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On the Occassion of our 45th Wedding Anniversary

By John Worley

From the December 2012 Newsletter

By God’s grace, Judy and I have learned over these 45 years since our wedding that marriage involves accommodation, communication, trust, love, patience, kindness and sacrifice.  The intended outcome is growth—relational growth between husband and wife, and reliance growth jointly upon the Lord.   The relational dynamic between husband and wife, one of love and service and intimacy is, by God’s plan, a determining factor in the degree of functionality of our service and submission and worship, together for our Lord. 

Faith is practiced individually and yet, by God’s design, given practical application in life—as partners in covenant before God, by marriage.  Faith, to be functional, must make life application of what we know to be true from God’s Word—to how we relate to others, decide on issues, establish priorities and generally conduct ourselves.  This conduct and character of our lives must consistently reflect that what matters to us is what God has declared and what God has promised.  In this way we can learn to stop relating to life out of emotional reaction to our set of circumstances, but rather to make deliberate, predetermined faith-responses to the issues of life and the upsets in life.

As a marriage matures and correspondingly as a couple’s shared faith-reliance upon the Lord is strengthened, you become grateful for the frankness of God’s Word regarding what we face in life.  We are warned in advance that as we grow up and then grow old, “we will have trials” (tribulations), John 16:33.  In the same manner, we are warned in advance that our “outer man (physical body) is decaying” (with consequence of pain and suffering, diseases and discomfort, loss of strength and function and possibly even of mental awareness) 2 Corinthians 4:16.  This world would of course be tremendously threatening and worrisome to a married couple in the later years of life, were it not for the promises also given in advance by our Lord.  Assurance, to give confidence of convictions and perseverance in service and continuing faith-reliance in a God that is both in control and who care for us.  Thus He has assured us as believers, that though we will face trials, opposition and even abuse daily in life, “in Christ we have peace” (John 16:33).  God has given us confident assurance that we might act in confidence, because He has promised to be our “very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Furthermore, though the outer man will progressively show evidence and experience consequence of decay, leading eventually to death, the inner man (our spirit) is being renewed daily, having been already given eternal life (energized, enabled and assured inwardly by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:16).  We have help in the present, hope for the future, and married life sustained by God’s grace.

 

John Worley

John Worley was a member of FCC and a beloved elder of our church. He is currently residing in heaven.

Posted in: Christian Living

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Manifest Destiny

By Pastor Tim, April 2012

In the 19th century, America looked like it had a bright future. There was widespread belief that the country was destined to expand across the entire continent. This widely held belief was eventually captured in the slogan “Manifest Destiny”. The expansion of America was obvious (thus, “Manifest”) and inescapable (thus, “Destiny). The Polk administration tapped into this sentiment to build support for the looming war with Mexico. And as they say, “The rest is history.”

Fourteen years ago Faith Community Church was a very young church with an uncertain future. Previously, the church had met in homes, hotel conference rooms, and schools. We eventually secured a more permanent presence by renting some retail space that was situated next to a bar and behind a liquor store. The location wasn’t exactly conducive for church growth, but it worked and the Lord blessed us. After almost three years we were notified that the building had been sold and we had 30 days to leave. Thinking back on it, those were some very tense times. We had no idea where we were going to go. Amazingly, the Lord opened the door for us to meet in the chapel at Park University in Parkville, MO. This cathedral-like chapel, which was both beautiful and spacious, was in stark contrast to the retail space. More importantly, the rent was 75% less than what we had been paying.

When I think back on those days, they were both precious and awkward. We had about 60 people sitting in an auditorium that could seat 500, so there was plenty of room—too much room, in fact. The chapel was also situated right next to the railroad that runs through the city of Parkville. If you listen to tapes from back then, you will probably hear the long, annoying train whistle that regularly interrupted our Sunday services. Moreover, it still wasn’t our building. We were guests in someone else’s building.

Even back then, however, with just a few people and an uncertain future, there was an expectation and anticipation that God was going to do something unique with Faith Community Church. Next to the chapel, there was a park where I would often walk and pray. Fourteen years later, I can remember exactly what I prayed as I walked in that park. “Lord,” I prayed, “let Faith Community Church impact the face of Christianity for my generation.” It was a grandiose prayer, and I didn’t just pray it once.

God has been so faithful to this church over the years. When we procured our current building, we were overjoyed! It wasn’t much too look at and it needed a lot of work, but it was our own! At this location the Lord has truly sustained and prospered us. When we first moved into this building I remember thinking, “There is no way we will use all this space…” Well, all that space we thought we had back then is gone. Amazingly, there is still an expectation and anticipation that God has something special in store for us.

As the elders have been grappling with the future, we have noticed that our ministries and outreach go way beyond just that of a local church. Many of our key ministries reach out to the larger Body of Christ. For example, 70% of the students at Faith Christian Academy attend other churches.  Reigning Grace Counseling Center counsels many Christians from other churches, and RGCC is poised to become a regional, perhaps national, if not international hub to train, counsel, and disciple believers in the biblical counseling model. The Anchor House ministers to men from all different walks of life. And, through The North Africa Venture, Faith Community Church is responsible for the radio broadcast that goes across all of North Africa, reaching many Muslims for Christ.

All of these exciting ministries were not a possibility 14 years ago. We simply did not have the capacity or resources to accomplish all these things. The only thing we could do back then was dream and be faithful. All these ministries are possible because FCC has grown. The elders realize that we are at a critical stage in our ministry. There is still an expectation and anticipation that God is doing something unique with Faith Community Church.

Posted in: Pastor Tim

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