Friday, January 29, 2016

January 30, 2016

Renowned philosopher, Charlie Brown once said, "I love mankind, it's people I can't stand."

Of course that is ridiculous, but then it's a cartoon strip so it is supposed to be funny.

What is equally ridiculous but not nearly as funny is the notion that you can love God but not love people.

When Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan it was for the purpose of confronting a religious man who was trying to justify his lack of love for people while posing as a believer in God. However, his own words condemned him when he quoted the Great Commandment in Luke 10:27 - "He answered, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;  and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Clearly then, based on the authority of God's Word, if you don't love your neighbor then you don't truly love God. Period.

Loving others is not in our nature because selfish love is our nature. 

The change from selfish love to selfless love sounds like a radical change. How does something like that happen?

There is only one way to experience a fundamental change in HOW you love. You must change WHO you love. Only when you love God COMPLETELY can you love yourself and others CORRECTLY.

You can no longer love God halfheartedly.

If you are not sold out in your love for God you are a hold out and the best that can happen is a partial change. Loving a little better is not what you need. Loving God completely is the only way to have a complete change of heart.

You can no longer love God around the edges of your life.

How would you feel about God loving you with a halfhearted love. Would that work for you?

Thankfully, that is not Who He is so that can never happen. But in fact, if He only has half of your heart you will only experience His love to that extent.

What gets surrendered to God is what gets blessed.

What gets emptied before God is what gets filled.

If you want to experience more love give God more to love.

If you need to love others more love God most.

January 29, 2016

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9

Sometimes I wonder how people who were led by God appearing in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, a God Who had opened the Red Sea and fed them with manna and given water from a rock could ever have fear or doubt, but they did.

But now the stakes were high because this is moment God had in mind for them since they first left Egypt over 40 years ago. God had led them to this would they trust Him to lead them through it!

When you follow God individually or as a family or as a couple or as a church, there are those strategic moments that may only happen once or twice in a lifetime. For example, in the hundreds of years that God dwelt with His people there were only two times that he led them to the Jordan. They whiffed on the first chance and couldn’t afford to miss this one. Hence, the encouragement for them to be “strong and courageous” and not to be afraid.

I think this is very relevant to how God is leading us at FredWes. Over the past several years as God has favored us with growth we have been exploring options to provide the space for continued health and growth. Here are some of the things we have considered in our extensive search:

1) Purchasing the white building behind us and converting it to Youth and Children Ministry space but the purchase price was too high and renovation costs even higher. That was dismissed as an option.

2) We investigated the purchase of portable classrooms to move onto the property north of the church building. But regulations and cost factors ruled this out as a good option.

3) We spent one year and over $5,000 investigating the feasibility of building onto the existing building and discovered it wasn’t a cost-effective option and wouldn’t meet all of our needs.

4) We began looking for existing buildings and set criterion for what we thought we needed:
·        At least 10,000 sq. ft. on one level
·        Adequate paved parking
·        Visible location
·        Adaptable space
·        Within 15 minutes of current location

5) Nearly two years ago we approved listing the 6.2 acres we owned out on Rt. 3 West of town. This past Summer we accepted a contract for $300,000 for the sale of this property. We closed on that sale just last Thursday, January 21. We realized a profit of $269,010.

6) We looked at several possible buildings and identified two that we preferred.
·        A 14,200 sq. ft. commercial building in Cosner’s Corner retail complex with approx. 7,000 sq. ft. finished and 7,000 unfinished. It had 92 paved parking spots. Good location with good location for $1.8 M.
·        A 22,500 sq. ft. industrial building at Rt. 1 and 606 off of Exit 118 in Thornburg. This building had 300 paved parking spots and had been used by a church for several years. It was within but on the edge of our desired radius and was also listed at $1.8 M.

7) Recently we were made aware of an opportunity to partner with Tricord Construction in their new residential development in the New Post area of the County. The plan calls for 425 units, some apartments, some townhomes, mostly single-family homes and estate homes. In every one of their developments they dedicate land to a church near the center of the development. The parcel they donate to the church is approximately four acres and the church is required to pay Tricord $1,500 per parking space (244 paved spaces in our case) for a finished parking lot and a 20,000 sq. ft. building pad with utilities on site ready for construction. So, our cost to have a relocation site ready to build in a prime growth area at a major intersection of US 17 and VA 2 will be in the $450,000 to $500,000 range. Tricord is very interested in working with FredWes. On Monday evening the Leadership Team unanimously voted to recommend this site as our relocation option. If you vote to accept their recommendation we will enter into a letter of intent with Tricord which will allow your TEAM and Trustees to enter negotiation with Tricord on final conditions and cost of the project before we sign a contract. We are in the ballpark money-wise and will have time to raise funds or arrange necessary financing if the numbers are right.

8) This is not exactly pillar of cloud or pillar of fire type of guidance but the fact that this opportunity presented itself near the time of our closing Rt. 3 property when we were seeking direction seems as though it could be Providential.

Over 40 years of wandering through the desert God gave His people just two opportunities to enter into His Land of Promise. Incidentally, those opportunities were 40 years apart. That’s how rare these seasons of opportunity and favor can be. If there is anything we learn from these first few Old Testament Books it is the necessity of moving when God says move.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”