Friday, August 31, 2012

How Ya Doin'?

“How ya doin'...?" 

"Well, fine, thanks for asking...”

     A few years ago there was a humorous commercial that featured a friendly guy from the south.  In this ad, someone would greet this extraverted guy by saying, “How ya doin’?”.  With every intention of just saying "HI’” and moving on, the innocent person in the commercial is then cornered by this talkative gentlemen. The super- conversationalist doesn’t mean any harm. He just wants to talk. He isn’t even aware that his new-found friend had no desire of getting into this interaction. But there they are... the overly hospitable and the “victim”.

     We have a unique and fun challenge of providing a warm, welcoming, and hospitable environment at church each week. We have new people visiting Orange Friends every weekend!  We don't want to overdo a hospitable greeting, but we wish to make it clear that we love having new people visit.  We love seeing the church grow, we love how we were welcomed when we first came, and wish to do the same for others.   

     Some of us may feel a little apprehensive at the thought of welcoming someone we don't know. We're on the other end of the spectrum from the “friendly guy from down south who just loves meetin’ strangers”.  Whatever your comfort level is for reaching out, there's a place for you with this special opportunity in Christ to welcome others in His name.

     Let me make the following suggestions as you and I seek to show hospitality to those on Sunday morning who are seeking a church home and/or a relationship with Jesus:

1.  Welcome them:  seek out the new face.

  •  When you find them- greet them with a warm hello and handshake.     (For the introverts- it's OK to offer a smile and a simple ‘good morning’ as you pass them.)                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Those more comfortable with carrying on a conversation, ask simple         questions, such as: “What's your name?”, “How long have you been coming            to Orange Friends?”, “How did you find us?”, etc.

2.   Invite them back!  Help the visitor make the bridge to the next service, event, or opportunity to build relationships with us and, ultimately, with Jesus Christ.  

  • Don’t assume someone else has this covered. 

  • Invite them to your small group. For some, this is a great way to get involved and    it will let people know what we value as a church- life in community with one    another!

3.  Pray for them.  

  • This will require you to remember their name, and will help you to greet them by name when they return!

     When people visit a church, they expect and desire to be treated with hospitality.  It can be uncomfortable, somewhat stressful, and difficult to find your way around a new place.  I mean, come on, nobody likes to feel like an outsider, right?  For many, this determines whether they ever come back into our building or not.  This is important work all of us can engage in - that is, without the cornering from a seemingly innocent and unsuspecting, “How ya doin’?”   ;-)

-Pastor David

Thursday, August 16, 2012



Training (noun) :  To form by instruction, to aim at an objective, to prepare for a test

     On my drive to the office this month, I’ve noticed lots of training going on.  Kids kick up dirt, riding horses around in circles under the watchful eye of their instructor.  Students on summer vacation jog in groups preparing for Cross Country meets.  A high school marching band works on its formations and memorizes music for halftime performances.  A good friend is diligently training for an upcoming race.

     What are you doing?  How are you training your body, your mind, and your spirit?

     While we may not have a significant event ahead to motivate us to a specific goal, we have a reason to train ourselves – every day.  How are the fruits (of the Spirit) coming along?  How many chapters of the Bible have you read today, this week, this month, this year…?  Does time fly when you connect with God through prayer?   What worship songs do you know by heart and sing in the car, the shower, while you’re mowing, chopping veggies, riding your bike, or pushing the kids on the swings? 

     These items may not make it on your “to-do” list, but they are so very, very important in the life of a believer.  Reading your Bible, praying, and worshipping may not seem like training, but it most definitely is!  If we’ve done our “training in righteousness” as Paul exhorted Timothy, we are so much better prepared to deal with whatever comes our way.  Here’s the thing:  something IS coming your way.   Something is always coming your way.  It might not be today, tomorrow, or next week, but it’s coming.  How well you’ve trained will determine how well you handle the test, the crisis, the opportunity to impact someone's life with the message of the Gospel.

     “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right."  (2 Tim 3:16 NLT)

     I love how The Message reiterates it:  “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”

    Bring your water bottle and meet me on the track?   :-D    


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


     One of my favorite worship songs that we sing here at Orange Friends is one of the simplest:  "Give me Jesus".

    This song was written by Fernando Ortega and made popular most recently by Jeremy Camp.  It was originally a traditional African-American spiritual. This song has definetly stood the test of time!  Its words are so clear…a declaration that we want more of Jesus...that no matter what time or place or life situation, we want Jesus.  There are so many things in this world that we could foolishly use to replace time with him, or a relationship with Him.

"In the morning when I rise……give me Jesus
When I am alone…. give me Jesus
When I come to die…… give me Jesus"

     The verse of this song that hits home for me is “When I am alone” (mainly because I don’t do mornings  J).  I find myself very busy during the day filling my time with work, lessons, meetings, etc.  Sometimes I find it difficult to set apart time to just be alone with Jesus, and when I do find myself alone, I admit, I find my mind trying to fill up that space with my next to-do list.  But, as the verses listed below all say, He has never forsaken you.  That in the morning, or when you are alone, or anytime, HE is with you and wants to spend time with you! 

     So here is my challenge for you, and me!  Give Him your time.  Listen to His words.  Take time to talk to Him and worship Him. Not just the time you have left over…  remember that He is a BIG God, but that He also cares for you.


Psalm 9:10                  Psalm 94:14                Psalm 29:10                    Matthew 28:20
Isaiah 62:4                  2 Corinthians 4:9         1 Peter 5:7                      1 Samuel 12:22
Psalm 37:25                Deuteronomy 4:31      Isaiah 41:17                     Psalm 91:14-15
Isaiah 49:15-16           Psalm 43:5                 Deuteronomy 31:6