MAR / APR 2013 EDITION JAN / FEB 2013 EDITION

A from the editor Note
Fairview Heights Campus
Sunday - 8:30am, 10:30am, 6:00pm Saturday - 5:00pm

Collinsville / Maryville Campus
Sunday - 10:00am Sunday - 10:00am

Millstadt Campus

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” - Titus 3:4-7
Spring is my favorite season. I love warm days, blue skies, blooming flowers, birds singing and the smell of fresh cut green grass. I feel rejuvenated this time of the year, I have a bounce in my step and I tend to have a better outlook on life. I love that Easter falls in the springtime when newness of life appears. When Jesus bore my sins on Calvary, God revealed His kindness and mercy to me by giving me new life. I am now a new creation, created to love, live and praise the One who gave His all for me. Hallelujah, we have a risen Savior who loves us! In His Name,

Contents
3 - When God Came Picking 4 - Promises Sought, Promises... 5 - Having A Heart That Breaks 6 - Easter Service Times 7 - Something about a New Heart 8 - A Knucklehead in the... 9 - Getting To Know You 10 - Give Live 11 - New Day, New Mercy 12 - Sinking Into Lent 13 - A Little More Action, Please 14 - All Praise To You 15 - God At Work

Donna Harrison

Editor - donnaharrison@mychristchurch.com

Senior Pastor: Rev. Shane Bishop Associate Pastor: Rev. Troy Benton Editor: Donna Harrison Proof Reader: Barbara Germany Design: Justin Aymer Design Intern: Michelle Sweeten
For a complete listing of the Christ Curch Staff and to learn more about Christ Church please visit: www.mychristchurch.com

The Flame Online: Get The Flame Magazine online. Free pdf downloads. Email reminders of new editions. Visit www.mychristchurch.com/theflame. Mission Of The Flame: Be inspirational through biblical articles and devotions. Be informative in the announcement of future events that connect people in ministry. Questions about the Flame? Contact Donna Harrison at: donnaharrison@mychristchurch.com
The Flame Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine published by Christ Church. ©2013, Christ Church. All rights reserved.

When God Came Picking…
By Rev. Shane Bishop, Senior Pastor

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choose to attend Candler School of Theology at Emory University because I wanted to be a pulpit preacher. I didn’t know a thing back then about leadership but I wanted to learn to preach the bark off a tree! The head of the Homiletics Department was Dr. Fred Craddock; he was considered the best preaching professor in the country. His book Preaching was the textbook other seminaries used, his storytelling was legendary and the opportunity to learn from the master was what brought me to Atlanta. Dr. Craddock taught us words are the tools with which great preaching is fashioned. Preachers must not only be careful with words (for they are potentially dangerous) but must also protect them (from both overuse and neglect) and apply them to a greater good (the Kingdom of God). He reminded us often it was with words God created the cosmos. Words are powerful. One of my favorite English words is “Remember.” Standard definitions offer, “To keep in mind, consider or to memorize.” But remember always felt like a bigger word than its definition or its synonyms to me. It was like the very best car in an endless line of cars; the one that caught your eye and captured your imagination. The word remember simply intrigued me to the point I was determined to dismantle it, study it and put it back together so I may better get to know it (like a mechanic with an engine). This simple exercise changed my perception of God and my concept of pastoral ministry. Remember is used over 150 times in the Bible so we can safely assume God wants us in the business of remembering. A variation of the word “remembrance” is etched into a hundred thousand communion tables so we can also assume the church encourages remembering as well. Finally, Melissa is always telling me to “remember” something or the other when I go out, so it is safe to assume that remembering is important to human relationships as well. So let’s get out a scalpel and separate remember into “re” and “member.” Member is a word that wants to go a lot of literary directions so I had to find it a clear path. I really like Encarta’s fifth definition, “A separate and distinct part of a whole, e.g. an object belonging to a mathematical set, a clause in a sentence, or a proposition in a syllogism.” (Isn’t this getting

exciting?) Adding the prefix “re” simply means to “do again.” When I put these two ideas together, it made no sense at all (clearly a reward for my hard work). Then it occurred to me, re-member is a reactive word; it is the restoration of something larger that had been previously reduced to less than it was created to be. In this light, re-member is to restore a thing and you would only go to the effort to restore something if it were of significant value (for example, no one restores plastic lighters). Imagine you discovered a dilapidated 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 500 in the back of a junk yard. Despite its deplorable condition the proprietor asks a fortune for the car and will not come down a penny. Because the car has captivated you, you overpay and spare no expense or effort to meticulously return it to factory condition. When your ultimate Muscle Car is finally completed, it is finally and fully…remembered! Easter is much bigger than the annual recollection of an ancient story; it is an act of remembering. The story line goes like this: You and I were created in the loving image of God with limitless potential and priceless value. We were beautiful and lit up the showroom floor! Because of the damaging effects of sin on our lives, our potential quickly was squandered by misuse and neglect. In time, our value plummeted until the day we found ourselves stripped, abandoned, junked and forgotten. And then, at our most hopeless point, when we had given up on ever being more than we had become, God came picking. When He saw you in the back of the junk yard, you took His breath away! He did not see you and I for what we had become; He saw us for what we were created to be and could be again! On Good Friday, God overpaid for our lives with the blood of His only son. On Pentecost He unleashed the Holy Spirit to do the work of restoration in us and with Easter Christ assured us that what God had begun would be completed. You are a new creation, loving being restored into the person you were created to be. You are of infinite value to your Creator. You, my friend, are a classic!

Rev. Shane Bishop, Senior Pastor of Christ Church facebook.com/revshane @RevShaneBishop

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Promises Sought Promise Kept!
By Rev. Troy Benton

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
- I Peter 1:3, TNIV

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ne of the bottom line, hard-nose questions of those who are available to hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ during this season named “Easter” is “what do I get from the resurrection of Jesus Christ?” We can over-spiritualize the meaning and the ministry of our savior’s work and love toward us in answering these persons; however, it seems to me that a direct, clear answer would be most helpful and hopeful to all who desire clarity. What is most important about answering this question correctly is the impact both immediate and long term for the person getting the answer. Easter means “Passover.” For me, the power of this word is the core of the answer people are seeking and need! The answer, “Passover” is the solution to what many of us are seeking, pleading and working through, but find it difficult if not impossible to claim hold on for our lives. Truth be told, for both nonbeliever, as well as long-time disciples, getting beyond ourselves (our faults, our mistakes, and our sins) is the most difficult part of accepting the grace, goodness, and glory found in a living and full love relationship with Jesus Christ. In the words of one wiser than me, “our biggest enemy is the enemy in-a-me.” The burden of this quest can be paralyzing, even the lid on our lives forever. Thanks be to God, Jesus is the lid-opener that never lets one can stay closed! In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we discover above all else the God who keeps His word! If there is ever anything anyone

needs to have hope and gain the provision of strength that will sustain them in their most difficult time, I stand on the belief that what each person needs is a God they hold relationship with that keeps His promise. Jesus is the one, the only one who has kept EVERY PROMISE He made!!! Jesus promised to die...He did. Jesus promised to die for us...He did. Jesus promised to stay buried to prove the power of God...He did. Jesus rose to give us power over death and every evil thing that ever was and would be...and thanks be to God, HE DID!!! This Easter, share the promise that you can testify to through the active witness you have in your life. Tell someone about how Jesus held you when you were hurting, helped you when you were needy, loved you when you were not worthy of unconditional love. Tell someone the promises that God through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ has delivered to you! This Easter is not only to remind you that God is a promise keeper, but this same God named Jesus Christ has some promises for them if they will enter into a relationship with Him. Among these promises are joy, peace, hope, health, change, second change, fiftieth chance, and others. Above all these promises, Peter reminds us as he remembers all God did for him of this promise...salvation and the gift to live eternally with Jesus Christ in heaven! It is due to God keeping his biggest promise, which we are provided access to the kind of life that is not deserved but is amazing, lavish, and luxurious. What a promise! I’m going to claim mine this Easter; what about you?
Rev. Troy Benton, Associate Pastor facebook.com/tmbenton @revtroy

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Having a Heart That Breaks
By Diane Kruger

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od’s heart breaks for us. Even though we are sinners, His heart broke so much with His love for us that He sent His only Son to suffer and die on the cross. And because of this, we can have eternal life, basking forever in God’s light and His love. What, or who, breaks your heart for God? In his sermon series “The Nehemiah Project,” Rev. Shane Bishop says, “God put Jerusalem on the heart of Nehemiah. We can’t handle all the pain of the world, so God seems to assign each Christian their allotted burden to carry. You, too, have a Jerusalem in your heart.” And if we are Christians who have truly surrendered our lives to God, when God puts something in our hearts, when God breaks our hearts over something, we have no choice. We simply have to do something about it. There’s nothing else we can do. In her Bible study on Nehemiah, Kelly Minter says, “Think of what has been accomplished over the years by ordinary people simply because they were moved over the hurting, the poor, the outsider, the sick . . . sometimes the most accomplished people aren’t the ones with the most ability but with the most breakable hearts.” When Marvin and Karen Steinke visited Honduras almost ten years ago, their hearts were broken for the beautiful people of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and they had to do something about it. Thus was born the Feed My Sheep Ministry. Because the Steinkes’ hearts were broken for the Honduran people, their ministry now feeds hundreds of children a year; gives thousands of Spanish Bibles away; provides scholarships for hundreds of children to attend school; takes several mission trips a year to provide medical, eye, and dental clinics; takes baby layettes, stuffed animals, and lots of prayers to the mothers and children in the hospitals; and has helped to start a church, Iglesia de Cristo “Casa de Paz,” where several hundred people worship each week. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. None of us knows what God will put in our hearts if we only listen and surrender our lives to Him, if we commit to going where He sends us and doing what He tells us, if we truly trust Him and believe. I love the creed from Beth Moore’s Bible study, Believing God. It goes like this: “God is Who He says He is, God can do what He says He can do, I am who God says I am, I can do all things through Christ, the Word of God is alive and active in me.”

God has recently broken Karen’s heart, and mine, for the women of San Pedro Sula. As a result, on the upcoming mission trip March 2-9, we hope to provide for the first time a conference for women, where we can show them how beautiful they are in God’s sight, how very much God loves them, how they always have a friend in Jesus, and how there is hope in the Lord. Just as Rev. Shane said in his sermon series, the need becomes the call, and the call sets our God-life in motion. What has broken my heart in Honduras? The children and parents in the oncology clinic where 35-40 children receive chemotherapy every day, all in the same room, all receiving the same kind of chemotherapy. The expectant mothers lined up in chairs along the wall waiting to give birth, knowing they will only be in the hospital six hours and having virtually nothing for their babies. The wonderful Honduran people who come to the clinics, some traveling hours to get there, and who witness to me about their love for Jesus. The hunger for Bibles, from street people to soldiers patrolling the streets. The children. The hundreds of people who attend services at the new church, who pile onto the Christ Church school bus to get there, and who praise and dance and sing to their Lord. Oh, Lord, let my heart continue to be broken for Your people. So Christ Church, what breaks your hearts for God? Is it seeing the faces light up when you volunteer at the Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis? Is it the smiles of welcome and relief when you visit nursing home residents? Is it the satisfaction you get from feeding and praying with the homeless? Is it the joy you feel in the Welcome Home ministry when you help a family get a new start by providing them a safe, furnished home in which to live? Is it knowing that you have given someone hope, that you have shared the gospel with them, and because of that, they will have eternal life with Christ? Ask God to show you what breaks your heart for Jesus, and when you do, you will find that a broken heart can lead to healing and wholeness, and you will finally be doing what God planned for you from the beginning. In her study on Nehemiah, Kelly Minter says, “Today I invite you to follow God outside of yourself. To consider the needs that surround you, and to listen closely to what breaks your heart. Because a broken heart is often the very thing God uses to restore the broken.” Let God break your heart, and in so doing, restore meaning and purpose to your life, as you answer God’s call by living your life for others.

Diane Kruger, Special Events Coordinator dianekruger@mychristchurch.com

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EASTER
Service Times
Fairview Heights Campus Sunday, March 31

5:00PM 7:30AM 9:30AM 10:00AM 11:30AM 4:00PM
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Fairview Heights Campus Saturday, March 30 (traditional)

Fairview Heights Campus Sunday, March 31 Collinsville/Maryville Campus Millstadt Campus Sunday, March 31 Fairview Heights Campus Sunday, March 31 Fairview Heights Campus Sunday, March 31

Something about a New Heart
By Dave Merrill

“I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” - Ezekiel 18:30-32

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he time is 600 B.C. and the people of Judah have been exiled to Babylon. God’s chosen have been removed from their promised land and any remaining hope seems like a distant and unrealized dream. The prophet Ezekiel brings a message to these people from the Sovereign Lord to rekindle their hope. The message promises life as a condition of individual heart and spirit, not a function of location or circumstance. These exiled foreigners (and God’s people in the Metro East today) are judged according to their own ways. The Lord calls us to repentance. We are commanded to turn away from all of our offenses and sins “and get a new heart and a new spirit.” Our very simple choice is to either “repent and live” or continue in sin and die. The Lord takes joy in the former and takes “no pleasure in the death of anyone.” But somehow we have to “get a new heart and a new spirit.” How does that happen? Many of you are aware of my recent open-heart surgery. About 40 years ago, doctors first commented about a heart murmur important enough to periodically track. Over those years, my condition slowly and insidiously worsened from a simple murmur to a noticeable change in heart sound. I can best describe the change as a very gradual transition from a “lub-dub” sound to a “swoosh-swoosh” rhythmic beat. Two years ago, my doctor sent me to a cardiologist who diagnosed my condition as aortic valve stenosis, a hardening, constricting, and calcifying of the aortic valve. The condition was clearly worsening, but not falling into a category requiring action to repair. I learned my stenosis could not be reversed nor repaired with drugs or diet. In early November this year, a follow-up visit to my cardiologist revealed pressure differentials across my heart valve elevating moderate stenosis to severe. My team of doctors wanted to confirm the condition with a heart catheterization and within a week they knew the answer. My aortic valve needed to be replaced with some sense of urgency. Friday following the heart catheterization procedure, my cardiologist notified me of the need for open-heart surgery. I said, “Let’s get it done soon.” He

said, “How about Monday?” and three days later I was under the saw and the blade to cut out the old valve and become the recipient of a new, mechanical heart valve. Now, as God has healed me through the Christmas season and as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ for Easter, here are a few observations about my “new heart.” My surgeon described the condition of my calcified heart valve as “crusty and fused together.” He asserts that valve had, at most, another two years of functional use. The valve was restricting the flow of oxygen to the rest of my body. My new valve has a service life of 20 to 30 years and has proven to be nothing short of a medical miracle. I am more alert, less forgetful, and my eyesight has improved measurably. I have more physical energy, which is a serious problem because I am still not supposed to lift weights greater than ten pounds and my wife sternly enforces such restrictions. God has richly blessed me with built-in accountability and health through a wonderful marriage. As I have now transitioned from “swoosh-swoosh” to a mechanical “click-click,” I am enthusiastic about doing the Lord’s work for many more decades. Jesus wants to do something very similar to your heart. Through His resurrection we enjoy the good news of eternal life. The Lord cuts out all the “crustiness” of our old hearts; He listens to the heartbeat of our repentant cries from sin and offers us a new heart. He fills us with a new and revived spirit of love and energy to do His will. God blesses us with forgiveness, mercy, and grace. He lovingly holds us accountable to “rid ourselves of all the offenses” and promises a gift of life; not for another 20 to 30 years, but for life everlasting. What a glorious day when we realize the magnitude of God’s gift to us through Christ Jesus. I pray you have not been living many years with sin slowly and insidiously taking your life. I pray you might consult with our great Physician to make a decision quickly to repent and be healed. Believe me, such decisions may be uncomfortable at first, but life giving and joyous for a lifetime…and for eternity!

“...He listens to the heartbeat of our repentant cries from sin and offers us a new heart...”

Dave Merrill facebook.com/davemerrill819

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Wilderness
“What a bunch of knuckleheads!” I know it’s not a very Christian thing to say, but how many times do we read a story in the Bible or listen to someone’s testimony only to think that? Or what about, “what a hypocrite you are!”

A Knucklehead in the
By Steve Barrett

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was raised mostly in the Catholic Church (and partially in the Orthodox Church), spending a great deal of time there and even serving as an altar boy. Our priest was one of the most Godly men I have ever known…He taught me a great deal about God and was part of the first miracle I ever witnessed, praying for the healing of my youngest sister while I was about nine years old. He also taught me a great deal about life and I mourned his passing just a few short years after our meeting. After all of the training and growing up in the church, I thought I knew God. Maybe it was the rashness of youth or maybe something else, but I became comfortable with what I knew and through that comfort, complacent. As complacency began to grow within me, it crowded out God. You see, I learned about God, but I didn’t have a relationship with Him. Without that relationship I refused to acknowledge that there was something He wanted me to do. As God was crowded out all that was left was God’s pilot light…a flicker that He left there to remind me that when I was ready, He would be there. My own survival has seemed to me nothing short of miraculous. In 1984, I was involved in a car accident that the responding emergency medical technicians (EMT) said I should not have lived through. At that time in my life I had walked away from God (pilot light still flickering) and was living in the “fast lane.” Okay, fast might be a relative term growing up in the farmlands of California, but God certainly wasn’t an active part of my life; or so I thought.

realize that I had witnessed miracle after miracle and yet I still questioned the sovereignty of our Creator in my life. Multiple car accidents, a healed sibling, three wonderful children and a wife who I don’t deserve all have been a part of my life and it took twenty years of wandering in the wilderness to understand that God wanted this busted, useless, sinful man enough to keep working miracles in my life. He knew the plans He had for me at a time when I had turned my back on Him. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB) History has an uncanny knack of repeating itself. After following a column of smoke and a pillar of fire…after receiving manna from Heaven delivered daily to them…after the swallowing of Pharaoh’s army…after all of these things, God’s chosen people still questioned the sovereignty of our Creator in their lives. What a bunch of knuckleheads, right? Seriously, how could anyone question God’s goodness and His presence in our lives after seeing all that? Certainly not…me…Oh. I’m by no means perfect. Becoming a Christian doesn’t provide you with a mystical switch you can activate to remove all imperfections from your life. When you accept the fact that God loves you for who you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way (thanks Rev. Shane for that quote!), it makes you sit back and marvel that He would want to do anything with us at all. I do know that as I struggle from day to day with my own imperfections that each of my slips will be met with a Word from God…“It’s okay my son, I’ve got you. Nice try!”

Enter the wilderness
Fourteen short years ago I rediscovered God within the walls of Christ Church…well, more accurately I discovered that God had never left me. It’s funny that even now I can attend church on any given Sunday and not know who I’ll run into. Little did I realize that first Sunday in 1998 I would be proverbially ambushed by the Holy Spirit. I look back in my life now and

Time to try again
Now when I read those stories of the ancient Jews as they witnessed miracle after miracle and still questioned God, I no longer say “what a bunch of knuckleheads!” Instead, I’m simply thankful that He is still interested in using this busted, useless, sinful knucklehead to reach others with His message.

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Steve Barrett facebook.com/steve.barrett.716

Getting To Know YOU
Name: Michelle Barncord Job Title: Worship Administrator Job Description: I’m the part time administrative assistant
to Don Frazure, run the Kids 4 Christmas Musical, the coordinator for Orchestra, and have many other duties around the church.

Describe the perfect date night.

The perfect date night is dinner at the Melting Pot and a concert at the Pageant afterwards.

What makes you feel most alive?

How did you meet your spouse?

I feel most alive when performing with musical groups. I get lost in the music and can be part of creating that glorious sound God gave us. That is feeling alive.

I was playing in the Jazz band at Lindenwood with my husband’s best friend and roommate. Tad went to our Winter Concert where I played trumpet and sang “Fever.” We went to the same school, had many of the same friends and hangouts, but didn’t meet until my senior year when Tad was out of school.

Name your most favorite time of the year.

My favorite time of year is Christmas. I love the music, the trees, the decorations and the whirlwind time with family.

What is your taste in music?

How did you come to know God?

I grew up Catholic, and have always believed in God. My husband grew up Baptist and we decided to look for a church that called to both of us once we had children. We wanted to raise them in a church family.

I have very eclectic taste in music. I could go from Vivaldi’s 4 seasons to K’naan to Radiohead to Wilco to Andrew Bird to Civil Wars to Coldplay to Big Bad Vodoo Daddy. I like most types of music.

Which is your favorite concert you attended?

Which sport do you like?

I love hockey. My younger brother plays in the NA3HL for the Granite City Lumberjacks in Minnesota. (I’m not a proud big sister in the least!) My son Frankie plays for the Icehawks. There isn’t much cuter than a group of 5-year olds on the ice! If there had been a girls’ team or had girls been allowed to play when I was a child, I would have played.

My favorite concert was Radiohead at Soldier field in Chicago. Road trip with my best friend and our guys, amazing skyline behind the band and gorgeous music…can’t ask for much more. Could have done without the heatstroke though! Perhaps July wasn’t the best time for an outdoor concert without shade.

What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten?

The strangest food I’ve eaten is escargot. I loved it!!!

Do you have a nickname?

Shelly. Only my family calls me that and I do prefer Michelle.

Have you ever gone ocean diving? Where?

Have you ever met a famous person?

I have gone snorkeling, but not diving in Grand Caymen. What a beautiful place!

I have met several famous people. My favorite famous person was Clark Terry. He was a famous Jazz Flugel Horn player. I had the honor of playing with him at a concert for Lindenwood University.

What movie would we find you in, a western, comedy or romance?
You would find me in a comedy. I love to laugh!

What jobs have you done?

I’ve been a referee for soccer, a receptionist at a hair salon, a waitress and short order cook, a pizza cook, an inbound phone customer service agent and a teacher.

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Sunday, March 17th
(Before and after Church Services)

Bone Marrow Registry

By Debby Creagh

s spring begins to blossom and unfold, the evidence of the earth renewing itself is all around us. New life is evident in our gardens, the trees leafing out, baby animals and birds, and the first mowing of the lawn as the grass starts growing. We plan our gardens, fertilize, weed, and clear out the old leaves. Our human lives could use much the same sometimes – a spring cleaning for old habits, bad choices, or poor attitudes. God’s Word is an excellent mirror to look into for changes we need to make to align our lives with Jesus. Jesus told us in John 10:10 that He came that we might have abundant life. He also said He came to heal the broken-hearted and set the captives free. Much of Jesus’ earthly ministry demonstrated God’s desire to heal us and make us whole. He healed many people from mental, spiritual, and physical challenges in their lives. There are people today who have those same struggles. Sometimes it is due to challenges that they were born with, sometimes to circumstances beyond their control, and others because of choices they have made. No matter what the reason, Jesus tells us to “Love one another as I have loved you.” He showed us what that meant by the giving His blood and His physical body for us so that we could have new life in an open relationship with God. In becoming His followers, we are called to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). We can take Jesus’ message of life and love in various ways; through prayer, witnessing, friendship, missions, preaching, and teaching. A very practical way to offer life to someone is to actually give the elements of physical life to save another person. March is designated as “Give Life!” month. Christ Church Faith Community Nurses have planned some opportunities for everyone to participate in at the Fairview Heights Campus.
Debby Creagh, Parish Nurse debbycreagh@mychristchurch.com

life life lif e e

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Anyone ages 18-44 can register to give bone marrow. It only requires a completed health questionnaire and a swab of the inside of your cheek. You will only be called for donation if you match someone in need. Who might that be? A child fighting leukemia, people with poor immune systems, treatment for cancer, or those with red blood cell diseases. Some of these conditions can only be treated with a life-giving bone marrow transplant. There will be a representative to answer any questions. A representative from the DoD will be coming to the registration and will be able to register any military personnel that want to participate.

Organ Donor Registration

Many people think that saying you are an organ donor on your driver’s license is sufficient. This is only in case of your death. There are other opportunities to assist with organ or tissue donation. Two of our members have given an organ this year. It has literally saved the life of the people they matched. Anyone can register to be a donor. There is a brief form to fill out and we will turn them in to Mid-America Transplant Services. If you have questions about organ donation, a representative will be there to assist you.

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life lif

Monday, March 25th
4:00 – 7:00 pm

Blood Drive

Your donation of blood can save a life for people needing surgery, in severe accidents, in chronic disease management, and more. Anyone over 18 years old can participate. You will fill out a brief health questionnaire to be sure you are eligible before giving. If you think about the face of a loved one that might have the need for the gift of life that only a blood transfusion can bring, let it move your heart to participate. You would want that available to him or her. Please consider giving life through a blood donation. Food and fellowship will be offered at the Blood Drive.

How can you help if you are unable to participate in these events due to age or condition?
You may donate monetarily to offset the cost of testing that is needed before a match can occur: each test is an average of $1500. Checks can be made payable to “Be The Match Foundation” or you can contribute online at www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/christchurch. You can encourage those you know to participate. Pray about how God would use you to save another person’s life and come to Give Life! to learn more.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
- Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)

New Day, New Mercy
By Rev. Don Frazure

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think all parents can relate. My child will do something she is not supposed to and I have to correct her. Later (although sometimes not later enough) the child will do the same thing again and will say “I’m sorry.” After several repeat occurrences, I will say something along the line of, “If you say you are sorry, but keep on doing it, then you are not really sorry.” Although I try every which way to make my child understand that she can’t do something, she still does it, and “I’m sorry” doesn’t seem to cut it. It can be very frustrating. Then the Holy Spirit tugs at my heart and says, “Every time you mess up and ask forgiveness, I forgive you...” BOOM!! Right in that moment, a lesson in mercy and grace hits my heart like a ton bricks. I am made aware of all the times in my life that I have asked God to forgive me of things I have done, and through the blood of Jesus, He has been faithful to forgive me. I don’t deserve it, but He loves me. Even when I fail the same trial again, He is faithful to forgive when I say “I’m sorry.” It really helps me put my feelings of frustration about my child into perspective. What I see in the scripture text above is that each day is a chance to build on the day before. God is with us each day on the journey of life. He is part of our entire day and never leaves our side. The lessons we learn, the trials we endure, the battles we fight and the joys experience are all used by God to help mold us into the disciples He desires for us to become. Each new day is a chance to lean on God’s grace and mercy. It is not a license for us to do whatever we want and then go to God for forgiveness so it all just goes away (that is a recipe for losing ground in your spiritual life for sure.) But it is an assurance to us that God is faithful, that He is on our side and He is ready to go the distance each day. He may have to carry us from time to time, and we may even think that we have all this figured out and can do just fine on our own. But even when that happens, He will forgive us when we ask, and He’s ready to help us get moving along the right path again.

Rev. Don Frazure, Pastor Of Worship Arts Email: donfrazure@mychristchurch.com Twitter: @donfrazure

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Sinking Into Lent
By Angie Farnworth

L

ent is one of my favorite times of the year. My closest friends might find that surprising. They’d probably peg me more for a Christmas kind of gal. And they’d be right. Sparkly wrapped gifts, Joy to the World, hot cocoa topped with whipped cream, and ‘Tis the Season are much more to my liking. Christmas screams joy, while Lent whispers suffering. I married a true artist. Moody, brooding, a poet at heart, he’s much more likely than me to embrace suffering. His idea of a good time is slipping into the gloom of Dostoyevsky, steeping in Kafka, sloshing through all 1,011 pages of Moby Dick. Me? Not so much. In the normal course of life, I’d rather crank up JOY FM or THE BULL and dance around the house, ignoring dirty dishes and all manner of housework. But there’s something about Lent. For those 40 days of the year, I want nothing more than to wallow in my own depravity. To reflect upon my sin. It’s the one time of year that I almost miss my Roman Catholic roots. I want those ashes on my forehead. I want to deprive myself of my favorite vices. I want to sit on hard wooden pews, inhale the putrid scent of incense, concentrate on the Stations of the Cross, and just imagine. Put myself in the place of one of the Mary’s—losing child, beloved friend. Losing hope one strike of the whip, one blow of the hammer at a time. The Lent of my childhood reeked of stoicism. I sacrificed candy, my favorite television programs, meat on Fridays—and, in turn, consumed fish sticks, mac ‘n cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches by the pound. Oh, I’m sure I complained about it. Rolled my eyes. Probably cheated a bit here and there. But secretly, I kind of liked it. I still do. To this day, I try to do something sacrificial during Lent, something to mark that special season with a little less consumption, a twinge of discomfort. By the time Holy Week rolls around, if I’ve really taken the time to reflect and let Lent sink into my soul, my emotions build toward the greatest anticlimax of all time: Good Friday. For me, there’s

nothing better than waking up to a dark, stormy Good Friday morning. I’m especially grateful for a hefty thunderstorm around two in the afternoon. But regardless of the weather, I try to put myself in the place of someone like Peter that day. To imagine the pain of his failure, the realization that he’d been wrong and Jesus’ prediction right. That day that Peter fell to a depth equal to the height he’d been feeling on the Mount of Transfiguration. My perfect Good Friday might involve a solitary viewing of The Last Temptation of Christ, or a brooding afternoon reading the crucifixion story from all four Gospels. My best Good Fridays feel, well…not so good. When I was seven years old, my mom took me to the mall on the Saturday after Good Friday to get my ears pierced. Holy Saturday is what we called it in the Catholic Church. I remember my mom saying my dad would probably be furious with her for letting me do something fun on the day Jesus was still in the tomb. (Clearly, she’d never had her ears pierced if that was her idea of fun.) But a Holy Saturday rarely goes by that I don’t think of that day. In the hustle and bustle of dyeing Easter eggs and baking my great-great grandmother’s traditional lamb cake, I try to remember to stay just a little sedate. To recall that all those years ago, Jesus was still in that tomb, presumably beginning to rot away. His friends bereft, without an ounce of hope. Then Easter Sunday dawns. When God plays by my book, the clouds of the last two days have passed, and a warm sun penetrates the dawn. If the Roman Catholics of my younger years knew how to do Lent, it’s Christ Church that does Easter up right. In the five or six years we’ve been members, this muchanticipated day has been packed full with salvations, baptisms, stones of promise, Glory in the Highest blasting through the sound system, and all manner of heartfelt rejoicing. That’s what makes those 40 days of suffering all worthwhile. And the rising of the Messiah, that much sweeter.
Angie Farnworth facebook.com/angie.farnworth

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Action,
Please
By Erin Hanson

...A Little More

C

ommitment is a word we toss around a lot. But if someone asked you to define it, could you? I got to thinking about the fact that I know what commitment looks like, but that I probably couldn’t give a clear definition if somebody asked me for one. So I did what any normal person would do – I looked it up. There were several parts to the definition, but the one that struck me the most was the last one. It said “to entrust, especially for safekeeping.” What an interesting concept. We commit to things like relationships and resolutions, but when we do so, are we really thinking about “who” we’re committing those things to? Anybody who knows me knows that I like food. Oh, and sweet tea. I really like sweet tea. I have liked these things my whole life, and slowly but surely my love of good food and southern sweet tea had taken me somewhere I never intended to be. When I stepped on the scale at my doctor’s office last August, I was shocked to see a number that was drastically higher than it had ever been before. I had let my weight get out of control, and I knew I needed to do something about it. The problem was that I had tried to do something about it more than a few times in the past, and had failed. What was going to make this time different? As I sat in my car after my appointment, I cried. Ok, ok, I bawled like a baby. I sobbed. I was angry and frustrated with myself, but more than anything I was scared. I knew I couldn’t get healthy on my own because I had tried before and failed miserably. It was in that moment that I realized that my only hope was in the Lord; if I was going to succeed, I was going to have to hand over my fears, failures and weaknesses and

entrust them to my God. Most of all, I was going to have to commit my actions to Him and rely on His strength instead of my own. A few weeks later, I was reading my Bible and came across Proverbs 16:3. “Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” The first thing that struck me was that God asks us for action! Whether the action is prayer, hard work, faith or sacrifice, success requires something of us, especially when we are striving for redemption. This is true whether you’re trying to lose weight, repair a broken relationship or break free from an addiction. If we are willing to commit, God says He will walk with us through the messy and often grueling journey to success. The end result is worth the battle, but we will only survive if we rely on the strength of Christ to see us through each moment. Often we want God to “fix it” without asking anything of us. We want Him to wave His magic wand and spare us the blood, sweat and tears that it is going to cost us. The reality is that He isn’t going to do that. God is our Heavenly Father, and just like our earthly parents, He can’t make our decisions for us. He can’t commit for us; He can only support and guide us through the commitments we decide to make. Entrust your battles to God. Commit those things to Him that hold you back from the life God has for you. Take your cravings, your urges and your excuses and cast them at the foot of the Cross. If you have faith in His word and commit your actions to Him, He will do amazing things in and through you. So go ahead – entrust your plans to the Lord for safekeeping. A whole new life is waiting.

“Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” - Proverbs 16:3

Erin Hanson, Director of Connections erinhanson@mychristchurch.com

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All Praise To You
Then from dark death you rose to show That I am justified and pure as snow You sent Your Spirit as a dove So in this life I yield to You To lead and comfort from above Took sin and guilt away from me Your Sacrifice upon that tree
By Michael Gary Harrison

You are the Way the Life the Truth My God, my love, all praise to You
(©2011 A Spark in Darkness)

Until Your plan has borne its fruit

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God At Work
New Members
December

-------------------------------Daniel Meyers, Patricia Meyers, Melissa S. Watson, Kelly Donley, Michael Donley, Kimberly Donley, Robert Donley, Josh Schaefer

Baptisms
December

-------------------------------Zoey Potter, Lily Potter, Tyson Fuhrmann, Tristan Melvin, Gavin Giedeman, Brad Balabas, Robert Cole, Jacob Daesch, Abigail Evans, Aaron Gee, Brandon Gee, Megan Hanks, Ryan Hanks, Sean Johnson, Logan Miner, Emmalyn Mueth, McKenzie Redmond, Miranda Robbins, Tammie Willingham

Member Passings
-------------------------------Brian D. Kinman – Dec 6, 2012 Eldred C. (Bill) Beale Jr. – Jan 26, 2013

January

Bill Chitty, Cole Stoltz, Kristen Stoltz, Diana Swan, Alison Lusk, Tiffany N. Brown, Zachary A. Thomas

100,000 Hours

--------------------------------

February

Brent W. Baty, Shelley Baty, Emily Baty, Anna T. Card, Scott M. Gaskill, Dawn M. Gaskill, Rick Gehris, Carolyn R. Maddox, Jim Maddox, Sean Trout, Kevin E. White, Sandy White, Henry Williams, Mia A. Williams, Kelci J. Williams

January

Alison Lusk, Tiffany Brown, Zachary Thomas, Chase Brown, Luke Rosborg

The people of Christ Church have committed to serve our community with 100,000 hours of service.

We have served: 24,971.6 hrs
(as of 02/07/13)

Log your hours at mychristchurch.com/100k

Attendance

-------------------------------Jan. Worship avg. = 1768 Jan. Connection Classes avg. = 419 Year Avg. Worship = 1768

Finances (as of 02/06/13)

--------------------------------

Tithes & Offerings = $193,714.62 Expenses & Mortgage Payment - $181,110.46 Remaining Debt - $5,020,494.73

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THE COLOR RUN

The Color Run is a benefit walk/run for Autism Speaks. This is an organization that supports research, education, and treatment for Autism. All are welcome - fast, slow, runner, walker, old, and young.

DETAILS

The Run takes place in St. Louis Apritl 27th. $40 per person until March 14th. $45 per person until April 27th.

REGISTER AT
www.thecolorrun.com/stlouis

OUR TEAM

Select “Join a Team” and search for “Christ Church”