Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer plans at Twin Cities Church!


Wow, this is a great summer! I want to applaud you for adapting and changing to the new Summer Service Schedule. You amaze me with your flexibility and desire to engage as we lead as many people as possible into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Next week we’re going to have dirt-moving equipment come level the space in front of our building where we had planned to build the Courtyard Project. That means we’re moving forward with the portion of the dream that will allow us to create community, deepen relationships, play together and celebrate weddings and other events. The landscape designer created what will be a beautiful place for us to gather, and I am eager to see what it will look like when it’s all finished.

The kitchen portion of the Courtyard Project will be included in our next building project, which will include recreational space, a multi-use room and adult ministry space. I will write more about this in a letter to be sent out in a few weeks with our giving statements through the end of July.

We’re making plans for an awesome end-of-summer picnic on August 17 at Pioneer Park in Nevada City. We’ll offer the grills, hot charcoal, ice cream, fun activities, band, swimming and baptisms. You bring your food and drinks. Expect to have a great time with your church family.

This Sunday we’re going to camp out in Daniel 4 as we continue our Babylon series. I am thrilled at how God is using this series to help us know how to live in our current cultural reality. If you miss a week, please watch or listen online so you can keep up with your church family.

Enjoying what God is doing in us this summer,


Thursday, June 19, 2014

A summer of spiritual opportunity

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

I want to applaud you for adapting and changing to the new Summer Service Schedule. You amaze me at your flexibility and desire to engage as we lead as many people as possible into a growing relationship with Jesus. Please plan on making this summer one of our best yet. God is moving, and we all want to be in on what He’s doing in our church and community.

Summer is a great time to change other patterns as well. I’d love to hear how you experience God this summer as you find yourself in different rhythms. I had the opportunity to go on a short vacation last week, and while away I was able to attend a church and a different setting than our own. That experience did three things for me.

First, I met with God as I was able to pray and celebrate with other Followers of Jesus in their ministry setting. Second, I was able to worship and learn – what was so cool is that they taught their crowd a new song called “Cornerstone” – one we do all the time. Third, I was able to hear from God as the pastor taught on the same story about Jesus asleep in the boat I had taught on the week before I went on vacation. I was able to go even deeper with God in applying this to my life.

Summer is really good for reading God’s Word and practicing disciplines like fasting, silence, or solitude. It’s a great time to get together with your Community Group just to hang and work on your spiritual friendships like Pastor Mark talked about on Father’s Day. It’s also a fresh opportunity to take on a new Bible study. We’re offering a study here at the church each Wednesday, July 9 – August 13 at 6:30, called Pursuing God’s Word Together. This group will study the book of 1 Thessalonians. It’s open to everyone.

As we enter into summer, let me encourage you to remain consistent and faithful in your giving. One way to give consistently is to practice giving online. I love how this allows me to give no matter where I am. Also, you can watch every service online no matter where you are this summer.

This Sunday we’re going to wrap up our Good Life series and receive Communion together. I hope you’ll be with us and kick off summer with a clean heart and a contrite spirit.

Looking forward to what God is going to accomplish in us this summer,


Thursday, June 12, 2014

A powerful medium - now in HD!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

I had the privilege of being out on vacation last Sunday and missed being with you at church, but I was still able to be get the entire service online today. What a great gift from Brian Dougherty, the music team, and John Fairchild. God spoke to me about my pursuit of Him and Godliness in a way that was fresh and meaningful. I am so grateful for this powerful medium God has given us to spread His Word and help people grow.

A couple of weeks ago a woman named Carole stopped me in the Lobby to thank me for making our services available online for the weeks she is forced to miss. Then she told me of a service that was so meaningful to her that she sent the link to a friend. Well, her friend was so moved by what she watched that she also sent the link on to two of her friends. Wow! God is using our church way beyond our church borders.

We've known for some time that the internet is a great tool to help people know and grow in Jesus and have been praying about how to improve our presentation. Then God moved in one of our families who had sold a business to give a gift to God through our church that would impact our community and world. We deposited their sacrificial gift with the goal of eventually going “live” online. Last week we were able to install new cameras and take us into the HD world. There will be a day when you'll be able to watch our services “live” online.

Imagine senior adults in our nursing home joined by those who are homebound, those who are seeking a church, those who are surfing the web and many others experiencing what we get to every weekend. This is just one example of how our giving has a huge impact on our mission. Thank you for your faithful and consistent giving!

Sunday is Father’s Day and the first week for our new service schedule - 9:00 and 10:45. Children's programs are at both services, high school is at 9:00 and junior high is at 10:45.

See you live and in person on Sunday,


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Choose your new service time!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

In case you’ve missed this piece of news, we’re going to make a switch to our service times beginning Father’s Day, June 15. We’re calling it our Summer Service Schedule, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity it will provide during the vacation season. The new service times will be 9:00 and 10:45.

This Summer Service Schedule will benefit our church in several ways:

  1. We’ll be able to come together as a church family. You’ll see people you’ve been missing, and you’ll get a chance to make some new friends.
  2. We’ll be able to experience the excitement of having a full room of people worshipping together.
  3. We’ll be able to strengthen our service teams, bring new people into service and grow new leaders.
  4. We’ll be able to evaluate our service schedule to determine if there is a slot other than Sunday morning that our unchurched neighbors and friends might attend.
So, here’s what we’re asking: Please pick a service time, and make it yours for the summer. We’ll have Children’s Ministry at both times, Junior High at 10:45 and High School at 9:00. Please make it your goal to be here as often as possible and let’s create connection and community. You might also find this to be an easy way to begin serving – attend one and serve at another.

I know there are those who may be inconvenienced at some level, and I’m sorry for that. We feel, though, that the benefits to the entire church family make this a worthwhile change. We look forward to what God is going to do. Please pray and ask God to pour out His blessings in even greater ways as we come together this summer.

This Sunday we’ll spend some time learning about the trait of Godliness. It may be confusing or even intimidating to us when we look at such a lofty goal, and, honestly, it would be if it were up to us. But, God has promised to “give us everything we need for Godly living.” I am looking forward to how He will speak on Sunday, but I’m even more excited about how He’s going to transform us through His power.

Looking forward to Sunday,


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Our new summer schedule (beginning 6/15)!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Summer is around the corner, and we’re going to make a switch to our service times beginning Father’s Day, June 15. We’re calling it our Summer Service Schedule, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity it will provide during the vacation season. The new service times will be 9:00 and 10:45.

This Summer Service Schedule will benefit our church in several ways:

  1. We’ll be able to come together as a church family. You’ll see people you’ve been missing, and you’ll get a chance to make some new friends.
  2. We’ll be able to experience the excitement of having a full room of people worshipping together.
  3. We’ll be able to strengthen our service teams, bring new people into service and grow new leaders.
  4. We’ll be able to evaluate our service schedule to determine if there is a slot other than Sunday morning that our unchurched neighbors and friends might attend.
So, here’s what we’re asking: Please pick a service time, and make it yours for the Summer. We’ll have Children’s Ministry at both times, Junior High at 10:45 and High School at 9:00. Make it your goal to be here as often as possible and let’s create connection and community. You might also find this to be an easy way to begin serving – attend one and serve at another.

I know there are those who may be inconvenienced at some level, and I’m sorry for that. We feel, though, that the benefits to the entire church family make this a worthwhile change. We look forward to what God is going to do. Please pray and ask God to pour out His blessings in even greater ways as we come together this Summer.

This Sunday we’ll focus our Good Life series on an area we all experience and walk through. The message will be about Enduring With Patient Perseverance. Last Sunday, Dave Bollen shared his experience after vocal surgery and year-long rehabilitation period. He talked about how much he’s learned about God, himself and others during this time of growth. God allows times like this into our lives in order to help us grow in our ability to weather the storms of life and see the rainbow through the storm.

Looking forward to Sunday,


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Abide

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

On Sunday I talked about the value of my Community Group and how they help mentor me. I mentioned that one of the ways they do that when I listen as they discuss the message from Sunday and how it impacted them or missed the point all together. This week Kim and I had a choir concert for our Jordyn and couldn’t make group. Imagine my surprise to get this text from my group – “We’re meeting and no one got your message from Sunday, can you help us out?” I love how they build me up!

I want to reflect more on Sunday’s message and review the key idea. The Good Life that we’re talking about is based upon knowing Jesus better and better. So, if the most important thing I can do is put myself in a position to know Jesus better, then I must give myself to that adventure and ABIDE in Him.

A – Ask Him for insight. This prayer has changed my week and I’ve already had clear answers.

B – Be with others. The concept that Jesus resides in other Followers of Jesus has caused me to tune in to what they have to say because their words may actually be Jesus’ words for me.

I – In-form my mind. We need God’s word in us. Information is a good thing as long as we can measure progress in our Christlikeness. Information must lead to transformation.

D – Do as He commands. How many of us have heard God clearly about an issue or sin or direction, but we’re still stuck. We must take a step and do what He says, and as we do that, we get to experience life with Him.

E – Experience His joy. Jesus wants us to know the same joy He knew as He walked in intimacy and unity with His Father. The Joy of the Lord is our strength.

I am praying that you make every effort to abide and get to know Jesus better.

This week we’ll look at the concept of self-control. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I believe we ALL need this message. Imagine what it would be like if we lived lives under God’s control because we had learned to say “No” to our desires!

Seeking His control,


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Do you see the cup as half full or half empty?

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Do you see the cup as half full or half empty? As much as I hate to confess, I can be a half-empty guy. I know it doesn’t make sense to be a follower of Jesus and a follower of Eeyore at the same time, but I can often find myself in the wrong rut. It’s really true, you are what you think. What you think determines your attitude and your attitude so often influences your actions.

A couple of weeks ago, as I made my way into the kitchen to make my first serving of espresso, Kim asked a question – the kind I’ve learned to lovingly hate. Like getting your teeth cleaned. She asked, “What are you believing this morning?” I don’t know whether it was my body language or the negative vibes that were oozing out of my pores, but she could sense some stinking thinking going on inside my head.

So, what does that have to do with you? Well, actually, I think it has a lot to do with us and that is why Peter wrote that we should “make every effort to add knowledge” to our faith. Knowledge is coming to an understanding of how the spiritual life works, and what we think really does impact how we make it through our reality. Knowledge helps us know how to fully experience the Good Life.

I am praying you come this Sunday to hear from this recovering Eeyore just what God has shown me concerning knowledge – how we get it and what it does for us – this Sunday. One thing to keep in mind as we walk through Peter’s curriculum for Christlikeness is this: These characteristics are not things we do – If it’s meant to be it’s up to me – instead they are a vision of what we can become when we walk with Jesus.

Work began this week on the Prayer Garden located by the lawn outside the Children’s Ministry entrance. I am eager for us to have a designated spot where people can come and pray at any time.

Seeking a new way of viewing reality,