The Orchard Blog

Time Change This Weekend! by orchardblog
March 31, 2005, 11:48 pm
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Hey guys! Don’t forget – this weekend we LOSE an hour. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2am this coming Sunday. But! The days will now be longer!

See you Sunday!

Lots of Kids + Lots of Eggs = Lots of Fun by orchardblog
March 29, 2005, 4:28 pm
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That’s all I can say after this past weekend! The Easter Egg Hunt Adventure, our weekend worship gatherings… What a blast!

We’ve created a picture gallery from the Easter Egg Hunt. Hundreds of kids running around at Nascar racing speeds gathering plastic Easter eggs. What an awesome site! Click here for some pictures!

Our worship gatherings were a lot of fun too as we celebrated the resurrection of Christ. If you were there, you’ll know that we even included a couple of off the wall elements. I’m pretty certain we were the only church in Aurora who did, “Heard it Through The Grapevine” on Easter Sunday. 🙂 I’m working on getting the video posted on the website. Stay tuned…

Also – to all of you who volunteered your time to make it an awesome weekend… THANK YOU!!!!! There is no way we could have pulled off such an impactful weekend without your help.

120 volunteers, 930 attendees, 1 great BIG God = a GREAT weekend.

YOU make it happen! by orchardblog
March 25, 2005, 4:13 pm
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Whew… I’m pausing my crazy day to write a quick note. My assistant, Terri, just informed me that we have over 120 volunteers scheduled to help make this coming weekend happen! Isn’t that awesome!?!!

Again, it reminds all of us that there is NO WAY we could do what we do without everyone passionately committed to the mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you’re one of the 120, I want to say, in advance, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for your commitment, your passion and desire to help us create an awesome environment of worship every weekend – and especially this coming Easter weekend.

You guys are the best.

See you this weekend!

What do you get… by orchardblog
March 23, 2005, 10:47 am
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What do you get when you involve good music, relevant teaching, excellent media, and Easter egg hunting? You get an exhilirating weekend at the Orchard!!

This weekend you will not want to miss the chance to invite friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors. This Easter weekend will be packed full of adventure (particularly for kids) and great connection opportunities!!!

Also, I heard through the “grapevine” that the music is going to blow your socks off!

See you Sunday!

Parents Do Matter! Part II by orchardblog
March 17, 2005, 5:20 pm
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“The future of the church and the future of humanity depend in great part on parents and on the family life they build in their homes. The family is the true measure of the greatness of a Nation.” Pope John Paul II

Scripture Reference: Psalm 128:1-3,6

Promised Land by orchardblog
March 17, 2005, 5:04 pm
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Currently I have the privilege of leading a women’s Bible study group here at The Orchard on Thursday nights. We’ve had a great time connecting and walking together on a journey of faith.

We are doing a Beth Moore series called Believing God. The first night that our group came together we discovered as a group that this Bible study is based on what Beth calls the Five-Statement Pledge of Faith. The pledge consists of these statements:
God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God’s word is active and alive in me.

I got so excited when I heard this! I was reminded of the times in my life when each of these principles were necessary for me to grasp who God is and to know him just a little better than I did before.

Beth suggests that each of us have a “Promised Land” for our lives. She says this about our Promised Land: “In essence, my promised land is the place where my theology merges with my reality.”

No matter where each one of us is on our journey of faith, meditating on and digging deeper into each one of these concepts will stretch our faith and help us reach our “Promised Lands,” where our theology merges with our reality!

Cultural Phenomenon by orchardblog
March 16, 2005, 9:37 am
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Yesterday I received a copy of Fast Company Magazine. It is a business magazine that Scott introduced me to several years ago, and ever since then, I’ve been hooked!

I was reading an article in the magazine called “cultural phenomenon.” The article was about a bank called Umpqua. The CEO’s name is Ray Davis. The premise of the article was a broad look into the culture of Umpqua bank. It was an analysis of creating a strong culture of service by — teaching it, measuring it, empowering it, and reinforcing it.

A quote from the CEO, Ray Davis: “Maintaining a culture is like raising a teenager,” he says. “You are constantly checking in. What are you doing? Where are you going? Who are you hanging out with?”

I said that, to say, I believe all of us could attest to the fact that Jesus did a good job at assesing the culture he was trying to create. He talked about it, modeled it, measured it, empowered others in it, and reinforced it!

Jesus constanly generated a culture that brought people back to “loving God and loving people.” Simple? Yes. Shouldn’t it be simple? Shouldn’t it be applicable to every day life? Jesus introduced his disciples to it, the sick to it, the poor to it, and the world.

The gist of the article is that a culture is simple to create, as long as everybody understands what it is they are trying to generate.

What else do you see in the life of Jesus that helps you realize that he created a cultural phenomenon?

What do you think?

What is Heaven Like? by orchardblog
March 14, 2005, 1:57 pm
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Christianity Today Online has an interesting article about Heaven written by Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College.

Some good thoughts and somewhat comforting…


Impressing others… by orchardblog
March 9, 2005, 9:56 am
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This morning I was thinking about the arena, once again, of impression management — How good we are, at times, at impressing others (appearing smarter, better looking, more spiritual).
I’ve been meditating on these thoughts a lot lately. Particulary how it pertains to living a life of humility.

Something ignited in me while reading from Erwin McManus — a book entitled, UPRISING OF THE SOUL. He said:
Even within God’s triune nature, He is a model of humility. Though infinite in power, He does not use His power to showboat. When Jesus was called upon to perform miracles to prove His divinity, He refused [Luke 4: 1-13]. When He did peform a miracle, it was only to glorify God and bring genuine help and healing, not to impress the skeptics.

Wow, well said! What do you think?

A note from Scott… by orchardblog
March 8, 2005, 10:40 am
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As most of you know, this past Sunday Amanda and I officially accepted the position of Lead Pastor for Orchard Valley Community Church.

As much as we are still scratching our heads trying to figure God and His ways out (good luck, right?), we are humbled, honored and tremendously grateful for the opporunity to lead this incredible church community that we call The Orchard.

Amanda, myself and our leadership team are strongly committed to carrying on the mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

As most of you know, my father – Larry Hodge, led this church for the last 27 years up until his sudden passing this past October. One of the things that my dad was very strict about was the discipline of journaling.

I recently ran across a journal entry that he wrote on November 23rd, 2003. It beautifully sums up what he was truly passionate about – especially in the last couple years of his life. I want to share a brief line from his entry on that day:

I have a passion to take people who are turned off by religion or to religion and turn them on to Jesus Christ and turn them in to devoted followers of Christ

That’s it. That is the mission of The Orchard – to turn people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. And that is my personal mission too.

Thanks for being on this journey with us. We love and appreciate everyone of you.