Planning and preparing for our campus expansion has been quite a process. We've done lots of listening to our big family and have been working hard to get things right. We've been sharing the vision with elders and leaders, and on Sunday, March 6, is the big reveal. How is God going to use our church to reach EVEN MORE people with the life-changing message of the gospel? Don't miss it!
Last Sunday someone said to me, "I think we need an overflow room for our overflow room!" We are rejoicing that God is growing His church and being crowded is a problem we'll gladly live with if it means more lives are being changed! Lately, we are out of room at the 9:45a service, the one guests are most likely to attend, so a BIG thank you to those of you who come to our early service to make room in our later worship services.
I've learned how to stay warm in NWI and stave off the winter blues: you have to spend time with people you love! Get up and go to worship. Get together with your Life Group. Go out for coffee with a friend. Hang out with people who love Christ and laugh together. On Monday night, when it was blisteringly cold outside, my wife I and were sitting in a Valpo restaurant laughing, talking, and praying with missionaries from our church. The night was cold, but our hearts were warm. Make the effort to be in community!
At Calvary, we believe that nothing changes lives like the gospel. Spreading the gospel and seeing more lives changed is the reason behind everything we do here, including recording a live album. I love the words of the psalmist when he tells us to sing a new song to God: "Sing to the Lord, praise his name, proclaim his salvation day after day" (Psalm 96:2). This album is all about proclaiming God's salvation with old and new songs.
As I said in the exposition on Sunday, the year 2016 is bound to bring both good and bad times. Whether we're rejoicing or mourning, God has given us a means of grace to sustain us and build us up--community! If you haven't already joined a Life Group, make this the year you dive in. (Read more
Looking back, we have had an amazing 2015, Calvary! We had two of our biggest weekends this year. More than 2000 worshippers gathered in our three services on Easter, and we packed out Central Park in Valpo on Father's Day. And this Christmas Eve...wow! It was standing room only at all the services. These numbers represent real lives. Changed lives.
The Youngs would like to invite you to our Calvary Christmas Eve services at 1p, 3p, & 5p. Worship will be both liturgical and contemporary, and the whole family can worship our God together. We are also enjoying Family Sunday again this weekend at 8:15a, 9:45a, & 11:15a.
I usually spend several hours in my study preparing for a sermon by reading the Word, looking at commentaries, and praying. These are some of my favorite hours of the week! But the sermon I'm preparing for this Sunday, "Fear Not: A Christmas Message for Our Time," has been on my mind for over a month now. The timing couldn't be better because you've probably noticed, like I have, that this year the celebration of Christmas is tempered by the most unexpected emotion--fear.
As you read this, I'm on a flight back to Chicago. I love traveling and visiting new places (and revisiting familiar ones), but I love coming home even more. Coming back to people who care about and welcome you is a good feeling. I'm looking forward to having all my boys and my daughter-in-law "back home in Indiana" for the holidays too.
Giving is so much fun! I think the reason people are so happy this time of year is because the season is all about giving. Whether we're dropping spare change in a red bucket, bringing stuffing and boxed mashed potatoes to church for hungry families, or watching a loved one unwrap the perfect gift, we enjoy the experience of giving. It's fun to know someone else is benefiting from our gift.
The Calvary staff is off Thursday and Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families. But we are all ready for Sunday! See you then!