What happened on Christmas Eve at Whitewater?
What an awesome Christmas Eve at Whitewater! I heard about it all the way in Virginia where our family was celebrating Christmas this year.(I’m back in town now and was welcomed with this warm weather!) A total of 2,798 gathered for three services (9:30am had 980, 11:15am had 1172 and 5:00pm had 646) to celebrate the new life that only comes from the Savior’s birth. And I heard it was even a white Christmas as beautiful snow fell when folks left the 5pm service!
A huge THANK YOU to all our staff and volunteers from the worship/tech team, our guest services and parking teams, those who decorated, provided tours, and made coffee. Thank you for making our new facility an inviting, warm place for everyone who joined us.
I have heard from multiple people with invited guests who enjoyed their experience. We had two wonderful college age gals who had never been to church (except a wedding or funeral) who said they are coming back!
One of our worship leaders, Alisa Childers, had a great post that might be helpful during this Christmas season. Check it out.
You might want to check out Alpha this January. Alpha is a worldwide ministry that consists of a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. It’s an open, informal, and honest space to explore and discuss life’s big questions together. This 10-week course provides an introduction to the Christian faith through engaging video presentations and conversation around tables. The course investigates topics such as:
• Who is Jesus Christ?
• Why did Jesus die?
• Is there more to life than this?
• How can I be sure of my faith?
• Why and how should I read my Bible and pray?
• How does God guide us?
• …and much more!
One of the most important components of each evening is an Alpha Meal. It is during the meal that friendships are formed. Got questions? Try Alpha.
Alpha begins at Whitewater on Monday, January 22, at 6:30pm. Visit the website for more information or to register.
If you’re in town this Sunday, make sure you’re here. I’ll be going on a review (some may even call it a rant!) of some of the incredible things God did through our church in 2017. It was a record year for us in so many ways. Come and hear about that, as well as what might be in store for us in 2018. Thank you again for everything you did to make the mission of this church happen in 2017. Your serving and giving not only helped you grow spiritually, but also helped the church reach new levels of difference making.
I have challenged all of us to use these last few remaining days of 2017 to help us finish strong financially.
Don’t fall prey to what pastor Rick Warren calls the eight phases of procrastination…
Phase 1: I’ll start early this time.” (hopeful)
Phase 2: “I’ve got to start soon.” (a little tension)
Phase 3: ”I should have started sooner.” (creeping guilt)
Phase 4: “There is still time to do it.” (false reassurance)
Phase 5: “What’s wrong with me?” (getting desperate)
Phase 6: “I can’t wait any longer!” (intense pain)
Phase 7: “Just get it done!” (get it over with!)
Phase 8: “Next time, I’ll start earlier.” (the cycle repeats)
Why not end 2017 and begin 2018 with a renewed sense of intentionality and purpose?! Automate the important, not only with your giving, but with your goals for this brand new year. Purpose gives you power. It’s as simple as that.
In Max Lucado’s book Second Chances, he writes about this guy named Paul who wrote most of the NT. Before he was Paul, he was named Saul and was killing Christians till he met Jesus.
“Before he encountered Christ, Paul had been somewhat of a hero among the Pharisees. You might say that he was their Wyatt Earp. He kept the law and order—or better said, revered the Law and gave the orders. Good Jewish moms held him up as an example of a good Jewish boy. He was given the seat of honor at the Jerusalem Lions Club Wednesday luncheon. He had a “Who’s Who in Judaism” paperweight on his desk and was selected “Most Likely to Succeed” by his graduating class. He was quickly establishing himself as the heir apparent to his teacher, Gamaliel. If there is such a thing as religious fortune, Paul had it. He was a spiritual billionaire, born with one foot in heaven, and he knew it.”
“Paul never took a course in missions. He never sat in on a committee meeting; He never read a book on church growth. He was just inspired by the Holy Spirit and punch-drunk on the love that makes the impossible possible – salvation.”
What about you? What are you ‘punch drunk’ with? Things of this world or the next?
This is my last regular Direct from David for this year. Thanks for reading my weekly ponderings and ramblings each week! Thanks too for praying for our church, our leaders (paid and unpaid), and for the Vaughan family. It has been my extreme privilege to serve another year as your pastor.
Hope to see you this Sunday for the very last day of the year!