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Publish Date: June 6, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

When You Don't Feel Like Singing

Our local news stations are devoting a lot of airtime to Music Fest in Nashville this week.  Huge crowds at this event show us how important music and singing is to our lives.  People from all over the country take vacation time to make the trek to Music City for this event… they love to hear their favorite songs… and sing along. 

Think about how important singing is to our lives…Nations have national anthems; armed forces march to martial music, colleges have alma-mater songs. Almost every organization you can think about has a theme song.   We sing in the shower, we whistle while we work.  My favorite time of day is early morning when I hear Woodlawn birds giving their sunrise concert. 

A happy song is medicine for the soul!  But… what about times when you are at a place in your life where you have lost your song?  This weekend at WCC we continue our Summer Series in Psalms.  Sunday’s message is titled… “When You Don’t Feel Like Singing.”  Read Psalm 40 before you come… the writer, David, speaks to us about getting a new song.  Be praying that God will meet with us in special ways!

See you then!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: May 31, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

When Life Is Out To Get You...

 

A mom named Kim Sherer, told this story…

One night, while my young son, Ryan, was sleeping, a storm began brewing outside. After a loud clap of thunder, I heard Ryan wake up and run to find me. When I tucked him back into bed, he asked me to stay with him until he fell asleep.

As I lay there with him, I realized Ryan hadn't asked me to make the storm go away, but to stay with him. How many times, I wondered, have I asked God to take away the storms of life, when instead, I need to ask Him to stay with me and help me weather the storms more peacefully!

As I read that story, my mind went to times when there were storms in my life…  I felt badly as I thought about some of those times… many times I poured all my energies and emotions into asking God to get me out of the storm.  I wonder how many times I missed out on his encouraging, enabling and empowering presence with me in the midst of those storms.

This Sunday at WCC we look at Psalm 31.  David was going through a rough period in his life.  His example shows us how to make it through troubled times.  Sunday’s message is titled, “When Life Is Out To Get You…”

Reminder:  We are teaming with Clarksville Nazarene Churches to provide relief items for tornado victims in Oklahoma.  Bring your items with you this Sunday.

See you Sunday for an exciting day of summer worship!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 

 

 


 



Publish Date: May 17, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

"God Blesses Those Who..."

A pastor by the name of Rick Kirchoff gave these opening remarks at a church conference: 

It is a time to open up to the mind-blowing, heart-warming, life-changing power of God.  The power of God can invade the body, inflate the mind, swell the soul, lift the Spirit and make us more than we ever imagined.  It'll make you young when you're old, and it'll make you live even when you die. The power and presence of the Spirit will disturb, delight, deliver and lift. When God sends forth the Spirit, "the whole face of the earth is renewed."  When God sends forth the Spirit chaos is changed into creation, the Red Sea opens up to a highway of freedom.  When God sends forth the Spirit a young woman says "Yes". Jesus is born and life is never the same.

When God sends forth the Spirit amazing things happen:

barriers are broken,
communities are formed,
opposites are reconciled,
unity is established,
disease is cured,
addiction is broken,
cities are renewed,
races are reconciled,
hope is established,
people are blessed,
and church happens.

This Sunday at WCC we celebrate Pentecost… the giving of the Holy Spirit… the birth of the church.  We will look into Acts 2 to discover elements present in the lives of the 120 Christ followers who were the first recipients of the Holy Spirit.  Sunday’s message is titled, “God Blesses Those Who….”

I am looking forward to hearing amazing truths God’s Spirit will speak to us on this special day!

We also will be honoring our graduates!   To our graduates we say, “We are proud of you!”

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: May 9, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

"My Mom Taught Me..."

Someone compiled a humorous list of lessons “My Mother Taught Me…

My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."           

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."

My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

 My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

 My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."

My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it when you get home!"

My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Most of us have heard at least a couple of those sayings come from our mother’s lips.  And, I am sure that if you think about it long enough, you can come up with a few more sayings from your Mom.  It’s not easy being a mother, right?

Since Sunday is Mother’s Day I will actually be sharing some significant contributions my mother made to my life.  In a tribute to my mom and all moms, I will be speaking on the subject…“My Mom Taught Me…”

I look forward to this special morning when we honor Moms.

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: May 2, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Even More Relief

I read a story about a prized bloodhound in England.  One day he began a hunt by chasing a full-grown male deer. During the chase a fox crossed his path, so he began now to chase the fox. A rabbit crossed his hunting path, so he began to chase the rabbit. After chasing the rabbit for a while, a tiny field mouse crossed his path, and he chased the mouse to the corner of a farmer's barn.

The prized hunting hound began the hunt chasing a prized male deer for his master.  He wound up barking at a tiny mouse.

There’s a lesson to be learned from that story… we sometimes miss the great opportunities of life because we get sidetracked. 

This Sunday at WCC we continue our series titled, “Relief.”  We will look at another principle from the life of Jesus that enabled him to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.   This Sunday’s principle is, “Concentration.”  We will hear how we can avoid being sidetracked in our spiritual lives.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

One more reminder… Registration continues for Upward Flag Football Camp and Cheer Camp.  The discounted price of $29 increases to $35 next Tuesday, so register right away.  The easiest way to register is online, at www.wcnaz.org.

 

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: April 18, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

More Relief!

Identity is important these days. You can’t get very far without it. A woman was trying to make a purchase.  She opened up her purse and realized her photo I.D. was not there.  Without proof of identity she rummaged through her purse, pulled out a mirror, took a long look and said lovingly, “Yep, that’s me all right.”

It didn’t work.

This weekend at WCC we continue our current series, “Relief.” We will look at another principle in Jesus’ life.  He not only endured life but excelled in the midst of stress by living out the principle of “Identification.”  His example of knowing who He was relieved the chaos and confusion of unknown identity.

I am excited to share good news with you Sunday about this principle… When we put this principle into practice in our lives, it will work for us! 

Reminder:  Saturday is “Work & Witness 101.”   In advance, I thank all of you who will accomplish many great projects around the church!   See you at 7:30 Saturday.

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: April 11, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Relief

I read about a research project that was completed a couple of years ago.  The Ketchum Global Research Network asked 1,000 U.S. adults (ages 25–54) what they think about the most while they shower.

Here were the top four responses:

To-do lists

Problems, worries

Daydreams

Work

 What an interesting glimpse into what we obsess over as we wake up in the morning or wind down in the evening…the two times most of us take a shower. While we clean ourselves to start the day, we wash ourselves with stress and disappointment. When we try our best to clear the clutter from our minds with a nice long shower or bath in the evening, we fill our minds to overflowing with thoughts about places to go, people to see, dreams to fulfill. Mabe the research shows us that we are people who can barely go one minute without thinking about the many things we feel we need to do, must do, wish we could do, or should be doing but are not.

For many of us the lists, the anxieties, the dreams, and the responsibilities are so overwhelming that we don’t think we can take on anything else.  This Sunday at WCC I will give some secrets about handling life’s stresses.  The message is titled, “Relief.”  Come… you will hear a foundational principle that can help you deal with stress in your life.

 See you Sunday (no pressure… but you will miss out on something good if you are not at WCC).  

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You”

 



Publish Date: April 4, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

"I Send You"

Author, Elton Trueblood, wrote a book titled “The Company of the Committed,” several years ago.  He observed how some New Testament writers used military metaphors to describe what the church is to be and do.  His intent was to remind Christians of what our mission and purpose in the world really is.  He made interesting comments… how could any army ever hope to win any battles, when so many of its members spend all of their time either… holed up in training camps, polishing weapons they would never think of using… or, simply being A.W.O.L. when roll call comes on Sunday mornings. 

On the Christian calendar, we are in the season of Eastertide… we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!  This Sunday at WCC we will look at one of Jesus’ post-resurrection experiences… read John 20:19-29 before Sunday morning.  Jesus gave an assignment to his followers.  Borrowing military metaphors, Jesus intended for his followers to be an active army accomplishing his purposes in the world.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: March 28, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Journey From Here To Hope... Redeemed!

An Illinois man left Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was away, visiting a family member.  She was planning to meet him the next day. When he reached his hotel he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail. Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it from memory.  Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor unconscious. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen: 


Dearest Wife: Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.
Your Loving Husband.         P.S: Sure is hot down here.

What could be more powerful than news from the other side of death ? Easter is that and more.  It’s not an email message, but a living message.  It’s not from man, but from God.  It’s not a message of despair, but a message of hope.

This Sunday at WCC we conclude our series, “From Here To Hope.” Our theme for the day is “Redeemed.”  We will be celebrating new life we have because of Jesus’ resurrection.

Reminder:  Sunday School classes will not be meeting this Sunday.  Coffee and donuts will be served at 10:30.  Our worship celebration begins at 11 A.M.

I am looking forward to Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: March 22, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Journey From Here To Hope... Ready!

Are you enjoying March Madness?  I love this time of year, when college basketball teams are hoping to ascend to the throne, being named “king” of college basketball.  Giving all, they play their hearts out for love of the game (and for a shot at an NBA contract in the future). 

A favorite part of watching “the brackets” is to celebrate with the underdogs when they defeat a top-seeded team… Can you believe that Harvard pulled off their upset?  They won their first tournament game in the history of the school!!!  You can bet that there is excitement in the air on that college campus.

Well, imagine that excitement, and the anticipation and hopes of every team still in the tournament… and we can get an idea of what was in the air on Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week.  The dreams and longings of God’s people seemed to heighten on that day… their King was about to do something to save them!

This weekend at WCC we look at the familiar story of Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem.  Read Luke 19:28-41 before Sunday morning.  We continue our Journey to Jerusalem… and to hope.  This week’s “journey” word is … Ready!  We will draw some lessons from our scripture that will help us to be prepared to fully celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning.

I am excited to see you!   Invite someone to come with you.  We will all enjoy participating in worship.  Our children will be leading us!   See you then.

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: March 8, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Journey From Here To Hope...Restoration

Scandal is nothing new. Scandal is as old as Adam and Eve… and it’s as familiar as the indiscretions of a neighbor or work-associate… it’s the story line of many of our tv shows and movies… actually, one of the hot new 2013 shows is titled,  “Scandal.”  Shame and scandal seem to rule our airwaves and magazines! 

Well, you won’t want to miss Sunday’s message… we will see and hear that salvation and scandal should rule the church.  The message of Luke 15: 11-32 is that we have a scandalous God.  What makes Him scandalous?... His unconditional love and undeserved forgiveness!

See you Sunday!

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!

 



Publish Date: March 1, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Journey From Here To Hope... Repentance!

This quote by C.S. Lewis caught my attention this week:

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

 Lewis would have been a good “Taboo” player… “Taboo” is the board game where you describe or define a word without using the word or any of its derivatives.  What Lewis just described is the word “Repentance”… it is making an about turn and walking back to the right road.

 This Sunday at WCC we continue our Journey From Here… To Hope.  In Sunday’s scripture, Luke 13: 1-9 Jesus talked about Repentance.  I encourage you to come Sunday and bring someone with you.  It will be a day when we all can make progress together!

I wonder who will be the most progressive???

 See you Sunday!

 Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: February 22, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Journey From Here To Hope... Resolve!

Someone once said…. “Enthusiasm starts a hard job. Determination works at it. Only love continues until it is finished.” 

This Sunday at WCC we return to our Lenten sermon series, “Journey From Here… To Hope.”  We will continue our walk with Jesus toward Jerusalem.  Our Scripture for the day is Luke 13:31-35.  Jesus demonstrates enthusiasm, determination, and perpetual, unending love.  This week our theme is “Resolve.”  I wonder what will come out of our journey backpack this week???

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: February 14, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Game Changing Marriages!

A woman was taking a nap on Valentine’s Day afternoon. After she awoke, she called her husband.  She said, “I just dreamed that you gave me a gorgeous and expensive diamond necklace for Valentine’s Day! What do you think it means?”

“You’ll know tonight,” he said.

That evening, her husband came home with a small package for her. Thrilled, she opened it and found a book titled “The Meaning of Dreams.”

 Happy Valentine’s Day!  Hopefully you will not be disappointed with the “thoughtful” gift your spouse gives you today! 

 Actually, here’s a meaningful gift you can give your spouse this week… your presence at our WCC marriage weekend!   “Rekindling Your Romance” begins Saturday afternoon at 5 P.M.  Chaplain Hans Ruska will be leading our sessions… dinner will be served (cost is $12 per couple).  If you would like to come and have not signed up, please call the church and leave a message on the answering machine (931 648 4469).  If you are bringing children, please include that in your message.

Our “marriage strengthening” weekend continues in our Sunday morning worship service at 11 A.M.  Chaplain Ruska will be speaking about “Game Changing Marriages.”

I am excited about this weekend!  

Pastor Tracy 
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
 



Publish Date: January 31, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Game Changers... Born To Play!

The Superbowl initiates a whole lot of discussion… sometimes more than we can take. I have limited my exposure to ESPN this week, because I have been inundated with pre-game hype and analysis.  But here’s something that caught my attention… This week’s Sports Illustrated magazine has an article titled, “In The Fields of The Lord.”  Writer Mark Oppenheimer’s topic is this… “How Christian athletes reconcile the culture of football with the teachings of their faith.”  He writes for five pages about NFL players and how faith plays out in their lives while on the field. 

Toward the beginning of the article the author says,“At the Super Bowl in New Orleans this Sunday, players on both teams will pray in small huddles on the sidelines, before every quarter.  Ravens linebacker, Ray Lewis, wears a black t-shirt under his uniform that says Psalm 91 (He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty).  San Francisco quarterback, Colin Kaepernik has the text of Psalms and other religious references tattooed on his arms.”

Further in the article he writes, “ If all you did was watch football players expressing their faith on television, you might think they (their gestures) are spontaneousness, these shout-outs to Jesus after touchdowns, after big sacks, after victories… and that’s true, (they are spontaneous) up to a point… But at a deeper level the Christian faith that infuses the NFL is often-like the players’ diets, exercise regimens and practice schedules-part of a carefully calibrated routine.”   As an example, Oppenheimer then explains how Giants’ players regularly meet for Bible studies, pray at the end of every practice session and before every quarter of every game.  I believe that what the author is observing, in many cases, is authentic disciples of Jesus, living out their faith while doing their jobs.

I am grateful for NFL players and coaches who unashamedly live out their faith in public. If you want to read more of the article look on the men’s bulletin board at WCC…  I posted a copy of the article there. 

This weekend at WCC we begin a short, 2 week series titled, “Game Changers.”  Our messages the next two Sundays tie in with “the big game”… champions… and their impact.  This Sunday’s topic is… “Born To Play.”  The message will begin with a motivating locker room speech… then we will learn from three players about playing on God’s team (Matthew 25:14-30).

Let’s look toward Sunday “with an enthusiasm beyond anything known to mankind!”  (Jack Harbaugh)

Pastor Tracy                           “Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”


 



Publish Date: January 24, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Conquering The Giant Of Illness

One of the most beloved and colorful sports personalities of recent years was Jim Valvano… "Jimmy V," as sports fans around the country affectionately knew him. Valvano died on April 16, 1993, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was forty-seven years old. He is remembered as a great basketball coach. His North Carolina State team won the national championship in 1983.  His team upset the Houston Cougar team that featured Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. Valvano also will be remembered as an outstanding TV analyst, an eloquent inspirational speaker, and a lovable, wisecracking humorist. But most of all, he will be remembered for the courageous way he faced a debilitating illness.

 A few weeks before he died, Valvano was honored on national television, and to that vast viewing audience, he said this: 

“Today, I fight a different battle. You see, I have trouble walking and I have trouble standing for a long period of time. Cancer has taken away a lot of my physical abilities. Cancer is attacking and destroying my body. But what cancer cannot touch is my mind, my heart and my soul. I have faith in God and hope that things might get better for me. But even if they don't I promise you this. I will never ever give up. I will never ever quit. And if cancer gets me then I'll just try my best to go to heaven and I'll try my best to be the best coach they've ever seen up there.” Then, pointing to a picture of his 1983 Championship team, he said, “I learned a great lesson from these guys; they amazed me! They did things I wasn't sure they could do because they absolutely refused to give up! That was the theme of our championship season: 'Never ever give up!' That's the lesson I learned from them and that's the message I leave with you: ‘Never give up. Never ever give up!’"

When sickness or disease intrudes in our lives the temptation is to give in, give up, give out.  The intent of Sunday’s message at WCC is to encourage anyone who is struggling with some illness… I will give four keys that will help us in our task of Defeating The Giant Of Illness.  If you know of someone who is battling some illness, invite them to attend with you… your invitation and God’s spirit at work in their lives could be a resource that enables them to ‘never give up.’

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

PastorTracy                                     

“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 


 



Publish Date: January 17, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Conquering The Giant Of Finances, Part 2

A newspaper printed an intriguing advertisement of a "tested and proved" method for cutting household bills in half. The ad promised prospective customers the opportunity to get in on the secret for only $4. How could the advertiser guarantee such fantastic results? That was what the local Better Business Bureau wanted to know. They investigated and found that the advertisers planned to send each customer a cheap pair of scissors.

That story illustrates what we already know… there are no $4 answers to our financial struggles!  This Sunday we continue the message I started last week… “Conquering The Giant of Finances.”

I will give three more principles that can help us slay this giant.  One of the three principles relates to this story…  A man overheard a lady saying, "Oh, if I only had fifty dollars I would be perfectly content." 

He thought about that for a few moments. If the lady only had fifty dollars she would be content. He thought to himself, "Well, I can help her out." So he walked up to her and handed her two twenties and a ten dollar bill.

She was very expressive in her show of gratitude. She really appreciated his gift. But, as she walked away he heard her mumble under her breath, "Why on earth didn't I say one hundred dollars?"

Come this Sunday to hear a prescriptive principle that relates to that story, and two others, that will help lower stress and anxiety about financial pressure.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: January 10, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Conquering The Giant Of Finances

You have heard the old saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”  That was an old fashioned way of saying that unwise people hastily spend their money without much thought. 

Someone re-wrote that phrase… “A fool and his money are some party.”   I guess if you are enjoying the benefits of someone else’s unwise expenditures, it is quite a party for you! 

But it’s not a party for us, personally, when money is tight or gone.  More and more of us are experiencing the reality of financial pressure… actually most of us have money concerns.   Adlai Stevenson served as Governor of Illinois, UN Ambassador, and was a two-time Democratic candidate for President.  He was an observer of and interpreter of everyday life circumstances. Stevenson once said, "There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody."  We all say, “Amen,” to that.

This Sunday at WCC we continue our series, “Conquering The Giants.”  Sunday’s message will teach Biblical principles about “Conquering The Giant of Finances.”

This is a message that will benefit every one of us… I give no guarantee that you will be reunited with departed dollars… but you will hear truth that can help you defeat the giant of financial stress in the future!

Invite someone to attend with you.   I am excited to worship with you this weekend!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
 



Publish Date: January 2, 2013  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Conquering The Giant Of Fear

Bill went to a psychiatrist. He said, "I've got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it. I get under the bed, I think there's somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, under ... you gotta help me, I'm going crazy!" 

"Just put yourself in my hands for two years," said the doctor. "Come to me three times a week, and I'll cure your fears."

"How much do you charge?"

"A hundred dollars per visit."

"I'll think about it," said Bill.

Six months later the doctor met Bill on the street. "Why didn't you ever come to see me again?" asked the psychiatrist.

"For a hundred bucks a visit? A friend cured me for ten dollars."

"Is that so! How?"

”He told me to buy a saw and cut the legs off the bed!"

Don’t you wish it was that easy to eliminate our fears???   Most of us have fears that are much more difficult to overcome.  Sunday’s message will help us!  We begin a new series… “Conquering Your Giants.”  This week’s message will give helpful, practical instruction that can help us overcome the Giant of Fear. 

Reminder:  Financial Peace University begins Wed., January 16.  With uncertainty about our economic future, rising taxes, and holiday credit card debt, this is an opportune time to get finances in order!  Cost for the 9 sessions (and materials) is $99.  Sign up this Sunday.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday… I’m excited to hear about your holidays!

Pastor Tracy

“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”


 



Publish Date: December 20, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Songs of Christmas... Mary's Song

In a “Family Circus” cartoon we see little Billy. He’s spent the afternoon wandering through various stores where he’s seen signs that say, “Don’t forget Christmas Candy; don’t forget wrapping paper, don’t forget to visit Santa, don’t forget last minute gifts.”

Billy goes home and draws a picture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus and the star and writes on it simply, “Don’t forget.”

Among the things we will want to remember is the song Mary sang as she awaited the birth of her son, God’s son. The joyful song was about her son’s mission in the world.  This Sunday at WCC we look at Mary’s song found in Luke 1. 

I am looking forward to a significant time of celebrating the birth of Christ!

Invite someone to attend with you… you and they will hear what it takes to come to terms with unforeseen, unexpected life events.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy

Meryy Christmams…
 
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: December 13, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Songs Of Christmas... Zechariah's Song

When Jill and I recently visited our grandkids, I bonded with my grandson, Ripken.  One afternoon he was having a difficult time going down for his nap.  I can understand why that would be so... "Poppie" and "Gigi" aren't there all the time, and when they are, the time is always short. 

Our daughter, Amber, had put him in his bed for afternoon rest time.  Ripken fussed and cried for several minutes, until "Poppie" went into his room.  I laid him face down and began the "scratch and sing" system that always worked with his mother when she was a little girl.  As I gently scratched his back I sang my songlist... "This is the day, this is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it... You are a promise, you are a possibility, you are a promise, with a capital P... Apple red happiness, popcorn cheerfulness cinnamon singin inside; peppermint energy, gumdrop holidays."

His favorite, just like his mom,  seemed to be "You are my sunshine, my little sunshine; you make me happy when skies are gray."  He calmed down, began to smile at me, and in a few minutes was sound asleep.  As you can guess, the next two days we were there, Poppie sang and scratched at Ripken's naptime.

I am intrigued that certain songs have more of a calming effect than other songs.  Some songs just have that powerful effect. 

This Sunday at WCC we continue our series, "Songs Of Christmas."  Our song this week is found in Luke 1... Zechariah's Song.  I am pretty sure that his song never put anybody to sleep... it was a song of praise, gratitude, expectation, and joy.  We will look at the circumstances leading up to his solo... maybe you can relate... he went through a period of silence.

I am excited to hear and experience what God will tell and show us this Sunday morning!

Reminder:  We are receiving our annual Christmas Offering each Sunday during the month of December.  "Thank You," to some who have already brought their offering.  As we each give a financial gift, corresponding to the amount we are giving a loved one's best gift, God will be pleased! 

Just a thought:  As you are planning your year-end charitable giving... your financial gift to WCC's Christmas Offering will go toward supporting ongoing ministries that are impacting our families and community in significant ways!  
 
Invite someone to come with you Sunday!

 

Pastor Tracy

"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"


 



Publish Date: December 6, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Songs Of Christmas... Simeon's Song!

Waiting is difficult for us, particularly at this time of the year. We go to Kroger and the lines are longer than normal... and we have to wait. We go to Walmart, or Dick's Sporting Goods, or Kohl's and the stores are filled... and we have to wait.

And, waiting for Christmas has always been a challenge, because there are those gifts under the tree.  At our house we always put them out a couple of weeks before Christmas.   I'm supposed to be an adult, but... the kid in me takes over... I shake and smell my presents to try to identify what they are.  Are they something to eat, something to wear, or something to play with?  Don't you just wish Christmas would come so we could open those gifts???

Waiting is hard... and yet waiting is one of the most important things we need to learn in life. In his book Emotional Intelligence, psychologist Daniel Goleman says that the ability to wait well, to delay gratification, is "the master aptitude that leads to personal maturity and effective living."

Experience shows the last part of that statement is true... I can only speak for myself... but hasty, non-restraint has led to some ineffective and frustrating situations in my life.

This Sunday at WCC we will look at a Christmas character who knew how to wait well.  When something we hoped for has not yet happened, this character is our model.  We begin a short series titled, "Songs of Christmas."  This message is titled "Simeon's Song."  (Luke 2: 21-32)

Invite someone to attend with you... your invitation might change their life!

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"

 



Publish Date: November 16, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

When It's Hard To Give Thanks

A pastor known for his pulpit prayers always found something to thank God for, even in troubled times. One dark day when he had experienced personal tragedy in his own life, his members said: "Surely Pastor will have nothing to thank God for on a morning like this."

But as the pastor began his prayer, he said: "Lord, we know that this is a dreary morning. But, Lord, let us learn from our troubles and be reminded that it has not always been like this. You have given us days of sunshine. And we have enough faith to thank you ahead of time that it will not always be like this in the future. By your grace we believe that there is a bright side somewhere and the sun will shine again. We believe that new life is possible and you have the future in your hand. We believe your grace has brought us safe thus far, and we believe your grace will lead us home."

When bad things happen to good people it’s not easy to give thanks.  Sometimes when things are not going our way, it’s hard to give thanks.  When trouble comes, we find it easier to complain to God rather than give gratitude.

This Sunday at WCC the sermon is titled, “When It’s Hard To Give Thanks.”  We will hear how we can have the same perspective the positive pastor had.

I am looking forward to this weekend when our WCC family gathers to worship and give thanks.  See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!

 



Publish Date: November 8, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

That Poor Lady!

A missionary had just returned from Tanzania. He had ministered in a small church where every person would bring an offering when they attended. If they didn't have money, they brought what they had… produce, handmade items, livestock, food stuffs, whatever.

At the end of the service all of the offerings were brought to the front of the church.  They were placed on, at or around the altar and dedicated to God and the work of God through the Church.  The non-cash items which had been brought were then auctioned off.

The Missionary told of several cases of selfless, sacrificial giving… here’s just one instance.  One woman brought a single egg as her offering. It was just a little thing, but it was all she had to give. 

This Sunday I will be preaching from one of the scriptures on the Christian Lectionary calendar… Mark 12:38-44.  This is the story of another woman who went to church and brought all she had, to give for her offering.  Sunday’s message is titled, “That Poor Lady.”  Her example will challenge us to consider our motivation for giving.

Reminder:  We are collecting  “Operation Christmas Child” shoe boxes this Sunday!  If you are participating in this “Caring, Sharing, Giving” option, bring your shoe boxes to the front of the Worship Center before the 11 AM service.

I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday… much prayer has gone into this service… I anticipate God’s presence in powerful ways!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: November 1, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Military Appreciation Sunday

Our country is founded on the principles of freedom, justice, and liberty for all. Our nation's soldiers serve every day to protect our country and those ideals. At WCC, on our Military Appreciation Day, we take sacred moments to honor and remember veterans who served in the past, and active duty soldiers who presently sacrifice their lives to achieve peace and democracy.

This Sunday is Military Appreciation Day at WCC.  Our guest speaker will be Captain Hans Ruska, U.S. Army Chaplain, 86th CSH.  The message is titled, “When God’s People Pray!”

Invite someone to attend this special service!

Two quick reminders:

1.  Set your clock back an hour Saturday night, and enjoy an extra hour’s sleep!

2.  Our annual Clarksville Nazarene Combined Service is this Sunday night, at Parklane Church of the Nazarene (225 Cunningham Lane), 6 P.M.

I am looking forward to a great day… See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: October 25, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

When God Tells You... Chase A Chariot!

So, one of my pet peeves is when a telemarketer gets hold of my cell phone number. Can I get an Amen?  You see an unfamiliar number and think this could be an important call.  You say hello, and are greeted first with that brief static-buzz on the line.  Then that overly-cheery voice chummily asks for you by name (usually mispronounced).  I feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it.

And, is it just me, or is it your experience, too, that these calls come on the busiest days, at the busiest times… when you are in the middle of something that needs to be done right now…  for you, maybe your dinner is cooking, kids are fighting, the door bell is ringing . . . and this insensitive person on the phone launches into some selling spiel that can go on for ten minutes before a breath is drawn.

Obviously, the best, simplest defense is just to hang up. But sometimes it’s hard to resist making some sort of caustic comeback.

Have you ever been around a Christian who shared the good news like a telemarketer? They are the ones who give the rest of us “wanna-be evangelists” a bad name.

This Sunday at WCC our scripture reading is Acts 8:26-40.  In this story we see an effective, God-enabled, non-intrusive, evangelism encounter.  The message is titled, When God Tells You… Chase A Chariot!”

Just a reminder:  If you intended to sign up to decorate your trunk or truck bed for “Trunk Or Treat” and forgot to do that last Sunday… it’s not too late.  Just call the church office and leave a message: 931 648 4469.  And it’s not too late to bring candy.  We will still be collecting bags of individually wrapped candy Sunday morning.

Our schedule for Harvest Hayride will be as follows:

            Meal:                            5:00 – 5:45

            Trunk Or Treat            6:00-6:25

            Meal:                            6:25-6:45

The bonfire will be going all evening… Hayrides will be ongoing… the evening will end with fireworks!  Have you invited someone to attend with you?

I am looking forward to a great day together!   See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!

 



Publish Date: October 18, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Small Beginnings... Incredible Potential!

Cecil Northcott wrote that a group of international young people were discussing how the Christian gospel might be spread. They talked about distributing literature and other current ways of getting the word out. Then a girl from Africa spoke. "When we want to take Christianity to one of our villages, we don’t send them books. We take a Christian family and send them to live in the village and they make the village Christian by living there."

In a group, or school, or factory, or unit, or shop, or office, again and again it is the influence of just one who inspires others to become a Christ-follower. One man, or woman or young person set on fire for Christ is the person who kindles others.

This Sunday’s “Engage The Word” scripture will be Matthew 13.  Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to yeast, hidden treasure, a mustard seed, and a net.  He used those images to teach that seemingly insignificant small things can have an overwhelming impact.  I will be talking about just one of those images in Sunday’s message, titled, “Small Beginnings… Incredible Potential!”

Note:  Our Harvest Hayride is just one week from Sunday.  This will be a memorable event for our church families as well as many people from our community.  We will begin with a free meal of chili and hot dogs.  Trunk or Treating will begin about 6 PM.  Hayrides will be going on throughout the evening.  Our traditional fireworks show will conclude the activities.

In order for this to be an effective event these elements are necessary:
 
1.) Persons who will decorate their trunks for “Trunk or Treat”.  Candy will be provided for you to give to our kids.  Sign up on the bulletin board this Sunday! 
 
2.)  Bags of individually wrapped candy that will be given to our “Trunk or Treaters.”  When you shop this week, pick up some bags of candy, bring them Sunday and place them in the baskets in the foyer or the blue barrel.

“Thanks” in advance for your efforts for Harvest Hayride!  People will attend this event who have never been on our campus before.  Be praying that they will be inspired to take their next steps towards God by coming back to a service!  And, be praying about how your influence in inviting someone could result in spiritual life transformation… all because you asked them to attend.  Your small invitation is packed with a whole lot of potential… who knows what influence you could have!

I am looking forward to an exciting day of celebration this Sunday.  See you at WCC!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: October 4, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What Do You Say To A Burning Bush?

What image comes to mind when I mention the name, “Moses?”  If you saw the epic, 1956 film, “The Ten Commandments,” most likely you think of Charlton Heston…chiseled features, a long beautiful beard that flows slightly in the wind, muscular body standing with his rod out over the sea… and Moses is positive, is confident, is large and in charge of leading his people out of slavery… everything is positive, everything is, “Let's go for it.”

Our Scripture for Sunday is Exodus 3:1-4:17… here we see God giving marching orders for Moses… and Moses’ response is anything but positive.  God says to Moses, “Go now, I am sending you to deliver my people.”  Moses is thinking… “God, you have the wrong guy… let’s continue hiding on the backside of a desert.”

The message Sunday will review Moses’ excuses for not going… and will examine God’s responses that convinced Moses to be the leader God wanted him to be.  God’s responses come in the form of promises that were not just for Moses’ day… those promises are for us, also!  The message is titled, “What Do You Say To A Burning Bush?”

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

P.S.  Since Fall Break for our school systems is next week, I imagine some of you will be gone this Sunday… I pray for safe travel for you and for a time of positive family memories.  If you will be gone, we will appreciate your thoughtfulness in sending your tithes and offerings that will help others take next steps towards God  (WCC, 2100 Woodlawn Rd, Woodlawn, TN   37191)!

Pastor Tracy

“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”


 



Publish Date: September 27, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

The Bad, The Good, The Latest

Think with me about some promises…

            A scout promises… “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country.”

            Geico promises... "15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance."

            Couples promise on their wedding day… “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death us do part.”

            Windows 7 promises... "It's not going to have any of the problems the previous Windows Operating System had."

            The President promises… “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Of course, a promise is only as good as the character of the one making the promise. 

Promises are important to God, just as they are important to us.  God made something like 3,000 promises in the Bible.  We can find a promise for about every need we will ever know… and the thing about God’s promises… they are as good as His character, which is impeccable!

If God says that He will be with us through the storm, you can count on it. If He says He accepts us just as we are, you can take it to the bank. If He says He has prepared a place for us that where He is there we may also be, you can look forward to it. If He says that nothing in all creation can separate us from His love for us, then relax. Life is all taken care of.

This Sunday at WCC we will think about one specific promise God made in Genesis chapters 8-9.  Those verses of scripture include a lot of news… “The Bad, The Good, The Latest.”

I can hardly wait for Sunday to hear about God's promise!   I hope to see you at church!

Note:  September was designated to collect “Shoes and Belts for Bryns Darden Elementary School.”  Our big blue barrel is about full!!!   “Thanks” to all who have contributed!!!  There is still opportunity to bring your contribution this Sunday.

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 



Publish Date: September 20, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Less Lost

Here’s an interesting story I came across this week…We have all heard of the Italian violin maker, Stradivarius. His violins are now the most prized violins ever made because of the rich and resonating sound they produce. The unique sound of a Stradivarius violin cannot be duplicated. What may surprise you is this part of the story… these precious instruments were not made from treasured pieces of wood; they were carved from debris. Stradivarius was very poor, and could not afford fine materials like his contemporaries. So he got most of his wood from the dirty harbors where he lived. He would take those waterlogged pieces of wood to his shop clean them up, and dry them out.  From those trashed pieces of lumber he would create instruments of rare beauty.

It has since been discovered that while that wood floated in those dirty harbors, microbes went into the wood and ate out the center of those cells. This left just a fibrous infrastructure of the wood that created resonating chambers for the music. From wood that nobody wanted, Stradivarius produced violins that now everybody wants.

Just as this poor violin maker transformed trash into treasure, only God can transform a sinner into a saint. Only God can take us from being worthless to make us worthy of heaven itself.

This Sunday at WCC our topic is “Less Lost.”  The message will show us one of the ways God uses to transform our lives, changing us from sinners to saints.

I hope to see you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy

“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!” 


 



Publish Date: September 6, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Unanswered Prayers Part 2

Think about this between now and Sunday… E. Stanely Jones once asked, “If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore?

Obviously, we know we can’t pull the shore to us… anchored to what is solid and secure, we pull ourselves to the shore.

These days we are talking about unanswered prayers… let’s apply E. Stanley Jones’ image.  Could it be that in our prayers we sometimes try to pull the shore to us?  In other words, we try to get heaven and earth to move to where we are?   When in reality, prayer ought to be about pulling ourselves to where God is… to where His plans and purposes are worked out instead of our personal desires and dreams.

Sunday we will see that prayer is about trusting God… surrendering to his will in regard to our situations… cooperating with what He wants to accomplish… allowing prayer to take us to a place of alignment with what He wants to work out.

I am excited to hear what God has to say to us this Sunday.

You will want to be on time… our countdown to service time will show pictures from “Fun In The Sun.”  And, here’s something else to think about… “Should church be like football?”  We will see a short video that will amuse and get us thinking!

Reminder:   This month we are collecting shoes and belts for students at Bryns Darden Elementary school.  Place your gently used shoes and belts, or new ones, in the blue barrel in the Worship Center.

Pastor Tracy

“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 
 



Publish Date: August 30, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Like A Night Light!

At some point during the recent economic recession, one TV commentator began his newscast this way… “Due to the current financial crisis, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off.”

His remarks no doubt squelched any listener’s hopes of a quick recovery!

Life sometimes has a way of turning off lights at the end of the tunnel… but those of us who are followers of Christ know the ultimate hope of trusting in Him.  As we trust Him, He becomes the enduring light at the end of the tunnel.  And, having experienced his grace and mercies, He gives us the task of turning on lights of truth and hope in hearts of others who are lost in darkness.

This Sunday at WCC my message will be titled… “Like A Night Light!” 

I look forward to seeing you Sunday… I am excited for another meaningful day of worship. 

If you are out of town on this holiday weekend… I hope you make many good family memories… and, I will be grateful for your thoughtful consideration of putting your tithe check/offering in an envelope and sending it to us! (2100 Woodlawn Rd, Woodlawn, TN   37191)

Reminder:  During September we will be collecting new or gently used Shoes & Belts for elementary school students at Bryns Darden School.  Help meet the needs of students K-5th grade.  In addition, there is a need for sweatpants for students in K-2nd grades (size Small – 5/6).  Place all donated items in the blue barrel in the back of the worship center. 

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
 
 



Publish Date: August 23, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Don't Give Up... Already!

A seven-year-old girl was watching her mother in fascination as mom was rubbing some skin cream on her face. She said, "Mommy, why are you doing that?"

The mother replied, "To make myself beautiful."

Well, to the little girl's amazement, in just a minute the mother took a tissue and began removing the cream she had just put on. The girl said, "What's the matter, giving up already?"

I sometimes believe that God looks at our puny prayer lives and asks the question: "Are you giving up already?" Truth is, some people quit praying when they don’t get an answer right away… or they give up praying when they don’t get the answer they expect. 

This Sunday at WCC the sermon will be addressing the topic of unanswered prayers… you will hear some truth that will encourage you to not give up… already!

God has been meeting with us in special ways the past few Sundays… I can hardly wait for Sunday’s experience!

And… don’t forget… after our church service… it’s finally here… Family Fun In The Sun… lunch… water games and races for all ages. 

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
 
 



Publish Date: August 16, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

With or Without?

Before Sunday I want you to memorize a verse of scripture (I can feel the excitement mounting about having to memorize something… aren’t you excited?).  Here it is, 1 Thessalonians 5:17… just one verse… I know you can do this… this is the verse… “Pray continually.”  I am sure you can handle memorizing that one!   But just so you don’t forget, close your eyes and say it out loud three times… “Pray continually, pray continually, pray continually.”

What do you think about that verse?  Did Paul really mean that, or is that just one of those things that sounds kind of spiritual?  Actually, I believe he really meant for us to take that verse to heart and live it out. 

This Sunday the message is titled… “With or Without?”  The message connects this “praying continually” thing with the idea of doing life with God each day.  I will describe practical ways to live out Paul’s instruction to “Pray Continually.”  We will hear that there are some simple ways to do life, enjoying God’s presence with us daily.

I am excited to hear what God has to say to us this Sunday… see you then.

Pastor Tracy
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
 



Publish Date: August 9, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Seeds... Blossoms... Fruit

I came across a quote this week that grabbed my attention.  Henry Ward Beecher wrote, “We should so live and labor in our time that what came to us as seed may go to the next generation as blossom, and what came to us as blossom may go to them as fruit.”

As I read that quote I began to think about the people in my life that lived that way… people whose lives purposefully and intentionally contributed to growth and development in my life.  Many really good memories flooded my mind, and my heart began overflowing with gratitude. 

And, I thought back to last week’s sermon… “Remember Well.”  Last Sunday we recalled names, lives, and sacrifices of WCC’s early “sowers of seed.”  Re-telling some of the significant milestones of our church illuminates some great examples for us to follow. 

This Sunday we celebrate WCC’s 40th anniversary… we continue to remember well… and my prayer is that each one of us who calls WCC our church home will also be impacted by Henry Ward Beecher’s quote… may we live and labor so that our lives and efforts result in growth, blossom, and fruit for God’s work in our community through our church.

This week’s sermon will be given by WCC’s founding pastor, Rev. H. Lamar Smith.

I am looking forward to a memorable day of celebration.  Take time to think about someone who has not been to church for awhile.  Text, email, or call them and invite them to enjoy the day with you.

Remember… our schedule is different this Sunday:  Coffee and donuts will be served at 9:30 and our service begins at 10:00.  Bring your favorite dessert to share… and join us for dinner on the grounds following the service.

Pastor Tracy

“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”

 
 



Publish Date: August 2, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Remember Well!

When was the last time you sat down with your family and just reflected upon your journey together up to this point in time?  When was the last time you dug out the old photo albums and re-lived birthdays, vacations, graduations, etc?
 
In Deuteronomy 7:17-19, Moses was doing just that.  For 40 years Moses and his people had been on a spiritual journey. They had learned some valuable lessons that should not be forgotten.  God had led them and provided for them.  Their journey up to this point is not just about yesterday; it is preparation for today and tomorrow.
 
This Sunday, we too, begin reflecting back on WCC's spiritual journey up to this point.  Sunday's message is titled... "Remembering Well."  As we hear about "yesterday" we too will be inspired about where we are as a church today, and where God wants us to go in the future.
 
And I am excited about our 40th Anniversary Celebration next Sunday, August 12!  In preparation for that day we will be doing some work to spruce up our grounds and buildings.  If you can help weed the playground or do some general cleaning, come to the church this Saturday at 8:30 for an hour, or for whatever amount of time you can give.
 
I am looking forward to seeing what God wants to show us this weekend!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 27, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What About The Leftovers?

Sir Ernest Shackleton was a great explorer who found himself and his crew in a life or death crisis when they had to abandon ship in the icy waters around Antarctica.

It was 1914, and Shackleton's expedition had planned an unprecedented land crossing of the frozen continent.  When the ship got stuck in the ice and sank, the crew began an unscheduled 18 month survival test.  They stayed alive as they moved among the drifting ice floes until they eventually found an island, were they established a camp.  When their provisions began to run low, Shackleton and several crew members boarded one of their salvaged life boats and made a daring 800-mile voyage to a whaling station.  They later returned with a ship, and all the 27 men survived the ordeal.
 
Someone has said, there are two types of people during a crisis - those who freeze and those who focus.  Shackleton might have been stranded in one of the coldest places on the planet, but he and his team never froze.
 
Sunday's Bible story includes a character who froze and one who focused... the result of the focused one's perspective was an incredible miracle performed by Jesus.  Before Sunday read John 6: 1-15.  The title of Sunday's message is... "What About The Leftovers?"
 
I am looking forward to what God has for us Sunday morning at WCC!
 
See you then... and see you Sunday night for a fun family night... at Bel-Aire Pool (6-8 PM).
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 20, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Kindness... Love In Action

You have probably never heard of Stephen Grellett.  He was a French-born Quaker who died in New Jersey in 1855.  He would be unknown to this world today except for a few lines which will be remembered forever.  He said, "I shall pass through this world but once.  Any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now and not defer it.  For I shall not pass this way again."  

Any kindness I can show... let me do it now!  Sunday's message will encourage and challenge us to live out Stephen Grellett's wise words.  Our topic for the day is... "Kindness... Love In Action." 
 
I am looking forward to a great day together!  See you Sunday! 
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 12, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Joy... Deep Gladness In The Good And Bad Of Life

Ever notice when your cup of happiness is full, someone or some thing always bumps your elbow?  Then, you're no longer happy.  Maybe even a little wet!  That little action just  stole your "happy" away.  Why?... Because happiness is dependent on "happenings."  What goes on around you... circumstances... often dictate whether you will be happy.
 
But, there's something available to us that's more durable and satisfying... JOY!  This Sunday at WCC our topic is "Joy... Deep Gladness In The Good and Bad of Life."  We will hear about what real joy is, where it comes from, and what it takes to get it.
 
I am looking forward to a great day together!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!" 
 



Publish Date: June 14, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

The Love Of A Father

I read some interesting thoughts about Dads in some of Leonard Sweet's writings.  He says this...
 
"Dads are different than Moms.  They parent differently.  They protect differently.  They teach differently.  Moms buy bumper pads.  Dads buy Band-Aids.  Moms schedule "play days."  Dads encourage "throw downs."  Some of you are not going to be happy about this, and of course there are lots of exceptions, but overall there just do seem to be different styles inherent between Moms and Dads.  Moms like to invest in lots of protective gear.  Bike helmets, knee pads, water wings.  Dads tend to be both hands on and hands off.  Swimming lessons, but then a white water raft trip.  Bike-pushing, followed by a mondo mountain bike trail.  Bigger knee pads, then diving into the deepest drop at the state park.  Moms say, "You worried me so much!"  Dads tend to say, "Don't worry too much!"
 
Kids need both kinds of parenting... they need the nurturing, protective care of their Moms... and they need the example and instruction from Dad about conviction, courage, confidence... kids need to know about risk taking that is based on trust... they need to be loved by their Dads.
 
This Sunday, Father's Day, at WCC we will look at three traits of a loving father... read Psalm 103:8-12 before Sunday.  God, our Father, demonstrates characteristics of Dads who love their kids and want to instill conviction, courage and confidence into their lives.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!  As I said last week at church, our service this week will be a "man" service... come and see if I can actually do a 15 minute sermon!!!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: June 5, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Be Controlling... Be Gentle!

When we are wronged in some way, often our initial thought is to fight back, to get even.  In most cases that reaction is counter-productive.  I read an interesting quote by Epictetus this week... "Forgiveness is better than revenge, for forgiveness is the sign of a gentle nature, but revenge is the sign of a savage nature."
 
This Sunday at WCC we will be thinking about times we are wronged and what our response can be.  As we allow the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out, we display a gentle nature rather than a savage one.  Sunday's message is titled, "Be Controlling... Be Gentle!"  We will explore what it really means to be gentle.
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 



Publish Date: May 31, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What The World Needs Now Is... Patience!

VBS begins this Sunday morning for our children... starting at 9:30 and ending at noon, they will enjoy Rocky Point Lighthouse VBS!  This Sunday morning venue will include all of the fun VBS experiences... music, Bible stories, and a service project!  And parents, if you don't normally go to a Sunday School class, this is an opportunity to try one... and then come to the 11 o'clock worship service.  Let me set the stage for the 11 o'clock topic...
 
Just imagine this scenario... your pastor is driving to the hospital to see someone before they go into surgery... he is running late... and he gets stuck behind a very slow moving vehicle.  With only two lanes and oncoming traffic on Woodlawn Road, he is truly stuck behind this person, and quite frustrated.  He tries the usual tricks to let the person in front know he is in a hurry... bob and weave, like he is trying to find an opportunity to pass... driving a little closer than he should have been... glaring through the windshield in case the upfront driver looked in the rear-view mirror... but he has no luck in getting the other driver to speed up... he has to just putter along... until he can't take it any longer and hits the horn.  That gets the upfront driver's attention and that driver picks up a little bit of speed.  Finally both drivers reach Dover Road, where there are four lanes... your pastor roars past the other driver and glares in the other person's direction... only to discover it was a very nice person who goes to this church!  Quickly your pastor looks away and pulls ahead, hoping he wasn't recognized... and feeling fairly embarrassed.
 
What was lacking and what was needed in that scenario was patience!  This Sunday's message is titled, "What The World Needs Now Is... Patience."  We all experience times where we feel frustrated, irritated, or annoyed by other people ( as you read that situation above you probably thought of your own instances).  The message will explore "patience" and identify how we ought to view this virtue.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: May 24, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Our Part Of The Story

I am doubly excited for our service this Sunday at WCC!!  We will be observing two special occasions: 1.) Memorial Day, and Pentecost.
 
1.)  We will be honoring fallen soldiers... be sure to be on time... we will be remembering fallen soldiers during the first part of our service.

2.)  We will be celebrating the birthday of the church... at Pentecost the Holy Spirit empowered persons to spread the good news about Jesus... and the church was born!
What an exciting time that must have been!
 
 Picture this scenario... Pastor Vicki's grandson loves to play the game "Ready, Set, Go!"  No matter what he is doing, as soon as he hears Pastor Vicki say the words, "Ready, Set..." he stops what he is doing, focuses his attention on her, and gets a look of great anticipation on his face.  He grins from ear to ear, shuffles his feet with excitement because he can hardly stand still, and waits to hear her say "GO!"  When he hears "GO" he holds nothing back... he runs as fast as he can and leaps into her arms.  That period of waiting is worth it to that little boy... that grandson knows the joy that comes when Pastor Vicki says, "It's time... GO!"... and he races into the arms of the one who loves him so much.
 
After Jesus appeared to his disciples following his crucifixion, he told them that he was sending them on a mission... ready, set... but before they could go they would need to wait.  They didn't know what to expect but they knew they could trust Jesus.  I imagine they were eagerly anticipating what was to come (grinning and shuffling feet and hardly able to stand still).  And on the Day of Pentecost they were not disappointed!   On that day the Holy Spirit said, "It's time... GO!"   They were empowered to "GO" and as a result the world has never been the same.
 
Thing is though... the Holy Spirit is still saying, "Ready, Set, GO!"  This Sunday's message is titled, "Our Part Of The Story."  I look forward to hearing what God's spirit will say to us this weekend.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: May 16, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Be Controlling... Be Gentle!

What image comes to mind when you hear the word "gentle"?  Many people think that gentleness is weakness.  According to the Bible, the opposite is true.  Gentleness is a powerful virtue.  The slogan "strong enough to be gentle" comes close to defining it.
 
This Sunday at WCC we will look at this powerful virtue and apply truth to our personal lives.  The message is titled, "Be Controlling... Be Gentle!" 
 
We will hear how gentleness can look in our lives... When we are gentle, we will bear insults without lashing out in proud resentment or retaliation... We'll thank God in every circumstance, while using every circumstance, good or bad, as an occasion to submit to Him.  We will embrace and choose gentleness because it stems from goodness and Godliness... we will know that gentleness is a great strength!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: May 9, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Loving... Expecting Nothing In Return!

I read about an interview with a woman who had done a great job in her role as a mother.  This devoted mother had single-handely raised a large family,  In spite of all the frustrations, disappointments and obstacles, she had persevered and every one of her children had made remarkable achievements, not only in their schooling but also in their vocation.  It was an inspiring story worth celebrating... it revealed the heights and depths of motherhood.  During the interview, the reporter asked the mother about her secret to success... the reporter asked, "I suppose you loved all your children equally, making sure that all got the same treatment?"
 
The mother replied, "I loved them.  I loved them all, each one of them, but not equally.  I loved the one the most that was down until he was up.  I loved the one the most that was weak until she was strong.  I loved the one the most that was hurt until he was healed.  I loved the one the most that was lost until she was found."
 
Mothers know a lot about love... and they teach us many things about love... their love is tender yet tenacious.  And, it is unconditional... moms love their children even when their kid's behaviors and responses are not what they ought to be.  This Sunday at WCC we will be thinking about "Loving... Expecting Nothing In Return."  Family Prayer Time will include a special prayer for Moms.
 
I am looking forward to Sunday when we honor Moms on their special day... see you then!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: May 3, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

It's No Accident!

A room-service waiter at a Marriott hotel learned that the sister of a guest had just died.  The waiter, named Charles, bought a sympathy card, had hotel staff members sign it, and gave it to the distraught guest with a piece of hot apple pie.
 
The grieving guest later wrote to the president of Marriott hotels, "I'll never meet you.  And I don't need to meet you... because I met Charles.  I know what you stand for... I want to assure you that as long as I live, I will stay at your hotels.  And I will tell my friends to stay at your hotels."
 
The simple, sympathetic actions of Charles significantly impacted the life of that hurting, broken person.  This is another example of someone doing something good for the sake of someone else... someone who desperately needed compassion and care.
 
Whether we realize it or not, we come in contact with broken, hurting people... just like Charles did... almost on a daily basis.  Sometimes we recognize opportunities to assist... sometimes we don't.  This Sunday we continue to build on the foundation that was laid last week... the good life is about doing good... in the name of Jesus... not just for our own sake, but for the sake of others.  This week's message is titled, "It's No Accident..."  We will be thinking about people in our lives who need something good done for them.  Read Mark 3: 1-6 before Sunday.  Prepare your heart and mind to hear and see what God wants to say to us and show us through this familiar story.  Here's a couple of questions to be thinking about... "when people look at my life and actions do they see behaviors and attitudes that demonstrate the heart of Jesus... do they know what he stands for?"
 
I am looking forward to an exciting day of worship again this Sunday!  See you then.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 



Publish Date: April 26, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What Makes Life Good?

Remember the movie that came out in the early 1980's, Chariots of Fire?  It was the story of Eric Liddell, a Scottish runner who ran in the Olympics after World War II.  Eric Liddell, son of missionaries in China, was very religious, as was his sister, Jenny.  The year Eric was invited to run in the Olympics happened to be the same year he was needed to help his parents in China.  In his sister's mind, there was no decision.  Of course he would answer God's call to serve as a missionary.  After all, which was more important, to run in a race for one's own glory or to serve the glory of God?
 
The decision was much more complex for Eric.  He cared for his parents and the mission and fully intended to help... after the Olympics.  Trying to explain to his sister the importance of this opportunity related to his running, he said, "Jenny, Jenny, God made me fast, and when I run I feel God's pleasure."
 
Liddel went on to run in the Olympics... and in doing so impacted many people with his strong testimony and God-centered life!  He knew the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes as we live our lives centered around God's purposes for us individually and personally... "we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (see Ephesians 2: 8-10).

This Sunday the message is titled, "What Makes Life Good?"  Between now and then read Mark 1: 14-18... that is the story of two brothers who met Jesus and heard him explain how they, too, could feel God's pleasure.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday... I am anticipating God's presence will comfort, heal, and encourage!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: April 19, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

It Has Happened... To You!

Tolstoy once told a story of a Czar and Czarina who wished to honor the members of their court with a banquet.  They sent out invitations and requested that the guests come with the invitations in their hands.  When they arrived at the banquet the guests were surprised to discover that the guards did not look at their invitations at all.  Instead, they examined their hands.  The guests wondered about this, but they were also curious to see who the Czar and Czarina would choose as the guest of honor to sit between them at the banquet.  They were surprised to see that it was the old scrub woman who had worked to keep the palace clean for years.  The guards, having examined her hands, declared, "You have the proper credentials to be the guest of honor.  We can see your love and loyalty in your hands."
 
Hands sometimes communicate undeniable truth... Sunday we look at a Bible story that demonstrates the love and loyalty of Jesus... Luke 24: 35-49.  Last Sunday we heard the story of Jesus' morning appearance to some of the disciples on the beach.  This Sunday we look at another of his post-resurrection appearances... he said to his disciples, "Look at my hands and feet.  It is I myself."  His presence and conversation affirmed the reality of his resurrection.  Sunday's message is titled, "It Has Happened... To You."
 
I am looking forward to another great day of worship together!  See you Sunday.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: April 11, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Not Just Another Day On The Lake!

Several years ago Ronald Reagan made one of the most famous speeches in presidential history.  After a season in which our country was experiencing stagnation here at home, and frustration overseas, Reagan stepped to the platform.  He declared, "It's morning again in America."
 
Those words and that image lifted the sights and spirits of Americans to believe that better days were ahead... and, thankfully, a season of recovery and growth came.
 
On Resurrection Day Jesus emerged from the tomb and communicated that it is morning in the Kingdom of God... He said... "I am making all things new, beginning with everyone who believes in me."
 
This Sunday's message again asks the question, "What difference does Easter make?"  The title of the sermon is, "Not Just Another Day On The Lake."  Read John 21 before Sunday to refresh your memory about one of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.
 
If you know of someone needing "a new day" in their life, invite them to be at WCC Sunday to hear the Good News... You can wake up to a new day... for your family, your friendships, your career, your finances... every aspect of your lives.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: April 5, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

He's Alive!

"Because I live," Jesus said in John 14:19, "you also will live."
 
This week we celebrate life... after the horrific crucifixion and death of Christ comes the life-giving resurrection... and the hopeful expectation of our own personal resurrections that result in purposeful life now and for eternity!
 
Tomorrow night at our Good Friday service we remember the sacrifice of our Savior... invite someone to attend with you... our service begins at 6:30 P.M.
 
Easter Sunday begins with an opportunity for food and fellowship... our Free Pancake Breakfast will be served from 9:30 to 10:15.  Our Easter celebration continues with our Worship service at 11 A.M.   Several persons will be baptized at the beginning of the service... you won't want to miss this important sacrament!  The message will include a testimony about new life that Jesus gives.
 
Following the Worship service our children will enjoy the Easter Egg Hunt... approximately 12:15.
 
Here's four things to pray about between now and Sunday:  1.) for God to be glorified; 2.) for God to give you names of persons to invite to Good Friday and Sunday services; 3.) that many people will attend Easter Service; 4.) for people to take their next steps towards God... that many will accept Jesus as Savior and that many will re-dedicate their lives to Christ.
 
I'm excited to celebrate Easter with you!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 

 



Publish Date: March 22, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Was That Thunder... Or God?

A five year old girl had disobeyed her mom and had been sent to her room.  After a few minutes Mom went in to talk with her about what she had done.  Teary eyed, the repentant child asked, "Why do we do wrong things, Mommy?"
 
Mother replied, "Sometimes the devil tells us to do something wrong, and we listen to him.  We need to listen to God instead."
 
The little girl sobbed, "But God doesn't talk loud enough!"
 
This Sunday at WCC our message is titled, "Was That Thunder... Or God?"  Our scripture for the day is John 12: 20-33... it's about a day when God spoke but many didn't hear his voice... the reason why they didn't hear his voice had nothing to do with the volume level of God's voice.  The message will give some reasons why people don't recognize God's voice.
 
This Sunday is Family Worship... our kids will worship with us. 
 
Reminder:  As you are shopping, remember to pick up some bags of individually wrapped candy to bring to church for our Easter Egg Hunt.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: March 15, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

To Change A Life...

In the book, "Children's Letters To God: The New Collection," a little girl named, Nan, wrote this letter:  'Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world.  There are only four people in our family and I have trouble loving them!"

That little girl's letter confirms the reality that "loving everybody" is not an easy thing to do!  But Sunday's scripture shows us... that even though in human terms it's hard to love everybody, it's within God's capability and nature... and his love can change lives like nothing else or no one else can!  Read John 3: 1-21 before Sunday... this is the story of Jesus' night time talk with Nicodemus.  Jesus gave us an example of what to tell people about God and Him.  The message is titled, "To Change A Life..."

I am looking forward to another great day of worship with our WCC family.  See you Sunday!
 
Oh, and don't forget... this Sunday is the Chili Cook-off, after the morning service.  Stay for lunch, for fellowship, and to see which of our 14 contestants will take home the Golden Spoon.... will it be Hank "Chili Pepper" Marsh, or "Catfish" Ferebee... or a Cinderella story?  Tickets for lunch:  $3 for children under age 11; ages 11 and up are $5 each.  Proceeds go to our men's ministry.
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



 



Publish Date: March 8, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Spring Cleaning!

The media reported sometime back about a fight that broke out in a nursing home.  The encounter occurred in Spring Haven Retirement Community in Florida.  Those in the cafeteria found their peace disrupted over a nasty incident at the salad bar. Mealtime turned ugly when an 86-year-old man complained to another resident about picking through the lettuce.  Name-calling soon gave way to punching and the police were summoned.  Those in the way paid a price.  One resident was bitten in his attempt to stop the fight, another was knocked down.  While no one was seriously injured, one of the men was expelled from the home.
 
You and I get angry over all kinds of things... some of them are silly or trivial... sometimes we react to things that are unjust or unfair.  This Sunday we continue our lenten journey with Jesus... we look at a time Jesus got angry, when he saw people exploiting religion.  That's a little different from getting miffed over a salad bar.  The end result of Jesus' actions that day was some serious "house cleaning."  Sunday's message will call us to do some "Spring Cleaning" in our hearts.
 
God's spirit has been present in unique ways the past few Sundays.  I am excited to experience Him again this Sunday!  Our response to the message Sunday will be through participation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
P.S.  Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend... don't forget to set your clocks one hour ahead, Saturday night. 
 



Publish Date: March 1, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Who's Leading?

In his book The Victory Of The Cross Pastor Erskine White relates the following story:
 
"In the rolling hills of northern New Jersey stands a small church with a large, stone cross cut into an inside wall.  A few years ago one of the church's wealthier members offered to give a significant financial donation to the church.  His donation was to go toward the cost of taking the cross out of the wall.  He didn't like where the cross was positioned.  He wanted to replace it with a stained glass window.
 
But when he presented his idea to the church's leaders, they said to him, 'We cannot do that.  The architect designed the church to have this cross; it gives strength to the wall.  If you take away the cross, you will destroy the church.'"
 
The architect of our salvation designed the church (followers of Christ) to have the cross.  The cross gives strength to the church.  Take away the cross and you do not have a church.  The cross of Jesus Christ is the place where atonement happened.  Atonement for sin happened on the cross through Christ's becoming a substitute for man.  Christ died where man should have been so that man may be where God is.
 
In Mark 8: 31-38 Jesus tells the disciples the cross is in his future.  Peter didn't like that kind of talk.  He wanted to take it out of Jesus' plans.  He though he had a better plan.  He wanted to replace the cross with something other than that. 
 
This Sundays' message is titled, "Who's Leading?"  We continue our journey with Jesus toward the cross.  This week we see that submission to God's plans brings about his purposes.
 
I am looking forward to a great day of worship!  Invite someone to come with you.  See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 



Publish Date: February 23, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Ready, Set, Grow!

People have given up all sorts of things during Lent... things like meat, sweets, chocolate, cokes, going to the movies and those kinds of things.  The concept of "giving things up" is about self denial... making a sacrifice.  Our personal sacrifice is a way we remind ourselves of what Christ gave up for us.
 
If you have not yet decided what you will give up this season, here's a great list of suggestions to choose from... these come from Rev. Craig Gates.  This is not the typical list of self-denying sacrifices, but it might provide a meaningful time of growth for you!
 
GIVE UP grumbling!  Instead, "in everything give thanks."  Constructive criticism is OK, but "moaning, groaning, and complaining" are not Christian disciplines.
 
 GIVE UP looking at other people's worst attributes.  Instead, concentrate on their best points.  We all have faults.  It is a lot easier to have people overlook our shortcomings when we overlook theirs first.
 
GIVE UP speaking unkindly.  Instead, let your speech be generous and understanding.  It costs so little to say something kind and uplifting or to offer a smile.  Why not check that sharp tongue at the door?
 
GIVE UP your hatred of anyone or anything!  Instead, learn the discipline of love.  "Love covers a multitude of sins."
 
GIVE UP your worries and anxieties!  They're too heavy for you to carry anyway.  Instead, trust God with them.  Anxiety is spending emotional energy on something we can do nothing about...  like tomorrow!   Live today and let God's grace be sufficient.
 
GIVE UP 10 to 15 minutes in bed!  Instead, use that time in prayer, Bible study and personal devotion.  A few minutes invested will give renewal and focus.
 
GIVE UP TV one evening a week!  Instead, visit someone who is lonely or sick.  There are those who are isolated by illness or age.  Why isolate yourself in front of the "tube?"  Give someone a precious gift:  your time!
 
GIVE UP buying anything but essentials for yourself!  Instead, give the money to God!  The money you would spend on the luxuries could help someone take their next steps towards God.  We're called to be stewards of God's riches, not consumers.
 
GIVE UP judging others by appearances and by the standard of the world!  Instead, learn to give up yourself to God.  There is only one who has the right to judge, God.
 
So, there's some things to consider giving up during the season leading up to Easter.  My hope and prayer is that each of us will grow closer to God and one another during this special time of year!
 
This Sunday at WCC the message is titled, "Ready, Set, Grow!"  We look at the first ministry events in the life of Christ... right at the beginning of his public ministry., he is "benched."  His response to that gives us a model to follow.  Read Mark 1:9-13 before Sunday.
 
Sunday is going to be a great day of worship!  I can hardly wait!  See you then!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 
 
 



Publish Date: February 16, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Who Is The Real Underdog?

I read about a man by the name of Jacob who was digging a well out in the Israeli desert  He discovered a casket containing a mummy.  After examining this mummy, he got on the phone and called the curator of a museum in Jerusalem.  He said, "I have found the body of a three thousand year old man who died of a sudden heart attack!"  The curator said, "There is no way you could know that the man died of a massive heart attack, but bring the mummy in and I'll look at him." 
 
A week later, Jacob received a call from the museum.  The curator said, "This is amazing!  You were right about the mummy's age and you were right about his cause of death.  How did you know how old he was and how did you know he died of a sudden heart attack?"  Jacob said, "In his right hand there was a piece of paper that looked like a betting stub and on it was written these words, 'A thousand shekels on Goliath.'"
 
Okay, so it's not a true story... but it could have happened.  This Sunday at WCC we continue our "Courageous Living" series.  We look at the story in 1 Samuel 17, where David faced Goliath.  It took a shepherd boy to remind a king of just how great God is and how powerful God is and what great things God can do.  We will hear how David wasn't as much of an underdog as we may have thought.  Sunday's message is titled, "Who Is The Real Underdog?"  Be thinking about who you will be betting on!
 
I am excited about Sunday... it is a "Family Worship" day!  Our children will help lead worship... their energy and excitement always encourage me!  Invite someone to come with you.
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 
 

 



Publish Date: February 9, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Courageous Loving... Love For A Lifetime

A wife woke up one morning and said, "Honey. I just had a dream that you bought me a new gold necklace.  What do you think it means?"

"I don't know, but Valentine's Day is coming soon.  Tuesday you will know," he replied.
 
A few nights later, she again woke up after having a dream.  She said, "This time, I dreamed you gave me a pearl necklace.  What do you think it means?"
 
"You'll know Tuesday," he replied.
 
The night before Valentine's Day she again woke up and told him about her latest dream.  "This time I dreamed you brought me a diamond necklace.  What do you think it means?"
 
"Honey, be patient, you'll know tonight," he said.
 
That evening the husband came home with a neatly wrapped gift and gave it to his wife.  Delighted, she opened it... to find a book entitled, "The Meaning of Dreams."
 
Just so you know, the husband in the story was not me!!!  I do hope, though, that it inspires you (and Jill) to give significant thought to what you will give to your valentine next week!
 
This Sunday at WCC I am leaving our "Courageous Living" theme... instead we will be thinking about "Courageous Loving... Love For A Lifetime."  Read Malachi 2:13-15 before Sunday... that passage gives a lot to think about!
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!  Invite someone you love to join you!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Publish Date: January 26, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Priorities: MIA or CTP?

You probably remember hearing the story of a dad's persevering love for his son after a destructive natural disaster.  The 1989 Armenian earthquake needed only four minutes to flatten the nation and kill thirty thousand people.  Moments after that deadly tremor ceased, a father raced to an elementary school to try to find his son.  When he arrived, he saw that the building had been leveled.  Looking at the mass of stones and rubble, he remembered a promise he had made to his child:  "No matter what happens, I'll always be there for you."  Driven by his own promise, he found the area closest to his son's room and began to pull back the rocks.  Other parents arrived and began sobbing for their children.  "It's too late," they told the man.  "You know they are dead, it won't do any good to look," someone said.  Even a police officer encouraged him to give up.
 
But the father refused.  For eight hours, then sixteen, then thirty-two, then thirty-six hours... he dug.  His hands were raw and his energy gone, but he refused to quit.  Finally, after thirty-eight exhausting hours, he pulled back a boulder and heard his son's voice.  He called his boy's name, "Arman!  Arman!"  A voice answered him, "Dad, it's me!"  Then the boy added these priceless words, "I told the other kids not to worry.  I told them if you were alive, you'd save me, and when you saved me, they'd be saved too.  Because you promised, "No matter what I'll be there for you!"
 
That was one courageous, persistent, determined dad... he knew what was important... his life actions revealed his love for his child.  This Sunday at WCC we continue our teaching series, "Courageous Living."  During this series we are thinking about what courageous living looks like in our faith lives and our family lives.  This Sunday's message is a challenge for all men to "always be there" for your families.  The message is titled... "Priorities:  MIA or CTP?
 
I am looking forward to a great day of worship and celebration of courageous living!
 
Pastor Tracy
 "Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 



Publish Date: January 19, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Courageous Or Complacent?

In Stephen Covey's best-seller, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," he talked about how we can loose sight of our main goals in life.  No other place are the consequences more destructive than in our families.  Covey wrote: 
 
"I value my children.  I love them, I want to help them.  I value my role as their father.  But I don't always see those values.  I get caught up in the "thick of thin things."  What matters most gets buried under layers of pressing problems, immedieate concerns, and outward behaviors.  I become reactive.  And the way I interact with my children every day often bears little resemblance to the way I deeply feel about them."
 
As I read that, I thought back to when my daughters were young.. and with regret agreed... that's the way it often was for me... I got caught up in the "thick of thin things," having lost sight of what my role as dad was supposed to be.
 
Here's my hope for parents/grandparents today... that the way you interact with your children/grandchildren every day will display how you really feel about them... and that you will be the dad/mom/grandparent they need today and tomorrow.
 
This Sunday at WCC we begin a new sermon series titled, "Courageous Living."  Having seen the movie "Courageous" a couple of weeks ago, we are going to spend a few Sundays thinking about our influence, priorities, and responsibilities as adults in our kid's lives.  This Sunday's message is titled, "Courageous or Complacent?"
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 

 
 
 
 



Publish Date: January 12, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

God's Apps For A New You!

"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
 
When the Holy Spirit controls our lives... he produces fruit in us... we become someone who will be better, do better, live better than in the past.  When the Holy Spirit controls our lives... He gives us this suite/collection of apps that creates an updated version of ourselves!
 
When the Holy Spirit controls our lives... we become gentle.  That word "gentle' conjures up images of weakness or wimpiness in some people's minds.  Does that mean we become a doormat for anyone and everyone who wants to walk on us?  No... come to WCC this Sunday to hear the message titled, "Be Controlling... Be Gentle."
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: January 5, 2012  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

One Who Can Be Counted On!

Hopefully you had an awesome, safe, memorable holiday season.  Jill and I were grateful to be able to visit both our daughters, their husbands, and our five month old grandson
 
Although some may be feeling a letdown from the holiday excitement, we want you to know that there is no letdown at WCC.  As we begin a new year we are quickly addressing areas that many of us want to improve upon these next few months.  I mention two upcoming events.
 
In order to assist you in strengthening your family we are showing the movie "Courageous" this Sunday night.  This exciting movie targets Dads, but cuts to the heart of every family member.  Key characters in the movie are four law enforcement officers who vow to serve and protect... but at the end of the day face challenges that none of them are truly prepared to tackle... fatherhood.  You won't want to miss seeing this movie... and since I don't want you to regret not inviting someone to come see it, I encourage you to bring another family with you.  There is no charge to see the movie... it begins at 5:30 PM.  Also, our children will be seeing the Veggie Tale movie, "Princess and The Popstar."  Your whole family will enjoy the free movie night!
 
And, in order to assist you in strengthening your financial matters we are offering the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace classes at our church.  The classes begin next Wednesday night, 6 PM, and continue 12 more weeks.  Registration cost is $99 per family.  The class is filling up quickly.  Sunday is the last day to register.  If you are interested in getting out of debt, establishing consistent savings patterns, experiencing peace in financial matters, register by calling the church office (931 648 4469 - leave a message) or speak to Jim Elrod or Pastor Tracy.
 
Sunday morning at WCC our theme is "Faithfulness... God's and our's."
 
It was reported that famed cellist Pablo Casals, at age 95, would practice up to six hours a day.  One day his friend said to him, "My goodness, at age 95 why are you practicing so long?"  The master musician replied, "Because I still think I am making a little bit of progress."
 
 I love that attitude and example... consistent, continued devotion to that which Casals felt was his life's calling.  Sunday's message challenges each of us to live a life of consistent, continual devotion... the sermon is titled, "One Who Can Be Counted On."

See you Sunday for a full day of good things for you and your family!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: December 15, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Christmas Joy!

 A famous author sat in a book store autographing copies of his new book.  He was especially pleased when one man brought up not only his new book, but reprints of his previous two novels as well.  "My wife really likes your writing," the man explained, "so I've decided to give her these autographed copies for Christmas."
 
"Oh, a surprise?" the author guessed.  "I'll say," the customer agreed.  "She's expecting an SUV."
 
I am thinking that surprise will not go over well for that husband on Christmas day!
 
Here's the thing about Christmas surprise gifts... when they meet or exceed our hopes and dreams, our hearts are filled with unspeakable joy... when they do not meet our expectations, our experiences are not so happy.
 
This Sunday at WCC we continue our advent teaching series... "A Christmas Story"... our topic is... "Elations!"   We will see another video clip from the classic movie... we'll see how "the thing about Christmas suprise gifts" works out for Ralphie... and celebrate the surprising joy of the greatest gift ever given... Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift... Jesus!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: December 8, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Christmas Wishes!

A couple was feeling the stresses of a hectic holiday schedule... jobs, children in the home, shopping, baking, parties... etc.  Running out of time, the wife ordered Christmas cards and had the business print their signature on the cards... not having to sign the cards would save a lot of time and energy. 
 
Soon the couple began receiving cards from friends signed, "The Modest Morrisons," "The Clever Clarks," "The Successful Smiths."
 
Then the realization hit... the couple had sent out a hundred cards neatly imprinted with "Happy Holidays from the Rich Armstrongs."
 
Actually, I am surprised the subsequent cards didn't include gift requests... since the Armstrongs were "Rich"...surely they could share their wealth!
 
In the midst of the Advent season we are taking intentional time at WCC to slow the pace and prepare our hearts to fully celebrate the reason for the season.  This Sunday at WCC we continue our teaching series, "A Christmas Story."  This week's topic is "Wishes."  We'll see another video clip from the classic movie... and you will hear what Buddy the Elf and the Magi have in common.
 
Two quick pieces of information:
 
1.  Since many will be traveling over the holiday season we are distributing 2012 offering envelopes this Sunday.  Your box of envelopes will be in your mailbox this Sunday morning.  If you don't have a mailbox at church, see Ms Sue to receive your offering envelopes.
 
2.  Beginning early in January we are hosting Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University."  This is a 13 week study that will be held on Wednesday nights.  Cost for the sessions and materials is about $100.  The new year is a great time to invest in this course... this could make a huge difference in your personal finances in 2012.  If you are interested in participating, or, if you know of someone who would benefit from this study, and you don't know what to get them for Christmas (this would be a great gift to them)  ... please email me at the church (wcnazarene@bellsouth.net).
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
"The Happy Hoskins"
Overwhelming Grace Keep You!

 
 

 
 
 

 



Publish Date: December 1, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Best Christmas Present Ever!

During the holidays, an older brother (age 5) was showing his little brother around the Christmas display at church.  "Here are the shepherds," he explained knowledgeably, "and there are the sheep and the cows and the wise men.  And here is Mary, she's Jesus' mother.  And that's Mary's husband, Virg."
 
A nearby Sunday School teacher overheard and offered a correction.  "Mary's husband was name Joseph," she said, "not Virg."  The 5 year old wrinkled his brow.  "Then how come," he wanted to know, "they always talk about Virg and Mary?"
 
That story brings a smile to our face... Children provide such joy to our lives, don't they?  While they might not fully comprehend all of the Christmas story, many know the core truth... that the central character is Jesus.
 
This Sunday at WCC our students will be performing the Christmas musical, "The Best Christmas Present Ever!"  I love "musical Sunday"... watching our kids singing and acting... sometimes in unexpected and unrehearsed ways that always bring smiles to my face... retelling the story of Jesus' birth... this Sunday, 11 AM, will be a birthday party for Him!
 
You will want to arrive at church early to get a good seat.
 
I am excited to see and hear the joy and hope of Christmas in the faces and in the voices of our WCC kids this Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 
 
 



Publish Date: November 17, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Grateful Heart

 Bob Perks is a professional speaker and author.  He tells of overhearing a father and daughter in intensely emotional moments together at an airport terminal.  Over the public address system came the announcement that the daughter's plane was ready to depart.  Father and daughter stood near the security gate and hugged.  Finally the father said, "I love you.  I wish you enough."
 
She in turn said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough.  Your love is all I ever needed.  I wish you enough, too, Daddy."
 
They hugged and she left.  The old man walked over toward the area where Perks was seated.  Perks could see the old man wanted and needed to cry.  Perks tried not to intrude on his privacy, but the old man welcomed him into conversation by asking, "Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?"
 
"Yes, I have," Perks replied.  Perks had recent memories of expressing his love and appreciation for all his dad had done for him.  Recognizing his dad's days were limited, he took time to tell him face to face how much he meant to him.  So Perks knew something of what this man was experiencing.
 
"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?" Perks asked.
 
"I am old," said the man, "and she lives much too far away.  I have physical challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral."
 
Perks asked, "When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?"
 
The old man began to smile.  "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations.  My parents used to say it to everyone."  He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.  "When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them."  Turning towards Perks he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory:
 
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
 
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
 
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
 
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
 
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
 
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
 
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
 
He then began to sob and walked away.
 
Thanksgiving is a wake-up call... reminding us we have enough.  I love this holiday when we recall the blessings we are experiencing... instead of focusing on what we wish we had.  This Sunday at WCC is our special Thanksgiving service.  Our theme for the day is... "Grateful Heart."  Before Sunday read Deuteronomy 8: 1-18.  We will look at Moses' words to God's people about gratitude.  He basically is saying to those people and to us... "I wish you enough."
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: November 10, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Race... To The Heart Of A Child!

 The childhood years are vitally important when it comes to spiritual influences.  The respected Christian sociologist, George Barna, reminds us that most Christians come to faith before they are 18 years of age.  Research has indicated that if students have not received Christ by the time they leave high school, the chances of their accepting Him as their Lord and Savior become very slim... 6 percent to be exact.
 
Other research I read this week shows that children's moral foundations are generally in place by the time they reach age 9.
 
Those facts indicate the importance of influencing children toward Christ during these formative years.  We must teach and train our children about spiritual matters while they are young!
 
At WCC we attempt to partner with parents (the primary spiritual influencers in the lives of your kids) as you attempt to raise your children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord"  (Ephesians 6:4).  This Sunday's service at WCC is a celebration of children... it will be a reminder of our responsibilities as adults to influence children spiritually... and, you will hear an exciting announcement about a tool through which WCC can partner with your parental efforts!  You won't want to miss this exciting announcement... this is some great news for you and your kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews, and neighborhood kids.  I can hardly wait to tell you!
 
Sunday's service is packed with inspiring moments... we bring our Operation Christmas Child boxes... some of our WCC children will be dedicated... I will speak briefly on the topic, "Race... To The Heart Of A Child!"
 
See you Sunday!  Bring your Operation Christmas Child boxes with you Sunday morning!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 



Publish Date: November 3, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Honoring Our Veterans!

 I am not sure who wrote the following statements but these are some powerful thoughts:  "Freedom is a precious gift that must be defended or it will be taken from us.  Through the decades there have been those who sacrificed to protect our freedom.  We call these heroes... veterans!  Veterans have defended our country, protected our freedom, served with strength and courage."
 
This Sunday we honor veterans on our Military Appreciation Day at WCC!  Our guest speaker is a veteran-hero with a story you won't want to miss!  His name is Ed Harrell.  He is one of a very few remaining survivors of the USS Indianapolis, the last major ship sunk in World War II.  His story involves a super-secret mission involving "Little Boy," a disastrous return, and survival against the elements involving a four day ordeal staying afloat and alive in the ocean!  He credits his survival to the providence of God!
 
I encourage you to not only attend but to also bring another veteran, friend, or active duty soldier with you!
 
Our gift to active-duty soldiers this year is a family picture.  Opportunity will be given for you to have your family's picture taken before Sunday School, or during the Sunday School hour, or after the worship service.  Hopefully you have been contacted this week by Pastor Vicki about a specific time for your family's picture to be taken.  If you have not been contacted, call the office and leave a message on the answering machine:  931 648 4469 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            931 648 4469      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or email Pastor Vicki:  pastorvicki@bellsouth.net.
 
I look forward to Sunday... be praying God's spirit will make this a special day for all!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: October 26, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Come On In, The Water's Fine!

 There was a wealthy businessman, known for his extravagance, who hosted an elaborate, spectacular summer party.  Part of his decorations and part of the uniqueness of his party was that he had filled his swimming pool with salt water, sharks, barracuda, and other assorted dangerous fish.
 
After dinner had been served everyone was standing around the pool looking at the assortment of dangerous sea life.  The business man announced to his guests that he would like to challenge anyone to try swimming across the pool.  To sweeten the challenge he offered amazing prizes... either a new home in the mountains, a trip around the world for two, or a piece of his business.
 
Right after he made the announcement there was a splash and a man swam rapidly across the infested waters and jumped out the other side.  The businessman turned to the sputtering young man who was shaking water off of himself... the host said, "That was an absolutely stunning performance.  What prize do you want?"
 
With a growl and a scowl the swimmer said, "Right now I really don't care about the prize.  All I want to know is the name of the turkey who pushed me in!"
 
This Sunday morning at WCC we will be celebrating baptism!  I can assure you that the water of our baptismal is safe... it is not filled with sharks, barracudas and other dangerous sea life!  And, I can assure you that no one will be pushed in against their will.  We will be baptizing persons who have indicated their desire to participate in this sacred event!
 
Before our baptism celebration I will be speaking on the subject... "Come On In, The Water's Fine!"  We will be thinking about the significance of baptism for followers of Christ!
 
Reminder:  Individually wrapped bags of candy are still needed for Sunday night's "Trunk or Treat!"  Bring candy bags and place them in the baskets in the foyer.  And, if you are decorating a trunk and have not signed up, send an email (wcnazarene@bellsouth.net) or give a call to our answering machine (931 648 4469) to let us know!
 
Each week in this blog I say, "I am excited to see you Sunday!"  This weekend I am super-excited... I can hardly wait to celebrate changed lives as we enjoy our baptism celebration!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: October 19, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Have Personal Peace!

I read a fascinating fact this week... Oceanographers tell us that the worst ocean storm never goes more than twenty-five feet deep.  In other words, hurricanes can rip across the Atlantic or Pacific.  They can cause huge tidal waves several stories high.  But just twenty-six feet below the surface the water is as calm as a pond on a sunny day in June.
 
As I read that I began thinking about comparisons between ocean storms and our lives... we all long for peaceful, calm waters in our lives... like the water below the twenty-six foot level...but the truth is, many of our lives are like the chaotic water from the surface to twenty-five feet... we would like to know how those waters could be calmed, how we can find peace in in the midst of the chaos.
 
This Sunday at WCC we will look into God's truth that shows how we can have calm in our hearts and lives in the midst of life's storms.  Our topic is... "How To Have Personal Peace!"  We return to our series on the Fruit of The Spirit... the fruit of the Spirit is peace!
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!  Invite someone to come with you... someone that could benefit from hearing God's truth about personal peace.
 
Note:  Our Harvest Hayride is just one week from Sunday... as you shop this week pick up a couple of bags of individually wrapped candy... place the bags in the baskets in the foyer at church... and, sign up to decorate your trunk and hand-out candy at Harvest Hayride!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: October 5, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Keep Your Hand Out Of The Pumpkin Jar!

 Remember the movie "Bruce Almighty" in which Jim Carey (Bruce) is given god-like powers for a few days?  One of the many memorable scenes in the movie is one in which news anchorman, Evan Baxter, is reporting the day's news.  Out of jealousy, Jim Carey causes Evan to lose control... Carey causes him to babble, make weird noises, and make a fool out of himself.  He is completely out of control... controlled by Carey's evil thoughts and actions. 
 
The scenario of Evan losing control is funny to Jim Carey... and it's funny to us viewers... we find humor when someone else lacks control.  But it's not a pretty sight when we lack self-control in our own lives.
 
This Sunday we return to our current series, "Change Can Happen."  This week's message shows us God is not at all like Jim Carey... God is just the opposite of him... God delights when you and I have self-control... in fact he wants us to have it so bad that He promises He will produce it in us, when we allow him to control our lives.  This week's message is titled, "How To Keep Your Hands Out Of The Pumpkin Jar." 
 
Here's two more important matters:
 
1.  "Thanks" to everyone who worked to provide WCC's WonderFull Weekend!  We are thrilled that about 100 people made spiritual decisions last weekend!  Your efforts have impacted people's lives now and for eternity!
 
2.  Harvest Hayride is just around the corner... Sunday, October 30.  As is our custom, we will have "Trunk Or Treat."  Donations of bags of individually wrapped candy can be brought this week and placed in the baskets in the foyer.  "Thanks" in advance for providing candy for our kids.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 29, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

WonderFull Weekend Is HERE!

 I can't get their words out of my head... among all of the people I talked to this week about WonderFull Weekend, three persons' remarks keep playing over in my mind... 1) a Clarksville pastor who talked about the two times Scott Humston had been at his church in past years said-- "He was really outstanding!"... 2) a children's pastor at a large church said-- "He is incredible, get as many people to see him as possible!"... 3) one of our own WCC persons, who had seen Scott when he was at our church several years ago, said--- "It would really be a shame if our people didn't come see him; they would miss out on something really good!"
 
WCC is privileged to have professional illusionist/magician, Scott Humston, with us this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!  We will be entertained and instructed by this man of God!   This blog is one last effort to encourage you to attend as many sessions as possible... and to invite as many others as possible... friends, family members, associates, and neighbors... to experience a unique presentation of spiritual truths.
 
I am excited to see you this weekend... and to see your guests... please introduce them to me when they come!
 
See you Friday night!
 
P.S.  Use whatever means you can to make sure you reach as many people as possible with invitations:  call, text, email and Facebook as many as you can!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 22, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Let's Throw A Party!

 The famous evangelist, D.L. Moody, was in London preaching the Gospel.  While he was there, three British pastors visited him.  They said, "You do a good job winning people to Christ.  What's your secret?"
 
Moody had them look out the window overlooking a park.  He asked each one, "What do you see?"  The first one said, "I see two old men on a bench."  The second one said, "I see people on their way to work."  The third one said, "I see a man shining shoes."
 
Then Rev. Moody looked out the window with tears rolling down his cheeks.  One of the ministers said, "Rev. Moody, what do you see?"
 
Moody said, "I see people who one day will be lost forever if they do not find the Savior."
 
Rev. Moody was seeing people from the perspective of Jesus' viewpoint... as persons in need of a savior's grace, mercy, and compassion.
 
This Sunday at WCC we will look at someone else who had eyes like Jesus and Rev. Moody... someone whose heart ached because he knew some people who really needed a touch from God... somebody whose mind struggled to figure out a way to communicate the good news in a way that would help those people take a step towards God.  Our scripture for the day is Luke 5: 27-32.  The title of this Sunday's sermon is... "Let's Throw A Party!"
 
Reminder:  This Saturday is "Project Serve @ WCC!"  We will be working to clean, maintain, and improve the appearance and facilities of our buildings and grounds... when people come to "Wonderfull Weekend" and future Fall activities, they will see that we love God by the way we take care of His place!  Breakfast will be served at 8 AM.  Come and work as long or as short as you can!   We will have an awesome day together!
 
I am excited to see you Saturday and Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 15, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Working Out... Working In!

 Several years ago a prominent pastor, Henry Drummond, wrote a classic sermon titled "The Greatest Thing In The World."  He ended his sermon by telling that if you put a piece of iron in the presence of an electrified field, that piece of iron itself will become electrified.  And in the presence of that electrical field, it is changed into a magnet.  As long as it remains in contact with that field of power, it will continue to attract other pieces to itself.
 
We are like that piece of iron.  In the presence of the Holy Spirit, we experience Christ's love and take on his likeness.  We are changed, electrified by the Holy Spirit... our lives begin to display the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5: 22-23.
 
Last Sunday at WCC we began a new teaching series titled, "Change... Can Happen."  This Sunday we pick up where we left off last week... having said power is available that can help us change, we will think about what puts that power into action.  This Sunday's message is titled, "Working Out... Working In!" 
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 8, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Change... Can Happen!

 In a Peanuts cartoon Charlie Brown tells Lucy... "Next year I'm going to be a changed person."  Lucy says, "That's a laugh!"  Charlie Brown replies, "I mean it, I'm going to be strong and firm!"  "Forget it," Lucy says as she walks off... "You'll always be wishy-washy!"  Charlie Brown thinks for a minute, then says, "Why can't I change just a little bit... I'll be wishy one day and washy the next!"
 
Charlie Brown voiced a common desire and sad realization most of us are familiar with... a wish that something about us could be changed for the better... along with awareness that we lack the ability to bring the desired changes!  This Sunday at WCC our topic is... "Change... Can Happen!"  We will hear about the source of power that is able and available to produce changes we are incapable of making.
 
I am excited to look into God's word together... and to experience communion (The Lord's Supper) in our morning worship service.
 
Sunday evening we will enjoy a New Community meal... and will hear about Jerry Romasco's experiences in Croatia this past year.
 
See you Sunday for an exciting day!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 1, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

"Tools"

Christian artist, Twila Paris, sang a song entitled, "How Beautiful Is The Body of Christ."  Here's some of the lyrics
 
        How beautiful when humble hearts give
        The fruit of pure lives so others may live.
        How beautiful the hands that serve
        The wine and the bread to the sons of earth.
        How beautiful is the body of Christ.
 
We can guess the writer of the song drew insights from 1 Corinthians 12... that's where Paul said that the church (groups of believers) is the body of Christ... is equipped and designed to carry out God's work in the world... is willing to give and serve so that others find life in Christ.
 
This Sunday at WCC we will look at truths from that passage of Scripture... we will be thinking about "Tools" and their purposes.
 
How beautiful is the body of Christ... gathering together on a holiday weekend to worship, serve, and connect!
 
If you are not out of town for the holiday weekend we will see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: August 24, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Family Matters... Influence

 In one summer's Olympic Games in Athens, the U.S. women's 4x100 relay runners were favored to win the gold medal.  The team featured Marion Jones, a sprinter who had won 4 gold medals at the previous games in Sydney.  The team was already off to a strong start when Jones took the baton for the second leg of the race.  She gained ground as she ran her 100 yards, and approached Lauryn Williams, a young speedster who would run the third leg.
 
Williams began running as Jones drew near, but when she reached back to receive the baton they couldn't seem to complete the handoff.  Once, twice, three times Jones thrust the baton forward, but each time it missed Willliam's hand, or she couldn't seem to wrap her fingers around it.  Finally, on the fourth try, they made the connection... but by that time they had crossed out of the 20-yard exchange zone and were disqualified.  Everyone knew they were the fastest team on the track.  The night before, they'd had the fastest qualifying time.  But when they couldn't complete the handoff, their race was over.
 
This Sunday at WCC our theme will be about passing the baton... except this baton passing doesn't happen on an athletic track... it has to do with passing the baton of faith to those around us... to our kids, grandkids, neighbors, anyone in the next generation beyond ours.  I will be reminding us of the significance of that handoff.  This message is another one in our current series, Family Matters... This week you will hear about "Influence."  We may be some of the best parent and adult influences in this race called life... but if we don't complete this handoff, the consequences will be so much more than loss of a medal!
 
Reminder:  Dont' forget to check out the bargain deals at the Yard and Bake Sale this Saturday, on our church parking lot... proceeds benefit our Women's Ministry and Middle School Ministry.  You can sell or shop or do both... if you want to bring items to sell, you can rent a space for $10... or just have fun enjoying the adventure of finding some great deals!
 
See you this weekend!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: August 18, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Why Go To Church?

 With that question burning on his/her mind, someone wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper.  The person said it made no sense to go to church every Sunday... "I've gone for 30 years now," he/she wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons.  But for the life of me I can't remember a single one of them.  So, I think I'm wasting my time, and pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."
 
This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor.  It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher...
 
"I've been married for 30 years now.  In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals.  But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals.  But I do know this:  They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work.  If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.  Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"
 
I am not going to quiz you on last Sunday's sermon topic to see if you are like the person that started that controversy... I just want to remind you of the truth in the response letter... something life-giving/nourishing happnes in us when we are in church Sunday after Sunday.  So I encourage you to be in church at WCC this Sunday.  We will be thinking about the question... "What In The World Is Going On?"
 
Reminder:  We are kicking off Growth Groups this month.  If you weren't able to come last Sunday night there's no need to worry or procrastinate... come this Sunday night to get the nourishment that comes as we do life together in community!
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: August 10, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Family Matters... Discipline

 There was a young couple who had just purchased brand new appliances for their house.  They decided to give their old refrigerator to the wife's parents.  A few days later the phone rang, and her mother said, "Honey, we want to send you a check for the refrigerator."  The daughter said, "No, Mom, it's a gift.  We want you to have it."
 
The mother said, "But you could have sold it and made money."  The daughter said, "Look, Mom, just consider it as repayment for all those days that you took care of me when I was at home."  After a slight pause her mother said, "In that case the refrigerator doesn't cover it."
 
Do any of you parents relate to that statement... the used refrigerator doesn't come close to begin repaying you for your investement into your kids... 18 to 22 or more years into your children... giving energy, expense, and experiences... in efforts to raise them to be responsible, productive, God-honoring individuals... a used refrigerator doesn't even come close to being a down payment for your lifetime involvement in raising, training, and mentoring your kids!  Truth is, though... most of us parents are not looking for some monetary or material reward for our parenting skills and endeavors... we only hope our kids will pass a noble family heritage on to their children. 
 
This Sunday is the first in a three part series titled, "Family Matters."  On each of three upcoming Sundays we will look at one crucial topic relating to crucial family issues.  Sunday's topic is "Discipline."  You will hear some practical suggestions that can strengthen your family as you are training up your children in the way they should go.  Your kids will be thankful as you put into place foundational, Biblical principles that help shape and develop them.  These principles are ones that can impact your family today and in years to come!
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!" 
 



Publish Date: August 4, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Overcoming The Dark Side

Are you a fan of the show, "Clean House," that is on the Style Channel?  Experts in cleaning, organizing, remodeling, and painting come into a cluttered home... their goal is to leave having made it more livable, comfortable and attractive.  The experts face all kinds of challenges... clothes laying everywhere, bulging cabinets, bursting closets, overflowing kitchens-bedrooms-bathrooms-living rooms... usually not a clean room in the house.
 
The first step in the process of making the place more livable is to take inventory of all the stuff.  Then, decisions are made about what to sell at a yard sale, what is to be tossed, and what is to be kept.  The owners hesitate and argue to hold on to favorite clothes from decades long past, childhood keepsakes, space-taking junk... usually after much persuasion they give in.  The sale is held, and the money comes in to help with the makeover.  Then the family leaves and the work begins.
 
Rooms are completely redone... a tranformation takes place... when the family returns and sees the beauty of their clean house, they transition from nervous anticipation to excitement and laughter... "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!" is said amid smiles and happy tears. 
 
You can easily see spiritual implications... our lives/hearts are often cluttered with stuff from accumulated life experiences.  Like the people on the show, until inventory is taken, we may be unaware of the mess, litter, untidiness present in the space of our hearts.
 
This Sunday's topic reminds about spiritual clutter that makes our lives miserable.  The title of the message is... "Overcoming The Dark Side."  We will hear about something that is common in all of our hearts... something that prohibits our lives from being what we hope they will be and what God wants them to be.  And the good news is that we have a master expert who renovates our hearts giving us inward makeovers... giving us internal clean houses!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!     Sunday School at 9:30; Worship at 11:00
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 29, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What To Do With Unfulfilled Desires!

 You probably had guessed that this week's email would include something relating to the birth of Jill's and my grandson... you guessed right!  A week ago today Ripken James Colling was born!  The joy that comes with his birth is beyond words... we are grateful that our daughter, Amber, and grandson, Ripken, are doing well... and we celebrate with Amber, especially, because her unfulfilled desire to have a child has now been fulfilled!  Some of you can relate to her situation... hoping, praying, wishing that a pregnancy test would come back indicating new life... enduring long periods in which that didn't happen... and then finally hearing the doctor confirm the pregnancy... and then going through the lengthy nine months of waiting... culminating in the blessing of the birth of a healthy child!  An unfulfilled desire that is completely satisfied is such a source of contentment and gratification!
 
This Sunday's Bible story relates to the theme of unfulfilled desires... 1 Samuel 1 is the story of Hannah, who had been childless for years... how she longed for a positive pregnancy test!   Her story shows us the agony of unfulfilled wishes... and shows us what to do during those seasons of life.
 
Since Jill and I were away last weekend, we are excited to see you this Sunday.  We heard that last Sunday's service was amazing... we are anticipating that God is going to do something really good again!
 
And, I am also excited about a way for us to express God's love to some specific children in our community.  We are partnering with Clarkville First Church of the Nazarene to provide backpacks and school supplies for children at Liberty Elementary School!   You can participate in one of three ways:
 
1.  Purchase a backpack for an elementary student.
    An estimated cost is about $7 to $10
 
2.  Purchase a backpack and school supplies to put in the backpack.
    Estimated cost is about $20
 
3.  Donate money for a backpack or a backpack and supplies
    (Make your check out to WCC and write "Backpack Project" at the bottom)
 
School begins next week... don't miss out on the blessing of providing needed items for children in our community!  Bring the backpacks and supplies this Sunday.  When you bring it, please inform about the grade level your backpack is appropriate for.
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 20, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Pass The Baton!

 This Sunday morning at WCC our children will again be enjoying VBS... Pandamania... God Is Wild About You!  I encourage you to be praying for our kids in preparation for the day.  They will hear the Gospel truth... one way God shows he is wild about us, is in the gift of Jesus.  They will be hearing that God sent Jesus so we can receive forgiveness for our sins.  I know many of our kids have already experienced Jesus' forgiveness.  I am praying that others will make this decision on Sunday.
 
During these weeks of VBS our Worship Service topics have coincided with our kids lessons.  That is true again this week.  But rather than re-telling the Gospel story we will consider our role in influencing kids to live out the Christian faith.  Our hope and prayer is that the decision to allow Jesus to be their Savior will move from being a decision to being a lifestyle.  You will hear a key element that influences our kids to grow in their faith.  Our topic will be... "Passing The Baton."
 
I am excited about what God has in store for all of us Sunday!
 
And, I am also excited about a way for us to express God's love to some specific children in our community.  We are partnering with Clarksville First Church of the Nazarene to provide backpacks and school supplies for children at Liberty Elementary School!  You can participate in one of three ways:
 
1.  Purchase a backpack for an elementary student. 
        An estimated cost is about $7 to $10
2.  Purchase a backpack and school supplies to put in the backpack.
        Estimated cost is about $20.  Supplies are listed on the Clarksville Montgomery
        County School web page. 
3.  Donate money for a backpack or a backpack and supplies
        (Make your check out to WCC and write "Backpack Project" at the bottom)
 
School begins in just a few days... if you are shopping before Sunday, purchase the project items and bring them this Sunday.  Or, if you will be shopping next week, purchase the items then, and bring them Sunday, July 31.  Don't miss out on the blessing of providing needed items for children in our community!
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: June 30, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Something For America

 These days leading up to Fourth of July celebrations prompt us to count our blessings.  We ae fortunate to have been born and raised in America!  We have been given so many gifts that many people in the world have never known.  Gratitude for many blessings has prompted me to ask about a proper response to God-given, gracious gifts arising from our freedoms... What can we do in return for what we have been given?  What can we give back?  Is there anything of value I can give that will strenghten our country and ensure that it will continue to be a great nation?
 
According to the Apostle Paul, writing in 1 Timothy 2, yes... we can do some things that will express our gratitude and make our nation stronger.  Sunday's message is titled... "Something For America!"  Read 1 Timothy 2: 1-6 in advance and see if you can find three actions that every one of us can do for America.
 
I am looking forward to an exciting mornning together... it will be a special day... this Sunday will be family worship... our children will share some VBS songs they have learned. 
 
See you Sunday morning... Sunday School is at 9:30; combined worship is at 11:00 A.M.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: June 22, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

God Listens!

 A man is parachuting out of a plane.  He falls rapidly, becomes confused, and totally forgets how to engage the parachute.  On the way down, he sees a guy coming up.  He shouts out, "Do you know how to use this parachute?"  The man going up answers, "No.  Do you know the right way to light a propane stove?"
 
What does parachuting and lighting stoves have to do with what is going on at WCC this Sunday?  Well, Sunday's message is not about parachutes.  But, it is about lighting a fire.  Nobody knows how to light a fire like the prophet Elijah, in 1 Kings 18, in the Bible.  This Sunday at WCC we will look at his story.  Specifically, we will look at his prayer in verses 36-37.  God hears and answers our prayers when we pray like Elijah!
 
I am looking forward to a great day of worship!  And, our kids are looking forward to the second Sunday morning of VBS!  If your kids missed the first Sunday of VBS be sure to bring them this week!
 
Excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: June 16, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

A Father's Blessing!

 A few years ago Mitch Albom (newspaper columnist) wrote a Father's Day article in honor of his father.  His article was titled, "A Toast for the World's Regular Dads."  He said his father was never on 60 Minutes, was never interviewed by Barbara Walters, but this is what his father did:
 
    He set an example.  He was there.  He was invovled.  He worked hard.  He came home at night.  He held us when we cried.  He scolded us and he molded us.  He always made us feel that if danger came, he would sacrifice his life for us.
 
His description sounded a whole lot like the man my dad was.  Albom wrote, "Here's to Dads who teach their children what a father should be, by behaving like one!"
 
At WCC this Sunday we celebrate "regular dads."  As we honor them, we will see several videos, and hear about "the one thing every dad should know."  Our topic for the day... "A Father's Blessing."  We hope to see all of you "regular dads" at church with your families on Sunday!
 
Excited to watch some manly videos Sunday morning...
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: June 2, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Like A Mighty Army!

 In one of the Peanuts cartoons, Lucy comes into the living room.  She sees Linus in control of the TV.  Lucy demands he change the channel.  He asks, "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?"
 
"These five fingers," says Lucy.  "Individually they're nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."
 
Linus asks, "Which channel do you want?"
 
Turning away, he looks at his finges and says, "Why can't you guys get organized like that?"
 
This Sunday at WCC we return to Jesus' after-dinner conversation with his disciples.  He is preparing them for his departure.  He knows they will be the ones to carry on his mission in the world.  In John 17 he prays for his disciples.  His prayer is that they will get organized... that together, they will become a weapon in the face of sin and evil that "is terrible to behold!"  The title of Sunday's message is... "Like A Mighty Army!"
 
Reminder:  We have a new Summer Schedule of services...
        Sunday School Classes meet at 9:30
        One Combined Worship Service at 11:00
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 



Publish Date: May 26, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Follow The Leader!

 I have seen T-shirts, and probably you have too, that say, "Don't follow me. I'm lost!"  Aren't you glad the persons who wear those shirts are honest enough to admit and broadcast their lost-ness?  None of us would want to waste time following them down a dead end road... because, one of the saddest things in life is to decide to follow someone... we follow... follow... follow and then late in life discover that the one we followed has not taken us where we really wanted to go.  How sad!
 
Since every one of us wants the very best in life, the decision about whom to follow is an important one.  This Sunday at WCC we look at Matthew 16.  Jesus said to the first century disciples, "Come, follow me."  He also calls us to come... follow him... today, too.  As we look at this chapter we will see what it looks like to... "Follow The Leader."
 
Also, we will be honoring our fallen soldiers during the early part of our service.  Join with us to express gratitude and respect for soldiers who valliantly fought and died, defending our freedoms and privileges.
 
Reminder:  This Sunday we begin our WCC summer schedule of services:
        Sunday School                 9:30
        Worship Service             11:30
 
I look forward to worshipping with you this holiday weekend!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: May 19, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Help For Troubled Hearts!

 The year was 1887.  A humble music professor named A.J. Showalter received some sad news.  Two of his former students told him their wives had died.  Both of these men were devastated.  They looked to their old music professor for comfort.
 
Showalter had always been deeply devoted to his students.  He had no comforting words of his own, so he turned to Scripture, where he found this verse... Deuteronomy 33:27:  "The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms..."  Out of this verse, professor Showalter wrote a chorus to send to his students.  If you are familiar with older hymns you will recognize it: 
 
        "Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms;
         Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms."
 
This Sunday in "Ashes To Fire" we are WITH JESUS... AND THE DISCIPLES.  Our scripture is John 14: 1-14.  The disciples were in need of words from Jesus that would give comfort and courage.  Jesus came through with promises and instruction that enabled them to be safe and secure in unsettling times.  This Sunday's message is titled... "Help For Troubled Hearts!"
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Reminder:  We honor our graduates during the AM services... we celebrate and honor WCC volunteers Sunday evening!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 



Publish Date: May 11, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Who Needs A Good Shepherd These Days?

 This Sunday at WCC we will be "With Jesus... At A Sheep Fold."  Our Scripture is John 10:1-11, where Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd... I am the gate..."  We will be asking the question, "Who needs a good shepherd these days?"
 
Here's some thoughts to prepare us for Sunday... Sheep need a good shepherd because they are totally helpless.  Sheep have no sense of direction and without leadership sheep will just wander aimlessly.  They will stray away from the flock.  They will lose their way and will even walk over a cliff to their own death.  They need a good shepherd to look out for them so they don't wander away and lose their lives.
 
I read some interesting historical information this week.  During World War II, The English government knew Hitler was planning to invade the British Islands.  Officials encouraged their people to be prepared for the invasion.  Their preparation included several things... they boosted defenses, they put guards on constant watch, and they developed early warning systems and evacuation routes.
 
They did one more thing - the government passed a law requiring every community to take down all the road signs and any sign that named any town or village.  They knew the Germans had maps of England, but if they couldn't locate themselves on those maps, they would be slowed in their progress as they approached London.  Without any sign or any point of reference, the troops would just wander aimlessly around.
 
That is exactly the way many people live their lives... they don't know where they are and they don't know how to get to where they need to go.  So, husbands and wives will wander away from their marriages.  Children will wander away from their parents.  People will walk off cliffs of drugs, alcohol, or materialism.  Sheep and people need guidance.  They need direction and leadership.  They need a good shepherd.
 
I am looking forward to another great day of worship this Sunday... I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do this week!
 
See you Saturday for the Fishing Day (unless it rains) and Sunday morning!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: May 4, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Happy Mother's Day!

 Since this Sunday is Mother's Day we are all thinking about our mother's input and influence.  Moms do so much for us... they make such a difference in our lives!  It's important to give them credit where it's due.  Some students unexpectedly identified their Mom's contributions... A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does.  The next day in a written test, she included this question: "My full name has six letters.  The first one is M.  I pick things up.  What am I?"
 
When the test papers were turned in, the teacher was astonished to find that almost 50 percent of the students answered the question with the word "Mother."
 
Cute story, isn't it?  What does it show us?  Maybe... that mothers come to mind even in science class... or, that moms are more powerful than magnets... or, that moms have the magnetic quality of picking up what we forget... and, in doing so, attract our respect and gratitude for what they do for us...
 
Anway, I encourage you to go beyond just thinking about how thankful you are for your mother's special actions, traits, and love... Write a special note in the card you send... post a special notice on your Facebook page telling the world about your mom... or, pick up the phone and verbally thank her... let her know you want to give credit where it is due!
 
Along with honoring our mothers this Sunday at WCC, we continue our "Ashes To Fire" series.  Our scripture this week is Luke 24:13-35.  We will be "With Jesus... At The Supper Table."  You will hear three ways that Jesus continues to show up, even though He is no longer physically with us.  We will also participate in the sacrament of communion.
 
I am looking forward to another meaningful Sunday morning, together... with you.  See you Sunday!
 
Oh, one more thing... here's a quote for mothers:  "Insanity is hereditary... you get it from your kids!"
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!" 
 



Publish Date: April 27, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

With Jesus Behind Locked Doors!

 I read a story recently about a little boy who sat staring at his mother's hands.  Finally, he asked, "Mama, why are your hands so ugly?"  The mother was quiet for a moment.  Then, she said, "Billy, one day when you were almost three years old, you were playing in the backyard.  Some older boys in the neighborhood were playing with matches in the alley.  They built a fire and left it burning when they left.  You toddled up to the fire and fell.  The flames caught your shirt on fire.  I heard you crying.  I rushed out of the house.  I beat the flames out with my hands.  You were slightly burned, but my hands were burned and scarred terribly.  That's why my hands are so ugly."
 
The little boy looked up at his mother with a smile on his face and said, "Mama, your hands aren't ugly, they're beautiful."
 
This Sunday in Ashes To Fire we are "With Jesus Behind Locked Doors."  Our scripture is John 20:19-31.  Two times the resurrected Lord appears and shows the disciples his nail scarred hands.  Thomas missed the first occasion.  I think Jesus showed up the second time just to show Thomas He really was alive!
 
My guess is, those present must have said to Jesus, "Your hands aren't ugly, they're the most beautiful hands anyone has ever seen!"  I imagine they never forgot the days they saw those amazing hands!
 
This Sunday's message will address a couple of reasons why Thomas was disappointed with Easter events.  Encourage someone to come with you this Sunday!  Let's continue our Easter celebration... He is Risen... He is Risen, Indeed!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: April 21, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

With Jesus At The Empty Tomb!

 This Sunday in Ashes To Fire (Easter Sunday) we are "With Jesus At The Empty Tomb!" 
 
Our Bible story is found in John 20: 1-18.  Mary Magdalene came to the tomb while it was still dark.  But the darkness soon was overwhelmed with light.
 
Maybe that's the Easter message a family member/friend/acquaintance needs to hear right now!  Perhaps for whatever reason they are in darkness right now.  Family concerns.  Problems at work.  Anxiety about health or the future.  Loss of a loved one.
 
Easter promises us more than just a few twinkling stars in our darkness!  Easter promises us that in the midst of our deepest darkness the Son rises to overwhelm that darkness forever!
 
Sunday we celebrate this fact... Mary Magdalene came to the tomb while it was still dark but the darkness did not remain.  The dawn broke.  God's Son had risen.
 
Invite several people to celebrate this good news at our Easter celebration this Sunday!
 
Note:  Since we will have several guests attending, additional parking will be available in the back parking lot.  I encourage many of you to park in the back so that our guests will easily find a parking spot in the front.  Thank you, in advance, for your hospitality!
 
See you at 9:30 for our Easter Pancake Breakfast!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
 
 



Publish Date: April 13, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Palm Sunday Celebration!

Since this Sunday is "Palm Sunday," recall with me events of that "worship celebration," as told in the Bible... Jesus enters Jerusalem just a few days before his crucifixion.  The crowds are growing as they celebrate this miracle working celebrity.  The newly resurrected Lazarus may have been in the crowd, a testimony to the power of Jesus (John 12:9).  The people believe Jesus may be their next king.  They lay their cloaks and freshly cut palm branches in the road as this humble, donkey-riding leader enters their city.  They shout Old Testament scriptures indicating their belief that this man was the fulfillment of their ancient teachings.  "Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the King of Israel!" (Jn 12:13; Lev. 23:40; Ps 118:26).  "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt" (Zech 9:9).
 
Remember how this scene is depicted in the movie, "Jesus Christ Superstar?"  In the movie the crowd sings, "Christ you know I love you.  Did you see I waved?"
 
One thing I find interesting is that there is no reference to Jesus' feelings or thoughts during this parade.  He seemed to be unmoved by the crowd's cheering.  I guess that is because He knew what was ahead... He knew the fickle nature of audiences... maybe He already knew that this same crowd that sang "Hosannah, Christ, you know I love you, did you see I waved," are the same people who, in just a few days will turn against him and demand his death.
 
Anyway, this Sunday we celebrate the fact that Jesus was focused upon fulfillling his mission... not deterred by the crowd's enthusiasm on one day and the crowd's vengeance on another, he completed his mission... we will celebrate his accomplished work... through his death and resurrection we now have life.
 
Sunday morning our children will lead our WCC Palm Sunday Worship Celebration.  This will not be a superficial, shallow, 'did you see I waved?' kind of experience!  Our children will lead us in an authentic worship experience, as we express heartfelt devotion, praise, and gratitude to our Savior!  You will enjoy singing a variety of current songs paired with well loved hymns!  And, rather than being unmoved, removed, or uninvolved... I believe Jesus will be pleased, grateful, and present (through his Spirit) for our celebration. 
 
We will have one combined service at 11:00 A.M.  Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30.  Invite several people to attend this special service with you!
 
Here's two more important reminders:
 
1. This Saturday at 9 A.M. we meet at the church to distribute flyers for our Family Easter Activities.  Drivers are needed, as well as those who will give out flyers.  We are hoping to cover several surrounding subdivisions and areas... ya'll come, and we can get the word out about our Worship Celebration, Good Friday Service, Pancake Breakfast, Easter Egg Hunt, and Easter Worship Celebration!
 
2.  It is not too late to bring candy for our Easter Egg Hunt!  As you are shopping, pick up some bags of individually wrapped candies and bring them Sunday!
 
I am looking forward to Holy Week at WCC!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: April 6, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

God Has A Resurrection For You!

This Sunday in "Ashes To Fire" we are "With Jesus... Graveside."  Our story is found in John chapter 11... Lazarus became ill, died, and four days later Jesus came and resurrected him back to life!
 
That powerful story contains the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35... "Jesus wept."  That compact statement contains substantial truth... Jesus weeps with those He loves!  Those two short words communicate that we are not alone in our loss, sadness, grief, or loneliness!  Jesus suffers with us!
 
A few years ago a young ministerial student was working at a church as a summer intern.  He was to serve communion one Sunday morning,  He had never served communion alone before and he was anxious.  Thankfully his supervising pastor had given him a printed communion ritual printed on a laminated card.  It started with the Invitation to Communion, followed by a prayer of Confession and a Prayer of Consecration.  Then, just before the people would come forward to receive communion, the minister would stand, face the congregation and say, "Hear these words of comfort from the scriptures."  The pastor had left a blank there on the communion card so the minister in charge could quote a favorite verse at that point.  When this point in the service came, the young ministerial student stood and said, "Hear these words of comfort from the scriptures..."  And then he went absolutely blank.  There was a long pause, and then he blurted out the only verse he could think of at the moment: "Jesus wept."
 
Later he told what happened and how awful he felt about that at first.  But that sense of regret was replaced with gratitude.  Someone in the crowd came to him after the service and said to him, "When you quoted that verse, 'Jesus wept,' that was so meaningfu to me because it made me suddenly realize that... the Healer of our pain is the feeler of our pain!"
 
If you are feeling all alone in your suffering, take heart, Jesus wept with those He loved... and He still does... He is the feeler of your pain!
 
Sunday you will be hearing more life changing truth from this powerful story.  Invite someone to come with you... someone who is struggling, suffering, questioning, longing to know someone cares!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Reminder:  Easter Sunday is coming quickly.  We are collecting individually wrapped candy, to put into eggs for our Children's Easter Egg Hunt.  Place your contributions in the display in the foyer.  Or, if you don't have time to shop, you can donate money for the candy.  Someone will be at the display Sunday to gratefully receive your gift!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: March 30, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

I'm Not Playing The Blame Game!

 Here's a story for those who are classic country music fans.  The legendary Hank Williams wrote the song titled, "I Saw The Light."  Here's the first verse of that song:
 
I wandered so aimless, life filled with sin;
I wouldn't let my dear Savior in.
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night;
Praise the Lord, I saw the light.
 
I wondered what inspired Hank to write the song.  After some searching, here's what I found:
 
"At the time Hank wrote the song, he and his band had ended a tour and were getting near Montgomery, Alabama, in a car that didn't run too well.  They were afraid they wouldn't make it.  Then Hank spotted the beacon light at the Montgomery airport and said, "We're gonna make it now: I saw the light."
 
What a great image... a saving, guiding light that leads us from darkness and fear to the safety and security of home!
 
Hank wrote these lyrics in a later verse:
 
Just like a blind man,
I wondered alone.
Worries and fears I claimed for my own;
Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight,
Praise the Lord, I saw the light!
 
Even though Hank Williams wrote those words almost a half century ago, they could have been written and sung two thousand years ago by the man in this week's story (John 9).  He was a man whose name we do not know, but whose life we will never forget.  As Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road they encountered this blind man... and Jesus rescued him from darkness!  He enables him to see "The Light!"  Our sermon title is... "I Am Not Playing The Blame Game!"  
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: March 23, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Water For A Thirsty Soul!

Do you remember the Mercedes-Benz TV commercial that showed one of their cars colliding with a concrete wall during a safety test?  Afterwards, someone asked a Mercedes engineer why their company does not enforce their patent on their car's energy-absorbing car body.  The Mercedes' design has been copied by almost every other car maker in the entire world in spite of the fact that they have an exclusive patent.
 
The engineer replied in a curt German accent, "Because in life, some things are just too important not to share."
 
This Sunday at WCC we will be "With Jesus... At A Well (John 4: 1-42).  In this story a woman discovers something that is just too important not to share.  Having received some good news and thirst quenching satisfaction, she drops everything and tells her world.  Our topic is... "Water For A Thirsty Soul!"  Invite someone to come with you to hear this good news... it's just too important not to share!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: March 16, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

NIC AT NIGHT

 I read about a small jazz club in New Orleans.  In a corner of that club sat an old dilapidated piano.  All of the jazz artists complained about this antiquated instrument.  The piano players dreaded playing on it.  The vocalists dreaded singing with it.  And all of the combos that played the club wished they could bring in their own piano - just like they bring a saxophone or a trumpet.
 
Finally, after getting tired of hearing the jazz musicians complain about his piano, the owner of the club decided to do something about it.  He had the piano painted.
 
You can imagine a look of surprise and satisfaction on the faces of those jazz players when they saw there was a "new" piano.  However, it didn't take long to discover it was the same old piano... the "makeover" couldn't mask the fact that inside... it was still the same old dreaded piano.
 
This Sunday in Ashes To Fire we are "With Jesus After Dark."  Our scripture is John 3: 1-17, where Jesus has a long, informative talk with Nicodemus.  Nicodemus finds out he needs more than just an external "makeover."  The title of this Sunday's message is "NIC AT NIGHT!"
 
I am excited for Sunday... God's spirit has been working in tangible ways the past few Sundays... I wonder how The Spirit will work this week!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: March 10, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Beat The Devil

 Remember the old slogan about the Yellow Pages... "Let your fingers do the walking?"  Martin Luther, the great reformer, gave some similar sounding advice about temptation...Martin Luther used to have a terrible time with temptation.  He lived a life of sin as far away from God as you could get... then he not only came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but also surrendered his life to Him.  When someone asked Martin Luther later in life, "How do you handle temptation?" he said, "It is real simple.  When satan would knock on the door of my heart, I used to answer, and every time I did he would defeat me.  But now, when satan knocks on the door of my heart, the Lord Jesus answers and says, 'Martin Luther used to live here, but he moved out.  I live here now,' and the devil flees."  In other words, "Let Jesus do the talking!"
 
This weekend at WCC we begin our Ashes To Fire "Journey With Jesus."  Sunday we will be "With Jesus In The Desert"  (Matthew 4:1-11).  Our topic is, "How To Beat The Devil."  You will hear a couple of things... what we need to know about temptation, and what to do when it comes.
 
As you enter the Worship Center you will notice four tables positioned around the room.  These are experiential prayer stations.  There you will see questions and "hands-on" activities to draw you deeper into our scripture for the day.  I encourage you to stop by one of the tables (they are all the same) before the service, or during prayer time, or after the service.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
One more thing:  This weekend we "Spring Forward." one hour... Daylight Savings Time is here!  Don't forget to set your clock ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: March 2, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

It All Goes Back In The Box!

 In a cartoon a guy gets to Heaven.  Some angels give him a quick tour.  After showing some of Heaven's sights they take him over to a house and say, "Here's your home."  He's standing in front of a little shack between two giant mansions.  He says to the angels, "Why don't I have a giant mansion?"  One angel points to the shack and says to him, "This is all the material you sent ahead!"
 
Did you know that you can send "material" ahead of you to Heaven?  Before Sunday service, read Matthew 6: 19-21.  And ask yourself, "Am I sending material ahead?  Or, am I spending all my life resources on interest payments for myself in this life?"
 
This Sunday at WCC our topic is titled... "It All Goes Back In The Box."  We will be thinking about living lives that really matter. 
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Invite someone to join you!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: February 24, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Good Grief??

 I was reading an article by pastor Bill Hybels this week.  He referred to a book on grief recovery by John James and Frank Cherry.  In that book the authors trace the story of a boy named Johnny.
 
When five-year-old Johnny's dog dies, Johnny is stunned, and he bursts out crying.  His dog was his constant companion; it slept at the foot of his bed.  Now the dog is gone, and little Johnny is a basket case.  Johnny's dad stammers a bit and says, "Uh, don't feel bad, Johnny, we'll get you a new dog Saturday."  In that one sentence, Johnny's dad is really offering the first two steps in many person's grief management program:  Bury your feelings; replace your losses... Once you have the new dog you won't even think about the old dog anymore.
 
Later when Johnny falls in love with a high school freshman girl, the world never looked brighter, until she dumps him.  Suddenly a curtain covers the sun.  John's heart is broken, and this time it's big-time hurt.  It's not just a dog. This is a person his heart was fixed on.  John is a wreck.  But mom comes to the rescue this time and says with great sensitivity, "Don't feel bad, John, there are other fish in the sea."  Bury the pain, replace the loss... John has steps one and two down pat now.  He'll use them the rest of his life.
 
Much later, John's grandfather dies--the one he fished with every summer and felt close to.  A note was slipped to him in math class.  He read the note and couldn't fight off the tears.  He broke down sobbing on his desk.  The teacher felt uncomfortable about it and sent him off to the school office to grieve alone.  When John's father brought him home from school, John saw his mother weeping in the living room.  He wanted to hug her and cry with her.  But his dad said, "Don't disturb her, John, she needs to be alone.  She'll be all right in a little while.  Then the two of you can talk."
 
The third piece in the grieving puzzle was now making sense to John:  Grieve alone.  So he went to his room to cry alone, and he felt a deep sense of loneliness.
 
Eventually he buried those feelings, and he replaced the sense of loss over his grandfather with a whole host of athletic involvements.  He tried his best to function normally.  But he found himself many months later constantly thinking about his grandpa;  the fishing trips, the Christmas Eves, the birthdays.  His preoccupation went on for months until he finally told his dad about it.  His dad said, "John, give it time."  Translation:  Time heals in and of itself... This became step four in John's understanding of grief managment.
 
Have you been keeping track?  Bury your feelings, replace your losses, grieve alone, and give it time because time heals... doesn't sound like a healthy process does it?
 
This Sunday at WCC our topic is "Good Grief??"  We continue our current teaching series... "Thriving In Troubled Times."  I will give healthy truths about how to handle loss... and give two suggestions that can help us experience "Good Grief!"
 
If you know of someone who is enduring a season of sadness, invite them to come with you!  We will have special prayer at the end of the service.
 
I am excited to see what God is going to do this Sunday at WCC!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: February 16, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Grasping Back or Grabbing Forward?

 Last Sunday we began a short teaching series titled, "Thriving In Troubled Times."  Our first topic was titled, "Confident or Crushed By Change?"
 
Changing times can be intimidating... they make us feel like we are facing forces that appear to have capability to overpower us.  Here's an intriguing story... Many years ago when the legendary Knute Rockne was the coach at Notre Dame, the Irish were facing a critical football game against a vastly superior Southern California team.  During the week before the game, Rockne recruited every big, brawny student in the entire student body to suit up for this particular game, not to play, but just to run out onto the field with the team and to sit on the bench.
 
On the day of the game, Southern Cal came out on the field first.  Then at the very last minute, here came Notre Dame.  150 huge players came rumbling onto the field.  The Southern Cal team stopped their warm-ups and just stared at the assembly of green giants.
 
Knute Rockne had psyched them out.  Though the USC coach told his team that only eleven men could play at a time, the damage had been done.  USC lost, not because Notre Dame was better but because Southern Cal had been intimidated.
 
Rockne's strategy was great for his team, and overpowering for the opponent.  Our opponent, the evil one, often uses a similar strategy of intimidation to try to defeat us.  He tries to create images of overpowering change... he attempts to conjure up giants of anxiety and fear about future decisions and actions... he hopes we will cling to the past and never venture into a new future God wants us to enter.
 
This Sunday our topic is... "Grasping Back... or Grabbing Forward?"  You will hear some life principles that enable us to overcome loss we experience in troubled times.  In preparation for Sunday read our scripture for the day... Numbers 13-14... decide who you relate to the most... the 10 spies who were psyched out by the size of the inhabitants of Canaan... or Joshua and Caleb who were psyched up for what God had in store.
 
Invite someone to come with you this Sunday!  I look forward to worshipping with you!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: February 10, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Confident or Confused By Change?

 In the first frame of a cartoon the supervisor is standing before employees.  With great passion he says, "Change made this company great!"  In the second frame he continues, "And more change will make it even greater!"  His appeal in the third frame brings a challenge to his employees:  "But it's up to you to do your part.  We need your help!"  The final frame shows a loyal employee standing at the counter of his bank.  He asks the bank teller, "May I have $400 worth of quarters please?"
 
The mere mention of change often brings confusion.  Just like the confused employee, many people are puzzled and maybe even paralyzed at the thought of change.  Fear, worry, personal loss, and pain often come along with unexpected changes in our lives.
 
This Sunday at WCC we begin a new teaching series titled, "Thriving In Troubled Times."  Our topic this week is... "Confident or Crushed By Change?"  I will be sharing a key element that can provide a steadfast perspective in the midst of changes we can't control!"
 
This would be a great Sunday to invite someone who is struggling through unexpected circumstances.  Could it be that the person you are to reach for Jesus in 2011 needs to hear this message?
 
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at WCC!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 



Publish Date: February 2, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

My Mission...

 One of the Peanuts cartoons showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown.  She said, "Guess what, Chuck.  It was the first day of school and I got sent to the principal's office.  It was your fault, Chuck!"  He said, "My fault?  How could it be my fault?  Why do you say everything is my fault?"  She said, "You're my friend, aren't you, Chuck?  You should have been a better influence on me."
 
Obviously, it was not fair to blame Charlie Brown for her particular behaviors that day.  But, there is some truth in Patty's words... we have a responsibility to influence our friends in postive ways.  This Sunday at WCC our topic is:  "My Mission..."  We will be thinking about influencing our friends in ways that really make a difference now and forever.
 
I am looking forward to worshipping with you Sunday morning!
 
And... Sunday evening we will have our Growth Group SuperBowl Parties.  This will be a great opportunity to invite a friend who doesn't attend church... they can see what a fun time we have together... and that could lead to them deciding to visit church... and that could possibly inspire them to take a step toward Christ... what a great way to be a positive influence on them!
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: January 27, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Get Fit Relationally!

 A motivational speaker once said there are two kinds of people in this world:  those who say "whatever" and those who say "whatever it takes!"  "Whatever" is a passive, inactive "who cares" attitude... one of indifference and apathy.  "Whatever it takes" is a determined, active response of a committed, resolute warrior.  It's a "can do - will do" attitude that refuses to remain apathetic and rejects any excuses or suggestions to give up or give in.
 
For the past few Sundays we have been thinking about "training ourselves for Godliness"... that training promises benefits in this life and the one to come... that training gives us the resources and abilities to withstand the efforts of the evil one as he knocks us down and tries to keep us down.  We have been thinking about "Getting Fit... Spiritually, Financially, and Physically."  My prayer has been that together we will exhibit a "whatever it takes" perspective toward getting "Getting Fit!"
 
This Sunday is the last message in this series.  Our topic will be,  "Get Fit... Relationally."  Be praying God will reveal something that will strengthen and enhance your connections with people in your life.
 
I am excited to worship together with you this Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: January 19, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Get Fit... Physically!

Jill's brother, Marcus, has been on a quest this past year to lose 160 pounds.  You read that right... he set a goal to lose one hundred sixty pounds.  A year ago this time he weighed 383 pounds.  We were together, January, 2010, for our niece's wedding in Nevada... he didn't tell us then, but yesterday he described how grueling that trip was.. he had to buy new dress clothes because he had nothing that fit and until that special occasion he had no reason to try to look good... and the airplane ride was beyond difficult... squeezing himself into the airplane seat was painful and humiliating... finally seated, he covered the unfastened seat belt ends with his over-size shirt to make it appear the seatbelt was fastened when the stewardess walked by to check... he was too embarrassed to ask for seat belt extensions... and he was self-conscious about how his size made the trip uncomfortable for the unlucky person next to him.  That miserable trip and some other painful experiences motivated him to do something about his physical condition.
 
Yesterday he weighed in at 202 pounds!  You read that right, too... he now weighs two hundred two pounds.  He exceeded his goal!  Now, I tell you that story for this reason... he is a different man today than he was last year... this past week he saw some acquaintances he hadn't seen for several months; they didn't know who he was!  And, the difference is not just physical.  During our conversation yesterday he passionately spoke about how our physical condition is intricately tied with our emotional, psychological, and spiritual conditions... we are body, mind, and spirit... and all areas impact each other in significant ways.  With much emotion he said, "I can't begin to tell you what a difference my weight loss has made in al parts of my life... I am happier, healthier, more loving, confident, and energetic!"
 
His testimony affirms the fact that our physcial condition can impact us negatively or positively.  These first weeks of 2011 we are looking at significant areas in our lives that may need improvement... This Sunday our topic at WCC is "Get Fit Physically!"  You will hear some Biblical principles that will help frame our perspectives on physical fitness.  Don't worry... this Sunday is not intended to put us on a guilt trip... rather, my prayer is that this will inspire us to take steps that will result in being happier, healthier, more loving, confident, and energetic... and in shape so we will be able to fulfill God's purposes for us!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!" 
 



Publish Date: January 12, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Get Fit... Financially!

 There is a story/joke that circulates among pastors.  No one is certain who started the story... here it is:
 
Just before going into surgery a pastor's wife was concerned about the outcome of that surgery.  She told her husband, "If I don't survive, check the shoebox under the bed at home."
 
She went into surgery.  He went to the waiting room... for a few minutes... "Shoebox under the bed?"... he wondered what that was about.  Since she would be in surgery for awhile, and since their home was nearby, he hurried home.  Finding the shoebox right where she said it would be, he discovered about $10,000 and three eggs.
 
The wife's surgery was a success.  Once she was awake the pastor confessed he had checked out the shoebox.  He asked her to explain the contents.
 
She said, "Well, soon after we were married I realized I didn't want to be a criticizing spouse.  I decided that every time you gave a sermon that I thought 'laid an egg,' I would simply put an egg in the shoebox and let that be that."
 
The pastor thought, "Thirty-one years of marriage and only three eggs, not bad!"
 
He was feeling pretty good about his record until his wife continued... "And then anytime I had a dozen eggs, I would sell them and put the money in the shoebox."
 
Well, I hope this Sunday's sermon doesn't lay an egg... but there's always a chance!
 
Actually this Sunday's sermon is not about eggs, but it is about money.  Our topic:  "Get Fit... Financially!"  Our theme verse (1 Timothy 4:7-8) is challenging us to get fit by "training ourselves in Godliness"... this includes the realm of our finances.  This Sunday I will give some practical suggestions that will hopefully help relieve some stress and set us on a path toward financial peace.
 
If you know of someone struggling in the area of personal finance, invite them to join you this Sunday.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday morning!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: January 6, 2011  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Get Fit... Spiritually

 Last Sunday I introduced our new teaching series... Get Fit!  Over the next few weeks we will evaluate and improve several areas of our lives... why, because we want this year to be the best year ever!  However, facing ourselves and determining to change can be a fearful exercise and may seem impossible... if you are like me, you have already identified several changes that would make your life better... maybe, you identified so many that you don't know where to begin.
 
Here's a suggestion sent to me by a psychologist/friend in Indiana... take it one day at a time... live today... focus on this day.  My friend, Jeff, emailed these words of Dear Abbie... hopefully this may take the edge off your fears.  Since most of these are Biblical principles, I included scriptures that correlate...
 
JUST FOR TODAY  I will live through this day only.  I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow.  I will not try to overcome all of my problems at once.  I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.  (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34)
 
JUST FOR TODAY    I will be happy.  I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.  If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.  (Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.  Philippians 4:8)
 
JUST FOR TODAY   I will accept what is.  I will face reality.  I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.  (For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7)
 
JUST FOR TODAY   I will improve my mind.  I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.  I will not be a mental loafer.  (For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Proverb 2:10)
 
JUST FOR TODAY   I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable.  I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others.  I will  speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.  Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.  (But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22-23)
 
JUST FOR TODAY   I will do something positive to improve my health.  If I'm a smoker, I'll quit for today.  If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully--if only for today.  And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block.  (Each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable.  1 Thessalonians 4:4)
 
JUST FOR TODAY   I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.  (Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.  Proverb 28:13)
 
This Sunday at WCC our topic is:  "Get Fit... Spiritually!"  Our first "Wrap Up-Ramp Up" question is... "Am I closer to God today than January 1, 2010?"  Sunday we will hear some reasons why we don't move closer to him... and will hear about some exercises that will help us take our next steps towards him.
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
Just a thought, while thinking about getting fit... Do you call a person who has abandoned their diet a desserter???
 
 



Publish Date: December 31, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Wrap Up... Ramp Up!

 Tom Ervin, Professor of Music at the University of Arizona was attending a conference for music teachers in New York.  While at the conference he purchased a talking metronome.  A metronome is a device for counting the beats in a song.  Before Tom and his son boarded their flight home, Tom hefted his carry-on bag onto the security-check conveyor belt.
 
The security guard's eyes widened as he watched the monitor.  He asked Tom what he had in the bag.  The guard slowly pulled this strange looking device out of the bag... a six-by-three-inch black box covered with dials and switches.  Other travelers, sensing trouble, vacated the area.
 
"It's a metronome," Tom said weakly, as his son cringed in embarrassment.  "It's a talking metronome," he insisted.  "Look, I'll show you."  He took the box and flipped the switch... "One... two... three... four," said the metronome in perfect time.  Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
 
As they gathered their belongings, Tom's son whispered, "Aren't you glad it didn't go "Four... three... two... one?"
 
For the past few weeks we have been counting down the days until Christmas.  Now we count the hours until the dawning of a new year.  My prayer is that your year will be an explosive one filled with amazing blessings and fulfillment.  My hope is that you will face the new year with hope and optimism!
 
This Sunday at WCC we welcome the new year with openness, honesty, and true grit!  Our topic is... "Wrapping Up... Ramping Up!"  As we close out the old year and look to the new one, we are beginning a new teaching series titled "Get Fit!"  If you feel like God might be challenging you to leave behind the small life you lived in 2010 and replace it with an energized life of IMPACT in 2011... this is the teaching series for you!
 
We will have one combined service at 11:00 A.M.  Communion will be served.
 
I am excited to start the new year together, with you!
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: December 16, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

There Will Be Rescue!

 We so take for granted that we can openly celebrate Christmas.  Suppose we lived under a government that would not allow us to celebrate Christmas, or Easter, or even Sunday morning worship.  There would be a hole in our lives, a longing that could not be satisfied.  There would be darkness.  Actually there have been times in history when people were not allowed to celebrate their faith (and some still are prohibited).
 
We have been lighting the Advent candles each Sunday.  I read something interesting about candles this week.  According to Francis X. Weiser, (The Christmas Book), the custom of placing lighted candles in windows at Christmas was brought to America by the Irish.  The historical background of this custom is interesting.  When religion was suppressed throughout Ireland during the English persecution, the people had no churches.  Priests hid in forests and caves.  They secretly visited the farms and homes to say Mass there during the night.  It was the deepest wish of every Irish family that at least once in their lifetime a priest would arrive at Christmas to celebrate Mass on this holiest of nights.  They hoped and prayed all through the year for this privilege.  When Christmas came, they left their doors unlocked.  They placed burning candles in the windows so that any priest who happened to be in the vicinity could be welcomed and guided to their home through the dark night.  Silently the priest would enter through the unlatched door and would be received by the devout inhabitants with fervent prayers of gratitude and tears of happiness.  Their home was to become a church for Christmas!
 
To justify this practice in the eyes of the English soldiers, the Irish people explained that they burned the candles and kept the doors unlocked, symbolically, so Mary and Joseph, looking for a place to stay, would find their way to their home and be welcomed with open doors and open hearts.  The English authorities, finding this Irish "superstition" harmless, did not bother to suppress it.  The candles in the windows have always remained a cherished practice of the Irish, although many of them have long since forgotten the earlier significance.
 
Think of that.  All year long they hoped and prayed that on this one night a priest would visit their home.  In the same way Israel, for centuries, prayed for a Messiah to enter their dark and hostile world.  God spoke to Isaiah and told him to relay the good news:  "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light."  Isaiah was announcing the coming of Christ.  Christmas reminds us that Christ is the light of our world.  
 
This Sunday at WCC our topic is:  "When He Comes... There Will Be Rescue!"  It is his love that is the light and hope of this dark, sometimes cruel world!
 
I look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ with you this Sunday!  Invite someone to attend with you!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
P.S.  We will again attempt to go caroling this Sunday afternoon (since we had to cancel last week because of inclement weather).  Meet at the church at 3:00 P.M.  Then, join with your Growth Group for your small group Christmas Party at 5:30!
 



Publish Date: December 8, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

There Will Be Singing!

 I am still smiling and thankful about the Children's musical last Sunday at WCC!  Under the leadership of Pastor Susan and her capable staff, our kids/cast gave an amazing performance of "Back To The Manger."  We are blessed to have so many talented kids, teens, and adults.  Last Sunday was such a great day... and, I don't know about you, but I loved all the songs done in musical styles of the different decades!
 
Thinking about songs... wouldn't it be sad to think of the holiday season without the great Christmas songs and carols?  They are an integral part of the season... they re-tell the Christmas stories and evoke pleasant memories and satisfying emotions.
 
But, have you noticed that times are a-changing... the Christmas tradition of caroling seems to be disappearing?  There was a time when small groups would go around in neighborhoods.  People would sing carols to their neighbors.  That tradition is almost extinct.  However, there is hope for reviving caroling... there is a new twist to this old tradition.  Now we have virtual caroling..."
 
A Radio Shack ad a few years ago showed how it's done:  A sweet little older lady opens her door to find a video iPod on her front step.  Out of the small, sleek iPod comes the tinny sounds and tiny pictures of children singing, "Hark The Herald Angels Sing."  Next door the kids are waving from a window.
 
With the temperatures we are having this week it sounds appealing to me:  Spread cheer without leaving the warmth of your own home... Virtual caroling.
 
Well, this Sunday at WCC we will not be "virtual caroling"... we will carry on the "ancient" tradition of caroling... Sunday afternoon we are sending groups, live and in person, to spread holiday cheer.  I invite you to meet at the church at 3:00 P.M. to join a group that will carol at some specific homes and nursing homes.
 
And, prior to that, in our morning services the theme is singing... we are looking at some of Isaiah's most memorable prophecies about the coming Messiah.  I encourage you to read Isaiah 35:1-10 between now and Sunday morning.  Our topic:  "When He Comes... There Will Be Singing!" 
 
I am looking forward to experiencing the presence of God, together, at WCC this Sunday!  See you then!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
P.S.  Sunday night will be fun, too... free Movie and A Meal, at 5:30 P.M.  We will be watching "A Meaningful Life."  (Veggie Tale)
 
 



Publish Date: December 2, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Need A Spiritual Recharge?

 Are you tired... maybe feeling a little overwhelmed?  Need a spiritual recharge?  Hey... believe me... I understand.
 
It's the end of the year.  It's crunch time at work.  The holidays are approaching.  Money is tight.  Relationships are strained.  Kids are getting excited for the holidays... you are stressed because of everything that needs to be done between now and then.
 
If that's you, I encourage you to be at WCC this Sunday for a refreshing morning!  Our children will be presenting the musical, "Back To The Manger!"  Their enthusiastic delivery of an inspiring, encouraging story will recharge our spirits!
 
Remember, all Sunday School Classes will meet at 9:30.  We will have one combined service at 11:00 A.M.
 
Invite several people to attend with you... they will be glad you invited them for this special day!
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
P.S.  Several have already participated in our special Advent Offering.  This is a great Sunday to participate if you have not given already.  Offering envelopes will be inserted in Sunday's bulletin.
 



Publish Date: November 18, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Thankful... For What's On My Plate!

 Before Thanksgiving, several years ago, one of my favorite Peanuts comic strips was published.  Lucy is feeling sorry for herself.  She laments, "My life is a drag.  I'm completely fed up.  I've never felt so low in my life.
 
Her little brother, Linus, tries to console her.  He says, "Lucy, when you're in a mood like this, you should try to think of things you have to be thankful for; in other words, count your blessings."
 
To that Lucy says, "Ha!  That's a good one!  I could count my blessings on one finger!  I've never had anything and I never will have anything.  I don't get half the breaks that other people do.  Nothing ever goes right for me!  And you talk about counting blessings!  You talk about being thankful!  What do I have to be thankful for?"
 
Linus says, "Well, for one thing, you have a little brother who loves you."
 
With that, Lucy runs and hugs little brother Linus as she cries tears of joy.  While she's hugging him tightly, Linus says, "Every now and then, I say the right thing."
 
I love Linus's perspective... in the midst of all that seems wrong in Lucy's life he points out something positive she has going for her... he seems to know some secrets about thankfulness.
 
This Sunday's topic at WCC is about true gratitude.  The title of Sunday's message is "Thankful... For What's On My Plate!"  We'll look at several scenes that demonstrate Linus's thankful discernment.  I am looking forward to a great service of grateful worship!
 
By the way, you may or may not have a little brother who loves you, but aren't you glad we all have a God who loves us... and if that doesn't make us sing a song of thanksgiving, I don't know what would!
 
Two other Sunday events:
 
    1. Pastor Susan is holding a special rehearsal for our upcoming Children's Musical after the morning service.  All cast and choir members should attend this important rehearsal.  Lunch will be provided.  Rehearsal will end about 2:30.
 
    2. We have the privilege of joining with other Clarksville Nazarene Churches for a combined serice, 6:00 P.M., at First Church of the Nazarene.  Our Sunday Night Growth Groups will not meet, so that we can attend the service.  Dr. Leonard, our District Superintendent, will be speaking.  There will be a separate service for children!
 
Looking forward to seeing you at WCC!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: November 4, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Military Appreciation Sunday!

 "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever the cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost (Unknown).
 
Those remarks appropriately describe our military personnel who have served, are serving, are still missing, or have given their lives in defense of our freedomes.  This Sunday we honor our heroes on our annual Military Appreciation Sunday.  We will express sincere gratitude for their sacrificial  service.
 
We will meet together at 11 A.M. in one combined celebration.  All Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30.  Our guest speaker will be Jon Watters, Chaplain Assistant, U.S. Army.
 
This is a good Sunday to invite a friend, neighbor, or co-worker who is a veteran or is actively serving.
 
See you at the place that appreciates and honors true heroes... WCC this Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 



Publish Date: October 28, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Stress-Less: How Jesus Handled Stress!

 Want to be stress free?  Here's an inexpensive method.  A popular magazine reported readers' responses to the question, "What's your strategy for coping with stress?"  The answers ranged from "Eat a chocolate chip cookie," to "Exercise three times a week."
 
But Don Betz of Oakdale, Minnesota, offered his own unique solution.  "Every January 1st," Betz said, "I give my wife $1, and she worries for both of us."
 
That is not the entire plan, though.  Betz added, "If someone else wants to be worry free, they can also send her a dollar."
 
I guess there is a way to profit from stress!!!
 
Relieving stress... if only it were that easy... just send $1 and be free from the pressures that overwhelm and consume us!!!
 
This Sunday at WCC our teaching topic is... Stress - Less.  We will be hearing how Jesus Handled Stress... He demonstrated some very effective strategies.  If you know someone that needs to hear this message, give them a call and invite them to come with you.  
 
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday at WCC!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
P.S.  Our Harvest Hayride is this Sunday evening... I hope you have your non-scarey costume ready!!!   And, as you are shopping, pick up a few extra bags of individually wrapped candies... put them in the wagon in the foyer. I am looking forward to a fun, family evening together!
 



Publish Date: October 21, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What Our Kids Need... Part 2

 On the television show, "The View," country superstar Garth Brooks was asked about raising his children.  One of the ladies asked if he corrects his kids when they misbehave.  He responded, yes, he does correct inappropriate and disobedient behavior.  Brooks said:
 
Many parents try to be a friend to their children.  My children already have enough friends.  They need me to be a parent and show them right from wrong."
 
Our teaching topic at WCC this week is "What Our Kids Need, Part Two."  Brooks' response echoes biblical principles within our topic:  Our kids need... Correction without Condmenation.
 
For me, correcting my kids' behavior was not the issue... I understood my role... not to be a buddy-friend that just wants to make my children happy... but to be a parent who has responsibility to guide and shape my kids in positive directions.  However, the manner in which correction was barked out was not always in the kids' best interests.  There were times I walked away from 'corrective encounters' feeling I had over-reacted or treated my kids in ways that tore them down instead of building them up.
 
This Sunday you will hear some suggesstions that will help you correct your kids without condemning them.  Bonus... we will see another "instructive" video from another of my favorite Christian comedians!!!  You won't want to miss his advice!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
P.S.  Harvest Hayride is just one week from Sunday!  Pick up some bags of individually wrapped candy while you are shopping this week...place them in the wagon in the foyer.   Thanks!
 



Publish Date: October 14, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What Our Kids Need

 When baseball great Henry Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's remarkable record, this is what he said:  "I don't remember the noise, or the two kids that ran on the field.  My teammates at home plate, I remember seeing them.  I remember my mother out there and she was hugging me.  That's what I'll remember more than anything about that home run when I think back on it.  I don't know where she came from, but she was there..."
 
She was there... parents, one of our greates pleasures is to be there with our kids whn they accomplish great things... we enjoy and treasure those moments!  But one of my desires as a parent has been this... to always be there for my kids, especially in the mundane, not-so-joyful times, too... that's a major role we play... to be present with them during routine schedules and days, helping them mature into the persons God designed them to be.  I don't know about you, but there were times I didn't feel capable to guide and instruct them... there were times I wasn't sure what to do because I didn't know what they needed.  This Sunday at WCC our teaching topic is "What Our Kids Need."  We will be reminded of some basic ways we can be there for our kids.  If we put these into practie, one of our greates joys could be this... to hear our kids say about us... he/she was there.
 
Reminder 1:  We have one combined service at 11 A.M. this Sunday... during our family worship time two WCC children will be dedicated!  Sunday's service provides an additional treat... some of our children will help lead worship!
 
Reminder 2:  As you shop for groceries this week pick up a couple of bags of individually wrapped candy for our 'Trunk or Treat' night coming up in just two weeks.
 
I am looking forward to an exciting morning of worship and dedication, and an awesome evening of 'building a big faith together' as we meet in small groups Sunday evening.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 30, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Like A Rose

 A veteran missionary came up to a pastor one day after the sermon.  The missionary introduced himself and said, "I was a medical missionary for many years in India.  And I served in a region where there was progressive blindness.  People were born with healthy vision, but many of the people would lose their sight as they matured."
 
He told the pastor that he began performing a procedure which would correct their progressive blindness.  When word of his procedure spread, people came to him and he performed his operation.  They would leave realizing they had been spared a life of blindess because of this missionary.
 
He said that they never said, "Thank you," because that phrase was not in their dialect.  Instead, they spoke a word that meant, "I will tell your name."  Wherever they went, they would tell the name of the missionary who had cured their blindness.  They had received something so wonderful that they eagerly proclaimed it.
 
This Sunday is World-Wide Communion Sunday... we will be participating in the sacrament of communion.  Communion is a time of proclamation.  At this table we proclaim the most important event in human history-- the event that saves us from a life of spiritual blindness.  And when we take these elements, we "tell of His name" and proclaim our gratitude for the grace we receive from God, through Jesus.
 
The topic of our message this week is... "Like A Rose."  As we prepare our hearts to receive communion we will be reminded of the symbolic significance of this act in which we tell His name!
 
I look forward to an awesome time of worship... together connecting with God on this special day!
 
Reminders:  1.)  For our children... Pastor Susan is hosting a Christmas Musical Kick-Off Party at 5:30, Sunday.  There are only 6 Sunday nights for rehearsals... if you want your child to participate be sure to bring them to this Kick-Off event.
 
2.)  For teens and adults... Growth Group Kick-Off is also Sunday night at 5:30.  If you were part of a small group last Spring you can re-join the one you were in... or try another one.  Together... let's build a big faith!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 23, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Change For The Better Part 3

 I recently read about the famous baskeball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar... Nearly a decade after leaving professional baskeball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decided to return to the sport he loved.  He accepted a coaching position with the Alchesay Falcons - a high-school team of mostly White Mountain Apaches.  As an African-American among Native Americans, Abdul-Jabbar had to learn a great deal about his athletes and the tribe.
 
He discovered surprising cultural traditions that made it difficult to coach the team, such as Indian discomfort at being singled out for criticism.  He grew in sensitivity to the special challenges faced by young Native Americans.
 
By working with the students and coaching them, Abdul-Jabbar moved from a historical appreciation for the Apaches as a people to a new understanding of them as individuals.  Did he lord it over them as an NBA superstar?  Not at all.  He served them.  He was first among them by acting as their coach, their teacher, their helper, their servant.
 
Abudl-Jabbar, a Hall-of-Famer considered great by the world, discovered that true purpose, meaning, and joy are found in an unexpected place - a place of service... And in the end, he may have learned more than he actually taught during his season on the reservation.
 
This Sunday we conclude our current teaching series... our topic this week... "How To Change For The Better... SERVE!"  Abdul-Jabbar's example is a good one to get us thinking about our own efforts at giving ourselves away... Sunday you will hear how serving changes us from the inside out!
 
I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday for a great day of worship... and for our Woodlawn Community Celebration (2-6 P.M. at Woodlawn Park).  Be praying for the event... be praying for those you have invited!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 16, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Change For The Better Part 2

 We are all 'wired' to be part of something outside of ourselves.  All of us need to experience family and fellowship and encounters with significant people in our lives.  However, Vance Packard calls America "a nation of strangers."  In regard to many people, he's right.  Instead of "doing life together" many live in self-imposed isolation.  One result of that... studies show that 4 out of every 10 people experience feelings of intense loneliness.  That is a sad statistic!  But think about it... maybe that's a result of our culture... our American culture produces people who more closely identify with characters on a weekly TV series than with their next-door neighbors.  Everywhere you look, there are signs that people are hungering for fellowship, community, and a sense of family.  Marketers know that... TV commercials don't sell products, they sell fellowship... togetherness... shared life.  Advertisers don't portray someone enjoying their product alone; it's always in the context of enjoying each other's company.  People long to be connected.  For some, Facebook seems to be the answer to their loneliness, disconnection, disengagement, and detachment.
 
This Sunday morning we continue our current teaching series, "How To Change For The Better!"  Last week you heard that you can change for the better by connecting with God weekly in worship... if you give an hour each week, that hour will change the other 167 hours in your week!  Our topic this Sunday... Grow... With Others.  God has 'wired' us for community.  Sunday's message will explain some benefits of doing life together with significant others.
 
I am excited to worship with you this Sunday... God has been at work in our services and in our relationships... I can hardly wait to see what He will do this Sunday!
 
Reminder:  Sunday evening "New Community" will be an awesome time together... we will enjoy a meal together and celebrate baptisms.  The "party" begins at 5:30 P.M.
 
See you Sunday for our weekly family gatherings where we will connect with God and grow... together. 
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 9, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Change For The Better Part 1

 A contractor responsible for installing granite countertops and sinks in a major high- rise commercial building experienced a nightmare of a job.  He ordered and cut all the countertops to the specs on the plan, but when his men began to install them, nothing fit right.  The countertops all had to be re-cut because the plumbing wasn't coming out of the walls to line up with the holes that had been cut in the marble.  It was a mess--it was costing money and causing lots of tension among everyone, because fingers were pointing about who was right or wrong, and no one could work together.  Finally, they discovered the problem.  The centerline of the building was marked one inch off true center.  The contractor explained that builders build the shell, them mark the centerline on the floor--then everyone measures and builds out the interiors acording to that centerline.  Until they got the centerline right, they couldn't really coordinate and work together to build what the architect intended.
 
This Sunday morning we begin a short three week teaching series titled... "How To Change For The Better."  Each week we will consider one element that will help us build our lives around true center.  This week's word for us... "Connect."  God's centerlline for us is that we connect with him on a weekly basis in public worship settings.  When we do that, the plans for our life fall into place as designed.  When we don't, it's like the centerline of our life is off just a little bit and life can become a nightmare.
 
This Sunday is Back To Church Sunday!  I have been praying for you as you have invited people to come with you on this special day.  I am looking forward to welcoming people back who have been away for awhile!
 
Reminder:  Sunday evening we will meet to distribute door hangers announcing the Woodlawn Community Celebration at Woodlawn Park.  Childcare will be provided for children up through pre-school age.  Note a time change:  We will meet at 5:00 P.M. instead of 5:30, so that we can utilize daylilght... it's starting to get dark earlier!
 
I am so exited for worship this Sunday... see you then!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: September 2, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

He Prayed For Us!

 Howard Hendricks, an author and professor, tells of the time they had a guest over for dinner.  His four year old son prayed at the table.  He said, "God, make this food easy to eat and protect the fence in the back yard.  Jesus Name.  Amen."  The guest said afterwards, "The food part I understand, but protect the fence?"  Hendricks said, "Oh, it makes a lot of sense when you know that the meanest, baddest dog in the whole neighborhood lives on the other side of the fence!  So everyday my 4 year old prays, 'Dear Jesus, please protect the fence in the back yard.'"
 
Do you think Jesus is interested in the fences in your life?  He is!  1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxieties upon him because He cares for you."  Jesus loves us and cares about the things that concern us.  Even before we accepted His love, Jesus was praying the Father would bless us.
 
This Sunday's message is titled "He Looked Toward Heaven... He Prayed For Us!"
 
Reminder 1:  Our holiday schedule is in effect this weekend:
    Sunday School Classes will meet at 9:30
    We will have one combined service at 11:00 A.M.
    There will be no evening activities; enjoy your family!
 
Reminder 2:  Bring your "Each One Give" offering for the Woodlawn Community Celebration, this Sunday or the following Sunday.
 
Reminder 3:  Don't forget to invite several people to "Back To Church Sunday," Sept. 12.
 
I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: August 26, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What Does A Christian Look Like?

 What does success look like?  For some people success has to do with position, power, or possessions.  A hundred years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson noted three qualities he considered marks of true success:  The ability to discern and appreciate beauty, the ability to see the best in others, and a commitment to leaving the world a better place.
 
Notice that Emerson did not say that success comes in having the best seat at the table, acquiring more material possissions, or in belonging to the best clubs.  Emerson's thoughts indicate that success is evident in appreciation for God's world, developing relationships with people, and in working to improve our world.  Jesus would heartily agree.
 
In our scripture lesson for Sunday (Luke 14:1-14) we see success through the eyes of Jesus... we look at a story in which people valued success in terms of honored places and right social networks.  We will see two attributes Jesus says ought to be present in the lifestyles of his followers.  Sunday's message is titled... "What Does A Christian Look Like?"
 
Reminder 1:  We have one more "Night In the Park," this Sunday night.  See you at Woodlawn Park at 5:30.
 
Reminder 2:  Back to Church Sunday is just two weeks awway, Septemberr 12... Be sure to pick up some "Invite Cards" to give to persons who have been away from church for a while... your invitation might be motivation for someone to take their next steps towards God!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 



Publish Date: August 18, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Cured Cripples and Crabby Critics!

 Author Max Lucado tells about his boyhood days of playing football out in the west Texas fields.  The fields where Max and his friends played were full of grass burrs that stuck in their skin.  Sometimes after a big tackle a player's arms and legs would be full of grass burrs.  They stung horribly.  The game came to a stop while the player pulled out each of the burrs.  Some players wanted to keep on playing in spite of the burrs, but it was usually too painful.  Lucado trusted no one but his father to pull out the burrs.  So he would leave the game, go home, and get his father to pull out every last burr, then he would return to play.
 
Life is full of burrs... some are annoying and irritating... others are debilitating and destructive... some of them are burrs that only our Heavenly Father can remove.
 
This Sunday at WCC we look at another life-changing story in the Gospel according to Luke (13: 10 -17:  Healing of a crippled woman).  This story shows the kind of life God wants us to enjoy... Jesus encounters a woman needing some painful burrs removed... he heals a chronic condition and some accompanying results of the condition... after removing her painful burrs Jesus addresses a contender who has some of his own!  Our topic this sunday... "Cured Cripples and Crabby Critics!"
 
Following the message this Sunday we will have special prayer time... prayer for healing... not only for physical ailments/problems but also for healing of emotions and spirits.  This is your opportunity to be anointed/prayed for concerning 'burrs' in your life.
 
I am looking forward to an incredible day of worship together!
 
Reminder:  We get to enjoy another "Sunday Night In The Park" this Sunday night.  Meet at Woodlawn Park at 5:30.
 
See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: August 12, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Whose Side Are You On?

 In C. S. Lewis's book, the Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Jesus is represented as a lion by the name of Aslan.  Mr and Mrs. Beaver are describing him to the children in the story.  They are not quite sure they want to meet Aslan.  Mr. Beaver says to them:
 
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight.  At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more.  When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death.  And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.  You'll understand when you see him."
 
"But shall we see him?" asked Susan.
 
"Why, Daughter of Eve, that's what I brought you here for.  I'm to lead you where you shall meet him,' said Mr. Beaver.
 
"Is--is he a man?" Lucy asked.
 
"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly.  "Certainly not.  I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-The-Sea.  Don't you know who is the King of Beasts?  Aslan is a lion--THE Lion, the great Lion."
 
"Oohh!" said Susan, "I'd thought he was a man.  Is he--quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
 
"That you will dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if anyone can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
 
"Then he isn't safe?" asked Lucy.
 
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver.  "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe?  'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you."
 
He isn't safe... but He is good.  This Sunday at WCC we look at scripture that verifies "He isn't safe"... that his message and mission caused conflict (Luke 12: 49-53)... and that his message requires us to choose whether we side with him... or not.  Our topic this Sunday is ... "Whose Side Are You On?"
 
I am looking forward to a great day together!  Invite someone to come with you!  Following the message we will participate in the sacrament of communion... then, Sunday evening will be another "Picnic In The Park" at Woodlawn Park (5:30).
 
Stay cool... see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: August 5, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Get God's Help!

 A man (no one we know) was telling his pastor about how God had not come through for him.  He said, "Hey, pastor, you have got it all wrong about God and his willingess to help a guy like me."  "Why is that?" the pastor asked.  "Well," said the man, "when I was ice-fishing in Alaska, far from the nearest village, a blizzard blew in with wind and blinding snow.  I knew I was a goner.  So I got down on my knees and prayed real hard, begging God for help."
 
"And did He help you?" the pastor asked.
 
"No way," said the man.  "God didn't lift a finger.  Some Eskimo appeared out of nowhere and showed me the way."
 
Well, we are pretty sure that God did help him... not by personally showing up, but by sending someone to guide him back.
 
When is the last time you were in a tight spot and prayed for God to help?  Did He come through for you?  If He did, don't forget to thank Him for that today!  But, if it seems like He didn't help... Sunday's topic will give guidance for the future.  Our topic at WCC this week... How To Get God's Help!
 
If you know of someone in the midst of trouble invite them to come with you.  This is an opportune time to invite... with our kids going back to school, families are beginning to get back into routines.  Let's help them establish the routine of worship on Sunday mornings at WCC!
 
This Sunday we will also have special prayer for our students as they return to classes.
 
Can't wait to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 27, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

I Want More!

 A 6th grade teacher posed the following problem to her arithmetic class:
 
"A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million dollars.  One-fifth is to go to his wife, one-fifth is to go to his son, one-sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity.  Now, what does each get?"
 
After a very long silence in the classroom, Joey raised his hand.  The teacher called on Joey for his answer.  With complete sincerity in his voice, Joey answered, "A lawyer!"
 
He's probably right.  Where there is a will, there is often a lawsuit.
 
This Sunday at WCC we continue looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke.  This week's story is about a guy hoping to collect his inheritance and more.  He hopes Jesus will be his lawyer.  Read about him in Luke 12:13-21.  Our topic will be...
"I Want More!"
 
This Sunday will be an extra special one... school employees return to their roles next week... Sunday we will have special prayer for all school staff personnel!  Invite someone you know who works for one of our area schools... we'd like to include them in our prayer.
 
Have a productive week!
 
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 22, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Prayer That Works!

 In a past issue of Sports Illustrated magazine the writer told about a major league pitcher who prays that God will help him "get 'em out."  He contrasted the pitcher's prayer with a player on an opposing team.  The other player says he prays that God will help him "get a hit." With tongue in cheek, the sportswriter said, "How confusing this must be to God when they face each other."
 
So what do you think... when they face each other, which prayer works... which one will God answer... which one will be disappointed?  On a personal level... have you ever been disappointed with unanswered prayers... have you wondered why some prayers are answered and some are not?  In my experience, there are many things I have prayed for that I never received... maybe it's the same for you.
 
This Sunday at WCC our sermon topic is... Prayer That Works!  Sunday's teaching reveals things we need to know and do in order to activate prayer as a powerful, positive force in our lives.
 
I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Reminder:  Sunday night will be another "Night In The Park."  This is a fun time for the WCC family to be together... and it's an awesome opportunity to invite someone who does not normally attend our church... their next steps towards God might begin by sharing a hot dog and conversation at "Sunday Night In The Park."  Bring a picnic meal for your family and those you invite.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming grace keep you!
 



Publish Date: July 14, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

The 1 Thing

 A time management guru, a professor in a prominent university, speaks about A, B, and C priorities.  He reports that too many people spend too much of their time on the C priorities!  And then he asks, "Why do you think that is?"  The answer is that the C priorities are, first, much easier to accomplish, and, second, give you the impression you are actually getting something done.  In other words you can keep busy with the C priorities all day and never get to the more important things.
 
This Sunday we look at the next story in Luke 10.  Our topic is... The 1 Thing!  Here's an overview of the message... Don't let the good (the C priorities) get in the way of the best (the A priorities). 
 
In addition, Jerry Romasco will be informing us about his upcoming year of missionary service in Croatia!  I am excited to hear what he will be doing and where he will be serving.  We will have the opportunity to support him financially as well as with prayer support.  We will be taking a special offering, in addition to our regular tithes and offerings.
 
Also, Sunday evening will be another "Night In The Park" at Woodlawn Park.  Bring a picnic for your family, yard games, and a friend or neighbor!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday for an awesome day!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 6, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Like A Good Neighbor...

 Have you heard the story about the elderly woman who lived in a small town... who had car trouble on the way to the grocery store one morning?  Her car stalled at a stop sign... she tried everything to get her car started again, but no luck.  A man in a pick-up truck came up behind her and with obvious agitation started honking his horn at her impatiently.  She doubled her efforts to get her car going.  She pumped the gas, turned the ignition, but still no luck... the man in the pick-up truck continued to honk his horn constantly and loudly.  I love what the elderly woman did.  Very calmly she got out of her car, walked back to the pick-up and motioned for the man to lower his window and then politely she said:  "I'll make a deal with you.  If you will start my car for me I'll be happy to honk your horn for you!"
 
Now, that is what you call "rising to the occaision!" and that is precisely what Jesus does in the Scripture we look at this Sunday, Luke 10:25-37.  A man was "testing" Jesus... honking his horn loudly.  He was trying to trap Jesus and trip Him up with a loaded question... but Jesus (as He so often did) rose to the occasion and passed the test with flying colors... and in so doing... He reminded the people back then (and us today) what the main things are in the Christian faith.  Sunday's message will challenge all of us to be like Him... our topic... "Like A Good Neighbor..."
 
I know many of our church family are away on vacation.  If that's you, I hope you have an awesome time!  If you are not away on vacation, I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Reminder: Get your picnic meal together, along with yard games... Sunday night will be another "Sunday Night In The Park," at Woodlawn Park.  Some of our men will have the grill "hot and ready" to cook what you bring.  Be thinking about friends or neighbors you can bring... this is a great way to introduce them to our church.
 
I can hardly wait for Sunday!!!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: July 1, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Life... Liberty

 While on vacation this past week, Jill and I visited several historical sites relating to our country's war for independence.  While walking The Freedom Trail in Boston we walked across Boston Common where British forces encamped during the occupation from 1775-1776, stood at the site of the Boston Massacre, went inside the North Church where the lantern was hung to signal the advance of the British soldiers, saw gravesites of significant Revolutionary War persons, and climbed the Bunker Hill Memorial.  Outside of Boston, beyond Lexington, we stopped at the site where Paul Revere was captured, ending his midnight ride.  Standing on both banks of the North Bridge at Concord, I wondered what thoughts were racing through the minds of soldiers as the "shot heard around the world" was fired.  Being present at those historical locations stirred feelings of gratitude for those who sacrificed their very lives for the American philosophy... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
 
Life... and liberty... I frequently saw a phrase that summarized sentiments of our colonist soldiers... printed on t-shirts and other tourist souvenir items... the motto was, "Live free or die!"
 
Research revealed the phrase came from a toast written By General John Stark on July 31, 1809.  Poor health forced Stark, New Hampshire's most famous soldier of the Revolutionary War, to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington.  Not able to attend the reunion, he sent his toast by letter:  "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."  Shortened to the first part of the toast, "Live free or die," the phrase was later adopted as the state's official motto and enacted as the state's emblem.
 
Here's what I find is interesting and ironic.  For many years that phrase has been displayed on license plates of New Hampshire.  The irony is that those great words were printed onto the license plates by inmates in the local prison!
 
This Sunday at WCC, we celebrate our nation's Independence Day.  We will express our gratiitude for the life and liberty we enjoy.  And... our teaching topic will relate to our God-given rights of life and liberty.  Beyond political freedom, God's desire is for us to experience life and liberty, personally and inwardly.  He wants us to live free!  Our topic this Sunday... Prison Break... Freedom From Our Worst Problems.  Invite a friend to attend with you... someone who needs to know it's possible to live free!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Reminder... since this is a holiday weekend our Sunday schedule is different:
    Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30
    Coffee and donuts will be served at 10:30
    One combined worship service will be held at 11:00
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: June 17, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Be A Great Dad!

 Let's think for a few minutes about the huge role dads play in the development of their children.  I am convinced it is by design... God had a plan!  In one of her humor columns Erma Bombeck described what the scene may have looked like when God created fathers.  She wrote:
 
When the good Lord was creating fathers he started with a tall frame.  And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of father is that?  If you are going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high?  He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."  And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child-size, who would children have to look up to?"
 
And when God made a Father's hands, they were large and sinewy.  And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do you know what you are doing?  Large hands are clumsy.  They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats."  And God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day... yet small enough to cup a child's face in his hands."
 
And then God molded long, slim legs and broad shoulders.  And the angel nearly had a heart attack.  "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked.  "Do you realize you just made a father without a lap?  How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?"  And God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap.  A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, and hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."
 
God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer.  "That's not fair.  Do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries?  Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?"  And God smiled and said, "They'll work.  You'll see.  They'll support a small child who wants to ride a horse, or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."
 
God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice, eyes that saw everything but remained calm and tolerant.  Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added tears.  Then he turned to the angel and said, "Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a Mother?"
 
Erma Bombeck concluded, "The angel shuteth up."
 
While it is obvious to us that God created Adam and Eve, we don't readily consider the fact that the differences between men and women are God made and purposefully suited to the task of raising a child.
 
Men, fathers, dads:  Your eyes, your hands, your strength, your heart, your mind, your soul have been given to you not only for your pleasure but for the pleasure and well being of your children.
 
This Sunday we celebrate Father's Day.  Our teaching topic at WCC is... "How To Be A Great Dad!" (Principles will apply to all who have parenting and grand-parenting roles)  Men, since it is "your day," I know it would be tempting to spend it any number of ways... fishing, relaxing, watching your tv shows you "tivo-ed," or whatever activity you love to do.  I encourage you to bring your family to church, then do "your" activities.  I will be giving some practical suggestions that will help you be the man God designed you to be!
 
There will be no PM service so that you can enjoy the rest of the day with your family!
 
I am excited to celebrate Father's Day with you!  See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: June 9, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Changing The World... One Step At A Time

 During the 1980's, Apple Corporation, the company that builds and sells Apple Computers, became one of the fastest growing companies in the world.
 
Steve Jobs was the founder and President of Apple. He realized he didn't know much about running a big company.  So he recruited a well-respected CEO, John Sculley, who was running Pepsico at that time.  Pepsico is the company that makes Pepsi and Mountain Dew products.  They also own Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.
 
No matter how much money Apple Corporation offered Sculley, he refused to leave Pepsico.  Life was good for Sculley; he had done very well for himself.  Knowing his company needed sound leadership, Steve Jobs flew to New York from his California based company to make one last desperate attempt to get Sculley to change his mind.  Jobs offered him lucrative cash and total control of the company.  Again, Sculley said "no."
 
Finally Steve Jobs said to John Sculley, "Listen, Sculley, do you want to spend the rest of your life helping Pepsi sell fizzy water or do you want to help us change the world?"
 
A few days later John Sculley became the CEO of Apple Corporation.
 
Like Sculley, each of us can become confident in our own abilities.  We work for the things that make our lives more comfortable.  Thinking all is good, we settle for things that keep us safe within our comfort zone.  But God seeks more for us;  God calls His people to help change the world.
 
Change begins one step at a time.  This Sunday's topic at WCC... Changing The World:  One Step At A Time.  Invite someone to attend with you!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 
P.S.  This Sunday evening is our first "Sunday Night In The Park!"  Rather than meeting at church, we will meet at Woodlawn Park at 5:30 P.M. for a fun family evening together!  Bring your own picnic... our big grill will be there.  Jim VanErt and Ed Horan will be cooking... bring your meat to grill (hamburgers, hot dogs, brats), buns, chips, condiments, desserts, plates, and beverages.  You may want to bring extra in case you want to share with someone at the park... that may open an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them!  Bring your outdoor games.  "Sunday Night In The Park" is going to be fun... you may want to invite someone to attend with you... their coming to this non-threatening event could be their next step towards God!
 



Publish Date: June 3, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

God-Given Surprises!

 Jim was excited about the new computer he had purchased.  All of the problems he had been having with his outdated one would now be solved.  But, he was disappointed when he turned the new machine on.  Something obviously was wrong.  So, he called the customer support phone number listed in the manual.  He explained the problem to the customer support guy who immediately began to rattle off computer jargon, which only added to Jim's confusion.
 
"Excuse me sir," Jim said frustratingly, "but could you explain what I should do as if I were a small child?"
 
"Sure, no probelm," replied the customer support guy.  "Young man, could you please put your momy or daddy on the phone?"
 
Sometimes life throws disappointments and setbacks at us... and we probably wish we could put our mommy or daddy on the phone to take care of our problems.
 
This Sunday's message is about life interruptions and intrusions that have potential to discourage and defeat us.  We will be looking at a favorite story of mine from the Old Testament, found in 1 Kings 17: 7-24.  We will see that sometimes God shows up in unforeseen ways to come to our aid.  Sunday's message is titled, "God-Given Surprises."
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!  Bring someone with you who recently encountered a tough life situation.
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: May 27, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Created and Cared For!

 Special Memorial Day Service Schedule
 
In honor of Memorial Day, this Sunday, May 30, WCC will observe a special holiday schedule.
 
    Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30
 
    We will have one combined worship service at 11 A.M.
       Our children (K-5th Grade) will meet for J.A.M. during the same hour, 11 A.M.
 
    Our service will include a special tribute to our fallen soldiers.
 
Our Teaching Topic
 
Do you know who Russell Schweikert was?  He was one of our astronauts.  He flew on Apollo 9.  After he returned to earth from his magnificent space adventure he conveyed these thoughts:
 
(In space) the earth appears not as something big... but a small thing out there.  And the contrast between that bright blue and white Christmas tree ornament and the black sky, that infinite universe, really comes through, and the size of it, the significance of it.  It is so small and fragile and such a precious little spot in that universe that you can block it out with your thumb, and you realize that on that small spot, that little blue and white thing, is everything that means anything to you... all of history, and music, and poetry, and art, and death, and birth, and love, all the tears, joys, games, all of it on that little spot out there that you can cover with your thumb.                 (Earth's Answer, Harper and Row)
Schweikerts vantage point inspired amazement at the vast expanse of God's universe.  Awareness of the majesty and immensity of God's creation often generates a sense of awe and thankfulness.
 
Our teaching topic this Sunday is ... "Created and Cared For!"  We will look at Psalm 8.  David did not have the same vantage point Russell Schweikert had. But, one day David sat back with his quill in one hand and parchment in the other, to reflect on God's creativity and power.  Psalm 8 is his expression of astonishment... that the one who created all that is, values mankind (us, you, me) in such high regard!  Sunday's message will remind us of His care for us!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!
 
P.S.  There will be no evening service, so that you can enjoy holiday time with family or friends. 
 



Publish Date: May 20, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

It's Our Birthday!

 Have you bought and sent your "Happy Pentecost" cards yet?  This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost.  Actually, chances are pretty strong that none of us have purchased and mailed any cards celebrating this big day.  Since it is one of three "big" days on our Christian calendar, you would think there would be a massive collection of cards to choose from.  But, unlike Christmas and Easter (the other two big days in the church year) Pentecost has not been commercialized.  And while I am glad it has not been commercialized, it is somewhat sad that Pentecost is an almost forgotten day... or, it's sad that if it is remembered, some are not sure what we are marking.
 
Back to Christmas and Easter for a moment... those days mark dramatic events... God took on human form and came to our world... and, God raised Jesus, who had been dead, to life again.  Those are dramatic, powerful events.  And Pentecost is no less dramatic.  Historically, that was the birth of the early church... when His Spirit came to give us life! 
 
This Sunday at WCC we will be reminded of why this day is so important to us!  Our topic is... "It's A New Day!"... a Fresh Wind is blowing... a life-giving wind! 
 
This Sunday will be an exciting day for us!  In addition to our AM worship service, these important events will take place: 
 
    "Take It Home" Event for parents of children, K-3rd grade, 9:30 AM, with Pastor Susan.
 
    We honor our graduates in our AM worship services.
 
    Family VBS Pep Rally (for all volunteers) after the morning service.
 
    Volunteer Appreciation Dinner during New Community, 5:30 P.M.
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!  If you know of someone who needs to experience a "New Day" invite them to attend with you.  See you Sunday morning!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 



Publish Date: May 5, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

What We Want Most For Our Kids

This Sunday at WCC we honor mothers and those who do what mothers do!
 
This week I've been thinking about my mother's profound impact upon my life.  I am grateful for her love, patience, guidance, and instruction.  Speaking of guidance and instruction, someone made a list of nine things a mother would never say.  See if your mom would have ever said these things:
 
1.  "How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?"
2.  "Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too."
3.  "Just leave all the lights on... it makes the house look more cheery."
4.  "Let me smell that shirt... yeah, it's good for another week."
5.  "Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey.  I'll be glad to feed and walk him every day."
6.  "Well, if Timmy's mom says it's OK, that's good enough for me."
7.  "The curfew is just a general time to shoot for.  It's not like I'm running a prison around here."
8.  "I don't have a tissue with me... just use your sleeve."
9.  "Don't bother wearing a jacket; the wind-chill is bound to improve."
 
Those are some un-mother-like comments, for sure!  Our moms have protected and provided for us in such caring, compassionate ways... and though at times their comments/counsel may have sometimes seemed intrusive and over-bearing, most of us knew they always had our best interests in mind!
 
This Sunday's message is for moms, dads, grandparents and anyone who loves kids.  Our topic... "What We Want Most For Our Kids."  Although this message is directed towards mothers, it is for all of us who have significant roles with our children.  Invite several people to attend with you... family, friends,neighbors, or someone whose spouse is deployed.
 
Looking forward to an exciting day at WCC this Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
Overwhelming grace keep you!
 



Publish Date: April 28, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

'Same Way' Love...

Lucy stands with her arms folded, with a resolute expression on her face.  Charlie Brown pleads, "Lucy, you MUST be more loving.  This world really needs love.  You have to let yourself love to make this world a better place to live!"
 
Lucy whirls around angrily causing Charlie Brown to do a backwards flip and screams at him:  "Look, block-head, the WORLD I love.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!"
 
Charlie Brown was right... the world really needs love; we have to let ourselves love to make this world a better place in which to live.  Jesus knew that... He communicated that truth as ultimate priority in the Gospel of John, chapter 13.  This Sunday at WCC our topic is... 'Same Way' Love.  Be thinking about this... what would our families, our church, our community look like, if we all let ourselves love the same way Jesus did?
 
I am looking forward to another exciting Sunday at WCC!  Invite someone to come along with you... to the morning service... and, to the afternoon fishing excursion to Mr. Green's farm!  (Meet at the church at 4:45; bring your fishing gear, bait, and lawn chairs.)
 
I can hardly wait to see you this weekend!
 
Pastor Tracy
Overwhelming grace keep you!
 



Publish Date: April 22, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

The One Thing...

It's easy to lose our focus, to get distracted, to get off track, and miss what is most important.  Here's a story that reminds us of that.
 
Pastor John Gable told about Al and Betty Johnson who live on a farm, way out in the country.  The nearest city is Rapid City, South Dakota.  Rapid City is not a big city itself, and it's evidently not near one.  Where the Johnson's live isn't the end of the earth, but some say you can see it from there.  Needless to say, where they live, there isn't a Wal-Mart on every corner.  So, they keep a running list of things they need to buy and things they need to do when they go into town.
 
A while back, Betty's mother was flying in for a visit.  Al finalized his list of all of the things he needed to do and buy.  His intention was to complete the tasks and purchase necessities on his way to the airport to pick up his mother-in-law.
 
When he finally got home late that evening, he was so pleased to tell Betty about all he had accomplished.  He had gotten new tires put on the truck, he had found everything she wanted at the mall, he purchased all the supplies he needed, and, he even bought her a special, surprise present that he couldn't wait to show her.
 
Finally, she interrupted him and asked, "Al, where's Mom?"  Poor Al's face turned ashen, and then red.  It seems in his determination to complete all of the tasks on the list, he had forgotten to go to the airport.  He had forgotten the primary purpose for going to town in the first place!
 
Poor Al!  And, poor "Us!"  It's easy to do what Al did... to be so preoccupied that you forget the one thing you were supposed to do... the one thing that is most important... our primary purpose.  This Sunday's topic at WCC is "The One Thing..."  We will look at a Bible story that reminds us to keep on track, focusing our attention on what is most important in our lives.
 
I am so excited about Sunday... before we hear about "The One Thing..." we have the privilege of participating together in our Child Dedication Celebration.  Seven of our WCC children will be dedicated.  Our church family has the privilege and responsibility of supporting the families who will be committing their children to the Lord!  Remember... we will have one combined service at 11 A.M.  Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30.
 
In addition, we begin our church elections this Sunday.  Persons who are WCC members, age 15 and above, will be able to vote in these elections (also, teens who are members, and are age 12 and above, will be able to vote for our NYI President).  Ballots can be obtained and completed at a table in the foyer, before Sunday School, between SS and the service, or after the 11AM service.  An additional voting opportunity will be available the following Sunday, for those who are not able to attend this weekend.
 
I can hardly wait to see you!
 
Pastor Tracy
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
 



Publish Date: April 15, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Big Fish Stories

I heard about one fisherman who got tired of people doubting the truth of his fish stories.  He bought a scale and took it with him every time he fished.  He insisted on weighing every fish he caught, just to prove he didn't exaggerate. 
 
Months later his wife had a baby.  The doctor borrowed the man's fishing scale to weigh the baby.  The doctor gasped, "I've never seen a newborn baby that weighed twenty seven pounds!"
 
It's a pretty common thing, isn't it, for fisherman to stretch their stories and make their experience and their catch bigger than reality.  That's part of the sport, I guess.  Anyway, I love fishing (the actual experience of being out on the water, not the part about stretching the stories... well, maybe I enjoy that a little bit too, if I'm honest).  Since nature is my pathway to God, (that's where I connect with Him intimately) a morning or evening on the water is a refreshing, revitalizing time for me spiritually and emotionally.
 
This Sunday's scripture at WCC returns us to the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.  Some of the disciples decided it was time for a fishing trip... they needed some spiritual and emotional energizing.  Jesus shows up at the lake!  Sunday we will hear why the trip was worthwhile for them.  Our topic for Sunday... "Three Big Fish Stories!"
 
Please don't skip over this... One last word to all of our WCC fisherman... this Sunday bring your favorite fishing hat or fishing vest with you to church... you've got the "go ahead" from me to bring it... if it's not too smelly!
 
Invite someone to come with you this Sunday to hear some big tales with life impacting truth in them!
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
Overwhelming Grace Keep You!
 



Publish Date: April 6, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Peace Be With You!

How do we find peace of mind?  That's a question all of us would like to have answered... rather than peace, our minds are often filled with worry and fear.  Apprehension and panic often overwhelm and immobilize us.  So, how do we find some kind of relief and release from anxiety and fright?
 
One man said he was told that one way to achieve inner peace is to finish the things he's started.  He said, "Today I finished two bags of potato chips and a chocolate cake... I feel better already."
 
We have a name for that method of finding peace: comfort food... dark chocolate... or a Krispy Kreme donut with your favorite coffee... great ways to be at peace for a little while... until the pressures of reality squeeze in and confine us.
 
The words "peace be with you" were spoken by the risen Christ to fearful disciples.  This Sunday at WCC our topic is "Unlocking The Door."  We will discover keys to peace of mind.  The power of the risen Christ is available to help us unlock the doors of our personal fears!
 
If you know of someone who needs to hear this message, go the extra mile... invite them to come... and do what you can do to get them to WCC this Sunday!
 
I am looking forward to seeing you this weekend!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 
P.S.  Great job... I am proud of all who invited friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers to last Sunday's Easter Celebration!  What an awesome day!  Also, "thanks" to all who served!  Your volunteer ministries enabled us to have a productive, wonderful, life-changing day!  You are loved and appreciated!
 



Publish Date: April 1, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Easter Elation!

A Sunday School teacher had just finished telling her third graders about how Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb with a great stone sealing off the only way in or out.  Then, wanting to share the excitement of the resurrection and the surprise of Easter morning, she asked, "And what do you think were Jesus' first words when He came bursting out of that tomb alive?"
 
A hand shot up into the air from the rear of the classroom.  It belonged to a most excited little girl.  Leaping out of her chair she shouted out excitedly, "I know, I know, I know!"
 
"Good," said the teacher, "tell us."
 
Extending her arms high in the air she shouted out: "TA-DA!"
 
The exhuberant little girl had captured the exhilaration and accomplishment of the greatest event in history!  "TA-DA!"... what a positive, joyful affimration of Jesus' words on the cross, "It is finished!"... salvation provided, death defeated, new life and hope resurrected!
 
This Sunday at WCC our topic is "Risen With Christ!"  Because of Christ's "TA-DA!" we celebrate our own personal rebirth.  I am praying that God's spirit will speak to those you have prayed for and invited and are bringing to the service... may they come to experience His life... and may their acceptance of His love and grace cause them to shout their own "TA-DA!" this Sunday!
 
I look forward to seeing you this weekend... at our Good Friday Service (6:30 P.M.)... and on Sunday morning at 9:30 for breakfast, followed by our children's Easter egg hunt at 10:15, and our Worship Celebration at 11:00 A.M. 
 
Pastor Tracy
Overwhelming grace keep you!
 
P.S.  One of the earliest Easter greetings in the ancient church consisted of one person shouting to another, "The Lord is risen!" and the other shouting back, "He is risen indeed!"  Sunday morning during our worship celebration you will hear the words, "The Lord is risen!"  Get ready to shout back, "He is risen indeed!"
 



Publish Date: March 25, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Don't Miss This!

A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother.  His father returned from church holding a palm branch.  The little boy was curious and asked, "Why do you have that palm branch, dad?"  His dad replied, "Well, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved palm branches to honor him, so we got palm branches today."  The  little boy replied, "No way!  The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday Jesus shows up!"
 
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day we recall Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  Our topic at WCC will be... "Tragedy or Triumph?"  We begin our observance of Holy Week by contrasting the hopes of the people along the parade route with the hopes and intentions of Jesus.
 
You don't want to miss this Sunday... Jesus, through His Spirit, is sure to show up!
 
Here's a couple of important reminders:
 
    1.  This Saturday at 2 P.M. we meet at the church to distribute flyers for our Easter Celebration.  Drivers are needed, as well as those who will give out flyers and invitations.  We are hoping to cover several surrounding subdivisions... ya'll come, and we can get the word out about our pancake breakfast, Easter egg hunt, and Easter Worship Celebration!
 
    2.  It is not too late to bring candy for our Easter Egg Hunt!  As you are shopping, pick up extra bags of individually wrapped candies and bring them Sunday!
 
I am looking forward to Holy Week at WCC!  See you Saturday and Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 



Publish Date: March 18, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

You Don't Have To Hurt Them!

Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "I would have made a great evangelist."  Charlie Brown answers, "Is that so?"  She says, "Yes, I convinced that boy in front of me in school that my religion is better than his religion."  Charlie Brown asked, "Well, how did you do that?"  Lucy answers, "I hit him over the head with my luch box."
 
Don't you think there are more effective ways to share the good news of the Gospel than Lucy's way?  Truth is, if we are Christ-followers we are to be "evangelists"... persons who share God's good news... hopefully in ways that won't harm anyone physically, thank you very much Lucy!  This Sunday at WCC we will be hearing how we can show and tell others about God's love for them.  Our topic this weekend is... "You Don't Have To Hurt Them!"  We will be thinking about ways we can influence someone's next steps towards God!  We will be getting our "game face" on for Easter "invites."
 
I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday morning!
 
Also, I am looking forward to seeing all of you Sunday night at New Community.  Dr. Gay Leonard will be our guest speaker.  Her topic will complement the Sunday morning message and take it to a deeper level.  She will be training us to create a welcoming setting for first time guests at our church.  One thing she will teach us is this... "First impressions are created one person at a time by one person at a time."  Just a thought... you could be the one person that simply shows a welcoming spirit... who influences someone to take their next steps towards God by simply being hospitable.  I hope you will come... let's build some team spirit leading up to our Easter services!
 
Reminder:  Our New Community meal begins at 4:45 this Sunday afternoon.
 
Pastor Tracy
Overwhelming Grace Keep You!
 



Publish Date: March 11, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Sacred Seasons... Baseball and Lent

A Catholic priest working in an inner city was walking down an alley one evening on his way home.  A young man came from behind him and poked a knife against his back.  "Give me your money," the young man said.  The priest opened his jacket and reached into an inner pocket to remove his wallet, showing his clerical  collar.  "Oh, I'm sorry , Father," said the young man, "I didn't see your collar.  I don't want YOUR money."
 
Trembling from the scare, the priest removed a pack of gum from his shirt pocket and offered some to the young man,  "Here," he said,  "Have a stick of gum."
 
"Oh, no, I can't do that," the young man replied, "I gave that up for Lent."
 
Something about that scene just doesn't seem right... the spiritual discipline of denial contradicted by criminal activity.  The incident shows us there must be something more to this season of Lent.
 
We are midway through the season of Lent, that period of the church year in which people, like the thief and like you and me, feel we are supposed to give something up.  Giving something up, denying ourselves of something, is supposed to make us seem more religious, I guess.  There must be something more...
 
This Sunday at WCC I will be talking about baseball and Lent... yes, there are important similarities... you will hear how this sacred season can become something more!
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Don't forget to set your clock ahead one hour.
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: March 4, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

A Life That Matters

Like George Bailey, in It's A Wonderful Life, have you questioned the significance and impact of your life?  Have you ever wondered if the world would notice if you suddenly disappeared, if you had never lived?  That feeling is a common fear.  Harold Kushner said, "I am convinced that it is not the fear of death, of our lives ending, that haunts our sleep so much as the fear... that as far as the world is concerned, we might as well never have lived."  That fear haunts us because God has placed a deep desire within all of our hearts to live a life that matters, to make a lasting mark in this life.  Every one of us has a desire to leave a legacy.
 
This Sunday we conclude our "One Month To Live" teaching series.  Our topic will be, "Leave Boldly."  Do you want to leave a bold legacy that will outlast you?  This weekend's message shows us how we can leave a positive, spiritual, lasting legacy that isn't built with bricks and mortar.
 
I look forward to seeing you at WCC Sunday, on a warm, spring-like 60 degree day!
 
Here's scripture to be thinking about between now and then:
 
    These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living.  They are foundational words, words to build a life on.  If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock.  Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit - but nothing moved that house.  It was fixed on the rock.  Matthew 7:24-25
 
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: February 25, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Always Learning!

Do you know someone who is a "know-it-all?"  Those persons can be overbearing and obnoxious.  On the other hand, someone who is open to new insights and who loves to learn, is refreshing and inspiring.  Take for instance, an 87 year-old woman named Rose.  Rose appeared in a college classroom, eager to start the new semester.  When asked what she was doing as a student at such a "young" age, she replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."  Then she said seriously, "I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!"
 
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.  She loved to dress up and she loved the attention she received from the other students.  She was living it up.  At the end of the semester she was invited to speak at the school's football banquet.
 
Rose was introduced and stepped up to the podium.  She cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.  There are only a few secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success.  1.) You have to laugh and find humor every day.  2.) You've got to have a dream.  When you lose your dreams, you die.  We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!  3.) There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.  If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.  If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.  Anybody can grow older.  That doesn't take any talent or ability.  The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.  4.) Have no regrets.  The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do.  The only people who fear death are those with regrets."
 
One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.  Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be learning from life experiences.
 
This Sunday at WCC we look at another principle for intentional living:  Learn Humbly.  Rose's example is a good starting point in thinking about humble learning... there's always something to learn!  Sunday's topic will specificially address how we can learn and grow from our mistakes.
 
Invite a friend to come with you.  I look forward to seeing you this weekend.
 
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S.  Bring friends and neighbors along with you to Family Movie Night, this Friday night, Feb 26, 7 PM.  You will be first to see the new Veggie Tale movie, "Pistachio."
 



Publish Date: February 22, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics began last weekend in Vancouver... up until yesterday I was thinking we probably had more snow then they do! Thankfully we are seeing the ground again and the temperatures are suppose to warm up over the next few days. That gives us something to look forward to!
 
Thinking about looking forward to something... Sunday is going to be a great day at WCC! I love it when occasionally we have a combined service. When both services worship together... it's awesome... the family is "one".
 
This Sunday is one of those occasional times when we will have a combined service, at 11 AM. Our District Superintendent, Dr. Larry Leonard will be our special guest speaker. We rarely have the privilege of having him visit us. I encourage you to make sure you at WCC for this special service. Dr. Leonard is a warm, empathetic pastor that loves people and loves to preach to them.
 
Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30am.
 
I also look forward to Sunday evening... we will enjoy a family dinner together at 5:30... followed by New Community. Communion will be served at the end of New Community.
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy  
"Overwhelming grace keep you!"
 
P.S. Don't forget... the Health Fair is this Saturday morning! Invite someone to come with you.
 



Publish Date: February 5, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

The meaning of that statement is simply this: The lack of something increases the desire for it. That statement is true in regard to last weekend and the coming on... since we didn't have services last Sunday (because of weather) I can hardly wait for our WCC family to be together! Here's some things to look forward to...
 
1. In conjunction with our Faith @ Home emphasis, Pastor Susan will be hosting a "Take it Home Event, " this Sunday, Feb. 7th. "Take it Home Events" are designed to encourage and empower parents to teach spiritual practices to their children. Throughout this year events will be scheduled for various age levels. This Sunday's event is for parents of Cherubs. This Sunday simply join your children in the Cherub Sunday School Class at 9:30. Pastor Susan will explain a fun, hands-on way to do family devotions. You will receive helpful resources!
 
2. This Sunday we resume our "One Month to Live" teaching series. Our  "one month" has been extended because of cancellation of our services last week... thankfully, the seven inches of snow is about gone.
 
Have you been daily asking the question, "If I knew I only had one month to live, what would I do?" This Sunday we look at another principle from the life of Jesus... He set the example for us... in making our lives count we will... Love Completely.
 
3. Since this will be Superbowl Sunday... Sunday morning, we will see a special interview with New Orleans Saint's quarterback, Dres Brees... Sunday night, Small Groups will meet in homes to watch the game and have a brief discussion on the "One Month To Live" topic.
 
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: January 29, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Love Completely

Here's a few descriptions of love I came across this week....
  • A warm hand on a cold night
  • Friendship that has caught on fire
  • A game you win by letting others go first
  • Surfing without a board and bungee jumping without a cord
  • The meaning of life
  • The way to live
  • What it means to be human
  • The solution to the world's problems
  • The way to make friends and disarm enemies
  • The path to happiness
  • The guide for the next step
  • The hope of children
  • The greatest power in the universe
  • The antidote to greed, selfishness, misery, and indifference
  • The reason to keep on keeping on
  • The answer
  • The key
  • All we need
This Sunday is the second topic in our current teaching series, "One Month To Live." The challenge for the next few weeks is to ask the question, "What would I do if I knew I had one month to live?" This Sunday's answer to the question... love completely.
 
What does it look like when we love completely? That's a tough one to get a handle on! Part of the problem in describing "love completely" is that love is the most overused word in the English language. The word is tossed around and mishandled more than the football during last week's Viking/Saints football game. We use the word love to refer to so many different things. We say, "I love my wife, I love my kids, I love God, I love my country, I love Mexican food, I love Chik-Fil-A peppermint shakes, I love catching rays on the beach, I love it when Pastor Tracy preaches short sermons.
 
We try to live out "loving completely" through love letters, love stories and love songs... "I love you baby," You've lost that loving feeling," "I just called to say I Love you," "I love you just the way you are," "All you need is love," "How Sweet It Is To be Loved by you," and that all time classic --- "Hello, I love you - won't you tell me your name."
 
During our "One Month to Live" series we are looking at Jesus' example of living life to the full. During his last thirty days he made it a priority to love completely. Sunday's message will provide some practical ways we can live that out in our lives.
 
Invite someone you love to join you this Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing you!
 
No regrets,
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S. Reminder: As  I said last week, this series is more about living than about dying; this is not a gloom and doom topic; this is not about the end of the world! This about fully living the rest of our lives with passion and purpose and intention and peace!
 



Publish Date: January 21, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Are You Really Living?

Death is more universal then life; everyone dies but not everyone really lives.
 
This Sunday at WCC we begin a new teaching series titled, "One Month to Live." For the next few weeks we will be asking the question, "What would you do if you knew you had 30 days to live?" We are not asking the question because we believe the world is ending in 30 days. And, we certainly hope none of you dies in the next 30 days. We are asking the question because it can change how you live; it can help us focus our priorities; it can motivate us to determine what matters most it can inspire us to live more meaningful lives; it can help us really live!
 
The next for Sundays we will be looking at four principles of living that lead to a life of no regrets. These four principles are found in the life of Christ. Sunday's topic is "Living Passionately." If you knew you had only 30 days to live you would want to spend those days living out your passions!
 
I look forward to beginning this 30 day challenge with you. See you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
This study corresponds to the New York bestseller book, "30 Days to Live," by Kerry and Chris Shook. You may want to buy the book and read the daily selections.
 
Our Sunday evening small groups will be discussing the four principles. If you are not attending a small group, this would be a great entrance ramp...come this Sunday night!
 



Publish Date: January 14, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Thoughts About Worship

"Whenever His people gather and worship Him, God promises He will make His presence known in their midst. On the other hand, where God's people consistently neglect true spiritual worship, His manifest presence is rarely experienced."
-Ralph Mahoney
 
I am thankful that God's presence is experienced often at WCC, as we sincerely worship Him!
 
One meaningful expression of worship occurs through singing and music. This Sunday we have the privilege of experiencing God's presence through the music of Jason Ellis. Jason is currently enjoying ministry to our youth on Wednesday nights. He also is a gifted worship leader. When he is not at WCC on Sundays, he is at other churches leading their worship experiences. He will be with us this Sunday, sharing music and his heart! There will be one combined service at 11 AM. Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30 AM. This is an awesome Sunday to invite a family or two to come with you!
 
The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.
-Bill Graham
 
I am also thankful that our WCC family expresses "the highest form of worship."
 
The earthquake in Haiti this past Tuesday provides opportunity for us to express the highest form of worship...unselfish Christian service...helping those in need. We will be taking a special relief offering to assist our Haitian brothers and sisters. The Church of the Nazarene has a strong presence there with nearly 110,000 Haitian Nazarenes. Through our denomination's compassionate ministies department we can make a meaningful impact. Every dollar of our special offering will be sent to our compassionate ministries office, going directly to Haitian relief. Let's all give something!
 
I am praying God will prepare our hearts for a terrific day Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: January 7, 2010  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Waiting to Hear From God?

We have all learned to live with Voice mail as a common part of life. But you may have wondered, "What if God decided to install voice mail?" Imagine praying hearing this...
 
Thank you for calling My Father's House. Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for request
Press 2 for thanksgiving
Press 3 for complaints
Press 4 for all other inquiries
 
What if God used the familiar excuse, " All the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line. Your call will be answered in the order it was received.
 
What if you had to listen through a directory of options as you called on God in prayer?
If you would like to speak to Gabriel, press 1 now
If you would like to speak to Michael, press 2 now
For a directory of other angels, press 3 now
If you would like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you're holding, press 4 now
To find out if a loved one has been assigned to heaven, enter his or her social security number now.
For reservations at My Father's House, press the Letters J-O-H-N and then 3-1-6
For anwsers on nagging questions about the age of the earth and where Noah's Ark is please wait until you arrive here.
Our computers show that you have already called once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow.
This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again on Monday after 9:00am
 
Thankfully, God has not upgraded his answering system to include any of that!
However, have you ever had a season in your life when you were trying to connect with God but it seemed as if He was not hearing you or responding to you? If we were honest we all admit there are times it feels as if he is not communicating with us... for some unexplainable reason, we feel we are not getting any response from Him. This Sunday's message is titled, "When God is Silent..." The message will give suggestions about what we can/should do during God's silent times.
 
Hope to see you Sunday!
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: December 31, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

No Regrets in 2010

I love New Year's Day... there's something about it that just beckons us to start over... to begin again. It's such an important time of year because it gives opportunity for change. We hope to become better, healthier, nicer, thinner people. We make resolutions about changes we hope to make. We intend to keep those resolutions... often they slip by the wayside...and when they do, we have regrets about our inability to make things different. Then another New Year's Day comes around...another opportunity to begin again.... and we're not sure about making more resolutions.
 
I heard about one guy who decided to make only resolutions this year he could keep. He resolved to gain weight, to stop exercising, to read less and watch more TV, to procrastinate more, to quit giving money and time to charity, to not date any member of the cast of Baywatch, and to never make New Year's resolutions again.
 
Maybe he's onto somethig. Why torture ourselves when we never keep those resolutions more than a week anyways? Once they are broken, regrets weigh heavy on our hearts.
 
Actually, rather then adapting the guys' prespective on just making resolutions we can keep, this Sunday's message encourages us to make this year different. Our topic... "No Regrets in 2010!" We will be thinking about making specific resolutions that can lead to a regret-free year.
 
After having been gone from Woodlawn over the holidays it will be great for the WCC family to start off 2010 together! I'm looking forward to seeing you!
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: December 17, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

It Wasn't A Silent Night?

It Wasn't A Silent Night?
 
A picture of Jesus' birth has been painted through the years of a peaceful, quiet and calm night in which everything was still and hushed. I don't think so. Let's think about it for a moment. What if every man in this country had to go back to his hometown on January 31, 2010 and register himself and his household in person for the next US census? What would the roads, rail lines, and skies of this country look like? Get the picture? It may have been a madhouse that night. People were everywhere, all looking for the same thing - a place to stay. But there were no rooms available. And, have you ever seen pictures of the streets of ancient Israelite cities? They make our streets here in Clarksville look like mega-lane thoroughfares! Ancient Israelite roads were narrow, crooked, crowed. People, animals, and merchandise were stuffed into them like, dare I say it, parking lots, malls and shopping centers. In the midst of this chaotic mess was an innkeeper who had done battle with numerous Bethlehem natives all trying to get in, get registered, and get out in a day or two. Just about the time things seem to slow down, Mary and Joseph arrived. There was no room, she looked miserable. He look scared. There must have been no family around with room for them or with willingness to take the pregnant young girl in. The innkeeper knew the question was coming, "Have you any room for us?" And he knew the answer that would come out of his mouth for the hundredth time. But this time, the midst of the frenzy the innkeeper found them space in the livestock shelter, of his inn.
 
Not such a silent night.. all was not calm.. all was not bright for that young couple.
 
And yet, the birth announcement that angels delivered to the shepherds included this pronouncement... on earth peace to men on who is favor rests!
 
This Sunday at WCC we conclude our current teaching series, "A Weary World Rejoices." This week's message affirms the good news... peace is available in the midst of life's conflicts and struggles. That peace provides deep contentment!
 
I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S. Bring your gift to Jesus this Sunday or next, December 27. Use the special "Advent Offering" evelope. "Thank You," to all who have already contributed!
Merry Christmas
 



Publish Date: December 10, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Chaos or Calm?

 Chaos or Calm?
 
Chuck Swindoll writes, "Surprises come in many forms and guises: some good, some borderline amazing, some awful, some tragic, some hilarious, but there's one thing we can usually say, surprises aren't boring." (Finishing Touch p. 268)
 
Surprises are the pivotal part of Christmas. We welcome the good and borderline amazing and even the hilarious ones! We love receiving an amzing gift we didn't know we were going to get. We enjoy when fmaily members, out of the blue, get to come home for the holidays. We tease and harass each other about funny things that happen, making memories that will be recalled for years to come. Awesome surprises are part of Christmas's mystique. We say, "Bring on the good, positive ones."
 
But the awful and tragic ones are not welcomed. We don't relish the one that bring pain and problems. Unexpected, bombshell shockers bring chaos and discomfort we don't want and need in our lives, especially during the time of year.
 
Hopefully you have not had any major, tragic surprisescome your way this season. But if it happened to you or someone you know facing a disordered, messy, frenzied season, this Sunday's Message is appropriate! We continue our teaching series, "A Weary World Rejoices." This Sunday's topic... We are Calmed!
 
I'm looking forward to seeing you at WCC this Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S. "Thanks" to all who have contributed to our special Advent Offering. Your contributions have us well on our way towards our goal of $6,000, above and beyond our regular giving. Our Advent Offering is a way of including Jesus in our gift giving this year. Our WCC challenge is for each family to give a financial gift to WCC in the amount of the costliest gift you will give someone this year. Your gift will allow WCC's ministries to continue impacting our church family and community...helping people take their next steps towards God!
 



Publish Date: December 3, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Leave a Legacy

 Leave a Legacy!
 
What are you giving for Christmas this year? That's a question most of us take pretty seriously. In the spirit of giving we want to give appropriate gifts that will mean the most. As you think about gift selection, consider some of the more important things you can give at Christmas:
 
    You love...It's more valuable than "stuff"
    Your time... Volunteer to help someone less fortunate
    Your life... Jesus was born to enhance yours, enhance someone else's
    Your Lord... Share Jesus with a friend or family member.
 
This week's theme at WCC goes right along with this list of "most important things you can give." Join us Sunday at 11AM as our children present a musical entitled, "Legacy of Love." After watching Tuesday night's rehearsal, I promise you will be entertained and inspired!
 
We are privileged to enjoy one musical performace at 11 AM. This is a great day to invite neighbors or work associates to come with you! Sunday School classes will meet at 9:30am. There will be no 9:30 service this Sunday.
 
Also, our Small Groups will have their Christmas parties at 5:30 PM, Sunday evening. If you have not joined a small group this is a perfect time to jump in and find a place to connect. Come... we will help you connect.
 
One last item concerning gift-giving at Christmas... This season I am challenging you to give a gift to Jesus! Our challenge is to express gratitude for the best gift given... our Savior... by giving a financial gift to WCC...give the amount of the most valuable, costliest gift you are giving to a loved one. In giving this gift you are supporting the ministries Jesus wants WCC to provide in our community and around the world. When you give your gift, please use the special "Advent Offering" envelope in Sunday's bulletin. Include Jesus in your gift giving this year... that's one way of leaving a legacy of love!
 
Excited to see you Sunday!
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: November 24, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Advent Begins

 

Time To Get Ready!

 

 This week's email serves a double purpose: to wish you a memorable Thanksgiving; and to, inform about this week's focus at WCC. On Thursday, may your day be filled with all sorts of good things. May memories of God's provision fill your heart with gratitude... and may you verbally express your gratitude to those you are with! Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Advent season begins this Sunday. Advent is an intentional time of preparing our hearts and minds to fully celebrate the birth of Christ in just a few short weeks. The importance of proper preparation is illustrated in the following story.
 
An elderly widow decided it was too much trouble to get Christmas presents for all of her kids and grandkids. She decided to send them a card with a check. Waiting until the last minure, she wrote a brief note to her loved ones. A few days after she mailed all the cards, she discovered she forgot to include the checks in the cards. Imagine all those kids opening a card from grandma with a note inside that says, 'Buy your own presents.' Had Grandma taken a little more preparation time, she probably would not have forgotten a crucial part. It pays sometimes to take a little more time to be prepared.
 As of today, you have 30 days to prepare for Christmas Day, 2009. It's not time to panic yet, but once Thanksgiving is over, it is time to start making preparations to fully enjoy the Christmas season. Preparing our hearts and minds will transform the season from being a hectic bother to a hallowed blessing...from massive headaches to multiple hallelujahs. Preparing our hears will assist in remembering the crucial parts of the season!
 
Our Sunday messages are intended to help in this preparation process. This Sunday we begin a teaching series titled, " A Weary World Rejoices." We will be encouraged by good new...our weary worlds can rejoice because we are comforted! I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday (and hearing your war stories of Black Friday experiences... stay safe).
 
Enjoy Thanksgiving
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S. This Sunday our annual Advent devotional booklet will be distributed. This booklet is a collection of Christmas memories and stories from various WCC family members. Be sure to get your copy!
 



Publish Date: November 19, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Thanksgiving

Inventory Time!
 
Author David Mclennon tells a story of his very first job in a small town general store. He was hired as a general worker. He would sweep the floor, bag items for customers and stock shelves. One particular Saturday, he heard the owner say to one of the other workers, "It's that time of the year to take inventory." That was a word that was not yet in McLennon's 13 year old vocabulary. When an opportune moment came up he asked his boss, "What is an inventory?" Patiently the owner explained it was a time when you made a list of everything you had...from groceries on the shelves to wrapping paper and string. Still somewhat puzzled, the young McLennon then asked, "Why?" That owner responded, "Well it's easy to forget exactly how much you have each year. Every now and then you have to take an inventory just to see what all you have."
 
The story pretty well sums up what Thanksgiving is all about. It is a time we ask ourselves, " Have I taken inventory of all the things I have in life? I have made an effort to count what I have? Have I forgotten how much good is in my life?"
 
If you decide to create you personal inventory list, here are some ideas to spark your thinking. These are things some Mom's put on their inventory lists...
I am thankful for...
 
*Automatic dishwashers. They make it possible to get our of the kitchen before the family comes in for their after-dinner snacks.
 
* husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house. They usually make them big enough to call in professionals.
 
* The bathtub -- the one place that family allows Mom some time to herself.
 
* children who put away their things and clean up after themselves. They're such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
 
* gardenings. It's a relief to deal with dirt outside the house for a change.
 
*teenagers. They give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
 
* smoke alarms. They let you know when the turkey's done.
 
I hope you take time over the next few days to take inventory of the many good things in your life (I am sure many of you could add some pretty creative additions to these ladies thoughts). Although this has been a tough year economically in our country, we still are much more fortunate than more of the world!
 
Join us at WCC as we express our gratitude this weekend...our topic Sunday... See the Contracts. You won't want to miss this special day! Let me remind you... this Sunday is the last day to bring our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes! Sunday evening, durning New Community, we will bring them to the front altars and pray over them...praying that the children who will receive them will not only be blessed by the gifts, but will also come to know Jesus as their Savior.
 
One last thing...supper will be served at New Community. I am looking forward to sharing that meal together with you.
Looking foward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
 
 



Publish Date: November 12, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Military Appreciation

                                    "Thank You, Veterans"
 
This Sunday at WCC is Military Appreciation Day! We re privileged to be honoring our veterans. Our special  guest speaker is Jon Watters, Chaplain's Assistant, U.S. Army. we look forward to hearing his message.
 
Today I share with you the following thought about veterans. I do not know who wrote these perspectives. However, I share them with you in the hopes they stir gratitude in your hearts, like they did in mine.
 
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg--or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking. What is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel. He is the barroom loudmouth, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel. She--or he--is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang . He is the POW who went away one person and came back another--or didn’t come back at all. He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat--but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs. He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by. He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor die unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep. He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket--palsied now and aggravatingly slow--who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come. He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say, "Thank you." That’s all most people need, and in most cases, it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot: "THANK YOU." It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag. Let’s remember them on this Veteran’s Day observance.
 
God bless all of our veterans...we are grateful for your service... we say thank you! I am looking forward to an exciting day this Sunday at WCC! Invite a friend or two to attend with you!
 
Pastor Tracy
 

 

 



Publish Date: November 6, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

God of this City

God of This City
 
 
A news report told of a house fire in the middle east. A man ran into his burning dwelling to get his valuables but didn't make it back out alive. He was found in the ashed clutching an ivory idol. The headline read, "Man dies trying to save his god!"
This Sunday at WCC we depart from our teaching series in the New Testament book of James. In preparation for our combined service with other Clarksville Nazarene Churches, Sunday, November 15, we will look at Acts 19. That passage tells about a man who tries to "save his god," in the city of Ephesus. In response, God begins to do a work to change not just one person, but a whole city.
 
Also at WCC this Sunday... we renow our Faith Promise pledges. Faith Promise is our means of supporting missions around the world. Rather than giving to a special missions offering once or twise a year, you are encourgaed to give a regular amount on a consistent basis. Several of our WCC family members have said Faith Promise allows them to support missions in meaningful and substantial ways. Before Sunday ask God what he would have you give through Faith Promise.
 
I am looking forward to a great day together!
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: October 29, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Can I See Your Faith?

Awesome Weekend Ahead!
 
We have an exciting weekend ahead at WCC! This Saturday evening is our Harvest Hayride. It is not too late to invite a family to attend with you. Events like this are prime opportunities to introduce someone to our church and campus. Coming to our Harvest Hayride might be their next step toward God... courageously ask them to join you for supper, Trunk or Treating, the Hayride, and the fireworks.
 
In case you are wondering...yes the event will take place rain or shine. If it is raining Trunk or Treat will take place inside our buildings.
 
Melissa Ash (our Events Coordinator) and I say "Thanks" to all who helped with HH set-up in the Worhip Center last night... Travis and Ana Hill... serveral men...and our awesome teens! And, "Thanks," in advance, to all who will volunteer during the event and will help clean up afterwards... it takes all of the people of God to do all the work of God!
 
I am also excited about our Sunday services. God has powerfully spoken to us through our current series in the New Testament book of James. This Sunday's message is titled, "Can I See Your Faith?" In this week's scripture, James was writting to encourage Christians to express real faith. His stories challenge us to a deeper level of expression. James identifies characteristics or authentic faith that have eternal impact. Read James 2:14-26 before Sunday.
 
Can't wait to see you in costume Saturday night!
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: October 23, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Love ALL Serve ALL

 Love ALL, Serve ALL
 
In the movie Seabiscuit, millionaire Charles Howards hired Tom Smith, a broken-down unemployed cowboy, to be the trainer of his new horse racing enterprise. Howard noticed Smith working with a seemingly worn-out horse with a broken leg. When questioned about wasting time on the horse, Smith replied, "You don't throw away a life because it's banged up a bit."
 
A prevalent attitude in our society is to give attention only to that which will bring us great rewards.... and to abandon or disregard that which appears broken, useless, or without value. That attitude not only applies to stuff but to people. Many people only invest time, effort, and expense in relationships that offer something in return. When it comes to loving and serving others who have nothing to offer, well, that's a different story... there's no time for "the banged up."
 
Thank goodness, God has Tom Smith's attitude. Every one of us is banged up a bit, one way or another. We all need grace, love, and help. And the way grace, love and help is dispensed to us who need it, is through other people... like Tom Smith.
 
Truth is... God is building a big spiritual family here on earth  that loves and cares about others, regardless of others' perceived value or worth. This week's topic at WCC is... Love ALL, Serve ALL. Before Sunday, read James 2:1-13.
 
I'm excited to see you Sunday!
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: October 8, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Find Your Way

Find Your Way!
 
When traveling I like to eat at restaurants we don't have in our local area. Wednesday I experienced Sticky Fingers, in Chattanooga. Talk about some good barbecue ribs and s-w-e-e-t potato casserole... my mouth is watering just writing about it! I ordered the ribs dry and experimented with every sause they offered.
 
Not that I've got your appetite aroused, let me describe how we arrived there. Approaching Chattannoga, we consulted the GPS. Sticky Fingers popped up under "restraurants." After hitting a few buttons on the GPS, our route was determined. Identifying exactly where we were, this technological marvel communicated what roads and street would take us to those luscious ribs. Following it's guidance, we drove right to the front. The work and worry of finding our way was alleviated. The GPS is an amazing navigational tool.
 
Don't you wish we could consult a GPS that would show and tell us crucial information for our personal lives? Wouldn't it be awesome if we could punch a few buttons on a menu screen and navigate our way through life's choices and problems?
 
This Sunday at WCC we take a break from our "According to Jim" teaching series. This week's topic is... "Our Personal GPS." God has given us a personal GPS... His Holy Spirit. Come hear how he directs and guides us towards things that really matter in life.
 
Excited to see you Sunday!
Pastor Tracy
 
 
 



Publish Date: October 1, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How to Handle Temptation

Okay, I confess... I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate. So, when I pass by our pumpkin shaped candy jar at home (filled with enticing treats), it is very tempting to indulge! However, I am trying to lose a few pounds around the middle... but it would taste so good.. I could eat several pieces of that Hershey's special dark... but don't want the calories. Such a temptation! How should I handle it??
 
Maybe this will help: A news report from Science Daily reported a strategy that could help me with this alluring enticement. Researchered from the University of Exeter reported that a brisk walk can help reduce cravings. Their study had regular chocolate eaters abstain from eating chocolate for several days. After this period, participants were asked to randomly either take a 15 minute walk or rest before doing something that would normally make them crave chocolate (such as opening the wrapper of a candy bar or walking by the pumpkim candy jar). Participants reported fewer cravings when they took a brisk walk. The study reported, "Short bouts of physical activity can help to regulate how energized and pleasant we feel; on the other hand, with a sedentary lifestyle we may naturally turn to mood regulating behaviors such as eating chocolate. Here's a summary of the study finding: Accumulating 30 minutes of daily physical and mental health benefits, but also may help to regulate our energy intake and output" (May help us squelch our cravings and conquer temptation!)
 
So, which will it be, a few (or several) delicious bites of the special dark or a brisk walk??? Tough choice, for me! But if I want to avoid adding "poundage" I guess I should implement the strategy to reduce the temptation.
 
Think about this: If we are to avoid giving into temptations of greater magnitude then my "sweet sins" we ought to discover and implement strategies that can help us win over our personal temptations.
 
This Sunday's Message can help us win. Our topic is... "When You Are Tempted." I will be teaching some strategies for handling temptation. You can help  me out with the sermon again this week. Respond by email to this week's question: How do you handle temptation? I will look forward to reading your responses. Email me: pastortracy@bellsouth.net.
 
Look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: September 24, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Definitely Unsure???

  Some of you may remember these lyrics from an old song... " You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on the affirmative, and don't mess with Mr. In Between." " Mr. In Between" is that uncomfortable realm of indecision. Wavering and hesitant, we know we need to make a choice, but we are not quite sure what we should do... we are stuck.
 
This Sunday our teaching topic is... "When you can't decide."
 
You can help me with this week's message... send an email  to me answering this question... "What do you do when you can't make up your mind?" I will be looking forward to hearing your response, along with James' wisdom on making choices, in Sunday's message!
 
Reminder: This Sunday night, 5:30pm, is 'New Community.' We will enjoy a meal together... no need to bring anything; food and beverage are provided. But wait, there's more...this will be a night of vision casting and inspiration. Our topic... "Body Building." If you normally don't attend Sunday nights, I encourage you to come and see what "New Community" is all about. Come join the family.
 
Look forward to seeing you Sunday!
Pastor Tracy

 

 

 



Publish Date: September 11, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Deeper Into The Word!

 In his book, The Wonders of the Word of God, Robert L. Sumner tells about a man in Kansas City who was severely injured in an explosion many years ago. The victim's face was bady disfigured  and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. As a new Christian, one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. He heard about a lady in England who read Braile with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he ordered books of the Bible in Braile. He realized the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day as he brought one of the Braile pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. He immediately thought, " I can read the Bible using my tounge." At the time Robert Sumner published his book (1969) the injured man had "read" through the entire Bible four times with his tongue! That is real effort... That puts my Bible reading experiences to shame! As I read that I was convicted of my lack of hunger to read Scripture in order to learn and grow from it's life giving power.
 
Speaking of it's power here's some statements by an unknown writer that illuminates it's capabilitities and authority: The Bible...
 
  • That book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.
  • It's doctrines are holy, it's precepts are binding; it's histories are true and its decisions are immutable.
  • Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy.
  • It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
  • It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christain's character.
  •  Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.
  • Christ is it's grand subject, our good it's design, and the glord of God it's end.
  • It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feel.
  • Read it slowly frequently, prayerfully.
  • It is a mine of wealth, a parardise of glory, and a river of pleasure.
  • Follow it's precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.
 
I don't know about you, but for me those words inspire me to dive deeper into God's life-giving word. This Sunday morning at WCC we are going to do that! We begin a study in the book of James, titled, "According to Jim." This teaching series will help all of us to take our next steps toward God.
 
Also, our Sunday nigh small groups are studying 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. We are learning what it means to be sent by God as "Mission ambassadors" to our community. It you are interested in discovering what it means to be a community church, by all means, come check out our study, "Compelled by Love!" We would love to have you join a small group!
 
Excited to see you Sunday
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: September 1, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Relationslips… Restoring Romance

This Sunday's teaching topic at WCC is.. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling. The message is about Restoring Romance. As a teaser to the topic read this letter one wife wrote to tech support about her husband's lack of romance:
 
Dear Tech Support,  Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performace -- particularly in the flower and jewerly applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and the installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do? Signed, Desperate.
 
Dear Desperate, First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 and Entertainment Package while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Please enter the command "Http: I Though You Loved Me.html" and try to download Tears 6.2 and don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5. Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crazh Husband 1.0. In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recomment Food 3.0 and Lengerie 7.7. Good Luck, Tech Support.
 
That will sure intiate a whole lot of discussion when it hits your inbox. The men reading this may be thinking, my wife must have sent that letter tech support... she has definitely downloaded some of those programs! The women are probably cheering loudly about tech support's suggestions and between now and Sunday will be thinking about initiating Nagging 5.3, "urging" husbands they really ought to be in church to hear this one!
 
Truth is, no matter how long or short we have been married, it is common for the romance element to slip away (on both sides of the marriage roles). This Sunday we  will look at scriptual principles for restoring romance. There will be good news for both sides!
 
Here's some homework before Sunday; discuss this quote as a couple... "In a great romance, each person basically plays a part that the other really likes."
 
Update on Giving
 
When we recently paid our monthly mortgage payment ($2,800), our books reflected a negative cash flow (we spent more than what we received). This has been the case for a few months. Contributing factors for this trend most likely include the following reasons: 1.) the financial crisis in our country caused some to be cautious about spending and giving; 2.) several of our WCC family members' income have decreased because of company buyouts and company cutbacks, and they are not able to give as much as they have been giving; 3.) approximately 40 WCC family members transitioned to various military posts in the last few months (many of these were faithful financial supporters).
 
As pastor, part of my responsibility is to address issues before they become major problems. This update is not intended  to cause panic but to encourgae all us to evaluate our personal giving. Would you prayerfully consider your giving to WCC? This Sunday Jill and I will be giving an extra $100 above our tithes... you may or may not be able to give that much... would you consider doing something extra... or, if you are new and have not been giving, would you conder contributing this Sunday? As each one of us does our part, we will be able to not only meet obligations, but also expand our ministries.
 
I assure you there is no frivolous spending of monies you contribute. There is not "fluff" in our yearly budget. Your tithes and offereing are dispersed with intention and discernment.
 
Thank you for supporting Kingdom business through your giving!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: August 13, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

How To Restore Harmony In Your Relationships

 
This week @ WCC we begin a short three week series titled, "Relationslips." Just so you know, I did not misspell the word relationship. The idea behind the series is that the realm of relationships is often a slippery slope... we sometimes lose our footing. Our first topis is, "Jon & Kate Plus Hate."
 
We cannot escape the drama surrounding Jon & Kate's impending divorce. Updated news is broadcast multiple times, daily it seems. Somewhere along the way, their relationship slipped big time! Their situation illustrates the catastrophic consequences of unresolved conflict. This Sunday's message is about resolving conflict and restoring harmony in our homes. The principles you will hear are effective in families, marriages, and all our relationships.
 
In getting ready for the message, I thought it was a good idea to sit down and talk with Jill about some of the conflicts we have faced over the past 30 years of marriage. I asked Jill to list our top five disputes. As we recalled some of those times we remembered why they were clashes and controversies... we even had a little bit of conflict about our top five. So, you can see that the topic is fresh on my heart. If you want to understand conflict and resolve it and restore harmony in your relationships... be sure to come Sunday!
 
Just a reminder... this Sunday is our 2nd Big Day. Invite those you brought to last Sunday's Back to School Bash to come again!
 
Looking forward...are you interest in going on a whitewater rafting trip? If so, talk with David Allen on Sunday. A trip is being planned to the Ocoee River, August 28 and 29. Cost is approximately $40 plus Friday night lodging. Sing up on Sunday. Make it a family event... Minimun age requirement is 13 years old.
 
Looking forward to our Second Big Day at WCC! Can't wait to see you!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S. Thanks to all who served during Back to School Bash! What a great day of family fun! Over 300 Woodlawn participants were on our campus. We could not have hosted the event without your help. You are awesome!
 



Publish Date: August 6, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

A Little Help From… My Friend

This Sunday's teaching topic at WCC is "That's What Friends Are For." In preparation for the message I was looking up "friend" definitions and quotations. Here's a few thoughts on what a true friend is and does....
 
  • A friend is someone who multiplies your joys and divides your grief.
  • A friend is a watch which beats true for all time, and never runs down.
  • Irma Bombeck said, "A friend is somebody who won't go on a diet when you're fat."
  • Here's my favorite description of a friend: A friend is someone who will walk in when the whole world has just walked out.
That is the kind of friendship we all long for...friendship that lasts through thick and thin, hot and cold, good and bad....friendship described by the wise man in Proverbs - that sticks closer than a brother...friendship that is loyal and supportive!
 
Well, Sunday's topic is not about finding a friend like that... it's about being a friend like that. These days at WCC we are in a short series titled, "Two Big Days: August 9 and 16." Last week's message introduced the theme of being a friend. Here's some quick one-liners to remind you about that talk: Almost always there is someone behind a big day...DeWayne Wise was behind Mark Buehrle's perfect big day... Andrew was behind spiritual big days... no one dies in my drop zone...who's big day will I be behind. This week's message give some specific ways we can invest into friends' lives so that they will see we really are there for them!
 
Just a thought...by bringing a friend to Jesus, you may be doing something that they will thank you for...for all eternity...in heaven! Wow!!
 
This Sunday afternoon is the first of our Two Big Days. It's hard to believe, but our Back to School Bash is this Sunday. I am praying for you as you are inviting friend, neighbors, and acquaintances.
 
Reminder: This Saturday will be a work morning at the church. We want our campus to look great for our guest. Come spend a couple of hours sprucing up! We will meet at 8:30 A.M.
 
Can't wait to see you Saturday and Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S. Since returning from vacations, several of you have "caught up" on giving your tithes and offerings. We are grateful for that! Thank you! For others, if you were away and have not yet "caught up," your "catch up" contributions will be helpful... our July expenditures were much more than what you received in offerings. Thank you for your faithfulness in giving financially to WCC.
 



Publish Date: August 4, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Family Tree

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
- Jane Howard
 
Jill and I just returned from a family reunion/vacation. We were with Jill's family for a whole week. We ate, reminisced, ate, went sight-seeing, ate, shopped, laughed, ate, cried, ate, and made some life-time memories. Needless to say, along with a few souvenirs, we brought home a few extra pounds!
 
We had a great week! Our family is such an amazing gift that brings countless joys. We rarely are together like we were last week...those times are few and far between...but when they occur, we renew a strong bond between us. Although we live in different part of the country and have dissimilar likes and dislikes, we enjoy being together. Now, don't get me wrong...ours is not a perfect family...some members have their quirks. Someone once said, "Families are like fudge...mostly sweet with a few nuts." That's an appropriate analogy of Jill's family (I'll not identify the nuts; you can ask Jill which siblings qualify). Despite that reality, our familiy is a source of satisfaction. Joyce Brothers was speaking truth when she said, "When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." And, that is why we need a family.
 
I am also thankful for our church family...it is good to be back home with you. Our WCC church family is a source of happiness, too...it is a place to know and be known, to love and be loved, to care and be cared for. We all need a spiritual family, like the one God is building at WCC
 
This Sunday's topic is titled, "Two Big Days." Our "Two Big Days" are directly related to God's purpose in our world...He is building a spiritual family...He wants to add members to His WCC family. Our "Two Big Days" can lead to additions to our WCC family tree! Be sure to be present Sunday to hear how you can influence someone who needs our family!
 
I am excited to see you Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
P.S. August is kick-off month for our small groups and our "Grow Deeper" opportunities. This Sunday night it will be kick-off night for small groups, 5:30 P.M.. Our Fall semester will last approximately 11 weeks. If you were not in a small group in the Spring, this is your "on ramp" to join. If you were in a small group but want to try another one, this is your "off ramp" from your previous group. Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family...call it a small group. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. Please sign up this Sunday at the back of the Worship Center. Note this: Communion will be served during small group this time Sunday Night!
 
 



Publish Date: July 23, 2009  ::  Author: Pastor Vicki Patton

Drawing Near

 

As I sit on my front porch enjoying a cup of coffee, I thanked God as another day opens up before me.  It may still be July but the crisp air made it easy to think ahead to August and beyond.  I admit I am looking forward to leaving the summer schedule behind; I’m ready to dive into our fall semester at WCC.  I hope you have made plans to join a small group on August 2nd and have already signed up for one of the Bible Studies that will begin that same week.  If not, please check out our website or call the church office for more information.  Our small groups are designed to help us connect with others who want to take their next steps toward God.  Our studies will help us all Go Deeper into God’s truth, as we grow closer to Him. 

 

Looking forward, one of the most significant things we can do is pray.  Billy Graham said, “Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask. Have faith in the God of the dream; let’s ask God to bring the dream to completion. God’s answer is ready; it is waiting for our personal and persistent request.”  We are looking for God to do some amazing things this fall.  We are praying that God will bless all that we do at WCC and that He will bless our community with a hunger for spiritual things.  Our God is a big God; join us in dreaming big dreams for Woodlawn.  

 

Sitting on my front porch I pray; its simply a conversation with God about the needs of my family, my church, and my community.  Trying to figure out everything on my own is just an impossible task, but God’s wisdom knows no limits.  I ask, I seek, and I watch.  I don’t always know what the Lord is doing, but I trust that God is faithful.  And when I feel my resolve becoming weak, I pray some more.  The conversation continues….

 

James 4:8 reads, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” 

 

Hope to see you this Sunday!

 

Pastor Vicki

 



Publish Date: July 16, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Connect and Grow

Connect and Grow @ WCC!
 
I read an interesting quote about summer. Russell Baker wrote... "Ah, summer what power you have to make us suffer and like it." He must have lived in Tennessee, where the heat and humidity make us sweat and slow down... and give us occasions to enjoy a more leisurely pace in contrast to other seasons in our lives. Ah summer... how we love it!
 
In looking at the calendar it is hard to believe summer is almost over! But, with endings also comes beginnings. This week's email is devoted to unforming about upcoming beginnings. Durning the first week of August we are kicking off opportunities for you to connect and grow at WCC.
 
Connect... our main way to connect at WCC is through Small Groups. During the summer months we took a break from our routine of meeting each Sunday night. We hoped your family would be your small group during summer Sundays... our desire is that you would bond together in new ways. We also hoped the break would renew passion to meet with your group again... that has happened...many have said they miss their small group. Here's the good news: Our Fall Semester of Small Groups kicks off Sunday evening, August 2! Here's pertinent information:
 
  • Sign up to be in a Small Group beginning this Sunday, July 19; everyone needs to sign up, even if you were in a group this Spring.
  • Our Fall Semester will include approximately 12 Sunday nights, August- early December.
  • This kickoff provides an "on ramp" for those who were not in a group before
  • Our "semester" has a definite beginning and end; if you have not joined a small group before because you thought it was a life long commitment, this semester is for you!
Grow... our mission statement at WCC is... helping people take their next steps towards God, together becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. For many, our next step is to immerse ourselves in a Bible study that will help us Go Deeper. Beginning Sunday, August 2 and Wednesday August 5, the following growth venues will be offered...
 
Go Deeper...Wednesdays, beginning August 5
 
Women... Jill Hoskins will lead the Beth Moore study, "Living Beyond Yourself." This group...is for women not doing Faith At Home on Wednesday nights... will meet 6:30 -7:30 at the church...no childcare will be provided. Sign up this Sunday.
 
Men...Pastor Tracy will lead "Men's Fraternity" This group....is for men not doing Faith At Home on Wednesday nights... will meet 6:30 - 7:30 at the church....will meet 3 Wednesday nights a month for study and one night to do service projects. Sign up this Sunday!
 
 
Go Deeper... Sundays, beginning August 2
 
Moms doing Faith At Home on Wednesday nights... Kim Masters will be leading a Group that will be exploring Biblical perspectives on parenting at 9:30 Sign up this Sunday!
 
Anyone... can join on for our existing Sunday School classes at 9:30 or 11AM
 
Here's one more Go Deeper growth venue... Friday Mornings
 
Military Wives Bible Study... Pastor Vicki will lead the study, "Soul Shaping" This Support Group... meets from 9:30 - 11:00....childcare is provided for a donation. Sign up this Sunday!
 
I hope the sadness that comes from knowing summer is about over will be replaced with anticipation... God is going to help us take next steps this Fall!
 
This week's email has been longer than normal. I apologize for that... my excitement about connecting and growing is overflowing! Oh, by the way, this Sunday's topic at WCC...Being Open to Opportunities!
 
Pator Tracy
 
P.S. Don't forget to sign up this Sunday
 
 



Publish Date: July 9, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

King of Pop

This past week our TV screens and computer monitors were filled with images and sounds of Michael Jackson's life and death. Right now there are probably two groups reading this...one group includes those of you who are still grieving the death of the "King of Pop"...others are thinking "I have seen enough, heard enough, and now even the Pastor is bringing it up again!" No matter which camp we find ourselves in, we all must admit he was a genius in terms of composition. He was amazing as a performer. He was incredible as a choreographer. I address his untimely death because I believe circumstances surrounding his death give occasion to think about ultimate life issues...here we go...
 
I was reading current writings of Leonard Sweet this week. He cited an article written by Steven Stockman, who has written some great books on the spirituality of U2 and the theological underpinnings of some rock music. Stockman discovered a Sylvie Simmons, 1983 article for Creem magazine, in The Observer's Review Special Issue. Stockman recited Jackson's words:
 
"We like to be straight, don't go crazy or anything. Not to the point of losing our perspective on life, of what you are and who you are. A lot of entertainers, they make money and they spend the rest of their life celebrating that one goal they reached, and with that celebration comes the drugs and the liquor and the alcohol. And they try to straighten up and they say, 'Who am I? Where am I? What happened?' They lost themselves,and they're broken. You have to be careful and have some kind of discipline."
 
As I read those words, spoken by Michael Jackson in 1983, they seemed somewhat prophetic (in some ways) pertaining to his own life and departure from this life. The hazy circumstances surrounding Michael Jackson's death cause us to wonder if he had lost himself and was broken and dependent on the substance to deal with his lostness and brokenness. We are left to wonder...had he lost he perspective on life...had he lost awareness and understanding of what and who he was? And, we ponder, what does it take to keep a healthy perspective on life...evidently personal discipline was not sufficient enough? Reflecting on events of the week we ask, "What in life is capable of sustaining and supporting us... what gives significance that provides meaning, hope, direction... and what can we base our lives upon that provides a sure foundation that gives true perspective on life?
 
This Sunday's topic at WCC is titled, "Every life needs....security!" We will be thinking about what we can do to make sure our lives are built on a solid foundation that is strong and grounded. There may even be a short video clip of a favorite Michael Jackson song!
 
See you Sunday,
Pastor Tracy
 



Publish Date: July 3, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Every Life Needs Freedom

 

This past week Jill and I have been in Orlando , Florida , attending General Assembly for the Church of the Nazarene.  Nazarenes from all parts of the world gathered to worship and hear reports of how God is moving globally.  What a thrill to observe worship and prayer in many different languages, all at the same time… a preview of what heaven may be like!

 

We were privileged to be present as God touched the hearts of audiences through messages by our General Superintendents.  We observed the process as two new General Superintendents were elected (one more will be elected in the next few hours, completing replacement of three retiring G. S.’s).  One election was a unique historical event… One of our newly elected G. S.’s is Dr. Eugenio Duarte.  Dr Duarte has been serving as regional director for Africa .  He is a native of the island of Brava in the Cape Verde Islands .  Dr. Duarte is the first citizen from outside the USA/Canada Region to be elected to the Church of the Nazarene’s Board of General Superintendents in the 100 year history of our denomination!  The second General Superintendent elected was Dr. David Graves, who has been the senior pastor at Olathe , KS , College Church of the Nazarene.

 

Jill and I are grateful for the privilege of being present at General Assembly… such an important event in the life of our denomination!  We will be home in a few short hours and are looking forward to being with you on Sunday!

If you are not away for the holiday weekend, we hope to see you at WCC.  If you are away… we hope you have a relaxing and refreshing time, making great memories with your family!

Corresponding to our nation’s 4th of July celebrations this Sunday’s topic is… “Every Life Needs Freedom.”

 

Can’t wait to see you Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 



Publish Date: June 25, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Soaring Eagles

  Soaring With Eagles
 
The Bald Eagle is our national symbol for good reason; a soaring eagle is the perfect picture of power and purpose. Anyone who looks at the eagle can see its beauty but also its strong character. What makes the eagle so majestic and awesome in its character? It is the way they are taught to rise to the challenge; it begins in the nest. At just the right time the mother eagle, "stirs the nest." She removes the things that make the nest comfortable so that the eaglets become restless. She wants her young to learn to fly, something they will never do as long as they remain in cozy surroundings. God created the eagle to soar but it must first leave the nest.
 
This Sunday we will learn from the eagle. Life is not without struggles and trials; there are times when we, too, feel that our nests are being, "stirred." God wants us to trust Him and allow these times to strengthen our faith. He has designed His Church to soar, if we will follow His lead. Exciting things are in store for the Woodlawn Community. Join us for worship Sunday morning!
 
Sunday evening Steve and JoAnn Green will share stories and pictures from their exciting journey to Manaus, Brazil. They travelled with a Work and Witness team into the jungle, sharing the love of Christ. I can hardly wait to hear about the people and places they visited, and learn more about what God is doing in our world.
 
Believe it or not, the Back to School Bash is coming soon! This community event will be fun for all and give each of us an opportunity to serve. You will definitely want to be a part of this! We will share more details on Sunday evening; join us as we make a difference in Woodlawn.
 
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Pastor Vicki
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

    

     

 

 

 



Publish Date: June 18, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Watching

Watching
 
The movie, The Bear, is a story about a tiny bear whose mother dies. The cub survives but it's just a guess as to his long term chances. The cub gets adpopted by a huge Kodiak. This giant bear is always watching over the cub. He becomes a father to the cub. He protects it. He teaches the cub how to be a bear. Everything the father bear does, the cub imitates. As you watch this you are filled with hope...the cub has a future. He is going to survive.
 
One day they get sparared. The little bear can't see his father anywhere. The mountain lion sees his opportunity. He comes swiftly, silently, face-to-face with the cub. He is about to spring. The little cub rears up on his hind legs, lefts his paws, and tries to growl fiercely, but the best he can do is project a frightened squeak. Tiny paws. Weak growl. The mountain lion is not convinces. Both the cub and his attacker know he is about to die.  Then, the camera focuses on the mountain lion, whose face suddenly registers a look of fear. He stops snarling, turns, and slinks away. What happened to cause him to abandon the attack?
 
The camera pans back, and the viewer sees... what the little bear cannot. Behind the little bear is the great Kodiak, standing on his hind legs, his massive body poised to save his son with a single swipe. Big paws. Fierce growl. Then we know... the little bear his nothing to worry about. The cub couldn't see him or hear him, but the father was there all the time. That forest was a perfectly safe place for the little cub to be. The father could be trusted, even when it seemed he was absent... always watching, never out of sight...never out of his care.
 
Obviously, the story could be paralleled with our heavenly Father's love for each of us. He is our protector and provider. But, it also gets us "Dads" thinking about our roles and privileged responsibilities. Our "cubs" are learning life from us...scarey thought, isn't it? That realization makes us "gaint bears" consider the influence we are having.
 
This Sunday's topic is titled, "Watching." This message gives some practical suggestions as to how Dad's can be there for our kids. Can't wait to see all you Dads sitting with your families at WCC on Father's Day!
 
Pastor Tracy
 
Scripture for today: Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; by men of courage; be strong. 1 Cor. 13:11 NIV
 



Publish Date: June 11, 2009  ::  Author: Tracy Hoskins

Every Life Needs a Cheering Section

Everybody needs encouragement, right? So, if you are looking for words of approval and affirmation, you don't go to Ed Debevic's. Ed Debevio's is a 50's, Chicago dining experience you will never forget. The restaurant's motto sets the tone... "Eat and get out!" Waiters are gruff, rude, angry, loud, verbally abusive, and insulting! Waiters question your menu choices... ridicule what you are wearing...flirt with your spouse (maybe even pinch them under the table)... harass and hassle...tease and taunt. By the time guests leave most people feel like they have had enough mistreatment to last a while.  But everytime Jill and I have gone, the place was packed. People continually frequent that place because of it's reputation as an entertaining nigh out!
 
Thankfully, most of us don't have to endure that kind of treatment on a regular basis. Hopefully we have people around us who offer the encouragement we need. We are wired for the opposite of Ed Debevic's experience... we need and desire to be built up rather than torn down... we like to hear words of approval rather than barrages of assault.
 
This Sunday at WCC our topic is 'Every Life Needs A Cheering Section.' This week's message will inspire us to be a community of encouragers. I am looking forward to sharing some stories about the power of encouragement! I promise... Sunday will not be an Ed Debevic's experience at WCC!
 
Looking foward to seeing you this Sunday!
 
Pastor Tracy