Sam Snyder • October 14, 2021
Did you know that you could be carrying over $20,000 worth of treasures in your pocket???
I imagine you probably haven't given it much thought and may not have realized the value, so I want to highlight a few treasures that are at your fingertips through the bundle of resources available to you with our church's Faithlife subscription.
First off, you have the ability to connect with your church community, and that's PRICELESS. For you to actually experience that level of connectedness you need to do a few things:
- Install the Faithlife App: Visit iOS App Store OR Visit Google Play Store.
- Turn on your Notifications: When you are in each group you will see "Notification Preferences" at the top of the page. Select "All In" and then edit it down from there. You may want certain notifications immediately and other groups to send a summary to your email at the end of the day. If you don't see the notification it's as if it didn't happen, which kind of defeats the purpose of having this tool to help us connect.
- Complete your profile by adding a Profile Pic so that people can more easily identify you when you interact on here...You can even link social networks, and add other interesting and helpful info to your profile.
- Post Updates, thoughts, prayer needs or praise to the Cross Culture wall. Here's more of what you can do in the group and how to do it so that the church can see it.
- Here's a video that shows how we can use this to connect as a whole church and how our missional communities can use within their communications and connections:
- Here are some more ways to get started with the Faithlife Mobile App.
Second: You have access to thousands of hours of Bible documentaries, dramas, biographies, kids' videos, and more...including over 200 seminary-level courses (Logos MobileEd) on different topics that you may want to be learning more about, whether it's a particular book of the Bible, or learning a particular area of ministry that you are engaged in. Those courses alone are over $15,000 if you purchased them separately. I have enjoyed watching Kids shows and archeology videos with my family on here too.
- Download FaithlifeTV to your device or find it on your Smart TV apps and login with your Faithlife account to have access to view all of these things.
Third: You have access to over $3,000 worth of Bible study resources that you can access on your phone, tablet, or computer with a program called Logos. It uses the same username and password and gives you incredible access for quick and simple Bible Study to help you grow in your understanding and application of God's Word more easily.
Here are some of the resources included in our subscription for you to make use of with the Logos App. There is even a FREE book of the month that you can log on to get each month to add to your resources. Download HERE.
Here's a video that gives a quick glimpse of what you could do with Logos:
If you had $20,000 sitting in your pocket, would you forget about it or would you make use of it? I want to encourage you to make full use of the resources that we have to stay connected and to continue growing in God's grace together.
Sam Snyder • October 09, 2021
I've been traveling the last couple of days and I have had a lot of time watching people interact. It seems that previous distance and suspicions of strangers has increased, but it's not a whole lot more than it used it be. Most people are tuned out from those around them and tuned into their device. The furniture used to be designed where you would sit next so someone..but still wouldn't talk to them.
Now even the furniture is designed to give everyone their own illusion of being separate. Maybe to give you a sense of privacy and the ability to not feel rude in tuning everyone else out.
How indicative is this of our individualism? We all want our own time, our own space, our own personalized devices, menus, etc. And in our pursuit of this individualization we miss out on the people around us. Our society is oriented toward a hyper individualism and yet the majority of people are starving for community and a sense of living a life of significance. It's sadbto me that most people will go through life without experiencing either of those things because they are tuned out and turned away from those around them and from the God who created them.
What would happen if we would always be looking for ways to Tune In to God and Tune in to others? This might look like finding ways to gather others or turning your attention away from your own things and tuning in and turning towards others. It was an interesting contrast how full the chairs were that faced out and how few people were sitting facing someone at the airport.
My hope and prayer is that as a church we will be the kind of people who tune in and turn towards others and are open to share life with others and be open and available to God.
(All photos brought to you from the LAX airport)
Mishawn Gudipati • September 09, 2021
Many of you may personally know, and others may have personally observed while in the park this summer, my intense dislike of bees. Don’t get me wrong I value the purpose of bees on this earth, the role they play in pollinating, or their importance in the food chain, but I do not value their presence in my hair, or when they encircle my person, or their insistent desire to share my meal when I'm eating outside. I am the one who disregards all logic as my brain shuts down to flee any situation where I am anticipating their insistent presence and potential threat. Fear colors my judgment in those moments and it recently drove me to attempt to get out of a moving vehicle that I was driving in reverse! Not logical, not my finest moment, and truly embarrassing.
A few Sundays back we looked at Genesis 12, in all of its entirety, while in the park. We see “The Call of Abram” as God invites him to pick up everything and head on to a place he did not know. In addition to the invitation was the promise that not only would God bless Abram, but would use Abram to bless those around him. I would venture to say, without personally knowing Abram, that this was a significant and life-changing event. I would also like to assume that he was most likely never the same after encountering God’s invitation and promise, but as we head farther down into the chapter we see famine and uncertainty throw a curveball into Abram’s faith journey.
Stress from the external pressures (severe famine) and anticipation of the unknown (would he be killed because of his beautiful wife?!?) seem to have impaired Abram’s memory of God’s invitation and promise. I think all of us can relate to Abram in his experience of fear. That is what fear does. It neurologically inhibits our brain’s ability to act rationally and moves us into survival mode. No amount of reason or logic will be accepted by any human when their brain switches gears into this mode. This is where faith comes in. Faith is the act of trusting God. I believe true trust leads us to true rest and true peace. It says, “God I believe you are able, reliable, do what you say, and are strong enough.” It’s out of this place of trust, dependence, and connection that our brains learn to overcome the experience of fear and all its related associates (doubt, anxiety, insecurity, etc.). It moves us into a place of declaring, believing, and remembering. How do we practically apply this as we navigate our own faith journeys? Practically speaking, full-body worship is our strongest method as followers of Jesus. It not only provides the oxygen and movement to get blood flow back to our brain, but it also throws in the element of recounting and reminding ourselves of who God is and who we are in His care. At times it might seem like succumbing to fear is a failure and highlights our lack of faith or worth in living out God’s call on our lives, but we can see from Abram’s story that that doesn’t line up with God’s heart towards us. Abram made many mistakes in his humanness and he still made it into the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11) and was even known for his faith; mistakes and all!
Where are the places in your life presently where stress from external pressures or the anticipation of the unknown are impairing your ability to receive the invitation of God for your life and the promises He has for you? Are there any places where you feel you’ve failed in your trust of God or don’t trust His heart and intentions? Take some time this week to sing, dance, pace, shout over those places, believing, declaring, and agreeing with all that God has said, remembering what He has done, and looking to the one who can move mountains and raise the dead.
Lastly, we weren’t meant to walk this journey alone, who is someone you can invite into this space to pray and believe with you?
Learning to keep walking in faith with you,