The Orchard Blog

i’m responsible for my stuff, not yours! by orchardblog
September 29, 2004, 10:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

recently a lady (let’s say her name is mary) vocalized to me how she was hurt by another lady (let’s say her name is lilly), because lilly had been so demeaning and condescending in a recent dialogue. mary seemed to be very hurt and truly had taken this encounter to heart. mary proceeded to depict the reasons as to “why” lilly was this way and acted this way. thereby attaching a judgment as to “why” she did what she did. mary seemed to have fallen prey to someone elses “stuff.”

i proceeded to encourage mary to talk to lilly and resolve this conflict. of course, mary felt like there was no use in resolving this, because she had already decided that this person was a jerk. mary decided that being hurt and attaching such powerful significance to lilly’s actions was better for her emotionally and spiritually.

i find it fascinating how each of us find ourselves in this silly scenario. we attach dynamic significance to peoples judgments, insults and negative body language. in other words, “my world becomes rocked when you don’t treat me the way i should be treated.”

in essence, when we become offended, we are the one’s who attach significance to what is being said, whether through body language or verbal communication. the moment someones actions put us into “defensive” mode, we should ask ourselves this quesiton, “are their actions my stuff or their stuff?” i can NEVER make you responsible for my reactions or even actions. likewise, i can never allow you to drag me into your stuff. i must never allow you to make me responsible for your choices (being mad, glad, sad, joyful etc…).

think of the example of a abuser saying, “look what you made me do!” an abuser isn’t MADE to do anything, he/she has the choice to do so.

therefore, WE are the empowerers when it comes to someone causing offense to us. are we going to make everything “about us” when a offense arises or are we going to resolve that we are responsible for “how” we react to other people’s stuff (body language, verbal communication, etc…).

remember that jesus said, “offenses WILL come.” so, we can see that none of us are exempt from offenses entering our hemisphere. Notice that offenses will come, BUT we have the choice whether or not we will receive them and allow them to wreck our world.

i love this saying, “i am not who you think i am; i am not who i think i am; i am who i think you think i am.” in gist, many allow their lives to be dictated emotionally by others judgments. you are responsible for your stuff, not someone elses!

Who Have You Invited to The Apprentice? by orchardblog
September 22, 2004, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Throughout the months of August and September The Orchard has been preparing for a new series, The Apprentice, which begins at The Orchard this weekend, Sunday, Sept. 26th! The staff team as well as a wide range of volunteers have put their heads together in an attempt to kick off this series with a BOOM!

More than 60 volunteers from The Orchard have made it possible for us to invite 4,000 families to The Apprentice series. Last week over 20 volunteers stuffed bags that would be distributed to 4,000 homes – each bag included an invite to The Apprentice and a coupon for a free drink from Common Grounds cappuccino bar. This past weekend volunteers gave up their Saturday to invite their community to this exciting series. Thank you on behalf of The Orchard to all those who contributed to the canvassing project last weekend – what a tremendous difference this group made!

So many people will never attend a church service because no one took the time to invite them. Many people who received an invite last weekend explained that they’ve been “looking for a church”, “thinking about visiting The Orchard”, or were just thankful to get the invite. People seemed excited about this series and to learn more about what’s happening at The Orchard.

Who have you invited to The Orchard for this exciting new series?

Don’t miss out on the chance to invite your friends and family to join us on a journey to discover what God had to say about being the ultimate apprentice.

This Friday Night by orchardblog
September 22, 2004, 11:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you were @ The Orchard on Sunday, you will remember that Jim Larson (passionate missionary to Thailand) shared about his family’s work in Thailand. Today, we received an email from Jim inviting us to a gallery displaying moving images from the city of Bangkok. Here’s the info if you are interested in going:

Hi again.

When I am in a church with really good worship, for some reason I almost always tear up thinking of my friends in Thailand working at their go-go bars. The better the worship, the more my sadness.

I felt it yesterday at Orchard Valley Community Church. I suddenly find myself back in the Chicago area for 11 days. I’m here to take care of some business, but naturally would like to take advantage of the time to share in person about what God is doing, and what we need to do in response.

This Friday night, September 24, Jimi Allen and Katharine Wagner will host a gathering at the new Jimi Allen Photography studio at 76 South LaSalle in Aurora from 6 to 10 pm.

Jimi and Katharine will set up a portion of the awesome gallery show, ’girl.’ I will make a group presentation on the ministry in Thailand at 7:30, focusing on the need to begin to sponsor girls/women for 6-month to 1-year terms for discipleship and job training.

I know this is very short notice, as this whole trip was for me, but if you happen to have a free evening, I’d really love to see you.

By His grace,


Thank You! by orchardblog
September 21, 2004, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Look what you have done by participating in the scrip program
(with your purchase of gift cards):

• Payed for BACKGROUND CHECKS to ensure the safety of our children.
• Bought PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM to teach our little ones about God.
• Purchased food for our kids for special events—Orchard 101, Christmas program snacks, etc.
• Payed for extra preschool chairs.
• Payed for lanyards to hold ID badges for our volunteers.
• Purchased shelving and plywood for our Children’s ministry resource area.
• Helped pay for VBS Banners.
• Helped pay for gas to take all of our campers to kid’s camp!
• Purchased children’s ministry office supplies.

Stop by the Info Center on Sunday to see what gift cards we have available or talk to Helen for more information.

Thank you for helping our children’s ministry!

One more thing… by orchardblog
September 16, 2004, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I wanted to add one more thing about this weekend. We are going to be having a special guest visiting us from Thailand in both weekend services. So not only will you not want to miss Ted’s message, you’ll also not want to miss hearing from our special guest.

See you Sunday!

a beautiful mind by orchardblog
September 15, 2004, 9:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

this weekend come to the orchard to enjoy fresh “new” coffee beverages, contemporary music, connection opportunities, and much more…

we will be delving into the topic of the mind and learn something about the law of the tree.

THE APPRENTICE! by orchardblog
September 14, 2004, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As most of you are aware, we are starting a new series beginning in a couple of weeks (Sunday, September 26th) entitled “The Apprentice: Preparing for the Ultimate Boardroom”. This is going to be an exciting 9 week series that we believe will help prepare us all to become the ultimate apprentices!

We also believe this is a great series for the unchurched of our community. As always, we are going to work really hard to create the best possible environment for you to invite your unchurched friends and family members. We also have a great plan to spread the word to our local community. BUT – we need your help!

We want to spread the word of this series to as many people as possible and to help do that, we are going to be distributing 4,000 full color post cards to our surrounding neighborhoods this coming Saturday, September 18th at 10:00AM.

We’ve had a great response so far, but in order to hit all of the homes, we need your help!

If you can carve out 2 or 3 hours on this coming Saturday and help us out, please respond to this email by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Amber by clicking here or calling 630-897-8888.

By the way, we are NOT going to be knocking on doors or approaching people one on one. We will simply be walking up to people’s doors and placing a clear plastic bag on their door knob.

(To get a sneak peak of the flyer, click here! (.pdf file) It turned out AWESOME!)

Again, take a moment and reply by clicking here if you can plan on making it Saturday and haven’t yet signed up.

Hope to see you Saturday!!

The Staff Team @ OVCC

This Sunday! by orchardblog
September 9, 2004, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Don’t miss this weekend’s message, “Homeland Security…in a post 9/11 world”. Larry Hodge will be sharing a challenging talk on how to trust God in these uncertain times we live in.

Don’t forget to invite someone! See you Sunday!

The Other Side of Transition by orchardblog
September 8, 2004, 8:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Transition isn’t easy. It’s been a little over 2 years since we began an intensive rejuvination effort here at our church. It hasn’t been easy. We lost some great people, we took a major hit financially and it was a lot of hard and stressful work. But we were determined that it was the right thing to do and tried to remain resiliently focused on our mission.

Now, 2 years later, we are seeing some awesome things happening. We’re still learning, still changing, still transitioning – but it finally feels like we are on the other side of transition.

Seldom does a week go by when we don’t get an email, letter or phone call from someone telling us how their life has been positively impacted by what’s happening here at The Orchard. These are the mental and spiritual caffeine shots that seem to come around right when we need them. These are those moments when we just stand back and say, “It must be God.”

I got this email Sunday night from a woman who recently began attending our church:

I want to thank you for the changes that have occurred at OVCC. If you hadn’t made those changes I would not be a Christ follower today. How you described OVCC before the changes totally describes the church I was a member of for 15 years. The sad part, I never got it. I desperately wanted what everyone was talking about & feeling but I just couldn’t get it. I mean no disrespect to my previous church or Pastor (who I deeply respected) but for whatever reason, it wasn’t coming to me.

A year later, I have found what I have been searching for. I have accepted Jesus in my life & my life has been changed. I feel part of this family at OVCC. I have learned more about Jesus in the past year than I had in the years at my previous church. I have learned more about myself & who I want to be.

Another shot in the arm. Another “celebration worthy” story…