Archives For Sending

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.

LifePoint’ers at our Lynnwood Campus have been looking deeply at how Jesus made disciples. They want to move the the needle in the Northwest for the gospel and that will be done by making disciples who are living as missionaries in their neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. A core piece has been understanding that Jesus lived his life balancing three dimensions of relationship:

  1. Jesus had a deep UP relationship with the Father.
  2. He prioritized his life for IN relationships with a handful of men, the first disciples. He gave them truth and his life to imitate that involved high access, high accountability, and high care.
  3. Jesus intentionally pursued OUT relationships with those who were in need of the gospel and His Kingdom message and life.

Eggs in the ParkThis past Easter weekend, the Lynnwood Campus hosted, Eggs in the Park (view images in our Dropbox folder). The event’s focus was to model the life of Christ and pursue OUT relationships with the community. Eggs in the Park was a great community event bringing families of all types together for a fun and safe experience. 11,000 eggs for two egg hunts, bounce houses, artists, and more. Along with a mission team from the Smyrna Campus of two adults and four high school students, the event was a success! The win ultimately is the many invitations prior to the event that were made and the numerous conversations during Eggs in the Park. While hundreds of families played, gathered eggs, and took away bags of candy, LifePoint’ers were deployed on the edges and in the middle of the park connecting and encouraging parents and kids. Many of the conversations were surface conversations, positive and caring. A few moved past the surface, with people expressing their desire to connect more and find a faith family.

Now, the LifePoint Lynnwood campus is preparing for their next OUT environment where they will again invite the community for a fun family event . Once again, the priority will be conversations and relationships where beginning steps of discipleship can occur.

LifePoint Lynnwood

LP Lynnwood is also celebrating the milestone for its largest worship gathering in its short history on Easter Sunday. Ninety-one people celebrating our Risen King together. Easter weekend was a beautiful picture of scattering OUT, then gathering to celebrate our UP relationship with God. Next, LP Lynnwood leaders are taking action on how to effectively and intentionally prioritize IN relationships to make disciples who make disciples. The result will be LifePoint’ers effectively living OUT so more can experience an UP relationship with a Heavenly Father. All of this for our King, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done…” Matthew 6.

The VanDyke family — Steve, Tiffany, Kevin and Leigha — is in vocational missions full time, having spent the past two years in Bangkok, Thailand. They also ministered in India for three and a half years before they joined the LifePoint team in Bangkok. Prior to going to India, the VanDykes have been a part of the LifePoint faith family for years, having they served in several ministry areas and experienced wonderful growth in their faith in Jesus.

Van Dykes

“LifePoint Bangkok exists to point Thais, and other internationals, to a Christ-centered life,” Steve says. “We want to see and catalyze a movement of multiplying disciples, leaders and churches among the Thai people. We are trying to accomplish this by building relationships through teaching English and other outreach activities, always being ready to share the Good News with those who need to hear it.”

Steve says his family and the rest of the LifePoint team is working with several Thai believers, pouring into them as potential leaders in the church.

“These are the ones who will really influence other Thais for Christ,” Steve says. “Several LifePoint staff are co-leading small groups with our Thai leaders as well, which gives them the opportunity to lead and teach the Bible.”

Tiffany helps manage the family’s busy schedule, and she also cooks much of the food for the Friday night activities, which the Thai people love.

Children Kevin and Leigha attend an international school, which normally would be expensive, but God has blessed them with scholarships. The financial director of the school is a Christian, and wants to have more Christian children as influences within the school, Steve says.

“So, as a family, we have a responsibility to represent Christ to those who need to know Him that are in our own circles of influence. Many consider our decision to live as overseas missionaries a sacrifice, but we count it as a privilege to be working for the glory of God, and that one day we can see the knowledge of His glory cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

You can follow Steve and Tiffany on Facebook and discover more of their story of how God is using them to send the Church to be the Church. Pray regularly for the Bangkok campus and the VanDykes as they make disciples in our culture void of the Gospel.

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.