Be Part Of The Movement!

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The growth of any church is determined by the mindset of the people. If we have an attitude of pride, apathy, laziness, negativity or critical attitude, we will never be all that God wants us to be. I believe that’s why God’s favor has been on Rock Bridge Ringgold for the last 6 years, we don’t have this kind of attitude!  Anytime the ask is put out you all respond with amazing understanding and willingness to do “whatever it takes” to connect people to life in Christ!

As I shared in church… In Luke 5 we read of some men who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus.. These guys are an incredible example of the right attitude leading to the right action, resulting in a great move of God!

(Encourage you to read Luke 5:17-25)

I believe that in the example of these men, we see a picture of how we as a campus should be. When it comes to connecting people to life in Christ! It’s by taking on a “whatever it takes attitude.”

So,  If we are to have a “Whatever it Takes” attitude, then …

1.       Agree that we as a campus will do whatever it takes to connect people to Christ.
With this man, it took four unified brothers to get him to Jesus. I pray that we as a campus would be so unified that we come together for the purpose of connecting Ringgold to Jesus!

2.       We believe that there is no hope for humanity but Jesus.
We have to share the Gospel – Live Sent everywhere we go!
– Only Jesus has the power to save sinners
– Only Jesus can forgive sinners
– Only Jesus can heal and set people free!
– We don’t make excuses for others or for ourselves. Instead, we do something. (Our Word for the year)

3.   We don’t give up when it is difficult or uncomfortable.
Instead, we go to extreme measures to make an eternal impact on someone’s life.
– Persistent. We keep evaluating ways to make room to connect new folks.
– Creative Means. Think “outside the box”
– Continue to come up with new methods
Bringing the man through the roof was no ordinary means, yet…They did it!

4. We don’t expect someone else to act. We see the need and take action!
Pastors, Worship leaders, and buildings don’t grow churches, God grows churches and He uses US the church to do it! The attitude I am talking about is one where we are all committed to God and to each other. We are all participating, serving, giving, growing, and going.

Here’s why I say all that…

We have a phenomenal “problem” in Ringgold. WE ARE OUT OF ROOM! We can’t add any more chairs in the auditorium.  Because of this, we have made a partnership with a Rock Bridger who owns the yoga studio at the end of the Remco shops. Starting in April we are asking 75 people who attend the 10:30am service (Most full service and most attractive to guest) to commit to attending service in the yoga studio until we move into our new building in 6 to 8 months.

So the ask is for those attending the 10:30 am service to…

1. Move to the 9:00 am service. (75 to 100 available chairs)
2. Move to the 11:59 am service (50 to 75 available chairs)
3. Move to Rock Bridge Ringgold 2.0 “outside of the box”

Cameras are being put up in the auditorium and we’ve purchased a massive TV. So it will feel like you are right there in the auditorium! You won’t miss out on anything that goes on!

If you are willing to “join the movement” and make a move by attending the 9 am or 11:59 am service. Please reply back to me here.

If you are ready to make the move, text the word MOVE to 888.744.0761 

I love you Rock Bridge Ringgold. I love that we keep having to come up with creative ideas to make room. This is a result of you Loving God. Loving Others and Living Sent. Don’t quit! Keep inviting and being a bringer!

See ya this weekend!

JC
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Relentless Love Of God

So often we sings songs never taking a moment to reflect on what those songs are really saying.

I Know I’m guilty of doing this so many times.. I like the beat, melody, sound etc….

Last night at our ( Rock Bridge Ringgold  ) night of worship we sang a song that I couldn’t sing. I mean I couldn’t make my mouth make a sound… I just stood there captivated by the words of the song. A song taken straight from scripture.

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death,  its jealousy unyielding as the grave.It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” 

Song of Solomon 8:6

This is the kind of Love God wants us to have for Him and He won’t relent in His pursuit of us until He has it!

He want’s to be a fire inside of us, an all-consuming fire. A flam upon our heart until we are at one with Him!

With that being said… Let’s break down some of the lyrics to see what it’s saying.

I set you as a seal upon my heart, as a seal upon my arm

A seal is not something that is put onto documents lightly.

A seal takes the place of a signature, saying, “I take responsibility for this!”

When I king would put His Seal on the letter that meant It’s his words. You’ve all heard “A seal of approval”

Now, setting Jesus as your seal is the same as saying you are representing Jesus, and that what you are doing is on his behalf. Think about the implications of what taking that seal represents!

Setting Jesus as a seal means that everything you do now is not for your own sake, but for Jesus’s sake and the sake of the Gospel. Similar to a brand, a seal is not something that goes away. It is saying that you are Jesus’ representative on earth.

For there is love that is as strong as death, Jealousy demanding as the grave And many waters cannot quench this love

READ Romans 8: 38-39!

Come be the fire inside of me. Come be the flame upon my heart…Until You and I are one

In scripture, Jesus is compared to an eternal fire. 1 Peter 1:6-7 reads,

Being a “fire” isn’t something that we should take lightly. If we want Jesus to be a fire in our souls, it means that he will burn everything but himself. That means you will face many trials, forcing you to choose Jesus or your sin nature.

It means you are asking Jesus to put you through many trials until You and I are one. That means you are giving God permission to do anything he wants with your life until you die. That is also not a claim to be taken lightly.

Anyone can see the fire but it’s not SEEING a fire that burns you.

3 area the fire of God works

  1. Fire to you

It’s wonderful to see somebody who is on fire for God, it draws you and creates a hunger in you.

2.  Fire in you

Purging, cleansing, sanctifying, burning up the clutter, the excesses, the selfishness, the sin, habits, addictions, attitudes. (Gold)

3. Fire through you

cleansed and purified vessel fire flow through you to others.

I don’t wanna talk about you like you’re not in the room

Jesus is not just some relic from a past time–he is very much alive! Hebrews 13:8

You won’t relent until you have it all, My heart is yours

The surrendering of our hearts means forfeiting all that we are, and all that we have, to follow Jesus.

We sing in churches every week “I surrender all” when in actuality shouldn’t we really be singing “I Surrender some”

We give Him some… Not all.

What would it look like for a church to surrender there ALL to him! I can tell you… REVIVAL!

My what He would do with a few who would say “Lord here is my all” “I surrender it ALL to you”

Now friends know this, It could cost you, but that is what surrender means.

Are you ready to follow Jesus despite all it may cost you?

 

Surrounded-This is how I fight my battles.

A few months ago I’m on the treadmill getting my cardio in and I can see a person coming up next to me. To be honest I was telling myself not to turn and look because I had just hit my stride and really didn’t want to mess it up. But, sure enough she tap’s me on the shoulder. So I slow it down to a brisk walk, take my earbuds out and she says…

“Hey, You are JC Right? This might be a little strange but I’ve been praying for you for the last few weeks. I don’t know why. I’ve never met you, but I know you are a pastor and I’ve heard you preach… Anyhow, at my church a couple weeks ago we sang this song and  I was worshiping your face came to mind so I begin to pray for you. Well, yesterday it happened again and then you walked into the gym tonight and I really felt like I was suppose to just come tell you there is a song you really need to listen to. Also, Pastor, don’t give up. God is using you.” She told me the name of the song and then walked away…..

I pulled up youtube and typed the song title in and then it happened …. There I ran (more like a slow trot) with tears coming down my face having some church right there in Planet Fitness as I listened to this song on repeat. (Its the no judgment zone so no one said anything. Either that or they were really worried that I should stop running)
WOW WOW WOW! It’s a simple song, but it’s powerful. So many times when I’ve been surrounded by turmoil, heartbreak, setbacks, defeat and relentless attacks. I love that in just the right time God surrounds us with people who will pray for, encourage and help us to stay in the battle! 

Psalm 31:21 says, “Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked!” 

‘The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ Isaiah 61:3 

Here’s what we need to understand about praise and worship.. It doesn’t just happen at church during the music. It can happen anywhere at anytime!

Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be ‘magnified.’ David said it like this, ‘Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears’          Psalm 34:3-4

Praise is one of the best ways to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver and not on the problem at hand.

I love this quote from Charles Spurgeon: “My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God, really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ…In that worship I forget the cares of the church and everything else. To me it is the nearest approach to what it will be in Heaven.’ 

Friends, God has promised us ‘the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ It works like this. When you begin to praise him with a heavy heart, you experience a new sense of hope and joy. Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face; that he’s not only capable of managing your concerns but willing, wanting and waiting to.

Hey friend. Let me encourage you. There are more with you than there are against you. You are not alone in your fight! You are surrounded by the Lord Of Hosts and the armies of Heaven! Don’t quit. Don’t give up! Keep fighting the good fight! HE is with you!

I tried to find the lady after I finished but wasn’t able to locate her. If you are one of my friends on social media or you happen to read this blog, Thank you! Thank you for being used by God to encourage this pastor! 

Go ahead and recall his goodness to you; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise!

 

Life with 6 kids.

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To be honest we can’t believe we have 6 kids either! There are many times when we say “can you believe we have 6 kids”! This was never a goal or dream for that matter… When we got married 9 years ago we talked about having kids and both agreed we wanted a “big” family. “Big” being 3 or 4 kids…. Never thought 6 would be what we ended up with! But we wouldn’t have it any other way!

When people hear that I have six kids, the reaction is usually entertaining. But we just celebrate how awesome it is to have six kids. Here are a few reasons why we love having 6 kids (I’m sure this list will change as they grow, but for now this is where we are at)

1. It’s not as expensive 

Talk about a good hand-me-down situation in the clothing department! The benefit of having Three boys and Three girls is the last couple of babies don’t know what new clothes feel like. Honestly, Kids are as expensive as you make them. I feel we are really getting more bang outta our bucks. stained stroller, filthy crib and tired changing table, I feel like we got a good value for our dollar!

We know they are going to get more expensive as they continue yo grow…. Trust me we’ve already looked into owning our own farm. 2 dozen eggs a week, two gallons of milk a week. two bags of apples, three bunches of bananas… etc. High school sports, heading off to college etc…. Summer jobs and student loans exist for a reason, and I have no problem seeing mine work to earn their educations!

Being able to “afford” children is relative. If you wait until you can afford children you will never have any. It’s a choice. A mindset and a sacrifice at that. We can’t afford a bunch of flashy stuff but we can afford six kids. It’s what your priorities are! If you want the nicest & newest don’t have kids or only have one or two.

2. It will be crazy in your house… But you will raise nice kids!

People often comment that kids from big families seem “nice.” Sure, it’s a generalization… But, one of the reasons they’re nice is because it is difficult to spoil them. Certainly there are children from small families who are not spoiled, but spoiling children in large families is nearly impossible. I simply can’t (and won’t) buy identical high-end expensive toys and gadgets for my kids. Most things they have, they share. I also can’t wait on them hand and foot. If I fetched each kid a snack every time he or she was hungry, I’d be fetching snacks all day long.

Our Older kids help out the younger ones with a bowl of cereal or glass of juice. The fact is, they are fairly independent and helpful – and they have to be if they want to have snacks!

So it would appear that kids who are independent, not materialistic and know how to share seem to be perceived as “nice” by the general population. Just a thought.

3. Here is a straight up fact…We’re Not Sleeping Anyway

The fact is when you have small kids, you’re already lacking sleep, a social life or even time to sit down to eat. You’ve been mistaken for a zombie at work, and you never go anywhere without a diaper bag. An overnight trip requires a suburban packed with the equivalent of your house.. You’re already thick into the parenting lifestyle and a couple of extra kids are not going to make that exponentially harder.

If you’ve gone from one kid to two, you’ve done the hard part. Two to three it’s gone from man to man to zone defense. what’s three more! ha ha

4. We Have A Built-In Entertainment System

The reality is, my kids have built-in playmates. Sure they fight like cat’s and dogs. they scream, run into each other/doors/walls/people but often they disappear into their room or outside for hours. And our HUGE 1,100 square foot home feels every second of them running into everything! Honestly they just happily pass their days being constantly entertained by the fun and antics that surround them with their siblings.

5. Social Life rocks! 

They can’t escape socialization – eating together, bathing, and sharing a room etc… My kids live in a close pack  and I’m excited they will have each other as they continue into Middle school/High school/College etc.

Also glad the boys are the oldest so they can put the fear into any punk that tries to mess with their sisters… I pity the fool! ha ha

6. Guess Who is Not Going Into a Retirement Home!

That’s right. Those six people can take turns passing Kym and I around.  We might even fake a bit of incontinence as payback for the twelve years of diaper changing.  And they should consider themselves lucky – they won’t have three human beings in diapers at once, like some of us have.

7. Lastly let me say MY WIFE IS MY HERO!

  • Full time stay at home mom. A way harder job than most any job out there!
  • Teacher. Homeschooling our three boys and starting Kenzie next year.
  • Cook. AMAZING COOK!
  • Wife! Beyond more than I could ever ask or hope for in a spouse!
  • Check out the next blog for more on this topic!

We love having a large family! We know it’s not the cultural norm these days to have this many kids. But beyond the stares of judgment from those who just don’t get it, the comments from people who mean well but say dumb stuff (family included). We wouldn’t change one thing about our big, real life Brady bunch family!

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Sweet Karoline Jane

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Kaden Jay

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Colton “Butters” Ray

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Corbin “Bubba” Turner

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Kenzie “Sissy” Rose

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Katie “Tink” Mae