Celebration: Baptisms

Check out the stories of Bill, Jeannie, Andrew, Grace, Stephanie, Samantha, Camille, Rod, and Cody. All 9 were baptized Easter Sunday @ LifePoint

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Stop and Celebrate

A confession: I am a recovering addict. I’m not sure when it first began, but like any addiction, it crept into my life under false pretenses. It created in me a built-in mechanism that produced thoughts and actions, veiled under the guise of altruism, which day by day allured me deeper into its grasp. From time to time it crops up again. Like any addict, over the years I have said things like “It’s not that bad,” “Other people are much worse,” “I can quit at any time,” and “I’m not hurting anybody.”

What is the addiction? It is one shared by many in my line of work. Several years ago, my wife named my condition “achiever disease.” It manifests itself in the utterance of two simple words, on their own benign, but together they reveal a deep-seated “drive” that can turn into a monster.

“What’s Next?”

Thinking back to college and seminary, seven consecutive grueling years of syllabi, mid-terms, projects, finals, and validation based upon my ability to anticipate and execute “what’s next,” I can see how these patterns developed. Post-seminary I jumped straight into departmental ministry at a large church, and the same “at a boy” I got for producing in school was afforded to me when ministries grew, events improved, people connected, and momentum picked up. I can still remember my first year as a youth pastor in this environment, when I called a good friend who was a veteran in large church ministry, and I peppered him with questions about how he survived week after week through the grind of a vocation where your work is never finished. I can’t remember what he said.

There are some aspects of this condition that help me in my line of work, but I’ve found over the years that if I’m not careful and accountable, “What’s Next?” has the capacity to destroy me and those around me. In recent years, through tuning my eyes and ears to the rhythm of those with much more wisdom and experience in these areas, I believe I have found an answer to this condition. It is a discipline that I have to intentionally work into my life. Like any discipline, it’s not easy or comfortable or natural for me. But it is incredibly necessary. I’m talking about the discipline of celebration.

When “What’s Next?” turns into “What’s Past” I have to stop, breath, and look back before I look forward.

I have to remember that the same Apostle Paul who said “I beat my body and make it my slave so that in the end I will not be disqualified” and “I press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus;” also said, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,” and “Rejoice in the Lord, and again I will say, rejoice!” The same David who took on the giant, expanded the kingdom, and laid the groundwork for the Temple, danced before the Lord and wrote hundreds of anthems extolling and celebrating the greatness of God which are still sung by God’s people nearly 3,000 years later. The same Moses who led God’s people out of slavery, composed a song of praise celebrating God’s grace and power after He brought them through the Red Sea.

Our last several weeks at LifePoint we have been praying, fasting, giving, building, and working toward the goal of expanding our ability to equip the church to be the church. Hundreds of people participated. Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, we saw the culmination of the work. Over $50,000 dollars was given in the last 9 weeks to this initiative. Scores of people had the opportunity to participate and use their skills to serve the church in new ways for the first time. In our gatherings yesterday we sang multiple songs written and produced by the people of LifePoint (in the last three months) as Clarensau released the 7-song album Death Met Grace. Seventeen people went public with their faith in Jesus by getting baptized. On Saturday a couple thousand people from our community were blessed and served through our annual Easter Egg outreach event. Through “To Be The Church,” LifePoint rallied together and took major strides into our future by accomplishing a specific vision. We celebrated Easter Sunday with the largest attendance at LifePoint in over a decade, as we got to witness the fruit of what Jesus is doing in and through His church.

This week we need to take some time to celebrate. Before we turn our eyes toward “What’s Next,” we have to rest and rejoice in what God has done. Throughout this week we’re going to look back a little bit here on 2thesource as we celebrate together.

Psalm 71:15-18

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.  16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.  17 O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.  18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

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Easter Inspiration from George Whitefield

G-Whitefield

“Yea…that we shall see the great Head of the Church once more . . . raise up unto Himself certain young men whom He may use in this glorious employ. And what manner of men will they be? Men mighty in the Scriptures, their lives dominated by a sense of the greatness, the majesty and holiness of God, and their minds and hearts aglow with the great truths of the doctrines of grace. They will be men who have learned what it is to die to self, to human aims and personal ambitions; men who are willing to be ‘fools for Christ’s sake’, who will bear reproach and falsehood, who will labor and suffer, and whose supreme desire will be, not to gain earth’s accolades, but to win the Master’s approbation when they appear before His awesome judgment seat. They will be men who will preach with broken hearts and tear-filled eyes, and upon whose ministries God will grant an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, and who will witness ‘signs and wonders following’ in the transformation of multitudes of human lives.”

Paul said to Timothy:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

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New Original Music @ LifePoint

Check out the video for the title track of our new original music being released through LifePoint by Clarensau, the band led by our music pastor, Tyler. “Death Met Grace” is the title track to the 6 song album being released Easter Sunday. The entire album was written, recorded, and produced by the people of LifePoint Church. You can share the video through Facebook through Clarensau’s page: https://www.facebook.com/clarensau

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Life Groups @ LifePoint – GET CONNECTED!

We have entered another open enrollment period for our Life Groups @ LPC. It’s super easy- click here and get connected!

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Northwest Conference @ LifePoint

NWMN conferenceIn a few weeks LifePoint will host the Northwest Ministry Network Annual Conference. As a part of the Northwest Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, Annual Conference is a yearly event where we gather with pastors and representatives from the other 350+ AG churches from Washington and Northern Idaho. It rotates around the region, and periodically LifePoint gets the opportunity to host. We’ll be welcoming in probably around 700 pastors and leaders from others churches in our network, for the 3-day event. You can find the schedule and other info for the event here.

If you would like to volunteer to help out at the conference, you can email Kristie Saccenti at kristies@lpcvan.com.

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Politics, Christians, and the Bible

One of the more hotly debated topics in American culture today is the marriage of faith and politics. Christians are all over the spectrum on this issue. What role should we play in politics? What does the Bible teach concerning governments, economies, and political systems? How should we interact with the government in our specific nation?

I’m preparing to preach a message on 1 Peter 2:13-17 this coming Sunday. This text is one of two primary texts in the New Testament that deal with the subject of the Christian approach and response to civil government (the other being Romans 13:1-7).

A source I refer to often on this subject is one I would like to recommend to you. It is called Politics According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem.

Grudem politicsIn true Grudem fashion, this book is a comprehensive encyclopedic treatment of the subject. At over 600 pages and equipped with Scripture, subject and name indices, it is a tremendously helpful tool. The text I’m preaching this week was referred to on 24 different pages spanning the entire volume.

If you are given to thinking often concerning such things, this book is a good resource for your reference.

 

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