Approximately 4 years ago my life changed in a way I never would have imagined. My family was torn apart by divorce. Our precious boys were 1 and 3 and our worlds had changed forever. Only through God’s grace was I able to courageously pick up the shattered pieces and keep going. Throughout this storm I never stopped loving God. This was not God’s fault, this was the result of free will; a choice that affected so many. Continuing to seek God I searched for a church and discovered North Pointe. As my walk with God strengthened I felt a calling in my heart to discuss a DivorceCare ministry at NP. So I met with Pastor Bob in November 2010 and was surprised to hear that DivorceCare was starting in January. I’ll never forget Pastor Bob’s words “God’s timing is everything”. He then smiled and asked if I would be interested in co-facilitating DivorceCare. I quickly realized God meant business when he placed this calling on my heart! I was in awe and graciously accepted. I am so privileged to be a part of the DivorceCare team and to call NP my home. For the first time in my life I have found my church family. The “Come As You Are” slogan is indisputable. The support Pastor Bob and the NP team has provided this ministry is evident we are loved no matter what our circumstances. The entire congregation at NP lovingly encourages growth with God and each other. It’s amazing what can happen when we listen to God’s calling upon our lives. God has helped me “reach” well beyond my expectations. The purpose of my divorce was to help others heal from divorce. Although it was the most painful time in my life it made me a better person and most importantly, it brought me closer to God. Although it may be painful when God transforms our heart, confidently believe in what he wants for your life as he will take you places you’ve never imagined. May you have faith and trust in God to discover your purpose. Wendy
If you survived the 80’s you will remember the emotional AT&T phone commercials that encouraged viewers to “Reach out and touch someone.” It was a reminder to pick up the phone and connect with friends and family on a regular basis, the cost and effort required was worth it in the end.
In my relationship with the Lord I have been reminded that I need to take the time and effort to connect with Him, because ultimately it is worth the effort. This has been confirmed time and again as I have drawn strength from my dialogue with God about my fears, hopes, dreams and disappointments. Isaiah 40:31 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.” Thankfully I don’t have to have a long distance plan for these conversations, and the line is always crystal clear, as long as I’m willing to listen to the Spirit guiding me.
The biblical view is that our ability to reach out to others and touch their lives is directly proportionate to the time we spend reaching up. Without a clear connection to God, our connection to others will be diminished in its returns. In John 15:5 Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
This week, may your life bear fruit that will positively affect others because you are connected and reaching for God. So reach UP then reach OUT and touch someone.
“Reach” is a verb…an action word.
It requires some degree of effort.
Imagine a plate of freshly baked yummy chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the table. The smell is tantalizing. They are still warm so the chocolate chips are melted. Mmmmm!
Anyone can reach out and help themselves to a cookie or two. Some might even crawl right up on the table to get to the treat. No problem at all!
Now the plate is empty and a little dirty. Who wants to put it in the dishwasher? A different kind of effort is needed to wash that plate and put it away. How does that play out at your house?
When we are enticed by something wonderful, it is easy to jump into action; but some good things take intentional long term effort to achieve. For these, we need goals.
On January 2 the children in Discovery Zone were challenged to write down some spiritual goals for 2011. Here are some examples of what the children wrote:
“My goal is to listen to God.” (Kelsey)
“To read the Bible more and pray every day.” (Madeline)
“To invite a couple of friends to church.” (Chris)
“Tell 6 people about God and Jesus.” (Jayson)
“To come to church more.” (Sophia)
“To raise money for poor people.” (Hailey)
Great goals! Certainly effort needed.
Pray for our North Pointe children…that their hearts will be stirred throughout this year to reach not only their goals but a deeper relationship with Jesus.
What is God saying to us for 2011?
The question implies that we at North Pointe believe God not only knows us, but communicates direction to us. That is profound, but not audacious.
We believe God is saying to us, “REACH.”
In so doing He communicates that He is not some distant, disinterested, deity, but that He is within REACH.
God is closer to you than you can imagine.
We chose this image to represent our theme because it speaks of REACHING. Of moving from what is known and experienced into a better and brighter future, one that is brilliant with the goodness of God. It is moving up an incline to a higher plane.
To REACH is a call to action, a challenge to achieve our potential and a commission to make a difference.
To REACH is that little bit extra that makes all the difference. It doesn’t take much extra to “REACH.” At sea level, water at 99C is merely hot. But increase the temperature by one degree to 100C and the water will boil. Boiling water makes steam which in turn generates power available for use. One extra degree, but all the difference in the world.
You are closer to God than you can imagine. You are closer to your dreams and His provision than you understand. So, REACH!
Every Sunday in January at NP, we’ll be sharing ways you can REACH in faith to experience God.
“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” Brian Tracy