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Red Letter Challenge – Day 5

September 14 – Day 5

 “Going”

Scripture: (Jesus said,) “’Go back home and tell everyone how much God has done for you.’  The man then went all over town telling everything that Jesus had done for him.” – Luke 8:39

Many of us want to follow Jesus only when it’s easy and safe.  The moment it gets hard, we tend to lose faith and question God.  But safe and easy does not always make for a very exciting story.  If you recognized your life was telling a bad story, would you change it?”  As we start this Challenge, remember you are telling a story.  You have the opportunity to tell the story of Jesus by what you do and say during this 40-day Challenge.

The final week of the Challenge may be tough.  God will call you to stretch outside of your comfort zone.  On those days, the easy and safe thing would be leaving the Challenge without finishing.  However, when God calls you to go somewhere, you never go alone.  Jesus offers us a way of life filled with adventure, mission, and purpose.  Are you ready for the Challenge?  Let’s go, the Challenge is about to begin.

God’s Blessings,
Pastor Bill


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Red Letter Challenge – Day 4

Good Morning,

Today’s devotion is on the fourth principle of giving.

“Giving”

Scripture: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

The self-storage industry appears to be booming today.  We love our stuff!  We are rich, and yet we experience financial problems and stress like never before.  Our priorities have gotten out of whack.  When we care more about the stuff we’ve accumulated than helping those in need, when we care more about the money we’re making than spending time with our family, and when we look to the money in our bank accounts instead of looking to God for our security, we need to totally change our relationship to money.

In the fourth week of this Challenge, we will see that Jesus challenges His followers to be generous.  Just as we serve out of a response to God, we give because God first gave to us.  God showed His love for us by giving His Son.  Jesus showed His love for us by giving up His life.  When we give, we reflect the heart and character of our God.

God’s Blessings,
Pastor Bill


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Red Letter Challenge – Day 3

Good Morning!

Today’s devotion is about the third principle of serving.

“Serving”

 Scripture: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

When you have received God’s grace (as was mentioned in yesterday’s devotion) you can’t help but want to do good.  However, we don’t serve God in order to get more from Him.  We already have Jesus.  He is the greatest gift.  We serve God because of everything He’s done for us.

While we cannot earn our way into heaven by serving others, God can use us to help save someone else.  Only the Holy Spirit can save someone, but the Holy Spirit lives inside all those who believe in Him.  That means He can use someone like you to help save someone else.  Therefore, you are more powerful than you probably realize.

Jesus had a heart for service.  When we serve, we reflect who our God is, and people will notice and be drawn to us.  During the third week of this Challenge, you will begin to serve.  You will learn who God calls you to serve and how He calls you to serve.

God’s Blessings,
Pastor Bill


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Red Letter Challenge – Day 2

Hello Everyone!

Today’s devotion is on Principle #2: “Forgiveness.”

“Forgiving”

 Scripture: “For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

 Many times your couch can look really nice on the outside, but if you lift up the cushions you may find some things that shock you – money, potato chips, legos, and jewelry.  Our lives are like this.  On the surface many of us look great, but on the inside we may be a mess.  We carry around a lot of hurt and pain, and many of us feel like we are held captive to the past. 

 God doesn’t want you stuck in the past, because if you can’t let go of the past you’ll never be able to move into the future.  He has taken your mess and nailed it to the cross so you don’t have to keep beating yourself up about it.  He wants you to experience His grace.  God’s grace assures us that we are forgiven, as there is no sin too big that God did not die for on the cross.  The second week of our 40-day Challenge will focus on receiving God’s forgiveness and learning how to forgive others.

God’s Blessings,
Pastor Bill


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Red Letter Challenge

Hello Everyone!

Today we begin the “Red Letter Challenge,” a 40-day journey where we will seek to put the words of Jesus (the ones printed in red letters in your Bibles) into practice.  Each day this week I will be sending you a devotion based on 5 principles: Being, Forgiving, Serving, Giving, and Going.  The devotions this week will simply introduce the 5 principles.  Next week, the devotions will contain words spoken by Jesus and a challenge for the day to put the words into practice.  Today’s devotion is on the principle of “Being.”  I pray that our lives will be changed and our faith will be strengthened over the next 40 days. 

“Being”

 Scripture: “Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Many of us are very good at doing things, but we often don’t know how to just be.  Before we do what Jesus asks us to do, we need to be with Him.  The first week of the challenge will be about spending time with God and we will consider different spiritual disciplines that will enable you to connect more closely to Jesus Christ.

A good way to follow Christ and to seek Him first is for our doing to flow out of our being.  Our doing flows out of who we are and who we become when we spend time with Christ. 

I pray that as you spend time with Christ that you will be anxious to start doing what He says and will experience a sense of peace in your life.  Over the first full week of the Challenge you will learn different ways in which you can be with Jesus.

God’s Blessings,
Pastor Bill


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Carol Aitken Called Home

Dear Family,

Carol Aitken was called home last Friday to live with God in His heavenly kingdom.  Carol struggled with some health issues recently, but we take comfort in the fact that since Jesus rose from the dead and lives today, Carol lives as well.  There will be a memorial service to celebrate Carol’s life this Sunday afternoon, September 8, at the church at 3:00pm.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Please remember her husband, Doug, and his family in your prayers.  I also invite you to pray the following prayer with me:

 

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for all the mercies You granted to Carol during her earthly life, especially for calling her to faith in Jesus.  Comfort her family and friends as they mourn her death with the hope of the glorious resurrection and a happy reunion in heaven.  Amen.

 

There will be a dinner reception after the memorial service at “Brick and Mortar” restaurant, located at 217 E. Main Street, in Clayton.  If you would like to attend, please contact Doug at FAC@nc.rr.com so he can let the restaurant know how many people will be attending. 

In God’s Service,
Pastor Bill


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Adoption Celebration

Below is a letter from Robin & Katie Copenhaver-Oelrich and their children inviting the congregation to an Adoption Celebration this Saturday, August 31, at 9:00am at the church.

God’s Blessings,
Pastor Bill

 

Dear Holy Cross,

Robin and I would like to thank all of you for your prayers and help over the last three years as we added to our family. From help acquiring beds, bedding, mattresses, clothing, a bike, larger housing, and on and on and on.  As of July 22, 2019, all six of our children are officially adopted!  I must say, it’s been a long journey and there were some twists we didn’t expect…. like parenting seven children.  

This Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 9:00am; we are having a ceremony to celebrate our journey and welcome our children.  All are welcome to attend.  August 31, 2016 was the day that our children began their journey to us.  So, we found it fitting that three years later we celebrate their journey. 

We would like to have a short pot luck following the ceremony.  There will be an Ohana theme.  Ohana comes from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch.  Stitch explains “Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”  Google states that Ohana is a Hawaiian ideal that encompasses ‘the village’ of the family.  It includes relatives, community, and friends.  

Thanks for being a part of our village and traveling on this amazing adventure with us!

Best,

The Copenhaver-Oelrich’s 

Robin, Katie, Damien, Angie, Dianna, Fanny, Nimsi, Jayden, and Dexter

 

A link to the evite:  https://www.evite.com/event/014ATHVS2IJMQYXIYEPJPQRNHZEW5A/rsvp


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Worship Time Change

Dear Family:

Just a reminder that our fall worship schedule will begin this Sunday, August 25, with our early service at 8:30am.  We will have our annual mission fair between services from 9:45am – 10:45am.  Sunday School and Family Night will begin again in September.  I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.

God’s Blessings,
Pastor Bill


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Joan Stuart Called Home

Dear Family,

Joan Stuart was called home today to live with God in His heavenly kingdom.  Joan struggled with some health issues recently, but we take comfort in the fact that since Jesus rose from the dead and lives today, Joan lives as well.  There will be a memorial service to celebrate Joan’s life this Saturday, August 24, at the church at 4:30pm.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Please remember Chuck and his family in your prayers.  I also invite you to pray the following prayer with me:

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for Your loving kindness shown to Joan and to all Your children, who having finished their course in faith, now enjoy life in Your kingdom.  Be with Chuck and his family in their grief, that they may know the comfort of Your love and peace.  Amen.

In God’s Service,
Pastor Bill


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August Newsletter

Click the picture above for your August Newsletter!


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Holy Cross Calendar