Spring Break: No Awana (3/15/17)

Just a reminder, with Adrian R3 spring break, there will be no Awana program tonight. See you back next week at 6:30pm! (Bible Study and Prayer Meeting will still meet at 7pm tonight.)

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Good Reads 03.15.17 (on: #prayer #parenting #singleness and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On parenting and prayer: Seven Things to Pray for Your Children by Jon Bloom

So, pray for your children. Jesus promises us that if we ask, seek, and knock, the Father will give us good in return (Luke 11:9–13), even if the good isn’t apparent for forty years. And because Jesus regularly asked those who came to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51), we know that he wants us to be specific with our requests. (click here to read more)

On parenting and discipleship: Don’t Farm Out Your Child’s Discipleship to the Youth Pastor by Clark Forbes

What I tell them isn’t usually the answer they’re looking for: the best practice and strategy for helping kids know the gospel, come to saving faith, and grow as a disciple, is a parent investing in the discipleship of their child. Nothing helps a teenager know the gospel like seeing it modeled in the home; not just taught or spoken to them, but modeled through their parents’ relationship to each other and to the kids. (click here to read more)

On singleness and God’s Mission: Single, Satisfied, and Sent by Marshall Segal

While it may seem like two categories at first, we soon discover in application that there are three: the single, the married, and the not-yet-married. After all, as any single person knows, a desire for marriage does not a marriage make. My hope in reflecting on Paul’s words is to restore hope and ambition in the hearts of the not-yet-married and set them solidly on mission in their singleness. (click here to read more)

On the God-centered focus of preaching: You Are Not the Story by H. B. Charles Jr.

After watching a few minutes of a news telecast, I find myself turning the channel in frustration, grumbling to the reporter on the screen, “You are not the story!”

Unfortunately, many of us who stand in the pulpit need this reminder just as much as those who sit at the news desk. Christian ministers are charged to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-2). The Lord commands it. The truth demands it. The hearers need it. Yet there is always the danger of inserting ourselves into the sermon – by our content or delivery – that the message is obscured.

People should not leave the sermon having learned more about the preacher than Christ. When we stand to preach the word, we should prayerfully whisper to ourselves, “You are not the story.” (click here to read more)

On the ups and downs of spiritual growth: Why Do Spiritual Highs Fade? by James Beevers

So, if there is to be any lasting effect from these events and experiences, it must have at the bottom seeing and savoring Jesus Christ — and this is often what camps, conferences, and events provide. Anything of true, durable worth from these experiences comes from seeing God clearly as he really is. This can come from sermons, or discussions, or singing in worship, or late night conversations, prayers, and devotions.

When we see the light of the glory of Christ most clearly, the things of this world seem dim and worthless by comparison. Why have sin, good as it may look, when we can have Christ? (click here to read more)



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Think On These Things

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ~Philippians 4:8-9

So much of what defines us and drives us comes from where we place our focus. You become what you dwell on, what you let in to shape your heart and mind. If you spend most of your time dwelling on what is frightful, then you will spend much time afraid. If you dwell on what is bitter and contentious, then it will build bitterness and anger in you. If you dwell on the traits that you don’t like in another person, you will soon find yourself not liking that actual person.

Paul called us to think better thoughts and to follow a better way. He called us to set our minds on all things true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. We do this in several ways.

First, we dwell on Jesus crucified, resurrected, and ascended. In other words, we think often about the gospel. There is nothing more true, honorable, just, pure, etc., than God himself. And it is the life, sacrifice, and victory of God the Son that takes us from being rebellious sinners to pure and holy children of God. This should be what drives us more than anything.

Second, we dwell on what is good in others. Even if our sins have been washed away by Jesus, in this present life we are still imperfect, still fail, and still disappoint and hurt others. When it comes to these realities, God calls us to be forgivers, forgiveness-seekers, and reconcilers, just as he has forgiven us in Christ and reconciled himself to us despite our sin and flaws. So, we seek to dwell on what is good in others. We strive to give them the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong, then we seek to deal with that wrong. But if we are always looking for the best in others instead of the worst, it will go a long way in making our lives better.

Third, we should fill our imaginations most by what is good, honorable, and beautiful. This isn’t to say that Christians can only see sappy movies or read such books. No, life has grit in it and we cannot sugar coat that. But we should strive to let most of our entertainment come from that which has “redeeming value”—that which ultimately comes back to the good and helps us to remember that no matter what happens in life, in the end good has already triumphed over evil.

Dwell on the good that is God and that we find in life. Let this shape your mind and heart.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Philippians 4_8

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Revive! Night 2, Tonight @6pm

Revive! is back for 2017. Every Sunday night in the month of March we will have a meal at 5pm in the gym and a worship gathering with a guest speaker at 6pm. These special services are designed to help you learn more about Jesus and what it means to be his follower. We invite you to join us and bring a friend.

Tonight we have Curtis Townley, Director of Missions of the Osage River Baptist Association**, coming to share about what it means to live the truth. For a full list of speakers for the month, please click here.


**[Change in speaker: Unfortunately, our friend Tony J is ill this weekend, join me in praying for a speedy recovery]

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Sunday 03.12.17 (our witness, the Spirit’s help)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at John 15:18-16:15 and see how the Holy Spirit helps us in our witness to the world. Then on Sunday evening, we have week two of our Revive! series, featuring Tony Jones from FBC Rich Hill speaking on the topic of living the truth. We hope to see you there! And don’t forget to spring forward, setting your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.


@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@5pm Dinner before Revive!
@6pm Revive! Night 2: “Live Truth”

Sermon Notes
Our Witness, The Spirit’s Help ~ John 15:18-16:15

  • The Spirit helps our witness in the midst of persecution, so be bold witnesses in the face of opposition (15:18-16:4)
  • The Spirit helps our witness by bringing conviction to the world, so speak the truth in love (16:5-11)
  • The Spirit helps our witness by reminding us of the glories of Jesus, so keep learning and sharing God’s word (16:12-15)
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Joy Building Prayer

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)

As Paul moved into the conclusion of his letter, he followed the pattern he often employed and launched into a series of commands. This set of commands show us how to keep a proper attitude of rejoicing.

Throughout the letter, Paul has called his readers to a world-surpassing, Christ-centered, God-exalting joy, and he did so again. This joy flows over into our relationship with others. By “reasonableness” Paul seemed to mean a sense of courtesy and deference toward others where we do not overly concern ourselves with our own will and rights.

Paul knew these things went hand in hand. If we have proper joy in Christ, then we will treat others like we should.

But, much in this world tries to rob us of our joy. When fear, anxiety, and worry come, then our tendency is to come under a cloud of depression and such a mood often leads to a poor treatment of others. So, Paul urges us to combat fear and anxiety by remembering the nearness of our God as we go to him in prayer.

Prayer is an act of worship in which we commune personally with our Father. Prayer is as a child approaching a king in his throne room and being able to lay out all our hopes and fears without reservation. Prayer is an act of faith in which we trust God to answer his promises to care for us. And, indeed, as Paul wrote: There is something about prayer that brings the peace of God over us.

Deepening prayer leads to stronger faith, greater peace, and fuller joy. So, let us seek our joy in Christ. Let us run to the Father in prayer.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Philippians 4_6

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Agree in the Lord

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are written in the book of life. ~Philippians 4:2-3 (ESV)

There are some things in life worth dividing over. The gospel itself causes division between true believers, false believers, and non-believers. But under the gospel umbrella of true believers there is far, far less that is worth dividing over. Toward the end of his letter, Paul called two ladies in the church at Philippi to unity.

We don’t know what their problem with one another was exactly, but it was an issue that Paul didn’t see as worth the fight.

These were two ladies who were very dear to him in the church. They were two women who worked hard, side by side with Paul, to see that the gospel spread throughout their city. They were two women who through Jesus and their gospel ministry had more in common than apart. So, it pained Paul to see them divided.

He called them out personally and publicly by name, as is sometimes needed when private resolutions do not work, and this seems to have become a public dispute at that. He pleaded with them: Be unified! Agree in the Lord! He wanted them to see the bond of love in Jesus as greater than whatever issue they faced.

More than this, he called others in the church to help. Commentators differ in opinion on the identity of this “true companion.” Paul may have been writing to a man named Syzygus, who possibly could have been an influential leader or at least had great influence over the life of these women. He may have been writing to another but unnamed dear friend of his in the church who had such influence. Or Paul may have been speaking to the church as a whole. Whichever interpretation we take, the point remains the same: These women needed the encouragement of someone other than Paul in this as well.

We learn from these two verses that whenever we see division in the church of Jesus, we cannot keep silent. Jesus said in John 17:21-23 that our unity (founded on the gospel, not contrary to it) is part of our witness to the world. So, we urge and we plead and we work with others to bring about the richness of a Christ-centered unity in the churches where we worship and serve.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Philippians 4_2

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