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making the connection | June 18, 2017

June 15, 2017

As we continue our series titled The Soul, we want to help you become more aware of things that are harmful to the health of your soul. We also want to give you some different activities you can try out to help strengthen your soul. Our hope is that you discover practices that you find life-giving to your soul, you make them a regular part of your life. The soul needs to be fed and attended to, much like our bodies require food, exercise, and rest.

Life-giving Soul Practices:

Pray Your Calendar – Review your schedule for the day—or tomorrow’s schedule, if you’re reading this in the evening—and take just a moment to pray for each activity and person you expect to meet throughout the day. Jot down in your journal anything you prayed about so you can revisit that list and see how God answered your prayers. Why? If you’ve chosen to follow Jesus, you are righteous in God’s eyes (Romans 3:21-28), and the Bible assures us that the prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective (James 5:16). Take comfort knowing that God hears and honors your prayers.

Be a Blessing – Make a quick list in your journal of people you could bless somehow, along with ideas for blessing them. Ask God for guidance, choose somebody on the list and go bless them (anonymously). Why? Jesus told us that when we serve others, it was the same thing as serving Him (Matthew 25:40). It’s also interesting to see what we learn about ourselves when we put effort into investing in other people.

Enjoy a Story – Read the entire Book of Ruth (don’t worry, it’s short). Jot down in your journal anything that stands out to you as you read. Why? Ruth is a historical book. Nearly half of the Bible is comprised of historical narratives like this. These stories recount God’s interaction with and faithfulness to His people. The more you read, the more you see that all of these biblical narratives point to a perfect, loving God as the main character. (Other great Bible stories include: 1 Samuel 16 — 17, Judges 7 and Acts 12:1-19).

Find Rest – Make some time this week to do something that refreshes your soul. If you are normally a couch potato, maybe choose to get outside to walk, run, or bike. Get active and enjoy God’s wonderful creation. If you are normally active, find a book or an old photo album to help you sit still and take a break. Learn to give yourself a moment of peace to reflect. Why? God created human beings in His image (Genesis 1:27). Part of God’s design is a day of rest or Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11, Mark 2:27-28). This is meant as a gift to us and an expression of trust in Him. You may not be able to take a whole day, but make it a priority to step back from life and experience rest and renewal.

Night of Worship: Care for Your Soul

June 14, 2017

Recharge your batteries and join us for our Night of Worship on Wednesday, June 21, 7pm at the WCC Main Campus. The evening will provide you 75 minutes of live praise music to help you care for your soul, to lift your voice in worship and gratitude, or to cry out your burdens and hurts. Either way, don’t neglect your soul this summer – nourish it!

*Please note: childcare will not be available, but kids are welcome.

making the connection | June 11, 2017

June 8, 2017

As we continue our series titled The Soul, we want to help you become more aware of things that are harmful to the health of your soul. We also want to give you some different activities you can try out to help strengthen your soul. Our hope is that as you discover a practice that you find life-giving to your soul that you make it a regular routine, much like eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. Our souls need fed and attended to, just like our physical bodies.

Jesus’ parable of the farmer sowing seed found in Mark 4:1-8 is a great analogy for the state of our souls. Read this over a couple times this week. Then reflect on the state of your soul in light of this passage. Ask the Lord to help you identify what is impacting your soul in a negative way.

Life-giving Soul Practices:

Media Fast – Choose a period of time to get away from the distraction of your phone, TV, radio, or any other form of technology. It might be only an hour, half a day, or a whole day. Put your phone on silent/vibrate and put it somewhere you can’t see it. If you decide to go with a longer period of time, you can send a text to family that you will be away from your phone for a period of time. As you spend this time unplugged from your normal sources of information or contact with people, reflect on what you think about. Fill some of this time by talking with God about what’s on your mind. This is a great way to give your soul some of the attention it needs and your mind a break from the constant stream of information. It may take some time, but trust that people will be okay without an immediate response and can wait to hear back from you.

Gratitude Walk/Sit – Find a good place to walk or sit where you can be mostly alone. As you walk, think about your life and the things for which you are thankful to God. It can be so easy for us to narrow our focus to what we don’t like or things we wish were different. If we let these things dominate our thought life our souls get the life sucked out of them. However, when we can be grateful for what God has done and the good people and things in our life, it actually breathes life into our souls. Sometimes it helps you stay more focused if you write down the things you are thankful for that come to mind.

Simplify Your Life – Write down the current activities and responsibilities that consume most of your time in a given week. For some of the most optional activities ask yourself, “What would happen if I didn’t do that next week or stopped doing it altogether?”  As the Lord helps you identify some of the things in your schedule that you might be able to do less of or cut out altogether, ask for His help to have the courage to lessen your activity or stop doing it. I know sometimes you have to finish out a commitment you have made so it may take some time. But the overall goal of this activity is to simplify your schedule so you can be more present with God and the key people He has placed in your life. As you put this into practice, pay close attention to your stress level and ability to be more engaged with people. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how powerful this practice can be.

This Summer in Sonlight!

June 7, 2017

Sonlight Newsletter

Happy Summer! The kids are home from school and families are settling into the new normal that summer brings. It is great to have a break from the crazy schedule with the school year. In Sonlight, we are kicking off our summer programming for the Early Childhood-4th graders with “On the Farm.” The kids will be learning about the “Fruit of the Spirit” and how to live for Christ.

We also have a change this summer with our Graduation Sunday. With Camp With An Impact for the Club 56 students beginning later this summer, we are postponing graduation. Preschool-C56 children will move up to their fall grade level on Sunday, August 13.

My prayer this summer for our Sonlight families is to take the time to relax, rest, and enjoy the time you get to spend with your children. This time goes by so quickly. If you do not have time to plan a family vacation this summer, take the time to enjoy the beautiful areas around us. There are a lot of fun activities going on in the summer that you can enjoy together.

Sonlight will be kicking off our fall programming on September 10. More details will be coming in our fall newsletter.

 

Blessings,

MarianneSig
Marianne Watson
Children’s Ministry Director
Warsaw Community Church

Download our Summer issue of our newsletter for parents! 

THE SOUL

May 31, 2017

The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s actually the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between being deeply satisfied and content or restless and dispassionate. The soul is the life center and operating system of our wellbeing. It encompasses, integrates, and enlivens all that we are – will, mind, and body.

 And although we may desire to be fully satisfied in God, many of us know deep within ourselves that there is a longing and a discontentment that continues to surface. Anxiety. Depression. Fear. Loneliness. Doubt. These are all symptoms of a soul that has lost touch with its source of life. However, God wants to give us peace, stability, joy, and hope beyond what we can imagine.

 Join us for The Soul, a four-part series that will help us identify what’s really chipping away at our soul, and hindering us from becoming the person God created us to be. Don’t be too afraid, too busy, or even too selfless to start paying attention to your soul. You’ll be glad you did.

For additional resources on this topic, check out; Soul Keeping by John Ortberg, Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard, Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel, and How’s Your Soul by Judah Smith. Additionally, you can find several devotional and Bible Reading Plans related to the topic of the soul via The You Version Bible App and Website.

making the connection | June 4, 2017

May 31, 2017

This week we are kicking off a new series titled The Soul. For the next four weeks we are going to be learning about our souls, how the soul is regularly neglected, the importance of soul health, and what we can do to improve it. During this series we want to provide you with some practical steps you can take to improve your soul health. Making the Connection will look a bit different this month. Each week we will suggest a few activities you can try out to help restore your soul and connect with God. We hope you will make time each week to care for your soul.

To kick things off, this week we’re starting with a soul assessment. It’s important to know the problem before you work on the solution. Below are several questions to aid you in reflecting on your soul. Don’t just rush through them. Spend time thinking about your life and soul as you answer. Pray about your answers. Be honest with yourself. It may be helpful to write down your thoughts as you go. This is not an exhaustive list. If other issues or areas come to mind as you go, take time to think and pray about those as well.

What’s your time management situation?
Is your schedule consistently overbooked?
When was the last time you had a completely free evening or Saturday?

Do you regularly spend time:
Praying?
Reading and studying the Bible?
Being encouraged by other Christ followers?

When was the last time you felt:
Stress, anxiety, or fear?
Loneliness or doubt?
Joy, peace, or hope?

Do you struggle with overthinking or negative thinking?
Do negative thoughts take up too much space in your brain?
Do you have trouble falling asleep because your mind won’t turn off?

Last week Denny used the illustration of the frog in warming vs. boiling water to help us think about what we’ve become desensitized to.
What bad things used to bother you that don’t anymore?
Are you filling your life with things that draw you closer to Christ or lure you away from Him?

Hopefully the questions above will help you assess your soul. If you’re ready to start improving your soul’s health, a great next step is to spend time in God’s Word. Read Psalm 23. As you read, think about the imagery in the psalm. Think about your relationship with God and how He has or could work this way in your life. Attempt to read this psalm multiple times this week. Consider writing or printing it out and putting it somewhere you’ll see it through out the day. This psalm says that God refreshes our soul. Hopefully we will see the truth of that verse play out in our lives in the weeks to come. – Sarah Neel

F#@% in the Kettle

May 24, 2017

Life has radically changed in the last half century, but not all at once. From generation to generation, the changes have come subtly and almost unnoticed. Like a frog in slowly boiling water, we have found ourselves in an environment that could become life-threatening if we don’t become aware of the changes and how to respond.

Many of societies values do not line up with God’s. So, how do we guard our souls against the erosion of culture, yet remain a light in the darkness? How do we amplify God’s life-giving message in a culture that so desperately needs it, without completely losing our relevance?

Join us THIS Sunday as Denny teaches the sermon, the F#@% in the Kettle.

This will be our final Saturday service for the summer at 5:30pm (with children’s programming for infant through preschool). We will continue to meet on Sundays at 9 and 10:45am (with children’s programming for infant through 6th grade).