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The Real Reason God Gave Us the Book of Revelation 

Revelation is such a cool book. It's scary, wild, comforting, and outrageous. But if it is still all about the future, it seems to have been worthless for 2000 years. So, why did God write it? 

Did God really want us to spend hours making and debating end-times charts? Speaking of charts – why didn’t He give us one? 

Did God want us to take a Christian stand by keeping amusement park stamps off our hand? When I was in High School, I had friends whose parents felt it was too similar to the 666 stamp of Revelation 13 for comfort, so their kids had to get a written receipt rather than a hand-stamp. It was more of an embarrassment than a witness--for us anyway. 

Did God think we would get closer to Him by discussing / arguing / writing books about rapture and second coming theories? Somehow, I think we’ve missed the point. 

The book begins, "The revelation of Jesus Christ…" It then reveals what Christ is like--scary, wild, comforting, and outrageous. Then this same Christ writes seven immediately important letters to seven churches.  

Why is there all this emphasis on Jesus and His church, rather than on the future? 

Because God loves us too much to leave us where we are.  

Come this week for the first of an 8-week series on the first three chapters of Revelation. It’s scary, wild, comforting, outrageous, and immediately important. Hope to see you here! 

Dan

Dads: You’ve Got This!

I’ll never forget the day Megan, our oldest was born. I was a new dad, stunned - in a dazed, lost, and maybe even a bit conquered sort of way.

Soon after she was born, they handed her to me. What was I to do with her? I’d never held a baby before. What if I dropped her? And JoLynn wasn’t much help.

She was using having a caesarian and taking morphine as an excuse.

I wanted morphine. Did I get any?

Sadly, no.

And then, when we were alone in the room with drugged out JO, Megan had her first meconium diaper. Did anyone tell me about those?

Sadly, no.

So I was in there scrubbing that tar stuff off her bottom as hard as a good dad dared. However it was stuck on there like carbon deposits on old valve stems. What made it so difficult was the harder I scrubbed, the more she screamed. About the time I was reaching for some power tools to do the job right, the nurse came in. Did she thank me for being such a caring dad?

Sadly, no.

The next day someone in the hospital called me a dad. Inside I freaked. It didn’t seem possible. I was dazed, lost, most definitely in a bit of a conquered sort of way. I wasn’t ready. Did anyone tell me God’s grace would meet me in my weakness?

Sadly, no.

But it did. He did. And my greatest joy in life is seeing my children walking in the Truth. Dads, we’ve got this because He’s got this. Will I see you Sunday?

Hopefully, yes.

Summer: The One Thing to Be Concerned About This Summer and 7 Warning Signs we may be running on empty.

As Christians, we tend to add things in order to become more like Christ – but what if what we need to do is to subtract? If God was in charge of our life, what might He cut out of our schedules? It’s hard to help others when we are running on Empty. Summer, when schedules lighten up a bit, is a terrific time to fill back up.

In John 10:38-42 Jesus tells us there is only one thing we need to focus on this summer. We will look at that one thing on Sunday. In the meantime, here are Seven Warning Signs we may need a fill-up. I’ve stolen them from Rowland Forman, and added some notes.

7 Warning Signs for Christians by Rowland Forman

Fatigue. I’m running on fumes when my soul output exceeds my spiritual intake

Question: If I were told about a new opportunity for ministry, or for my family, or at work--would it excite me or immediately overwhelm me?

2. Pride. In Second Chronicles 26, King Uzziah was on a roll. He had reigned successfully for 52 years. He was famous, creative and marvelously helped by God until he became aware of his own power. He stopped listening to the correction of those closest to him, and ended up his days as a lonely leper.

Question: Have I heard myself embellishing my accomplishments to find worth or value?

3. Prayerlessness. We can run our lives, even a ministry without prayer—but it also has no power. This summer, take some time each week to go outside without an agenda, and pray.

Question: When is the last time I had an agenda-less prayer?

4. Insensitivity. No amount of success is worth failure at home (1 Tim 3:4-5). I know things are out of sync when I’m caring for those outside of my own family while being insensitive to my own.

Question: After God, am I putting my family first?

5. Joylessness. Ecclesiastes reminds us that enjoyment of life is a gift from God. I remember coming out of a tough season of life when I suddenly realized  I had not laughed in months.

Question: I know I’m running on empty when I’ve lost joy. When is the last time I had a good belly laugh?

6. Immorality: King David is our go-to example. He had it, and lost it all. I wonder, would he have felt embarrassed if his family and co-workers had an insight into his spiritual walk the months and weeks leading up to his adultery?

Question: Have I been taking liberties at becoming more intimate w/members of the opposite sex?

7. Impatience. In Numbers chapter 20, God wanted Moses to do three things. Take the staff, gather Israel, and speak to a rock. He hit the rock. I must have faith in God’s word despite what I see now.

Question: I know I’m in danger when I get impatient with people and God—so am I getting impatient?

This summer, there is one and only one thing we need to be concerned about. Find out what on Sunday.

 

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5 Reasons VBS Is Still Worth It – and 3 Ways to Get Involved

It had been years since I had been involved in Vacation Bible School – then last year I got to help at Rio West. What a blast—the craziness, chaos and total fun were great, but the excellence of the program was unsurpassed. Who makes their entire worship center into a massive cave with bats? It’s too bad more kids weren’t here to enjoy it. VBS gives us the opportunity to move into our community in a personal way, and it can make a difference for eternity.

Here is why:

1. VBS is Our Best Opportunity: For AnchorPoint, the week of VBS is our best opportunity to reach more kids at one time than any other time of the year. VBS naturally brings out kids and families who otherwise might never go to church. According to LifeWay, about 30% of families who attend VBS are unchurched. What an opportunity!

2. VBS Shows We Care. New kids come with watching parents—watching to see how friendly, how organized, and how loving (like Jesus) we really are. If we love these kids, we will build a connection that has the potential to share the gospel.

3. VBS is a Cram Course: It crams over three months of Kids Church into 5 days. Our children are in Children’s Church (not counting worship) for about 45 minutes a Sunday. VBS focuses on specifically connecting children to God from 6-8:45, three times as long, for five days. That’s 15 Sundays worth of gospel exposure, a tremendous window of opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work.

4. VBS is Effective: Almost nothing is more effective than VBS in bringing people to Christ.  The Christian Post reports, "Statistics show that more people have come to know Christ through VBS than from other church events." And Kidology.org affirms that "…over 25% of adults state that they came to faith in Christ through VBS. No other piece of our ministry can really say that."

5. VBS is Strategically Focused: VBS focuses on the evangelism of those who are most likely to respond to the Gospel—young children. George Barna, in his book, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, writes that the probability of someone embracing Christ as Lord is one in three during the ages of 5-12, but drops to one in twenty-five from the ages of 13-18!

How Can I Help? Glad You Asked!

Pray for VBS. We need the Holy Spirit going ahead of us, in our preparations, planning, invitations and hearts.

Invite to VBS. Invite your neighbors kids, families you work with, grab some slow kids off the street – well, maybe not. Lord willing we will have invitation cards at church on Sunday, as well as Facebook posts you can share that are already online at www.facebook.com.AnchorPointRR

Give Kay Lynn a call (269-7122 or email ) and see what help might still be needed. We need everything from people bringing meals for workers to stage construction to kid herders (kidding, kind-of). Don’t be shy!

AnchorPoint VBS – June 5-9, from 6-8:45 PM. See you here!

Are you a sports fan? If not, I’m sure you know someone who is. The best times are when two fans from rival teams get together to watch a game. It’s amazing though how many times two fans can watch a game, the same game, and disagree on the outcome of a play. One might say their running back crossed the plane for a touchdown, the other staunchly objecting that his knee was down before the ball went over the goal line. Usually these disputes can be resolved with the aid of slow motion and instant replay, but sometimes the game will end with the two fans disagreeing about what really happened. How can that be? Isn’t there an objective reality of what happened?  Only one can really be true, either the ball got across the goal line in time or it didn’t, right?

In today’s world, people have a harder and harder time telling fact from fiction. The information age has given us a lot of knowledge…but also a lot of opinions. You read an article that says eggs are bad for you? Here is one that says they are good. You bathe your child every night? This book says to only do it once a week.  Whatever the topic, we are all only one Google search away from finding the "real story" that supports our view. How can we know for sure what the truth really is?  The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of truth, and makes it clear that there is one genuine Truth that we can all look to for guidance. 

Join us this Sunday as we look into scripture and learn how to separate the "truth" of our postmodern world with the Truth found in Christ. See you there!

Aaron