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