I travel in several circles of people in my life, some safely within bounds of church or like-minded people of faith.  But I spend just as much time with people who hold varying, even differing opinions than me, most not yet embracing things of faith or Christianity.  And it is within these relationships I am often asked in some form what about the Christian faith is so appealing to me, or why I care about trying to bring my faith to others.  “So why are you a pastor anyway?”  “Why are you starting a new church, aren’t there plenty of churches already?” “What made you decide to become a Christian?”

I get it that faith sharing, or the official term for explaining faith, apologetics, can be daunting, but if we put it into the context of being asked our experience, it can simplify things.    So why do I feel it is worthwhile to share about Jesus?

In a nutshell it is because I have seen and experienced that God can and still does transform persons, situations, attitudes, and lives!  It is all about change.  By definition change means transforming something from one thing to another.  Hopefully it is from something less desirable to something better.

I have personally seen in myself or others:

-      marriages saved from years of infidelity and abusive behavior – to a loving, restored relationship.

-      Years of bad decisions / habits / lifestyles / addictions healed for wholeness and joy.

-      People paralyzed by hopelessness and hurt – to become healthy and positive additions to society.

-      Simply selfish / thoughtless people become caring and compassionate to reach out to those around with goodness and positivity.

-      Guilt that prevents any happiness forgiven to free persons for pursuing true and abundant life.

-      Folks convinced by lifetimes of telling themselves or hearing from others that they are useless, worthless and of no value – to be embraced and filled by a sense that they actually matter to God!  And that releases them from the trappings of the lies to lives of peace and possibilities of hope and fulfillment. 

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It really is not that complicated, but for some reason many often struggle to share their story, as if our stories are somehow less worthy of sharing than the stories of hunting, family trips, sports events, or others’ pet political views.  It really is okay to share who you are and your experience, even your faith, as long as you have earned the right to be heard by being genuinely interested in and present in others’ lives before you start coming off as preachy.  Just share what you have seen and experienced.  What is different now that you know the hope of the Gospel than it was before you believed?  And leave the convincing to the Holy Spirit of God, who is much more capable of transforming than any of us. 

Have you evidence enough in your life or the lives of others you love to fully appreciate what being loved by God and knowing Jesus can do in a person, a situation, or a life?  If so, that is valid, so feel free, no even better, feel empowered to share when someone invites you.  And even if they do not, be blessed because we know the plentiful source of eternal hope and that is available to all. 

Be blessed today,

Pastor Paul
(815) 303-5446

PS check out these great opportunities to bless and be in community!

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AMESBURY CHRISTMAS PARADE – Saturday is the annual Amesbury Christmas Parade! This parade not only goes right by our building, but it also generally features some of our “Good Christian Men” rejoicing and singing on a float. We’ll also be doing a table and giving out coffee, hot cocoa, etc. This is always a good time and a great opportunity to show that Rock Church Amesbury is FOR OUR COMMUNITY. As the parade begins at 3:30pm, I believe we will plan to gather about an hour beforehand.  Any men interested in joining the fun on the float can contact the irrepressible Mr. Tom Hodge at 978-388-9098 or at tomronda@verizon.net.  For anyone interested in helping us hand out goodies at the table, please contact P.Jonny at jon@rock-church.org

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CHRISTMAS CAROL SING-ALONG - Join us December 3rd at 6PM for our annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along at our Sandown Campus.  Our Minister of Technology Ricky Russell transforms the sanctuary in to a winter wonderland as we belt out songs of praise and Christmas cheer.   Lead by Sandown Campus Pastor Beth Soucise we have a great evening including caroling, games, prizes, desserts and more!  Feel free to bring a dessert and wear your best Christmas clothing and accessories to add to the festivities and decor.  

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FOR OUR COMMUNITY GROUP - The Pastors are looking forward to sharing some time together dreaming about what this group can do, but we also know realistically that we won’t be able to do so until after the busy Christmas season. So we’d like to propose an initial meeting for our group after morning service(noonish) on Sunday, January 14th. There we will take time to have lunch together and talk about the purpose and plan with our group. 

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Right now though, we'd really want to hear your ideas about what this group can do to bless our community and how we should organize to get that done. So shoot Pastor Rachel an email at rachel@rock-church.org with any thoughts, hopes and dreams you have for this group, and at the same time let me know whether you anticipate being able to attend the January 14th  meeting so we have enough food.