Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back To School

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

This past week our boys went back to school. And might I add, not a moment too soon. ;-) I love this time of year for a number of reasons. A new school year for our children means:

  • A fresh start.
  • New school supplies.
  • Seeing old friends and making new ones.
  • A set schedule.
  • A new found excitement.

Back to school season also marks the unofficial back to church season. As the school schedule begins to fill up our calendar, we have to make sure that we make room for God in the life of our family. Looking at the benefits a child receives with returning to school, allow yourself to experience these same benefits this fall season at Christian Life. Make a fresh start. Get a new supply from God. Reconnect with old friends and make some new ones. Schedule regular church events on your calendar. Get a new found excitement for God and His family.

Visit the Ministry Fair in the lobby to see where you and your family can connect with God, connect with other believers, and connect with your calling.

Also, remember Back to Church Sunday, September 13. Pray about who you can invite to church that weekend.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What’s in a name?

It’s been said that, “Nothing is sweeter than the sound of one’s own name.” There is dignity when someone remembers our name and a sting when someone forgets.

The dictionary defines name as “a word or words by which an entity is designated and distinguished from others.”

Out of the over six billion people in the world today God has created you to be a unique individual and He knows you by name. What an awesome thought! In a world where we sometimes feel invisible or wonder about our real value, we can know that God, the Creator of the universe, loves and cares for us enough to know us by name!

Let me ask you something, do you know the names of the people sitting around you at church? How about the people who live on your block? What about the people at the stores you shop at? The restaurant you eat at? The gas station? Your school?

Convicted? I am. As part of God’s family I want to resemble my Heavenly Father. Our Father loves everyone enough to know them by name. We begin to love others by getting to know them by name.

Why not begin with the people you are sitting next to today?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Let Your Light Shine

You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
Matt 5:14 (NLT)

As many of you know, it was my privilege to be asked to pray this past week at the Mount Prospect’s Walmart grand openings. There were two opportunities to pray. One was a private gathering with all of the associates and their families along with VIP’s from the city and state. The other was the grand opening to the community. Both were wonderful experiences. One Walmart associate commented after our prayer time that “it was like having church at work!”

What surprised me the most were the strong reactions I received from both believers and nonbelievers. Both sides felt free to offer both condemnation and praise. As a pastor I am used to navigating varying opinions, but the judgments I received this past week were especially intense.

I have felt the same strong opinions as we have planted our CLC Huntley campus in the Prime Outlet Mall. I believe these types of reactions come when we take our faith outside the walls of the church and into our community. The devil doesn’t mind if we hide out together and worship, but once we step out to impact the world all hell unleashes its fury.

Persecution should never stop us. Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT) Jesus also promises, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Matthew 16:18 (NLT)

This week take your faith outside the walls of the church. Share your testimony. Do something kind in Jesus’ name. Maybe have “church at work.” Stretch yourself. Be ready for opposition. And always remember, God is with you always and will give you the strength you need!

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3 (NLT)

I’ve seen their pictures of earth, but I can’t imagine how it feels to be an astronaut looking back at our planet from outer space. I’m awed as I sit a plane looking down at the lakes, rivers, mountains, winding roads, large cities, and small towns. You see His creation and like God you say, “It is good!”

There is a principle in life: distance often times gives us perspective. That’s one reason I love to fly. On the ground billions of people are struggling through the stress of life and for a few hours I am able to fly above it all and enjoy God and His beauty.

Christ invites us not only to new life in Him, but also to a new perspective. Christ calls us up to His level, His perspective, to view our reality with God’s eyes. When see life from God’s vantage point our perspective changes. There are things that make God weep. There are things that make God smile. When we get in tune with God’s thinking we are on the narrow road of discipleship headed toward the abundant life God promised us in John 10:10.

God has so much more for you than just surviving the daily grind. This week, take Christ up on His invitation to “set your sights on the realities of heaven.” Fly above your limited limit perspective. Take a look at your life and your world from God’s heavenly viewpoint.