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November, 2021 - Issue #205
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

A Very Special Service
by Jack Winkle

If you or someone you know has family members with special needs, you know it can be a challenge to attend events outside the home. Sometimes, even with the best of plans, we miss out on family gatherings, birthday parties, weddings, Christmas and Easter services and more.
The leadership and congregation at CCGV have a strong calling and commitment to serve the special-needs community. My wife and I have a 21-year-old son with autism. Last year, we began offering a special, abbreviated worship service at noon where the entire family can be in the worship service together. We open with a greeting and brief prayer, then sing two to three simple songs accompanied by one acoustic guitar. I then give a brief message centered on God's grace and love and a closing prayer. For privacy, this service is not posted on our website or live online. Nearly every family that has come to the Special Needs Service at noon on Sundays has said this was the first time they've been able to worship with their entire family together in a church service.
If you or someone you know would like more information on this Special Needs Service, please contact us. We'd be happy to have you join us as we navigate this special calling to serve those with special needs. Our regular service is at 10am, then at noon - relax, be comfortable and know that when it comes to any special behaviors, we've seen them before. All are welcome - just like God intended.
Jack Winkle is pastor of Calvary Chapel Golden Valley.
calvarychapelgoldenvalley.org

The Gifts we Give in Love
by Jay Siegel

A fox passed a fenced vineyard. As the fox circled around the fence, he found a small hole, large enough for him to push his head through. The fox could see what luscious grapes grew in the vineyard and his mouth began to water - but the hole was too small for him. The fox fasted for three days until he became thin enough to slip through the hole.
Inside, the fox ate to his heart's content. He grew bigger and fatter than ever before.Then he wanted to get out of the vineyard, but the hole was too small again. He fasted for three days again and managed to slip through the hole and out again.
Turning his head towards the vineyard, the poor fox said: "Vineyard! How lovely you look and how lovely are your fruits. But what good are you to me? Just as I came to you, so I leave you . . ."
It's a beautiful world in which we live and we all know our time is limited. Gratitude is essential. Realizing the limitations of the material, what are the lasting spiritual gifts we can give?
Rabbi Jay Siegel of Congregation Beth Shalom. cbs-scv.org

We're being Lied To
by Dave White

Lies are everywhere these days. Listen to politicians or watch the news and you'll hear a lot of BS. There's no nice way to say it.
Peter, the great apostle, warned us long ago, in 2 Peter 2:1-3, to beware because, "there will be false teachers and lying leaders among us who will secretly, deceptively and cleverly introduce destructive, divisive doctrines" contrary to the truth. In fact, "these false leaders will try to exploit us with fabricated falsehoods and made-up stories." In other words, we shouldn't be surprised when influencers lie about God.
Today's godless leaders use inviting words like "inclusion" and "diversity" in ways that actually exclude and divide.
These secular humanists twist the truth with positive sounding words like "progressive," "liberal," "pro-choice" and "social justice." Those terms sound innocent enough. But they're lies. What they really mean is "communism," "tyranny," "pro-death" and "redistribution." I wish they'd just say it and be more honest.
I'm a pastor. I don't do politics. But I do care about people and about truth. We're being lied to. I trust you know that. Government is not the answer. God is!
Dave White, PhD is pastor at The Bridge. thebridgescv.com
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