Dear Church:

    Great to see you all Sunday! For those of you away, hope your long weekend is rounding out to be the best ever :-) and we'll see you again soon.

    As we pile back into some fall routines (all the parents shout hallelujah!) God's been speaking to our church about how to set up love to be the main point in all our interactions with each other. You see, often times acting in a loving manner isn't the most natural, intuitive response. Our habits and what we've learned to protect our hearts with, end up dictating our responses.

    Here's how to bring back focus and clarity in your interactions with others this week. With your spouse, kids, that co-worker or boss that's gets under your skin, that person you ignore. Listen: You can show God's love to every person. You can live like this! Here are some how-to's:
    1. Remember YOU are loved. By God. Spend time here really getting to know His love for you personally. Like a parent of a child God is incredibly interested, intrigued, fascinated and deeply rejoices over you. Give Him what His heart craves, a little bit of your time and attention, and rest in His Love for you. Listen - this is the heart of Christianity. Your walk with God is more about this, than anything else. We love because He first loved us.
    2. Read the book of 1 John. Several times!
    3. When you come across someone in your life, pause for a second to consider how God feels about that person. We jump to act based on what we initially feel and think, but what about what God feels and thinks? Brings your next step into focus. You are a channel for what God wants to do and say.
    4. Listen to this song. Several times!
    5. Print out 1 Cor. 13:4-12 in the Amplified Version. Copy it out of our bulletin this week! Put it in your wallet, on your mirror, in your glove compartment, or on your door for review on the way out. Memorize it. Recite it in the shower every day. The Word of God changes us supernaturally us if we put it in us consistently
    6. Ask 5 friends how loving you come across to them and people around you. Ask them, "How could I improve in this?"
    7. Go here with your spouse, or significant other, or to advance a key relationship
    8. Get a piece of blank paper and list out 2-4 several conflict points in your relationships with others. That is, places, times, topics, you know you're going to be tempted to react in a way that's not healthy. Now make a plan (ask Holy Spirit to help) to follow next time you're in that situation / with that person. Think through a plan that will steer you in a loving direction instead of down that same path you've gone before. With a pre-set plan of thoughts or actions in place you'll be way better equipped to follow through. Review your plan in preparation for the encounter.
    Friends - it's a brand new month and a brand new season. Let's finish up 2014 in the most love-filled way. It's not easy and it can be a little messy (how do you love people that don't want it? How do you show love in hurtful situations? How do we love people when it's really really hard?) ...but God will give us all power to apply this as it's very close to His heart. 

    Imagine a church where we lived like this. Imagine His love creating answers and providing power to what you face this week. Love never fails, gives up, or grows obsolete. Let's do this!

    Loving church because I love you,

    Rowan
    403.816.1684 - ph/txt anytime :-)

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    IMPORTANT REMINDERS!
    • Prayer Thursday at R and M's, 7-8:30pm
    • Prayer Sunday mornings in the Nursery / Board Room, 9:15 to 9:50am
    • Prayer Sunday mornings in the main hall, 10:00 to 10:15am
    Let's pray in the new beginnings of God. Let's cover this next season with the plans and purposes of God - for you, for your family and friends and for our church. If you can't make it to any of our prayer environments, shoot us an email if you want some direction, help or have feedback for your own prayer times.

    OPPORTUNITY: Mara sends out a weekly email with directives for praying to a team of people who have committed to pray for 1 hour per week for our church. Interested?
    Email her

    Any Questions? Ph/Txt: 403.816.1684

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    Road Map for the Week:

    Take the suggestions in the email text above and pick your top 5 or 6. Take some time and complete one each day with your Bible open and your heart turned towards God. Ask Jesus, "Come and help me pray and seek Your face and find You and Your ability in me as I do these exercises, in Jesus Name".  In finding consistent, daily time with God, don't let it ever be a burden, rather consider:
    • Not the amount of time so much as the quality of it. Does early morning work for a few minutes of interrupted time, or is late night better?
    • Look for unexpected times. Imagine if you thought the only quality time with a spouse was to be the weekly date you set?! Capture small but significant moments with God: that lunch break you find yourself alone; that moment all the kids are downstairs and you're alone with the dishes and the kitchen window; that drive time you have...
    • Make it portable. Get a Bible app for your phone, or carry around a pocket Bible. Maybe a mini note pad and pen in your car. Imagine how much you could read in 6 months if you did that instead of waiting in line staring at walls, or with Angry Birds, or the News!
    • Get used to turning your heart towards God amidst noise, traffic, kids and distractions of every kind. One day, it could be here that you need it the most. Practice!

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    Sound Track for the Week:

    I'm picking the link from number one above for our song this week. Spend some time here really getting to know His love for you personally..

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    Quote of the Week:

    “In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feel like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.”  Andy Stanley, It Came from Within!: The Shocking Truth of What Lurks in the Heart

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    Leadership Corner:

    Five of the best quotes ever on leadership. Let them sink in ...Especially #2 church!

    1. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. —Peter Drucker
    2. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead
    3. The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born. —Warren Bennis
    4. Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position. —Brian Tracy
    5. I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. —Ralph Nader

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    Email me back, text me, phone me or comment below: Let's have a conversation. I love to hear about your prayer requests, journeying with God, anything on your mind.

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