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Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

To be a place that inspires spiritual growth, worship and ministry to people!

Our desire is to use Sonrise in the Woods to minister to people on the mountain.

Our mountain communities need a place where children can enjoy playgrounds, youth can gather for wholesome activities, adults can fellowship in unhurried peace and the elderly are treated with the dignity and honor they deserve. That is the vision God has given Church of the Woods for the new campus.

Our San Bernardino Mountains have more than 671,686 acres of National Forest land. There is another 147,313 acres of non-USFS land within the National Forest. As we consider that the 818,999 acres will always be preserved and undeveloped, it seems like our 37-acre parcel is a great location to serve the needs of people on our mountain.

It is amazing how much false information and hysteria is being generated over a project that seeks to serve our mountain communities by providing resources that are sorely lacking. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that the two greatest commandments are: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) That is our goal!

God’s Word declares, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) In other words, God’s greatest desire is for the eternal souls of people to be saved. That is our goal too.

It is our prayer that Church of the Woods will be a catalyst for people to come to know God personally through Jesus Christ. Our project, Sonrise in the Woods, is designed to enhance our ministry into people’s lives and provide a wholesome, beautiful environment for ALL the communities to enjoy. It will be a great place to benefit from picturesque landscaping, natural beauty and fellowship with people from all over. It will be exciting! Hope to see you there, too.

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Greetings from Egypt

Our tour family is bonding well as we experienced our first day of touring, even with some jet-lag! Ancient history filled our eyes and ears as our Egyptologist guided us through the fascinating Egyptian Museum spanning over 5,000 years. We learned that headdresses and eye liner were originally used as protection from the sun and sand of Egypt—only later did they become fashion/religious coverings and cosmetics.

The forty day mummification process was explained and then “dead” results viewed in the Royal Mummies Hall—this same embalming process was used on the Patriarchs, Jacob and Joseph, signifying their high standing in Egypt at their deaths (Genesis 49:33-50:3, 26).

The word “Egypt” occurs over 600 times in Scripture with about 150 times signifying to get “out of Egypt.” However there is one time that God commands to “flee to Egypt.” Matthew 2:13-15 tells the story. After the museum, we ate lunch on the Nile. Next we made a quick trip into the Coptic Christian section of Cairo. The Church of St. Sergius is believed to be one of the places where Joseph, Mary and Jesus stayed during their flight from Herod.

The Giza plateau was our next destination to view the impressive Pyramids and Sphinx, as well as “Cheops Boat Museum,” housing one of the large boats buried next to the pyramids to be used in the afterlife. There was drama unfolding as our group arrived after the gate was locked to enter the Sphinx viewing/photo area, but our tour security guard convinced them to open up the gates for us.

Throughout this day, I kept thinking about how much time, energy and effort these ancient people took to prepare for the afterlife. WOW! Scriptures emphasize the fact that we will all give an account of our lives before God one day. My question after today is, “Are we preparing for our eternal home with the same kind of passion?” Obviously, we don’t need to build a pyramid, nor be mummified to secure eternal life. But we do need to repent of our sins, and receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord to obtain salvation. Then we make our lives count for eternity by our ministry for His glory.

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cross

We want our key core values to be reflected in all our ministries:

Recognizing our SEVEN “S” VALUES keeps our focus on developing each individual person in their spiritual journey. We want to be a community of people who radically devoted to God and earnestly seeking to impact people for eternity. Our core values are:

  1. SALVATION: Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” We want to display an evangelistic intensity that burns white-hot. Lost people matter to God and lost people matter to us! We want to dream of ways to reach out with the love of Christ to people. It is a relentless passion to see people come to know Christ, personally.
  2. SPIRITUAL GROWTH: Colossians 2:6, 7, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Our desire is to “raise the bar” on everyone’s spiritual growth. As our purpose statement declares, we want to see Christ-like disciples multiplied. There are many venues to encourage this growth.
  3. SCRIPTURE BASED: 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” At every level of ministry we want to have clear, anointed teaching of God’s Word. In a world where truth has be relative, we want to declare the absolute truths of the Holy Bible.
  4. SPIRIT FILLED: Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” This is the most life-changing truth I have ever learned as a Christian. It is not us living for God, but God living through us. As Paul said, “I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29). The Spirit-filled life is one of active obedience knowing that it is God doing the work in and through us by faith. I will write a future BLOG on this more fully.
  5. SMALL GROUPS: Acts 4:46, “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.” All of the “one another” teachings of Scripture are best fulfilled in a small group context. We value people being in authentic community and developing deep spiritual friendships. It was the pattern of the early church as Paul stated that he was, “teaching you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). Groups help to build healthy accountability!
  6. SPIRITUAL GIFTS: I Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Our desire is to see each person operating in their spiritual gifts as a personal blessing to them and for a greater impact for the kingdom of God. Every believer is a minister and they each need to find their unique calling and giftedness to maximize their spiritual influence.
  7. SERVICE: Titus 3:14, “Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.” We want people to move from a “consumer” to a “contributor,” from a “spectator” to a “participant.” Our goal is that 100% of people are engaged in giving of their time, talents and treasures faithfully and generously.

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young man reading small bible

People often ask me, “How should I study the Bible? Are there certain ways that help to keep the meaning accurate?” The answer is a resounding,

YES!

I am so grateful when people are searching scriptures for themselves.

There are several good resources for helping people to deal with biblical interpretation and hermeneutics, which is the process of accurately studying the Bible. I would encourage you to buy some study aids, like a good Study Bible, Concordance, Bible Dictionary, and Bible Atlas, to name a few.

2 Timothy 2:15 encourages us with these words,

“Be diligent to present yourselves approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

That means that it takes work; but the rewards of studying God’s Word are priceless.

The basic Bible study process is as follows:

  1. Observation: What does it say? (What is the original meaning of the author to his original audience?)
  2. Interpretation: What does is mean? (This is the exegetical study of the passage in its context.)
  3. Correlation: What do other passages say about this topic? (This is called “Analogy of Scripture.”)
  4. Application: How does it relate to my life? (What are the key impacts in my life that need to change?)
  5. Communication: How do I give it to others? (Minister this truth to others in love.)

Keep studying God’s Word, my friend! God will continue to transform us and use us as we abide in His Word.

Read John 8:31-32

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