ROBIN

ROBIN. NOOOOOOOOO! All I could say was “No. It cannot be true.” Robin Williams died and at his own hand? It seems so unreal that the man who made us laugh so freely could die so tragically. If I had […]

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ROBIN

ADDING VALUE To Your Life

EVERYONE matters. And everyone doing their PART matters. As part of a series called CHURCH MATH, I offered this message. As you listen and/or read, I hope this helps. Listen Here: http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe ADDITION:HOW DO I ADD VALUE TO MY LIFE? […]

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ADDING VALUE To Your Life

WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE

The question that constantly stays with us. Why do people suffer? Why do bad things happen to good people? WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE? GO to the link posted below to WATCH the message:http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe/101451689 “Pain insists upon […]

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WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE

ROBIN

ROBIN.

ROBIN

NOOOOOOOOO!

All I could say was “No. It cannot be true.” Robin Williams died and at his own hand? It seems so unreal that the man who made us laugh so freely could die so tragically.

If I had a brief time with Robin, could talk with him personally, and share with Him what I would love for him to know, here is what I would say.

Let me set the context. Invariably, the first thing that would happen in our introduction is he would make me laugh. With his speed of light quick wit delivered in the tone of at least one of his impersonations of someone real or invented, I would probably be mentally probed, insulted, and assaulted with laughter. Then I would say…

“Thank you! It is so nice to be in the same room with you although I have felt like you have been a regular guest in our home. In the darkest times, you made me laugh. You made US laugh! You still do. Please keep us laughing! When wars were brewing and boiling over, you made us laugh even at the absurdity of it all. When weather disasters hit, you made us know there would be the hope of another day because we could laugh at this day. When politicians did questionable things, you poked fun at them whether they were Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Republicans, or whatever the political flavor that era happened to bring to us. We could hear from Mork calling Orson, Mrs. Doubtfire admonishing children, or Adrian Cronauer inspiring soldiers when you opened your soul to us.

And than was only the beginning…

Your voice danced with the animated Aladdin as you made us laugh and dance with our kids. You became a living flesh and blood Peter Pan as you “Hooked” us with and everyone in the world could identify. You have made us think the “Crazy Ones” are maybe the only ones who are sane.

In the language of my early childhood, you were a “trip” who regularly “tripped us out.” And if the movies were not enough, you came to life in a television interview. You were funny even and when you were especially not profane. You never had to be dirty to get a laugh. You were just funny. Some people SAY funny things and some are JUST FUNNY! How were you so quick?! You were like an entire baseball team and even a few members of the opposition playfully bantering simultaneously. How could you make a hit in the conversation, run to first base, be the third baseman turning to make the triple play, and end up being the one who pitched, hit, caught, and threw someone (sometimes yourself) out ALL AT THE SAME TIME?! You could hit home runs and then take someone out verbally like a laser throw from 3rd base to first. Your mind and your wit were one of THE MOST amazing creations that I have ever seen our Creator give a person.

Can I talk to you about the God stuff for a little bit? To me, you were proof that there is a God who always was, is, and is to come. He fashioned you in such a unique way that you became a gift to humankind. In your giftedness, you saw the darkness as well as the light. You and I know that we all instinctually have a “dark side.” You spoke of it often in interviews. Mark Twain, a fellow comedian from another era said, “Most of us are like the moon. We all have a dark side that we do not want anyone to see.” I get that about me and you and everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth.

But there is also a side that God brightens in us like the side of the moon facing the sun that shines in the darkness of night. The light comes from somewhere else and is reflected off of those who turn that side toward the sun. I really believe there is a heaven. I really believe there is a hell. I really believe people go there, but I also believe that we live a bit of both on this side. You’ve seen hellish things and heavenly things while you have been among us. There is a solution to hell, by the way. It’s life-true, living, everlasting, bright. And the Light was, is, and always will be Jesus Christ. The Father sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. He did. We hoped to save you some real life even when life seemed irrevocably, irretrievably dark. I would have loved to be “Jesus with skin on” to you as a family member of the One who equips us to be a light for God’s glory in a lost and dying world. I hope you got that truth while you were still living…maybe even in your last breath.

You brought light. I hope I will see you on the other side. In the meantime, I’ll thank God for you and the light and laughter and little bit of heaven you brought on this side. If I could have spoken with you right before you decided to take your own life, I would say, “LIVE! We NEED you! You need US! We need each other. God sent us each other to help each other along Life’s bright, dark, and gray paths. We will help you. We will love you. We will pray for you. When you cannot keep from shaking, we will feed you! We just want to love you more. Stay with us! Jesus came not just to save us but also to save life for us! Since you were often explicit in your own way, he came to be explicit too.” I love these words:

“I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of… John 10:10 (The Message)

You were part of this life dream as we row our boats gently and sometimes frantically down the stream. Like Aladdin, you were a friend from a distance and maybe, so to speak, even out of this world. And I never had a friend like you. We never had a friend like you. I wish you had let us be to you what you have been to us. We would have loved you 24/7/365. We always have. I hope I see you on the other side.”

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ADDING VALUE To Your Life

EVERYONE matters. And everyone doing their PART matters. As part of a series called CHURCH MATH, I offered this message. As you listen and/or read, I hope this helps.

Listen Here: http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe

+ Sign

ADDITION:HOW DO I ADD VALUE TO MY LIFE?

“Every NUMBER has a NAME, every NAME has a STORY, and every STORY matters to God.” Perry Noble

“NUMBERS are so important to God that He named a book in the Bible for them. Rick Warren

How Can I Add Value To My Life and The Church?

Acts 2:42-47 New Living Translation (NLT)

1. When I Learn

42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching,…

2. When I Connect

… and to fellowship, …

3. When I Share Food: Practically and Spiritually

…and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), …

4. When I Pray

…and to prayer.

5. When I See God Doing Awesome and Great Things

43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.

6. When I Give and Serve

… 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.

7. When I Worship
… 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day,…

8. When I Do Life Together With Others.

…met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—

Value-Added

VALUE TOGETHER

9. When I Make Gratitude My Attitude

…47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.

10. When I See God Add More People To Our Church

…And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

So What Now? I’ll ADD my part to make the Whole Church Better EVERYWHERE!

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WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE

Why-Do-Bad-Things-Happen-to-Good-People

The question that constantly stays with us. Why do people suffer? Why do bad things happen to good people?

WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

GO to the link posted below to WATCH the message:http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe/101451689

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S Lewis

1. SUFFERING SOMETIMES COMES FROM SIN.

6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all.
Hebrews 12:6-8 (NLT)

2. SUFFERING SOMETIMES COMES BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD.

12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Romans 5:12 (NLT)

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Romans 3:23 (NLT)Question

3. SUFFERING SOMETIMES COMES FROM THE MYSTERIOUS PROVIDENCE OF GOD FOR HIS REASONS, SOME OF WHICH WE MAY NEVER KNOW.

1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9:1-3 (NLT)

The Bottom Line: God walks with us when we suffer.
Footprints

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Loving God With ALL My Mind

How Do I Love God With All Of My Mind?

Here’s A LINK TO WATCH This Message- http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe/102059191

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A. W. Tozer

REMIND MYSELF OF GOD’S DESIGNALL MY MIND 4

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3 (NLT)

Light…Sky…Land/Sea/Vegetation…Sun/Moon Stars…Fish/Birds…Land Animals…
(There is a SPECIFIC ORDER HERE that makes all of life possible)

REMEMBER THE INTELLIGENT DESIGNER OF THE UNIVERSE MADE MY MIND

CHOOSE HIM AND HIS MIND DESIGN TO GUIDE MY LIFE

For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
 Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)

ASK FOR A SINGLE MIND NOT A DOUBLE MIND

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:5-8 (NIV)

CHOOSE CONSTANTLY TO RENEW MY MIND

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrificeholy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

FOLLOW CHRIST CONSTANTLYALL MY MIND 3

1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:1-11 (NKJV)

OK, BUT HOW?
ALL MY MIND 2

1. GO to Him and His Words first. FILTER everything through them.
2. TAKE MY HONEST QUESTIONS to Him.
3. INVEST MY INTERESTS for Him.
4. AIM MY MIND TOWARD Him.

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:4-8 (NLT)

The Bottom Line > I Can Begin NOW To Love God With All Of My Mind.

Now, the BIG Question- Will I do it?
free thinker

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Believing

I’m in a series called “TRENDING” where we are answering questions that people from our faith community posed about God, life, and the issues facing us today.

A LINK to the VIDEO message is here: http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe/100965557

Believing Believing3

“My business is not to prove to any other man that there is a God, but to find Him myself.” George McDonald

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16-18 (NLT)

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey His commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 1 John 5:1-5 (NLT)

1. What is Salvation? Deliverance, Redemption, & Healing through Jesus Christ.

“Salvation comes BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH in Christ PLUS NOTHING.”

2.What is the difference between Catholic belief and the way we believe?

The Five Solas of The Protestant Reformation are:

o Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
o Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
o Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
o Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
o Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

Essential Differences. Catholics believe…

o Extra-Biblical writings and tradition as much as Scripture
o Follow the authority of the Pope as The infallible “Vicar” of Christ
o Believe that salvation comes through the church membership and the sacraments (Salvation by works)
o In praying to the saints, venerating Mary, and trusting that communion becomes the blood and body of Christ when we take it (transubstatiation)

3. What does it mean to believe? Believing means I trust that…

o God is who He says He is
o God can do what He says He can do
o I am who God says I am
o I can do what all things through Christ
o God’s word is alive and active in me.
o Source Beth Moore, Believing God

Beleieving2

4. What if my child made a profession of faith and now has turned from the faith?

o What God has given in salvation cannot be taken away.

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. John 10:28-29 (NLT)
o When God begins His work in us, He finishes it.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

5. What if I sometimes doubt my belief in God?

Ask God to let you reach out and touch Him in some tangible way. He will reveal Himself to you.

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NLT)
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” John 20:26-29 (NLT)

The Essential Question: Do You believe? Settle that question today.
Believing1

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Hunger: DOING Something

Hunger1She did something. In a world where hunger is an epidemic and food is appropriately sent to feed the hungry overseas, we often forget that there are hungry children at our own doorstep. Carolyn did not forget.

And she did something about it.

My friend, Carolyn Niemeyer’s, vision has become a reality.

It’s official now. She is a hero. She has been honored and feted by the best and the brightest. She has stood before boards of education and commissioners while receiving high praise. She has fought for the rights of children to eat even as she has battled cancer in her own body. It is a fight she has won on both fronts. With the Backpack Food Program’s most recent award as the Non-Profit of the Year as recognized by WTVI over dozens of non-profits in the Greater Charlotte Region, she has led a movement to feed those who cannot feed themselves.

Carolyn Niemeyer represents everything good about people who care in Gaston County, North Carolina. She did not wait for someone else to do what God laid on her heart. Instead, she did it herself. She did not sit back and play the “Ain’t It Awful” Game where the constant refrain is ”Somebody Ought To Do Something”. Instead, she did it. Hunger2

She had help of course. All great efforts do. Resources and coordinated leaders worked well together as help came from all quarters. Caromont Health provided affordable food service prices and powerful public relations help. Gaston County Schools Executive Valerie Yatko provided the leadership from within and the caring infrastructure to reach inside of each school to find the children who were hungry. Various churches and social service organizations pitched in with funds and volunteers to pickup, prepare, and deliver the food into backpacks of needy children. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and Pastor Brack East, her home church and Pastor, led the way with facilities and accounting help. But Carolyn is the detailed catalyst who goes through every project with a fine-toothed comb of particularity.

She’s married to famous Gaston County physician, Dr. Charles Niemeyer, and has reared great children and grandchildren. To her, all children are great beginning with her own. She has faithfully served the community in countless capacities. But now she is living in her own magnum opus.

Every week during the school year, 600-700 children go home with full heads and full backpacks to feed hungry stomachs until subsidized meals at school resume during the week. The passion of her life in recent years is making sure that hungry children get fed on the weekends when otherwise they would have gone hungry. The Backpack Food Program continues to receive funds, resources, and influence from a variety of sources- many of which are unexpected.

Robert Kennedy was famous for quoting George Bernard Shaw as he often said, “Some see things as they are and say ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say ‘Why Not?’ ” Every week when otherwise hungry children go home with food to eat for the weekend provided by a coordinated community effort that they will never see, there is one lady who lays her head upon her pillow and knows, “I helped.” And I am convinced the Father in heaven says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant… I was hungry and you fed me.”
You see, when Carolyn has fed the least of these, she has done it to Him and for Him.
I am glad to live in the same community with her and those who serve children with her.

P.S. I am a Board Member of the Backpack Food Program. I believe because Carolyn believes.

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Heroes: One Day Vacation With a Purpose

Hero is an overused word. As July 4th passes each year, my heart is drawn to people who did extraordinarily great things. Part of the summer has been devoted to vacations. Vacation to me is really vacating and getting WAY out of town. On June 6, 2014, I drove to Bedford, Virginia, about an 8 hour round trip to meet the men of D-Day and honor them. Here are some of my thoughts:

The Longest Day. I read the book in high school. I met the men of the book on a Friday in 50 years after that longest day. And is not just a story. It is history. As documentarians, media representatives, and news networks around the world brought to remembrance what happened on June 6, 1944, I set out to meet in person some of the men who were there- in the boats, on the beaches, and in the air.

I journeyed on this special day to Bedford, Virginia, site of the United States D-Day Memorial, because they went in my place to fight and live so that the government of the people, and by the people, and for the people would not perish from this earth. On that day, many of their comrades died. In the months beginning with and subsequent to D-Day, 200,000 people would die in a war where good had to triumph over evil for the world to survive. Dr. Anthony Eastman, Professor Of History at Gardner-Webb University, says, “World War II was an Old Testament war where good trumped evil.” One veteran I met on Friday survived D-Day and then was transferred to the Pacific Theater where he served on Okinawa and then fought in the Korean War years later.

The skies were a brilliant blue. The Blue Ridge Mountains stood in rolling attention at a distance. A ninety-minute ceremony with presentations from poets, priests, and politicians from the United States, Great Britain, and France began with the “Passing of the Baton” from the “Golden Knights” U.S. Army Parachute team who landed and saluted the original D-Day Paratroopers present for the day. The ceremonies were punctuated by a flyovers by a C-47, a P-51, and the T-6 “Missing Man” formation. All took place under the watchful symbolic eye of General Dwight David Eisenhower in the distance surrounded by the generals and other leaders set in stone memorials who made Operation Overlord successful.
Ike On Mission

At the conclusion of the ceremony, “Homage”, a brand new statue dedicated to “The Bedford Boys” of Bedford, Virginia who gave their lives in the battle was unveiled and dedicated for the first time.D-Day Cross

Surrounding the oval shaped monument area draped in the flags of all the nations who participated, were dozens of living oral history presentations by re-enactors- many of them 18-21 year old young men (the age of the 90’ish year old veterans of this harrowing event 70 years ago). Young SoldierEach spent the afternoon educating us after the service was over.

The pivotal personal moment of the day took place when Robert Sales moved forward to begin his presentation near the conclusion of the ceremony. The official program for the day read:

“Bob Sales served with the Virginia National Guard, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, Company B. He landed on Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944 and was the only survivor of the 30 men on his landing craft. Sales was awarded three Purple Hearts and the Silver Star, among other medals, for battling his way across France before he was left wounded and partially blind. Earlier this year, he was presented with a medal by the French government and made a Knight of the French Legion of Honor.”Robert Sales

After a brief introduction, Sales deferred to his lovely wife dressed in red and white as she read the account that Bob had written describing the horror of the events that day- the ramp to the landing craft dropping down, his comrades embarking, and then watching them be picked off one by one as he made his way to the shore. He survived miraculously as he crawled across the beach from body to body with his comrades as his shield. In the audience were dozens of men like Bob from around the United States who survived that day to be honored on this day seventy years later.

When the ceremony was over, I made my way to the platform to meet this man who served so heroically. He graciously allowed me to have my picture taken with him. As Bob’s wife being interviewed by others, I met Bob’s sister-in-law. She whispered to me that Bob’s wife had to read the remembrance because it was too painful for Bob to recount on his own. I said, “Of course. This is not just a story. It is real history.”

In the near foreground, a young child played around an anchor used during the war. I snapped a picture. It iBoy and Anchors a picture of life in microcosm- childhood to the wisdom of maturing age all wrapped into one brief shining moment that God allowed me to experience.

As I looked at that little guy, I recalled what I had seen earlier in the week as Tom Brokaw interviewed one of these survivors of D-Day and the “Greatest Generation”. He said as he, like Bob Sales, saw men from his landing craft die one by one for their country, most of them died in the water while calling for their “Mama.”

Sir Edmund Burke once said, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” My day began at 6:00 AM on Friday and ended at Midnight on Saturday. It was a long day. Theirs began on June 6, 1944. I have to believe it has never ended for them. They live the “Longest Day” everyday…and for that, I am grateful.

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Remembering A Marine- Andrew

It’s almost midnight. Memorial Day is almost over.

Before my day began, I knew what I had to do- especially one thing above all things.

In my neighborhood at the end of one of the streets on my regular running path, I kept seeing this car parked outside a familiar home. I have not taken the opportunity to meet the new neighbors who lived there. We wave when we pass one another, but I’m always too busy to stop and say, “Hello”. Today, I stopped.

I have noticed each time I have gone by this home a car with the window decal that you see pictured here. Anrew Sim's Memorial DayI decided to stop and take this picture. Then, I knocked on the door. No one answered. Later in the day after the day’s work was done outside, I told Andrea that I was running an errand. She said, “To do what?” I said, “To thank the family of a Marine. He died when he was 18 after he had just begun serving our country.”

I rang the door bell three times and almost left again. After all, it is kind of strange for a stranger to ring your door bell unannounced and not yet introduced.

Mr. Sims came to the door. He had an eagle eye look deepened with a wisdom of pain, but a friendly yet quizzical manner. I told him that I was his neighbor and while we had never met, I wanted to thank him for his son’s sacrifice on our behalf as a nation. He shared with me about Andrew and then about Andrew’s brother who left six weeks after Andrew died as a United States Marine to serve our country in Afghanistan in the United States Army. One son died and one survived in the war on terror.

Marine On Memorial Day

I paused to thank him again. We said our goodbyes and on the way to the car I noticed the worn American Flag posted right along the walkway. And I thanked God again for him and those like him who lived and died so I could live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave-just like Andrew Logan Sims.

And I remembered again that Memorial Day was about more than my 3 day weekend…

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MEMORIAL DAY- More Than Just a 3 Day Weekend

memorial-day-3Day

I love this picture by an excellent photographer. It captures what I feel when it come to this weekend.

Everyone who has ever given their life for the “Land of the Free and The Home Of The Brave” is worthy of my honor…and yours.

I hope you will honor those who lost someone with a phone call, a knock on the door, a spoken word, or a written “Thank You” in some way over the next several days.

Memorial Day is more than the launching pad for summer. It is the finishing point of destiny for those who gave their lives so we could live ours. The words of President Abraham Lincoln are as fitting and motivating for us today as they were over 150 years ago when he spoke them over the brothers on both sides of a civil war:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
Gettysburg Address
memorial-day Flags and Crosses

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The Pointe

1000 people streamed into our new worship center on Easter! It is an exciting time for our church. We gave, worked, prayed, sweated, bled, and even cried to make it happen…and it was GLORIOUS! It was glorious not because of us but because of what GOD DID THROUGH US TOGETHER.The Pointe Front Of Building

When we began as Forest Pointe Church in the spring of 2001, we envisaged a church where “the unchurched could turn to Christ and become His fully devoted followers.” We believed that going where God told us to go while loving others the way God wants us to love would cause His kingdom to grow. We called this new ministry “Forest Pointe Church” for several reasons:

1. We wanted to be located in the greater Gaston and Mecklenburg region without being tied to a specific city.
2. We were situated at the Stowe YMCA surrounded by lush forests.
3. We used “The Pointe” due to the fact that this area is filled with rolling hills and locales named with them in mind. For instance, “Mt. Holly” means “Holy Mountain” and Belmont means “Beautiful Mountain”.

On April 20, 2014, God’s kingdom came in a visual, tangible way. We moved in! But before the day ended, the ultimate purpose of God’s coming kingdom was to take place as 30 people prayed to enter into His forever family. All the while, we grew deeper in our faith remembering that God is always looking for lost things. So should we. We rejoice that lost people have found Him. We rejoice as well that we keep finding Him by listening to what He says and doing what He did. It would be tragic if we just view God’s coming kingdom solely in the “then and there” of the future. God wants his kingdom to come “here and now”-NOW!…ON EARTH as it is IN HEAVEN.

The Pointe Churc LOGO

We rebranded as “The Pointe” for several key reasons:

1. A deep impression in my heart after extended prayer time with God. To begin with, “The Pointe is JESUS.” Jesus did not come to make a pointe. He came to BE THE POINTE.

2.The Pointe has been a shortened form of what we called our meeting spaces outside of Sunday morning in rented physical locations at Main Street Crossings and then 26 North Main Street in Belmont. It began as “Pointe 24/7″ and then was shortened through our cultural communication as “The Pointe”. It continued to grow traction when we purchased our new facility at 6700 Wilkinson Boulevard.

3. It is simple to say and easy to pass on to others as we communicate in various ways.

4. The geographical area in which we reside combining properties that begin in Belmont, Mount Holly, Cramerton, Lowell, and McAdenville as the South Fork and Catawba Rivers rush to meet at the end of the famed Peninsula. Interestingly, the first name for this area is “The Point”, a shortened form of “The Fort At The Point.”

5. The timing of moving into our first permanent facility on Easter.

As we begin our ministry as “The Pointe”, extraordinary things are already happening! Dozens of our students and student leaders just finished RENOVATE where they reached into the community on their spring break to make an IMPACT in soup kitchens, residential neighborhoods, and even praying with business executives in downtown Charlotte as they walked to and from work. Clayton King preached for as part of our brand new series “Future Family”. And EVEN MORE people made 1st time professions of faith in Jesus Christ on the 27th.

The Pointe Church has as our mission “To LEAD people to take their NEXT STEP on their JOURNEY WITH CHRIST by LOVING, BECOMING LIKE, and SHARING JESUS.”

In the words of Bach and Handel, who wrote these words on their musical compositions- “SOLE DEO GLORIA”, to God alone be the glory!Soli_deo_gloria-Handel

“And The BEST is YET TO COME- GOD’S KINGDOM”

Thanking God that we get to “BRING IT!”

{Follow us on Twitter @ThePointecc}

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