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Jan 18

Audio from DSC Women’s Conference with Nancy Guthrie

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events

On November 12 and 13, we welcomed Nancy Guthrie to DSC for our annual Women’s Conference. This year’s theme, Holding On to Hope, was taken from her important book by that title. Nancy spoke from the book of Job to explore the meaning and significance of suffering for the Christian. She speaks as one who has experienced great loss, and will help all of us to better understand what Job meant when he said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

The audio from the conference is now available:

Also, Collin Hansen recently interviewed Nancy Guthrie at The Gospel Coalition Blog in a post entitled, “Sad People, Safe Churches.” We included some of that interview in a previous blog post and commend the entire interview to you.

Jan 13

Sermon Follow-up: “The Urgency of Unity”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s message, “The Urgency of Unity,” we explored Ephesians 4:1-16 to see  that unity is a declaration of the gospel’s power. Unity between diverse peoples is something unnatural to Adam’s race, but not to Christ’s. In Christ, we are a new humanity.

As those who are redeemed to God, but in the process of begin redeemed in our practical faithfulness to God, we still need to hear the command to “walk in a manner worth of the calling to which [we] have been called…eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Paul Tripp, in his book, How People Change, asks a helpful question to encourage us toward unity: “What are some common obstacles that hinder redemptive relationships from developing in our lives?”

Here are Tripp’s eight suggestions mentioned in Sunday’s sermon:

  • The busyness of life, keeping relationships distant and casual.
  • A total immersion in friendships that are activity and happiness based.
  • A conscious avoidance of relationships as too scary or messy.
  • A formal commitment to church activities, with no real connection to people.
  • One-way, ministry-driven friendships in which you always minister to others, but never allow others to minister to you.
  • Self-centered, “meet my felt needs” relationships that keep you always receiving, but seldom giving.
  • A private, independent, “just me and God” approach to the Christian life.
  • Theology as replacement for relationship. Knowing God as a life of study, rather than the pursuit of God and his people.

Visit the Messages section of the site for additional sermons on Biblical Eldership, Church Membership, and biblical help in Conflict.

Jan 4

Sermon Follow-up: The Mission

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In his sermon, “The Mission,” Carlos Griego unpacked a text familiar to all of us. In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus gives his disciples the mission that would govern the church between the time of his resurrection until his return. They were to “make disciples of all nations.” Jesus is the risen King who gives this command to his disciples on the basis of the authority given to him by the Father and with the promise of his own presence in the person of the Spirit. Carlos will be leading a core team from DSC out to plant a church in Rio Rancho in 2012, which you can read about at the Redemption Church, Rio Rancho Facebook page.

A message like this, of course, means we live strategically in this world. But if we feel too busy to invest in people for purposes of sharing the gospel, Carlos gave us a list from Jonathan Dodson of “Eight Ways To Be Missional (Without Overdoing Your Schedule).”

  1. Eat with Non-Christians. We all eat three meals a day. Why not make a habit of sharing one of those meals with a non-Christian or with a family of non-Christians? Go to lunch with a co-worker, not by yourself. Invite the neighbors over for family dinner. If it’s too much work to cook a big dinner, just order pizza and put the focus on conversation with them. When you go out for a meal, invite a non-Christian friend. Or take your family to family-style restaurants where you can sit at the table with strangers and strike up conversations. Have cookouts and invite Christians and non-Christians. Flee the Christian subculture, and resist the urge to only eat with Christians.
  2. Walk, Don’t Drive. If you live in a walkable area, make a practice of getting out and walking around your neighborhood, apartment complex, or campus. Instead of driving to the mailbox, convenience store, or apartment office, try walking. Be deliberate in your walk. Pray for your community and the people that live there. Say hello to people you don’t know. Strike up conversations. Attract attention by walking the dog. Bring the kids. Make friends. Get out of your house! Something as simple as gardening outside or barbequing out front can lead to conversations (and relationships) with neighbors you may not have had otherwise. Take interest in your neighbors. Ask questions. Engage them. Pray as you go. Be visible.
  3. Be a Regular. Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places. Get to know the staff. Go to the same places at the same times. Smile. Ask questions. Build relationships. Be a regular.
  4. Hobby with Non-Christians. Pick a hobby that you can share. Get out and do something you enjoy with others. Try city league sports or other local recreational teams. Share your hobby by teaching lessons to those who want to learn. Teach sewing lessons, piano, violin, guitar, knitting, tennis, etc. Be prayerful. Be intentional. Be winsome. Have fun. Be faithful to speak the gospel in love. Be yourself.
  5. Engage Your Co-workers and Neighbors. How hard is that? Take your breaks with intentionality. Go out with your team or task force after work. Show interest in your co-workers. Pick four and pray for them. Form mom’s groups in your neighborhood and don’t make them exclusively for Christians. Schedule play dates with the neighbors’ kids. Work and live on mission.
  6. Volunteer with Non-Profits. Find a non-profit in your part of the city and take Saturday each month to serve your city. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your community group. Spend time with your church serving your city once a month or so, and invite your non-Christian friends to come along. Serve the city.
  7. Participate in City Events. Instead of playing X-Box, watching TV, or surfing the net, participate in city events. Go to fundraisers, festivals, clean-ups, summer shows, and concerts. Be a good participant in the community, and be on mission while you do it. Strike up conversation. Study the culture. Reflect on what you see and hear. Pray for the city. Love the city. Participate with the city.
  8. Serve Your Neighbors. Help a neighbor by weeding, mowing, building a cabinet, fixing a car, etc. Stop by the neighborhood association or apartment office and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve things. Ask your local police and fire stations if there is anything you can do to help them. Get creative. Serve your neighbors.

Of course, it’s important for the relationships we build to lead to conversations about the person and work of Jesus Christ. We are not evangelizing if we are not sharing the good news. For encouragement and help in moving from relationship to conversation and sharing the gospel clearly, DSC is offering an Ambassador training class this Spring. Read about the class here and look out for details.

Dec 28

A New Look, an Old Message

2010 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel,Mission,Vision

In December’s e-Newsletter, Ryan published an article explaining DSC’s symbol. In case you missed it, we’re republishing it here on the blog. If you don’t receive the e-Newsletter but would like to, sign up using the Communication Card on Sunday’s bulletin or email info@desertspringschurch.org and indicate your interest. DSC’s e-Newsletter is published each month and sent to your email inbox.

DSC's Logo

Around the DSC facilities and in printed materials you’ve seen this symbol which represents something about our church’s name, its message, and its mission.

The word picture of springs in the desert is a rich one in Scripture. Three places in Isaiah (35:6-10; 43:19-21; 44:3-5) tell us that we’re a desperate, thirsty, and restless people because of the fall. But these passages also promise a day when life-giving springs will flow in the desert. Then there will be the quench and satisfaction for which we’ve longed and searched. Well, Jesus makes clear that that longed for day has come. He is that “living water” (see John 4 and John 7). He is both salvation and satisfaction.

That’s briefly why we’re called Desert Springs Church. And that word picture is also symbolized in a new-ish logo which you’ve seen on our bulletins, website, and, more recently, on our signage.

There are few things to notice about this symbol:

  • The downward drop reminds us that Christ came down to us—we could not get to him. We were born not only thirsty, but senseless. We’ve tried broken cistern after broken cistern, but they hold no water (see Jer. 2). Our only hope is that the living water would come to us. And it did. He did!
  • Our salvation and satisfaction comes to us only by the cross. From the cross he said “I thirst” and he died. By so doing, he made a way that we would drink and live.
  • The concentric circles are like the ripples or rings that occur when a drop of water hits a watery surface. There is reverberation; it grows; the effects spread. That reminds us that the message of Christ’s saving satisfaction which flows from the cross has to spread in this world. And his plan is that it would spread through us.

Dec 22

Sermon Follow-up: “Jesus: God Dwells”

2010 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “Jesus: God Dwells,” Ryan surveyed the storyline of the Bible tracing the theme of God’s presence with his people. The great thing about the garden was that God was with his people. The terrible thing about life outside the garden is that we’re separated from Him. But, as Paul writes, “in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

As a preparation for the coming of Christ, God gave to his people concrete experiences in order to teach them of their standing before Him and what was required for their restoration to His presence. One of these was a temple. When Israel was settled in the land, God gave instruction to build him a house, a temple where He could meet with his people (1 Chronicles 22).

In his book, From Eden to the New Jerusalem, T.D. Alexander explains an important feature of the temple Israel built after returning to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile:

Although there are clear statements about God’s glory filling the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35) and the Solomonic temple (1 Kings 8:10-11; cf. 2 Chronicles 7:1-2), no similar event is described in the biblical literature concerning the temple built after the exile.

…the “Second Temple lacked five things which the First Temple possessed, namely, the fire, the ark, the Urim and Thummim, the oil of anointing and the Holy Spirit [of prophecy]” (quote from R.T Beckwith, “The Temple Restored” in Heaven on Earth: The Temple in Biblical Theology). The absence of these ‘visible tokens’ of God’s presence indicates that the Holy of Holies was empty.

So, we should see a connection here when John writes of Jesus, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14). The word he uses for “dwelt” is really, “tabernacled.” And in John 2:18-22, Jesus even refers to himself as the temple of God. The coming of God’s Son into the world fulfills what the tabernacle and temple anticipated both in the revelation of God’s presence in the First Temple and in the absence of His Presence in the Second Temple.

God had a gracious purpose in mind in everything he instructed Israel to do and in every experience that Israel had as a people. And his gracious purpose in not revealing his presence in the Second Temple was to prepare them for the coming of His presence through Christ.

This sermon was second in the Christmas series, “Someone’s Coming”: