Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas: Better Than We Deserve

In December of 1892, a world-wide tradition was born. The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky was first performed. Although it took many years for this orchestration and ballet to “take off”, today there is hardly a ballet company in the world that does not perform this classic during the Christmas season. One of the most beloved aspects of the performance are the children who dance and play instruments. It has been said that, at the inaugural production, the children did not learn their instruments well and did poorly. In spite of this, in an act of great kindness and grace, Tchaikovsky wrote a generous thank you note to each of the children expressing how pleased he was with them. To the children’s delight, each note was accompanied with a box of sweets! This story reminds me of what popular financial guru Dave Ramsey always says when asked how he is doing. He replies, “Better than I deserve!”

Just as these children received “better than they deserve”, we also have been delivered a grace-filled letter, the Bible, and the precious gift of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. This Christmas season, we celebrate the fact that we are treated “better than we deserve”. The Bible even states that our works are but filthy rags (Phil. 3:8) and what He offers is worth more than gold (I Peter 1:18-19)! Our response? Surrender completely to Jesus Christ, celebrate fully “The Gift”, and be grace-filled toward others, treating them “better than they deserve”.

This is the ultimate Christmas tradition.

Merry Christmas and much love!

Pastor David

Monday, November 24, 2014

The LifeLine Project

Imagine you are on a much-deserved beach vacation.  You are relaxing alone on the beach, when you hear a terrified scream, “Help!  I can’t swim.”  A life preserver is attached to a rope nearby.  Of course, you would run, grab the life-saving equipment, and throw it to the struggling swimmer.  You’d do everything in your power to throw the Life Line and help this person.  Your part is to throw out the life-saving equipment; the struggling swimmer must also do his or her part in holding onto this equipment while you pull him or her to safety.

The LifeLine Project exists to be life-saving help and hope to prostitutes on the streets of Columbus, Ohio.  The project was founded by Karen Monroe, who we met during our “His Hands His Feet” mission project this summer.  You may remember Karen, who spoke in October during Taste of Missions.  Karen, and others working with her, relay the message of, “You don’t have to live this way,” as they give a gift bag full of toiletries and information of where and how to get help, as they travel around downtown Columbus.

How does this affect you?  How can you help?  How can we, as a group at Orange Friends, continue being the Hands and Feet of Jesus?

We have the opportunity to fill some bags that will be distributed to the prostitutes in Columbus.  Huntington Bank is donating 500 string backpacks to Karen – how many of these can we fill? 

1.    We are collecting items for the bags now.  There is a basket in the lobby (next to the mitten Christmas tree) for these type of items:

a.       Travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush
b.      Chapstick, deodorant
c.       Packaged cracker sandwiches, granola bars, or other energy foods

2.    Write a short note, expressing Jesus’ love, your care, and your prayers; perhaps a scripture verse.

3.    On January 11, you are invited to join Karen and our youth to pack as many of these bags as we can, here at Orange Friends. 

Karen will provide materials from the health department, and rehabilitation facilities.  We will include literature that will tell about Jesus’ love for them.  Our Outreach Commission is pledging $500 to help pack bags.  We can  S-T-R-E-T-C-H  those funds with items we may already have, or items we can purchase as we shop.  PLEASE HAVE YOUR DONATIONS HERE BY December 28, so that we will know what needs to be purchased.

Being His Hands and His Feet, 

Ron Clark
Missions Coordinator

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sermon Follow-Up

This past week, we explored some deep but important theology. I quoted some sources and they are listed below. If you have any questions or wish to discuss this at length, please contact me.

Pastor David

Infographic Credit: Christianity Today. For the full article, please visit:

Arminianism may be represented by the acronym FACTS:

Friday, October 31, 2014

We Are Hiring!

(Job Opening Listed on October 31, 2014)

Orange Friends Church is looking to hire a Director of Worship Ministries. Please help us get the word out! If you or someone you know is interested in this 10-hour-per-week Worship Leader position, please send a resume, cover letter and 3 references to Pastor David Mabry.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Making An Eternal Difference Together

Orange Friends Church is part of the Evangelical Friends Church Eastern Region (EFC-ER), which is a family of over 90 churches reaching from Florida into Canada and from Chicago to Boston. Our shared purpose is to reach our families, our communities, and the wider world for Christ.

As part of the EFC-ER, we work together with the other churches in our region to support the mission fields for which the EFC-ER is directly responsible. The EFC-ER directly supports missionaries in several countries around the world including Brazil, China, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Panama, Romania, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine. 

Our extended missions family includes the Evangelical Friends Mission (EFM). EFM is the cooperative missions arm of the Evangelical Friends Church North America (EFC-NA), which has outreach ministries in Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe, and North America. EFM is supported by individuals, churches and the member and associate member regions and yearly meetings of the Alaska Yearly Meeting, Evangelical Friends Church Eastern Region, Evangelical Friends Church Mid-America, Evangelical Friends Church Southwest, Northwest Yearly Meeting, and the Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting.

Orange Friends Church also supports several local missions organizations by providing prayer, volunteers, and/or donations to organizations such as C.R.A.C.K. House Ministries, Faith Mission, Pregnancy Decision Health Center, Pregnancy Resources of Delaware County, and GraceHaven.

October is Missions Month, and although we use this specific time to emphasize missions, you are encouraged to personally focus on missions every month of the year. This can include donating your time, talents, and treasures...there are so many opportunities to serve! It also includes prayer...prayer for those serving in the mission fields (both local and global); prayer for your local and regional church leadership; prayer for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ; and even prayer for yourself...after all, YOU are a live and work in your own unique mission field; you are surrounded by those who desperately need to know the love of Christ! Through it all, remember to passionately, prayerfully, and regularly seek God and His will in your life. Together, we can make an ETERNAL difference!

For more information on how to get involved or how to donate to a specific mission field, please contact the church office at (740) 548-5819.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Your Identity In Christ

Here is a list of Gospel Identity Scriptures to help remind us of who we are in Jesus.

The Word of God Says in Jesus Christ

I am faithful (Ephesians 1:1)
I am Gods child (John 1:12)
I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am Christs friend (John 15:15)
I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
I am a member of Christs Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
I am given Gods glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)
I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)
I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)
I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)
I am included (Ephesians 1:13)
I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)
I am salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14)
I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5)
I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am Gods coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)
I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)
I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)
I have been shown the incomparable riches of Gods grace (Ephesians 2:7)
God has expressed His kindness to me (Ephesians 2:7)
I am Gods workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I have been brought near to God through Christs blood (Ephesians 2:13)
I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
I am a member of Gods household (Ephesians 2:19)
I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)
I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19)
I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)
I share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6)
Gods power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)
I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
I know there is a purpose for my sufferings (Ephesians 3:13)
I can grasp how wide, long, high and deep Christs love is (Ephesians 3:18)
I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)
I can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)
I have been called (Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:9)
I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)
I can mature spiritually (Ephesians 4:15)
I can be certain of Gods truths and the lifestyle which He has called me to (Ephesians 4:17)
I can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Ephesians 4:21-32)
I can be kind and compassionate to others (Ephesians 4:32)
I can forgive others (Ephesians 4:32)
I am a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9)
I can understand what Gods will is (Ephesians 5:17)
I can give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20)
I dont have to always have my own agenda (Ephesians 5:21)
I can honor God through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33)
I can parent my children with composure (Ephesians 6:4)
I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10)
I have Gods power (Ephesians 6:10)
I can stand firm in the day of evil (Ephesians 6:13)
I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)
I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
I am growing (Colossians 2:7)
I am His disciple (John 13:15)
I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)
I am united with other believers (John 17:20-23)
I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)
I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)
I am promised eternal life (John 6:47)
I am promised a full life (John 10:10)
I am victorious (I John 5:4)
My heart and mind is protected with Gods peace (Philippians 4:7)
I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)
I am blameless (I Corinthians 1:8)
I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)
I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am safe (I John 5:18)
I am part of Gods kingdom (Revelation 1:6)
I am healed from sin (I Peter 2:24)
I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1, 2)
I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13)
I am overcoming (I John 4:4)
I am persevering (Philippians 3:14)
I am protected (John 10:28)
I am born again (I Peter 1:23)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)
I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)
I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12)
I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Scripture Verses about Our Identity in Christ
What Happened to Me?

Rom. 5:1 I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous).
Rom. 6:1-6 I died with Christ and died to the power of sins rule on my life.
Rom. 8:1 I am free forever from condemnation.
1 Cor. 1:30 I have been put into Christ by Gods doing.
1 Cor. 2:12 I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God.
1 Cor. 2:16 I have been given the mind of Christ.
1 Cor. 6:19, 20 I have been bought with a price.  I am not my own.  I belong to God.
2 Cor. 1:21 I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God in Christ.
2 Cor. 5:14, 15 Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Him (Christ).
2 Cor. 5:21 I have been made righteous.
Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  (The life I am living is Christs life.)
Eph. 1:3 I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.
Eph. 1:4 I have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.
Eph. 1:5 I was predestined (determined by God) to be adopted as a son.
Eph. 1:7, 8 I have been redeemed, forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace, Eph. 1:13, 14 and have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge (a deposit/down payment) guaranteeing my inheritance to come.
Eph. 2:5 I have been made alive together with Christ.
Eph. 2:6 I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven.
Eph. 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Spirit.
Eph. 3:12 I may approach God with boldness, freedom, and confidence.
Col. 1:13 I have been delivered (rescued) from the domain of darkness (Satans rule) and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.
Col. 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins (the debt against me has been cancelled).  (see Col. 2:13, 14)
Col. 1:27 Christ Himself is in me.
Col. 2:7 I have been firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built up in Him.
Col. 2:11 I have been spiritually circumcised (my old, unregenerate nature has been removed).
Col. 2:10 I have been made complete in Christ.
Col. 2:12, 13 I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ.
Col. 3:1-4 I have been raised up with Christ.  I died with Christ.  My life is now hidden with Christ in God.  Christ is now my life.
2 Tim. 1:7 I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Tim. 1:9 I have been saved and called (set apart) according to Gods doing.
Titus 3:5
Heb. 2:11 Because I am sanctified and am one with the Sanctifier (Christ), He is not ashamed to call me brother.
Heb. 4:16 I have a right to come boldly before the throne of God (the throne of grace) to find mercy and find grace in time of need.
2 Pet. 1:4 I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I am a partaker of the divine nature (Gods nature).

Who Am I?

Matt. 5:13 I am the salt of the earth.
Matt. 5:14 I am the light of the world.
John 1:12 I am a child of God (part of His family).  (see Rom. 8:16)
John 15:1, 5 I am part of the true vine, a branch of His (Jesus) life.
John 15:15 I am Jesus friend.
John 15:16 I am chosen and appointed by Jesus to bear His fruit.
Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness of Christ for Christ.
Rom. 6:18 I am a slave of righteousness.
Rom. 6:22 I am enslaved to God.
Rom. 8:14, 15 I am a son of God.  (God is my daddy so to speak) (see Gal. 3:26, 4:6)
Rom. 8:17 I am a joint-heir with Christ sharing His inheritance with Him.
1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19 I am a temple (home) of God.  His Spirit dwells in me.
1 Cor. 6:17 I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.
1 Cor. 12:27 I am a member of Christs body.  (see Eph. 5:30)
2 Cor. 5:17 I am a new creation (new person).
2 Cor. 5:18, 19 I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.
Gal. 3:26, 28 I am a son of God and one in Christ.
Gal. 4:6, 7 I am an heir of God since I am a son of God.
Eph. 1:1 I am a saint.  (see 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2)
Eph. 2:10 I am Gods workmanship (handiwork) created in Christ to do the work He planned beforehand that I should do.
Eph. 2:19 I am a fellow citizen with the rest of Gods people in His family.
Eph. 3:1 / 4:1 I am a prisoner of Christ.
Eph. 4:24 I am righteous and holy.
Phil. 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven and seated in heaven right now (see Eph. 2:6)
Col. 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Col. 3:4 I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life.
Col. 3:12 I am chosen of God, holy, and dearly loved.
1 Thes. 1:4 I am chosen and dearly loved by God.
1 Thes. 5:5 I am son of light and not of darkness.
Heb. 3:1 I am a holy brother, partaker of a heavenly calling.
Heb. 3:14 I am a partaker of Christ I share in His life.
1 Pet. 2:5 I am one of Gods living stones and am being built up (in Christ) as a spiritual house.
1 Pet. 2:9, 10 I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Gods own possession to proclaim His excellencies.
1 Pet. 2:11 I am an alien and stranger to this world that I temporarily live in.
1 Pet. 5:8 I am an enemy of the devil.
1 John 3:1, 2 I am now a child of God.  I will resemble Christ when He returns.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God; the evil one (the devil) cant touch me.
Psalm 23 & 100 I am a sheep of His pasture.  Therefore, I have everything I need.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exceedingly Abundant

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”   Ephesians 3:20–21

This promise from God’s Word stirs excitement in my soul. God can do far more than we even ask or think! Today, I’m thinking about what God has done so far this year at Orange Friends, and wondering, “What have we forgotten to ask or think for Him to do the rest of this year?”

So far this year, many of us at Orange have given of our time, talents, and treasures with our regular service and financial gifts to our local church, to our community, and toward world-wide missions. Our building and grounds have been used by H2O Church from Ohio State for leadership retreats, our EFC-ER youth leaders' retreat, FCA camp, and local youth soccer teams, to name a few. Most of our congregation participated recently in our church summer mission project (His Hands, His Feet - What an exciting event!) We have new carpet as well as building and parking lot upgrades because of your giving to our Vision Fund. Plus, we are happy to welcome our new Worship Leader, Sean Biddle, as well as several new babies! God has done much so far this year – I’m sure you can list your own personal blessings. What IS in store for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015?

In October last year, most of us made financial commitments for 2014 for our General Fund Budget, our Vision Fund to upgrade our church property, and our Faith Promise to support our Yearly Meeting missions and operation. I’m happy to say that at mid-year (June 30), we are very close to giving one-half of our 2014 commitments. In addition, we have given $4,015 to support the operation of, and the missions that were part of His Hands, His Feet. All funds given for His Hands, His Feet, and not used during that week’s activity, will go to support the local missions where we worked (i.e., C.R.A.C.K. House Ministries, Freedom a la Carte (ministering to sexual abuse victims), and Pregnancy Decision Health Center ).  THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!

Our “schedule” for the remainder of 2014 includes a Baby Dedication, our Church Picnic, our Leadership Retreat, 2015 budget planning, and Taste of Missions. You will begin hearing about our 2015 Pledge campaign soon. Our “wish list” includes raising funds to re-carpet the gym/worship center. God probably has other things to add to our “schedule” and our “wish list”, because, after all, He can do ABUNDANTLY more than we can ask or think! Let’s stay tuned with our ear toward God’s moving among us, and our hearts full of continued generosity.

Kay Cermak
Stewardship Coordinator

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Reflections of His Hands, His Feet

July 30th through August 3rd, 2014 was an interesting time for me…the “His Hands, His Feet” local mission event.  First, let me thank everyone who participated in this event, especially the “His Hands, His Feet” leadership team.  There are a handful of people who put in a lot of time towards making this event happen, and I thank each of you. 

God provided in so many ways during those 5 days.  First, He provided people, His people, with willing hearts.  There were 91 persons from Orange Friends Church (OFC) who participated either by showing up and working at or praying at a job site or praying from home or their vacation spot.  There were 75 people throughout the week who were able, at one time or another, to participate physically at a specific job site.  And again, I thank every one of you!

And thank you to all who were able to provide towards this event, financially.  Again, God provided above and beyond financially, not only through your giving, but the many businesses that gave us discounts once they heard what “His Hands, His Feet” was about.  God is so good! 

For those who were able to participate, I think that all would agree that our cups were overflowing. 

Many lives and organizations have been blessed through your willing hearts, and the sacrifices many made for this event, which we can pray will bring people closer to God and build His kingdom.

For me, I especially enjoyed the end of the day. (Ok, I know some of you are thinking, yeah he was tired and ready to go home).  I enjoyed the end of the day because of the testimony time.  We all have a testimony.  We all have a story.  A story of how God has worked in our lives.  A story of how God has brought us through some difficult time or circumstance.

Many testimonies were shared this week.  When we share our testimony with others, I believe God is pleased.  Our testimony can help others.  God will make sure our testimony will help others.  When we share our testimony, I believe we are blessed also. 

All of our testimonies are important.  Often we feel that our testimony is not strong enough, or that it is boring.  I remember being at the C.R.A.C.K. House Ministry about 4 to 5 years ago.  We have a time of testimony there every week.  A lady got up to give her testimony.  It was the most powerful testimony I have ever recalled, and not a word was spoken.  She got up, went to the microphone, and started crying.  She cried for about 2 to 3 minutes and just could never get the words out, and then she proceeded to sit down.

This was a women who I had never seen before and do not believe I have seen since.  But her testimony was powerful to me.  I think of her on occasion and pray for her.  Her willingness to get up, although she was unable to get the words out, impacted me.  And I am sure others were praying for her also.

I say that only to say we never know how our testimony will impact others.  It does not take a special speech, dramatic words, it does not even need to make complete sense, and as mentioned above, it may not even require words. 

If we are willing to show or tell others of our need for God in our lives, of how God works in our lives, of God’s amazing love…..then God is pleased.

I thank everyone for their work and dedication last week, but I also thank you for your testimonies.  Share how God worked in your life, how God was working while you were digging holes, cooking and serving meals, visiting strangers, packing boxes, praying…..during the “His Hands, His Feet” event.

On Sunday August 3rd, the church left the building, to serve and love others.  After that final time together on Sunday, after lunch, we all left the building with a testimony…a testimony to share with others, not to keep to ourselves.

Ron Clark

Thursday, July 24, 2014

His Hands, His Feet Local Missions Event

Our "His Hands, His Feet" Local Missions Event is less than a week away! This wonderful opportunity to join together and serve our local community will be held Wednesday, July 30th through Sunday, August 3rd and will be an excellent way to experience missions while staying at home! Check out the schedule and detailed information below. Please contact Ron Clark at (614) 545-8751 with any questions.


8:00 AM - 8:30 AM      Arrive at Orange Friends
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM      Light breakfast and devotions
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM      Ministry Team Leaders assign jobs and locations
9:15 AM - 9:30 AM      Departure for ministry site
12:00 PM                      Lunch at ministry site
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM Arrive back at Orange Friends from the mission field
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Daily testimony and final prayer time


8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Arrive at Orange Friends
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Light breakfast and devotions
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM GO OUT AND BE THE CHURCH IN OUR COMMUNITY                                                             THROUGH SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Lunch back at Orange Friends
12:00 PM Celebration Service with testimonies

*You may find you can only serve part of the time. That is NO PROBLEM! Share this with Ron Clark or a Ministry Team Leader and jump in where you can!

Tentative Ministry Teams that you can help with:

Prayer Team
a. Pray in prayer room at the Church
b. Go to the ministry sites and pray for ministry teams/others

Food Prep and Service Team
a. Preparing and serving food for workers

Children’s Ministry Team
a. Helping Orange Friends Children do mission work!

Visitation and Hospitality Team
a. Cleaning/assisting with chores for some of our church shut-ins
b. Nursing home visits with crafts for shut-ins

Construction Team
a. Remodeling new location offices for PDHC (Pregnancy Decision Health Center)
b. Landscaping at PDHC’s new location

Community Connections and Evangelism Team
a. Pass out brochures for PDHC in the OSU campus area
b. Hand out water bottles and other items throughout the community just to say, “Here is a small way of saying we love you and God loves you!”

Service Team
a. Sorting shoes for "Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes" event for GraceHaven
b. Light construction/remodeling for C.R.A.C.K House Ministries
c. Serving a free lunch at C.R.A.C.K. House Ministries 


Help every participant to be freed up to serve! We are not charging a participation fee to meet the expenses of this Mission opportunity so that NO ONE is kept from participating because of financial reasons. Give, so all can serve! The estimated total budget for this event is $4000.00. We are still accepting financial contributions. So far, we have received a total of $2,758 for this fund.

The following are ways that you can give:

SAINT - your gift of $500 pays for all breakfast items, OR all lunch items, OR T-Shirts for all participants.

APOSTLE - your gift of $350 pays for remodeling items OR miscellaneous "last minute" supplies

PROPHET - your gift of $200 pays for evangelism material, OR water bottles for volunteers, OR water bottles for evangelism hand-outs, OR landscape items

TEACHER - your gift of $100 pays for craft items, OR yard maintenance supplies, OR cleaning supplies, OR meat for our all-church Sunday lunch.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Those Are Huge Mountains!

"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (Hebrews 1:1–4, ESV) 

I had the privilege of hiking in the Rocky Mountains recently with my son, Alex. This was his first experience in the mountains. I remember the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains as a teenager. I was blown away by the magnitude! Growing up in the Midwest… the flat, Midwest… it is something to behold when you approach the mountain range from a distance, and then when you get right in the midst of them…it is awe-inspiring. 

Photo Credit: Alex Mabry
It strikes me that there is a Creator of these mountains. A Creator of this entire world… the entire universe. The book of Hebrews (which is actually a sermon) starts off with this idea of, “Those are huge mountains, BUT Jesus is GREATER!” 

In light of this, my question is simple this day. What are you blown away by, overwhelmed by, or discouraged by that is mountainous in your life? It can be “blown away” by greatness or largeness. It can be “overwhelmed or discouraged” by disease, relational stress, or depression/loneliness. 

Reflect on what your answer may be and then reread Hebrews 1:1-4. Then repeat the words, “Jesus is Greater than…” 

How does this hit you? What feelings come to you? What would you tell Jesus in light of His greatness compared to your “mountain”? 

Remember, those are huge mountains, but Jesus is GREATER!” 

~ Pastor David

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Who

(An article by Sean Biddle, OFC Director of Worship Ministries)

10 years of marriage this July... 

10 homes in 9 different cities...

and a soon-to-be 5 year old daughter...  

Those are some brief life-numbers for Julie, Laney and me, or as I've dubbed, “The Biddle Trio.”  We've had the opportunity to meet so many quality people, have tasted a lot of good food and have learned a lot about life and the (universal) Church together. There have certainly been many highs and lows to our journey but with a bird’s eye view it’s evident to see God’s hand through it all.  

I've served in a wide range of churches from Reformed to Wesleyan, conservative to charismatic and small to mega. The best thing about having seen and being involved in so many different churches is that I've been able to see so many different worship styles, preaching styles and practical ways people carry out their faith in day to day life.  It’s easy to point out all of the differences, especially those that separate us, but I love to concentrate on the constant.   

Everything I've listed about my experiences are whats and howsWhat people believe, what style of music they sing, how people live, etc.

But the constant is WHO. This is what makes the Church, The Church.

I promise you this - the Reformed worship the same God as the Quakers. The conservatives and charismatics, alike, are seeking His Kingdom. Neither the small churches or mega churches have a monopoly in disciple-making or sharing the Gospel.  

So how does Who we worship look the same in these contexts?

It all stems from a foundational truth found in ancient texts, quoted by Jesus himself and fleshed out generation after generation called the Shema.

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.   - Deuteronomy 6:4-8 (NRSV)

It’s clear to me that at the forefront of our worship is loving God alone. In other words, He’s less concerned about the hows and whats of worship and more concerned about our attitude toward Him, loving him with our bodies (heart), inner-most being (soul) and any other aspect of life (might).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Going Deeper

I have come to really appreciate the following video put out by the group Seedbed. It clearly communicates an understanding of growth in Christ (Sanctification). Our study of James has been a wonderful book of the Bible to study in light of this short video. Where do you believe you are on the path? How are you helping others move along in their journey? I would love to hear your thoughts below in the comments section.

~ Pastor David

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Moving on in Transformation: A Life of Living Faith

This past Sunday morning we opened up James 2:14-26 and dealt with the issue of faith and works. We clearly are not saved by our works, but we are transformed unto good works when we surrender to Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10). We covered the research from the book Maximum Faith by George Barna, where he maps the ten stops along the path toward wholeness.

Here they are:
  1. Ignorance of the concept or existence of sin. 1%
  2. Aware of and indifferent to sin. 16%
  3. Concerned about the implications of personal sin. 39%
  4. Confess sins and ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior. 9%
  5. Commitment to faith activities. 24%
  6. Experience a prolonged period of spiritual discontent. 6%
  7. Experiencing personal brokenness. 3%
  8. Choosing to surrender and submit fully to God: radical dependence. 1%
  9. Enjoying a profound intimacy with and love for God. 0.5%
  10. Experiencing a profound compassion and love for humanity. 0.5%

Where would you place yourself?

Barna thinks most are in a “mindless mutiny” and in a “hopeless meandering.” And he thinks many stop on the path.

He presents five paths:
  1. Moving sequentially: some go from #1 to #10. Others try other methods.
  2. Settling for religiosity: some get to stop #6 and choose to settle for #5.
  3. Exploiting cheap grace: they get to #6 and revert back to #2.
  4. Becoming angry with God: they go through #6, but when they get to #7, they become angry with a God who would subject them to such a process of testing, and they often return, as well, to #2.
  5. Traveling the biblical path: they leap from #3 to #7 and move onward.

What path looks most familiar to you?

You can find Barna’s blog entry on this here