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Stop Complaining and See What Happens

There are two types of people in this world: those who complain about their circumstances and those who make the most of them. Which type are you?

About two years ago, I did a lot of complaining. I complained to the Lord. I complained to my wife and kids. I complained to my elders. And guess what that got me? Nothing. Complaining doesn’t change circumstances; it fuels them. Complaints add fuel to the fire of negativity and critical spirits. Plus, it drains the very energy needed either to change our circumstances or learn how to endure them with joy.

When the Apostle Paul wrote that he learned to be content in any and every circumstance (Philippians 4:10-11), I don’t think he was being metaphorical. Paul meant that through the strength supplied in Jesus Christ, he could, and he would, face all circumstances with contentment.

George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them” (quoted in Batterson, Chase the Lion, 132).

Yes, some circumstances are beyond your control. Cancer. Miscarriage. Death of a spouse. Job loss. Unlike Shaw’s bold declaration, you don’t always have an option of choosing circumstances like you would various food items at a buffet.

Sometimes you have to choose joy in spite of your circumstances. And, yes, other times you can make the circumstances you want. Finding a better job, learning to speak another language, improving your marriage—these are all circumstances you can make.

The challenge is not letting present circumstances hold you back from creating new circumstances that bring greater contentment and joy. The circumstance of cancer may not change, but you can choose to create a circumstance of heart change that leads to contentment in Christ. Your first circumstance—cancer—does not have to become your defining circumstance.

By creating a circumstance where you receive the strength of Jesus Christ, that new circumstance overpowers the first circumstance spiritually and emotionally. You “learn” (the Apostle Paul’s word) to be content whatever your circumstances, because you have a new and stronger circumstance of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

A circumstance is defined as a modifying or influencing factor. Negative circumstances can’t always be controlled. Life happens. But you can introduce a greater “modifying or influencing factor” that overrides the negative and brings you joy: “I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Negative circumstances can sometimes give us the best opportunities. Complain or create? Which path will you choose?

6 ways to Engage at Rock the Block

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TAKE PART IN A COMMUNITY PRAYER WALK
 
June 15th @ 6:30 p.m. 
 
This year we are kicking things off with a community prayer event. Our E91 Prayer Ministry is helping host a Prayer Walk. Bring your friends, family or LifeGroup and pray through our guided prayer card on our campus, in Sahm's Park, in an apartment complex or at the mall. Don't have someone who can join you? Join on of our Prayer Team leaders as they lead groups through the prayer walk. Sign up here.

WATCH A MOVIE ON THE LAWN

June 16th - Activities starting at 7 p.m. movie starts at dusk.

MOPS is hosting this fun family-friendly event with games and activities before the film, including an animal show with Hedgehog Hannah! There will be popcorn, snow cones and water before our featured film Zootopia. Don't forget to reserve your spot by registering here

SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY WITH KEEP INDIANAPOLIS BEAUTIFUL

June 17th between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. depending on the shift you choose

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is partnering with E91 to help clean up the trash that is hiding the incredible community of Castleton. Register to serve during the morning shift or afternoon shift, get your gloves and map as you head out to your designated area for clean up. This event is for all ages. Families with children are assigned to areas for clean up in Sahm's Park or on the outskirts of the Castleton Mall parking lot. Sign up for a time slot here

SERVE YOUR CITY WITH SHEPHERD COMMUNITY CENTER

June 17th from 9 a.m. to noon

Shepherd Community Center is taking on a God-sized project this summer as they work to help fix the homes in their neighborhood. They are looking for help in surveying the needs in their community. You will start off with a quick training session before you head out with your team leader to survey the community. Volunteers must be 16 or older to serve in this project. Register to help here.

SERVE AT THE BLOCK PARTY

June 18th between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. depending on the role you volunteer for.

Putting on a block party for 1000+ people has a lot of moving pieces. Consider helping us set up, welcome new people, keep an eye on the inflatable games or kids activities, or clean up. Help us make this block party a fun and inviting event for our neighbors as we create an environment that connects them to the community at E91. Sign up to serve here.

HAVE FUN AT THE BLOCK PARTY

June 18th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy a block party for everyone! Register to get your Food Truck coupon and let the games begin! From a life-size Hungry Hungry Hippo game to the Cherry Bomb students and parents will be having just as much fun as they kiddos in the inflatables area. Enjoy competition? Register a team for the 5-on-5 basketball tourney or the disc golf tourney

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