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Year of the Bible

Resolutions:

Be it resolved, this is the year for perfection.  As I strive this year to be the perfect husband and father, the model of fitness and health, all while perfectly managing my finances.  The images of what perfection looks like surround us with a world selling the message, “If only you have this—then you will find perfection,” only leading to greater disappointment and a diminished self esteem.  If only leads to feeling inadequate and not good enough.

For this year’s resolution, I would like to challenge us to consider trying a different messenger.  Not the messenger that is flooding our airwaves trying to sell us something, but a messenger that we just experienced new again this Christmas season.  One who enters our lives to say that you are already good enough as you are, made in the image of God.  As we will explore again soon this upcoming Lenten season, good enough even to die (and rise) for.  This messenger comes to us through the Word.  Rather than self-help, may we turn to God and one another through community seeking an improved life through transformation in Christ.

I declare 2015 as our Year of the Bible.  For those that wish to join, we will be reading through all 66 books over the next year.  This will be a chronological reading that includes each day a reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and Proverb.  The goal is to read this and share together.  Just as we make new resolutions for working out, or weight loss, I encourage grace if you  happen to miss a day of reading. This is okay.  Do not try to make up missed readings or the challenge can be overwhelming.  Just as you wouldn’t run double if you missed a day working out, pick it back up with a new day based on that day’s readings.

If you want to join in, but the four readings seem too much in our busy lives, consider following along with the Old Testament, or New Testament, and make this a two year plan.  We will begin a new blog on our website for the year 2015 that shares a reflection based upon each day.  I look forward to joining you on this journey for a new year.  Happy New Year and happy reading.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob

January 2015 newsletter

January 2015 reading thru the Bible schedule

Surprised By Hope-Small Group Study (A Second Group is Being Formed)

Is our hope one in the future?  Or should hope be in the present?  How does this make us think about how we are to live in the world?  Would you like to join a small group that enters into many of the questions of the mysteries of faith.  This will be a six week study where we will read N.T. Wright’s, Surprised By Hope. (Click link to order book, or let me know with a few days notice and I will place an order). *please note–only need to purchase the book-I have purchased the DVD/Study Guide.

*Our first study will begin on Thursday, June 12th, from 7:00 AM until 8:30 AM at Dunn Bros in Apple Valley.  If you would like to join the study, but this time does not work for you–I will work with you to make this work.

***Please note, a second study is being planned.  Reverend Tony Winter, our Parish Associate and chaplain at Woodwinds Hospital wants to hear from you.  Would you prefer Thursday nights?  Or Sunday following worship?  Based on your response, we will begin a second group soon.  Stay tuned.

Here is the introduction provided by the publisher:

“Many Christians believe our future in heaven is all that really matters. But that’s not what the Bible teaches. Through this small group bible study, Surprised by Hope, premier Bible scholar N. T. Wright brings you inside the Scriptures to grasp the full, breathtaking hope Jesus offers the world, and its implications for your life today. Gain an exciting new vision for your life on earth in light of your future in heaven. Wonderful as is the promise of heaven, a glorious hereafter is just part of what salvation is about. What about today? Jesus called his followers the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Your life here and now is of tremendous consequence, and what you believe about the future has a direct impact on how you live in the present. In six transforming, faith-inspiring DVD sessions, premier biblical scholar N. T. Wright opens your eyes to the amazing full scope of what God’s Word has to say about the world to come and the world that is. This DVD will help you get the most out of each session as you explore such questions as What is heaven really like? Is our main duty as Christians simply to help non-Christians get there? What hope does the gospel hold for this present life? In what ways does God intend for us to experience that hope personally and spread its healing power to the world around us? This DVD is designed for use with the companion Surprised by Hope Participant Guide (both are included in this pack). Surprised by Hope provides a clearer vision both of the future and of God’s kingdom at hand today. Sessions include: 1. Hope for the World2. The Hope of the Resurrection 3. The Hope of Heaven 4. The Hope of Jesus’ Second Coming5. The Hope of Salvation 6. The Hope of the Church”