Popsicle Social & Sign Up

Today our MOPS group had our Popsicle Social & Sign Up at the Erie Community Park.  It was a great morning full of amazing moms and their children who enjoyed playing together and eating refreshing, melting popsicles.  The MOPS theme this year is, “Be You Bravely” and we are excited to embark on the journey of bravery together.  Being a mom isn’t an easy thing and if we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves dry, exhausted and feeling alone.  MOPS is a wonderful opportunity for local moms to come together, be inspired, encouraged and loved on.  If you missed the registration today, it is not too late!  Contact us on our Facebook page and we will get you all set up and ready to go!  www.facebook.com/ErieMOPSpopsicle

Draw Aside

When pain becomes my offering

with tears and broken sighs;

when the plough I push seems heavy

and the cost feels way too high …


I will draw aside from busyness

I will gently close the door

I will lift my hands in surrender

and worship Jesus Christ my Lord.


When plans are not unfolding

and promises still unfulfilled;

when I’m weary at the coal face

and I’m waiting for God to build …


I will draw aside from self pity

I will gently close the door

I will lift my heart in surrender

and lean on Jesus Christ my Lord.


When loneliness gets hold of me

and hurts obscure my view;

when trials crash onto my shore

and answers seem way too few …


I will draw aside from heart ache

I will gently close the door

I will lift my life in surrender

and trust in Jesus Christ my Lord.


Poem by Vanessa McNamara

Life Start Church, CA

Mommy Land

Hello Ladies!

We had our Paint N’ Sip last week and the turn out was great! I think most of us were pleasantly surprised with how easy our instructor made it. I was sure I would be laughing at my finished piece, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it turned out pretty well for my first attempt at painting! We will be doing another one as everyone loved it!

This past week, I’ve been in “Mommy Land”. You know…that place you go where your only identity is MOM and all things revolve around your kids. You start counting down until bedtime to find it doesn’t come when you hope and doesn’t last nearly long enough for you to catch your breath. Yah…I call that Mommy Land. Sick kids coupled with summer break seem to make the stay longer. 😉 All of us visit there from time to time and it may not be just Moms. We all have things that demand our attention. Its easy to lose track of our intentions and God’s intentions when we feel a bit overwhelmed. This is just a reminder to take a step back, take a deep breath, pray, lean on Him, and be intentional.

Sharon shared a great message along these lines back in March at our Arise breakfast. Her words were a nice reminder of what our roles, specifically as mothers, are. Marie shared her take away on what Sharon shared and it is good to revisit this, so below you will find Marie’s take on this thing called mothering…

I would like to elaborate on what Sharon shared. Here’s the skinny of what she shared. We, as mothers, set the tone for the household. What she chose to do for her family, was to have freshly baked cookies for the kids’ snack when they returned home from school. The kids loved that familiar smell and the tradition that Sharon set. They felt loved, thought of, special, and safe. They even remember that familiar smell to this day; many years later. Here are my extended thoughts on what she shared and what I took away from it. I don’t have to bake cookies every day, but it is my responsibility to set the tone for my kids when they get home. I want my home to be a safe place for them to talk about their day and share ANYTHING on their minds. If my house is in chaos, the kids feel it, and there is un-needed tension in the house. There is a spiritual fragrance I want my kids to “smell”. I want there to be a peace that only God can provide. I want to help direct my kids to think on spiritual things. (Phil 4:8) While pondering on what Sharon shared, I found this verse and fell in love with it. “For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9). I want light in my house and the spiritual fragrance of the Holy Spirit!

My prayer for all of you is that the light of His love burn brightly in your homes.

Have a wonderful week friends!

Think Clearly and Exercise Self-Control


Sorry its been a while since I’ve posted. While we haven’t posted in a while, we have had a fantastic couple of months, with the Anniversary Dinner fundraiser and getting ready for our LA trip with extra meetings. Its been an exciting time for the group!

A quick exciting note before we get to an encouraging note…… WE WELCOME NEW 6TH GRADERS NEXT MONTH! I know it snuck up on us, and I don’t know how many new Effectors we are welcoming, but be thinking of new fun things to do on initiation night.

So I wanted to write a quick note and just remind everyone of the word God had for us last week. I think He’s really been wanting us to focus on Peter and his journey from a fisherman to disciple of Jesus to the foundation of the church as we know it. The key thing that we’ve kept focusing on over and over is the fact that Peter was human. We went over multiple examples last week of how Peter was a faulty, sinful dude just like we are. He was quick to speak and act without thinking. He took Jesus aside and reprimanded him for telling the disciples He would die. (He REPRIMANDED our Lord and Savior!) He cut off a dude’s ear because he thought he could foil Jesus’ death. He denied Jesus three times. He had his faults. He had his growing pains. But in the end, he learned some valuable lessons.

God of course knew that Peter would be extremely influential in building His church, and as a part of that, God used Him to write two books of the bible: 1st and 2nd Peter.

Peter starts out 1 Peter giving praise to Jesus, giving the good news that we had been born again through Christ. Then, in 1 Peter 1:13, Peter gives his first real set of instruction to us:

“Think clearly and exercise self-control.” It goes on to say “live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.”

Think clearly and exercise self-control. That is FANTASTIC advice. We, in this crazy fast-paced world, can jut become so reactionary. When Peter was reactionary as he was in Jesus’ service, he got himself in trouble. When we let our emotions drive our reactions, they will get us in trouble.

JESUS needs to be guiding our reactions. How can we let this happen if we just react quickly and not exercise self-control? When your brother or sister irritates you, its so easy to lash out quickly at them. When your friends are gossiping, its so easy to quickly join in. When your parents anger you, your reaction may be to lash out or treat them poorly to “get back at them.”

We know that our life’s purpose is in our Father and Lord. We know better. We know there is a better purpose, we know that life is so much more awesome and full when living for Him. So let’s be slow to speak, slow to act, and quick to listen to him. The first instruction that God’s chosen disciple to build the church gave to us was simple: Think.

So this week, lets make that be our prayer…. to let God guide our reactions and that we’d be slow to react, instead letting His love drive what we do and say. That leads us to living as God’s obedient children, ready to make ripples throughout our families, schools, and world.

Have an awesome week y’all!


On the Offensive!!


James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Hypotassō (Hoop a taso)
This word was a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.

Anthistēmi (an this tay me)
to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose

Pheugō (Few Go)

to flee away, seek safety by flight

to be saved by flight, to escape safely out of danger

As men of God we want to advance his kingdom. The enemy wants to do all he can to stand in our way. However, when we submit to God voluntarily, cooperate with him, assume responsibility and carry His burden we are on the offensive with the enemy. It says when we are submitted to Him and actively stand against and oppose the enemy he must flee. The enemy is in danger in this scenario. The definition of flee used here is “to be saved by flight, to escape safely out of danger” The enemy is on the defensive. Guys lets make sure we are daily submitting to Him so that we can advance his kingdom and keep the enemy in a defensive stance.

LOOK more like Jesus

LookoutOur goal as Christian Men should be to look more and more like Jesus as we walk with Him.  This morning He reminded me that there are multiple aspects to this.  Not only should we look more and more like Him in how we act, and carry ourselves, but also in how we LOOK and see the world around us.  We need to LOOK more like Him.  Where we see hurt, He sees need for healing.  Where we see defeat, He sees victory.  Where we see difficulty, He sees opportunity.  As we walk with Him and grow more and more like Him we need to LOOK more like Him.  We need to have His eyes and see things the way He sees them.  Then we can respond with clear vision in all situations and act in accordance with His heart.

Children: A Heritage from the Lord

It is clear in scripture that children are a blessing from the Lord.  They are a reward, a blessing, not a burden.  They are a great gift from our great Father.  Psalm 127:3  says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord.”  Here at Impact Rock, we believe that children are treasures and are such a vital part of all that we do as a church.  Children bring life, vibrancy and energy to everything they do.  Children hear from God in such clear and beautiful ways and have a fresh perspective.  In our Children’s Ministry, the children are in the care of wonderful people who are providing an atmosphere of love and grace.  The children are hearing the heart of God, seeking first His Kingdom, and learning to trust Him in all that they do.  They are not off in “daycare” as the adults worship, they are in engaging in worship as well.  God is no respecter of persons, and lavishes His love on everyone.  Children deserve the opportunity to know Him, His heart, and His love for them and those around them.  Together, we are reaching a generation with the love of Jesus and bringing Heaven to Earth!  Watch out world…these children are already making an impact and expanding the Kingdom of God!

Seek First His Kingdom

Matthew 6:33-34

33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34″So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Just a reminder that we don’t have to worry, or figure it all out. Worrying is a waste of time, and it’s only accomplishment is to rob us of our joy. Jesus is our savior, our problem solver, our planner, our deliverer, and our joy. If we seek Him first. Seek His kingdom, and His righteousness all we need will be added unto us. He knows all that we need, and is a loving father that wants to give those things to us. Not what we want, but all that we need. If you find yourself in a rough patch remember this. Seek Him, and don’t allow worry to steal your joy!

Love your neighbor as YOURSELF

Love your neighbor as YOURSELF…

As I have walked with the Lord I have always read the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:4 that says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Through the years my perspective of this verse has changed and I have been able to see different angels. I was first able to apply it to my relationships with other people. I would think “love is patient, so be patient with your spouse or friend. Love is kind, so be kind to your co-worker who really annoys you”. For years it was a wonderful verse that facilitated growth in my relationships with other people in my life. Years later God added more seasoning to this passage of scripture and I was shown another perspective. I saw that when the verse said “love is patient, love is kind etc etc….” that God is talking about himself because he IS love. Therefore, God is patient; God is kind etc etc… I thought if God is simply love then truly the only way He is able to see me is through the eyes of patience, kindness and ultimately love. It was a beautiful time of growing deeper in love with Him and understanding the purity in which He sees me and you. Anything opposite to the attributes of love is contrary to His nature.

Recently, I was yet again given another perspective and that is what I want to share. As said before, I applied the famous “love scripture” to my relationships with others and then to my relationship with God but I never once thought to apply this passage of scripture to myself. In Mark 12:31 it says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” By no means am I saying that we must love ourselves first in order to love others because that is contrary to His word. However, I am saying that we shouldn’t leave ourselves out of the equation. God made us to be a beautiful vessel which displays His love and who He is and so it is important to love yourself; it may sound like this:

Love is patient, so be patient with yourself as He is patient with you.
Love is kind, so be kind to yourself as He is kind to you.
Love does not envy, so be happy with yourself as He is happy with you.
Love does not boast, so remember pride comes before a fall. Do not allow yourself to fall into that path of destruction.
Love does not dishonor others, so don’t dishonor yourself. Keep the promises you make to yourself.
Love is not easily angered, so don’t be so quick to become angry with yourself as He is not angry with you.
Love keeps no record of wrong, so stop keeping score of your wrong doings as He does not keep record of your sins.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, so seek truth and embrace freedom in your life as His intent is to set you free.
Love always protects, so guard and protect your heart as He is guarding and protecting you.
Love always trusts, so trust and have faith in yourself that you have what you need from Him.
Love always hopes, so don’t be afraid to hope for the best in your life. Don’t expect the worst as He does not expect the worst in you.
Love always perseveres, so press on and don’t give up as He has not given up on you! Whatever dream or goal you have keep pressing on and finish the race.
Love yourself enough to experience victory as He has already made you victorious.

I have recently begun to apply this to my life greatly. I was driving in my car and I thought, “Gee Christine, why can’t you just get your act together?” As clear as day I heard the Lord say, “But love is kind, so don’t think those things; be kind and love yourself because I love you.” We love because He first loved us and so give (to yourself and to others) as freely as you have received.  Be patient with yourself today and then you can be patient with others. If you find it difficult to look in the mirror and love yourself and be kind to yourself then I would encourage you to let God love on you; let Him love on you so much that you will reflect His love. Then you will be able to be kind to yourself and love yourself enough to guard your heart or persevere to your next goal or dream. God is loving and faithful; He believes in you, so agree with God and believe in yourself and most of all love yourself.

Christine Canas