“Love Is…” Devotionals
Love is at the core of everything we are as followers of God and His Son. God gave the world an example of perfect, unconditional love through Jesus’ death on the cross, and it is our calling as disciples of Jesus to reciprocate that love to God and to have this same love for others. But how do we do this? What does a love like this look like in us? As we live in a world with a shallow, provisional and selfish definition of love, we must look to God’s Word for an explanation of what love truly is.
In the letter of 1 Corinthians, Paul paints a practical yet challenging picture of the love we must have as God’s people. LOVE IS… Devotional Series includes 15 devotionals from 1 Corinthians 13, each expanding on a different aspect of true love. Each devotional has scriptures for study, meditation and action. The verses for study are those that introduce the concepts of the day and can be expanded upon with cross-references, commentaries and other study tools. Those for mediation are great scriptures to pray through, and those for action provide practicals we can apply to ourselves as we move forward in our day. We hope this study series on 1 Corinthians 13 will help teach our OC Campus Ministry what it means to truly love God and one another!
Upside Down Play in 2016
Early-Bird Tickets Available!
Many of us remember Upside Down with tears, laughter and excitement as the book of Acts was brought to life in an astonishing way. (and, who can forget Claudius, Abby and Simon the Sorcerer?!)
Link to Trailer:
Upside Down Trailer
Upside Down 2016 will include many of the great songs, scenes and moments from the original. PLUS it will include innovative new wizardry and music in a terrific venue alongside the conference. We’ll even see Upside Down merchandise!
Almost 60% of all tickets to Upside Down 2016 has been sold. With almost 16,000 expected, there won’t be enough seats for even half the registrants to attend. (sorry, we tried – 5 shows in 4 days is a lot!)
Early Bird Pricing Until December 31st
We have decided to offer early bird pricing to all early registrants — who register by December 31st.
There Are Seats Left, But They Won’t Last
The best seats are left (box and orchestra), but they won’t last. General ticket sales opened in early October – but in the meantime enjoy your exclusive opportunity to get in and see Upside Down 2016 before all the seats sell out!!!!
The best seats are left – just CLICK BELOW to purchase…
See you in St. Louis!
With love & grace,
The Upside Down Ministry team
Our theme for 2016 is “Just Jesus”. In our busy lives and even in the church it is easy to get caught up in the fast paced life that we live. In fact at times we can get so caught up in all we have to do and accomplish we can lose the whole reason we are here, who we are living for and how does He want to go about our lives. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfected of our faith.” This verse tells us that Jesus authored our faith. In other words, He created it. It also tells us that He lived it perfectly. Wow! That is an upward call. Because of these things, God wants us to fix our eyes on Jesus. There are so many different aspects of Jesus life that are important for us to examine. We could focus on His love, His power, the saving element of His blood, or His dependence on God. We could focus on His sinless life or His words of truth. The list is endless and each aspect of Jesus life and character that we examine will bring about tremendous growth in different areas of our own lives. In 2 Corinth 3:17-18 God teaches us whenever anyone turns to the Lord there is freedom from ourselves and our sin so that we can be transformed into His image with ever increasing glory. So as we begin 2016 with our attention fixed on Jesus we can be assured that we are in for an exciting journey of transformation. We will be transformed into Jesus’ image. 2016 will be filled with sermons about Christ. Our family group lessons during the week will take those sermons and make them very practical for our daily lives. We will have a three day fast together at the beginning of the year imitating Christ’s fast at the beginning of His ministry. We will have scripture memory as well as a Bible reading plan in the gospels so we are all on the same page spiritually. Each ministry will also be adding their own touches to the “Just Jesus” theme. I can’t wait to see what God will do as we examine, worship, imitate and honor Christ in 2016. Here is the link to the Reading Plan and Scripture Memory: Just Jesus Memory.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)
Over Labor Day weekend, the LAICC singles ministry hosted 155 single leaders from all over the West Coast in Big Bear, California for LeaderSHIFT. This was the first weekend entirely devoted to spiritual leadership in the singles ministry.
What was LeaderSHIFT? A weekend devoted to the spiritual inspiration and growth of our leaders. A weekend focused on what God says about leadership. A weekend focused on encouraging and strengthening our leaders. A weekend focused on shifting the perception of singles leadership in God’s church for current and future leaders.
Amazing things happened even before the retreat began. As singles registered for the event, they were asked to complete a DiSC Profile Assessment that was used to each individual get in touch with their leadership strengths and areas of growth opportunities. These results were used throughout the weekend amongst the different lessons and discussion groups to add depth and insight into our personal leadership styles. The lessons focused on different areas of leadership, such as The Call of Leadership, The Gifts of Leadership, and The Cost of Leadership. Mike Rock gave a power and moving lesson on what it means to give up your life for Christ to be a disciple and serve others.
Through lessons, discussion groups, prayer times, hikes, and activities, there was something for each person to help them to connect with God, connect with His Word, and connect with each other.
Overall, the weekend was a great success! Retreat goers were moved to continue in their leadership or to start leading. On a post-weekend survey, one comment that sums up the feeling of those who attended was:
I am so humbled to be a part of such an amazing church! These events really help me look within myself and be strengthened into Christ. All the lessons this weekend focused on the heart of why we do what we do, and that’s key to building other areas.
God is working powerfully in the singles ministry on the West Coast and we look forward to many more events that highlight and strengthen the amazing singles ministry!
Guatemala Service Brigade
by Steve McBride
Guatemala is picturesque, a mountainous region with lush green forests and live volcanoes. Unfortunately, the landscape socially is filled with chaos. A few months before our arrival the vice president stepped down amid allegations of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars. Currently, the ex-president is in jail, being ordered to stand trial for taking bribes and customs fraud.
With a very small middle class, there’s a huge disparity between the super wealthy and the majority of people who are extremely poor and lacking the most basic services.
Last month, I had the privilege to serve the people of Guatemala at the Medical Service Brigade where hundreds of people were bussed in from remote areas throughout the region to receive free medical services. Every person, people of all ages, who came for medical attention, were treated to a tooth brush, tooth paste and fluoride treatments. Being that most every person had never seen a toothbrush or toothpaste we took the time to give instructions and demonstrate the basics of dental hygiene. Before brushing their teeth, each person had to learn how to wash their hands with a bar of soap, again, for most, this was a first in their lives as well. Fortunately, there was a dentist and a dental assistant on site providing fillings and extractions to alleviate people who had lived with dental pain for years. One memorable moment was showing an elderly woman how to brush her teeth. Though many of her teeth were missing, she imitated me as I demonstrated proper brushing techniques as toothpaste ran down her chin. Have you ever laughed with a mouth full of toothpaste?
If you ever have the opportunity to take a few days off work and want to make a difference serving those less fortunate, you’ll be greatly rewarded with the joy that follows at the Medical Service Brigades that take place every six months throughout Central America.
We are pleased to welcome Marcel and Karina Hall to the Orange County Church of Christ family as our new Youth Ministry Leaders! Marcel and Karina bring with them many years of full-time youth ministry experience as well as time spent as campus ministry leaders at their alma mater – USC. Marcel and Karina have made their home in the city of Orange which they share with their two beautiful daughters – Sanaiya (age 4) and Desiree (age 2).
In just a short time, the Hall’s have endeared themselves to the youth, the youth ministry volunteers and the parents. One of our youth ministry volunteers shared recently that “It is amazing to see how quickly the teens have warmed-up to the Hall’s. The Hall’s have already made such a great impact on the teens as they have focused on creating an even more loving culture within the youth ministry.” One of the parents commented that “Marcel and Karina bring a great combination of wisdom and experience but also a very humble and partnering spirit.”
Please join us in welcoming them to our family as well as praying for the Hall’s and our entire Youth Ministry.