Saturday, November 30, 2013

2013 Christmas at Connections

Hi Friends!

Have you ever wanted to turn the volume down? I would really like to turn the volume down on some noise this Christmas season: things like consumerism, over-eating, road-rage for parking spaces at the mall, to name a few. On the other hand, I would love to turn the volume up, to literally crescendo in culture, as a part of Connections Christian Church. defines crescendo as follows:

[kri-shen-doh, -sen-doh; Italian kre-shen-daw] noun, plural cre·scen·dos, cre·scen·di [kri-shen-dee, -sen-dee; Italian kre-shen-dee] adjective, adverb, verb, noun

1. Music.
a. a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force.
b. a musical passage characterized by such an increase.
c. the performance of a crescendo passage: The crescendo by the violins is too abrupt.
2. a steady increase in force or intensity: The rain fell in a crescendo on the rooftops. 
3. the climactic point or moment in such an increase; peak: The authorities finally took action when public outrage reached a crescendo.  adjective, adverb
4. gradually increasing in force, volume, or loudness (opposed to decrescendo or diminuendo ).
verb (used without object) 
5. to grow in force or loudness.
My goal this Christmas Season for Connections Christian Church is for us to embrace the crescendos of Sacred Christmas Carols and apply them with increasing volume in our culture. Try to imagine what the final crescendo might be?
  • Hint...there is a Contemporary Song by Steven Curtis Chapman with this title?
  •'s Love Take Me Over!
And so the invitation is to embrace the crescendos of Sacred Christmas Carols, learn how they find their origin and application from God's Word, and allow them to peak through your life.
My hope is as "Love Takes Me (Us) Over" at Connections that the crescendo in our culture will be more people accepting Jesus as their Savior and Lord and allowing His love to flow through them.
We'll launch the series on December come ready to sing...come ready to crescendo...think love with lots of volume being played out in culture as empowered by the Holy Spirit living in you!

And remember...some people may want you to turn the volume down while others will want you to turn it pray specifically that God's love will take you over in such a way that more people will desire to tune into Christ Jesus!
God's Peace,

Saturday, November 23, 2013

ACTS of Kindness-Praying for Silver Saints

Hi Friends!

The above prayer was offered by the Apostle Paul in antiquity for the church and contextually from Romans 15 is relevant for unity and harmony and spiritual health in the church for eternity. To that end I am adopting this prayer for some members of Connections Christian Church during this season of Thanksgiving.

Specifically, I am asking you to join me in praying for our Silver Saints by inserting their name where the above text says you and then offering this prayer in entirety with Thanksgiving for their faithfulness to our Lord.

A suggested prayer schedule is listed below and can be printed by right-clicking on this page. If you would like a daily email contact me at and I will add you to a growing list of Christ-followers who are seeking to love others as God does.

Please accept my sincere apology and let me know if I inadvertently omitted one of our Senior members from the prayer schedule below. My heart is filled with gratitude this Thanksgivng for our Silver Saints...for your trust in God and your joy and peace and hope in His Spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving and God's Peace,

Monday November 25, 2013

Wanda Allman
Marlene Collier
Martha Downing

Tuesday November 26, 2013

Wanda Dunn
Richard Hiatt
Marlynn Hill

Wednesday November 27, 2013

Russ Hoffer
Joanna Jones
Nancy Langdon

Thursday November 28, 2013

Irv Maxwell
Mary Maxwell
Virginia McHargue

Friday November 29, 2013

Helen Nicholson
Vera Schmueszer
Larry Stivers

Saturday November 30, 2013

Wayne Spry
Gwen Spry
Glenn Vearil

Sunday December 1, 2013

Donna Weitzel
Floyd Wulfeck
Judy Wulfeck

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Principle of First

Hi Friends!

There are so many competing priorities in life that we sometimes forget that our personal relationship with God is to be FIRST! The Principle of First was established by God in the Old Testament and carried forward in the New Testament.

The FIRST of Ten Commandments in the Old Covenant is for God is to be FIRST (Exodus 20:3) and the FIRST and Greatest Commandments in the New Covenant is for God is to be FIRST (Matthew 22:36-40).

God so loved the world that He gave His FIRST Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice to redeem us from our sins (John 3:16). Jesus Christ reminds us (see Matthew 6:19-34) not to lay up treasures for ourselves or worry about competing priorities in life but to seek God FIRST and everything will be taken care of in its proper order.

During this season of Thanksgiving I am compelled through prayer and Bible Study and the Holy Spirit to remind the church that our relationship with God is to be FIRST! I'm reminded of the hymn that says "I'll put Jesus FIRST in my all that I say and in all that I do."

Check out the link below and by doing what it says you will be putting Jesus FIRST and you and your family and your church will be blessed for your faithfulness to His Word. Our relationship with God is to be FIRST in all that we say and do including the stewardship of our finances.

God's Peace,

Friday, November 8, 2013

ACTS of Kindness

Hi Friends!

So many people traverse through life and especially the holidays with little joy, little peace, and little and sometimes no hope. If you read the headlines, listen to sound bites, follow twitter and facebook, or just look into the eyes of colleagues or cashiers, then you know what I'm talking about.

We live in a culture that is filled with countless commercials and cunning campaigns that promise to radically rock and elevate the mood meter in the world. Why? No gurus needed as the answer is pretty straightforward: people lack joy, lack peace, and lack hope.

We tune into Reality TV to fantasize about celebrity to learn that much of celebrity has been nipped and tucked to look and feel worse rather than better with age. We idolize athletes who are payed millions of dollars to play childhood games to learn that some star in racism and vulgarity and even murder.

Do you believe people in the world need authentic hope?

Yes or No?

If so, as we enter into a special season of thanksgiving for God's goodness, fully realized in the incarnation of His Son and indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the church, would you join me in praying the prayer outlined in the Scripture above? Imagine the impact you can have in the world as the Holy Spirit infuses the joy and peace of Jesus through you into others!

Here are some opportunities @ Connections Christian Church to allow hope to overflow...

*Soles-4-Souls: donate shoes for those who have none: November 10th @ 12 PM
*Veterans Day: honor Veterans at Madeira Elementary School: November 11th @ 2 PM
*Connect-2-Adults: Bible Study and Prayer Groups: November 14th @ 7 PM
*Operation Christmas Child: donate gifts for orphaned children: November 17th @ 12 PM
*Senior Citizen Honors Luncheon and Care Baskets: November 24th @ 12 PM

I'm convinced, if you look closely, that you'll see the cry for the hope of Jesus Christ in celebrities and athletes and headlines and tweets. And what's more, if you look closely, you'll see the cry for the hope of Jesus Christ in many of the people you share life with every day.

So let's pray this prayer and allow the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus to overflow into the world. Envision joy in the world. Envision peace in the world. Envision hope in the world. Envision all these gifts of God in Christ Jesus in the world through you (the church) by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God's Peace,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Kingdom Initiative-My Hope America

Hi Friends!

History teaches that oftentimes the most profound teachings are afforded near the end of one's life as maturation and life experiences provide greater wisdom and conviction about that which matters most with respect to all other matters.

We've seen that in our current lesson series (The Kingdom Initiative) at Connections Christian Church as we have studied the Epistles of the Apostle John which he wrote near the end of his life as the elder statesman of the 1st Century Church.

In light of our studies we have been praying to be filled daily with the power of the Holy Spirit. Specifically, we have been asking the the Holy Spirit to empty us of our own agendas and empower us to be fully surrendered to God's agenda.

I John 4:4 tells us that the one living in Christians (the Holy Spirit) is greater than the one living in the world (the spirit of Satan) and will empower us to overcome evil and share the love of Christ with everyone in the world (God's agenda-initiative).

To that end, I encourage you to listen to Dr. Billy Graham on Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 10 PM EST on Fox News as he shares his wisdom and conviction about the "The Cross" and about Jesus Christ being the hope for America!

I believe the opportunity to hear Dr. Graham as a now elder statesman of the 21st century church who is nearing the end of his earthly life will inspire Christians to courageously love others as Jesus does through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.

See the trailer below and if you miss the broadcast on Fox you can view it on-line or via a free DVD at the following link: Continued prayers for the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh to fulfill God's Iniatitive in the world.

God's Peace,