That is my honest reaction to my first Sunday with all of you. I want to thank everybody for your kindness and welcoming spirit. Assurance surely is an amazing church full of amazing people. I could not have asked for or expected a more enjoyable first Sunday. And with that first Sunday in the books, I look forward to many more with all of you.
In looking ahead, I wanted to use this blog entry to let you know about what is coming up during worship for the rest of July. Negativity seems to be the normal “go to” emotion of our culture. So much of what we see, we hear, and we even say is negative in tone. I have found as a pastor that this spirit of constant negativity is fruitless and destructive. So we are starting a new series at the Northlake campus titled “15 Days of Positivity” to look at the Scriptures and do our best to develop and maintain a spirit of positivity.
The world can be harsh. There is no debating that. Yet, while not avoiding this truth and living in some false reality, we can still find in our devotion to God that we are able to live in this broken world with a positive demeanor and practice. We are a people of the risen Christ. Our God has claimed victory over the emptiness and permanency of death. Nothing is more powerful than that truth! And nothing can grab ahold of our spirits and raise them from despair better than the empty tomb. So this coming Sunday we begin a three Sunday series on living in the ultimate reality of a Christ-inspired positivity.
On July 17th, we will look at the concept of positivity and its relationship to us individually with the sermon “Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.” On July 24th, we will discuss the benefits of positivity and how a culture of cynicism is dangerous with the sermon “Positivity ≠ Naïve.” Then we will conclude the series on July 31st with “The Importance of Positive Surroundings.” I will also be asking all of you who are connected to social media to start using the hash-tag #15daysofpositivity as we begin the series. While using that hash-tag, the challenge will be to post positive images/thoughts to lift your personal spirit and the spirits of those around you.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 8:15am, 9:30am or 11:00am. Until then, I pray you have a wonderful conclusion to your week!