December 4, 2019

Church Events
DECEMBER 2019
• Christmas Pageant Rehearsal at noon, Dec. 1
• Book signing at the Daily Grind, 11:00-2:00, Dec. 7
• Christmas Pageant Rehearsal 11:00-1:00, Dec. 14
• A Manger Suite Musical at 7:00, Thursday, Dec. 12
• A Manger Suite Musical at 8:15, 9:15, 10:15, Sunday, Dec. 15
• Christmas Pageant at the 11:15 service, Dec. 15
• Adopt-A-Child unwrapped gifts due at church office Monday, Dec. 16
• Santa at the Daily Grind 10:00 to 12:00, Dec. 22


Amazing God

December 4, 2019
Let me show you how you can tap into the amazing power of our amazing God. Because there may come a day when you get a bad prognosis. There may come a day when you feel overwhelmed, when you feel like you’re ready to throw in the towel.
 
Here is one way to bring the power of God into your battle …
Turn to Him.
 
God says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; and I will deliver you and you will honor Me.” (Psalm 50:15)
Here’s what I would do if I were you. I would just say, in my own words, in my own way, “God, I open my heart to You. I open my life to You. I don’t have all the answers. I still have a lot of questions and doubts. But I want You in my life.” Or just say it sweet and simple like Sue: “Jesus, I love You, I love You, I love You.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “But, Jeff, I’m too far gone. It’s too late for God to do anything in my situation. My situation is totally messed up.”
Well, that’s what they said back in the pages of the Bible. One time the Israelites were facing an overwhelming enemy army. To put some distance between themselves and the enemy, the Israeli army made a fatal mistake. They made a run for it and they ran right into a desert. Six days later, they’re out there under the scalding sun, their horses are panting, their men are dropping, they’re out of water. They’re in the middle of the desert, and the middle eastern sun is beating down on them, and it’s hopeless. Their situation is hopeless! Without water, they’re dead.
So, they decided to do what I’m telling you to do. They call out to God in their day of trouble. They said, “God, if we don’t find water, it’s all over.”
God said, “You called to Me in your day of trouble; and I will deliver you and you will honor Me. You will have all the water you need by this time tomorrow.”
They said, “But … but … we’re in the middle of a scorching desert and there’s not a cloud in the sky.”
God said, “Boys, get your shovels out and start digging ditches. You’re going to have so much water, by this time tomorrow you’ll need ditches to contain it all.”
When the sun rose the next morning, there still wasn’t a cloud in the sky … but, suddenly, water began flowing right through the desert, swirling around their ankles, filling those ditches. I guess far away, so far away it was completely out of sight … up in the mountains, there was a big storm that caused a flash flood. And all that water had nowhere to go, except down into the desert valley.
Who would have thought? Water in the desert!
What do you need God to do for you? Maybe you’d better get out your shovel and start digging! Because we have an amazing God!
Turn to God. Call out to Him in the day of trouble.


November 19, 2019

Church Events
• CLC Music Academy Recital Nov. 10 at 1:00
• Confirmation Sunday Nov. 17 at 11:15
• Thanksgiving Sunday Nov. 24
• Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child due at Church Nov. 24
• CLC Serves Dinner at Our Community Table Nov. 29
• Christmas Decorating Day Nov. 30 1:00 to 5:00
• Manger Suite Musical 8:15, 9:15, 10:15 services, Dec. 15
• Christmas Pageant at the 11:15 service, Dec. 15


The 90/10 Principle

November 19, 2019
What’s the 90/10 Principle? 10 percent of life is made up of what happens to you; 90 percent of life is decided by how you react. Let me explain. We really have no control over 10 percent of what happens to us. A driver cuts us off in traffic. The car gets a flat tire. The plane is late, throwing your whole schedule off. We have no control over this 10 percent. The other 90 percent is different. You determine the other 90 percent. How? By your reaction!
 
Let’s use an example. You’re having breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react.
You curse and harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks into tears. After scolding her, you turn to your wife and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle ensues. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs your daughter is too busy crying to finish her breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the school bus. Now, you have to drive your daughter to school. Because you’re running late, you drive 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. After a 15 minute delay and a $120 traffic ticket, your day just continues to get worse and worse. You can’t wait for the day to be over and you look forward to coming home. But when you arrive home, you find everyone is giving you the silent treatment. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.
 
Why did you have a bad day?
A. Did the coffee cause it?
B. Did your daughter cause it?
C. Did the police officer cause it?
D. Did you cause it?
The answer is “D.” How you reacted in those first 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.
 
Here is what could have happened – and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “It’s okay, honey, you just need to be more careful next time.” Grabbing a towel, you rush upstairs, throw on a new shirt, and head downstairs in time to see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive at work 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on what a good day you’re having.
Notice the difference? Two scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you reacted. That’s why the Bible says, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise – making the most of every opportunity.”
 
Here are other ways to apply the 90/10 Principle:
 Suppose someone says something negative about you. How do you react? Don’t be a sponge. Don’t soak it all in. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don’t have to let the negative comment affect you!
 How about if someone cuts you of in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound the steering wheel? Who cares if you arrive 10 seconds later at work? Why let a stranger you never met, driving a car you’ll never see again, ruin your morning?
 Suppose you lose your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Instead of putting your energy into worrying, put your energy into finding another job.
 
10% of life is made up of what happens to you.
90% of life is decided by how you react.
 
 
 


October 8, 2019

Church Events:
  • Acoustic Café Nights at the Daily Grind   10-18, 10- 26
  • 30 Hour Famine: Bring donations through 10-31
  • Thrivent Food Drive: Bring donations through 10-31
  • Thanksgiving Sunday 11-24
  • Christmas Musical  and Children’s Pageant  12-15
 
MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY
Help Feed the Northeast
Here’s your chance to help combat food insecurity for local families with the Thrivent Member Network—Northeast Region! We will be collecting food items between October 1 and October 31, 2019. Just look for the collection box near the Information and Opportunities Table. Please contact Marsha at 860-849-2122 or by email marshatt@aol.com with any questions.
 
MISSION OPPORTUNITY
Undie Sunday/Undie Monday
Will you help by collecting NEW underwear, t-shirts and socks? The Springfield Rescue Mission serves hundreds of men, women and children. As the weather gets colder, donating a new set of underclothing is an easy way to help someone who has not had clean undergarments for months. Please look for the collection box near the Information and Opportunities Tables.
 


The Comeback Prayer

October 8, 2019
 
Would you join me in a “comeback prayer?”
 
You’ll spell out the word, “TRUST.”
 
First of all, just Tell God exactly how you feel about what’s going on in your life right now. Just say, “God, I’m really sad today.” Or: “I’m lonely. I’m mad. I’m starting to get resentful.”
 
And second, tell God you’re going to Refuse to get bitter. Tell God: “I want to be better, not bitter. I don’t understand what’s going on in my life. But I know You’re good. I know You love me. I know You got this, God.”
 
Now tell God you’re going to get really serious – I mean, really serious – about the U in Trust: Uniting with other people who will help you focus on God. Say: “God, I haven’t always been all that faithful in worship attendance. And that’s about to change. Because I need You in my life. And I need other people to pray for me and support me and be there for me.”
 
The S in Trust is surrender: “God, I surrender my future to You. I surrender my hopes and my fears and my dreams. I put it all in Your hands.”
 
Finally, the T stands for: Trust. “God, I trust every detail of my comeback to You. I put my trust in Jesus. I trust Jesus to get me out of this mess. I’m giving every area of my life to You, Jesus.”
 
“Father, You have heard these prayers … and I ask for Your blessing. Let each person who prayed these words sincerely, from their heart, begin to feel the difference and see the next step of their comeback. I ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.”


September 25, 2019

Help Feed the Northeast!
 
Here’s your chance to help combat food insecurity for local families with the Thrivent Member Network—Northeast Region! We will be collecting food items between October 1 and October 31, 2019. Just look for the collection box near the Information and Opportunities Table. Please contact Marsha at 860-849-2122 or by email marshatt@aol.com with any questions.
 
Impact is Getting Hungry Again!
 
What is the 30 Hour Famine?
Students around the world loving God and fighting hunger. Our students will grow closer to Christ and each other as they fast together for 30 hours and raise funds to fight hunger. When we do the Famine we’re challenging our students to be part of something bigger than themselves. To take action for God’s kingdom. To help save the lives of hungry kids. To permanently change the way we see the world.
How the Famine works:
This year’s Famine will be held Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. Then on Famine weekend, students get up close and personal with hunger by  going 30 hours without food. Our Impact and Injoy Youth Groups will be fundraising for the event throughout September and are accepting monetary donations. Please be sure to attend the 10:15 Youth Group meetings to begin working on and planning the event.
Who benefits from the fundraising?
The donations you provide will be used to change lives. World Vision puts the funds you raise to work by bringing emergency food aid to disaster zones and equipping families with the tools they need to overcome hunger in their communities.
Visit worldvision.org to learn more or contact Molly Elias at 413-275-8448 with any questions.
 
 


What Are You Seeking First?

September 25, 2019
Remember this verse? Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first … not second, third, forth, or fifth … the Kingdom of God … not success, not satisfaction, not a salary … and then all these other things will be added unto you.

Here’s what I’ve learned: Whatever you want God to bless, you put Him first in. You want God to bless your time? You give Him the first part of every day. You want God to bless your week? You give Him the first day of every week. You want God to bless your money? You give Him the first part of your money, no matter how little it is.

 
The first part of your money – that was a big deal for me. The Bible clearly says to tithe, return the first 10% to God. I went through 4 years of grad school making $200 a week. But I still tithed. I came to this church with a young family, 2 little babies, and I made $300 a week. But I still tithed. Why? Because I couldn’t afford not to have God’s blessing in my life. I needed God’s blessing. Whatever you want God to bless, put Him first in and then He’ll bless that.
 
We often get this all mixed up. Here’s what we say. We normally say, “God, make me a really great success in business and then I’ll serve you with the success.” Wrong! It’s not, “Make me a success and then I’ll serve you.” It’s the exact opposite. “God, I’m feel like I’m failing; God, I’m spinning my wheels; God, nobody’s biting. But I give it to You as a platform, and then You can bless it as You see fit.”
 
So, what you say is, “Lord, You can use my business as Your platform to spread the Good News.” Somebody says, “What do you do for a living?” You say, “I’m a missionary … disguised as a realtor. (Well, maybe you don’t want to say that. It sounds weird. Just say it to yourself!) “I’m a missionary … disguised as an accountant. I’m a missionary … disguised as a truck driver or a nurse or a housecleaner or whatever. I’m first and foremost using my career as a platform for Jesus; and then I watch Him bless my career.”
 
Let’s pray.
Lord, I want to follow You. I’m committing my job, my career, my livelihood to You. It’s Your job. It’s Your platform. I give You complete access to my life, my job, my marriage, my friendships, my bank account. It’s Yours, Lord. I give it all to You. You get first consideration in all my decisions.
In Your Name I pray, Amen!
 
 


August 14, 2019

Church Events
  • Acoustic Café Nights at the Daily Grind  8-23
  • Cancer Awareness  Memorial Golf Tournament  8-24
  • Back to School Sunday  and Discovery Hour Registration Day   9-15 
  • New Series Begins: “Turn Your Setbacks into Comebacks”  9-15 
  • 30 Hour Famine 9-27, 9-28

MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY Landscaping and Weeding Summer continues and so do the weeds. Unfortunately, they are flourishing! Maybe you would like to help with some weeding or landscaping? There is always more to do! Please contact Kathy King at 413-569-5151, extension 13 if you are able to help.



God Made Me to Be Me!

August 14, 2019
God made me to be me!
God made me to be me, not somebody else. God doesn’t want me to be you. God doesn’t want you to be me – or somebody else.
When you get to heaven, God isn’t going to say, “Why weren’t you more like your mother? Why couldn’t you be more like your older sister?” He’s going to say, “Why couldn’t you be more like you. I made you to be you!”
And when you get to heaven, God is not going to say, “Were you popular?” God is not going to say, “Did you keep everybody happy?” God is not going to say, “Did you get through life without ruffling anybody’s feathers?” God is not going to say, “Did you become what others want you to be?”
He’s not going to say that! He’s going to say, “Did you become what I created you to be? Or did you go off and live your life for what your daddy wanted, or your boyfriend wanted, or somebody else wanted?”
The Bible says, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mold … (That’s people pleasing.) … but let God remold your minds from within … (That’s learning these truths that will set you free) … so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good …” (Romans 12:2) Underline: “The plan of God for you is good.”
God’s plan for your life is good. Other people’s plans for your life … who knows? Who cares? God didn’t put you on this planet to fulfill the plans of somebody else. God put you here to fulfill His plan … and His plans for you … are always … good.