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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.


Strength


The Mouse That Roared

The one who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world. 1John 4:4

Several years ago, my sons and I spent a few days camping in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Northern Idaho. It’s grizzly bear habitat, but we carried bear spray, kept our campsites clean, and anticipated no major grizzly encounters.

One evening, in the middle of the night, I heard Randy scramble around trying to get out of his sleeping bag. I grabbed my flashlight and turned it on, expecting to see him in the clutches of an enraged grizzly.

There, sitting upright on its haunches and waving its paws in the air was a field mouse about 4 inches tall. It had Randy’s cap firmly clenched in its teeth. The little creature had tugged and tugged until he pulled Randy’s cap from his head. As I laughed, the mouse dropped the cap and scampered away. We crawled back into our sleeping bags. I, however, fully adrenalized, couldn’t get back to sleep and thought about another predator—the devil.

Consider Satan’s temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11). He countered his enticements with the Scriptures. With each answer, Jesus reminded Himself that God had spoken on this issue and therefore He wouldn’t disobey. This caused the devil to flee.

Although Satan wants to devour us, it’s good to remember that he’s a created being like the little rodent. John said, “the one who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)

By David H. Roper

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread

Storm Chasers

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed…..Psalm 107:29

“Chasing tornadoes,” says Warren Faidley, “is often like a giant game of 3D-chess played out over thousands of square miles.” The photojournalist and storm-chaser adds: “Being in the right place at the right time is a symphony of forecasting and navigation while dodging everything from softball-sized hailstones to dust storms and slow-moving farm equipment.”

Faidley’s words make my palms sweat and heart beat faster. While admiring the raw courage and scientific hunger storm chasers display, I balk at throwing myself into the middle of potentially fatal weather events.

In my experience, however, I don’t have to chase storms in life—they seem to be chasing me. That experience is mirrored by Psalm 107 as it describes sailors trapped in a storm. They were being chased by the consequences of their wrong choices but the psalmist says, “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm” (Psalm 107:28-30).

Whether the storms of life are of our own making or the result of living in a broken world, our Father is greater. When we are being chased by storms, He alone is able to calm them—or to calm the storm within us.

By Bill Crowder

REFLECT & PRAY:

Thank You, Father, that You’re with me in my struggles and Your power is greater than any storm on my horizon.


Morning Habit

What if each day you thought of something positive you could do for your marriage? It’s something I try to think about every day. Why? I have seen how daily positive actions can do amazing things for my marriage. First, just thinking about doing something good for my marriage puts my relationship with Nancy in a positive light in my mind and makes me want to do something good for her. This type of attitude allows each day to be a new beginning, no matter what happened yesterday. Second, it lets Nancy know she is a priority for me. She knows I am thinking about her and about our marriage.


Don’t make this complicated. A positive thing can be something as simple as saying a few meaningful words: “I really missed you today while I was at work”; “You look really beautiful/handsome today”; “Let’s make sure we have alone time together this evening”; “What can I do to help you today?” It can be writing a text, a note, or a card, or doing a chore your spouse usually does. The whole idea of our “One Thing” emails is to give you ideas that will help you improve your marriage one day at a time. If you commit to doing something good for your marriage every day, I promise your marriage will be better.

Today’s One Thing:
Get in the habit of asking yourself every morning, “What can I do for my marriage today?”

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!)



The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 9:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Join us for a lively discussion on our online Wednesday Bible Study at 7:30pm.
Friday Evening Online Youth group is held 7-8pm.
Enter your email here to get the links to join us.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

KINDNESS

Kindness – Caring in a Care-less World

 Unkind people cannot preach the gospel — it would be a sham. Our arms of kindness are the only ones God has to embrace others and the only way for people to know He cares. The fruit of the Spirit is not intended for passive acceptance, locked away for safekeeping. It is meant to invigorate and empower us to be “about our Father‘s work.“ Today, the need for the Holy Spirit’s fruit of kindness to blossom in our lives and nourish our wasting world is undeniable. People are hungry for the hope that they matter to someone — and they do, they matter to God and to us… He cares. And because He does, He lavishes His kindness on those who care about Him and on those who don’t. 

Acts 14:16-17 explains, “In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” What a good God! For those who don’t believe that He lives and those who don’t even care if He does, our God still reaches in kindness. And His kindness isn’t dependent on the reciprocation of those He blesses with it, He is kind because that is who He is — a kindhearted God (see Matthew 5:44-46). 

We are called and empowered to be the same way through the Holy Spirit. Millions of people will never open the Bible, but Christians are an open book to them, and we can open our lives to Galatians 5:22, allowing His fruit of kindness to blossom, grow, and feed their hungry hearts. Verses like Colossians 3:12 aren’t just flamboyant accessories, as “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,” we truly are called to clothe ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Kindness can glorify God and give a testimony without a word!  

Our Daily Bread

Putting Up Hay

When I was in college, I worked a summer on a ranch in Colorado. One evening, tired and hungry after a long day of mowing hay, I drove the tractor into the yard. Acting like the hot shot I thought I was, I cranked the steering wheel hard left, stamped on the left brake, and spun the tractor around.

The sickle was down and swept the legs out from under a 500-gallon gasoline tank standing nearby. The tank hit the ground with a resounding boom, the seams split, and all the gasoline spewed out.

The rancher stood nearby surveying the scene. I got off the tractor, stammered an apology, and—because it was the first thing that popped into my mind—offered to work the rest of the summer without pay.

The old rancher stared at the wreckage for a moment and turned toward the house. “Let’s go have dinner,” he drawled.

A scrap of a story Jesus told passed through my mind—a story about a young man who had done a terrible thing: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you,” he cried. He intended to add, “Make me like one of your hired servants,” but before he could get all the words out of his mouth his father interrupted him. In essence, he said, “Let’s go have dinner” (Luke 15:17-24).

Such is God’s amazing grace.

By David H. Roper

REFLECT & PRAY:

What a privilege to be sons and daughters of the King!


Cool Hand Luke

Cool Hand Luke is set in the early 1950’s and tells the story of Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman). Luke is arrested and sent to prison for two years to serve on a chain gang run by a very stern prison warden. Luke’s rebellious nature gets him in trouble with the guards and the prison’s leader but eventually Luke becomes a favorite of the other prisoners. When Luke learns of his mother’s
death, he makes plans to escape prison to attend her funeral. He escapes but is captured, returned to the prison and fitted with leg-irons. The captain is determined to make an example of Luke to the other prisoners and in his warning speech utters this classic line in reference to Luke’s rebellion: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  


That line, “What we have here is a failure to communicate,” could be applied to a lot of marriages. In fact, at one time or another, it could be applied to almost every marriage. How is the communication in your marriage? In the movie, the line refers to Luke’s choice to not listen to his superiors. In marriage, it means
that we often do not do a good job of listening to our spouse.  Experience tells me that when we listen to our spouse well, we understand them better and have less conflict. So today make a special effort to listen well to what your spouse is saying.

Today’s One Thing:
Today make a special effort to listen well to what your spouse is saying!

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 Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 9:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesday Evening Study Group resumes on Sept 16th 7:30 pm. Join us for a lively discussion.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Prayers

Calling Grandma For Prayers

 4 Year old grandson, Christian, calling Grandma on a Video Call

Grandma: Hello? 

Christian: Hi Grandma!

Grandma: Hi my Angel! How are you? 

Christian (with a smile): I’m good Grandma

Grandma: What’s wrong Christian? You seem sad.

Christian: I have a cold Grandma.

Grandma: I see your nose is running. Can Grandma pray for you right now?

Christian: Yes Grandma.

Grandma: Dear God, I lift up my grandson, Christian, to you for healing. Please touch him with your healing touch.

Then I looked up into the camera and I saw my beautiful baby boy with his hands clenched in prayer, his eyes closed, and a tear running down his cheek. OMG, my heart went out as I saw a little 4 year old being touched by the Holy Spirit!

What a beautiful and life changing moment! 

Lord, if only every one of us could pray like my little 4-year-old Grandson!

Credit: Mary and Lyle Dietrich

Our Daily Bread

“Rescuing Villains

Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants!….Daniel 3:28

The comic book hero is as popular as ever. In 2017 alone, six superhero movies accounted for more than $4 billion (US) in box office sales. But why are people so drawn to big action flicks?

Maybe it’s because, in part, such stories resemble God’s Big Story. There’s a hero, a villain, a people in need of rescue, and plenty of riveting action.

In this story, the biggest villain is Satan, the enemy of our souls. But there are lots of “little” villains as well. In the book of Daniel, for example, one is Nebuchadnezzar, the king of much of the known world, who decided to kill anyone who didn’t worship his giant statue (Daniel 3:1-6). When three courageous Jewish officials refused (vv. 12-18), God dramatically rescued them from a blazing furnace (vv. 24-27).

But in a surprising twist, we see this villain’s heart begin to change. In response to this spectacular event, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego” (v. 28).

But then he threatened to kill anyone who defied God (v. 29), not yet understanding that God didn’t need his help. Nebuchadnezzar would learn more about God in chapter 4—but that’s another story.

What we see in Nebuchadnezzar isn’t just a villain, but someone on a spiritual journey. In God’s story of redemption, our hero, Jesus, reaches out to everyone needing rescue—including the villains among us.

By Tim Gustafson

REFLECT & PRAY:

Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him. We can do the same.


Trying to Change Your Spouse

I don’t know of a married person that has not crossed this boundary at some time in their marriage. We fall in love with our future spouse and we think that we are so alike and then in marriage we see all the differences.  

I think God’s plan is for us to embrace each other’s differences and therefore to grow as a person, as well as growing our marriage. That is the goal but before many of us get there, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to change our spouse into who we want them to become.  Where are you with this today?

Embracing your spouse’s differences or trying to change them? Your One Thing today is to pray for God to help you see your spouse through His eyes and then embrace the differences!

Today’s One Thing:
Pray for God to help you see your spouse through His eyes and then embrace the differences!

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 @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 9:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesday Evening Study Group is on Summer vacation.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Love One Another

Living Room Reset

A friend told me a true story that has stuck with him for over 20 years, and it goes something like this. A man and his wife, Cindy, were living life as usual. Going through their day, watching life pass by from this little rock we live on as it goes around the sun, year, after year, after year. Their marriage seemed healthy, and they loved each other to the max, but there was this one thing that drove him up the wall about Cindy. We all can have our pet peeves, and this was his; no matter how many decades he asked his wife to stop doing this one thing, she continued to do it, day after day, year after year. He struggled with how annoyed he felt at her, but nothing compared to the way he reacted on the 18th of November. Nearly every day of their married lives, she left her slippers right there in the middle of the floor, in front of the bathroom door, for him to trip over. No amount of effort could change her habit, and there those slippers were every morning, staring at him, mocking him, taunting him. It lit him up. Every. Single. Day. Except for the 18th of November. 

On that fateful morning, he woke up and walked right past the bathroom door, and FINALLY, there were no slippers to trip him. That day, it was a slipper less doorway, free of the daily frustration that had harassed him all those years. But today he wanted nothing more in life than to trip over those silly slippers. He longed to see them there that day, because, on the 17th of November, Cindy passed away. Those slippers no longer annoy him, and it crushes him every single morning. 

This little story wrecks me. It makes me think about that quote, “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” 

So let me leave you with this encouragement; cherish your spouse. Love him/her with everything you have every day. Look past the trivial, the annoying, and the frustrating and love like today is your first and last day together. 

Live It Out: answer this question instantly; don’t think about it. If you just found out that you only had a few hours left with your spouse, and those hours would be spent right where you are today, what would you do first? Would you simply hold your spouse close? Tell him/her how much you love and cherish them?, Take her/him on a date?, Let the world know how amazing she is or a million other things he does? Do it today. There’s no reason not to, and there are a billion reasons to do it.  

By Kirk Cameron

Our Daily Bread

“Rivals or Allies”

Be perfectly united in mind and thought…….1 Corinthians 1:10

The city of Texarkana sits squarely on the state border between Texas and Arkansas. The city of 70,000 inhabitants has two mayors, two city councils, and two police and fire departments. The cross-town sporting rivalry between high schools draws an uncommonly high attendance, reflecting the deep allegiance each has to their own state’s school. More significant challenges arise as well, such as disputes over the shared water system, governed by two sets of state laws. Yet the town is known for its unity despite the line that divides it. Residents gather annually for a dinner held on State Line Avenue to share a meal in celebration of their oneness as a community.

The believers in Corinth may not have drawn a line down their main thoroughfare, but they were divided. They’d been quarreling as a result of their allegiances to those who taught them about Jesus: Paul, Apollos, or Cephas (Peter). Paul called them all to oneness “in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1:10), reminding them it was Christ who was crucified for them, not their spiritual leaders.

We behave similarly today, don’t we? We sometimes oppose even those who share our singularly important belief—Jesus’ sacrifice for our wrongdoings—making them rivals instead of allies. Just as Christ Himself is not divided, we, as His earthly representation—His body—mustn’t allow differences over nonessentials to divide us. Instead, may we celebrate our oneness in Him.

By Kirsten Holmberg

REFLECT & PRAY:

God, help me to remain focused on You and Your sacrifice for Your people. May I not be distracted by the less important issues but call others to oneness as a community of faith.


Does This Ever Happen To You?

Does this ever happen to you? You are going to have a date night this weekend for dinner. You have the baby sitter scheduled (if you need one). That evening, you are both getting ready. It has been a hectic week and you both have been looking forward to a night out for just the two of you. The sitter arrives, you are both ready, and you pull the car out of the driveway. Everything has gone perfectly except that you never decided where to go for dinner. You ask your spouse where they would like to go and they say, “I don’t care.” Your spouse then asks you the same question and your answer is the same. Then you both ask, “What kind of food do you want” and both get the same “I don’t care” response. One of you mentions a place and the other says, “I’m really not in the mood for that,” and 10 minutes into a date you both looked forward to, you are both frustrated with each other and with yourself

This has happened to us. It used to happen often. Usually it was the business of life that we let get in the way of doing a little planning. We would get frustrated and then start blaming each other. Many times we would have turned around and just gone back home but didn’t know what to tell the babysitter! So we came up with this idea. It was our plan for when we did not take the time to plan. Each of us wrote down five restaurants that we liked on small strips of paper. Then without looking at each other’s papers, we put them into an envelope and then into the glove compartment of the car. We agreed together that on a night we did not make a plan, we would draw one of the slips of paper out and that is where we would go. No questions asked. It was about two weeks later when we pulled out the first strip. Guess what? It worked!

Today’s One Thing:

Each of you write down five restaurants you like on separate slips of paper and put them all in an envelope. Now the next time you do not know where to go to eat, draw one out and go there!

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 @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 9:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesday Evening Study Group is on Summer vacation.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

PRAYER

God delights in obediance

Struggling at work? Do you have to home school or entertain your young children at home while trying to balance work from home? Maybe you don’t have a job? Are your finances depleted? What specific “situation” are you facing?

Pastor Ray: This is a faith moment in your life.  You have left Egypt and are staring at the Red Sea.  You can’t go back and don’t know how to go forward.  This is the kind of dilemma God often uses to force us to rely on Him.  But just as Moses wasn’t expected to make things happen on his own, neither does God expect you to do so.  He is with you.  He will go before you to lead the way.  He will go with you to strengthen you. And He will protect you, by revealing the unseen things. Pray Always!

You were built for such a time as this. God has created you with gifts, talents, and abilities to Glorify Him. He has given you influence, platforms, and resources to represent and to reflect Him in the Earth. You were created for Purpose. You were intentionally and strategically planted in the Earth, by God, for such a time as this. Your birth was not by accident. The timing of your placement was not by happenstance. God planted you in the Earth for His Pleasure and Delight.

Don’t let your destiny wither and die by choosing to disobey God. Choose to obey Christ and walk forward in Purpose. Don’t hold back. You cannot stay silent. It pleases God when you choose to actively walk in your purpose. Walk in your call. You cannot hold back any longer. The gifts, talents, and abilities that God has placed in you must come forth. Stop hiding your gift. Stop hoarding your talent.  God wants to shine through you so that the world will see and know that He is God. Let His Light shine through you. 

Maybe, God gave you that position for such a time as this. Maybe, God gave you that role for such a time as this. Maybe, God has given you influence for such a time as this. Maybe, God gave you that platform for such a time as this. Maybe, God gave you that board seat for such a time as this. Whatever the case, use the gifts, talents, abilities, platforms, influence, and resources for such a time as this. Choose to obey Christ. Choose to Glorify God. Choose to move forward in your purpose and destiny. Don’t let your purpose die in the wilderness. You were called to do more. You were called to lead. Speak up. You were called for such a time as this. 

Our Daily Bread

Running Into Love

I have loved you with an everlasting love………Jeremiah 31:3

Nora was tiny, but “Bridget”—the belligerent, six-foot-tall woman glowering down at her—didn’t intimidate her. Bridget couldn’t even say why she had stopped at the crisis pregnancy center; she’d already made up her mind to “get rid of this . . . kid.” So Nora gently asked questions, and Bridget rudely deflected them with profanity-laced tirades. Soon Bridget got up to leave, defiantly declaring her intent to end her pregnancy.

Slipping her small frame between Bridget and the door, Nora asked, “Before you go, may I give you a hug, and may I pray for you?” No one had ever hugged her before—not with healthy intentions, anyway. Suddenly, unexpectedly, the tears came.

Nora beautifully reflects the heart of our God who loved His people Israel “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). The people had stumbled into the hard consequences of their persistent violation of His guidelines. Yet God told them, “I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again” (vv. 3-4). Bridget’s history is complex. (Many of us can relate.) Until she ran into real love that day, her belief had been that God and His followers would only condemn her. Nora showed her something different: the God who won’t ignore our sin because He loves us beyond imagination. He welcomes us with open arms. We don’t have to keep running.

By Tim Gustafson

REFLECT & PRAY:
Father, I so often take Your incredible love for granted. Forgive me, and help me to reflect that love to someone today.


Is there One Thing that makes a difference in a marriage?

I was talking to my pastor one day, and he asked me an interesting question. He said, “Is there something you think always makes a difference in a marriage?” My answer was yes. That “thing” is prayer. Most of you know that I consistently encourage couples to pray together. It changes the way we look at each other, our marriage, life in general, and God. I have seen prayer turn a marriage at the end of a rope completely around.

For those of you who have been around Awesome Marriage for any amount of time, I hope you are praying together every day. Last week I was talking to a husband and wife who agreed that praying together has made a huge difference for them. In the middle of the conversation, I asked them how often they pray for their marriage. It was not a setup question. I was just curious, but their answer surprised me. The husband said, “When we were struggling, our marriage was about all we did pray for, but now that things are better, we don’t pray for our marriage at all.” As I reflected on his answer, I realized how typical his response was. We pray about something when we are in a crisis; then as the crisis lifts, we move on to something else. Here are my thoughts: Marriage is the second most important relationship you will ever have. We live in a culture that is constantly attacking marriage. Why would we not pray for our marriage every single day?

Today’s One Thing:
Today begin to pray for your marriage daily!

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 @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 9:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

We Continue our Wednesday Evening Study Group online
Join us every week at 7:30 pm for an hour of great discussion.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Surrender

Our Daily Bread

“The Battles Over. Really.”

We were . . . buried with him……..Romans 6:4

For twenty-nine years after World War II ended, Hiroo Onoda hid in the jungle, refusing to believe his country had surrendered. Japanese military leaders had dispatched Onoda to a remote island in the Philippines (Lubang) with orders to spy on the Allied forces. Long after a peace treaty had been signed and hostilities ceased, Onoda remained in the wilderness. In 1974, Onoda’s commanding officer traveled to the island to find him and convince him the war was over.

For three decades, Onoda lived a meager, isolated existence, because he refused to surrender—refused to believe the conflict was done. We can make a similar mistake. Paul proclaims the stunning truth that “all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death” (Romans 6:3). On the cross, in a powerful, mysterious way, Jesus put to death Satan’s lies, death’s terror, and sin’s tenacious grip. Though we’re “dead to sin” and “alive to God” (v. 11), we often live as though evil still holds the power. We yield to temptation, succumbing to sin’s seduction. We listen to lies, failing to trust Jesus. But we don’t have to yield. We don’t have to live in a false narrative. By God’s grace we can embrace the true story of Christ’s victory.

While we’ll still wrestle with sin, liberation comes as we recognize that Jesus has already won the battle. May we live out that truth in His power….By Winn Collier

REFLECT & PRAY:
Jesus, I know You’ve won the battle over evil and darkness. Would You help me to live this out?


Just move your mouth (Devotional)
Credit: Pete Briscoe of www.tellingthetruth.org

It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride. — John Ruskin

Have you ever noticed that 1 Corinthians 13 tells you two things about what love is:
Love is patient, love is kind. (13:4a)

And it tells you five things regarding what love is not:
[Love] does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking. (13:4-5a)

The list continues; but if we pause there, it’s easy to see that love doesn’t put self first. It’s our new marriage mantra: In love, choose to lose.

Through years of providing marriage counseling to couples, I’ve noticed pride exists in most marriages—through one or both spouses. The word Paul uses for “pride” is the Greek Physioō. Physioo is having an inflated view of your own intellect and reason.

If you were a physioo man, you might think, Wow, she’s so lucky to have me! A physioo woman might say to herself, I wonder what would have become of him if he hadn’t hooked up with me? Physioo men and women both struggle with the words, “I’m sorry.”

If that’s you, then practice them this week in the mirror. Start simply. Just move your mouth; make the muscles work. Practice and repeat; practice and repeat. You’ll soon find that there are very few sentences that have a more powerful impact on a marriage than “I’m sorry.” For a more advanced version, you can add the words, “And I was wrong.” And if you want to take it all the way, sincerely and humbly add, “Please forgive me.”

Baby steps, my friends, because even baby steps take you places. If you desire to have a marriage that breaks out and grows, then pride must go.

God, I pray the language of repentance that ushered me into Your Kingdom would become the native language of my marriage. You promise that when I lack the words, Your Spirit will give them to me; when I struggle to speak, Your Spirit will make me bold. I ask that my apologies would be bold and often—that these apologies would be poison to any pride in my character. Amen.

Reflection:

1) Where can I let my spouse win in our marriage?

2) Is there anything I need to apologize for to my spouse?

3) In what way can I serve my spouse this week?

Do you know someone struggling in their marriage?

Most of us know at least one couple who is struggling in their marriage. Many of us know more than that. I talk a lot about the epidemic of infidelity in marriages and the harm it causes. Some of you have gone through it; some may be going through it now.

Infidelity saddens me, but I’m encouraged to see more couples than ever fighting to save and rebuild their marriages after an affair. I believe those of us whose marriages are healthy today have a two-fold calling: (1) We are to serve as marriage “lights” in this dark world, and (2) we should come together to pray for those whose marriages are struggling. That’s what I would like for us to do today. If your marriage is good today, join me in praying. If your marriage is struggling, join us in prayer—and know that we are also praying for you!

Today’s One Thing:

Pray together for miraculous healing in struggling marriages today!

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 @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 9:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

We Continue our Wednesday Evening Study Group online
Join us every week at 7:30 pm for an hour of great discussion.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Dream BIG

Our Daily Bread

“The Power of Demonstration

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.—2 Timothy 3:16

My attempts at fixing things around the house usually lead to paying someone else to undo the damage I caused while trying to fix the original problem. But recently I successfully repaired a home appliance by watching a YouTube video where a person demonstrated step by step how to do it.

Paul was a powerful example to his young protégé Timothy who traveled with him and watched him in action. From prison in Rome, Paul wrote, “You . . . know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings” (2 Timothy 3:10-11). In addition, he urged Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures” (vv. 14-15).

Paul’s life demonstrated the necessity of building our lives on the bedrock of God’s Word. He reminded Timothy that the Bible is the powerful, God-given source that we need to teach and to demonstrate to others who want to be Christ-followers.

As we thank the Lord for the people who helped us grow in faith, we are challenged to follow their example of living out the truth as we teach and encourage others.

That’s the power of demonstration. —David C. McCasland

REFLECT & PRAY:

Lord, as others have demonstrated Your truth to us, may we in turn show it to others.


From Dreaming to Doing
Credit Mark Batterson

Growing up, I heard today’s verse interpreted in negative terms. Take sinful thoughts captive and keep them out of your mind. And that is half the battle. But if we focus on the negative implications while ignoring the positive possibilities, it becomes a half-truth. It’s also about capturing creative thoughts and keeping them in our minds. Simply put, it’s about stewarding every idea inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Every dream is created twice. The first creation is mental. Every invention, every business, every building, every painting is conceived in the right-brain imagination first. It’s nothing more than a single-cell idea at that point. The second creation is physical. You make it obedient to Christ via blood, sweat, and tears.

If your dream is a book, you make it obedient with a keyboard.

If your dream is playing professional sport, you make it obedient at the gym.

If your dream is making music, you make it obedient one note at a time.

Your dreams will never exceed your imagination. You can’t achieve what you don’t believe. So idea generation is important. But idea execution is where the rubber meets the road.

I like thinkers. They make me think. And I applaud their ability to plot. But I love doers even more. They inspire me to action. And it’s the plodders, not the plotters, who make things happen.

God isn’t going to say, “Well planned, good and faithful servant.” He won’t say well thought, well said, or well strategized either. There is one commendation: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Setting goals is fun and games. Going after them is another matter. Without perspiration to match your inspiration, your dream imagined will turn into a dream deferred.

What do you need to start?

What are you waiting for?

Maybe it’s a diet. Maybe it’s a graduate program. Maybe it’s a church or a business. Whatever it is, the hardest part of finishing is starting. Going after a dream is like riding a bike—you’ve got to get a little momentum to really get going.

Consider this your push.

Where do you stand on the road to execution of your God-given idea? 

What if We Created Margin?

If you have ever consulted with a financial advisor, you have probably heard the word margin.  In dealing with our money, if we spend less than we make, we create margin. The bigger the difference between what we make and what we spend, the bigger the margin. For most of us, having financial margin reduces our stress level.

Now let’s apply that margin principle to marriage. Marriage can be stressful. We can get into ruts  and negative cycles, which over time can wreak havoc on a marriage. Instead, what if we created margin? For example, what if your spouse is always late and every time they are late you respond with a negative comment? “You are always late.” “Can’t you ever be on time?” “I am tired of waiting on you.” These responses will probably get a negative reaction from your spouse and definitely will not create any marriage margin.

What if instead you think of all the things your spouse has to do each day and have empathy for them? Instead of being critical of them when they show up late, you greet them with a hug and tell them how glad you are to see them. Instead of pouting, you set aside their lateness and focus on enjoying the time you have together. Now you are creating margin!  

Today’s One Thing:

Creating margin in your marriage begins with you. Look for your opportunity today!

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 @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

We Continue our Wednesday Evening Study Group online
Join us every week at 7:30 pm for an hour of great discussion.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Truths

Our Daily Bread

“It’s Slippery Out There”

Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil……..Psalm 141:4

Years ago, when I was learning to ski, I followed my son Josh down what appeared to be a gentle slope. With my eyes on him I failed to notice he turned down the steepest hill on the mountain, and I found myself careening down the slope, completely out of control. I cratered, of course.

Psalm 141 shows how we can easily find ourselves slipping down sin’s slope. Prayer is one of the ways we stay alert to those slopes: “Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil” (v. 4) is a plea that echoes the Lord’s Prayer almost exactly: “Lead [me] not into temptation, but deliver [me] from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). In His goodness, God hears and answers this prayer.

And then I find in this psalm another agent of grace: a faithful friend. “Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5). Temptations are subtle. We’re not always aware that we’re going wrong. A true friend can be objective. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6 nkjv). It’s hard to accept rebuke, but if we see the wounding as a “kindness” it can become an anointing that puts us back on the path of obedience.

May we be open to truth from a trusted friend and rely on God through prayer.

By David H. Roper

REFLECT & PRAY:
Father, please keep my feet from straying. Help me to listen to You and good friends.

Credit: Our Daily Bread


Love Lives Forever (We Win!)

God wants you to live in the moment. He wants you to savor every minute you have with your loved ones on this planet, but he also wants you to live with an eternal perspective.

I was watching a football game recently on DVR. I knew the outcome of the game because I’d seen the final score on the news before I watched the replay. My team won! Knowing I already had the victory changed the entire experience of watching the game.

As I watched the game unfold, there were times my team was losing. I started thinking to myself, Oh, no! We’re behind! We won’t be able to come back. This isn’t going to end well.

Then I would come to my senses and realize, Wait! The end is already decided. Victory is certain. We’ve already won!

When the opposition would score, it wasn’t pleasant to watch, but I could smile because I knew the final outcome.

You and I are living lives full of ups and downs. There are days that seem like a victory, and other days we feel defeated. On the hard days it’s easy to look around and become discouraged. It’s easy to feel like things are never going to work out.

I want you to be reassured with the truth of God’s eternal promises. The end of the story is already written, and we win!

Jesus has claimed victory. Through faith in him, we can rest assured that he will set all things right and make all things new. We’ll get to celebrate with him and with our loved ones forever.

Love isn’t a story with a happy ending. Love is a story with no ending!

When we choose to love people the way Jesus loves people, the world will change. Don’t treat others the way they treat you; treat others the way God treats you. Embrace the love of Jesus in your own life, and then model the example of Jesus in your relationships. Jesus changed the world with love, and he wants you and me to continue in this. He wants to give you a new heart and a new life.

When you step from this life into eternity, love will be all that matters. Live your life with a heart of love. You’ll be amazed at what will happen as a result. 

Nurture Your Common Interest

Do you remember that time in your dating relationship with your spouse that you thought, “We have so many things in common?” I remember looking across a restaurant table one night when we were in college and thinking that Nancy and I were so alike in so many ways. As we entered the toughest year of our marriage six years later I thought, “What was I thinking?”

For us, we did have a lot in common but we also had a lot of differences that we ignored while dating. In marriage, these differences reared their heads and we had no idea how to deal with them. At the same time we did nothing to nurture the things we had in common that brought us together in the first place. What were your common interests when you were dating? Have you continued to nurture these or not? When you continue to develop your common interests you are more connected and you weather the storms of marriage better and stay on the same team.

Today’s One Thing: Pick one common interest and nurture it together in your marriage!

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!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

We Continue our Wednesday Evening Study Group online
Join us every week at 7:30 pm for an hour of great discussion.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Rebuild and Strengthen


You Become What You Think
credit: Inspirations by Lisa Singh 

For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 (NIV)

Anyone who comes into a relationship with Jesus receives a new heart and must guard it. However, the mind of man must now be renewed daily with the word of God. Isn’t it amazing that our thought life is connected to our heart? God has and always will be concerned about our heart condition. God sees past the layers of our external expressions and facades and He goes straight to the heart. The writer of Proverbs points us to a profound truth about the principle of thought and the product of our lives. 

Let us take time and ponder this statement, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” From this, we can reason that the situations and circumstances in our lives could be because of our thinking patterns. I know this is a hard pill to swallow because many of us have had bad stuff happen to us, perhaps you have had bad breaks in life like growing up without a dad, or someone abused you when you were young, maybe you have had a failed marriage or business. There could be a wide range of scenarios you have been through but never the less they happened, and these situations have caused your thoughts to be on the negative side of the scale. The enemy knows that we have been made new in Christ, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to keep us down in the dumps. The enemy only has as much power as we allow him to have and we give him that power when we believe his lies; he is called the father of lies, and his lies come in the form of thoughts. He can no longer go before the Father to accuse you of your sins because Jesus took care of your sins once and for all when He shed his blood at Calvary. However, the enemy is hoping that you will never believe that your sins are taken care of so now he comes, and whispers lies to you in thoughts based on your past hurts and disappointments or your past sins. Hence the reason the Apostle Paul reminds us to renew our minds. 

We must come to a place in our walk with God where we take responsibility for our thoughts. We live in a world prone to passing the blame, and the victim mentality is rampant. In my own life for many years I found it easier to blame my unfortunate circumstances on other people because it made me feel better about my bad attitude and negativity. Growing up in a single parent home was difficult, and while there were unfortunate results in my life I let the victim mentality dictate a negative pattern. I was very comfortable to live like that because I felt I had the right to be the way I was because someone wronged me or took advantage of me. Over the years God has opened my eyes to the fact that though I was a victim of neglect, rejection, and abuse I did not have to embrace that as my identity instead I could be changed if I allowed my mind to be renewed.

Today I want to encourage you to let go of the victim mentality and identity and let God help you dump those negative thoughts about the past. Ask Him to lead you to His words that will renew your mind so you can change your life.

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” ― James Allen 

Our Daily Bread

“How to Rebuild”

It was nighttime when the leader set out by horseback to inspect the work that lay ahead. As he toured the destruction all around him, he saw city walls that had been destroyed and gates that had been burned. In some areas, the vast debris made it tough for his horse to get through. Saddened, the rider turned toward home.

When it came time to report the damage to the officials of the city, he began by saying, “You see the trouble we are in” (Nehemiah 2:17). He reported that the city was in ruins, and the protecting city wall had been rendered useless.

But then he made a statement that energized the troubled citizens: “I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me.” Immediately, the people replied, “Let us start rebuilding” (v. 18).

And they did.

With faith in God and all-out effort, despite enemy opposition and a seemingly impossible task, the people of Jerusalem—under Nehemiah’s leadership—rebuilt the wall in just fifty-two days (6:15).

As you consider your circumstances, is there something that looks difficult but that you know God wants you to do? A sin you can’t seem to get rid of? A relationship rift that’s not God-honoring? A task for Him that looks too hard?

Ask God for guidance (2:4-5), analyze the problem (vv. 11-15), and recognize His involvement (v. 18). Then start rebuilding……….By Dave Branon

REFLECT & PRAY:
God, I need Your help. I can’t fix these problems alone. Help me to understand the situation, and then to seek Your help and guidance in resolving the challenges before me.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

10 Minute Challenge

Here is a challenge for you to do. Ready? Look into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes without saying anything.
The idea is to connect totally and completely through your eyes only. Then once you finish, talk about everything that went through your mind during that 10 minutes. 
Today’s One Thing:
Look into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes without saying anything. Then talk about it.

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!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

We Continue our Wednesday Evening Study Group online
Join us every week at 7:30 pm for an hour of great discussion.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Life’s Storm


Love Selflessly Sacrifices

The Academy Award- winning World War II movie Saving Private Ryan tells the story of a young soldier (Private Ryan) whose brothers have been killed in battle. To spare his family the agony of losing all of their sons, the government orchestrates a rescue mission to save him and send him home. The rescue team is led by a no-nonsense army captain who seems to believe that the whole thing is a bad idea.

In the film’s final scene, the captain is fatally wounded while fulfilling his mission. With his dying words, he looks the soldier in the eyes and says, “Earn this! Earn it.” The film flashes forward many decades, and we see Private Ryan as an old man standing at the grave of that captain. You can tell he has been haunted by those words and trying to “earn it” all his life, but he never knows for sure if he has measured up. He pleads with the grave, seeking approval, but he finds none.

Many people believe they have put their faith in Jesus, but they also believe they have to earn what he did for them on the cross. Here’s the good news: when Jesus was hanging on that cross, dying to save you, he did not use his dying words to say, “Earn this.” Do you know what he said instead? He said, “It is finished!”

Did you catch that? It is finished. That means done, complete, sealed, finished! That’s God’s gift of grace. Jesus has done all the work already. You couldn’t possibly earn it even if you tried with everything you had, and God never expected you to.

The Bible says that if you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved (Rom. 10:9). It’s not a duty for you to earn; it’s a gift for you to receive by faith. Reach out to your Savior and love God with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. He’s already done all the work, and he did it out of love for you. It is finished.

What’s the greatest sacrifice you’ve made for someone you love? 

Our Daily Bread

The Safest Place

God is our refuge and strength………..Psalm 46:1

As Hurricane Florence was bearing down on Wilmington, North Carolina, with devastating force, my daughter prepared to leave her home. She’d waited until the last moment, hoping the storm would veer away. But now she was hurriedly sorting through important papers, pictures, and belongings, trying to decide what to take with her. “I didn’t expect it would be so hard to leave,” she told me later, “but in that moment I didn’t know if anything would be there when I got back.”

Life’s storms come in many forms: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, unexpected problems in marriage or with children, the sudden loss of health or finances. So much we value can be swept away in a moment. Amid the storms, Scripture points us to the safest place: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way” (Psalm 46:1-2).

The writers of this psalm were descendants of a man who generations earlier served God but then rebelled against Him and perished in an earthquake (see Numbers 26:9-11). The outlook they share shows humility and a profound understanding of God’s greatness, compassion, and redeeming love.

Troubles come, but God outlasts them all. Those who run to the Savior discover that He can’t be shaken. In the arms of His eternal love we find our place of peace………..By James Banks

REFLECT & PRAY:
O God, the One who is greater than the storm, help me to place every fear in Your hands today and to rest in Your unfailing love.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

The Thing We Should Do First Is the Thing We Do Last!

Have you ever been in a crisis situation with other people where no one knew what to do?  Finally someone says, “Well, I guess we could pray.” Why is it that the thing we should do first is the thing we do last? There have been so many times in our marriage that we struggled with a decision. Finally, one of us will say, “Why don’t we pray about it?” and then we do. 


You know what happens every time? We get an answer. Not just any
answer, but a really good answer. Then Nancy and I will look at each other and say, “Why did we not pray first?” God longs for us to bring our struggles to Him. He is always there and He has the answers that we would never get on our own. The apostle Paul talks about praying all the time and why not? Why not seek the Creator of everything when His ears are just waiting to hear our voice? Today I want you to pray together. You can pray out loud or silently. You can kneel or lie down, stand up or sit down. Just pray one simple short prayer. Pray something like this, “Father, help our marriage to be everything you designed it to be.” That’s it. That’s today’s One Thing.

Today’s One Thing:
Pray something like this together today, “Father, help our marriage to be everything you designed it to be.

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!)


The WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 9:00 AM Sharp at Old 690 Brewery at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA
We have 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 also have numerous tables, spaced appropriately, for anyone wishing to attend the outdoor service in a more personable atmosphere.
• In the event of rain we will move under the covered roof portion of the building.
• WLCC continues to stream Sunday Service at 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

We Continue our Wednesday Evening Study Group online
Join us every week at 7:30 pm for an hour of great discussion.

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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell