Thursday, August 27, 2015

“Listening to God”

What would be on the list of ways you listen to God?  Would you list “prayer” as first on the list?  Maybe “going to worship” is in your top 5? 

Here is my partial list (in not particular order) . . .

~ Prayer:  private and public conversation with God
~ Worship:  offering praise and thanksgiving as we gather around the Lord’s Table
~ Dreams:  in the Bible, God spoke to several of our ancestors through dreams
~ Spiritual Retreat:  intentional time apart from my regular life so as to be with God
~ Faithful Conversations:  talking with people about faith stuff
~ Preaching:  preparation and delivery provide me opportunities to experience God
~ Reading:  from the Bible to secular material provide me opportunities to listen for God
~ Nature: from exercise to relaxation outside to encounter God in God’s creation

I am so blessed to have a multitude of opportunities to listen to God.  I am thankful for the many ways our congregation encourages me to be about these activities.  Currently, the ACTS Class is giving me another opportunity to return to the Bible to hear the Spirit of God at work.

Seasons are changing.  Students and teachers are returning to school.  The weather is changing.  I am seeing leaves on my lawn.  

What a perfect time to try a new spiritual activity!  What if you added a new way of listening to God to your list?  What if you gave some daily attention to a particular way of talking with God?  At the end of 2015, imagine what you will have heard, dreamed, hoped!

So often, for us to hear is less about removing the obstacle and more about opening our ears.

See you Sunday!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Why I go to church

PurposePoints: Musings on Ministry and more
by Dr. James R. Brooks, Lead Minister

I go to church to be changed.  I go to church because I have discovered that the most important source of positive change in my life is Jesus.  I go to church to worship God, love Jesus and seek the Holy Spirit.

That I get to do / be church with folks like those at FCCE, is a bonus!
Why do you go to church?  What do you want from your church experience?  So many of you give so much time to church, why?  for what?
There are many seasons in our lives.  In some seasons, we need church to provide a safe place for us to find spiritual renewal.  Maybe we need a place to bring our doubts and questions.  Sometimes we need a sacred space to bring our righteous anger.   In some seasons, we need a place to express our spiritual questing.  Other times, we desire a place to serve so as to exercise our soul.

Why do you go to church?  How can FCCE walk with you?

For many, summer is a time of rest before we dive into the school year.  If this speaks to you, I pray that you are resting and recreating well.  I pray that God's Spirit will renew you and those you love.

I have been thinking about the pending school year.  What fun we are going to have!  The ministry we will engage, the people we will serve, the stuff we will do together.

Even more, you and I will chase Jesus or be chased by Jesus, depending the day.  Like a cosmic game of tag.  When God tags you, it changes you.  When you reach to tag God, you open yourself to be changed.  Like children at play, our souls will be renewed.  

See you on that faithful play ground we call church.  I can't wait to hear what you picked as your ministry(ies) for the school year!  Need an idea?  Check out the FCCE Serve brochure (published quarterly) or ask one of our ministers.