Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – March 20th – INTERACTIVE SERVICE!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Tue, 03/17/2020 - 21:28

Hello students and parents!

We are glad to let you know that we are meeting for High School Ministry at our regular date & time, except it’s online! In light of our current crisis, we think it’s best to have a fun INTERACTIVE service online instead of meeting in person! Don’t worry! It’ll have all the elements that we have in our youth room, all you’ll need is an internet connection!

How do you do join us online? We’ll be hosting a ‘Zoom meeting’. That means, we can play games together, talk and even worship! If you aren’t familiar with ‘Zoom’ it’s simply a video-conferencing application that can do a lot!

Here’s how you prepare for Friday!
Step 1) Download the ‘Zoom’ app on your device! Here are the links below!

Mac – CLICK HERE
PC – CLICK HERE
Andriod – CLICK HERE
iOS – CLICK HERE

*You don’t have to download the app if you’re on a laptop/desktop, but it’s more robust if you do!*

Step 2) Next, On March 20th @ 7:25pm, click our Zoom Meeting URL

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ONLINE SERVICE!

Step 3) Enjoy the service by listening and participating!

The week after that…
We will likely continue with our High School Ministry Interactive Service until we are informed otherwise.  We encourage you to not become isolated during times like these! God is still on the throne!

Feel free to email Mathew, our Youth Director, if you have any questions.
mathew@churchoftherock.ca

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

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Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – March 20th – INTERACTIVE SERVICE!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Tue, 03/17/2020 - 17:08

Hello students and parents!

We are glad to let you know that we are meeting for High School Ministry at our regular date & time, except it’s online! In light of our current crisis, we think it’s best to have a fun INTERACTIVE service online instead of meeting in person! Don’t worry! It’ll have all the elements that we have in our youth room, all you’ll need is an internet connection!

How do you do join us online? We’ll be hosting a ‘Zoom meeting’. That means, we can play games together, talk and even worship! If you aren’t familiar with ‘Zoom’ it’s simply a video-conferencing application that can do a lot!

Here’s how you prepare for Friday!
Step 1) Download the ‘Zoom’ app on your device! Here are the links below!

Mac – CLICK HERE
PC – CLICK HERE
Andriod – CLICK HERE
iOS – CLICK HERE

*You don’t have to download the app if you’re on a laptop/desktop, but it’s more robust if you do!*

Step 2) Next, On March 20th @ 7:25pm, click our Zoom Meeting URL

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ONLINE SERVICE!

Step 3) Enjoy the service by listening and participating!

The week after that…
We will likely continue with our High School Ministry Interactive Service until we are informed otherwise.  We encourage you to not become isolated during times like these! God is still on the throne!

Feel free to email Mathew, our Youth Director, if you have any questions.
mathew@churchoftherock.ca

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

The post High School Ministry – March 20th – INTERACTIVE SERVICE! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Mar 18th – ONLINE Game Show!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Tue, 03/17/2020 - 16:59

Hello students and parents!

We are glad to let you know that we are meeting for Threshold Junior at our regular date & time, except it’s online! In light of our current crisis, we think it’s best to have a fun INTERACTIVE service online instead of meeting in person! Don’t worry! It’ll have all the elements that we have in our youth room, all you’ll need is an internet connection!

How do you do join us online? We’ll be hosting a ‘Zoom meeting’. That means, we can play games together, talk and even worship! If you aren’t familiar with ‘Zoom’ it’s simply a video-conferencing application that can do a lot!

Here’s how you prepare for Wednesday!
Step 1) Download the ‘Zoom’ app on your device! Here are the links below!

Mac – CLICK HERE
PC – CLICK HERE
Andriod – CLICK HERE
iOS – CLICK HERE

*You don’t have to download the app if you’re on a laptop/desktop, but it’s more robust if you do!*

Step 2) Next, On March 18th @ 7pm, click our Zoom Meeting URL

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ONLINE SERVICE!

Step 3) Enjoy the service by listening and participating!

This week!

Online Game Show!
March 18th – Wednesday 7 – 9pm
Fabulous candy prizes are to be won on our next game show! We also start a new faith-based series on Doubts!

The week after that…
We will likely continue with our Threshold Jr Interactive Service until we are informed otherwise.  We encourage you to not become isolated during times like these! God is still on the throne!

Feel free to email Mathew, our Youth Director, if you have any questions.
mathew@churchoftherock.ca

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

The post Threshold Jr – Mar 18th – ONLINE Game Show! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Some Counsel Regarding Covid-19

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 03/16/2020 - 11:00

Our doctor son, Robert, has written an email to us about the novel Corona virus (Covid-19). It contains some good counsel, and, with his permission, I pass it along to you. I send it with prayers for all who suffer from this crisis, whether from anxiety, actual illness, or the stress of taking care of those who are ill.

Dear Mom and Dad (and family),

First of all, please don’t think me panicked or crazy.” We are in the Lord’s hands, and the hope is that, in a few weeks, the rate of new cases will have slowed. Still, the future is unknowable, and so discretion is the better part of valor… With this in mind, permit me a comment or two encouraging a bit of wisdom and hypervigilance. After all, many of us are older,” and we have some health conditions to boot.

As you know, the first thing for a people group to try when a threatening virus is identified is containment. In other words, identify those infected and all of their contacts and quarantine them, hoping to keep the disease from becoming widespread.

Containment is no longer possible here. This is because there are so many unexplained cases without recent travel or exposure to someone who is ill that the virus must be considered to have escaped” into the general population. And there is no herd immunity” to this virus since it is new.”  

The next strategy therefore is mitigation. That is, trying to avoid a dramatic spike of cases that overwhelms the medical system, causing shortages, for example, of ventilators for the gravely ill. Mitigation not only aims to reduce the height of the spike but also to spread the cases of infection across a longer time span so that needed resources can be cycled into use across time rather than all at once.

Possibly the most powerful means of mitigation is exaggerated hand hygiene. Another is self-imposed social distancing. That means actually staying six feet or more away from others when appropriate, but also avoiding crowds. The incidence curve in a population is really flattened and broadened if the population practices these things. And it is important for young people to practice this even if they feel no personal threat because the disease is routinely so mild for them. Young people who feel fine can spread the virus to their community, parents, and grandparents.

I’m not thinking the situation is all that urgent (at least for the moment) for us who don’t live near a cluster of cases. Don’t let me make you crazy… But it is projected that the number of clusters will increase quickly in the next few weeks. Consider that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife now has the virus. So do Tom Hanks and his wife in Australia. Apparently, there were exchange students who jumped” / disobeyed quarantine restrictions and spread the virus into the Australian population. And President Trump and Vice-President Pence had dinner a few days ago with a man who has fallen ill. He was sitting right next to President Trump. (The president did get tested, and does not have the virus.)

My point only is that the fewer people we come into contact with, the less likely we are to contract this illness. Obvious measures (which we are already taking, particularly meticulous hand-washing and avoiding touching your face) include:

  1. No handshaking. Elbow bumps at most.
  2. Stay six feet or more away from people when possible when out in public.
  3. Stay away from anyone you see blowing their nose (even though this is not a major symptom of Covid-19) or especially if they are coughing.
  4. Sanitize carts at stores (if you must go there) and be extremely aware of your hands and where they have been. Sanitize hands very frequently especially when out and about. Probably six times during/after any necessary shopping visit.
  5. Consider having on hand a week’s worth of canned or frozen food. And, yes, you can easily live on buttered pasta or oatmeal and canned peaches for a few days so no need to empty out the supermarket.
  6. Consider just staying away from any group activities. That actually includes church! And hospitals and primary care doctor’s offices. How about we ALL move to the basement!
  7. Humor has a role, even if the gallows variety.

Again, we of all people should not panic, because, to paraphrase the song slightly,We know who holds the future, and we know who holds our hand.”  

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Activate Games

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Thu, 03/12/2020 - 15:09

Get your sweatbands and glow gear on for Activate on Saturday, March 21st! Activate is like a video game, except YOU are the player! Games will require you to jump, crawl, run, and hide or risk losing a life. Bring runners and workout gear as you WILL get your sweat on! Check out www.activate.ca for more details of our venue.

Meet at Activate Games (3338 Portage Ave) at 7:15pm to sign waivers and store your stuff in provided lockers, start time is 7:30pm. Cost: $25 for 90 minutes required at sign-up.

You’re also invited to The Daily Grind for beverages after the event at approximately 9:10 PM.

RSVP by Wednesday, March 18th at churchoftherock.ca/sign-up (spots limited. Payment required at RSVP).

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Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – March 13th – Tobogganing!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 03/09/2020 - 13:40


This week!


Tobogganing
March 13th – Friday 7:11-10:pm
If its not too hot and not too cold, perfect time to sled! We’ll have hot chocolate and sleds! But feel free to bring your own!
WAIVERS HERE:

The week after that…

March 20th
Friday 7:11-10pm
Laser Wars Part 2
Laser wars in the entire church is ridiculously fun! It’ll be insane! We also finish our ‘Jesus Is’ series.

The week after that…

March 27th
Friday 7:11-10pm
Barbershop Impressions
How close can you make your friend look like they have a Jason Mamoa beard? With shaving foam! We start a new series on doubts!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

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Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Mar 11th – Tobogganing!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 03/09/2020 - 13:39

This week!

Tobogganing
March 11th – Friday 7pm – 9pm

It’s not too hot and not too cold, perfect time to sled! We’ll have hot chocolate and sleds! But feel free to bring your own!
WAIVERS HERE

The week after that…

Game Show
March 18th – Wednesday 7 – 9pm
Fabulous candy prizes are to be won on our next game show! We also start a new faith-based series on Doubts!

The week after that…

Carpet Skate Race!
March 25th – Wednesday 7 – 9pm
Carpet Skate Race!
Wednesday 7-9pm
Carpet skates and a race around the church! All for glory and glorious prizes!


MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

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Categories: Churchie Feeds

The Power of Prayer

Just Call Me Pastor - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 21:35
I am sorry not to have a new blog post for you this week. I have just been discharged from Brampton Civic Hospital, where I was treated for a virus and pneumonia. I am glad to be home and expect to make a full recovery. Lord willing, I will have a full post for you next week, but, in the meantime, you might want to think about these words from three great thinkers and church leaders: “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” — John Wesley “Pray, and let God worry.” — Martin Luther “The desire is thy prayers; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.” — Saint Augustine
Categories: Churchie Feeds

The Amazing Race

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 07:00

In a few minutes you’ll be competing in what might be the most exciting race of your life!

The Amazing Race
Thursday, March 19
Youth Room
7:30 PM

Do you have what it takes? We will be in teams completing tasks, championing challenges, and most importantly, having fun. You could be the next champion. Join us at 7:30 PM in the Youth Room. The race awaits you.

*no teams required

The post The Amazing Race appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Laser Tag

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 23:43

You’ve been targeted for a Laser Tag match!

Laser Tag
Thursday, March 5
LaserTopia (1140 Waverley Street)
7:30 PM

Join us at LaserTopia (1140 Waverley Street) at 7:30 PM.

**new updated price: only $7.80 for two games or $11.30 for three games! Bring a friend and we’ll have a blast!

The post Laser Tag appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Mar 7th – Retreat Fundraiser at Promise Keepers!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 14:47

This week!

Threshold Jr Retreat
Fundraiser at Promise Keepers
March 7th **SATURDAY**
8:00 am-12:30 pm
We will be making sandwiches and selling food at the Promise Keepers event at COTR.
Everyone who comes will get a big discount ($50-80).
sign-up by email mathew@churchoftherock.ca

The week after that…

Tobogganing
March 11th – Friday 7pm – 9pm

It’s not too hot and not too cold, perfect time to sled! We’ll have hot chocolate and sleds! But feel free to bring your own!
WAIVERS HERE

The week after that…

Game Show
March 18th – Wednesday 7 – 9pm
Fabulous candy prizes are to be won on our next game show! We also start a new faith-based series on Doubts!


MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

The post Threshold Jr – Mar 7th – Retreat Fundraiser at Promise Keepers! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – March 6th & 7th – Camp Fundraiser at P.K!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 14:45


This week!


Camp Fundraiser at P.K 
March 6th & 7th Friday & Saturday
Volunteering at the fundraiser will grant the student $50-80 off their cost!
The following shifts are needed.
1. Fri (5:30 pm -10:00 pm-20 people)
2. Sat(8:00 am-12:30 pm-most help)
3. Sat(12:00 pm-4:30 pm-20 people)
EMAIL MATHEW at mathew@churchoftherock.ca

The week after that…

Tobogganing
March 13th – Friday 7:11-10:pm
If its not too hot and not too cold, perfect time to sled! We’ll have hot chocolate and sleds! But feel free to bring your own!
WAIVERS HERE:

The week after that…

March 20th
Friday 7:11-10pm
Laser Wars Part 2
Laser wars in the entire church is ridiculously fun! It’ll be insane! We also finish our ‘Jesus Is’ series.

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

The post High School Ministry – March 6th & 7th – Camp Fundraiser at P.K! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

John Wesley’s Adversity Training

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 11:00

Some years ago I was thinking about how adversity can produce character, and particularly “grit.” One example, though couched in a larger passage about judgment, comes from Isaiah 30:20: Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 

My mind jumps here to John Wesley, 1703-1791, a man of extraordinary strength and persistence I had been reading and writing about at that time.

I began to review what prepared him to lead with such perseverance and conscientiousness in the widespread ministry he was thrust into later in his life.

Consider first his education. There were the five years of excellent home schooling under the watchful eye of his mother, Susannah. Then there were six years at Charterhouse school. Finally there were about five years at Oxford University.

The grim experiences he had at Charterhouse may be one key to Wesley’s future competence and capability. Charterhouse was a well-regarded school for boys in London. One hundred years earlier a man of great wealth had established the school so that select boys could get the best possible education there in preparation for university.

There was no money in the Wesley household to pay the tuition for such instruction, but Samuel Wesley, John’s father, managed to persuade the Duke of Buckingham to nominate John. So, before he was eleven, Wesley left the well-regulated and prayerful environment of the Epworth rectory (parsonage) to enter the tumult of a public boarding school. W. H. Fitchett writes that “the Charterhouse of that day was a school with great traditions and a decent standard of scholarship.”

However, there was one feature of this institution that leaves modern students of its history perplexed: the practice of high-handed student-on-student food theft. When the rations were given out at the cook house, the older and stronger boys took the meaty portions from the smaller boys. It was a daily experience. During those years Wesley practically lived on bread.

Fitchett writes: “A boy trained in the severities of Epworth parsonage, however, could easily survive even the raided meals of the Charterhouse School.” But what were the officials of this great school thinking in not stopping the thefts? It is hinted that such treatment developed humility or self-restraint. More likely, if one responded to it nobly, and without descending into thievery oneself, it developed a toughness of character, the ability to make do with what was available and to fend for oneself without the benefit of warm and nurturing guardians.

Wesley himself mentions another potential benefit of his time at Charterhouse. When his father sent him to the school he gave him instructions to run around the school’s large playing field or garden three times each morning. In other words, to stay strong and active. Wesley obeyed and later wrote that he believed (and we might at least in part disagree) that this exercise and limited diet contributed to his sturdy constitution as an adult.

Many years later, when Wesley was deeply involved as leader of the Methodist movement, he experienced all sorts of adversity. He faced mobs, endured storms, traveled tirelessly mostly by horseback, wrote copiously in defense of the Gospel and for the instruction of new converts, and often preached as many as three times a day.

His own opinion was that the ruggedness and deprivations of his early years — including Charterhouse — had made him equal to such a demanding life.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Re-post: An Exchange of Smiles at Walmart

Just Call Me Pastor - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 02:09

It was mid-afternoon and I was pushing my grocery cart toward the exit of Walmart when a middle-aged woman entering the store flashed me a big smile. I suddenly realized that I had been smiling at some pleasant thought and she must have thought I was smiling at her. Or perhaps she was just saying she was happy, too.

My observation is that not much smiling goes on in grocery stores. After all, there’s a lot to think about while shopping, like comparing the costs of two brands of paper towels or two different grades of eggs, or checking the calorie count of whole-grain Cheerios. And while you are doing all this, you have to make sure your grocery cart doesn’t get in the way of other shoppers.

(Someone should do a study about smiles in a grocery store. What percentage of shoppers smile at fellow shoppers in any one afternoon? What is most likely to prompt smiles? Do people who smile spend more or less money on average? Some pollster could figure out how to frame the questions. Anyhow, news reports citing such statistics would be a welcome relief from the poll results for presidential hopefuls we are treated to daily.)

Maybe an additional reason I don’t smile enough when I work my way down a shopping list in the grocery store is that grocery shopping is a relatively new experience for me. I’m still awkward at it. I’ve taken it up only since retiring and I’m not as patient and discriminating about it as Kathleen is. I sometimes bring the wrong thing home (like apple juice instead of apple cider vinegar).

Back when I was an assigned pastor I had a self-imposed rule that I would not run errands like grocery shopping during working hours. Some of my pastor friends thought this was too rigorous but I had a reason. During working hours I was on duty. I knew that the high-school principal couldn’t take time off during the day to slip away to a grocery store for a couple of items she forgot the night before. And the vice-president of the bank couldn’t slip out for half an hour to get a dozen eggs. These people were on duty. Why shouldn’t working pastors consider themselves on duty also?

It is true that a pastor’s work sometimes beckons during hours when others are finished for the day. Even so, it may not appear professional to parishioners that their pastor is pushing a shopping cart at 10 a.m.

The context of my self-imposed regulation during pastoral days was my strong work ethic — not a slavish one, not a compulsive one, but one exercised with a robust joy in making time count and in letting my people know that I took my assignment seriously.

That same thought brings me joy in setting myself a working schedule during retirement years — though one not so rigorous — and that may well be why I was smiling as I headed out of Walmart.

Photo credit: Rupert Taylor-Price (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Feb 26th – Gargon Pt 2!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/24/2020 - 14:31

This week!

Gargon Pt 2
February 26th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith based series on Jesus!

The week after that…

Threshold Jr Retreat
Fundraiser at Promise Keepers
March 7th **SATURDAY**
8:00 am-12:30 pm
We will be making sandwiches and selling food at the Promise Keepers event at COTR.
Everyone who comes will get a big discount ($50-80).
sign-up by email mathew@churchoftherock.ca

The week after that…

Tobogganing
March 11th – Friday 7:11pm – 10pm

It’s not too hot and not too cold, perfect time to sled! We’ll have hot chocolate and sleds! But feel free to bring your own!
WAIVERS HERE

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

The post Threshold Jr – Feb 26th – Gargon Pt 2! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Feb 28th – Game Show Night!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/24/2020 - 14:31


This week!


Game Show Night
February 28th- Friday 7:11-10:pm
We love to play game shows for prizes! This is your chance to win big! Join us!

The week after that…

Camp Fundraiser at P.K 
March 6th & 7th Friday & Saturday
Volunteering at the fundraiser will grant the student $50-80 off their cost!
The following shifts are needed.
1. Fri (5:30 pm -10:00 pm- 15 people)
2. Sat(8:00 am-12:30 pm-most help)
3. Sat(12:00 pm-4:30 pm-15 people)
EMAIL MATHEW at mathew@churchoftherock.ca

The week after that…

Tobogganing
March 13th – Friday 7:11-10:pm
If its not too hot and not too cold, perfect time to sled! We’ll have hot chocolate and sleds! But feel free to bring your own!
Waivers HERE

MONTHLY CALENDAR
Click here for this month’s calendar

The post High School Ministry – Feb 28th – Game Show Night! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Elevate Worship Night

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Tue, 02/18/2020 - 17:59

Join us as we worship together!

Elevate Worship Night
Sunday, January 26
Youth Room
7:00 PM

We’re finishing off our “Take Me Higher” series from Isaiah 40:31. Hear from one of our young adult leaders as they share their experience with walking without growing faint. And join us in praising our Lord.

The post Elevate Worship Night appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Feb 21st – Gargon Pt 2!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/17/2020 - 17:34


This week!


Gargon Pt 2
February 21st – Friday 7:11-10 PM

We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith-based series on Jesus!

The week after that…

Game Show Night
February 28th- Friday 7:11-10:pm
We love to play game shows for prizes! This is your chance to win big! Join us!

The week after that…

Camp Fundraiser at P.K 
March 6th & 7th Friday & Saturday
Volunteering at the fundraiser will grant the student $50-80 off their cost!
The following shifts are needed.
1. Fri (5:30 pm -10:00 pm-10 people)
2. Sat(8:00 am-12:30 pm-most help)
3. Sat(12:00 pm-4:30 pm-10 people)
EMAIL MATHEW at mathew@churchpftherock.ca

The week after that…

Tobogganing
March 13th – Friday 7:11-10:pm
If its not too hot and not too cold, perfect time to sled! We’ll have hot chocolate and sleds! But feel free to bring your own!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post High School Ministry – Feb 21st – Gargon Pt 2! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Feb 19th – U-Puttz Amusement Park!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/17/2020 - 16:48

This week!


U-Puttz Amusement Park
February 19th – Wednesday **6:45-9 pm**
COST: $19

Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Mini-Golf – Oh my! Yes, we’re going to U-Puttz to have an amazing time together! Drop-off and pick-up at church!
WAIVER FORMS NEEDED.

The week after that…

Gargon Pt 2
February 26th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith based series on Jesus!

The week after that…

Threshold Jr Retreat
Fundraiser at Promise Keepers
March 7th **SATURDAY**
8:00 am-12:30 pm
We will be making sandwiches and selling food at the Promise Keepers event at COTR.
Everyone who comes will get a big discount ($50-80).

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post Threshold Jr – Feb 19th – U-Puttz Amusement Park! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Re-post: Everybody Talkin’ ‘Bout Heaven Ain’t Goin’ There

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/17/2020 - 11:00

Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch

In the flow of daily life we take seriously many behavioral restrictions: stop signs, red lights, legal notices, restricted crosswalks. It’s in our interest to do so. But do we pay attention to words of warning such as the ones Jesus spoke near the end of the Sermon on the Mount? He says:

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers.’’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Attention to that warning is more important to us than stopping at a million stop signs, for we neglect Jesus’ words to our eternal peril. When Jesus speaks of “that day” in the passage quoted above he means the day of final judgment. In the New Testament this is also called “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8; see also Philippians 1:6, 10).

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, the young prophet and proclaimer of eternal truths, tells us that at the end of history and at the time of this final judgment he will know the hearts of all men and will have power to forever banish some from the heavenly kingdom, saying to them: I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers (Matthew 7:23).

Jesus proclaims here that there will be some who will be rejected even though they claim to have done great, even miraculous, ministries in his name. They will say in surprise, and maybe with reproach: Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? (7:22)

Instead of accepting all, including this group of false religious achievers, Jesus makes clear there will be only one category of believers who will be received into the kingdom of heaven. It will be those who have paused to pay careful attention to the will of my Father who is in heaven (7:21b).

Heart obedience, it seems, is the key. That is, the heart’s obedience to the Father’s will, rather than general and especially self-directed service or accomplishment. That heart obedience will be the fundamental criterion for anyone’s acceptance into heaven.

To explain why that first group with apparent claims to heaven will be rejected, Jesus makes clear that in “that day,” even dramatic religious performance like the casting out of demons in the Lord’s name will not be enough.

This issue of heart obedience is addressed repeatedly in Scripture. Isaiah said of a very religious generation: The Lord says: “These people come near me with their mouth / and honor me with their lips, / but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13a). And in the closing hours of his earthly life, Jesus said to his closest followers: Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching (John 14:23a).

One needs to stop and ponder. In both Testaments, the obedience of the heart is the big issue. Even attempting wonders in Christ’s name will not count if the heart has not been open in submission and obedience to the Father.

There’s a line in a well-known spiritual that likely was inspired by these words of Jesus about the judgment: “Everybody talkin’ ’bout heaven that ain’t goin’ there — O my Lord.” This should awaken us to examine ourselves for both inward and outward obedience to the Father. Only those who do the will of my Father in Heaven, Jesus says, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

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