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Christmas “BEYOND”

Christmas blessings
come to us in
many
different packages.
Some
beautifully and
perfectly assembled.
Others,
come
on
roads less traveled,
crashing into
our lives,
unexpectedly….

The auditorium was packed full of rambunctious teenagers
unaware of the voice that was preparing to quiet and pierce their hearts.
A young energetic teenage girl bounced toward the microphone dragging her leg, as if she didn’t know there was any other way to walk.
She greeted the crowd with her bubbly spirit and dug straight into her unimaginable start.
The stillness of the crowd bent in closer to her stark beginning- once thrown out & unwanted she outlived what was meant to kill her…a miracle for sure!
Lying in the midst of trash,
she was
rescued by One who saw her as a precious gift sent from Heaven
above…

What was meant to end Gianna’s life began her journey to save lives.
A precious gift, imperfectly wrapped,
began with
the
struggle to live,
to breathe
& to walk….

She says her greatest challenges
were given
as a gift to
to see Jesus.

God’s gift-
Our lives given
to press us into
Him.
When life
is seen
as damaged,
wounded &
broken BEYOND….
God sees
a miracle!

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:20-21‬
Beyond-
over & beyond…
God brings life out of brokenness,
far exceeding our understanding,
surpassing the limits of life itself.
Reaching into our past,
beyond our endurance,
beyond our dire need for help
-He
brings what no ONE else can!

It’s out in
the ‘beyond’
God wraps our brokenness in His miracles…
What was once meant for evil
He redeems!
His generous love
compels us to
somehow match His blessings.
We
discover
redemption
inside
brokenness…

The One,
true
Messiah
comes
into our brokenness
and gives beyond
our
expectations.

Sometimes the
Gift we
really need is
the
One-
we’d never pick!

God
WITH us-
Our
Immanuel!

Guest Author: Ruthann Weece. Ruthann and her husband Joe have a band of brothers and a sweet daughter-in-law who has joined their tribe. She loves to write from the deep places of her soul where God is doing His best work!

We will be regularly featuring guest blogs by different authors around Valley View throughout the BEYOND Campaign. If you would like to contribute, send your finished blog post to beyond@vvcc.org for consideration.

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Serving BEYOND

“…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:21 NIV).

The words “throughout all generations” in this concluding sentence of the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers resonate with me as I think about going “beyond”. They help explain why my involvement in KidzView, Valley View’s children’s ministry, is so important to me. Every Sunday I am in town, you can find me teaching elementary aged children in the 9:30am KidzView service.

Why am I there? Well, I confess that I sometimes ask myself that question… but not often. It really is fun, and that certainly helps to keep me motivated. But more than that, I see it as an opportunity to extend my influence for Christ beyond my own lifetime and generation. As has often been said, “Christianity [or any religion, for that matter] is always just one generation away from extinction.” That is to say, if one generation fails to share the faith with the next, Christianity ceases to exist. Personally, I do not want to be party to that. So I teach the children, trusting that they will one day teach the generation that follows them, that will teach the generation that follows them, and so on.

For me, it’s about seeing beyond the here and the now to the future. It’s why I left a ministry I loved in Chicago to accept a teaching position at Dallas Christian College sixteen years ago. I saw it as an opportunity to influence a new generation of leaders for the cause of Christ, especially those who would be entering vocational ministries.

It’s why I show up on Wednesday nights to meet with a group of guys who are now Juniors in high school. They were sixth graders when I became their small group leader and we began our journey together, and Lord willing, I’ll only stop being their leader when they graduate from high school about a year and a half from now. I’m so proud of them and the men they’re becoming, and I’m pleased to think that I played at least some small part in the growth I’ve seen in all of them.

And it’s why I still show up in KidzView at 9:30am on Sundays. Paul’s prayer is my prayer: That God would receive glory “throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”.

Maybe that’s your prayer, too. And if it is, may I suggest you look into serving in our children’s or student ministries as a way of extending your influence BEYOND.

Guest Author: Gary Hardy. Member of Valley View for 16 years. Married to Cindy and father to Meagan, Caleb, and Ethan. Former missionary and vocational minister.

We will be regularly featuring guest blogs by different authors around Valley View throughout the BEYOND Campaign. If you would like to contribute, send your finished blog post to beyond@vvcc.org for consideration. 

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Ephesians 3:14-21: The Prayer of Discipleship

Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice—regardless of any particular problem in the community. He begins the letter by laying out specific theological truths and completes it with the result, application and lifestyle for the Church that stands on those truths. It’s in this second half that we find our specific prayer.

Walking through these seven verses, we discover a subtle pathway. Paul doesn’t outline a step 1-7 of discipleship, but as we walk through the prayer, we can identify a natural progression of our faith that results in a life with God beyond what we can imagine.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 

This is such an important beginning point for our discipleship. It’s the foundation. It’s the identity piece. It’s the truth that who we are is because of who He is. The fact that our name comes from His not only defines where we begin, but where we’re headed.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 

We’ve established our identity, and it’s in that God-initiated establishment that He lavishes a great gift upon us — His Spirit. The same Spirit with which God passed over the Egyptians and Jesus performed miracles, that Spirit is gifted to us. Naturally, our response is faith in the One that named us and strengthened us. That’s a solid ground for us to root.

18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

It’s no small observation that this prayer is centered on a community of believers. I am not the Church. You are not the Church. We are. And together we can build one another up, exploring the eternal dimensions of Christ’s love, never quite reaching the great height, depth, length or width, and in coming short knowing that it’s beyond our knowledge. God’s fullness fills the gap, preparing us for the great work to come.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

And there it is. The final result of discipleship? More. More than all we can ask or imagine. Our lives, established in God’s name, empowered by His spirit, in community with His people, filled by His fullness, offer glory and praise to the One who takes us beyond.

Amen.

Guest Author: Sarah Beth Booe. Sarah and her husband Micah attend Valley View Christian Church. She loves crafting and hanging with her Life Group!

We will be regularly featuring guest blogs by different authors around Valley View throughout the BEYOND Campaign. If you would like to contribute, send your finished blog post to beyond@vvcc.org for consideration. 

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An Excellent Christmas

Christmas: a season that celebrates God coming into the world, manifesting the full extent of His love for you and for me through the person of Jesus.

As a body of believers, we want to do everything with excellence; for, we indeed serve a God who is excellent in all that He is and in all that He does. It is certain that we fall short of His glory, but by His grace we always make it our aim to honor and proclaim His majesty in all things. In the manner of our worship on Sunday mornings, in how we live out our faith at our work places and in our homes, and even in the way we celebrate Christmas, we desire to do everything in an outstanding way for the glory of His name.

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -Jesus

The love of our Lord compels us to share His love, and we believe that simply sharing His love is an excellent way to celebrate Christmas. That is, we believe that displaying the loving-kindness of our Lord is the best way to observe a season that declares His coming into the world.

Celebrate with us during Christmas from the Heart!

On Sunday, December 11, we get the opportunity to extend the love of Jesus to families in our church and community who could use a little help during the holiday season. Here are 4 ways that you can be involved with Christmas from the Heart:

  1. Serve! We need over 100 volunteers to staff the event on December 11th. Come to the the registration table in the main lobby, or click here to register.
  2. Give a gift. Grab one of the hearts from the registration table on Sunday, and bring your specified gift back to the church by Wednesday, December 7.
  3. Donate $10. This will provide a bag of groceries to help feed a family during the holiday break.
  4. During the event, the children will be making Christmas cards and putting together care packages for people who are homeless in downtown Dallas. We need you to bring adult sized socks, deodorant, lotion, and body wash for these packages. Drop-off is at the registration table in the lobby!
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Get ready to go BEYOND

Sunday, November 13th, we launched the BEYOND campaign. The video below will give you the highlights, and you can find more details online at vvcc.org/beyond.

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We’re kicking off the campaign with 30 Days of Prayer! This is Day One:

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You might recognize that from our Strategic Prayers. We’ve updated the list to include praising God for answered prayers! You can grab an updated booklet from the lobby, or watch them get posted daily on social media for the next 30 days.

If you want to receive daily emails to give you a prayer prompt for Valley View and this campaign, fill out this form and we will send you the prayer of the day until December 12th!

We would love to talk with you about what God is doing at Valley View, in our hearts and in yours. If you have any questions about BEYOND, would like to speak with Valley View leadership about your involvement in the campaign, or have a story about following Jesus “beyond” that you would like to share, please respond to this form!

Ephesians 3:20-21(NASB)

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly BEYOND all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

no-matter-what

No Matter What

November 8th is a big day for our nation. There will be a new leader elected for the most powerful country in the world. But November 9th is also a big day… maybe even bigger.  That is the day we choose how to respond. How will we react? What attitude will we choose to have? How will our character be seen in the aftermath of one of the most chaotic elections in our nations history?

Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church reminds believers that Jesus was sentenced to death by the Roman Governor Pilate… but the only reason we know who Pilate is at all, is because he is a footnote in the story of Jesus. The same principle is true for us today. When Jesus comes back to take His bride home, the United States of America and its government will just be a footnote in the story of Christ and His church.

So what does that mean for us? We need to recognize that NO MATTER WHAT, God is sovereign over all.  No matter what… we are secure in the mightiest of all hands. No matter what… we are the church that represents faith in Christ, not fear of a changing government. No matter what… Jesus calls us to be wise, respectful, fearless, steadfast, and the light.

Lots will change in our world. It always has and always will. But on November 9th, we, as the church, have the opportunity to wake up and choose to have a level of Christlikeness that will change this world far more than any president, government, or nation ever could.

Join us Monday evening, November 7th, at 6:30pm, for a time of prayer and worship to challenge our hearts and lay our lives before the God who controls it all.

Pray With Them

A story from the persecuted church

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” -Psalm 91:1-2

Around the world, followers of Christ face violence and hardships as a direct result of their allegiance to Him. Some of these hostile environments are created by governments seeking to control politics and civic life by keeping a tight rein on religion. In other places it is society that is hostile towards any religious group that is contrary to tradition or to the majority. In such areas believers are denied employment, denied education, imprisoned, beaten, tortured, killed, and confronted with many other persecutions simply because of their faith in the Lord Jesus. So the question that we are all faced with is: Do you care? Does it matter to you that brothers and sisters are facing such trials? Is there any mercy or compassion that stirs your heart to move you into action? Will you remember those who are mistreated as if you felt their pain in your own body? Will you be mindful of those who are in prison as if you were imprisoned with them?

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ…If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. -I Cor. 12:12;26

God hears the prayers of His people. So if we care, we will pray. If our hearts are really broken for the persecuted church, we will join them in prayer.

Saturday, November 12 through Sunday, November 13, as a body of believers, we will spend 24-hours in prayer as we Pray With ThemClick the following link to register: https://valleyview.churchcenteronline.com/registrations/events/42712

Here is some perspective from a man who was brutally tortured under a communist government for his faith in Christ, as he speaks of prayer for his persecutors:

If I were asked, “Are you for the Communists or against them?” my answer would be a complex one…Communists are men and Christ loves them. So does every man who has the mind of Christ. We love the sinner even though we hate the sin.

We know about the love of Christ toward the Communists by our own love toward them.
I have seen Christians in Communist prisons with fifty pounds of chains on their feet, tortured with red-hot iron pokers, in whose throats spoonfuls of salt had been forced, being kept afterward without water, starving, whipped, suffering from cold – and praying with fervor for the Communists. This is humanly inexplicable! It is the love of Christ, which was poured out in our hearts.

Tortured For Christ By Richard Wurmbrand

whatthebible

What the Bible Says About Money

Join us during this four week elective to explore what the Bible says about our finances, and how we can honor God with what we earn.

You will discover how diligent work brings glory to the Lord, how to effectively manage finances, what we are to do with our income, and how to develop a realistic budget.

Special Elective: What the Bible Says About Money: beginning October 2nd, 9:30am, Room 210.

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More than a “just” a day…

The people of God have been called to a life that is above average. From the passions that stir within our hearts, to the words that we speak, and even the way we choose to spend each moment of every day, the body of Christ has been called to greatness.

And this should come as no surprise. For we serve a God who is great; meaning that His essence, the very qualities of His being, are far beyond all that can be perceived as ordinary. He is great in that His power and eminence reaches far above what mankind knows as normal or average. His love surpasses knowledge, His peace transcends understanding, His grace is sufficient, and His authority has no end.

Indeed, this God is the expert of greatness. And He desires greatness for His people and gives instructions on how they might become great. Read carefully the statement of the Lord:

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Mark 10:43-45

So what does our Lord say? In order to live up to our calling of greatness, what must we do?  Jesus doesn’t mention money, possessions, influence, or status. He simply says that if you want to be great, you must be a servant to all. For even He, the greatest one of all, holding the most high position over all creation, set an example by giving Himself for the sake of others. Therefore, as a body of believers, we must make it our aim to follow the leading of our Savior in serving the world around us.

Join us on Saturday, September 24, serving our community during The Great Day of Service as we continue to LoveDallas in Jesus’ name.

Click here to register for Great Day of Service!

Read about the projects available and how you can get involved:

City of Carrollton

For the past two years during Great Day of Service, we have partnered with the City of Carrollton in mulching and planting shrubs around one of our public libraries. This year, we need 20 people to fill this project. If you are someone who wants to work outside and get your hands dirty, this project is for you.

Carrollton Cares

This program encourages community spirit by partnering with the City to help residents in need. 10 people will be working together to paint the siding, trim, and fascia on the outside of house for someone in Carrollton that could use an extra hand. This house might need minor scraping and caulking before it is ready to paint.

Madison on Marsh

Madison is a rehabilitation and assisted living center just down the road from our building. For the third year in a row, we’re throwing an ice-cream party for them! We will need 8 volunteers to help with this project.

In addition to the ice-cream party, we are partnering with Kindermusik for this project. If you have children in pre-school or kindergarten, this would be a great way for them to be involved! A volunteer from Kindermusik will be teaching/leading music as the children sing along and use simple instruments that will be provided. Music, children and ice-cream will be a great source of encouragement for these folks at Madison.

Coin Laundry

If you have ever had to use coin laundry, you know how expensive it can get. We’re going to grab a pocket full of quarters and an ice-chest, and hang out at the laundromat. Whenever someone comes in, we will pay for their laundry, offer them a cold drink, and strike up a conversation. This is a very practical way to bless the people living in our community! We’ll divide up into two groups of seven and go to two places within minutes from the church building.

Storm Water Project

For the third year in a row, we will be assisting the City of Carrollton with the cleaning up of waterways. Volunteers will meet at the church and then go to the assigned pond or creek to pick up the trash that so quickly accumulates.

Goodwill

Not far from the church building there is a Goodwill store and they want our assistance sorting through and organizing donations. Goodwill hires many folks with disabilities and other employment barriers; therefore, this project will not only give us an opportunity to serve a local store, but also to work alongside, encourage, and minister to their employees.

Mosaic Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Mosaic in Dallas partners with people with intellectual disabilities to provide a meaningful life in a caring community, giving a voice to their needs. We plan to have five teams of seven volunteers to work within three of their group homes.

Three of those groups will be doing general outdoor labor (Mosaic Pt. 1). We will be involved in landscaping, cleaning their garage, and washing their vans.

One group of seven will be providing manicures for the residents, and the last group of seven will be baking with the residents (Mosaic Pt. 2).

This will be a great opportunity to meet both the physical and emotional needs of our neighbors at Mosaic.

Dallas Christian College

We will be sending a team to accomplish a work project on their campus; the specific project will be announced as we get closer to the day. DCC has been raising up Christian leaders for over 65 years and this is a great way for us to continue to support their mission.

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Back to School

New shoes… check.

New backpack… check.

Lunch box… check.

Then, there are the fears and worries that creep up on the kids as they start a new school year.

“What exactly am I supposed to bring on the first day of school?”

“What if I get lost and can’t find my English class?”

Can you relate? The summer of 2016 is slowly coming to an end complete with delightful 100 degree temperatures and bored kids. Instead of focusing on that trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, now we’re focusing on getting back into a routine, and making sure our kids have what they need (and a want or two) as they return to a new school year.

Starting back to school – whether it’s at home, private or public school – can be stressful and frantic. Lots of unknowns as a new year begins.

On August 21, during the 9:30am hour, the Family Life Team will be hosting a “Back to School” class… for PARENTS. This class will be designed for parents and grandparents to get some basic wisdom and helpful tips for starting school and what to expect. But more importantly, we want to share some collective wisdom about keeping a spiritual rhythm within our homes as we begin a busy new year.

During this class, we will have some Valley View members who are school teachers, parents, or both, to share their wisdom on starting off the school year right. Look forward to specific tips for Elementary School, Middle School, and for High School! Woven throughout will be opportunities to share your experiences and hear others’ as well.

BaseCamp for Parents: Back to School

Sunday, August 21st, 9:30am, Room 210.