Aug 23

Going Deeper Part 1

crossesPaul warns against those that claim they want to go deeper in their faith when they’re not ready. “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” But there will come a time when you are.  If you feel you are ready and you want to go places you’ve never explored in your faith, then you might begin with the Spiritual Disciplines.  While they have been around for what seems like forever, there was a resurgence with the writings of Richard Foster and Dallas Willard.

If you’ve never practiced any of the spiritual disciplines you may want to give some a try.  In Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline he notes a few that you may find worthwhile.

Here are many of them, enjoy…

Inner Disciplines
The Discipline of Meditation
The Discipline of Prayer
The Discipline of Fasting
The Discipline of Study

Outer Disciplines
The Discipline of Simplicity
The Discipline of Solitude
The Discipline of Service

Corporate Disciplines
The Discipline of Confession
The Discipline of Worship
The Discipline of Guidance
The Discipline of Celebration

In this Going Deeper series I’ll be sharing ways for you to go deeper in your faith.  But as Paul recommends, be sure you’re not choking on the the milk.

Aug 11

More Tips to Becoming a Better Wife

CoupleWant a strong marriage?  Who wouldn’t – right? Well if you do then we need to always be doing, trying, new ways to become a better spouse.  These tips may be just the trick to becoming a better wife.  Number 8 is one that I think both husbands and wives eventually forget.  But I think number 9 is key for all marriages.  While these are tips for being great wives, I think many are transferable to husbands.  If you’re interested then go read about them here.

Aug 03

Become a Better Parent – Right Now!

Parent1Well, it’s that time of year again – time for the kids to go back to school. This can be avery stressful time as a parent. So to help alleviate this concern I found 19 ways to become a better parent right now!  Now if you are already a superstar parent and have it all together then I won’t waste anymore of your time.  But if you’d like to learn some parenting hacks that will make you a better parent, then look no further.  You have arrived, just read and try a few of these tips.

Jul 21

Pokemon Go Explained!

pokemonSurely you’ve heard about Pokemon Go by now.  Yes it’s only a few days old yet it’s all the rage apparently.  But do you know anything about it? Neither did I until…  Until I heard this podcast explaining it all in less time than you can say Pokemon Go!  If you’re interested then you can check out a really awesome podcast where the game is explained but also how a church is leveraging it to reach their community.  What are you waiting for go check it out here!

Jul 20

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Husband

husband1While I’m always encouraging husbands to step it up, this list is really, really good.  But before you check it out, note that number 6 will get you a lot of points but will go against your nature men!  If you want to become a better husband try a few off this awesome list!

Jul 19

Cowart Venture Part 1

cowart1Cowart Venture Part 1…

Several months ago at Friendship Church I cast a 50 year vision for the adoption of Cowart Elementary School.  At the time I wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like, remember it was a vision and not a plan!  As the months have passed the vision is slowly becoming a plan.  We still don’t have all the answers but they are unfolding.  With a vision like this it takes time.  All the answers will not always be readily available.  You see that’s what happens when you do hard things.  To resolve hard things takes time because you want to get it as close to right as possible, the first time!  At Friendship Church we’re not afraid to try hard things!  I recently read that we shouldn’t allow hard things to keep us from doing something great.  When one attempts to do something hard in hopes that it becomes something great, it takes time and patience.  That’s why so many of society’s issues, remain issues.  Because hard things aren’t something many prefer to do or have the patience it takes to see them done well.

So as we proceed, there will still be questions that are left unanswered, but for now here is what we do know about our Cowart Venture…

Thursday, July 28 @ 6pm and Sunday, July 31 3pm – In the Sanctuary

Please attend if you are interested in changing someones life by:

helping tutor

drive a van

serve on the organizational teams

work with the parents.

This meeting is being held to see who will be available to help so we can build a successful development program.

So if you’re someone that doesn’t mind doing hard things, and would like to champion a great cause, attend one of these two meetings and make a difference.

Previously we met with all Lifegroup Leaders and presented this information to answer the question, what now? This update related to the adoption of classrooms…

Classroom Adoptions

Thank you so much for your interest in adopting a Cowart classroom. If your group chooses to adopt a classroom it will be for the 2016 – 2017 school year. Below we have listed what a classroom adoption will require.

  • Prayer – First we ask that you pray daily for the teacher, students and their families, and the school. As you develop a relationship with the teacher, we hope that he/she will reach out to you with prayer request.
  • Support and Encourage the Teacher – It is so important that your group encourages and supports the teacher. Your group could send cards or a small teacher gift. It would be great to do these not on the major holidays because this is when they receive gifts from the students. Instead sending a small gift or words of encouragement during testing week, at the end of grading periods, birthday and the just because we are thinking of you. This will help your group build a relationship with the teacher. By forming a relationship with the teacher, your group will be the ones he/she turns to when there is a need in the classroom. It could be classroom supplies, helping in the classroom or a specific need for a student.
  • Help Meet the Needs of the Students – This is a vital part of the classroom adoption. We want the teacher to come to your group when the students have needs. Example of needs could be school supplies, clothing, hygiene supplies, and snacks for testing or field trip funds. Also, a student could have a major need after a disaster such as a fire. In this instance, you may need to work with the Cowart Venture Team to help meet the student’s needs.

Please know that every class will be different and have different needs. We ask that you prayerfully consider your group adopting a classroom. Adoption sign-ups will begin August 14 with the program launching September 11.

* For questions, please contact Kirsten Kelley at 256-232-4906 or email Kirsten@friendshipumc.org

So know that we have been hard at it, for months, trying to figure out as many details as possible so we can do a great job in the adoption of Cowart Elementary School. Remeber we’re tackling some hard stuff and that takes time and patience.

Friendship Church – where we Love God, Love Others, and Serve

Jul 13

Remembering Eric

EricAs I was in my car today I heard on the radio that some of the slain Dallas police officers were being laid to rest.  As I heard of the long processionals of people who’d come to show their support i drifted back in time…

The time was December, 2007, in Hazel Green Alabama.  Normally a fun time of year.  And it was, up until December 14, 2007.  That’s when I found out Eric had been shot and it didn’t look good.

I had met Eric and his wife Leslie a year or two earlier at the Church I was serving as their pastor.  They had a wonderful and large family (5 kids, one a newborn) and noticed that we didn’t have a playground.  One day while working at the church I heard a commotion and went to investigate.  Eric had taken their own personal playground, very nice, and brought it to the church so we’d have a playground.  They lived just down the street.

Leslie would start a bible study and even fed others on the night they met.

On that night I got an anonymous call from the Huntsville Hospital’s ER by a nurse.  To this day I don’t know how they knew me or even how they got my number.  But she asked if I was the pastor at Genesis UMC in Hazel Green – I said I was,  She asked if I was watching TV, I said no.  She suggested I turn it on as Eric had been shot.  I quickly turned my TV on as I rushed to get ready to go to Huntsville.  Surely this couldn’t be happening, I thought.  All I could think about was what’s going to happen, I mean Leslie and all his kids.

As I traveled down the parkway I could see a sea of blue lights before I even took the Governors exit.  I entered the hospital and found Eric.  Having been a chaplain, I could tell it wasn’t good.  The room was crammed with medical personnel. Leslie was by his side.

After having prayer I drove back home to wait on the outcome.  Arrived early the next morning to learn that Eric had died.  He was only 36.

Over the next couple of days I would spend time at Leslie and Eric’s house.  I was overwhelmed with the support of the Huntsville Police Department.  They really do look after their own.

The funeral service would take place at Bethlehem Baptist, the only church in our area that could seat the crowd and in the end it couldn’t contain the crowd that came that day – over 1,000 people.  Eric would be buried in my church’s cemetery. I still remember the processional as we led the hearse to Genesis.  People were standing in their driveways in Eric’s honor as we passed.  I remember one little boy saluting, reminiscent of the Kennedy processional, and that made me tear up.

After that I would attend several functions honoring Eric, with Leslie.  But perhaps the hardest were the days I’d spend in the courtroom during the trial. Before I’d enter the courtroom on some days I’d be just feet away from the man that murdered Eric.  I’d get to see the actual pistol that was used in the crime being waved around by the lawyers in front of the jury.  I’d see the accused walked in each day and hear eyewitness accounts of what really happened that night.

I’ll never forget those days.  So when I hear of situations like Dallas, and others that have been killed in the line of duty, I relive it all over again.

Life is always precious.  Anytime anyone loses a loved one for any reason, it’s tough.  So at a time when our country is in mourning for anyone that’s lost their life recently, please be in prayer.

Eric Freeman, End of Watch: Saturday, December 15, 2007

If you’d like to read the news article from WAFF on Eric you can do that here.

Jul 06

3 Ways to Make Fried Oreos at Home

OreosWas reminiscing about the state fair of my childhood and how the midway food has changed – for the better!  Seems like everything is fried these days.  The first time I tried fried Oreos, it was instant love!  So today I wondered how easy it would be to do this at home.  Searching the internet for various ways made it look pretty easy.  So i thought I’d share 3 Ways to Make Fried Oreos.

Jul 06

Five Series Recap

pulpitSo in case you missed any of the last series… Five – Five Decisions that could Alter your Future, here is a recap of the Main Points!

Week 1 – Worship…Main Point – Rhythmic Worship is Wise

Week 2 – Discipleship….Main Point – There’s a Cost to Discipleship

Week 3 – Today…. Main Point – Today Matters

Week 4 – Community….Main Point – Community Matters

Week 5 – Devotion….Main Point – Devotion Matters

While these titles and main points may seem vague, you can find all the messages at friendshipumc.org

Don’t forget on the weeks you can’t be at Friendship Church we are now live streaming our 9:30am and 11am. services.

 

Jun 28

15 Things You Can Do to Strengthen Your Marriage

ringsIf you have been married for a while it can become easy to fall into a rut.  Before you know it you could even start to take each other for granted.  In order to keep that from happening you might try these 15 things you can do to strengthen your marriage.  You can find all 15 in this article.

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