Thursday Memo

Hi Five Oakers, 

The weekend's coming and there are a few things I don’t want you to miss:

#1- This weekend you will learn how to add infinite meaning to your everyday actions. Nothing you do is mundane. Simple routine things can be done in such a way that God notices and blesses. Sacrificial action and suffering can bring deep joy to your life. That’s what we’re talking about as we continue our FOR [   ] series.

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#2- Here are some links you might find helpful:

  • Breakpoint had a couple of great commentaries this week. Eric Metaxas addresses how much religious freedom students have in the public school classroom and how to educate educators about it: “Faith-Friendly Public Schools: We Can Make a Difference.” The other commentary is about how so many young pop stars who once professed faith have abandoned their convictions on the road to stardom: “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Pop Stars: The Celebrity Trap.” In his commentary, John Stonestreet affirms what I believe and was driven into my psyche by the late Chuck Colson—that we need to encourage more Christians to pursue the arts. But he also makes a huge distinction between artists and celebrities.

… we need more Christians in all these fields, pointing people to Truth and beauty through their work. But there’s a world of difference between being a celebrity and being an artist. The celebrity draws attention to himself, the artist to his work. The celebrity thinks success is being famous. The artist knows success is being faithful. The celebrity chooses style over substance. The artist knows looking good is never as important as being good.

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#3- One year ago yesterday Justin Schaap and I went out to lunch and he told me of his plans to seek a new position in another church. He loved us and we loved him, but God was leading them on an adventure. I was sad that he was leaving and very anxious for our church. So the next morning Lois read the day's reading to me from Jesus Calling. It was so perceptive and powerful that I started using it in my devotional times. I read that reading again today, one year later. Let me share a portion of it with you. It calmed my heart that day, and it’s been amazing how God has worked things out for Justin in his ministry pursuits and for Five Oaks. So I leave you today with this:

“Anxiety is a result of envisioning the future without Me. …If you must consider upcoming events, follow these rules: 1) Do not linger in the future, because anxieties sprout up like mushrooms when you wander there. 2) Remember the promise of My continual Presence; include Me in any imagery that comes to mind. This mental discipline does not come easily, because you are accustomed to being god of your fantasies."

See you on the weekend and blessings to you, Pastor Henry