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    Why do people give?  Why do I give?   That’s easy – they give from the heart.  Let’s consider the word FROM?  All giving is a matter of the Heart.  I can’t think of anything that is more counter-culture than parting from my resources.  If someone gives — it is because something very deep and personal has been affected.

             Teaching on Stewardship is biblical – necessary – and needed now….The problem is that some stewardship teaching is guilt-based – even fear based.  I oppose that and I know it is not biblical.  God’s Word is clear that there are special blessings associated with our giving….God’s Word is clear that any act of obedience or disobedience has consequences…..But that’s not what God wants to motivate us.

 Have you ever read – Exodus 36?  Moses had encouraged the people to give – because they were about to build the Tabernacle.   It was long till Moses had to tell them to STOP because they had given too much.  I am not sure but I must believe that is the only time in history where the pastor told the congregation stop giving because we have too much now!!!!!

 Because God had liberated them from bondage – they couldn’t stop giving back to God.  There hearts were so full of joy and gratitude for what God had done for them – it was manifest by their generous giving.   

 In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul encouraged his readers to give from their hearts.  Paul knew giving from the heart was the greatest motivation to meet Kingdom needs. Our giving then is 2 sided — we give FROM a heart of gratitude because we have been set free from sin through the precious BLOOD of Jesus – but we also give TO – vision. 

 Vision is the destination – the goal –the promised land.  Our church building is phase #1 of 3 phases – each is blessed to have this facility in which to grow in faith – to develop greater friendships – to lift up prayer issues – and to pour our heart out to God week after week.  One by one we are making a difference in people’s lives. From Discovery’s pulpit you will always hear that giving is an act of Worship……but it is more than money.  It is giving of our hearts – and then the commitment of our wills to the cause. 

 And God smiles on the giver.

And God honors the giver.

And God gives to the giver.

No wonder people give.

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The above image is the location Max’s Monday evening D-Group served.  Welcome Home serves 12 homeless veterans.  We took the left-over food from Sunday’s fellowship dinner and served is as the evening meal  The men were so grateful – they couldn’t stop sharing their joy in having such a wonderful meal to eat. 

             Weekly this is how they survive — 4 times a week Meals on Wheels stop by — 2x’s a week Shakespeare’s Pizza comes – once in the morning a Baptist church has a breakfast and if there is any left overs – they bring it and may 4-5 men eat…..SAD!!!!

             The men gathered at the picnic table out back after the meal.  I asked if any wanted to do a Bible Study — 3 responded.  While Shelby and Courtney cleaned up the kitchen – Kay, Annie and I along with the 3 men had D-Group…

             They wanted to know when we were coming back?  The seed was sown – the door was open to greater ministry…..it was a joy to take the GOSPEL outside the doors of the church

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WOW!  What a Sunday God gave us.   Celebrating our 11th Birthday as the DISCOVERY FAMILY – was packed with great – positive – memories…….Because of oral surgery – I missed two of 3 weeks – and the big day didn’t get the verbal publicity it needed-  so I wondered if we should cancel till another weekend.  When I found out 60 had signed up — I knew it was on – and God was in it.   Was God in it…..?   How grateful to see our members step up— move chairs – carry tables – set the room up for fellowship… WOW!!!   Thank you Jerry and Shirley for ordering all the food for us…….Thank you each one who brought a dessert….A meal fit for a King and/or Queen……Then in the midst of the meal – we were graciously interrupted to witness our FIRST BAPTISM IN THE POND…..Bro Ross baptized Tammy Fisher – what a deal….Can it get any better than that?  Probably not this side of heaven!!! A big thank you to those who put the church back together after the meal…..thanks to you Doug for playing the video which brought back so many memories of our early days leading up to the current……………..Samantha and Sabrina Baker twin daughters of Shelby and Courtney — celebrated their 2nd  birthday last Sunday afternoon at Cosmos park……Keon Marshall and the Hickman JV football team played Rock Bridge last Monday evening.  So glad that many of our youth are active in sports at their respective schools………………Morgan Duff – 8th grader at Jeff – got to play her flute and march with the Rock Bridge band before the game last Friday evening…………….Big Thank you to Chris Fleenor who secured 5 tables from Blue Ridge for our meal….than on Tuesday evening Christ took the tables back to Blue Ridge……………We often pray for 12 chldren under 12 years of age….Sunday God gave us 16!!!   PTL…

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·      North Carolina specifically – America in general – such unrest – people on edge – pray for calm and peace only Jesus can give.  Also for authorities that they will be used by God to bring this peace and calm as well as personal safety

·      Joy Weir – surgery yesterday morning at University Hospital.  Joy’s son Andy who lives in the K.C. area – is in need of our prayers for clarity – hope – as he struggles with some emotional battles.

·      Carla Johnson’s friend Russell.  He is in Saudi Arabia – his father is gravely ill stateside – prayers for him to get home in time to see his father before he passes into eternity

·      Jeffery Baker- shoulder surgery – Oct 3

·      Continued outreach by:  our D-Groups – our Church- Our Youth

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            The Book of Joshua will be our study for the next 8 weeks…..Please read chapter one in preparation for our Celebration Service this weekend.  You will be challenged at the number of times God says – be strong and courageous…..You will also be challenged to know who speaks first in the book?  Often when there is a change in leadership there is some backlash that accompanies it —- will this occur as Joshua takes the helm upon Moses’ death? 

             What does the name Joshua mean?  Who also carries a name in the Bible that means the same as Joshua?

             It is interesting that the people vowed to do exactly as Joshua commanded V16….what was the consequence if they failed to obey?  V18…

             Our lives are always blessed when we study God’s Word – and I’m sure dozens of blessings await you as we study together the wonderful book of Joshua.  Don’t forget if whatever reason you can’t make it to the Sunday service – we have a Saturday service at 5:00 PM…..if you can’t make it to the Saturday service – we have a Sunday service at 10:00 AM….See you then….

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The D-Group passage for next week is….

            Joshua 2:1-13  When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him, “You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered. This is the territory that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and the Geshurites, and the larger territory of the Canaanites, extending from the stream of Shihor on the border of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron. It includes the territory of the five Philistine rulers of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. The land of the Avvitesin the south also remains to be conquered. In the north, the following area has not yet been conquered: all the land of the Canaanites, including Mearah (which belongs to the Sidonians), stretching northward to Aphek on the border of the Amorites; the land of the Gebalites and all of the Lebanon mountain area to the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath; and all the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, including all the land of the Sidonians.

“I myself will drive these people out of the land ahead of the Israelites. So be sure to give this land to Israel as a special possession, just as I have commanded you.Include all this territory as Israel’s possession when you divide this land among the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”  Half the tribe of Manasseh and the tribes of Reuben and Gad had already received their grants of land on the east side of the Jordan, for Moses, the servant of the Lord, had previously assigned this land to them.  Their territory extended from Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Gorge (including the town in the middle of the gorge) to the plain beyond Medeba, as far as Dibon. 10 It also included all the towns of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had reigned in Heshbon, and extended as far as the borders of Ammon. 11 It included Gilead, the territory of the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah, all of Mount Hermon, all of Bashan as far as Salecah, 12 and all the territory of King Og of Bashan, who had reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei. King Og was the last of the Rephaites, for Moses had attacked them and driven them out. 13 But the Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.

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