Charter Service and 1st Half of 2011 Update

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Now that July of 2011 has rolled around, our church has been meeting publicly for a year and a half, and there are several things to note from the last six months. God has been at work in our church, so we want him to be magnfied as we talk about what’s been happening recently.

Probably the most significant event of the last six months was our charter service, which was held Sunday, June 26. Chartering as a church involves accepting members and adopting a Constitution and set of Beliefs to follow and uphold as a church. We were very encouraged to have twenty-four people  sign on as charter members during this service. 

It was also a special blessing to have several representatives from our sending church (Heritage Bible Church in Greer, SC) with us for this charter service. These representatives included five former or current elders at Heritage along with their wives. One of these elders, Will Arndt, currently leads Heritage’s church planting ministry, so it was good to have him with us as well as Eric Sipe, the pastor who formerly oversaw this ministry when Redeemer was first started. These elders were also present to help us with the appointment of our own elders, Todd DavisRyan Fisher, and Matt LaCava. This is the first time that Ryan and Matt have served as elders, so we had a time for questioning them on Saturday the 25th as the last step in training and assessing them according to the qualifications for elders set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Following this meeting, the five elders mentioned above along with Todd happily recommended Ryan and Matt for affirmation by our church as elders. So, the charter service on Sunday also included the appointment of Todd, Ryan, and Matt as Redeemer’s elders along with two deacons—Erik Frelund and Paul Hurst—all of whom were unanimously affirmed by Redeemer’s new members.

It is very exciting to have our own members and leadership now, and we thank God for what he’s done to bring us to this point. The charter service was a time of rejoicing in Jesus Christ, praying for God’s help and blessing on us, and challenging ourselves from the Bible regarding our responsibilities towards God and each other as a church. Fittingly, we had a fellowship meal following the service as well that gave us further opportunity to celebrate together God’s grace toward us.

Though we are very encouraged with God’s work in our church to bring us to where we are now, we recognize that we’ve just gotten started and there is much work to be done. God has further challenged us from his Word through some recent studies regarding our responsibility to share the good news of Jesus Christ with as many people in our communities as we can, and he has given us some exciting opportunities to do so. Please pray with us that God would bring spritual fruit from these relationships through his life-giving Word and Spirit. And, we’d appreciate your prayers for more such opportunities in the days ahead as we seek to be faithful witnesses in the ordinary course of our lives and through new ways of meeting people that we’re planning for the near future.

We’re very aware of how much we need God to be at work through our efforts, so we continue to devote ourselves to prayer as a church. We have now observed two evenings of prayer together, once in March and once at the beginning of July. We intend to continue this practice at least once each quarter. For an evening of prayer, we gather together on a Friday evening and spend a couple of hours together in prayer around a particular theme. We have a time of singing and praying together as an entire group, and then we break into smaller groups and move together through three or four different rooms in each of which we pray for fifteen to twenty minutes regarding a particular aspect of our theme. For our last evening of prayer, we drew our theme from Acts 19:20 “The Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily,” so we’re excited to see how God will use our prayers to continue this work in our day as he did in the first century.

As far as some of our future plans, we’re considering adding in a teaching time on Sunday mornings before our corporate prayer time. We see the need for another forum for teaching the Scriptures and for training each other in the ability to use them for evangelism, discipleship, counseling, etc. So, we’re excited about this possibility but still have some details to work out. The same thing goes for other part of our church ministry that we’re seeking to develop, so we would be grateful for prayers regarding God’s direction for these things as we certainly need God’s wisdom for all our decisions.

Before I close, I figured I’d let you know that we’ve also updated our website recently, and we’re excited about that as we hope for it to be a tool God uses to direct people to us and a tool for building up our own body. Our sermons are easily accessible on the site as will be the blog posts, which we hope to make more use of in the days ahead. Check it out at www.redeemercolorado.com.

For those of you have been praying with us, we want to say “Thank you,” and we thank God for you. We believe God is hearing our prayers to further his kingdom and build his church, and we trust that he will continue to do so. Please pray that God will draw many to himself in salvation through the gospel of his Son that we are privileged to share. Please pray that he will also bring any other Christians to us that he wants to be part of Redeemer and that he’ll build us all up in the image of his Son, all to his awesome glory.

End of 2010 Update

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We’re well overdue on an update, which lets you know that a lot has been going on here, which also means that there is a lot to report since the last update, so here we go.

Maybe I should just start with a snapshot of a typical week in the life of Redeemer as of right now. We are now meeting in a new school building that was just opened in August. The school is Foundations Charter Academy, and we began meeting in the building on Aug. 15. We’re very grateful that God has provided this place for us to meet and has given us a good relationship with the school. The school is right in the middle of the neighborhood the LaCavas are living in as well as another family that is now part of the church, and it is more than sufficient for all our needs on Sundays right now. So, we get to the school building at about 8:30 each Sunday morning and begin setting up. We were able to purchase a sound system a couple of months ago that has been a big help for our services, so that has to be set up along with the chairs, tables, nursery, kids’ classroom, etc. We begin a time of prayer, as we’ve been doing since January, at 9:30am, usually using one of the Psalms as a guide for our prayer. This prayer time runs until 10:15, and then we transition to the worship & teaching service, which begins at 10:30.One new thing to note about our morning service is that we’ve added in several instruments to accompany Danielle as she plays the piano for our worship. We have a clarinet, a cello, and a couple of guitars, so this has been a good addition to help us as we sing to our awesome God. As far as the sermons, we’re going through Luke right now and are into chapter 5. We finished up our study in Ephesians in August and thought it would be good to move next to one of the gospels. God has been teaching me much about Jesus Christ through this study and, I trust, the rest of the congregation as well. We usually finish the service at 12:00, and then we fellowship together and begin tearing down and cleaning up, which usually takes us until about 1:00 or 1:30.

For the middle of the week, we meet in two fellowship groups, one of which meets on Wednesday evenings and the other on Thursday evenings. The groups are being led by Ryan Fisher and Matt LaCava and have created an opportunity for even more meaningful fellowship and personal relationships since we broke our one midweek group into two smaller groups back in October. We meet in each other’s homes for a time of praying together, sharing with each other what God is teaching us & doing in our lives, and looking into the Bible together. We’re going to begin reading through a book together for the fellowship groups in the next couple of weeks, probably Living the Cross-Centered Life, by C. J. Mahaney, to provide something focused for us to discuss together when we meet in the fellowship groups. We’ve also talked about following a Bible reading plan together throughout the week so that we’ll also have the benefit of discussing what we’re learning from the same Scripture passages.

On Saturdays, we alternate between ladies’ Bible study and our men’s group meetings. The ladies began a few months ago a study through Proverbs at a local bakery every other Saturday, and this has been very good. The men have been meeting for several months now on the other Saturday and have finished two books together: Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald Whitney. Both of those studies were very challenging and helpful, but we’re excited to be moving into a new study now through the book of Deuteronomy.

So, that’s a typical week for us, and now I need to cover some other things that didn’t necessarily get noted in that snapshot. In the last update, I reported that Matt & Kate LaCava arrived in Colorado in May. Since then, Matt finished his internship with Heritage Bible Church, they found a nice house to rent, Judah (Jude, for short) was born in August, and God provided Matt a full-time job in November, while Kate has started voice lessons with her first two students. God has been very good to them and to Redeemer in bringing them to Colorado to serve with us & grow in Christ with us. Matt prepares and leads our worship for Sunday mornings, which has been a great blessing to us, along with other normal church ministry stuff.

In July, God led a fourth couple from Heritage Bible Church to Colorado to be part of this church plant—Paul & Tara Hurst. Paul & Tara are both teachers, and it was remarkable to see how God provided them both with jobs teaching school at a time when it’s very hard to find a position as a school teacher because of budget cuts. They both got jobs in the Brighton area, Tara at the school in which our church meets on Sundays. They were getting close to the point when they had to make a decision about the next school year with their then-current schools in South Carolina when God provided the position for Paul. They planned to move to Colorado with just him having this job, but shortly before their move, God provided Tara with her teaching position. This was another evidence of God’s faithful provision & direction for them and us as a church, and they have also been a great blessing to our church, especially by their service in leading our new children’s ministry.

In the beginning of August, a college-aged team from Heritage came to Colorado to help us pass out fliers about Redeemer in the community in preparation for our move to the new meeting location August 15. The fliers also included an invitation to a community outreach we held Aug. 13 in an effort to meet people so that we could teach them about Jesus Christ. We passed out around 2,000 fliers I think and had around 50 people or so come to the outreach event. The event included a 9-hole miniature golf course that we built along with face painting for the kids, and it allowed us the opportunity to meet several people from our community, to have spiritual conversations with some of them, and to show God’s love to our community in a small way. We had a few families visit our church on Sunday mornings as a result of the outreach event or the fliers, and one family has become a committed part of Redeemer. We think we’ll try a similar outreach event again next summer using the miniature golf course we have built now.

Around the same time as our move to the new meeting location, God brought another couple of families from the community who have been a great addition to Redeemer. Also, since we started meeting at the school building, we’ve had a steady stream of visitors, particularly from the neighborhood where the school building is located. Just to give you an idea of the makeup of the church currently, we usually have 45-55 people on Sunday mornings with about 60 people or so who are regularly connected with our church. We’re grateful for the people God has brought together to form our young church, many of whom are mature believers who are very committed to growing in Christ themselves and helping others to do the same. At the same time, because of what God has already done, we are greatly challenged to invest ourselves fervently in reaching out with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God to more and more people in our community.

One outreach effort we engaged in was putting together Thanksgiving boxes for some needy people in our community. We were made aware of five families in the community who could use some help, and God provided the resources through the giving of our people to put together boxes for these families with some money left over that allowed us to include a grocery gift card for them as well. It was really encouraging to see how God worked to make this effort successful, using his people. One of these families has been coming to our Sunday morning services consistently since we passed out the boxes, so we’re grateful for the opportunity God has given us for discipleship through this ministry.

I should also include the news that in the last couple of months, God has led two more families to move to Colorado to be part of our church. In both instances, God has provided jobs for the men in this area, which again shows us the sovereign leading & provision of God in light of the tough job market throughout the country currently. Please pray for the McDaniels and the Lees as they make the move out here and try to sell their houses in Atlanta and San Antonio respectively.

At the same time, we’ve definitely experienced some difficult things as a church family. Some of the members of our church family have endured the loss of a close family member, one of our men losing his wife after a 5 year battle with cancer. We’ve also experienced challenges with the jobs of some of our people and continued physical difficulties, but in all these things we’ve seen God’s faithfulness and his Fatherly work to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. We face the same things every church faces, and so when you pray for us, please pray for God’s gracious provision as well as for the fulfillment of his always good purposes in the trials we endure. We can certainly say through all these situations that God is good and God is great.

We’re overwhelmed by the work we’ve seen God do so far, using our imperfect efforts and sometimes apart from anything we’ve done. We’re grateful for the people he has brought together to make up Redeemer both from this community as well as from other parts of the county even. This compels us to work still harder in seeking to spread the gospel of Christ in our communities and to teach Christians how to follow Jesus Christ as we depend on God through prayer and reliance on his Word and Spirit. Please continue to pray that God will make the members of our church more and more like Jesus Christ on a daily basis. Please pray that he’ll use our witness of Christ to draw many to himself in salvation from their sins, and please pray that he’ll bring still more people to us that we can disciple and who will join with us in our service to God here. In particular, please pray for God’s leading and provision as we look towards constituting as a church in 2011 and appointing elders and deacons. We certainly need God’s powerful working in all these ways, and we trust that he will work to accomplish his purposes for the sake of the glory of his name and the joy of his people in him. What an awesome privilege to be his servants in this work and, even more, to be his children! All praise and glory to God for what he’s done so far and for what we anticipate he’ll continue to do!

Worship song lyrics from 10.24.10

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All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name

All hail the power of Jesus’ name, let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all! Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all!

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race, ye ransomed from the fall, hail Him who saves you by His grace and crown Him Lord of all! Hail Him who saves you by His grace and crown Him Lord of all!

Sinners whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall, go spread your trophies at His feet and crown Him Lord of all! Go spread your trophies at His feet and crown Him Lord of all!

Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball, to Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all! To Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all!

O, that with yonder sacred throng we at His feet may fall. We’ll join the everlasting song and crown Him Lord of all! We’ll join the everlasting song and crown Him Lord of all!

CCLI Song No. 25400 © Public Domain Edward Perronet | John (adapt) Rippon | Oliver HoldenFor use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use.  All rights Reserved. http://www.ccli.com CCLI License No. 3163364

Be Unto Your Name

We are a moment, You are forever, Lord of the ages, God before time. We are a vapor, You are eternal. Love everlasting reigning on high.

Refrain: Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain! Highest praises, honor and glory be unto Your name, be unto Your name.

We are the sinful, You the Forgiver, Jesus Redeemer, mighty to save. You are the Savior we’ll praise forever, bowing before You, blessing Your name Refrain

CCLI Song No. 2177476 © 1998 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Gary Sadler | Lynn DeShazo Alternate wording by Todd Davis and Matt LaCava For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use.  All rights Reserved. http://www.ccli.com CCLI License No. 3163364

Complete In Thee

Complete in Thee! No work of mine may take, dear Lord, the place of Thine; Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, and I am now complete in Thee.

Refrain: Yea, justified! O blessed thought! And sanctified, salvation wrought! Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, and glorified, I too, shall be!

Complete in Thee, no more shall sin – Thy grace hath conquered – reign within; Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee, and I shall stand complete in Thee. Refrain

Complete in Thee—each want supplied, and no good thing to me denied; since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be, I ask no more, complete in Thee. Refrain

Dear Savior, when before Thy bar all tribes and tongues assembled are, among Thy chosen will I be, at Thy right hand—complete in Thee! Refrain

Words by Aaron R. Wolfe, Refrain by James M. GrayMusic by Ben Nyce © 2003

All I Have Is Christ

Refrain: Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!
I once was lost in darkest night, yet thought I knew the way. The sin that promised joy and life had led me to the grave. I had no hope that You would own a rebel to Your will. And if You had not loved me first, I would refuse You still.

But, as I ran my hell-bound race, indifferent to the cost, You looked upon my helpless state, and led me to the cross. And I beheld God’s love displayed: You suffered in my place, You bore the wrath reserved for me. Now all I know is grace! Refrain

Now Lord I would be Yours alone, and live so all might see the strength to follow Your commands could never come from me. Oh, Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose. And let my song forever be:“My only boast is You!” Refrain

CCLI Song No. 5174122 © 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (c/o Integrity Music, Inc.) Jordan Kauflin For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use.  All rights Reserved. http://www.ccli.com CCLI License No. 3163364

Jesus, Thank You

The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend, the agonies of Calvary. You, the Perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son, who drank the bitter cup reserved for me.

Refrain: Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus, thank You. The Father’s wrath completely satisfied, Jesus, thank You. Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table, Jesus, thank You.

By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near, Your enemy You’ve made Your friend. Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace, Your mercy and your kindness know no end. Refrain

Words by Pat Sczebel © 2003 Sovereign Grace Worship For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use. All rights Reserved. http://www.ccli.comCCLI Song #4475341, CCLI License #316336

Softball Update

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As many of you know, several men from RBC participated in a community fall softball league. The last games of the season took place this past Tuesday in a double header, and the team that several of our men played on won both of those games, the last one on a walk-off single by Paul Hurst to score Matt LaCava from third base. It was great fun to win in that way, and we’re thankful for the grace to have been able to play well, hopefully with attitudes that have reflected Christ. So, in terms of statistics, a 5-2 record is, by some measure, a success. But more importantly, we were able to build relationships with the men from RBC who participated and with those not from RBC who were also on our team. By God’s grace, Christ was glorified, many of us were edified, and those on our team who do not know Christ were pointed to Him.

Lyrics from 10.17.10 Worship Songs

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Praise God

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, in heav’n above and earth below. Praise God the Father, and the Son, Praise God the Spirit three in one.

From all that dwell beneath the skies, let the Creator’s praise arise. Let our Redeemer’s name be sung through ev’ry land by ev’ry tongue!

Eternal are Your mercies Lord! Eternal truth attends Your word! Your praise will sound from shore to shore till suns shall rise and set no more!

Thy Mercy, My God

Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song, the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, hath won my affections and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here, sin would reduce me to utter despair. But through Thy free goodness my spirits revive, and He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart, which wonders to feel its own hardness depart. Dissolved by Thy goodness I fall to the ground, and weep for the praise of the mercy I found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own, and the covenant love of Thy crucified Son. All praise to the Spirit, whose whisper divine seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

Grace Unmeasured

Grace unmeasured, vast and free, that knew me from eternity, that called me out before my birth, to bring You glory on this earth.

Grace amazing, pure and deep, that saw me in my misery, that took my curse and owned my blame, so I could bear Your righteous name.

Refrain: Grace paid for my sins, and brought me to life. Grace clothes me with power to do what is right. Grace will lead me to heaven where I’ll see Your face, and never cease to thank You for Your grace.

Grace abounding, strong and true, that makes me long to be like You, that turns me from my selfish pride, to love the cross on which You died.

Grace unending all my days.You’ll give me strength to run this race, and when my years on earth are through, the praise will all belong to You. Refrain

Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Refrain: Grace, grace, God’s grace. Grace that will pardon and cleanse within. Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!

O Great God

O great God of highest heav’n, occupy my lowly heart. Own it all and reign supreme, conquer every rebel pow’r. Let no vice or sin remain that resists Your holy war. You have loved and purchased me, make me Yours forever more.

I was blinded by my sin, had no ears to hear Your voice, did not know Your love within, had no taste for heaven’s joy. Then Your Spirit gave me life, opened up Your Word to me through the gospel of Your Son, gave me endless hope and peace.

Help me now to live a life that’s dependent on Your grace. Keep my heart and guard my soul from the evils that I face. You are worthy to be praised with my every thought and deed! O great God of highest heav’n, glorify Your Name through me!

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart. Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought by day or by night. Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, Be Thou my true Word. I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord. Thou, my great Father, and I, Thy true son. Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

High King of heaven, my victory won, may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun. Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

 

Psalm for Sun. 10/17 Prayer Time

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Take a few moments to check out the Psalm we’ll be using for our prayer time at 9:30 this Sunday morning. We’ll be looking at Psalm 71. It is a little bit longer than most of the Psalms we’ve used for our prayer time, but there are a few themes that are at the center of the Psalm. The Psalmist is praying to the LORD for protection and deliverance by appealing to God’s nature as our Rock. The Psalmist also acknowledges that God has been the object of his trust even before he was born, which shows us that we are dependent on God every moment of our lives. He then states that he will give God the glory and witness of his saving works to others as the LORD continues to deliver and protect him. Again, we’re probably not facing real human enemies who are seeking to do physical harm to us, but we do need God’s protection and provision throughout our lives. We can ask him for it because it’s his nature to care for us, and when he does, we must worship him and tell others of his gracious works on our behalf.

I hope that several of you will come prepared to tell of God’s gracious works in your life for his praise and our encouragement Sunday morning. Together, we will also appeal to God for his saving work and his provision to continue in our lives and to spread into the lives of others. Please join us for this time of testimony and prayer Sunday morning.

May Christ’s grace be with you all this weekend! Here’s a link to the text of this Psalm.

Thy Mercy, my God, Is the Theme of My Song

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We’ll be singing this song this coming Sunday morning in our service. We haven’t sung it together before, but Lord willing we will continue to sing it for many years to come. John Stocker wrote the text to this song over 200 years ago in 1776, and Sandra McCracken wrote a fitting tune for the words within the past decade. Usually not all of these stanzas are sung, but each communicates truth found in Scripture. Meditate on these words.

Thy Mercy, My God

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Whene’er I mistake, Thy kind mercy begins
To melt me, and then I can mourn for my sins;
And, led by Thy Spirit to Jesus’s blood,
My sorrows are dired and my strength is renew’d

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Thy mercy is endless, most tender and free;
No sinner need doubt, since ’tis given to me;
No merit will buy it, nor sin stop its course;
Good works are the fruits of its freeness and force.

The doors of Thy mercy are open all day
To the poor and the needy who knock by the way;
But those that bring cash in the mouth of their sack;
The rich and the proud, shall be empty sent back.

Dear Father, Thy merciful word I my all;
Thy promise supports me when ready to fall;
When enemies crowd, to cause doubt and despair,
I conquer them all by the spirit of prayer.

Thy mercy, in Jesus, exempts me from hell;
Of Thy mercy I’ll sing, of Thy mercy I’ll tell;
‘Twas Jesus, my Friend, when He hung on the tree,
That open’d the channel of mercy for me.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

The song sounds like this:

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