iMPACTS Video October 10

“Bearing Fruit: Extravagant Generosity” 

This week’s iMPACTS video, “Bearing Fruit: Extravagant Generosity” focuses on our call to be generous and giving. We are called not only to be generous, but to practice extravagant generosity with our financial resources, things and possessions, time, gifts, and abilities.

I hope you will hit “like” and that you will also “share” this video with others.

“Bearing Fruit: Extravagant Generosity” focuses on stewardship…not simply as our financial donation to the church, but as a way of living. We explore what it means not be not only generous, but to extravagantly generous.

iMPACTS Video October 3

 

In this week’s iMPACTS video we explore the idea of missions…and how we serve in the world around us. We are challenged to break free from some of the mindsets that limit our ability to reach out and make a difference in the lives of those in need around us. May we truly be instruments in the hands of God!

I hope you will not only watch this video but will also share it with others!

“Bearing Fruit: Risk-Taking Missions” encourages us to live outside ourselves and care for others. Let us dare to move beyond some of the excuses and boundaries that often limit our assistance. May we be instruments in the hands of God to make a difference in the lives of people in need.

iMPACTS Video September 25

We continue our series on “Bearing Fruit” by examining the idea of intentionally nurturing and growing our faith. Our faith does not automatically grow…even when we are regularly sitting in worship. No, we must be intentional about studying and reflecting on the scriptures so that we may grow in both knowledge and in the application of God’s word to our lives.

I encourage to share this video with your family and friends!

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In Christ,
Pastor Joe

“Bearing Fruit: Intentional Faith Development” continues our exploration of what it means to living the Christian Faith. Developing our faith, growing in our faith, does not simply happen, but we should be intentional about studying the Bible and discerning what it means to walk in the ways of God.

iMPACTS Video September 19

“Bearing Fruit: Passionate Worship” explores the idea of how we can worship with a passion. Worship is central to who we are…but there are times we fall into a routine of worship. I believe God calls us to something more…to something that has meaning and purpose. So let us do more than worship…let us worship with a passion!

“Bearing Fruit: Radical Hospitality”

“Bearing Fruit: Radical Hospitality” explores what it means to show hospitality. But Jesus calls us not only to show hospitality, but to show radical hospitality! How do we extend welcome and acceptance to others in the same manner that Jesus does to us?
What does it mean to be a Christian? How do we live our faith in our daily lives? This new series, “Bearing Fruit” explores some key areas that we, as God’s people, are called to go beyond the norm and be radical in the way we live. Today we explore hospitality…but more to the point, we explore the idea of RADICAL hospitality.

 

I hope you will not only watch this video, but “share” it with your friends as well!

“To God Be the Glory”

This week’s iMPACTS video encourages us to see that God is the creator and source of all that is…and that includes our abilities and possessions. God is the give of all things and we are simply stewards of his gifts. The question we must wrestle with is do we live as stewards of God’s good gifts or do we take ownership and control over those things he has entrusted to us? To live faithfully to His call in our lives may we seek to always give Him honor and glory for all things.

Please be sure to “share” this video so others may see this also!

“To God be the Glory” is a wonderful attitude to carry throughout life. To understand that all we have and all we are flows out of God’s goodness and love for us moves us to a life of gratitude. May we live our lives in response to God’s presence and activity among us…and in all things may we truly give Him all the glory!

iMPACTS Video August 29, by Pastor Joe

We conclude our series exploring some of the great children’s Bible songs by looking at a simple, yet beautiful, little song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” I think that in light of the climate of today’s culture the underlying message of this song desperately needs to be heard…in our own lives as well as throughout society.

I hope that after watching this video you will hit “like” and that you will also share it with your family and friends!

iMPACTS Video August 22 by Pastor Joe

Published on Aug 22, 2017

“Teaching Our Faith: Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man” takes a look at this favorite children’s Bible song. But when we remember who Zacchaeus was and what happens in this Biblical story, we begin to understand that this is more than a song for children, it is a song for all of us!

WHAT’S NEW?

A very long time ago, people looked around at the world and concluded that life runs in cycles. They saw, rightfully, that seasons come and go—from rain to dry, from hot to cold, from animal births in spring to harvests in fall; from long days in summer to short ones in winter. People in ancient days assumed that life was the same, over and over again, and that nothing new ever truly occurred.

The witness of the Bible suggests a different view. It’s not just that the Creator God seeks to restore life for and through a faithful, trusting people. It’s also that this promised “salvation”—healing—stimulates something new. Both Isaiah and Revelation reflect some hints of this awareness—that God is active in this world; that God works with what is here yet calls for “a new thing;” that being followers of Jesus involves us with divine opportunities that we could not have imagined otherwise.

So, each January signals something familiar and stable while also, at the same time, something possible and inviting. Life does need some degree of routine, but it goes subtlely stale if we don’t give attention to God’s Spirit. Our Christian hope is driven by the conviction that the Holy Spirit offers change that moves us more fully into God’s purposes.

How might 2017 be a year in which God’s hopes for this world find fresh expression in First Presbyterian Church? A new class of elders joins the Session this month. A new pastor is somewhere on the horizon. Hurricane Matthew left many residents in Columbus and nearby counties struggling to meet basic needs. Whiteville seeks a renewed economic base. Terrorist acts at home and abroad aim to create a climate of fear.

What’s new? Let’s find out together—as we join hearts and hands in 2017, to follow God into this next future. Let’s do it because we dare to follow Jesus.

New Year’s blessings,
George Thompson
Interim Co-Pastor

“HOW LONG, O LORD?”

Those of you who have raised children—and/or now have grandchildren—are familiar with the refrain, “Are we there yet?”  Even a short road trip can become an annoying trial, if the kids in the car keep asking that dreaded question.  It can get to the point where, even if we think we know the answer, we don’t want to say so:  who knows what might happen in the intervening period of time?

Christians have a version of this phenomenon in our traditions—with a twist.  It is known as “Advent,” but instead of constantly asking, “Are we there yet?” Christians are invited to lean into the waiting.  For four Sundays before Christmas Day, Christians reflect on what it means to our lives that we wait for the birth of Jesus.

In the Bible, the question that often gets asked is, “How long, O Lord?”  We are in good company with our spiritual ancestors when we wonder about the time it might take before something for which we wait will arrive.  Five hundred years went by between the Jews’ return from exile and the birth of Jesus—five hundred years!  Several times, the Psalmist laments with this pleading question, “How long, O Lord?”

The fall campaign, “OUR NEXT CHAPTER!” sought to emphasize how waiting can be helpful.  We know that Jesus has been born.  We know that, when the moment is ready, the Pastor Nominating Committee will present to the congregation a candidate for pastor.  We know that the congregation’s vision is faithful to God’s call and a compelling guide to life and ministry.

In light of all these things, I invite you in this Advent season to live each day to its full.  See if you can slow down enough to ponder, not “when,” but “what.”  What would God have you to do today?  How can your actions and prayers today help you to live in hope and love?  What can you do to support the Session and Pastor Nominating Committee?

I will admit that I have never liked waiting times, and perhaps you don’t, either.  But waiting is part of our faith—and Advent is here to help us live into it.

Blessings to you in this season!
George Thompson
Interim Co-Pastor