Volunteer Oppertunity - Host Team

By Courtney Etzel

I love trying new restaurants and going to places I have never been to.  With that though comes the uncertainty of not knowing where things are and where you are going.  It can be intimidating to walk into an unfamiliar place, trying to find something.  At Life Church we have a group of volunteers called the Host Team that serve to make sure guests feel welcomed.

These volunteers play a very important role during the weekend services.  Often times people will make a decision whether or not they like the church before they ever hear the worship or the message.

The Host Team is made up of friendly men and women that serve as greeters or guest services.  Greeters are those that greet people as they walk into the building and hand out communication cards on the way into the auditorium.  Guest Services volunteers are equipped with iPad minis and are stationed throughout the foyer to help answer any questions people may have.

Our Host Team is looking for more men and women who would like to be apart of making guests feel welcomed.  If you are interested in serving on the Host Team please contact me at cetzel@lifechurchwi.com or 262.251.5050.

To worry or not to worry…

By Courtney Etzel

 

We all go through seasons in our lives when we are faced with difficult situations, and we don’t know what to do or how things will work out.  In those times it is essential that we turn to God for guidance.
 
My husband, Brad, and I have really been leaning on God and trusting in Him during this season of our lives.  We were in a situation where on paper nothing made sense to us, but we knew we needed to trust in God and that He would take care of us.  I naturally worry and have to remind myself to give it to God.  In my prayer time, I asked God for wisdom and to give us guidance because we couldn’t do it on our own. We needed Him.  Not long after, during 714 prayer, I felt God say, “Don’t worry, I have you in the palm of my hand.”  It was like a total sense of peace came over me.  I knew that God would handle our situation. And all I needed to do was trust in him. 
 
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite versus. It says “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
 
The Bible tells us that we need to trust in God and he will direct our path.  We don’t need to worry about our current situation but rather seek His will.  God had a plan for us before we were even born.  I want to encourage you that no matter what you are going though, even if it seems impossible, God has you in the palm of His hand.

Do You “Shine among Them Like Stars”?

By Courtney Etzel

I’ve been reading the book of Philippians and keep returning to a passage that serves as a great reminder of the attitude we should have as Christ followers.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me,” (Philippians 2:12-18).  

Paul wrote this letter to the church of Philippi while in a Roman prison. He was concerned with the way people were acting and wanted to encourage them to do things without grumbling or complaining and to create unity among one another.  Paul applauded them for being obedient even while he was away, and encouraged them to remain obedient. Paul wanted them to be a light to the world, a living testimony. He also wanted them to know that he was willing to sacrifice his life, and that he would be happy to do so. Paul also encouraged the church in Philippi to rejoice and be glad.

Many times I get caught up in things that happen in life and when things don’t go my way it is easy to grumble and complain. There are many times we may have to do something that we don’t like, but that doesn’t give us the right to complain. We should do all things so that we are giving glory to God. As Christ followers, people are watching us to see how we act. We may be the only Jesus they ever see. It is our job to live like Christ and be a testimony to those around us. If Paul can sit in a Roman prison and say that he would gladly sacrifice himself and is rejoicing for God, surely I can do tasks that I don’t like without complaining.

Are You Excited about Spending Time with God?

By Courtney Etzel

My daughter, Madyson, is ten months old.  About a month ago she said her first word, “Elmo.”  Well, it actually sounds more like “Bellbo” when she says it. She loves Elmo. When Elmo comes on Sesame Street she gets excited, waves her hands in the air, and makes a hissing noise that sounds like an air leak (which she does anytime she is happy!).  She looks at the TV and says, “Bellbo, Bellbo.” Then she looks at me and smiles. It’s like nothing else matters at that moment. I can put one of her many Elmo books on the other side of the room and she will crawl over every toy in her way just to get to Elmo.

When I watch the excitement come across her face when she sees Elmo, I wonder if I am always that excited to spend time with Jesus? Do I go out of my way to spend time with Him? Sometimes we can let everyday chaos get in our way of spending time with God and before we know it, it’s time for bed. 
 
Matthew 18:3 says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  I’m not saying we need to get excited over Elmo, but the same excitement Mady expresses when she sees Elmo is the same kind of excitement we should have about spending time with God.  Spending time with God shouldn’t be something we just schedule, but should be something we look forward to. Many times we let life catch up with us, and think I’ll just spend time with God later.
 
I recently read this quote from Charles E. Hummel and I think that he says it well, “We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. We confess, we have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.” 

We make time for things that are important to us. This may look different for everyone. I am the type of person that has to schedule things or write them down; otherwise it typically will not get done. For me, I block off time in the mornings and this is when I spend time with God. Even though time that I have set aside to spend with God is scheduled, that doesn’t mean it takes away from the excitement I have and the joy I get from learning more about him. It’s in those times that He reveals Himself to me and we get to know each other more. I look forward to the time that I get to spend with God in the mornings, but I also love the moments in my day where I can just stop and talk with God and thank Him.  
 
This week I encourage you to get excited about spending time with God and then carve time out of your schedule to make that meeting happen. This may mean getting up a little earlier, staying up a little later, or turning the radio off and praying on your commute to work.
 


More “Highlights” - from Courtney Etzel

By Courtney Etzel

I have many Bible verses that I like. Some are for guidance, verses that spoke to me at a specific point in my life, and some are just reminders of God’s promises.  Here are a few of the verses that I have highlighted.

Philippians 4:6-7Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

I tend to be a worrier so this a verse I turn to time and time again. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

What a great reminder that I am not the only one who is tested, nor am I the first to be tested. I love how the Message says it.

Joshua 23:10Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he has promised

 I love the reminder in that God is always in our corner, fighting for us.

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These are just a few verses that I have book marked.  What verses have impacted you?  

 

Are You Making A Difference?

By Courtney Etzel

Life Church recently held an event for women called Heart and Soul. It was a great night, full of worship, tears, and laughter. If you missed this event, you really missed out, so be sure to mark your calendars for the next one. 

At Heart and Soul, Tammy Cole recommended four books that we talked about in an earlier post here on our blog. One of the books Tammy suggested was Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis, so I’ve been reading it. In the book, Davis shares her personal story and reveals how God’s plan for her life was different than what she had envisioned for herself. Ultimately, she moved to Uganda  and fell in love with the country and the people, and began to see God’s plan unroll.  

The passion and sacrifice Katie Davis made was inspiring. I began to imagine what would happen if everyone shared Katie’s passion to make a difference and to show the love of Jesus to others. I know we can’t all move to another country, but we can go to our own backyards, our own neighborhoods, and we can make a difference in the lives of people we come into contact with on a daily basis.  

If you want to make a difference in people’s lives, I encourage you to serve in a ministry here at Life Church. There are so many opportunities available. Find one that best fits the talents God has given you by going through our Life Track program and start making a difference today!

6 Things Courtney Etzel Dreams of Doing

Source: stylemepretty.com via Catherine-Clare on Pinterest

By Courtney Etzel

All of us have things we dream of doing. Here are a few things I’d like to experience:

1) Travel to every continent. I want to take a gondola ride in Venice; go on an African safari; visit a rain forest; see the Northern Lights, the Great Wall of China, and the pyramids in Egypt,

2) Scuba dive. This may not seem super special to everyone, but I hate swimming and I am scared to death of being in open water, something my husband learned when we went snorkeling on our honeymoon!

3) Be part of the running of the bulls in Spain. Ever since Spanish class in sixth grade I have thought this would be cool.  Okay, maybe I don’t want to actually run. That would require getting into shape. Maybe I just want to witness this event from the sidelines. 

4) Sky dive, take a hot air balloon ride, and go parasailing. I have a fear of heights, so maybe these activities will help me overcome my fear. 

5) Start my own business. I don’t know exactly what type but think it would be cool to have my own business.

6) Overcome my fear of feet.

What are some things that you want to experience?

Facing a Challenge? God Will Not Let You Down

By Courtney Etzel

My husband, Brad, and I are excited and blessed to have a new addition to our family, a beautiful baby girl. She was born in November, and it was love at first sight! 

Leaving the hospital was very surreal; we had a baby and we were on our own. There were no nurses to help us or turn to for a quick question. Coming home was a huge adjustment. Brad was able to stay home for a few days but then had to go back to work. Then it was just me, our daughter, a research paper and four exams.  

At times it was difficult learning about a new baby, and trying to finish everything during finals week. I found myself questioning if I could work full time, be a full time student and a mom. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through.” 

I recently read a friend’s post that said, “God doesn’t give us what we can handle; God helps us handle what we are given.”  

We all find ourselves facing new challenges or struggles, wondering if we will make it through or if we will fail. This verse reminded me that no matter how difficult things may be, God will always be there to help me.

No matter what struggle or challenge you are facing, know that you are not alone and remember that God will never let you down. My hope is that this verse will bring you comfort knowing that with God’s help you can embrace any challenge.