Update from Pastor Sheldon MacGillivray
Thank you for reading Cornerstone's weekly updates! Please note that starting next week, we will be moving these updates to Fridays to better serve you.
Dear Cornerstone Family,
We have been looking at some of the spiritual disciplines that the Lord has given to us to help become more and more like Jesus. Studying God’s word and worshiping God are two of the most common means we have to grow closer to God.
Today, I want to talk about fasting because it is often misunderstood and rarely practiced by God’s people. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that he expects us to fast just like we are expected to pray. Matthew 6:16 reads:
"And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
Fasting is abstaining from food or anything that is legitimate for a spiritual purpose. People have fasted from social media, sports, or entertainment in order to focus on God. You pray during the time that you would normally spend eating. Fasting for a period of time is an act of submission. Just like prayer, it shows your dependence on God.
There are many examples of fasting in the Bible. The Israelites would fast on the Day of Atonement, one the most important holy days in the life of Israel. Moses fasted for 40 days in the desert and Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. God’s people have fasted during times of distress, war, sickness, mourning, and drought.
John Piper has written a great book on fasting called A Hunger for God. He writes: “The greatest adversary of love of God is not his enemies but his gifts.” There is a danger of loving the things of God’s creation more than him as our creator. We turn his gifts into idols of our heart that we chase after instead of chasing after God. We are to hunger and thirst for him above everything else.
We don’t fast from food because food is somehow evil. We fast from food and pray to show that God is greater than everything else this world has to offer. We need daily food, and when we fast from food, we show that food will not control our heart. We are declaring that God rules over everything about us.
Can you give up a meal? Can you give up your interest in social media or sports for a period of time to remember that God is your King and you will not serve any other? When we fast we say “no” to the things of this world and “yes” to the pursuit of godliness. There is no magic in fasting. You don’t fast in order to coerce God to meet your demands. Fasting for the right reasons declares the state of your heart. You are willing to surrender the things of this world for the sake of God. You are hungering for God more than the things of this world.
This is true of all of the spiritual disciplines we practice for the sake of godliness. They support one another and encourage each other. Fasting is a companion to prayer. Some people should not fast because of medical reasons, and you should always drink water when you fast. Donald Whitney offers some guidance on putting fasting into practice. There may be times in your life that you want to seek the Lord’s guidance. It may be about a career change or an impending move. It may even be when you are seeking deliverance or protection in your life. These are times that you should add fasting alongside of prayer.
At the beginning of COVID, our denomination put out a call for all members of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to set aside a day of prayer and fasting for our nation and the pandemic. Christian groups are calling for prayer and fasting for the election and for the racial instability we are witnessing right now. As we pray for our world and train ourselves for godliness, fasting will help us focus. I hope you will put this gift from the Lord into practice. God is most glorified when we are satisfied in him alone.
Big News on Our 151st Property!
Over the past few years, we have entertained various offers on our property on 151st & Quivira as we determined its future use. Those discussions never led anywhere up until now. We recently received an offer that is too good to pass up.
After months of talks with the potential buyer, the Cornerstone Session/Trustees have entered into a contract with the developer. If all goes well, it will probably take the next 5 to 6 months to see things progress, resulting in the sale of the property. The purchaser will seek to have the property rezoned by the city of Olathe and has required confidentiality in the meantime. Upon the event of its sale, we will have the opportunity to share the details of the deal with you.
We would ask for you to be praying for the process and praying for the Lord’s will to be done. We continue to be amazed by God’s provision for us in ways we could never imagine.
Cornerstone Kids Resumes This Sunday!
We are thrilled to announce that we will be offering a safe, socially distanced program for Cornerstone Kids starting this Sunday during our 11:00 a.m. service! This program will be for ages 3 years old through 5th grade. (We are not able to provide nursery care at this time.) Masks will be required.
We look forward to seeing your families back in worship! RSVP here!
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 18
Since our last Open House was rained out, we will make another attempt on Sunday, Oct. 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. to have a time of fellowship and see many of you that we have not seen for a long time. Please note that the location has changed and our event will be hosted (weather-permitting) by Dale and Bonnie Jenkins at 11501 W. 159th St., Overland Park, KS 66221.
Come and enjoy some much-needed fellowship with one another and don’t forget your mask. See you October 18!
Trunk or Treat 2020
Thank you for responding to our requests for candy and "trunkers" for our Trunk or Treat on Friday, Oct. 30, from 6:00 to 7:30PM! Here are some quick reminders!
- We need trunkers! Sign up here! We are looking for 25 or more people to decorate their trunks and hand out candy on the night of the event. We will be social distancing and requiring all volunteers to wear masks and gloves.
- You can also help by donating candy and by praying for this event. A collection bin has been placed in the church foyer for candy donations.
- Our rain date is Saturday, October 31, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Let's put "4KC" in action as we serve our neighborhood families!
4KC & $50 Challenge
Last Sunday, we kicked off our 4KC series with a focus on the pathway of discipleship. As we learn how to grow, connect, serve, and share as a church body, we are partnering with a local nonprofit, Christmas in October, to raise $10,000 to repair 10 homes in KC for low-income, elderly, disabled, and Veteran homeowners.
In just one week, you have already responded with almost $2,500 in donations for our 4KC "$50 Challenge"! Thank you for getting us a quarter of the way to our goal so quickly!
To make your $50 gift, click here and select "$50 Challenge" from the "Fund" dropdown menu. You can also mail your donation to Cornerstone (write "$50 Challenge" on the memo line) at: 13300 Kenneth Road, Leawood, KS 66209.
We also have two serve opportunities with Christmas in October, scheduled for Oct. 17 and 24. For your safety, all projects will be outside. To sign up or get more info, click here!
This Weekend in Worship
As you can see, there's a lot happening right now! God is working among and through us even during this time of social distancing. We invite you to join us for worship this Sunday in person or online, where Pete Geiger will bring a message on "4KC: Connect," from 1 Peter 2:4-10. We'll see you then!
For His Kingdom,
Lead Pastor, Cornerstone