Reckless Love

First, I think our worship team did awesome with this recording!

Next, this song and I have an interesting relationship. To this day I still think I like the phrase “Zealous Love” better than “Reckless Love”. In a worship leaders Facebook group that I’m in I’ve seen the same hang up that I have, which is “God’s love is not reckless”.

See, for me the word “reckless” has a sinful connotation to it. Reckless driving is the foremost example to me. Driving in a way that you don’t take care of the other vehicles around you is absolutely sinful. For that reason I think the word zealous is much better but I also acknowledge that zealous isn’t really in our common vocabulary anymore.

The simple Google definition of the word is “(of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action” and they even have “reckless driving” as the first example of usage.

This definition actually makes it a bit easier for me. Here is why… God is in ultimate control. He doesn’t need to worry about consequences because he’s as in control of those consequences as he is of his actions. In that regard, not thinking about the consequences is not sinful, the consequences themselves are immaterial. Additionally, because God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (everywhere) he can chase after the one AND still care for the ninety-nine.

I believe the writers of this song did a fantastic job conveying the beautiful love of God into music that is beautiful and a melody that is breathtaking.

This is my two cents.

In Christ,

Scott

Egg Hunt

Hello Elim Families,

We found a way to have an Easter Egg Hunt! We’d like to offer for you to come hunt eggs at the Fowler’s house on Saturday, April 11, 2020. This will be a purely outside activity. We will have a sign up sheet to have 1 family per hour throughout the day.

While here you will get to:

Hunt eggs in the wooded area of our property.

See our chickens up close. Scott or Victoria will catch one of them to pet.

See our chicks! We have four chicks that are still in the fluffy stage! You’ll get to hold these (gently) if you want.

This opportunity is for Elim families and their immediate families. Grandparents are welcome to bring their children and grandkids. Since this is in the woods it is for kids between 2 and 17 years of age. Anyone going into the woods should wear long pants and have tennis shoes or boots.

If you want a video of what the terrain is like, Austin hosted a walkthrough that we filmed. Message Scott if you’d like to see it.

This will be first come first serve. Please text message Scott at (417) 719-0135 with your preferences on timeslot.

Saturday, April 11, 2020:

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Open

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Open

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Open

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Open

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Open

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Open

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Andersons

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Open

If these all fill up we will consider opening additional times.

Scott

KidFlix Movie Reveal

Good afternoon families! Sorry I’m a little late getting this out today. Its been a bit busy getting the week off to the right start. Anyway. Here is the video with the reveal and a little special something extra as well.

Check out the Elims Facebook page as well we have a fun Easter Hunt idea so check out the details on that over there.

See you all on Wednesday for Another fun Ingredients of a Godly Life episode!

Pastor’s (VIDEO) Missive

Dear Elim Family!

Here’s my second go at a video missive: 

It’s funny!  It’s not easy speaking to a phone camera!  But I knew y’all would give me grace for my fumbling around!  
Two things I forgot to mention: 

  1. Wish me happy anniversary!  Yesterday was my 6th year mark at serving as Elim’s pastor!  I’m LOVING it!  And I love you all!  Let’s pray God allows me to continue many, many years here!
  2. Continue to “tune in” to our on-line ministry, and especially our Sunday morning services: www.elimqc.org/eoo

God bless you all!  May His amazing grace flood your hearts and homes!  Amen!

Love in Him,

Pastor Steve

Pastor’s Missive- Peace in the Storm

Dear Elim family,

I hope this finds you well, and at peace.  I continue praying for God’s grace, protection, provision and PEACE in this time of uncertainty.  

I’ve had several conversations with individuals that are struggling with anxiety.  I thought it might be worthwhile to share with you what I’ve given to them as pastoral counsel:

  1. A question: Where and how do you find God’s peace?  In other words, what “spiritual practices” help you connect deeply with God, and where you feel a strong connection with Him?  (e.g. Reading His Word; a prayer walk; journaling; listening to Christian music; etc.).  Make a list of the top 10 ways you connect best with God.  
  2. Now, fuel up!  And keep your tank full!  I only ran out of gas ONCE in my life.  After that, I’ve made it a practice to never let my tank get too low.  Many of us struggle with anxiety when our “spiritual tanks” get low.  So keep your tank full, and never allow it to even get close to low!  Be proactive!  

    Here’s how: From your list you made above, use it as a list of “fuel sites.”  Every day, schedule in time to engage in one (or, better yet, several!) spiritual practices.  Fill that tank and keep it full!  It will work wonders to whittle down your anxiety!
  3. Now, another question: What practices (or even persons) ramp up your anxiety?  Be honest!  What people do it?  What TV shows do it (even news programs)?  What internet sites do it (e.g. Facebook)?  As best you can, limit your time with those things/people that intensify your anxiety.  C’mon!  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  If you’ve got a fire that’s getting out of control, it doesn’t help to spray gasoline on it!  

It’s a simple formula (in life, it typically is!): More of God’s influence, less of negative influences.  

All I just said is proven truthful when we read Isaiah 26:3– “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

It’s one thing to read a Scripture verse.  Another level up is memorizing it.  And another level is to meditate on it.  But the ultimate level is to live into it!  That’s when our faith really begins to work for us!  

So live into that verse by practicing what I recommend above.  Then enjoy God’s “perfect peace!!”  Even in the midst of life’s greatest storms, like this current one, we can experience a peace from God that “transcends all understanding!” (Php. 4:7).  May it be so for all of you!  Yes, Lord!  And so we all together say, “Amen!”

Love in Him,

Pastor Steve

April Fools? Not Here!

Good Morning Elim Families! No April Fools jokes here, Just coming to you with info on tonight and some challenges (see below)! I am so glad the sun is shining again today. If your anything like me you are suffering from “cabin fever” as well. Its looking like the sun is going to stick around today and temps should get up where we can get outside so take advantage of that and then join us tonight as we dive into our next ingredient and make a fun recipe together! Below is the link to the recipe we used and a couple others with different ingredients, if you want to check and make sure you have what you need to join us tonight in this baking lesson. We would love to see your baking experience take a picture or short video to share with us. We miss you all and are praying daily for each of you!!

https://celebratingsweets.com/soft-sprinkle-sugar-cookies/

https://princesspinkygirl.com/rainbow-sprinkle-cookies/ This is the recipe we used and will show in the video!

KIDS BIBLE CHALLENGE – Read all of 1 Samuel chapter 3 and discuss with your family how things might have looked if Samuel had ignored the calling of his name and how it would have changed how his life turned out.

MOVIE WATCH CHALLENGE – For Sunday April 5th Watch MONSTERS UNIVERSITY!

PARENTS CORNER – Hey parents we have some AMAZING resources heading your way in the next week so please check back to see those and to share with your kiddos all that’s going on here at Elim even while we are not meeting together. I hope all of you saw my video about making palm branches and sharing videos and pictures of your kids with them to be featured Sunday morning in our sermon video. We cant wait to see all their smiling faces!!

Tonight’s Lesson available here!

Ingredients of a Godly Life, week 2 – April 1st, 2020

Quarantine Day 16

The Twinkies are gone?!

The Twinkies are already gone. Along with what was left of our dignity.

Although, eating that much sugar in one sitting got me thinking about summer camp. One week of delicious food, crazy counselors, new friends, and strengthening my relationship with God every summer. That was the good life!

Since our lives will probably never be normal again, Camp Good News is hosting a virtual camp for everyone! Just a few things they are offering are crafts, Nature Center Critters, and Family Trivia Night. These are done through Zoom, and you can see information and instructions at their site, link at the bottom of this entry.

At least Miles got a taste.

http://iheartcamp.org/virtualcamp/index.html

Quarantine Day 14

I wasn’t going to start a diary. I’m not a diary kind of person. But a person can only be trapped in a house with one other person and two dogs for so long. I needed to talk to someone else. Anyone else.

Everything seems so dark. But it’s 8:20 pm, so that’s normal for this time of year.

One ray of hope did shine on my day. A single package arrived delivered by the one person I see consistently. The brave mailman, an unmasked hero walking courageously through this perilous time. A blue and white crusader, not the hero we deserve, but the one we need. He brought an apocalypse-worthy supply box. Hopefully, it boosts morale long enough to weather these uncertain times.

The Arrival

Click on the images below:

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VIRTUAL CAMP!!

Yes you read that right, Virtual Camp with our friends from Camp Good News!

Our wonderful friends are filling the need for variety in our children’s activities while on this hiatus. They have decided to help out by hosting a fun virtual camp for all of us. Just a few of the things they have lined up are crafts, Nature Center Critters, and Family Trivia Night. These are done through Zoom and they lay it all out for you on the website.

Below is the link to the web page to find all the information on the how, whats and whens so take a moment to check it out! While your there say a prayer for our Ministry Partners there at Camp Good News.

http://iheartcamp.org/virtualcamp/index.html

Worship While Apart

Many of us think of worship as the corporate worship that we engage in at church. In reality, having a private worship life is a vital part of the Christian walk. We don’t need people at our elbows to experience the presence and voice of God in our lives.

In this entry I’m going to discuss some ways we can engage in worship of our Creator outside of our corporate atmosphere. As I am deeply engaged in the musical worship parts of our church I will focus on music but there are many other ways to express worship including but not limited to:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Service (acts of kindness)

Below I’m going to discuss some options for musical worship.

Our Church on YouTube

Starting next week we will be putting recordings of our worship team’s music on our YouTube channel. The playlist below is currently empty but check back early next week!

See the general YouTube section lower in this entry for data usage including the warnings about viewing on mobile devices off of WiFi.

Pandora

Pandora is one of my favorite music services. On Pandora you create stations of your own design. Start a station with song or artist that you like and Pandora’s AI finds other music similar to your starting point. You can train the AI by putting thumbs up/down on songs until you get the perfect mix. You can even create multiple stations based on your mood.

Cost

The base service is free but advertisement supported. I typically get one short add every 3-4 songs. Occasionally you’re given an option to listen/watch a longer ad to get 30-60 minute ad-free.

You can remove ads from the service for $5 a month. For $13 a month you can specific songs to play when you want but I recommend other services for that.

Data Usage

Home: you should have no concerns about listening to Pandora on your home WiFi.

Mobile: you can get over 17 hours of Pandora listening per 1 GB of mobile data. On a small data plan (say the 5 GB in Verizon’s Smart Family plan for kids) you can listen for 2-3 hours a day without too much concern.

A La Carte Music Services

Services like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music all offer the ability to choose any song you want and listen when you want. You can build playlists and just listen. Many of these have free services similar to Pandora in style but if you want that type of service I recommend Pandora instead.

Cost

None of these are permanently free but most have free trials if you haven’t tried them before.

Spotify: $10 per month for individuals or $15/mo for family up to 6 people. Spotify offers a one-month free trial that requires a debit or credit card and will charge when the month is up if not cancelled.

Apple Music: Apple music offers a 3 month free trial which is then followed by $10/mo for individuals and $15/mo for family. It will automatically charge if not cancelled. Note that setting up Family Sharing for Apple is a bit complex.

Google Play: Same $10 and $15 options. 1 Month free trial. I’ve never used this service but I suspect it requires Debit/Credit card to sign up and then auto charge after trial.

Amazon: Amazon offers a single plan at $10/mo. For Amazon Prime members this is $8/mo. They offer a 90 day trial. Charges will occur automatically if not cancelled before the end of the trial. I’ve been seeing emails offering new trials for with other Amazon purchases to help during the COVID response.

Data Usage

These services tend to stream the audio at higher quality than Pandora.

Home: you shouldn’t have any issues streaming any amount of audio on your home WiFi.

Mobile: each service is a little different, but with each of these an hour a day on mobile with a 5 GB plan should be safe. Most of these give you the option to adjust audio quality and you can lower your data usage by lowering the quality its streamed at. Most people won’t notice the difference on audio quality except on the lowest levels.

YouTube

YouTube is a mixed bag. You can get playlists on YouTube that are great (see below) but it is also very easy to get distracted. The best use of YouTube is when you want lyric videos to help with memorizing songs.

Since YouTube is primarily used free-of-charge, you will get advertisements that can also be distracting.

Some playlist suggestions:

There are other sites similar to YouTube (GodTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion) but most of them are either very lower quality or much more highly leveraged on advertising (GodTube).

Cost

YouTube is completely free to use with no limits. They do offer a premium service to remove all advertising for $12/month. There is a 1 month trial with recurring billing after that.

Data Usage

Estimating the data usage of YouTube is challenging. YouTube adjusts your stream quality based on the strength of your signal.

Home: at home on high-speed broadband and WiFi YouTube will tend to try for 720p and 1080p quality which uses 1.5 and 3.0 GB per hour respectively.

The basic Internet package from Mediacome comes with 400 GB per month of usage. You should be able to do 3-6 hours a day on YouTube without incurring other costs. Other video streaming (Netflix, Hulu, on-demand, etc.) should be considered part of that 3-6 hours.

Mobile: YouTube on mobile devices will typically default to 480p resolution. You can often force it to use a higher resolution but I recommend against that in most cases. On phone and tablet screens I seldom notice the difference between 480p and 720p and never between 720p and 1080p.

Assuming the 5 GB plan like above for the audio only options, you can do 10 hours a MONTH at 480p resolution on 5 GB. Forcing the device to use 360p you can go 16 hours. At 240p you can go for 25 hours a month.

The video quality difference on 240p vs. 480p IS noticeable but if only going for lyric videos it is probably okay.

I do not recommend doing a lot of YouTube (or other video streaming) on your mobile device while off of WiFi.