Archives For Brussels

One Day Offering

Our first One Day Offering of 2013 highlights opportunities that will change the lives of children in Foster Care locally, individuals and families in Brussels, and women caught in the darkest of chains in Thailand. In this post, we want you to read about the need to serve and impact children in Foster Care in our local community. We have the opportunity to give together and support the incredible actions of Foster parents who are taking on the great task of caring for children whose families are broken. As they welcome children into a new family, they need the encouragement of the Body of Christ for the journey.

As members of the Kingdom of God, our Heavenly Father directs us throughout His word to serve the fatherless. Our community and county has too many children without healthy families. So many are enduring hardship because of absent parents or parents going through difficult circumstances. The One Day Offering in May 2013 will support Shepherd’s Supply Clothing Closet of the Rutherford County Foster Parent Association (find them on Facebook). Shepherd’s Supply Clothing Closet serves every child (age newborn to age 17 years) that enters into the Foster Care system and resides in Rutherford County, TN. Their work includes supplying children in foster care with new or gently used age appropriate clothing, new personal hygiene items, and school supplies at no cost.

The work of the Shepherd’s Supply Clothing Closet started out of as a great need for foster families. Foster parents have a large amount of supplies and resources they need when they get the call for children needing their love and home. Their response is immediate and often with little ability to prepare for the specific needs of the children they will love and parent. The Clothing Closet allows parents to easily get what they need so they can focus on loving children. We can help these wonderful foster parents so they don’t have to choose shopping and errands over loving hurting and confused children. We can share the love of Christ through clothes, car seats, and cribs. As you pray for your involvement in the One Day Offering know that you are helping remove the stress of material things so foster parents can focus on eternal things. Many of these families are our own LifePoint families.

We give together as a faith family on May 5 in our Worship Gatherings. You can also give today or anytime online.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! That is definitely true at LifePoint!

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On Easter weekend, LifePointers all around the world celebrated the freedom we have in our Risen Lord. The weekend began with the Smyrna and Stewarts Creek Campuses gathering together for a Good Friday Service. This was a special time as we focused on cross and the blood of Jesus and took part in a unique, staff-led time of communion and remembrance.

The Lynnwood and Brussels campuses held Easter egg hunts for their communities over the weekend. They each had amazing turnouts. What a great way to bring joy and reach out to people who need the Gospel.

Brussels Egg Hunt
LifePoint Brussels Egg Hunt
See more pictures from the LifePoint Brussels Egg Hunt.

Lynnwood Egg Hunt

For more info on the Lynnwood Easter egg hunt, check out this previous blog post, Going all OUT for Easter.

On Easter Sunday, we began a new series at LifePoint called Freedom – celebrating that not only has Christ set us free from sin and death, but he has set us free to live as a free people! Almost 5,000 people gathered at our five different campuses around the world. One way, we celebrated Freedom at the Smyrna Campus was to have a special time of baptisms during the service. Almost 40 people were baptisms throughout the three services. Check out this video to see all of the baptisms from that weekend.

Another way we celebrated Freedom was with the release of a brand new single by LifePoint Music called “Freedom.” The song is free to download from lifepointmusic.com and has already been downloaded by over 700 people around the world. If you would like to know about the song “Freedom,” check out the story behind the song below.

Thank you LifePoint, for making Easter weekend such a special time at each of our campuses. Let’s live in the freedom that Christ brings us!

One of the dragons, or enemies of a healthy marriage is busyness. Life can sometimes just sweep us away. There are times when it is obvious we are booked and scheduled up to our necks for the next X weeks. However, sometimes the busyness is subtle. Here’s another way of putting it:

Slaying the Dragon

Sometimes busyness marches down the street like an army on parade. And sometimes it crawls on its belly like a guerrilla.

I am not talking about something that is to be winked at, acknowledged and accepted. Busyness is a poison that can suck the very life out of many marriages. I know. I have counseled numerous ones with so much distance. Day by day, life and its busyness has eroded the fabric of their relationship. This enemy is more dangerous as a guerrilla because, like termites, it does a number on the foundation without you ever realizing it.

How to combat it?

1. Recognize the busyness in your life. Get it out of guerrilla mode. We all live in a busy world with busy schedules and little time for anything but what’s on the calendar. You do not have a bad marriage because you have a busy one. It’s how you handle the stuff in your life that determines the health of your marriage, your family and you.

2. Respond with an action plan. Here comes the C-word: yes, communication is essential here. Both of you simply sit down, calendar on the table, and choose when you will have your date, have that over-nighter, etc. Time together doesn’t just happen. Time for everything else seems to be that way, but not in marriage. This needs to be a joint effort. Both have to have buy-in because if you proactively set any time for your marriage, each of you will probably need to give up something. Decide together how you will address the busyness issue in your lives.

3. Revel in your progress in controlling the busyness in your life. Celebrate when you are winning the busyness battle! I have a fellow staff member that talks a lot about the weekly lunch date he and his wife have. How cool is that! When he talks about his dates he is celebrating their progress of managing their busy lives while working on their marriage.

Busyness is powerful but not insurmountable. Perhaps it cannot be eliminated (I don’t recommend becoming a hermit) but it can be managed with some advance planning as a team.

So get to it. Your marriage team is a gift! Protect that gift by working to manage your activities rather than your activities managing you and your marriage.

“So they are no longer two, but one.” Matthew 19:6a

Post from Rodney Wilson, LifePoint Marriages Pastor. Rodney has a passion for encouraging, counseling, and teaching men and women how to have great marriages that make Jesus famous. Rodney, and his wife Selma, have authored Extraordinary Marriage and The Parent Adventure. Rodney and Selma have two adult daughters, two son-in-laws, and in Rodney’s opinion the greatest grandson in the universe. You can connect with Rodney on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Our family moved to Brussels along with three other families to plant a church. We have a meeting place for our Sunday gatherings with LifePoint flags out front. We even have a great website. How do we get people to come inside? Moreover, how do we get French speaking Belgians to come inside?

Scattered and Gathered

Our Campus Pastor, Kyle Goen, recently said that “our gathering time will only be as fruitful as our scattering time“. This has motivated our team from the very beginning to be out in the community. The people of Brussels will not come inside until we go outside.

For each family it looks a little different because—thank God—we are different. Each of our unique abilities and interests make it possible to connect with a variety of people. Angie and I are intentional with leveraging our musical abilities for the gospel. This has opened doors to a new stream of relationships. People in Belgium love American music. It’s what you hear 90% of the time as you make your way through the city on subways or shopping. People are excited when they find out that we musicians from “Music City, USA”!

Late last year Angie and I formed a band. We are performing in restaurants, cafes, and other venues. We are connecting with fellow musicians, people who hire us, workers at the restaurants, and of course, those who come to listen. You see, many people we are in relationship with are not comfortable coming to a church gathering. They have a lack of understanding about a church like LifePoint. Their preconceptions about church and religious people often keep them from venturing out into the unknown. The Catholic church is really all they know. In many cases, there is a great disconnect between their experience at church and the rest of their lives. Our hope is to break down their preconceptions and show them that people of faith can have fun and be relevant to the world around them.

In January, Angie and I played at a restaurant and invited everyone we have relationships with, many of whom had not yet visited the church. It was incredible. I think everyone we invited actually came! They brought their friends, too. Fifty came to hear us in addition to an already full restaurant with their normal customers. We have already seen this event as something that has brought us closer to those who came . We are experiencing an increase in dialog around thing like church and faith. One family recently attended our worship gathering. One of the women who came has started to send her son to our youth events.

We are also leveraging our experience in music is through “meetups”. Meetup.com is a website designed to connect people with one another. In a diverse and transient city like Brussels, there are always people looking to connect. Angie and I recently started a musician’s meetup. We meet monthly at restaurants or cafes. It gives musicians here a chance to meet others like themselves, explore the possibilities of playing together, or at the very least, support each other in their endeavors. Late last year, we had a young man at our meetup named Aaron. He is a bass player who moved here recently from the Philippines. He is a new believer but had not yet connected with a church. After sharing about LifePoint, he attended our worship gathering and is now the bass player on our worship team. He has recently expressed a desire to be baptized and will be part of our very first baptism service later this month!

Of course, not everything we do is related to music. We have formed many relationships at the school that Phoebe and Ruby attend. Angie is teaching conversational English to some of the mothers from our children’s school and for a few the students in her French class. This is strengthening relationships and paving the way for the gospel.

We are privileged to be a part of seeing God’s church established here. We are excited to see lives and families being changed. Brussels is a place that needs to be awakened! Faith in God is not the reality here that we are all accustomed to in the U.S. Please pray that God will use us to share the life-changing, life-giving, and life-saving good news of Christ.

So…how do we get them to come inside? We must go outside!

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

David and Angie Ebensberger serve as worship leaders at LifePoint Brussels. Prior to the relocating there in late 2011, they both worked in the Christian Music Industry during their twenty years in the Nashville area. For many years. they served as part-time worship leaders at LifePoint, Smyrna. They have four daughters: Abigail, Emily, Phoebe and Ruby. You can connect with David and Angie on Facebook.

LifePoint Marriages focuses on several, what we call, “Essentials of a Healthy Marriage”. Each marriage event is centered around one of these essentials.

  • Treasure Trust
  • Pursue Passion
  • Celebrate Sex
  • Balance Finances
  • Cultivate Communication

This year at Romance and Roses, our annual marriage event in February for Middle Tennessee campuses, we are looking at Cultivate Communication. Communication is the lifeblood of a marriage. It is universal in a marital relationship because it affects every part of your life together. Communication impacts your sex life, how you handle conflict, how or whether or not you dream together, your finances, and so on. If you are in the Middle Tennessee area, keep reading. There is something for you to do, too.

Romance and Roses 2013

Much has been written on this subject to the point where it would be easy to over-complicate it and see it as not reachable. This is not the case at all. Here are some simple thoughts on keeping communication simple, therefore attainable.

Be aware
… of the need to communicate. You must let your mate know what’s going on in your mind. Husbands, being a man is no excuse. Sometimes we just have to push on through to inform our wives of where we are on certain things. The opposite of not communicating is silence.

And silence can be so easily misunderstood.

Be clear
… in giving and receiving of information. Many, many couples I counsel here at LifePoint come in with problems that are based on misunderstanding, a lack of clarity. A little effort upfront can alleviate a ton of needless conflict, needless confusion and sometimes needless pain down the road.

A wise man once said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Not bad advice.

Be open
… and honest with each other. This one takes some time to build trust to get to the honesty point, especially when the honesty disagrees with your mate. However, being open even when conflict results can build trust in the long run.

Just be sure in your being open that you are not brutally honest. There are a thousand ways to tell your spouse that you disagree. Pick out one that doesn’t destroy their self-esteem in the process.

My wife Selma and I will be covering more on Cultivating Communication at Romance and Roses this year. If you are in the Middle Tennessee area, we hope you will join us February 15 at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, but you have to have a ticket. They are $40.00 per couple for dinner, music, entertainment by Stephen Bargatze, an amazing comedian/magician, and some beneficial thoughts on communicating with your spouse. Buy your ticket in the concourse at either Smyrna area campus on Sunday morning, February 10.

If you are not in Middle Tennessee, you can still benefit from a night of building a healthier marriage during the month of February. I encourage you to plan now for a great evening with your spouse. Make time to go out for a great meal. During that meal, share one or two memories where you felt that your marriage was really alive or healthy. One more thing, both you and your spouse read this article before dinner and then take time to learn how you can Cultivate better Communication as a couple. Share which one of the three “Be”s from above you believe will lead to a better communication and one way you want take action to cultivate that in the next month. Here’s to your healthier marriage!

Post from Rodney Wilson, LifePoint Marriages Pastor. Rodney has a passion for encouraging, counseling, and teaching men and women how to have great marriages that make Jesus famous. Rodney, and his wife Selma, have authored Extraordinary Marriage and The Parent Adventure. Rodney and Selma have two adult daughters, two son-in-laws, and in Rodney’s opinion the greatest grandson in the universe. You can connect with Rodney on Twitter and Facebook.