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Courage

Learn. Be. Do.

Discipleship is how we choose to follow Jesus Christ in response to God’s love. In this, we Learn who God is and what He desires, are transformed to Be like Jesus in the way we live our everyday lives, and Do love in action towards our families, our church, our city, and our world.

Over the next month, we invite you to engage daily in the discipleship framework of Learn. Be. Do. Every day there will be a passage to read that encourages us to engage in God's Word. After reading the passage and short reflection, we invite you to use three simple questions to guide how you allow God to speak into your yesterday, your today, and your tomorrow.

1.     Learn – As I read this passage, what is it that you want me to learn?

2.     Be – What is it that you desire me to be in light of what you are teaching me? What have I been? What are you calling me to be?

3.     Do - What do you want me to tangibly do in this moment, this week, based off that? What does it look like to do what you are teaching me?

 

 

 

March 26, 2017 | Fourth Sunday in Lent

Jesus’ instructions for them tell us a lot about how we’re to draw near.

Matthew 10:1–14
Jesus sends the 12 out on mission. 

1 Then Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9 Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.

March 25, 2017

Heidi Launer

Hi, I’m Heidi Launer. My husband, Jerrold, and I have been worshipping here since 2005. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this community, both serving on the staff (I am the Sr. Communications Director) and various volunteer roles over the years. Our three children have gone through Bel Air’s amazing weekday infant/toddler and preschool program and have been shown the love of Jesus through dozens of teachers, congregants, and staff.

One of the ways that I draw closer to God is through our children (ages four, five, and eight). Almost every day I find myself saying something in loving correction to one of the kids that time and time again acts as a reminder of what God wants me to hear. Something like, “I know you want to do this but it’s not safe.” Or, “We want the best for you. Do you trust mommy and daddy?” It all comes down to trust. Do I really trust that God has my best in mind? Am I willing to trust Him to see things I can’t? I am still learning to trust God’s still, small voice through the Holy Spirit’s leading. I am learning to seek Him first.

When the woman in this passage saw Jesus, she immediately drew near and literally poured out everything she had of value at His feet, weeping in tearful praise. She knew she was unworthy and yet she received only loving acceptance from our Lord. In Him, she found something of more value than all she had before. The Scriptures are clear that:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to humankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

There’s a song that’s been resonating with me lately called, “Spirit of the Living God” by Vertical Church Band. I invite you to take a listen and read the lyrics alongside. Here’s part of what speaks to me:
“When You come in the room,
When You do what only You can do.
It changes us, it changes what we see
and what we seek.
It changes everything!”

That’s my prayer for myself and for you this Lenten season. That we would draw near to Jesus; that we would fall at His feet and offer up all that we are, for His purposes. When He comes in to the depths of our hearts, He changes everything. If you haven’t invited Him into your heart, perhaps today is the day. Call the church office and ask to speak with one of the pastors.

March 24, 2017

Tom Harrits

Hello church family! I have been a part of this church body, both as a member/lay leader and also for quite some time as a leader on staff, for over 11 years. As a current staff leader, I oversee the High School ministry and the discipleship of our wonderful young men and women. Through all the years, I have dug into this community through a sense of calling from God. My heart has been to see us ever-growing deeper into truly being a spiritual family. As we reflect Christ’s true personhood more and more as a people, that we might invite others in to enjoy Him with us and bring His love off this hill and into the city and world around us.

How do I draw near to God? I am a social introvert (an INFJ by nature), so I can be confusing. I love being with people, but I tend to draw most near to God and recharge in quiet and solitude. Refreshed from that intimacy with the Lord, I then enjoy experiencing His very same Presence in fellowship with others. God proclaims He is near to us, “an ever-present help in trouble.” Though our physical eyes are dull to the spiritual, as we learn to see with our spiritual eyes, deep within, we will see the Lord standing with us always, whispering true pictures, loving pictures, uplifting pictures, healing pictures, in a harsh world. Let us learn to see and hear.

As for a reflection on this week’s passage and theme, of the Pharisees and the sinful woman, the forgiving of her sins and the thanksgiving of her heart, my heart was filled with these questions… How much do I owe to God? How much of my life is mine – I bought it, I chose it, I put all the effort in – and how much of my life do I actually owe to Him? The more we see we owe to God, the deeper our faith and love and humility and gratitude become. The less we see we owe to God – the less we see it’s actually Him we depend on, even for the strength in our bones, even for the opportunities that have allowed us to provide for ourselves and others, even for the gift of a free will and the allowance to live and choose – the less our hearts will brim with love for Him and be grateful for a Savior. God, do I owe you anything? Or, even harder to ask: do I owe to you everything? Lord, teach me; I pray to learn and know.

March 23, 2017

Noralea Goodrow

My name is Noralea. I’ve been asked to introduce myself and share a bit about my involvement at BAC. In 1966, young and engaged to be married, my fiancé built homes across the street from the church and was invited by his employer and Pastor Donn Moomaw, to worship with them. We attended and decided that Bel Air would be our church home. We married that year and it all began! I volunteered in the church office, joined the women’s Bible study, taught VBS, Sunday school, headed up the children’s program at Family Camp one year, taught Bethel, served as a Deacon and Elder several times and led two Habitat for Humanity builds in Armenia; currently, I serve as an Elder, member of the Prayer Team, Open Word, Bible 20/20 and Personnel. It all has been a high privilege and tremendous joy. My three children were born and raised here and have served in the life of BAC, as well (my daughter, Tamara, is currently serving as a Deacon). Bel Air has been our “Church Family” and one of the most precious blessings to our family. BAC is dear to me and I am blessed to be a part of it.

Drawing near to God: My heart’s desire is “oneness” with Christ. I long for that intimacy with the Lord. Taking time to be alone in the Word and in prayer helps me feel closer. At the beach, sitting in front of a fireplace or just at my kitchen table away from the phone and computer...even if it’s for a short while. Thanking and praising Him for the MANY blessings He has bestowed upon me and my family, sharing my thoughts, struggles and feelings and lifting others up to Him causes me to feel close to Him. I cherish these times. God has shown up in my life so many times that have assured me He is near. I recall a time when my daughter was a toddler and some boiling hot coffee burned her neck and chest. She had second and third degree burns, which were excruciatingly painful. At a time when I could not hold her close to me, God enabled me to embrace her with words. Rather than hospitalize her, I brought her to Dr. Misbach’s office every day where her wounds were checked and dressed. This doctor was God’s divinely appointed person for Tamara. I thank God for him. God came near and she has no scars.

Luke 7:36–50
I read this passage and what gripped my heart was the tremendous courage and boldness of this woman expressing her love and gratitude to the Lord. Something to ponder, for sure. She poured out her whole self and the most expensive possession she owned out of love and gratitude.

Precious Lord, I love You, praise You and thank You. Please receive all that I am and all that I have this day and always. Amen.

March 22, 2017

Steven Solitare

Hello my name is Steven Solitare I’ve been going to this church for about 14 years, well actually, since I was born. The connection that I have with Bel Air Church is that my father went to this church during his childhood and then he married my mother (Tracey Solitare) in Evans Chapel. Then they brought me to this church and I’ve been here ever since. I have been involved with many things like doing the turkey baskets, going to family camp, doing community service at family camp, just having fun with everybody else and spending and worshiping God with everybody.

The next thing I am going to talk about is how I am drawn closer to God. I see God drawing near to me in church and in my small group with the ninth grade class. Also I have seen God draw near to this beautiful world that He has created. In my opinion I think that it is a beautiful world that He has created. One time I thought that God drew near to me personally is when I first started coming to Bel Air and I saw that God is much more than I thought. He is everywhere and no matter what He will always be with you.

So as we talked about in week one, how the woman with blood issues came to Jesus and touched His clothes without permission. When Jesus asked who touched His clothes the woman was reluctant to confess. That is what we think when we do something without permission, and we don’t confess to what we did. That’s why when we lie, we sometimes don’t confess when we did something wrong.