“Your Prayers Are Effective” [a word received]

prayer (1)On Sunday September 6th Lauren Heerschap a long time member of OneLife Community Church received a word from God to share with the church.  It was shared during the 2nd service but not the 1st due to timing.  We wanted to make sure everyone got the opportunity to hear it, ponder it, and respond.  The words that follow were written by Lauren as a recap of what was shared.

On September 6, during first service as Greg was praying for the Syrian refugees, I saw a vision of a chain of people extending their hands in prayer, connecting from our church to far away, across the world.  When I asked God what it meant, He wanted to affirm that our prayers are effective, no matter that we are not physically there, that we are connected by prayer to others that are praying, and He is moving because of our prayers.  God wanted to affirm that he hears our prayers and that they are effective!

We would love to hear from you about this word.  If you have questions, thoughts, comments, please feel free to contact us. We hope that you hear an encouraging word on the importance of being present and participating with us in prayer.  We look forward to seeing you all this weekend at 9am or 11:15am as we continue in our AS WE GO sermon series.

Pentecost conversations & ponderings…

Acts 2:1-4. When the day of Pentecost came. Pastel & pen. 26 May 2012.Yesterday we are looked at the story of Pentecost as found in Acts 2. It’s a day that Christians across the world celebrate. Pentecost is not as well-known or as popular as Christmas and Easter, though it commemorates a historic event in Christian history. In many ways, Pentecost is considered as the birthday of the church.

So lets look at the text found in Act 2:1-13

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

One of the interesting things about this passage is that it’s on this day that God sends the promised Holy Spirit.  Pentecost was a Jewish holiday that came 50 days after the Passover.  For over a thousand years Israel had been celebrating this holiday established by God after he brought them out of slavery in Egypt.  It was a celebration of the hope of God’s salvation.

Interestingly – Jesus’ death and resurrected coincided with the Passover.  In hindsight it is easy to see that the whole purpose of the Passover really pointed to Jesus.  The victory over death that came from the resurrection of Jesus, not only freed his followers from the slavery of death, but it also ushered in a new kingdom.  In other words, the Passover completely describes the victory of Jesus. [but that is another sermon for another time]

HERE IN ACTS 2 THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT COINCIDES WITH THE DAY OF PENTECOST.  This is the backdrop that God choose to give here in Acts 2.  Pentecost was this wonderful joyful celebration at the end of the harvest.  It was a response from the people praising God for the fruit or the harvest that came to God’s people in the land that God promised.

DURING OUR SERMON…we made a number of observations that come from this story…1. about Jesus being the literal fruit of the kingdom of God 2. that in pentecost the barrier between us and God has been broken, 3. that the barrier between humanity is also broken -connecting to the tower of babel story, 4. that the intent is that this story is bigger then us that it is intended to go from the church out into the community and world.

IMAGES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT…we also spend time looking at four images of the Holy Spirit as a way to ponder what it looks like to encounter the Holy Spirit today in our everyday living.  Those images where breath, wind, water, & fire.  In looking at these images we took time to ponder if we had ever experienced the Holy Spirit in any of these ways.

CONNECTION CARD QUESTIONS…

This story ends with two responses seen in verse  12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”  In other words some responded with wonder and interest and the other of scoffing and disbelief?

1. When it comes to the Holy Spirit in your life how do you respond?  With wonder and interest or disregard and disbelief?

2.  What role [if at all] would you say the Holy Spirit plays in your daily life?

3.  Of the four images of the Spirit [breath, wind, water, fire] which have you experienced the least and which have you experienced the most.

LISTEN TO THE SERMON…if you’d like to hear the entire sermon click HERE

Dwell – Night Of Worship

Question: Dwell – what is it about?

Answer: A great new evening worship service you should come and join!

When: First Sunday of the Month, 6.30-8pm.

Where: Downstairs in The Commons, at OneLife Community Church

Is There Childcare Provided? Yes!

Dwell provides an informal evening of worship, prayer and time for reflection on our relationship with God. We want to foster a space to encounter God, to listen and share with each other.  We want to encourage an active relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit through song, prayer, and silent reflection.

The words from the song Dwell’s chorus sum up what we are seeking:

Dwell in the midst of us
Come and dwell in this place
Dwell in the midst of us
Come and have Your way

Not our will, but Yours be done
Come and change us
Not our will, but Yours be done
Come sustain us

The next Dwell is on Sunday April 1st.  Come and join us!

Invite Me…

As we quickly approach the 2012 Easter season I’m reminded of the power of “the invitation.”  We have been blessed with a lot of new faces around OneLife Community Church but many of those people have come from driving by our place and wondering what’s going on inside.  Others have seen our signs out on the streets or have come to other extra activities that are connected to us, like the PJ Party, Martial Art Classes, rentals, conferences hosted at our place, etc.  How many have come because you or I or better yet “we” have invited them?  There is great power in being invited to something.  I wanted to challenge us all to prayerfully consider those friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. that you know that you could invite to OneLife.  Our 2012 Easter service will start on April 1st with our Palm Sunday service starting at 10:30am.  It will have some super cute kids involved in it that you won’t want to miss along with great music, teaching, and more.  And then on April 8th we will have our 2012 Easter Celebration Service again starting at 10:30am.  This will be a all out celebration of the risen Christ!  Great music, teaching, festive activities for kids of all ages, awesome coffee and refreshments, and more.  Thanks in advance for your active participation in praying for our service and inviting others to join us in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ!