Preparing Your Old House For Sale

beautiful village houseAtonement Jamestown is planning to start a new service here for our readers where we will be sharing tips about improving our home and our surroundings. Today, in the name of Jesus, we will start off by sharing some handy tips regarding the sale of your old home.

So, are you planning to sell your house? If yes, then there are several factors that you must consider to ensure that your house is ready for a smooth and easy sale. For a quick and easy house sale, you must ensure that it is tidy, free of clutter and with neutrally toned walls.

Experts suggest that you paint your walls white, others pale, neutral or matching colors. However, if this is not possible, just ensure that your walls are clean. You can give your house the needed lift by removing clutter, cleaning the woodwork and painted walls. You can begin packing while still de-cluttering.

Some houses sell up as early as three months before you even plan to move. Some will take up to a year after you have moved. Selling your house straight away is not advisable, unless the house is in very high demand and the price is competitive enough. You also have to find a new place to move into before you sell the house.

You can either hire a real estate, interior stager or complete sales teams to sell your house or sell it yourself. Realtors and real estate agents are known to do a great job when it comes to selling houses. However, with the ever increasing market competition, you have to do very unique things to sell your house. You can also contact guys like Andy, who will help you with moving your furniture around.

Some people have gone to the extent of paying the tax on your house for the first year of your stay, others even go to the extent of offering new cars. With the ever expanding market, selling of dilapidated houses is simply not an option to consider.

All houses for sale must meet the ever increasing stringent codes that are put in place or get new owners who are ready and willing to fix these issues to meet the codes.

Atonement Jamestown conducts these social gatherings where people can share and discuss their thoughts and ideas with others. Our goal is to create a sharing and caring community. We will be sharing more of these tips on a regular basis for our beloved people.

Start With Jesus – Stay With Jesus – End With Jesus

From The Pastor

“The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or wither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:8

Fall blew in on September 23rd, the first offical day of autumn. I could feel it in the 30 mph gusts from the northwest, as I walked my yellow dog on a dark night, our path lit by nearby Mars and the distant constellations. Beneath the constancy of the stars, the wind spoke of change and briskness and a quickening of the spirit. It evoked memories of autumns past, even as it seemed to be driving toward a future yet uncharted.

In similar fashion fall has blown in here at Atonement. One can sense the winds of the Spirit blowing in our midst – breathing life into worship; filling the fellowship hall as the Alpha folks feast on God and good food on Wednesday evenings; infusing our Sunday school workshops with creativity, and our confirmation classes with renewed purpose. Under the constancy of God’s eternal Word, the spirit drives the church into a future yet uncharted. We have sensed the leading of God’s spirit to bring The Healing Touch of Jesus to those who have been seually abused; to put in a video projection system for use in worship and education programs; to schedule “An Ordinary Day with Jesus” this fall; and to take flight for a second season with “Wings” (May God be the “Wind Beneath Our Wings”!). This fall has certainly brought a quickening of the pace – but also, I hope, a quickening of our collective spirits, as we renew our committment to God’s work and the various ministries of His church.

What about you? Have you felt the wind blowing lately? (I know you’ve felt the incessant winds which buffet our North Dakota prairie this time of year, but that’s not what I’m talking about.) Have you sensed in your life, the agitation of God’s Wind – the stirring of God’s Spirit? Is God leading you into a future yet uncharted – to take on a new ministry; to become involved in one of your church’s programs; to live your faith in a way you’ve not done before?

“The Wind blows where it wills,” said Jesus. We can’t control or even fully understand the working of God’s Spirit, but like the wind on a brisk fall day, the Spirit moves with power and direction though our lives and church.

“Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow though the wilderness calling and free;
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.”
(or, “on the prairie,” as the case may be)WOV #684

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
Pastor Steve >

The British Are Coming

So read the flyer announcing an Alpha Training Conference in L.A. April 8th-9th. And so on Thursday evening, April 7th, Ed Nesheim and I flew from Bismarck to Orange County, CA where we attended the conference, held at the Rose Drive Friends Church in Yorba Linda. Nicky Gumbel, the author of the Alpha course and his team from London were with us for two wonderful days of instruction and inspiration.

Nicky Gumbel, Ed Nesheim and Pastor Steve

The purpose of our trip was to get Ed trained in as our new Alpha Administrator (replacing Denny Goetz). Ed and Mary Berntson, our Church Leader for Alpha, will be heading up our team as we resume this ministry in the fall. Both Ed and I attended Nicky’s sessions on the Principles and Practicalities of Alpha. On the second day, we split up for part of the day to attend different workshops. For instance, Ed attended a workshop on Administration while I attended the workshop on the Alpha Marriage Course, which we are currently running on Friday evenings in our home. It was an immensely helpful conference, and I particularly appreciated the opportunities for worship and personal ministry which punctuated our time in Yorba Linda.

When the conference concluded on Saturday afternoon, we drove down to Lake Forest for the Saturday evening service at Saddleback. (Ed is convinced I must have been guided by some divine G.P.S., in that we made it there without getting lost!) While Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life) was not there in person, he delivered part of the sermon via videotape. We heard a great stewardship message! The worship and hospitality we experienced at Saddleback were top rate. Sunday morning we drove more than an hour to worship at Mosaic-part of what is called the Emerging Church. This was an unchurchy church for a young unchurched culture. We worshipped in a rented Senior Center, with some 200 chairs set up. Pastor Erwin McMannus preached a great message from Genesis, while a young artist painted on canvas. The worship team was young and intense and talented. I’m convinced that very few of those 200 young worshippers realized that their pastor is a nationally known figure. It struck me how different these two worship settings were-Saddleback and Mosaic-one a mega-church and the other barely recognizable as a church-yet both ministries intentionally and passionately bringing the gospel of Christ to lost and searching people.

After church, we stopped at In-and Out for a burger (delicious!) before driving back to John Wayne airport. We were scheduled to fly out at 2:00 PM-but when Ed checked the flight board, he saw the news: FLIGHT CANCELLED. A snowstorm in Denver meant we were “stuck” in Southern California until Tuesday. We were given the “Distressed Travelers’ Rate” at a nearby Embassy Suites. And what are poor distressed travelers to do when stuck in Southern California? Well, we and our two friends from Hope Lutheran in Fargo (Harry and Pastor Kevan) went back to Saddleback where we attended part of their new member class (500 in the tent). Then we watched baptisms (around 100 of them-adults, couples, whole families-very moving!).

The next day- we walked out on the pier at Newport Beach, and saw dolphins swimming in the ocean. Then the four of us went to Disneyland! On Tuesday, we flew without complication, back to Bismarck, by way of Denver.

What did I bring back from this trip?

1) An even greater enthusiasm for Alpha. It is a great tool for renewal in the church, and for those outside the church-a big welcoming front door to the church!

2) A conviction that whatever we do in Christ and in His Church is worth doing 100%. We experienced great hospitality from the members of Rose Drive Friends Church, Saddleback, and Mosaic. Those churches had formed a culture of high commitment (not high pressure, but deep commitment to the mission of the church). I see that commitment at Atonement as well-yet how easy it is to become complacent in our church life. In a recent staff meeting, we realized we needed to once again lift up the importance of every member, and how vital it is that each of us follow through on the commitments we make.

3) The conviction that New Testament Christianity should be the norm for the church. Healings, spiritual gifts, miracles, words of knowledge, and things of that nature can be frightening for many church people. But as Dave Householder, Pastor of Huntington Beach Lutheran Church, said in one of the workshops, When those things start happening in a church-it is just the church getting back to normal! The supernatural was normal for the New Testament Church.

Ed and I thank you for the wonderful opportunity you afforded us. We trust that it will serve to enrich the life of our whole congregation.

May God renew us in the power of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost (May 15) and always!

Pastor Steve

What Will The New Year Bring

You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life. Galatians 6: 7b-8

We’ve entered the season of planting. In the fields surrounding Jamestown, air seeders 40 feet wide pulled by four wheel drive tractors are busy burying millions of kernels of corn and wheat, soybeans and sunflowers in hope that these seeds will yield multiple millions of bushels come the fall harvest.

Here in town, small scale farmers (gardeners) are planning their garden plots and plotting their flower plantings, greasing their Rota tillers and purchasing seed packets or nursery stock.

Though both the farmer and the gardener know that there are variables beyond their control, they also understand that there is a direct connection between what they put into the ground and what they will reap from it several months down the road.

St. Paul reminds us that this wisdom, common to every farmer and gardener, also holds true in the spiritual realm–“You will harvest what you plant,” or as it is stated in an older translation, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” While it is only by the grace of God that we are saved, the scriptures tell us plainly that grace does not negate the consequences of our actions and choices. Every day, we make decisions about how to invest our time; our money; our emotional energy. Every day we face the temptation to “sow to our own flesh”-the harvest of which is “corruption”. Every day we can choose to “sow to the spirit”-the harvest of which is eternal life.

If a farmer takes care in preparing his fields and planting good seed; if a gardener spends hours browsing through a seed catalogue-how much more should we take care how we sow in matters of eternal significance!

I’ll close by passing on to you the following gardening tips, timely for all of us who are, even now, planting our gardens-and our lives!

THE GARDEN For the garden of your daily living plant three rows of peas:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul
Plant four rows of squash:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce:
1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

No Garden is complete without turnips:
1. Turnip for church
2. Turnip for meetings
3. Turnip for service
4. Turnip to help each other

To conclude our garden we must have thyme:
1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.
There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow.

May God bless our planting and the gardens of your lives!

Pastor Steve