Last night we had the opportunity to look at the book of Judges. Judges is a very sad book filled with some grave consequences. We have a Nation that has been set apart by God and has just been given this land that is incredible. It was all because of God and was intended to be used for God. You would think that the people would follow God without reserve. Well they didn't and the result of this led to frustration, issues, and consequences.
So quick we point the finger at them and asked why or how, don't we? But then we're quickly reminded of times in our own life that have resembled that of this Nation. The inability to keep the law and a close walk with God is just as true for us as it was the this Nation. So the focus is not on the sins of the people, though they are great, but on God, who is also great, yet in a different way maybe. The focus is always on God and HIs love, grace, forgiveness, mercy and holiness. There are definitely things we learn from the people of the Bible but they never outweigh what we learn about God. Our sins and inabilities are great but God's grace is greater. May we faithfully follow Him and lean on Him as we deal with life and each other.
Judges ends in chapter 21 verse 25 with the sad reality of where this great Nation, God's nation, has landed: "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes."
Much has changed for this Nation but isn't this par for the course so far?
All of this sets up the scene for some leadership, a King. The Old Testament, the Bible, is a collection of books showing us how God deals and works within His Creation, ultimately for His glory. So we continue to see creation respond and live in light of sin. Will anything ever be the final remedy? We're getting there.
Alex did a great job last night of making God the hero but also in causing us to confront our own sin. I pray we take this word and meditate on it eventually applying it to our own hearts. Because in the end the message is that of grace.
God has first loved us so why wouldn't we desire to follow and obey Him?
2nd Annual Rock Feast 2015 (NOV. 18)
We're excited to let you know that the Rock Feast is back for a second year. It was so much fun and gave everyone an opportunity to experience a large family Thanksgiving meal. We take for granted that everyone experiences a Thanksgiving filled with laughter, food and family. So what we hope to do is to make this available to those in our ministry. It also is good to do because we are one big family. Of course our family is around the 125 person mark so feeding this bunch is a pretty big task. You can help us by following the link and signing up to help with the food. We cannot do this without the help of the parents.
SIGN ME UP!
Happy Thursday! Hope everyone is doing good and ready for the weekend. My wife, Suzanne, is out of town. Be in prayer today for her family in Kentucky as they attend the funeral of her grandfather. He was such a sweet, quiet, yet strong man. We need more like him today. He didn't speak much but when he spoke it was encouraging, useful and actually added to the conversation. I only knew him for a short while but I see his work ethic, kindness, and strength in his grand-daughter, my wife. I will miss seeing him when we venture to Kentucky but his handiwork and legacy will be here for quiet some time.
You can also add me to the prayer list as I am Mr. Mom the next few days. We did manage to get homework done on a church night, outfits organized (mom helped before she left), teeth brushed, faces washed and we made it to Chick-fil-a by 7 am for our weekly bible study. We did forget shoes for the powder puff game but I still chalk up the morning as a victory and after I run the shoes by during lunch. Now on to the afternoon.
Our world is filled with quiet heroes who receive little to no recognition. Moms lead in this category. Us dads fill in for mom one day and you think the world has caved in. Dad leaves and everything works like clock work. There's a reason for that! We, dads, aren't all bad though, I don't think, but moms are for sure the force behind the machine!
In Joshua, our text last night, we see the mighty force behind a nation. This force didn't always get the credit and He always seemed to be dealing with a bunch of whiners. Kind of sounds like the mother's position in a way. That seems to belittle God as this mighty force but I hope you see the point. In case you missed it God is the force behind all that is good. It is God who wills and does for His good purpose. The Christian nation often becomes like the poor ole dad when mom is out of town. Taking credit for the simplest and most complex mornings.....situations that moms do in their sleep. But the dad didn't really do anything except work out the plan that the mom established before she left town. That's what I did this morning! God has established it all....we, His people, simply walk in His ways. The moment we step outside His plan is the moment we being to take life in our own hands....it's a dangerous place.
Last night we saw this God in action as He delivered the promised land into the hands of Israel, His nation. In the end the people pledged their allegiance to God....everything was great.....they were in the land flowing with milk and honey. Flip over one page and two chapters into Judges and you see that Israel turns to false gods. So much for that allegiance. But that's us isn't it? The moment old dad veers off moms plan for the family while she's out of town is the minute your 11 yr old shows up at school without pants on....not saying that happened to us this morning! But I'm saying we try to work in our plan rather than God's plan. We often times take the credit for things going right when there was something bigger at play.
The point is that we need to recognize why things work out for good when they work out for good. Rather than thinking we're the hero we need to give credit to God first. Recognize that it is He that is working and we who are called to be faithful to Him and His plan. Trust and obey! Joshua is a great reminder of God's strength, faithfulness and it's also a great example of what happens when His people trust and obey in this God.
The sermon from last night is attached and does a great job of tying Joshua into the big picture of Scripture while also helping learn more about this promise, covenant keeping God.
Have a great weekend and make sure you hug your mother!
Hope everyone is having a good day and week. Also hope you're loving this "almost sweater weather" we're having. You do realize it'll be Christmas before long. I wear a large.
MOVIE @ The Barn
Not sure if you've heard but we're having a little gathering this Saturday night. We'll be heading to the Adams' barn for a movie night. Students can show up anytime after 6:45p and be be picked up by 9p. Students need to eat before they come. We will have popcorn and water but nothing of substance. So have them eat before they come or even bring some food with them. The Adams' live off of Ringer Road. Parents are welcome to attend too. Also.....BRING A CHAIR OR A BLANKET!
Last night was a tough night from a teaching standpoint. No one every likes looking, studying, talking or teaching about the Law, unless you're a lawyer or judge. But the Law of God is something that we all must look at and know. It's important to see as it helps us follow the story of the Bible really.
One huge thing from last night was this; God did not give the Law in hopes of us earning anything. God gave the Law in light of something. The Law does not save us. God had already saved Israel from slavery. The Law was the way they were to live in light of God saving. But think about our laws for a moment. Why do we have laws? To protect us right? I'm glad it's against the law to murder, steal, rape, and drive 120 mph. If these were legal and right I'd probably live in the middle of the woods in a cabin with a shotgun in my hand 24/7. Why? Because anyone could come up and be free to wipe my family and I out. But we have the law which was established for our safety and protection. God first established the law as a way for His people to be protected and to offer guidelines to a life that was pleasing to Him and a life that led to a good life.
But again, the Law of God is a means to salvation. The Law was a result. Galatians 5:14 says the law is fulfilled in one statement; Love your neighbor as yourself. Rather than having to know all the 700 Laws of the Old Testament we simply concentrate on loving others in Christ. Christ fulfilled and consumed the Law. He simplified how we view these boundaries that God established. Jesus is not a yoke that is heavy but One that is light and easy. But for some reason we struggle with Laws and typically view them as negative rather than for our good.
As we continue the story of the Bible we see a God establishing HIs people and His Law. Up next we see the continued negative response of the people. God continues to pour out blessing and judgement while calling out a few who would lead and honor Him.
God is working in His creation for His glory. I pray we see this, believe this, and live for this.
Don't forget to sneak a peak at the bulletin for our devotions. The devotions really help us see the smaller parts of this big story. We're tackling a lot of information each Wednesday and try to zero in on the big picture. The devotions attempt to look at the specifics. It'd be a good way to have some spiritual conversations as a family.
Have a great weekend!
Happy Thursday! Hope everyone is doing good and enjoying this bright, sunny day.
Last night we continued our year long walk through the story of the Bible. I do want to say it is crucial that students spend time in the devotions we've prepared each week. This year excites me as I consider how important it is to have a good foundation of what the Bible is about. It's such a huge thing to see God working in His people for His glory. I'm always surprised by how little we know as followers of Christ. If I'm being honest I'd say we're really ignorant and lazy when it comes to knowing and diving into Scripture. You would think we would be so hungry and thirsty for the Word of God. Shouldn't we be able to communicate the high points of Scripture?
I once had a pastor say that "Jesus was the answer" and then he'd say "what's your question." This was cool and very true but I feel we hang out in the New Testament so much that we forget the mighty works of God in the Old Testament and how it gives the former it's weight. You really can't have new without an old right?
So this year through our blogs and devotions I pray we all grow in our knowledge of God and His Word. Let's get serious about knowing what we believe and allow it to change us. I pray we'll get in the Word and allow the Word to get in us. Allow our walk to be changed by the Word.
We began our two week journey through Exodus last night and really learned a great deal about God. It's very easy to get hung up on moral lessons throughout the Old Testament rather than seeing it as a display of God's leading, power, heart, love, grace, hand, purpose and plan. We can learn a great deal from these great men and women of the faith but unless we see God as the hero of the story we've failed to properly see the main intent.
Last night we learned that God has a heart, He has a great love for His people. We also learned that God has a name. This may seem small but Micah did a great job of pointing out that we often only share our name with people we desire to actually know it. God wanted us to know and He share His name, I AM. I AM is a way for God to say HE IS. There is nothing bigger and better. This wasn't all talk....God would eventually prove who HE IS.
Lastly we learned that God has muscle. This would be the action rather than talk. God shows His concern for His glory/name and His people by working things out accordingly.
So the question for us is this: how do we respond to such a loving and powerful God?
What would your answer be? I think mine is humility and submission. Doesn't He deserve both of those from me? He has proven His love and power. He has full authority. This is His story. He is the hero. One would think that this person deserves humility and submission right? So what about you? How would respond to such a loving and powerful God? Ultimately I think it's worship but we must all deal with this in our own context, specifically.
Movie at the Barn
October 17th we'll be showing a movie at the Adam's barn. We'll be giving out all the information next week at The Rock and through the blog. We'll be voting on a movie next Wednesday night as well. The Adam's house is roughly 3 miles from the church and right off Hwy. 27 so it should be easy to get to and find. We'll have all the details next week. Movie time will be around 7ish.
Have a great weekend!
In the midst of a changing world it is great to know we serve a God who never changes. I am thankful for this reality. I am continually encouraged that even though my faith may sometimes be shaky God will never be surprised, unstable or shaky.
As we walk through the story of the Bible on Wednesday nights at the Rock I hope students see this picture of God. I pray they understand that God is always working for HIs glory. We, as His creation, are brought into this amazing story to be His reflection. What an incredible life He has for us! What an amazing opportunity we then have to walk through life with such hope, purpose and provision.
Last night in the Rock we looked at Genesis 12-50. We're going pretty quick through the Bible and looking at the major point, highlights, of Scripture. We look at this with one ultimate idea in mind: That the Bible is the story of God working in His creation for His glory. It's really that simple. Sure it gets a little specific and deep in sections but the whole point is that God is working in His creation. Through Christ we have the opportunity to not only be His child but to be His hands and feet and work alongside Him, for His glory.
Our main idea last night was this: Though I may not know how God is working I must trust that He is working. All throughout Genesis we see this in various forms. God working in ways we could never see. A barren wife, a deceiving brother, strange family dynamics, a sacrifice which would threaten the promise and covenant right out of the gate all give God a magnificent canvas to paint the picture that He is working and will provide.
Attached are the notes from last night. I pray you'll continue the conversation with your student at home. I'm looking forward to following this story and growing deeper in our love for God.
Why a blog?
A great way for parents and ministry to connect and continue the conversation of what's going on at The Rock.