Archive: April, 2009

ACES TICKETS BIDDING BLOG

The game is on Friday May 8, 2009, at 6:05 p.m. against Fresno, which is the Giants AAA team. The seats are located in sec 110, row 6, seats 7,8,9,10. We would like to open a silent auction for these tickets beginning at $40.00 per ticket. These are season tickets, they cannot be purchased and they are THE BEST SEATS in the house.If you are interested in helping us raise funds and want to attend a sold out game, please return my email with your bid and number of tickets you would like to buy. To check the bidding status, please go to our blog. We will end the auction next Tuesday, May 5,2009 at noon. The tickets will be delivered to you.

Ticket #1 $50
Ticket #2 $50
Ticket #3 $55
Ticket #4 $55

Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? By Heidi Avery

My husband travels from time to time and taking care of our 3 children on my own for 3 or 4 nights can be difficult sometimes. Sometimes when I need a break from cooking dinner I will turn to the convenience of fast food which the kids look at as a treat, so everybody’s happy. I even go so far as to take them two places to get them what they all want and that is an even bigger hit with the kids! So, for the girls it’s chicken Mc-nuggets from McDonalds and for my son it’s a juicy flame-broiled cheeseburger from Burger King.

My husband was gone last week and it was only a day later that I was ready for my break from the kitchen and the kids were ready for there fast food favorites. Fortunately for me, there happens to be a Burger King right across the street from a McDonalds here. We hit McDonalds first and then were on our way to the next stop. At the exit I was met with a very busy street of traffic. I needed to make it all the way across to get to the Burger King. It was so busy that I could only make it to the middle turning lane where I sat and waited for an opportunity to move across.

As I sat in the middle waiting, my 7 year old “back seat driver” (Hannah) says “mom, GO already!” I just looked at her in the rearview mirror and with a giggle I said “don’t you trust me to get you wherever we are going?” Then she giggled and said, “yes mom.” I also continued to explain to her that if I didn’t sit right there and wait patiently for the traffic to clear then we would likely be struck by an on coming car and we’d be hurt and could even be killed. She got it and sat quietly while I waited for my opportunity to move.

Once safely across the street and all fast food orders placed and delivered we headed home. I began to think about my little “back seat driver” and upon further thought the Lord laid a question on my heart…”don’t you trust Me to get you wherever you are going?” I was left with an unsettling, although not too surprising realization about myself…

I am a back seat driver too.

I suspect we are all guilty of being God’s “know-it-all” back seat drivers. We carelessly kick God out of the driver’s seat taking the wheel right out of His hands. In the mad rush to get here or there, looking for quick results and our own easy answers. Before we know it we get swept up right into our fast paced whirl-wind world. In the process we rush right past God and into our own plans for our life.

I don’t know about you, but I am confronted a lot with the truth of God’s timing. BIG SURPRISE… it’s not our own! But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. Peter 3:8

When we rush ahead of God we could be headed into disaster, skidding off of His narrow path right into wide uncertain territory. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’ve veered off path until we’re in the thick of sin. His word clearly tells us to “Enter through the narrow gate for small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to ‘eternal’ life, only a few find it. Stay away from the broad way and wide gate that leads to destruction.” Matthew 7:13

What a loving Father we have that He “…goes before us and will be with us.” Deuteronomy 31:8 God has lovingly cleared the path ahead of us, and within that path are “plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

If we find ourselves taking short cuts we may also miss the rich, beautiful scenery of blessings and opportunities that He has planned for us along the ride. We must have self-control and learn to “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” Psalm 37:7

It’s hard for a 7 year old back seat driver and I think sometimes it is equally as hard for a 36 year old back seat driver. That’s why we need to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 Once we have humbled ourselves and are prepared to kneel at the feet of Jesus, He will always be faithful to provide either a “yes,” my daughter, or “no,” my child, or a “wait,” my obedient servant as my timing will forever produce the sweetest of blessings for you.

Lord, there is nothing better then knowing I am on your path and that You have beautiful plans for me. Help me to seek and wait for your perfect guidance in my life and deny my impatient nature. I don’t want to make my way onto the wide path away from Your plans for me. I don’t want to miss the blessings and opportunities that will above all else bring glory to Your holy and matchless name.

“Spreading the Gospel,” By Kelli Zaniel

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The Bible tells us that the gospel was to spread geographically from Jerusalem, into Judea and Samaria, and finally to the ends of the earth. Do you feel that you have been an active participant in the spreading of God’s Holy Word? Do the people around you see God at work in your life? The gospel of our Savior has not reached its final destination if someone in your family, at work, at school or in your community has not heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. God has revealed to us through His Word that it is our responsibility as Christians to reach out to those around us, pull them in out of the storm and underneath the shelter of God’s heavenly umbrella of salvation. After we have jumped into God’s Word and allowed our personal relationship with Him to be transformed and renewed, it is time to focus on our ministry to others in the community who need to be refreshed and rejuvenated through the love and power of the Almighty God.

Not one soul has an excuse for not knowing the character of God because the Bible so clearly reveals his “fruit of the spirit” nature. His nature is exposed, so that we can experience God’s love and forgiveness cascading down to us. He invites us to participate in a personal, intimate and daily relationship with Him. Every person either accepts or rejects Jesus’ selfless sacrifice. In heaven when we are to stand in judgment, there will be no time for excuses. “Because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5). We must make sure of two important things. One, that our faith is genuine and our hearts are pure. Two, that we have shared God’s loving message with others who hunger for the Good News, as the Bible has instructed us to do. When I stand before my maker on that glorious day, I so desire to hear my Father say, “Well done my good and faithful servant!”

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Even though we may feel like inadequate and ill-equipped, “ambassadors,” God desires for us to take up the cross, share His love and extend our hands to meet the needs of those in our community. 2 Chronicles 16:9, assures us that the, “Lord will range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” If we are committed to seeking the will of God and telling others about his unfailing love for us, He will give us the strength we need to fulfill His calling. God always, “qualifies the called.” He wants us to call out to Him and rest in His strength.

Have you ever thrown a pebble into a small pond? As the tiny pebble glides and skips across the pond, a ripple effect is created. I believe this is analogous to what God is calling us to do. He wants to birth in us a genuine hunger to share and spread the Good News to the, “ends of the earth.” The first ripple of the water is to rekindle and ignite the fire in the hearts of our church family. The second ripple will symbolize the filtering of God’s Word into our circle of friends and family. The third ripple will extend into our local “mission field,” or neighborhoods. The fourth ripple of God’s love will then swell out into our community. Touching those unbelieving hearts by sharing God’s Word will begin as a small circle that has been slightly touched by the pebbles swift kiss across the water. But as a result of that first delicate ripple, a second will form, then a third and then a fourth until the outer banks of the small pond are magnificently touched by the mighty and forgiving hand of Jesus.

The Bible tells us in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and the Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Bible is teaching us that the Word became human and in doing so, Christ became, the perfect teacher, the perfect example and the perfect sacrifice. God’s Word in us has taken up residence or “dwelling” in our homes and neighborhoods. Through His dwelling within us, His life-giving message can overflow out of our homes, into the streets and penetrate the lives of those living around us. As His ambassadors, we are to open up our literal doors as well as the spiritual doors of our hearts to our neighbors who are our local mission field of potential.

On my great adventure with God, I have called my strengths and abilities into question many times. God always assures me that my steps do not need to be perfect, they just need to follow in obedience. I often feel like Moses probably did when meeting God at the burning bush. Moses argued with God, that he simply had the wrong guy for the job. “God I can’t do this, pick someone else!” Every argumentative comment that came from Moses was greeted by the whispers of God, “I will do it for you, I will do it through you.” I can picture Moses wiping the sweat from his brow and breathing a sigh of relief. God comforted and assured Moses that He would provide the words to say; I believe He will do that for us as we infiltrate our community with the gift of God’s eternal treasure, which is waiting for us in heaven.

Dress rehearsal is over! God has already given us the armor, complete with a helmet and shield, so that we can go out into the world’s battlefield, fight against Satan’s destruction and win the souls of unbelievers in Jesus’ name. God has equipped us with a mouth to speak the word, ears to hear the small, still voice of the Father, minds to anticipate needs, hands to serve, arms to carry the burdens of others, and feet to walk toward Jesus and go the extra mile (e.g., Matthew 5:41).

I truly believe having Speaker Renee Swope come on November 13 and 14, 2009, for our Women’s Conference is God’s pleasing and perfect will for our church home and community. God has already carried us over several hurdles in order to get this event on the calendar. I think of this Conference as one of the ripples in our small pond. I pray that this will be a perpetual ripple in the water of hope that will not only reach, but will saturate the outer banks of our community.

Abraham’s Faith by Heidi Avery

“He went out, not knowing wither he went.”  Hebrews 11:8

 

Oswald Chambers wrote this insightful description of faith…

 

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us “go.”

 

Isn’t it beautiful? 

 

I couldn’t help but smile as I reread it several times in my mind and even out loud.  I determined quickly that in relation to Abraham it really fits quite perfectly.  As that specific thought came to completion in my mind I felt God very clearly speak to my heart… “try it on my child, let’s see how Abraham’s faith fits on you.”   

 

As I tried it on for size I felt the burning conviction well up in my heart and I confessed that “no” it doesn’t always fit quite the way it should.

 

Fear has us wanting to know where were headed and love of self has us going anywhere but to God for the assurance of our safety.  In this world we live in we must be very cautious.  It will boldly offer us just the quick assurance we “think” we need.  Left to our flesh we would have no trouble taking that quick assurance and overlooking the fact that worldly assurance is always a risk, it’s never guaranteed. 

 

However, faith in God is something we can count on.  Hebrews 11: 1 says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  As I reflected on His word I prayed “Lord I am sure that You are Who You say You are and I am certain that You will fulfill what You have promised, help me to know this truth all of the time so that my faith may increase.”

 

So, God will likely have to have this talk with me again, but for now in this moment I am going to wear Abraham’s faith and believe it for myself…

 

Heidi never knows where she is being led, but she loves and knows the One Who is leading.  She lives a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes her “go.” 

 

Go ahead try it on for yourself.  Does it fit?  

 

 

Quick Review of Birds In My Mustard Tree, By Kelli Zaniel

Before we began the Bible Study, I jumped into the first day of Birds In My Mustard Tree, to make sure it would be an encouraging study on faith and obedience. I just wanted to informally share for a second. Yesterday, I finished up the first week of study and I love the book! I was so blessed by it and so reassured in that fact that as long as our faith is genuine and vibrant, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is. It does not matter if our faith is a small shoot waiting to burst open or if it is an old established tree. We must rely on our Father’s abilities to produce the results, not our own. I also found personal comfort in knowing that if I am face to face with an overwhelming mountain of a problem, all I have to do is just turn away from it, fix my eyes on Christ and allow Him to equip me with the faith I need to overcome and make my mountain much easier to climb! Please comment on how you like the book so far….