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    Spiritual Goals

    Happy New Year 2017!  It's natural for us at the start of something new to take inventory of  where we have been and consider goals for the future.  The beginning of a new year is always a good place to make resolutions for change.  There are lots of great helps when it comes to initiating changes, but I always am amazed at how few address the spiritual aspect.

    We are spiritual beings and without considering the spiritual, I am convinced that our resolutions and goals are doomed to fail.  Have you noticed how many resolutions / goals focus on the "output"?

    Based on an internet search, here are the top 5 resolutions for the new year : I want to stay fit and healthy / I want to eat less and move more / I want to enjoy life to the fullest / I want to spend less and save more / I want to have closer relationships.

    What would be the impact if we changed our focus to the "input"?  First: all of those same resolutions would require us to have our heart & mind right... this is a natural overflow of seeking God first above all things (Matthew 6:33).  Then we would be empowered by His strength and not just what strength that we can resolve to manufacture.  The focus becomes our relationship with Him!  Then together, those same resolutions / goals are transformed.

    As you consider your resolutions and goals for this new year, I encourage you to consider some specific spiritual goals... read through the Bible this year one day at a time / pause and read one verse a day before you get out of bed / memorize a verse a week <Fighter Verse app is a great tool!> / spend 5 minutes daily in prayer before you leave the house / invite one person a week to church / identify one person a week that I can encourage in their walk with the LORD... etc

    It's amazing the change that God brings to our lives when we focus on first things first!

    Post your resolutions in the comments and we will pray for you!

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    Advent Season

    Advent means “coming!”  During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.  

    The circular advent wreath is made of evergreen to symbolize growth and everlasting life.  The candles represent weeks of preparation as we are reminded of the growing light of Christ's presence.

    1st Candle (purple) : Candle of HOPE or Prophecy : We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us.  Our hope comes from God.  (Romans 15:12-13)  Jesus is HOPE… Psalm 62:5-8, “5Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

    Hope lets us choose to be defined by Whose we are
    and not what we have done.

    2nd Candle (purple) : Candle of LOVE or Preparation : God kept His promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem.  Preparation means to "get ready."  Help us to be ready to welcome you, O God!  (Luke 3:4-6)  Jesus is LOVE… Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Christ did not love us because we are lovely, but to make us lovely. ~ Tim Keller

    3rd Candle (pink) : Candle of JOY or Shepherd's Candle : The angel sang a message of JOY!  (Luke 2:7-15)  Jesus is JOY… Matthew 1:21-23, 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet [Isaiah]: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us."

    JOY comes from realizing “the Lord is near!”
    John 15:11, [Jesus said] “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

    4th Candle (purple) : Candle of LOVE or Angel Candle : The angels announced the Good News of a Savior.  God sent His only Son to earth to save us, because He loves us. (John 3:16)  Jesus is PEACE… Luke 2:10-14, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great JOY that will be for ALL the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE to men on whom his favor rests."

    Isaiah 9:6b, “…And He will be called Wonderful Counselor,
    Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE of PEACE.”

    5th Candle (white) : CHRIST Candle : The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins!  His birth was for His death.  His death was for our birth!  (John 1:29)

     10… at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:10-11

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    Fill A Shoebox = Share the Gospel

    Operation Christmas Child is a valuable way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the globe!  After receiving a shoebox gift, children have the opportunity to enroll in The Greatest Journey, our dynamic, 12-lesson Bible study course guiding them through what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ.

    Get a shoebox and fill it to share hope!  Bring the completed shoebox by 11/20/16 to begin the journey around the world!

    Follow the link for all the details!


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    As we go

    How many around us find themselves not just tired from a full week, but empty?  They still smile on the outside, but are desperate for encouragement and hope to keep moving forward.  What if God is positioning us right now to encourage others in Jesus Name!

    We all feel the demands and drama of life... I do!  However, one of the reasons why I am so ready for Sunday worship is to be together pursuing God's presence!  When we get together in worship, God has a way of supernaturally infusing me with the strength, love, hope, and so many other things He knows I need for this moment!

    So rewind back to now... God lovingly reminds me that this Friday night and Saturday, there will be many I cross paths with that need a God worship encounter too!  Matthew 28:19, So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations...  

    Imagine the excitement level it could add to our Sunday worship if we went not just expecting to encounter God ourself, but also we had an expectancy about how others we invited would experience God too!

    How can that happen?  Pray now that God would make us aware of people whom we can encourage tonight and tomorrow in His Name.  While at the game, doing yard work, shopping at the store, grabbing a bite to eat, and even taking time to be online like you are right now, let's look for those divine appointments to share Jesus and invite them to Northshore Family.

    Look for "on ramps" to the conversations!  They will be filled with "NOTS!"  Things are NOT going well..
     I was NOT prepared for...  I am NOT from here...  I am NOT connected... then know that it is your turn to speak up for His glory!

    "LORD, give me eyes to see and a boldness to speak in Jesus Name for Your glory"

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Kolkata, India

God has opened the door for me to be a part of a team traveling to Kolkata, India.  **Post a comment that you will commit to be a part of the prayer team!

We will be serving Kolkata Christian Fellowship, Mother Theresa's Home for the Destitute & Dying, Sari Bari (Christian based rescue, training, and employment for girls), New Hope School.

It is a very dark and oppressive place and culture. I ask you to be in prayer for the other members of the group and that the LORD’s purposes will be accomplished in each of us, in our team, and through us in all our interactions.   As you are most likely aware, India does not recognize missionaries.

Below is a picture of New Hope School

The volunteer teacher was excited over being given transportation.

The people in the village of Uddyan Pally live in one-room bamboo huts. Usually, there are more than five people to each hut, which are not equipped with electricity, running water or a proper sanitation system.

4 comments (Add your own)

1 Rebecca - Mon, February 11, 2013 @ 3:15 PM

I will be praying for God's will to be done, safety, open and ready hearts to receive the Truth, and for you and your team to serve. Bless you!
2 Rick - Mon, February 11, 2013 @ 4:21 PM

I pray they will see the hands and feet of Jesus and that their hearts will be receptive to God's word.
3 Stacey - Sun, February 17, 2013 @ 9:17 PM

I am praying, of course, for your safety. I ask that you be protected from accidents, violence, illness, etc. and that you come safely back home to us. I am very proud of you for doing this, because I know how much it is out of your comfort zone. I am praying for God's work to be done in a mighty way. I will be praying for you constantly while you are gone. I love you!
4 Joshua Abel - Mon, February 18, 2013 @ 10:03 PM

I'm praying... Very much for your safety. I know you feel you are being sent to impact someone there. I guess I'm feeling and praying that God is taking you to India at this specific time in your ministry because he has got God-sized things for you to accomplish here in Portland through Northshore Family. May God break your heart even more for the people of Portland and surrounding cities. May the foundation and vision you've already laid down be further impacted by those God has appointed you to meet. Gonna miss you.

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