February 1, 2017
LOVE. GROW. SERVE. with Pastor Rachel
Greetings Rock Church Amesbury family! I hope this email finds you all well on this mid-winter day. This past week we started our new sermon series on the Book of James that we are calling “Real World”. To me this is just a perfect title because James' words are real, raw and just as relative today as they were when he wrote them. Last week we covered James 1:1-18, starting out with who James was (Jesus' brother) and who he was writing to at the time (the persecuted Jewish Christ-followers). Then things got real fast when James drops the truth bomb that we should "consider it pure joy" when we face trials of any kind (v. 2) and to persevere through those trials so that, “having stood the test, we may receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him" (v. 12). We talked about this concept of "testing," not in the sense of being quizzed on knowledge or ability, but rather as in being refined or tested as the silversmith tests silver. In this process, the silversmith patiently applies just the right amount of heat to the silver until the impurities or the "dross" rises to the top. Time after time, he heats and reheats the silver, each time skimming and removing those impurities, until he finally knows that it is pure when he can see his reflection in the silver as though looking in a mirror. Wow. What a perfect picture of what God desires to do for us through the trials and hardships of life, skimming away the impurities and making us more in more into the image of Jesus. Simply awesome.
As God continues His work in us, making each one of us into something beautiful, we persevere in our work to do the same in our building. Sometimes it is easy to look around and get distracted or discouraged by everything that needs to be done (believe me I have been there). Maybe some of you remember before the lobby wall was rebuilt? Or before we had windows in our front doors to look out into the world around us? Or just a short time ago when we couldn’t use the stairwell down to the women’s bathroom? When I think about how far we've come I realize "Wow, God is so very good!" To keep this good work going the building trustees will be holding work parties over three Saturdays on Feb. 4th, 18th and 25th. Work is set to begin around 8:30am and finish up by mid-afternoon (or earlier if it goes quickly). Understanding that not everyone can join in every week, all are welcome to drop-in as you are able. Any questions about work parties should go to Mike Haggstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org
The last thing I want to talk about today is Celebrate Recovery or “CR” as we call it. I know we all have so much going on in our lives that it is difficult to fit everything in, but CR is such a time of worshipful attendance to truly seeking healing from the hurts of this world that I don’t want anyone to miss out on the experience! If you haven’t had an opportunity to join us on a Tuesday evening, I want to extend that invitation to everyone right now. CR is an open experience so you can come every Tuesday evening or just drop in when you are able, for the entire evening or just the parts you can fit in. We start by sharing a meal together @ 5:30pm for a requested donation of $5.00 (can’t beat that!), followed by large group worship @ 6:30 and finishing off with small group sharing @ 7:30. I really hope each one of you will consider dropping by on your next open Tuesday to see how God can heal us of all hurts, habits and hang-ups that keep us from living the abundant life Jesus promised.
Looking forward to continuing through the Book of James together this Sunday as we seek God’s will for us in the Real World!