In everything give thanks and remember God’s got this!

Merry Christmas from the Rodgers family

The “In everything give thanks” coaster and “God’s got this” mug are Christmas gifts with great messages.  Both were purchased at Northpointe's Middle School Marketplace.

“In everything give thanks”
  • Amid difficulties and challenges, God is teaching us lessons on trusting God and others.
  • During this time of figuring out some things regarding our future and ministry, we have been blessed by a Bible-preaching church in our neighborhood, Trinity Baptist Church.  
  • We are so thankful for the many people who are praying for us.
“God’s got this.”
  • Over again and over again God has blessed us with an encouraging note or some kind of gift at just the right time.
  • We were blessed with a great apartment just as our rental time at an awesome house was coming to an end.
  • Krista has a job and coworkers that she loves at Northpointe Christian.  “Bailey”,” Jadyn’s stuffed dog, is a toy version of the therapy dog in the room where Krista works.
  • I have had an interesting job journey that continues to stretch me but I am thankful for how God has used Mol Belting and In On Time logistics to provide for me and my family.  Our medical insurance through West Cannon was scheduled to end on December 31.  December 13 our new insurance started.  

We have been posting family updates on this blog.
You can read these update specific posts at drodgersjr.blogspot.com/search/label/personal



2018!  This has been quite a year.  Not at all what I thought it would be.

This past week at my new job, In On Time Logistics, we had our monthly staff lunch - Chinese food.  While I don't put any stock in fortune cookies, I couldn't help but smile big in a roomful of new co-workers when I read the slip of paper in my cook.  "Your present plans are going to succeed."
The last couple of months have been so different than anything I could have planned.

At the same time, we have been so blessed by God through so many different people in so man different ways.  Transportation, work, schooling, and housing have been provided in amazing ways.  People from Emmanuel Baptist Church, West Cannon Baptist Church, Northpointe Christian School, long-time friends, and people we don't even know have been blessing to us.

I would not choose to go through a year and a half like this.  At the same time, it has been amazing to see how God continues to provide.  Not always how I want it to happen and sometimes at a later time than I would have liked.

As 2018 comes to an end I am very much looking forward to not merely 2019 but more so whatever God has for us.

Over the last several months a couple of books have been challenging and helpful.
Suffering by Paul Tripp.  This book is filled with great truths to remember about suffering like "When you feel abandoned, you must preach to yourself the gospel of the boundless, eternal and unshakable love of God."
How to Lead When You're Not In Charge by Clay Scroggins.   Some good reminders about leadership.  "Leadership is not simply a matter of authority.  Leadership is about influence."
Didn't See That Coming by Carey Niewhouf.  "If you want to beat emptiness, find a mission that is bigger than you."  
As always these books and every book need to be read with the truth of scripture as the ultimate authority.

Here are some prayer items.
  • Some specific praises
    • I started a new job at In On Time Logistics.
    • We have our current lease agreement through the middle of June.
    • We have connected with a great church - Trinity Baptist Church
  • Some specific prayer requests
    • Wisdom in finding long term employment for me.
      • Ministry?  I am still processing through this especially as it relates to two ministry transitions in the last year and a half.
      • Teaching?  I have begun preparation for taking the MTTC (Michigan Test for Teacher Certification) for Mathematics.
Thank you to those of you who have been prayed for and encouraged us in so many different ways this year.

I am planning to post one more time before the end of the year about some specific praises from 2018.


Things are still the same but very different

I haven't posted an update recently because in one sense things have been the same. 
God is amazing.  We are facing some difficult circumstances.  I am doing "temporary" work and continue to look for longer term non-church ministry work.  God has used his people to bless us in amazing ways. 
With that recap, here is my most recent update post.

Recently, I finished reading Paul Tripp's book Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense.  It was a great reminder in the midst of the challenges of life..  Here is an extended quote.
Weakness simply demonstrates what has been true all along: we are completely dependent on God for life and breath and everything else. Weakness was not the end for me, but a new beginning, because weakness provides the context in which true strength is found. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that he’ll boast in his weakness. It sounds weird and crazy when you first read it, but it’s not. He has come to know that God’s “power is made perfect” in his weakness. You see, weakness is not what you and I should be afraid of. We should fear our delusion of strength.
This year has been one of, if not the most, challenging times in my life.
I have also been able to see God working in some truly amazing ways.
Here are a couple of recent challenges and blessings.
This past Friday was my last day of work at Mol Belting.  God used this company to help me and my family with a job throughout November and into December.   While the job provided a steady paycheck, I was not very good at fabrication and I decided it wasn't going to work out long term. 
To put this in context, over Thanksgiving weekend, when I told some of my family in Pittsburgh about where I was working and showed them some pictures of the work I was doing, they couldn’t help but laugh knowing my ability to work with tools.  While the company and the people are great, I was not getting better or faster at the work.

Last week, I applied for and accepted another job at a warehouse where I will be sequencing (arranging in a particular order) auto parts.  I also have taken some different tests for other types of jobs, including my recertification for teaching.  I am continuing to look at job possibilities that might be longer term.

The whole house hunting process was stressful but looking back I am thankful we did not commit to something financially that would have been a disaster considering our current situation.
With our housing situation we have been EXTREMELY blessed in so many different ways with our rental.  The blessings include ongoing financial help with rent and a great location that is near both Northpointe Middle/High and Elementary School. 

We are thankful that we have connected with a great church, Trinity Baptist Church (http://tbcgr.org), which is 5 minutes from our apartment.  Pastor Brett's Christmas messages on December 2nd and December 9th have been particularly encouraging.  Click HERE for Trinity's sermon page.

Please continue to pray for wisdom as it relates to long term work.


The One Great Thing

During the different transitions and challenges over the last two years we have been blessed by so many people's emails, gifts, conversations and prayers.

While I have greatly appreciated these words of encouragement, one of the statements I have heard and needed to process through is that God must have something great in store for us.

Over this weekend I have been reminded in Sunday's message at Trinity Baptist Church (one of the Verses was Luke 9:23-25), this week's Fighter Verses (Matthew 20:26-28) and yesterday's New Morning Mercies devotional that the great thing in this life is God Himself - not the dream job or just a job you can do well.

Whether I am working in a factory, a non-profit organization, an office, a church or wherever, I am thankful for Jesus Christ.

What and How of Advent

This post was originally made on 11.22.17 as the first of series of Advent posts related to a class I taught.

The word Advent finds its root in the Latin word Adventus.

There are two different ways Advent can be celebrated.
Churches can have Advent readings and candles in each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Individuals can do Advent readings and activities beginning December 1 through December 24.  This is what West Cannon is doing this year.  Starting December 1 go to www.drodgersjr.com/search/label/Holidays

This word Advent has several definitions that will help you understand why using an Advent devotional/reading during this time of the year is helpful.  These definitions are taken from www.latin-dictionary.net/search/latin/Advent.  My thoughts are in italics.
  1. arrival, approach - Advent celebrates the arrival of the Messiah - Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.  It also reminds Christ-followers of the anticipatory hope we have that Jesus is coming again.
  2. invasion, incursion - Advent reminds us of our sin problem.  While Jesus did come as a baby in a manger, His purpose was to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  He did this through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension.  He came for God's glory and so that we could have victory over sin.
  3. ripening - Of the four definitions given this is the one that might seem the most strange at first.  However when you consider one of Merriam-Webster's definitions of "ripening" - to bring to completeness or perfection along with Galatians 4:4-5; Romans 5:6-8, it provides a great visual reminder.  The time was ripe for Jesus' birth.  
  4. visit, appearance - Advent is about so much more than a baby in a stable.  It is about the appearance of God's grace, Jesus, who brings salvation (Titus 2:11).  It also reminds us that Jesus will appear again (Titus 2:13).
We are not commanded to celebrate Advent throughout the month of December.  However, we are told to consider who Jesus is and what He has done for us (Hebrews 3:1-2Hebrews 10:19-25Hebrews 12:3).   

HERE is an article that gives Seven Reasons to Celebrate Advent

Use this Advent season to do what we should be doing all the time, glorying God by making much of Jesus Christ.  

Advent Resources:
Dawning of Indestructible Joy - free ebook
Good News of Great Joy - free ebook and/or podcast
Come, Let Us Adore Him - book to purchase and videos
The Bible Projects four part advent series - videos

Daily advent posts from two different online resources, originally posted during December, 2017. 


Challenging Memories and God's Blessing of Friends and Family

God, help me to remember this and live like this.
I have to say over the last couple of months there have been some memories that have been difficult to think back on.
Two years ago was ordination weekend.  There were a lot of friends and family there for this very special time.  
Ministry wise things are now very different.  
There are two constants though.  
1.  God is the same God.
2.  God has truly blessed us with so many great friends (old and new) and family.

November 11th, 2016 was my ordination council.

Gospel Primer Entry #12 "Inheritance of the Saints"

When God saved us, He made us members of His household (Ephesians 2:19), and He gave us as gifts to one another (Ephesians 1:18).  Each brother and sister is a portion of my gospel inheritance from God, and I am a portion of their inheritance as well.  We are significant players in each other's gospel narrative, and it is in relationship with one another that we experience the fullness of God in Christ. (Ephesians 3:17-19;  2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 1:22, 23)

Hence, the more I comprehend the full scope of the gospel, the more I value the church for which Christ died (Ephesians 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.

November 13th, 2016 was the ordination service

For my blog post about the ordination service go to

My new job has been a blessing because it will help us financially.  

Here is what I have been saying to people who ask about the job.
The company is a great company.
The people I am working with are nice.
The work I am doing is WAY OUT of my comfort area and I am not good at it.
I am definitely learning new tasks and how to trust in God.
I know God is in control.  
I know God has me in this place at this time for a reason.
I don't know what God is doing right now but I know I need to trust in Him even more.

It has been very humbling getting help from so many different people in so many different ways.

It has been very humbling hearing my children pray for their dad to find a job and do well at his job..

Your prayers are greatly appreciated as we trust in Him day by day and consider what he 



Changes in Work

Next week I start transitional work at Mol Belting.  I will begin working at this factory from November 5th through the end of December.  I am not sure exactly what I will be doing but I do know it will be very different than what I have done for the last eleven years.
Mol Belting is aware that I am in the process of searching for a permanent job and has been very flexible and helpful.
I am thankful for how God has provided this job to help me and my family.
I would very much appreciate your prayers as I begin this new phase of life.

Below is a summary of several personal journal entries over the last three days.

This Saturday there was a lot going on emotionally for me.

The shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh.
When I heard the new Saturday about the shooting, I was saddened because there was another tragic shooting.  What added to my sadness in this specific situation is that it happened in a city I know and love very much.  There are still a lot of things I am trying to process through but I do know this SIN IS UGLY!  For a person to walk into a synagogue, yell anti-semitic statements and then begin shooting people is so wrong and sinful on so many different levels.  
The 14th anniversary of my dad's death.
My dad was 56 years old when he died.  Eight years before that he had a work related injury, a deflated lung, that caused him in one day to go from work crazy hours to not being able to work at all.  That injury that changed his work life happened when he was 48 years old.  Before that day my dad was a workhorse.  I remember him coming how covered in coal dust.  We would often take the long way home so he could check the barges docked at North Star.  Did you catch the math?  56 - 8 = 48.  He stopped working at 48 years.  I am 48 years old.
While I know my work transition has not been as drastic as my dad's, the impact of both of us having big work related changes at the age of 48 has been a huge over the last couple of days.  
At 48 years old, I am sure my dad was not expecting a deflated lung that day at Northstar Transfer.  There were so many hard things after that day.  Three and a half of no work and no pay.  A lot of doctor visits, a couple of near death experiences and some very hard times emotionally for him, my mom, my sister and me.  There were also blessings.  The two biggest blessings were a much slower pace which provided opportunities to spend time with dad that we would not have had at his previous work pace and opportunities for my family to see and show how God works even the most challenging times out for His glory.
At 48 years old, I was not thinking I would be working at a factory in a time of job transition.  There are several positions in ministry organizations I am waiting to here from and I am checking on renewing my expired teacher certification.  We don't know what God has next for us but I am continuing to remind myself that God has it under control.  I know that is true but I need to continually work to remember and live it out. 
To be very open and honest, over the last three days I have cried a couple of times each day.  Sometimes those tears have been because I miss my dad - remembering something about him or thinking about something I wish he was here for like the kids' sporting events.  Sometimes those tears have been because I wonder what God has in the future for me and my family.
Here are some quotes New Morning Mercies on October 28th.
You have two ways of looking at life.  You can look at all your internal and external challenges from the perspective of your track record and present catalog of abilities or you can look at them from the vantage point of the sufficiency of the work of Jesus on your behalf.
Don't give way to the fear of inability when the work of Jesus has supplied you with everything you need.
God, help me remember that Your divine power has given your children everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3).  All too often I look at life with me as the focus.  Remind me to see that that life is about Jesus and what He has done.  Amen.

Dad and Krista working in our Dominican Republic apartment

Some specific prayer requests:

  • Pray for my testimony at Mol Belting
  • Pray for my knee.  It is continuing to get better but still isn't 100%.
  • Pray for wisdom as I continue to look for work.
    • Getting together teacher recertification information
    • Waiting on the ministries and jobs I have sent resumes to
  • Pray as we decide on a church home

If you want to keep up with what is going on in our lives, click on the Personal tab on the site or go to 


Crashing a Men's Conference

Yes, I crashed a Men's Conference this weekend. 

This past weekend I had the God-ordained opportunity to attend a men's retreat at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference Center.
It truly was a God-ordained because of the circumstances around the weekend.  Here are some of them in bulletin point form.
  • I received the invitation to attend by mistake.  Yes, that is correct.  When I registered Friday night, the individual who invited me said "I recognize you, how did you find out about the conferenece?"  After I told him about the text he sent me, he said "It's great you're here.  I meant to send that text to another guy."
  • I knew NOT ONE other man at the conference.  I had no connection to anyone at the conference other than meeting the man who "invited me" at a men's event once.  
  • The conference was not connected with any ministry I was associated with.  There were no ministry or denominational connections I had with the conference or the men there.  
  • The conference promotional information communicated just what I need at this time.  It was promoted as an "Identity Intrusive Retreat."  One of the quotes on the event page was "Most men know what they do.  Very few know who they are."  The purpose of the retreat was to DISCOVER your personal identity and DEVELOP your life mission statement.
A couple of things I learned or was reminded of...
  • The process of working on reflecting on my identity in Christ and beginning the work on a mission statement was very helpful.  God used 2 Corinthians 5:20-21  
  • One of the speakers referred to an author I love and hadn't remembered in such a long time - Fredrick Buechner.  Here is a quote from A Room Called Remember.  "I did not love God, God knows, because I was some sort of saint or hero. I did not love him because I suddenly saw the light (there was almost no light at all) or because I hoped by loving him to persuade him to heal the young woman I loved. I loved him because I couldn’t help myself. I loved him because the one who commands us to love is the one who also empowers us to love..."  Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember
  • In thinking through my mission statement and my identity two words came to mind.  Ambassador and Actor.  I am looking forward to working through these ideas especially in the midst of this craziness.
    • Ambassador - God' glorifying - from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.  My job, my ministry, my responsibility in this life is to represent the one who has reconciled me to himself.  I am a mouthpiece for the creator/king of the universe.
    • Actor - self-promoting - from Romans 7:14-25.  "For I do not do what I want to, but I do the very thing I hate."  (15)
If you want to keep up with what is going on in our lives, click on the Personal tab on the site or go to http://drodgersjr.blogspot.com/search/label/personal


Good Reminders on October EIGHTEENTH!

From today's New Morning Mercies
I originally wrote "Today along with the last couple of days were challenging," 
but then I realized the last two summers have been challenging.  
Leaving a ministry, moving to a new state and a new ministry.
Then, leaving that ministry after a year.
Now, processing through what is next for me and my family. 
Some challenging circumstances but I am thankful for reminders, 
especially like the ones today, of the fact that God is bigger than any circumstance.

As Krista and I have been prayerfully considering what is next for my job, 
I have decided to not pursue a church ministry position.  
This has been a difficult decision.
It has also made the job search this last two months especially interesting because the search process has changed from September to October.
I have realized this shift while difficult is necessary.
Two of the biggest realizations I have been working through are
(1) my identity is not and must not be found in my role as a pastor.  I am first and foremost a child of God, saved by grace.
(2) even if I am not serving as a pastor, I still have many opportunities to glorify God as I serve people and make disciples who make disciples.

Here are two great October 18th reminders.

One of my favorite quotes from The Gospel Primer is from the 18th entry.
For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me.
And then here is October 18th devotional from New Morning Mercies
Don’t give way to discouragement, feelings of futility, or waves of fear, because the Father has graciously chosen to give you the kingdom! 
There are so many reasons to be discouraged in this fallen world, it’s a wonder that anyone is happy. It’s discouraging to watch your marriage turn cold and distant. It’s disheartening to be betrayed by a dear friend. It’s disappointing to lose the job you worked at with such commitment. It’s depressing to face a sickness that you’re not sure you’ll ever lick. It’s hard to face the rebellion and rejection of one of your children. It’s discouraging to hear so often about corruption in politics and government. It’s disheartening to have to be concerned about crime and injustice. It’s tough to deal with the weaknesses of old age. It’s hard to be mocked and rejected for your faith. It’s sad to see your church become more a place of controversy than gospel healing. It can seem as if everything in your life is in the process of decaying or in danger of going bad. People die, dreams die, flowers die, and marriages, churches, jobs, and friendships go bad. If you look around, this old world that God created isn’t doing very well. In many ways, it’s a hard, discouraging place to live. The downward spiral of the fallen world can get to you. It seems that everything is impermanent or in the process of falling apart.  
But that’s not all that is discouraging. It often seems as if you’re powerless to make much of a change. You do everything you can to restore your marriage, but it just seems stuck. You know you don’t have the power to change other people and you have limited power to change situations. It so often seems that you’re a witness to or affected by things you have little ability to alter.  
So where is encouragement to be found? It’s found in grace, as depicted by these beautiful words: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). With these words, everything changes. These words tell you that it’s not you against a world gone bad. Yes, you are a citizen of this world and you are touched by its brokenness, but as you are, you must remind yourself that you are the citizen of another kingdom. Your King rules over everything that would discourage and disappoint you, and he rules for your good and his glory. What is out of your control is under his rule. What you don’t understand is under his careful administration. But there is more. While everything around you seems impermanent, this kingdom will have no end. Long after the kingdoms of this world have been destroyed, you will reign with your King in his kingdom forever and ever and ever. 
For further study and encouragement: Luke 12:22–34
We would appreciate your prayers and help as we continue this adventure.

If you want to keep up with what is going on in our lives, click on the Personal tab on the site or go to 


Thankful for Family and Friends

Saturday's work crew from West Cannon, Northpointe, Toledo and Pittsburgh
We are very thankful for friends and family who came out to help us move.  Our new apartment is about 15 minutes away from where we were living.  FIFTEEN MINUTES closer to the kids' school.
  • Krista's mom and dad
  • My mom and Bill
  • a friend from the Dominican Republic
  • a friend from Baptist Bible Seminary
  • a friend from Northpointe Christian School (a friend of mine was there on Saturday and four of Joel's friends helped pack up on Friday)
  • a lot of friends from West Cannon Baptist Church.

Friday's work crew from Northpointe
During this transition time in our lives, one of the challenges is not having a church "home."
At the same time, individuals from West Cannon Baptist Church and Northpointe Christian School have been extremely helpful.  We also appreciate people from Emmanuel Baptist Church who have asked about how to pray and looked for ways to help from afar.
We have visited several different churches in the Grand Rapids area the last two months.  While we are very much looking forward to settling into a church, it has been an encouragement to visit several different Bible-teaching churches.

Recently we were talking with the kids about how they respond to the question of what church are you attending.
One of the kids answered, "No where."
Another one answered "Everywhere."
And the third one answered, "I don't know."

While prayerfully looking forward to where God will have us I am also amazed at how God has used people from West Cannon Baptist and Emmanuel Baptist Church.  I am very thankful for people who "understand what it really looks like to represent the grace of the Redeemer in the lives of the people whom he puts in our paths."  (New Morning Mercies, October 11)

Actually, today's New Morning Mercies devotional is a great reminder of who the church is.
So many people who attend evangelical churches on Sunday have little life commitment to the work of those churches.  Most pastors would be thrilled if the vast majority of their people were every-Sunday attenders and committed to financially supporting the work of the churches.  But all this sadly falls far below God's wise design for his church.   Think about it:  you will simply never be able to hire enough professional ministry people to cover all the ministry needs in a given week, no matter what size your church is.  It is no wonder problems are left to grow until they reach intense levels of complication.
All God's children have been called to the same position.  We've all been called to be his ambassadors.  Remember, the only thing an ambassador does is represent.  God's plan is to make his invisible presence and his invisible grace visible through his people, who incarnate his presence and carry that grace to others.  That's God's call to every one of his children.  There are to be no self-satisfied recipients, no consumers.  The body of Christ is designed by God to be an organic, constantly ministering community. 


Moving Day

Tomorrow is Moving Day!

Praise God! We have a place to rent! Someone connected us about an organization that helps people in ministry and refugees find housing. They quickly helped us find a nice 3 bedroom apartment close to school and made it affordable for a 3-month lease --which gives us time to figure out our next step regarding a job. We move tomorrow, Saturday, October 6.
The kids are also able to attend Northpointe at least through the semester and hopefully longer.  

We have been extremely blessed to be at the Shelner's house in Rockford.  It has been so much more than we expected.  

One of the blessing with the move though is the morning trip to Northpointe.  This Monday will be a 6-minute drive instead of 20+ minute drive (depending on traffic).

Whether we are living in a spacious house or an apartment we need to praise God.
Whether we are living 6 minutes or 20+ minutes from school we need to praise God.
I purposefully use the word “need” because sometimes in my selfish heart I don't want to speak words of praise to God.   I speak/think words of personal convenience by demanding God do what I want.
My first words and thoughts are not praising God for an awesome apartment strategically located.  They are wishing that we could have something for more than 3 months.
I do this more often than I care to admit.  Instead of praising God for who He is and what He has done for me, I demand more.  

We are praising God for the way He works and continue to pray that He would grow in us thankful hearts. 
Thank you for praying and continuing to pray for us as it relates to housing.

I am continuing to look for and consider different options for work.  
Please pray for patience, provision, and wisdom as it relates to work.

Recently we decided that I am not going to pursue a church ministry position.  While this has been a difficult decision to make, we know it is what we need to do.   
With that being said, I do have some resumes and contacts with some para-church ministries and other companies in the Grand Rapids area, where would like to stay.  At the same time, we realize we might not be able to stay in this area.

This transition time has been challenging.  It is easy to feel down because I look at my lack of a job as my identity.  I have been reminded of the book The Gospel at Work recently.  
Here is a helpful excerpt from the book.
We don’t need our work to provide an identity for us. We already have an identity in Christ. We don’t need it to give us a place to belong. We already have been adopted by God because of Jesus, and we belong to his redeemed family. We don’t need work to make us loved or liked or accepted, nor do we need it to prove to ourselves that we’re worthwhile. Why? Because all of that has already been secured for us by Jesus! So where does that leave our work? What role does that leave for it to play in our lives? Simple. It leaves our work liberated from the impossible demand to provide something for us that it was never meant to provide and from the excuse that it doesn’t matter, and we are set free to live lives of joyful, hea
Thank you to so many people for your prayers, notes, gifts, and encouragements.

If you want to keep up with what is going on in our lives, click on the Personal tab on the site or go to http://drodgersjr.blogspot.com/search/label/personal


Fall Festival Resources

Sorry this didn't go up yesterday as planned.

1Ti1.15 (1920×1080)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the Fall Retreat at the Tri-State Free Methodist Camp in East Liverpool, OH.
God through the Holy Spirit and the teaching of God's Word, saved me at this campground.
God has continued using camps in my life and my family's lives.  I am thankful for that.

However, in speaking this weekend I wanted to remind those there that camp is great but Church is better, which is something I wrote about HERE in 2016.
This is the 9-minute video on church membership in one of the posts.
Church Membership from Radical on Vimeo.

For both of the messages, I used a basic note sheet from the Sermon Notebook by Matthias Media.  This is a great resource each person can use in their local churches (www.matthiasmedia.com/sermon-notebook).

We looked at two sayings in 1st Timothy that are "trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance."
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost."  (1:15)
"Godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." (4:8, 9)

Friday Night
We are saved...
from SIN (1 Timothy 1:15)
into A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1 Timothy 3:14, 15)
into THE FAMILY OF GOD, THE CHURCH (1 Timothy 3:14, 15)

If God has saved you from your sin, by His grace, through Jesus Christ into the family of God
and God has saved other brothers and sisters in Christ from their sins, by His grace, through Jesus Christ into the family of God,
THEN we need to know how to live together.

Paul tells Timothy one of things Timothy and the church needs to be is PRAY (1 Timothy 2:1-15)
Here are some specific prayer items we need to be praying.
  • Pray for leaders 
  • Pray for church leaders to lead in godly ways.
  • Pray people would be saved.
  • Pray your church would be unified in boldly preaching and living out Gospel truth.
  • Pray other churches (Bible-teaching, non-heretical churches) in your community would boldly preach and live out Gospel truth.
  • Pray individuals in your church would grow more and more like Christ.  Pray for specific people.
  • Pray NOT for personal desires BUT more so for the glory of God and the salvation and sanctification (spiritual growth) of men, women and children.
Here is the prayer I prayed to close the service.  It is adapted from the Gospel Primer.

Help us love your church and live for your glory.
Help us remember who we were before Christ.
Help us rejoice in who we are in Christ.
Help us value the church for which Christ died.
Help us value the part we play in the lives of our fellow Christians, especially those in the local churches we attend.
Help us value the part these people play in our growth and the growth of other Christians.
We pray this in Jesus' name.

Saturday night
A hope-filled life...
looks to GOD (4:10)
doesn't FOCUS ON SELF (4:11-12)
is devoted to TEACHING/LIVING OUT THE BIBLE (4:13-16)
builds OTHERS UP IN THE FAITH (5:1-6:2a)
fights THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH (6:11-19)

Before preaching I had been wondering if I should share some of our testimony in the message. 
I am glad I did because several people came up to talk with us about difficulties they were going through and how they needed to reminded of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Additional Resources:
A great bookmark that serves as a reminder for church members/attenders on how to love their church on Sunday:  library.thevineproject.com/#/resources/pray-think-speak-a-postcard-for-church-members
Book - Finding God in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Video - From Now On


Which Comes First? House or Job

When posting or sending out previous updates, I divided them into different areas
It is difficult to do that for this update because the work and housing are so inter-related.
Which comes first, finding a job or finding a house?

Whichever one comes first. We are actively searching for both.
The challenge is looking for something, while not knowing where I will be working and what I will be earning.

If I don’t have something in the works by September 24, I am going to begin applying for some retail positions.
The reason for this is because we need a place to rent and need a job to pay for the place.

We have been making some connections through Northpointe Christian School and friends here in Grand Rapids and even in Toledo and following up with them.

We would very much appreciate your prayers and advice/suggestions as we navigate through this process.

For more updates on our family, click on the other links at drodgersjr.blogspot.com/search/label/personal


Didn't See It Coming!

At the end of July, I received an advance copy of Didn't See It Coming by Carey Niewhouf.  It took a little longer than I planned to read the whole book and a lot longer than I was hoping to write this review.  A couple of things came up this summer that I didn't see coming.

The book is written from a Christian perspective and would be helpful for those in or considering ministry.  At the same time, the seven challenges are hurdles every leader will face in life.  I appreciate Carey's statement on page four.
I've tried to strike a tone in this book that works for those who are skeptical of Christianity and for those who passionately follow Jesus.  As a result, this book may end up not feeling Christian enough for those who are Christians and too Christian for those who aren't.  If that's the case, I may have hit the mark.
Didn't See It Coming has proven to be so very helpful to me considering some of my current circumstances.  The seven challenges are cynicism, compromise, disconnection, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and emptiness.

Two things that make this book very helpful:

  1. Carey's openness in talking about struggles he, and probably everyone, has faced,
  2. The eternal foundational hope that comes from Jesus Christ.  In the chapter on pride entitled "Habits of the Humble," Carey shares some ways to never lose your gratitude.  One of these is "Fall more in love with the Giver than you ever do with his gifts."

My copy is filled with highlights and many of them are not just because of good information.  They are statements or stories that God used in my heart and life.  This will definitely be a book I reread and recommend.

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A Different Kind of Birthday

Monday was a different kind of birthday.

On my (David) 48th birthday which fell on Labor Day, it was challenging to not be preoccupied with the fact that I need to find a job.

During my last several weeks of teaching the Genesis class, we looked at some misused verses of the Bible.

Romans 8:28 - "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
1st Corinthians 10:13 - "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it."

Before beginning the study, I asked the class leadership team about doing a different study.  Part of the reason I asked was that I thought with the possible transition it would have been very difficult for me.  I am glad they said to stick with this study.  In God's sovereignty, he used it in my life.  

The Fighter Verses have also been an encouragement to me.
Krista has been an encouragement to me. 
New Morning Mercies and The Gospel Primer have been great helps.
The past Sunday's sermon from Chapel Pointe was an amazing blessing.  The message was entitled How to Get Out of a Cave from Psalm 57.

With all of these big helps and great reminders, our current circumstances are still hard.
NOT impossible BUT challenging.

In posting pictures of our family at the beach, the museum and other places, I in no way, shape, or form want to create or communicate a fake facebook idea that everything is smiles, beaches, and carousel rides.

I don't really know how to best share moments of late night prayers, challenging parenting moments, and packing stacks of boos that seem like they were just unpacked and organized.  I don't even know if all of these moments need to be shared on social media.

Actually, here is a short video of the river in downtown Rockford where I have gone for some night prayer times.

Two specific verses have reminded me why I want to share the story of how God is working in the Rodgers' family.

1st Timothy 1:15
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the foremost.

1st Peter 3:15
But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD.  Always be prepared to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do so with gentleness and respect.

About 8 years ago I wrote that this blog “is meant to show what God has been doing in, for and through us.  We do this for the purpose of GLORIFYING GOD and HELPING OTHERS GROW.”  It is my prayer that my Facebook page, this blog and even more importantly my life will glorify God and help others do the same.  

For more updates on our family, click on the other links at drodgersjr.blogspot.com/search/label/personal


UPDATE: God has it figured out (08.30)

This quote has especially explained the Rodgers' family life recently.
I really hope to use this post to give an update of what is going on right now in our lives and how we are really trying to live out the Biblical truth in this quote.

A lot has happened in our lives in the last 16 months.
Transition out of ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church (June 2017)
Move from Toledo, OH to Grand Rapids, MI.
Transition into a new ministry at West Cannon Baptist Church (September 2017)
Lived at three different addresses in Grand Rapids.
Transition out of ministry at West Cannon Baptist Church (August 2018)
Coming in October 2018 - Moving out of the house we have been renting. 

Needless to say, life has been a whirlwind.

I share this to give context for some of the decisions we are prayerfully thinking through and planning.  A couple of weeks ago, I shared prayer requests and updates related to school, my work, our housing, and church HERE.
Here are the most recent updates on Housing and My work.

As it relates to housing, we are going to need to find a new place to rent by the beginning of October.  Our search area has changed because we are not necessarily looking for something in or near the Rockford area.  The main factors are cost and proximity to Northpointe Christian School.  We are so very thankful for people that have been praying for this and sharing suggestions with us. 
David’s work
I have updated my resume for ministry and rewrote it for non-ministry positions.  Once again I am thankful for people who have been helping with this process.  I am going to be looking for work in the Grand Rapids area.    
We don't have a lot of time as it relates to housing decisions at the same time we don't want to unwisely rush into the next thing. 
  • Having two ministry transitions like we have had in a short time has been difficult.  Krista and I want to be sure we are ready as a family and individually for a full time ministry position. 
  • I would love to have a job that would use my gifts and passion for teaching and training.  The non-ministry resume has this particular focus.  I do have severance pay through October so are being taken care of for the short term and don't need to take the first thing that comes along. 
  • We know that by the end of September we need to have something.  This might be a ministry position, a training job or whatever I need to do to provide for our family.  Lord willing and for the kids' sake we would like this to be in the Grand Rapids area but we know it might not be.  
  • God has it figured out.  Please pray for us a we make big decisions, seek godly counsel, and live life for God's glory. 
 In sharing these updates I want to be clear.  Things are challenging right now - very challenging.  I would like to say that my reactions to my kids and Krista are always godly and not based on my feelings of frustrations.  I would like to say that I haven't had any "pity parties" and I spend all my waking minutes singing praise to God with a smile on my face.  These things are not true.
August 25th New Morning Mercies devotional had two statements that I want to remember and remind people.
Real faith never calls you to swindle yourself into thinking that things are better than they are. Biblical faith is shockingly honest and hopeful. 
It wasn’t the naïveté of faith that propelled [Abraham, Noah, David, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Peter]. No, it was the clarity of faith that caused them to do what they did.
I have used the Piano Guys song "It's Gonna Be Okay" as a real-world example of the "thinking that things are better than they are."  The song is very fun.  The men are very talented.  The message seems very positive.
BUT its message falls VERY SHORT.  I am thankful that God is working things out in this life for His glory and my greater good.  Not so that my circumstances will be okay.

I think about the contrast between the message of the world with the message of the Gospel.
"All I have is Christ."