Blog

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.


Loving The Stranger

Our Daily Bread

Loving The Stranger

Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt…….Leviticus 19:34

When I moved to a new country, one of my first experiences left me feeling unwelcome. After finding a seat in the little church where my husband was preaching that day, a gruff older gentleman startled me when he said, “Move along down.” His wife apologized as she explained that I was sitting in the pew they always occupied. Years later I learned that congregations used to rent out pews, which raised money for the church and also ensured no one could take another person’s seat. Apparently, some of that mentality carried on through the decades.

Later, I reflected on how God instructed the Israelites to welcome foreigners, in contrast to cultural practices such as I encountered. In setting out the laws that would allow His people to flourish, He reminded them to welcome foreigners because they themselves were once foreigners (Leviticus 19:34). Not only were they to treat strangers with kindness (v. 33), but they were also to “love them as [themselves]” (v. 34). God had rescued them from oppression in Egypt, giving them a home in a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:17). He expected His people to love others who also made their home there.

As you encounter strangers in your midst, ask God to reveal any cultural practices that might keep you from sharing His love with them.

By Amy Boucher Pye

REFLECT & PRAY:

Father God, You welcome me with open arms, for You love me day after day. Give me Your love to share with others.

Why is it so important that we welcome people into our homes and churches?

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding in this?

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Willpower: The Fair-weather Friend

Willpower sure sounds like a great thing. We are led to believe that we have enough of it to fight off every temptation that comes our way. And sometimes it works. But let me tell you a little secret about willpower. Willpower is your best friend when things go well, but it’s the first friend to check out when you get weary. I have found that if I really don’t want to do something, my mind gives me plenty of reasons why I don’t have to. My emotions even join in, saying, “I agree because I don’t feel like doing it anyway.”

Our soul (mind, will, emotions) would love to run our lives, but the Bible says we are to be led by God’s Spirit. We are never instructed to be willpower-led, we are told to be Spirit-led. Willpower and discipline are important and vitally necessary for a successful life, but willpower alone won’t be enough. Determination gets you started and keeps you going for a while, but it is never enough to bring you across the finish line. Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV) says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

What happens if, instead of turning first to willpower in your time of need, you turn to God instead? God releases His power into your willpower and energizes it to bring you across the finish line. Willpower does not get the credit for our success, God does. Jesus said in John 15:5 (AMP), “Apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” This is one of the most important and most difficult lessons we must learn if we want to enjoy the life Jesus died to give us.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer.

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


It’s Your Choice

Pastor Tommy Nelson describes the beginnings of an affair with the metaphor of a game of tennis. Player A gently hits the ball over the net to Player B. Player A made the contact. He started the game. Now, what does Player B do? She has choices. She can hit the ball back and allow the game to begin because both have expressed interest, or she can walk off the court.

In our world today the number of people who walk off the court seems to be getting smaller and smaller, maybe because hitting the ball back seems innocent. Although we may think nothing has really happened by hitting the ball back, it opens the door for the next step. Walking off the court closes the door. My question is this: What are you doing today to affair-proof your marriage? 

There is only one person in your marriage that you have any control over at all. It’s the person looking back at you when you look in the mirror. If you “walk off the court” daily, you are doing your part to protect your marriage. There will always be temptations in our lives. The grass somewhere else can look greener than yours. It’s your choice. Hit the ball back or walk off the court. Which will you do?

Today’s One Thing:
What are you doing today to affair-proof 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

Thankful


We are extremely thankful to the Powell family for opening their hearts and business at Old 690 Brewery to WLCC for service during the pandemic.

On Sunday 11/29/20, we will be returning to have service at the
Old Stone School,
37098 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro, VA.


WLCC service is set up to accommodate everyone during the pandemic:
• Sunday Service: Starts @ 10:00 AM
•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 governor authorized indoor seating during inclement weather.
•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.

No Wednesday Evening Bible Study or Friday Youth Group this week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.


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

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

Miracle Prayers

Let’s do an experiment. Discuss with your spouse something you both could pray for knowing that it could only happen if God intervened. It needs to be something that neither of you have any control over and something that would make a huge difference if God answered the prayer. A few years ago, Nancy and I did this experiment. We agreed on three things that we knew would not happen without the movement of God’s hand.

Since they were private, I won’t share them here, but I will tell you that one involved the salvation of a family member who we both dearly loved. We began praying at the first of that year. By August every one of the three prayers had been answered. In our world, these were three incredible miracles from God. Now it’s your turn. Pick whatever it is that you will pray for. Then both of you offer that prayer to God daily. You can do it together or separately, but make sure both of you are praying for the same thing. Then pray and wait. Be persistent, and God will show up with a miracle for you. He is that good!

Today’s One Thing: Begin praying a “miracle prayer” with your spouse 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!)

DIY Approach To Life

Most of us pride ourselves on our ability to solve our own problems and to avoid needing others—basically to live a DIY kind of life. For example, if we don’t know how to do something, we watch a YouTube tutorial. If we have a question about something, we research it on the internet until we find an answer. If we’re struggling with something, we’ll often listen to a podcast, find a sermon, or distract ourselves with a binge-worthy TV series or endless social media scrolling. 

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those coping mechanisms, they are all things we can do alone, and rarely do those things inspire us to reach out to others around us. The thing is, we have more information and content available to us than we could ever hope to consume. And while it’s great to be informed, we have to recognize that consuming information in isolation rarely leads to transformation. So we can’t allow our consumption of information to outpace our connection with others. 

The truth is, following Jesus is a journey of surrendering our self-sufficiency and recognizing our need for a Savior. No matter how hard we try to be good enough, to work hard enough, or to gain enough material resources, wealth, or wisdom—it will always fall short of God’s standard—perfection. 

To follow Jesus is to admit that we don’t have it all together, but that there is One who holds everything together—including us. We can’t live a life fully surrendered to Jesus while also idolizing independence. We need God, and we also need others to help us live a life that honors God. 

When we’re feeling worried or anxious about the weight and demands of life, we often try to fix it ourselves or find the solution on our own. But Jesus invites us in Matthew 11:28-29 to come to Him to surrender our worries. It’s only then that we’ll discover we don’t actually have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders after all. 

And as for needing others? Jesus modeled this with His life by choosing to invest His life intentionally in 12 people—His disciples. And He instructed us to do the same. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus tells us that when multiple people gather together, He is right there among us. And in Matthew 9:38, Jesus invites us to pray for more workers to do the good things God has planned for the world. See, the more we try to solve our own problems and fix everything on our own, the less we’re allowing the Church to be the body of Christ. 

When we’re trying to solve everything, we can’t solve anything, because God has given each of us a unique role to play in sharing God’s love with others. We need each other.

Following Jesus isn’t about what we can do. It’s all about what He did. And our appropriate response is to continue to give up control, to depend on God instead of ourselves, and to recognize our need for others. 

Pray: God, I sometimes find myself tempted to live a DIY kind of life. Show me any areas of my life in which I need to surrender control to You. Show me where to invite others into my life. Give me the right people to surround myself with. And help me honor You with everything I say and do today. In Jesus’ name, amen.  


Our Daily Bread

Cradled In Comfort

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.—Isaiah 66:13

My friend entrusted me with the privilege of holding her precious, four-day-old daughter. Not long after I took the baby into my arms, she started to fuss. I hugged her closer, my cheek pressed against her head, and began to sway and hum in a gentle rhythm to soothe her. Despite these earnest attempts, and my decade and a half of parenting experience, I couldn’t pacify her. She became increasingly upset until I placed her back into the crook of her mother’s eager arm. Peace washed over her almost instantaneously; her cries subsided and her newborn frame relaxed into the safety she already trusted. My friend knew precisely how to hold and pat her daughter to alleviate her distress.

God extends comfort to His children like a mother: tender, trustworthy, and diligent in her efforts to calm her child. When we are weary or upset, He carries us affectionately in His arms. As our Father and Creator, He knows us intimately. He “will keep in perfect peace all who trust in [him], all whose thoughts are fixed on [him]” (Isa. 26:3 nlt ).

When the troubles of this world weigh heavy on our hearts, we can find comfort in the knowledge that He protects and fights for us, His children, as a loving parent. Kirsten Holmberg

REFLECT & PRAY:

Lord, help me to look to You for my comfort in times of distress.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Prayer Works

The Law Of Prayer

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

If we must believe that God exists and cares about us—the Law of Faith (Devotional Day 2)—in order to become God’s partner, then our next step is to try to contact him. Prayer is talking to God. It is the path by which we ask God for help, thank him for all that we have, and express to him our fears, anxieties, and hopes. When we are in partnership with God, it is important that we set our problems before God in prayer—and that we do this consistently and daily. As the apostle Paul said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17 NKJV).

Is it appropriate to take our habit of prayer into our professional lives? If you think career and business are personal subjects that are irrelevant to God, you will answer no. However, if the workplace is where you spend a good part of your life and where you have many daily interactions, you will understand that it is a wonderful field of action in which God can achieve his greatest endeavor here on earth. Therefore, the workplace is and should be a place for prayer.

We see an example of this in Daniel 2, which tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who was deeply troubled by a dream he had. One of the king’s wise men, a godly man named Daniel, asked for some time to resolve the problem and took it before God in prayer. The mystery was revealed to him in a vision. In other words, a work problem was taken to God in prayer, and God answered.

Prayer works; it changes things, and it can—or should—be practiced in the workplace to the benefit of your career or your company. Professional success is a complex subject that isn’t limited to prayer, but prayer is an essential component in the fulfillment of your goals.

To overcome pressure, humiliation, injustice, and other misfortunes, the apostle Paul instructed us to talk to God, because in extremely difficult situations, his help is essential. Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6 NIV).

If you believe in God and habitually take your requests to him in prayer, you will benefit from a strong sense of security that will propel you on your walk with God and help you reach your goals.

Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.

Credit:
Fyodor Dostoyevsky , William Douglas and Rubens Teixeira: The 25 Biblical Laws of Partnership with God Devotional

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

Our Daily Bread

Agreeing To Disagree

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace…..Romans 14:19

I remember hearing my dad talk about how difficult it was to walk away from unending arguments over differing interpretations of the Bible. By contrast he recalled how good it was when both sides agreed to disagree.

But is it really possible to set aside irreconcilable differences when so much seems to be at stake? That’s one of the questions the apostle Paul answers in his New Testament letter to the Romans. Writing to readers caught in social, political, and religious conflict, he suggests ways of finding common ground even under the most polarized conditions (14:5-6).

According to Paul, the way to agree to disagree is to recall that each of us will answer to the Lord not only for our opinions but also for how we treat one another in our differences (v. 10).

Conditions of conflict can actually become occasions to remember that there are some things more important than our own ideas—even more than our interpretations of the Bible. All of us will answer for whether we have loved one another, and even our enemies, as Christ loved us.

Now that I think of it, I remember that my dad used to talk about how good it is not just to agree to disagree but to do so with mutual love and respect.

By Mart DeHaan

REFLECT & PRAY: We can agree to disagree—in love.

Credit: Our Daily Bread


Weekly Priorities

If I did not know anything about you and my only source of information was your weekly calendar, what conclusion would I come to about your priorities? When I ask people what their top three priorities are, I usually get some combination of the following: marriage, work, God, family, church.
All are good answers, but when I ask them to show me where these are scheduled on their calendar, I usually get a blank stare. I’m not saying these have to be written on your calendar, but if your calendar is full of other things, there may not be the margin there for your priorities.
If you ask me the priority question, I would answer, “God, spouse, family.” Surprise! Yet, if there is no margin in my schedule, those are only words without any action behind them. Let me challenge you to take an honest look at your schedule for the week and mark off time that you can dedicate to your top three priorities. I find that if I am not purposeful in scheduling my priorities, they can sit on the sidelines of my life day after day after day. How about you?

Today’s One Thing: Spend some time balancing your schedule with your priorities!
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 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 limited indoor seating during inclement weather.
•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.

Wednesday Evening Study Group occurs every Wednesday at 7:30 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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Thank You

Pray For Our Veterans

We are grateful for and inspired by those veterans who have given their lives for our country.

Loving God, We ask for blessings on all those who have served their country in the armed forces. We ask for healing for the Veterans who have been wounded, in body and soul, in conflicts around the globe. We pray especially for the young men and women, in the thousands, who are coming home with injured bodies and traumatized spirits. Bring solace to them, O Lord; may we pray for them when they cannot pray.

Have mercy on all our Veterans. Bring peace to their hearts and peace to the regions they fought in. Bless all the soldiers who served in non-combative posts; May their calling to service continue in their lives in many positive ways

 Credit: St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Bloomfield NJ

Our Daily Bread

He’s Got This

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:18

Pastor Watson Jones remembers learning to ride a bike. His father was walking alongside when little Watson saw some girls sitting on a porch. “Daddy, I got this!” he said. He didn’t. He realized too late he hadn’t learned to balance without his father’s steadying grip. He wasn’t as grown up as he thought.

Our heavenly Father longs for us to grow up and “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). But spiritual maturity is different from natural maturity. Parents raise their children to become independent, to no longer need them. Our divine Father raises us to daily depend on Him more.

Peter begins his letter by promising “grace and peace . . . through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,” and he ends by urging us to “grow in” that same “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:2; 3:18). Mature Christians never outgrow their need for Jesus.

Watson warns, “Some of us are busy slapping Jesus’s hands off the handlebars of our life.” As if we didn’t need His strong hands to hold us, to pick us up, and to hug us when we wobble and flop. We can’t grow beyond our dependence on Christ. We only grow by sinking our roots deeper in the grace and knowledge of Him. By Mike Wittmer

REFLECT & PRAY:

Jesus, thank You for walking alongside me as I grow in my relationship with You.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

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

An Imperfect Tree

Slat Grobnik, a seller of Christmas trees, was observing a couple who was looking for a tree. The husband was slim and his wife was quite attractive, but they wore clothes that seemed to be bought from the Salvation Army. After passing by several very expensive Christmas trees, they found a pine Scotch tree which was quite OK on one side but had not so many leaves on the other side. They took another tree which was not in a better condition than the previous trees because one of its sides did not have many leaves. The wife whispered to her husband, and the husband asked if both trees could be bought at the price of $3. Slat realized that it would be difficult for him to sell those trees, so finally, he agreed to sell them both for $3. 

A few days later Slat was walking when he saw a beautiful tree in the couple’s apartment. The tree was full and the shape was good. He knocked on the door and the couple explained how they had tied the two trees together with the bare sides touching. The branches of the trees crossed over one another making the trees appear as one. 

“So that is your secret,” exclaimed Slat, “You just took two imperfect trees with flaws that could have been discarded because no one would accept them. But united in the right way, you produced something so beautiful.”

The same goes for a marriage. We could not find a perfect husband or wife. Every one of us has so many imperfections. However, when we can complement and support each other and accept our spouse’s imperfections, we can have a beautiful marriage. 

Prayer: Lord, teach us to accept our spouse’s flaws and help us to complement each other in the family. Amen. 


Technology and Marriage

How does technology affect your marriage? Many people’s minds go in a negative direction when asked that question. I get that. I have addressed the negatives of technology in marriage times in blogs and on the Awesome Marriage podcast. Today, however, I want to focus on how technology can affect your marriage in a positive way.

Think about it. This email you are reading is designed to help you improve your marriage, and we are using technology to get the information to you. I can talk to Nancy anytime, anywhere. That is something we could not do in the first years of our marriage. I can text her “I love you” or a myriad of other things that show I am thinking about her. If I want to see her, we can use FaceTime. I love how today’s technology allows me to connect with my wife and show my love for her in ways that were science fiction not that long ago. Whatever your initial thoughts were when I asked you to think about technology and marriage, consider using technology today to express love to your spouse.
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 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 limited indoor seating during inclement weather.
•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.

Wednesday Evening Study Group occurs every Wednesday at 7:30 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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Faith

Statistically Speaking…

Statistically, someone reading this today will have an affair at some point this year. It might be you. It might be me. I believe with all my heart that each of us is vulnerable to having an affair. In fact, the first step toward an affair is failing to admit we are vulnerable. Of the people I have talked to over the years who stepped out of their marriage, none of them set out to have an affair.
Actually, the pattern seems to be pretty consistent: They had needs not being met in their marriage by their spouse. Instead of talking to their spouse about it, they talked to someone else who happened to be a member of the opposite sex. That opened the door to spending more time with that person. One thing led to the next, and it all ended in a full-blown affair.
So how do you keep from getting on that path? Two things: (1) Always be honest with yourself about your vulnerabilities and share those vulnerabilities with your spouse so the two of you can work together on them. (2) Pray for God to reveal anything in your life that has you on dangerous ground, then ask for His wisdom and guidance as you step back into your marriage fully and completely.
Today’s One Thing: Lay your vulnerabilities at the feet of God, and let Him begin to heal you!
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 Law Of Faith

Scripture reading: Hebrews 11

The first step for establishing a partnership with God is to believe that God exists and that he is willing to develop common projects with us. This is faith. As the Bible says, “Anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6 NIV).

In the Old Testament book of Exodus, we read that Moses and the people of Israel stood facing the Red Sea when Pharaoh’s army overtook them. At that moment, some wanted to surrender and return to slavery; others considered killing themselves. But Moses confidently prayed for God’s help. God’s answer, a mixture of reprimand and instruction about how to act, couldn’t have been stronger: “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground” (Exod. 14:15–16 NRSV).

Praying and just standing there, waiting for God’s providence, was the solution the confident Moses envisioned—but it was not the divine solution. God wanted the people to walk. More than that, he wanted them to walk toward the sea. Faith that walks sometimes achieves that which seems impossible. When Moses obeyed, he discovered the fact that the sea couldn’t resist those who marched in its direction. And the Hebrews boldly walked through the middle of the sea.

You don’t need to be a saint to apply the Law of Faith. You just need to listen to God’s instruction and be willing to walk toward the sea, to go deeper toward something you want. Faith is hearing God’s command and moving forward in obedience. It doesn’t matter if your objective is to change the world, to please God, or to improve your quality of life; having faith is essential for taking the first step and for experiencing the spiritual laws described in this book.

One of the cornerstones of neurolinguistics is that we need to believe in order to see. In other words, we need to have faith—to put something into practice—to get answers and results. Maybe this is what Jesus calls faith the size of a mustard seed: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20 NIV). Faith, no matter how small, moves mountains.

Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.

—Max Lucado

Credit: Max Lucado, Baker Publishing

Content for the weekly inspirational bulletin is provided by Lyle Dietrich.

Our Daily Bread

It’s Not About The Fish

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented………Jonah 3:10

Sighted numerous times off the coast of Australia’s South Queensland, Migaloo is the first albino humpback whale ever documented. The splendid creature, estimated at more than forty feet long, is so rare that Australia passed a law specifically to protect him.

The Bible tells us about a “huge fish” so rare that God had provided it especially to swallow a runaway prophet (Jonah 1:17). Most know the story. God told Jonah to take a message of judgment to Nineveh. But Jonah wanted nothing to do with the Ninevites, who had a reputation for cruelty to just about everyone—including the Hebrews. So he fled. Things went badly. From inside the fish, Jonah repented. Eventually he preached to the Ninevites, and they repented too (3:5-10).

Great story, right? Except it doesn’t end there. While Nineveh repented, Jonah pouted. “Isn’t this what I said, Lord?” he prayed. “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love” (4:2). Having been rescued from certain death, Jonah’s sinful anger grew until even his prayer became suicidal (v. 3).

The story of Jonah isn’t about the fish. It’s about our human nature and the nature of the God who pursues us. “The Lord is patient with you,” wrote the apostle Peter, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God offers His love to brutal Ninevites, pouting prophets, and you and me. By Tim Gustafson

REFLECT & PRAY:
Our love has limits; God’s love is limitless.

Credit: Our Daily Bread




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 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 limited indoor seating during inclement weather.
•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.

Wednesday Evening Study Group occurs every Wednesday at 7:30 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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Positive Speak

Good News Can Change Us

Words have the divine power to generate realities—that is why prayer is so powerful. Prayer is declaring God’s purposes. You can pray for your spouse for years, “I want my spouse to change,” but if every time you talk to them you say negative things, that prayer is not going to work. Understand that praying is speaking what God says. Instead of praying for two hours on your knees and then doing something that contradicts your prayers, you will achieve more if you declare God’s purpose over your spouse. You need to know that he or she is who God says they are.

Our words, the same as our prayers, are declarations that align things to the will of God. James 3 in the Scriptures talks about people who do not put a filter on their mouths, people who have not learned to stop saying negative things. If two different things are coming out of your mouth, God has given you the power today to stop cursing and start speaking words of blessing. It is a choice, a decision you have to make. You can choose today to speak what is right and put a filter on your mouth to create a positive reality in your marriage.

I need to learn to speak so that the negative energy that is within me, can be changed into positive energy. My words affect not only the people I speak to but my life as well. In many ways, the state our marriages are in is the result of the words we have been declaring over our spouses. Do not let negative things come out of your mouth any longer. 

God’s message is called “The Good News” because bad news does not change a person. People and marriages change when they hear good news. Good news can change us on the inside and change our families, our jobs, and our world. We need to learn how to speak like God. God put His Word in our mouths. We need to speak of God’s decrees, establish them in our marriage, and start creating life and change in our homes.

 Reflect: Are you using the Good News to change lives?

Credit: Gerardo Cardenas; www.centrocristiano.org

Content for the weekly inspirational bulletin is provided by Lyle Dietrich.

Our Daily Bread

Mistakes Were Made

They gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!—Exodus 32:24

“Mistakes were made,” said the CEO as he discussed the illegal activity his company had been involved in. He looked regretful, yet he kept blame at arm’s length and couldn’t admit he had personally done anything wrong.

Some “mistakes” are just mistakes: driving in the wrong direction, forgetting to set a timer and burning dinner, miscalculating your checkbook balance. But then there are the deliberate deeds that go far beyond—God calls those sin. When God questioned Adam and Eve about why they had disobeyed Him, they quickly tried to shift the blame to another (Gen. 3:8-13). Aaron took no personal responsibility when the people built a golden calf to worship in the desert. He explained to Moses, “[The people] gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” (Ex. 32:24). He might as well have muttered, “Mistakes were made.”

Sometimes it seems easier to blame someone else rather than admitting our own failings. Equally dangerous is to try to minimize our sin by calling it “just a mistake” instead of acknowledging its true nature.

But when we take responsibility—acknowledging our sin and confessing it—the One who “is faithful and just . . . will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Our God offers His children forgiveness and restoration. —Cindy Hess Kasper

REFLECT & PRAY:

The first step to receiving God’s forgiveness is to admit that we need it.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

I Have Never Found A Shortcut

How much time do you devote to your marriage each day? How much time do you think you need to devote to your marriage each day? I have never found a shortcut to an Awesome Marriage. Believe me, I have tried.  

An Awesome Marriage takes consistent daily focused time each day. It takes me focusing on Nancy. I need to be face to face with her so I can look into her eyes and she can look into mine. I need to laugh with her. I need to enjoy doing things with her. The bottom line is that when I am consistent with all of these, our marriage is awesome. When I slack off it is not.

Today’s One Thing: Spend focused quality time with your spouse!
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 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 limited indoor seating during inclement weather.
•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.

Wednesday Evening Study Group occurs every Wednesday at 7:30 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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Cause

The Warrior’s Cause

Our church, Life.Church, partners with local churches in places all around the world like Malawi. I recently got to travel to this beautiful, but economically impoverished country known as “the warm heart of Africa.” The entire trip was incredible, but I just have to tell you Leah’s story. She lives near Chitipa, which is so remote many organizations don’t bother to go there.

Four years before we met, a friend from her church invited Leah to join a small group called “Light.” But Leah was reluctant to join. To join the group, she’d have to contribute a little bit of money to a group savings fund each week. Her family could barely scrape by, and they didn’t even have money to educate their kids or make repairs on their thatch-roofed house. Still, her friends convinced her to give it a try, so she did. 

After the group savings accumulate for a few months, any group member can borrow money, use it to do something valuable, then pay it back. After a year, the savings are shared out equally to the group, and it all starts over again. First, Leah borrowed a small amount from the savings pool to buy sugar cane in bulk. She sold it, paid the loan back to the fund, and had money left over. 

She began to believe she could do this.

She started to dream again. She’d always wanted to learn how to make clothing but paying for the training had never been possible until she borrowed from the savings pool. With the money, she was able to pay for training and buy a sewing machine. She grew confident again. Leah again borrowed from the group to buy cloth, which turned into clothing and a nice profit. With her profits she purchased livestock for her family, replaced their roof, and bought a bicycle that her husband used to provide a taxi service.

I’m still not sure any of us realize how much of a fighter Leah must be. Let me tell you something you won’t forget.
In Leah’s village, clean water was a two-hour, back-breaking walk away. Then, about two months before we met, Leah took her hard-fought earnings and personally paid to have a well drilled in her own back yard so that more than 100 neighbors could have unlimited access to clean, life-giving water.

We all need a cause to fight for. Leah’s story inspires me to start with my family but not just stop there. I want to fight to give people near and far access to what they need for life. 

Challenge: What cause are you fighting for? Are you fighting for anything beyond yourself? Anyone beyond your family? How can you team up with others?

Ponder: And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Hebrews 13:16 NLT

Credit: Life.Church

Content for the weekly inspirational bulletin is provided by Lyle Dietrich.

God Shows Up When We Pray

Do you pray for your spouse? We talk a lot about praying with your spouse but what about praying for your spouse? Pray for the things you know are important to your spouse. Ask your spouse what they would like you to be praying for them. 

Pray for your spouse to grow in their relationship with Jesus. Those are just a few of the many ways you can begin to pray for your spouse. If you do, this is what God will do: He will show up. You will experience His presence in your marriage and a greater connection with your spouse. 

Today’s One Thing: Begin to pray each day for your spouse.
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!)

Our Daily Bread

Scars Tell A Story

See my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe………….John 20:27

The butterfly flitted in and out of my mother’s panda-faced pansies. As a child, I longed to catch it. I raced from our backyard into our kitchen and grabbed a glass jar, but on my hasty return, I tripped and hit the concrete patio hard. The jar smashed under my wrist and left an ugly slash that would require eighteen stitches to close. Today the scar crawls like a caterpillar across my wrist, telling the story of both wounding and healing.

When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His death, He brought His scars. John reports Thomas wanting to see “the nail marks in his hands” and Jesus inviting Thomas to “put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side” (John 20:25, 27). In order to demonstrate He was the same Jesus, He rose from the dead with the scars of His suffering still visible.

The scars of Jesus prove Him to be the Savior and tell the story of our salvation. The pierced marks through His hands and feet and the hollow in His side reveal a story of pain inflicted, endured, and then healed—for us. He did it so that we might be restored to Him and made whole.

Have you ever considered the story told by Christ’s scars?

By Elisa Morgan

REFLECT & PRAY:

Jesus, how I love the story Your scars tell to me—and to our world. May I learn to love You more and more through the story of Your scars.




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 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesday Evening Study Group occurs every Wednesday at 7:30 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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Doing Good

Called To Love

We’ll never completely agree with another person on everything. Not even our spouse or best friend. Of the nearly eight billion people in the world right now, there’s not a single person like you. That means there won’t be anyone with your exact viewpoint on life, politics, money, relationships, or religion. You are uniquely you, and so is the person next to you. 

Even though we’re all different, we can still love others. Why is it important to love people when we clearly don’t see eye to eye with? Because Jesus said so. He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34 NIV). When Jesus commanded us to love others, He didn’t say that we had to agree with them first. So, what does love look like?

Love considers others first.
Love looks for the best.
Love shows respect.
Love seeks unity.
Love isn’t selfish.
Love offers the best.
Love displays patience.

Loving others involves pain. Love means giving of yourself. Love means putting your heart out for someone to potentially wound. Love means being selfless and thinking about the needs of others before we think of our own. We’ll never love someone without discomfort accompanying it. It isn’t easy and is sometimes unnatural, but loving others is something we’re called to do as followers of Jesus. Even with those we don’t agree. Especially those with which we don’t agree. 

There will always be things we have to “agree to disagree on.” It could be the way we do our finances—some of us choose to live debt free, others don’t. It could be when we decide to start or end our day—some of us are early to bed, while others stay up late. Or it could be more serious differences that concern politics, social issues, or current events. Loving others while disagreeing with them at the same time is possible.  

Our Daily Bread

When We Are Weary

Let us not become weary in doing good……Galatians 6:9

Sometimes trying to do the right thing can be exhausting. We may wonder, Do my well-intentioned words and actions make any difference at all? I wondered this recently when I sent a prayerfully thought-out email meant to encourage a friend, only to have it met with an angry response. My immediate reaction was a mixture of hurt and anger. How could I be so misunderstood?

Before I responded out of anger, I remembered that we won’t always see the results (or the results we desire) when we tell someone about how Jesus loves them. When we do good things for others hoping to draw them to Him, they may spurn us. Our gentle efforts to prompt someone to right action may be ignored.

Galatians 6 is a good place to turn when we’re discouraged by someone’s response to our sincere efforts. Here the apostle Paul encourages us to consider our motives—to “test our actions”—for what we say and do (vv. 1-4). When we have done so, he encourages us to persevere: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (vv. 9-10).

God wants us to continue living for Him, which includes praying for and telling others about Him—“doing good.” He will see to the results. By Alyson Kieda

REFLECT & PRAY: We can leave the results of our lives in God’s hands.


Meeting Needs – Your Spouse or God?

One of the ways that I see couples get into trouble is when they expect their spouse to meet needs that God intends to meet. For example, if I expect Nancy to love me unconditionally, she can’t — and won’t. But God can, and will. If Nancy expects me to always be there for her, I can’t and won’t,  but God can and will. If I expect Nancy to always understand me, she can’t and won’t—but God can and will.

So what about you? What needs are you expecting your spouse to meet that God wants to meet? Don’t get discouraged, because we all can fall into the unreasonable expectations trap. When we do, we can get frustrated, discouraged, and angry, all because we are looking for something that is not there. Honestly, if I could keep my mind focused on God and let Him meet my deepest needs, my marriage would take a giant step forward—and so would my relationship with God.I need to do a weekly inventory of my current pressing needs. If I write them down and put a “G” by the ones God wants to meet, it changes my perspective and my attitude. When I believe God won’t let me down, I allow Nancy to meet the needs as a wife that God has equipped her to meet.

Today’s One Thing: What are you expecting your spouse to do in your life that only God can do?  Let God do it!
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!)


Content for the weekly inspirational bulletin is provided by Lyle Dietrich.


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 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesday Evening Study Group occurs every Wednesday at 7:30 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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Encouragement

The Boxer’s Corner

Salt sweat and blood iron mix in her mouth. Her left eye puffy and shoulders heavy, she’s barely keeping her guard up. She manages to block a volley of jabs. Then ‘ding!’ Sweet relief. She staggers to her corner and slumps on her stool. She swigs water while the trainer sets to work patching up a cut. ‘You can do this. You can do this! Remember what we’ve worked on: keep your guard up, keep moving. This is your round.’ The bell rings again. She leaps from her stool, bumps her gloves, and begins bouncing from one foot to the other. ‘I can do this.’

The boxing ring can be a lonely place – it’s just you and someone who wants to knock you out cold. Time in the corner between rounds is essential. You breathe, get patched up, receive encouragement, reflect on the round just gone, and look forward to the round ahead. That’s exactly how church can (and should) function. In 4:1-6, Peter talks about wrestling with temptation, and in 4:12-19 about suffering for being a Christian. In the middle of these, he deliberately talks about Christian community.

When God’s people gather, we share a love that is deep and practical, gracious, and forgiving (4:8). We joyfully spend ourselves on others. We use our gifts, skills, and resources to build up our brothers and sisters, recognizing all that we have comes from God and is ultimately for his glory (4:10-11). We look back at the week just gone, hearing God’s ‘well done’ for the good work we’ve done, his forgiveness for where we’ve strayed. We remember he was with us in the ring the whole time, and we thank him for that. Then we get set for the round ahead – how we want to approach it, who we’re going to live for when the bell rings. 

Belonging to a church family matters. As you live for God on your frontline, week in, week out, you will see him working through you. But you might forget the game plan, and you’ll certainly take some hits on the chin. You need your Christian brothers and sisters. And they need you. 

Reflect: Is there someone from your church or a Christian friend God might be calling you to encourage today, through a card, message, or phone call?

Our Daily Bread

Can We Relax?

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid…….John 14:27

Darnell entered the physical therapist’s office knowing he would experience a lot of pain. The therapist stretched and bent his arm and held it in positions it hadn’t been in for months since his injury. After holding each uncomfortable position for a few seconds, she gently told him: “Okay, you can relax.” He said later, “I think I heard that at least fifty times in each therapy session: ‘Okay, you can relax.’ ”

Thinking of those words, Darnell realized they could apply to the rest of his life as well. He could relax in God’s goodness and faithfulness instead of worrying.

As Jesus neared His death, He knew His disciples would need to learn this. They’d soon face a time of upheaval and persecution. To encourage them, Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to live with them and remind them of what He had taught (John 14:26). And so He could say, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (v. 27).

There’s plenty we could be uptight about in our everyday lives. But we can grow in our trust in God by reminding ourselves that His Spirit lives in us—and He offers us His peace. As we draw on His strength, we can hear Him in the therapist’s words: “Okay, you can relax.” By Anne Cetas

REFLECT & PRAY:

Teach me, Jesus, to trust Your faithfulness, to know Your presence, to experience Your peace—to relax.


Essential Roles

At Awesome Marriage, we talk a lot about the essential roles that God gave a husband and a wife, but what about the other things that we do as a husband and wife in our marriages? 

Nancy and I never sat down and said, “You do this and I will do that.” We just kind of let the whole process evolve. I mowed the lawn and we both planted flowers. She liked to clean the house but hated to vacuum, so I could do that. We never defined our daily
roles as man and woman, but by who was best at it, and who wanted to do it or did not want to do it!  
This year with deadlines for a new book and the growth of Awesome Marriage, I have not run the vacuum in a while. It’s not like Nancy has been complaining because she hasn’t, but today I’m going to run the vacuum. What is something you could do today for your spouse that would lighten their load? Now that you have it, why not do it?

Today’s One Thing:
What is something you could do for your spouse today that would lighten their load?

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!)


Content for the weekly inspirational bulletin is provided by Lyle Dietrich.


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 10:00 AM on Facebook and YouTube.

Wednesday Evening Study Group occurs every Wednesday at 7:30 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 – We’ll save you a seat.
Senior Pastor Ray Cowell

Trust

 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up……Galatians 6:9 NLT

One time I was at conference and the speaker was talking about how they had been in a dry season and were having a hard time hearing the voice of God. They said that while they were in that season, since they weren’t sure what step to take next or what direction God was calling them in, the only thing they knew to do was to continue living according to God’s Word.

To wake up every day in that season and say, “God, I give this day to you. Help me to live in a way that glorifies You.” I thought that was so powerful. That when we don’t know what to do, we can simply just do what is right. We can continue to be faithful with our every moment. I love how the sermon ended, too. They said that in that season, one day they woke up and heard God so clearly say, “It’s over.” That day that season ended, and God started to take them in such a clear direction. Sometimes we go through seasons that aren’t fun, that aren’t enjoyable, and that are just downright hard, but we are still called to be faithful in the waiting.

If you’re in one of those seasons, while you wait submit yourself to God, and choose to do the right thing. 

Our Daily Bread

“The Main Actor”

The Lord has done this………Psalm 118:23

I once heard about a student taking a class in preaching at a prominent seminary. The student, a young man who was a bit full of himself, delivered his sermon with eloquence and evident passion. He sat down self-satisfied, and the professor paused a moment before responding. “That was a powerful sermon,” he said. “It was well organized and moving. The only problem is that God was not the subject of a single one of your sentences.”

The professor highlighted a problem all of us struggle with at times: We can talk as if we’re the primary actor (emphasizing what we do, what we say) when in truth God is the primary actor in life. We often profess that God is somehow generally “in charge,” but we act as if all the outcomes depend on us.

The Scriptures insist that God is the true subject of our lives, the true force. Even our necessary acts of faith are done “in the name of the Lord”—in the Lord’s power (Psalm 118:10-11). God enacts our salvation. God rescues us. God tends to our needs. “The Lord has done this” (v. 23).

So the pressure’s off. We don’t need to fret, compare, work with compulsive energy, or feed our many anxieties. God is in charge. We need only trust and follow His lead in obedience. By Winn Collier

REFLECT & PRAY:

God, I’ve been paying lip service to You being in charge of my world. It’s exhausting, and I want to stop doing that. Help me trust You.


God’s Plan For Marriage – Never Changing

I love the story right at the beginning of the Bible about Adam and Eve living in the Garden of Eden. Here we see the first man and woman, placed in this incredible place, and the most amazing part of the story is that God Himself, the Creator of everything, came every single day to spend time with them.

Let that soak in a little. It is a perfect picture of marriage. It could have gone on like that forever, but it didn’t and things changed. Yet, I really believe with all my heart that God still wants you to love your spouse like He must have taught Adam and Eve to love each other. I don’t know what God said to Adam and Eve each day in the garden, but I am sure it had a lot to do with relationships; both their relationship with Him and with each other. When things changed for Adam and Eve, God’s plan for marriage did not change. God was all in with Adam and Eve, and He is all in with you and your spouse. He never changes.

Today’s One Thing:
Ask God to grow your love for each other 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 @ 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

Content for the weekly inspirational bulletin is provided by Lyle Dietrich.