Practice Makes Permanent: Mar 13th - 19th

This Week & Beyond...

Good day everyone, just a few things to bring to your attention...

March Team Night
Due to springbreak at the end of this month, there will be no team night on March 26th.  Please mark your calendars for next month, April 23rd.

Prayer
As always, let's be in prayer for the team serving this week.
Rob - Preaching
Jermey - Leading the service
Greg & Michelle - Praise & Worship

AGM
Don't forget that the AGM is next week Tuesday, March 21st @ 7pm.  While numbers may not be your thing, it's a great opportunity to ask questions and hear about what the Lord has done and is doing at Calvary.  I encourage you all to come out.  

Well, that's it that's all folks...
Blessings!
Gregory

Devotional...

Practice Makes Permanent
by Karen Morerod, Kansas City, Kansas

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God 
(I John 3:9).

The students listened intently as the visiting college band played. After the song, the students asked questions.

"How did you get so good?" the curious middle-schooler asked.

"Well, with lots of practice," the college student answered, and then added, "You know, lots of people think practice makes perfect. But one of my professors once said, 'Practice makes permanent.' "

She went on to explain that many times musicians practice a problem area over and over just until they get it right once. And then they move on to the rest of the piece. But her professor pointed out it's important to practice such sections many times the right way. Because how you practice it over and over becomes the permanent way it's performed.

That's wise advice for our praise teams, choirs and church musicians. We know we will never reach perfection. But we do want to practice to get our music to a point that is conducive to worship. We should practice it the right way so it becomes permanent and ultimately beneficial to the congregation and glorifying to God.

But I think we can take this truth further. We know we will never be perfect human beings. But, as followers of Jesus Christ, and leaders in our church, we want to be practicing the right behavior -- living a life that brings glory to God.

Of course, the Bible reminds us that we still sin even if we are redeemed children of God. But, what life actions do we continue to repeat over and over? Is our day filled with continual gossip? Or do we squelch that temptation? Do we repeatedly watch questionable content on TV and the internet? Do we fill our minds with godless reading materials? Or do we have a practice of filtering what we put into our minds? Have we gotten into a rut of treating certain people unkindly? Have we developed a habit of deceit, dishonestly and deception? Or do we consistently attempt to treat others in a Christ-like manner?

I think the college professor is right. What we continue to practice risks becoming permanent in our life.

The Bible explained this truth many years ago. The Apostle John said if we are born again, we should be practicing a Godly way of living. We shouldn't keep sinning because Jesus abides in us. This isn't always easy, though! We have our fleshly desires that tempt us to do otherwise. But as we determine to practice the right way -- the Godly way -- then it becomes more and more natural.

In my own life, I've struggled with responding in a compassionate and considerate way to others. I've found the more I ask God to control my tongue, the easier it is to practice kindness. I've seen my responses change over the years. And I know it's all because of God's seed growing in me, allowing me to develop more Christ-like behaviors.

So, before we practice our music, let's first stop and check what we've been practicing in our personal lives. Have we been pleasing to God? Is our heart bent on making permanent life changes that glorify God? If so, our responses will become Christ-like more of the time -- and more permanent!

GOING DEEPER:
1. What is one of your favorite things to practice? (Examples: golf, baking, woodworking, painting, etc.) 
2. How might your experiences in these areas demonstrate a need for practice in behavioral issues also?
3. Share an area of your Christian walk that might be a "problem" area for you -- an area where you struggle to live God's way. Pray for each other, keeping in mind Philippians 2:13 - "It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."