God can even take our trash and make it into treasures.
I went to 2 movies last week. Maybe that is not unusual for you, but I seldom go to movies...there is seldom anything worth watching. Today we are seeing more value-based or faith-based movies. The headlines on this article come from one of those movies. The Rescue Mission sponsored the movie Same Kind of Different As Me. The story line was about changing lives. The rehabilitation of trashed out lives. The truth was that the most trashed out life was the man who looked like he had it all together. God can take all of our trash and make it into treasures.
The other movie was Let There Be Light. Kevin Sorbo (remember the God Is Not Dead movie) has his life changed. I love movies which remind us of God's life-changing power! God is still in the life-changing business. I pray he is working to change your life. I know He has taken my trash and made it into treasures. When you have the opportunity, go see both of those movies.
In November, I will wrap-up and review our Faithology series. We have spent the year studying, understanding, and hopefully, living our Christian faith. I will draw it all together and then move on to Christmas @ Canyons on the last Sunday of November. This year our theme is The Gifts of Christmas. Plan to be join us and bring you family and friends with you.
Statistics show that people will come to church if you and I will invite them. It is "The Power of Inviting." October is a great month to reach out and invite others to come to Canyons. I want to first invite all of you to my 832 class at 8:32 on Sunday morning. This Sunday, I will begin teaching a "Journey Into Overcoming." The study is about rising about life's toughest problems: worry, guilt, anger, loneliness, and other problems of life.
Another important opportunity is for all of us to reach out to those who speak Spanish. We all encounter people we could invite to come to Canyons Church En Español. It has been such a blessing to have the unity of meeting at the same time, in the same place and sometimes together on Sunday mornings. Those of us who worship as Canyons Church in English can help Pastor Raphael and his congregation reach out and help change the lives of many Spanish speaking people in our valley. There is power in inviting.
Canyons has 2 significant outreach opportunities in October. On October 15th, the Watoto African Children's Choir will share with us their music and excitement for Jesus. They will have the entire Sunday morning service. Go on line and you can see and hear the dynamic ministry they will present. Invite your friends, family and neighbors. There is power in inviting.
On October 31st (Halloween night), we will once again have our Fall Family Festival (FFF). Since we have moved that ministry outside, it has gotten bigger and better every year. We have reached more and more people in our community. Of course, we need you to bring your candy, but we also need you and your car for "truck-or-treat." We also need you to pray and reach out and invite people to come because there is power in inviting.
From Corpus Christi to Louisiana, millions of people need our prayers and support.
A Bent Knee and a Helping Hand
Hurricane Harvey has devastated may lives along the Texas Gulf Coast. Dozens of lives have been lost and billions of dollars in precious homes and property have been destroyed. What can we do? First, we can pray; we can bend our knees and lift those people to our Lord. Second, we can lend a helping hand. Even if we cannot be there to help, we can help by giving. The Samaritans Purse Ministry is a great place to give. The Red Cross is always a great helping agency. You can also give through Canyons Church and all the money will go to help Texas with ministries like our Disaster Relief Teams.
For many of us, this storm has become very personal! Do you know someone who has been touched by this tragedy? Many of us have family and friends who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Our daughter Erin and her family were evacuated from Corpus Christi late last week and will not see their home again until Friday. They know they experienced roof damage, but they are unsure about internal damage. Our son Jonathan and his family live in the Houston area, but their home was not flooded - even though there is flooding all around them. Their Senior Pastor (Craig Reynolds) and his family had major flood damage and had to be evacuated from their home. Pray for all you friends and family.
Please, continue to pray for Canyons Church as we enter a new school year. May people have stepped up to minister. They need your prayers and support. We all do! Thank you for your prayers for me.
I am praying for God to do a new work is Utah and Canyons Church.
August @ Canyons
God is still God! Sometimes we get so busy doing church that we forget God wants to empower us to be the church...the Body of Christ reaching and caring for our community and for our congregation. Missiology is the study and understanding of our mission as a church. We are investing the last 2 weeks in July to understanding what it takes to be effective missionaries. Your are a missionary! Jonah had to be "The Worst Missionary Ever" and we are learning from him what not to do.
In August, we will also focus on Missiology. August 6th, we will share with you how we plan to move forward as a church. Missiology Utah will focus on "pressing on to lay hold of that for which Jesus laid hold of us" (Philippians 3:12). Although Chad and Meagan Castor are moving to Texas, we are not going to back off in our ministry to the youth or our worship ministry. The Castors were such a gifted and loving couple and they will be missed, but we must move forward.
August 13th and 20th, we will look at Missiology Mormonism. August 27th, we will study Missiology Islam. Those three Sundays will be dedicated to studying and understanding the religion of our family, friends, and neighbors and how we can lovingly and prayerfully share our faith with them. I will be very sensitive to their faith, but we need to know what Mormonism and Islam teaches and how to reach out to them.
If you had to choose which would be presented to you first, would you choose good news or bad news?
Chad and Meagan
Has anyone ever told you they have good news and bad news...and then given you the choice which to have first? I would usually ask for the bad news first, because then I would have hope that something better is on its way. I am going to focus on good news first, then the bad news...then the good news. The good news (as many of you have already heard) is that Meagan and Chad are having a baby. Praise the Lord for that little one! The bad news is that God is leading them to move to Texas and closer to family.
Chad and Meagan have been a ministering team for Canyons. Chad has been a faithful leader for our youth. Right now he and Meagan are at camp with our youth, next week they teach 5th and 6th graders in VBS and then the last week of the month they will lead our youth on a mission trip to Colorado. In August they head for Texas. Meagan has been a talented leader in our music ministry. What a blessing! Thank you Chad and Meagan for giving yourselves to the Lord and to Canyons Church! **Remember to bring a card to them by the 16th and include a gift if you can.
More good news? God is still in control! He has a plan for Canyons and He has the power to change lives. He is not finished with Canyons and I am praying for Him to do a new work in Canyons. Will you join me in that prayer? Pray for VBS this week.
June is our month to challenge Canyons to be the church Jesus wants us to be!
Have you seen the church in Florida they call "the Chicken Church? No church wants to be called "Chicken Church." The church is called "the Chicken Church" not because the people are afraid to step out in faith, but because the tower on their building looks like a chicken. Check it out online and come on Sunday and I will show you pictures. Some architect must be in trouble or...maybe it was just a gimmick.
All Christian churches should be called "Church Unlimited!" Last weekend, Dixie and I visited a church called "Church Unlimited" in Corpus Christi, Texas. Great church with a great name. Because we are the church and because the church is the body of Christ and He is the head and power of the church, we are "unlimited!" Jesus said the church was His and even death and the grave could not stop His church - CHURCH UNLIMITED.
In June, we will continue our study of and our challenge to the church (Ecclesiology). Canyons has never been a "chicken church" and we continue to be committed to being a "church unlimited." Join us as we share about renewing and rebuilding this body of Christ. It will take "grit and grace" to step into the unlimited power of Jesus Christ.
Today is the day we are challenged to pray for our country. It is our National Day of Prayer. I know we would all agree - our country needs prayer. At the national level, decisions are being made that could determine our health care, how much we pay in taxes and even whether our giving to Canyons and others ministries is tax deductible. I know my tithes and offerings are given for the Lord not for the deduction, but those tax deductions do help many people. So, pray for our nation, its leaders and the decisions they will make. Pray for our leaders at every level of government.
More importantly, pray for a revival in America. We need a third Great Awakening. Our nation needs to wake up to the work God can do. The real change in lives is not the change government can make, but the change only God can make! We spend billions of dollars trying to reform and transform our society; hoping for a better America. Beyond all of those programs, Jesus is the answer! Pray for the reformation and transformation only Jesus can bring.
Pray for Canyons Church and other churches committed to share with our community and the world the answer to its needs... JESUS. Canyons needs your prayer support. Pray for our ministry and stick in there with us as we fulfill our vision: To see Jesus change lives by His grace and truth one person at a time. PRAY!