July 7, 2009 Volume 2 – Issue 27
A Word from our Family Pastor: Drew Dixon
Your Walk With God is a Community Project
As you probably know, I spent the last week in Chattanooga, TN at a youth conference called "Reality Check" with Jennifer and 6 of the middle school and high school students from our church. It was the best youth trip I have ever been on and I have been on a lot of them!
It was the best youth trip I have been on for a number of reasons. Our students were very well behaved and a lot of fun to hang out with. We all know that teenagers have their challenges, but our students are really delightful young people and I am thankful to the Lord for each of them! Our students took notes, they shared prayer requests, they included one another in their free time activities. Our students wanted to be together ALL the time! Seriously, there were a couple of times when I said that they did not have to all hang out together during some of our free time, but sure enough all our students would be gravitating to the same activity! At the end of the week when we went to Lake Winnie, I told them that we didn’t all have to stay together, but that everyone needed to have a buddy no matter where they went. It didn’t matter, we literally spent the entire day together as one big group! Our kids are all pretty unique, they have different interests, different hobbies and personalities, and yet they stick together—I find that very encouraging!
Another reason why I felt that this was the best youth trip I have ever been on is because the teaching was excellent and really connected with what God was doing in our group this week. I really sensed some genuine community begin to spring up amongst our students and by the grace of God, Paul David Tripp (one of the main speakers of the conference) focused his talks on grace-driven-community. The series of talks that Paul Tripp gave were called, "Your Walk with God is a Community Project." Meaning you cannot live for Christ on your own—"true spiritual insight is impossible in isolation." Our students need each other, they need me and Jennifer, more importantly they need their parents in order to grow spiritually.
Tripp talked a great deal about identity. He said the two pillars of Christian identity are our identity as sinners and our identity as children of grace. If either of those two pillars is absent from our lives we misplace our identity. If we forget that we are sinners, then we fall prey to self-righteousness and fail to recognize the sin in our lives that is hurting us and those around us. Most importantly we forget our desperate need for Christ. If we lose sight of our identity as children of grace, we will fall into the despair of living on our own works-righteousness. When either of these two pillars is not present, we fall into what Tripp calls "identity amnesia." We forget who we are in Christ and we stop pursuing what is ours in Christ. And as we forget who we are in Christ, we move from "identity amnesia" to "identity replacement." This is where community comes in . . .
Every single person who reads this newsletter is a sinner. If you are reading this, you are a sinner. If there is anything you need to know about sin, Satan, and the flesh, it is this—they are NOT your friends. They seek to deceive and destroy you and all those around you (Jer. 17:9; John 10:10; John 8:44; 2 Peter 1:9). Sin so clouds our identity that we begin to become deceived about who we are and how we are living. Before too long we become blind to sin in our life because we are living out of a false identity. What needs to happen? We need to wake up to the sin in our life and identify it for what it is and turn to Christ. But so often we don’t do that do we? We wallow in self-pity or self-justification. When we sin we respond to it in one of two ways—we either identify it for what it is or (perhaps more often than not) we justify ourselves (trigger our own "inner defense attorney" as Tripp says). If we are honest, we are all pretty good at self-justification. So what needs to happen?
Community needs to happen! Because sin is so deceitful, we are often the worst judges of our own hearts before God. We need brothers and sisters in our lives who will love us enough to speak truth into our lives and we need to pray that God would make us humble enough to receive the truth they speak! So if any of this connects with you (as it did with me when I heard Tripp preach it), won’t you join me in praying for two things? First pray for "humble approachability." What is the predominate sin issue in your life right now? What if someone close to you called you out on it (in love of course; Eph. 5:12)? How would you respond—are you humbly approachable and willing to let others speak into your life? Secondly, pray for courageous honesty. Perhaps for sometime now you have seen a destructive sin at work in a brother or sister’s life—maybe its time to courageously (and humbly) talk to them about it. Make sure you that your motive is genuine love for the person and not a desire to show yourself better than them, but perhaps its time to talk honestly about sin with a friend, relative or your spouse.
Your walk with God and my walk with God is a community project. We are in this thing together—won’t you join me in praying that we would be humbly approachable and courageously honest?
Hebrews 3:12-14 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL IS NEXT WEEK!!! See Regina if you want to sign up to help or bring any of the items listed below.
Snacks needed for VBS:
16 bags shredded cheese 4 large bags miniature marshmallows 4 bags semi-sweet chocolate morsels 6 boxes raisins 4 bags bite-size or square pretzels 4 bags Tostitos Scoops corn chips 3 boxes Keebler Townhouse Toppers Crackers 3 boxes vanilla wafers 3 boxes graham crackers 4 cans vanilla frosting 4 bags butterscotch chips 150 - 200 Fruit Gushers 210 snack size paper plates 350 napkins 350 9-oz. plastic or paper drinking cups 100 snack size resealable plastic bags 3 rolls paper towels 350 hand wipes Empty Paper Towel Rolls
Decorations needed for VBS:
Greenery (such as vines, ferns, moss, etc)
Carpet tubes or tubes of different diameters
Canoe, row boat, paddles
2 inch Styrofoam panels for backdrop painting
Large stuffed animals - like alligators, turtlesVBS Kickoff Party – This Saturday from 9am to 11am at Cahill Baptist Church, there will be a moon bounce, rock slide obstacle course, face painting, etc. We need people to help run the kickoff party. We are inviting the community, especially the area around Cahill Baptist Church in hopes of preregistering many kids that will come to VBS.
- Passing out Flyers for VBS: Wednesday Night at 5:00 just prior to our Wednesday night services, we will be going out to pass out flyers for VBS and for our VBS kick off on Saturday. We will pass out flyers for about 45 minutes and then return to church for our evening services. Some of the students and I may stay a little bit longer to pass out remaining flyers but we will return to the church in time to continue our "Don't Waste Your Life" study. Please contact Drew if you are able help drive Wednesday as we pass out flyers so that he can plan accordingly.
- Thursday Flyer Passing out has been CANCELLED. Rescheduled for Friday at 5:30 and pass out any remaining flyers then after passing out flyers we will have a youth pizza fellowship immediately following passing out flyers at the church from 6:30 to 9:30 P.M.
- Church Softball – If you are interested in playing in Church League Softball please see Robert Sims ASAP. Games will start around July 13 and are only on Monday nights. The church team will have uniforms that need to be ordered, see Robert for size and cost. Joint Practice with FBC Albertville at Albertville Rec Center Church Softball Field, THIS Monday Night, July 6 at 7pm.
- Breakfast Help –Denise Bledsoe needs someone to serve as her backup when she is unable to be there to get the coffee ready and make sure everything is in place for breakfast on Sunday mornings. Please see Denise if you are willing to help.
- No Confidence Retreat (Philippians 3:3): July 30-August 1, Braselton, GA. We will be staying at Jennifer's parents house in Braselton, GA (about 40 minutes Northeast of Atlanta). Friday we will go to Six Flags White Water, Cost is $60 per student which will cover all Rec (including White Water) and all breakfasts and dinners and a T-Shirt. Students will be responsible to pay for their own lunch Friday and Saturday. Please let Drew know ASAP if you are planning to attend.
- Mission Giving – Brad and Drew are going to Nicaragua in August. Please begin to pray for them and for their trip. Also, it will cost them $1500 each to go. Please prayerfully consider how much
you can give to help them go. Any money over their cost will go into a missions fund to help others in our church go on future mission trips.
- Pray for Regina Gregg’s family: her Dad, Leeroy Malone who is recovering from lap band surgery. Pray for her nephew, Hunter Pointer, who is 14 dealing with many health issues. Pray for Jeff and Suzanne Davis as Suzanne is pregnant and considered high risk and is having some major health issues.
- Pray for Denise Bledsoe’s mother, Shirley McLendon, who is in congestive heart failure. Please pray for Denise as she is trying to help her mother as much as possible.
- Pray for Ruth Thompson, Wanda Parker’s mother. Pray for her husband, Dalton, as he cares for her.
- Pray for those with cancer: Linda Duran and Paula Chamblee.
Volunteers for this week:
1’s and 2’s – Robert and Ellen Sims
3’s and 4’s – Jason and Allison PrattFood – Kathy Coy - sweet
Wanda Parker - salty
Sunday Stats – July 5, 2009:
Attendance: Worship Service - 59
New Covenant Baptist Church – www.DiscoverNewCovenant.com
104 W. Alabama Avenue, Suite A - Albertville, AL 35950 Sunday:
9:30am - Statement of Faith Class
10:30am - Worship Service
6:00pm – Community Groups
6:00pm – Children’s Activities
6:00pm – Student Activities
6:15pm – Adult Bible Study