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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!”
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!
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
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!
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!
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!
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
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!
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!
"Overwhelming Grace Keep You!"
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!
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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.
“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!
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)!
“Overwhelming Grace Keep You!”
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.
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!”