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Fear and Faith

WLCC weekly bulletin to help you start your week with a smile.

Whatever we face, we face it together.

COVID-19 and Your Marriage

How are you doing? How are you and your spouse doing as a couple? Seeing yourself and your spouse as a team may never have been more important than it is now. Stress levels are high. Fear can affect us in many ways. When we let stress overwhelm us and let our fears lead us to dark places, we can be isolated. We can be short, we can get angry, and we can withdraw. 

If you are experiencing any of these, big red flags should be going up. The good news is that you do not have to stay there. In our marriage vows we said things like “for better or for worse,” “for richer or poorer,” “in sickness and in health.” The intent was that whatever we face, we face it together. Ecclesiastes says that, “two are better than one.” Today is the day to come together with God and commit to being a team that is inseparable. That is your One Thing for today.

Today’s One Thing:

As a couple, come together with God and commit to being a team that is inseparable!

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!

If you like these series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)


WLCC enjoyed a friendly beard competition. The winners receive a “trophy” and a gift card for a hair cut at Darrell’s Barbershop, Purcellville.
Judging occurred via pictures, rather than in person, authenticity could not be verified. 😊

The Faith to Endure

Suffering produces endurance………Romans 5:3

Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) led an unsuccessful expedition to cross Antarctica in 1914. When his ship, aptly named Endurance, became trapped in heavy ice in the Weddell Sea, it became an endurance race just to survive. With no means of communicating with the rest of the world, Shackleton and his crew used lifeboats to make the journey to the nearest shore—Elephant Island. While most of the crew stayed behind on the island, Shackleton and five crewmen spent two weeks traveling 800 miles across the ocean to South Georgia to get help for those left behind. The “failed” expedition became a victorious entry in the history books when all of Shackleton’s men survived, thanks to their courage and endurance.

The apostle Paul knew what it meant to endure. During a stormy sea voyage to Rome to face trial for his belief in Jesus, Paul learned from an angel of God that the ship would sink. But the apostle kept the men aboard encouraged, thanks to God’s promise that all would survive, despite the loss of the ship (Acts 27:23-24).

When disaster strikes, we tend to want God to immediately make everything better. But God gives us the faith to endure and grow. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “Suffering produces endurance” (Romans 5:3 esv). Knowing that, we can encourage each other to keep trusting God in hard times.

By Linda Washington

REFLECT & PRAY:

Heavenly Father, I need Your help to keep going, even when it’s tough.

Credit: Our Daily Bread


Weekly Bulletin

A message of Hope for the days and weeks ahead.

March 29, 2020

Featuring Dr. Kim Kimberling

COVID-19 and Your Marriage

I wake up each morning just the way I have for most of my life. I wake up easy and am usually ready to get the day going. The only difference now is that there is this air of uncertainty. The reality of what we are living sinks in some time in the first minute or so that I am awake. What will this day bring? Will the news continue to be difficult to listen to? When will there be good news?

I realize that I have a choice: I can get down and depressed or I can fight back. Nancy and I have chosen to fight back. This is what we are doing. First, we are doing everything asked of us by our local, state, and national governments. We sanitize and wash. We try to protect others as well as ourselves. We are looking at fun, safe things to do together like cooking and playing games. We limit our talk on the virus to new information as much as possible. We count our blessings, and there are so many. In other words, our goal is to live full lives under the necessary constraints we are all dealing with. Are you fighting back as a couple? Your One Thing today is to fight back together in whatever ways work for the two of you!

Today’s One Thing:
Fight back together in whatever ways work for the two of you!

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!

If you like these series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething (It’s free!)


Would a loving God allow this?      The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.   Psalm 34:18   

Something’s Wrong

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18
The morning after our son, Allen, was born, the doctor sat down in a chair near the foot of my bed and said, “Something’s wrong.” Our son, so perfect on the outside, had a life-threatening birth defect and needed to be flown to a hospital 700 miles away for immediate surgery.
When the doctor tells you something is wrong with your child, your life changes. Fear of what lies ahead can crush your spirit and you stumble along, desperate for a God who will strengthen you so you can support your child.
Would a loving God allow this? you wonder. Does He care about my child? Is He there? These and other thoughts shook my faith that morning.
Then my husband, Hiram, arrived and heard the news. After the doctor left, Hiram said, “Jolene, let’s pray.” I nodded and he took my hand. “Thank You, Father, for giving Allen to us. He’s Yours, God, not ours. You loved him before we knew him, and he belongs to You. Be with him when we can’t. Amen.”
Hiram has always been a man of few words. He struggles to speak his thoughts and often doesn’t try, knowing that I have enough words to fill any silence. But on a day when my heart was broken, my spirit crushed, and my faith gone, God gave Hiram strength to speak the words I couldn’t say. And clinging to my husband’s hand, in deep silence and through many tears, I sensed that God was very near. —Jolene Philo
REFLECT & PRAY:
The best kind of friend is a praying friend.

Credit: Our Daily Bread


I’m not sure that we treat the great command like it’s the greatest commandment. I have the conviction that if love isn’t easy, we don’t give it. Often, we only offer our love when it doesn’t require much effort. We love our families, our hobbies, and we love donuts. We love the things that are easy, but this world needs people who love in face of disagreement, rejection, and even hatred. I wonder what would happen if we had an out-of-control type of love—one without conditions, fears, barriers, qualifiers, or protectors. What if we loved when it wasn’t easy or convenient? What if we loved God and others recklessly?

We’ve all had moments where we could have extended and given our love away, but instead we chose to do nothing. Doing nothing is the silent killer of the gospel. It’s sort of like boiling our faith down to reducing sin—we can easily think that not doing certain things make us good and holy…but it’s the opposite! It’s doing something that makes us faithful followers of Jesus!

Love sits at the center of a life engaged in doing things that matter!

In the parable known as The Good Samaritan Jesus paints a picture of what it means to love recklessly. The Samaritan didn’t only see the need, but he chose to do something! The story compares the Samaritan’s actions to a Priest and a Levite, who chose to do nothing. It’s interesting that these two people were “religious” people who claimed to love God, yet they avoided the messy, hard situation. How many of us do this in life? We love when it’s easy, we are good people but seem to go neutral when reckless love is required.

The danger for most of us is not that we’ll become bad people who don’t care about things that matter. No, the danger is that we’ll become good people who don’t do anything that matters! Within you lies a person who desires to love. God’s Spirit is pulling you and inviting you to become more of that person. The Spirit never guilt’s you, shames you, or bullies you to become loving.

He compels you!

Thought for the week.

Come Celebrate Easter with WLCC

Easter is the single most important holiday for Christians. It’s the saddest, happiest day of our year. Jesus’ death on the cross and His triumphant, earth shattering resurrection is the reason for the hope within us. We’d like to share that hope with you this Sunday.

Colorful eggs in a brown basket on green grass

Our service starts at 10:00 AM at The Old Stone School in Hillsboro with worship led by our praise team. Then, Pastor Ray will share a message of hope for you this Easter. After the service there will be refreshments, family portraits and a HUGE egg hunt.

WLCC volunteers have stuffed over 2,000 eggs with candy and other fun stuff. It’s our biggest hunt to date! Family portraits are provided free of charge. Just bring your family and we’ll take care of the rest.


Next Step

START

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.” Bilbo Baggins

Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In the “Where” you need to ask yourself, “Where do I want to start?” Most tasks, whether big or small, are made up of many little steps – from washing the dishes through to building the Great Pyramids. There is always an initial and most logical first step that leads to the second, then to the third and so on until completion.

So it’s time to ask – what is your first, next step?

The world seems to be made up of two kinds of people: those who make things happen and those who watch things happen. I want to encourage you to be one of those who make things happen. Like Joshua, we need to be bold and courageous and step out in faith, trust God and work with Him to make the world a better place.

The world doesn’t need many more thinkers or dreamers, it needs more people of action. People who are willing to stop and do things no one else is doing. Will you be one of these people? There are so many opportunities and exciting possibilities in the world but so many of these are going unrealized. There are also many needs in the world, so many things could be different.

So what are the first things that you need to do to make a start? What are your small daily goals? Who could you call upon to keep you accountable to accomplishing these goals? Take the first step. Schedule it. Don’t get overwhelmed by the thousand mile journey, just take the next step!

It’s time to get started…

Questions for reflection: What might hinder you the most from getting started? How can you overcome that barrier?

Action to take: What one thing can you do today that will start you on your journey of Passion, Vision and Action?

“We’re the people that live.”

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Kick Silence and Speak Up


There is a quote which has been a catch-phrase of Christianity for decades“ Go into the world and preach the gospel, and if necessary use words”.

Many Christians have adopted this mantra. Ceasing to witness with words, they live in silence, hoping that their actions will point people to Jesus. Sadly, it hasn’t been effective.

Sharing about Jesus is not incidental. It is central to our faith and that calls for more than a silent witness.

Speaking the Gospel, the good news of Jesus, was never meant to be optional when following Him. In fact, it isn’t even really a task. It should be a natural action out of the overflow of our love for Jesus and His love for others. Yes, people will see our good deeds and glorify God, but the Bible is clear that the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection is too good and too important to leave to guesswork. We must share, we must speak up. The love of Christ compels us!

It is time kick silence and speak up. Why not talk to someone about your faith today? That could be with a colleague, on Instagram, or to the attendant at the store. Regardless of who you speak to, it is important that you do. All you need to share your faith effectively is a relationship with God and a relationship with others. Sharing your faith is simply connecting the people you know with the God you know. The eternities of those around us can be changed forever simply because we choose to share Jesus.

People are open to talking about Jesus, they are just waiting for you to start the conversation.

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


Let God Fight For You

According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word for “fight” is “lacham” (H3898) which means, “To do battle or to make war.” Together as a couple, make the decision not to fight or to make war against one another. The war is not within the walls of your marriage. The battle is against the enemy and against every trap and tactic that he sets up against you. Use your time and energy to fight the enemy instead of fighting each other. Hold your peace and fight together.
Choose to make peace and allow God to guide and lead your house. Choose to let God lead your words and actions. Let God guide the heart and course of your marriage. Let God guide your thoughts and hold your peace. Before you speak — choose to hold your peace. Before you act out of character — hold your peace. Before you sow your words recklessly — choose to let God lead your words and impart peace. Sow into the heart of your spouse. Sow peace and not discord. Let God rest within the heart of your marriage.

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)

Revival is Now!
Revival stirs Godly desires within you!
Revival gives you unusual boldness!
Revival gives you a powerful sound of freedom!
Ready or not, it is here!

Are you hungry for God to move in your life?
Are you ready for Godly desires to be stirred within you?
Are you ready for revival?

Contact Pastor Ray at senior.pastor@wlcc-church.org



The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Monday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Keep Moving Forward

You’re not stuck – You’re going through.

We will all go through situations in life—some bad, some good. Many times, we think the phrase “I’m going through something” is bad news, but if we view it properly, we realize “going through” is good; it means we’re not stuck! We may be facing difficulties, but at least we are moving forward.

Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you” (emphasis added). God’s Word here is clear: we will go through things. We will face adversity in our lives. That’s not bad news; that’s reality.

Let me repeat: we will go through things in life, but the things we go through are the very circumstances, challenges, and situations that make us people who know how to overcome adversity. We do not grow or become strong during life’s good times; we grow when we press through difficulties without giving up.

Growth is not an automatic result of difficulty. Hardships do not necessarily produce growth or strength in us; it’s not that simple. We must choose the right attitude toward our challenges and refuse to quit or give up. We may have to do what is right for a long time before we feel it is “paying off,” but if we stay faithful and refuse to give up, good results will come. Once we get through the adversity and challenges we face, we emerge as better people than we were when we went into them.

Trust in Him
Determine that you will go all the way through every difficulty you face in life. Make a decision now to keep going forward, trusting God no matter how difficult it is because you know He will be with you and you will grow in faith as a result.

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer. 

Run Toward Challenge

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way………Isaiah 35:3

When I was a kid, I thought the song title “He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need,” written by Dottie Rambo in 1967, was “He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Knees.” Employing the logic of a child, I wondered why God would look at knees. Was it because they were weak? I knew that weak-kneed meant “afraid.” I later discovered that Dottie had written the song about God’s unconditional love in response to her brother Eddie’s belief that he was unlovable because of the wrong things he’d done. Dottie assured him that God saw his weakness but loved him anyway.

God’s unconditional love is apparent throughout the many weak-kneed moments of the people of Israel and Judah. He sent prophets like Isaiah with messages for His wayward people. In Isaiah 35, the prophet shares the hope of God’s restoration. The encouragement that would come as a result of embracing hope would “strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way” (v. 3). Through the encouragement they received, God’s people would in turn be able to encourage others. This is why Isaiah instructs in verse 4, “Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear.’ ”

Feeling weak-kneed? Talk to your heavenly Father. He strengthens weak knees through the truth of the Scriptures and the power of His presence. You’ll then be able to encourage others………..By Linda Washington

REFLECT & PRAY:

Father, I need Your strength and Your grace today.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


Why are people lonely?

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” – Joseph F. Newton

In the early days of Awesome Marriage, we posted a lot of relationship quotes from a variety of people on our Facebook page. For the next couple of weeks, I am going to revisit some of those quotes with you and then add my thoughts on the quote. I hope these help you as you seek to have an Awesome Marriage.


Almost every couple that I see for counseling says that at one point in their marriage they were very connected. They say that their communication was good and they had fun together. Often they cannot pinpoint a particular time or event, but at some point in their marriage they began to feel distant from each other. Once we feel distant from our spouse, a lot of bad things begin to happen. We don’t seem to understand each other like we once did and trust begins to erode.

If we continue down that path, we begin to build walls between us. The longer we go without really working things out, the bigger our walls become. The answer? Build bridges instead of walls. Every couple has issues to deal with. Those issues can either put a wedge between us or drive us closer together. Is there a wall in your marriage today? Maybe it is small right now but you know it could grow into something massive if not addressed. Your One Thing today is to build a bridge to your spouse and tear down that wall!

Today’s One Thing:
Your One Thing today is to build a bridge to your spouse and tear down that wall!

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)

Revival is Now!
Revival stirs Godly desires within you!
Revival gives you unusual boldness!
Revival gives you a powerful sound of freedom!
Ready or not, it is here!

Are you hungry for God to move in your life?
Are you ready for Godly desires to be stirred within you?
Are you ready for revival?

Contact Pastor Ray at senior.pastor@wlcc-church.org



The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Monday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Influence

Same Storm Different Boat

The historic story of the passenger ship, Titanic, is tragic. The ship touted to be unsinkable sunk and even when the ship’s passengers were told to get into lifeboats, the first boats were lowered half full because the passengers were convinced the Titanic wouldn’t sink. They felt it was safer to stay where they were than risk floating in an insignificant boat in the expansive ocean. 

Passengers and crew were all in the same unfathomable situation of making a life or death decision, but few chose life that night. Those who abandoned the ship would eventually watch in horror as the Titanic capsized and they realized they were alive simply because they had chosen a different boat.

We are often in the same life storms but not all of us choose the same boat. 

As the pandemic surges, injustices continue and polarization grows socially and politically, we are exposed to unfathomable storms. Although Christian leaders tell us to get into God’s lifeboat, other voices affirm that science, politicians and technology will save us. Above the noise, God reminds us we are secure in Him and He encourages us to choose a different boat – His. He nudges us to get out of the world’s touted secure and unsinkable boats and step into what looks like a perilous and uncertain one. What’s the difference? He’s in the boat with us. 

God calls us to be first responders of His love and walk in His miraculous strength and power in the storm. He holds out His hand and entreats us to be courageous and step into the unknown as Peter did. (Matthew 14:22-33) 

Are you willing to trust Him in the cold turbulent waters of our culture? If we walk with Him, He promises to captain our boat. His reassuring Word will keep us from sinking into frustration, depression, fear, or panic if we keep our eyes on Him. Remember, Peter sunk when he took his eyes off Jesus. Challenges in life can become momentary “threats” but raging waters can be seen as opportunities to bring God’s Hope to others. He has equipped us with His life-saving devices so that we can be innovators and action takers who bring creative solutions to the dilemmas that arise. 

What is the boat God is asking you to step into today? Trust Him to be there. 

Credit: Devotional by Rick Warren.

Run Toward Challenge

He looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17

Tom chased the young men who were stealing his poor friend’s bike. He didn’t have a plan. He only knew he needed to get it back. To his surprise, the three thieves looked his way, dropped the bike and backed away. Tom was both relieved and impressed with himself as he picked up the bike and turned around. That’s when he saw Jeff, his muscular friend who had been trailing close behind.

Elisha’s servant panicked when he saw his town surrounded by an enemy army. He ran to Elisha, “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” Elisha told him to relax. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then God opened the servant’s eyes, and he “saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (vv. 15-17).

You may also find yourself in some dicey situations. You may have to risk your reputation, and perhaps even your security, because you’re determined to do what’s right. You may lose sleep wondering how it will all turn out. Remember, you’re not alone. You don’t have to be stronger or smarter than the challenge before you. Jesus is with you, and His power is greater than all rivals.

Ask yourself Paul’s question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Really, who? No one. Run toward your challenge, with God.

By Mike Wittmer

REFLECT & PRAY:

Help me, Jesus, to truly see that You’re bigger than any problem facing me today. Thank You for Your everlasting presence!

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


Who has had the greatest impact on your marriage?

Think about it for a moment. It could have been parents, grandparents, a mentor couple, someone in your church, a teacher, or a pastor. The people God uses to influence us can come from almost anywhere. 

We usually think about those who impact us as positive influences, but I know couples who have good marriages because they refused to follow bad influences. They did the opposite of what they saw. Some even broke cycles of bad marriages that dated back over many generations.
I am grateful for the positive influence my parents had on me and on my marriage. They were the inspiration for Awesome Marriage. Don’t get me wrong—their marriage was not perfect, but it came as close as any I have ever seen. The older I get, the more I realize what a blessing this was. They were my compass. I could spot bad marriages a hundred feet away, and I knew what I wanted and did not want for Nancy and me. It was not a duplicate of my parents’ marriage. Instead, I wanted to take the essence of their marriage, which was centered on Christ, and put it right in the middle of our marriage. I’m still working on it. So back to my question: Who has had the greatest impact on your marriage? Your One Thing today is to thank God for them!


Today’s One Thing:
Thank God for the people who have had the greatest impact on your marriage!

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)

Revival is Now!
Revival stirs Godly desires within you!
Revival gives you unusual boldness!
Revival gives you a powerful sound of freedom!
Ready or not, it is here!

Are you hungry for God to move in your life?
Are you ready for Godly desires to be stirred within you?
Are you ready for revival?

Contact Pastor Ray at senior.pastor@wlcc-church.org



The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Monday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Courage

Wearing Our Courage

If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven……..2 Kings 1:10

Andrew lives in a country that’s closed to the gospel. When I asked how he keeps his faith a secret, he said he doesn’t. He wears a button that advertises his church, and whenever he’s arrested he tells the police that “they need Jesus too.” Andrew has courage because he knows who’s on his side.

Elijah refused to be intimidated, even when the king of Israel sent fifty soldiers to arrest him (2 Kings 1:9). The prophet knew God was with him, and he called down fire that consumed the platoon. The king sent more soldiers, and Elijah did it again (v. 12). The king sent more, but the third platoon had heard about the others. The captain begged Elijah to spare his soldiers’ lives. They were more afraid of him than he’d ever been of them, so the angel of the Lord told Elijah it was safe to go with them (vv. 13-15).

Jesus doesn’t want us to call down fire on our enemies. When the disciples asked if they could call down fire on a Samaritan village, Jesus rebuked them (Luke 9:51-55). We’re living in a different time. But Jesus does want us to have Elijah’s boldness—to be ready to tell everyone about the Savior who died for them. It may seem like one person taking on fifty, but it’s actually One on fifty. Jesus provides what we need to courageously love and reach out to others.

By Mike Wittmer

REFLECT & PRAY:

Holy Spirit, thank You for living in me. Fill me with courage as I tell others about Jesus.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Caught in No Man’s Land

During WWI there was an area between enemy lines and the trenches called “no man’s land.” 

It was dangerous territory, but you had to cross it to effectively confront the enemy.

The trenches were considered places of momentary safety, but you could never be fully secure in a trench. They were dirty, muddy and many times full of dead rotting bodies. Stray bullets or grenades would sometimes make their way into the open holes to kill without warning. 

In today’s modern culture “no man’s land” is the area where social, religious and political issues are fought and where few want to be caught. Gender and racial issues, abortion and politics all fall into the category of “no man’s land.” The territory has to be breached to fight the battle, but most would rather stay in the muck and mire of our personal trenches than engage the enemy. We may take an occasional bullet there, but few of us are ever courageous enough to step into “no man’s land.” It is just too dangerous.

Are you stuck in a trench? 

Being part of a minority and coming against many majority worldviews is challenging today. It means putting yourself in a vulnerable and dangerous and often poorly protected position. Although God can be found in the relative safety of trenches, it is not where we as His followers are called to stay. 

God’s wants us to confront the enemy, Satan, and He is bidding us to climb up out of our trenches and enter “no man’s land” with Him. To venture into dangerous hard places others don’t want to go and confront evil. 

The richness of knowing Jesus is the confidence that we never ever stand-alone or are left unprotected. His Word equips us with perfect equipment and footing to fight the battles that rage in today’s turbulent world. It is when we stay in worldly muck that we get stuck. We’ve got to trust that God’s got our back and our security lies in His ultimate reward—eternity with Him. He tells us that we have nothing to fear but Him.

Will you trust God and climb out of the trench? You’re needed on the battlefield. 

Credit: Devotional by Rick Warren.

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


What makes a man great?

One Thing Goes to the Movies! This summer we are going to count down the list of “25 Inspirational Movie Quotes That Could Change Your Life” compiled by Adam Freilich.
“Great men are not born great, they grow great.”  Mario Puzo, The Godfather

In this 1972 film, the aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

What makes a man great? Culture seems to value wealth, power, success and fame. It has become part of the American Dream. The Bible would agree with the first part of this quote, “Great men are not born great,” because we are all born with a sin nature. The difference comes with the “grow great” part. The world’s view of what is great is in stark contrast to the Bible’s view of greatness. The greatest man that ever lived is Jesus, who was fully God and fully man; hard to comprehend but true. Jesus was great and lived the definition of greatness as He served others. The Creator of the universe got down on His hands and knees and washed the feet of others and then rose to be beaten and to die on a cross. 
 
What makes a man great? It is serving. As a man, how are you doing as a servant? Wives, how are you doing at speaking into your husband as he serves?  

Today’s One Thing:
As a husband, pray that God will show you the greatness in serving. As a wife, pray that God will give you the words to speak into your husband as he serves!
DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)

Revival is Now!
Revival stirs Godly desires within you!
Revival gives you unusual boldness!
Revival gives you a powerful sound of freedom!
Ready or not, it is here!

Are you hungry for God to move in your life?
Are you ready for Godly desires to be stirred within you?
Are you ready for revival?

Contact Pastor Ray at senior.pastor@wlcc-church.org



The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Monday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Patience

God: Never in a Hurry, Always On Time
Be patient with God and with yourself. One of life’s frustrations is that God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry when God isn’t. You may feel frustrated with the seemingly slow progress you’re making in life.

Remember that God is never in a hurry, but he is always on time. He will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity.

The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses a long process to develop character, especially in leaders. He took 80 years to prepare Moses, including 40 in the wilderness. For 14,600 days Moses kept waiting and wondering, “Is it time yet?” But God kept saying, “Not yet.”

Contrary to popular book titles, there are no “Easy Steps to Maturity” or “Secrets of Instant Sainthood.” When God wants to make a giant oak, he takes a hundred years, but when he wants to make a mushroom, he does it overnight.

Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process. James advised, “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed” (James 1:4b MSG).

Don’t get discouraged. When Habakkuk became depressed because he didn’t think God was acting quickly enough, God had this to say: “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 LB)

A delay is not a denial from God!

Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. Years ago people wore a popular button with the letters PBPGINFWMY. It stood for “Please Be Patient, God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.” God isn’t finished with you, either, so keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!

Credit: Devotional by Rick Warren.

WATCH OUT!

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour………1 Peter 5:8

I grew up in warm southern cities, so when I moved north, it took me a while to learn how to drive safely during the long, snowy months. During my first hard winter, I ended up stranded in a snowdrift three times! But after several years of practice, I began to feel comfortable driving in wintry conditions. In fact, I felt a little too comfortable. I stopped being as vigilant. And that’s when I hit a patch of black ice and skidded into a telephone pole on the side of the road! Thankfully, no one was hurt, but I learned something important that day. I realized how dangerous it can be to feel comfortable. Instead of being watchful, I had gone on “autopilot.”

We need to practice that same kind of vigilance in our spiritual lives. Peter warns believers not to glide thoughtlessly through life, but to “be alert” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil is actively trying to destroy us, and so we too need to be active, resisting temptation and standing firm in our faith (v. 9). That’s not something we have to do on our own though. God promises to be with us in our sufferings and, ultimately, to make us “strong, firm and steadfast” (v. 10). By His power, we learn to remain watchful and alert in resisting evil and following Him……By Amy Peterson

REFLECT & PRAY:

God, keep me from growing lazy or too comfortable in my spiritual life. Help me to remain watchful and alert so that I can resist temptation!

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


We let life take over

Almost every couple I see for counseling lists communication as an area of concern in their marriage. When we talk about this issue, there are usually a couple of consistent reasons for bad communication. One is not taking the time to talk. We let life take over and the priority of daily communication gets pushed aside. The other is just not listening well to each other. 

One of my favorite statistics is that we can listen five times faster than someone can speak. For us, that means if Nancy is talking to me, I have to really focus or my mind goes somewhere else. I may think about what I am going to do or what I will say when she finishes talking. Either way she will not feel like I heard her at all. What about your marriage and your communication? What hinders good communication? Your One Thing today is to spend 15 minutes sitting down face to face talking and listening to each other.

Today’s One Thing:
Spend fifteen minutes sitting down face to face talking and listening to each other.

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)

Revival is Now!
Revival stirs Godly desires within you!
Revival gives you unusual boldness!
Revival gives you a powerful sound of freedom!
Ready or not, it is here!

Are you hungry for God to move in your life?
Are you ready for Godly desires to be stirred within you?
Are you ready for revival?

Contact Pastor Ray at senior.pastor@wlcc-church.org



The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Friday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Revival

Revival is Now!
Revival has to be one of the most exciting words in the Christian vocab. It literally means to revive and to make alive again. Revival is the coming back to the things of God and an awakening to the knowledge of His presence amongst us. You don’t need to look far to see and hear multiplied thousands of Christians talking of a fresh sense of revival in the air today. There is a tangible expectation that God is moving in a collective way and it is exciting! This excitement is a great reminder to ensure you are prepared for what God is doing and that your heart is ready.

Revival stirs Godly desires within you 
Change. Some people love change, while others hate it. Revival brings radical change, but it’s a change you love! Revival is God doing among many Christians at the same time what He is doing all the time in individual Christian’s lives as they come to know Jesus. When God moves and brings revival to your life, Godly desires are stirred within you.

Revival gives you unusual boldness 
There is not much more powerful and more beautiful than a revived heart. A revived heart is not only stirred with Godly desires, but it is also filled with unusual boldness. Not just a physical boldness, but a spiritual boldness. A boldness to speak Spirit-empowered conviction, courage and urgency. Have you ever considered what your life would look like if fear didn’t exist? How would you dream, what would you do, where would you go? Revival gives you fresh boldness to look fear in the face and laugh. It energizes you and gives you faith to believe for bigger and better things. Suddenly scary giants become silly gnomes and challenging mountains become dirt piles.

Revival gives you a powerful sound of freedom

Our world doesn’t need a new definition for Christianity, it needs a new declaration of Christianity. A declaration from a revival generation who live with bold faith because they know who they are in Christ. A generation full of hope for the future who are on a mission to declare the good news of Jesus. You can be part of that generation; you can stand bold, courageous and victorious because God is with you and he has revived your heart!  Revival allows the love of Jesus to compel you, convince you; and change you.

Are you hungry for God to move in your life? Are you ready for Godly desires to be stirred within you? Are you ready for revival? Ready or not, it is here!

Contact Pastor Ray at senior.pastor@wlcc-church.org

When the flood comes

The one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation……Luke 6:49

I live in Colorado, a state in the western US known for the Rocky Mountains and our annual snowfall. Yet the worst natural disaster in my state had nothing to do with snow, but rain. The Big Thompson flood occurred on July 31, 1976, around the resort town of Estes Park. When the water finally receded, the death toll was 144 lives, not including livestock. In the wake of that disaster significant studies were done in the area, especially in regard to the foundation of roads and highways. The walls of the roads that withstood the storm were those filled with concrete. In other words, they had a sure and strong foundation.

In our lives the question is not if the floods will come, but when. Sometimes we have advance notice, but usually not. Jesus stresses a strong foundation for such times—one built by not just hearing His words but also by living out the gospel (Luke 6:47). That practice is almost like pouring concrete into our lives. When the floods come, and they will, we can withstand them because we’ve been “well built” (v. 48). The absence of practice leaves our lives vulnerable to collapse and destruction (v. 49). It’s the difference between being wise and foolish.

It’s good to pause occasionally and do a little foundation assessment. Jesus will help us to fortify the weak places that we might stand strong in His power when the floods come…….By John Blase

REFLECT & PRAY:

Jesus, I want to be not just a hearer but a doer as well. Give me the vision to see weak places in my foundation that need attention. And thank You for Your promised presence when the floods do come.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


Are you in the right position to solve the problem?

If you have a problem in your marriage, what do you do? In our early marriage years, we didn’t handle problems well. We would do one of two things and neither of them was helpful. Sometimes we would argue and argue and argue. It was a “who’s going to give in first” argument. We both wanted to win. 

Other times we would just ignore the problem hoping that it would magically fix itself. It never did. This is what we learned. Fighting to win never works and neither does ignoring it. 

What works is addressing the problem. It’s working as a team to come up with a solution. It’s the two of you against the problem. It’s a simple pivot. Instead of the problem standing between the two of you, pivot and stand side by side with the problem in front of you. Now you are poised to solve the problem together. The next time you have a problem in your marriage that needs solving, pivot and solve it together.

Today’s One Thing:
The next time you have a problem in your marriage that needs solving, pivot and solve it together!

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Friday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Wisdom

Manage your emotions

We all have emotions, but we must learn to manage them. Emotions can be positive or negative. They can make us feel wonderful or awful. They are a central part of being human, and that is fine. Unfortunately, most people do what they feel like doing, say what they feel like saying, buy what they feel like buying, and eat what they feel like eating. And that is not fine, because feelings are not wisdom.

Feelings are fickle; they change frequently and without notification. Since feelings are unreliable, we must not direct our lives according to how we feel. You can be aware of your feelings and acknowledge their legitimacy without necessarily acting on them. God has given us wisdom, and we should walk in it, not our emotions.

Healthy emotions are very important. They help us recognize how we truly feel and what we value. Good emotional health is vital for a good life. But a good life also means being able to manage our emotions and not be managed by them. Negative emotions, such as anger, unforgiveness, worry, anxiety, fear, resentment, and bitterness cause many physical illnesses by raising our stress levels.

It seems to me that most people in our society today are mad, and the ones who aren’t are sad. Thank God we no longer have to be like “most people.” God doesn’t want anyone to be a slave to their feelings. To manage your emotions and your life, you need to ask God for His wisdom instead of trusting your feelings.

The more stable our emotions are, the healthier we will be, and we all want to enjoy good health. I strongly encourage you to trust God to help you learn to manage your emotions so they don’t manage you.

Trust in Him
Trust God to lead you with wisdom, and don’t merely follow your emotions. God will always lead you to a good place.


From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer

Who Needs Me?

When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram……1 Kings 19:15

While on a red-eye flight to Washington, DC, opinion writer Arthur Brooks overheard an elderly woman whisper to her husband, “It’s not true that no one needs you anymore.” The man murmured something about wishing he were dead, and his wife replied, “Oh, stop saying that.” When the flight ended, Brooks turned around and immediately recognized the man. He was a world-famous hero. Other passengers shook his hand, and the pilot thanked him for the courage he displayed decades ago. How had this giant sunk into despair?

The prophet Elijah bravely and single-handedly defeated 450 prophets of Baal—or so he thought (1 Kings 18). Yet he hadn’t really done it alone; God was there all along! But later, feeling all alone, he asked God to take his life. God lifted Elijah’s spirits by bringing him into His presence and giving him new people to serve. He must go and “anoint Hazael king over Aram,” Jehu “king over Israel,” and Elisha “to succeed you as prophet” (19:15-16). Invigorated with renewed purpose, Elijah found and mentored his successor.

Your great victories may lie in the rearview mirror. You may feel your life has peaked, or that it never did. No matter. Look around. The battles may seem smaller, the stakes less profound, but there are still others who need you. Serve them well for Jesus’ sake, and it will count. They’re your purpose—the reason you’re still here……By Mike Wittmer

REFLECT & PRAY: Holy Spirit, open my eyes to those I can serve for Jesus’ sake.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


2020 – Anything to be thankful for?

With all we have experienced in 2020, we still have many things to be thankful for. 

As we pause today to give thanks and celebrate a safe Thanksgiving in whatever way that works for you, find a few minutes for just you and your spouse. In your own words, tell your spouse One Thing you are thankful for in your marriage. Then aloud or silently thank God together for your marriage.  
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you! We are very thankful that you are a part of Awesome Marriage!
Dr. Kim

Today’s One Thing:
In your own words, tell your spouse One Thing you are thankful for in your marriage and then together, aloud or silently, thank God for your marriage! 

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Friday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Forward

Think Forward

Your mind is a powerful thing, and your thoughts have the ability to affect your performance in every area of life. In fact, your life cannot go forward if your mind is going backward! Thinking and dwelling on past hurts or mistakes can actually cause us to relive the pain and prevent us from moving forward.

In this verse, the apostle Paul is talking about moving toward spiritual maturity in Christ and the importance of “forgetting what lies behind.” Why is it so important to shake off the past? Because if we spend today thinking and dwelling on yesterday’s mistakes, then we’ll never make the progress we desire because guilt and condemnation will steal our energy!

I used to feel like I had to “pay” for my sins by feeling bad about myself. If it was a “little” sin, I might feel guilty for a day or so. If it was something “big,” it might last an entire week! Then God helped me realize that Jesus paid the price for my sin and guilt. When we sin, the greatest thing we can do is confess it to the Lord, receive His forgiveness, then move forward (1 John 1:9). We can leave the guilt behind!

A professional athlete is a great example of how to do this. He has developed the ability to think about the next successful play and not the unsuccessful one that he just had. He may examine his less-than-stellar performance in order to learn from it, but he doesn’t have to wallow in the negativity of it.

What we choose to remember and what we choose to forget has a lot to do with our future. When King David was depressed, he chose to remember the great victories he had before and it increased his faith. In the same way, you can choose to think about all the great things God has done for you and the “victories” you’ve had in the past. As you do, it will build your faith and give you confidence for the days ahead.

God says in Isaiah 43:18-19, “Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing!” I encourage you to get your mind off your failures and disappointments and begin to look forward in your thinking. Because God is greater than your past, and He has a wonderful plan for your future.

Make the Mind Connection: Choosing not to dwell on past mistakes will give you confidence and help you grow in Christ.

Adapted from The Mind Connection by Joyce Meyer.

A Light in the Darkness

In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

In These Are the Generations, Mr. Bae describes God’s faithfulness and the power of the gospel to penetrate the darkness. His grandfather, parents, and his own family were all persecuted for sharing their faith in Christ. But an interesting thing happened when Mr. Bae was imprisoned for telling a friend about God: his faith grew. The same was true for his parents when they were sentenced to a concentration camp—they continued to share Christ’s love even there. Mr. Bae found the promise of John 1:5 to be true: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus warned His disciples about the trouble they’d face. They would be rejected by people who “will do such things because they have not known the Father or me” (16:3). But Jesus offered words of comfort: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (v. 33).

While many believers in Jesus haven’t experienced persecution on the level of that endured by the family of Mr. Bae, we can expect to face trouble. But we don’t have to give in to discouragement or resentment. We have a Helper—the Holy Spirit Jesus promised to send. We can turn to Him for guidance and comfort (v. 7). The power of God’s presence can hold us steady in dark times. By Linda Washington

REFLECT & PRAY:

Heavenly Father, please protect Your children who are experiencing persecution.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


What is the best way to end an argument?

Maybe the better question is, “how do the two of you end an argument?” Let me give you a picture of what I think is a good way to end an argument.

First, it is important that Nancy and I have both listened to each other to the point where we understand each other’s position. Second, we have to pick a solution that is fair to both of us. It won’t usually be equally fair to both but it will be one that allows our marriage to win. Finally, we each acknowledge our part in the argument, apologize to each other, and move forward. So, how do the two of you end an argument? If it is a win/lose situation, that needs to change. What about following the three steps above? What do you have to lose by giving it a try? What if it works for you the way it does for us? Wouldn’t that be a better way to end an argument?

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
If you like this series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Friday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Rescued

God Our Rescuer

I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered……Ezekiel 34:12

In the open sea, a rescuer positioned her kayak to assist panicked swimmers competing in a triathlon. “Don’t grab the middle of the boat!” she called to swimmers, knowing such a move would capsize her craft. Instead, she directed weary swimmers to the bow, or front, of the kayak. There they could grab a loop, allowing the safety kayaker to help rescue them.

Whenever life or people threaten to pull us under, as believers in Jesus, we know we have a Rescuer. “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep . . . . I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered” (Ezekiel 34:11-12).

This was the prophet Ezekiel’s assurance to God’s people when they were in exile. Their leaders had neglected and exploited them, plundering their lives and caring “for themselves rather than for [God’s] flock” (v. 8). As a result, the people “were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them” (v. 6).

But “I will rescue my flock,” declared the Lord (v. 10), and His promise still holds.

What do we need to do? Hold fast to almighty God and His promises. “I myself will search for my sheep and look after them,” He says (v. 11). That’s a saving promise worth holding tightly. By Patricia Raybon

Fighting Life’s Dragons

Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross………Colossians 2:15

Have you ever fought a dragon? If you answered no, author Eugene Peterson disagrees with you. In A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, he wrote, “Dragons are projections of our fears, horrible constructions of all that might hurt us. . . . A peasant confronted by a magnificent dragon is completely outclassed.” Peterson’s point? Life is filled with dragons: the life-threatening health crisis, the sudden job loss, the failed marriage, the estranged prodigal child. These “dragons” are the supersized dangers and frailties of life that we’re inadequate to fight alone.

But in those battles, we have a Champion. Not a fairy tale champion—the ultimate Champion who has fought on our behalf and conquered the dragons that seek to destroy us. Whether they’re dragons of our own failures or the spiritual enemy who desires our destruction, our Champion is greater, allowing Paul to write of Jesus, “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15). The destructive forces of this broken world are no match for Him!

The moment we realize that the dragons of life are too big for us is the moment we can begin to rest in Christ’s rescue. We can confidently say, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

By Bill Crowder

REFLECT & PRAY:

Father, thank You for being more than enough for the threats I will face today. Give me the wisdom and strength to walk with You, trusting You for the grace I need.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


Money Problems?

Money can cause problems. It is usually every year listed as one of the top three issues in marriage. It is the most mentioned topic in the New Testament. We seem to think that we never have enough. 

I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say, “Gee, I just have too much money. I don’t know what to do.”
However much we have, we always feel that if we had just a little bit more, that would be enough. But it never is. In your marriage, what is the biggest challenge you face in regards to finances? What issue never seems to get resolved with money? You have a choice. Keep doing what you are doing or do one thing to change the money challenge in your marriage. What will you do?

Today’s One Thing:
Do One Thing today to address an issue with money in your marriage!
If you like these series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Friday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Encourage Each Other

On The Same Team

Encourage one another and build each other up……..1 Thessalonians 5:11

When Philadelphia Eagle’s quarterback Carson Wentz returned to the field after healing from a severe injury, the NFL team’s backup quarterback, Nick Foles, graciously returned to the bench. Although competing for the same position, the two men chose to support each other and remained confident in their roles. One reporter observed that the two athletes have a “unique relationship rooted in their faith in Christ” shown through their ongoing prayers for each other. As others watched, they brought honor to God by remembering they were on the same team—not just as Eagles quarterbacks, but as believers in Jesus representing Him.

The apostle Paul reminds believers to live as “children of the light” awaiting Jesus’ return (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6). With our hope secure in the salvation Christ has provided, we can shrug off any temptations to compete out of jealousy, insecurity, fear, or envy. Instead, we can “encourage one another and build each other up” (v. 11). We can respect spiritual leaders who honor God and “live in peace” as we serve together to accomplish our shared goal—telling people about the gospel and encouraging others to live for Jesus (vv. 12-15).

As we serve on the same team, we can heed Paul’s command: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (vv. 16-18)……..By Xochitl Dixon

REFLECT & PRAY:

Jesus, please give me opportunities today to encourage someone who serves with me.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Receive His Grace

Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit coming to us freely, enabling us to do with ease what we could never do on our own. You might find other definitions describing grace as God’s divine favor, and that is certainly true, but His grace is also the power you need to live in victory. Grace can be received only through faith, and that is one of the main reasons we must resist fear. When we allow fear to rule us, we unwittingly receive what Satan has planned for our lives. But when we live by faith through grace, God is able to work His divine plan in us. Whatever you need to do today, lean on God, and let Him empower you to be successful.

Power Thought: By God’s grace I have the skills to do all He asks of me with ease.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer.

Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.


What were we fighting about?

As a couple, have you ever had a big fight and then a week later cannot remember what you were fighting about? We have. We can remember the fight and some of the things said that we wish were had not been said, but we don’t remember the catalyst that started the whole thing.

What that tells me is that we often fight over trivial things. If that is true, we need to do a better job of choosing our battles. For me, choosing my battles involves a couple of steps. The first is asking, “In the big scheme of things, how important is this to me? If I can let it go and not hold resentment, then why not let it go?” If it is important to me, then my job is to communicate clearly to Nancy what I am upset about and what I think I need to resolve the issue. When I take the time to go through this two-step process, the big fight never happens.

Your One Thing today is to begin the process of choosing your battles well!
Today’s One Thing:
Today begin the process of choosing your battles well!
If you like these series of tips and want to receive your One Thing Email please sign up at http://awesomemarriage.com/onething  (It’s free!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro VA

•We have a drive-in service where you can stay in your car, watch the service, and listen to Pastor Ray by tuning your car radio to 1610 AM
•We have socially distanced indoor seating.
•We also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Bible Study Group occurs virtually every Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
Youth Group occurs virtually every Friday evening at 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively discussion. Check your email for the online link to the meeting.

Western Loudoun Community Church is about being the church — not just some religious exercise. We are about fulfilling the Great Commission and living the Great Commandment.

Come see what all the laughter and joy is about.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell