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No Gathering September 23/24

The Table will not be meeting this weekend, September 23/24. Enjoy a “free weekend,” connect with neighbors, rest, connect w/ Jesus w/ your family.

Our next gathering will be our fall “launch” on Wednesday, Oct. 4th. Stay tuned for details.

Hands

Think about all the things you do with your hands. You can do awful things with them, as well as great things. You can write a bunch of crap on social media; you could throw an egg. You can carry unnecessary burdens; you could hurt. You can use your hands to knock someone down and promote yourself. You could do a lot of bad, if you wanted. You can also use your hands to serve. With your hands you could write an encouraging note; you could make a meal and deliver it to someone who’s tired. You can hug with your hands, and take out someone’s trash. You could even let things go, unnecessary baggage you’ve been carrying. You can do a lot of good with your hands.

 

As people, we have choices to make everyday of what we will do. As followers of Jesus, we have opportunities everyday, opportunities to show the love of Christ to a hurting world. So the question to ponder is, what will you/we do with what we’ve been given? What will you/we do with the time we have, the resources given to us? What will you do with your hands this week?

 

Table Prayer Letter – Sept. 2017

Looking Back. In June of 2010, The Table held its first worship gathering. Now 7 years later we are celebrating all that God has done among us. In that time God has shown His Hospitality, bringing folks into His family who were isolated and lost. God has built us up in His Discipleship as we have grown in our knowledge and worship of Him. And in that time, God has shown His Blessing, revealing His love to neighbors in tangible ways while sending others out to pursue their callings in Him. We have much to celebrate.

Looking Ahead. We are excited to see how God will continue to move among us. From its start, The Table has held a missional orientation, and along the way we have discovered that we are strong in making disciples. With these things in mind, The Table has discerned that the best way to reach our neighbors in the coming season, while building up church members, will be to move our Sunday worship gatherings to Wednesday. On October 4th we will begin our new weekly Wednesday gathering (from 6p-7p, with an optional shared meal at 5:15p – location TBA soon). Adults will enjoy various session topics on the major tenets of Discipleship (Jesus/Bible study, fellowship/relationship with others, worship/sacrament, prayer, and serving the world in His name), while kids will grow in the knowledge and wonder of God through the Young Children and Worship curriculum. We believe that meeting mid-week, coupled with engaging session topics, will allow neighbors to interact easily with Christian concepts, while empowering believers in their pursuit of Christ. We invite you to pray with us as we make this exciting change. May God be glorified, and may His Kingdom expand among us all! Thanks for your support of all that He is doing in Bellingham!

 

Please join us in prayer:

  1. For God’s favor as we plan, organize, and begin our new Wednesday gathering
  2. For God’s wisdom and creativity as we bring good news to our neighborhoods
  3. For growth. Growth in our depth in Christ, and growth in the width/reach of the church
  4. That the kingdom of God would grow in Bellingham

 

Thank you for partnering with The Table in expanding God’s Kingdom in Bellingham

Philippians 1:27

Philippians 1:27 says, “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.”

What does it mean to be a citizen of heaven? This is a question for those who profess Jesus to meditate on. Citizens of a particular nation generally pledge their allegiance to it and participate in its social and political activities. In a global crowd, this national citizenship is how one identities themselves, and, whether they like it or not, it is how others define their values. So if we are called to be citizens of heaven, would this quick definition of citizenship apply? As Christians, we all reside in a nation, but our primary allegiance is to the Kingdom of God. This means that often times we are counter cultural to the nation, because our values and priorities may not align with the politics of its government of social norms of the culture, looking out for the other (the least and the lost) above the self, keeping the priority of our eyes on the Savior and not crashing waves around us.

So, how will you be a citizen of heaven this week? What will need to be corrected? What will need to be promoted?

Trust God with the Day

In Exodus 16, God provides for His people, showing His mercy anew every morning. He gave them just what they needed for the day, no more. As we look to the season ahead, I encourage you to trust God with the day, knowing He will provide just what you need. And tomorrow God will do it again. So pray for tomorrow, but do not live in worry over tomorrow. Trust Him with today.

Exodus 16: The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbledagainst Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will testthem and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud. 11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” 13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer[a] for each person you have in your tent.’” 17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. 19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” 20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. 21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers[b] for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” 24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” 27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you[c] refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Monday Meditation

Ephesians 1:3-10

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

August 5/6 Hospitality Weekend – No Gathering

This weekend is our monthly Hospitality weekend. We are a church on mission, and so we intentionally schedule time for our folks to spend time w/ neighbors and friends – doing what they’re doing, inviting them over, and/or serving w/ them. May you be blessed as you reach out this weekend.

Our next gathering will be worship on August 13 at Marty and Cheryl’s.

Day of Plenty Thanks!

Thanks to all who contributed and hung out during the Day of Plenty!

The next Day of Plenty neighborhood produce exchange will be August 27th. Mark your calendars!

Body Surfing w/ Jesus

As The Table is in a season of discerning how God would have us serve Him in the coming season, I’d like to offer a few thoughts. I would like to base these thoughts today from the book of Malachi, and then consider how we might approach our discernment.

Malachi was written by the prophet to confront God’s people w/ their sin and ultimately restore their relationship w/ God. Malachi addresses priests and people who were offering defective sacrifices to God. He reminds them of their original purpose, which was to help bring God’s peace and life to His people. He calls them to repent, and pursue God w/ authenticity. The good news of the book of Malachi is that God desires relationship w/ His people. He desires for us to swim in His waters of love – that we would set aside the stale water bottles we cling to, and drink from His crisp fountain of life. He desires that when all things are completed we would live into the picture of Malachi 4:2, when is says: “But [in that final day] for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” The good news is that God desires that for us; He desires relationship w/ us.

In sharing this good news, the prophet Malachi is living into the meaning of his name; he is bringing God’s message of restoration. This is my prayer for all of us, that God would give us such an incredible picture of His peace, that we would be saturated by His love – and that we could not help but be His messengers of grace, bragging about the waters of life and leading fellow thirsty people to the waters of refreshment.

So my question is: How then do we go? All too often we psych ourselves out or rely on stale water bottles, choosing safety. We feel alone in stepping out into the water, or that God wants to kick us in the deep end when we barely know how to swim. But the truth is that we are not alone, nor is that the heart of God for us.

God impressed that point to me last week. We took our kids to the peninsula to camp and play at the beach. The waters were cold, and waves choppy, but my daughter was braving the conditions and went out on her own up to her waist. I knew she wanted to go further and wanted someone to join her. So I sucked it up and went out. I stood beside her and said, “Come on let’s go out further together, it will be fun.” She and I went out into the cold waves, body surfing, diving into the oncoming breakers, getting blasted and laughing the whole way. I was confident in her ability to handle herself in the waters. Her confidence was high b/c she knew I was there to grab her when a big wave came. It was an awesome time w/ my daughter, and afterwards we stared at each other in a new loving way. It was the highlight of my trip. Later, when the kids were asleep and my wife was reading by the fire, I walked the beach at sunset. I praised God for the day and for my time w/ my daughter in the waves. And then I was stuck powerfully by a thought. I believe God was smiling upon me and saying: “That’s what I desire for you and Me, Aaron, that you would trust me, and we would adventure together.” I had been praying about this next season at The Table and some upcoming family decisions, and it was as if God was saying: “Come on let’s go out further together, it will be fun.”

I believe God is saying that to each of us today. “Come on let’s go out further together, it will be fun.” I think as a community, we have learned how to swim and we want to head out and be messengers of His peace. As individuals we desire to be Kingdom builders in the fashion God has designed us to be. And like my daughter on the beach, we want to go further, and want someone to join us. The good news is that God desires to adventure w/ us, for us to swim in His waters of love, drinking deep. He desires for us to be messengers to those who are thirsty for His peace. And I believe He is standing next to us today, saying: “Come on let’s go out further together, it will be fun.”

So as we as a community and individuals discern how God would have us serve Him in coming season, know this: You are not alone. God the Father is smiling upon you, desiring to adventure w/ you and fill you up so you can serve Him w/ gladness. It is my prayer that God would give us such an incredible picture of His peace, that we would be dripping in His love, and that we could not help but be His messengers of grace.

So as we discern as a community and individuals, consider this question: How would you answer God today if He asked you, “What fun thing can we do together, that would build my Kingdom?” What would give you life, while building His Kingdom?

 

May God refresh you this season, as you consider how you/we might serve Him.

Hurray for Malachi!

The Table celebrated Malachi’s baptism this past weekend. It was a wonderful time of worship w/ church and family.

Thanks to all who came!

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