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...

UPCOMING EVENTS
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)

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

REGULAR ACTIVITIES
Tuesdays: 
  • 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)
Wednesdays:
  • 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.
Thursdays:
  • Thrive Women's Study - 1st & 3rd Thur. (Resumes March 2018)
  • Essence Women every other Thur. @ 7pm (Conf. Room) - Trina 425-737-4061)
Saturdays:
  • First Fruits Farm Meeting @ 10am 1st SAT. Monthly (Place TBD - Jan 425-268-7949)
WEEKEND SERVICES
  • 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.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Servant Ye Must Be Served!


Have you ever felt drained or unappreciated for all that you do?  Or more to the point have you ever felt drained or unappreciated for all that you do in service to the church and community?  Youth leaders, do you ever feel the ministry is not going anywhere, that your work is never finished?  Elder, have you found yourself asking what difference am I really making?  Or Greeters can you relate to the feeling, it would be nice to be greeted for once? Perhaps the answer to this is not as far from you as you think.  Even the servant must at some time allow themselves to be served.

At the time of the last super Jesus washed the feet of his disciples; a task given only the lowest of servants.  Upon completion Jesus says, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet” (John 13:14).  Jesus gave the example and then the commission;not only are we to be servants to others and one another, but we are also called to allow ourselves to be served.  

Too often we get caught up in the good works we are called to do, we forget to take time to allow ourselves to be served by others who are accepting their call to serve.  When was the last time you participated in, but not lead or managed a small group?  When have you been just a recipient of a keynote speaker at a retreat…a participant not a leader?  Where have you gonerecently, just there to be filled and to replenish?

Servants, you too must be served.  So many likeminded people have burned out over the years of serving because they never took the time to replenish.  Churches and charities have revolving doors of volunteers; they serve for a while then disappear.  Pastors get tired, elders quit, kids’ ministries fall apart, whole organizations fail simply due to burn out.  Jeremy Camp sings the song “Revive me”, in which he calls upon the Lord for revival “according to your love and kindness”.  I ask you, servant:  How can you be revived if you don’t take time to allow yourself to be servedletting the Lord give you what you need through the serving hands of others?  Again, I sayServant Ye must be served.

By Christian Love

Thursday, January 18, 2018

What's Your Biggest Fear?

What is your biggest fear? More specifically, what is it you are afraid to lose by following the call to deeper discipleship with Christ? Don’t say “nothing”, because every Christian who has grown beyond Sunday-only Christianity has had those fears. They don’t make you a bad person. They make you a person the Holy Spirit has spoken to, and they have stirred in you because the very Creator Himself has stirred the waters of your soul. You are in very good company.

You might be afraid to face these fears because they might feel like selfish reasons to you. Maybe you are afraid if you follow Christ into deeper relationship you will have to give up your entire way of life, like the fishermen of the New Testament who gave up their very homes to follow him. Maybe you are afraid of losing the respect of those who would reframe you to be one of “those religious people”.  Maybe you fear you’d have to give up Friday night beer time, or those closest friends who seem to truly understand you. Maybe you don’t want to identify with some of the Christians you know, and you feel more affinity to the person far from God. Maybe the word “obedience” scares you and makes your jaw set.

They might also feel like noble reasons to you. Maybe you are afraid it will come between you and your spouse, your parents, or your children. You might feel stretched to the limit already, and you can’t possibly imagine giving more of yourself to one more thing, lest your family or yourvery sanity suffer. Perhaps you have everything in your life delicately balanced, and you don’t want to send all those plates you’ve been spinning into the stratosphere, or shattering to the ground

Whatever you are holding onto tightly, consider this fact: It’s possible God is not asking you to give up any of those things. What if you kept your friends, your family and still moved intogreater following and deepness with the very God who spoke you into being? Too often we get the cart before the horse, and put obedience before relationship. That doesn’t work in parentingfor very long, and it doesn’t work in relationship to our God either. Because He is not the god of anarchy and chaos, obedience does matter, but it more resembles practices for a better relationship than rules to comply with in order to be accepted. If Jesus followed that line of thinking, he would only have healed the most pious. We know from scripture that is not true. 

But let’s take the worst-case scenario: What if following Jesus more closely into deeper discipleship did cost you the things you were most afraid of losing? If that was a reality and if it is stopping you, then you are choosing the thing God has given you over the very giver Himself. You have put your trust in the gifts. You don’t believe you will be ok without them. You believe you have built your own happiness, and he will take that away. I’ve got news for you: Every good thing comes from God. Look that up, it’s in the Bible. Everything that is good in your life that brings you happiness is from your Father in Heaven. And he’s got more where that came from. You don’t trust that He will make you as happy as you feel you’ve made yourself. Again, you don’t trust He will make you as happy as you feel you’ve made yourself.

Let’s be real though, is there a cost to following Jesus? Even the Bible admits this. There is a cost to losing weight and getting in shape, but if you deny desserts and sacrifice a little time at the gym, you will be happy to be the new person you have become. There is a cost to giving up dating every cute person who piques your interest, but when you marry the one you truly love, you commit to leaving the other people behind, and you are happy you did. Nothing replaces trust in a marriage, and no one can be your closest ally on this earth. It’s not loss, it’s sacrificing the good thing to make room for the better thing.

If you are still afraid that God will make you an unlikable freak, a lonely person, eating ants for dinner in Africa, not living in your dream house, friends with boring church people; whatever your fear that keeps you from deeper relationship, here is the truth of all of that: You don’t know Him at all. That’s the harsh reality of your decisionAnd it IS a decision. You don’t trust him because you don’t know Him. And that, friends, is the place to start. 

Don’t give up anything, just move toward getting to know who He really is. Add things to your life rather than take them away. Add prayer. Add scripture readingTalk with someone closer to Him than you. When you read the New Testament, imagine a real, breathing man walking the earth. Ask God to show Himself to you. Read a book that helps reveal what Scripture is saying. Read the four gospels over and over for a month. Learn who He really is, and let go of the lies that have snuck in over the years. I guarantee a majority of the fears that keep you from him are lies, and the Bible tells us the evil one is the father of lies. What if that’s who you have been listening to? It’s a chilling thought to realize that what you thought was just standing still was actually obeying the one who would be happy to keep you far from God.

There are lots of ways you can move closer to God. Any leader in your church can give you a list, but standing still isn’t going nowhere, it is going further from God. Be fearless. What if your life really would be fuller, more peaceful and centered on an unmoving person rather than circumstances? Dive in and understand what those who have gone deeper are talking about. If you have doubt still, welcome to the club. If you have resistance, do it anyway. If you are afraid, pull up a chair. Come to the table. He’s not angry at you for not coming sooner, he is so delighted in you and that you came. I’ll see you there.

-Lori Caperoon