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Best Year Ever

If you were asked on the first Sunday in January what would make this the best year ever, what do you think you would say? Would it be something around a special relationship, accomplishment, school or career move? You would expect me to say a closer walk with God, which is true of course, but there is more to it than that. I could say make Him first in every aspect of your life, and that is also true. 
However I think the best year ever would come down to really experiencing His goodness, coming to grips with a new level of His love each day. He has something new every morning for us. He wants us to have an encounter with Him and make that goodness a reality. 
If you are not sure how to experience this or how to make each new day your best day ever, ask us. We would love to pray with you and show you God’s promise of this in His Word. 

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Healthy spirit, mind, and body 

As another year quickly comes to an end, we are suddenly looking at goals for the new year ahead. I can’t think of anyone who does not, on some level, want to improve their health. I firmly believe that God’s desire for us is to have a healthy spirit, mind and body. I also believe we honor God and those we are blessed to have in our lives by staying as healthy as possible. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, Paul talks about our whole body, mind and soul being kept blameless. God wants our entire person to glorify Him. On top of this we know that poor physical health/habits are associated with lessened responses to stress, anxiety, interacting with others, etc. 

So at the risk of lecturing about fitness, eating habits and other disciplines, let’s make our health more than a January thing next year. God is so faithful to us and He calls us to serve Him. We can’t serve in our fullest capacity if we do not look at every dimension of ourselves. So our number one priority should obviously be our spiritual walk, but let’s make our mind and body a close second. 

A Season of Hope

For the Christian, the bottom line of the Christmas season is hope. Everything about Christ’s birth reveals the hope we have in Him. On just about every level 2017 has been a year of hope regardless of the challenge. There has been hope in the midst of historic disasters. There is hope in spite of a spirit of lawlessness that is pulling us away from the things of God. There is hope against a new level of hate and animosity that has never been seen before. There is a hope that this overarching hostility toward biblical values will subside. I could keep going but I am beginning to overwhelm myself.
One thing I know for sure is that God is not overwhelmed by anything or anyone. Through all of the adversity mentioned, above a believer in Christ has the opportunity to feel a closer presence of God in his or her life. For those who do not know Christ as their Savior, such adversity could be the springboard for them to find the only true hope that we have in Him.
This theme of hope is going to be the key focus next Sunday. In both morning services and our Christmas Eve special event, we will see that the message of Christmas is a message of hope. I encourage you to invite family and friends to church as there is no one who is not in need of this message. 

Unbelievable 

In case you have not heard, Governor John Carney and the Department of Education are proposing Regulation 225 which allows students of any age to self – identify their gender or their race without a parent’s knowledge or consent. I do not know of one educator, parent or even a student who does not believe that this is the most absurd thing they have ever heard. One important thing to recognize is this is not a bill. If it was, it would be subject to a vote that would surely fail. 

This new perspective on gender identity comes under the guise of discrimination, not being inclusive or supportive of our children. The impact of such a regulation goes so far beyond the school system. It could influence everything from sports teams, clubs, organizations and more.  

I could look at this through so many lenses to demonstrate how wrong it is but let me just start with the lens of a parent. This excludes parental (or caregiver) involvement at maybe the most critical time in a child’s life. I know not every family offers this support and there are instances of abuse and failure. But to exclude them from such important and sensitive issues is insane. 

You can still reach out to your local government and voice your concern. Please do.   

Who is next and why!

It seems like every day a new or updated story comes out about a well known person involved in some sort of sexual misconduct. Whether in the entertainment industry, politics or sports they have become all too common. Even the Christian community has not escaped its share of sad examples over the years. First and foremost, there is no excuse or justification for any of this behavior. It is sin straight up and it destroys lives. God is very clear in His Word about every aspect of right and wrong in this area. There are no gray areas when it comes to sexual sin. 
The one thing that sadly surprises me is how shocked people are when this behavior is uncovered. When we look back and see how we have pulled the lens of scripture off of so many things in our world it should be expected. Again, it’s not just a “Hollywood thing” or a “Washington thing” but a turning away from God’s Word. We need to pray and respond to God’s teachings. We need to ask God for a revival of holiness in our day. I read a quote recently that said, “People don’t reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.” I want to start by looking at my own heart and making sure it aligns with God’s Word. Do you?         

Not only a life long learner but doer!

Maybe you have heard the expression “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It really reflects discipleship for all of us. As followers of Christ, we all need to understand, personify and replicate His life. It’s something we should do our whole life. We are either being a disciple or making disciples. If we agree with this, we have to guard against a couple things: first, that we think it is automatic and second, that it’s an option. Both are dangerous and inaccurate. The danger is someone can profess their faith in Christ and think they can stop right there, just come to church once a week and all is well. As a Christian we should be growing in our walk with the Lord daily. 
Discipleship is a big part of what God has called us to do. As a church we offer multiple group settings for women, men, students, couples, singles, young and old where real discipleship takes place. We also have staff, board and other leaders who would sit down with anyone in a heartbeat to help them grow in Christ. I understand our culture is changing and traditional methods may not work, but that is not an excuse. If you are not seeing real change in your life and growth in your walk with the Lord there is one big reason. Making disciples is the mission of the church and the mission of Trinity!

Sad but necessary precautions 

The shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas once again highlighted how vulnerable churches are to the same attacks that we tragically see in schools, theaters, concert halls and other venues. There are countless debates and discussions on how to prevent such evil hearts from committing murder. One of the most important discussions is around security and prevention. Many churches this week are looking harder into what they have done and can do to improve security. I believe it was about four years ago that we started having a security guard for all church functions at the school. This is a precaution we have never regretted. We are also building many security enhancements into the Coffee Run Campus with cameras, card access, etc 

Our Board and Staff Leadership will continue to make this a high priority. If you have any thoughts or concerns please let us know. We praise God for His protection that is over us as we strive to be cautious and prudent in every way possible.