I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading of late. There’s no doubt that we live in a dark world. My thoughts have been centered around the darkness of the world and our role as believers in a dark world. Some of my reading has been about a woman who recently died. Her name was Gertrude Himmelfarb.
A high calling for Christians: To make every individual we encounter feel infinitely valued, welcomed, and cherished. Quite a challenge, isn’t it? I’d like to take a little time this week to examine this statement. Is this our calling? If so, why? If it is our calling, how in the world do we do this? What does this statement have to do with hospitality?
What is hospitality? For Roddy and Katie Dinsmore and their family, hospitality is to have people in their home – often, for periods (sometimes long) of time, as part of the family.
My prayer for myself and for all God’s people is that we would receive men and women and boys and girls, to commend the goodness that we do see, and to speak truth where necessary with the mercy and compassion of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jay and Patti are continuing in their retirement years the work they began early in their marriage. They had wanted to expose their kids to people from different cultures.
Among the updates and stories was one in particular that stood out to me. Joo and Ashley Lee shared how they had invited a Japanese family to join them for the International Harvest Celebration the previous night. Ashley has been ministering to her friend for several months now, having developed a friendship through their young daughters.
Why has the Church not taken the gospel to the ends of the earth? Why are there places in the world where there is no church and no gospel witness? It has been almost 2,000 years, after all.
As we gather in the coming months, much of what we will do to celebrate will take place around the dinner table, amply supplied with an array of delicious holiday favorites. We will fill our plates with roasted turkey and casserole, buttered bread and yams, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and top it all off with more pie than we have eaten in all the preceding months of the year combined. So, the question naturally arises, IS THIS TOO MUCH?
Over the last 14 years, Kanye West has ebbed and flowed from an appetite for the Lord and for the world. But now, after all the seemingly incomplete attempts to reach for God in his music, it appears that a humbled, freshly motivated follower of Jesus has surfaced and the content is the most explicit yet –– explicitly God. Is Kanye really saved? Will this really last?
As we go through the Psalms, I can’t help but think about the impact that this book has had in my life. Capturing every range of the human experience, the Psalms are more than an intellectual exercise but a powerful emotional adoration of God.
I think there is general agreement that the family of God is a necessary part of the individual Christian’s life. However, from various conversations I have noticed that the mode of engaging in this community is debated. Disagreement arises from various understandings of the concept of “the church.” For some, this word refers exclusively to the Church universal – the group of regenerate Christians across time and space that will be ultimately and fully united to Christ as his bride. Whatever “the church” is, it is certainly not less than this.
As we strive to be a body of believers that follows Christ we often know that means to love others. But pause for a moment and think to yourself, how would I show love to someone walking through the doors of the church for the first time? Have an idea in mind? Now, what if that person walking through the doors had special needs?
I’d like to introduce you to a girl named Self, “myself” to be more specific. For so many years, Self has fought to put into words what she felt, the suffering she’s faced and the agony of shame that has weighed her down. You know how Pastor Jay refers to our “backpacks?” Well, Self’s backpack is loaded with bricks that have caused much heartache.
Walking up the stairs to the children’s classroom, JR, Xander, and I talk about the kiddos they’d meet, how those boys and girls may or may not know English yet, but how they could still enjoy playing together. We also discuss what the apartment might look like. Would it be like our home, would it be messy? How would it be decorated? I want my boys to understand that even though their surroundings may not be what we are accustomed to or expect, we can still enjoy our time with those who may be behind that door. We can practice being “swirly.”
I asked Mark Hampton if he were going to include any recipes in his “Food for Thought” series in our Bespoken podcast. When he said no, he wasn’t planning to, I thought I REALLY MUST. So, as a light-hearted contribution to the topic, I submit the following recipe for a classic salad.
The best Boards all come together with a united purpose to move the action steps along. Our goal of promoting the mission of the church through the work of service is best accomplished when we all discuss with vigor and then fully support the resulting decision.
On Sunday afternoon, 145 members of CHBC gathered to celebrate what God has done in our church over the past year, and to lay the groundwork for our upcoming season.
Some of you know that I love my work with the finances of our church. I love numbers and spreadsheets generally, and I love seeing how our ministries thrive when resources are available. The tool that we use to guide our spending is our operating budget.
Each year, CHBC holds an Annual Business Meeting. This meeting is required by our Bylaws, and is a great opportunity for members to participate in some vital decisions for our church. As well, non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend to learn more about some of the behind-the-scenes things that underlie our life together.
CHBC has just gotten the equivalent of an A+ in our financial integrity score – we have earned ECFA certification.
As we kickoff our year of celebration for 50 years of ministry, a common story we often hear is the mutual connection parents have with their college-aged children attending UNC and discovering a thriving Christian community at the Bible Church. Here’s Nicole Wesche and her father, Ken, sharing their bond with CHBC.
This story of one-on-one discipleship is truly powerful by these three college students, but rarely duplicated in our day. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a question to a friend of “How can I pray for you?” or asking someone to read the Bible every week and talk about it. Listen to how the Spirit of God worked through these friends to discover salvation through Jesus and ultimately change their life trajectories forever.
A lot has happened this past year at CHBC. God’s been at work!!! Check out the compilation that was shown last night during our Annual Meeting. What was the most memorable moment for you this past year???
For this, the final post from this blog, the “we” is going to change to “I” – this last post is not written by the “building committee,” but from my own viewpoint, myself – Emily Williams. I’m doing this in order to express some personal observations and thoughts, and recognize some people from the project who have meant something to me, personally, as we have worked together. I hope you will stay in your seat all the way to the end of the credits for this movie!
A copy of Dwight Thomas’ ribbon cutting speech given on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at the Building Dedication Ceremony.
It is just amazing to see all that has been happening this past week. The chapel ceiling and flooring and trim, the ceiling tiles in the chapel lobby and connector, flooring downstairs, classroom carpeting, a second (final) coat of paint in many areas … the place is being transformed. Many little things are being done, too, such as putting the faceplates on the light switches and outlets.