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Celebrating Summer

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I don’t know about you, but for me this summer truly was “better together.”

In June, July and August, it has been exciting seeing our vision of the One Hope in Jesus advance in our lives and even more so as it touched new lives.

  • During the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality class on Wednesdays, I watched lives being stretched by the gospel in new ways through the conversations around the tables.
  • You could feel the buzz of community getting louder as the crowd grew each Sunday of those going out to eat together.
  • I loved meeting people who started coming on Sundays to One Hope this summer and began discovering the Bible for themselves for the first time.
  • This summer, partners from One Hope witnessed to Muslims in Albania through English language camps helping start new churches there.
  • We also sponsored a new church plant here in Orlando in Lake Nona (Harvest Community Church) launching this fall.
  • All of this just further quickened the pulse of our worship in one gathering as we gave Him the glory for it all.

God is truly at work.  But, where do you sense God is taking us? What is your prayer for this next chapter God has begun writing with us. I encourage you to think and pray about our future and I would love to hear your thoughts.

In August, in our “Following Jesus Together” sermon series, we are studying what the Bible teaches about being a Jesus-centered discipleship community partnered behind a gospel-centered mission.

Aren’t you excited about what is ahead? I am.

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Summer is Better Together

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I love Summer. It’s a time to invest in relationships, have fun, hang out, and enjoy one another. That’s why Summer is actually a very strategic time for our spiritual growth. Experiencing life together is the heart of discipleship. Summer, therefore, is a great time to "up" our intentional time spent together.

The theme for summer at One Hope is this: "Summer is better together."  

Summer is better together because we grow when we’re connected. We need a discipleship community around us where I we are known, challenged and encouraged 365 days a year.  Spiritual community does not take a vacation.

Of course, that goes for your personal time with God as well. Following Jesus does not take a vacation either. To the contrary, Summer can be a season for spiritual reset. Ironically the slowing pace can actually accelerate our spiritual growth.   

Christian author John Ortberg once asked his spiritual mentor Dallas Willard what he needed to do to grow spiritually. Willard answered, "Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."  Pace matters. When we don't slow down, stop, and be still, we cannot connect with our hearts, much less God and others.

"Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." - Dallas Willard

Summer is also an opportunity for us to worship together. In June and July we will combine our Worship Gatherings on Sundays at 10:30am. It will be one time and place to connect as a family of faith together. When all of us worship together, pray together and listen to God's Word together, we are allowing God to grow the momentum of what he is doing here at One Hope.

This Summer, move towards other committed disciples, not away from them. Make eating together a priority especially after our Sunday gathering. Ask someone you don’t know to coffee. Go to the beach and invite someone new. Change up your Community Group schedule and grill out. Host a game night. Invest in "the ministry of just hanging out."

The key is making time together real. As you hang out, share what's really on your heart. Go beyond the surface. Ask the deeper questions. Encourage one another. Pray for one another.

Do you really want to do Summer alone? Let's do it together! Donna and I can't wait for our first Summer at One Hope hanging out with all of you.

Summer is better together!

 

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