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    Connections - Entries from July 2014

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    ThuThursdayJulJuly31st2014 Learn Love Live
    byAbraham Cremeens Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    Learn. Love. Live. These three important words provide the framework of what’s ahead in discipleship at Kossuth. They in fact serve as the guide for an upcoming curriculum to aid us as disciples who make disciples. Though curricula do not make disciples, they are a helpful resource in that pursuit. Let me unpack these words a bit.

    Together, we will seek to learn. We will learn through personal Bible study and godly teaching. We will learn in Connection Groups and Care Groups, one-on-one in cells, and alone with God. We will search the Scriptures to understand all he wants us to know.

    Together, we will seek to love. As God’s Word makes an impact on us, we will engage it on a heart level. We will see change through a growing love for God and people.

    Together, we will seek to live for God’s glory. With understanding of God’s Word and subsequent affections stirred toward him, we will shift in how we live. We will obey him from a heart that wants to obey. And we will give ourselves to his mission as disciples who make disciples.

    Within this framework, let me highlight a few things.

    Mission. Mission is a high value in Learn, Love, Live. As a part of each Care Group time, those involved will be asked to step out in faith by reaching people who don’t know Christ. The goal will be for each Care Group member to offer the Gospel to at least one person every month (don’t freak out; the study guides you through a step-by-step process to get there). Imagine the impact on this community if over 100 people are offered the Gospel on a monthly basis. Incredible. That’s something to get excited about!

    The Gospel Project. At times, Learn, Love, Live incorporates a guided study called The Gospel Project. It will offer various studies and topics, but the goal each time is to reinforce what the Gospel is. Sometimes this is done through a Bible overview and sometimes simply through selected passages of Scripture. I believe we will all know the Gospel more clearly by using The Gospel Project. Learn, Love, Live will kick off with The Gospel Project this Fall. You can learn more about it here

    Resources. Learn, Love, Live also encourages two resources: A three year Bible reading plan and a five year Scripture memory plan. You may already have a plan for Bible reading and Scripture memory, but if not, I think these are outstanding resources. The Bible reading plan unfolds over three years by reading approximately a chapter a day. The Scripture memory plan can be followed topically or in larger chunks, upon completion of which you will have memorized Philippians, James, Romans 5-8, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and a few other large passages.

    We have exciting years ahead together and I believe Learn, Love, Live will help us on that journey. 

    TueTuesdayJulJuly15th2014 Meal and Tour
    byDana Gottfried Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    What would it be like to go to a foreign country and community, expecting to live there for the next several years? For some of us, it would be very exciting. There would be so much to learn and see. And with a little thought, we'll soon realize that even more than experiencing the local food and sights, forming deep relationships with some local people would give us long-term satisfaction with our living experience.

    Next month, Purdue will be welcoming over 1,200 new international students. Some of these students recognize the importance of having friends among the local people in and around Purdue. That's why they will eagerly sign up for our church's "Meal and Tour" program. In this program, 2-6 students will be matched with you for a one time event on Saturday, August 30. On that day at 10:00 am, you will pick up your students at Crosswalk Commons on campus. For the next four hours you will give them a tour of Lafayette and West Lafayette, and you will also treat them to a lunch or brunch in your home. You'll then take them home by 2:00 pm. The international students will not quickly forget your hospitality and the things they learned from your tour.

    If you are interested in being a host for this program, e-mail or speak with Dana Gottfried ( Tell him how many students you can take. We'll send you food suggestions, tour suggestions, and conversation starters.

    ThuThursdayJulJuly10th2014 Book Recommendation: What's Best Next
    byDrew Humphrey Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    A year or two ago, I was directed to an article about email management that was written by some guy I’d never heard of named Matt Perman. He had a theologically rich blog devoted to the subjects of work, leadership, and productivity, and apparently he believed that one could—and should—maintain an empty email inbox. It seemed completely nuts to me. But I read the article and became immediately motivated to overhaul the way I handled my own email—which up until that point had been monumentally dysfunctional. I set about restructuring my folders, deleting stuff like a mad man, and shortly thereafter I would experience the euphoric joy of reading the words “Your inbox is empty.” (I haven’t seen those words very often since then, mind you. But I try.)

    For me, that article represented an entire world of knowledge that I was largely clueless about. I never had a class on email management—or a class on schedule management, or task management, or any sort of management for that matter. As I went through life accumulating new responsibilities along the way, my primary strategy was to hang on tight and hope that I would follow through on more things than I would forget about. And that’s not a very good recipe for productivity.

    Perhaps you can relate. Hopefully your system is better than mine has been, but you still may find yourself longing for greater efficiency and effectiveness in tackling the ever-growing array of responsibilities in front of you.

    Well, there’s good news. That blogger that I hadn’t heard of is now the author of a new and incredibly helpful book, What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. For people like me who often feel like a headless chicken running about trying to get things done, this book is a stabilizing dose of sanity. It tackles the obstacles that keep us from being productive while setting out a system to help us maximize our ability to get the right things done, in the right way, at the right time.

    The beauty of Perman’s book is that it’s much more than a practical how-to; it’s a theological what-for. “We miss something important and amazing,” he writes, “if we don’t think about productivity from a specifically biblical perspective.” In another place, he observes, “The only way to find fulfillment and be productive in the ultimate sense is to center our entire lives—and therefore our productivity—on God.” Such a God-centered, biblical vision sets the book apart. It allows the reader to see that having a list of best practices can be helpful, but for the Christian it isn’t ultimate. What is ultimate is glorifying God by loving others. That is what drives us to be effective in our work.

    It’s this theological underpinning which makes the book worth recommending. Perman repeatedly pushes the reader to pursue productivity out of an abiding sense of love for God and neighbor. And in the process, one can’t help but see that there is much more at stake here than merely making it through a checklist of tasks. Managing our daily lives and responsibilities well is kingdom work!

    So if you need a guide to help you become a better steward of the opportunities and jobs that God has given you—or more importantly, if you need to refresh your thinking about why your work matters and the potential it carries for doing good to others—Perman might just be your man. Grab the book, give it a shot, and see what you might learn.

    Previous Book Recommendations:

    Connections Connecting you to what God is doing around Kossuthby The stories of what God is doing in and through our local body of believers.