Happy May Day, FCC! Grass is growing, buds are on the trees, and the pollen count is up! Signs of life and renewal are all around. Let the signs remind you that one day Jesus will make all things new.
For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Though I have been a Christian for most of my life, I operated with a functional purpose that was different from honoring Jesus with my life. My functional purpose was to do all that I could to not be rejected or abandoned. My parents divorced when I was around five years old, and my heart interpreted those events in my life in such a way, that I had clarified a purpose for myself. For me to live was to not be rejected. I tried hard not to be rejected. I tried to be a good kid, to not be rejected. When I wasn’t a good kid, I would try and deceive, so people wouldn’t think poorly of me and reject me. For me to live is “not be rejected.”
But Jesus has pursued me. Jesus has moved me away from my functional purpose to a new purpose. Jesus has restored the relationship between me and God by his life, death, and resurrection, and ascension to heaven—my most important relationship is fully restored. God tells me that he will never leave me nor forsake me. That is astonishing news!
As I have matured with Jesus, he has realigned my functional purpose away from living to not be rejected, to living for him. I can increasingly say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ.” I want to live for Jesus, because Jesus lived and died for me.
We all can say, “For to me to live is...” and we can complete that sentence with all kinds of good causes. For me to live is...family, financial success, career, comfort, pleasure. But there is only one worthy purpose for which we can live, and it is: to live is Christ.
How would you complete the statement “For me to live is...”? However you complete that statement is your purpose in life. However you complete that statement is what you worship with your life. Will we live for Jesus or will we live for something that doesn’t last?
Let’s live for Jesus, because he first loved us!
This Sunday, we will celebrate baptisms in the services, and Pastor Tim Prince will be continuing in the “Eclipse” series with “Path of Glory” on Philippians 2.1-11. The foundational confession of the church throughout the ages has been: “Jesus Christ is Lord.” At different times and in different places, the cost of this confession has been different. In Philippi, the price was quite high, and yet, Paul gladly called people to pay that price because knowing Jesus so greatly surpasses everything else.
Because of some of the unique challenges of pastoral ministry and to provide a focused time for growth and leadership development, Faith Community has a Sabbatical Policy for our pastors. So periodically a pastor will go on sabbatical to rest, refresh and recharge and learn. Last year, Pastor Larry Szyman was on a three-month sabbatical. This year the elders approved for me to go on a three-month sabbatical. This comes at a great time for me and for FCC. I have been pastoring since 2001. I haven’t had a sabbatical yet, and I could use the rest and recharge. Our oldest son is going to college in the fall, and I am excited to spend a little more time with him before he leaves. And, lastly, we are a little over halfway through our five-year strategic plan, with which we are seeking to create a culture of discipleship with an evangelistic ethos. I want to grow in my evangelistic abilities and skills. I, also, want to learn from evangelistic churches around the country on their best practices for ways we can do everything we can to help everyone meet, know, and follow Jesus. I will start my Sabbatical on May 13 and will return to preaching and leading again on August 25.
During the summer, we will have other FCC pastors and guest preachers lead us through the book of Psalms. This series will be teaching us how to bring the real you to the real God in prayer and praise. This is going to be a great teaching series. I am very excited for it.
Please pray for me and my family. Pray that I get rest during the sabbatical and that I am able to recharge for the next steps in our strategic plan. I have been praying that God would help me become more evangelistic, that our leaders would grow in evangelism, and that sharing the gospel would be the air we breathe. Please pray that I would learn and grow and be equipped.
FCC covenant members will meet to affirm new covenant member candidates on Sunday, May 19, following the 9 a.m. service (starting approximately at 10:30 a.m.) in the Refuge Room.
Psalms 77:13-14 (God’s Character)
13Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.
Want to help serve our neighbors across the St. Croix Valley this summer?FaithWorks is about joining Christ in renewing the neighborhoods. Our vision is to show our neighbors love by performing service projects to individuals, families, parks, schools and agencies throughout our area. We will pay special attention to the elderly, widows and single parent families. We will consider funding projects for those with acute needs in keeping with the funding that exists. Volunteers serve together on everything from painting and yard work to home maintenance and clean up. What we are finding is that as we serve together, our lives are enriched in the process. In our giving, we receive. Consider being part of FaithWorks 2019!
Ways you can help! Visit fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app to:
LEARN ABOUT FCC events and registrations at fcchudson.com or the app. Search for “Faith Community Church Hudson” on the App Store or Google play to download the app.
PRAYER REQUESTS + CARE NEEDS are now posted on the Prayer + Care wall on the app. You can also sign up on the app under “Emails + Registrations,” if you would like to receive an email when new prayer requests and care needs are posted.
Wondering if something at FCC is canceled? Check fcchudson.com or the app.