3 Ways to be Generous This Holiday Season...

 

Turkey Dinners, snowy strolls, twinkling lights - it's that time of year again. The Holidays. The end of October ushers in what many sing as the "the most wonderful time of the year,' full of joy, laughter, and a fair share of sugary treats around every corner. The holiday season also cause many of us to think about generosity - how can we serve someone in need?  God's word tells us that we have an abundance for every good deed (2 Cor 9:8). Meaning that we, as children of God, have more than enough to give to others. Because He loves us, we are able to love others. Because He is generous to us, we are able to be generous towards others. In order for us to be "radical community for the sake of Christ's Kingdom", we must be a generous and gracious people. What better time to begin living a generous life than now! 

Here are 3 ways you can be generous this holiday season...

 

1. Be Generous with Your Finances

We are called to give to the poor, to help the needy, to serve the least of these. One way to do this is to give financially. This may mean buying a meal for someone who you know is hungry, or helping a friend who you know has lost their job and is trying to get back on their feet. Being generous financially doesn't always mean giving someone money, but could mean purchasing something for them or donating an item or two. LCF Church has several ways you can be generous in this way, but we have featured one upcoming event below: 

  • Operation Christmas Child - LCF is a strong partner with Samaritan's Purse Ministries' Operation Christmas Child. OCC asks us fill shoe boxes with items for children of different ages and Samaritan's Purse sends your shoe box to a child in need somewhere around the globe. We are having our OCC Packing Party THIS Wednesday, November 8th from 6:00-8:00pm at LCF Church! You can bring an already-packed box or items to fill boxes that night. Contact Mike & Emily Rogers for more info by emailing lcfuturn@gmail.com or calling/texting  276-794-2059.

Pray about being generous with your finances- ask God to show you how He wants you to steward your financial resources during this season and beyond. 

 

2. Be Generous with Your Time

Out time is a valuable resource for each of us and it seems as though it slips away so quickly. During the hustle and bustle of this season, it is easy to feel like we do not have enough of it. Remember - we are given an abundance - which means that our Heavenly Father has equipped us for the work He has planned for us, time included. Is there a family member you have been meaning to go visit? Is there a friend who has been on your mind? Take the trip, make the phone call, write the letter. Building relationships is key in living life in the Kingdom of God, but like most things, this takes time. However, through generosity with our time, people will experience the love of God. 

Pray and ask God to give you wisdom in how to spend your time this season.

 

3. Be Generous with Your Self

Generosity with your self can easily be overlooked, as many of us like to believe that we have very little to offer. This is not true. God has created each of us, with unique abilities to love others in a unique way. Are you a great listener? Spend time with someone who you know is overwhelmed and needs someone to talk to. Are you handy around the house? Reach out to neighbors and ask if they need any repairs.

Ask God in what ways has He equipped you to love those around you and how He wants you to use these gifts to serve others. 

 

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed..."

2 Cor 9:8, NASB

Hope for Peru | 2017 Uturn Mission Trip Highlights

Hey guys! 

It's Emily Rogers here! I'm so excited to share today about Uturn's summer mission trip! We obviously recapped the trip and shared a video during the service a couple weeks ago but we wanted you all to hear from some of the youth who went with us and I wanted to include some more photos that we didn't get to share....hey, what do you expect when one of the youth pastors is a photographer?! ;) So now I'll hush and let the highlight video, some photos, and most importantly, the youth do the talking!


EmilyRogers-southwest-virginia-creative-wedding-photographer_0358.jpg

First off, here's our whole team on the Pacific Coast in Lima!
Right- Mike with Donna in front of the church in Jicamarca zone 1. Donna worked with Keith and Mila up until March when she moved to the jungle to work with a ministry for young boys (Keith and Mila take trips there too). She still comes back and helps in Lima occasionally. We were so thankful to have her along! 


Austin B.

The Peru trip was very much a success!  We saw God move in so many different ways with so many different families and touch the lives of everyone we (the missionaries) came in connection to!  While we were there we saw the power of God save people, give people shoes, and much much more!  The experience itself was life changing for us who are so free and blessed.

Left - Austin was Saul/Paul in our VBS skit. This is when God blinded Saul and said to stop persecuting the Christians. The sun coming through the window couldn't have been more perfect!

Left - Austin was Saul/Paul in our VBS skit. This is when God blinded Saul and said to stop persecuting the Christians. The sun coming through the window couldn't have been more perfect!

EmilyRogers-southwest-virginia-creative-wedding-photographer_0355.jpg

Evan B.

God moves in amazing and remarkable ways. That statement remained true in Peru. From the people we came in contact with, the unbelievable hospitality Mary and her husband showed us, the property we were able to assist Keith in buying, and most importantly, the people we were able to reach out to. One event that really sticks out in my mind was the first day of VBS in the flood zone. My heart has never been moved in a stronger fashion than it was that day. Seeing all of the young children so eager to learn about the Gospel really opened my eyes to what we were really there to do. Uturn’s 2017 mission trip to Peru was nothing short of a work of God. The trip would not have been possible without his guidance and love.

EmilyRogers-southwest-virginia-creative-wedding-photographer_0351.jpg
Top Left - Mary and Rolo...they cooked us breakfast and supper every day! It was incredible Peruvian food! Bottom Left - This is the building in Jicamarca zone 1 that Keith and Mila have now purchased!! This is where they can hold Bible studies, English classes, community events, and so much more! Bottom Right- Ministry Group praying with a lady who had diabetes.

Top Left - Mary and Rolo...they cooked us breakfast and supper every day! It was incredible Peruvian food!

Bottom Left - This is the building in Jicamarca zone 1 that Keith and Mila have now purchased!! This is where they can hold Bible studies, English classes, community events, and so much more!

Bottom Right- Ministry Group praying with a lady who had diabetes.

Ila W.

God certainly moved in Peru! On the first day of VBS around 80 kids showed up; and around the second day of VBS 30 came, that's around 110 children coming to hear the Word of God. Everyone we went to was open to hearing the Word of God and quite a few families even got saved! We heard tons of stories of tragedy and pain but when we were done, the families seemed happier than before. People came to us asking for us to share the Word with them. They asked for prayer requests and we prayed for them. Thank the Lord for the wonderful works He has done in Peru!

Madison B.

Not only did I get to encourage others to form a relationship with God, I was able to strengthen my relationship with Him as well. Over the course of our ten-day trip, I got to watch God work in miraculous ways. For example, our trip was in late June-early July. However, unlike the U.S., Peru was in the middle of winter so our trip was supposed to consist of cooler, dreary weather and it did most of the time. However, each time we arrived in the communities in which we were going to speak about forming a relationship with Christ, the clouds lifted and the temperature changed drastically. I knew this was God encouraging us to go and spread His word. We would arrive at the communities different times throughout the day, however each time we stepped out of our vans, the clouds would disappear and the sun shined brighter than I have ever seen it before. I never completely returned from my trip in Peru because when I left the community on our final day of ministry, I left a piece of my heart with all the children, mothers, and fathers I met along the way. 

Right- If you look closely you can see moms and their kids waking along the path back over the mountain after attending VBS!

Right- If you look closely you can see moms and their kids waking along the path back over the mountain after attending VBS!

Russ B.

Peru was amazing! My favorite thing was how I was able to share the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel was a very hard challenge for me because I really don't like public speaking. Mike asked me that morning to do the Gospel at VBS later that day, and me not really knowing anything about sharing the Gospel, said "sure." After I was aware of what sharing the Gospel really was, I was freaking out. I didn't know what to say to one hundred little kids. Renzo, my translator, was a really big help in talking with me earlier in the day and helping me know what to say. I led about 30-40 kids to Jesus that day. That was my favorite part of the Peru trip!

EmilyRogers-southwest-virginia-creative-wedding-photographer_0354.jpg

I just wanted to add on a few things before signing off. First off, THANK YOU! To every single person who listened to the Holy Spirit and gave, THANK YOU! To everyone who covered our trip in prayer, THANK YOU! We know that we couldn't have gone without financial contributions and our church family, friends, and our families covering us in prayer. Mike and I are already making plans for next year's annual trip and we can't wait to see what God continues to do in Peru through Keith and Mila's ministry!

And finally, I wanted to share a couple other photos and one story of how I saw God move. 

So many of you know that in 2011 I lived in Lima, for 4 months. While there I had a wonderful home church that truly just loved me and pulled me right into the church family, exactly what a church should do! I was able to take our team to church the Sunday we were there. We got to worship in Spanish and hear a message (our translators were awesome and translated for the team). The top left photo below is our group with Pastor Richard and his wife, Kattia.

In Jicamarca zone 2 we ate lunch each day at a family's little tienda (shop) with their permission, of course. They had a little girl, Miriam, a couple years older than Ellie and they became fast friends despite the language barrier! After lunch the first day the mom asked why we were there. One of the ministry groups and Mike stayed behind and shared the Gospel with her. She accepted the Gospel! I really believe that Ellie playing with Miriam opened the door for the Gospel!

One other HUGE thing that we were able to do was hand out shoes. About a week before our trip, another team was in Lima with Keith and they had raised money to buy new shoes for about 200 kids who attend a school in a very impoverished area. Many of the parents are prostitutes or street venders and the kids often go without food. Keith told us that many of the kids only had the one pair of shoes. Unfortunately a fire broke out in a nearby area and the team was unable to go to the school and distribute the shoes. So, that's where we came in! We were able to give each kid a brand new pair of shoes and witness their excitement! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you LCF! We are so thankful to be a part of this church family and we are excited about our church being involved in missions around the world!!

-Emily and Mike Rogers

P.S.- if you would like to learn more about Keith and Mila's ministry in Lima, Peru, let us know! We can help you sign up to get their newsletter so you can continue praying for the people of Peru year-round!

Ministry Spotlight: Worship Arts

The Lord fights for us and we fight alongside Him. Worship is warfare...literally. In the spiritual realm, war is being waged all around us and when we worship, we pick up our sword and go to battle. Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you, you must only be still." To me, "be still" means to stop panicking, realize who you belong to, and start worshiping. When we worship, we are putting our flesh in the backseat and stepping into a spiritual strength that is only imparted to us by being sons and daughters of the King. "Reckless Love" is one of my new favorite songs and the bridge says, "There's no shadow you won't light up, mountain you won't climb up coming after me. There's no wall that you won't kick down, lie that you won't tear down, coming after me." He comes after us, He fights for us...even if we are running from Him, He fights for us.

I often see God as this gentle giant daddy who waits on me to fall off my bike and scratch my knee so He can come to the rescue and wipe my tears, clean me up, and love on me... and that is SO Him, but, He is also a warrior. We can't neglect that side of who our God is. We can't underestimate His ability to destroy anything getting in the way of His relationship with His children...Isn't that what He did when He sent Jesus to the cross? He will kick down every wall standing in between us and Himself, even the walls we have built on our own. He will forcibly tear them down and come after us. He will pursue us constantly. We have to remember these things about God when we worship. We have to remember who we are and the authority we have because of who our Father is. We have to remember that He is a warrior and He is victorious, and therefore, so are we. 

We should have the truth of His character buried so deep within us that when we worship, we realize we are reconnecting with our Father who fights for us. We are not only gathering together, singing a few songs, and leaving for the week unchanged only to come back the next week and do it all over again...we are fighting. We are going to battle and we are not stopping until we have encountered the Lord. We are not stopping until we have been changed by His goodness and majesty. We are not stopping until our circumstances have been transformed by His power and glory.

It is so easy to fall into the monotony of just going to church, hearing a few good songs, listening to a good sermon and going home, when we should be preparing for this all week. We should walk into that building knowing we are meeting with the Lord and that we will be FOREVER changed by the encounter we are about to have with Him. With JESUS- the one who fights for us, who cries with us, who sings over us, who loves us and lavishes us with grace and mercy. JESUS- who is so majestic and mysterious that we can't even begin to understand Him with our finite human minds. JESUS- who is gentle, caring, kind, and compassionate and who is also persistent, protective, and fierce. JESUS-who is good, and good at being good.

 

Emily Farmer is the Worship Arts Director at LCF Church. She has a heart to see the people of Russell Co. experience Jesus through worship & praise. 

Ministry Spotlight: Local Outreach

         Outreach can be a confusing term. For different people it brings up different images.  Some imagine passing out gospel tracts or going door to door. Others might picture mowing yards for the elderly or food pantries. So it begs the question, ‘what is outreach’? Simply stated, it’s reaching out. When Jesus left this earth he gave us a commission: “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to all creation.” Notice he said “go.” Too often today the church waits from broken and lost people to walk in their doors before reaching out to them. I would argue, however, that Jesus intended for us to go out and bring them in. That’s how I view outreach.

            If we take time out of our busy days to notice people around us, we’d be surprised at the number of lost and broken we interact with each day. Outreach doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be well thought out or organized. Outreach is relationships. It’s being good neighbors to those you think don’t deserve it. At LCF, we’ve aimed to build an outreach program close to the heart of Jesus. We want to build relationships with the lost and broken in our community.

            Currently we are focusing on the small community of Fox Meadow. This is the local subsidized housing in Lebanon, home to around 200 people. It’s been over six months since we first began our relationship with Fox Meadow. In November of 2016 we held a fall festival on site. The first 45 minutes people stood on their front patios watching from afar. It was clear they were suspicious of us, but as time went on people came closer. Soon we had nearly 50 residents and kids enjoying hot dogs, corn hole, and inflatables with us. God was beginning to stir something in this community.

            Since then we’ve held a Valentine’s dinner, put on an Easter event for the kids, and hosted a Women’s night. We’ve also attended a concerned tenant meeting every month with the residents. It’s been a slow process of building trust and forming relationships, but with each event more and more people come. Each visit I have deeper conversations and more gospel opportunities. We’ve had some of the first Fox Meadow residents attend our church, and one of them accepted Christ and was baptized!

            I imagine this is what Jesus meant when he said ‘go.’ We must go to our neighbors, to our coworkers. We must go out of our way to serve and to love. We must build relationships with the lost and the broken because we were once like them. Now we have found a great treasure in Christ, and we must share it with the world  and with Lebanon. 

 

Gabby Range is the Local Outreach Director at LCF Church. She can be contacted by emailing her at grange314@gmail.com

Sustainable Freedom

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:1-7

This passage is so rich with gospel truth that entire books are written on the subject. It is impossible for me to cover or unpack this entire passage in a few brief words, but I do want to take a moment to point us toward how to walk in greater freedom. 

If you take a moment to read the passage above, it would seem contrary to the human intellect that I would talk about increasing our freedom in Christ by pointing to this chapter. In our cultural context, we think of freedom as the ability to do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it. However, I want to make the claim that true freedom is defined quite differently. 

Freedom, real Christ-given freedom, is not the absence of rules or regulations. It is not the ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want it. True freedom is doing exactly what you were created to do. It is only when we discover our true destiny and calling that we can fully walk in our God-given freedom. 

To think of others as more significant as ourselves (verse 3) or not dare grasp at equality with God or men, but rather to be humble (verses 6-7) are patterns of living that seem counter-intuitive to our happiness. However, it is in dying to ourselves that we truly find our lives (Matthew 16:24-26)

Today, I want us to think about where we are buying into the lies of our culture; where we are wanting to exert our own desires over and above the desires of God. My prayer is that as we read this and recognize the profound way in which Christ emptied himself in submission to the will of God. Furthermore, that we would be gripped by Christ’s example to empty ourselves of our own plans and purposes for life. It is in expressing obedience to the will of God that we find the sustaining freedom that only Christ can give. 

Radical Community | Part 1

Acts 2:42-47 ESV

 

 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

 

 

This blog is going to the first in a series of blogs that focus on “Radical Community for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom” at LCF church. We are going to spend the next few weeks looking at various aspects of Acts 2 and how we can apply this text to our lives today. I truly believe that as we submit ourselves to the will of God, we will see our lives transformed and our communities redeemed. 

 

This passage starts with three main themes that mark the life of the new testament believer. We are to be devoted to the apostles teaching, fellowship and the breaking of bread, and prayer. 

 

First, we are to be devoted to the apostle’s teaching. That means that you and I are people that submit ourselves to the word of God. At LCF, we are a people that find our place under the authority of the word of God. We do not bear weight on the word of God, but the word of God bears weight on us. We are to be devoted to the reading of scripture. 

 

Secondly, we are to be a people who fellowship and break bread together. This means that we have to spend time with one another. We make places in our day for believers and take intentional steps to be in community with one another. 

 

Lastly, you and I are called to be people of prayer. We believe in a God that moves on behalf of His children. We also believe in the truth of the word that communicates this idea: we are accepted and invited into the presence of God. Therefore, we are a people of prayer. We pray at all times, believing that God hears, sees and moves in His wisdom and might. 

 

These three things are the beginning and also the foundation for what it means to be a radical community for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom.

Justin  

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

You formed me. You knitted me together when I was growing inside my mother.

Just let the truth claim that is being made here resonate in your soul. Do we live lives from a position of belief in this statement? Or do we allow the accuser to tell us that we are accidents? That we are no good? That we have no purpose? May it never be. God formed you. And He formed you on purpose...

UPDATE: Packing Party 2016

We are so thrilled to announce that our kids and youth were able to pack 120 BOXES for Operation Christmas Child at our 2016 Packing Party!! 

We just wanted to share a highlight video from the night so that if you weren't able to make it, you can see what we did and hopefully it will make you want to join us next year!

To those of you who helped out at the Packing Party, to those who donated money to purchase items to pack boxes, to those who donated money to help cover shipping costs...

THANK YOU!

We couldn't have pulled this off without all of your help. These boxes are changing lives and here at LCF Church we are always excited about spreading the Gospel!

If you would like to pack your own box this year, please feel free to do so! We will be collecting boxes at the church on November 13th and 20th. There are extra boxes or you can use any regular size empty shoebox. Hop over to Samaritan's Purse to get more information about their ministry and how to pack a shoebox!

Operation Christmas Child | 2016 Packing Party

We are so excited to announce that KidJam/KidStuf and Uturn are partnering up to do Operation Christmas Child this fall! As we study the Bible we see that God talks about giving rather than receiving, loving our neighbors, and acting out our faith. What better way to teach our children about giving and loving people than by packaging shoeboxes for kids all around the world to receive for Christmas!

Each week we will be sending home a themed packing list of items that your child can bring the following Wednesday or Sunday. We hope you have a blast with your kids talking about why we give. Involve them in the shopping process and pray over the kids that will receive the items!

On Wednesday, November 2nd we will have a Packing Party with KidJam + Uturn! Our Uturn students will help the kids pack their own box and write a letter to the child who will receive their box. Leaders will also be taking a Polaroid photo of each kid to include with the letter. Often recipients of the boxes will write back thanking you so be sure to remember to send your child with their mailing address that evening. We would love for parents to join us this night! Our goal is for LCF Church to pack 200 boxes so please join us for a night of fun!


[[Operation Christmas Child - Weekly Themed Packing List]]
Wednesday, October 19th- Let’s Get Healthy
Sunday, October 23rd- Study, Study, Study!
Wednesday, October 26th- Accessorize!
Sunday, October 30th- Play Time!
Wednesday, November 2nd- $7 per child OR any extras!


**Please note, do NOT bring the following items:
-used or damaged items
-war-related items (toy guns, knives, or military figures)
-out-of-date candy; no chocolate or food
-liquids or lotions
-medications or vitamins
-breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers
-aerosol cans


Get more info at www.samaritanspurse.org and join our Church Event on Facebook for all the latest updates! Be sure to invite your friends!

You Are An Heir With Christ

You Are An Heir With Christ

How do you define yourself? When you think about your identity, what comes to mind? Do you define yourself by your marital status? Your employment? Your achievements? Most of us introduce ourselves to others by what we deem to be most impressive or important about ourselves. We look into ourselves and see what we like most about ourselves, and we try to put that foot forward. We let so many things play into our “identity.” However, how often does this leave us with the same question still roaring in our minds: “who am I?”...