Sunday 10.08.17 (a cause for thanksgiving)

This Sunday we begin a new sermon series through Paul’s letter, First Thessalonians. We’ll take a look at 1:1-3 and how our lives are to be a cause for thanksgiving. Then in the evening, we’ll conclude our Attributes of God study with a look at how God is joyful. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Attributes of God study in church library

Sermon Notes
A Cause for Thanksgiving ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

To live as a cause for thanksgiving by others:

  • Anchor your life on the grace of God in Christ (1:1)
  • Display your faith in your deeds (1:2-3)
  • Devote yourself to diligent love (1:2-3)
  • Fix your hope firmly on Christ (1:2-3)

1 thessalonians

Songs for Worship
The Solid Rock
All I Have is Christ ~ watch a version on YouTube
Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) ~ watch a version on YouTube
O Church Arise ~ watch a version on YouTube
Let Your Heart Be Broken

 

Image taken and modified with permission from pixabay.com

Good Reads 09.20.17 (on: encouragement, worship, and more!)

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

On church and worship: Sunday Morning Is Not About Me by Stephen Witmer

As one who longs for spiritual transformation in myself and others, I really want to know how God turns a call to worship (Psalm 33:1–3) into a response of genuine and joyful worship (Psalm 33:20–22). How does he form a people who will say, “Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name”?

The real treasure of this psalm is that it answers that question. It gives us reasons to worship — Psalm 33:4 begins with the word “because” — and these reasons are not about us; they’re about God. The psalmist feeds our minds and fires our hearts with the character of God:… (click here to read more)

On encouragement: The Necessity of Encouragement by Charles Spurgeon

Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumblingblocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ. Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding. (click here to read more)

On sex: What’s the Purpose of Sex by Tim Challies

We do, indeed, have a natural appetite for sex. Yet this appetite is given by God and is to be used in ways that are consistent with his design. Paul’s reply to the Corinthian church tells why this view is so dangerous. He begins by quoting their words but then immediately counters them: “‘Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food’—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13). While it is true that God has made us sexual beings and given us a natural appetite for sex, we must remember that sex is God’s idea and God’s gift. As the creator of our bodies and the author of sex, it is God who determines how the gift must be expressed, and it is God to whom we will ultimately give an account for how we used it. God has made us for himself, and we have no right to use his gifts for purposes that dishonor him. (click here to read more)

On marriage and singleness: Your Letter to Your Future Spouse by Kelly Needham

Undoubtedly, marriage is a treasured gift many Christians will receive. Instituted by God before the fall, and intended to showcase the beauty of the gospel, marriage ought to be highly regarded by God’s people. But marriage is no savior. It cannot rescue, redeem, or ultimately fulfill us. It has no final power to save us from our loneliness, emptiness, or purposelessness. Believing marriage can do the work of God himself is to serve an idol.

So, in the interests of putting marriage in its proper place, here are four reasons to set your hope in a present Christ rather than a future husband or wife. (click here to read more)

Sunday 12.11.16 (our great God)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at Psalm 139 and the greatness of our God. Then on Sunday night, adults will meet in the youth room for the conclusion of our Global Gospel study while the kids will gather in the auditorium to practice the upcoming Children’s Christmas Program. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm The Global Gospel study in youth room
@6pm Children’s Program Practice

Sermon Notes
Our Great God ~ Psalm 139

  • Our all-knowing God (139:1-6)–God knows everything perfectly about every detail of his creation at every moment (omniscience)
  • Our everywhere-present God (139:7-16)–God is fully present in every place of his creation at every moment (omnipresence)
  • Our ever-true God (139:17-24)–God is perfectly good, righteous, and faithful in all he does; he will not let evil stand forever (omnibenevolence)
  • These truths should:
    • Cause us to marvel in awe of God (139:6-10, 17-18)
    • Bring comfort to our hearts from God’s love (139:1-5)
    • Deepen our relationship with God (139:1-5)
    • Lead us to live in his light and not hide in darkness (139:11-12)
    • Deepen our trust in God’s work and plan (139:13-16)
    • Help us trust that God will punish evil and thus flee from sin ourselves (139:19-22)
    • Help us trust God to lead us from the darkness of our sin and into life eternal (139:23-24)

Good Reads 11.30.16 (on: family, worship, prayer, and more!)

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

On prayer and family: Praying for Your Children by Gregory Harris

Part of my answer to those who asked me about raising our children would be that we repeatedly prayed for them and tried to raise them as God would have us do, especially as shown in Scripture. Even then, my wife and I knew we were not in full control; you cannot save your own children; you cannot live their lives for them.

We would stand on the sidelines and actively watch as our children walked with God, or, in one case, did not walk with Him for a prolonged period. I have been both the Prodigal Son and the father of a prodigal—and by the sheer grace of God—I have been the rejoicing father of a prodigal who has returned to the Lord.

As I talked to other parents about raising children, a similar question would repeatedly be raised, especially by younger parents: “What do you pray for your children when you pray for them?” (click here to read more)

On worship and family: Worship Interrupted by Kristin Tabb

Those who have attended worship with small children for a period of years, as I have, might begin to feel that the effort expended in the fight for focus isn’t worth the seemingly small return received during the service. Amid sibling squabbles, trips to the bathroom, feet on the back of the pew in front of you, and misplaced comments — “Mama. Mama! Mama! What kind of dog is your favorite?” — it is easy to surrender to weariness and give up, going through the motions instead of reaching for fresh grace.

In those moments of wondering if there is any real purpose to our being present in worship, we may benefit from reminding ourselves of God’s sufficiency, the nature of worship, and our calling to minister to our children. (click here to read more)

The story of the growth of a little church in a small, struggling town: We are open! The Story of Little Mill Church by Collin Berg

The church began to meet regularly on Saturday mornings for ‘Way Forward’ sessions. These were opportunities to explore how the church could engage with the local community and to pray. It was clear that few people were likely to come into the church and so the challenge was to find the equivalent of what Paul did at Athens: ‘So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there’ (Acts 17:17). The marketplace was the main expression of community in Athens, but the challenge was to find the modern equivalent of community in Little Mill. We identified three main types of community:

  1. Community of place – living together in the same place.
  2. Community of interest – people who relate across a wider geographical area because of shared interests.
  3. Virtual communities – people who share and relate mainly through social media.

Ideas began to form to produce an engagement plan for each form of community. Such a plan needs to relate to the opportunities and challenges of each community, and as such there is no template that can be taken up and used everywhere. (click here to read more)

On teenagers and reading: Ten Books Every Christian Teenager Should Read by Tim Challies

A reader recently asked the question: Do you have a suggested list of books for teenagers, something like a “Ten best books every Christian teenager should read?” It surprised me that I have never compiled such a list, especially since I’ve got two teenagers of my own. I decided I’d better remedy this oversight straight away. Here, then, is a list of ten great books every Christian teen ought to read—or at least consider reading. (click here to read more)

Good Reads 04.13.16 (on: parenting, worship, hope, and more!)

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

On worshiping together: Why We Worship on Repeat by David Mathis

Take Psalm 136 as a flashing red light from the divine that our newfound intolerance for repetition is out of step with what it means to be human. The psalm is 26 verses, and each verse ends with “for his steadfast love endures forever.” It rehearses God’s goodness and supremacy, his wonder-working and world-creating, his delivery of his people from slavery and provision for them in a rich land. (click here to read more)

On joy and the Christian’s life: 3 Killjoys in the Christian Life by David Qaoud

The Christian religion is not a religion of misery, but a religion of joy. God is after your highest joy — a  joy that is found in him. We Christians know this intellectually. But because of the world, the flesh, and the devil — our joy easily escapes us. Our sin sometimes gets the best of us. The enemy sometimes wins. I’m sure, like me, you desire joy. You want that for yourself and others around you. But as I examine my own heart, and see the lives of others, how come many of us are often joyless? (click here to read more)

On parenting and sex: Guiding Your Son to Respond Well to Sexual Attraction by Daniel Huerta

Images mixed with mirror neurons begin to interact with a tween boy’s visual response, sexual curiosity, hormones and physical development, which creates a powerfully stimulating moment that the brain wants to duplicate. Boys may not have control over an initial attraction to a person or an image, but they do have control over how they respond. As parents, we can help our sons understand what is happening in their brains, help them talk through those feelings, and provide them with a strategy to help them make choices that are good for them now and in the future. (click here to read more)

On hope in the face of chronic illness: I Will Boast in My Weakness by David Bronson

Since I was diagnosed over ten years ago, Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 have always rattled around in my head: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (ESV) I expect every minister with chronic illness keeps this scripture close. Our weakness is always before us, staring into our bleary eyes from the mirror every morning. (click here to read more)

And finally some wisdom from Charles Spurgeon…

sin 01 (spurgeon)

Photo found at: facebook.com/depravedwretch/

Sunday 03.20.16 (no turning back)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at Isaiah 31 and how we are to trust God and not man with our present and our future, and not turn back to the fleeting comforts we found when enslaved to sin. Then that evening we will be joining with FBC Rich Hill for an Awana pizza party followed by night three of Revive! with Tony Jones of FBCRH speaking on praise and worship. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@5pm Awana Pizza Party in gym
@6pm Revive! Night 3–Praise and Worship

Sermon Notes
No Turning Back ~ Isaiah 31

  • Don’t trust the strength of even the strongest of men or nations (31:1-3)
  • Don’t desire to return to the “comforts” of your past (31:1)
  • Seek God in all that you do (31:1)
  • Place your trust in the protection that God provides (31:4-5, 8-9)
  • Repent of the idols that seek to turn you away (31:6-7)

Revive! 2016 (coming in March and April)

A dictionary definition of the words revive and revival would include a “return to life or strength” or “to renew, to take up again.” In the modern history of the church, we often use the term to speak of a supernatural, God-empowered spiritual awakening in people—a coming to follow Jesus of those who previously did not follow, and a growing in one’s faith and character of those who do follow.

In this sense, to revive would be to return to the pinnacle of spiritual health and devotion to Jesus.

Now, on the one hand, we cannot program a move of God. God is God and therefore he does as he pleases when he pleases. Setting aside a few days, a week, or a series of weeks and calling them a “revival” does not guarantee masses of people coming to Jesus or experiencing spiritual growth. On the other hand, we can take steps to prepare ourselves for great moves of God while also strengthening our everyday faith in Jesus.

Paul wrote about this in Ephesians, first praying that the Christians of that church would together be spiritually strengthened and come to a fuller understanding of Christ and his love (3:14-21); and second encouraging them to live “filled with the Spirit” through corporate singing, thankful prayer, and humble service (5:18-21).

This is what Revive! 2016 is about. On five Sunday evenings spread across the course of the six weeks in March and April, we will be joining together to sing in worship to our God and Savior, and to hear from guest speakers who will encourage us to grow in our faith.

Revive! is for the faithful follower of Jesus who desires to be challenged to grow even further; it is for the new, young, and growing follower of Jesus who wants to learn more about what it means to be faithful to Jesus in all things; and it is for those who are not yet followers of Jesus, but desire to learn more about who Jesus is and why he is worth following.

For more information, you can take a look at our Revive! 2016 page or contact the church office.

The schedule for Revive! is as follows (all services begin at 6pm on Sunday evenings):

Date – Speaker – Topic
March 6 – JP Williams – God’s Word
March 13 – Malachi O’Brien – Prayer
March 20 – Tony Jones – Praise/Worship
March 27 – Easter, no evening activities at FBC Adrian
April 3 – Rick Thompson – Missions/Evangelism
April 10 – Steve Donnelly – Fellowship

revive 2016