Wednesday, 18 November 2020 11:20
Dear Living Water Friends and Family,Written by Jeron Parkins
One of the leadership lessons I learned at the Global Leadership Conference this summer was that we shouldn’t make promises we can’t keep. Churches that once said “we’ll never have online services,” or “we’ll never have online giving options,” now have them. We can make some guesses at the future but it’s very difficult to envision what actually will happen, so we should be careful in our statements or our plans. We lack key pieces of information or circumstances arise that only God could have foreseen. The truth is that we don’t really know what tomorrow will bring. If we haven’t learned that lesson in 2020, we never will.
The book of James gives us some wisdom to live by: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a place a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring – what is your life will be! For you are a like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you should say ‘If the Lord wills, we will live or do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15). In this passage James is speaking to businesspeople who are making business plans. They arrogantly think that the world and their lives are stable and secure, when in fact, life is insecure and their lives are a mist that can disappear in a moment. Proverbs 27:1 “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring.” The point that James is making is not that planning is wrong (it’s not, in fact it is wise to do so), nor that we should live in fear (we shouldn’t). What he is speaking against is a worldview that doesn’t take God into the equation, a thinking that doesn’t account for God’s plans nor God’s will. When we boastfully say that over the next 3 years we are going to accomplish “so and so” and “such and such” we are setting ourselves up for great disappointment and we sin. “But as it is,” James continues in verse 16, “you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So it is sin to know the good and not do it” (4:16). “If the Lord wills” (verse 15) is a humble acknowledgment that God is in control of our days. To remember God is on the throne and this is His world is “to know the good” (verse 16).
The biggest take away from me in this regard is that we need to keep praying and seeking the Lord’s will. We as leaders are encouraged to “cast vision” but we need to do so humbly, knowing that it’s God’s vision that matters, his will that should be done. For instance it is our Elder Board’s conviction and my own conviction that we need to stay open as a church. I believe that the church is “essential” source of hope and fellowship and truth in this crazy world and that it should continue to serve people publicly and in person. I, in my pride, would like to tell you that we’ll never have to cease in-person worship services again nor shut our doors. But we don’t know what tomorrow will bring and so I need to be humble and not get ahead of the Lord nor arrogantly claim I know all possible scenarios. What matters is the will of God, not what I want to happen. What I’m doing a lot of right now, and I hope you are too, is spending time with the Lord and acknowledging that this is his world and that I am his servant. I’m asking God to guide me TODAY in the decisions I need to make, for I want to live in keeping with his plans. I am in the habit now of daily remembering that Living Water Bible Fellowship is not “my church” but Jesus’ church, and that what he wants done should always trump my desires and my vision for how things should go. I’m just a steward leader who is seeking to take risks and manage things well for the Lord so he is pleased when he comes to take an account of what is his (see Luke 19:11-27). What about you? Are you looking to the Lord more and more as 2020 goes on? Are you growing in your dependance on Him? Are you seeking the Lord for wisdom and guidance? To not do so in such a crazy world would be foolishness.
Here’s what we are planning for the weeks ahead at Living Water…
SATURDAY MASK ONLY SERVICE at 6:00 P.M.
SUNDAY at 9:00 A.M. NURSERY
SUNDAY at 10:45 A.M. NURSERY; CHILDREN’S MINISTRY; TEEN BIBLE STUDY
Just a reminder that everyone is encouraged to wear masks. If you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. It’s okay to not shake hands or hug and to physical distance to stop the spread of viruses.
There’s been a flurry of action as the concrete pad was poured on the second floor and the building has begun to be enclosed. Please pray for the continued safety of the workers and for the project to stay under budget and ahead of schedule. Our second year goal fundraising goal for the Bringing Life project is $450,000 (I mistakenly said $475,000 last week) but we’ve already started to see a dent in that as financial gifts continue to come in. Our second year goal has now dropped to $430,000! If you want more information on the Christian Education and Community Building there are packets in our lobby or you can get a complete overview at https://www.bringinglifeproject.org/ If you want to make anonymous contributions or see other giving options please visit https://www.livingwateralamosa.org/give
THANKSGIVING DINNER this Thursday, November 26 at 1:00 p.m.
If you are in a situation where you can’t connect with family or friends please come and have thanksgiving dinner here at the church. We’ll provide the Turkey and Dressing. You bring a dish to share: Whatever you can bring will be appreciated. If you can’t bring anything, just bring yourself! Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask and be wise in your interactions. Please RSVP to Leeann Smith at 580-9366. All
Items needed if you want to donate to the meal; Please drop off at church office or make arrangements (589-6351 or 580-9366).
6-Jiffy Cornbread mix
4-Bunches of celery
6-Large cans of cream of chicken soup
6-Large chicken broth
6-Stuffing Bread (not Stovetop mix)
MISSIONS EMPHASIS November 28/29
Living Water’s Mission Board is really excited about the future of cross-cultural missions! At our worship services the weekend of Nov 28 and 29 Mission Board Director Eric Palmer is going to take some time to share some positive developments. We’re anticipating God using our church more and more to proclaim the gospel and make disciples overseas. Updated Missionary Booklets will be available in the information racks located near the entrances to the sanctuary and out in the lobby so you can be praying more regularly for our missionaries. We’ll have sign-up sheets out there if you are interested in joining the Mission Board or if you are interested in participation in future short term trips.
HYMN SING NOVEMBER 29 at 6:00 p.m.
A PODCAST FOR MEN
From Pastor Bo: “Back in August I started a personal podcast that is broadly about masculinity and Christianity. I wanted to share this resource with you. By clicking the link, you'll notice that I cover a lot of different topics that you might find interesting. I release a new episode every Wednesday. If you tune in, let me know what you think.”
WOMEN’S CHRISTMAS TEA December 5
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24
We’re making plans for Christmas Eve Services. In years past our services have been very full and for obvious reasons we’d like to have less congestion this year. Our plan is to offer more services this year to bless more people with the hope of Jesus and we’re wrestling with a number of different options for service times and will certainly have a mask-only option and a live online option. We’ll get you a complete list of times as soon as possible, but for you traditionalists who’ve been hoping for a midnight experience we are planning to have an 11:00 p.m. service.
Every year we take a special offering at Living Water in recognition of Jesus’ arrival (advent). The proceeds of this offering will go to the SLV Life Center (this organization helps women in crisis pregnancies and resourcing new moms and helping the family – formerly known as the Women’s Resource Center), La Puente Homeless Shelter (provides shelter and food for homeless in our community), and Living Water International (drills and repairs wells around the world so that people can have clean water to drink). There will be special Advent Offering envelopes available in the church office if you want to participate.
NEW DEACON BOARD CHAIRMAN
The Deacon Board has placed a large wooden box in the Fellowship Hall for the reception of non-perishable food items (no foods that can rot or spoil). We are no longer offering a non-perishable food bank here at the church building but the Deacons will transfer all donated items to the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley (513 6th St, Alamosa) for distribution.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for serving the Lord!