I’m someone who naturally likes attention. I’m an extrovert. I love people. It’s in my brain! I also happen to serve in a number of roles in our church. Because of these two things, and the fact that I’m a human being, I love to soak up the compliments. While I believe that it’s fine to receive compliments and to be appreciative of them, I’m constantly reminded of the need for humility. Can you relate? Good. I’m glad I’m not alone.

On Sunday, Josh spoke about using our God-given gifts in the midst of the temptation to use those gifts selfishly. It’s so easy to look like we are using our gifts to give God glory when in reality, we’re really giving it to ourselves. I am so guilty of this. On a Sunday morning, for example, I often find myself worrying about how my voice sounds on stage or what the congregation thinks of me rather than actually worshipping – which is why I’m up there in the first place! Even when it comes to blogging I find myself trying to phrase things in a way that paints me in a smarter or more holy light. I want people to read my posts, to listen to me sing and think, “Wow! She’s so wise!” or, “How old is she again? That girl can sing!” But here’s the kicker: my relationship with God isn’t a show, and neither is yours.

This temptation isn’t just for people in leadership, though. Wanting the spotlight can take shape even behind a screen. Take social media, for example. What’s a quick way to get enough “likes” to make us feel good? Easy: post a picture of your Bible to Facebook. Not only do you get likes, but you build up that spiritual reputation while you’re at it. There are countless spotlights and stages in each of our lives where we stand for recognition; what’s yours? Regardless of the setting, when it all boils down, God calls us to dig deep and really look at our motives. Do we post on social media for the recognition? Do we get up on stage for a chance to stand in the spotlight? Or, are we letting those things be an outworking of what’s going on internally, behind closed doors?

Matthew 6:1 says, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” Our relationship with God isn’t a show, and if we’ve started to make it that, maybe it’s time to get off the stage and out of the spotlight to get alone with Him. Josh reminded us this weekend that our faith will never magically be perfect, so we can’t walk around pretending like it is. Rather, when we spend time with God privately, letting him shape and form us, we see growth and feel a worth that no stage could every give us. So let’s get honest enough with ourselves to recognize where we’re needing practice, where we’re wanting to grow and start making time to pursue that. Let’s take some time this week to practice our faith with the Perfect One, to explore the spiritual disciplines, to look into new ways of reading Scripture or to form a prayer plan for the next few weeks. And, in the process, shine the spotlight on Him.

Gracie Adamek attends the College of Lake County and hopes to one day be a special education teacher. She likes to sing, act, knit, and write. She hopes you enjoy your time here, reading these blogs, and is very grateful for the opportunity to glorify God through her words


We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

We Are Church: We Focus {Sunday, August 9, 2015}

By Gracie Adamek

Over the past year and a half, I have been privileged to volunteer at a barn for horse therapy. Kids with all sorts of developmental disabilities would come ride the horses and learn to take care of them. I would walk next to the horse and assist the riders with their exercises. I would also make sure they were being safe. In my time there, I learned a lot about horses and so when Josh compared people to horses on Sunday, it made perfect sense to me.

Horses are huge creatures. They’re powerful and majestic. They’re also skittish and easily spooked. One of the first things they told me when I started volunteering was not to walk around the back of the horse because if you did, and it saw you, you would scare it and who knows what the horse would do. It could kick you, run off, jump, or even buck the rider off.

Horses are always aware of whatever they can see. Ever heard the term “out of sight, out of mind”? Well, that’s basically how it is for horses. That’s why blinders are so important. They don’t block horses’ vision all together, just the peripherals. If they can only see one direction, that’s all they’ll concentrate on. So set them a straight course, and they’ll go unafraid.

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God wants the same to be true of The Church. We have the Truth right at our fingertips and its our job to share it! Its on us to tell the world what The Lord has entrusted in us. But people scare pretty easily. We see everything going on around us and we try to back away. But God sets a straight path for us. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we say ‘come back to God!'”. God makes it so clear for us. This is our mission. Tell the world. Don’t be afraid, don’t get spooked. Just go.

Gracie Adamek attends the College of Lake County and hopes to one day be a special education teacher. She likes to sing, act, knit, and write. She hopes you enjoy your time here, reading these blogs, and is very grateful for the opportunity to glorify God through her words.



Be challenged:

Where is God telling you to go unafraid and draw people to Him?  Pray and ask God to remove your fear and to give you blinders so that the only thing you see is the path that He has placed before you.