This was sent to me by a friend (he refers to God as "Dad") as a Christmas blessing:
"It's wild ...Dad "delights in YOU"..He smiles at You..YOU are the "apple of His eye"... He "rejoices over YOU with singing". He cares about YOUR every care- catches every tear, rejoices over every smile- has compassion over every trial, and all He wants to do is to walk with you always- Wowzas - for you to walk with Him. He prepared a place in Heaven for you towards that end - Christ gave it all up just so that you wouldn't be separated from Him eternally.
You are ADORED. You are LOVED. You are more than LIFE to God- you are worth the perfect being being insulted and denigrated, the most powerful being being beaten and shredded, the most honorable being being dishonored, the most righteous being condemned, the most pure becoming sin for you, the most beautiful being bloodied, the most awe inspiring being mocked, the eternal facing death, the most faithful being double crossed...traveling through time and space just to wash your sin away so that you could be reconciled to Him... So that you could walk with Him ...what unimaginable love ... If you think about it, it's like God Himself ... The Divine. In all His deserved glory and infinite perfection hasn't had such a display of love expressed towards HIM (outside of Himself) as this miraculous love story found in Immanuel - because no amount of love from imperfect beings could ever amount to His perfect infinite love for YOU ... You are highly loved...He has loved you more than you could ever love Him back .... Wowzas "
I adore ya'll
Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross for church budgets, church programs, church attendance figures, offering plates or stained glass windows. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for acreage, square footage or parking-lot size.
Jesus died on the cross for people! It was the value that God places on people which drove Jesus to the cross and which kept him there through all the pain and suffering that was involved.
One of the biggest objections to Christianity among those in our secular world is the way they feel the church treats people. Secular people generally feel that we treat people like expendable resources – which means that we’re only interested in what we can get from people. This explains why the most common objection to the church is: “The church is always asking for money!” This is just another way of people saying, “All the church is interested in is what it can get out of me.”
At Bell County Faith Fellowship, we are committed to being the kind of church that removes this objection by valuing and serving people. Our goal is not to see how much we can get from people but to see how much we can give to people. We don’t always get this perfect. But we are a people who love broken people.
Giving is a difficult topic. It's easy to avoid, difficult to digest, and often times one of the last places we're willing to give over to the Lord in our walk of faith. Who can blame us? In one of the most economically challenging times we have seen, giving over a piece of our livelihood seems daunting, scary, and sometimes downright senseless by the standard of many.
Our giving is not meant to be obligatory or used as a way to earn God's favor. It's meant to be done out of the overflow of gratitude from our hearts, saying we are abundantly thankful for the things He's given us and recognize they are His and meant to be managed well for His purposes. Giving back whatever is left over after we spend on what we think we need or want is not enough.
Rather, a giving of our "first fruits" as the Bible says (Deuteronomy 26) or a regular piece of our income set aside for Christ and building up His Church as we trust that He will take care of our every need, is what He requires from us as our first and best.
Giving lays the foundation for our spiritual surrender as we lay down our means for livelihood to the One who gives us our livelihood to begin with. It's a physical act of surrender and trust in the security of our one and only refuge. It’s also a vital practice when so many of us can be prone to say we trust in God to provide for us daily, but in our hearts we place more trust in the security provided by our own bank accounts.
Giving is an act of worship as we make our faith real in the every day.
Above all, giving is an act of worship as we make our faith real in the everyday, putting our words of surrender and trust into action in a very tangible way.
The Truth is starting up a church, maintaining the facility, striving to reach the community, and building a trained and equipped team does take money. However it is more than just running an organization. It is so much more about trusting God’s provision so we can achieve His vision and mission to make disciples of all nations. This is should be the central focus of our lives and it begins with your local church.
This Advent season, I hope we'll be excited to think and act on how we can make a name for Christ by being abundantly and radically generous with both our time and resources, to those God puts in our midst.
Join the vision of So Broken…So Loved. We at Faith Fellowship are asking you and anyone else you might know to give prayerfully over what amount you normally give this December to close the gap of our 2016 short fall, so we can start the New Year strong in the Lord to reach as many people in Killeen with the saving message of Jesus Christ as possible. Join us in our Pro-vision movement!
Live Holy – Preach Jesus,
Pastor Rick Helein, Ma, M.Div.
James 2:12-13New International Version (NIV)12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Holy God, we thank you for the privilege of worship.
We are awed by your presence, speechless
at your mystery, humbled that you know us and
want to be known by us. It is in worship that we
are reminded of the truth about you, ourselves
and our world. We are reminded that everything
we have comes from you and depends upon
you — every breath we take as well as the air
we breathe. It is by your grace that our planet
sustains us, that we are drawn to faith, that relationships
nurture us, that our health supports
the work we do. It is by your blessing that we
are free to engage in our national discourse, to
elect our leaders and to support them with our
prayers. Keep us, Lord, from the temptation to
look to these human leaders as more than the
servants they are called to be. It is you alone
who deserves our allegiance, you alone who
knows the human heart, you alone who offers
redemption. It is in God alone that we put our
Pastor Rick Helein
Pastor Rick, a native of Northern Virginia just outside the nation’s capital, has followed the Lord’s leading in taking on the senior pastor role at Faith Fellowship. Pastor Rick holds a B.S. in religion and another in Psychology: Crisis Counseling, an MA in Pastoral Counseling, an M. Div. in Professional Ministries, and is finishing up his Doctoral work in Pastoral Counseling. Rick also holds multiple certifications in fitness training and sports massage therapy. The pastor is joined by his loving wife Gladys, and his two youngest children, Georgia and Charles.