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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Teach Us To Pray...

A few months ago we did a sermon on the Lord's Prayer. It was a rather brief overview of what Jesus calls us to do in that prayer. After it was over, I was surprised by the number of people who said they had never heard a sermon on the Lord's Prayer. As I thought about it, I realized that I had also never heard a sermon on the Lord's Prayer. So, because of this we are going to have a whole series this next month on the Lord's Prayer.

As you know, we recently had a sermon series on discipleship. Disciples at our church are those who SIT, STUDY, and SERVE. You'll notice that prayer is missing from that list (and not just because it doesn't start with "S"!). What we need to realize is that every aspect of our lives as disciples needs to be saturated in prayer. Our worship services are times in which we pray throughout the morning. We cannot study our Bibles rightly without praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance. And, we must be on our knees seeking opportunities to serve and praying for strength to serve properly.

So what is prayer? How do we do it? What do we say? These are the questions we will deal with for our next series as we take an in depth look at the Lord's Prayer and say with the disciples, "Lord, teach us to pray!"

Also, this month is Thanksgiving. We are going to be offering a special opportunity for you to SIT and worship on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We will be holding a special Thanksgiving Eve (November 21st) worship service at 7:30pm here at the church. This will be a time to offer up thanks to God who provides for all our needs. Also, we have many opportunities to SERVE this month. Please remember to pick up food for the Thanksgiving baskets and take a name from the giving tree all to help some less fortunate families during the holiday season.

As I write this, the fires in the area are finally dying down and things are beginning to become more manageable. But this does not mean that things are going "back to normal" for a tremendously large number of families. At times like this, we who have been blessed with so much need to reach out to our neighbors in need and offer a helping hand. If you can offer any financial support for those families who have been affected by the fires, please let me know and I will be able to direct that money to an organization that is supporting them. Please continue to pray that the lives of these people would be put in order.

Pastor Bob

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Feeling Distracted?

This world is full of distractions. And, to be quite honest, I love distractions! In particular, I love distractions of the athletic sort! I don't know if you all know this, but I am a big football fan. In particular (this may shock some of you), I am a Denver Broncos fan! When the Broncos are on TV everything is right with the world (unless they are losing, heaven forbid). Nothing can distract me from the TV because the Broncos are on and I am completely caught up in the game. Whatever is happening around me, no matter how important, inevitably takes a backseat to the game. This distraction becomes my focus, and this can prove to be dangerous.

This same sort of thing happens in the church all the time. Hebrews 12:2 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the AUTHOR and PERFECTOR of our faith..." When it comes to our Christian life and our salvation, we are to look to Christ alone who began our faith in us and will bring it to perfection. But this is hard to do. We get caught up with so many distractions, even in the church. The church is to focus on Christ, but often we find ourselves focusing on Christ PLUS our programs or Christ PLUS our community outreach. Both our programs and our outreach are critically important things, but if they begin to distract us from Christ they become like a Broncos game, the distraction becomes our focus!

For the month of October we are going to do a sermon series on what it means for us to focus on Christ alone, not just for our salvation (though certainly for that) but for our Christian walk as well. Since October is the month in which we remember Reformation, we will discuss what the Reformers emphasized in their rediscovery of the gospel, that we are saved by grace ALONE, through faith ALONE on account of Christ ALONE. Please join us as we leave our distraction at the door and focus on Christ alone!

Pastor Bob

Girlfriends at Faith

Please join us in learning more about Believing God as we being our first Beth Moore Interactive DVD and workbook Bible Study.

Beth Moore has a very creative way of presenting bible truths and I am excited about sharing her study with the women of Faith. Beth Moore provides many difference inter-denominational bible studies and her ministry is very productive in assisting women in learning more of God's word.

In the "Believing God Series" Beth teaches us to rely on God through 5 principles:
  • God is who He says He is
  • God can do what He says He can do
  • I am who God says I am
  • I can do all things through Christ
  • God's Word is alive and active in me

She brings in details of faith from servants such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua and others mentioned in Hebrews 11.

As much as this is a personal study where we will grow individually in our belief, there is a time for fellowship and sharing and praying with each other. We will begin each meeting in a small group and go through the homework we have completed in our workbook. Later we will hear Beth lecture on DVD where she addresses different aspects of her series "Believing God."

Because our schedules are so busy, we have designed this 10 week series to be spread out every other Wednesday from October 10th 2007 through December 5th 2007, starting back January 9th 2008 through March 5th 2008.

Please make time for this series. If you have other girlfriends who are interested in this series, invite them. The study will be at my home beginning at 7:00pm and ending at 9:00pm. We are respectful of everyone's schedule and will keep the study moving so that we can finish on time.

Please sign up in the fellowship hall or email me. There is a $20.00 fee for the workbook due at the time of sign up. Don't hesitate to call with questions: (805) 529-5938.

Love in Christ,
Teri Lareva

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email