Above: In yesterday’s service Ramil Smith shared the story of his adoption. Found wandering in Quezon City, the Philippines, as a toddler, he was taken in by a poor family and eventually came to the U.S. through a summer hosting program.
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January 21 2014 at 2:25 pm 2 Comments
Above (from Sunday, January 19): Betty Stavely describes emerging from 35 years of shame and struggle and receiving forgiveness and freedom in Christ.
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December 17 2013 at 8:53 am 4 Comments
This past Sunday, Erin Hill, a member who serves on our Music and Worship Team, shared a song that fit perfectly with Joshua’s message on The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant from Matthew 18:21-35. We asked Erin if she could tell us how the song came about and also provide the lyrics:
“One day last week I came across some pictures of old friends that took me straight back to a difficult season of pain, disloyalty and dissolved friendships. If you had asked me prior to seeing the photographs I would have told you that I had forgiven these particular people of what they had done against me and my family; I thought I did! But the truth was, I hadn’t yet done that completely. The Lord desired to bring me to a place of further healing and true forgiveness. He opened my eyes to see that I was still holding debts against these people and it was affecting my current relationships, but most importantly, it was a hindrance in my relationship with the Lord.
After seeing the pictures I was able to take some time to sit down at the piano and receive this simple song from the Lord (mind you, I was pretty angry when I first started singing!). As the lyrics and the music started coming I was seeing how this was a sweet gift from Him for my aching soul. I don’t know how it all transpired but an unexpected healing took place while I was being honest with the Lord in that moment.
While I was still writing, I had the thought that this song might not only be for my benefit but possibly a song the Lord might use for his church. I contacted Josh to see what the text for Sunday was going to be…I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud when he shared that he was teaching on the passage of the unforgiving servant!
I truly feel that the burden of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness has been lifted from me and I sense a freedom that I haven’t felt in almost five years! Praise God!”
When I see Jesus face to face
I won’t think about the pain I feel right now
One day when I put my hand to his
I won’t think about the hands that hurt me here
But right now it seems much easier
To hate my enemies
Than to forgive and rest within your peace
So I need you, Jesus
My anger’s held me captive for too long
I need you, just you
Replace this bitterness with your love
I had a debt I could not pay
And you showed me your mercy
Thank you, Erin, for serving the Lord and our church with your voice and your songs. Let us know if you are able to get the song recorded!
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February 8 2013 at 7:51 am 0 Comments
We hope you will be encouraged by reading this recent letter the Good Samaritan Advocates team received from a beneficiary of their services. Praise God for the difference this work is making in our community!
“I just want to tell you that because of you and the GSA team, it feels like heaven here on earth. Your sacrificial giving of your time and talent on a Saturday morning free of charge just to help people is very rare in this world. I was deeply touched by the passion and diligence that the team I was assigned to on January 19 put forth in handling my case. It felt like [these servants] were angelic beings! The prayers and everything they did for me availed so much, and miracles occurred in that room that day.
For several months I could not find a neurologist who participated in the insurance I had. This team found one, and I had an appointment with her on January 29. She did not order a bone scan, as she does not treat work injury cases, but she examined me for the ongoing neurological symptoms affecting me. May God do for you and the team as written in Matthew 25:31-40. Thank you so much for your labor of love for others.”
GSA conducts clinics in Gaithersburg and Falls Church, Va. Visit the GSA website for more information.
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August 12 2012 at 6:13 pm 8 Comments
Pastor Erik Sheffer sent the letter below to the members under his care last week. We hope it encourages your soul, too!
When was the last time you had a fresh encounter with our living God? If you are like me, sadly, these aren’t every day occasions. These moments are rare. And I want to share one with you to remind you that he does speak, personally and intimately still.
But first I want to remind us that they need not be rare. God is speaking powerfully right now. God is fully present right now. It’s our hearts, our seeing and hearing that is the problem. Romans 1:19-20 says,
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
So my prayer that I have been crying out to God is for him to help us truly see him and hear him, which I believe will lead us to love and worship him. How can a heart that has seen or heard the voice of God not melt before him?
Ok, so now the story I wanted to share. My newborn daughter, Jubilee, was in the NICU for a few days after her birth before I finally got the phone call from my wife, Jerusha, that she was ready to be discharged. As I was driving in, excited, yet weary, I thought I’d listen to a song to refresh me and help me worship with a grateful heart. I remembered the Sara Groves song, “He Has Always Been Faithful,” and than remembered I purchased her new album a while back, “Invisible Empires.” I really never listened to it, but the song, “Keep Your Eyes On The Prize,” grabbed my attention so I began to play it. What a great song!
Again, picture me 10 minutes away from Shady Grove Hospital ready to pick up Jubilee and Jerusha hearing this song. Without giving any specifics of the song away (you have to listen to it!), the way the song ends (the last 30-45 seconds, so you can skip to it if you don’t have 3 minutes) reminded me that God still speaks … not just corporately, but personally and intimately. He knew exactly what I needed at that moment AND I had the grace to slow down, listen, and worship.
Let’s keep praying for God to speak powerfully in and through our lives today, for he is a consuming fire!
Grateful to be your pastor,
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July 3 2012 at 12:32 pm 0 Comments
Jesus says in Matthew 5:13-16 that Christians are the salt and light of the world. Last Sunday in church we got to hear from several members of Covenant Life who are living examples of this passage. We’ll be revisiting their stories over the next couple weeks with the hope that you will be encouraged by the work of God through people in our church.
Mark Mitchell challenged us all to pray about how we could share the love of Christ to those hurting and in need. Several of the highlighted ministries, as well as similar ones that we didn’t have time to include, would love to have more people join them in serving and reaching the world. Please use this list to pray for these ministries as well as to consider how God may be calling you to be salt and light.
Celestial Manna | Jason and Jennifer Cloutier
Celestial Manna lives out the love of God by providing food and clothing for those in need and by preserving resources that may otherwise go to waste. Their volunteers pick up extra food from stores and distribute them to anyone who needs it.
Good Samaritan Advocates | Chip Grange
Good Samaritan Advocates provides legal counseling to those who cannot afford it. Their teams include lawyers and non-lawyers who have a heart to “neighbor strangers.”
Local Missions | Todd Keeler
The Local Missions ministry spends one week each summer offering Christian day camps for children in several neighborhoods near the church. The goal is to love our neighbors through serving, developing friendships, and sharing biblical truth as they combine service projects with intensive, relational ministry.
Redemption Ministry | Denny Cook
Redemption Ministry is a twelve-step program that ministers to people with addictions. Those involved get a front row seat in God’s work of transforming lives and freeing people from slavery to sin.
Shady Grove Pregnancy Center | Susan Veirs
Shady Grove Pregnancy Center provides counseling and practical help to women with unintended pregnancies. Women receive a listening ear and truthful information about their options. The Center not only helps women to choose life for their babies, but they also help these women transition to motherhood.
Washington Square Tutoring | Becky Faherty
Second through fifth graders in a neighborhood near the church need help in reading and math. This tutoring group works with kids both in the summer and the school year to help them with their homework and take them through a supplemental curriculum.
Women’s Shelters | Vania Carneiro
There are several local shelters that help homeless women by providing a place to live and spiritual truth from the Bible.
If you’d like to be put in touch with one of these ministries, please fill out the form below. When submitted, the form will be sent to the point of contact for the ministry you selected and the LINK team with cc to you.
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