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Gener-US changed US

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Have you ever had an experience that you knew immediately would change you forever? When I was twelve I was playing baseball with a friend when I saw a little girl choking across the street. She was about two years old and she had decided to try eating a piece of sidewalk chalk. In that moment I didn’t think a whole lot about it but I ran over and gave her a modified heimlich maneuver to dislodge the chalk and she was ok, which is more than I can say for my really cool white cargo pants with chalk stains on them.

It put something in me though: where there was need I was going to be the kind of person that rose to meet that need. I wasn’t going to look the other way or wait for someone else to step in. I want to be that kind of husband, dad and leader—who doesn’t?

We all watch the challenges and headlines around us and it’s easy to just drift into complacency. But over the past four weeks you rejected the voyeurism of our world and engaged in fresh and new ways as a community. THANK YOU!

Here are just a few highlights from the past few weeks:

  • We had hundreds of you give online for the first time to help Stop Hunger Now (a.k.a. Rise Against Hunger) by providing 140,000 meals for people in need around the world.
  • Your ongoing generosity sent $10,000 to one of our Denver Ministry Partners, Sox Place, to help homeless teens and young adults break the cycle and find a safe place with safe people.
  • A man in our community named Oscar felt compelled to pay off his niece's mortgage!
  • Families in our church took the initiative to deliver food and supplies to homeless in our community!
  • Through Financial Peace University we saw God free people of $100,000 in debt and save $41,000 in only 9 weeks!

When I helped that little girl I was given a medal … can you believe it?! It felt a little crazy at the time, but it was a good marker and reminder for me of the person I wanted to become. I wish I could give every one of you a medal for how you’ve allowed God to use you. But like we’ve talked about throughout this series—God is laying up for you treasures in heaven that are eternal and protected. You’re investing in the right kingdom and I’ve never been more honored to be your Pastor.

Grace and peace,

Phil

in Youth

Are you Running?

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I have a two year old son at home named Oliver. Oliver is full of joy, and makes me laugh everyday. 

One of my favorite things to do is chase Oliver around our house. He runs with tiny steps and occasionally looks back (can be dangerous, I know) to make sure I'm still in pursuit.  

When I met Jesus, I was baffled by the truth of God's relentless pursuit. That despite my own brokenness and like Oliver, my tendency to fall often, God continued to chase me down, to the point of dying on the cross for me.
 
In John 20, Mary Magdalene runs to tell Peter and John that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. I can't imagine what is going through their minds as they run to the tomb where their teacher and friend had been laid. When they finally got to the tomb, they saw, believed and understood what Christ had been telling them all along.  
 
As we prepare for Easter, I pray that we would all run towards a deeper relationship with Christ in anticipation of His faithfulness and continued works in our lives. May we understand that while we run away from God, He continues in pursuit of us. And may we recognize that no matter how far we've run, we can always be found in Him.

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