I woke up thinking about a hurtful thing I had done to someone a long time ago, The thought took over my mind for at least a half hour. I relived it. I felt awful about what I had done. I wondered if the other person still had bad feelings toward me. Then, I realized that a long time ago, I had apologized for it, reconciled the relationship, repented, and ask our Lord to forgive me. I had wasted a half hour of my life. What’s up with that?
Do you ever do that? Think about something that is of no value to what is happening in your life now? Worry and wonder about all the ways a situation can end up? Replay an event or conversation in your life that happened over and over again? Think bad thoughts about yourself or someone else? I have always called that “spinning” because when I have the moment to stop it, I think I am just “spinning my wheels” and not getting anywhere.
What if we prayed instead? I could have been praying for that half hour. God loves me. God has a good plan for me. God knows the biggest picture. I am a child of the All Mighty God. No weapon formed against me will prosper. God has this situation in His mighty hands. I will do what I can do and give this to Him. He will give me peace.
This reminds me of the old hymn “ What a Friend We Have In Jesus”.
“O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.”
God should be our first thought when “spinning” happens. I think it makes Him smile.
SHHHH! I am talking!
The year is 1994. I am a 145 pound Van Buren High School student, who was loving life and being as ornery as I could be. I loved math. It was my favorite subject. I had a teacher by the name of Mrs. Beaver, who was a very, very, serious teacher, and she did not like me. To be honest, her not liking me made me like her even more, and also made me do everything I could to make sure she knew I was always in the room.
The one thing I remember so well about Mrs. Beaver was when we wanted to get out of work all we had to do is ask questions. We could ask her question after question and, before you knew it, the class would be over and we would never do any real work.
I had classmates constantly telling me to keep her busy so she wouldn’t assign any work that day. I become a master at it, asking questions about things not even pertaining to math and she would continue to talk until the bell rang. We hated silence in that room, because silence meant we were about to be assigned work. As I think on that today, I think about how even as an adult “I do not like silence”. In silence you are left to your own thoughts, and in silence we look at ourselves and maybe we don’t like what we see. But, in silence is where I feel the work will begin on me. It’s hard and difficult. Silence leaves us to our own thoughts, struggles, and failures. But, in silence is where I have heard from God the most. When I stop and think, I give my attention to God. He reveals to me things I need to do in my own life and fixing me is a lot of work. Scripture says it the best I Kings 19:11-12:
And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Silence still makes me uncomfortable, but I am not scared of silence anymore. Silence doesn’t mean I am alone or abandoned. Silence is the time I stopped asking Mrs. Beaver questions and started listening to the assignment I have been given. God has put his finger over his mouth and said to me, “SHHHHHHHHHH”, because God wants to do a work in me.
Church family isn’t God but a reminder of……….
Where are we? I think about where the church was and where it is today. It is exciting to see new faces coming in every Sunday, and see new people signing up for Life Groups and volunteering. We have always known God was going to take Momentum somewhere great and still believe this to be true. As we look back and look forward Momentum is not looking for growth in number but looking for growth in Christ. We pray relationships with Christ and with others begin to grow and truly become a family environment. An environment we can look at each other and never be ashamed of where we are, or what we did, but knowing our failures and our hang- ups are a reality of life. An environment where people are not ok with their own hang-ups or failures and are willing to lean on God and others to be better. An environment of love, not judging one another just praying for one another to draw closer to God thru every journey God allows us to walk down. We want to be a family that holds each other accountable and challenges each other to grow. Church family isn’t God, they can never save you or change you, but a true church family is a great reminder that there is a God who loves you and will change you. I pray God help me be family, help me create an environment of love for the people around me. God help me be a reminder of who you are!
Welcome to the Bible Belt-Blog by Shirley Hirano-Dias
In the summer of 2002 my family and I moved to Van Buren. I had done my research and realized before I got here that we were moving the “Bible Belt”. Not being a follower of Christ, I did not exactly know what that meant but thought it would eventually become clear to me.
One day that summer when I was walking to my youngest child’s new school to show him where he would be going, I saw a teenage boy that seemed to be walking with his little sister. I thought, how cute! I made eye contact and smiled just as we were going to pass each other when he yelled at me, “Do you know where you are going if you die today?!” Scared me! I politely replied, “Yes”, and grabbed my son’s hand and kept walking. At the time I thought, this is not what I expected. I am not sure if I am living in the right place.
As followers of Jesus Christ, I believe we are all wired to evangelize, to spread His Good News. But, I also believe there is a time, a place, and a way for how we do that. Personally, I get to know folks and in our conversations I will share my beliefs, hopefully as God asks me to in 1 Peter 3:15, “with gentleness and respect”. Once I was asked why I was so optimistic. That made me happy because I felt she was asking me “to give the reason for the hope that (I) have”. Jesus is my hope.
But, looking back at that summer of 2002, there may be a time the Lord may ask me to very bold when I share Jesus Christ. Maybe someone is asking for a sign that God exists because they are in a very emotionally precarious time in their life. Would I be bold enough to confront them as that teenager confronted me? Truthfully, I am not sure, but I hope I would do just as God tells me.
I don’t know how and when our Lord will ask me to share Jesus Christ, but I hope I do it just the way He asks me to do it, out of love for Christ and out of love for the person in front of me.
Great Blog by Shirley Hirano-Dias
WE ARE THE BODY
Some thoughts on 1 Corinthians 12
The Bible says that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit lives inside us. In turn, when the Holy Spirit lives inside us, we are given spiritual gifts. Whether we choose to use those gifts is up to us. Sometimes, like me, you may have to step out not really knowing what your gift is and figuring it out once you take the first step.
The gifts from the Holy Spirit are for the common good. No particular gift or person is more important than another. Your gifts and my gifts will be totally different from other peoples’ gifts. The gifts must work together. This means we must work together as one body with many parts.
Ok. This sounds great but is easier said than done. You may say, “I don’t know what my gift is?”, or “I don’t have any gifts”, or “I have nothing to offer” or “I don’t have the time”. The verse that stands out for me in this whole chapter of 1 Corinthians is 26, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” Why does that verse stand out for me? How does that verse make me feel?
I don’t want anyone to suffer because of me. I remember going to Community Meal for the first time with these thoughts- 1) I don’t know how to cook for over 400 folks. (Cooking for more than 12 people stresses me out.) 2) I don’t want to deliver meals. (I have really bad allergies and staying outside on a windy day could put me down for the rest of the day.) But, I can follow directions well. (I believe that is from my years in the military.) Now I go to Community Meal every month. I just do whatever Angela tells me to do and she always makes me feel needed. I love the fellowship with the folks from Momentum and a few from outside of Momentum. The thought that we are one body for this moment in time feeding folks that may not have anything to eat that day truly makes me rejoice. I may not deliver meals, but I love listening to the stories from the folks that have delivered meals that I helped put together. That in turn makes me come back the next month to Community Meal.
Community Meal may not be for everyone, but using your spiritual gifts in the body of Christ is for every believer. Try something. You may find your calling.
Prayer Blog by Shirley Dias
I love my children. They are all so different. When they were little, sometimes, all they wanted to do was to hang out with me, not for any particular purpose. They may have been doing their own activities but wanted me in the same room. Or, they wanted me to watch them do something. Sometimes, they asked me to help them to do something because they were not sure they could do it on their own.
I like to think that the Lord is the same way about us. He loves us. He knows we are all so different because He made us that way. Sometimes through prayer, we may want us to invite Him into our activities, not for any purpose, but just to acknowledge His presence. Or, through prayer, we may want to invite Him to watch us do something and be open to His leading. Or, through prayer, we may ask Him to be with us because we are going through something and we need Him.
To be in a relationship with anyone, there needs to be interaction between me and the other person. I do not spend as much time with the Lord in prayer as I need to. I only spend as much time with Him as I want to. “Lord, please give me a greater desire to spend more time with you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
It’s just difficult to Pray sometimes….
“It’s just difficult to pray sometimes.” That is not what I am hearing but this is what I am thinking. I set aside time in the morning to pray. To spend the time with God that is so important in my life, my job, and my success. I am a pastor for goodness sake. I am suppose to pray, I get paid to pray. So, why is it so hard to take time and be able to spend some quiet time with God? As I knelt down in my office this morning to spend some quiet time, my mind began to race. It began to tell me all the things I have to get done thru the week. It was telling me I needed to wait for prayer and go ahead and get started on my To Do List! I almost gave in and something came to my mind. I began to see my To Do List in my head and at the top of that list, I wrote PRAY! Even though everything on my list was related to ministry, things to do in order for the church to move forward, even things to do to help some partners in our church out, all good things to do. Still at the top of my list was Pray, If I don’t make time for prayer then my To Do List will no longer be my ministry. It will become a job, a checklist, just another list that has to be finished before the end of the work week. But, with prayer my To Do List becomes my passion, my drive. Prayer changes things, prayer pushes you, prayer changes who we are, Prayer makes the impossible, possible. I must pray. If I don’t pray I am just Rodney Porter, but when I pray and have a relationship with Christ, I am a child of the Man who owns everything. He doesn’t just own it, He created it. God makes me who I am and having conversation with him gives me purpose. I am nothing without Christ, so getting to know him gives me a greater glimpse of who I need to reflect.
OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE THE BEST!!
This Sunday is our Volunteer Appreciation. We just want to say Thank You to so many of our partners that serve at Momentum. Landon and Krisha Myers are just 2 of many, who give their time to serve in our Children’s Ministry. Landon and Krisha show a genuine love towards the children of Momentum and we can not say Thank You enough for the time they give every Sunday. Give us a Facebook “LIKE” to say a big Thank You to Landon and Krisha.
To do life is not just to spend time together….
It’s a phrase we hear in the church all the time, that we should “do life together”. But what does that really mean?
To do life is not just to spend time together, because we do that with people we barely even know at most of our jobs. Doing life together is to come to a place of “dependence” on one another. It’s a way to trust one another and rely on them to invest in us, and they must rely on us to invest in them.
I know people who used to say for them they thought about and cared for people as groups and not as individuals. It was more about “people” than about “persons”. This is flawed for more reasons than I can count, but one of those reasons is that it is impossible to do life with a group. You can only do life in a group, and this requires doing life with individual people, one at a time. Doing life with people is slow and inefficient, but it’s also beautiful and biblical.
For me to do life with someone, I have to give of my time and energy and resources to the betterment of their life. I have to hear them out, their joys and woes, and speak honestly into their life without condemning them, falsely labeling them, or giving up on them. I have to pray for them and correct them and be open to correction.
I have to hand them money when they are in a bind and not just say “I’ll pray for you” or “I hope that turns out ok” or “God will provide”.
According to Galatians 6:2 I have to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
According to Romans 12:13 I must “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
Doing life with someone is not just about showing up at a small group with some people and praying for 15 minutes and reading a prescribed Bible passage and maybe planning an event every so often. It is not just about attending the same worship service and loving the same God. It is those things, but it’s also about dependence upon one another. It requires that you open up and share things you may not want to share so that others can bear your burdens and provide for your needs, it requires a trust and an ability to cry with someone or simply listen. It requires that when others take the leap and open up that you receive them and have a passion for their lives so that the pool they jump into is not found empty and unwelcoming. Doing life together is hard, humbling, and painful sometimes, but man it sure feels good to have people to cry with, laugh with and be your imperfect self with.
Don’t Forget The Candy!!
Baptisms, Celebration and Joy!
We had the joy of getting to celebrate three baptisms this past Sunday. It was a sweet and beautiful time. Landon has been a KidMo leaders for years and it was very moving to hear him speak about each student before he baptized them. I was so blessed to see Lindsay and Krisha’s face as they watched the students being baptized. It was like watching the groom’s face as the bride comes down the aisle. They were all so excited and joyful watching the students they have loved and taught making their bold decleration that they are following Jesus! We are unbelievably blessed with some amazing KidMo leaders (all of our leaders, throughout all of Momentum are amazing!). I love Lindsay’s heart for serving our kids. Krisha and Landon are almost always serving right alongside Lindsay. Their commitment to serving and loving these kiddos is evident in the relationships they have built with them. If you see them or any of our children and youth leaders please make sure and thank them for what they do for our kids, our church and most importantly, for the Kingdom.
I love baptisms at Momentum. I love how we all celebrate, loudly and with so much emotion. I saw several people wiping away tears as they were cheering and clapping. It was a great day and I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me, all of us, participate in it!
All the heavens rejoiced with Momentum on this day….
Momentum Serves :: Manna Bags
Once a month Momentum volunteers and I are blessed to be able to join Hope @ The River Front Church and feed the homeless after the service. We can always count on serving 70 to 90 people each time we go. This has been such an overwhelming joy for us and seems even more so for the people we get to serve.
I try to notice them as they go through the line and among the dirty faces and hands, scruffy beards and smells I see smiles and gratitude in their eyes. I hate to take for granted the simple things like soap and water so it has been on my heart to provide Manna Bags this month when we go.
If you would like to join us and help provide a Manna Bag, here is a list of items and everything can be found at the dollar tree:
Socks / Razors
Toothbrush / Toothpaste
Bar Soap / Wet Wipes
Lighter / Band-Aids / Tylenol
Instant Coffee pack /Instant Oatmeal pack
Juice Box / Water
Raisins / peanuts / gum / pop tarts
Thank you in advance,
Joey Storment’s Testimony
Watch as Joey shares what God has done in his life over the years. Thanks to Joey Storment for sharing his awesome testimony.
Momentum Life 6-14-15
Coming up at Momentum! 6-14-15
Momentum Life 6-7-15
Check out this week’s newsletter for the details of our July 5th Pie Social! 6-7-15
Momentum Life 5-24-15
Do something “#unexpected” this weekend! 5-24-15
Momentum Life 5-17-15
Check out what’s happening this week at Momentum! 5-17-15
Denial – a Freedom Ministry blog by Shirley
Freedom is not what I am free to do, it’s what I’m free not to do.
(I don’t know where I heard this, but whoever said it is very wise indeed. I would like to give them credit for it, so if you know who it was, please email me.)
If you even think you might have a problem with a hurt, hang up, or habit, it probably is a problem. You’ve already thought about it. Justified in your head why it is not a problem. (“It’s not that bad.” “I am not as bad as so-and-so.” “I can get control of it if I try harder.” “I did not really put my mind to it.” “If we don’t talk about it, it will go away.” “It really doesn’t hurt when he/she does that. I am fine.” “He/She just needs it to relax. It really is not a problem.”) Hey! I am not trying to make you feel bad. I am just talking from my own experience.
The first lesson in Freedom Ministry is Denial. It goes like this…
Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.” Matthew 5:3
We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18
Hi! My name is Shirley and I am a believer in Christ who struggles with the words that come out of my mouth. When my kids were younger, my frustration would lead me to yell. It was ugly. I knew it was wrong, but I could not stop when my frustration and stress level was out of control.
I read all kinds of self-help books as to how to raise kids as a single parent. They were really good books. They made sense. One thing the books all advised was not to yell. Kids stop listening when you yell. They see their parent out of control and it leads to kids being out of control. All of it makes perfect sense. The problem was I could not stop yelling. This was not an everyday activity at my house. I did not announce, “Let the yelling begin.” It was once in a while when a child did something so totally wrong that I could not believe they did it. I raised them better than that. They should have known better. Do you hear me justifying my yelling a little. That’s denial. (Teenagers are wonderful. They teach you so much about your limits.)
So, I had gone through the Freedom Ministry (using the Celebrate Recovery curriculum) for other reasons, and now I wanted to go through it again because of my yelling. It was a slow process. First I had to acknowledge that I had a problem that was unmanageable. My pride was in my way. After all, I was a Freedom Ministry facilitator. No one else really heard me yell. Just my kids. You see how pride gets in the way. But, I knew that the Lord saw everything. There was no hiding from Him. And, I knew that this behavior was damaging my relationship with my children. The first step is to get out of denial and acknowledge that you have no control over your behavior.
So, I did not will myself to stop yelling. I took the Christ-centered steps. Before I started this journey through Freedom Ministry, I would yell and not give it a second thought. I said what I had to say to that particular child and I was good. (Pride!) In Freedom Ministry you have folks praying for you and you pray for them. That was comforting. I had told them my problem and they listened and loved me anyway. Then after a while if I yelled, I truly felt bad about it. I would go back when I felt in control and apologize to my child. Apologizing to my child was not an easy thing to do, but I know it is what God required.
Then one day one of my children did something bad and I did not yell. I said, “I am disappointed in that choice you made. Why would you do that?” That was a God moment for me. That child got mad at me for not yelling because now that child had to be accountable for that action. Before that child could have yelled, stormed up to the bedroom, and slammed the door to their room. (Do you see I am being very nonspecific about gender, so you don’t know which child it is.) God had stopped me from yelling!
God is faithful. If you truly want freedom from a hurt, hang up, or habit, He will do it.
For my Lent devotional that Rebecca, our Believe Pastor, recommends, I have been reading the New Testament in the Message version. Matthew 16:24-26 says, “Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. ‘Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?’”
I tried the self-help books and got nowhere. Everytime I try the Lord’s way of doing things, it may not be easy, but it is always good. And, He is faithful.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.”
Why? Family Ministry
Why Family Ministry?
By Mandy Steele
I can honestly say 2013-2014 has been the most difficult for me as a parent. When I was a young parent of small children, I longed for the say when I could sit in quiet with a book, shop for groceries without corralling kids, and eat a candy bar without having to hide in a closet. Now, I spend that free time running them to extracurricular activities, helping solve social dilemmas, and worrying about their futures. Having two teens and a “tween” is not the glorious freedom I envisioned. I would give anything to time travel, back to when I was rocking babies and changing dirty diapers.
This past Sunday morning, before church, one of my teenagers managed to launch us into a crisis of existential proportions. At first I was mad. REALLY?? Setting up for children’s ministry at Momentum is no small task, and I was NOT prepared for drama. We managed to pull things together, and agree to further the conversation until we got home. I could tell he was still struggling through the morning. He finally approached me and said, “I’m going to go find Rodney.” (Our youth director) Before we left the building, he was given some direction, and assured his small group leader would be in contact with him. The tension was lifted, and we were able to have great conversation at home.
This leads me to answer the question, Why Family Ministry? It’s simple. Because COMMUNITY. Parenting can be difficult and exhausting. I love that I am a part of a church that has a family ministry that not only teaches my children to fervently pursue Christ, but also partners with parents to support them in reaching that same goal. Starting when a baby is born into our Momentum family, leaders already love on new parents by scheduling meals and making sure needs are met. As an infant, your child is being prayed over and loved on in MiniMO. Through infant dedication, Momentum is committing to partner with families to raise a great follower of Jesus. This is carried on through our children’s and youth ministries, by providing parents tools and resources to use at home, and connecting through small group leaders. 88% of students are walking away from the church at graduation; the same studies show that, when students are grounded in both FAITH and FAMILY, the percentage of those falling away from the church drops to less than 4% (Family to Family, NAMB) “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
I am passionate about our family ministry because our family is directly impacted by it, and I can see the influence it has had in our home. They have met us where we are at, without judgment, and spoke into my children with truth and love. I want to pour into our family ministry what it has poured out onto our family. How wonderful it is to know your children are being prayed for, and that you are not doing this scary and sometimes intimidating thing called “parenting” alone!