Shifting Our Focus

We recently concluded an incredible series at Venture called Threat Detected, all about learning from the bad boys and girls of the Bible to detect the temptations in our own lives. The emotional, relational and spiritual response to this series has been STRONG.

Now we are onto a new series that I am really excited about: SHIFT. This series will be about learning to shift our focus from what’s around us to the One above us.

This series is going to tackle some tough subjects in a lot of ways: ambivalence, recreation, business, priorities.

Why? Because people’s values are shifting and, at times, they are moving away from God and the church.

So, we want to equip people to be able to be in healthy conversations with others, talking about the very reasons that may cause people to be shifting away from church and/or their relationship with God. If you know of folks that could benefit from this series, or if this rings true for your own life, these messages may help you and others who struggle with being far from God or far from church. I invite you, for the month of august, to join us for Shift!

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Why I’m Excited About the Expanded Legacy Center

I love it when I see progress, change and people doing life differently! When I speak of this, I have a specific example in mind: The Legacy Center in Brighton.

I’m excited about the Legacy Center not only because it’s an incredible athletic complex, but because they’ve just announced the installation of six new baseball/softball fields on top of their already massive fitness center, 7 outdoor multi-sport fields, and 5,000 sq. ft. baseball/softball training center!

I love when people come together, families come together, and teams come together and this new addition will allow that to happen to a whole different degree. But there’s something extra special to my excitement, because I personally know the people behind the Legacy Center and I understand why they’re doing this expansion –  and that’s the Goble Family.

And I just want to say – way to go, Rodney! Way to go, Roger! Way to go, Amy! Way to go, Susan! And I could keep going – but you get the idea. To the Goble Family: Continue to make a difference for the community and make a difference in people’s lives!!

The announcement of this expansion also gets me excited about the addition we will soon be adding to Venture Church. This Spring we will be putting in, as part of the development of our church campus, a running/walking trail with workout stations throughout. What I have discovered is that when people develop mentally, socially, spiritually and physically – in all those four core areas – their lives radically change because that’s how God has made us.

To anyone working to help others develop in any of those four areas and making a difference in the lives of people – WAY TO GO! That’s what it’s really all about.

 

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What It Takes To Be A Good Samaritan

Watching the news isn’t always an uplifting activity – but last week I read a local news story that had a happy ending and an important lesson about taking action rather than sitting on the sidelines.

At Oakbrooke Apartments (right across the street from where Venture used to be held at the PAC), a man was seen losing control of his car, whipping off the road and plummeting into a pond right in front of the apartments.

A witness quickly called police and ran down to help where he reported already seeing a man jumping into the water to lend assistance. Using a pocket knife, the man in the water tore through the seatbelt of the driver and brought him to the surface and out of the water. Then, without waiting for thanks or applause, this unknown hero walked off.

Within minutes the car was completely submerged in the water, and the sheriff attributes the saved life of the driver to the men who took action.

The reason that I appreciate this story is because today people are more and more concerned with taking selfies and videos of dire situations rather than reacting in a way that could better the situation.

Being more interested in popularity and the potential 2 seconds of fame from a video or picture of a tragedy keeps people distracted from doing the right thing.

I don’t know who those Good Samaritans are, but I do know this:

Rather than thinking of themselves, they did the right thing at the right time and in the right way.

So, kudos to them and the example they’ve provided! The other reason I appreciate this story is because it calls to mind one of the greatest stories in the Bible that Jesus tells of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25–37.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

It comes down to this: Don’t walk the other way, don’t look the other way, don’t think of yourself first – no, think of others before yourself and you can be a Good Samaritan too.

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