Hi Friends!

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So if you were with us this past weekend in Amesbury you may remember that I mentioned I was fired up, but I didn’t know if it was the coffee or the Holy Spirit.  Well, I’ll tell you that I’m still loving on my coffee, but I can say definitively that it’s the Holy Spirit!  I do have a question for you - do you like surprises?  Personally, if I’m honest, I don’t love them.  Although I do consider myself an adventurous person, I guess you’d say I like to adventure on my own terms and I’m not a big fan of unplanned circumstances that can arise along the way. That having been said, I have to tell you that I’ve had a really weird week so far.  This week I’ve had a lot of little surprises – some pleasant, some just really odd, some very difficult.  When I say surprises, I’m not talking about a room full of people jumping out with balloons and a cake (my birthday is in December by the way), or a series of shocking turns of events that have changed life as I know it.  I’m just talking about a lot of little experiences that have popped up this week that I just know God has his hand in. 

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I’ll give you an example.  On Sunday evening, we met for young adult LifeGroup at our house as usual.  We had finished the video study we’d been working our way through previously and God had put it on my heart, rather than starting a new video study as we’d been accustomed to doing recently, to offer the group the opportunity to simply study through a book of the Bible verses-by-verse.  I’d posted this out to that group on Facebook a few days before, and the feedback was quite positive.  I thought perhaps we’d study the words and teachings of Jesus in one of the Gospels, or maybe one of Paul’s letters to the churches to learn from those who went before us what it means to be the church or perhaps even learn more about the nature of God from one of the books from the Old Testament.  To my surprise, when we got to group we began discussing guess what they chose?  THE BOOK OF REVELATION. For a little bit of light reading throughout the week, they chose the Book of Revelation (yes, I’m kidding).  This was a total surprise.  I didn’t even know anyone was interested in eschatology (the study of end times), much less wanted to pick up one of the most confusing books in the Bible and read it through verse-by-verse, but that’s what we’re doing. We read the first chapter together, had a great discussion and I felt a renewed sense of purpose for our LifeGroup. 

I think sometimes we can get to a place in our lives where we’re just going with the flow, treading water, and maybe we need a shake-up. Again, it doesn’t have to be something life-changing, but these little surprises that crop up in our lives can be just the kick-start we need sometimes to step out in a new direction or experience something new to get us out of our comfort zones.  And you know what?  I feel renewed!  I feel God calling us to something greater, deeper, MORE. I’m even more excited than before to continue our study of Isaiah 61 this week as we learn more about the Real Hope available through Jesus. In fact, I’m even more excited than after my third cup of coffee on Sunday morning so WATCH OUT!   

Until then, I hope you’ll put some of these great upcoming events on your calendar:

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ROCK CHURCH NEWBURYPORT – The official launch of our Newburyport campus is this Thursday, September 21st at 6pm!  Whether you’re interested in connecting on a new level or you have friends in the Newburyport area, let’s get the word out! All of the details about our Newburyport campus are availble here or you can contact Pastor Paul Nolden for more information. 

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ALIVE! - Women don’t forget to sign up for the Alive Women’s Retreat coming up September 29 and 30. We’re excited to have Kelley Latta coming to minister to us and I’ll be leading a small group about JESUS (what else?).   To register online or for more information please click this link.  You can find more information about Kelley’s ministry at her website and you can find more information from me about Jesus on Sunday in Amesbury.  :) 

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ROCK RUN RAISER is approaching fast!  This 2 mile extreme obstacle course race will be at our Plaistow campus on Oct 21st.  We need some Amesbury teams to participate in the race so WHO’S IN? If you’re not up for racing, we also need over 50 volunteers! For those interested in helping please join us for a meeting at Rock Plaistow coming up on Thursday, September 28th at 7pm. More information and registration is available at this link.

I look forward to hearing how the Spirit has surprised you recently!

P. Rachel

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