As we move toward Easter, we will spend six weeks in a series titled, “Heartbeats.” In the same way that our heart beats to a rhythm, there are spiritual rhythms that we can practice to help us be more connected and in line with God throughout the week. Our culture emphasizes physical health. We train our bodies to be strong and efficient, but we often neglect our spiritual health. Over the course of this series we will look at several disciplines, or rhythms, that will align our hearts with God’s heart.

The Layout for the Series

+ Heartbeats: Establishing a Rooted Identity – March 5th

+ Heartbeats: Encountering God through His Word – March 12th

+ Heartbeats: Soul Alignment through Repentance – March 19th

+ Heartbeats: Resting as an Act of Faith through the Sabbath – March 26th

+ Heartbeats: Investing and Inviting Others – April 2nd (Student Ministry Sunday)

+ Heartbeats: Going Public through Baptism – April 16th

Further Resources

+ Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

+ Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

+ Spirit Disciplines by Dallas Willard

+ Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

+ Habits of Grace by David Matis

 

 

 

 

Church Family,

I hope you are enjoying your week! I am trying something new that I am calling, “Inside Existence.” I have put together a short 10 minute podcast that I will share by the 10th of every month. The goal is to celebrate what God is doing in our church, clarify our mission/vision, and clearly communicate some important updates. Thank you ahead of time for taking a few moments to tune in this month.

Inside Existence – Month in Review – January – Click Here

The Best is Yet to Come,

Pastor Shawn

 

Thank you for taking a few moments to consider how God could use you to make an eternal difference in someones life this year. Please check out the video above from our Youth Pastor Ryan Miller as well as a few thoughts below to guide you. At the end of the day we are here to help you know, love and serve Jesus. We are praying that God uses these resources to help you and empower to share the greatest story that has ever been told.

Praying for you,

Existence Leadership Team

Why Share Your Faith? 

Here are a few brief thoughts…

Understand the grace and beauty of our salvation.

  • If we have tasted the goodness of a life with Jesus and experienced the hope of eternity, we will feel compelled to share our faith with others.

Understand that heaven and hell are real.

  • If we truly believe that without Jesus, people are going to hell, we will feel compelled to share his love and grace with them.

Understand the nature of the call.

  • If we understand that God has commanded us to pursue the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, we will out of loving obedience share our faith.

How to Share Your Faith

  1. Pray
  • Pray for opportunities for Gospel conversations with friends, family, co-workers, strangers etc.
  • Pray for God to give you courage to take the initiative to share your faith.
  1.   Take the pressure off
  • Successful evangelism is taking the initiative to share your faith, under the power of the Holy Spirit, and leaving the results to God.
  • It is NOT your job to convert people, it is your job to love them and share with them. The Holy Spirit is what moves in people’s hearts.
  1.   Be vulnerable.
  • An important part of sharing the Gospel with someone is also sharing your story with them. Nobody can argue with your story.
  1.   Ask good questions
  • This is the best way to get to care for someone and get to know them. A good question will lead you to know how to best love them, which will lead you to know how to best share with them.
  1.   Share the Gospel simply
  • An easy way to do this is in four points that can be broken down to symbols.

Heart, X, Cross, ?

  • The heart is that God loves you and has designed you for a relationship with him.
  • The X is that sin entered the world and separated us from that loving relationship.
  • The Cross that that God sent his son into the world to die the death that we deserved so that the gap between us and God could be bridged.
  • The question mark is simply, what are you going to do about this information?

A former songwriter in Texas wrote, “Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth, and you should save it for someone you love.”

In the month of February, we are working through the book of “Song of Solomon” to help you discover a healthy biblical perspective of love, romance, sexuality ,and intimacy. We have titled this series, “Love Song.” Whether you are single, dating, engaged, married or parents you will find this series encouraging and practical. So take time to read through Song of Solomon, listen to all of the message by clicking here, and invite your friends and family to join us.

Here is a layout of the series….

  • Week #1 – Love Song – Attraction
  • Week #2 – Love Song – Seasons & Pursuit
  • Week #3 – Love Song – Love Making
  • Week #4 – Love Song – Dealing with Conflict

Here are a few recommended books to consider if you want to go deeper…

  • The Book of Romance: What Solomon says about Love, Romance, and Sexuality by Tommy Nelson
  • What the Bible says about Love, Marriage and Sex by Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Spirituality and Sexuality by Deborah Hirsch
  • Mingling of the Souls by Matt Chandler
  • Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

At Existence Church, we invite you to slow down and ask God to give you one word to take into the new year. We believe this can be a powerful spiritual discipline to cultivate a life of listening to God. If you are interested in learning more click here. 

Take a moment to be encouraged by Lisa’s one word journey…

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“I love how God is constantly inviting us into adventures with Him. I also love how Existence Church is a place that encourages their church family members to seek out and bravely accept these divine invitations. In 2014, I struggled with pervasive shame, guilt and unworthiness. Because of my life choices and circumstances, I was left feeling unworthy of His perfect love. When we were encouraged to pray and invite God to give us a word to journey alongside Him with, I was bestowed the word ‘beloved’. Throughout 2015 I learned all about God’s extravagant love for me, his broken yet beloved daughter. It was the most humbling and freeing year of my life. I came to envision our Almighty God as this eager puppy, early in the morning pouncing on me, full of love and eager to share life with me. God is for us, His beloved silly children.

The following year, 2016, I was gifted with the word ‘self-control’.  For those who don’t know me, I have an addictive, sensation-seeking personality and poor emotional impulse control. Jesus desired to sow seeds of truth and holiness within me. It was a humbling year filled with God using my husband to reveal to me what self-control looked like. Have you ever heard the saying, “Be careful what you pray for”? Well, 2016 offered many opportunities in my marriage to practice self-control. I prayed and worked daily to deny my flesh of impulsive and emotional thoughts. Self-control truly is a fruit of the Spirit. There were days when I had to pray constantly for the Spirit to fill me with self-control:

1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

I continue to pray, asking the Spirit to fill me with self-control rather than indulging in my immediate emotional responses. And although I have not mastered the art of self-control, I see the transformative work Jesus has done within my heart the last year. I also see the fruit and freedom of it within my marriage.

This year, I knew my word instantaneously. I prayed for God to reveal a good one, perhaps something exciting and fun this time around. Ha! Big dude is a real jokester, He placed a word that I once viewed as disgusting and sad as a woman. Submit. It sounds like such an ugly word. “Woman, fetch me a sandwich” ugly. With some prayer and delving into scripture I have discovered the beauty and Jesus-like nature of this word. Submission takes strength, humility, trust and unconditional love. The creator of our world became flesh, endured pain, served and deeply loved all people. He submitted himself to a life of service and ultimately an excruciating and torturous death so that we may live. As mentioned above, many of my actions and words are a direct result of my emotional sensations. By God’s work, much of the time I am fueled by the Holy Spirit to love others. It is very easy to love and serve others when “I feel like it”. I sometimes receive this “Holy High” and am led to serve and extravagantly love others within my professional and personal life. This is solely the work of Jesus. However, there have been times I have been called by God to serve others and I just wasn’t feeling it, so I didn’t. This year, I want to submit to God’s every plan with trust and obedience even when I don’t “feel like it”. I also desire to submit to my husband, in faith that he is submitting to God. I wish to build upon my self-control and live in submission and servitude to my Holy Father and husband.

Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Within the past few weeks God has provided me with several opportunities to share my word with friends who do not have a relationship with Jesus. I have witnessed a sparked interest within a few of them and have continued to share my journey. I know God has great plans to use this year for his glory and kingdom- I am so stoked to be a part of it!”

We want to invite you to be a part of our church wide vision night on January 29th. We look forward to taking a look back at 2016, prayerfully entering into 2017,  and looking ahead to where we believe God will take us by 2020.

When: January 29th

Where: Existence Church

Time: 4pm – 5:30pm

What to Expect: We will light refreshments, engage in community, celebrate in worship, gather in prayer, and look ahead together to 2020.

Childcare: If you need childcare please RSVP ahead of time by sending an e-mail over to krystal@existencechurch.com

 

We would like to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas. Although we are not holding a traditional Christmas Day service, we have provided a special Christmas Day message from Pastor Shawn. We look forward to seeing you again on January 1st at either our 9am or 11am service.

+ No Traditional Christmas Day Service

+ Watch Christmas Day Message from Pastor Shawn – Click Here

 

21 Days of Prayer & Fasting

At Existence, we want to put God first, eliminate distractions, and pursue His best for our life, our family, our church, and our world.  It is the reason why we are engaging in twenty one days of prayer and fasting in the month of January and in the month of August. Together, we will faithfully pursue putting God first, listening with humility, expecting with faith, and serving with joy.

+ Start Date: Monday – January 9th.

+ Download Our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting Guide – Click Here

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Existence Church is hosting the Winters on December 18th. Please take a moment to view their Christmas Video and check out all the info below.

When: December 18th

Time: 4pm -8pm

What to Expect: The Winters are a local band that will be using Existence Church to put on a concert to celebrate the Christmas season. The event will be hosted at Existence.