New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend
[Scroll down for a list of events this weekend.]
Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,
I was about to send my Weekender when I heard that the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage for the entire country, finalizing our nation’s slide into a new and unbiblical definition of marriage. I wanted to touch upon it before I sent this out, so this will be a longer Weekender.
While the ruling is not a surprise, it is still a grief that our nation would come to this point, the point where sinful behavior is normalized and forced upon the population by the decision of nine people. The grief and heartache for the people in our nation will only continue to grow in the years to come. Unimaginable suffering will happen as a result of this moral slide.
There are so many issues that will need to be worked out in the years to come. As fast as things have moved, the momentum will likely increase and we will face massive challenges to the moral fabric of our nation, and the issue that concerns me is with regard to our own religious liberty, already compromised at so many levels.
This is bad for the USA and a challenge to the church. But every crisis brings about opportunity. We must look for the opportunity in this. We have opportunity to express the sufficiency of Jesus Christ like never before. We have the opportunity to take a moral stand like never before. We may suffer in ways unknown to Christians ever in the USA, but we must look to the reward.
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” – Hebrews 10:35
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6
“Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.” – 2 John 8
I know you have heard of an “economic bubble”. It is when prices continue to skyrocket for no justifiable reason. In my lifetime I have seen the dotcom bubble burst (early 2000’s) as well as the housing bubble burst (2007-08).
I believe we are experiencing an “immorality bubble”. In an economic bubble, everybody begins to buy, no matter how high the cost. The excitement and fervor is so high that even long-time skeptics begin to jump in. Now, it appears that most of the USA has jumped in, including at least two, if not all, branches of our government.
And we know that hardship hits when the bubbles burst. We’ve seen it economically. We will see it morally. Just read the book of Judges. When people do what is right in their own eyes, eventually the Law of God, the law of the universe, hits with a vengeance.
Right now, the immorality bubble is moving to its peak. It must be. The laws of the universe show that it is. People will be persecuted for not jumping in and buying into the program now (see the chapter on Vanity Fair in Pilgrim’s Progress). But believers in the Lord Jesus Christ know that the cost is too high. Now is not a time to buy, no matter how compelling the offer may seem. There will be a crash (either sometime in history or in the final judgment of God) and no person wants to lose everything because he bought into a lie, an expensive lie, and an over-hyped lie.
Right now, Jesus Christ and the entire gospel is “undervalued”. And this is exactly the time to buy Christ. To hold fast now will take courage, but the dividends and the rewards are far greater than we can imagine. Furthermore, we must continue to make Christ known. Believe me, a crash will come. There will be long-term victims of this decision. The poor will only be taken greater advantage of. And we will be able to help, but only if we hold our ground now and make our message clear.
We must see the opportunity. The moral slide and depravity of our nation only makes Christ shine brighter. He is more controversial now, more hated than ever, but also more needed and more loved by those see their need of him. He told us we would have difficulties, but he said he would never leave us, and that there is wonderful hope to those who persevere.
There will be many articles out soon from good sources. Here are some of the first ones that I thought were helpful:
- Same-Sex Marriage and the Future
- Why the Church should neither Cave nor Panic about the decision over Gay Marriage
- Two Minute Video from Russell Moore
- The Supreme Court Has Ruled: What Should Christians Do?
Here is my original Weekender, see below for some help we need.
On our upcoming Lord’s Day (THIS SUNDAY!) we will have our first picnic after the service. Would you plan to join us? It is a time for great fellowship after great worship service and our study through the book of Leviticus.
The picnic starts with grilling around 11:45 AM. We will meet by the baseball fields.
Plan to bring some meat to grill for your family. Bring a dish to share with the rest of the church. We will provide the drinks, condiments, and eating utensils.
Here is what we need:
- We need GRILLS (can you bring yours?),
- Grill Masters,
- and we really need help with set up (meet around 8:30 AM to get it done before Sunday school classes) (seriously … Jonathan Allison usually does this by himself before service … a team of guys who can move tables and chairs is a HUGE help)
The temperature looks great as of the time I wrote this, it also looks dry.
Also, thanks to everyone who participated in the Moses Musical last weekend. Did you see the pictures? You can see them online by clicking here. It took so many people to make that even happen. Thanks to everybody!
Finally, this Saturday is our baseball championships. Thanks to Christopher Dale for making this such a great season for our children. As you can see every time you come by the church, the baseball league continues to expand and we are able to reach and disciple more and more children.
Below I will continue our series of testimonies that our elders and deacons are sharing. I hope you enjoy reading them. When I read these stories, and the stories our women are writing, I am blown away by the things I learn. This testimony is from one of our deacons, Larry Root and his wife Julie.
PS I am using a new tool for managing email and I may have grabbed email addresses I usually don’t include. If you received this email and you don’t want to receive it in the future, please let me know. There is a link below this email if you want to unsubscribe.
Coming Full Circle
By Larry and Julie Root
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the streams.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
The Root family has come full circle at New Life in Christ Church. As newlyweds we began attending shortly after we married in May of 1984. We were very young in our faith walk and were seeking a church where Scripture was taught and lived out among the congregation.
One thing that we appreciated about Pastor Doug was his passion and vision for spreading the Gospel, remembering him encouraging us that if we had our Bibles at the service to – “please turn there yourselves and see it written.” He and Mary Jane continue to be godly examples to us as they live out the truths of Scripture in their everyday lives wrapping everything in a blanket of love.
NLICC came alongside us as we were blessed with the task of bringing up four children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4). There were dozens of ministries and opportunities within the church that encouraged them in their faith and in their relationship with the Lord. What an overwhelming blessing it is to see them each come to a saving faith in Christ and become members of NLICC themselves.
So, here we are full circle as our children are now all adults and making their own way in this world. Looking back over these 30+ years, we are eternally grateful and blessed to call New Life our home.
- Needed Supplies for the Manse can be found here
- RSVP to the 40th anniversary Banquet
- Bring food to the 40th Anniversary Service Reception
- Sign up to Fold Bulletins
- Sign up to help with kitchen clean up here
- Help with the Pre-Teen Girls Bible Study
- Help with the Pre-16 Boys Study
What I’m Reading
- Book: To Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel Wholly by Grace Communicated Truthfully & Lovingly by Will Metzger – “Educating non-Christians about the character of God may help to correct the imbalance that has led many to assume God’s main attribute is love. This fantasy is perpetuated by the belief that God is a sentimental servant of mankind, debasing the toughness of his love. Love becomes God, and complacency sets in as even the most despicable presume that God is only loving and will overlook gross evils. This belief is misguided though; biblical love has a backbone. It is a tough love. The trivialization of the word love is one of the reasons I have chosen the word grace to convey God’s “love with a punch.” (153)
- The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges – This is one of my favorite books ever, simply for the challenge it gives. Consider these quotes, “True salvation brings with it a desire to be made holy. . . . If there is not, therefore at least a yearning in our hearts to live a holy life pleasing to God, we need to seriously question whether our faith in Christ is genuine. . . . The whole purpose of our salvation is that we be ‘holy and blameless in his sight’ (Ephesians 1:4). To continue to live in sin as a Christian is to go contrary to God’s very purpose for our salvation. . . . Holiness, then, is not necessary as a condition of salvation—that would be salvation by works—but as a part of salvation that is received by faith in Christ. . . . Therefore we may say that no one can trust in Jesus Christ for true salvation unless he trusts Him for holiness. . . . God does not require a perfect, sinless life to have fellowship with Him, but He does require that we be serious about holiness, that we grieve over sin in our lives instead of justifying it, and that we earnestly pursue holiness as a way of life.” (33-36)
- Book: Counter Culture: A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography by David Platt – “When you put all these truths in the gospel together, you realize that the most offensive and countercultural claim in Christianity is not what Christians believe about homosexuality or abortion, marriage or religious liberty. Instead, the most offensive claim in Christianity is that God is the Creator, Owner, and Judge of every person on the planet. Every one of us stands before him guilty of sin, and the only way to be reconciled to him is through faith in Jesus, the crucified Savior and risen King. All who trust in his love will experience everlasting life while all who turn from his lordship will suffer everlasting death.” (16)
- Book: What is the Gospel? By Greg Gilbert – a great summary of the most controversial issue in Christianity today … the definition of the gospel. Gilbert does a great job of explaining, defining, and summarizing as well as defending the biblical meaning from its false competitors.
- 7 PM – “MOSES and the Burning Within” Cast Party
- 8 AM – Cherokee Missions Team Departs
- Baseball Championships.
8:00AM – 10:00AM (Minors Championship; ages 7-10; machine Pitch) – Maroon @ Blue
10:15AM – 12:45PM (Majors Championship; Ages 11-13; player pitch) – Navy @ Blue
12:30 (approx) Baseball Picnic with season recognitions
2:15PM Tee Ball exhibition (1 inning)
- 9:00 AM – Children’s and Adult Sunday School Classes. Find out more about adult classes online here.
- 10:00 AM – AM Worship Service –Pastor Doug Preaching– We are continuing our new series on Leviticus this week.
- 11:45 AM – Let the Grilling Begin! Outdoor picnic
- Pre-Teen Girls Bible Study – Meet at Picnic
- Pre-16 Boys Bible Study – Meet at Picnic
- No Evening Service (Picnic)
- No Open House (Picnic)