Monday, November 16, 2009

Up’ing Your Game

Pastor Jason said a statistic that really caught my attention this
morning. He said that only 20% of the people in Warren County attend
worship - on any given Sunday. That number is not just Christian is all faith systems. I was thinking, "Wow, that is a lot of people that don’t worship Jesus each week." It seems there are two main reasons people don’t come to church 1) because they don’t have a relationship with Jesus; or 2) they are believers and they choose not to go to church.

During the missions conference yesterday, Dr. Sills said that you are
either a missionary or an impostor. Yikes. That is strong. It is
true though. Believers are called to be missionaries (Matthew 28:19,
20). No options are given. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you must
pursue missions. It is not a program. It is a lifestyle. So when
our feet hit the ground...we are in the mission field.

Dr. Sills said that it took Coca Cola only 113 years for 94% of the
world to recognize the Coca Cola logo. He also shared that although believers have had the Great Commission for over 2000 years, 2 billion people still haven't heard the name of Jesus. Hmmmm. Makes one think...there are more people that know Coke than Christ. The Kingdom of God needs people stepping up their “game.” Are we impostors or are we sharing what we know about Jesus?

Pastor Jason has been challenging the congregation each week about
being active in our faith and sharing Jesus with others. Today he
communicated about how we need to be active in politics (local and
national). Believers need to be voting what we believe. We also need Christian men and women to be active in all areas of our government, schools, and city.

Big challenges today...are you ready to “Up Your Game!”?

Pastor Jeff Carlisle, Missions Pastor

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"This is an Emergency”

We have an emergency here on Earth. It is a challenge, as Christians, to fear Hell and share with others about the Savior who can keep them from Hell. It is a challenge of evangelism that not only reaches to the people next door, but to the farthest stretches of the earth. It is a global emergency, one that Christians should warn everyone about.

My name is Emily Harrod- I’m a sophomore Elementary Education/ESL major at WKU, and I love being involved in the College Ministry at Living Hope! The College Ministry has been such a great way to respond to the global emergency of winning people to Christ. Even this past weekend, several college students participated in Trunks of Treats by creating “Bible Story Lane” to walk children through the story of the Bible, sharing how each story ultimately points to Jesus. We were able to share the Gospel with so many children and their parents!

The College Ministry redefined evangelism for me. Evangelism comes in many forms- it can mean dressing up like a “wee little man” so children will know the story of Zacchaeus and see that God loves all people. Evangelism can mean investing in an international student with a completely different worldview. It can even mean giving up a summer, winter, or spring break from classes to travel across the world and evangelize to the unreached people groups. Whatever the case, we have been encouraged to evangelize during this unique time in our lives!

After the sermon we heard Sunday on the challenge of evangelism, my heart was burning for the people I met while serving in Asia this summer. I cannot wait to go back one day and continue the work the Lord has given to me. Until then, however, we have been encouraged to channel that motivation into our classmates and friends here on our college campus, and to simply pray for those in the unreached countries. Live like there is an emergency wherever you are, in every situation!

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me, the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”- Acts 20:24

Monday, October 26, 2009

Family Dedication Ceremony

Yesterday morning we celebrated our Family Dedication service. On the surface this is a ceremony of wonder, of hope, of delight as we see these young families and adore the precious babies on the platform. However, below the surface lies a greater call.

Our commitment to Family Dedication is founded on the Biblical principles of both Psalm 78 and Deuteronomy 6. Both passages clearly define the utmost responsibility of the parents to remember the words of Scripture and to teach them to their children. God makes parents responsible for passing on the truths of their faith within every afforded opportunity. In addition, the community of faith was held accountable to bring support. This is why we have “raised the bar” so to speak by requiring membership of one parent and attendance at a “parenting class” by both parents prior to our Family dedication Sunday. These prerequisites strengthen the lines of accountability.

Deeper still is our realization of the power and sovereignty of God in the lives of our children. This is why it is always stated that “this ceremony is not one of guarantee, but rather intent”. This serves as a reminder that we are fully dependent on God. We are called to obedience; we are called to treasure God’s Word; we are called to obey the commands of God; we are called to live in the light of His glory and persevere as witnesses for the Gospel. The results of our obedience rest in God alone. Every act of salvation is a miracle of God and if we were going to stake our lives on the “probable” we would all come up short. Instead, we stake our lives on the power of God, His unwavering attributes, and the truth of His Word. God is the one who changes hearts and saves us from sin. This is why the Family Dedication service and the covenant expressed there is so vital to the health of our community of faith. It is because we are coming together and committing ourselves to connection, accountability, fervent prayer, and clear teaching with the hope that our children will come to know Christ as Savior and will continue in the faith as powerful witnesses.

Join me in commitment to guardianship – guarding our hearts and minds so that we treasure God alone and communicate and live that lifestyle in our homes, in our faith community, in our world, and thereby show the next generation the glory of God through our lives.

Monday, October 19, 2009

HE Holds the Future

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as a Trustee for the past three years. As I reflect on my time of service, I can honestly say that it’s been very educational, thought provoking, challenging, sometimes frustrating and humbling. I listened with interest this morning during the worship service as Trustee Chair, John Mark Fones outlined how mightily God has worked in our building project over the past several years. Just when we thought we’d go this or that direction, God had another plan. Many times, the Trustees were anxious as to what was going on, but all along, trusted that God would work it out for His glory.

I hope that everyone in attendance in worship today was inspired to trust God daily – to expect great things from Him. I was encouraged to hear again how the Lord made our building program possible; slowing us down for the day HE would act to make it a reality. I think it is important to note that the Trustees and Building Committee were prepared for whatever God had in store for us; whether it was just building the education wing, building the whole planned project or to build nothing at all. Like John Mark, I greatly appreciate the years of service the members of the Building Committee and collateral committees have put into this new project. While witnessing the new building project go from idea to design to reality is exciting, it’s what will be happening inside those walls that count – the lives saved and relationships made. That’s why God showed up – it’s not so Living Hope could brag about what we have; it’s so Living Hope could live out the great commission. It is also so people like you and I could be encouraged to trust God with all areas of our lives.

John Mark’s testimony was reinforced by the songs in worship today – all describing the character of our Lord. We sang, “You are God, you are holy, how awesome are the things we’ve yet to see” – we sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” and we heard a beautiful song about how “Beautiful” our Lord is. Why is it, that as Christians we many times have to be cornered to trust Him? Why is it that we cannot daily trust and depend on our holy, awesome and beautiful God? My experience as a Trustee has provided me with firsthand accounts of how the Lord has been faithful with our church’s finances and in the lives of our pastors and staff members. I am thankful to have been able to serve Him in this capacity.

As Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Please continue to pray for our church’s ministers, our staff, the Trustees and the various other committees who are dedicated to doing the Lord’s work. According to a certain Bible commentary, “As long as God, who knows the future, provides our agenda and goes with us as we fulfill His mission, we can have boundless hope. This does not mean that we will be spared pain, suffering or hardship, but that God will see us through to a glorious conclusion.”

Stacey Sims

Monday, October 12, 2009

Events for Everybody!

As I shared during the Worship Service on Sunday, we have some exciting events coming up in the Adult Discipleship Ministry. Here are a few events coming up in the next two weeks that we would love for you to consider participating in:

Women’s Muslim Prayer Tea: (Saturday, October 17th at 9:00 a.m.)
This is an opportunity to join other women in praying for Muslim women around the world to come to faith through Jesus Christ. For more information, please contact Dwan Graham at

Man to Man Retreat: (Friday, October 23rd to Saturday, October 24th)
This is our annual Men’s Retreat in Hardin, KY. This is a great opportunity to fellowship with other men and to grow in relationship with Christ. The cost is $45, which covers meals and overnight stay at the retreat center. Tickets are available at the Men’s Ministry kiosk in the church lobby. For information contact

Single Parents University (Saturday, October 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m)
Join us as we gain some great insights from guest speakers Dr. Bruce Ware of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary & Children’s Minister Cindy Starr. There will be several breakout sessions offered to help equip single parents on a variety of areas. Lunch & childcare provided. The cost is $10, and you can sign up at

We hope that you will join us for one of these Adult Discipleship Ministry Events!

Grace and Peace,

Richard Carwile
Adult Discipleship Pastor

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Senior Adults

My name is Teresa Willoughby. I serve on the senior adult council of which I am the current president. I am chairperson of the bereavement committee and the kitchen –hospitality committee. I serve monthly with the hospital hospitality ministry, and most recently have been volunteering my time on Tuesday and Thursdays at Hope House. I facilitate the ABF lesson when our regular teacher isn’t present. My husband, Steve, and I host our small group in our home. I feel as though I am an active senior adult, but still can’t be compared to what others in our church are doing.

These are some of the areas of ministry that Living Hope’s senior adults are active participants:

BASKETS of LOVE Baskets are assembled at church containing items that are useful to hospital patients. The baskets are delivered to local hospital patients who are listed on the church CAREnet.

HOSPITAL HOSPITALITY Volunteers assemble bagged lunches which are prepared at church and taken to family members of patients in the waiting rooms of local hospitals.

BEREAVEMENT When the need arises, volunteers are phoned and asked to
prepare a dish of food. They may also be asked to help serve the meal or clean up afterwards.

NURSING HOME MINITRY Volunteers meet to practice and then go to local nursing homes to sing. Volunteers don’t have to have a beautiful voice just one that makes a joyful noise and a willing heart that wants to share the love of Jesus.

HOPE HOUSE This is a new outreach ministry which seeks to meet a material need, but more importantly share the Gospel so that unsaved people will come to know Jesus and get connected with an area church. The ministry includes all ages; however, several seniors play an active role.

I would like to share how serving in one of these ministries has helped to change me. I am a retired elementary school teacher and have been so for six years. I still enjoy returning to the school from which I retired and substitute. Eleven years ago we purchased a newly constructed house. Recently I began to think of some updating that the house needed especially the kitchen. My husband said we need to wait until we finished paying for our youngest daughter’s college education before we took on such an expensive project. Not wanting to concede that he is right, I begin to think of how this could be done sooner. After much thought the idea come to me that I could save all of the money that I make substituting this school year and if I taught as many days as I usually do I could probably pay for the upgrades by next summer or early fall. I felt that was a great solution.

Shortly before this school year began, I attended a training session at Hope House. I immediately felt that this was a ministry that I needed to be a part of. After praying about when and how much time I should commit to Hope Hose, I felt led to serve each Tuesday and Thursday. I became very excited about this time and found myself wishing for Tuesday and Thursday. Shortly after I begin giving of my time to Hope House school opened. Wouldn’t you know that for the first three Tuesdays of school, I received a call about 6:00 A.M. asking if I was available to teach. I said I had a prior commitment. I began to think will I ever get called on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Still I was glad that I had honored my commitment.

After serving a few weeks at Hope House, God began to change the desire of my heart. Seeing the many material needs that the guests have not to mention their spiritual needs, made me realize how truly inconsequential and unimportant updating my kitchen really is. I now have a heart that is full of so much more gratitude than before. God has lavishly poured out his blessings on me both materially and spiritually. He has given me much more of a servant’s heart. I see the hurt in these people’s eyes, and their troubled faces and I can’t help but want to more. What a wonderful opportunity God has placed in my path. I want to be faithful and honor my commitment to God.

James 2: 14-17 says: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well”, but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works is dead by itself.

We are saved by grace and through our faith by trusting in and committing to Jesus Christ. We must do more that just talk about faith. We must demonstrate compassionate actions. Genuine faith is active and productive. We show that our faith is genuine by doing good works. We can not do everything and help every body but we are not exempt from translating our faith into concrete actions.

Once again James reminds us in 2:26 that faith without works is dead.

Please as a senior adult join with others as we live out our saving faith. Prayerfully consider serving in one of these ministry areas.
A call to service is not limited to Senior Adults. No matter how old you are, if you are a Christian, you are called to serve. Please find your place of service so that together we can fulfill Living Hope’s mission Get to God, Grow in Christ, and Give to others.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Adult Bible Fellowship

Tim Brown has been a member of Living Hope since moving to Bowling Green in 1997. Tim has been an ABF teacher for 9 years and currently teaches an ABF Class at 9:30 and 11:00 and is also active in the Mens Minstry at Living Hope. Tim has been married to his wife Mylinda for 24 years and their family is made up of son Travis and daughter-in-law Laura, and another son Tyler.

I have had the honor, blessing, and responsibility the past nine years of teaching an ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship) class at Living Hope. During that time I have seen so many lives changed and watched as God increased the hunger for Him in many individuals. ABF’s (AKA: Sunday School Classes) are the greatest venue to make sure God’s Word is being taught in a group setting every Sunday in the local church. ABF’s provide three crucial benefits: 1)A place to study God’s Word with others 2)A place where you can get plugged in right away and where questions can freely be asked 3)Equips the participants to serve and provides a great place to connect to maturing believers.

I believe the greatest opportunity it provides is a place where individuals can discover or rediscover the Person of Christ. A quote I recently came across by Major Ian Thomas, who founded Torchbearers International states, “The upmost need in the ministry of the church today is to rediscover the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and the indispensability of His indwelling presence within the believer”. I believe the tool of ABF is where that has the best chance of happening.

I am an old football player so I use a lot of analogies from my playing days that give me a visual of things in my spiritual life. I compare ABF’s to the fundamentals of blocking and tackling – no matter what else you do in the game of football, if you can’t block and tackle, you are not going to win a lot of games. ABF’s are where blocking and tackling get done in our spiritual lives. Every week up and down those hallways you have the certainty that blocking and tackling is going on. We are in a “war” with an enemy who hates our guts and doesn’t want us to work on our blocking and tackling so he tries to convince us that we don’t need to be connected to an ABF class, especially if we are connected to some other group. Truth is --- we need both! Barna Research has revealed that Sunday School attendance has actually grown due to attenders saying they needed more than they were getting in the groups they were connected to. In other words they needed more blocking and tackling to help them SIMPLY BE THE CHURCH GOD HAS CALLED US TO BE.

So let me challenge everyone to get involved with an ABF class and let God take you deeper as He uses the following individuals to help reveal the Person of Christ to you:

Tony Walker Todd Steward

Peggy Easley Andy Parsley

Sharon Stokes Ed Wilson

John & Nan Higgins Steve Henry

Dennis Strom Larry Causey

Mike Wilson Peggy Parrot

Tim Brown Pat McCubbin

Thomas Weakley Dan Edmonson

Sean Latham Gary Allen

Kimmy Stofer Matt Haste

Mike Roemer Bryan Keene

Brenda Martin Norris Shehan

Jackie Stewart