Thursday, June 30, 2016

Common Ground Service Update

Excitement is building as we prepare for the Common Ground Worship Service. Remember the Purpose: To Glorify God and reach the 20-30-year-olds in a 2-mile radius who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. There are several ways that you can help in preparing for this service: Pray for us as we prepare, pray for those the service will reach, volunteer to help in the praise band, or in other needed areas of service. We are hoping to see a 10% increases in two years across the board in baptisms, attendance, ministries, and financial resources. Most importantly, lives touched and transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are some quick updates:

  • Currently Praise Band is practicing once a week- Usually Wednesday Nights.
  • The new soundboard is in place along with the new keyboard and digital drum set.
  • Working on a new wood floor. It is nearly completed.
  • Working on a flyer to mail to the community, new church-wide website, newspaper advertisement, radio, and digital billboards. 

Dates to Remember:

July 31- 1st preview service

August 7- 2nd preview service

August 14 – Commission Service

August 21 – Launch of New Service (This will allow for the city to be back in session for two weeks, and the county schools will be back in school for one week.)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: 12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee: Like Me: Finding Grace to Live Unmasked.

John Fischer is an award-winning author of many books. His insightful columns have been a monthly favorite in Contemporary Christian Music Magazine. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and currently lives in California.  

Fisher gives points back to Jesus as giving the definitions for rightness The sad reality is that we cannot be made right before God by being "better" than anyone else. Through recognizing and laying aside the Pharisee in all of us, we can embrace the grace, gratitude, and joy of what Jesus has called us to be.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Somehow, we’ve got to get the spotlight off pharisaical self-righteousness and back on the gospel…”

“Faults make us real. Faults make us human.”

"'Perfect' people have no witness. They have nothing to give anyone. You can only give what you have received, and Pharisees, unfortunately for their followers, have earned everything. Likewise, all those perfect Christians running around being great examples for Christ have no witness at all. They are, in fact, doing grave damage to the gospel. They are perpetuating the myth that Christians are better than anybody else and driving away those who truly need the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ."

"It occurs to me that it's a good church whose pastor the people can comfort."

"In its simplest form, our greatest witness to the world is to show and tell how much we need Jesus."

"Where does a pro-choice Democrat with homosexual struggles go to church today? Not many churches I know of. For that matter, where does a sinner go to church?"

"The gospel is just what it is: good news for sinners. The only people who should be offended by it are people who can't admit their sin."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

5 Types of Dads That Exasperate Their Children

 "Fathers,  do not exasperate  your children, so they won’t become discouraged."
- Colossians 3:21

I would like to share with you the five types of fathers that exasperate their children.  The word exasperate means to irritate strongly and to do so repeatedly.  Let me share a few statistics on fatherless children:
·         63% of youth who commit suicide are fatherless.
·         90 % of all youth who run away from home had no father at home.
·         85 % of youth/children with behavior disorders have no father.
·         80% of all rapist had no father at home.

The Bible places a particular emphasis on fathers in the raising of children, but this post is helpful for anyone who is raising children.  Here are five types of Dad that strongly irritate their children which provoke them to anger:

1. The Proud Dad- this is a father who will rarely admit he is wrong. You will never hear him these words, "I am sorry" or "Please forgive me." There is a need always to be right. This type of father demands repentance from his children, but he rarely gives it to them. His motto is "Do as I say, not as I do." He provokes his children because they see no justice!!

2. The Angry/Controlling Dad- These are fathers who are rigid and inflexible, having a short fuse. These fathers are quick to speak and slow to listen. His motto is "Do this because I said so!" This father has forgotten that the anger of man will not produce the righteousness God requires. (James 1:20) He proves his children by the constant turmoil in the home.

3. The Inconsistent Dad- This type of father is always moving the boundaries for the home. The house rules are fluid and always changing from day to day. His motto is "I know I said that yesterday, but this is what I want today!" He will provoke his children because they never know what can or cannot be done.

4. The Religious/Perfectionist Dad- This type of dad sets out standards that are too lofty to be met by any child. No behavior or performance is good enough for this Dad. They are often churchgoers, who drive their children to make the necessary behavior changes to fit a church culture. This type of dad doesn't aim for the heart of his children(Matthew 15:8-9) and will raise either a rebellious or religious child like themselves. Often their children are worse than their fathers were on them. (Matthew 23:15).

5. Submissive Dad- These are fathers who regularly cave to the temper tantrums of their children, especially in public. They fear conflict and are afraid to correct. They want to be their kid's friend, not their child's parent. These dads provoke their children to anger because there are no boundaries, setting them up for failure as an adult. There have been many business meetings where 60 and 70-year-old men throw temper tantrums to get their way, many churches caving to them. Sadly these men never outgrew their manipulation tactics.

We need to love our children with gospel-centered love, discipline, and investment.  We must affirm our love for them, and be honest about the reality of sin in their lives and ours.  Fathers and parents, we will never make a more beneficial investment of time, money and energy, than in our children!  I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Steward Scott for helping me to think through these matters.