The Orchard Blog

I am thankful… by orchardblog
November 29, 2005, 11:44 am
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The past few days I’ve been thinking about HOW MUCH I have to be thankful for! I thought I’d share a couple of those things and hope you’ll share too.

1. My sisters–I have SIX of them–so I have a LOT to be thankful for. I am thankful for their honesty. They will tell me when my outfit doesn’t match or how I can do something in a better way. I like that!
2. My husband–All the single females of the world lost out on a great guy when we married 4 years ago! He is loving and so good at communicating–two things that help make our marraige great.
3. Food–I love to eat and I am so thankful for all the yummy food we had on our table Thanksgiving day. We truly are blessed!

There are so many more things for which I am thankful…good friends, my church, a cozy home…but now it’s your turn.

What have you noticed lately that you are extremely thankful for? And don’t forget to say why.

Orchard Messages Now Available Via Podcast! by orchardblog
November 26, 2005, 10:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Well folks….it’s finally here. The Orchard’s Podcast!

You can click here to go to the Podcast blog or you can subscribe via iTunes by clicking here.

The feedburner address is:

For more information on what Podcasting is all about click here.

Jesus the brilliant Rabbi… by orchardblog
November 19, 2005, 6:43 pm
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At the literally mundane level, Jesus knew how to transform the molecular structure of water to make it wine. That knowledge also allowed Him to take a few pieces of bread and some little fish and feed thousands of people. He could create matter from the energy He knew how to access from the heavens right where He was. He knew how to transform the tissues of human body from sickness to health, and from death to life. He knew how to suspend gravity, interrupt weather patterns, eliminate unfruitful trees without saw or axe. He only needed a word. Surely He must be amused at what Nobel Prizes are awarded for today.

In the ethical domain He had an understanding of life that has influenced world thought more than any other. Death was not something imposed on Him by others. He explained to His followers in a moment of crises, He could at any time call for 72,000 angels to do whatever He wanted. A mid sized angel or two would surely have been enough to take care of those who thought they were capturing and killing Him. He plainly said,

“Nobody takes me life. I lay it down by choice. I am in a position to lay it down and I am in a position to resume it. My Father and I have worked all this out.”

All these things show Jesus’ cognitive and practical mastery of every phase of reality – physical, moral, spiritual – He is Master only because He is maestro. Jesus is Lord can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate before saying Jesus is smart. He is not just nice. He is brilliant. He is the smartest man who ever lived. He is now supervising the entire course of world history while simultaneously preparing the rest of the universe for our future role in it. He always has the best information on everything and certainly on the things that matter most in human life. — Dallas Willard

iFollow: The Foyer by orchardblog
November 16, 2005, 11:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Wow, what a weekend… I walked away from church this past weekend with even a greater realization of how important it is to clarify and communicate the strategy of our church.

I can’t even begin to describe how encouraged I have been by the comments, emails and phone calls that I’ve received following this past weekend’s gatherings. It’s one thing to have an “idea” as to what we’re all about – but there’s nothing like KNOWING and clearly understanding our strategy for fulfilling our mission.

I really believe that this series, iFollow, IS THE MOST important series we will have done all year. This coming Sunday I will be talking about our living room environments. I can’t wait!

If you missed either one of the past two weekends, I would encourage you to go here to download them and get caught up.

Have a great week – see you Sunday!

113165041057914588 by orchardblog
November 10, 2005, 1:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hey everyone – just taking a quick break from my study day, where I’m secluded in a coffeehouse somewhere deep in the Chicagoland area….

Just in case you missed last Sunday at The Orchard, I’ll give you a head’s up and let you know that things look a little…………..different…………in our auditorium. (And no, it’s not another huge picket fence.)

It all has to do with our new series, iFollow. This month we are journeying through what it means to follow Jesus and I’m going to be sharing the Orchard’s plan and strategy to partner with you to become all that God desires. You won’t want to miss it! (If you missed last weekend’s talk, you can download it here.)

And by the way….if you haven’t invited someone with you this weekend – do it now! Special guest, Daniel Groves, will be back with us again this weekend to lead worship! It’s going to be a great time. So go ahead…invite someone! Shoot them an email, a text message or pick up the phone and invite them to experience the Orchard!

Have a great weekend – see you Sunday!


Is it JUST about forgiveness? by orchardblog
November 6, 2005, 8:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I can certainly say that I have heard myriads of sermons on the importance of understanding our forgiveness through Christ. But, I would submit to you, that there is more than JUST being forgiven. Isn’t there?

I have been pondering recently along these lines, that on one end of the spectrum we can celebrate this forgiveness; however, it is another thing to become more and more the person God made us to be, In Christ.

Rob Bell says:
“The point of the cross isn’t [just] forgiveness. Forgiveness leads to something much bigger: restoration. God isn’t just interested in the covering over of our sins: God wants to make us into the people we were originally created to be. It is not just the removal of what’s being held against us; it is God pulling us into the people he originally had in mind when he made us. This restoration is why Jesus always orients his message around becoming the kind of people who are generous and loving and compassionate. The goal here is to not sin. Our purpose is to increase the shalom [wholeness] in this world, which is why the approach to the Christian faith that deals solely with not sinning always fail. They aim at the wrong thing. It is not about what you don’t do. The point is becoming more and more the kind of people God had in mind when we were first created.”

You see God always has been and He always will be. When we enter this dynamic relationship with God through Christ, we become connected with God. In this new life forgiveness is a part of the package, but could it be that we could go through life being forgiven, yet never experience what he has made us to be?

Oh, what a night! by orchardblog
November 3, 2005, 10:05 am
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With 17 games, tons of candy, over 600 people, and LOADS of Fun…I would call our Fall Fun Fest a GREAT success! Thanks for the 53 people who volunteered to make the night so great! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Here are a couple emails I recieved about the evening,

“My kids enjoyed the fun fest last night. I’m sure there were countless volunteers who helped you out…I at least wanted to express my appreciation… All of [the people we brought] remarked at how fun and well-run the night was. Thanks to all of you for your hard work!”

“It sure was fun!! Wow, lots of kids and plenty of games!! Thanks for organizing a GREAT event!!”

Here’s a link to the FFF Photo Album on our website. Check out the great pictures!

First Wednesday Tonight by orchardblog
November 2, 2005, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I hope you’re planning on joining us for our First Wednesday gathering tonight. It will begin at 7pm and we’ll spend an hour or more worshpping our Creator and refocusing our hearts and lives on Him.

If you’re not planning on joining us, consider coming out anyway! It is going to be a night you won’t want to miss.

Hope to see you there,