7.11.2022

A Midsummer's Night Update

I know August 7th is officially the midpoint of summer. 
But doesn't the middle of July actually feel like midsummer? 
FYI, July 15 is the midpoint of Meteorological Summer. 

I haven't posted an update in quite some time.
This lack of posting is NOT because nothing is happening.  Actually, quite the opposite.


In the "tent" Jadyn and Joel built in our backyard.

It has been almost a year at Trinity Baptist Church (TBC) has been great.  It really is amazing to look back and see how God has worked and is working.

Here is a ministry and family update.

MINISTRY UPDATE:

During this past year, God provided many opportunities to begin and grow ministries at and through TBC. 

During the school year,

I taught some adult Sunday School classes including Biblical Understanding of Contemporary Issues and Reading Letters Together - Philippians and Titus

With the help of Rochelle Visser, one of TBC’s supported workers, Krista, Jadyn, some others, and I started an After School Bible School at a public elementary school near the church.

 

This summer has also been filled with some great ministry opportunities including

VBS (Vacation Bible School) –

A combined summer study using the Fighter Verses, which includes a parents/kids class starting this Sunday (July 10th)

Also, I am going to be speaking at Camp Michawana a couple of Tuesday nights.

 

FAMILY UPDATE:

We continue to be amazed at God’s great provisions in so many ways – friendships, gifts, encouraging words, and all of these things and more coming at just the right time. 

  • Joel finished his first year at Grand Rapids Community College.  He has taken some photography classes and really enjoys going around Grand Rapids and Michigan to get pictures.  He is helping with the children’s ministry at TBC and does a great job with the kids.
  • Josiah finished his sophomore year at Northpointe Christian School (NPC).  This summer he went on a mission trip to NYC with our church.  The trip was a great opportunity for Josiah and the rest of the group to share the Gospel, help a local church’s pantry/meal ministry,
  • Jadyn finished 6th grade at NPC.  As I mentioned earlier, Jadyn helped with the elementary After School Bible Club.  It has been awesome watching her serve there and at VBS. 
  • Krista finished her 5th year as a para pro/intervention teacher at NPC.  She has also been an amazing help and encouragement to me in my ministry at TBC. 

While this update has been filled with a lot of great, positive things this past year hasn’t been without its challenges.

  • We continue our search for a house.
  • Parenting obviously has its good days and bad days.
  • As many of you know ministry is filled with amazing blessings and challenges.
  • There are the challenges of life in general

As part of TBC’s combined summer study, we studied and memorized 1 Peter 5:6-10.  

Here is the passage followed by a prayer you can pray for us.


Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, ⁷casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. ⁸Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. ¹⁰And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

 

Here is a prayer based on this passage.

 

Lord God, you are mighty, perfect, loving, and victorious.

Because you are mighty, help us live a humble life for your glory.

Because you are perfect and mighty, help us remember that your mighty hand will lift us up at the proper time.

Because you care for us and love us, help us cast our worries and anxieties, of life, parenting, and ministry, upon you,

Help us be sober-minded and watchful.

God, we know that you are so mighty and powerful, and we also know that our enemy the devil wants to destroy us.

Thank you for the victory over sin and death we have because of you.

 

This victory helps us resist the devil and stand firm in our faith, knowing that there are believers all around the world going through suffering and challenges. 

 

Lord, God, restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us.  

 

Amen.

 

Thank you!

4.10.2022

Opposites Attract

 


Krista recently found this article written by a high school student at Santiago Christian School in the Dominican Republic.  It was from 1998, right after we were married.  It made us laugh.  And I did not say "hey chick, marry me" when I proposed.

Opposites Attract: The Rodgers Story

by Marie Jimenez
When the names Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers pop up in your head, what do you think of? Perhaps the usual among us students - the unlikely pair that recently got married. Well think again -there's a lot to this crazy pair!

The romance started with a chocolate pudding fight between Mr, and Mrs. Rodgers (romantic huh?). Well, strangely there are two different versions which differ slightly (okay, slightly isn't the right word!). In Mr. Rodgers' version, they were having a pudding-eating contest when "it got out of control" and they started throwing pudding at each other. Mr. Rodgers couldn't help admitting, "It was all her fault. Nothing is ever my fault. It's all her fault!" Mrs. Rodgers' version is a bit different. She said that Mr. Rodgers had a sudden urge to eat pudding without a spoon. Meanwhile, Mrs. Rodgers along with Miss Hubers and Miss Loveday, had planned to gang up on Mr. Rodgers and throw pudding on him. Mrs. Rodgers found herself throwing pudding at Mr. Rodgers, abandoned by her friends that chickened out. She remembers, "there was pudding on the floor, walls, couch, and even the dog!" While all this was going on Mr. York, who had never been to Mrs. Rodger's house, went for a visit and found Mr. Rodgers, Mrs. Rodgers, and practically everything covered in chocolate pudding! After this incident, the other teachers began to suspect that there was some kind of attraction between the two.

Try picturing Mr. Rodgers proposing marriage to Mrs. Rodgers. No, no, forget the Superman suit. Can you imagine Mr. Rodgers down on his knee, actually being serious? Well, that's how it was. He went up to the monument, got on one knee, and said, "hey chick, marry me" (that's a quote!). He said he had the ring but didn't plan a specific day. He said, "the moment just presented itself"

According to both, the wedding turned out excellent. Mrs. Rodgers sang a song she wrote to Mr. Rodgers. She admits, "I was so nervous before the wedding that I started crying, thinking that I couldn't do this, but I prayed a lot and I was comfortable the whole day, including the singing." She also said that the wedding went well except for a minor mix-up. Mr. Rodgers, even though he knew better, got a little confused about where the ring was supposed to go. Perhaps a little bit stressed about the fact that it was his wedding day, Mr. Rodgers gave his right hand to Mrs. Rodgers, instead of his left. It took him a while to realize his error. Everything else went well.

Enough seriousness!! Let's talk about the real Mr. Rodgers. Mrs. Rodgers remembers Family Day when Mr. Rodgers sang the theme song from Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On." She says, "I thought he was crazy, but I wasn't embarrassed. That's just him." Mrs. Rodgers also recalls a prank that he pulled on her on April Fools' Day. He went to Puerto Plata to take his sister to the airport, and he told Mrs. Rodgers beforehand that he was going to go. Mr. Rodgers made it back to Santiago and went to the colmado across from Mrs. Rodgers' house. He called her, telling her that he did not know where he was. She was worried out of her wits. When she went out of her house and into the street, she met Mr. Kaufman who she explained everything to. Mr. Kaufman said, "What do you mean, he's lost? He's right
there." He pointed to Mr. Rodgers who was walking towards her and all he could say was, "April Fools." She was so mad that she
threw her keys at him.

Did you know that Mr. Rodgers is a 90's man? Don't be surprised at what you're about to read. Mrs. Rodgers was kind enough to give us some juicy tidbits. Mr. Rodgers does the dishes voluntarily, enjoying them, and drying them too. Do you have problems drying your clothes? Well, Mrs. Rodgers gives us Mr. Rodgers' technique to dry laundry (yes, he even does the laundry). He takes the dining room chairs, puts them in a semi-circle, lays out the clothes on the chairs, and puts the rotating fan in the middle to dry the clothes. This technique has been clinically proven by Mr. Rodgers.

Whoever said two different people estimate the power of love!

2.14.2022

Fear the Lord


Reeves' answer to his book's title 
What Does It Mean to Fear the Lord? is a good start. While it is a shorter version of a longer book. The book is Biblical and challenging. This difficult question is answered by explaining contrasting concepts like sinful fear vs. godly fear and righteous jealousy vs. selfish envy.

Reeves continually reminds the reader that the fear of the LORD is about the heart and passion not merely the head and knowing the facts. The book’s use of various Bible narratives, Psalms, and Proverbs grounds the ideas of the book in Scripture.
After reading the book, two thoughts came to mind.
  1. How can I live in godly fear? Personally, what heart changes need to happen in my life?
  2. How can I help others live in godly fear? What basic truths do I need to be communicating to others?
As I read the book, I was struck by how the fear of God needs to move me to live for him not run away from Him. Some of the points, such as the example of Exodus, which appears on page 20, seem like they could have been developed more. At the same time, this is the shorter version of a longer book answering the question and this question is one that can not be completely understood by imperfect humans.  It provides a great starting pointing to not merely think about the answer to this question but also to live out the significance of this.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book through Crossway's Blog Review Program.

1.23.2022

Biblical Understanding of Current Issues


This is a summary of the first two weeks of Trinity's Biblical Understanding of Current Issues class:

We want to be like the men of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32a.  “Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”  These men understand the times, not merely for the sake of understanding the times, but even more so to know what Israel ought to do.  A Biblical understanding of the times should lead to godly living.

We need to heed Paul’s warning in Colossians 2:8-10.  “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ, for in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.  We need to be careful that we are not taken by the love of wisdom and empty deceit, according to human traditions.  We need to be taken captive by Jesus Christ, who is the one true God in the flesh and over all rule and authority.

We need to obey Paul’s command in Romans 12: 1 – 2.  “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Why do a class at TBC on Current Issues?  

We live in this world and there are issues.  We live in our neighborhoods and there are issues.  We work with our co-workers and there are issues.  We learn with classmates and from teachers and there are issues.  Issues are all around us.  There are issues because we live in a fallen world.

During this class, we are going to look at issues of race, justice, and life but even more than that we want to look at what God’s word says about how we are to live for His glory in relationships with one another. 

So, why do a class at TBC on a Biblical Understanding of Current Issues?

Because the Bible is our authority, we want to focus on the most important thing – God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We do this for our gospel testimony in the world and for the unity of the church.

How is this class going to work?

  • Look to the Bible
  • Consider the terms and issues.  We will not necessarily define and explain every term because they seem to always be changing.
  • Think about salvation, sanctification, and the edification of the church

Some guiding principles for this class and life:

  • Listen and Pursue Understanding.  (Proverbs 18:13)
  • Glorify God.  (Psalm 115:1)
  • Build Up His Church and one another.  (Ephesians 4:11 – 16) 

May we have a mindset like Frederick Douglass, who was converted at 13 years old.  “I loved all mankind, slaveholders not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever.  I saw the world in a new light, and my great concern was to have everybody converted.”

God alone is sovereign over all creation.  I am not God.

Three fundamental “Let us” statements show this truth and man’s rebellion against it.

In Genesis 1:26, God says “Let us make man in our image.” God is sovereign because God is over all creation, including Mankind.  God is the creator.  God is the ultimate authority.

Because God made so many different people ALL EQUALLY in His image, we can’t say that God looks like one kind of person.  As we look at God’s work in creation, especially the creation of man, let us consider three words.  Diversity.  Equality.  Hierarchy. 

We are equally made in God’s image.  As part of the one human race, we are equal.

We are diversely made with different talents, abilities, appearances.

God created order from chaos.  Because of this, there are different hierarchical structures.  These structures imply authority.  While many today view authority as a bad thing, it does not mean imposing one’s will on someone else.  This hierarchical authority is evidenced by a difference in responsibility.  Created order Is not the only place this is seen.  It is also evidenced in spiritual gifts (1st Corinthians 12:3- 14:7), leaders and fools (the Wisdom Literature), and those who serve in the various roles of the early church (Acts).

The second “Let us” statement is found in Genesis 11.  The people said to one another “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves.” (Genesis 11:4) Throughout scripture, starting in Genesis 3, 6:5; 11:4, we see man’s sinful rebellion against God, the creator.

This rebellion is also in a third “Let us” statement.  Psalm 2:3 talks about the rulers fighting to break from the control that God has over us (See also Psalm 12:4)

Because God is the ultimate authority, his word, which according to 2 Timothy 3:16 is God-breathed, is authoritative.  Our experiences and narratives, no matter who’s they are, never trump scripture’s authority.  Paul reminded the elders of Ephesus that God’s authoritative word is able to build up those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32). 

Based on the creation and fall of men, here are some of the problems with Critical Race Theory.

The traditional definition of racism is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”  (Merriam Webster)

The contemporary definition of racism is very different.  According to CRT racism is “a system of advantage based on race, involving cultural messages, misuse of power, and institutional bias, in addition to the racist beliefs and actions of individuals.”  (Be the Bridge)

 

With this updated definition “the original sin of racism” addresses “white” institutions and structures.  Salvation is through reparations to non-white people and will never be complete.  This is in opposition to the original sin of the Bible addresses the sinful human heart and salvation is through repentance and trusting in the finished work of the cross.  “If many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many” (Romans 5:15).


For class resources go to drodgersjr.blogspot.com/p/biblical-understanding.html