Baptism Story!

One of the greatest opportunities to tangibly see the mission of Rock Bridge Community Church being lived out is through baptism. When people are connected to life in Christ, baptism is the next step! Jesus both modeled and commanded baptism as a symbol to tell the world that we are now living for Him.

Here at Rock Bridge we love celebrating stories of people connecting to life in Christ. I want to share one of those stories from our recent baptism where well over 100 people took the next step in baptism. Check this out!

6 years in prison. Meth user. Saved by grace! 6 years clean! She said “I’m free & forgiven. He gave me New Life” But God had a plan!

5.21.2017 Baptism (323)

Fathers Day 2017

19260463_635636698594_1085237202716738302_n.jpgI love fathers day! It’s more exciting to me than my birthday. Fathers day normally is just another day. Not a big deal like mothers day is. And that’s cool, but I LOVE THIS DAY!

Did you know years ago when cell phones weren’t a thing Fathers day was the number one day for collect calls. Also, traditionally Fathers day is a very low attended Sunday at churches across the country… Total opposite of mothers day! That’s saying something fellas. 

Fathers Day should be a day of celebrating positive masculinity, a day of celebrating the amazing gift that men bring to families. Celebrating the man who not only made you but has stuck around to raise you!

There are so many statistics that show a absence of positive male role models in a child’s life has an impact on teen dropout rates, drug use, unwanted pregnancy etc…. Another big deal is the decline of masculinity.

We’ve simply forgotten how to be men. We’ve forgotten how much power we have to shape the lives of our own children.

My prayer on this fathers day is this…

  • I pray that my kids will always have a dad they can trust and depend on.
  • That I will be the same man personally, publicly and privately.
  • Someone they actually look up to and want to be like!
  • See me love their mom and in return learn how to love their future spouse.
  • See me live out what I preach and the message become life and not just words.
  • That they will always see that I strive to be a man of character and integrity.

There is no better title or responsibility than being Dad. Make it a priority to lead and love!

And for the record… When ministry/work/hobby/etc… becomes more important or a priority over Family, you have failed. Doesn’t matter how “great the work is” Family First!

To all the dads who are struggling/confused/worried you are doing a bad job but are sticking it out and striving to be a better leader for your family. You got this! Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

 

A Father’s Call to Fight

By Craig Groeschel

Learning to Fight the Enemy as a Man of God

Each year when summer rolls around, my wife and kids honor me on Father’s Day. For me, Father’s Day is not only a day to reflect on the greatest blessings God’s given me — my family — but also a day to reflect on God, the ultimate Father.

The Bible says that God is a God of mercy and grace. And Exodus 15:3 tells us “The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is His name.” So if we’re created in God’s image, then it’s safe to say that being a warrior is core to man’s identity. It’s not just a cultural, patriarchal thing. It’s a God thing.

Consider what the Bible has to say about fathers. Psalm 127:4-5 says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them. Such men will never be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.”

Warriors.

Do you consider yourself a warrior? As a father, how do you teach your children to fight?

If all this fighting, violence, and being a warrior bothers you, let me say this: the virtue of strength is determined by how it’s used. If strength is used to love and to protect, it’s good. Unfortunately, it can also be used to inflict harm, and that’s not what I’m talking about. God calls us to fight for what’s right. And a warrior is only as worthy as his cause.

A man without a cause from God is often just an angry man who doesn’t know where to direct his pent-up energy and aggression. A warrior with a cause from God directs his warlike energy for a cause greater than himself and honors his family with his strength.

Gentlemen, God created you with the heart of a warrior. But until there’s something you’re willing to die for, you won’t understand your cause, and you can’t truly live.

We must always be on guard, fighting for our hearts and the hearts of our families.

Whether you know it or not, you’re already in the middle of a battle. Your spiritual enemy wants to take you out. He’s the master at making strong men weak. Sometimes he does it when things seem to be going well. Life seems pretty good — no struggles in sight. We become resigned to an easy life full of the familiar. It’s in those moments when things seem easy that we can actually become easy targets for the enemy. We must always be on guard, fighting for our hearts and the hearts of our families.

Every man has struggles, a battle to fight. If we had no struggles, we would have nothing to fight for. God often uses these painful moments we dread to do something deep within us. It’s how He shapes us to be the men He wants us to be, preparing us to fight and win even bigger battles.

But what does being a warrior look like in the every day?

Maybe you’re in danger of failing financially. Now is the time to fight like your life depends on it, to get control of your budget and align your priorities with your cash flow. Honor your family and the Lord by your financial stewardship — confess any missteps, or even secrets, and commit to future financial integrity. Fight like crazy to regain your financial security, for your family’s sake.

Perhaps you’re playing with a lustful fire. You keep returning to images and people and places that excite you but also unleash something you’re afraid you can’t control. You’re going to get burned. Decide. Confess and overcome the darkness. Fight!

Your marriage may be hanging by a thread. Determine never to surrender. Use love, patience, and forgiveness. Seek counseling from a professional, work hard, fight harder, and make those healthy choices that can save your marriage.

Maybe your kids are making dangerous decisions. Get down on your knees and fight like a man — of God! As parents who serve the Lord, we are responsible for imparting spiritual life and legacy to our children. In order to do that, in order to earn our children’s respect, we must set a godly example, and that alone is a battle worth fighting.

TAKE ACTION

  • Read the Bible with your children, and let them see you reading the Bible on your own.
  • Challenge your children to memorize Scripture.
  • Take your children outdoors to a nearby lake, forest, or park and discuss God’s creation.

Dads, fighting the enemy is an all day, every day battle — one we may not even recognize. Choosing a lifestyle that honors God may affect all kinds of mundane things, from which morning radio station to listen to on the way to school to how we speak to our spouses and children throughout the day. It’s waking up an hour earlier to spend time in the Word. It’s choosing not to vent about work in front of the kids. It’s teaching our children to fight for what’s right and supporting them all the way. By making the life choices, big and small, that glorify God, we diffuse the power of Satan in our lives and win the battle for our families.

Learn how to fight with faith, with prayer, and with the Word of God. Then, when the enemy attacks, fight for the righteous cause God gave you.

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, a pace-setting multicampus church with 17 locations in five states. He is the author of several books, including FIGHT: Winning the Battles that Matter Most (Zondervan).

6 Tips on Raising a Large Family

by 

I have eight children. Probably not enough kids to warrant a television special, but just enough to cause strangers in the grocery store to start counting the little heads trailing behind me. When I leave the house with all eight in tow, I brace myself for the onslaught of questions regarding my children’s paternity and whether or not I own a television.

We never specifically set out to be raising a large family, but there was always a nagging feeling that there was someone missing. Now that they are all here, I would never trade our busy lifestyle for any amount of peace and quiet.

People always ask how I do it. The truth is most of the time, I just do. It’s kind of like the juggler in the circus, you add each new task in succession, while trying to keep up the ones you already have. At some point it all comes crashing down in a spectacular mess. That’s when the real challenge hits, because you need to pick up and start juggling again.

1. Organization is key. I cannot tell you how many hours have been wasted due to miscommunication and a sheer lack of time management. There are days when I need to have three children in three different places at the same time. All while, I need to be helping with homework and starting dinner. There were a lot of busy nights that erupted into pure chaos. I am not proud of those nights when homework was done in the car while kids were eating convenience foods. Due to circumstances, sometimes that still happens, but at least it is planned.

In an attempt to bring some order to our crazy lives, I created a large family calendar on a magnetic dry erase board to keep track of everyone’s schedules. Everything is posted on the calendar from when the kids need to wear sneakers for gym to which child needs to bring which instrument to school. Also, thanks to Google calendar everything is on my smartphone which is also synced to my husband’s calendar and vice versa. The frantic phone calls from school asking for sneakers and saxophones has greatly lessened since the institution of our calendar. Above the calendar is a bulletin board where we tack up important information we need to keep close at hand; such as class phone numbers, school lunch schedules, and birthday party invitations.

An organized home prevents a lot of wasted time searching for keys, the dog’s leash or homework assignments that somehow made their way out of your child’s folder. Establishing a central location to keep your family essentials is a must.

2. Everyone needs to pitch in around the house. Keeping the large family household running smoothly is everyone’s responsibility. A chore chart is a great tool to utilize to teach basic household responsibilities. Chore charts teach responsibility and help encourage kids to set goals. By linking responsibilities to privileges, we can reward responsible behavior and provide consequences when our children do not follow through.Untasked children are like ninjas. Mine were experts at sensing the moment I was about to ask them to do something. By the time I turned around they had stealthily exited the room and were nowhere to be found. By holding each and everyone of them to task, it made my life much more simple. Do it now, or do it later, just get it done.

I hadn’t even hammered the last nail to hang the chart up, and they were already clamoring to do more chores. Win!

3. Menu planning and bulk shopping helps to save time. Planning meals ahead of time allows for less trips to the grocery store. Our busy schedule demands that we shop once a week, instead of making multiple trips. If you have the space, consider getting a membership to a warehouse store so that you can buy larger quantities, saving both time and money.

I try to hit a few stores on my shopping day. Through trial and error, I know which stores offer the best deals in each department. This month started off with a visit to the butcher:

  • 25lbs Chicken Breast
  • 25lbs Ground Beef
  • 40lbs Drumsticks

When I get home everything gets portioned and packaged in storage bags. Breasts are fileted into cutlets and tenderloins. Ground beef will become tacos, hamburgers, and pasta sauce later in the month. Drumsticks are easy to throw on the BBQ or in the oven, and make great cold left-overs for lunch the next day.

Thank goodness for my chest freezer. Best purchase ever!

You’ll know who I am if you see me at the store. I’m the mom with the overflowing cart filled with 3 gallons of milk and more cereal than most families can eat in 6 months. The food will all be devoured in less than a weeks time. Who am I kidding, most of the food is gone 45 minutes after I walk in the door.

4. Keep the clutter at bay. This one has always been the hardest for me personally. I used to be that mom who saved everything. Everything times eight kids looks like a bad episode of Hoarders.

Now, I snap pictures of my favorites, save a few very special pieces, and toss the rest.

Each morning, after the kids leave for school, I like to schedule time to straighten up. The operative word there is “like.” Sometimes, I step over the dolls and cars while kicking someone’s sneakers to the side. Every night, we recruit the kids to participate in a “ten minute tidy” of the living room. You would be surprised how fast the job gets done when everyone pitches in.

5. Make time for each other. My husband and I make it a priority to carve out private time with each other. Even an at home date night is a great way to stay connected. Sometimes, it’s take out and sometimes it’s chips and salsa. Heck, I can turn grocery shopping into date night. Any time alone is valuable, so take advantage of it.

Not so long ago, a friend of mine stopped us in the CVS parking lot to comment about the fact that we were holding hands, and it looked as if, “we almost liked each other.”

6. Don’t neglect yourself. When privacy is a commodity, any time alone, can be your best reward. Know your own limits, and if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, focus on your own needs for a little bit. Run yourself ragged, or push yourself too far, and things start to fall apart in a hurry.

Spend some time each day doing something entirely for you. If you need to, get up a half hour early or stay up a half hour later each day to exercise, watch television or curl up on the couch with a cup of tea. A hot shower or an uninterrupted bubble bath can do wonders.

A large family comes with a lot of work, a lot of love, and even more joy. Whatever size your family may be, no one knows better than you what each person needs. Take it one day at a time.