All Posts By

Michael Voll

Who Do You Follow?

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“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Mahatma Ghandi I look up to my dad as someone I want to emulate and imitate for his many character strengths. As a child I did this through standing on the toilet seat and putting shaving cream on my face like he did when he was shaving, or leaning over the engine of a car that he was fixing and making sure that I got dirty just like him. We all imitate someone, whether intentionally or not. Business leaders, pop culture icons, sports stars or our next-door neighbor. So, the question that needs to be asked is “whom are you following and why?” As Christians, the ultimate example that we are to follow…

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Move Over Rory McIlroy!

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On Thursday, July 14 we had our 6th annual Golf Tournament at Raven Crest Golf Course. Although the weather was looking grim throughout the week, we were blessed with warmth, and sunny clear skies. As an added bonus we also had tons of mosquitos! What a relief! And of course, we raised money for our youth programs, including Route 56. Probably my favorite part of the day is watching new golfers break in their clubs. It takes a lot of guts to play golf in a tournament, but we have structured the day so that whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie you can have a blast. This year Darryl and Sharon Fraess, the directors of Birch Bay…

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Leap of Faith

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Last Sunday Pastor Sean kicked off our message series entitled “Faith That Works,” an in-depth look into Hebrews chapter 11. It was great to see ‘the man behind the guitar,’ and hear his powerful testimony of how Christ had revealed himself to him at the age of 17. When Sean decided to put his faith in Jesus, he did so because he became convinced that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)-the only solid foundation to build his life on. In the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Harrison Ford’s character needs to cross a huge, gaping crevice. The problem? There is no bridge to cross the divide. He is told, “only in a leap…

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Hands Down

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Have you ever used a finger trap? It is a child’s toy that tightens when you put your fingers into it and pull gently, making it almost impossible to remove your fingers. It’s a great idea for parents of overly active children! I also think it perfectly drives home a lesson that Jesus was teaching his followers about acts of service. In Matthew 6:1 Jesus warns his hearers “Don’t do your good deeds publically, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in Heaven.” Everyone wants to be recognized for the good things that they do, but often this desire for recognition skews our motivation. We end up doing our acts of service to be…

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Training for Purpose

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Our BTO series is in full swing, and last week we talked about “Training for Purpose.” Training is a word that conjures up various pictures-on the job training where a new employee is taught the nuances of a particular task or system, or perhaps someone running, lifting weights or playing their sport of choice. For many, it is a word tinged with pain; training often hurts, or at least stretches the trainee to the edge of their limits in order to make them better, stronger and faster. The Apostle Paul encouraged his protégé Timothy to “train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7. In order to become more like Christ we must enter into strict training through reading the Bible,…

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More!

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There must be more! This longing of the heart expresses a deep question of purpose-“Isn’t there more to life than this?” Thankfully, the answer is “yes there is!’ However, this hunger will not be filled by chasing selfish ambition, but by living in relationship with God and service to him. Seems counterintuitive doesn’t it? We want more, so we give what we have to God. How does that work? St. Augustine is quoted as saying about God “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” The ache of restlessness can only find comfort, peace and fulfillment in Christ. I am thankful that when God made us that he put right…

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Reach Up and Touch Someone

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If you survived the 80’s you will remember the emotional AT&T phone commercials that encouraged viewers to “Reach out and touch someone.” It was a reminder to pick up the phone and connect with friends and family on a regular basis, the cost and effort required was worth it in the end. In my relationship with the Lord I have been reminded that I need to take the time and effort to connect with Him, because ultimately it is worth the effort. This has been confirmed time and again as I have drawn strength from my dialogue with God about my fears, hopes, dreams and disappointments. Isaiah 40:31 says “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;…

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