Thursday, September 20, 2012

Launch Day 9.16.12

We launched!  Did the 6 1/2 months take forever, or go by in the blink of an eye?  Either way, we had the most blessed and wonderful launch day.  Thank you for your prayers.  We had 185 in attendance, not counting those who attended both services.  We had 1 baby dedication and 6 baptisms.  We had a wonderful time of worship and a great kick-off to our church and what we're about, as well as our sermon series.  And it all went smoothly - nothing went wrong, nothing fell apart, nothing had a glitch in it.  We got to meet new faces and see old friends.  We enjoyed lunch on the house courtesty of Keller's Iron Skillet.  We had beautiful weather. 

More to come later!

Point of Change Church of the Nazarene
2407 Beich Road
Bloomington, IL

Sunday Service 10am
Thursday Prayer Service 7pm

Monday, September 10, 2012

We're Ready!

This Sunday is our launch Sunday - it's finally here!  And, guess what?  We're ready.  We're ready.  Sure there's still some money to be raised and still some details to attend to.  However, we're ready!  In about 6 1/2 months time, God has blessed us, grown us, stretched us, and then repeated that about 100 million different ways.  We've grown, we've shrunk (miss you!), we've grown again, we've moved, we've built, we've experienced new life and also death, and throughout it all God has not withdrawn His hand.  We're so thanksful.

Let's re-cap.  (Ok there's not enough time and space to detail and recap every blessing.  But let's try to get a few...)
Circling it up for prayer at IBEW.

Praise God - The Sunday after we were commissioned by Bloomington First, we were able to have worship at Friends and Family Fellowship, which allowed us to function as a church while preparing to launch one.
Praise God for our launch team, working together (lots and lots of hours) to prepare our action plan in oh, a week or so.  Praise God, our action plan was approved by MST!
Praise God for the vision we all shared, even at the very beginning!
Remember church plant tours?  Praise God for the unique experience of having worship Sunday night, which allowed us to tour successful church plants on Sunday mornings.
Remember all those chairs Tony got for a stellar deal?  Praise God for every chair that we cleaned, and every person that will be sitting in those chairs on launch day!
Praise God for all the many, many talents of our launch team members... from carpentry to technology, thank you all for using your unique gifts to help us make it!
Our pastor family (love!)  Thank you for your vision and leadership and sacrifice!

Remember... Good Friday game night?  Praise God!

And Easter morning at IBEW?  Praise God!  Just a foreshadowing of what was to come!
Easter egg hunt and the lovely, lovely, hard-working children on our launch team!
The Holy Spirit really, really blessed us at our visit to Princeton.  :)
 Praise God for the marketing and fundraising opportunities! 

 Feelin' hot, hot, hot at the Towanda Parade!
 Designn work for our sanctuary!
 Making the stage!  We're so blessed!
 Design and preparation - and it all came together so well!  Praise God!
Labor Day Parade - successfully pulling the worship band (including keyboard, drum set, etc) on a float - could it be God?  Yes!!!  Praise God!
 Supper club - a fun time of food, fellowship, and fundraising!

Billboards!  Praise God!
Rest up, and Rest in Him, Launch Team! Sunday's coming, and we're ready. Our days as a Launch Team are coming to an end.  But it's okay, we'll keep busy enough being, oh, a church.  :)  Sound good to everybody?  Okay!

Praise God! 
We're ready. 
We've got regular rockin' worship service planned for Sundays (10 am after our initial launch day).  We've got a prayer service Thursday nights at 7pm (this is really where it's at!)
We've got  nursery, toddler, and elementary school ministries.
We've got our senior pastor, and three (count 'em!) district-licensed pastors.
We've got an administrative assistant.
We've got a building.
We've got outgoing and incoming missionaries ;)
We've got a bunch of people who love God and need Him and are desperate for His presence, who will love on you with the love of Jesus.
And you're invited!
All glory to God, who has so richly blessed us. 

Psalm 16:11

English Standard Version (ESV)
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

You're invited!

September 16th
2407 Beich Road
Bloomington, IL  61701
Come worship with us!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Don't Read This, Read Zechariah Instead!


The other day I was reading Sherry Sherwood's updated blog post, which pertained to Zechariah.  (Check out her excellent posting here: ).  Now, I can't say that I have ever sat down, opened my Bible, and thought, "Zechariah, here I come!"  But, I am so glad Sherry's blog prompted me to go check it out.  Not only did I read the excellent verses she discussed (in chapter 3) but I kept backing up and reading until I just gave up and started with chapter 1, verse 1, because it was so good.  I can't even begin to put into words what a good time I had with God.  Just go read it.  All of it.  Zechariah.  Go!  Go now! 

My next plan, actually, is to re-read Haggai (a Todd Keller favorite, love to hear him preach on Haggai!) and then read Zechariah immediately following.  I had never noticed that they were so close in proximity.  (Haggai begins with "In the second year of Darus the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month..." and Zechariah "In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius..."  Cool!  Just goes to show all that stuff I tend to skim over is WORTHWHILE!!!  ;) 

Okay, so what I love in my ESV study Bible is the background for Zechariah.  According to my ESV, God's people are DISCOURAGED.  The foundation for the temple had been laid after their return from Babylonian exile (that's the ESV talkin', not me!) but they had been met with opposition and hadn't made much progress.  So what was anticipation-fueled excitement had been replaced with discouragement.  They wanted to see the transformation that the prophets had spoken of, and they weren't seeing it.  They were discouraged, thought of God as absent, that faithful obedience was useless, and that theirs was "a day of small things." 

I don't know about you, individually, or collectively, as the body of Christ, but I have been there.  Discouraged.  Not excited.  Desperate for God's transformation (be it in myself, in my church, extrinsic, intrinsic, any and all of it)... wanting to see that "near revival" as a current reality instead of just always feeling on the brink, both for myself and for all of God's children (whether they know and believe they are God's children or not).

This background really helped set the tone for when I read Zechariah, which I really can't say I ever loved before.  With its lampstands and horsemen and scrolls flying through the air... previously, I just went "hmmmmm" and carried on.  But this time... wow.  I couldn't even make it past the first chapter without being utterly WOWED (when all I really wanted to do was get to the part Sherry discussed). 

Return.  Repent.  (1:1-6)  Necessary.  Can't really get on to anything else until you take care of this business first.  :)

But then, here comes that vision of a horseman and I'm just not that comfortable with it.  But I pushed past and read.  And what do you know, the horseman vision isn't creepy at all!  You see, in Zechariah's vision, the horseman is symbolic of God's angels watching the world (while God's people thought He wasn't.)  And they see the world at rest but God's people aren't at rest.  The angel of the Lord intercedes on behalf of Jerusalem. 

And here is what I love... in Zechariah 1:14 "So the angel who talked with me said to me, 'Cry out, Thus says the LORD of hosts:  I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. and then again in verse 17, "Cry out again, Thus says the Lord of hosts:  My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem." 

Cry out.  Zechariah is instructed to cry out.  Now, the familiar pattern in the rest of Zechariah seems to be "Thus says the Lord of hosts" but without the "Cry out" preceding it.

This is what we need to be doing, both in our private prayer time and as the body of Christ.  We need to return.  We need to repent.  Yes, Church, we've got our foundation, but we can't build past that when we're met with opposition if we don't keep our foundation of God (be in His presence and stay there) and repentence.  Could it be that our brokenness makes for strong foundation?  When it's coupled with the strength of the LORD - I think the answer is yes!  What we need to do to keep the building momentum going is to CRY OUT.  Foundations were meant to be built upon, right?  So, do we cry out with emphasis?  With desperation?  Yes and yes.  Cry out that God is jealous for our families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, cities, countries, world... which is just a fancy way of saying God wants YOU!  He wants you!  Come as you are.  Don't delay.  We also need to cry out that we have a faithful God who keeps His promises.  "My cities shall again overflow with prosperity..."  The LORD will comfort us.  God wants YOU and there's freedom, victory, and comfort on the other side of that "Yes, Lord" and of that surrender and submitting.
What goes into building a foundation? One of the ingredients in concrete is some kind of aggregate or crushed up pieces of rock. Could it be that coming to the Lord in our brokenness makes for the strongest foundation? 

Don't be discouraged.  Don't stop wanting the restoration and revival in your own life, and the life of your church, and in your communities.  Zechariah 4:10 "For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our First Sunday at our New Location!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

This blog post is courtesy of Taryn, who was wonderful enough to post about it on her own blog, as I was the sick prayer director/greeter, who ended up just sneaking in for a few minutes, barely, to see it all.  Thanks, Taryn!

It was after 10pm when we left the church last night, hoping we had as much as possible prepared for worship this morning. In the night, we were awakened by thunder and lightning and rain (Praise God!) at 1:45. Also during the wee hours, a family's little boy was hospitalized for recurring seizures, and we were awakened with texts from Pastor Todd that he was stable but being transferred to the children's hospital in Peoria. That also meant our children's director and some of the teachers wouldn't be there today, because they are the little guy's family, and Pastor Todd would be going on next to no sleep, as he went to the hospital at 5am this morning.

So, while we were excited about our first morning in the new building, our hearts were heavy for our little friend in the hospital and so many other physical and emotional struggles going on within our church family. We were exhausted from working so hard physically this week. But, we recognize that we are in a fight. Satan doesn't want another church in town preaching and praising and worshipping Jesus. Our excitement and love for God is much stronger than the devil!

So, we got up at 5am and we did church! Jeremy was there by 6:30, I think, making sure the building was clean and things were ready for people to come in. I took Caeden in at 7:30 for praise band practice.

Things were not "perfect." Our drummer was sick, so we had only one keyboard and one guitar and 4 singers...which is still plenty enough to lift praise. Our prayer director, who is also a greeter, had become sick in the night, and wasn't able to be there to lead our pre-service prayer time...But we still prayed, and God was with us!

We let God lead the way He wanted to service to go, including Angela being prompted to add in the "old" song Holy Ground and reading of much of 2 Chronicles 6-7 as we, in a way, dedicated the temple to the Lord today.

We still have a lot of chairs to fill. There were nearly as many in the children's area as in the sanctuary today. But, it is not about the numbers of people; it is about lives changing.

God is working out amazing stories in lives of this church, and in the lives of those we know and love. We are privileged to be a part of His plan! It is exciting!
Even while we work hard on the details of planting a church, we work hard at the personal things--prayer, worship, ministering to the sick and hurting, helping those in need, having fun together, studying the Bible, reaching out to others...these are what the church really does, the most important things.

We all knew the Holy Spirit was with us this morning. He comforted us, gave us joy and peace, made us glad, and reminded us that He keeps His promises. We had a beautiful time of worship and learning and prayer together.

Our announcement time turned into an impromptu launch team meeting after church. We all received PoC pens, invitation business cards, and flyers about 3 fundraisers we're having this week. Though we've been able to accomplish a lot, there is still a great deal to do.

“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! 19 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, 20 that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 21 And listen to the pleas of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen from heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive."
- 2 Chronicles 6:18-21


Have you ever heard God calling you to do something, but then you weren't so sure? "Is that a yes Lord, or a no?" And if you find yourself having to ask this several times, it could quite possibly be that God is indeed giving you a resounding answer, one way or another... Or maybe, somehow, the answer is both. Maybe it's "worse" than a yes or a no.

Maybe it's a yes, but wait.


Why would God give someone an instruction or next step, and then say wait? Surely it must be a mistake. Biblically, though, waiting on the Lord is not unheard of, and it works out in our favor. (Doesn't anything, if done God's way, work out in our favor???) In Isaiah 40:31 it says "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (KJV). That's right, I went old school with the King James Version ;)...

This verse kept going through my mind while at the Prayer Conference this last Thursday and Friday. (Blog post on that coming soon!)  And I felt pretty peaceful, despite no obvious next step. How could I feel so at peace with waiting? Have I been waiting on a next step in frustration, and God has been trying to get through to my thick skull, "Woman, your next step is to wait!!! I can't give you a next step to say yes to until you say yes to waiting!!!"

The regular me would not be okay with this. How can I be at peace with this??? How??? Here's how: the best kind of waiting - the kind that produces strength - is waiting on and for and with God. Don't wait by yourself, alone, for God to re-emerge. Wait with Him, in His presence, for renewed hope, strength, and power.

Power? Yes - power. Just ask the disciples. They encountered a big "1...2...3...Wait!" moment. At the end of Matthew we read in chapter 28:19-20 about how they were to go and make disciples: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (ESV). Yet, at the beginning of Acts we read "And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, 'you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now'." (Acts 1:4-5, ESV). [emphasis added]

If the disciples, in all their excitement, hadn't waited, but had proceeded onward without the power of the Holy Spirit, what would they have accomplished? A whole lot of flimsy nothing in their own strength... Not only would they have failed at the task they had been given, they would have been downright disobedient. And, they would have missed out on the promise given at the end of Matthew 28 - "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (God's promises and commands seem to go hand in hand... hmmm...) It's a good thing they waited!!!

If they can wait, so can I... and so can you. The same God who is so faithful to call, so faithful to instruct, and just... so faithful... can manage to let you know when to wait, when to move, and at what speed.

Alright, I'm waiting Lord! I don't like it! But... your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts.

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!"

Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices."


Be looking for a blog post re-capping the latest PoC excitement:  we had our first Sunday last weekend in our own space at the IBEW as well as PoC at the Prayer Conference in Springfield, IL last Thursday and Friday!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why We All Serve in Children's Ministry

Gulp... that's the sound of me, swallowing my pride.  :)

So, here's a little last night post-power-tools/construction conversation recap (That's right, I'm getting to be handy!):

Me:  "Babies --- [insert some fear and disdain-related sound here] (my response to my impending nursery duty)

Tony:  "You were a baby once.  You needed someone taking care of you."

So true, so true.

So, I'll be honest.  I'll say it.  I do not want to hang out with a bunch of babies.  I'm learning to love babies a bit more, but one's that are the newest to this world are so... little... and so... little... and did I mention... little?  And they squirm and cry and I can't control it.

But, as we're planting this church, we're "all hands on deck" because "we're the launch team".  That means we're all to serve in children's ministry.  Now, I like children.  When I chill with Keller children and we go on adventures, I consider it time hanging with friends rather than "babysitting".  And thanks to Joshua and Pastor Baby Mac I'm increasing my love for babies, as well, though slowly.  :)

However, despite this, I have been less than thrilled of this call.  I have been selfish and pouty, thinking, we're going to have double services soon, and that means double the time with babies, and not being in the service.  But I want to worship.  I want to rock it out.  I. Don't. Want. To. Hang. With. Babies.  <----And this, from someone who was a co-counselor at Kids' Camp in 2011.  :/  Uh-oh, sounds like someone is thinking a little too much like the baby she once was.  It's not about me anymore!

So, I was on a walk this morning over by Tipton Lake, and I thought about my attitude.  And I thought about God, who occupies my thoughts continually.  And I had been previously trying to reconcile this "duty" as a chance for me to learn about as many of the different ministries as I could.  But I was still less than enthused.  But, God kicked me in the but with scripture and with His Holy foot.  I needed it.  God never fails.  Keep on chiseling!  (ow...) 

It's time to get excited, because children's ministry is VITAL to the health of a church.  It's VITAL to the Kingdom of God.  And, in a way, all ministry is children's ministry.  And we aren't the only ones who have something to teach children; they have something to teach us as well.

I was a baby once.  Someone took care of me. 

Yes.  I was a baby once.  Both physically and literally, in the littlest (4 lbs,1 oz), neediest (premature) sense of the word.  And metaphorically... I was a baby once in my walk with Christ (I'm a toddler now!) I was squirmy and fussy and whiny and shook my little fist at God quite a bit in protest. (Sometimes I still do... hey, I'm a toddler... I'll nap when I want to, you can't make me!)  In both cases, people took care of me.  And I'm eternally grateful because I'm eternally with God as a result.  And that gratefulness that I have should be extended in outward action toward God's children (the small and the new).  I should be just as pumped about nurturing the babies of our church as I will be about nurturing those newest in their faith.

Don't laugh at me.  But, I've been looking at babies all wrong.  I haven't been looking at babies as a part of the church.  But, babies are a part of our church.  They aren't just babies - little squirming things.  They are the littlest, squirming members of our CONGREGATION, growing physically and spiritually along with the rest of us.  :)  They are the body of Christ.  They need care physically and spiritually... who doesn't???  And when I think about all the babies growing up without knowing the love of Jesus, I want to vomit.  We need to be praising God for every baby we have.

"Pastor Baby Mac"
Child of God and launch team member at Point of Change Church of the Nazarene

So I love Psalm 127:1-2, but always stop before I go on to the stuff about children.  But I know it's there, and God brought me to it as I walked around the lake: 

Psalm 127:3-5 "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!  He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

I don't want to attempt to be exegetical or be hermaneutical or whatever, because I don't even know what those words mean ;)... But it says "children" not "your children" - it doesn't matter if the children are mine or not.  We're all in the family of God and they're going to be here long after I'm gone.  They're my heritage too, as far as Jesus goes.  I want the love of Jesus to continue, and the work of Jesus to continue, long after I'm gone.  That requires investing now.  Also "from the LORD" --- I know enough about God to know that I want to accept and treat with the utmost care and respect every gift and blessing he bestows on me.  Anything "from the LORD" warrants care and respect and love.

Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." 

Luke 18:16-17 "But Jesus called them to him, saying, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it'." 

Ephesians 5:1  "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children."

1 Thessalonians 5:5a "For you are all children of light, children of the day..."

John 1:12:  "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

Matthew 18:2-6 "And calling to him, a child, he put him in the midst of thenm and said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

I could go on and on. 

Search Biblegateway for children (I used ESV) and you get 458 results.  Clearly there's something here that God wants us to pick up on.  Children are gifts.  We have a responsibility to our children.  And all children are our children.  Babies and new believers alike...  And we are all children and need to come to our Heavenly Father in that capacity and mindset. 

Not only do we have a responsibility to them, it sounds like we have some stuff to learn from them as well.  They have a secret that we can forget or discard as we get older.  I know I did.  What if I had stayed the 5 year old who loved God, and honored that decision, and kept it that simple...?  What an adventure I'm having, reconnecting with her.  :)

And this is why we all serve in children's ministry.

See you on Sunday, July 29, after our launch team meeting, at the children's ministry meeting where we will here from Lisa Alvis.  See you all in the nursery as well (contact Jana Benjey for this opportunity).  This is our last night at Friends and Family, and our last evening.  We. Can. Do. It.  !!!!!!!!  God, who can feed thousands on a few loaves of bread and fish, can stretch money into ENOUGH, time into ENOUGH, strength into ENOUGH, energy into ENOUGH, talent into ENOUGH, you into ENOUGH, etc etc etc. 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This Is Happening

We have a billboard!


This.  Is.  Happening.

(In case you've been too busy to notice...let it sink would be good...this is happening.)

Thank you God for your your salvation, your love, your calling and continued provision. 

I was reading in Romans earlier and I liked this verse, so I thought I'd share:

Romans 11:29
"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."

Amen.  And, goodnight.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Love Looks Like Something

The sermon series we had been doing recently was entitled "Love Looks Like Something" - and, for "Mama Heidi", a missionary in Mozambique, love looked like building a well.  What will love look like for Point of Change?

I think these past "marketing" activities we did on the 4th of July - passing out water bottles at Miller Park, for example, shows what love looks like for POC.  I overheard Zac, one of our launch team members, talking about "next year" when we did this, what we would do, etc.  (And "next year" we'll be a church, not a launch team!)  I loved that forward thinking!  This wasn't just a marketing event to get brand recognition.  It was also love.  A free bottle of water on the HOTTEST DAY EVER... love looks like something.  Loving your community can be that simple.  :)

What kept running through my mind that day was --- why weren't we doing this before?  Because this is awesome! 

I'm so excited that God is using our launch experiences to grow our character and compassion, and to teach us what we should be doing anyway.

Thanks for all your hard work, team! 

Alright well, keepin' it quick, today.  I've got a lot of other things to say, a lot on my mind, a lot of burdens... take it to the Lord in prayer :) 


Friday, June 29, 2012

Church Planting on Steroids? God Is Able!

It feels like our church is being planted at an accelerated rate... (I'm sure the launch team has not noticed!  Ha.  Ha.)  On one hand, logically, this should scare me.  On paper - it's scary.  We're gonna do what?  In how many months?  How much money?  Whaaaat? 

Confession:  I'm not scared.

Every now and then, a small part of me will stop, and ponder, but even then, I'm not really pondering how I should be scared.  I'm actually taking note that... I'm not.  At all.  *At alllllllll...*  And that I attribute to God, because worrier or not - logical or not... I think just about anybody would look at a one or two sentence summary of this whole thing and laugh.

The ridiculousness of this entire endeavor only lends itself more to my firm, unwavering, unshakeable belief that God's hand is pushing this along.  I think it, I feel it, I believe it, I know it... completely certain, completely sold.  God is propelling it along.  Fast.  It is ALL God, all of the time, down to every last blessing, every last penny... and every last trial and tribulation that He may not be a fan of, but allows to happen anyway... it's all a big blessing, with some soon-to-be-seen or possibly never-seen but still equally awesome way that is bringing glory to God's name.  It is always God.

It is God who fights our battles for us.  (for example, Psalm 60:12, 1 Samuel 17:47)

It is God who bears our burdens.  (for example, Psalm 68:19-20)

It is God who builds His house.  (for example, Psalm 127)

It is God.  (for example, Genesis 1 - Revelation 22)

While I wouldn't say, exactly, that we're church planting on steroids, we are church planting on God.  And, whether God chooses to move slowly, or at a lightning speed, and whether He blesses with 160 thousand dollars, or 16 thousand dollars, or 16 cents, the important part is that God is the one in the driver's seat.  He is in control.  He has much more wisdom than us.  He is able.  This is why it is so important for us to stay clinging to Him.

So, here's just a long thought, encouraging us all to stay in God's presence and cry out to Him.

I love Psalm 3.  Love it.  Here's a portion of it:  (verses 1-4) 

"O LORD, how many are my foes!  Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.  But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.  I cried aloud to the LORD and he answered me from his holy hill."

A week or so ago, I felt really burdened for a few different things and even took a little early morning prayer drive after my coffee run - when the Lord burdens you, he burdens you.  Whattcha gonna do?  ;)  Obey, of course! 

Long, awesome story later, I will just say this.  I think God is wanting to grow my (your?) prayer ENDURANCE. 

I have been noticing God answering all these *smaller* prayer requests.  BIG answers to prayer, but compared to $160,000, or a cure for cancer, they're on the smaller scale.  Yet, I think it's very important to notice and appreciate the small answers to prayer.  (Matthew 6:26) God takes care of the birds - why do we worry He won't take care of us?  Kind of along the same lines - God takes care of a broken refrigerator, pink eye, opening a stuck window... He bothers with those prayers, how much more will He bother with the bigger prayers? 

When I was praying for a blessing for my friends, a broken refrigerator wasn't what I had in mind.  If you must know, I am absolutely certain God let my friends' refrigerator break, so that He could bless them.  Reassure them that He is there, He is holding them in the palm of His hand, and that they are EXACTLY where they are supposed to be - in God's will.  ["Christ never uttered a hopeless word. In the Father's will there are no hopeless words." PF Bresee]  And not only did He bless them, but by answering my prayer, He blessed me.  And when Kim gave her testimony Sunday night, I think He blessed all of us. 

And, if you must know, because God is good and I'll swallow my pride (think I'm crazy, go ahead!) - I am absolutely convinced that a month ago I had pink eye when I woke up in the middle of the night.  Now, pink eye = not cancer.  But for whatever reason/reasons this sent me into a panic as "the straw that would break the camel's back" and I prayed that God would just take care of it.  And, He did. 

And, again, silly, but here we go:  a few days ago, before it got to be a sweltering 103 degrees, we had nice weather.  I tried to open my bedroom window to get a cool breeze and I couldn't.  It was stuck.  Really stuck.  And I don't have anyone to help me open it.  And I tried and tried, and just as I was asking God to open my window because I couldn't, and I just didn't need to deal with a beligerent window on top of other things, IT OPENED.  I'm seeing God answer my prayers, little prayers, all the time.  Now, the "me" even from a few months ago would go, "No, your window just wasn't as stuck as you thought it was" or "It wasn't contagious pink eye" but the me in the very recent is just so certain of God's nearness and His answer to prayer.

What is an answer to prayer if not reassurance of His nearness?

I think God is just showing His great love.  All of the time.  Answers to "small" prayers are BIG.  He has a wonderful character.  Need a good place to learn about God's character?  Psalm 103 says a lot about the character of God.  Though you pretty much can't go wrong anywhere in the Bible.

This Sunday will be week 11 until launch.  Keep close to God, and cry out to Him.  "Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!"  Psalm 115:1

(who now has internet, and had a long nap this afternoon, hence, it's almost 11pm and I'm here)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from Point of Change!

We had quite a busy Easter Weekend at PoC:  A Good Friday game night celebrating what Jesus did for us, a time of prayer and passing out invitations at several parks in southwest Bloomington, a lot of stuffing Easter eggs in preparation for the Easter Egg Hunt, and then our first service at IBEW - Sunrise Service!  This was followed by breakfast at the carpenter's union hall - quite yummy!  Then - the egg hunt!  We finished out the day with service at 5pm at Friends and Family.

And now, the launching can really begin!  We've got the action plan out of the way, and Easter weekend has concluded.  Please continue to praise God for all that He has done, is doing, and is going to do.  Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to launch a church while having church at the same time.

(I myself am in the middle of moving, so please look for more consistent, regular updates as soon as I get re-established in my new 'digs!)  -Celia

 Good Friday Game Night at IBEW
 Good Friday Game Night at IBEW
 Park & Pray:  Miller Park, White Oak Park, O'Neil Park
 Park & Pray:  Miller Park, White Oak Park, O'Neil Park
 Sunrise Service at IBEW!
 Sunrise Service at IBEW!
 Breakfast at the Carpenter's Hall
 Ready to hunt Easter Eggs!
 Look at all those eggs!
 Sorting eggs to see if there is a prize-winning egg among them!
Sunday Evening Worship Service

Thursday, March 29, 2012


"If the trip home isn't FUN, nobody will want to go; therefore, you must be connected to joy."

 Sheila and Lydia - Bringin' the Fun in the Children's Department!
Busted!  Having a little pre-service fun while the worship band practices.

Sermon:  We The Fun
Sermon Series:  We - All the Way Home

Pastor Todd spoke this past Sunday about how we, the body of Christ, need to be bringin' the fun when it comes to our walk with God.  Fun is relevant.  The church has to be fun or it's not relevant. 

One of the key scriptures for the message can be found in Mark 7:24-30.  Read it here: 
Although at first glance, the passage may seem confusing or at the least, not funny, it is actually a witty dialogue between Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman, where Jesus engaged the woman by using the culture of the time.  In the passage, "the children" was a reference to the Jews of the time, and "the dogs" was a reference to what people of that culture called the Gentiles.  The woman crashed the party - she did not belong there.  Yet, she was determined to get help from Jesus for her daughter.  She, a "dog" recognized Jesus as a savior, as capable of healing her daughter - and yet the Jews, "the children" didn't.  They need more help because they don't get it yet. 

Feel like you score low in how fun, encouraging, refreshing, and enlightened you are?  See below for tips on how you can bring the fun:

How Can I Bring The Fun???

Be connected to the joy of the Lord.
-Hebrews 11:16
Mark 7:31-36
Colossians 4:1-6
Matthew 5:13-16
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Mark 7:24-30
John 10:9-11
John 15:1-17
Psalm 28:7
Psalm 34:1

Start with the verse(s) listed, then read the verse in context by reading the entire chapter or chapter section that contains the verse.  If you have access to a study Bible or an online study Bible, get ready to have your mind blown.  Also, if a verse is particularly meaningful to you, commit it to memory. 

Ask the Lord to help you.

Invite people to our Good Friday game night & Easter activities.

Take the Psalms 34:1 Everyday Praise Challenge:  "I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips."

Answer this question:  "Do I know for sure that I am a Christian?" 
We believe that it is possible to know for sure that you are a Christian.  Have you ever had a moment in time when you commited your life to the Lord and received his forgiveness?  If you have doubts, get in touch with Pastor Todd.  Becoming a Christian is the truest way to get the party started.  We'd love to celebrate with you.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Whoa, Blessing

Well, Point of Change has had quite a few blessings recently.  Praise God for how He is taking care of us!  Keep scrolling all the way down to read our updates!

-Pastor Todd met with MST and presented our Point of Change Action Plan, and we were approved!  This is no small feat, and are so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yeah buddy!

-We finished up our second week of church tours, and were very blessed to see how God is working in church plants throughout our area. 

-We also recently acquired 300 chairs and 30 conference tables at an excellent price through the Interstate Center.  Thanks to Tony Perschall for finding out about that and making it happen!  We had a chair cleaning party yesterday and dusted, scrubbed, and vacuumed all 300 chairs.  Not only did we get those chairs, we worked on removing the IBEW's former chairs, and were able to pass on blessing by giving some to the Emmanuel Health Center.  Way to go, team!  The chair cleaning party concluded with prayer.  To quote Pastor Todd (rather, to steal his Facebook status update): 
Tonight, three spontaneous prayer sessions. Prayer, both personal and corporate, is what we do. TY, PoC. So Thankful.

We cry out to the Lord. We humble ourselves before the One we love!!
   (See pictures below from the chair cleaning party; scroll down to read continued blessings - they do continue!)


-Additionally, we had a copy machine from IBEW that we could have if we could get it working - and thanks to Dustin's mad, mad skills, we now have a working copy machine!!!  Isn't it just really, really cool how the Lord puts a group of people together, all with their different talents and abilities, and things just really click?!  God is good!  :)

-There are countless ways God has blessed us both as Point of Change, collectively, as well as on an individual level.  A home that was waiting to be sold - sold!  Jobs needed - found!  (One Point-of-Changer recently applied, interviewed, and received a job all in one day, and her employer has shown interest in doing a Bible study with her - praise God!).  And there are so many more blessings that continue.

-Finally, from the Kellers:  "The Kellers feel wonderfully blessed by the kindness and selflessness of their church family and how God has provided as He promised."

Remember - this Sunday at 5 pm (at Friends & Family) we kick off our first sermon series:  "We - All the Way Home."  Bring the fun, and bring a friend!!!!!!!!!