Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wednesday Nights at Fellowship

Children, Students, and Adults!
Make Wednesday night church a priority in your family this fall as we get into God's Word and learn more about how to be like Him.
We have something for everyone with our adult connection groups, students Big Wednesday youth service, and children on mission with RAs/GAs and Funshine Express!
Come be a part of the action, 7:00pm, every Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big Apple Adventure Newsletter Day 4

Hey Everybody!
Once again it’s Joe Gagliardi comin to you…how you livin? Last night was a record setting night here for VBS as 128 children showed up to hear the gospel message in the worship rally and in various rotations! We currently have received information on 5 professions of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and we are thrilled that hearts are being changed by the “old, old story of Jesus and His love.” Last evening we focused on the concept “connect with trust” (1 John 3:16) in the story of Nicodemus who learned he could trust Jesus to be his Savior. We’ve got one more big night in store, so don’t miss out. We will see if I get a pie in the face, only 7 more than last light will put me “in the sweets” at the end of the evening. 12 more will get Rachel one and 17 more will get all the pastors creamed. Go to work and bring as many kids as will come. We are not done sharing the good news of Jesus with them!
Here are a few more things to draw to your attention:

1) Response cards for any of you who have spiritual conversations that you feel need to be documented for our church’s follow-up purposes can be found at the stage area of the sanctuary. You are encouraged to communicate with these children the love of Jesus any time you can and let us know the great things God is doing. But remember to talk to them out in the open or with more than one child present. We must be above reproach in our conduct with these children. Never go behind closed doors with a child by yourself.
2) Tonight when we are done, we need as much help as we can get in taking down our decorations, cleaning up the building, and resetting it for Sunday’s upcoming worship service. If you can stay around for 30 minutes or so after our dismissal to clean it would be so appreciated. Many hands make light work and you guys have been awesome at working together this week in making this VBS totally awesome. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
3) I’m planning on giving away as much of the décor as people want. I’m not sure where we got our license plates this year, but I’m planning on giving those away unless whoever donated them needs them. Please let me know if that was you and you need those plates. All blow ups and décor can be distributed to the kids that want them, but please don’t make it a competitive issue. Encourage kids to give and share.
4) We will have a time of prayer this evening at 5:30pm once again with hot dogs for dinner, NYC style baby!
5) See the back for a devotional.
John 13:34-35 34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
This is a simple command, but so complex to carry out. We need to ask ourselves how we are doing in this area of loving one another even as Christ Jesus loves us. Are we demonstrating that love like He would? Are we concerned enough about others to ask to important questions and dig below the surface to show we really and truly care? Are we carrying one another’s burdens and interceding for them as Christ asks us to do (Galatians 6:2)?
If we love one another, it is the greatest testimony we have to the lost. Let’s make sure tonight and every time we gather that we show the proper love and respect for one another so that our God will be exalted and more people come into His Kingdom. “When love is in the house, the house is packed!”- Toby Mac
Have a blessed day; let us gather tonight with one purpose
Yourz Truly!
Chris Robbins (AKA- Joe)
Children and Adult Ministries Pastor

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Big Apple Adventure Newsletter Day 3

Hey Everybody!

This is Joe Gagliardi…nough said. Last night was a thrill aminute as we got “undignified” in Christ, washed some kids’ feet, shouted forjoy unto the Lord and prayed with conviction! We tallied 21 more awesomechildren into our event to learn more about how they could “connect with love”(1 John 4:9) in the story of a woman who loved Jesus much cause she had beenforgiven much. That means we had 111 learners last night! O my, if we get just24 more tonight, yours truly gets a pie in the skull!!! I’ll take it like a manif we get these beautiful children here to hear the gospel, which I will besharing tonight. Please pray for me to clearly share this precious truth of ourSavior Jesus Christ and how He delivers us from sin this evening. Pray heartsof adults and children will receive the message and turn to the living Lord forsalvation.

 Today's Important Information:

1)      Responsecards for any of you who have spiritual conversations that you feel need to bedocumented for our church’s follow-up purposes can be found at the registrationtable. You are encouraged to communicate with these children the love of Jesusany time you can and let us know the great things God is doing.
2)      Tonightwe will be presenting the gospel in the worship rally and I will more thanlikely need some help with salvation counseling with the students. What I amplanning on doing is to have them stand and then have an adult join them andtake them aside in the sanctuary after everyone is gone to answer any spiritualquestions, make sure they understood the gospel, and fill out a response card.If you do not have other responsibilities during the first rotation, pleasemake yourself available for this ministry. I’ve attached the “Leading a Childto Christ” material one more time if you need a refresher on how to communicatefrom Scripture with them.
3)      Wemay run long tonight in the worship rally as the Spirit of God leads. If thishappens, we will stagger the rest of the rotation times throughout the eveningto give every rotation equal time. So be prepared to possibly end a few minutesearlier with your rotation. This may affect the recreation/snack group themost. I’ll do my best to communicate with you guys on this.
4)      I’vedecided to forego the video portion of our worship rally because of timeconstraints and some technical difficulties last night if any were wonderingabout that.
5)      Pleasebe promoting our mission’s offering for the homeless here in Ft. Worth. Icompletely forgot to promote that last night at the end of the service so wewill have little time for them to remember to bring their coins and dollars infor this important gift.
6)      Therewas some confusion last night. We will meet for corporate prayer at 5:30pm andthen eat. Tonight’s menu includes sandwiches and nuggets and tea from Chic-fil-a!

 Devotional for Today:

Ephesians 6:19  19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so thatI will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

Paul asked for prayer inhis missionary endeavors. You also be in prayer for those of us sharing thegood news this week with our children in the worship rally, the classes, and inour free time. Pray that God would alert us to the opportunities we have rightnow before us to share life, liberty, and peace through Jesus Christ to thosecrushed, hurting, and broken souls that have come into our church’s influence.

Pray for a fearlesspresentation, that the Holy Spirit would have full control over our minds andemotions that He could speak through our voices of His wonderful saving truth.

The gospel is a mysterythat needs to be made known today just as vitally as in the day of Paul. We areseeking to inform a lost and dying generation with the good news of JesusChrist. Pray and act as God leads in this incredible mission!

Have a blessed day; let us gathertonight with one purpose: "Connect with Trust!"

Yourz Truly!

Chris Robbins (AKA Joe Gagliardi)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Big Apple Adventure Newsletter Day 2

Hey Everybody!

This is Joe Gagliardi give’n you the latest and greatest news from our own “Big Apple Adventure!” Last night was awesome baby! We received 90 precious children into our event to learn more about how they could “connect with faith” (Romans 10:17) in the story of the Roman Centurion who had great faith. The expressions on the children’s faces by the end of the evening were beautiful because I could tell they loved the time they had spent here in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of you who worked so diligently to make these moments possible are to be highly commended; youz guys did an excellent job in every situation. Congrats! My prayer is for this week to be monumental in your own life and in the children we teach for the Kingdom of Christ.

Now, let me cover a few things that need to be discussed:

1)      For tonight, we need more information from the registration forms on several of our learners. Last night we only got names and some sparse information. It is very critical for parents/guardians to completely fill out their registration as much as possible. This may take some extra time, but it is essential for us to keep good records (primarily for the purpose of follow-up) and to have good emergency contact information if by chance we have that situation arise (and we pray it does not). All those helping Annette, Tina, Vicki, and Cindy with registration please help us with this vital information at check-in.

2)      Also concerning registration, tonight we start counting for which child or family of children brings the most guests. At the registration table, if you will ask each child if they brought a guest or guests and note how many they brought, then give that information to Annette so we can get an accurate count, that would be much appreciated. I have offered up the challenge to get 135 kids here for an evening, and we are praying that will happen.

3)      I know last night was difficult at registration with the noise from the music and children coming in and I apologize for the inconvenience. Tonight we will start the music right at 6:30 as we normally do. Last night we needed some extra time for introductions and briefing. The good thing is that we were able to get out to our rotations in time. If we go over the rest of the week in the worship rally, I will stagger the rotations in an attempt to give each station equal time. This probably will not be an issue tonight, but on Tuesday night with the gospel presentation we will probably go a bit long. My advice is to jump into your rotation with full energy and quickness. When you hear my blow horn that is the time to dismiss. Please teach up until that time, use every moment God gives you with these children. We need to be prepared so that we run out of time before we run out of things to do with our kids.

4)      Tonight, for those of us who can make it by this time, we will meet in the fellowship hall at 5:30pm to pray over the evening. After that, we will be having pizza, some chicken, and other light dinner items.

5)      Teenagers (parents of teenagers reading this please share with your helpers), we need to get seated in your section and stay there once we start the worship rally. Moving around is a big distraction to the kids and we do not want to hinder their opportunity to get into the things we are doing on stage. There was a lot of movement last evening and much of it was youth who could have been more stationary. Thank you for your help in this.

6)      Adults in the back and on the sides need to watch for being a distraction as well. There seemed to be a lot of peripheral noise in the sanctuary last evening. We need to do everything we can to create an atmosphere where children can hear and receive the instruction and worship that is being given to them from the stage area. Thanks for your help in these matters, your cooperation will be a benefit to what the Lord wants to do this week in our midst.

7)      Please promote giving to the homeless as we go through the week. We will be blessing the Beautiful Feet Ministry of Ft. Worth with the gifts we receive this week in VBS.

Now it’s devotion time:

Meditate for a moment on this idea from Scripture in Hebrews 12:1-2. We need to lay aside every weight (or encumbrance) and the sin, which can so easily entangle and ensnare us. And, we need to run with endurance the race that is set before us, especially as it pertains to this week in VBS. We need to look to Jesus, the author and completer (perfecter, finisher) of our faith. Jesus considered all things joy and went the extra mile to make sure that God’s will was completed. He even endured the shame and rejection, all for our sake.

Laying aside the weights, or encumbrances, of our lives has to do with proper priorities. If we are going to be filled with Christ, we must reject even some unsinful things in our lives that tend to drag us down and render us ineffective for His work. Of course we also need to be mindful of our sin and confess those things that offend God each and every day knowing that He hears, is gracious, is faithful and forgives (1 John 1:9).

Endurance has to do with sticking with it till its completion. Don’t grow weary in well doing, you will eventually reap want you sow (Galatians 6:9). We cannot afford to “flame out,” or quit in the work of the Lord. He has no pleasure in that (Hebrews 10:38).

Keep your eyes on Jesus, work in unity with each other. If there are interpersonal issues that you need to work out with individuals, be mature enough in your Christian walk to do that for the purpose of your own growth in the Lord, your peace, and His blessings on our work here this week and on into the future (Matthew 5:22-24). The last thing we want to do as His people is grieve and quench His Holy Spirit from doing as He desires among us. God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to humble (1 Peter 5:5).

Have a blessed day, let us gather tonight with one purpose: “Connect with Love!”

Yourz Truly!

Joe Gagliardi