Over the course of our study of the book of Genesis, the character deficiencies of the forefathers of Israel have shocked me. Most recently, Jacob and Judah have grabbed my attention. These men were wrecks before God intervened in their lives: deceptive, exploitative, immoral—yet God worked through them. Certainly, God did a work in them before He worked through them; nonetheless, He included them in the work of building His kingdom.
However, Jacob and Judah don’t stand alone. God has always been in the business of redeeming lives. Perhaps no one advanced the first-century church more than the apostle Paul. Yet Paul imprisoned and executed Christians before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. No wonder Paul wrote these words to Timothy:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 1:12–14).
“And the grace of our Lord was more than abundant!” That is good news for us. As was the case with Jacob, Judah, and Paul, and a whole host of other people, the grace of God is more than abundant for our failings.
Many who know Liem Chot are impressed by his resilience, integrity, and positivity.
Liem was born in a refugee camp in Ethiopia but raised in South Sudan and Uganda. Both of his parents died while he was young, so Liem spent his time there with various family members, including his brothers and their uncle. Though he was so young that he had to be carried, Liem remembers moving around a lot, watching the gazelle graze at night, and learning to swim in the Nile River near his uncle’s farm.
All the while, Liem’s sister was working diligently in the States to bring her brothers to America. Finally, on December 13, 2014, Liem and his brothers made the long journey to Lincoln, Nebraska. Liem recalls the exhaustion of the journey, the bright lights of the city, and the cold. “I still don’t like the cold,” said Liem, “but I think I’m getting used to it gradually.”
Growing in Faith
Liem began attending North Pointe that next year. He discovered the love of Christ through a retreat with North Pointe’s youth group and his friendship with Johnny Hower. Since then, Liem’s goal has been to bring God glory. He chose to get baptized this past Easter to further demonstrate his faith. “I wanted to show the world that I am a follower of Christ and want to take my faith to the next level,” said Liem.
He enjoys the people he’s met at North Pointe and how they encourage him in his faith. “They are people that I see outside of church so they help push me in my representation of Christ.” He acknowledges their guidance and knows they are helping push him toward his main goal: to know more about God and grow closer to HIm.
Taking another step of faith, Liem worked at Maranatha Bible Camp this summer. He enjoyed being surrounded by a community of believers and serving Christ with them. But mostly he was excited about running on the trails there.
Gifted to Glorify Christ
Liem is now a junior at North Star High School, where he participates in cross country and track. He recently earned a trip to the state track meet and won a silver medal in the 3200 meter run. He also finished sixth in the 1600 meter run and eighth in the 3200 meter relay. Last fall, he was a state champion in cross country.
Liem sees his talent for running as a gift from God. He responds with passion and hard work. “I believe running is one of the ways God gave me in order to bring Him glory.” He is enduringly optimistic and thankful for the coaching staff in his sports.
Liem is excited for what the next year has in store. When asked how he would spend a free day with no responsibilities, he responded with enthusiasm. “I would use it to run a half marathon.”
August 17th was a beautiful summer night in Lincoln and anyone walking toward North Pointe Community Church felt the excitement and the beat of the music of the annual block party. Three hundred and fifty plus men, women, and children shared that excitement along with fellowship, laughter, delicious food, and games for all ages.
The children raced from one inflatable to another time after time. Their joy upon seeing four inflatables was contagious! The obstacle course, wrecking ball, and slide inflatables offered two hours of constant squeals and pretty amazing acrobatics from some of the more daring children. Of course, the very little ones had the bounce house that was in constant use.
As they watched the children’s enthusiastic play, the dads and even a few grandpas were kind of hoping for an inflatable of their own. Instead, they enjoyed a little healthy competition at the yard games of corn hole, spike ball, and ladder ball. The line was long for most of the evening at the table for at Liz, the balloon twister, as she magically twisted balloons into swords, puppies, unicorns, headwear, and other shapes.
Some New Additions
This year’s block party included a new addition of food trucks from Heoya and Taco Loco Dig-N, plus a table from 402 Creamery. The variety of food was delicious, with over 200 people enjoying their dinner at the church. Some ate rice bowls, Rangoon, and Korean BBQ tacos from Heoya while others tried the nachos, tacos, and other yummy Mexican food from Taco Loco Dig-N. 402 Creamery added the perfect summer dessert with their delicious ice cream. After grabbing dinner at the food trucks, most people headed for the tables under the canopies to enjoy their meal and engage in conversation.
The evening was full of handshakes, hugs, hearty welcomes, and dodging children, while volunteers constantly emptied trash, refilled water coolers, and made sure children on the inflatables were safe—making the entire night a fun time for all.
Couples with young children sat on the grass sharing stories, grandmothers grabbed tables in the church to cool off from the warm summer evening discussing grandchildren and blessings, and members showed the church to friends and neighbors. A little hard work, prayers, and church members eager to share themselves with others made the evening shine. North Pointe truly became Christ-like in the community!
To watch a short recap of the evening, check out this video on YouTube.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone here at North Pointe for your kind words and checking in with me after I had foot surgery in June. You were all so wonderful and made me feel very cared for. I would really like to thank with sincere gratefulness:
Marge Rudd-Hillhouse for driving me to and from church on Sundays and to the Women’s Book Club on Tuesdays.
Dee Doyle for being my driver to and from Physical Therapy three times a week. I appreciated our conversations.
Sue Barnes for driving me when I couldn’t find anyone else.
Lindsay Harms for making sure I could get to the Block Party even when she was busy helping set up and for checking on me throughout the night to make sure I was doing okay.
Everyone really lived out being Christ in our community. The love and care everyone showed me was greatly appreciated. God bless. —Glenda Ward
This fall, the Women’s Bible Study will go through Draw the Circle—A 40-Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. This encouraging book may just revolutionize your prayer life! The study will meet on Tuesdays from 7–8:45 p.m. in the North Pointe Café, starting September 10 through October 8. The cost is $20, and childcare will be provided.
Notes of Interest
A Foundations Class will be held on Sunday evenings starting September 22 through November 3 from 6–7:30 p.m. This seven-week class will help you learn the basic doctrine of God’s relationship with man and cover topics such as Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and salvation. You can register on our website here.
Are you looking to connect with others from North Pointe? Try Dinner Groups! These are a chance to meet up with others over dinner three times over the next three months. Learn more at northpointelincoln.org/dinner-groups.
Want to learn more about North Pointe? Then mark your calendar for the next Explorer Classes on October 20th and 27th at 10:15 a.m. Learn about our church history and core values. Meet the staff and elders. Discover your next steps for getting involved, forming relationships, and growing in your faith. You can register here.
Toddlers/Preschool: When we take the time to look at this amazing world God made, we are filled with awe and wonder. It’s that feeling of wonder we want our toddlers and preschoolers to have as they learn about God’s creation. We are going to do a lot of counting together this month—one, two, three, four, five, six, seven—pausing to learn what God made on each day of creation. Through our fun and exciting activities and stories, we want our preschoolers to learn God made everything, and IT IS GOOD!
K–5th Grade: Throughout history God has proven His faithfulness to us, especially in keeping His promise to send Jesus to save us. God will continue to be dependable. The Bible is filled with examples of people who knew firsthand what it means to trust God. This month, the K–5th graders will focus on two of them: Jacob and Joseph. Through their stories, they’ll discover how they can trust Him no matter what they face.
Student Ministry Update
What We’re Teaching
Stronger: A Four-Week Series on Hurt and Pain
Life hurts sometimes. If you haven’t already experienced it, there will be a day when you’ll encounter pain, failure, or loss. Sometimes the hurt we feel happens because of something we do, something that is done to us, or something that is no one’s fault at all. In this four-week series, we’ll talk about how, when life hurts, goes wrong, or doesn’t make sense, these things are true: Jesus can redeem what’s gone wrong, God can be trusted, God gives us each other, and God helps us persevere.
October 12: Parent and Small Group Leader Breakfast
Here’s an opportunity to connect with your kid’s small group leader so you can better love, lead, and influence your tween or teen together. Don’t miss it! Get all the details on our Facebook group and next month’s newsletter.
November 1–3: Fall Retreat
We’ll be taking over Timberlake Ranch Camp and running a full youth group Fall retreat on November 1–3. We’ll divide into middle school and high school groups as well as combine for some of the retreat for an adventure unlike any your student has experienced before! This is open to any student 6th–12th grade.
To get the monthly parent email for the Student Ministry, sign up here.
Coming Up in September
5—Mom2Mom Begins, 9:15–11:15 a.m.
6—Night of Worship, 7 p.m.
8—Dinner Group Registration Due
10—Women’s Bible Study, Draw the Circle—A 40-Day Prayer Challenge,
11—Ladies Lunch, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at North Pointe. Bring your own lunch.
29—Baptism Sunday. All interested in being baptized need to sign up on the church website or contact the office.