Get the Sensation

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YORK Peppermint Patties are my all-time favorite candy. I can remember when they were actually manufactured right here in York and I would walk downtown and purchase a bag of fresh from the factory candy. The peppermint patties were amazing – better even than the commercials make them seem! The aroma of the sharp peppermint overriding the smell of the industrial area. The sounds of the assembly line and the noise of the people as they worked in the factory. And the taste – Oh my gosh! The crisp, sharp tang of the mint mixed with the underlying rich dark chocolate….all creamy smoothness as they melted in your mouth. UN – BE – LIEVABLE!!

Get the sensation?

That’s kind of what I like to do when I read the book of Joshua as we work through the Some Assembly Required series. Eat peppermint patties? Naw – get the sensation! I challenge you to re-read Joshua and try to imagine what it would have been like to be a part of his journey of one hundred and ten years.

Can you hear the strange sounds of the night animals and feel the sweat run down your back as you sneak through enemy territory on a scouting mission?

Can you smell the cooking fires and feel the grass under your feet as you pace on the side of the river bank, frustrated and longing for the promised land of milk and honey?

Can you envision the huge wall of trembling water as it backs up; smell the fishy, marshy river bed as the water seeps into the mud. Can you imagine the confusion and chaos as 40,000 men (plus wives, children, livestock and supplies) cross the river?

And then there are the battles, the wars and the disagreements, the discrepancies and the deceptions……Joshua is NOT a dry, boring, history book. It’s alive with sensations and a very sensible moral to the story –

Be strong and courageous

Do not turn to the left or the right

And trust God to give you everything you need to do whatever He asks.

 

20 Minutes Flat

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20 Minutes Flat

“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” Proverbs 19:11

Sunday morning I listened to Don’s sermon on anger and outrage – even though I knew it didn’t really apply to me. While I am a sensible person I don’t really have a temper. I don’t get wrapped up or involved in social media quibbles. And I’ve never been challenged to a duel of any nature.

So, I kind of left most of the information go in one ear and out the other – EXCEPT the part where I should remind my loved ones that Proverbs 19:11 was meant for them. J I even thought about writing the passage down so that I could quote it to one of my kids the next time they threw a fit. I was sure that I would need to recite it – verbatim – to my husband once or twice……in the next hour. And I thought about laminating a few copies with a nice little border of emoji smileys to hand out to my co-workers.

All in all Sunday’s sermon was nice. The band was great. We said goodbye to friends and jumped in the car. North on Interstate 83….east on Route 30 and twenty minutes later we were home.

Aaaand I lost my temper. Me! :O Can you imagine?!?! Me! I. Lost. My. Temper. >:-( TWENTY MINUTES after the Outrage Sermon (with really cool emoji sermon points AND t-shirts BTW) – out of control – anger and outrage……and many hours later bitter regret. L

Two key sermon points I should have focused on:

  1. This will be hard. Don knew that it would be so hard for us that he specifically prayed about it at the end of the message. How can something that seems so very simple be so incredibly hard that it only took me twenty minutes to fail?
  2. It’s about me. It is not about pointing out that someone else should control their It’s about MY temper and MY self-control.

Don didn’t tell us to point out other people’s anger. He specifically challenged us INDIVIDUALLY to try to apply Proverbs 19:11 to OURSELVES. You see – before we can change the world, or social media, or our families……we have to change ourselves. I have to be willing to take a good hard look at my own behavior and make a determined effort to change the only thing I can possibly change – ME.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

“HYPOCRITE! First cast the plank from YOUR eye, and then you will see to cast out the chip from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

At the movies- 2014

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Meeting at a movie theater has lots of advantages:  giant screen, comfy seats, plenty of cup holders, and even hot butter machines if you just can’t make it through a service without a delicious cup of melted-butter-product. However, this August, we’re taking it even further.  All month we will be discussing common stories taken from recent movie releases…today’s parables…to illustrate the still powerful truths about God found in the Bible.

Below is the schedule for the month of August so that you can watch the movies in advance if you wish. For even more fun, gather your FRAMILY and watch the movies in advance TOGETHER.  Also, you can follow along each week in a special section of of free actionchurch ios/android app.  ****DOWNLOAD HERE*****   We’ve got a great line-up of moves this year.  Something for everyone to love…and hate…let it go! :-)

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August 3rd-Gravity

Secret Life of Walter Mitty

August 10th-Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Frozen-movie

August 17th-Frozen

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August 24th-Divergent

Running to win

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This month, for the very first time at actionchurch, we’re using a sports theme in our sermon series.   Even though its “new to us”, the concept is nothing new in scripture.  Over two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul used the very same metaphor as he wrote these words:

24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Here’s what we can learn from these few, but powerful words:

There’s a right way (and many wrong ways) to run the race we call life.  

Not everyone wins.  Not everyone will get a trophy.

It takes discipline, focus, and sacrifice to put together a “winning” life-just like it does to be a winning athlete.

Everyone “plays”, no one gets to sit on the sidelines and coach or cheer.

Winning is worth it!   The prize will last for all eternity.

This month will be lots of fun as we discuss sports…and the people who love them.  We couldn’t be MORE SERIOUS; though, about helping people learn how to WIN at LIFE from the time tested methods and guidelines of our Creator.

I hope you won’t miss a race…errr game…errr sporting contest…or whatever. :-)

 

 

White boarding the Bible

Whiteboarding the Bible

It was a simple plan, really.  All we wanted to do was re-tell the entire mega narrative of the Bible in four weeks.  I proposed that we do it in reverse…from Revelation to Genesis…and Josiah created an adorable smiling VCR tape character to remind us all to “REWIND”.  Steve Warrington came up with  four  brilliantly simple questions that would move us through the narrative each week.  Perfectly simple so far, right?  Then, “as it happened” apple updated their keynote app, the one we use on Sunday mornings, with a new ability to highlight on screen.  Even Better!!!  I decided that now I would be able to “white board” the story of the  Bible, from trees in the Garden of Eden, to the “tree” on calvary, to the final two tree’s of Life mentioned in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22).

If you were there Sunday you KNOW that it didn’t work out that well actually… :-)   (I knew I was in trouble when the flashes from everyone’s camera phones started popping as my shaking hands drew unintelligible shapes on my iPad.)   Some really funny tweets followed.  (I think “Caption this” was my favorite…although the one linking my “art” to actionkidz was right on target as well).

Here’s the thing though…I LOVE being part of a team that tries stuff like we did Sunday.  Risky Stuff.  Stuff that might totally back-fire.  Even things that make me look really silly. :-)  Because…every once in a while…hopefully more often than not…those risks will help someone understand a LIFE-CHANGING principle from scripture in a BRAND-NEW way!   That’s why we do this every week.  That’s why I can’t WAIT for you to see what we attempt next Sunday.  I’ve been practicing…