Our tall white steeple and red doors call out to the community that all are welcome to come and feel the love of Christ and the love of our church family. Our worship services are on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with adult Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. For our youth, we have #OAKZ. Our mission statements are Extending God’s Call – Empowering God’s People – Easing Human Need. We are located at 1576 Chantilly Lane, and our telephone number is 713-682-2556.
It’s September, and you know what that means!! Vacation is over!!!! We have several exciting things going on this month, and we love for you to come and see.
First, on Tuesday, Sept. 8th, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. we are having our very first game day in our fellowship hall!! The name of the program is Older Adults Konnecting Socially. All adults age fifty and over are invited to come and play games with us. We have bridge, coloring pages, jigsaw puzzles, Skip-Bo, Scrabble. Train, Uno, Yahtzee, Rummikub, and more. A light lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. We will be playing on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
Second, on Saturday, Sept. 12th, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. we will be having our first community-wide contemplative prayer group. For the next nine months we will be learning the various practices of contemplative prayer. This will be our organizational meeting. We will discover the various topics we will be learning as well as decide how often we will meet. If you are interested in learning about contemplative prayer but cannot attend this Saturday meeting, please call the church office and leave your name and e-mail address. Noelie will be contacting you to see if this is something you would like to participate in. Come and pray with us!
Third, on Sunday, Sept. 13th, at our 10:30 service, we will be blessing our students and their backpacks, our adults who participate in the education field, and the teachers and administrators of the Waltrip Daycare Program. Following the service there will be a pot luck luncheon. All are invited to come. Come and worship with us!
IT’S HERE!!!The anchor cross sculpted by James Phillips is now on display in our prayer garden!!
Bell choir practice:
We will meet again beginning in September
Last month I told you that I was reading Thom S. Rainer’s latest book entitled I Will! – Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian. Through the process of New Beginnings, we have decided as a church to be outwardly focused rather than focusing on ourselves. Because we have been inwardly focused for such a long time, it is time to learn what an outwardly focused Christian looks like. In the August newsletter I wrote about the four traits one should have as a church member: (1) I am a unifying church member. (2) I am a sacrificial church member. (3) I pray for the church and each other on a daily basis. (4) I am a joyous church member, who is grateful for the opportunity to worship with others. This month we are tackling our attitude toward worship. Rainer writes, “And while true worship always manifests itself in the individual’s response to the majesty of God, true biblical worship manifests itself in experience with other believers as well. We call this corporate worship or going to church.” Corporate worship should NOT be one option among many, but rather a consistent and persistent practice of ALL believers.
True, Jesus did not tell us to go to church, but he did tell us how to worship. Jesus tells us, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” False Christians have no desire for true worship. If a person longs to praise and worship God in Three Persons, that is evidence of a transformed heart. So, what does true worship look like?
If we approach worship primarily from the standpoint of such questions as --Does it meet my needs? Fit my style? Lift my soul? Inspire me? Fill me? Fulfill me? Thrill me? – then this is not true worship. True worship can certainly do all those things, but thinking and speaking of worship in those terms ought to jar us. This is not worship. As television’s Dr. Phil is famously prone to say, “It ain’t about you.” Yet, we tend to make worship about us. “What am I getting out of worship?” is the wrong question. The question we ought to be asking is, “What is God getting out of my worship?” As the Westminster Confession puts it, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Not the other way around.
When we take our focus off God and put it toward the style of service or the hymns we sing or our own preferences, our worship will become less fulfilling not more so. This does not mean we don’t have preferences, nor does it mean that the quality and content of a worship service don’t matter; but true worship does not require a certain style or a favorite song or anything done to each of our preferences. True worship focuses on God rather than on ourselves and our own desires.
Author and speaker Marva Dawn writes, “Everything that we do in worship should kill us, but especially the parts of the service in which we hear the Word – the Scripture lessons and the sermon.” True worship should kill us – our sin, self-centeredness, self-absorption, self-sufficiency, and self-satisfaction. If your worship is not costing you, if it does not stretch you, if it does not scare you, if it is not at least a little bit out of your comfort zone, then you are probably not worshipping. True worship involves the giving of your heart, mind, and soul to the One who died for you.
If we are attending worship every Sunday to be entertained, if we are not striving to live a holy life, if our hearts are not changing, if we are not trying to be a fully devoted disciple, then we have missed the point. The point is not just to show up on Sunday. But through worship to grow into fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ, who then help others become disciples too. The journey toward becoming a deeply devoted disciple is not an option; it is an expectation the Lord has of everyone who seeks to be a Christian, a follower of Christ, a disciple.
Jesus’ call to worship God in “spirit and in truth” encompasses both our mental and our emotional faculties. True worship engages the whole person, enabling us to increase in our knowledge of God and our love for God. So what can we do to make certain we are truly committed to corporate worship? How can we turn the focus away from ourselves and toward God? Here are three simple items of action and accountability: (1) I will attend worship services. It is just that simple. Make going to church a priority. (2) I will pray before I attend a worship service. Pray for having a right attitude toward worship. Pray for God to speak to you in worship. Pray for others who are in the worship service. (3) Pray as you enter the sanctuary. Pray for all distractions to be removed that you, as well as others, may be focused on the true worship of God. Pray that you will worship God instead of judging aspects of the corporate worship services. Pray for a focus on God instead of a focus on others.
Something to think about and pray about.
In God’s love and joy,