTER – June 2019
Hello Strong Faith Family,
We want to highlight some amazing events
and resources available to you!
Summer is here!
If you’re planning a road trip, first you pick a destination. Next, you might look at a map and get a general idea of the route you’ll travel. Then, you plug in all your trip information – starting point, ending point, and stops along the way – into a GPS to give you specific directions and tell you how long it will take you to drive from point A to point B. Finally, the long-awaited day comes and you launch out on your adventure! And that’s when things get real. The fun of your vacation is not in the planning, or the map, or the voice telling you to turn right in 1.5 miles, it’s in the things you see and people you meet during your trip. The real joy of the journey comes from the unexpected discoveries (and detours) that you are certain to encounter along the way.
Your walk with the Lord can be compared to a road trip. First, you get born-again and discover God’s destination for your life. Next, you read the Bible and get general instructions for living out God’s plan. Then, you seek the leading of the Holy Spirit and get more specific, step-by-step directions. But again, the joy, the fun – the reality – is in the journey. You can read the Word and listen to The Spirit and get all built up in The Lord, but unless you leave your “prayer closet” and begin sharing with others what the Lord has imparted to you, you will miss out on the delight of fulfilling your God-given purpose. Don’t be like someone who just plans and prepares for a vacation, but never goes on it. Launch out and enjoy the adventure of ministering to others!
Maybe you’re saying: I don’t even know God’s plan for my life, let alone how to get there. Well, as Jesus told His disciples …you (do) know the way. –John 14:4. God placed His destiny – and all you need to fulfill that destiny – in you when you accepted His Son as your Lord and Savior. You just need to discover what is already in you. How? Come to Strong Faith’s Growth Track and learn about your specific gifts and how you can use them to serve others. If you are a new believer, have recently come back to The Lord, are new to SFFC, or just want to become more rooted and grounded in your faith, The Growth Track is for you.
Summer @ Strong Faith
As Pastor David announced, the next two months (June and July) have been designated Summer at Strong Faith. This means lots of fun summer activities for our church family (see the “Mark Your Calendar” section, below). It also means Pastor will be taking a break from his usual Sunday morning teaching series. We’ll still get to hear great individual messages from Pastor David, but we’ll also have the opportunity to receive from other SFFC leaders, including his lovely wife, Pastor Charity.
Pastor David recognizes that God has designed each of us in a way that points us toward what He would have us do, and his heart is to develop other people’s ministries not just his own. A great way to use your gifts, get plugged in with other Strong Faith members, and begin to develop your ministry is to attend one of our newly-launched Small Groups. For more information on this semester’s Small Group options, go to strongfaithchurch.com and under the Connect tab, select Small Groups.
On June 2, Pastor Charity brought us the first message of Summer at Strong Faith. She spoke about three different types of people you see at the beach and how they interact with the waves. First, there are those who are terrified of the ocean. These are those people who are only living by what they see and feel. They are always being knocked down by life’s waves. Because they have no understanding of The Word, they are paralyzed by their fears. They feel helpless and unsure of everything. They need someone to come alongside and help them out of the waves, even though they are challenging to be around. (When you try to help a drowning person, they often will try to drown you!) But as you reach out and minister the love of God and the promises of His Word to those who are getting flipped upside down by life’s waves, you will give them a solid base to stand on. This will diminish their fears and you both will be blessed in the process.
Second, there are the little children who sometimes forget to stay close to mom and dad and get knocked down by the waves. They lose their footing for a moment, but they know their parents are right there to rescue them, so they don’t panic. These are those people who get distracted by wanting to “do it my way,” take their eyes off The Lord, and temporarily step into walking by the flesh instead of by the spirit. But, because they do have a foundation in The Word, their heavenly Father can easily pick them up and set them on their feet again. They know that God is an ever-present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1) and that when they have a set-back, they can call on Him and He will come through.
Third, there are the practiced body surfers. They are the people who effortlessly ride above the waves of life because they choose to always look to Jesus. When Jesus called Peter to walk on the water, he did just fine as long as he was looking at Jesus. But, when he looked at the wind and the waves, he became like the person terrified by their surroundings and he began to sink. (Mathew 14:30). The truth is, without Jesus, Peter could not have walked on the water even if it was calm. The wind and waves really had nothing to do with it. They were just a distraction that turned Peter’s eyes from Jesus. Be like the confident body surfer who keeps his eyes on the Lord – at all times – and you, too, will remain on top of all of life’s waves.
Jesus said in the world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). You will have trouble, but you do not have to allow trouble to have you. It’s not the water around the boat that causes it to sink; it’s the water that gets into it. Do not let your externals become your internals. Do not accept negative thoughts and feelings (let water into your boat). When circumstances are screaming at you, scream back. Say, No! This is not happening because that’s not what the Word of God says! As you “do life” with other believers and get stronger in The Word, you will come to have the confidence – and the power – to defeat all of life’s externals.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
- Autism Connection (In Crowd Cookout) at Hibernian Park Sunday, June 23rd – 2:00 pm
- Deposit Due for WOW Retreat Sunday, June 23rd
- Harrison House Nursing Home Ministry Wednesday, June 26th – 6:00 to 7:00 pm
- Church Picnic at Layton Park Saturday, June 29th – 12:00 noon
- Registration Begins for Men’s Retreat Sunday, June 30th
- Refresh Worship Night Sunday, June 30th – 7 PM – 8:30 PM
- Corporate Prayer Saturday, July 6th – 9:00 am to 10:00 am
- St. Martha Nursing Home Ministry Friday, July 12th – 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
- Coatesville Food Co-op Saturday, July 20th – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
- Harrison House Nursing Home Ministry Wednesday, July 24th – 6:00 to 7:00 pm
- Bingo Night Friday, July 26th – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
For more information, click on the link of the event you are interested in and register on Facebook!