Sunday, July 31, 2011

in transition...

don't know if anyone actually views this blog anymore :( but for those of you who may not know, our family will be leaving the 6th Avenue Congregation to serve the Church throughout the Middle East.

Until then, we continue ministering with this amazing fellowship:
- Sundays, 10 am Worship Venue
- Wednesdays, (resuming August 17) $1 Dinner, UpTown kids, and Underground teens

6th Avenue will continue to Touch the World for Christ (in addition to our family, 5 young adults are pursuing a call to international Church service). they will continue to bless their local community. they will be doing it with the same values, just with new leadership. the "reigns" of this blog will be turned over appropriately for their consideration on how to best use this tool in the future.

For more on the Oldham family and their new ministry assignment, which should begin soon, follow their progress at this blog...


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

6th AveNEW

What's New at 6th...
we're well underway into 2010--we had a wonderful holiday season and we're continuing our focus on the Gospel of Matthew. we had been participating in the annual Christ Birthday Observance theme (as set by our national women's organization) entitled "Follow the Star." we used the beginning chapters of Matthew's Gospel to direct our Sunday Morning message series, and now, we're continuing there through Easter (which will be April 4).
we're looking at the Gospel a little differently than before -- Matthew records many of the questions asked by Jesus, as well as questions that were asked of Jesus, as evoked by his teaching and ministry. many of these questions begin with "Why," and so, we're looking at the texts to understand not only the answer, but what prompted the question.
and, during our Sunday morning worship services, we will be continuing to practice community prayer through new patterns or exercises. at 6th Avenue, we learn a different method or pattern of prayer each month to help us grow in the practice, peace, and power of prayer, individually and together as a Church. this first month of 2010, we're doing a series of prayers called, "New Year, New..." prayers:
  • New Year…New Hopes – and we’ll commit our hopes, our goals, our resolutions to prayer—asking God to bless our hopes; remember, “now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work in us” (Ephesians 3:20). pray with confidence: what is your hope for 2010?
  • New Year…New Risks – A better year may involve risks—let’s ask God to prepare us to risk change(s) for improvement. As we pray, we’ll ask God, in the spirit of the serenity prayer, to “grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
  • New Year…New Friends – The Gospel is best spread relationally, from friend to friend; so, we need to be continually open to beginning new friendships. There may be someone near you, or who will be, in this next year that you don’t yet know very well. Pray to be open and ready to share the love of God with a new friend in 2010.
  • New Year…New Growth – We want to pray along this theme in three areas: 1) in personal growth – how do you want to grow in your faith relationship with God? 2) in growth as a Church family – how can we better experience and express love toward one another at 6th Avenue? And 3) growth in number – how can we better invite and include others into our Church family?
  • New Year…New Missions; to that end, Julie N. will share about her recent trip to Trinidad where she visited the West Indies Theological College, where she may attend in preparation to follow God's calling to foreign missions. Zach, who is still waiting and praying through the process of going to serve the Lord in England, will share how we can all take up the mission of prayer and practical encouragement to imprisoned Christians around the world. AND, we’ll have the Lopez Family as special guests with us--they had been serving one of our sister churches in Falkville as youth pastors until recently; they’ve now resigned and are preparing to follow the Lord’s call on their lives as foreign missionaries. as we hear these testimonies, we will also pray for them, and be able to better pray for ourselves in pursuit of the mission(s) God would have us pursue in 2010.
Sunday nights, we're still taking questions that are raised by our own study and journey in our open Q&A times, as well as the questions that go with or come out of our discussion times. the discussion series for Sleepyheads is from Matthew 5-6-7, what is typically referred to as the Sermon on the Mount.
and, we're looking at creating greater community among our children, youth and adults through a new Wednesday Night format that will precede Kids Club, Underground and Adult Bible Study.
2010 is going to be a great year--we're off to a good start with great plans--we hope you'll be able to participate with us as we continually seek to "Glorify God by Touching the World for Christ," as we "serve love pray."

see also

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 Christmas Wish List

some ideas for your gift giving and wish list consideration...

first, let me begin by saying that i distinguish between a wish and a prayer -- a wish is merely a hope that may be frivolous that i'd like someone to surprise me with; on the other hand, in prayer, i release my hope for God to fulfill.

this Christmas, i pray for peace for my friends ministering in the Philippines after all the rain and tsunami's they've incurred. i pray for health for Ms Jane, and Sarah, and Ken W, and so many others who've seen difficulty and scares increase within their current health. i pray for greater ability and resources to fulfill our mission to Touch the World for Christ--like a jet :) - but that could also be a wish, so it's in the box, too.

as for wishes, here's a few recommendations for you in giving or in seeking to receive:
  1. the ESV Study Bible - i believe Andrew (our Worship leader) got one of these early, but it looks like it has great reference and study helps for really getting into the Scripture, along with a translation that is a nice mix of the literal and thematic
  2. Bill Hybel's 2007 release of Holy Discontent was a great read for our staff in recent weeks -- it's great for anyone who in their desire for following Christ may feel that they're missing something. and, at $1.99 at, it'll make a great stocking stuffer :)
  3. Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz is growing in popularity as a new classic. His wit and honesty are refreshing as he confesses his way into leading the reader to re-think faith in Christ and the application of His teachings in our complicated world--i've found it to be widely appreciated by those young adults who are struggling with their faith or the current "traditional" church
  4. Donald Miller's latest book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years is what Keli and i are currently reading--it begins slow, and random, and suddenly builds with reflective confessions of what it means to live a "good story" according to the design of the "author and perfector of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
as for me, i have all the above, but there are a couple of reads i've been hoping to get to...
  • Made to Stick by Chip Heath looks like it will be helpful for developing and articulating vision and strategy
  • and i find Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell increasingly quoted by different leaders
i know, that's a pretty boring wish list -- no video games or gadgets, nothing that requires batteries (outside of the airliner), no mind numbing entertainment.

but, look on the bright side: no calories, no worry of breaking, no confusing instructions for assembly, you don't have to worry if it fits, and you won't even have to fight the Black Friday mobs if you buy online.

no matter what your Christmas wish or prayer, may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, a blessed Christmas, and a faith-filled New Year!