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There are a lot of things about ministry that I love.  But I’m not sure if there is anything that brings more joy to my heart than being a part of someone’s baptism.  This past Sunday at our annual beach service, we celebrated believer baptism by immersion.  There is nothing quite like seeing the joy on someone’s face as they come up out of the water, hair swept back, water running down their face, hands raised high with a shout of praise!   Priceless!

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What makes it even more powerful for me is that I know many of these people’s stories.  These are lives that have been genuinely transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Some of these people have had unimaginable tragedy in their lives.   Some have battled addiction, others anxiety or depression and still others abuse.  Some of these folks have tried to find hope and meaning in worldly things.   Some have experienced great success in the eyes of the world, but still felt empty.  The one thing they all have in common is they have found hope, healing, meaning and purpose in Christ!

In baptism we allow the old to pass away, and the new to come.  We are new creations in Christ through our baptism.  Last Sunday after the baptisms, I sat for a few minutes reflecting on the people who had been baptized.  I thought about the extraordinary transformation many of them had been through.  In that moment I thought to myself, this is why we do what we do.   This is why we serve Jesus.  This is why we share the Good News.  Every time a soul is saved for eternity, the angels in heaven rejoice!  

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Serving Jesus by loving and serving others can be hard work.  It is sacrificial.  But when one person’s life is changed, when one soul is saved for eternity, when one life goes from despair to hope, it is worth it all.  I just wanted to take time today to thank each and every one of you from our Rock Church family for all that you do to make this ministry possible.  For the time, talents and gifts that you share, for the love that is poured out in service to Christ and the world, I thank you.  Know that all that you do to lift up Jesus IS making a difference!

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Along with a great beach service, we launched our new NextGen program this past Sunday.  We got off to a great start!  But if you were not able to make it the first week, it is certainly not too late.  You can get all the info and register right at this link. Ladies, coming up in just a couple of weeks is our ALIVE! Women's Retreat with Kelley Latta.  This is going to be an awesome event.  Here is a link to all the details.  And finally, after months of preparation, the Rock Run Raiser is coming up next month.  This is a new event for us that is an opportunity to both connect our friends and neighbors with our church family and to raise support for several great causes.  There are a number of ways you can help with that.  You can run the race.  You can volunteer.  You can spread the word.  And you can pray for this event.

I look forward to seeing every one of you this Sunday as we continue this great new series entitled "Real Hope."   Invite a friend!  Remember, everyone needs Jesus!

God Bless,

Pastor Steve

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