This past Sunday, in our series through Philippians, my message was from Philippians 2:5-11. It’s one of the greatest passages in the Bible that describes who Jesus is and what He came to do. Honestly, I think I could preach from this passage for weeks. It’s all about the incarnation – God became flesh.
Well, it just so happens that I ran across a great blog post this week from Vince Antonucci, Pastor of Forefront Church in Virginia Beach about this very topic. I’d like to share an excerpt with you:
Well, when God wanted everyone to know the good news that He loved them and desired a relationship, what did He do? He became human. Why? Because God wanted to connect with us, and the most effective way to relate to us was to become one of us. Theologians call this the “incarnation.” Incarnation basically means “to put meat on.” God, who is spirit, took on flesh and moved into our neighborhood so we could relate to Him, so that He could effectively share the good news with us.
This is the task of all of us who follows Jesus. We are to share the good news of God’s love and desire for a relationship with everyone. And so we need to figure out how to connect with people. What is the most effective way to relate to people so we can share the good news with them? Seriously – you need to figure that out. How should you do that at your workplace? At your kid’s Little League field? In your school? With your neighbors?
Wow! Coastal, that’s it. That’s what we are called to do – to be the incarnation of Christ in this world! Christ came into our “neighborhood” and now we are to take Christ into ours! We exist to share and experience LIFE!
Today is my daughter Lydia’s 17th birthday! Wow! This year has flown by so fast. 17 just seems so much older than 16 – although she’s still just as sweet and she better not have been, well, you know the saying.
Maybe it’s a year of driving, maybe it was the prom, maybe it was visiting colleges, but whatever it is, life is changing. And that’s okay, change is inevitable and yes, change is good.
Lydia, I love you! You are the best daughter a daddy could ever have! I’ve discovered that growth and change simply magnify who you already are. And you, Lydia, are a truly beautiful, kind, sweet, funny, caring, Godly young woman. Happy Birthday!
Well today is the Big Day at our house! It’s Lydia’s Prom Night! If this is what it’s like for the prom, I can’t imagine what it will be like for . . . (I can’t go there). The dress is here! Shoes, clutch, and jewelry are all in place ready to go. Hair appointment is set. C.W. let me borrow his convertible silver Corvette to take her. Christopher and I are going to get it washed. The Homeschool Association that we are a part of has rented the Charleston Harbor Cruise for the event. It should be quite an evening. I think I’m almost as excited as she is (I said almost). Actually, I can’t wait to see her in her dress. I will post pictures tomorrow!
These are the memory verses from our message series on Philippians so far:
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
I know I’ve said this before, but I love my Men’s Group. We meet most Wednesdays at 7AM in the church Welcome Center. There’s about 7 of us who are pretty consistent. It’s a simple format. We drink coffee (sometimes eat a biscuit), share what’s going on in our lives, read a portion of scripture, and pray. We only meet for about 50 minutes, but it’s such a great group. Today we were all in tears. Not because we had an Oprah moment or anything close. We were all in tears because we were laughing so hard. I don’t even remember what we were laughing about. It wouldn’t make sense if I tried to explain it anyway. But it’s a great way to start the morning. Soon we’re going to have to get together for a cookout and invite all of our families to join in the fun. Or maybe we’ll get together for the next UFC fight! Jeff, Matt, Bill, the other Bill, Delma, and Dan – it’s an honor doing life with you guys. Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Loved being back at Coastal today. You guys are my family and I really miss you when I’m away. Loved our worship today. We had two new people play in the band – Tristan and Mike. They did a great job! Absolutely loved having Mike sing and play. There’s just something awesome about having a strong male voice lead worship. We’ve not had that in a long time. Our team is so accommodating of new musicians. They lead the way in being Team Builders and Team Players. Way to go guys! You always make me proud!
Attendance was back up from last week. We had a lot of new faces in church today! So many people come to Coastal through our website. And while that’s a great form of advertising that we constantly need to keep up to date and look to improve, the best form of advertising is the invitation of a satisfied customer – you. Be bold, talk about your faith, look for opportunities to share what’s happening at Coastal, and invite like crazy. The more you pray, the more you invite, the more opportunities that God places before you.
Janet and I had several encouraging conversations with people today. They wanted us to know that even though we’ve been through some difficult times lately, the best is really yet to come. Coastal, we ARE a great church! God has used Coastal to literally change thousands of lives over the last 18 years. And we’re just getting started! There are times when Satan seems to wreak havoc, but I believe that’s because we’re on the front lines of sharing and experiencing LIFE! And for those who remain faithful, we will only be stronger. For healthy things to grow, there always has to be a pruning, a cutting away, a clearing of the weeds. That process is difficult, hard, and messy. But the growth that comes later is always beautiful!
Prisca & Melanie did a great job with D.O.G.S tonight – our once a month program for Coastal Kidz (1st-5th Grade). As always they had a bunch of kids.
We’ll be making a big announcement in about a week! Can you guess what it is?
Anyone want to buy a window for our Nursery? See previous post. Or how about a new playground? We’re going to be taking down the old one and replacing it soon.
We might have a new ministry opportunity to serve the underserved and forgotten in our community. I’ll learn more about it this week.
Well that’s about it. I’m going to chill with the family. I love you Coastal! By the way, if you haven’t noticed the sidebar on my blog lately – I’m Twittering!
I added a new Blog to my Blogroll – Stuff Christians Like. I got turned on to this blog a while ago. It’s hilarious! It’s a tongue and cheek look at today’s Christian culture. The author lives in Atlanta, is active at Northpoint, and is a Pastor’s kid. He’s already in the 160′s (number of different posts). It’s definitely worth the read. Stroll back through the archives and see which ones resonate with you.
This Sunday, immediately after the second service, Melanie Bowick and our Noah’s Park Nursery Ministry are having an appreciation lunch for all their volunteers and their families. I can not over emphasize just how important this Ministry is here at Coastal in sharing and experiencing LIFE with the world around us. There is nothing more important to a young family than their children. And there is no Ministry – it’s environment and people – more important than the Nursery. It is not simply babysitting. Yes, it provides a safe place for babies to go so parents and guests can hear God’s word and the gospel undistracted. But it is also a place of love and prayer and worship and teaching. For many this is their first exposure to Jesus. Did you hear that? Their first exposure to Jesus. Wow! We can not say thank you enough to all our volunteers in this Ministry.
Melanie has done a great job leading this Ministry – scheduling, encouraging, calling, serving, organizing, cleaning, loving, and praying. She is a Team Player and a Team Builder. At this lunch, however, she is passing the Noah’s Park baton on to Jennifer Schroder. Melanie is going to be moving to Coastal Kidz, our 1st-5th Grade Ministry. Knowing both of these women, I’m quite confident they will continue to serve and lead with excellence.
Speaking of the Nursery environment – we’re hoping to replace the windows in the Nursery very soon – a project long overdue. As you’ve probably noticed, they’re in pretty bad shape (a piece of plywood covers part of one window). New matching vinyl replacement windows, wrapped and installed are approximately $325 each. We have six in the Nursery, one in the Kitchen and two in the Welcome Room that need to be replaced (basically the 9 windows on the back of the building). If you would like to help purchase a window or take care of the whole thing, earmark your check “Windows” and give accordingly on Sunday or here online.
Matthew 19:14, ”Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”