Prayer Points: January

Christians have often acknowledged that they feel like prayer is taking a break from truly doing the work of the Lord. And yet, when we read the Scriptures we see that prayer is the work! In fact, the apostles in Acts 6 distilled their responsibility down to preaching the word and prayer. Prayer is a big deal! To that end, here’s some short prompts to pray through the month of January:

  • Thank God for inclining the hearts of the people of Foothills to give to the Lottie Moon Offering (international missions) where we surpassed our goal of $50k and gave $59,336! God, You are to be praised!
  • With regards to our mission statement of seeking to “Engage people to put Jesus first for the sake of others” God, would You please help me to honestly assess 1) where I am in faith in You and 2) how I’m doing in taking my faith in leaning into the lives of others. God, help me, by Your grace, take steps to be more faithful in going deep in my knowledge and application of Your Word and then giving it away to others.
  • Father, in this New Year would You grant me a burden to daily immerse myself in Your Word and spend time talking with You? Father, would 2018 please be a year where I grow in intimacy with You?
  • God, may I grow in my commitment to exemplify the qualities of good friendship to those around me. Father, would You give me 2-3 good friends who I give the freedom to speak into my life and vice versa — because God my wisdom is always limited and my perspective is always skewed — I need people to speak into my life. Thank You, Father.

Prayer Points: December

What is prayer? My bride and I routinely remind our kids that prayer (among many things) is simply having a conversation with God. So how do we have a conversation with God? May I recommend to you talking to God using His Word? Try praying through Psalm 24 – let me give you several prompts.

  • Praise God for his sovereignty (control or power) over the earth and all of the people that fill it (vv. 1-2).
  • Praise God for his holiness and how he is completely righteous and pure (vv. 3-4).
  • Confess to God instances in your life where your life does not reflect God and the way in which he’s called you to walk (vv. 3-4).
  • Thank God, that despite our sinfulness, we can “ascend the hill of the Lord” (i.e. worship him rightly) because of the provision of his son Jesus.
  • Ask God to incline your heart to see him all of your days (v. 6).
  • Praise God that you personally know who is the King of glory (vv. 7-10)!

Sacrificial Giving and Lottie Moon

I grew up in Southern California, the third in a family of four girls; only six years separated the oldest and the youngest. Dad worked for the federal government and Mom stayed home and supplemented his income doing in-home daycare and decorating cakes. We lived in the town that my parents grew up in. Until I was nine years old we lived in a 2-bedroom house; in 1968 we moved into what I thought at the time was a mansion, four bedrooms on a cul-de-sac. It was the California Dream.

That cul-de-sac housed nine families, including about 23 children. Gosh, the memories… playing softball until zero dark thirty, using the manhole cover in the middle of the street as home plate, watching the family of teenaged boys two doors down race around the sidewalk on their roller skates, it was our own personal roller derby. But the family we played with the most lived across the street. Nine children were in that family, and I remember looking at my mom and saying, “why do they have a new car, how do they have brand new clothes in the latest fashion?” I’ll never forget her answer, which by the way was a stock answer for many things my sisters and I asked for, she’d say “I have other things to do with our money.” Not a very satisfying answer as far as I was concerned, but later, years later, it made sense.

We were the family that was at church all the time. Dad was Chairman of the Deacons, he was Sunday School Director for several years and always taught a Sunday School class. Mom taught a Sunday school class, Women’s Bible Study, G.A.s and she was in the choir. We were at every Sunday service, morning and night and never missed a Wednesday.

As I grew up into my middle school and high school years, I started to understand what Mom meant when she said “I have other things to do with my money.” Sending four girls to GA Camp, Youth Camp and all the school activities wasn’t easy. But Mom had a plan. In her room in the dresser drawer where she kept jewelry, handkerchiefs and scarves, there were lots of envelopes and all those envelopes had words on them. They would say things like Vacation, Camp, Shoes… some even said Roseanne, Stephanie, Penny or Pam. Those envelopes were filled with $1 bills, $5 bills, $10 bills and occasionally a $20 bill, just waiting to be needed. It may not have been every bit needed, but it was a start and it was planned.

Another envelope was there as well, this one was titled Offerings, not Tithe… Offerings. This was money set aside for the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon offerings. And when those special times rolled around each year at Easter and Christmas, it wasn’t a surprise and it wasn’t a burden. The money was there to support those ministries. Yes, there were other things we could have done with our money, but my parents made the choice to give to missions. So yes, it was a sacrificial gift, but it wasn’t a burden, because it was planned and budgeted for. It was a gift freely given (an offering) because it was given to a ministry that we believed in and wanted to support.

Partnership in the Gospel

In the beginning of the letter of Philippians, Paul thanks God for the saints in Philippi, and in particular for their “partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Paul is thankful that the church of Philippi has partnered with him in order to advance the gospel to the nations (The Great Commission). Their partnership probably included a multitude of things but we can narrow it down to prayer and financial giving.

When I was going through seminary, my wife and I were able to pray for particular missionaries that our church had partnered with, but we found it difficult to give directly to that cause. We had been giving joyfully a portion of our income to our local church, but we wanted to come up with a plan to give directly to brothers and sisters on the ground that were doing the hard work of advancing the gospel in difficult places.

We were limited in income and I was limited in time, working part-time ministry and doing full-time school. However, I had a background in landscape design and installation and was fairly handy with doing odd jobs. With that background, I was able to take small landscaping jobs that I could start and complete on Friday’s and Saturday’s in order to bring in income that could go directly to the Lottie Moon offering. I was able to find some other random jobs to give to this effort as well. This extra income was not to make ends meet or to start a savings account or to get the best new product on the market. The goal for doing these jobs was so that I could directly partner with others to advance the gospel to the nations.

The exciting thing about this was that I was able to help some other college students from my church to think outside the box in how they could also take odd jobs to join in on this partnership in the gospel. A few guys helped me do the landscaping jobs, others started picking up extra shifts and over time to give directly to the gospel. Some picked up house sitting and pet sitting jobs to partner in the gospel. By God’s grace in the year of 2016, 30 college students gave over $10,000 to the Lottie Moon offering. This offering is what I prefer to give money to because it goes directly to the men and women on the ground doing the difficult work of advancing the gospel in difficult places.

Angel Tree at Foothills

We are once again partnering with Angel Tree to provide gifts to children who have a mom or dad in prison. Through Angel Tree, Foothills has the opportunity to help a child strengthen his/her relationship with a parent by providing a present on behalf of the prisoner.

When a parent is in prison, their children often suffer in silence, unseen by many. Through Angel Tree, we are able to answer the requests and prayers of an incarcerated parent for the sake of their children, in our community and beyond. We are also privileged to deliver those gifts to the family, and have the opportunity to show and share the love of Christ with them!

Beginning November 26, you can select a tag from the Foothills trees located in the Lobby or Fellowship Hall. Once you’ve selected a tag, purchase the gift listed and return it to the church no later than December 10. All gifts should be returned unwrapped and should cost no more than $25.

To volunteer to deliver gifts, call the church office, 480-759-2118, as there is a little training involved. To volunteer to wrap gifts, please come to the Wrapping Party on Thursday, December 14 from 7-9pm in the Fellowship Hall. Wrappers, please bring your own scissors.

If you have any questions, please email Penny Wilson.

Leading Your Family and Remembering the Lost

It doesn’t matter your season of life to feel the truth of the statement “life is busy.” At times that busyness clouds my perception of truths or pursuits that really matter. One such truth is the reality of lostness around the world. One such pursuit is getting the good news of Jesus to people around the world that don’t have access to it.

Around Christmastime at Foothills, we hear the name Lottie Moon a lot as her name marks the annual International Mission Board offering that goes towards funding the pursuit of taking the good news to the world. But that pursuit and truth shouldn’t just enter into our minds around December—it should be a detail that we think about regularly. But with the busyness of life it often doesn’t get the “face-time” in the Millican family as it should. So here are several ways I’m trying to lead my family to be more aware of international missions:

  1. We pray. As a family we pray for missionaries by thanking God for their obedience and praying for their families and ministries. On our fridge are magnets and pictures highlighting friends that serve around the world.
  2. We budget. As a family we start planning for the December international missions offering 12 months out by setting aside an amount of money each month.
  3. We read. As a family we read resources that point our hearts to Jesus. Resources such as the Jesus Storybook Bible, Big Picture Story Bible and Long Story Short, remind us of the world’s need for Jesus and our need too.

Prayer Points: November

Foothills family, in the life of our church there are many who are experiencing difficulties. We want to be a praying church and we want to pray specifically for our brothers and sisters. In what ways can we pray? Here are several prompts:

Request that God would…

  • Heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
  • Give them comfort and strength amid their hardship (2 Cor 1:4, 12:9).
  • Help them to suffer well (Philippians 3:10).

In addition, take a moment and pray these prompts too…

  • To give Foothills a public and private spirit of unity (Ephesians 4:3; Colossians 3:15).
  • To save your unbelieving family member, friend, co-worker (John 6:44; 2 Peter 3:9).

Happening at Foothills

Growth in any relationship is a challenge and God has given us His church as a community through which we all grow together. Through prioritizing relationships with a church family, you experience the community that God meant for you to enjoy all along. You will see that when you are part of a church community, amazing things can happen. This is what we mean when we say, “We Are Better Together.”

We encourage you to get plugged into our church and here are a few ways you can do that.

 


Angel Tree
November 26 – December 10

We participate in Angel Tree through Prison Fellowship to care for these children on behalf of their parent. On November 26, we will have two Angel Trees in the foyer with 50 tags for 50 families – that’s representing about 125 children! Each tag will have a requested gift that is due on December 10.

There are two opportunities you can sign up for: the Wrapping Party on December 14 and Gift Delivery December 20-24. Sign up to participate at Guest Services.


Snowy Night
December 9

This will be the Ahwatukee Christmas event that you will not want to miss. It’s free, open to the public and will be a truly one-of-a-kind evening. We may live in a desert but that doesn’t mean we can’t have snow! This year Foothills Baptist Church is bringing the snow to you at our Snowy Night at Foothills.

Learn More


Lottie Moon
December 10

Lottie Moon is the name given to the international missions offering we participate in every Christmas. Lottie was just like today’s missionaries, laboring tirelessly to tell people about Jesus.

Your contribution to the Lottie Moon Offering will provide direct funding to real people who are doing the physical work of delivering the gift of Jesus to people who don’t know him. This is a gift that changes the world… literally.

Our Goal for 2017 = $50,000

Prayer Points: October

What a tremendous privilege we have in prayer! Remember, prayer is simply having a conversation with God. Here’s some suggestions for what to pray for:

  • Praise God for his steadfast love that we’ve received in Jesus. Praise Him that despite our best efforts nothing can separate us from that amazing love!
  • Ask God for sustaining grace for our workers overseas (John/Chris Trout) and three of our local church partners here in Phoenix (Shea/Amber Ferguson with Freedom Life Church, Anthony/Karla Cox with Mercy Hill Church and Trevor/Chelsea Bush with Christian Challenge at ASU).
  • Ask God to incline your heart to grow in your love for Him and for those around you and then ask Him in what areas of your life do you need to surrender to Him.
  • Thank God that our church is unified and committed to Jesus and pray that we could continue to be committed to seeking to “Engage people to put Jesus first for the sake of others.”
  • Praise and thank the Father that in believing in Jesus we are free, we are forgiven, we are counted righteous, we are given life, we are called sons/daughters of God and that our lives are held in His sovereign hand!
  • Pray for the family and friends affected by the Las Vegas shooting. Our country is in deep need of prayer but that does not mean God is not here. There is a loving Presence at work in the universe. Here’s a great article by Russell Moore that we recommend reading.

Hurricane Relief

Three major hurricanes have caused the loss of many lives and billions of dollars of damage from Texas, to Florida, to the Caribbean.

You can respond to these disasters in at least two ways; volunteer your time and effort on-location, or donate $ in a way that is secure and gets the funds to the people in need rather than serving costs of administrative overhead.

Click here to donate to Send Relief

Send Relief is Southern Baptists Disaster Relief arm. It is the third largest disaster relief operation in the U.S. We work in partnership with the American Red Cross doing Childcare, Food Distribution, Clean-out, providing mobile shower units and washer and dryer units and medical care.

We encourage our Foothills family to give to the relief organizations of their choice but wanted you to know that you already give to Send Relief through your regular, weekly offerings.