News - Elders' Blog

The Summer of Psalms

June 11, 2015 - 9:16 AM
The Summer of Psalms
This is the time of year when we are outside exploring the world God created. This is the season that we go on picnics, we hike through the woods, we visit the beach, and we meet family and friends. All of this is a blessing from God and it is this very world that inspired many of the Psalms.
The Psalms are the Old Testament's hymnal. It is a series of songs, set to music, for the purpose of speaking to and/or about the God we worship. Some Psalms praise God for His might works, while some speak very bluntly about our disappointments and concerns. Some speak of triumph and victory, while others speak of pain and tragedy. But all of them are inspired.
It is in the Psalms that we get a glimpse of how God's people have communicated with our Creator throughout time and it is also an example for us and future generations to follow as we struggle through life's ups and downs. 
Encourage your friends and family to come be a part of this great series!
See you Sunday,
Joshua 

From Jim Broffitt

April 16, 2015 - 11:02 AM

Christians are often criticized for being narrow minded.  We are narrow minded when it comes to salvation.  We believe that Jesus is the only way a person can be saved from the penalty of their sins and live eternally with God.  This is verified in the gospel of John:

John 14:6 (HCSB)
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

There is an event that I like to use as evidence for Jesus being the only way.  Just before Jesus was arrested, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.  His prayer is recorded in Mathew 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42.

Mark 14:36 (HCSB)
And He said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

 

Jesus was facing a torturous and painful death.  The cup refers not only to this but also to the suffering Jesus would endure when he took the sins of all people upon himself.  A holy, sinless person was going to experience having the sins of the world laid upon him.  This was too much.  Jesus didn’t want to go through with it.  According to Luke 22:44, Jesus was in such anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.  He is basically saying, “Daddy, please, I don’t want to go through with this!  Let’s find another way, let’s go to Plan B.”  Had there been another way, I’m sure the Father would have chosen it out of His love for His Son.  But He didn’t.  My conclusion is that there is no Plan B, there is no other way.  Salvation is only through the precious blood of Jesus.  Sin is serious business.  It cost Jesus His life.  Blessed be the Rock of our Salvation.

From Claude Williams

April 9, 2015 - 1:49 PM

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

This greeting was much exchanged last Sunday as we again celebrated the resurrection of our risen Savior. Our faces seemed a bit brighter, spirits were elevated, joy was evident among us. Just to center our thoughts and actions around the realization that He lives, today! And is operating powerfully in and among us, that we are His people, His servants. Easter reminds us of this and more.

This exhilaration should lift us each time we come together because He LIVES! And He is in control as we allow Him to lead us and express Himself among us and through us. Having placed our faith in Christ, we know that He has placed His Holy Spirit within His own.

Oh, and did you notice last Sunday how much more full our seating was? So many more coming to share, to celebrate together. Do you wonder, with me, why should not each Sunday be this same 'lifed and emowered' experience? Going forward through this year, each Sunday can be even greater. Invite your special friend, family, co-worker (some of you did just that) as I met some who were invited by some of you and they seemed to enjoy the celebration. 

How very blessed we are to have such a Savior who loves us and forgives us and holds us close to Himself and allows us to be a part of His great eternal family! So much we want that sameness for others we know and hold as close to ourselves.

Please continue to pray for those for whom God has given you special concern, that they may be open to Him, and to hearing and even receiving "The Good News" of salvation. It seems that Pastor Joshua has been faithful in declaring the claims of Christ, this laying for you a foundation for 'follow-up' spiritual inquiry with your friend.

As we pray for these things we will see more lives changed through Christ, families held stronger,  longer! Remember singing,"We serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today". Hold onto that thought! We are so very thankful for your faithfulness to our savior, Jesus!

From Mark Jessop - Happy Easter!

April 2, 2015 - 12:53 PM

Holy Thursday: Jesus as a Jew celebrated Passover in the upper room with his disciples, including the one who would betray Him. But this Passover was different for Jesus. He knew what would happen in only a few short hours and shared with His disciples that His body would be broken and His blood would be shed. It is that Passover celebration that we now remember through the participation of communion.

Good Friday: The day Jesus went to the cross. The day He bore all the sins of the world, past, present and future. The pain and suffering He experienced that day for me, for you, for all of us really is incomprehensible, but that is the power of His love for us.

Easter: He is Risen! The grave could not hold Him. Death could not defeat Him. We serve a risen and living Lord. Hallejuah!

I pray that this Easter, each of you are able to remember, reflect on and fully experience the everlasting love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God Bless,

Mark

From Pastor Joshua Tilley

March 26, 2015 - 8:00 AM
For my personal study time I am going through the bible chronologically. This, along side a timeline, really helps me to wrap my mind around the events that have shaped our faith and our world. Each time another king turns his back on God and abandons his faith I am able to read about the consequences to his home and his nation. With each back that turns thousands follow, but there is hope, because for each person who turns back to God nations follow.
I have been blessed to watch as a faithful few break the chains of their spiritual slavery and return to the one true God. These brave men and women humble themselves before our God and cling to His word. As God's faithful few set the example, people follow and others find forgiveness and grace. 
One such story struck me as I was pondering this blog...
It is the story of King Hezekiah. We read of his reign in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Hosea, and Isaiah, but it is 2 Chron 29-30 that I want to briefly comment on today. 
The nation is split into North and South and they have been devastated by invasions from the neighboring Assyrians. God's word had long since been ignored and chaos was the result. What are they to do in such circumstances? Rather than turn to their false gods, as many of the kings had done, we see Hezekiah turning Israel back to God. He cleansed the land, destroyed the high places (places of pagan worship), and had finally cleared the temple of all its false idols. In his excitement, he sent a call out to all of God's lost children declaring that they would finally be celebrating their freedom from Egypt again through the observance of Passover.
This excitement spreads and we see that when people seek God's face miracles happen.
The nation of Israel and Judah begin to Gather and unite. Prior to this these two groups fought against one another for control and yet now with God as the center of their lives they find fellowship. (2 Chron 30:12)
When God's people began to gather together, they began to Grow together. With this offer of forgiveness and salvation many people came to the temple to give sacrifices and offerings. This giving was not something that was required, but a natural response to their spiritual freedom and submission to the word of God. There were so many offerings that the priests had to recruit other men to help out with the sacrifices. God's people were giving and they were giving BIG! (2 Chron 29:31-36)

When this excitement made its way to the outlining cities and nations, those who feared God decided to literally Go and be a part of this movement. They were so excited to meet their Creator that many left the comfort of their countries and their homes. We read that the road was not kind to these pilgrims as they were mocked along the road (2 Chr 30:10). But despite the mockery, many who had long rejected God (and many who had never even heard of Him) answered the call and found salvation. "But some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem" (2 Chron 30:11). The excitement of God's people was contagious!
When God's people lay their lives at the feet of their Creator He moves mountains. When we confess, repent, and ask God to guide our lives He unites families, He rights wrongs, and He draws the unsaved to Himself. Let's gather together on Sunday and begin the process of bringing this same excitement and salvation to our homes, city, state, and nation. (2 Chron 30:8-9)
God Bless, 
Joshua
PS
If you are interested in following a chronological walk through the bible follow this link to our resource page to find a pdf, which will guide your study. Feel free to print it, email it, or even post it on your facebook page if you would like. It is a free resource, so use it and let me know how it goes!

From Jim Broffitt

March 19, 2015 - 9:48 AM

Barb does a good job keeping our home neat and tidy.  She does the dusting, and, with the help of Roomba, I do the vacuuming. When we go to bed in the evening it is dark and everything looks clean.  Our living room windows face east.  On clear days, the morning sunbeams stream in revealing dust lazily floating in the air.  The darkness hides the dust, but it is revealed by the sun’s rays.

This reminds me of the contrast between God’s holiness and our sin.  The more we walk in the light of God’s holiness, the more our sins become apparent to us.  When we are not walking close to God, when His light is not illuminating our way, our sins tend to be hidden and less noticeable.  That’s a danger signal.  That’s when we need to draw closer to God and step back into His light.  How do we do this?  By spending time in prayer and Bible reading, and this should be a daily activity.   

What was Isaiah’s response when he found himself in God’s presence?

Isaiah 6:5 (NLT)
5  Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”

Isaiah saw his sin in contrast to God’s holiness.  After remorsefully confessing his sin, he was cleansed:

Isaiah 6:6-7 (NLT)
6  Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
7  He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Thanks be to God that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so that we can be forgiven.

1 John 1:7-9 (HCSB)
7  But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8  If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

From Claude Williams

March 12, 2015 - 10:32 AM

Well, "sure and b'gorra", the Irish holiday is coming up next week with the "wearin o' the green" and all. Many of us enjoy the Irish festivities our friends and families celebrate on St. Patrick's Day. We enjoy the "green" of it all, and doesn't it also kind of signal the coming of Spring. Going "green" with energy and food, but the color green could be a sad reminder of the great Irish famine of the 1840s in Ireland.

In the 1846 era a blight destroyed almost every potato crop in Ireland, leaving just enough of the crop to feed people for one month! To survive, people began to eat anything edible they found in the forests or seas such as roots, worms, shellfish and even plain grass from the yards! About one million Irish people died during that six-year famine. And about 2.1 million chose to leave Ireland for hopes of a future in another country, some 70% of those settling in the US.

The overseas voyage to the great unknown (America) was long and very difficult, and when the people arrived they did not know if they would be then allowed into this new strange country. Most of those coming did not know anyone here, they had little or nothing, did not know the local language and the customs of this 'strange' place. Just imagine what that must have been like when they landed in this new country and did not have anyone to help them through the immigration process and know where to live, they were determined to survive and even thrive.

Jesus too came into a strange new place, suffered persecution and death, but knew that He would be in the hands of Hi Father on the other side. It makes all the difference. Jesus says to me, "when you face death, "Look Up" for me on the other side! Now that's someone I would want to get to know!

Jesus offers true hope and real joy. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life", and again, "Come unto me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest". Many of our friends  while living here in the land of plenty struggle through a famine of knowing and enjoying our Lord and His goodness. As believers, we have God's truth to apply to the famine our friends face daily. Feed the spiritually hungry, our mission.

From Mark Jessop

March 5, 2015 - 8:06 PM

OK, first an update on my “Read the Bible in Year” goal.  Last month I was a couple days ahead of schedule, but as of today – I am just right on target – but still doing well.  I do not remember how many days in a row you need to do something before it becomes a habit, but it is starting to feel easier.  That is with the exception of when my schedule gets mixed up.  I usually do my reading right after I drop the kids off for school in the morning, but for some reason this week that schedule was harder to follow, so it had been a little more work to get my Bible reading done.  I heard on Christian radio just this week that Bible reading should be enjoyable and not legalistic.  I agree with that, but sometimes you need to work hard initially to get the eventual enjoyment (I bet some of you gardeners out there can relate to that).  Although I still need to work to keep it up, I am certainly starting to get some of real enjoyment from my reading.  Back on February 22nd, I had a great laugh.  The Old Testament reading was from Leviticus. For me, this book is often a little dry, especially when talking about the various things that make you clean and unclean.   I was reading Leviticus 13, and it was talking about various skin diseases.  I have had rashes before, so found it little interesting, but then I got to Leviticus 13:40-41 and it really hit home.  I usually use NIV or ESV, but my “One Year Bible” is the New Living Translation.  It said “If a man loses his hair and his head becomes bald, he is still ceremonially clean.  And if he loses hair on his forehead, he simply has a bald forehead; he is still clean.”  Those of you that know me (just look at the picture above), know that I am getting pretty bald.  When I read this – I could hear God saying to me … “Mark, you are losing your hair – it just means your bald - get over it”.  I love that we have a loving and humorous God.

This week I celebrate my 45th Birthday.  I like birthdays and do not mind getting older.  One of my goals in retirement has been to get in better shape.  So far, I have failed miserably in that area, but just this week I finally got my act together and joined a pickleball class.  Don’t laugh.  It is a serious sport and after all, I needed to start somewhere.  The ironic part is that I signed up for the class through the Senior Center (it was free!).  I am the youngest person there and they all took me to town on the court during the first lesson.  Now you can laugh.

This week’s blog snuck up on me, so sorry that it was not very insightful about what is going on at church.  I do want to end though by welcoming Tyler Mollenkamp, our new Associate Director of Student Ministries.  I am very excited to have him at The River and leading our kids to Gather, Grow, Go.  Please take time to welcome him, get to know him and find ways to support him as he takes on this important ministry.  Have a blessed week and see you on Sunday!

God Bless,

Mark

 

Missions Around the World

February 26, 2015 - 10:01 AM
Missions is important to God and it is important to the River.
We give over 10% of our income to missions and every month we showcase and focus on one of our missionaries. This is a time for us to not just tithe and financially support those who have left their home country to bring the gospel to the world, this is also a loving reminder that we pray diligently for our church family here and abroad. 
But this next month is going to be different. This March we are focusing on the persecuted church worldwide. As you may know we have two missionary families that we support which are located in hostile countries. We cannot give out their addresses, nor can we post their photos or videos online as their lives are literally in danger every day. These missionaries have not just left the comfort of home, they have left the safety that we all take for granted as we live in a country that protects our religious rights.
Recently researchers have suggested that 1,500+ Christians are martyred every year. The Vatican reported that we are seeing 100,000 Christians every year being murdered because of their faith. Regardless what the numbers are correct, even one person dying because of their testimony of Jesus is too many. These numbers are reported from all over the planet, from Iran to Nigeria to North Korea. No one group is ultimately responsible and no Christian is ultimately safe.
So for the coming month of March, I ask that you take time to daily pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the globe. Pray for safety, pray for strength, and pray for courage. These family members of ours daily put themselves in danger in a way we can never really understand and they need our prayerful support. Also, fervently pray for those missionaries who are risking life and limb to bring these nations the gospel, which they so desperately need. 
We believe that some day evey knee will bow and every tongue will confess the glory of our God, but until that day, let us not forget our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.
Though we cannot communicate directly with our missionaries in hostile countries, consider dropping a letter or note to one of our missionaries who can receive your appreciation. 
For a full list of missionaries we support; pick up a list on Sunday or email the office and we can give you their information. Our missionaries need more than just our money, they also need our prayers, thanks, and encouragement.
See you Sunday,
Joshua 

From Jim Broffitt

February 19, 2015 - 10:35 AM

Gather > Grow >  Go >  That is our mission; the way we become disciples; the way we make disciples.  Where are you in this process?  It is good to take inventory occasionally.  If you are reading this, you are probably a part of our fellowship and attend worship services on Sunday morning.  That’s good; you are gathering. 

Are you growing?  Is your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word increasing?  Are you building deeper relationships with people in our church?  How does this growth happen?  By participating in Sunday school, a home group, reading and studying the Bible, and prayer.  How is your growth? 

Are you going, that is, are you serving Jesus Christ?  Are you involved in a ministry in the church?  How about outside the church?  Are you helping the needy, widows, or orphans?  Are you spreading the Gospel?

 If you are having trouble answering positively to these questions, perhaps it is time to take stock and adjust your course.  My impression is that witnessing for Christ; explaining God’s plan for Salvation to lost people is where a lot of us fall down.

 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) 15  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

We are all called to be ready to explain the hope that we have.  Why is this hard?  Fear.  We fear confrontation and not being able to answer questions. 

Confrontation does not need to happen.  If you are speaking with a friend, you can ask them to tell you about their spiritual beliefs.  Listen to what they say, and try to find topics to discuss.  For example, life after death, is salvation by works or grace, or fulfilled prophecy.  This will allow you to explain your beliefs.   As the Bible verse says, do this with gentleness and respect.  This is not confrontational.

What about not being able to answer questions?  No one has all the answers.  No matter how much we study, no matter how many Bible studies we do, we will never know it all.  However, you can prepare to answer questions.  I read a book last summer that I recommend: The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask, by Mark Mittelberg.  There are other books of this nature, but I thought this one was particularly good.  Actually, the men will begin studying this book in Sunday school in a few weeks.

I encourage all of us to grow by participating in our current church program for growth.  How do we do that? By attending Sunday school.  All are welcome, and there is room for you in these classes.

From Claude Williams

February 13, 2015 - 9:39 AM

Well. As we all know, a very heavy/wet snow caused the cancellation of church on Feb 1 - but it seemed to me the following Sunday service, in large measure, more than made up for the missed service.

Last Sunday, Feb 8 was very well attended, a good number of guests and first timers, very good exposition of God's Word, joyful music and an exceptional baptism service. We will long remember the very powerful and moving testimony shared by Mason Tilley, Wow. Keep praying for all of our children and young people as they grow and mature in Christ (trying not to jump too far ahead) but I have to wonder if our Lord is soon to put His hand upon Mason and set him on a very special path of service. Perhaps Mason exemplifies many of our children and young people as we are energized to pray for each and all as they do represent the future (and present) 'body of Christ' in our very present-day world. We, as the church, bear a tremendous responsibility for these most precious ones. Clearly, God has 'blessed' our parents and families with these children presenting them as a 'trust' to us; and how deeply thankful we are for each one and for all no exception. Praise God.

For a very long time I have held the thought that God is preparing this body of believers to do a very good work in our neighborhood and vicinity. I am greatly encouraged by the recent infusions of new and renewed people attending and desiring to be used of the Lord, asking for baptism and to be a part of what God is doing here.

I spoke above of praying for our young ones which leads me to wonder why it is that, as a church, we seem to have laid aside the work of coming together regularly and praying for our needs and the needs of many others. Looking back over some years, we can see the vitality and strength of our fellowship seemingly rise and decline reflecting the high or low place we seem to give to collectively and corporately and intentionally and humbly coming together to present our open hearts and empty hands to our Lord, asking Him to hear us, to consider us, to answer us, to bless us together! Jeremiah 33:2,3 "This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it, the Lord is His name:'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'"

The Lord is waiting for our hearts to open, He will pour out His blessing.

From Mark Jessop

February 5, 2015 - 9:24 AM

I have not told Pastor Joshua this, but when I talked to him last Saturday night, I thought he was being a little pre-mature in cancelling church for February 1st.  When it comes to weather, I tend to be one of those people that will “believe it when I see it”.  Pastor Joshua called it right, and although I never like to miss going to church (even on vacation), it was nice to have a relaxing day at home with the family in the warmth and safety of our home.  Hope you were able to do the same.

Last month I mentioned that I was working on reading through the entire Bible this year and that to help keep me accountable, I would tell you how I was doing each month.  As of today, I am actually two days ahead of schedule.  I have attempted this before, but for some reason it feels different this time.  I am truly enjoying being in God’s word and look forward to what God wants to teach me each day.  We are so blessed to have the Word of God so easily accessible to us. 

I want to thank you for all the great questions that were written down at the Family Matters meeting last month.  Pastor Joshua took the lead and drafted up responses which have been printed out for your convenience.  If you have not done so yet, please pick up a copy (last time I looked they were on a table in the foyer).  If you are unable to find one, contact the office and they will be happy to get you one.

We are very excited to have Tyler Mollenkamp join the church staff as our Associate Director of Student Ministries.  He starts on March 1st.  Although the number and ages of children at The River has fluctuated over the years, this church has a long history of ministering to children and we look forward to continuing to teaching them solid Biblical truths.

Finally, it was awesome seeing so many men from The River attend the Wingmen event on January 28th.  I am always amazed at how much better you can get to know someone at an event like that.  One man even shared some very exciting news for his family with the rest of the guys there. I love it when God’s people get together to share life.  Sunday school and the women’s and men’s ministries are a great way to do that.  There is always room for more, so if you have not done so already, check them out!     

See you Sunday (unless Pastor Joshua cancels again;-)

- Mark

Bible Translations

January 29, 2015 - 12:27 PM

Hello River Family!

People always ask me, “What translation of the Bible do you use?”

I do have a strong preference, so I thought that this would be a great opportunity to explain why I have chosen the HCSB, The Holman Christian Standard Bible.

As a pastor and student, my personal Bible has to serve several purposes, but the two most important are readability and accuracy. This is where, in my opinion, the HCSB stands alone.

I want a translation that is both written in the modern vernacular, while refusing to compromise the literal interpretation of God's word from the original language. It is also important to me that the text pulls from the oldest manuscripts, rather than the newest (this is a problem with the KJV, which draws from the most recent manuscripts rather than the most ancient of texts). 

The HCSB translators call this “Optimal Equivalence.”

The website reads,

“The HCSB employs a translation philosophy known as Optimal Equivalence, which seeks to achieve an optimal balance of linguistic precision with contemporary clarity. In the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering is clearly understandable, a literal translation is used. In places where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, a more dynamic translation is favored. This process assures that both the words and thoughts contained in the original are conveyed as accurately as possible.“

With this standard of excellence comes an uncompromising decision to maintain the gender distinctions, translate the literal name of God (Yahweh), not to mention a conscious decision to consider the thoughts of scholars across denominations and throughout history. This is just a few examples of why the HCSB stands out as a great translation.

As many of you know, I have a BA in Philosophy, an MA in the Philosophy of Religion, and am currently pursuing my doctoral work; I need a translation of scripture that demands the respect of scholars, while simultaneously maintaining a clear declaration of God's word for the rest of us. The HCSB offers me both. Of course, I often reference the original Koine Greek, but I always do so alongside the HCSB's English translation.

Of course, I will admit that it is not perfect, no English translation ever really can be, but if you are looking for a new bible I would highly recommend the HCSB as the best on the market.

To be more specific, I would recommend the HCSB Apologetics Bible.

It is the HCSB translation with over 130 extra articles, maps, and a plethora of commentary. Because it is an apologetics bible, it attempts to answer many of the hardest biblical questions, not to mention it frequently references examples of how cults misuse different sections of scripture within the very same text.

There are references to the problem of evil, homosexuality, Mormons, Islam, and even the Jehovah's Witnesses. It also has commentary from varying authors throughout Christian history ranging from Justin Martyr (1st century) to CS Lewis (author of the Chronicles of Narnia). I can't recommend this enough for those who seriously want to study the Scriptures.

This Bible can be purchased at any Christian bookstore (around $40) or online through multiple websites including Barnes and Noble ($27.30) and Amazon ($26.60).

 

Feel free to check it out on your own at http://www.hcsb.org/

But you don't have to take my word for it...

 

The Holman Christian Standard Bible delivers what it promises: a clear, faithful translation of God's Word. I trust it because it is true to the original languages of the Bible, without compromise. But there's more: I can preach it because it is clear and understandable—to those in the church and to those we have yet to win for Christ.”

DR. TONY EVANS
Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Founder and President of The Urban Alternative

 

I would recommend the Holman Christian Standard Bible to new believers and seasoned scholars alike. The translation is easy to read and thoroughly researched.”

DR. CHARLES STANLEY
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Atlanta, and Founder, In Touch Ministries

God bless and happy studying!

Joshua Tilley

 


Wingmen

January 22, 2015 - 9:01 AM

Men of the River: the Wingmen are having a “kickoff” dinner this Wednesday, January 28 at 6:00 pm.  You may have heard about Wingmen at the Family Matters meeting, and you may have read about them in the bulletins and/or newsletters.  If you haven’t been part of this group, now is a good time to join the fun.  On the 28th we will meet at the Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, 4919 Dolphin Drive Southeast, Iowa City.  Please RSVP to Jason Jackson (jacksonjasonr@gmail.com).

The support of our Christian brothers and sisters is an important element in the sanctification process (i.e., becoming more like Christ).  We study and learn together, hold each other accountable, share our struggles, failures, and successes, and encourage each other. 

Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)  As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

 

The men have also been meeting for breakfast at 7:00 am on Thursday mornings, and for Sunday class at 9:30 am in the conference room.  For the women, Julie Jessop is doing a super job of teaching Sunday class in the Fellowship Hall.  Once the men’s and women’s groups are going strong, our plan is to have co-ed adult Sunday classes.  I encourage all of you (men and women) to make these events a part of your growing experience.

Jim Broffitt

Family Matters

January 15, 2015 - 1:36 PM

Last Sunday, 11 Jan 2015 - was a typical cold day - out...But, INSIDE The River Church, our people enjoyed a warm day of Christian Education, Biblical teaching and spiritually challenging growth.  Our AM service was followed by a potluck meal (always a success), soon followed by a  "Family Matters" business meeting.

Sitting here days later, I can't really recall a single item of 'business' we may have discussed--But what I can clearly recall is what I observed and felt and understood as a very warm and "Blessed" spirit among people sitting there together. The 'joy of the Lord's Presence' was very warming and re-assuring to most all of us. The majority of inputs/comments were affirming and were such that-for the most part-"build-up" our body..!

We have so very much work to do to move forward in further marking our neighborhood for Christ--in better knowing Him--and making Him known. In 'making Him known' to ourselves, to our families and to others.

GATHER  GROW  GO  is the commitment of our River Church...

1. Gather --is a continuous action, a priority action.

2. Grow--is a multiplying action, a critical action.

3. Go--is the implied result of a success in the first two.

As I remember that last Sunday, all three of these elements were fully functiong. WE 'gathered' together as God's people, and in that we are 'growing' in Him--and in numbers. And we are(I was) greatly invigorated and spiritually led to GO-in Christ's name and His just causes to our "world".

OH YES, I do recall one business item--I was very encouraged by the words of "TylerII"--as he presented his views of children's ministries-which is a huge area of emphasis for our families-and our field...

Please pray for God's continued leading in our days ahead..(this is critical..)

Hebrews 13:20-21 "May the God of Peace equip you with everything good for doing His Will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, thru Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, forever and ever."

(think of that--when you may doubt, or question, or even fear...)

HE IS WORKING IN US-WHAT IS PLEASING---TO HIM...!!! Amen?-AMEN..! 

Claude Williams