Connecting Point – August 30, 2023

Ordinary Angels is an inspirational movie that was enjoyed by approximately 300 Celebration members from 5 Celebration Campuses on August 27. The movie, which will be in local theaters in October, is based on a remarkable true story and features lots of action, comedy, drama, and putting spiritual principles into practice. Produced by Kingdom Story Films (which produced 2022's hit, The Jesus Revolution, Ordinary Angels tells the story of Sharon Steves (Hilary Swank), a fierce but struggling hairdresser who discovers a renewed sense of purpose when she meets Ed Schmitt (Alan Ritchson), a widower working hard to make ends meet for his two daughters. With Schmitt's youngest daughter waiting for a liver transplant, Sharon sets her mind to helping the family and will move mountains to do so. What unfolds is an inspiring tale of faith, finding one's life purpose, restoring relationships, everyday miracles, and "ordinary angels." Be sure to catch the movie when it comes out in theaters in October.

Without giving away the end of Ordinary Angels I want to say that one of the principles highlighted in the movie is that getting involved in helping and serving others brings healing and a renewed sense of joy and purpose to our lives. And getting involved in helping and serving others also paves the way to reconciling the broken relationships of our lives.

The Bible teaches that all Christians are to be involved in serving God in some way with their spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, personalities, and experiences. Ephesians 2:10 says, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each one should use whatever gift he's received to serve others." Hebrews 6:10 reads, "He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other Christians." (Hebrews 6:10)

So, are you involved in serving God by serving others in or outside of the Church? If you're not, you're missing out on God's plans and purposes for you, and the joy that comes from helping others and being in the center of God's will in your life. If you would like to learn more about "Serve opportunities" with Celebration Church, contact a Life Group Leader or Staff member at the Campus you attend. Or go to www.celebrationchurch.org/serve. God wants to use you to make a difference for good and for God, just like He did with Sharon Steves. But for that to happen you've got to make the choice to get involved in some capacity in the coming days.

SIGN UP TO SERVE

Speaking of choices, on September 10 we begin our CHOICES THAT LEAD TO CHANGE Spiritual Growth emphasis at Celebration Church. In the Christian life, most of us are seeking some type of change - change from our sinful habits, change from negative patterns in our lives, and ultimately, change toward Christlikeness. While the grace of the Lord is always available to us, it is crucial that we recognize that change begins with the choices we make to trust Him and His way and will for our lives (Proverbs 3:10).

So, to help us navigate these pivotal changes, we're beginning the CHOICES THAT LEAD TO CHANGE emphasis on September 10th. This emphasis has three main parts. First, each week, our Pastors will teach in our worship services one of the choices that lead to change in our lives. Second, our Life Groups will explore each choice further through Bible study and discussion, and we will learn how to apply the principles that we're learning to our daily lives. Finally, daily devotions with family-friendly followup prompts will be available for personal in-depth study of each choice. You can pick up a book that includes the daily devotions in next week's worship services, or you can access the daily devotions HERE.

So, plan to join us either in-person or online for CHOICES THAT LEAD TO CHANGE. And encourage some of your long-time, school, workplace, neighbor, and even wild and crazy friends to join in with you. When we make the choices we need to make that bring about positive and powerful changes in our lives, we will find ourselves living vibrant, victorious lives.

Hurricane Idalia is pounding the Big Bend Coast of Florida today, which is the area where I'm from. That area is expected to experience intense flooding, Category 3 hurricane winds, tornadoes, widespread losses of electricity, and lots of property damage. Join us in praying for minimal property damage and no loss of life. And pray that electricity will be restored quickly, especially for the frail and elderly (like my 86-year-old mother who is in the storm's path).

As we typically do when disasters occur, Celebration Church is sending relief supplies (food, water, fuel, tools, tarps, etc.) to the devastated area. If you would like to donate those types of items, please bring them to your Campus this week or on Sunday. I'm actually taking some supplies down to this week. If you want to give to help those who are being impacted by this Category 3 hurricane, you can do so at www.celebrationchurch.org/disasterrelief. Thanks for always being a Church that cares about others.

This Sunday at Celebration we will conclude our Friendology sermon series. In this series we've learned about our Friend To The End (Jesus), Ride Or Die Friends, and Through The Fire Friends. Join us this Sunday either in-person or online as we learn about Iron-Sharpening-Iron Friends. You will be encouraged by doing so. To catch the former Friendology sermons, go to Celebration Church New Orleans on YouTube.

Thanks for caring, for praying, for serving, and for giving.

Jesus Changes Everything,
  
Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
  dennis.watson.96
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