Monday, August 13, 2012

The Beginning of the Second New Year

It may sound silly but many people consider THIS time of year to be the second beginning of the year.  You guessed it, school starting and fresh starts.  The Church does a big push for people to volunteer and people to join community groups, and flat out get involved.  You can look at the different ways to get involved at  Buckhead Church click here.  There are tons of other things you can do through all of the Northpoint Ministries.  They have Next which is learning more about Christianity and community service projects through intersect.  They also do a global outreach for mission trips through their global X program.  For my Watermarke friends the link is here.

The point is every year when people start back at school and they start back at other events, programs, and hopefully Church.  The summer is a time for vacation and fun in the sun!  The weather is nice and who would blame you?!  You can go to the pool, the lake, the beach and so many other fun things to be around water or outside!!  I love being around water and being in nature.  I feel so much at peace and just being able to relax is always nice!  I love spending time with my friends and there is a ton to do in the summer. 

Think about the difference in the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics.  It seems like most of the sporting events are in the Summer Olympics.  There is so much to watch it can seem over whelming.  But who doesn't like the Olympics?!  It seems like it always goes by so fast!!  I can't believe it is already over.  Think about how long the athletes train and all the hard work they put into getting ready for the biggest competition of their lives.  If it was me I would just want to do my best and not have any regrets.  I would want to think that there was nothing else I could have given to my endeavor.  I feel so bad for the athletes that fall or make some kind of stupid mistake that they will regret forever.  How many times do they perform the same routine or drill and almost never fall or trip?  Then when it really counts and millions of people are watching they mess up.  That would be the worst.

So with everything that we do and all the things we are starting for the first time in this new season, do your best.  Don't have any regrets, wondering what else you could have done to give your all.  Practice makes perfect, so always persevere!  If you have a challenge face it head on and don't look back!  There is only the present so focus on what you can do today to conquer your obstacles.  Dream Big and think about ways you can always improve yourself. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What my Church Community Groups have Meant to Me

As a member of the Northpoint Ministries I can tell you first hand how important and influencial my Community Groups I have been in have been to me! When I first joined Buckhead church I got involved in a Community Group right away.  It was so great to meet people who were interested in growing together and developing relationships centered around the body of Christ.  Community Groups are intentional relationships and are a great way to surround yourself with people who have a common interest in the Lord.

Before joining the Community Group, I had just gotten back from college and the only people I hung out with were people that didn't share my faith.  I was not growing spiritually through these relationships and it was a change from my college experience when I had believers that were holding me accountable.  The leader in my first small group quickly became one of my best friends and it was so great to have someone in my life who was genuinely interested in my spiritual walk and committed to being there for me as I became closer to the Lord.  The other girls in the group were also pivotal as I decided to take the next step in my faith.  On September 28, 2008 I was baptized and it was such a powerful experience to declare publicly that Jesus Christ was my Lord and Savior.  (The video on the BIG screen wasn't as scary as I first thought it would be.)

The group multiplied and the next two groups were just as influential and I also expanded my group of friends that I walked with in my spiritual journey.  The girls I met and did life with all became some of my best friends and it is amazing how God uses these relationships to bring people together for his glory.  The groups helped me become a better person and in addition to Andy's messages I became the Christian woman I was designed to be.  I became prepared for marriage and invested in my relationship with myself and also with the Lord.  Becoming complete and satisfied with these relationships, I didn't need to rely on a man to fill that void.

On August 21, 2010 I married the man of my dreams and because of these groups I was ready to be united and continue to grow together with Christ in the center of our marriage.  The best thing we did for our marriage was joining a "Just Married" small group.  This unique group is designed for, you guessed it, couples that have been recently married.  With a mentor couple that has been married for more than 10 years they were able to lead us together as a couple closer to the Lord.  After that group multiplied about a year and a half of being together we joined a second married small group.

These married small groups have been pivotal in the transition from being single and then being married.  They have blessed us with new friends that are in the same stage of life and that has been so great since life is so different now than when we were single/dating.  When you get married your goals and heart move to a different place.  So as a new Group Link is coming up to join small group I would really encourage you to consider taking the next step and joining a small group.  This as an investment in your walk with Christ and the value is remarkable.  You can learn more about Group Link here.