Christmas is a time of Expectancy…

edwinlouiscole360084When you think of Christmas is your heart full of Expectancy or Expectations? The answer to that question will determine whether you experience miracles and the glory of God or disappointment and disillusionment.

Expectations are things that I decide that I want…at Christmas, in life, in relationships, at church. Usually I have to work hard to make these things even come close to happening. When they don’t work out like I expected, I am disappointed and can get disillusioned…even to the point of giving up.

Expectancy on the other hand is exciting and unknown. When I approach God with expectancy, then I am trusting HIM, not ME. If I come to Jesus with a heart of expectancy this Christmas, I am simply anticipating Him to do something miraculous in my life. If not here on this earth nor in a way that I expect, I can trust that whatever He is doing is going to be for my best.

The ultimate expectancy is in eternity. If you have truly put your faith in Jesus as your Savior, then you can look with expectancy to Jesus second coming where He will make all things right in this broken world. Your expectations won’t matter because He will do all that He has promised. Everything in God’s Word will be fulfilled.

That is why Christmas matters. Jesus came the first time to make a way for us to know God and to be made right with Him. Our sins are forgiven and our debt for sin has been paid. Jesus paid the price by dying in our place on the cross and conquered sin and death by rising from the grave! That is the Hope of Christmas!

He returned to heaven with this promise:

 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.And you know the way to where I am going.Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.(John 14:1-4,6)

 If you still have expectations that are unfulfilled, why not lay them aside and put your trust in the only WAY…Jesus. Then you can look forward with expectancy in life knowing that He has it all in control.

 Jesus isn’t  “A-way in a manger” He is “THE -Way in the manger”! Merry Christmas!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

What to do when you don’t know what to do…

So…it’s been several months since I posted any blogs. the last 6 months have been pretty crazy in a lot of ways and blogging kinda took a back seat. Well, I’m once again trying to return to somewhat regular blogging. So for the few of you that read this…here we go.

Have you ever found yourself in a place in life where you just didn’t know what to do? Whether it is in ministry or family or career or school or relationships or even politics. We all can find ourselves at a place where we are at a loss as to what to do. Many of us are right now at a loss of what to do with our nation, the economy, the political landscape. Others are at a loss of what to do in their personal life, their marriage, their job (or lack of one). So, what do we do?

In recent weeks and months, I found myself in that place. I’ll admit that much of this journey of planting a church these last 7 years I have been at a loss of what to do. Most of the time, actually. However, I think that is a good place to be because it makes me realize my utter dependence on God. I should be leaning on Him, but while I know that, I still “lean on my own understanding” many times. When I get to a place where I can’t come up with what to do on my own…and even after asking God…what do I do then? Finding oneself in this place can lead to dispair, depression, slavery to fear, even falling into sin. We’ll turn to that secret sin or pleasure, we can get bitter, anxious. We might even turn to our favorite ice cream to help! So what do we do?

When I found myself in this place recently, God showed me something from His word that I had never really seen before in an Old Testament story. I was prompted to turn there when I saw a verse posted on facebook by my good friend Aidan McKenzie. The verse was 2 Chronicles 20:12b…

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Wow! That is what I needed to hear. So, I backed up and read the context of the story of King Jehoshaphat…which is what one should always do in studying the Bible. (“Context is king”, as Kay Arthur always says.) STOP NOW and read it for yourself HERE before going on. No really, you need to take the time to read 2 Chronicles 18-20…its a good story and the message is strong.

Did you read it? If not, the rest of this post won’t mean much. READ IT before going on. You did it? Good!

Jehoshaphat was King of Judah at the time that Israel was a divided kingdom. He had made an unwise alliance with King Ahab of Israel and went to war alongside him…this almost cost him his life too. God was not pleased because of the wickedness of King Ahab. Yet God knew Jehoshaphat’s heart was to seek Him. After this, Jehoshaphat brought reforms to Judah and brought the nation back to God. Then, enemies from within turned against Jehoshaphat. In Chapter 20 we see where the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites, who had been allowed to live in peace among the children of Israel when they conqured the Promised Land, came against Jehoshaphat in battle (20:1). When Jehoshaphat was told, he did not know what to do. He was about to be overcome by a great horde. What did he do?

What we read in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 gives us the answer and also gives us a prescription on what to do when we don’t know what to do. If you haven’t read it, go there now and read it. (You get the idea I want you to read this?) What did Jehoshaphat do when he didn’t know what to do? (all scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version)

  • v. 3 – Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
    When we don’t know what to do we are afraid…but when we are afraid we should determine to seek the Lord…with intensity. The proclaiming of a fast was to seek God with greater intensity. Fast and pray.
  • v. 5-6 – And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
    Cry out to God…Pray. Jehoshaphat cried out to God in front of the whole assembly. We should not be afraid to cry out to God with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Have them cry out on your behalf.
  • v. 12 – “O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
    We need to admit our poverty and in humility understand our powerlessness and utter dependence upon God. Then turn to and KEEP our eyes on the LORD alone. He alone is worthy and He alone is able to win the victory. We can’t, but He can! Sounds trite and cliche-ish but it’s true. Jehoshaphat realized this. His own wisdom had gotten him in a mess and nearly killed him. That leads to the next step…
  • v. 15-17 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
    Recognize whose battle it is...and quit trying to fight it ourself! Interestingly, v. 17 is the middle verse of the Old Testament. It’s no coincidence that this verse somewhat sums up what God had to continually remind the children of Israel…”see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf..the Lord will be with you.”
  • v. 18-19 18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
    WORSHIP! Sing praise to God…even in the midst of your circumstance! For HE IS WORTHY! Jehoshaphat worshiped in humility. When you don’t know what to do…DON’T PULL AWAY FRRM THE CHURCH! I see this all too often. Don’t stop gathering with the Body of Christ for WORSHIP. Jehoshaphat worshiped before the battle…while surrounded by enemies.
  • v. 20 – And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” (emphasis added)
    Be OBEDIENT. They stepped out IN FAITH. Continue to walk in obedience. Whatever you KNOW God commands…continue to do. Whatever the last thing He told you to do…continue to do, even while you wait on Him. Step out in obedience. Oh…and by the way…STOP the things you know are in DISOBEDIENCE. Notice that they didn’t come up with a plan, Jehoshaphat simply told the people to do what God had instructed. “They went out“. God calls you and I to obedience…because He loves us and we love Him. When your finances are in trouble, don’t stop tithing. That’s “robbing God” (Malachi 3:8). When your marriage is struggling…don’t give up and break the covenant you made before God and pursue another relationship or lifestyle. When you have sinned against your spouse…don’t continue in it. STOP and repent and return to walking with God in obedience.  When you don’t know what to do…step out in faith…each day. DO the things you already KNOW to do…and DON’T do the things you know you are not to do.
  • v. 21 – And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise himin holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
    Give THANKS in advance. The people thanked God ahead of the battle. Thank Him before you know the outcome. A heart of gratitude will keep everything in perspective. The Bible reiterates this over and over. (see James 1:2-3)
  • v. 22 – And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
    Sing and praise God for the victory. WHEN they began to sing and praise the Lord…HE ACTED! When they stepped out in faith and obedience…THEN God acted.
  • v. 29-30 – And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
    God’s glory was evident to ALL! His glory will be manifested (made vividly clear) in your life and church to everyone around…even enemies. In the previous verses (23-28) we also see the provision and blessing that God gives Jehoshaphat and the people as a result of HIS victory and their FAITH. More evidence of the glory of God.

So what do we do when we don’t know what to do? I don’t know what enemies you are facing right now…what “horde” is surrounding and advancing upon you, but your eyes need to be on the Lord. That is our only hope. Our eyes don’t need to be on government, elections, people, economics, leaders, pastors or anything else in this world. We should simply fololw this pattern Jehoshaphat did:

  • seek God intensly
  • pray…cry out to God
  • in humility turn our eyes to the Lord
  • trust Him to fight the battle
  • worship and praise Him
  • step out in faith and walk in obedience…daily
  • give thanks in advance
  • watch God work!
  • repeat continually… 🙂

Dead or Alive?

 

46 years ago, Time Magazine put this question on their cover. Many people then were saying that God no longer had a place in America…or anywhere for that matter. He was dead. Not relevant. Unneccessary. Afterall, man was so enlightened that he had all the answers. Culture was moving away from a need for God, so therefore He was dead.

But what about today? What do you say? Is He dead or alive in your life? Do we need Him anymore?  Well, as we approach Easter, here is a headline for you:

Join us for Easter @ The Ridge! This Sunday, April 8, 1012
9:30 & 11:00am at Austin Middle School on Ridge Rd in So. Paulding Co!

  But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb,  taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found  the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold,  two  men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were  frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you,  while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man  must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and  be crucified and on  the third day rise.” 8 And  they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they  told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. – Luke 24:1-9 (emphasis added)

Christmas Eve @ The Ridge! …and beyond…

So, this month I have been terribly derelict in my blogging duties. I will strive to do better in 2012. In the meantime, join us for Christmas Eve @ The Ridge at 5:30pm. We’ll gather at Austin Middle School on Ridge Road for a great time of worship, lots of music, a very important Christmas message, candlelight and even a special time just for the kids. Join us and make this a part of your family’s Christmas Eve tradition! It is the perfect time to invite an unchurched friend or family member to hear the hope of Christmas.

We will not have a gathering on Christmas Day, rather we would invite you to worship with your family at home.

The Church @ The Ridge will gather on January 1st to kick off 2012 with a special family worship gathering. There will be no RidgeKidz that day. I’ll also be sharing some vision for 2012 that I believe is exciting.

We’ll begin a new series called Family Matters on January 8th that you will not want to miss! Make plans to gather @ The Ridge in 2012. I believe God has some great things in store.

Take a second to copy and paste this picture into your email and invite someone to join us Christmas Eve.

Finally, if you are a Ridger and are traveling this next week, or if you simply want to support the work God is doing here, you can take care of all of your year-end giving by giving online HERE or through your bank’s auto bill pay or simply by mailing your offering to
The Church @ The Ridge
P.O. Box 1228
Hiram, GA 30141

Sunday Recap 10-2-11

What a crazy day @ The Ridge! Well, Sunday was special in a lot of ways. There were several highlights:

    • We wrapped up our GodQuest series with a second look at John 14:1-7 . SignPost # 6 says “The Path you follow on your spiritual journey will determine your destination.”
    • Your GodQuest is not just about a decision. Yes. We all must choose what path to follow.  Yes, we must decide if we will follow Jesus, but we make the decision the destination. We think that just because we’ve decided to put our faith in Jesus, we’re good. Got my ticket to heaven punched. “I have decided to follow Jesus.” Then we don’t really follow Him, because we think the decision is the destination. We don’t walk with Him each day, because we are waiting for a day out there somewhere where we’ll be going to heaven.
    • Our GodQuest is about a destination. We want to make the destination about us. We want to make the destination about getting us out of hell. It’s not about us, it’s about GOD. We think that salvation is all about us. It isn’t it’s about God. The destination is to be like Christ and to spend eternity with GOD. Romans 8:29 says that we were pre-destined to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. That was God’s intent from the beginning. You see, heaven is all about a relationship. It is US, undeserving as we are, by His grace and mercy, spending eternity with the Creator and with our Savior. Everything else will pale in comparison.
    • We gave away several “Ridgie” awards to people who have served God @ The Ridge by volunteering their time and talents and gifts. Thanks to Shane & Erin Crider, Kendall Adamson & Kerry Drew for your faithful service to God @ The Ridge! You all have impacted many people for the Kingdom!
    • Sunday evening about 75 Ridgers went to see the new movie Courageous. It was great!

Then there was the only thing that most people are going to remember from yesterday! At the end of our Worship Gathering, I had a couple of announcements, then I said I had one final announcement that I needed some help with. So, I called my two oldest daughters up on stage. My oldest, Aly, was home from college for the weekend. She was thinking I was going to embarrass her in some way. I told her and her sister (who was in on the whole thing) to stand there while I stepped offstage to grab a prop for the announcement. Then her boyfriend Cris (whom she thought was back at school at Toccoa Falls College) came out.

A little background:
Cris had been our summer intern at The Ridge summer before last. He and Aly had been friends at college and she had suggested that we talk to him about possibly working as an intern. So our staff did and we hired Cris for the summer.  It was during that summer that they began to think their relationship might move beyond a good friendship. He asked me about entering into a courtship with Aly. In our family we don’t “date” in the cultural sense. We have taught our kids that courtship is a preparation for marriage, so I spoke with Cris about courtship and he agreed that he would be interested in pursuing a relationship with Aly to see if God would have them to marry one another in the future. Well, that was about 14-15 months ago. They have grown closer together and have felt that God brought them together to be life partners. After meeting with me last week and asking for my permission and blessing, Cris wanted to propose at The Ridge on Sunday, because this is where their courtship began and where they first began to fall in love. I asked if he was sure that he wanted to do that in front of the whole church and he said yes, because that is a special place to both of them.

Well, coordinating this and trying to figure out how to make it happen and keep it a surprise were a little challenging, but we came up with the plan and that’s what brought us to this past Sunday morning. We had asked Aly to come home this weekend because we were trying to get some family pictures done. She had come home thinking that Cris would be back at Toccoa Falls. When Cris walked out, needless to say, Aly was shocked. She had no idea that he had driven down from TFC along with her roomate and his sister and had snuck in the back door and was waiting backstage.

I walked off the stage to “get my prop” for her to hold for this special announcement. Little did she know what that “prop” was! 🙂 That was when Cris asked her to marry him. The whole church was as shocked as she was! We had even surprised Cris by telling him that his parents had snuck in the back of our worship service and were there. He had no idea they were coming. So there was a lot of coordinating and a lot of surprises all around. Both sets of parents came up and we had a prayer of blessing over them before dismissing the gathering. So that’s the story!

I don’t think anyone even remembers anything about the sermon though. 🙂

Family Fusion ’11

Family Fusion is what we call our Family Ministry Events @ The Ridge. We started 5 years ago with our Family Fusion Family Camp. This

Family Camp '08

is still the “hinge pin” event for our Family Ministry. This has been a phenomenal event for families and I LOVE going to camp. My family looks forward to this every summer. It is like a children’s camp, youth camp, and adult retreat all wrapped into one. God has used FF to impact many families in powerful ways.

However, last year, we made a switch to the Family Fusion Conference Edition, where we held FF at the school we meet in each evening. The main reason for this had to do with the school system schedule change that put the start of school right on top of our scheduled week of camp. The economic climate also made it too difficult to go ahead with the camp, because so many people had to drop out. Yet God was faithful and we were able to put together the Conference and it went extremely well. We tried to incorporate all of the elements of Camp that we could into a conference format. It turned out to be excellent and many families were positively impacted.

THIS YEAR we are looking at doing something NEW…The Family Fusion Road Trip!!

On July 10-13 we will be heading to Petersburg, KY (just across the river from Cincinatti) to the The Creation Museum. This is going to be an excellent family trip that will be educational, as well as will provide great times of family bonding and community with other families. We plan to charter a bus so your family can sit back and enjoy the ride. If you prefer, you can drive it yourself. We have secured a very good deal with a hotel that will include b’fast and dinner each day, as well as provide kitchens in each room so you can save money on other meals and snacks by doing them yourself.

 If museums sound boring and stuffy, I think you’ll find that this trip is going to be something your family will enjoy. The Creation Museum is unlike anything else out there. I believe this will be a perspective-changer for all who participate. Seeing that science and the Bible really walk hand-in-hand will be a great experience for your family. Check out these pictures and a video by one of the scientists at the Creation Museum’s Planetarium.

You can sign up online at our church’s website or download the information/registration form  HERE, which includes details of cost and schedule. If you have questions, contact our Family Pastor Wendell Brewton at wendellb@churchattheridge.com . I am excited about The Family Fusion Road Trip for summer 2011! It’s gonna be a blast! I hope you’ll join us.

  

 

A late weekend recap…

sorry for the late weekend recap. But here are a few highlights form Mother’s Day @ The Ridge:

  • Started off with some fun for moms with the first ever Ridge Iron Mom Competition. Fittingly, since her husband is an Ironman triathlete, Harmony Hicks took home the title! Thanks to all the moms who participated.Yall were good sports!
  • Crowd was slow in trickling in Sunday…but turned out to be a good group. I suppose many had breakfast with/for mom to take care of. 🙂
  • All our moms had flowers given to them by their children after the gathering. Really neat to watch so many kids running dow the halls and coming out of classrooms to give flowers to their moms!
  • Really love our volunteers! Those Ridgers who volunteer regularly to make sure everything happens each week, are invaluable to the church and to God’s Kingdom work. We gave “Ridgie Awards” to a couple who has been with The Ridge since our core group days. They have done a lot of serving in a lot of areas. Thanks to Jeff & Kim Mullins for your service to the Lord! Y’all are awesome!
  • Spoke on The Greatest Calling from 2 Timothy 1:1-7
  • Judges 2:10 gives us a sobering look at what can (and I believe has) happened to the church and our country.  How has this happened? What can we do about it? I believe that we, the family and the church are under attack, without a doubt…and have been for so long that we don’t even realize it. It has been a subtle onslaught of the same question Satan asked of Eve. The first words we hear from God’s enemy in the Bible. “Did God actually say…?” Our children are hearing it daily in school, in the media, with their friends, even at church and from parents. Because we as parents have been listening to this same question for a generation, we are calloused and immune to it. The enemy has so invaded God’s institutions and undermined His authority and the authorities that God established, that we are simply passing along the lies of the Deceiver without even realizing it.
  • We are writing a letter to the next generation…in our lives and the lives of our children…the question is who is this letter from? What questions is it asking? What statements is it making?
  • What is the greatest calling? shaping the next generation.  There is no greater calling! Everything else pales in comparison.
  •  Who’s calling is it?  It is the mother AND father. Our madate as parents is in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 which gives us Two things that are to be passed on to the next generation: 1. a personal knowledge of God  2. a whole-hearted love of Him.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 speaks of a letter written on our hearts from Christ for others to read. This may be the only gospel some read in the world. As parents, we are called to prepare our children to be a letter from Christ to the next generation. What is the letter that the next generation will read from you as parents? Who is writing it? Who are we allowing to write it?
  • it is critical that we…Establish Our Children’s Lives upon Truths and Absolutes of God’s Word. As our culture has completely turned from God, following the philosophies that teach that truth is relative, it is vital that Christians teach their children upon absolute truth.     
  • Here’s The Thing…Mom AND Dad…remember your calling…and remember there is no greater calling than shaping the next generation. You can give them all the material things they need and want. You can take them to church every week. you can even send them to a great school, but if you are not teaching them the Word and living by the Word yourself at home…and instilling in them and entrusting to them the commands of God and a relationship with Christ, then you may yet have another generation that knows about the Lord, but doesn’t know the Lord. Remember your calling, mom….AND dad…it’s the greatest calling you could ever have…and there is NONE more important.

Summer Interns @ The Ridge

We are looking at hiring summer interns at The Ridge. if you know of someone who has at least completed their sophomore yr of college, is called to the ministry, & is looking for some practical ministry experience this summer, let us know by sending resume’s to me at stevew@churchattheridge.com. Click HERE for job description.

There is a weekly stipend as well as housing provided. Some expenses will be provided as well.

Any RIDGERS who might be interested in hosting one of our interns, please let me know.

Weekend Recap 5-1-11

What a great day @ The Ridge this past Sunday! Here are a few highlights:

  • The band did an exceptional job Sunday! Props to Jerry and the whole Creative Arts team.
  • Spoke on obedience and baptism from Acts 8:26-40
  •  Obedience is doing what I’m told to do, when I’m told to do it, with a right heart attitude. Here’s the problem we have with being obedient to God, Jesus, God’s Word. Just as we talked about last Sunday, if God is just a concept, not a reality, in our lives, then obedience is optional. Since God is just a concept and obedience is optional…or only if convenient…then Jesus becomes simply our spare tire.  We get Him out in an emergency…when the wheels fall off or we get a flat and are stuck.
  • Jesus wants and deserves our surrender and obedience. He doesn’t want to just be our spare tire.
  • Radical Obedience is obeying with reckless abandon, letting go of everything and following Christ without looking back
  • Question:  Are we willing to run to obeyChrist? Look back at Philip in vv. 26-30. What did he do when he heard God call him? Immediate obedience. What did he do when he saw the Eunuch? He RAN. Do we RUN to obey Christ?
  • We try to complicate Jesus’ simplest commands. Because of they are complicated, then we don’t have to do anything about them. We struggle with the simple commands because we have no choice but to deal with them.
  • At the end of our gathering we offerd a chance for people to respond in obedience through baptism, if they had never done so biblically.
  • WSe offered the opportunity for people to respond IMMEDIATELY and spontaneously and SIX people responded by being baptized Sunday!! That was awesome! It was cool to see on mother and daughter and one father and daughter baptized together. In addition two other individuals responded also. That NEVER gerts old!!
  • After our gathering two teams went to two different communities on our region affected by the tornadoes last week. I was proud of our folks for responding so generously! We took water, juice, and all kinds of household stuff that was requested and delivered to Cullman, AL and Ringgold, GA. Thanks to Craig Parsons and Warehouse Of Hope for giving us a lot of water, etc. to take along with what our people donated. All totaled we took six
    tonando damage leading into Cullman, AL

    truckloads and a trailer full of stuff to these communities.

 

  • Major props to those who volunteered: the Pruet, Leggs & Atkins families, along with Mike Pinkerton, Debby Ferst, Katherine
    unloading water for tonado relief

    Morgan, Aaron Whipple, Shelli Delita, and I think a couple  of others went too!  Thanks to all of those who stayed after and helped load up the trucks too. The people there were very appreciative of our efforts. Our opporunities to minister there are not done. We’ll be prayerfully looking at how we can minister more in the future to these communities. It is gonna take months to clean up and rebuild.

Good Friday…

Tonight we had an amazing worship experience @ The Ridge! Probably one of the most unique gatherings we have ever done. Good Firday’s focus is totally on the cross…nothing else. That is what we did. The band was actually set up among the congregation, facing the stage that was empty except for a cross.

We worshiped all together focusing not on a speaker, a band, or anything except the cross and the Word. We read through the scriptures from Jesus Triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the Last Passover Supper with his disciples, then we shared communion and continued the story through song and scripture until the death of Jesus on the cross and His burial. Prayer, song, scripture all focusing on the cross and Jesus. It was a powerful worship experience!

We concluded with this video (due to a technical snafu, the last few seconds of the video didn’t make it on the screen, so check it out). However, that didn’t detract from the powerful focus of the night. We ended with Jesus in the tomb. But I am so glad that the story doesn’t end with Good Friday! Because Sunday’s Comin!! We’ll see YOU Sunday!