Archive for the Gospel Category

Jun 18

10 Years, 500 Sermons

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you
and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”

— 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

This is the video we played to your surprise and to the surprise of Ryan Kelly on Sunday morning after he closed his 500th sermon. It was also a good time to celebrate Ryan’s 10th year with us (which actually happened back in August). We’ve been tracking his sermon total for a few years now and Sunday provided a nice moment for us to reflect on God’s grace in the life of our church in the gift of a preacher and in the fruit born from his Word.

After Ryan preached, he prayed and then asked the congregation to stand before the last song. As he walked off stage, Drew asked everyone to sit and introduced the video. After the video, Ron shared for a few minutes from Ryan’s life and ministry and invited Ryan and Sarah up to receive two gifts. First, a signed used NHL playoff hockey stick from former Red Wings player, Steve Yzerman. This is a rare find from one of Ryan’s favorite players from Ryan’s favorite team from Ryan’s favorite sport. This gift was given from a number of Ryan’s friends, a few from the church and several from around the country. Then, our church family (though you didn’t know this at the time!) gifted Ryan and Sarah with a trip to watch the Red Wings play in a city of their choice sometime in the next year.

If you weren’t able to be with us and wish you knew ahead of time, we sure wish we could have let you know! But then Ryan would have almost certainly found out. And as it is, he was clueless and befuddled, and after that, choked up and crying right in front of us. It was perfect.

Here are a few photos from the end of the service.

Ryan Preaching #500





“500 Sermons” video






Ron tells the story of Ryan’s ministry







Ron asks Ryan where the Red Wings play hockey because he forgot



Ron presents the first gift






Ryan and Ron go in for the hug




Ron mentions a second gift that includes Sarah






Jun 5

Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children

2014 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Gospel,Quote,Recommended Link

Last year John Piper posted an article, “Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children.” In the eight months or so since I’ve read this, we’ve tried to implement the nine principles that Piper offers in the parenting of our children. Each time we discipline our children (who are all under the age of 6), we ask:

1) Why am I about to discipline you? (Because I love you)

– and –

2) What would happen if I didn’t require your obedience and discipline you? (You would be on a trajectory of greater disobedience and rebellion)

In these formative years of childhood, we are trying to cultivate quick obedience from our children to their human authorities, so that when they are no longer children, they will, Lord willing and by his grace, quickly obey their heavenly authority.

I am writing this to plead with Christian parents to require obedience of their children. I am moved to write this by watching young children pay no attention to their parents’ requests, with no consequences. Parents tell a child two or three times to sit or stop and come or go, and after the third disobedience, they laughingly bribe the child. This may or may not get the behavior desired.

Last week, I saw two things that prompted this article. One was the killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California, by police who thought he was about to shoot them with an assault rifle. It was a toy gun. What made this relevant was that the police said they told the boy two times to drop the gun. Instead he turned it on them. They fired.

I do not know the details of that situation or if Andy even heard the commands. So I can’t say for sure he was insubordinate. So my point here is not about young Lopez himself. It’s about a “what if.” What if he heard the police, and simply defied what they said? If that is true, it cost him his life. Such would be the price of disobeying proper authority.

I witnessed such a scenario in the making on a plane last week. I watched a mother preparing her son to be shot.

I was sitting behind her and her son, who may have been seven years old. He was playing on his digital tablet. The flight attendant announced that all electronic devices should be turned off for take off. He didn’t turn it off. The mother didn’t require it. As the flight attendant walked by, she said he needed to turn it off and kept moving. He didn’t do it. The mother didn’t require it.

One last time, the flight attendant stood over them and said that the boy would need to give the device to his mother. He turned it off. When the flight attendant took her seat, the boy turned his device back on, and kept it on through the take off. The mother did nothing. I thought to myself, she is training him to be shot by police.

Click here to read Piper’s nine principles and how the gospel transforms obedience.

May 28

Too Scared to Cry: Social Media Outrage and the Gospel

2014 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Gospel,Mission,Quote

Russell Moore over at Desiring God has written about the culture of outrage that has seized cable news, social media, and even our churches. As he writes, Christians should be starkly different than our unbelieving neighbors in the ways we act and react, for we are not without hope:

We must learn to lament, because once we no longer lament we turn instead to anger, outrage, blame, and quarrelsomeness. The louder and more frantic the anger, the more we feel as though we’re really showing conviction and grit.

This is made all the more problematic when it’s easy to make a living out of perpetual rage, even if the only media outlet one has is a Twitter or Facebook feed. After all, nothing signals conviction and passion in this age more than the art of being theatrically offended.

But the gospel teaches otherwise.

The problem with carnal anger and outrage is that it is one of the easiest sins to commit, all the while convincing oneself that it’s faithfulness. After all, how many angry, divisive, perpetually outraged Christians are convinced that they are Old Testament prophets, calling down fire from heaven?

The prophets teach us that there is, in fact, a time to call down fire from heaven. But you had better make sure that God has called you to direct that fire to fall. If not, then you’re acting like a prophet all right — a prophet of Baal, screaming and raving for fire that never falls (1 Kings 18:29). No doubt, James and John believed themselves to be well within the spirit of Elijah when they wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Christ-rejecting villages of Samaria. Jesus wanted nothing to do with that spirit.

Rage itself is no sign of authority, prophetic or otherwise.

Read the rest here.

May 1

Unashamed: Bill and Claudia

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel

At Wednesday night’s Lord’s Supper service we played a video testimony produced for a conference recently held in Louisville, KY, Together for The Gospel.

Watch, and remember Paul’s words from Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

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Apr 24

Video Testimonies from Baptism Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Baptism Video Testimonies,Gospel

On Sunday, April 13, we had the joy of witnessing the baptism of eighteen brothers and sisters between two Sunday services. Baptism, as Scripture teaches, is a symbolic picture of the work of salvation accomplished by Christ in the life of a Christian. Below are the video testimonies from our baptism service. As we listen to these testimonies, let’s praise God for his salvation of these people and remember these words from the Apostle Paul for all of us who are in Christ:

. . . all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
— Romans 6:3-4

9:00 AM – Jessy Garcia, Lorna Kindel, Ben Valdez, and Bradley Wood

9:00 AM – Hannah Hickman, Autumn Kelly, Drew Sowers, and Andrew Ward

10:45 AM – Alicia Crossland, Shane Crossland, Tyler Crossland, Kelly Murray, and John Snyder

10:45 AM – Caleigh Ellison, Halo Gatt, Page Gatt, Dalton Tidmore, and Dillon Tidmore

[RSS and email readers, click here to view these videos: Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, Video 4]