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    Elders' Blog - Entries from May 2012

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    WedWednesdayMayMay23rd2012 Diapers and car keys
    byTim Depue Tagged Community Family Parenting 0 comments Add comment

    This combination could bring memories of a midnight run to the store to prevent an unexpected disaster at home. While that may be a noble act by a young parent, what brought this to my mind was a combination of events that happened this past week.

    Last Saturday KSBC hosted the first “Growing Families” milestone dinner for parents of newborns. During that time those of us who are more seasoned as parents interacted with our younger counterparts about different issues relating to parenting. Good questions caused me to dig back and think through what and why we did things years ago with our children. But predictably most of the questions were focused on how to start parenting well.

    The next event on my calendar was taking my youngest child for her driving test. This rite of passage is the first major step toward independence with all the freedoms and responsibilities that come with adulthood. What struck me was the similarity between my concerns and those of the younger parents. As I am faced with being the parent of an adult child, the same questions ran through my mind. Am I ready for this? What can I do better? Who will help me?

    In the middle of all this, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:33, where the apostle Paul points out the importance of the company we keep. Who we spend time with will influence our choices and behaviors. As parents we often think of this when screening our children’s playmates and choosing their education environment. But this is also true for parents. To be the best parent at any stage we need not only godly people around us but also godly people who have already walked the road before us and will share what they have learned. We need the church to be more than a building we go to, but a group of people we experience life with. We need the classes and fellowships, the lessons and encouragements—not only as a person but also as a parent.

    The company of older generations can help give us confidence that we will be ready and will do things well. At the same time, as we take our turn in helping in the nursery, the children’s classes and teen activities, we not only can know what our children are learning, but we can learn from others how to help our children grow and learn—giving and sharing ideas to help us prepare our children for the life God has for them.

    The distance from diapers to car keys may seem long and bumpy from the start, but in looking back, for Val and me, the company of being in a church has made the road much more smooth and enjoyable. 

    ThuThursdayMayMay17th2012 Obsessed with beauty
    byDrew Humphrey Tagged Beauty Culture 1 comments Add comment

    [Guest post from pastoral intern Drew Humphrey]

    We live in a culture which is obsessed with beauty. Or so we’re told. Magazine covers, television commercials, health products, cosmetic procedures, clothing stores—everywhere we look, we see manifestations of this supposed obsession.

    But I don’t buy it. I don’t think we’re nearly as obsessed as we think we are. In fact, I don’t think we’re nearly as obsessed as we should be.

    Now I concede that our culture is hopelessly enamored by attractive people. And I concede that advertising techniques have revealed our collective weak spot for the sleek and seductive. And furthermore, I concede that our monetary spending habits disclose a startling propensity toward making ourselves exceptionally presentable. But the problem with these things isn’t that we’re too obsessed with beauty; the problem is that we’re not obsessed with beauty enough.

    Having two young children in our home, my wife and I know all about obsession. When our 2-month-old daughter is hungry, there’s no chance in the world that she’ll be happy until she’s fed. You can sing to her, you can give her a pacifier, you can rock her in your arms—but until you give her food, your ears will be ringing with the shrill cries of a child who is obsessed with eating. And toddlers are no different. When our 19-month-old daughter wants juice, you don’t dare give her milk, and you certainly don’t dare give her water. She knows what she wants, and she’ll throw her desperate little body in front of the refrigerator door until she gets it (or gets disciplined!).

    The point is simple: true obsession settles for nothing less than that which is ultimately desired. And because this is the nature of true obsession, our penchant for cheap glitz and glamour is evidence of the fact that we’re not nearly as obsessed with beauty as we should be. If we were obsessed with beauty, we wouldn’t settle for manufactured Hollywood imitations, nor would we allow our souls to be satisfied with anything less than the unrivaled, unending, unfathomable beauty of God himself.

    King David was a man who knew this all too well. When he sinfully gazed upon the nakedness of Bathsheba, he fell victim to the same weakness which plagues you and me—he gave up his pursuit of true beauty in exchange for a cheap and easy substitute. Rather than desiring with unflinching devotion to “gaze upon the beauty of the Lord” (Ps. 27:4), he chose instead to settle for the fading allure of that which was dust. His pursuit of beauty came up short.

    We do the same thing, don’t we? We make daily decisions to settle for lousy imitations. As C.S. Lewis insightfully quipped, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

    The more we neglect to feast our souls upon the boundless and breathtaking beauty of our redeeming God, the more likely we are to be content with the deceptive glitter of worldly things. But when we set our affections upon God’s glory, we’re transformed by the beauty we encounter (2 Cor. 3:18).

    Obsession with beauty isn’t our problem. Obsession with beauty is the answer.

    WedWednesdayMayMay9th2012 Make the best of change
    byDon Whipple Tagged Change Church Community 1 comments Add comment

    Of the many possible “take aways” this cartoon humorously captures, one is that change can be a hard thing to process. Opportunity to grow, serve or advance in holiness is a terrible thing to waste. We are commanded to redeem or make the best use of every opportunity that comes our way as we recognize the harsh realities of the world we live in (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5). 

    Each of us has a blessed opportunity this week to rethink and renew how we approach and participate in "church" at KSBC. A blessing of the service time change is that we have opportunity to connect the dots in a fresh way between all kinds of mundane and eternally important questions like what time do we have to get up Sunday morning? Why do we "go to church"? What is our role in the church? Here are a few specific suggestions to consider in taking full advantage of the opportunity before you.

    1. Think and talk together about what the church is. Is it something you attend, a place to go, some meetings to check off, or a community that you joyfully participate in? Consider that this may be a good time to upgrade your understanding and respect for truths found in Ephesians 4:11-16, Hebrews 10:23-25 and what we are learning in our 1 Corinthians study. The gathered church has a special honor that needs to be protected and preserved in our busy and sometimes profanely distracted lives.

    2. Plan to expand your outreach. First, think of who in your sphere of influence you could prayerfully invite to come to church with you so that they will be exposed to the church, experience the church gathered, and be drawn to the church’s Head, Jesus Christ. We have regularly heard testimonies of that taking place. Second, once you have walked into the room where the church is gathered, pick a new neighborhood to sit and sing in. Your old friends will understand that you are not forsaking them. We all understand that we are on mission to spread the beauty and joy of Jesus, even when the church gathers.

    3. Grow (even more) in serving others. This is a great opportunity to break out of old habits and begin new determined and intentional ones. How can you be the presence of Christ to this wonderful community of God called people? Sundays are a gathering of people who need to hear from God and you that the gospel is worth living and dying for. Please consider how you intentionally stimulate and love others in such practical ways as arriving early, parking far away, engaging others in encouraging conversation, singing loudly and all that stuff that loving families do for each other because of God’s great love.

    Please pray for me and my family as we rethink our Saturday and Sunday routine with the goal in mind of participating in our church community for the greatest glory to God and the greatest joy for ourselves and others. Back to the cartoon; see you this Sunday morning some time!

    WedWednesdayMayMay2nd2012 A community project
    byDon Whipple Tagged Church Community Sanctification 0 comments Add comment

    When most Christians think about growing in their faith, they sometimes leave out one of the most important means that God has provided; our friendships! God unites us to Christ but also places us within a community of faith where we influence one another in profound ways.

    Who are your closest friends at KSBC? What role do they play in your spiritual development? How do they help you love God and people? Who would name you as their friend at KSBC that helps them grow in grace?

    Growth in faith and Christ likeness is a community project. Isolation and individualism lead to ineffectiveness and barrenness. The contribution of others in the church family is absolutely essential to your becoming the person God has called you to be. The list of ways that God has designed for a committed community of believers to shape your life is impressive. The list would minimally include prayer, encouragement, correction, burden bearing, teaching, confession, and rejoicing together.

    Our desire is for our church family to grow in community. By that we mean a discernible movement from isolationism to redemptive relationships. There is so much to learn about these kind of redemptive relationships that actually “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25). This kind of stimulation implies a transfer of energy from someone else to you. When we isolate ourselves from other believers by merely attending services and classes, we literally and sinfully unplug ourselves from a God ordained source of power for our growth in holiness and love. When we restrict our relationships to surface or shallow involvement, we short circuit the work of God in our lives.

    To encourage our growth in this we are planning to use a 10-week DVD series at our 10:45 hour this summer entitled Your Walk with God is a Community Project by Paul Tripp. For the summer months, all teens through adult classes will meet together in the sanctuary for a 25 minute teaching time followed by breakout groups for discussion and application. This will be a great opportunity to hear clear Bible teaching and massage it into our behaviors and relationships. 

    Paul Tripp is a highly respected and qualified Bible teacher. Many of you have benefited from his books War of Words and Age of Opportunity. You can read more about this video series here. You can also read a recent article by Tripp that I found very helpful here. In addition to the quote at the beginning, here’s another that I thought was worthy of jotting down from this series of talks: "God has called us to intentionally-intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven redemptive relationships."

    Please pray for and plan to participate in this significant community project this summer here at KSBC.
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