The Monday After: Remember to Say Thanks {Andrew}

 You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 29, 2014: Remember to Say Thanks: Listen HERE.

by Andrew Kelley

I’ve never been in a jail cell.

Maybe you haven’t either.

That said, I’m having a hard time understanding having a heart of thankfulness from a jail cell the way Paul had a heart of thankfulness from his when he wrote his letter to the Philippians.

Say Thanks.001Paul must have been happy and filled with joy even while in jail; look at the display of his gratitude!

Paul speaks of in Philippians 4 rejoicing over their concern for him and praises God for how they have come to his aid.

From a jail cell. That’s some pretty intense gratitude right there; Paul’s letter seems to brim with real joy.

Is thankfulness part of the recipe for happiness even when we’re locked away in our own respective “jails”? If we look at Paul’s life I think we know the answer.

We can only imagine how Paul’s gratitude made the Philippians feel, made God feel and made Paul himself feel.

I know how I feel when I show my gratitude and receive a joyous response; I feel really good deep down.

Pastor Josh issued us a challenge this week challenge to send a thank you card to someone each day this week. I don’t know about you, but I have quite a few thank you notes to send.

I am not only going to accept this challenge but I am going to purposefully try to say thank you.

And now it’ll be a different kind of thank you. It will be a different kind of thank you than I said when I was a kid, and I was told by my parents to say thank you all the time.

I’m also going to go beyond just saying thank you and move beyond those words by telling others why and how they have helped me.

That is where I truly think this whole “thank-you revolution” could take off.

It’s time to get thankful … and show it!

I’ll kick it off; thank you for reading this blog. May it encourage you and spur you on toward a life of gratitude no matter where you find yourself in life today.

Andrew and Dawn

Andrew Kelley is husband to Dawn and father to four wonderful children; he and his family currently call Immanuel and Zion home. 

 

Legacy Summit: “Love is Never Stationary”

If you asked this year’s Legacy Summit speaker Bob Goff his take on love, he’d likely tell you love isn’t just a feeling that makes the heart flutter or a part of a phrase to be uttered every night before we go to bed.

” … We need to stop plotting the course and instead just land the plane on our plans to make a difference by getting to the ‘do’ part of faith. That’s because love is never stationary,” Goff wrote in his book, Love Does. ” In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.”

This year’s summit attendees will spend a morning with Goff as he encourages us to love well and inspires us to love in ways we perhaps have only dreamed.

Want a little sneak peak of Goff in action? Check out this video of Goff giving us tips on how to live a secretly extraordinary life.

So are you ready to stop thinking about living an incredible life and start doing it? Are you ready to love and love well?

Register now for the Love Does! Legacy Summit at the early-bird pricing!

Love-Does-Web-Graphic

Love Does Legacy Summit

Date: Saturday, October 4 from

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Immanuel Church

Register: Click here

The Monday After: The Humble Path to Happiness (Anita)

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 22, 2014: The Humble Path to Happiness {Listen Here}

By Anita Everly

In a culture where we toot our own horns, speak our minds and announce our status updates multiple times a day, it’s hard to imagine not doing any of that and instead look for ways to build up others.
Chances are most of us are thinking way too much about ourselves and not enough about others.
It’s embarrassing to be so very far from following His example of humility: Jesus was fully God and He also surrendered those rights to come down to earth and serve.
I’m feeling challenged to empty myself of me, be filled more with Him and pour out more onto others.
Jesus said, “I am gentle and humble of heart.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Pastor Joe pointed out that this means we must be unselfish with our time, possessions, energy and money. While it’s easy to think, “I’m not selfish with these things,” a better evaluation might be, “How generous am I?” For me, that makes a difference. I have some grasping and grabbing and hoarding to let go of. Humble hearts are best friends with open hands.
In addition, I can’t seem to shake the challenge to look for the positive in others and make it a habit to verbally point that out to them, especially the person we find it hardest to esteem.
Given enough time to really listen to that “difficult” person we find that there are reasons for most people’s hard hearts, unyielding spirits or just plain negativity. If we look at them through the lens of Christ we are able to gain compassion and look deeper to see the good that resides and bring that to the surface with our words of affirmation.
Whether a person thinks too much of himself or too little, everyone needs to hear life giving words. To be a servant of sharing God’s grace and love by humbling ourselves to lift up others is truly a walk on holy ground.
And in the upside down ways of the Kingdom, our lifting others up will likely result in our own hearts being more filled with goodness and joy than they ever could be by focusing on ourselves.
So do you need more of you to show more of Christ?
Lay low this week.  That’s just where things start to look up … for me, for you and for others.

 

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

World Outreach: Anti-Human Trafficking Update from Bright Hope

Update from Bright Hope via World Outreach Team

Thank you Immanuel Church for your support of Bright Hope’s Anti-Human trafficking work in Northern India. Because of your investment in the program, the Bright Hope safe house was able to take in two additional young women this April who were part of a group of five women the Indian government rescued during a raid in Mumbai. The local government approached the Bright Hope safe house to take in these girls because of the great favor and reputation the Lord has brought to the safe house and its leadership. Without our partnership with Immanuel Church, Bright Hope may not have been able to financially assume responsibility for these young women. Please join with us in praying for their rehabilitation and receptivity to the Gospel of Hope as they are presented with the love of Jesus Christ each day.

Please note that when new girls come to the safe house it takes them a while to warm up and trust the staff. Slowly over time we learn their “real” stories. Until then the information we have is the statement they make upon rescue about their situation. Often this is lacking detail.

Please read Kali’s story and pray for her by name.

kaliAHTpictureName: Kali
Date entered the Safe house: 05/05/2014
Age: 17 years old

Kali is 17 years old and was working in the s*x trade business. She is the second youngest of seven siblings and she has four brothers and two sisters. Sadly, one brother and one sister are no longer living. She is not from Mumbai but from the district close to Udder Pradesh called Gwaliar. Mumbai is a 19-hour drive south of Gwaliar. We are not certain how Kali got to Mumbai but we know that her father was aware of her being there and the reason. We are not sure of his involvement in her situation but we know her older sister is also working in the s*x trade with their father’s knowledge. The family owns a large piece of land and has a large house and is financially well off. Also it appears that there was a warrant on file for the father at the police station. Kali was awarded to our safehouse by the CWC in order to protect her from being re-trafficked should she be released to the custody of her parents.

For more information about our strategic partnership with Bright Hope in effort to combat human trafficking in India, head over to our newly revamped World Outreach page and look at our partnership with Bright Hope under Strategic Partners. 

The Monday After: Habits of Happiness: Be Happy No Matter What {Sheryll}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 16, 2014: Habits of Happiness: Be Happy No Matter What {click HERE to listen!}

By Sheryll Belonga

I consider myself a happy person. Growing up I was at times labeled naive. I could agree with that to a certain degree, but it would bother me. I am the type of person who likes to see the best in others. I like to hope that people I come in contact with can be trusted. I like to see the bright side of things and be optimistic. At one point I wanted to change until I realized God made me this way; I liked wearing my rose-colored glasses.

Yesterday, Pastor Joe said the pursuit of happiness was a choice. I firmly believe that. I believe we can choose to be happy no matter what is going on in life. Does this mean nothing bothers us?  No, of course not!.  Does this mean we never worry? Not at all.  What it means is that when something happens that affects the world around us in a negative way, we choose to look for the positive side.

When I feel discouraged I love to sing Donald Lawrence’s song Encourage Yourself

Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.
Sometimes you have to speak the word over yourself,
the pressure is all around,
but God is present help.
The enemy created walls,
but remember giants, they do fall;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.

This song brings me to my happy place because it reminds me that things will be okay. More importantly it reminds me of why things will be okay: because God is here. With us. Right now. He sees me and knows what I am going through; he sees you and knows what you are going through. Whatever circumstance or situation, He has control. That doesn’t make it easy,  but we can rejoice in the Lord in spite of it. I can choose to be happy.

Pastor Joe also said waiting for the perfect circumstance in order to be happy can leave you miserable. So many people feel like having all their ducks in a row that will bring them happiness. Problem is nothing is ever perfect. The minute something occurs to disturb the flow of the water those ducks are knocked off course. But when they are, they simply adjust. Have you ever seen ducks shaken by water and freak out? They simply adjust.

Pastor Joe gave two habits of happiness yesterday:

  1. Take a broad look at your problems.
  2. Take a narrow look at your priorities.

When you look at your problems, the way to happiness is to change your perspective and realize that your problem may be essential to your progress.

When you look at your priorities consider whether or not the current situation will even matter years from now.  If it won’t let it go, let it gooo and let it bother you no mo’.

Gotta love the movie Frozen.

Anyway, yes, when we learn to let go we do like Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

So let it go and let God take control. If you still struggle I can let you borrow my glasses; they are the perfect shade of rose.

Sheryll Belonga is wife to Jurrell and homeschooling mom to their three great boys. Her hearts desire is to glorify God in all she says and does in spite of life’s daily happenings.