True community is created, not found. Community requires us to reach out to our neighbor, to stretch the lines of our comfort zone, to look beyond our own four walls and consider the needs of those around us. But it's not as simple as it sounds.
While the idea of a thriving and vibrant community sounds desirable to all of us, we often hesitate to take that first step toward connecting with others. We may fear rejection, we may feel we have nothing of value to offer our community, or we simply may not know how to strike up that first conversation.
Take heart in knowing you are not alone! The struggle with our humanity is the thread that connects us all. The key to creating community lies in choosing courage over fear, recognizing the reality that while we may appear vastly different from the outside, we are all starkly similar at our core.
What steps can you take toward creating community today? Consider making that phone call you've been putting off for a while, or take some time to send an email or text to a new friend. Take a walk through your neighborhood and see some new faces. Try something new! Remember, the key to creating community is in your hand!
Let me leave you with this passage from Philippians 2:1-4 (ESV)
"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."
*THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY LAURA GATLIN*
I love you, Church!
I love Easter! No- it's not because of the Easter bunny or the treasure hunt for eggs that contain copious amounts of sugar. One of the reasons I am so excited about Resurrection Sunday is that my family get's to celebrate it with you. A lot has happened in our lives since last Easter. I believe the same could be said for most of you. However, this weekend we reflect on the truth that our God reached down from heaven and raised His only Son from the grave, defeating the power of sin, death and hell forevermore. Our sin has been paid for by the precious blood of Jesus! Our sin has been forever atoned for by the perfect spotless lamb, Jesus Christ. Everything changed with those powerful words "It Is Finished!"
As exciting as this beautiful news may be, what will it mean for you? Sure, we may all look slick in our Sunday best that day, but what does the risen Savior mean for you Monday morning on your daily commute to the office? How will the life of Jesus make a difference in those you talk with next week? Easter is not a ceremony. It’s not a special service. It’s not just a day to prepare a feast for your family. Resurrection Sunday is Reality Sunday! He Lives! Does that matter to you? Does it make a difference?
When Jesus uttered the statement "tetelestai" (it is finished), it changed everything for all of eternity. Come discover how Jesus wants to change your world! Invite your friends and family to what might possibly be the beginning of a whole new way of experiencing the reality that Jesus is alive! And this - this changes everything! I love you, Church!
We read in Phillipians 2:3-4, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." So, did you catch this? When I was reading, I noticed that There is no specific requirements for those who we're to consider more than ourselves...it just says "others" If you're anything like me, I'll read that and think, "For real? Even the people that hurt me? Or will take advantage of my kindness? Or the people that I don't think DESERVE it?
When I get myself wrapped up into this kind of thinking, the only thing that can change my perspective And soften my heart is the example of my Savior and my Teacher, Jesus. He is the perfect picture of humility. In Phillippians 2 further down, we read that " though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men."
If anyone had valid reasons for not serving in humility, Jesus is at the top of that list. ALL of humanity was at enmity with God. There was not one of us that was DERSERVING of Him to come. Yet He willingly came in the form of a slave, cursed on a tree so we could become heirs in the Kingdom!
Take some time and look at your own heart in light of how Jesus came to save us, not because we deserving but because HOW GREAT AND MERCIFUL HE IS!!!! Ask God to reveal in your own heart areas where you are holding back because of how you think others will take advantage of your kindness or that you don't think they deserve it.
In verse 7 it says that Jesus EMPTIED himself. He was in the form of God. But He chose to take the form of a servant.
This is our third week working together in our new offices and we are so grateful for this facility and for the opportunity to serve with you. We are excited about what the Lord has in store for Discovery Church as we plan for our Easter Services in just a couple of weeks. Please pray for our continued unity and discernment in hearing the Lord's voice.
This is our prayer as a staff, for you,
EPHESIANS 3:16-21 The Message
14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
We love you, Church!
Discovery Church Staff
including Clif, who couldn't be here for this picture.
Most people are not willing to go through the number of failures necessary to experience and accomplish great things. What are you not doing because you are afraid to fail? Even greatest leaders have failed at one time or another. Check these three familiar ones out:
1. David- failed as a leader (was known as the man after God’s own heart)
2. Moses- failed as a leader (led God’s people out of slavery and on towards a life God promised them)
3. Peter- failed as a leader (became a great preacher and evangelist- preached in Acts 2)
Dealing with defeatism and survivalism happens best when we remember that Jesus has been through it all and understands it all. Although He did not fail, He knows all that goes along with it. He knows loneliness, heartache, betrayal, persecution, abandonment, being overwhelmed, lack of instant results and more.
Remember, God never wastes an opportunity to show you who you are, and who He is. When you think you’ve failed for the last time, you haven’t. When you feel you’ve failed the worst, it’s not. Still, one of the great things to remember as you fail forward is to remember who you are, and who you’re not. There’s relief and freedom in this knowledge. Check out the following passages.
I. God (1,2,7,9)
II. Yourself (4,5,6,8,15)
III. Others (3,10,11,12,13,14)
I love you, Church!
Praise God for our ever growing Children's Ministry!
We are constantly asked, "Where can I serve?" If you would like to help love on our children we have opportunities for you. Please contact Kyle Klaiber at the Church Office, 925.354.1096 or email@example.com
Have you had a hard journey lately? There is good news- the Lord wants to bind up your broken heart. He has proclaimed freedom for you as a captive. He declares the much awaited opening of the prison of your own design. Our God is so good! He’s our Shield, our Defender, our Rock and our Redeemer. He alone can bring us beauty from all the ashes of destruction.
If you give it any thought, you will be humbled and amazed. Do you know God personally as your Healer and Redeemer? No matter where you are in your journey with Jesus today, He longs to heal your hurts. He knows them all, by the way. And He alone is able to bind up your broken heart. He is here for you now, and longs for you to run to Him as your Strong Tower. He loves you more than anything on this earth - and the best news is, He always will! His love endures forever. He is gracious, slow to anger, and abounding love. He created you, He knows your every triumph, your ever failure, your every need. And the amazing part of it all is that He HIMSELF is faithful to supply ALL your needs in Christ Jesus!
Have you ever found this life a bit disappointing? Are you weary of fellow earth-walkers letting you down.....again? Perhaps your plan for life didn’t quite work out as you thought? Yes, Jesus promised us that life on this earth would indeed bring us trouble. But we were created for so much more than trudging through a weary 24 hour period each day. We were created to know and commune with our very Creator, the Maker of all things! We were created to worship and bow before the One who is perfect and holy. We are to bring honor and praise each day to the one who knows us best, and loves us most.
Today is the day! Today is the day to seek freedom in the arms of Jesus. In Him, you are free to live as He intended. As you walk in the Spirit, He will lead you along the path He’s mapped out for you. As you seek to become more like Him, you learn to truly love others as He truly loves you - no matter what you’ve done!
You learn patience and perseverance. You learn what real forgiveness looks like. You learn that life is not about you. It’s about life in Christ! It’s about reaching out to those in the valley of the shadows. It’s about letting him use you to meet people at the point of their need- to bind up the brokenhearted around you, to proclaim freedom for those bound up in chains of sin and turmoil, to comfort those who mourn. Will you allow Him to be that to you, in you and through you today? Be encouraged as you read Isaiah 61- the whole chapter! I love you, Church!