Directions 4.30.15

What’s Alice Drive Worth?

 

How much is Alice Drive worth – in pure financial terms – to our community each year?

  • Volunteer hours serving in the community – $52,000 – @ $10 per hour.
  • Getting people off drugs and alcohol – $94,500 – @$15,750 per person.
  • Building enhancements (job creation) – $200,000 (half expenses are local wages).
  • Services to the poor – $75,000 – (direction contributions and assistance with Untied Ministry).
  • Divorces prevented – $20,000 ($2,000 per couple).
  • Suicide prevention – $800,000 (lifetime earnings of $200,000 per person).
  • Student encouragement and family support – $25,000 (encouraging students to make good choices and prepare for future @ $1,000 per student).

Granted these numbers are estimates.  I think they are on the conservative side.  According to Ram Cnaan, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the average church contributes 10 times its annual budget in value to the community.

If this hold true for Alice Drive, our proposed budget of $2.6 million will have a $26 million dollar impact on our community.  Our return per dollar invested is the higher than any company or government organization in town.

But we all know that per economic impact isn’t what the church is about.  What is the value each year of:

  • 1450 gathering each week to worship?
  • Having the only worship option in the area for people who work on the weekend?
  • Loving 250 preschoolers each week?
  • Teaching 130 middle school and high school student the Bible each week?
  • And most of all, seeing over 100 people each year take the step of baptism and follow Jesus?

It’s priceless.

That’s why our Ministry Budget for 2015-2016 matters.  It’s our way of directing resources to critical needs so priceless work can be done.  Pray about your part.  Do your part.  It’s worth it.

Grace

Clay

 

Tuesday Celebrations 4/28/15

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

What great days of worship we had Sunday and Monday!  You overwhelming affirmed David Piedt’s call to serve as our Worship Pastor.  We look forward to David joining our Pastoral Team!

Despite the rain, many volunteered for Operation Inasmuch.  Packets for the homeless were prepared, cookies were delivered to First Responders, and the Sowers sowed up a storm!  Some of the outdoor projects were delayed because of weather.  Those will be rescheduled on May 2 and May 16.  Thanks to Jock and his team for organizing this and for helping with the flow

This Sunday and Monday:

  • The Border War series continues with a message on Opening the Gate.
  • We’ll talk about our 2015-2016 Ministry Plan.  Come Wednesday night to discuss this during church conference.

Smile:

If God is your co-pilot – swap seats!

Directions 4.23.2015

Introducing David Piedt …

This Sunday and Monday, you will have the opportunity to meet David Piedt, the man we believe God intends to be our next worship pastor.  You will have the opportunity to affirm his calling to serve on our pastoral team in all four services.

David grew up in Memphis, accepting Jesus at a young age.  Sensing a call to ministry, he attended Mississippi College (a Baptist college) and furthered his education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master’s degree in church music.  While at Southwestern, he served as an instructor in guitar and was the leader of Southwestern Sound, a traveling worship team.

After seminary, he served as worship pastor of a large church in Beaverton Oregon, coordinating choirs, orchestras, large productions, praise bands, and praise teams.  We have been impressed with the breadth of his musical experience and his comfort level in all kinds of musical styles.

He most recently has served Canoe Creek Christian Church in St. Cloud, Florida, helping that church build its worship ministry almost from scratch.

He is married to Evie, who is from Columbia, SC.  She is a graduate of Columbia International University and taught school in the Columbia area prior to moving to Florida.  They recently adopted their first child, Aria, who is almost three months old.

David plays guitar, piano, saxophone, and a whole lot of other instruments!  We’ve been impressed with his passion, energy, attention to detail, and his desire to be part of a church that is receptive to multiple expressions of worship.

I am praying that you will see what I have seen in David – a person gifted by God who can help Alice Drive help as many people as possible take their next step toward Jesus.

 

Grace

Clay

Tuesday Celebrations 4.21.15

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

Thanks to Jock for preaching Sunday and Monday!  Heard he did a great job!  The Big Thought: When you can’t see God working, you can trust the work is happening.

Operation Inasmuch, a day to serve the least of these with the love Jesus will be April 25th.  Come and volunteer!  There will be a place for you to make a difference.

This Sunday:

  • David Piedt will lead us in worship.  We believe he is the person to lead our Worship Ministry on the next leg of our journey.  You will have the opportunity to affirm his call serve on our team.
  • We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper in all four services.
  • The Border War series continues with a message about Space in the Kingdom.

Smile:

Money talks …but all mine ever says is good-bye.

Directions 4.16.15

My Kingdom …

Kevin Baugh has his own country—The Republic of Molossia—and if you don’t mind, he’d prefer you call him “His Excellency Kevin Baugh.” After all, he has an impressive khaki uniform with six big medals, a gold braid, epaulets at the shoulders, and a blue, white, and green sash. Oh—and a general’s cap with a gold starburst over the bill.

Never heard of The Republic of Molossia? That’s understandable, because it consists of Baugh’s three-bedroom house and 1.3 acre yard outside of Dayton, Nevada. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, “He has a space program (a model rocket), a currency (pegged to the value of chocolate-chip cookie dough), a railroad (model size), a national sport (broomball), and—in his landlocked desert region—a navy (an inflatable boat).”

The newspaper goes on to say: “Baugh, a 45-year-old father of two, is a micronationalist, one of a wacky band of do-it-yourself nation builders who raise flags over their front yards and declare their property to be, as Baugh puts it ‘the kingdom of me.'”[1]

Maybe Kevin isn’t so wacky.  After all, you and I do this.  We raise a flag over our souls and declare that we are in charge.  Then we are surprised when we find out people don’t recognize our kingdom.  We are outraged when cancer invades.  We can’t stand it when laws are applied to us; we think they are for other people.

When Jesus teaches us to pray “Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,” he’s telling us that we are better off under God’s rule than our own.  God’s soul is infinitely better than ours.  God is far more trustworthy than we are.

Everything in God’s Kingdom may not go according to our plan, but it will go according to His plan.  The question isn’t if God’s Kingdom will prevail; the question is when it will prevail.

I don’t think I want to live in the Republic of Molossia.  Kevin doesn’t sound like a very appealing King to me.  But I realize I don’t want to live in the Kingdom of Claylanda either.  The King there doesn’t do a very superb job.

The best Kingdom is the one with the best King.  The best King, is the one who laid down his life for me and rose again with power for me.  His is the Kingdom for me.  And I hope, for you too.

 

Grace

Clay

 

[1] Colleen Mastony, “One Nation, Under Me,” Chicago Tribune (in the “Tempo” section, 7-3-08)

Tuesday Celebrations 4.14.2015

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

Good launch to the start of the series “Border Wars.”  The series is all about the tension between God and us over who is in charge.  We know the answer should be God, but sometimes we want to be in control.

Big thought from Sunday/Monday: Are you praying to be good soil for Jesus that bears fruit for the Kingdom?

Operation Inasmuch, a day to serve the least of these with the love Jesus will be April 25th.  Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus that day.

Smile:

I bet the butcher $50 that he couldn’t reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, “No, the steaks are too high.”

Directions 4.9.15

Week of Hope…

 

Every morning that week, when the rooster started crowing, Peter woke up startled.  The first thought piercing his brain was the memory of his awful words, “I don’t know the man.”  Then the rooster crowed.  Shame flooded him, still fresh and raw.  He kept waking up with a shame hangover.

The second thought swimming into his foggy morning conscious was seeing Jesus.  He saw him that Sunday morning, walking out of the garden, smiling.  The nail prints were still in his hands, the hole in his side was still there.  Peter thought he was hallucinating, but the voice was real.  Jesus spoke words so holy, so full of grace, Peter could hardly take them in.  He stood in the presence of pure light, pure love, pure forgiveness.  It felt like being born again.

Jesus disappeared and Peter ran back to tell the other disciples, huddled together in fear.  John and Mary were there; they had seen him too.  As night fell, they were still trying to put the puzzle together.  Cleopas and his friend burst into the room, telling how Jesus had appeared to them on the road to Emmaus.  Was all this really happening?

Then Jesus himself came into the room.  The same light, the same pure grace that Peter saw that morning poured from him.  His words were gentle, “Don’t be afraid, it really is me.”  Joy and worship mixed together in a holy recipe of hope.

Then he left.

Peter hardly slept that night.  The next day, Monday, he half expected Jesus to jump out of a doorway and yell, “I’m still alive!”  But he didn’t see Jesus that day.  Or Tuesday.  Or Wednesday.

He began to wonder if he made it all up, if it was a desperate hope creating a reality that wasn’t really there.  But each morning, after the wave of shame, he remembered the details:  the twinkle in Jesus’ eyes; the shouts of John and Mary; the grace that pierced his pain.  It was real.  He couldn’t have made it up.  No one could make up that much hope.

So Peter would get out of bed, go find the rooster, and tell him, “There’s good news, rooster!  Your shaming crow doesn’t work on me anymore.  My Lord is risen.”

The rooster would cock his head as Peter walked off to face the morning, whistling grace from his reborn heart.

Grace always brings hope.

Grace

Clay

 

Tuesday Celebrations 4.7.2015

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

Great Easter Sunday and Monday!  As my friend Ron Lewis used to say, “Easter shows how big God wants your dream!”  Our attendance in all four services totaled 2,316.  Thanks to volunteers throughout the church family for helping all to feel welcomed!

Big thought from Sunday/Monday: You have Kingdom and so does Jesus.  Which Kingdom do you want to live in?

Operation Inasmuch, a day to serve the least of these with the love Jesus will be April 25th.  Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus that day.

Smile:

Young Ernie and his family were invited to have Easter Sunday lunch at his grandmother’s house in Monkey’s Eyebrow, Arizona. USA. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.  When Ernie received his plate he started eating straight away.

‘Ernie, wait until we say grace,’ demanded his father.

‘I don’t have to,’ the five year old replied.

‘Of course you do, Ernest,’ his mother insisted rather forcefully. ‘We always say a prayer before eating at our house.’

‘That’s at our house,’ Ernie explained, ‘but this is Grandma’s house, and she knows how to cook.’

Directions 4.2.2015

It is Finished; It Begins…

 

In his final hours, Jesus said, “It is finished.”  What is “it?”

Did he mean his life?  No.  He predicted at least three times that he would rise again.  Easter is trumpet call in history declaring this man has the power to overcome everything.  He knew his life wasn’t over.

Did he mean his mission?  No.  His mission – to bring the Kingdom of God – was just beginning.  That mission would be passed to his people, his church.  He intended for church to be the place that most closely resembled heaven.  His mission would go on.

Did he mean his relationships?  No.  He told his disciples during the Last Supper that he would not drink the fruit of the vine until he drank it anew in the Kingdom – presumably with them.  He would see them again and be with them even until the end of time.

Did he mean the great work of forgiveness his death accomplished was completed?  No.  People would still need to be forgiven.  His great work of grace would reach backwards through history to forgive atrocities lost in mists of time and reach forward through the future to take hold of all the sins humans would commit (some in his name).  The great work of grace centers on the cross, but it does not end there.  His forgiveness had just started.

What did he mean?

Before something can begin, something has to finish.  To begin a marriage, singleness has to end.  To start a new job, whatever else filled your time has to finish.  To begin a new habit, an old habit has to finish.

When Jesus said, “It is finished” he was saying the old way was done.  The old pattern of relating to God through rules was over.  The old ideas of gods who were projections of who human beings wanted to be were finished.  The old tricks of Satan would be now seen in the light of the God who sacrifices himself for people who do not deserve it.  All the old ways were done.  They were finished.  Jesus finished them.

What began?  God telling us he wants relationship with us.  God proving he will pay the price for our sins.  God shining the brilliant light of his forgiveness into the dark corners of our torn apart souls.

All this beginning was for you.  And me.  And this fractured, broken world.

This weekend, remember “it” is finished.  There’s a new beginning for you.

Grace

Clay