Archive for October 2010
by Stan Priebe
We’re at the midpoint in our Free* study, and I’ve become aware of some things that have been barriers to me being all God wants me to be.
Did you find those first two sections of our workbook uncomfortably intense? Me, too.
Feeling a little restless? Wonder how this is all going to turn out? Asking yourself why you feel the way you do?
Wondering what really is God’s plan for your life? Good. Keep asking. Keep searching. We’re all on a journey to live boldly above our circumstances. We can’t stop now. The answers are coming!
God is waiting to write the rest of my story. It will be better than anything I could have come up with. But first I have to stop letting the things of yesterday cloud His version of my tomorrow.
I struggle with a lack of self confidence that has caused me to “settled” in many situations, reluctant to try something new. Maybe, for you, bitterness is standing in the way of the life He has planned for you.
Insecurity? Do you try to control things beyond your control? How much time have we wasted worrying or regretting or replaying the past?
Lead Pastor Steve Poe’s message about the Enemy was an eye-opener for me. I know Satan exists, and I know he delights in tempting me. But I had never considered that he also specializes in dragging me down to a level of ineffectiveness. He doesn’t want me to be who God created me to be.
Remember the time you saw that paragraph in the Sunday bulletin asking for volunteers? For a moment you were interested.
Then you decided maybe you shouldn’t. Too much time. Not qualified. Don’t really know anyone who is involved there.
Is it possible that God was calling your attention to that ministry opportunity? Maybe it needed someone exactly like you, someone with your spiritual gifts, your heart, your life experiences.
“Too much time…not qualified…don’t know anyone…” Whispers from the father of lies.
I’ve heard them, too. What joy have we missed because we believed the liar? It’s my choice who I listen to. If I want to hear God’s voice I must meditate on His word.
I’ve learned some things about myself. I know who came that I might “have life, and have it to the full.” I also know I have an enemy who wants to steal my joy. I want God to transform my life. It’s time to create a plan and begin following it.
We’re in this together. Let’s finish strong. How will it end?
Maybe with a new beginning.
by Patty Perkins
“Start spreading the news/I am leaving today. I want to be a part of it/New York, New York”*
Kayla Irvine, a 14 year old at Northview, has news to spread…or rather, text.
She didn’t realize that simply watching television one day in July would lead to an all-expense paid trip to New York, New York. A banner announcing a texting competition ran across the bottom of her television screen. MTV posted five words, symbols and a number to text them to. Kayla was one of 500,000 entries, and MTV was looking for the top 32.
Kayla said, “Some lady kept calling my cell phone to tell me I won, thinking it was a solicitor, I hung up on her twice. She called back and left a message. I gave the message to my parents, they called and confirmed everything, then I got excited.”
Excitement was understandable, because winning meant round trip airfare for two to New York, hotel accommodations, a new phone and spending money. The LG U.S. National Texting Championship would be held in New York on Sept. 21-22, in the Roseland Ballroom at Times Square, and Kayla was part of it.
“There was a first competition that took us from 32 to 16,” said Kayla regarding nationals. “There were only four people who got the statement completely accurate and advanced. They then had a text off for all the finalists and I came in seventeenth.”
Contestants had to text a full paragraph that included random symbols. They were judged on speed and accuracy. One typo meant you were disqualified.
“I want to wake up in that city/that doesn’t sleep/And find I’m king of the hill.”*
Kayla describes the number one top texter, 13 year old Brianna Henrickson, as an “awesome person” and “very fun to be with.” Brianna won $50,000 and advances to the World Cup where she will compete for another $50,000.
Kayla, whose game name was Kayla “Quick Digits” Irvine, has been texting since she was 12 years old. She did practice for the contest, but the majority of her practicing came from real life texting.
She had to type each individual character of complete words…no LOL, ROFL or BFF(s) allowed.
Kayla said she was a bit nervous before the competition, but it went away once she started texting. When asked about the atmosphere, Kayla replied, “It was exciting and suspenseful. Some of the contestants broke down due to the stress.”
Kayla did not break down, but she said her thumbs were sore after the competition.
During the trip, Kayla made new friends. Rachel, from Terre Haute, placed third in the contest. She and Kayla shared the same round trip flight. Other new friends are from California, Texas, Michigan and New York. How do they keep in touch? Texting, of course!
“These vagabond shoes/They are longing to stray/Right through the very heart of it/New York, New York”*
The teens got to visit the very heart of New York. They were able to spend half a day with a film crew in Toys-R-Us, plus ride the Ferris wheel. They walked most of Broadway and did some shopping. Kayla even learned how to negotiate prices with street vendors. They saw a lot of Times Square because that’s where most of the filming was done.
The national finals were streamed through LG, since they were the main sponsor. To see video coverage of the event, go to YouTube and search “LG U.S. National Texting Championship 2010.” There’s even a parent competition.
Kayla said, “There was also a film team making a documentary on communication and the millennium. That film will be called All Thumbs and is due to air in January, (channel and time TBA).”
When asked if she would enter again, Kayla responded, “YES, YES, YES!”
Keep us posted…er...texted…about next year!
*New York, New York” Frank Sinatra
Songwriters: Fred Ebb, John Kander
by Shaun Miller
Saturday at 3 seconds to 5 p.m., the Technical Arts volunteers hear “3…2…1… go” coming across their headset from the service producer.
This interaction officially starts the first of three weekend services and is the culmination of over six weeks worth of work for staff and volunteers at Northview. What begins as a sermon idea in the mind and through the prayers of Lead Pastor Steve Poe then filters through several teams before it becomes a finished service shared by the entire church.
Once Pastor Steve has established a teaching direction he wants to go in, Creative Arts Pastor Greg Wallace and the Worship Planning Team take over. Greg chairs a group of nine staff members and a rotating group of volunteers that meet once a week to brainstorm the elements of the service and begin to bring the different aspects of worship together.
Each department then begins working on their own element. Worship Pastor Matt Bays comes up with ideas for the weekend’s songs and worship set.
The Technical Arts team begins creating the audio/visual content, and the Communications department works on graphics, supporting print material and the web site. Each team works hard to have their individual tasks finished and ready for review two weeks prior to the service.
The “week of” is when things really start happening. So what happens day-to-day to pull off services in two locations?
Tuesday: The Tech guys (Technical Arts Director Shaun Miller, Video Projects Coordinator Jason Chapman and Video and Production Associate Travis Carpenter) meet with Matt and Greg to run through the service order to make sure nothing is overlooked. All assignments for A/V equipment are noted and finalized.
Wednesday: The brainstorming team looks over the service order one final time, double-checking that the elements discussed are being presented in the best way possible.
Thursday: “Tech Night.” Tech volunteers who are serving that weekend come in for setup – the band is positioned, the lighting is programmed, the lyrics for worship are prepared and the videos for the back screen are loaded.
Friday: All the lighting and video items are previewed one last time.
Saturday begins at 11:30 a.m. for the Tech staff, prepping the “day of” items, like putting batteries in the microphones. The worship team instrumentalists arrive at 1 p.m. for a rehearsal with Matt. At 3 p.m., all of the tech and worship team volunteers are in place for two full run-throughs to make sure that everything is the best it can be for the attendees and guests that weekend.
The behind-the-scenes volunteers on the technical arts team are what makes this process happen each week. They give of their time for the rehearsals and all three services once per month (8-10 hours on the weekend they are serving, depending on the role).
It’s often a thankless job – by their very nature, the technical support for a service isn’t noticed unless something goes wrong. The volunteers seek to blend into the background, content to offer their time and talents to God in service of His people.
If you get a chance, look for the folks in the black shirts some weekend and say, “Thanks for all you do!”
by Sarah Hensley
A poster that I saw while visiting Taylor University says, “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of thinking and reasoning as fear.”
Although I have only been through two weeks of *Free, God has already used it to reveal to me that my largest stronghold that holds me back from freedom with Him is fear. I live more out of fear than I ever thought I did.
He’s shown me that many of my actions are actually a result of living in fear of rejection or failure, and that, when fear affects my actions, it hinders me from living how He calls me to- in freedom. This reminds me of the verse that says, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.” (Galatians 5:9)
Fear had cut in on me and kept me from obeying the truth passionately and fearlessly.
Through Free*, God has helped me recognize that I need to be liberated from unhealthy fear- mainly the fear of rejection. The beginning of the Free* guide says “Total freedom means living completely, FEARLESSLY, passionately and joyfully- regardless of your circumstances, not because of them.”
I had been living in fear, even though I knew (and now re-realize) that He loves me regardless of what other people may think, He created me how I am for a purpose and that I am meant to live out that purpose confidently, not in fear.
Having realized the unhealthy fear in my life, God has shown me a new kind of fear, a healthy kind- fear of Him. I am nowhere near arriving at His destination for me yet, but God is helping me replace my old habits of fear with new, healthy habits. He has shown me that fear itself isn’t my problem – what I fear is the problem.
He has showed me that, for some time, I have lived in fear of all the wrong things… fear of what people would think, fear of being rejected, fear of not making the right decisions or saying the right thing. I feared all of these less-than-worthy influences, even though I knew I was a free, loved child of God.
But now, I realize what I am supposed to fear: I am to fear God by loving Him, obeying out of the knowledge that he has good purposes for me and realizing that not following him results in, in effect, throwing myself back into my old slavery. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Slavery is deceiving. One slave may feel like they have it better off than all the other slaves or like they are slightly more free than everyone else, yet that doesn’t diminish the fact that he still is a slave.
As followers of Christ living amongst slaves of the world, we are called to continually throw off our shackles, whatever ties us down to not hoping in what we can’t see, and to continually work toward the goal that Christ sets out for us. Not in fear of the world, but healthy, loving fear of our Creator and Dad. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Let’s stand firm.
Praise God continually for what He is revealing to us through Free* and through the hardships and struggles in our lives, and for the strength that He is giving us, that we may endure through them with Him at our side.
It is for freedom that we have been set free.
by Kaleesha Thompson
Studio 6.7 has a purpose. That purpose it to “enable parents to teach their children to LOVE God and others in a real way, LEARN more about God and His word, and LIVE a life that is Owned by God.”
In addition to weekend services where these principles are played out, Studio 6.7 provides opportunities for children (and their families) to make serving God a way of life by volunteering in the community.
The most recent opportunity was a Family Service Project at Janus Developmental Services in Noblesville. On Saturday, Sept.18, between sixty and sixty-five children and their families gathered to share God’s love in a practical way with an organization that is making a positive difference in our community.
Ben Lovett and his wife, Debbie, are comfortable with the idea of serving. They are “all in” with the W+2 concept by regularly attending a weekend service, being involved in a Life Group and serving in several ministries in the church.
Still, they were looking for something more.
“Debbie and I want to raise our girls to be comfortable with the idea of serving so they continue to do it when they are older,” Ben said.
The Family Service Project provided a perfect opportunity to begin 8-year-old Olivia’s and 5-year-old Alaina’s ease with serving. As a family, the Lovetts power washed, swept and helped pull weeds in the butterfly garden at Janus’ facility.
“I’m not sure the girls even realized they were ‘serving,’” Ben said. “They just thought it was FUN! The kids were having a blast, working and following Pastor Joe [Children’s Pastor Joe McGinnis] around in a big group.”
Ben added, “It was nice to see another organization in the community doing such good work and making a difference, and it was good to share the love of Jesus with them.”
The Lovetts plan to put their faith in action by making serving as a family a monthly goal.
Brenda Espinosa, her husband Schawn Walthall and their son, Luke, had a similar experience. This summer, they participated in a Family Service Project working on the grounds at Northview Church’s Carmel campus (read about that here).
When the Family Service Project at Janus was announced, they knew it would be a great way to serve together again.
“Serving is never convenient,” Brenda explained. “There is always something else you could be doing on a Saturday morning, but when it comes down to it, you have to JUST DO IT!”
Both Brenda and Schawn attend church and Life Group regularly and serve in other areas in the church. Serving in the community with their 6-year-old son Luke “provides another intimate way of getting to know who you go to church with,” Brenda said. “We want to instill in Luke the need to volunteer, and that it can be fun. It is good when the focus is taken off of you and put on something bigger than yourselves.”
Besides being thoroughly impressed with the work that Janus is doing to provide opportunities for people with disabilities, Brenda and her family walked away happy to “discover something about ourselves and have the opportunity to grow.”
If you are interested in serving with your family, Studio 6.7 plans Family Service Projects once every quarter, with “Candy Cane Lane” being the next service opportunity starting in November.
Northview’s website also lists several different ongoing family friendly service events through the “Good Neighbor” link at www.northviewchurch.us/goodneighbor (Carmel campus) or www.northviewchurch.us/west_goodneighbor (for West Lafayette campus).
by Nancy Price
Since participating in last year’s spiritual growth campaign called Reset (see what that was about here), Jon Page’s Life Group has grown through trust, surrender, transparency and intimacy to create a group that has become just like family.
“(The campaign) was a great time of growth for our group last year,” Page, the leader of a Life Group of 10 members, said. “It’s created an environment where everyone could share.”
Sharing has included open-ended questions at the beginning of each meeting , such as “What’s most important about a Life Group?” and “How has God blessed you this week?” These questions have encouraged everyone to discuss their thoughts and feelings. As a result, according to Page, there has been a willingness to surrender and to become intimate as close friends.
“I think the intimacy is created when we meet every week for six weeks,” Page said. “It is difficult to reach a point of surrender in a group until intimacy and transparency exists. I think we achieved that in (the campaign).”
As those in the Life Group have grown closer since the campaign, they have turned to one another in crisis as they would a family, according to Page. Most recently, the Life Group has reached out to Wayland Thompson, a member who fell and broke his leg while running. Thompson was taken to the hospital and was treated by a physician who is also in the same Life Group.
“When I broke my leg, the doctor was almost like a personal physician to me,” Thompson said.
Thompson and his family, who are not originally from Indiana, said they consider the Life Group their “Indiana family” and that he has “depended heavily on the Life Group.”
In addition, Thompson’s son, who is in sixth grade, has become good friends with another Life Group member’s son who is also the same age.
“The biggest thing for us is seeing the kids so close,” he said. “The kids have cousins; we have brothers and sisters (in the group).”
The Life Group, celebrating their second birthday this month, has achieved something rare, according to Page. No one has ever left the group, even after summers, when the Life Group breaks to allow time for family trips and activities.
“We see each other (after summer) and pick up where we left off,” Thompson said. “We don’t have to see each other all the time to be there for each other.”
Page, who noted that he attends Northview because of his Life Group, agreed that the intimacy created from the spiritual growth campaign has continued to grow, although it is not easy in a group to keep that consistency.
“The challenge is to build on that intimacy and keep it going all year,” he said. “As hectic as everyone’s life is, it can be difficult. I cannot imagine trying to navigate life at Northview or life in general without my Life Group team.”