Tuesday, February 27, 2018

AC3 VB168 Beautiful Outlaw

Check out this weeks video blog as Rick and Dan discuss our upcoming series starting this week leading into Easter. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Putting God at the Center of Our Marriage

Alicia and I married at the young ages of 21 and 19. We were 3 months pregnant when we said I do and began our new life together as one. We worked opposite shifts, and I often had to work overtime while dealing with long commutes and school work while doing my apprenticeship. Both of us came from families where our parents had struggled in their marriages that ended in divorce. Our parents are good people and we love them dearly, but they did not teach us how to have a marriage based upon biblical design. Needless to say, we struggled to meet each other’s needs in our new marriage. 

We often didn’t understand the different ways we needed to show love to one another, and I placed more importance on work and providing a comfortable life for my family. I would always be busy working on the house or at work, not giving Alicia the quality time she needed, which would leave her not in the mood to give me the respect that a husband needs. Our relationship struggled. 
When our son was ready to go into Preschool, we enrolled him into Prepare The Way at Allen Creek Community Church. We began to attend AC3 and get to know the members of this church. Over time we got to see how Christ was working in their lives. It took a few years until Alicia and I came to a point where we acknowledged that we were in desperate need to have Christ at the center of our marriage. It was going to be a big change for us and how our relationship was structured. We each gave our lives to Christ. 

I was learning to look at my wife and love her in the same way that Christ loved the church. Jesus was faithful to the Church to the point of his crucifixion.  I had to learn to die for my wife, like Christ. I had to die to my own desires and put her needs first, loving her unconditionally. In Ephesians 5:24-2 states that “Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives beto their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church.” With my commitment and application of these words, it has enabled Alicia to see the Christ figure in me as the head of the household and show me the respect that a man needs.

Both Alicia and I had to learn to let go of our short comings, unmet unrealistic expectations, and the mistakes we had made during the early years of our marriage. Alicia had held onto many resentments and often voiced them to me. They would fester inside and be brought up during disagreements, compounding other issues. It took time to let go, but with prayer and God’s work on our hearts we were able to “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, calmer and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:21-32

As forgiveness truly set in, a new level of communication and intimacy has occurred. The more I began using prayer and trusting in the Lord to handle my frustrations, the better I have been at bringing my concerns to Alicia in a loving manner. This has allowed Alicia to be more open, honest and forthcoming with her feelings. There is a new level of trust and safety within our marriage.

This trust has been established with Christ our Savior as the center of our marriage. When we pray together we openly place our hopes, dreams, and concerns on the table or our Father to handle. We can focus on our marriage knowing that our hearts are aligned. Our marriage is aligned by biblical design, and we have His Word to help guide us.

-Ken & Alicia Christiansen

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

AC3 VB167 Fellow Strugglers - Sex and Sexuality

Check out this weeks video blog with Rick and Dan as they discuss last weeks survey from our YouVersion event and the up coming weekend at AC3. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why the Men's Advance?

HUGE Men of God and Warm Beach are once again partnering to hold the Men's Advance, the weekend of March 2-4, 2018. We asked two AC3'ers, "Why should men go to the Men's Advance?" Hopefully, their answers will convince the men reading to go and to invite their friends to go. Ladies, there is a Women's Retreat coming up later in the year, so do not fret! We'll have a blog post for that as it gets closer. Onto the men!

First up, Michael O'Haegher:

I've been going to the Men's Advance since it was still just called the "Men's Retreat". I hear it said often that people tend to tire of the same thing over and over again, but I have yet to tire of the Men's Advance. Every year that I go, I am changed for the better. Some years are more dramatic than others, but I always come away with something valuable. The HUGE board works hard all year, and the quality and caliber of the Men's Advance always blows me away. What can be accomplished when men of God gather together and put their skills into the game is a thing of beauty. When you attend, you not only hear fantastic messages from world-class speakers, and excellent worship; but you also get fabulous meals, fellowship with other men, and most importantly, a chance to put your life on pause and hear from God.

I'm especially excited about this year's event. Not only is the speaker my pastor, but he's also engaging in one of his favorite things: answering the tough questions about the faith that people have. Apologetics is like a hobby to Rick, and his interest shines through when discussing these topics. I'm also excited about the new technology we are using at this year's Advance. We have purchased software that allows attendees to text in their questions real time, and have them appear on the screens. Rick will answer these questions during the Advance. I know the interest will be high, as the questions will come directly from the audience!

I urge you to attend the Men's Advance this year. It will be a life-changing event. It is for me, every year.

Next up, we asked the speaker himself, Pastor Rick Thiessen:

No man should want to miss this year at the Men’s Advance because you’ll get to see a live human getting grilled. And you thought the ropes course was going to be exciting! Actually, we plan to make our main sessions interactive as our keynote speaker (Rick, me, whatever tense you want to use here) takes live question from you, the audience. Why would we do it like this? In past years at the Advance, HUGE held a seminar where men could ask any question they wanted, about God, the Bible, or Christianity. And we found that this approach scratched a real itch where men clearly needed a forum to ask thoughtful and difficult questions.

What kind of men and what kind of questions? Well...

  • Men who sometimes feel like theirs are the taboo questions that can’t be asked in church, and have been told to “just have faith and believe”. 
  • Men who are young in the faith and a knotty bible passage just doesn’t make sense. 
  • Older disciples, feeling their faith tested by the challenges of skeptical friends. 
  • Men who are struggling to try and integrate truth they’ve been taught with the truth claims of Scripture. 
  • Men stumbling over Christian stances on moral issues. 
  • Seeking men who have serious doubts about Jesus because some part of the Christian faith seems utterly unbelievable.
  • YOU and YOUR questions.

So at the Advance, we’re going to talk openly about the Christian faith and its relationship to reasons and evidence. We’ll attempt to build a reasonable basis for the Christian faith from the ground up, which will build you up and challenge you to be a more confident, winsome witness to God’s grace in a dark world. Plus, as promised, part of the adventure will be opening the door wide to express your question or doubt or bible problem. So warm up the BBQ!

You can register online at Men's Advance 2018 Registration is required, and there are a variety of packages available.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AC3 VB166 Men's Advance

Check out this weeks video blog as Rick and Dan discuss what Rick will be speaking on as the Key Note speaker of the Men's Advance. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

AC3 VB165 I AM AC3

Check out this weeks VB right here with Rick and Dan. Enjoy! :)

February Events @ AC3 2018

Here's What's Up at AC3 in February...

2/3-4 I Am AC3 - Find out how to get your talents into the game at AC3! 
3-WK Series: Swipe Right (Sex and Sexuality)
2/4 Super Bowl Party and Youth Fundraiser (Auditorium)
1/22-2/26 Women's Forum MON. @ 6:30pm (Auditorium)
1/17-2/22 Men's Forum @ 6:45pm (day and place varies)
2/16 Green Room Team Gathering @ 6:30pm (Conference Room)
2/20 AC3 Women's Connection @ 6:30pm (SOG)
2/23 Youth Paint and Slurp Party FRI. 6-9pm  (Auditorium)

3/2-4 Men's Advance at Warm Beach
4-WK Series: Beautiful Outlaw

  • Senior High Morph @ 6pm (Auditorium) D-Group 4:30pm -1st, 3rd & 5th TUES. Contact Wayne 425-343-3529 to join!
  • Men's Search & Rescue Group @ 7pm (Conference Room)
  • Moms as Mentors - 2nd & 4th Tue. @ 10am (Blue Room - Children welcome)
  • Men’s Study, Coffee & Doughnuts  @ 7am (Conference Room)
  • Seeds of Grace Food & Resource Exchange - Open 1-2:15pm (SOG)
  • Junior High RELIC @ 6pm (Auditorium) D-Group 4:30pm -1st, 3rd & 5th WEDS. Contact Wayne 425-343-3529 to join!
  • Marysville Farmers Market Mtg. @ 6pm 4th WED. Monthly (Conference Room) Contact Shawn 425-359-4856 with your questions.
  • Thrive Women's Study - 1st & 3rd Thur. (Resumes March 2018)
  • Essence Women every other Thur. @ 7pm (Conf. Room) - Trina 425-737-4061)
  • First Fruits Farm Meeting @ 10am 1st SAT. Monthly (Place TBD - Jan 425-268-7949)
  • Saturday: 6pm followed by light meal & worship. Extended @ 7:45pm.
  • Sunday: 9 & 10:30am with Worship between services. Extended @ 11:40am. 
       Children's programs 0-5th grades during our 6pm and 10:30am services.
AC3 stories, events and info can be found online at www.ac3.org https://allencreekcc.blogspot.com/  and  www.facebook.com/allencreek.