Are You Comfortable? (the answer: yes and no)

I've done a few things in the past couple of weeks that have been outside of my normal routines. They've been little challenges that have come to me as opportunities to step out of my comfort zone. I've found myself frequently with butterflies in my stomach, wondering why I had said yes. Why break out of what I know and where I feel safe? It can be pretty nerve-wracking to think of being vulnerable and knowing that there is a good possibility of making a mistake. So, while I'm on my way to one of these opportunities I inevitably find myself second guessing my yes.

But I've started to realize that one of the keys to life is being securely comfortable in the right things so that you can be mindfully uncomfortable in ways that help you to grow.

There are some things that I am striving to become more and more comfortable with; things that I have settled and cannot be shaken from. These include the vast and sacrificial love that God has for me (yes, insignificant me!), His grace that is free and freely given because of Christ, His goodness and perfection in all things, the power that is available to me by the indwelling Holy Spirit... just to name a few. These anchors of my identity are things I want to grow more and more comfortable with every day. I want to wear them like a garment.

This, of course, doesn't mean that I want to take any of it for granted. Certainly not! But I strive to live in the security of belonging to Christ.

And from that place I am able to step outside of what is comfortable for me in the routines of my life. When I am secure as a daughter of God I can step out in faith, be useful to the Kingdom in new ways and say yes to things that scare me.

Who dictates the next yes in your life? Your comforts or the God of All Comfort?

Walking in the challenge with you,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

HE IS I AM
”I AM the Gate for the Sheep”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Bjorn continues our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Turn, Turn, Turn (yep, that's a Byrds reference... and also Solomon)

I am writing this devotional a few weeks ahead of when you'll see it. The only reason that matters is because it's still February on the calendar but I'm thinking about March 14th. The Weather Network says that the weeks between the writing and publishing of these words will mark the last furious days of winter and a sudden transition to spring. Is it possible that a warm breeze will be blowing and birds will start to tentatively chirp when you open this email?

I'm thinking about March 14th and what spring feels like when it arrives because it's no secret that I'm not a fan of winter. I'm over it by December 26th when it's less than an official week old. What I am a big fan of is seasons. I love living in this part of Canada where we have four distinct seasons. No matter what season you are in, it won't last forever. Maybe you are lamenting the melting of the snow. (You are strange but I choose to love you anyway.) Don't worry, it will be back. It's just a matter of the seasons changing again.

This concept, as it is played out so beautifully in nature, is very encouraging to me. Our lives are not one-dimensional, they are not a single chord sustaining. They are ever-changing and as surprising as they are routine. I love the way that God has made us; not to remain stagnate or stuck, but to move toward what's next. We are shown in nature the beauty of this momentum, a picture of us continually moving through our lives, sojourners on our way from season to season until we see Him face to face.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens... He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1,11

So let's take a cue from nature as we (hopefully!) watch the season change around us over these next days (weeks?). There will be seasons of new life, seasons of intense heat, seasons of refreshing, and seasons of quiet waiting in our walk with Christ. He is with us through each and every one and has ordered your steps through every season... even if it's not your favourite one.

Looking forward to spring,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

HE IS I AM
”I AM the Light of the World”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Bjorn continues in our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

What the deal with Lent? (preparing for Easter, not the Easter Bunny)

This week's devotional is coming out a day earlier than usual. Why? Because today is an important day on the church calendar. It's the first day of Lent. Our church tradition doesn't always emphasize some of the key days on the liturgical Christian calendar but there is a lot of value in understanding why Christ-followers throughout the centuries have celebrated seasons as an important part of their faith journey.

I wanted to share a great article I found that simply introduces the idea of Lent and how it can help us to prepare our hearts for Easter. It's about much more than giving up coffee or chocolate for 40 days... it's about examining our hearts, recognizing our need for a Saviour and being ready to celebrate His sacrifice and triumph on Easter weekend.

Perhaps this can be something new and challenging in your journey into what's next in your spiritual life. Rob and I will be taking up the journey of Lent for the next 40 days. Join us as we intentionally turn our attention toward the cross and the victory He has won.

See you on Sunday,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

HE IS I AM
”I AM the Bread of Life”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy continues our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Who Do You Say That I Am? (the nature of God revealed in Jesus)

In Exodus 3 we read the famous account of Moses and the Burning Bush. God appears to Moses in a mysterious and awesome way and as Moses has barely untied his sandals to mark the holiness of the moment, he starts in with a series of 'yeah buts.'

The first question makes good sense... "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?" Truly, who was he? A murderer, a runaway, a foster child, a shepherd - certainly not the qualifications or pedigree to be the best spokesperson for Israel.

But the second question provokes an answer from God that begins to reveal His divine nature in ways that will change our understanding of Him forever and ripple through time to reveal His Son, Jesus, to us.

“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (v.13-14)
— Exodus 3:13-14

"I AM WHO I AM" All caps. Who is this God who would describe Himself like that? What kind of a statement is that and what does it tell us about Him?

Throughout our next series, we are going to take this name and use it to get to know God more deeply. But we're not going to stay in Exodus. We're going to go to the book of John and see how Jesus describes Himself using the same language. As we head toward Easter we'll listen for the same question that He asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?"

I'm looking forward to exploring the nature of God and how they were revealed in Christ over the next few weeks. Jesus truly is the centre. He is all.

In Christ,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

HE IS I AM
I AM WHO I AM

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy launches our new series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Jesus in You (then church with a friend)

Go ahead and invite people to church. But make it one step in a journey of drawing them to Jesus. A journey that usually begins by getting to know them – and inviting them to see a genuine expression of Jesus in us. It’s nice to go to a church that’s friendly. It’s better to go to church with a friend.
— Karl Vaters

Here's a simple challenge as you go about your week and head into the weekend. (Click the image below to read the full article.) Let's not ever limit how God can use us in our day-to-day lives or how He can speak through us to the people we rub shoulders with every day. I am praying that you have many opportunities to share with others the hope that you carry with you... and I'm excited to meet the friends that you share Jesus with when you bring them to church!

This week we are starting the sequel to our Bible Says Whut? series. It's all about taking a look at some difficult passages of scripture and learning how to understand them. Like last time you'll come away with tools for studying the Bible on your own. We want you to develop the curiosity and confidence to engage with scripture... even when you have to pause and say, whut?

See you on Sunday,
Pastor Tracy


We're excited to be hosting this event again on Family Day, February 18th! (Click the photo for details.)

Are you available to help us welcome and serve our neighbours? Email Erin today!


This Sunday

THE BIBLE SAYS WHUT? Part 2
A Call for Silence

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy kicks continues our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Got Questions? (the Bible can handle them)

We decided to circle back to our Bible Says Whut? series because there is so much to explore in scripture. We won't be able to cover every word in any sermon series that we do but that's OK because you don't need a sermon to be able to understand the Bible. I trust that Sunday messages have content that teach and challenge you but there is always more to learn and new ways to grow.

Do you feel confident that you can read the Bible and understand what you're reading? Are you tempted to skip over the passages that are uncomfortable or confusing? You're not alone. So, the heart behind this series is to remind every believer that they have the Bible is amazing and can be explored by anyone, even without a theological degree. There are resources that can help us to dig through challenging passages and learn to know God more and more every day through His Word. Very, very exciting stuff.

So, if you're intimidated or don't know where to start, let me recommend Priscilla Shirer's "5 Ps of Bible Study." Watch the video below and click on the link for a downloadable PDF that you can keep in your Bible. The next time you're reading a passage that you don't understand, pull out the 5 Ps and see how scripture is opened up to you. It can definitely handle your questions!

As always, if I can help in any way just give me a shout!

Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

THE BIBLE SAYS WHUT? Part 2
”Who’s in Charge?'“

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Bjorn continues our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Fun. Family. Connect. Community. (Family Day has it all!)

Community Connections is back in February with our 3rd Annual Williamsburg Winter Fun Family Day!

This Family Day we have the opportunity to connect with our community by partnering with the Williamsburg Community Centre to host a Family Day event. We did this for the second time last year and I am excited to see it continue.  

My Community Connection opportunity and challenge to you this month is to get involved in some way with the Winter Fun Family Day.

I know that this opportunity has been handed to us for the third year in a row and I believe God has plans, BIG plans, for every life that is connected with this event.  

Why not make part of your Family Day about ministering for Christ together as a family? Maybe this year Family Day doesn't have to be only about pyjamas and pancakes (or insert your preferred activity here). Maybe it can be about that AND serving your community together as a FAMILY!

Here's how you can get involved:

  • Pray - Pray for this event to be a time of connection with the community and Freedom that goes beyond the event and sees lives transformed.

  • Volunteer - We need people to hand out snacks, run crafts, direct traffic, play road hockey, set up, tear down and more. Email me if you and your family would like to volunteer: erin@freedomkw.com

  • Bring Your Family and Participate - This event needs to be more than just opening our doors to the community. The real impact comes from our Freedom Family being present, interacting and making connections with those who come. Even if you can't volunteer, come and join in the fun.

  • Invite Other Families - Invite your neighbours to come out and enjoy two hours of free games and activities.

Give me a shout if you have any questions. Thanks for investing in and connecting with our community!

Erin Jamieson
Community Ministries Director


Did you get a chance to read our 2019 Missions Giving Plan yet? Check it out.


This Sunday

THE BIBLE SAYS WHUT? Part 2
Happy Is He

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy kicks off our new series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Living Generously (what's next for giving?)

On Sunday I took a few moments to share our 2019 Missions Giving Plan with you. Living generous lives doesn't happen by accident. It happens when we are intentional with our resources, making everything available to God to use for His kingdom. It happens when we think of everything we have in this life as a gift to steward and we recognize who the true Owner is. This is true of all of our resources: our time, our talent and our finances.

Rob and I invite you to join our family as we make a financial plan for this coming year that demonstrates our commitment to stewarding our resources and stretches our faith in new ways. We continue to set aside our tithe first and ask God to show us how else we can support mission and ministry sacrificially. I'm not just giving lip service when I tell you that we love to do this because of the freedom and blessing we find in generosity. We want to grow in this area of discipleship and we encourage you to make this a part of what's next for you, too!

The button below will take you the plan for our church's plan to give to missions this year. If you weren't here on Sunday go ahead and click on that so you can join us in giving over and above this year.

Can't wait to get started,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

WHAT’S NEXT?
Know God

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Del concludes our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Need a NEXT step? (we can help!)

All this month we've been asking the question, "What's next?" The truth is that nothing in your life stays the same for very long. Even if we feel like we're in a rut of some kind there are still things changing all around you, one season moving into the next. We see in scripture that this truth applies to our choice to be a follower of Jesus as well. There is no instruction in the Bible to have faith in Christ and then check that off of your life goals list. There is a constant calling to grow and be challenged, to study and learn, and to step forward day by day as a fully devoted disciple.

As we've been considering this we want to follow it up with the most practical next steps that we can think of. When you're ready to take on something new and go deeper in your spiritual life and your knowledge of God, how do you choose from the ocean of content that is available these days? That's the question we want to help to answer.

You're invited to NEXT. It's simply just a page on our website that will help you to step into your next discipleship challenge. It's separated into three categories:

  • Life Transformation Courses (a place to begin if you need to build a foundation)

  • NEXT Training (courses and resources to take you deeper)

  • Connect & Train (options for discipleship that you can do with others)

Check it out! We're only just getting started and there are already lots of options for you. Next month we will be launching our first ever video/podcast course that will be accessible to you from wherever you have an internet connection. And, there is lots more on the horizon. Our intent is that tomorrow, a month from now, a year from now and beyond, you can just keep coming back to NEXT and literally find something to help you with what's next on your personal discipleship journey.

Oh, and by the way, if you have ideas for content or topics that would help you take your next steps as a follower of Jesus, I would LOVE to hear them. Find me here.

So, what's next, Freedom?
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

WHAT’S NEXT?
Part 3

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy continues our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Points of Connection (what's next for CP1?)

As I mentioned on Sunday, everything we do here at Freedom has to line up with our core values. If we have it on the calendar then it should be obvious how it helps us to connect, train or impact. Along with that we are working to give each of you more options in each of these categories that don't add more programs but do equip each disciple in their next stage of growth.

With that firmly in our sights, we are mixing up the format of Connecting Point 1 on Wednesday nights. Here's what will stay the same:

  • Time and Place: Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00, at Freedom

  • Youth meet in the FCC

  • KidzConnect for kids in JK to Grade 6

  • Nursery care for infants and Preschoolers

  • Group studies and discussion to challenge your spiritual growth

What's changing is your options. Instead of every group doing studying the same content and asking the same questions, you have the opportunity to choose a group that best answers the question: What's next on your discipleship journey?

Here are the options that will begin on Wednesday, January 30 and run for 12 weeks (not including March Break)...

Everything You Need - a study of 2 Peter 1:3-11 

  • led by Pastor Del and Arlene Wells, second group discussion table led by Jim & Kelly Klujber as needed

  • requires personal study time during the week

  • hard copies of the course will be provided

  • each week will include a teaching time by Pastor Del followed by small group discussion

NOTE: This course will also be offered online via video teaching beginning in February. 

Life in the Spirit - second course in the Life Transformation series

  • led by Erin and Matt Jamieson

  • this course follows First Steps, as completed at CP1 in Fall 2018

  • no homework required

  • hard copies of the course will be provided (also available for any e-reader)

  • small group format

Making Sense of God & The Great Omission (Book Studies)

  • SIGN-UP IS REQUIRED (click here)

  • led by Pastor Tracy Dunham

  • requires reading chapters during the week

  • books must be purchased or borrowed (ebooks and audiobooks are available)

  • group discussion format

  • Making Sense of God is by Timothy Keller and focuses on apologetics in the real world

  • The Great Omission is by Dallas Willard and is a discipleship challenge

Is it just me or is that VERY exciting? I can't wait to get started.

It's a new year with a chance for a new focus and a fresh challenge. Will you join us?

Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

WHAT’S NEXT?
Part 2

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Bjorn continues our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Going Deeper in 2019 (an invitation to Deep Roots)

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Over the past few months as we begin to look at this new year coming we asked ourselves how to best and most effectively prepare our own lives, our families and our church for what was ahead. We didn't think it was jumping straight back into our regularly scheduled programming. We felt that a pause with a specific focus would be a great spiritual exercise.

And so, instead of relaunching Connecting Point 1 and KidzConnect on Wednesday night, we are going to take a few weeks in prayer and worship to launch this new year with the return of Deep Roots.

Deep Roots (our prayer and worship nights) have been going on quietly for several years and have been a beautiful source of encouragement and growth for many of us. These nights will be no exception. We will meet for three consecutive Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 and turn our hearts to prayer, take the opportunity to worship and expect to meet with God. I can't wait.

Here are the details:

  • Wednesdays, January 9, 16 & 23

  • 6:30-7:30 in the Sanctuary

  • Childcare provided for newborn to Grade 2

  • Grade 3 and older are welcome to join us in the Sanctuary

I also invite you to join me in fasting on these days. Whether it is for the whole day or for a single meal, this is an excellent spiritual disciple to challenge yourself with this year.

Looking forward to praying with you,
Pastor Tracy

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
— Colossians 2:6-7

This Sunday

WHAT’S NEXT?
Part 1

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy begins our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

What are you doing New Year's Eve Eve? (all about what to do with your blessing)

5th Sunday means…

If you're new to Freedom, here's the deal. When a month has five Sundays we take the fifth one and do something special that emphasizes church life and we take the time to share a meal together.

So, as you're eating leftover turkey and trying to figure out where to tuck away all of those stocking stuffers, here's what you can look forward to on Sunday.

See you there!
Pastor Tracy


Prayer for 2019

Last Sunday and on Christmas Eve we made ornaments that shared our prayers for 2019. This Sunday we're going to do something special with those prayers that will encourage you all year long. I can't wait for that!

Plus, at the end of the service we will give you and/or your family the opportunity to receive a prayer of blessing from one of our leadership couples. This is such a highlight of my year.

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Water Baptism

If you have made a decision to follow Christ, it would be our absolute joy to facilitate your water baptism. Click the button for all the information you need or give Pastor Tracy a shout.

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Soup Potluck

Back by popular demand... the soup potluck. You know what to do. Bring your favourite soup to share and perhaps a dessert to help us finish off this amazing meal. We'll provide the buns!

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This Sunday

THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
Blessed & Blessing

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Speaking Team shares.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (the waiting is over!)

I know that the radio has been telling you for weeks that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. But I'm telling you for real, it really IS looking like Christmas. Before another week goes by we will have celebrated the coming of Christ. The time has come.

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
— Galatians 4:4-5

Galatians 4:4-5

"But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship."

No matter what your year has been like or what this season has held for you so far, we are reminded this week again that God's plan is perfect, His love for us is extraordinary and He has given us a place in family, as sons and daughters and co-heirs with Christ. Just as Bjorn shared on Sunday, that is an incredible gift.

So Christmas is almost here. We are ready to celebrate the arrival of Christ once more. There are a lot of things that "look a lot like Christmas" (according to Bing Crosby) but nothing should stir our hearts more than the gifts that Jesus brought us when He came to redeem us: Expectancy, Grace, Adoption and Reconciliation to name a few.

Let's continue to hold on to the incredible gift of Christ as we gather around tables and trees and sanctuaries to celebrate His coming.

Celebrating Him with you,
Pastor Tracy

Here's a link to our Christmas Eve invitation that you can download and/or share!  #sharehope


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This Sunday

THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
The Gift of Reconciliation

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy continues our Advent series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

A Season of Sharing Hope (what's the big deal with Advent?)

The season of Advent is a very special time here at Freedom. I know this isn't a season that everyone has experience celebrating so I wanted to take a moment to share the heart of it.

We've shown this video (see below) in services before and it sums up why we take the time to intentionally lead into Christmas the way that we do. Go ahead and take a minute (actually two!) to watch this and share it with your family.

The emphasis for me is the idea of sharing hope as we consider Christ's coming in the past, His presence with us now and our hope of His return. So while we consider our own hope in Jesus, let's keep pressing in to who we could share it with. Of course, Christmas Eve is a great time to invite people to hear the message of Christ, but I'm praying that this season will be filled with opportunities for each of us to share the hope we have. (1 Peter 3:15)

Be sure to grab some invitation cards on Sunday so that you're ready to invite someone to church this season. If it's easier, here's a link you can download and/or share.

Looking forward to sharing hope this Advent & Christmas,

Pastor Tracy


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This Sunday

THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
The Gift of Adoption

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Bjorn continues our Advent series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

A Step of Obedience (a great way to end 2018!)

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Talking about our faith can be intimidating. It brings up a bunch of insecurities and worries about whether we are equipped to answer questions, how people will respond and if we're going to alienate our friends, families and co-workers. And yet, I don't think anyone would argue the point that we are definitely called to boldly share our faith and tell others about the life-transforming power of Christ in our lives.

One of the incredibly important ways we do this is to be baptized in water. When we choose to get into that water we are saying to everyone gathered that Christ is the centre of our lives and we are committed to living for Him and in Him forever.

While water baptism isn't usually done in front of a crowd of unbelievers, it is a testimony to your friends, family and church (and whoever you invite!) of who Jesus is. It builds our faith and reminds of the importance of setting our lives apart for God. It's absolutely one of my favourite things in church life.

If you have made a decision to follow Christ and have never been baptized in water this is your chance to take that step of obedience. We have set aside time in our 5th Sunday service on December 30th for baptisms and it would be our JOY to facilitate this for you!

If you want to learn more, here is a link to the information we provide to people who are interested in getting baptized - it's a great resource.

I know we have a lot of things on-the-go between now and the end of the month but don't miss your opportunity to tell everyone about your decision to follow Jesus on 5th Sunday.

Looking forward to continuing to celebrate Advent with you this weekend!
Pastor Tracy


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This Sunday

THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
The Gift of Grace

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Erin continues our Advent series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

The Gifts of Christmas (what you can look forward to this season)

Around here we are in full Christmas season mode. Our decorations are being pulled out, our website graphics are changing, our rehearsals are in the works... it's going to be a lot of fun!

There are three really important things happening that we want to make sure you have on your minds, hearts and calendars over the next few weeks. Let's get ready for Christmas!

Looking forward to beginning Advent with you,

Pastor Tracy


Warm Gloves Tree for Ray of Hope

In continuation of our support of Ray of Hope, this year we will be collecting warm gloves for them to give to those in need. Starting Sunday you'll see a Christmas tree in the lobby that you can decorate with the gloves you bring in to donate.

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Christmas Eve Invitation

We have added some fun, interactive and family-friendly activities to our Christmas Eve service. We want everyone in our community to hear about Jesus and we're making it as easy as possible for you to invite everyone you know. I mean, you wouldn't go to a party unless you knew you were invited, right?

Invitation cards will be available soon!

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5th Sunday Celebration

Did you know that December has five Sundays? That's right! So we're planning a very special service for December 30th that will celebrate church life and help to launch us into the new year. Here are the highlights...

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This Sunday

THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
The Gift of Expectancy

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy begins our Advent series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

A Thursday Challenge (are you ready for something to chew on?)

I have an uncle who sends me a lot of articles. (Hi Uncle Frank!) He reads a lot and shares a lot and I very often find myself reading things that I wouldn't have otherwise seen. The best thing about having a personal library curator is that I have a chance to be challenged in my thinking, my theology, my discipleship practices, my leadership... and on and on it goes. I love to learn new things and to be challenged, especially when it comes to my walk with Christ which can get comfortable so quickly.

So for this week's devotional I wanted to share something that Uncle Frank sent to me recently. This one made me stop and think. It came back to mind while I was driving the kids to their activities. It came up in conversation over dinner. And now I give it to you as some food for thought. I hope you enjoy chewing on this one! (Click on the image below to read it.)

See you on Sunday,
Pastor Tracy

PS - You don't have to agree with everything a writer says (though you might) to be challenged by it. And don't be afraid to be surprised by what tugs at your heart.


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This Sunday

WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT...?
Wisdom & Foolishness

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Bjorn continues our fall series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

What's growing in your life? (TBT the symbolic planting on New Year's Eve)

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Remember back on New Year's Eve (5th Sunday!) last year when we planted grass seed to represent what God was speaking to our hearts for 2018? Do you still have the tag that you put on that planter?

There are seven Sundays remaining in this year and so... what did God grow in your life in the past 11 months? Have you had a chance to look back and think about it?

It took me until the middle of January to decide what I wanted to write on my planter. As I was driving down the highway one night I felt God speak to me about needing to learn to TRUST. Trust Him in everything, with everyone. I had been having some deep anxiety about travel since the middle of 2017, something that was very new to me. (I used to love to fly.) My 2018 calendar had four trips involving air travel that would give me butterflies every time I thought about them. Almost daily throughout this year I was intentional about allowing the Holy Spirit to renew my mind (Romans 12:2) and recognize that fear and anxiety are not ever something that is from Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace and He is the giver of the Comforter. This year of flying ended with an 18-hour flight home from Ethiopia. And guess what? I was OK. I was calm and I was able to trust that the Lord was with me and surrounding me. When I started to feel nervous I would open up my Bible app and start to read. By the end of the trip, even with some very heavy turbulence, my heart was settled and I knew that God had walked with me through something significant. It mattered in the moment, but I know the lesson is also planted in my heart for the future. I'm so grateful.

How about you? Do you have a story of how God has grown something in your life this past year? One of the most encouraging things we can do as a church family is to share how God is moving. This week, why don't you think and pray about it and, if you're willing, send me your story. I'm excited to hear how God is working in your life!

In Christ,
Pastor Tracy


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This Sunday

WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT...?
Truth & Lies

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Bjorn continues our fall series.

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An Invitation to "The Commands of Christ" (are you up for a beta-test?)

Wednesday nights are a key time for us a church. We call them Connecting Point 1 because we prioritize them as a place to connect outside of the Sunday morning service. They are a great opportunity to meet with others and intentionally invest in our personal discipleship while we help others with theirs. I'll admit that leaving the house after dinner on cold, dark nights can be challenging (could we implement a sweatpants and slippers policy for CP1?), I am consistently amazed at how much I learn and am challenged by my group. It is absolutely, always worth it.

Starting next week (November 14th) we are going to be starting something that I believe will be a great resource for our church. Pastor Del has written a course called "The Commands of Christ" that is intended to help believers know how to live out the Great Commission. When Jesus tells us to "teach them to obey everything I have commanded you," what are those things that He actually commanded? How can we obey if we aren't sure? This course is practical, easy to follow and personally challenging.

Here's the invitation... We are going to be beta-testing this course for Pastor Del on November 14, 21 and 28. After that, you will get a copy of the remaining lessons so that you can continue to work through them at your own pace. That's right - fresh content, right from inside of our church family, relevant to where we are in our discipleship journey, world-class quality training in your hands... and you're invited to join us.

If you've never been to CP1 before, why not join us for these next three weeks? If your schedule simply doesn't allow you to be with us in person, we will be making The Commands of Christ available to you via PDF or hardcopy at the end of the month. Talk about a life-giving personal devotional tool!

There is one catch... since we are beta-testing this for Pastor Del, we would love to have your feedback as you work through the material. That's it!

So let me recap this invitation...

  • Connecting Point 1 - Wednesday, November 14, 21,28 @ 6:30-8:00

  • "The Commands of Christ" by Pastor Del Wells (we're beta-testing!)

  • As we won't finish the whole course, we will make it available to the whole church via PDF or hardcopy (upon request) as a powerful personal devotional tool.

  • We'd love to have your feedback on the course content as you go through it so that it can be taken out of beta and made available more widely.

I'm excited about this opportunity!! Please join us on Wednesdays!

And don't forget that Jeremy Feller (missionary in Ethiopia) will be speaking on Sunday. It will only be available live so you won't want to miss being with us this weekend.

Blessings,
Pastor Tracy


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This Sunday

WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT...?
Influence

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Jeremy Feller continues our fall series.

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Reaching Around the World (hello from 11,500km away!)

As you read this email I am 11,500 km away. Yep, you read that correctly. We're in Ethiopia! This is a personal trip, one that we have planned to do as a family for a decade. But while we're here we are spending a lot of time with the Fellers, one of our missions families.

It will come as no surprise that what's on my heart this week is all the kingdom work that we are supporting around the world. We set a missions goal of $18,000 this year and we met it in July. Now, all the funds that come in for missions are an extra blessing for these missions families and organizations beyond what we had committed to them. God is good! Thank you for your faithfulness!

So let me just take a moment to remind you that there are about eight weeks left in the year. Maybe God is stirring your heart to give over and above to one of these great families or this wonderful organization right in our own community. I encourage you to step out in obedience and together we can be such a huge blessing in Jerusalem (Ray of Hope), Judea (Pennings), Samaria (Aragons) and the ends of the earth (Fellers).

And let's keep praying for the work that each of our missions partners is doing. It's amazing to see and be a part of what God is up to!

See you on Sunday... I might be jet-lagged but I'll be there!

Pastor Tracy

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This Sunday

WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT...?
Judging

Join us on Sunday at 10am as Pastor Tracy continues our fall series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.