Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2009

 

Here at the Raytown Vineyard Church, we love Thanksgiving!  And we realize that it is more than a holiday, its an attitude.

While we are not eating together, there are a couple of ways that we are celebrating this year.

Community Thanksgiving Bulletin Board

First, we are providing a public “bulletin board” for folks to drop by and weigh in on what they are thankful for in the Raytown community.

Feel free to stop by, reflect on the comments, and add your own!
http://thanksgiving4raytown2009.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/hello-world/

Sunday Evening Message

Additionally, Kevin MacPhail will be speaking about Thanksgiving at our weekly CONNECT service on Sunday at 5 PM.  If you would like to read ahead, the scripture passage he will be discussing is Colossians 3:16-17.

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Where is God in Times of Financial Need?

November 18, 2009

What kind of God do we serve?

Do we serve a God who created the Universe and still has access to infinite resources?

Do we serve a God who wants us to receive every material blessing our hearts desire?

When we find ourselves in financial need, what does that say about God?  Is God absent?  Less than Sovereign?  Angry?  Impotent? 

And what does it say about us when we find ourselves in financial need?  Does a lack of resources reflect a lack of faith?  Does it indicate sin in our lives?  Is there a Biblical formula to prevent financial need?

We are not the first people who have wrestled with these questions.  Join us on Sunday night as we discuss the answers found in the Bible.  We will primarily be considering Habakkuk 3.  Click here to get a preview of the text.

Join us on Sunday at 5 PM.  Click here for more information that will help you plan your visit.

Or, join the conversation below.


The Raytown Vineyard Supports Community Partners with our Church Tithes

November 14, 2009

From the very beginning, God has asked us to be a tithing church–where we give away the first 10% of our church’s income before we pay our bills.

As a new church in Raytown, we are committed to joining in with other ministries who are already doing effective ministry in our community.  This is a good opportunity for us to learn to be generous with no strings attached.

Thanks to God’s faithfulness through our generous congregation, we have already been able to give away over $6500 to community partners in the first 11 months that we have been a church.

We have donated in Jesus’ name to these great organizations who are addressing critical physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs in the greater Raytown area :

Kansas City Alpha Invitation http://www.alphausa.org/Articles/1000048660/Vision_Event.aspx

Hillcrest Ministries  http://www.hillcresttransitionalhousing.org/

River of Refuge Dreamcenter  http://www.riverofrefuge.com/

Hope Network  http://hopeforraytown.org/

Open Door Dinner Program at One Spirit Methodist Church  http://www.gbgm-umc.org/onespiritumc/

Raytown Emergency Assistance Program http://www.raytownreap.org

Summer Backpack Lunch Program http://raytowncc.org/sites/default/files/pilot/pilot.pdf

Vineyard Overland Park—We were able to share a small donation with our “sending church” for their new building http://www.vineyardop.org

Raytown Educational Foundation  http://www.raytowneducationalfoundation.org

Angel Tree  http://www.angeltree.org

Hope Kitchen http://raytownfirstchurch.org/whatsnew.html

Living Word Testament Church–Another church plant right here in Raytown.


What is a Vineyard Church?

November 13, 2009

The Raytown Vineyard Church is part of a growing association of over 750 churches in forty-seven countries worldwide, including over 500 churches in the U.S.

Although individual Vineyard churches may look and feel similar or very different, we all share 5 core values:

  • Seeking to understand and live in God’s purpose and plan.
  • Knowing God’s intimate and personal presence.
  • Pursuing open and authentic relationships.
  • Compassionate Ministry – caring for the under served.
  • Engaging our world with Jesus in culturally relevant ways.

There are 3 other Vineyard Churches in the greater Kansas City area:

Click here to learn more about the Association of Vineyard Churches.


All We Have is the Cross.

November 11, 2009

passion-of-the-christ-1

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14a When you really take an honest look at it, there is nothing “cool” about the Christian life as described by the apostle Paul.   There is the denying yourself thing.  There is the yielding control part.  And then there is the giving away your life thing.

And even after all of those sacrifices, there is shockingly little-to-no room in this worldview to boast about some of the more acceptable aspects of being a Christian, like feeding the poor, healing the sick, or even seeing people repent from their torn up lives to turn their lives to Christ and be baptized. 

In short, Paul is simply focused on this:  Jesus Christ, his crucifixion, and how we get to participate in that surrender of the will and body…DAILY.

In fact, Galatians 6:14 goes on to say this “Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.”  This doesn’t sound like an attractive lifestyle for people who are seeking “cool” points. 

Elsewhere, here is what Paul has to say in Philippians 3:8:  “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”

This journey through the Book of Galatians has been a bit of a walk on the wild side.  Fired up about FREEDOM, Paul is unafraid to take a hard stance against religious rules.  He contrasts the results of selfish cravings and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  And he lands the whole thing on the bloody and grotesque image of the Cross, making it pretty clear that this Cross is the only thing he has any boast in.

Here are some of the questions we will be answering on Sunday night:

Is Paul saying that following Jesus means crucifying any interest I have in this world?  Isn’t that a depressing faith?

Isn’t there a way for me to follow Jesus and keep my “cool” points?

This is such an incredibly high standard…how in the world can ANYONE achieve this lifestyle?

Click here if you would like an idea about what it would be like to come visit us this weekend. 

And click here if you would like to read the Bible passage ahead of time.

Feel free to post a note and join the conversation.


Freedom in the Spirit Comes with Many Crosses

November 4, 2009

Crosses

The picture in this post is taken from the Normandy American Cemetery.  This Cemetery honors 9387 American soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the process of freeing a continent from tyranny and oppression.  Regardless of your views of armed conflict, the image serves as a powerful reminder that freedom comes at great sacrifice.

This week we resume our discussion on the Book of Galatians, and we will be focusing on Galatians 5.  Among other things, this is the passage that identifies the fruit of the Spirit—”love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”.

I am becoming more aware that God’s plan for our freedom takes Christ’s followers through a path where they “have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there”. (Galatians 5:24)

This process is not a once for all event, but a decision that must be renewed on a daily basis, as in Luke 9:23– “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

That’s a lot of crosses!  If you took up your cross DAILY for 26 years, you would take up more crosses than are on display at the Normandy American Cemetery.

There are tons of questions this little book has raised so far.  Here are some of the questions we will be answering on Sunday night:

Is it ever possible for me to grow the fruit of the Spirit naturally in my life, instead of having to work so hard to produce them?

I don’t really like taking up my cross daily.  Isn’t there another way?

Are we saying that following Jesus means that we are invited to give complete control of every aspect of our lives to the Holy Spirit on a DAILY basis?

Click here if you would like an idea about what it would be like to come visit us this weekend. 

And click here if you would like to read the Bible passage ahead of time.

Feel free to post a note and join the conversation.