Good morning! (or Good Evening! depending on when you're reading this) We have a lot to look at today and also a lot to look forward to as we prepare to kick off our new year next week. Hang in there with me as I attempt to fly through these updates and also attempt to be as informative as possible.
During our time together at The Rock we began the process of cleaning up our Life Groups. Many of our Life Groups, if not all, will look the same however our hope is to have smaller groups to deepen the conversations. It's so hard to have meaningful conversations when you have 15 folks in a group and only have 15 minutes to digest the sermon and attempt to tighten that understanding and enhance the relevancy of the night and sermon.
Our Life Groups are a huge part of what we do and we welcome your prayers as we seek to make The Rock a place where wisdom is taught, sought and caught as we open the Scriptures and attempt to best communicate them to students.
The Fear of Being Alone
We finished up our FEAR series last night by looking at the Fear of Being Alone. People fear being alone and so often we feel alone in the midst of a crowd. Why do we hate or fear being alone? One answer is that God never intended on us being alone in the first place. So fearing being alone is actually a confirmation of Scripture. Somehow, someway, we have believed the lie that God is out to get us and wants us to be miserable. He creates things and withholds them from us. They're within our grasp but He seemingly dangles them before our eyes yet just out of reach. Sound familiar? Go back to the garden and revisit the conversation the serpent had with Eve. It's no different today....the serpent still whispers and we still listen. We fear being alone (relationally) because it's not a natural for us to be alone....it's "not good." So maybe the question, or challenge, is for us to gain wisdom and then simply trust God.
So what does God say about us being alone? Does God want us to be alone? No. Genesis 2:18 shows us that when God created man He saw that it was not good that man be alone. But here we sit, knowing this, and we take matters into our own hands. We trust self rather than God. As long as we do this we will always get man sized results. Trust God and we get God sized results.
We fear being alone, so we act on that rather than trusting God to provide. This is a scary and dangerous place and many people are walking around in fear, fear of being alone. In light of this they make provisions themselves and each time get results only they could bring...these are lasting results.
Below are the notes and bulletin from last night. Praying you'll be encouraged because we all truly battle with being alone but I also pray you'll continue the conversation within your home, particularly with our student. Hebrews 13:5 (Joshua 1:5) says God will never leave us or forsake. Take hope in that and take hope in the fact that because of Jesus, the gospel he brings, we have the great hope of never being alone!
Refuel is our annual winter retreat to the mountains for some time in the Word getting to know God in a greater way and also giving us a time to get to know each other. it's a laid back trip that brings great possibility to strengthening us a ministry. Typically we go during Christmas Break but this year due to different issues we are going during MLK weekend, January 17-19, Saturday to Monday..
Well we've got a new look and a new website. We are still working out some kinks but I guess this blog will be the unveiling. Hope you'll take a look around and let us know of any errors!
We're excited about the freshness and simplicity this new look gives us as we seek to provide parents, and students, with tons of info but not overloading you with junk.
The Honduras Challenge
Last night we were able to address two issues that are some biggies for students and adults alike: Choosing Friends & Facing Temptation. These issues continually bite us, bug us and also can bless us. I've attached the sermon notes and bulletin for you to be able to continue this conversation at home.
Also, DEVOTIONS ARE DONE! This has been a difficult process but one that has been a blessing. The accountability of having to get these done by getting in the Word and seeking out what to share. It's been really neat and we can't wait to share this experience with you and us grow together. We will begin giving these out next week at The Rock and then we will actually begin them together on September 4th. Devotions are $1 and proceeds will go toward the Honduras Mission and then eventually to support our OneVerse cause.
You've seen the challenge all over Facebook and Instagram. The challenge is for a great cause, ALS. One of my favorite baseball players of all time Lou Gehrig died of this horrible disease. On the field at Yankee Stadium these now famous words echoed throughout the area; "Today, I consider myself, the luckiest man, on the face of the earth." He was a hero, he was a fighter, but did Lou Gehrig truly know Christ? Did anyone ever share with him about the true hero.
Many of us have taken the challenge and then challenged others. I was recently challenged and I would love to have an opportunity to donate to a cause to hopefully do away with a nasty disease. But in the process I want to add another cause. You see we could fight ALS and pray we eventually find a cure and in the process extend life for some people or at least ease the pain. But what if there were a cause that could bring complete healing to a much nastier condition? Would we get on board with this?
I think you know where I'm going and I don't do or say this to lighten the importance and nastiness of ALS. I do this to bring to mind another sickness and a greater hope. You see sin is a nasty disease and it is a disease with a cure. Suppose you have the answer to heal the world...now consider the fact that in Christ you have this answer.
In September a few men will be going to Honduras with this sin cure. It's not something we can accomplish in our own strength, we go in the name of Jesus, the answer. One of our members needs help, financially. Essentially we need you to support him in his going, in him taking the cure. Can you help? How can you help? Well, I'm getting drenched tonight to honor this cause and have challenged anyone who will respond with giving $20. If you would like to donate please let me know and if you get ahead of the game please make any check out to Roopville Road. If anything please pray as we go and pray for the people we will see. Pray that the Gospel transforms their life and that they respond to the cure.
Why a blog?
A great way for parents and ministry to connect and continue the conversation of what's going on at The Rock.