It seems impossible that it could be January 1st, 2014. Where did the Spring, Summer, and Christmas go? 2013 was a difficult and busy year for my family. The loss of my dad, remodeling the home that he and mom lived in, and then moving from the home I have known for 21 years equals busy and a lot of grieving. Yet I am thankful for all the blessings amidst the chaos. I am blessed with a wonderful family, a wonderful church family, awesome friends, and blessings untold.
It is my prayer that in 2014 there will be no tragedies but I also know that life happens and time goes on at an ever increasing pace as I get older. It is my goal to make every day of 2014 count, that every day will be used for an opportunity to make life better for someone. It is my goal to grow closer to God, so close that I can always hear His still small voice above the crowd.
We have been given a New Year, an opportunity to make a difference, a chance to write a new book, one chapter, one page at a time. It is my prayer that no matter what happens, the pages of my book will be filled with joy and happiness but above all, peace that passes understanding.
Happy New Year.
We had a great group of people in worship this week, 272 and growing. David Payne did a great job with the message and many people have commented that God has opened their eyes to how He will use their brokenness.
“God uses broken people, that’s the only kind of people there are.” David Payne
We are headed into two of the greatest Holy Days in the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I for one tend to get uncomfortable with cold weather. As I get older I just can’t handle it like I once did. However, if we focus on the season I think we can make it one of the best times ever.
David reminded us on Sunday that we are all broken. Every person who has ever walked the face of the earth has experienced the brokenness of our sin nature. Most have experienced broken relationships, broken friendships, and even broken bones. Jesus offers us healing from all of these. Jesus really is the answer to our brokenness, if we will just reach out to touch him as the woman with the issue of blood has done. Does it mean that we will all be instantly healed physically, No. Does it mean that we will all be happy all of the time and that all of our relationships will be the greatest, No. What it means is that Jesus has promised that through following Him, life will be of better quality in this lifetime and it will be perfect for eternity.
Reach out to Jesus today and if there is anything that I or the church can do to help with your brokenness, please ask. This is why we are here, we are the hands and feet of Jesus. We can also be the listening ear, the encourager and a shoulder to lean on. We are waiting to hear from you.
It is during this time of year when suicide rates increase and when depression tends to set in. Lets be the church and reach out to those who are broken.
Your thoughts are welcome…
I am not offering anyone an easy way out of sin, I’m simply saying that most people harp on the sin they are against and never mention the sin they practice.
When Jesus said “Follow Me” he wasn’t just talking about a leisurely stroll. When Jesus spoke these words he was getting people ready for battle. It is a battle with satan for the souls of other people. I think I know why things are the way they are, I can’t say I understand why we continue to go on and on, but I know that someday Jesus is going to make everything right. I also know that we are going to spend ETERNITY in Heaven. Just imagining a world without pain, tears, sorrow, and most of all no death. That is enough to motivate us to get off our behinds and out into the battle.
There is POWER in the name of Jesus.
There is POWER in the filling of The Holy Spirit.
There is POWER in your testimony.
There is POWER in BOLD PRAYER.
Most people are just playing when it comes to their relationship with Christ but it’s no playing matter. We are learning in the Book of Acts that God has a mission and a purpose for us. It is a mission and purpose that we can and should give our lives to.
Holy Boldness, pray for it, live it, know this is Gods plan for us.
We had 238 people in worship this Sunday, another great crowd but there is till room for more. Be sure to invite the people that you meet every day. Leigh Anne Smith inspired me yesterday to make some cards that we will soon make available to hand to people as a way to introduce them to who OOTBWC is. We will have them before Christmas so that you can be sure and get folks there to hear the Christmas message.
Pray for the Shoe boxes that have been collected and will soon be delivered, pray that every one will contain just what the recipient needs.
Pray for our new Christmas Ministry to adopt a neighborhood and bring food each week so we can bless them like they have never been blessed before.
Pray for Caleb as he will be traveling to Haiti in December on mission and pray for Misty as she will be traveling to El Salvador on mission in January.
I love you guys a lot, Pastor Ronnie
On Sunday we had a heart to heart talk about what Jesus meant when he said “Follow Me.” If you were there you will remember that I asked the question, “If we believe the words of this book, are we willing to order our lives around it’s teaching? Are we willing to order our church around it’s teaching?”
I am excited about what God is doing in our midst. Over a three year period of time we have seen great growth. From about 37 people to more than 300 people who call Out of the Box home. However, there is more. I believe that God wants to take us to the next level. Just remember, in order to walk on water with Jesus, we have to get out of the boat. If we believe the words that Jesus gave us then we can take them to the bank. We can serve like never before because we know that Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve. We can give like never before because we know that Jesus came to give and not be given to. If we believe the words of the Bible then we know that our ONE mission as the church is to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Now, I am no fool, we have probably 350 people who call OOTBWC their church home but we don’t see 350 every week. Heck, some of the people haven’t been seen in years. By the way, this is really sad for the people who are fooling themselves and think that they are OK because they have joined a church. Remember, kittens being born in a oven does not make them biscuits and people joining a church does not make them Christians. Here are some reminders of the marks of a Christian, according to Jesus.
Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
You have to lose your life. Christian, you have lost your life; you are dead to yourself.
Luke 9:57-58 (NLT)
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Jesus says, “You say you’ll follow me. You have to realize you’re not even guaranteed of the basic necessity of shelter.
Luke 10:3 (NLT)
3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.
Not good news. If you’re a lamb surrounded by wolves, you’re not in a good position. You’re in a dangerous position. This is not a call to comfort. This is a call to sacrifice.
Luke 12:22-34 (NLT)
22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? 27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things.30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. 32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. 33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Jesus is worthy of absolute surrender, you can let go of everything; let go of everything in your life, and you can trust He is good.
Even when it seems crazy to the world around you, we can trust Him.
When He says to do something, we can trust Him. He’s worthy of that kind of surrender.
Luke 14:25-33 (NLT)
25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ 31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
Jesus is saying, “Don’t come to me casually.
There is more than praying a prayer involved in this thing; this is your life, surrendered to Jesus.
We just started our new series, “Your Move,” the next move is ours as the church in 2013. Are you interested in making history with Jesus or are you satisfied with the status quo? I for one am not satisfied with status quo, life is worth so much more than that. I don’t want the same old results the church has been getting for the past how ever many years. I am not satisfied with a convert here and there, there are 27,000 people in our own back door who need to be in a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.
I’m not interested in having you come to more meetings, I am not interested in having more things for Christians to do to keep us busy, I am interested in getting all of us out there where the people are.
Here is the story I shared with you yesterday from the book “All In” by Mark Batterson.
Nearly a hundred years ago, the Philadelphia Church in Stockholm, Sweden, sent two missionary couples to the Congo. David and Svea Flood, along with Joel and Bertha Erickson, macheted their way through the jungle to establish a mission station. During their first year, they didn’t see a single convert. The village was resistant to the gospel because they were afraid of offending their tribal gods, but that didn’t keep Svea from sharing the love of Jesus with a five-year-old boy who delivered fresh eggs to their back door every day.
Svea became pregnant not long after arriving, but she was bedridden during much of the pregnancy battling malaria. She gave birth to a baby girl, Aina, on April 13, 1923, but Svea died seventeen days later. David made a casket and buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife on the mountainside overlooking the village. Grief, then bitterness, flooded his heart. David gave his daughter, Aina, to the Ericksons and returned to Sweden with dashed dreams and a broken heart. He would spend the next five decades of his life trying to drown his sorrow with drink. He forewarned those he knew never to mention God’s name in his presence.
The Ericksons raised Aina until she was a toddler, but both of them died within three days of each other when the villagers poisoned them to death. Aina was given to an American missionary couple, Arthur and Anna Berg. The Bergs renamed their adopted daughter Agnes, and called her Aggie. They eventually returned to America to pastor a church in South Dakota. After high school, Aggie enrolled at North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She met and married a fellow student, Dewey Hurst. They started a family of their own and served a number of churches as pastors. Then Dr. Hurst became president of Northwest Bible College. On their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college gave the Hursts a special gift — a trip to Sweden.
Aggie’s sole purpose in going was to find her biological father who had abandoned her fifty years before. They searched Stockholm for five days without a trace. Then, on the last day before departure, they got a tip that led to the third floor of a ramshackled apartment building. There they found Aggie’s dad, who was on his deathbed with a failing liver. The last words David Flood ever expected to hear were, “Papa, it’s Aina.” The first words out of his mouth were filled with remorse: “I never meant to give you away.” When they embraced, a fifty-year curse of bitterness was broken. A father and daughter were reconciled that day, and a father was reconciled with his heavenly Father for eternity. When Aggie landed in Seattle the next day, she received news that her father had passed away while they were in flight.
Now here’s the rest of the story. Five years later, Dewey and Aggie Hurst attended the World Pentecostal Conference in London, England. Ten thousand delegates from around the world gathered at Royal Prince Albert Hall. One of the speakers on opening night was Ruhigita Ndagora, the superintendent of the Pentecostal Church in Zaire. What caught Aggie’s attention was the fact that Ruhigita was from the region where her parents had been missionaries half a century before. After the message, Aggie spoke to him through an interpreter. She asked if he knew of the village where she was born, and Ruhigita told her he had grown up in that village. She asked if he knew of missionaries by the name of Flood. He said, “Every day I would go to Svea Flood’s back door with a basket of eggs, and she would tell me about Jesus. I don’t know if she had a single convert in all of Africa besides me.” Then he added, “Shortly after I accepted Christ, Svea died and her husband left. She had a baby girl named Aina, and I’ve always wondered what happened to her.” When Aggie revealed that she was Aina, Ruhigita Ndagora started to sob. They embraced like siblings separated since birth. Then Ruhigita said, “Just a few months ago, I placed flowers on your mother’s grave. On behalf of the hundreds of churches and hundreds of thousands of believers in Zaire, thank you for letting your mother die so that so many of us could live.
Are you willing to LIVE your life in such a way that there will be a story to tell of how you made it count for eternity?
I’m glad I got your interest enough to read this post. I hope you will read it all the way through and dwell on it for a while…
I was reading e-mails today and one came through that said, “Life is short, have an affair.”
Let’s see what the truth of a short life is.
James 4:14 (NLT)
14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
Psalm 39:4 (NLT)
4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
1 Chronicles 29:15 (NLT)
15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
Job 8:9 (NLT)
9 For we were born but yesterday and know nothing.
Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.
Psalm 78:39 (NLT)
39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal,
gone like a breath of wind that never returns.
Psalm 102:11 (NLT)
11 My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows.
I am withering away like grass.
One of satans greatest lies is that “life is short so have all the fun you can, you only go around once.” The problem is that satan tells half truths. The whole truth is, Life is short and you will only get this one opportunity to make life count for eternity.
Satan has convinced most of the world that there is no life after death on earth. The Bible says that is when life really begins, as a matter of fact, this is when life begins for all eternity. If we can just take God at His word, we would get geared up to live this short life so that in eternity we would reap a harvest. In eternity we would see countless lives who were there because of the life we lived while on this fallen earth. If we can only just see through the half truths of satan.
I know it is easy to get discouraged. I know it is hard when we look around and see so many people, even people who call them selves Christians living for today. Accumulating things seems to be what makes us normal and if you can’t afford more things then life is just meaningless.
Listen, God gave us the people around us to enjoy life with. God gave us His word so that we would know there is more to life than the brief time we will spend here and now. He even told us that satan is out to get us, he wants to eat our lunch. Every time we do something that defy’s God and His words, satan laughs at our lack of faith in the God of the Universe.
God has created you to be good, so be good.
Not perfect, but good. Live life for Christ and stop being so selfish and so unfaithful. Sure you can have an affair but be sure that no one has ever had an affair that they didn’t regret it. You can also rest assured that no one has ever regretted serving God and making Him Lord of their life. Let’s not be the brunt of satans tricks any longer.
Stanley Gray Collins
I will never forget my daddy’s hands, every time I look at my own I see him. I sure miss my daddy but I have faith he is in a better place and he is with Jesus. Just thinking about life the past 48 years builds my faith. I prayed for daddy for so many years that he would know Jesus and that he would come to church and both of those prayers were answered. I have no regrets but I miss him more every day.
Samuel Gray Collins
Ronnie Gray Collins
Samuel is into the themed days at his school. Yesterday was Nerd Day. The teacher said the funny thing was trying to explain to kids in 2013 what a nerd was. I guess one of the reasons I loved this so much is that I have always loved the Steve Urkel character. Samuel won a prize for being most Nerdy.
We had something really awesome happen in the service this Sunday and it didn’t hit me until I was getting ready to receive two people into membership. We had 2 awesome young men join Out Of The Box yesterday and in the 33 months we have been in existence, these two people made 98 and 99.
Wow, think about that…
Are you thinking???
Luke 15: 1-7 NLT
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
Jesus says it’s awesome that you have 99 but we need to focus on the one that is missing, the one that is lost, the one who without Jesus will die and go to hell. We have to focus on that one. Any by the way, Jesus says when you find the next one, have a PARTY!
We don’t party enough in the church. You know what I mean, I’m not taking about getting drunk and and doing all kinds of stupid things. I’m talking about CELEBRATION. We have forgotten how to celebrate in the church. We have forgotten how to party.
If we start celebrating the Great things God is doing and stop focusing on the things we don’t like, we could change the world.
If we start celebrating the life change that is taking place at OOTBWC and stop focusing on what we don’t like, we could change the world.
If we could start focusing on how to throw the next BIG party and stop arguing over our comfort, we could change the world.
Heck, we are changing the world. One person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time. Come and join us, get involved and see what God is going to do to surprise the watching world.
Remember, God will spit you out of his mouth if you are lukewarm. If your things mean more to you than God does then you are lukewarm. If you don’t trust God with 100% of your things, your money, your life, then you are lukewarm. Jesus said pick up your cross and follow me. Do you know about God but you don’t really know him? Do you know God but not very well? Or do you know God intimately and live for Him wholeheartedly?
We may just have number 100 who joins us next week. What are we going to do if that happens?
Matthew 13:3-9 NLT
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
Since my dad and brother have both gone on to heaven, I am left to take care of the family. I have no regrets about my relationship with dad or Keith, we were all close and all of us knew the other would always be here for each other as long as we were able. What I do regret though is not spending more time in recent years working side by side with dad and Keith. I grew up on a farm so we were always planting and harvesting. But the one thing I really didn’t do much of is the preparation of the soil. Dad always took care of plowing and making sure the land was ready and at its best to produce a good crop.
I have some great friends and neighbors who are helping me to know when to do certain things and the first order of business is to turn the soil over and allow it to sit through the Fall and Winter.
Spading or tilling the soil in the fall allows for the winter conditions of freezing and thawing to naturally break the soil into its particles. This results in crumbly state desirable for spring planting.
Soil is often damp or wet in the spring which makes deep spading more difficult. Tilling soil in the spring that is too wet will makes clods. Clods are extremely difficult to break down into that crumb state ideal for planting. Wet soil tilled in the fall will still break apart over the winter leaving a nice texture for planting. As a rule of thumb, soil should never be worked while it is wet as it does destroy some of the physical properties.
There is so much more that goes into reaping a harvest than just planting and reaping. There is the preparation of the soil. This is also true when it comes to the human soul. Jesus gave us so many examples to help us understand and I am now understanding better and better the work that has to be done to reap a harvest in the human soul by working with the soil.
I Corinthians 14:34-35
34 Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. 35 If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings.
Well, it seems pretty clear here that Paul didn’t allow women to speak in church meetings so this must mean that there is no way that a woman can preach, right?
Let’s take a look and see what is happening here.
If you go back to I Corinthians 11:5, the text reads a follows.
“But a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head.”
It seems odd that Paul would say earlier in this letter that a woman should have her head covered when she prays and prophesies. Matter of fact, in this passage in chapter 11, Paul is giving instructions on public worship.
Women prayed and prophesied in public gatherings. The equivalent to our worship services today in the modern church. So what is Paul talking about just 3 chapters later.
In Chapter 14, Paul is dealing with the misuse of the spiritual gift of tongues in the public worship services. So we should read the chapter to be in relation to this subject unless Paul changes the subject and at vs. 34 he has not do that, he is still speaking about speaking in tongues and then interpretation.
Paul makes a reference to women asking their husbands at home if they have questions. Many interpret this to mean that Paul was only speaking to married women and all unmarried women were free to speak up. (It is a valid point)
It would appear to me the issue is that a woman is not to speak up in the meetings at Corinth when it concerns speaking in tongues or the interpretation of them. I can honestly say that at the moment I am unclear as to why. However, I am clear that a woman is allow to speak in church gatherings in general in the New Testament as well as being able to lead in the church.
Let’s look at some examples.
I Corinthians 11, Paul explains that a woman is to cover her head when in the public assembly and she has the role of either praying or prophesying. To prophesy is to preach, among other public speaking opportunities in the public assembly.
- Miriam – prophet; played major role in Exodus; led worship singing and dancing.
- Deborah – prophet; judge; led Israeli troops into battle with Barak
- Hulda – prophet
- Anna – prophet who pronounced Jesus to be the redemption of Israel
- Lydia – business woman who became a central leader in the Philippian Church
- Priscilla – helped Paul establish churches at Corinth and Ephesus; corrected Apollo’s preaching
- Junias – an Apostle
- Phoebe – deacon; commended by Paul for her service to the church
God does not violate His own design and it is God who places women and men in leadership throughout the Bible.
Jesus in His ministry elevated the role of women from the cultural norm of that day being property to people worthy of respect and fair treatment. In the case of Mary, Lazarus’ and Martha’s sister, Jesus not only allows but commends Mary specifically for choosing to learn about God over domestically and culturally defined roles. Women were among the disciples following Jesus, learning from Him, serving Him, and supporting Him. Women of course were at the cross and at the tomb. Women were the first to see and speak to the Christ after His resurrection from the dead, and the first to proclaim His resurrection. Paul also elevated the role of women from the cultural norm. As Saul, he persecuted them equally with men; and as an evangelist he preached to them as he did to the men. He worked along side two particular women, Lydia and Priscilla commending their ministries and leadership.
In the context of the cultural norms of the New Testament time period. Women were seen and treated as secondary to men. Men ruled the day and in the culture they were not allowed to have any kind of authority over men. If we will read the New Testament with this understand we will find that Jesus and Paul as well as other writers included women in worship settings, they encouraged them to learn, they commended them for their ministries and their leadership. In these instances where women are told to be silent it seems to me they were doing all they could to be all things to all people without offense.
Remember, in your freedom, don’t cause others to stumble.
Jesus nor Paul taught that it was wrong for women to be in leadership but they certainly had to deal with the cultural realities of their day. We still deal with some such issues today, however when it comes to women in leadership, women lead in every way as men do.
We must have an understanding of God based on the entirety of scripture and never, ever, take scriptures at random to build a case for who God is and how He behaves. Years and years of cultural bias as well as ignorance of not knowing the history and background of the scriptures have caused a lot of confusion. It wasn’t chosen ignorance, it was the fact that information wasn’t as readily available as it is in the information technological world in which we live today.
I hope this helps.
Today is one of those days you would like to freeze frame and just live in the moment. God really is doing a great work in and through the people of Carroll County. We started the day in prayer with the praise team and we could feel the presence of God’s Spirit, it was strong. We are in a series that is sometimes hard to preach, “Practical Atheist.” It is a series that calls us as Christ Followers to walk the walk and not just talk good. It is so much easier to look like a Christian with other Christians than it is to live like a Christian before the watching world. It is a hard series to preach because we have an awesome bunch of Christ Followers at OOTBWC and I don’t ever want to do anything to discourage the hardest working group of people that I know. However, we all need to be reminded, starting with me, so that is what we are doing. God is reminding us that our relationship with Him is worth making sacrifices for.
We baptized Matt today. Thank you Matt for the example you are for me and others. Life is sometimes, oftentimes difficult but you have demonstrated that we can overcome. You will be in my prayers constantly and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through you and your commitment to Him.
We baptized Keith today. One of the greatest joys of being in ministry is to meet people like Keith who have the greatest and kindest hearts for others. Keith, God is going to use your gifts to help change the world, starting in this community. Praying for you constantly.
We baptized Donna today. Donna, the look on your face today was sheer joy. There is no doubt in my mind that God has His hand on you and that your gifts and talents are just what is needed in this place to reach those who need to feel the love that you do for Christ. I am praying daily for you and your walk with our awesome savior.
Words can’t describe how I feel about this picture. I am a blessed man! We prayed for our Samuel just as Hannah did and we have dedicated him to our God. By no means is he perfect but he is to us. Our 3 boys and our grandchildren are worth making whatever sacrifices needed to make sure they know Christ. By the way, the 27,000 are also worth it.
Trust the Provider and not the provision. The provision is secondary. Enjoy your blessings but don’t ever let your blessings keep you from moving further in your relationship with the one who loves you more than anyone else and His name is Jesus.
Pure Joy! Thank you to the praise team who works so hard, the sound and media, the children’s ministry workers, greeters, hospitality, ushers, every person who works so hard every week to make what has taken place today, a reality. God gets the credit but He has chosen us as His hands and feet and you do that well.
The work downtown has just begun. 96 new members, 37 baptisms, countless lives impacted and changed.
I love you guys, Pastor Ronnie
OK, I’m not into reading messages into things that aren’t there. I am into the mysteries of God though. I do believe that God sometimes speaks to us through His displays of artwork in the sky. I took this picture standing by the fire pit this morning and didn’t see it until I was looking at the picture later. Is it just me or do you see something in the picture that looks a lot like something very familiar?
Psalm 19:1 NLT
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the skies announce what his hands have made.
The celestial realms announce God’s glory;
the skies testify of His hands’ great work.
The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great,
and he never lets the guilty go unpunished.
He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm.
The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
Would you like to host a group in your home?
Pastor Ronnie has a goal to meet with every person, who calls Out of the Box Worship Center their church home, during the month of November and early December. The groups will consist of 10-12 people for an hour and a half. As the host you would agree to provide the meeting place and light refreshments.
Pastor Ronnie will share his visions and dreams for Out of the Box Worship Center as your Pastor, but, his vision includes your visions, hopes, and dreams as well.
God is doing a great work in and through the people of Out of the Box Worship Center and we believe, working together, we can reach the 27,000 people that we have been called to minister to in our community.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss this further. Cathy Sizemore is organizing the groups and handling the sign ups. You can contact her at email@example.com with your group information, choose a date, time, etc.
The first group of 10-12 will meet on Sunday afternoon 11/3 at Pastor Ronnie & Misty’s Home in Cana around the fire pit if weather allows. There are signup sheets in the lobby or contact Cathy Sizemore to join this group.
“ They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:42-47 NIV
Someone who believes in God but lives as if He doesn’t exist.
Join us at Out Of The Box Worship Center
Downtown Hillsville Virginia
8:45am, 10am, and 11:15am
Everyone is welcome and wanted…
Come as you are, NO DRESS CODE…Really!
I love this picture. They weren’t posing but it sure looks like they were. Well maybe a couple of them were…
We are blessed with an awesome family. It is so much fun watching them grow up and sad at the same time that we will not have them little all the time. There is richness that comes with every stage of life and we are learning to have fun and enjoy every stage. We thank God every day for how He has blessed us and we know that things can change in an instant. Never take your loved ones for granted. Spend time with them and enjoy the blessing God has given.
Someone had the following question and it is a good one…
A verse keeps sticking with me that has me puzzled.
1 John 5 v.18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin….
1 John 3 v.9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seen remains in him. He cannot go on singing because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are….
It’s not humanly possible for us to stop sinning. We should always be continuing to improve and be more Christ-like but the versus above seem harsh. Is there something lost in the translation or am I not getting the entire text of how it was intended?
OK, here is the first thing that I do when I have something like this verse that come up.
1. I know from studying the scriptures that we are all sinners and God doesn’t love us because we are good. I also know the bible teaches us that we will get to heaven by only one way, through faith in Christ, the work he has already done. Ephesians 2: 8&9
2. This is puzzling in relation to salvation by faith and the fact that we son’t stop sinning until we meet Christ face to face or at death so there must be something that is missing in translation. I always keep several translations of the bible handy to see what each one says. If there is great agreement or all the translations read the same then that doesn’t help much. But, if the translations vary to a good degree we have to get closer to the Greek that we received the Bible to begin with. Never fear, there are lots of tools available, you don’t have to be able to read Greek, although it would be great and fun to do so.
Lets see what a few of the translations say about these verses.
1 John 5:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
1 John 5:18
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
18 We know that those who have been born from God don’t go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one can’t harm them.
1 John 5:18
Living Bible (TLB)
18 No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely, and the devil cannot get his hands on him.
1 John 5:18
New Living Translation (NLT)
18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.
1 John 5:18
The Voice (VOICE)
18 We all know that everyone fathered by God will not make sin a way of life because God protects His children from the evil one, and the evil one can’t touch them.
I see in these different translations that there is a concept in the original Greek that means a Christian is not going to live in a habitual sin. Why?
#1. Because Jesus is holding us in vs. 18
#2. We are not under the control of satan, we choose sometimes to do wrong but satan can’t make us do anything. vs.19
#3. We are warned to keep away from things that could take 1st place in our lives over God.
Here are a few things to back up this thought.
In vs. 13 we are told that we can know that we have eternal life or that we belong to God.
In vs. 16 we are told that we could see a Christian sinning that we should pray for them.
The writer of I John is not changing the clear teaching of scripture that we are saved by grace through faith. The writer is saying that a person who truly knows God will not live in a habitual sin. We are convicted by the Holy Spirit who lives in us and eventually we will get it and stop. A person who says, I’m a Christian so I can live any way I want to probably doesn’t know God.
We can also reflect back to I John 3:9 and see this is what the writer was talking about.
1 John 3:9
New International Version (NIV)
9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.
1 John 3:9
New Living Translation (NLT)
9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life[a]is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.
It was another great day at Out of the Box. 245 in worship and the music as always was over the top. So many great things happening, it’s hard to keep up. There are people desiring to be baptized and even more who are ready to join. Discipleship is happening in ways that I have never witnessed in my ministry over the past twenty plus years. Over the past couple of weeks 2 young people have brought their tithe to the church because they get paid mid week and want to make sure that God gets the first portion, that’s discipleship.
We made the announcement today that we are making some changes in children’s ministries. In June we added a 3rd worship service and our faithful volunteers stepped up and have worked hard to try and make children’s ministries the same for the second and third services. After 4 months it has proven to be too much for the number of volunteers that we have to continue providing the same ministries for the 10am and the 11:15am services. Our two greatest goals are to teach the children about Christ and to keep them safe.
We have determined for the immediate time to provide nursery and toddler ministry for all three services and all other age groups will only be at the 10am service. We have a van that has been running for the 11:15 but we will now change and run the van for the 10am service in order for all of the children who want to come to have that ministry.
Our goal is to do what we do and do it well. At this time we are not able to continue at the pace we have been moving with childrens ministry. Come and join us at 10am and bring your children and remember, children are always welcome and encouraged in our worship services and many parents choose to bring them already. When God brings the person or persons into our midst whom He has prepared to lead us further in expanding our childrens ministries, at that time we will expand. Until that time we will do what we can and do it well.
Thank you to all who lead at OOTBWC, your work matters for eternity and as your pastor I thank God for you. God is doing a GREAT work in and through you.
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