Merry Christmas from the Rodgers family!

Christmas time we have been reminded of the great truth in the Christmas carol “Hark the Herald  Angels Sing.”  In Christ, God and sinners are reconciled!  We are so thankful for the life that we have in Jesus Christ (1 John 4:9).

As we think back over 2014, we have been blessed by so many old and new friends.  God has given opportunities to encourage and be encourage by others.

Over this past year our family has been growing in many different ways.  The picture to the left shows that Joel is now taller than Krista.  In this same picture  Krista is wearing a Jamaica hat.  Dave went to Jamaica for two weeks in November to teach a class on Biblical counseling in the church.  It was a great time!  We are very thankful for awesome grandparents and friends who helped Krista and the kids. Thank you to those who were praying for this time.  

At this year’s Emmanuel Baptist Church Christmas eve service, David was able to share about what God wants for Christmas.  We want to close this brief update with what he shared.  The picture to right shows what God wants.  Not a selfie of David.  He wants you and your worship.

You can read more about Dave’s trip to Jamaica, the Christmas eve lesson and other thoughts about our year at www.boonedy.blogspot.com

Have a Merry Christmas and an Amazing 2015!  


What God Wants - Christmas Eve service at EBC

Tonight I had the opportunity to share with Pastor Duke at Emmanuel Baptist Church's Christmas eve service.  

While I may not win an Oscar for my acting, I was very excited to share the truth of God's Word with those who were there.

The two specific things I shared were a poem and a couple of verses.  

The poem was adapted from the Christmas devotional What God Wants for Christmas.  Here it is.

What God wants for Christmas.  Now here’s the surprise
In this box is where it’s been disguised.
Peek in the box, for so long you have waited.
What God wants is you – the one He created!

“Me?” you ask.  “Why is this so?”
”I cannot wrap me and put on a bow!”
No you cannot; but what you can give
Are the choices you make in the life that you live.

God wants you to know Him and love Him within.
And this is called worship, an offering to Him.

To do this   trust Jesus, who died in your place
When you didn’t deserve Him – that is called grace
Give him control of your life and your heart
Say, “Jesus I need You.  I’d like a new start.
Forgive me today for the sins I’ve committed
So one day in heaven I will be permitted.”

When you this way, the heavens rejoice
That you have made worship of God your life’s choice.
God wants you to know Him, so choose every day
To love God and thank God
And give Him all Praise.

The verses were 1 John 4:9, 10, which are part of this quarter's memory verses at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

1 John 4:9 says "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him."
The reason Jesus was born was so that we might live through him.  We have abundant, eternal life because Jesus - God in flesh appearing died on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.  

1 John 4:11 says "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
What God did for us in Jesus Christ should impact they way we live in this life.  

In my ministry at EBC as pastor of children/family ministry and soul care, I want to help people live out the faith in their families, among believers and in their communities.  I was very thankful for the opportunity to share on Christmas Eve.  It is my prayer that the evening encouraged people to focus on Christ this Christmas time. 


Looking back at my time in Jamaica

Here is most of the class with their Christ Centered Biblical Counseling books.  Click HERE for some reviews of this book.
Each of the students received a copy of this great Biblical counseling because of the generosity of Emmanuel Baptist Church's members.

Here is the campus!
The small white house in the middle of the hill is where I stayed.
The picture is taken from the classroom door.

Here is the last day of class!
David and the rest of the class gave me several gifts.

The two weeks of class were great!
I really enjoyed getting to know the students.


Preparing to land in Detroit, which is colder than Jamaica.

The pilot just informed us Detroit is warmer than it was earlier today and this week.  44 degrees.
Telling people coming from 80+ Jamaica it is a "warm" 44 degrees brings no comfort to my soon to be chilled body.  

It was a great two weeks. I missed my family during the time.  There were many challenges.  BUT God is good.  Actually God is awesome.  

After a 3.5 hour delay in Jamaica I am looking forward to seeing my family and worshipping with my church family tomorrow.  

Over this next week I am going to be posting some thoughts and reflections on my time in Jamaica.  This will include some pictures of my pets for the weeks (no I am not talking about students), ministry thoughts and prayer requests for me and for Fairview.

Thanks for your prayers!


Good day despite not feeling so good

Thank you everyone for your ongoing prayers. 

Yesterday was a rough day health.  I was not feeling well the whole day.  
I am feeling much better this morning.  I would very much appreciate your prayers for strength to get through the day.

Also, pray for the students, pastors and churches in Jamaica.  In some conversations with the students and one pastor who has been sitting in the class, they have stated that the things we have been talking in class have been challenging and need to be fleshed out in the churches of Jamaica but it is a challenge to get people to be more involved in one another's lives - beyond surface level friendliness.  Pastor Black, the president of FBBC, has a real  passion for Biblical Counseling training.  He has been to Faith in Lafayette for several tracks.
It is exciting to think about disciple making going on around the world.  In Africa, as we heard about during our missions emphasis month.  In Jamaica, as I am experiencing these two weeks at FBBC.  In Toledo, as we continue Biblical counseling training and other discipleship training at EBC.

Here is some class info from yesterday and today.

Yesterday we talked about depression and sharing THE HOPE OF CHRIST with others.

This is a quote I shared with the students...
The God of all comfort, comforts you in your specific trouble so that you can comfort those in any trouble with the infinite comfort you receive from the God of all comfort.”   Bob Kelleman

Today we are going to be talking about idols and addictions.  
For those of you who have been through Track 1 in the Biblical Counseling you are familiar with this Y-chart.  
For those you who have not been through Track 1, first I want to encourage you to take Track 1 next year and second this video refers to a counseling diagram that is used in Biblical counseling.  
For everyone, I want to encourage you to watch this video.  Not merely for the sake of review or first time information but more so for self-examination.


Sunday at Dalistron

I posted this video from Dalistron Baptist Church in Jamaica on facebook.
But I realized not everyone has or checks facebook regularly.

I had the privilege to preach there this past Sunday and
then had dinner with Pastor Thompson and his wonderful family!


Monday afternoon tradition & Overcoming Despair with Hope

Here is what has become a Monday tradition these two weeks
at Fairview Baptist Bible College!!

No it is not having class out on the basketball court!!

No electricity on Monday afternoons.
Last week it was during the whole 4 hours of class.
This week it was only during the last hour or so.
One of the students said I handled the no electricity very well.
I told the students their electricity is great compared to what the Dominican Republic's was when we were there.

No projector!  No fans!  No lights!  No fans!  
Did I mention NO FANS!
No breeze!
Now I know some of you right now would not understand this right now but it is hot here.

One of the Jamaican students suggested we move outside because the room was so hot!
It was a very good idea!

In the picture are 10 of the students.
The other one, Mark, is taking the pictures.  Thanks Mark!! 

Today we talked surrendering anger with humility.
A great start to the last week of classes.

While the time has been great here, it has had its challenges.
I would definitely appreciate your prayers as we continue with the class and speak on Romans 5 and the hope we have in Christ.

Here is an excerpt from Jerry Bridges' book The Gospel for Life that I am going to share with the students tomorrow.
One morning I was reflecting on my sin, which for some reason was particularly painful to me that day.  In my discouragement, I blurted out "God you would be perfectly just in sending me to hell."  Immediately, on the heels of those words came this thought "No you would not because Jesus satisfied your justice for me."
Tomorrow's theme for the afternoon is Overcoming Despair with Hope!


A great first week of classes and a great opportunity tomorrow!

It has been a great first week of class!
The students have been challenged and so have I.
One of the students came up to me after one of the sessions and
said "I don't know if I am going to survive this class."
I told him he could get the work done.
Then, he told me he was not talking about the class load.
He was talking about conviction.
If you have done any of the Biblical counseling tracks,
you know exactly what he was talking about.

Looking forward to a great opportunity to preach on Romans 1 tomorrow.
I will be at Pastor Thompson's church, which is about 1/2 hour from the college.
He teaches a couple of classes at the college.
If you are reading this tonight pray for me as I preach tomorrow morning.
If you are reading this after the morning service,
pray that the people who heard the message will apply the truth to their lives.


Bible College Never Made a Man a Pastor

This is the message I preached in chapel today.

"No theological education ever made a man a minister."
"A degree without a divine calling is not a God given ministry."
These are quotes from Alistair Begg I believe.

This school is designed to sharpen your skills so you can do what God has called you to do.

Now let's open our Bible to Colossians 1:28, 29

Who is the "whom" referring to?
Jesus Christ
Paul's message JESUS CHRIST.

It is not Biblical counseling.  It is what Christ can do in you and in others.
It is not church history.  It is what Christ has done for God's glory throughout time in His church.
It is not theological information.  It is about what God has done, is doing and will do through Jesus Christ.

Paul's message was not information or action.  It was a person.


So how does Paul communicate this message?  What methods does he use?

Why warning?
Because sin is serious.  We need to warn people about the effects and the result of sin.
Matthew 5 and 18 talk about the serious of sin.

Why teaching?
Because we need to know the truth.
Because we need to know the way.
Because we need to know what real life is.

Why everyone?
Romans 3:23.  All have sinned.

Now look at Colossians 1:29.

I work, other translations say "toil."
I work
according to his working
which works in me

God is the one working in me.
God is the one who provides the strength and power for me to do what He wants me to do.

Remember this Hudson Taylor quote:
"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."

Today: Basics of Biblical Counseling

Today we are beginning the basics of how to do Biblical Counseling.

I would very much appreciate your prayers today.
End of the week.
Four hours of class.

Pray the students, who have been doing a great job, would stay focused throughout today's class.
Pray that I would have the strength to finish the week well.

This weekend I will be preaching at a nearby church on Sunday.


Great Conversation under the big tree on campus.

After chapel today I had the chance to sit and talk with Pastor Black, the president of the college, and Pastor Dwayne, the pastor of Hillview Baptist Church in Montego Bay.

Two things about the conversation were great...

  1. Pastor Dwayne had great memories of the BBS students who visited in 2007 (http://bbsjam07.blogspot.com/).  While it was a great trip for those of us who went, it was an encouragement to hear that he and other pastors were encouraged by our coming down and sharing with them.
  2. Pastor Black and Pastor Dwayne were very appreciative of Emmanuel sending me down to teach a class on Biblical counseling.  They both shared how Biblical counseling has impacted their lives and ministries.  
Please pray for these two pastor and the ministries in the churches and the college.

Pastor Black is working on his doctorate through Baptist Bible College and is coming to the end the program.  Pray for endurance and wisdom so he can finish his final class and his thesis well.  Pray for wisdom as he applies the things he is learning to his life and ministry.

Recently, a long time member of Hillview Baptist Church passed away.  The funeral is on November 23.  Pray for Pastor Dwayne and others as they minister to the friends and families in the area who have been impacted by this death.

The Role of the Local Church in Biblical Counseling

Thank you for your prayers.

Yesterday I didn't post because I was, and still am, working through a couple of technology issues.
The class time has been great.
There are 11 students  in the class.
About half of them are taking the class for credit and the other half are auditing the course.

Yesterday our lesson focused on who is the Holy Spirit and what is the Bible.
We finished the day out with a 25 minutes overview of the whole Bible.
Their first assignments were also due.

Today's class is going to look at the role of the church in Biblical counseling.
We have been stressing over and over and over again that...
Biblical Counseling is disciple making.
And that will be the emphasis of our discussion today.
One of the quotes from today's lesson is...
"Is your church an audience of spectators or fellowship of disciple-makers?"  David Platt

I mentioned earlier in the week to be praying for my health, especially as it relates to my diabetes.
I am happy to report that my numbers have been great.
There is something to be said for walking everywhere in 79 degree weather.

Thank you so much for your prayers.


Today: A Study of the Human Heart

Each day we are beginning each class with a 20 to 30 minute devotional.
Today's devotional is one of my favorite Psalms.
Psalm 42.

This quote from Paul Tripp goes well with what we will be talking about today.

FBBC's projector was not here.
Came up with an alternate plan using paper copies.
Printer was out of ink.  Copies not possible.
Student found another projector I could borrow.
Set up projector up.
Electricity went out 15 minutes before class (1:45) and was out until 45 minutes after class was finished (6:45).
Begins getting dark around 5:00.
During the last half hour students were using cell phones and flashlights to take notes.

BUT, do you know what?
it was an AWESOME class.  Great time of interaction in the Word of God with students.
I am so thankful that the point of the class was not powerpoint.
I am so thankful that the point of the class was the power of God's in every circumstance.

about Fairview Baptist Bible College

Here is FBBC's website:  www.fairviewbbc.com


1st day of class and pics from yesterday

Earlier today, I posted the class description, textbook and schedule.
In this post I want to share a little bit on why I am excited to teach this class to some of the students at Fairview Baptist Bible College.

I am trying the first stage of an online experiment today with the students.
You can view the powerpoint presentation as live, click by click, with the students here in Jamaica.  At least, I am planning on that.  Click on this very long link below:

I am going to try to add audio to it on Wednesday or Thursday.
I really would appreciate it if someone could see if this link works.  Here is what would be very helpful.
  1. Click on the link at between 2:05 and 4:00 and see if the presentation changes over the next ten minutes or so.  There will be no audio.  That is the next step.
  2. Post a reply below or email me.
In thinking about the disciple making mission of Biblical counseling I am very excited about the possibility of helping pastors and the churches here in Jamaica grow in their disciple making.
As I teach this first day, I really want the students to see that everyone should be doing Biblical counseling.
The pastor and certified Biblical counselor do it scheduled times an in a structured way.
Every believer has the opportunity to counsel people from the Bible when they are asked to share their thoughts or opinions about an issue.
This week the students are going to need to know 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, a common verse, for their end of the week quiz.

It is my prayer that the class would be informational and very practical.

It is my prayer that the students and I would be reminded of the truth Milton Vincent writes about in the Gospel Primer under the section My Inheritance in the Saints.
The Gospel is not just a message of reconciliation with God, but it also heralds the reconciliation of all believers to one another in Christ....
The more I comprehend the full scope of the gospel, the more I value the church for which Christ died (Eph. 5:25), the more I value the role that I play in the lives of my fellow Christians, and the more I appreciate the role that they must be allowed to play in mine.

Here are some pictures from yesterday

Here is the one lane road to Bird Mountain Church yesterday.

The pastor, several members of the church and I went to visit a senior saint in the church yesterday.
The woman, her daughter and baby granddaughter live in this two room house. 
She didn't want us to leave.  
We sang songs with her, Pastor Wright read scripture and we prayed for her.

Here is the class description, textbook and schedule.

Here is the class description. 
"This class will assist the student in understanding and developing a Biblical counseling ministry in the church.  General Biblical principles along with specific tools to be used in counseling depression, anger, addiction and other problems will be studied."

Here is the class textbook.
Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling:  Changing Lives with God’s Changeless Truth by James MacDonald, Bob Kelleman and Steve Viars (2013).   Harvest House Publishers.  

Here is the class schedule.
Monday, 11/10:  Clarification and Philosophy of Biblical CounselingTuesday, 11/11:  The Role of the Human Heart in CounselingWednesday, 11/12:  The Role of the Holy Spirit and Scripture in CounselingThursday, 11/13:  The Role of the Local Church in CounselingFriday, 11/14:  Basics of Biblical CounselingMonday, 11/17:  Four Main Heart Issues, Part 1Tuesday, 11/18:  Four Main Heart Issues, Part 2Wednesday, 11/19:  Specific Issues in CounselingThursday, 11/20:  The Role of Homework in CounselingFriday, 11/21:  Exam and Final Thoughts.


first sunday in jamaica

This morning I had the opportunity to teach at a nearby church.
Taught from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - 15.  Unexpected and exciting opportunity.

Would appreciate your prayer as I visit another church this evening and look over tomorrow's lesson.


At FBBC in Jamaica

A little later than 2:00 pm.  Getting settled in.
Thank you everyone who was praying for my flight today.

Things at the beginning and the end of the flight were good.
The flight itself was probably one of bounciest I have ever had.

I am getting settled into the guest house on a cool Jamaican night in the mountains.
In getting settled in I would love for you to pray for a couple of specific things;
  1. Health related:  While I am very much looking forward to jerk chicken at Border Jerk (those who were on the JAM13 trip know what I am talking about), please pray that I would be wise with my diet.  Diabetes creates a real challenge in cross cultural situations.
  2. Teaching related:  I am very much looking forward to teaching and I have many ideas and principles I want to share.  Pray that I would have wisdom in what and how to share and when to listen and help students discover things.  
  3. Ministry related:  This a very personal request for me.  I love ministry opportunities God has given me.  In thinking about "my" ministries at EBC, help me to remember that they are the Lord's.  My mind is racing through details I may have forgotten but I know first of all, there are godly, wise people who are able to do the work of the ministry without me there.  The second truth I know is we serve an amazing God is able to do great things.  Pray for me to trust in God.  
Thank you so much for your prayers.  


Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock. TIme is quickly passing

Today I am planning to finish up lesson preparation.
I would especially appreciate your prayers for this work.
Pray for wisdom in planning 40 hours of lessons that engage the students.
I want the class to be so much more than an information dump.


Some Specific Prayer Requests

I would appreciate your prayers for the following items over the next two and a half weeks.

  • Pray for my final preparation for the class
  • Pray for Krista and the kids while I am away
  • Pray for the students, pastors and teachers who will be taking the class.  For updates on the trip and the topics we will be studying each day, go to http://boonedy.blogspot.com  You can check this blog, boonedy.blogspot.com, at 2:00 every day for the next three weeks for more about the trip.
  • Pray for the ministries of EBC that I oversee and so many of you and others serve in, specifically      the children & family ministry.  Pray for Andrea as she works with the children’s ministry and the disciple makers.  Pray for Mindy as she directs UPWARD.  It is exciting to see what God is doing and going to do with these ministries to families in our community.  To read how you can be praying for these family ministries go to www.ekidzministry.blogspot.com


The Bible is Perspicuous but what does that mean?

This word that you may not know is very important in Biblical counseling and in the class I am teaching we are going to talk about this concept a couple of different times.

Basically it means "the Bible is clear."
Now don't misunderstand this word.  It does NOT mean everything in the Bible is easy to understand.

A major part of Biblical counseling is the counselor/disciple-maker helping the counselee/disciple understand the truths of God's word so it can be properly lived out.
The counselor/disciple-maker does not want to set himself up as THE ONE source of truth.

In teaching this class, in developing EBC's children's ministry, in teaching classes and in parenting, I want to help people grow in their desire to know God through His Word.  Not only when I am presenting it but also when my children, the families in EBC's children's ministry and the people I am teaching are studying it on their own.

As it relates to the Bible and children here are two principles taken from an article entitled The Perspicuity of the Scripture . (www.tms.edu/tmsj/msj15.2.pdf)

Parents can teach Scripture to their children and children can learn them.
Deuteronomy 6;6, 7 gives parents a command.  “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”
 Even a child can understand Scripture’s message.
In 2 Timothy 3:14-15a Paul tells Timothy  “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings. . . ” 
If parents are to teach the Bible to their children and adults are told to remember what they learned as children, it must be true that their doesn't need to be some secret knowledge or years of training to understand the truths of the Bible.

"Protestants hold that the Bible, being addressed to the people is sufficiently perspicuous to be understood by them, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and that they are entitled and bound to search the scripture and to judge for themselves what is its true meaning"
(The Master's Seminary Journal, p. 209)


Great Teaching Opportunity in Jamaica

I am very thankful for the opportunity to teach this class and want to use this blog to help you know what is going on and how to pray for the trip.

I will be teaching a class entitled Counseling Problems & Procedures at Fairview Baptist Bible College in Jamaica.

Here is some general information about the class.

What time and days does this class meet?

The class will be meeting from 2:00 to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday.
Why take this class?

This class will assist the student in understanding and developing a Biblical counseling ministry in the church.  General Biblical principles along with specific tools to be used in counseling depression, anger, addiction and other problems will be studied.

What textbook will this class be using?

The obvious foundation of this class is God's word.
Our textbook for the week is going to be Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling:  Changing Lives with God’s Changeless Truth by James MacDonald, James, Bob Kelleman and Steve Viars (2013).  
We will be looking at select chapters in this book.

What is Fairview Baptist Bible College's mission?

Fairview Baptist Bible College exists to train competent, compassionate, effective servant leaders for the ministry of Christ in the local churches of Jamaica, the Caribbean and the world.

How does this class contribute to fulfilling the mission statement of FBBC?

This class is designed to help the student become a better counselor/disciple-maker and train others to be better counselors/disciple-makers.


Time for the Talk: Leading Your Son Into True Manhood

Zollos writes that the talk is not a specific one-time conversation you have with your son.  It is  "a process that takes many years and can be profoundly rewarding."

While this book is written specifically written to fathers, it contains a preface to mothers.
It's up to you to show him that becoming a true man depends on being changed by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God.

Here are some quotes from the book...

Your young man needs conviction and these cannot come from you.  Convictions come from hearing the LORD.

The book talks about developing these six characteristics in your son.

To pursue humility means choosing to accept the fact that your knowledge and abilities are limited and in light of that, you are regularly seeking help and graciously receiving advice and correction.

To pursue courage means choosing to do what is right despite the opposition of others or your own desires (often the more difficult enemy to fight).

To pursue moral purity means choosing to live by the highest moral principles in both speech and physical relations despite your own desires to do otherwise and despite any external pressures to compromise.

To pursue faithfulness means acting in integrity, keeping your word and doing what is right before God, with fortitude, and without complaint because you trust God to give you the ability to complete all things he has given you to do.

To pursue selflessness means placing the well being of others before your own needs and desires.

To pursue self-control means to live according to the Spirit of God, choosing to glorify God with our lives and denying the sinful nature when tempted to do otherwise. 

Originally posted at ekidzministry.blogspot.com


When the church and family collaborate

Originally posted on ekidzministry.blogspot.com

"It Takes a Church:  When Parents and the Church Collaborate" is a message Mel Walker preached at Pastor's Ministry Enrichment Day at Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA.

This message reflects much of what I would love to see happening even more in our children's ministry.

Sean MacPherson


To hear the other 3 sessions click www.bbc.edu/chapel/seminary.asp

Here is the link to the Intergenerational Youth Ministry site:  http://intergenerationalyouthministry.com/


Why children need the church

Originally posted on ekidzministry.blogspot.com

This article explains some of the reasons why we are doing the things we are doing.  
Our children not only benefit from the preaching of the gospel, they also benefit from witnessing the transforming work of the Holy Spirit taking place with the gospel believers around them.  Through regular interactions with teachers, parents, mentors, and pastors, our children are given the opportunity to observe the powerful, sanctifying hand of God in the lives of other Christians.  Through the ordinance of baptism our children are able to watch as men and women confess their belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ and commit to living their lives in obedience to him.  They gaze in wonder as these believers are plunged into the baptismal and brought back up to the joyful celebration of the congregation, symbolizing their death and resurrection with Christ.  In the same way, as the communion plate is passed and wine and bread are consumed by the members of the body, our children witness the centrality of the gospel to every believer’s life.  They are beckoned to come and taste of the Lord’s goodness for themselves – to receive the gospel of grace being proclaimed. 
In short, our children need the church because they so desperately need the gospel it is founded upon.
To read the entire article go to page 87 of www.credomag.com/issues/Churchy%20Gimmicks.pdf


What am I afraid of?

Originally posted at ekidzministry.blogspot.com 

On this blog we are posting two different memory verse plans.
The EKIDZ memory verses, which are the verses connected with the weekly children's ministry lessons.  This week's EKIDZ verses are Ephesians 6:10 - 11.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
The Fighter Verses, which is a five year Bible memory plan with many different online resources.  This week's Fighter Verses are Psalm 27:1 & [2, 3]
The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?  [When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
Here is a thought.
Both of these passages remind us to look to God and not our circumstances or other people for our strength.  The closing thought is this week's Fighter Verse blog is " We understand now that our childhood fear of monsters was unnecessar.  The good news in Jesus is that our adult fear of monsters is equally unnecessary.  Not because monsters aren't real, but because God is.  We don't have to be afraid of the darkness.  Look at The Lord.  Look  to Him.  
To read the article, click http://fighterverses.com/set-4-core-esv/week-33/
Here is a song to listen to and think about.


What are you afraid of? OR 1 Sunday Sermon + 1 Song + 2 Memory Verses + 1 online devotional = Great Reminders of God

1 Sunday Sermon:
Pastor Duke's Sermon this past Sunday was a great reminder of how God uses challenges, difficulties and hardships to help us grow more and more Christlike.

2 Memory Verses:
On this blog we are posting two different memory verse plans.
The EKIDZ memory verses, which are the verses connected with the weekly children's ministry lessons.  This week's EKIDZ verses are Ephesians 6:10 - 11.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
The Fighter Verses, which is a five year Bible memory plan with many different online resources.  This week's Fighter Verses are Psalm 27:1 & [2, 3]
The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?  [When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
1 online devotional:
Here is part of the Fighter Verse blog for this week:
Both of these passages remind us to look to God and not our circumstances or other people for our strength.  The closing thought is this week's Fighter Verse blog is " We understand now that our childhood fear of monsters was unnecessary.  The good news in Jesus is that our adult fear of monsters is equally unnecessary.  Not because monsters aren't real, but because God is.  We don't have to be afraid of the darkness.  Look at The Lord.  Look  to Him.  
To read the article, click http://fighterverses.com/set-4-core-esv/week-33/

1 Song

Here is a song to listen to and think about.

In Jesus Christ, God has provided our life, our light, our strength.  I need to trust more and more in Jesus Christ as the one who keeps me and sustains me.


Why Keep Politics Out of the Church?

These are notes taken during the 2nd session of Northridge Church’s Acts 16:5 conference.
The title of this session was “What makes the Bride ugly?”
The 4th belief that was shared was “We assume everyone agrees with our politics.”
The speaker gave 5 reasons to keep politics out of the church. while I don’t assume everyone will totally agree with every point of this post, please consider more than the specifics of each point. Italicized parts are my notes from the message.
1.  You can’t win your enemies to Christ.  You can only win your friends.
Christ means everything!  Politics means little!
2.  Too many Christians speak and act as if politics is the hope for our country.
There’s only so much politics can do.
3.  Politics make us forget that we are citizens of heaven.
Our hope is found in Christ, not in our political party returning to or maintaining power.
4.  The people you are trying to reach don’t share your political views.
What is most important to you?
seeing people  come to Christ.
seeing your political party maintain its power.
5.  Politics create barriers that Jesus came to break down.


The Sinfulness of Technology and the internet

You may have decided to read this blog because you hate technology  and the internet and wanted to have some ammunition in your anti-technology/anti-internet war.
If this is you, first of all, why are you reading a blog on the internet?
Second, the main point of this entry is that technology and the internet are not sinful.  People are sinful (Romans 3:23).
Technology and the internet will reveal what is going on in a person’s heart.  This is very similar to Paul’s statement in 1st Timothy 6:10 about money.  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
Money is not the evil.  The love of, the worship of, the finding your hope and joy in, money is the problem.
In a 2009 article John Piper wrote about two possible responses to social media like facebook and twitter.
One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’s capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write books (not blogs) about the problem.
The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can.
To read the entire article click HERE
The pastors at Emmanuel Baptist Church understand the internet and social media are part of the culture we live in.
Instead of hoping it goes away or it is not a problem, we want to glorify God with our website and other online resources.  We would love to see the members of EBC fill their facebook, instagram and twitter accounts  with “as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness” as they can.
We would love to see our members GLORIFY GOD in all of life, including online activities.
In writing all of this, I know that many people reading this article are already connected with various online resources.
Here are two challenges for each of us…
1.  GLORIFY GOD with your status updates and online conversations.
2.  SHARE WITH OTHER CHRIST FOLLOWERS the importance of pointing people towards Christ in life and on the web.  You can even share stories verbally with those who are not online.