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November, 2012 - Issue #97
Gratitude
by Michael DeFazio

Generally speaking, gratitude is a byproduct of paying attention. Very few people have nothing to be thankful for. But many of us so easily forget what we do have that we often find ourselves whining rather than saying thanks.

When times are bad, we forget when they were good. When times are good, we forget how bad they used to be. Either way, we find ourselves wanting more than we currently have. Either way, forgetfulness suffocates thankfulness.

Forgetfulness is gratitude's worst enemy, which makes memory gratitude's strongest ally.

Throughout the Bible, God seeks to help his people remember his protection and love. Sometimes when God helped them, they set up monuments so that when the kids asked, "What is that there for?" the parents had an excuse to retell the old story (to the benefit of both). Sometimes they wrote letters reminding each other of all God's gifts. This is also why, when you gather with a church, you'll hear songs. Singing simultaneously celebrates and reminds us of what we so often forget - that God created us and saved us by sending his Son to die so that we might truly live.

Real Life Church is a bunch of imperfect people trying to pay attention, and together remembering the God who gives us countless reasons to say thanks. Real Life Church has served the Santa Clarita Valley since October 2000. The congregation opened its environmentally-friendly facility in April 2010 with an 1100-seat auditorium and a community-focused coffeehouse.
Worship services are held Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. The church is located at 23841 Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia.
Michael DeFazio is the Life Groups pastor for Real Life Church. www.reallifechurch.org

Celebrate Halloween Under the Big Top
Real Life Church to Host Fun, Safe Halloween Event for the Community
It's that time again - time for the community Halloween event at Real Life Church.

"Halloween Under the Big Top" promises fun for all ages, with an aerial and acrobat show, a Hollywood bear and tiger, a performance by Dance Studio 84, games, and, of course, trick-or-treating indoors and out.

But it's not just about free cotton candy, popcorn and peanuts. All proceeds from the evening's dunk tank and drink sales will go to Carousel Ranch, a local non-profit organization offering equestrian therapy for special needs children. Ralph's and Sprouts are donating water bottles for drink sales and Pretty Little Pictures will be photographing the entire event for free.

"We're excited for our third-annual Halloween event with the community of Santa Clarita," said Real Life's Children's Pastor Michelle Wash. "It's fun for the whole family and helps out a great cause, too."

The event on Saturday, October 27, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be held at Real Life Church. There is no charge to attend, but food will be available for purchase from KONA Ice, Corn Heaven, Lamppost Pizza and Chick-fil-A. Last year's Halloween event welcomed 8,000 people to the church.

"Don't miss the fun!" said Pastor Rusty George. "We'll see you under the big top!"
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