Four Reasons it is a Priority for You to be present when the Lord’s Supper is Celebrated

  1. You remember Jesus shared the supper not just with one disciple, but with all of them.  Following Jesus isn’t a solo show – it’s a shared journey.
  2. You have a chance to reflect on Jesus’ great grace that touches every failure, every sin, and every wound.  You remember there is forgiveness and healing for  you.
  3. You can’t trivialize the cross and think Jesus’ death was just a “bad” thing.  It was an awful, horrific death he did not deserve.  He sacrificed himself so our debt would be paid.
  4. You are reminded that everyone is in need of grace.  Your sins aren’t worse nor are you better.  We all need Jesus

Directions 7.30.15

It’s Time to Stop Expecting Non-Jesus Followers

to Act Like Jesus Followers…

DIRECTIONS by Dr. Clay Smith, Lead Pastor

I feel absolutely no guilt about ignoring the Buddha’s teachings. Don’t get me wrong, the teachings have

interesting points. There are some helpful ideas for living in his wisdom. But I feel no guilt because I am

not a follower of the Buddha.

I am a follower of Jesus. That means I am learning to be like Him. I have intentionally chosen to model

my life after his. It’s not easy; I fail often. Lately, however, I’ve seen some progress on some issues I

have struggled with for a long time. Over time, my knowledge of what it means to follow him has become

more experiential, and not as abstract.

I believe everyone would live a better life and have a healthier soul if they followed Jesus. I believe him

when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

I also get that some people choose not to believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. They may

believe Jesus was a good teacher and, perhaps, a good man. Believing these things is very different

than following him.

So it doesn’t surprise me when people who don’t follow Jesus don’t do his teaching. I’m not surprised

when they hold grudges, when they pursue pleasure, when they spend money on more stuff to make

them happy. It makes sense to me that they hate people, break promises, and surrender to their

addictions. I understand why non-Jesus followers can be self-centered.

The troublesome part of this is I am a Jesus follower, and I struggle like the non-Jesus follower. I can

hold a grudge, pursue pleasure, spend money on stuff, hate people, break a promise, and surrender to an

addiction. That’s because I am incomplete. God is still at work in me.

What I need to do is grant grace to my fellow believers who also struggle. But I also need to speak a

word of truth to them: we don’t need to judge the non-follower. God will take care of whatever judgment

and conviction they needed. My job is to love people who don’t follow Jesus in hopes that his love

flowing through me will make an impact.

This is the uncomfortable corollary: you either follow Jesus or you don’t. There is no middle ground. No

one can fall back on some comfortable notion of being a “church member.” None of us can say, “I want to

go to heaven, but I will get around to following Jesus someday.” You either take Jesus seriously, or you

don’t take him at all.

This is part of the all or nothing aspect of following Jesus that turns people off. I get that. I can even

respect that choice. Following Jesus is not a casual, get-around-to-it journey. It requires energy, effort,

and passion.

Is it worth it? Is a life spent following Jesus the right kind of life to live? I bet my life on it – and eternity

too.

Grace,

Clay

It’s Time to Stop Expecting Non-Jesus Followers to act Like Jesus Followers

 

I feel absolutely no guilt about ignoring the Buddha’s teachings. Don’t get me wrong, the teachings have interesting points. There are some helpful ideas for living in his wisdom. But I feel no guilt because I am not a follower of the Buddha.

I am a follower of Jesus. That means I am learning to be like Him. I have intentionally chosen to model my life after his. It’s not easy; I fail often. Lately, however, I’ve seen some progress on some issues I struggled with for a long time. Over time, my knowledge of what it means to follow him has become more experiential, and not as abstract.

I believe everyone would live a better life and have a healthier soul if they followed Jesus. I believe him when he said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

I also get some people choose not to believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. They may believe Jesus was a good teacher and perhaps, a good man. Believing these things is very different than following him.

So it doesn’t surprise me when people who don’t follow Jesus don’t do his teaching. I’m not surprised when they hold grudges, when they pursue pleasure, when they spend money on more stuff to make them happy. It makes sense to me that they hate people, break promises, and surrender to their addictions. I understand why non-Jesus followers can be self-centered.

The troublesome part of this is I am a Jesus follower, and I struggle like the non-Jesus follower. I can hold a grudge, pursue pleasure, spend money on stuff, hate people, break a promise, and surrender to an addiction. That’s because I am incomplete. God is still at work in me.

What I need to do is grant grace to my fellow believers who also struggle. But I also need to speak a word of truth to them: we don’t need to judge the non-follower. God will take care of whatever judgment and conviction they needed. My job to love people who don’t follow Jesus in hopes that his love flowing through me will make an impact.

This is the uncomfortable corollary: you either follow Jesus or you don’t. There is no middle ground. No one can fall back on some comfortable notion of being a “church member.” None of us can say, “I want to go to heaven, but I will get around to following Jesus someday.” If you either take Jesus seriously, or you don’t take him at all.

This is part of the all or nothing aspect of following Jesus that turns people off. I get that. I can even respect that choice. Following Jesus is not a casual, get-around-to-it, journey. It requires energy, effort, and a passion.

Is it worth it? Is a life spent following Jesus the right kind of life to live? I bet my life on it – and eternity too.

Tuesday Celebrations 7.28.15

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!!

Big thought from Sunday/Monday: What would happen in your life if you prayed, “Lord, make me wise about sex/sexuality?” Lots of pain and hurt out there about sex/sexuality.  What warmed my heart was stepping into the oldest LIFE Groups and have them affirm this is a subject we need to talk more about!  One more reason I love ADBC.

This coming Sunday/Monday: The best question about money. Also, The Lord’s Supper in all four services.

Pray for our Student Mission Team leaving for Miami this Saturday!

Congratulations to Delmar Peet, our Student Pastor, on his engagement to Hannah Ocker! She said “yes!”

Smile:

Mo attends a revival and listens to the sermon. After a while, the pastor asks anyone with needs to come forward and be prayed over. Mo gets in line and, when it’s his turn the pastor asks, “Mo, what do you want me to pray about?” Mo says, “Pastor, I need you to pray for my hearing.” So the pastor puts one finger in Mo’s ear and the other hand on top of his head and prays for a while. He removes his hands and says, “Mo how’s your hearing now?” Mo says, “I don’t know pastor, it’s not until next Monday.”

Five Ways to Get Healthier Sexually

  1. Stop thinking of sex as an appetite.  You are more than an appetite; you are a soul.  Because God made you with an ability to decide, you can decide to take control of sexual habits and appetites.
  2. Make a commitment for sex to be force in your life that draws you closer to your spouse.
  3. Recognize that sex outside of marriage always complicates the relationship.
  4. Sex in marriage under God reflects the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Sex is a powerful gift to attack your selfishness.
  5. Pray at least weekly, if not daily, “God, make me wise about sex and my sexuality.”

Directions 7.23.15

Stressed Out…

DIRECTIONS by Dr. Clay Smith, Lead Pastor

 

 

People want me to be stressed out.  My Facebook page is filled with posts warning me about gays taking over the church, the government coming after my guns, and sharks at the beach.  People who call themselves my friends send me messages telling me about a secret conspiracy to arrest pastors who won’t bake cakes for gay couples.  Democrats warn me about the Republican plot to take my money; Republicans warn me about the Democratic plot to take my money.  Either way, it looks like I will be out some money.  Facebook is making my heart rate go up.

Whether I watch CNN or Fox News, there is always someone warning me that if I breathe I will get cancer.  Apparently both liberals and conservatives agree if it tastes good, it’s bad for you.  Congressmen appear on both networks and tell me it’s the other guy’s fault that things are so messed up in Washington.  Ten minutes in front of the news makes my blood pressure rise ten points.

If the news reports don’t get to me, the commercials will.  Ads bombard me telling me I need fresher breath in case it’s raining and I get in a cab with a member of the opposite sex.  Apparently, I am unattractive without hair; a celebrity   endorsing a hair product tells me I need more of it.  My old truck needs to be replaced because it doesn’t look shiny enough to pull stumps out of the ground.  All these ads are fishing for my insecurities, trying to make me stressed enough to buy their products.

Almost daily the mail brings me an offer of a new credit card with low interest that will take away the stress.  All I have to do is book my travel to get away from it all on this card and I will have no worries.  That is, until thirty days have passed and I get the bill.  Funny how the people who offer those cards want you to spend and pay.  There is nothing like a balance sixty days overdue on a credit card charging 18% interest to stress you out.

Even if everyone in the world wants me to be stressed, I need to hear the gentle voice of Jesus: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden (sounds like stress), and I will give you rest.”

Come to Jesus and tell him about your stress.  Come to him and hear his gentle words.  Come to him and know his peaceful presence.  He has the rest you need.

Excuse me now; I need to log out of Facebook, turn off the TV, throw away the junk mail, and be with Jesus.  He helps my blood pressure go down.

Grace,

Clay

Tuesday Celebrations 7.21.15

Good Evening Good People of Alice Drive!

What a great Sunday/Monday – We baptized 13 people Sunday! This topped off a great VBS week – about 750 each night but best of all lots of conversations about the Good News. Thanks to Mandy Easton and her great team!

Big thought from Sunday/Monday: The wise family loves. Which means we seek to love at all times, move toward each other, love with truth, and seek God’s plan for our families.

This coming Sunday/Monday: The best question about sex.

Pray for our New York Mission Team serving this week in Queens!

Smile:

The man walked over to the perfume counter and told the clerk he would like a bottle of Christian Dior for his wife’s birthday. “A little surprise eh?” said the clerk. “You bet,” replied the man. “She is expecting a cruise.”

Directions 7.16.15

Stressed Out…

DIRECTIONS by Dr. Clay Smith, Lead Pastor

 

 
People want me to be stressed out.  My Facebook page is filled with posts warning me about gays taking over the church, the government coming after my guns, and sharks at the beach.  People who call themselves my friends send me messages telling me about a secret conspiracy to arrest pastors who won’t bake cakes for gay couples.  Democrats warn me about the Republican plot to take my money; Republicans warn me about the Democratic plot to take my money.  Either way, it looks like I will be out some money.  Facebook is making my heart rate go up.

 

Whether I watch CNN or Fox News, there is always someone warning me that if I breathe I will get cancer.  Apparently both liberals and conservatives agree if it tastes good, it’s bad for you.  Congressmen appear on both networks and tell me it’s the other guy’s fault that things are so messed up in Washington.  Ten minutes in front of the news makes my blood pressure rise ten points.  

 

If the news reports don’t get to me, the commercials will.  Ads bombard me telling me I need fresher breath in case it’s raining and I get in a cab with a member of the opposite sex.  Apparently, I am unattractive without hair; a celebrity   endorsing a hair product tells me I need more of it.  My old truck needs to be replaced because it doesn’t look shiny enough to pull stumps out of the ground.  All these ads are fishing for my insecurities, trying to make me stressed enough to buy their products.

 

Almost daily the mail brings me an offer of a new credit card with low interest that will take away the stress.  All I have to do is book my travel to get away from it all on this card and I will have no worries.  That is, until thirty days have passed and I get the bill.  Funny how the people who offer those cards want you to spend and pay.  There is nothing like a balance sixty days overdue on a credit card charging 18% interest to stress you out.

 

Even if everyone in the world wants me to be stressed, I need to hear the gentle voice of Jesus: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden (sounds like stress), and I will give you rest.”  

 

Come to Jesus and tell him about your stress.  Come to him and hear his gentle words.  Come to him and know his peaceful presence.  He has the rest you need.

 

Excuse me now; I need to log out of Facebook, turn off the TV, throw away the junk mail, and be with Jesus.  He helps my blood pressure go down.

Grace,

Clay

7 Steps to Finding a New Church Home in a New City

In answer to the question “how do you find a new church home in a new city?”, here are some thoughts

  1. Pray for God to guide you.
  2. Remember you won’t find in a new church what you had in the old.
  3. Know your spiritual gifts and how you can serve. For example, if you are gifted and called to work with children, go to a church that has children!
  4. Visit a service. Ask:
    1. Was I fed spiritually?
    2. Did I connect with anyone?
    3. As I prayed during the service, did I sense the Spirit say to me “This is your place.”
    4. If you have family, get their input.
  5. Visit the church a second time. Find a group if they have Sunday morning groups, or try a weekday group.
    1. Did you connect with people in the group?
    2. Can you see yourself doing life together with these people?
    3. Was there someone in the group you could see yourself calling at 3 AM if you had a crisis?
  6. If the visits go well, commit sooner rather than later. If they don’t, quickly move on to try another church.
  7. Remember the most important thing is be where God wants you, not where you feel comfortable!

Tuesday Celebrations 7.14.15

Good Afternoon Good People of Alice Drive!

VBS is off to a great start! We had 742 Sunday night and 777 Monday night! Lots of gospel conversations with children, parents, and first time guests. Pray for many children to take their next step toward Jesus.

New Message Series begins this Sunday/Monday: The Best Question for Your Family

Pray for our New York Mission Team that leaves for a week of serving Jesus this Saturday.

Smile:

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead.

She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then she asked the class, “If you saw a person lying on the roadside all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?”

A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, “I think I’d throw up!”