August 7, 2013
I am receiving numerous emails sharing the positive difference our current Competing Stories is making. (Mormons were last weekend.) Below is a portion of one of those from a member:
David – I appreciate you emboldening us and charging us to approach folks following the competing stories with boldness because of the power the Truth carries… You’re right that our culture of tolerance has eroded our boldness to proclaim the Truth.
During a ski trip to Salt Lake, I took a day to explore the LDS compound downtown…Beautiful architecture! While inside looking at the building, a kind young woman asked “Would you like some more info on the LDS church?” Absolutely. “Would you like a visit from a representative from the church?” ABSOLUTELY!!!
So when the missionaries finally came calling later that Spring, I asked a couple other rooted Christians to join me at my house for our meeting. We did some homework to prepare for our meetings, read Scripture, and prayed before they arrived that God would use us to speak Truth to them and to protect our minds and hearts. So two young missionaries came over one Monday night and we invited them in cheerfully. We spent hours and many Monday nights that summer listening, talking, and even eating together. (We avoided the foods that they were forbidden to eat.) We asked about how they reconciled some of their beliefs with blatant truths from Scripture. There were a few contentious moments, but we were all civil…
It ended when it was time for them to return to their homes, for Lawrenceburg was the last stop on their mission. We learned that at the end of missions, it was an unsanctioned custom that they burned their suit coats since they hated wearing them so much. The night before they left, we had them over one last time and setup a burn pile in an old barn foundation at the farmhouse. We doused it with gasoline… LOTS of gasoline. They were going to have the honor of lighting that symbol on fire and I had the lighter. What happened next happened so fast… I was testing the lighter 30 feet away because I couldn’t get it to strike. I bent down to get out of the breeze and try to light it and it struck. I was 30 feet away. My hand engulfed in a ball of light and I heard a whoosh of oxygen being consumed rapidly. As I jumped backwards, I watched a layer of fumes ignite and race toward its source!
The two missionaries were glued in surprise, not knowing what was going on until the fateful moment of ignition where the main liquid gasoline caught fire. The blast knocked one down and sent the other one running. No one was injured, just some arm hair and eyebrows singed off. But that suit jacket… it was gone for sure!… I reached out to those missionaries this week to see how they were and let them know I was fondly recalling that summer with them. No responses yet, but it was great recalling those experiences!
Now THAT’s a Competing Story! This weekend we will cover Buddhism and Hinduism. (And I will not be riding a bike!) I commended the Mormons last weekend for their commitment to tithing (and gave some sad statistics on giving/tithing at Whitewater). One way to remedy that is to sign up to become an E-giver through a MYwhitewater account. (Mywhitewater). Remember – “Giving automation trumps giving determination.”
Like the Mormons, we have missionaries too! Nick Ulrich, a member of Whitewater Crossing, is entering his third year of teaching at Aparri Bible Seminary in the Philippines. Our church, through the missions ministry, has supported Nick every year he’s been teaching. This year Nick is teaching four classes, two on New Testament epistles and two Greek classes. He is also assisting with an Acts class. He has a total of about 90 students that he is directly impacting. Many of these students will go on to be leaders, preachers, and workers in churches throughout the Philippines. I learned this week that Nick has some immigration and housing expenses totaling about $1500 that emerged since he got to the Philippines. If you are compelled to help, just make the check payable to WCCC and put Nick in the memo section.
We also have a leadership team from Whitewater going to Haiti tomorrow to explore the possibility of partnering with a mission in that country. Please pray for Jim Eger, James & Deanna Hansee, and Ted Mensing. Pray for God’s protection and blessing to surround them.
Many leaders at Whitewater are working very hard these days to help our church be more aligned and intentional in how we accomplish our mission. Lots of great discussions and decisions are being had this summer as to how to align and focus every resource we have toward our vision/mission. As part of this initiative, we are repurposing the Atrium space, look, and feel this month to better support the weekend purpose and environment. To decrease crowding and increase people flow at the kitchen window for coffee, we are going to install a 2nd coffee station in the Atrium. Most prevalent is the decision to close the Book Nook by the end of August. When meeting with the bookstore team, it was agreed this space is prime real estate and would be better utilized for Community and Serving connection space. I want to personally thank the entire bookstore team for their years of faithful and courteous service. They are to be commended for serving – and transitioning – well. Beginning this weekend, the Book Nook will begin a ‘Going out of Business Sale” with everything at 10% off. Since prices were already below retail, this additional discount means great savings for you – so stop by and buy!
Part of being aligned with God and His church here is for you to be a part of a fall Community Group. Trust me – life truly is better when done in community! GroupLINK takes place here on our campus on Sunday night, August 18. Sign up here: GroupLINK. Donna and I are going to be participating in our own Community Group and I cannot urge you enough to sign up! You’ll thank me later!!
Last, but certainly not least, I/we received a letter of resignation yesterday from our Children’s Director, Becky Thatcher. She has served 4 years on our staff in Children’s Ministry. In this season of life with her children’s ages and needs, she feels led to put greater energy, time, and focus into meeting their needs. She also has come to the conclusion, based on her personal gift mix, that serving in this role does not match her God-given strengths and aptitudes. Her family loves Whitewater Crossing Christian Church and will continue to make WCCC their home. Becky is targeting September 30, 2013, as her last day, but will make a final decision based on the selection process of our next Children’s Director/Minister. Below is a note from Becky to all Whitewater parents:
I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I am to have served your child in Children’s Ministry over the past 4 years. Thank you for the privilege of partnering with your family in the spiritual nurture of your child. Please assure your child that I look forward to seeing them often as my family continues to worship and serve alongside of yours. Also, please let me know if there is any way I can ever be of help to your family in the future.
We honor Becky’s service, spirit, and decision. We thank her for the investment she has made here.