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The Importance of Little Things: Resist

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
-Author unknown

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Community and Forgiveness

“Community is not possible without the willingness to forgive one another ‘seventy-seven times’ (see
Matthew 18:22). Forgiveness is the cement of community life. Forgiveness holds us together through good and
bad times, and it allows us to grow in mutual love.

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Conversion and Baptism

Sunday we discussed baptism. One point I did not mention is that in every clear example of conversion in the book of
Acts, baptism is explicitly included. I felt it might be useful for you to have a compilation of the conversions for easy
reference:
 
Acts 2:38 – On the day of Pentecost, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, for the forgiveness of your sin and you
will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

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Pray Continually

Wow! It was exciting to see God move yesterday (Sunday) in our service. I know I was deeply moved, and I believe
many of you were as well. Remember, though, that prayer is not a one time, one day event. The Bible
commands us to “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17). Prayer is not limited to a service, a church, or even a day of
the week. God wants to connect with us every moment of every day.

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Open Doors

I recently read a book about church growth. One of the elements the book mentioned was “open
door” programs. These are programs and ministries through which people get connected to the church. In our
current context, our volleyball ministry would be a good example of an open door. The water bottles given to
people at Hog Days, and school supplies handed out in Kewanee, would also be open doors.

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No Help is Coming

Can you imagine calling 911 and hearing a busy signal? Or getting a dispatcher that tells you no one is on
their way?
 
As Hurricane Ida smashed into Port Fourchon, LA, the mayor announced that emergency responders would
not be able to answer calls, Collin Arnold, New Orleans’ top emergency official said, “There’s nobody coming,” (CBS
news). Because of the storms, it was unsafe to send out responders. Can you imagine needing help, though, and
hearing that no help is coming?

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Liberty

One area that sets us apart as an independent Christian Church is that we hold to the concept of “In essentials,
unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.” Where the Bible is clear, we are bound to the Scriptures.
Yet, in the many areas where the Bible doesn’t specifically address an issue, we have freedom to do as we think
best. I’m reading a book where several authors argue for various forms of church leadership. While the Bible
does speak about leadership and the roles of elders and deacons, the specific way leaders make decisions or
meet is not clearly spelled out by the Word.

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Generosity

One of my former professors (Chuck Sackett, Lincoln Christian University) recently posted, “In all my
years of ministry, I’ve seldom known what people gave…and never felt the need to. However, I’ve always
known who was generous. You don’t have to see dollar signs to recognize generosity.”
 
This resonates with me deeply. I’ve intentionally tried to avoid knowing who gives how much because I
never want to be accused of pandering to bigger givers. Chuck then goes on to list examples of generosity he’s
experienced. It made me reflect on some of the generosity I’ve seen firsthand.

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Call Home

Growing up, I remember my Dad calling my Grandparents every Sunday afternoon. I didn’t think much about it at the
time, but as I grew up and moved out on my own, I realized that he had set an example of setting aside time to talk to
one’s parents. It’s easy to become consumed with our own concerns and forget to call home. However, I know that many
of you reading this would give anything to pick up the phone and be able to call your mom or your dad because they have
passed on. It’s a special privilege that we can easily take for granted.

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Shine So They See God

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in
heaven.” (Matt 5:16).
 
Thank you to all those who served at Mission:Kewanee. You were letting your good deeds shine Sunday. I
loved hearing the stories come in of hearts touched by your service, with a couple of people even deciding to
check out FCC in person next week as a result. My hope and prayer is that you were encouraged as you made a
difference in our community. The community has been so appreciative of what you accomplished.
May we keep shining our light before all people, not so that people see us, but rather that they see God.