Use Your Direct Line to God

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

When I was a little kid, I envied my buddy who had the coolest invention in the history of my youth.  NOTE, you’ve got to remember that I grew up in a time when cell phones didn’t line everyone’s pocket/purse.  We were only loosely attached to each other by postal mail, phone calls, or even…gasp… talking to each other face to face.  But my buddy – I think he must have been rich or something – had a set of Fisher Price Sky Talker Walkie Talkies.  They were the latest new invention (at least in my 7 year old mind) from the great science giant Radio Shack – where everything cool and sciencey used to come from.  Apparently his parents got them for him for Christmas or something – either way, I was a little jealous.  Ok a lot.  But he was willing to share them with me, which was, of course, Awesomeness (note the capital “A”).

In a world and culture where we now can call someone, (via video chat even!), on the opposite side of the globe was Jetson’s family kinda stuff back then.  It was in movies and Star Trek, but nothing came close to being tangible for a 7 year old except for the unique, mysterious power of the Fisher Price Sky Talker Walkie Talkie!

These things were amazing.  You could literally be in your room and talk to your buddy all the way over in his room in HIS house.  CRAZY.  But we weren’t done there.  On the handset itself was Morse Code!  So you could talk in code and no one would be the wiser!  Those days were special.  My buddy and I spent hours on those things.  Yep.  I was a nerdy kid.  We talked CONSTANTLY – until the batteries ran out.  Again, though, nothing a quick trip to Radio Shack couldn’t fix…

NOW we know the reality is that we DON’T have to have a special device or code to talk to God. There’s no weird beepy code you have to learn to talk to God, no special device (however cool that would be) you have to buy.  God walks with us in the midst of our chaos and our peace, our joy and our frustrations, in our light and in our darkness.  I am not sure that we can ever hear that enough.  Our God is with us, carrying us even, and expects that we will talk freely, anytime, all the time.

As I write that, though, I realize that there are some of you reading this saying, great Pastor, but 1. I don’t think I want to talk to God and 2. Even if I did, I have no idea what I would say. I get it. Really, I do. Talking to God can be intimidating.  I mean, if we think about the gravity of that conversation with the Lord of all creation, it probably should be. But God knows that.  God knows that you’re frustrated.  God knows that you want encouragement.  God even knows the prayers you have before you can speak them.  So be encouraged to give it a shot.  Talk to God.  If you’re angry, tell God.  If you’re joyful, tell God.  If you’re thankful, tell God.  If you’re broken and can’t even for the words for how sad you are, God can handle it.  And don’t hold back.  One of my favorite scenes is in Forrest Gump when Lt. Dan “talks” to God in the storm.  It wasn’t pleasant, or sweet necessarily, but it was thorough and opened lines of communication that needed to be opened.  

Try, this week, thinking about carrying around a walkie talkie with a direct line to God. What might you need to say to God today?  What’s on your heart and mind that you need to release?  Perhaps even, what is God saying to you? Scripture calls us to pray without ceasing, so maybe just start with breathing. That’s right, just breathe and let the Spirit intercede for you in sighs too deep for words.  Whatever or however you do it, know that you have an open audience with the God of all creation – who WANTS to hear from you!  So pray on and don’t hold back.

God, for some reason you care to listen to us and call us to talk to you.  While we may never understand that, you still pursue us and call us by name.  Thank you for loving us beyond ourselves and meeting us in the midst of the anything and everything we go through!

Peace,

Pastor Matt

FUEL!

What is FUEL?  If you have been around any of the high school youth at Christ Lutheran or Christ South, you may have heard that word.  It is the name given to the high school youth ministry.  It is the name of one youth group driven by the four letters that make up the word FUEL.  It is the word, thanks to Ryan Carter, my partner in ministry, the youth at Christ Lutheran have started to grasp a hold of.  It is the word that the youth at Christ South are starting to hear and that has created a strong yearning to be a part of this group.  It is simply FUEL for Christ Youth.  As for the four letters that make up the word, we have created an acronym  and we want you to know what is it.

F stands for Fellowship in God’s world; building a community of believers.

U stands for Understanding God’s world.  God created this world for a certain purpose and we want youth to understand what that is.

E stands for Experiencing God’s world.  The world he wants for us is different in ways than the one we live in.

L stands for Leading in God’s world.  We are called to be disciples in this world.  How do we help shape the world around us?

 

Along with the word FUEL, we have focused on two Bible verses that we hope the youth will grasp a hold of to help them understand how important a role they play in God’s world and in our church.  The first is 1st Timonthy 4:12 which says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity”.  The second verse is Jeremiah 20:9 which says “His word burns in my heart like a fire.  It is like a fire in my bones.  I cannot hold it in any longer.”  The first verse is  focused on youth; Ryan and I want the youth to know above all else that youth can make a huge impact in this world.  They can be examples when they walk the hallways of their schools, working at their jobs or just hanging with their friends.  God has given a gift to each one of them.  As for the second verse, we want youth to understand that since they were born, their has been a fire in their heart and it has grown throughout the years; we hope that fire now becomes a fire that is burning not only in their hearts, but in everything they do.  We have a great group of high school youth between Christ Lutheran and Christ South and we know that God has great plans for all of them;  one youth group centered on Christ. They are FUEL for us all!

In Christ,

Jeff Taylor
Christ South Youth Director

 

A New Kind of Mother’s Day

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.  Galatians 3:26 (NIV)

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.  Psalm 42:1 (NLT)

This is the first mother’s day I will celebrate as a mother of three!  Three! I can’t believe it. The thought of having three boys is still unreal to me. I NEVER thought that I would have a 16 year old, 11 year old and a newborn.  Life is different with each of them and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Each of my boys are in totally different stages of life. One minute I hear, “Mom, can you take me driving so I get more hours towards my driver’s license.”  The next I hear, “Mom, can you can you help me with a school project that’s due tomorrow.”  All the while the new baby is crying and wanting to be fed. The boys come to me for different reasons and seem to need me in different ways as they grow. I am both taxi-mom and diaper-changing-mom at the same time. As my boys grow, our relationship will continue to grow and change. They will continue to need me but in different ways as well.

Now, I realize that not all of us have a mother in our lives, and some struggle a great deal with that relationship, but I pray that you have a mothering person in your life that nurtures you and is there when you need someone. Even at forty, I still need my mother. She is the one I turn to when I have a problem and just need someone to listen to me. She is the one that when I have a good day I want to call and tell her all about it. And she is the person that encourages me in everything I do. Our relationship has changed over my life but she has always been a strong rock in my life.

As my relationship with my mother has changed as I have gotten older, my relationship with God has also changed as I have aged. When I was young I looked to God to provide for my instruction, to give me those ethical guidelines to follow. As I grew, I looked towards God for direction in my life and my vocation. Now, I rely on God as a stronghold when life gets difficult. My relationship with God is my foundation when the storms of life are swirling around me. Even though our relationship has changed and I need God in different ways there is one thing that has stayed the same, God is there for me. And God is here for you too!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Pastor Melody

Alexa, What’s News?

Every morning as I’m making my first cup of coffee, I call over to our Echo device on the kitchen counter and ask, “Alexa, what’s news?”  Immediately I begin to hear the latest events happening around the world.

When I first press the button on my iPhone in the morning, I can see a listing of the “Top Stories.”  Generally, the headlines are like these:

  • “…U.S. Needs a Government Shutdown”
  • “Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) Dropped on Afghanistan”
  • “FBI Translator Goes Rogue, Marries ISIS Terrorist”
  • “Woman Found Dead Inside Home”
  • “Abused Infant Dies”

I just did a search of headline news.  There are very few uplifting, positive, stories.

Imagine if, after asking, “Alexa, what’s news?,” we would hear a story like this…

Dead Man Rises

Local sources say that the man put to death by Roman authorities has risen from the dead, despite hanging on a cross for hours, having his side pierced, and being pronounced dead.  Witnesses claim that the man appeared to them outside the grave-site, along Emmaus Road, and among a gathering of his closest friends.

The man, called Jesus, the Christ, surprised them at each appearance.  No one expected anything like this to happen, even though it was proclaimed in the Scriptures. Jesus reminded them what the Scriptures said, “…the Christ is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations.”  After quoting scripture, He told them, “And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised…” (Luke 24:45-49)

Forgiveness of sins proclaimed to everyone.  Wow!  Thanks, Alexa, for sharing some good news for a change!

Peace and blessings to each of you,

Pastor Tenny

Nah… it ain’t me babe.

So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”   Exodus 3:10-12

I love me some Bobby Dylan.  I do.  Times they are a Changin’, Blowin in the Wind, All Along the Watchtower…FORMATIVE stuff for me as a song writer.  I love the honesty, chord changes, and punch they had both as a political and life commentary.  He’s right up there for me with Cash, Willie, Waylon, Michael Jackson, Vedder, Ben Gibbard and The National.  Yeah, I realize I skipped a lot in there, but I’m writing a blog and not a dissertation.  But one of my favorite lines he sang was nah nah nah, it ain’t me babe.

 

Go ‘way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who’s never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

It’s so easy to say, right?  A neighbor had a tree fall down and sent a group text this week asking for some help to cut it up, and it would have been so easy to say, nah, it ain’t me babe.  It’s raining, I’m tired and I just smoked some chicken wings on the grill.  It ain’t me babe.  Or when that friend asks you to help them move, you know?  When are you moving?  Yeah, I am out of town then.  It ain’t me babe.  Or maybe when God calls you into service, to help with the proclamation of the gospel – in whatever level of commitment or context that is…. nah nah nah, it ain’t me babe…   Who’s with me on this?  It’s so much easier to just sing along with good ole Bobby Dylan.

Sometimes it’s laziness, I get that, but sometimes God calls us and we think, how could I possibly serve in that way?  The tugging, the burning in our spirit, the call from the pastor or staff, or whatever it is for us yields that same old response because WE DON’T THINK WE’VE GOT IT IN US to do that thing we’ve been called to do.  Who’s with me now?  (Maybe God’s got you reading this on purpose?)

I am not qualified, I am not stable enough, or maybe even I am not good enough to serve.  Who would ever want to listen to me preach, serve alongside me, or let me walk with them through their addiction, pain or sadness knowing what they know about me?  Nah, it ain’t me babe.

But here’s the thing.  Not one person in all of Scripture was perfectly and immediately equipped for ministry – most of whom changed the world for the sake of the Gospel.  (One could make the case for Jesus, you know, being God and all… but even Jesus spent time in the temple studying the scriptures.  Moving on…)  So, then, given that, who are we to say it ain’t me babe when God is is the one calling?  What if God is calling you to do ministry BECAUSE of who you are and who you’ve been?  Perhaps God already knows your gifts and challenges and lead you up out of that place so that you could speak directly those IN THE PIT STILL?

Serving in ministry – in ALL contexts and commitment levels – is a LIFE BLESSING.  It’s something we GET to do rather then something we’ve GOT to do.  As soon as we let go of that unqualified part of who we are, and let God take over, we GET to see great blessing through service.

And perhaps the best part of it all is that God NEVER abandons us.  Jesus said, I will be with you always, to the end of the age. (Matt 28:20)!!  That’s power right there!  That’s where our confidence comes from!  That’s where the words will flow from!  That’s the strength on which we can rely and the rock on which we can stand.  Jesus is with YOU.  So serve!  Find a place where your gifts match the church’s needs, and quit saying it ain’t me babe, because it is precisely YOU that God is looking for!  And when we fail in our work and we look to God for help, God’s response is YES, I WILL be with you, carry you, and uphold you through it!

This church and this congregation need great leaders and volunteers in order to work, sure, but even more, it’s a blessing to GET to see what God is constantly doing through people who for a very long time said, nah nah nah, it ain’t me babe.  It ain’t me your looking for babe.  Moses said it too, so you’ll be in pretty good company.  Just sayin…

+Pastor Matt

(email me if you’re up for a servant blessing)

Lord, make me a disciple.  One who is crazy enough to be redefined in you.  Call us Lord, and equip us for the journey and blessing of ministry in your church! Amen.

What a Great Celebration!

I love Easter Weekend.

I love being with those young children receiving their first communion on Maundy Thursday.  With great eagerness and anticipation, they have been waiting their whole lives to come to the Lord’s table

I love Good Friday with the darkening of the sanctuary, symbolic of sin’s presence in this world and God’s response to it on the cross.

I love the Saturday Easter Egg Hunt at Christ South with upwards to 1000 people showing up at Polo Ridge Elementary School.  It took three trips to the store for more eggs!

And what’s not to love about Easter morning?  The large gathering of the people, the beautifully decorated sanctuary, the triumphant music, the greatest story ever told and even donut holes in the Lower Commons.

I love Easter Weekend.  Would you please comment below what was your favorite part?

This year, our attendance surpassed last year’s by almost 15%!

Sonrise:                   75

Traditional             637

The Bridge            354

Christ South          168

Contemporary      1031

Total                    2265

And what’s more, since we have been using Facebook Live for worship viewing, our site has blown up with an additional 821 watching on-line there and 768 watching the livestream from the website…and that’s on Easter Sunday!  On Good Friday, 796 watched on Facebook Live and 207 from the website.

Did I tell you I love Easter?

Thank you for a wonderful place, filled with the Spirit, to celebrate the gift of the Resurrection.  Surely, God is in the place, changing lives with the message of hope and grace.

He Is Risen!

He Is Risen, Indeed!

Pastor Scott

Resurrection Tractor

Resurrection Tractor

The last time it ran was about 15 years ago, and it was in desperate need of repair.  So, many years ago, Dad started to take our 1941 John Deere tractor apart, to refurbish it.  But he had not been able to complete the restoration.  So, last August, we brought it from Ohio to North Carolina and began the restoration process.  Several people spent many hours working on it.  Now it looks like a new tractor.  In fact, I think this 76-year-old tractor is better than new, and should last well beyond my lifetime!

It has been restored to a condition that many of us thought could never happen.  It was so far gone, that some didn’t believe it could be restored.  How could anything so far gone, possibly be resurrected?

Sometimes we may feel that our lives are like that broken tractor.  We may feel so old, so worn, rusted, or unworthy, that nothing could possibly restore us.  But Scripture tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

As Easter approaches, let us remember all that God does for us, through Jesus.  And let us celebrate the joy of the resurrection that we are promised, knowing that Jesus takes all of our dirt, our rust, and our greasy sins upon Himself.  He died on the cross, and rose on Easter, so that we might be made whole, made new, made clean—resurrected—to live eternally with our Father, who is in heaven.

There are resurrection stories all around us.  Open our eyes that we may see…and believe.

Easter Blessings!

Pastor Tenny

 

 

 

 

 

Cut the Net!

A basketball net is nothing but a tangle of nylon rope. Twisted into 12 loops. Hardly anything special, right? Not by a long shot. A basketball net is an eye witness to some of the greatest sports events ever. A basketball net can produce what some people consider the world’s single greatest sound…“swish.” A piece of a basketball net is more than a snippet of rope…it’s the ultimate prize.

Last night, I watched along with many of you as players from the UNC men’s basketball team cut the net in Phoenix, Arizona after defeating Gonzaga to win the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball championship. Cutting the net is a tradition that goes back to 1947, begun by NC State coach Everett Case. Players and coaches cut the net after winning a big game to have a piece of…the victory. A piece of…the memory. A piece of…the redemption.

“Redemption” is the word being used to describe this year’s championship game. That’s because in 2016 UNC lost the championship game by a single shot to Villanova. Whether you are a UNC fan or not, it would be hard not to respect a group of college kids who, after losing the biggest sports game of their lives, returned to win the very next year. Redemption. They cut the net.

After experiencing failure, so often the world sends messages like: “You had your chance.” “Give it up.” “Tough luck.” Basketball, like other sports, reminds me that failure is a part of life. In 1993, as cancer was consuming his body, North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano gave one of the greatest speeches of all time. Often referred to as the “Don’t Give Up” speech, Valvano said, “To me, there are three things we all should do every day of our life,” Valvano said. “Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two, think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, be it happiness or joy.” He also encouraged listeners with those memorable words, “Don’t Ever Give Up.”

Redemption is a word that means “the act of saving or being saved.” As we at Christ Lutheran journey closer to Holy Week, we prepare to celebrate the ultimate act of redemption. Christ’s death on the cross for you and for me. What first appeared to be the ultimate defeat on the hillside of Calvary led to the ultimate victory—God’s love overcoming sin, death, and the grave Easter morning. We are redeemed. God’s love never gives up on us. Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory and has given us the spoils. Cut the net!

Redeemed with you,

Pastor Drew

 

What is Your “This”?

In High School Sunday School, Fuel School, we are shaking things up a bit. Four weeks ago, we looked at the latest Star Wars movie: Rogue One and asked the question, “What is so rebellious about being a Christian?” The next week, the topic was, Fake News and False Prophets and we talked about pursuing truths in Christ. The following week, we looked at a pretty cool dude from the bible, Timothy, and discussed the challenges of being a young leader in the church. This past week, we looked at the music of DJ duo, “The Chainsmokers.” Their music is revolutionizing the pop culture music scene with one of their top songs surpassing 1.3 billion views on You Tube. In Fuel School this week, there was one Chainsmokers song we looked at particularly close, “Something Just Like This.” In collaboration with the group Coldplay, The Chainsmokers debuted this hit on February 22, 2017 and it has claimed top rankings on music charts around the world.

“Something Just Like This” talks about the feeling of mediocrity in a world that seems like everyone is a mythological champion like Hercules or a super hero like Spiderman. In a world that is constantly competing and comparing our personal worth to the successes of others, where do we find our own value? When our test scores only matter when they are compared with others or when we focus on our bow in the curtain calls of the school musical relative to that of our rival, where can we find our value?

The female protagonist’s recurring theme in “Something Just Like This” in the chorus says, “I’m not looking for somebody with some superhuman gifts some superhero some fairy tale bliss just something I can turn to somebody I can miss oh I want something just like this.” In Fuel School, we looked at these lyrics coming from Jesus, not a person. In drawing from scripture, Mathew 11:28 tells us, “Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Jesus doesn’t draw us in through our successes; you captain of the varsity team, you straight A student. Jesus calls us through our struggles and sorrows; you struggling with your identity, you struggling with expectations of yourself and your family. Jesus calls out to the weary and heavy burdened. While we may have straight A’s or success in athletics or theater, we all have burdens. It is in Christ that we find rest from these burdens.

With this blessing of a Savior who cares for our sorrows with such grace and compassion, how can we not live life with a since of joy and ease? In parting, we asked the question, “What is your THIS?” “THIS” being our faith. How can we live out our “This” so that our friends and peers can say, “I want something like THAT?” This week, High Schoolers are thinking about these questions, and I challenge you to do so as well. How do you demonstrate God’s love for us in your interaction with others?

Peace,

Ryan Carter,
High School Youth Director

The Faith Struggle

I’ve wanted to be a pastor since I was 17. The only times in which I questioned that call was not in my conversations with atheists who spouted off reasons why there was no God or among luke-warm Christians who didn’t care about God. The times in which I struggled most with that sense of call was when I met energized, on-fire, without a doubt believers whose faith was as certain and consistent as the rising sun.

Why? Because I still had questions and they made me feel like my faith wasn’t strong enough. Their faith was a part of their everyday language and mine was more subtle. Every conversation they had turned into a faith conversation whereas I struggled with talking about my faith.

Maybe I should not be a pastor.

When I went to church with them, I cleaned up nicely, said the prayers, listened to the sermon and sang the songs, but I couldn’t help but think that I was the only one who still had nagging questions and hanging doubts.  How could I possibly think I could preach and teach about Jesus when I struggled with faith while they had it all together?

Maybe I should go into retail.

It was when I came face to face with heroes of the faith and heard about their struggles that my attitude changed:

  • Martin Luther struggled with doubts and questions most of his life.
  • St. Peter denied Jesus three times.
  • St. Paul said that the good things that he wanted to do, he didn’t do and the bad things he didn’t want to do he ended up doing

If God could use the likes of these, maybe there was some room in his Kingdom for the likes of me.

What really helps me is to hear the story from Mark 9 that we will hear on Sunday.  A father brought his demon possessed son before Jesus, looking for a healing.  When Jesus said that all things were possible for those who believed, the father said exactly what was in my heart, “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.”

That’s the struggle of faith.  That’s my struggle of faith.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

Lord, I turn my life over to you. Help me give up control.

Lord, I know you are my savior. Help me put my trust in you.

Lord, I know that you forgive me sins. Help me to forgive my own sins.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

Luther understood faith as not something that you achieve or decide or choose.  Luther understood faith as a lifelong struggle.  And during those times in which Luther suffered through the struggles of faith, he would pound his fist on his desk and cry out, “But you promised!  I am a baptized child of God. You promised to be my God. You promised that I was your child. You promised to forgive my sins. You promised!”

That’s where the struggle lies. Are you going to trust your vacillating faith or are you going to trust the steady, ongoing, immovable promise of God?

Lord, I believe your promises. Help my unbelief.

The struggle is real.  You are not alone sitting in that pew.  If God can use the likes of Luther, Peter, Paul and even the likes of me, there is a place in his Kingdom even for you—doubts and all.

Peace,

Pastor Scott

When We Grow Up

“What do you want to be when you grow up, Dad?”  That was the question my son Zach (age 4) asked me during the car ride to school last week. “Uh, a pastor.” I said. “But you’re already a pastor, Dad!” At that point, I turned the question around and asked “What do you want to be when you grow up, Zach?” There was a thoughtful pause. Zach searched his mind and 4-year-old vocabulary and then said “A school bus driver!”

Consider that thoughtful pause. As I waited for my son Zach to respond, any answer he gave would have been one that I welcomed, encouraged, and celebrated. “A police officer!” Great. “A construction worker!” Go for it. “The President of the United States!” Despite the current political divide, it is still the highest political office in the land with great potential to do good. So why not? I sometimes take it for granted that my two sons have a combination of supportive factors behind them that countless children simply do not have, for a variety of reasons.

  • Access to a top-notch preschool at Christ Lutheran.
  • Parents with the time and ability to read to them—a lot.
  • Family members who tell them the sky is the limit.
  • Relatively sound financial support.

These factors, along with many more, are ways that we are building strong kids. I believe the responsibility to build strong kids extends beyond our own flesh and blood.

Several weekends ago, while Christ Lutheran was celebrating the 10th anniversary of McPIE (McClintock Partners in Education), I was with 42 convicted felons between the ages of 18-25 as part of a Kairos Prison Ministry weekend. Believe me when I say, these young men have made some very bad decisions in their young lives. But believe me also when I say, few of these young men had anywhere near the support system my sons have. As I sat and prayed with these young inmates, I heard how drug-dealing was all around them from a young age, how school was an afterthought, and how violence was instilled early, and I thought: “How many of these young men wouldn’t be here if they had a McPIE program?”

How many of them would be bus drivers, doctors, lawyers, and teachers, if they had only gotten greater support? How would we even begin to provide that kind of support?

Responding to these questions is part of the mission of Race Matters for Juvenile Justice (RMJJ), a collaborative effort in Charlotte trying to reduce racial disparities in the justice system. Tomorrow night on March 15th at McClintock Middle School (1925 Rama Rd, 28212), the RMJJ is hosting a workshop called “The School-to-Prison Pipeline” from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Pastor Scott, Amy Daniels, and CLC members will be there—and I encourage you to go too. It’s free and all are welcomed.

What will we be when we grow up? I hope our American society will grow into one where all children, regardless of race, will be able to aim for the stars—and have all the support they need to reach them.

Growing with you,

Pastor Drew

Our New Baby is Here!

Let me just say, morning sickness is rough.  It’s no easy task to wake up early and then have to deal with the deep gut wrenching work that it takes just to be able to tackle the day.  It’s frustrating and difficult, sure, but when we keep our eyes on what we’re expecting God to do, it certainly helps us keep our heads up.  And then there’s the pain of muscles aching, back being sore and all the new changes that we have to keep up with and prepare for every day.  The world is changing fast, so just keeping up with the technology alone is crazy.  Having not done this for some years now, the way we put our plans together even has to change.  But now, having this new creation in our midst, it’s just… wow.  Amazing!  It’s such a joy to take on every day surrounded such a great church family, and we can’t wait to see this little dream come true …grow up!!

Oh.  Wait… uh oh.  You know I’m talking about Christ South right?  Of course I am!   Every Sunday morning a crew is out ready to unload the trailer into Polo Ridge, eager to see what God is going to do again this week.  The Prayer Team keeps praying, the Fellowship Team keeps planning, the Music Team keeps rocking, the Kids Team keeps loving on those little folks, and the Welcome Team keeps opening doors and hearts.  It’s hard work, but we are so blessed by our amazing volunteers.  We are developing a “Get to” mentality around giving our time and resources.  We “get to” participate in what God is doing.  What an incredible blessing it is to carry speakers, Rubbermaid totes full of shirts, pipe and drape, guitars and amps and whew!  It’s a lot, but it’s what makes it really work.  It’s that hard work, poured out for the Gospel.  The energy and life is overwhelming at Christ Lutheran and it’s set on fire (in a good way) at Christ South.  Our little creation is growing up fast and growing up strong.  We are seeing around 120 in worship on average which is pretty large compared to the average Lutheran congregation!  It’ll ebb and flow, but every day, it’ll grow!

SO, here’s what we need from you.  First, if you read this far, go buy yourself a candy bar.  That’s awesome and thanks.  Second, TELL the STORY.  This only works if we tell the story, then a later, tell the story again.  Invite, invite, and invite some more.  We’re not off the hook if we just tell on person.  This is the Good News of Jesus in action!  Tell somebody!

Lastly, this great Christ Lutheran family shares our DNA across our campuses and is well in tact at Christ South, but of course, like most children, looks a little different.  We’ve got 4 incredible expressions of worship here at Christ, and what a blessing that is!  We’re able to bring the Gospel to life in so many wonderful ways.  We celebrate that!

Ok, you excited yet?  Well, here’s something to keep in mind, with any child, there will be growing pains, challenges with growth, and yet, as God is in control, we know we will see Christ South grow well and thrive based on the incredible support, strong vision and calling of our congregation.  Here at Christ Lutheran, we’ve got a good thing going.  We believe that God will build this church and grow it according to God’s great plan.  I can’t wait to see what every day holds for this sweet bundle of joy!

Anticipating,

Pastor Matt