March 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

God bless connection cards; such a simple thing, and yet so immensely helpful!    A community without communication is a community without connection, and without connection we are just an empty container, a community in name or theory only.  Every person you’ve ever met wants to be a part of a family that actually cares about what they’re personally going through.  Regardless of the facades we’re all prone to project, every last one of us wants to be known, understood, and cared about.  We all want and NEED to know that our lives matter! 

So, one more time…. Thank you for filling out the communication cards.  The prayer team is praying for you!  We are very concerned with what concerns you.   It’s a small step, but it’s a step that opens the door for God to do what He can do.  Something I’ve discovered from being a pastor for many years is that when people become isolated from the needs and concerns of others, they tend to hyper-focus upon their own concerns and lose perspective.   Anything we hyper-focus on becomes bigger-than-life, while other things completely evaporate from view, even if they are very close to us.  This is a huge factor in marital and family discord.  If I, as a spouse or member of a family become overly focused on my own issues, my issues grow to fit the space I have allowed for them and if left unchecked, they will eventually obscure the view of everyone else.   Even those closest to me.

So… Today, what are you doing to benefit your spouse, or your good friend?   Are you aware of what they really need?  Do you know what they long for?   What need of theirs is not getting met (or at least, not well) right now?   What unhealthy activity are they likely to reach to when the deeper need isn’t getting met?   If you are not communicating well, you probably don’t know, and you may not be able to even discuss them.   We could all speculate about what they really want or need, but speculation is based on our own perceptions, shaped by our own experiences, not the other persons.   And on the other side of this equation…  How well are you letting your own real needs be known to those close to you?  Not only your physical needs, but the undergirding need to be seen, understood and valued.   These needs are only made known through genuine communication.    

I’ve been saying for the past several weeks that our true identity is only discovered in community, and I’ll probably say it for many weeks or years to come, because it’s so crucial to living out who we were designed to be.  Each and every one of us was born into a community, out of a community, for the sake of a community.   So what that nifty little sentence means is… The real me is incomplete without the real you.   I am not fully activated into my life’s calling without you, nor are you without me.  You are part of my development, and I am part of yours.  You are part of my calling and my mission and I am part of yours.  But if we allow our fears to keep us at a “safe” distance from each other; and all of our “realities” keep us from communicating honestly and being a part of each other’s reality, neither of us gain the good that we were intended gain by our loving Father who put us together in a family.  Both of us lose something precious.

And here’s the kicker:  It is IMPOSSIBLE to grow into true community without a unified mission!   Not only do we need to allow others to speak into our lives to shape us, but we must have a common mission, in order to be able or willing to do the necessary follow-through.  This is messy, really messy. To do this, we will have to deny ourselves and pick up our cross, and live out of the same love that Jesus lived out of.   If we focus on self and on what we might lose, we will soon have no room for any mission at all!   But when Jesus becomes the focal point, and His mission our goal, self becomes less the focal point, and we become better able to let go.    When Jesus said it is harder than a rich man to enter the kingdom than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, he wasn’t just talking about money, but about all the concerns we carry through life that keep us from being fully HIS!  He is the bridegroom, and we are his bride.  The bride must prepare herself for the groom.  There are many, many more people who will be part of this family who’ve not yet met Jesus, or even heard the good news of his kingdom.   Our mission, our calling, is to be His witnesses everywhere we go, and we will do this when we learn to do it together.   This begins with good communication, and is fortified when we lift one another up to God in prayer!   

May you be aware of God’s favor on you today!                                     




 VCPC this Week

Sunday, March 18th – Intercessory Prayer – 9 am – Church Library

Thursday, March 22nd – Intercessory Prayer – 11 am – Church Library – Request? Email prayerline@vineyardplaincity.com or call/text (614) 499-1232

Thursday, March 22nd – GriefShare – 6-8 pm – Rm 110

Looking Ahead...

Sunday, April 1st - Easter Celebration 10:30 am