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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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Proverb Chapter a Day to Monitor, Examine, & Clean Your Heart

Godly Wisdom is of great value!  Join us in reading a Chapter of Proverbs corresponding to today's date to fill your mind with wisdom... then allow it to marinate your heart.  Post daily thoughts & reflections.

8 comments (Add your own)

1 Pastor - Sun, September 4, 2011 @ 7:17 AM

Proverbs 4

Solomon was inspired by God to write Proverbs for all of life... wisdom, relationships, money, common sense, temptation, work, play, etc. and yet saw the most important thing... "Above ALL else, guard your HEART..."

God, I want to have clean hands (outside) and a pure heart (inside). I willingly give You all access to my heart. Help me examine every influence that is coming in (1 Thessalonians 5:21)... monitor every word and behavior that goes out (Matthew 15:18-19)... and keep it clean for Your glory and purposes (2 Timothy 2:21). In Jesus Name
2 Pastor - Mon, September 5, 2011 @ 8:41 PM

Proverbs 5:21, "For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths."
3 Joshua Abel - Mon, September 5, 2011 @ 9:42 PM

"My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; That you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge." - Proverbs 5:1-2

There are a lot of things out there today that can consume our time and attention. Since we are in this world, the challenge becomes listening and attending to those things which God says we should.

When we receive Godly advice, when we hear His Word, when we receive His statues and principles...we must listen to them and put them into practice in a steadfast manner. Why?

Because the "wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)..."you reap what you sow" (Galations 6:7)...

Make sure the wages you earn is "life"! Listen to Godly wisdom!

"For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." - Galatians 6:8
4 Pastor - Tue, September 6, 2011 @ 6:42 AM

Proverbs 6 Advice...

Don't let guilt monkeys make resident in your heart. Apologize, Purge, Exchange through full confession, so that you don't have a mentality of owing someone constantly hanging over your head.

Be a self-starter and work hard as for the Lord and not men... Colossians 3:22-23

Be weary of the one who is smooth on the outside, but the signs of the heart through their words & behaviors are death.

Warning against arrogance (get your focus off you onto God & others), lies (root out even areas that you share only partial truth), anything that doesn't value life, people coming up with or re-living evil experiences they have done or done to them, those who think evil words & evil behaviors are not that bad, and avoid a trouble maker within their family.

Guard against unhealthy appetites... don't even entertain the thoughts of "the grass is greener on the others side of the fence, " remember both must be watered and cultivated to grow. Intentionally invest in the relationships close to you. Be accountable to grow spiritually and root out unhealthy secrets in your heart.
5 Pastor - Wed, September 7, 2011 @ 6:48 AM

Proverbs 7 Wisdom gives us a foundation to base our decisions on faith and not just our feelings. "...write it on the chambers of your heart."

The enemy will twist any desire to lead us toward destruction. The enemy has been carefully studying our tendencies and weak points to trap us. By putting lots of strategically placed hooks in the water, he wants to give us ample opportunity to give our heart away to anything other than all access to Jesus Christ. Whether it is to another person or thing on the outside or even on the inside, we must constantly examine, monitor, and clean our hearts. We can be easily lulled into thinking that no one else is watching and consumed by the passions of the moment, but even that is an open door for a foothold. (Eph 4:27)

The enemy is satisfied with us settling for good or status quo because it causes us to miss God's best and distorts a clear reflection of Jesus Christ in the heart of the Christian to others who desperately need it for life. There is so much more at stake than we most often realize or pay attention... the signs are all around us and His Word is clear.
6 Pastor - Thu, September 8, 2011 @ 6:42 AM

Pursue Godly wisdom above wealth, career, relationships, hobbies, etc.

Do not welcome evil thoughts or words. Go after the heart issue and live free. When you hear or see evil/untruth in others, wisely point them to the love and compassion of Jesus Christ -- if they do not respond, be alert that you are not influenced to join them in any way (Galatians 6:1)

Proverbs 8:32-35, "So, my dear friends, listen carefully; those who embrace these my ways [says wisdom] are most blessed. Mark a life of discipline and live wisely; don't squander your precious life. Blessed the man, blessed the woman who listens to me, awake and ready for me each morning, alert and responsive as I start my day's work. When you find me, you find life, real life."
7 Pastor - Fri, September 9, 2011 @ 10:58 AM

Proverbs 9:10, "Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment."

Proverbs 9:7-9,"If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you'll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don't waste your time on a scoffer; all you'll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that's different — they'll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise — they'll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know — they'll profit from it."
8 Pastor - Sat, September 10, 2011 @ 8:12 AM

Proverbs 10.. (19)He who holds his tongue is wise.

(24)What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.

(25)When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.

Bless You Lord... I worship You... Worthy is Your Name! Psalm 139:23-24 Thank You for forgiveness. I submit to Your Lordship over my life... speak for Your servant is listening (1 Sam 3:10). Bring to mind those I need to pray specifically for this morning. Lord, I pray for the discernment of Solomon to follow you and lead others. I submit my appetites under your authority. Give me eyes to see those who need encouragement today. Ready my heart and mind to be the lead worshipper tomorrow. I pray for the workers of the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38) Give us Your heart for the city and a desire to live as truly free. I am grateful for Your mercy, grace, and love. In Jesus Name

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East Cliff Elementary 
(right behind Wal-Mart & Academy)
1140 Broadway Blvd in Portland

(look for checkered flags) 
COME meet the FAMILY!

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200 Cypress Point
Portland, TX 78374