From the monthly archives: November 2015

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'November 2015'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Have Yourself a Neighborly Little Christmas


 


A few years back, my husband, Mark, started talking about connecting with our neighbors. He'd listened to the audiobook of The Art of Neighboring, and it challenged him to make some changes in how we interacted with our neighbors. His extrovert's heart was stirred and that was good. My response? An outward nod, a “sounds good.” Inwardly, I was thinking, “More power to you, Sweetie, just don't make me go with you!”

Mark and I are firmly planted on opposite ends of the introvert/extrovert spectrum. He loves to meet new people. Me? Not so much. My worst nightmare is having to walk into a room full of strangers and pretend to be sociable. I'd much rather be in hermit mode, emerging only for trips to the library for more books or to work on the flowers in my yard.

So this neighboring thing didn't really resonate with me. We already knew the the readily friendly neighbors and wasn't that enough? But, over a period of months, I listened to my husband pray and I heard his heart. And, though I wasn't stirred to share his passion, I was stirred to support him in it. I didn't do anything earth-shattering. I simply started praying for God to honor Mark’s heart and encourage him in this endeavor. And, over time, my prayers for Mark turned into prayers for our family and what God wanted to do with us in our neighborhood.

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God Is Writing Your Story: A Journey Beyond Mere Thankfulness


 


November. That time of year for turkey, pumpkin-flavored everything and the obligatory blog and social media posts on thankfulness.

I certainly don’t want to downplay thankfulness. As Christians, especially Christians living in our affluent Western culture, we should be the most thankful people on the planet.

But lately I feel God is calling me to go deeper. I can write daily in my thankfulness journal and genuinely be grateful for the blessings in my life — a warm bed, snow gently falling as I sip coffee and read the Word, friends who care about me, a God who demonstrates his care for me in surprising ways.

And yet there can be an underlying sense of poverty in my life, a mentality of poverty that a friend recently exhorted me to repent of. Yes, God has provided, and for those of you who know any of my story, you know that to be an understatement. But life certainly hasn’t turned out the way I wanted it to. And I can find myself simultaneously being grateful for God’s provision in one area of my life while silently accusing him of withholding in another area. My offerings of thankfulness can be a religious smokescreen covering a festering bitterness that doesn’t fully trust in God’s goodness.

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No Church in the Wild: On Mountains, Religiosity and Loving God First


 


In 2012, Gallup conducted a survey of 189 metropolitan areas in the United States to measure how "religiosity" varied across the country. Provo, Utah, came in as the most religious city in America, with 77 percent of residents claiming to be "highly religious.” After Provo came a string of cities, primarily from the deep South, showing a strong majority of highly religious people. But what about us? How religious is Fort Collins compared to the rest of the country? Not very. Fort Collins/Loveland was the 15th least religious city in the United States, with only 27.5 percent of residents claiming to be highly religious. And the other metropolitan areas in Colorado weren't much different. Boulder, in fact, was second-to-last — barely edged out by Burlington, Vermont, for least religious city in America. Denver/Aurora was 36th from the bottom. Even Colorado Springs, that supposed bastion of Christian conservatism, was in the bottom third, coming in at 58th least religious.

So what's wrong with Colorado? Why is there such a lack of religious commitment? A Coloradoan article from earlier this fall proposed one idea. The problem is our mountains. Apparently, wherever there are mountains, there are far fewer people that go to church.

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When the City of Light Went Dark


 


Sometime around 4:15 p.m. Friday night, the first mention of an attack in Paris showed up on my Twitter feed. I didn’t pay much attention to it — callously, I might add. But when I saw the Vine from the football match in the Stade de France, I was awakened to the dark horror of the night.

It was a long night. Not even the Eiffel Tower could bare to keep the lights on.

The next morning I went to watch two of my cousins play in the quarterfinals of the 8-man football playoffs. The visiting team’s colors were red, white and blue. Behind their cheering section, running the full length of the field, were nearly a dozen French flags. I don’t know if the team normally travels with such standards or if they flew them as a sign of solidarity. Still, even while watching an 8-man football game in Greeley, Colo., there was no forgetting Paris.

And so it’s been for most of us. The atrocities from last Friday have dominated the news cycle, our social media feeds — even the opening remarks in Pastor Mitch’s sermon.

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Prayers Needed: Abby Schreiber Has Been Diagnosed with Leukemia


 


This week, Mark and Tiffany Schreiber — Summitview missionaries in Japan — received some very difficult news: Their 13-year-old daughter, Abby, has been diagnosed with leukemia.

The Schreibers moved to Tokyo in July to contribute to a team of missionaries led by David Cervenka. Mark and Tiffany were working at the American School in Japan (ASIJ). Their three girls, Abby, Anna and Lilly, also were students at ASIJ.

This is not Abby’s first battle with leukemia. When Abby was 3-years-old, she was diagnosed with leukemia. After nearly three years of treatment and five years in remission, Abby had been considered cured. Obviously, this is devastating news for the Scheibers. They will be arriving in Colorado tomorrow to begin Abby’s treatment.

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