HappyWednesday, FCC! Yesterday morning I went to grab an espresso in town. After grabbing my cup of coffee and setting up my computer to do some work, a young woman kindly interrupted me. She asked if my name was Tim. I told her “yes,” and asked about her name. She told me her name and then told me that she visited our worship service for the first time on Sunday. She hasn’t been to church for a very long time. She doesn’t consider herself very religious, but because of a friend’s invitation she attended. She had a good experience with us. She was grateful for the music and singing and was complimentary of my sermon. She felt welcomed and she is planning to come back this coming Sunday.
This conversation made my day. I am so grateful that a friend invited her. I am grateful for the welcome time in our services and for your welcoming hearts. I am grateful for our hospitality team. I am thankful for our musicians and worship leaders. Thank you, FCC, you made my day!
Against you, you only, have I sinned
When I was younger, I would either be really sneaky when I did something wrong, or I would avoid it simply because I didn’t want to get caught. I had been in trouble, and I didn’t like being in trouble, so I avoided getting caught and getting into trouble. For the longest time, I sorta looked at sin this way. Sin was getting in trouble with God. It was breaking his rules. If I sinned, I would get in trouble with God. This somewhat helped me do battle with my sin.
But things changed dramatically for me, when I was awakened to the reality that sin is not just breaking God’s rules (though it is breaking his rules), it is breaking his heart. King David gives us a glimpse at this in this psalm of confession. He looks at all the evil he had done. Adultery, coverup, manipulating the death of a trusted leader, and betraying his role as protector of Israel. He looks at all of this, and it comes to home that in all of his sin, his sin was chiefly against God, and in sinning against God, he was breaking God’s heart. He was sinning against a holy and loving God. He was sinning against the God who had made him king. He was sinning against the God who had delivered him from all kinds of trouble. He was sinning against the God who only desired good for him.
As we learn from Psalm 51 on how to repent and be reconciled to God, David models for us a highly relational understanding to our sin. Our sin is not just breaking the rules, our sin is not just getting in trouble. Our sin does not just give us consequences we would rather not have. Our sin is a personal offense against our creator God who loves us, only desires good for us, gives us every gift that we enjoy. To add to this, the God against whom we sin, is the God who has sent Jesus to take the burden of our sin on himself. It is because of him that we can be made clean. When these truths start to take hold of our hearts, we have a mighty power in the fight against sin. Why would we sin against a God who love us like this?
As we continue to learn to fight against sin in our lives, may we continue to repent and seek forgiveness as God continues to remind you of his goodness, of his grace, of his love for you, so that you can increasingly turn away from sin because God is so good to you.
This Sunday we conclude the book of Ruth with a sermon called Restore (Ruth 4). In this chapter, we see the mission of God on full display. God is on a mission to restore broken lives. It’s because God is on a mission to restore broken lives, that Jonathan Edwards wrote a few centuries ago that a Christian can always be happy. Why? Because the worst aspects of our lives will be forced to do us good, our greatest gifts of God cannot be taken away, and the best is still to come. May God’s Spirit grant us a sense of the abiding hope we have in Jesus this Sunday!
“A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships” by Paul E. Miller(author of “A Praying Life) Available for purchase in the café area for $12. I loved reading this book in preparation for the current series on Ruth. Miller gives examples of what love can look like in very practical ways and constantly pointed me to God’s faithful love as the fuel to love others well.
There’s still time to give to Vision for the Valley! There’s still time for you to financially fuel some important kingdom initiatives!
One of the initiatives from our strategic plan is to multiply disciples of Jesus Christ through extension. Our goal with this initiative is local and cross-cultural church planting based on discipleship principles and practices. Over the next five years, by God's power and kindness:
Please make checks out to FCC and put Visionfor the Valley or VFV in the memo section. You may also give online at fcchudson.com. THANK YOU!
With students back in school, the Hudson Area Backpack Program is helping area families in need to have enough food over weekends. Participating in the backpack program is one way FCC serves the families in our community, as part of living out our vision of renewed neighborhoods and the valley. With your help, backpacks filled with breakfast, lunch and food items are provided to families at Willow River Elementary and families at E.P. Rock Elementary twice a month during the school year. The program is open to any elementary or middle school student. According to theHudson Area Backpack Program, 84% of the participants in the program during the 2017 school year were on free or reduced lunches (Source: hudsonback.com).Backpacks include child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed and vitamin-fortified food items, along with a voucher for free eggs, bread, mild and cheese redeemable at one of the local grocery stores.
WANT TO HELP with the backpack program?
Green bags are handed out at FCC one Sunday amonth during the school year with a shopping list of items to be purchased. Ifyou’d like to participate, here are some ways you can help:
We would love for you to join with us as a covenant member. The Covenant MembershipClass is our introduction to membership at Faith Community Church and is required for anyone wishing to pursue membership. This class covers our purpose, mission, vision, discipleship paths, Missional Communities, covenant and statement of belief. REGISTER online to attend the class and also for child care at fcchudson.com.
FCC covenant members will vote to affirm new covenant member candidates following the 9 a.m. service (starting approximately at 10:30 a.m.) in the Refuge Room onSunday, Oct. 7.