Thursday Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

I have a few things I want to share with you.

#1 – I’m looking for a great faith story that will have an impact on people far from God during our Christmas services. I have a great message percolating and a great faith story will be the finishing touch, but only if it fits. So, email me the name of someone you think has that story. Here’s the gist: someone who had little or no time for God in their lives and then came up against something they couldn’t do/face on their own so they began to explore faith. Really, you can have a huge impact on people eternally by giving me a good name to pursue. Think of all the people who come to that one service a year. Think of the friend or family member you are inviting. This could be the Christmas that begins everything for them.

#2 – Get a recap of the service with highlights of our prayers, readings and songs here.

#3 – Here are your comments from the Communication Cards:

  • Love “Age to Age” but hard to hear Justin! 
  • Thank you for an outstanding message! 
  • Very powerful message, Henry. So many people going through “storms” in life right now. Great reminder that God is in control, not us! Need a map of MN, WI, and IA at map station. 
  • I love “Never Let Go” – great song reminding us of a great promise! Thank you for your words of wisdom Pastor Henry!
  • Thank you for preaching stewardship! 
  • “The Great I Am”, awesome! 
  • That worship was simply – awesome. Great harmonies and riffs. Thanks! I love it when we take the time to explain the stations as we do week-in and week-out. Thanks Henry for another convicting, beautifully – contrasted and touching message. The sanctuary is decorated beautifully. Fantastic closing set! [That’s Tech Director Shawn Hunt and his team’s work on the worship center decorations. I love what he did with the stars.]
  • The Christmas trees look phenomenal! 
  • I would like to learn more about the “Orphan Branch”. I work in the adoption field and have also started my own adoption process in South Africa. I wonder how I could support this group and/or be supported.  [Done.]
  •  Beautiful and moving opening worship, Justin! Henry, you have a fantastic way of delivering the message of how we are so broken and then just when I’m feeling so sorry for my sinning, selfish way, you remind me that God still loves me and call me His and I feel washed clean and thankful! Wow! Preaching is your gift! 
  • Owner = sinful pride. 
  • ??MLR or MIR music. [R2D2, I think. Maybe C3PO. Actually, I also have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’m pretty sure you already talked to Dan about it. ]
  • When do you think you will be bringing back the lighting of the candles station? Our whole family loves this! Lighting a candle to have Jesus in their life! [How about this weekend!]
  • I have such appreciation and admiration for the music program.

#4 – I’m so happy to share this comment from a first-time guest. They included it when they returned the survey we send first-time attenders.

11/25 Very, very inviting and warm service at a personal level.  It definitely was a breath of fresh air.

#5 – Here’s the sermon in 10 Tweets: Luke 20:1-19 on the Wicked Tenants.

  1. Underlying their actions is greed that drives tenants to act like owners. They’re not thieving  murderers who just happen to be greedy.
  2. They are possessed by a greed that drives them to fight the owner and take for themselves what rightfully belongs to him.
  3. Tenants acting like owners are disappointed when the sermon is about stewardship. Generous givers look forward to being affirmed.
  4. Giving-why wouldn't I talk about something I do that blesses me & is at the core of my growth in discipleship?
  5. Rejecting God’s messengers: e.g., his Word by minimizing its authority or complicating it.
  6. “You can make the Bible say anything you want?” “You mean you can’t!” “Not what I mean?” “So you’re clear when you speak but God isn’t.”
  7. Keller: “What are the messengers of God ascending into your life that you’re kicking and beating and treating shamefully.”
  8. The story: We sin & make mess. God does nothing wrong. Sends his Son to us out of love. We abuse/kill him. God gets angry...
  9. …He LOVES the Son/servants/vineyard. So how twisted do we have to be to think God’s judgment is a divine overreaction to sin
  10. When God warns you of judgment, be sure of this: he will carry it out if you don’t turn. But also know that he warns you for your sake.

#6 – I'm absolutely crazy about our new Christmas CD. I can’t believe we’ve produced another great product like this again. It should be on the radio across America. I’m not exaggerating. Get it for yourself. Get it for gifts. You absolutely will not be disappointed. Preview the whole thing here. Buy it on iTunes here. Get a hard copy at the Registrations & Resources table on the weekend.

Photo 2

#7 – We are performing songs from the CD each week of Advent for the Prelude. The Prelude starts 5 minutes early. Be early!

Hey, don’t forget to send me the name of someone for the faith story.

Blessings to you, Pastor Henry