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As a pastoral team, we want to see members of this church continuing to walk in closer fellowship with our Triune God -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Last Sunday, Josh Anderson led us in thinking about one of the ways we walk in fellowship with our "Helper," the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). It involves serving others with Spirit... Keep Reading

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Truth & Applicaiton

Making Good Plans for 2017

December 30, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

2017, here we come. Maybe you've decided on certain resolutions. Here's something worth resolving to do in the new year: rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4). But don't just make a resolution to rejoice in the Lord. Make plans for how you can move in that direction, empowered by God's Spirit.... Keep Reading

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Election Day!

November 7, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

What do your pastors want to say to you on election day? Here are a few recommendations: 1) Do your research. And remember that the presidential election is only one of many significant choices you’re asked to participate in. (You can find what will be on your neighborhood’s ballot by Googling “my ballot” and then e... Keep Reading

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And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.      2 Corinthians 9:8 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Mem... Keep Reading

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on... Keep Reading

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Des... Keep Reading

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. [They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.]            Psalm... Keep Reading

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.       Matthew 11:28-30 We invite all church members to delight in God’s... Keep Reading

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. [For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."]    Romans 1:16-17 We invite all church members to delight ... Keep Reading

Summer Theology Study: The Man Christ Jesus

July 31, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Sound doctrine is vital for the health of the local church. This summer, we're recommending that members read a book called The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ, written by theologian Bruce Ware. The book is very readable, and not very long at all -- only about 150 pages -- but it is overflowin... Keep Reading

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And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.   Matthew 10:28 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For... Keep Reading

... he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, check out FighterVers... Keep Reading

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.   Ephesians 6:14-15 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the... Keep Reading

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salv... Keep Reading

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5  We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, check out FighterV... Keep Reading

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.      Psalm 86:5-7 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizi... Keep Reading

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.    Isaiah 40:28-29 We invite all church members to delight in God&rs... Keep Reading

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger   Ephesians 4:26 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, check out FighterVerses.com.... Keep Reading

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.    Colossians 3:1-3 We invite all church members to delight in God... Keep Reading

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:5-6 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture ... Keep Reading

by Mike Wiersema We Need to Love One Another “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you h... Keep Reading

And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:4-5 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses f... Keep Reading

Praying about Some Priorities for the Year

April 6, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Post by Josh Fenska This ministry year, as a team of elders, we have been praying that God will spread a gospel passion in our hearts, in our homes, and beyond.  Under that banner vision, we've been pursuing a few strategic priorities: Cultivating our joy in the Lord in everything we do as a church Stirring up greater vision for... Keep Reading

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Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.    James 1:2-3 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desirin... Keep Reading

...so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Script... Keep Reading

Holy Week in John

March 20, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

"Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" Jesus said, only a few days before being arrested, tried, and crucified (John 12:23).  This week, we want to fix our minds on the glory of Christ--the king who is glorified in His life-giving death.  To help us fix our minds on Christ, we've put together a reading from Jo... Keep Reading

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By Beth Muzik   As I look back on these past few decades of my Christian walk, I'm keenly aware of an important thread: I need perspective. I need perspective when I'm in a trial. So often, when stumbling through a dark valley, all I see in front of me is darkness. I feel the weight and burden of the trial. My fear takes over and s... Keep Reading

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Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizi... Keep Reading

by Jodi Tatum I recently spent some time studying 2 Peter 1 and was struck by Peter’s desire to keep reminding his fellow believers of scriptural truths: "I intend to always remind you," "To stir you up by way of reminder," "I will make every effort . . . so that you may be able at any time to recall these things." Peter makes it cl... Keep Reading

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of... Keep Reading

Fellowship Matters - A Trip Down Memory Lane

February 25, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Today, I want to launch our little "fellowship matters" blog series on a personal note. You see, small groups changed my life. Maybe it would be more precise to say that God's grace poured out in/through small groups has changed my life. But you get the point. My life is different because of how people welcomed me and served me in small groups when I first arrived at this church as an arrogant, immature, unreliable, flakey college student, who showed up when I felt like it, talked a lot, and contributed mainly unhelpful comments and stories. My life is different because of how friends in my small group prayed for me and repeatedly shared the simple (yet profound) truths of the gospel with me when I was pretty depressed toward the end of my college years...... Keep Reading

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There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.    Romans 8:1 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, check out FighterVerses.co... Keep Reading

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?    Psalm 56:3-4 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Mi... Keep Reading

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perf... Keep Reading

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.... Keep Reading

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse ... Keep Reading

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 2016

January 17, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

This January, along with many other churches, we will recognize Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision legalizing abortion. As we approach the anniversary of that decision, we lament the loss of millions of unborn children. We pray for peace.  One of our three primary local m... Keep Reading

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Truth & Applicaiton

What Is the "Around the Word" Seminar?

January 13, 2016 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

post by Josh Fenska On Saturday January 30, we'll be hosting an "Around the Word" seminar, which will be held at Orchard Valley Baptist Church (at Orchard and Jericho in Aurora), from 8:30am-3:30pm. For my part, I have attended similar events for pastors a number of times, and I know the men who will be teaching, so it's easy for me to g... Keep Reading

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Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations Deuteronomy 7:9 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memor... Keep Reading

Make Plans, Not Just Resolutions

December 31, 2015 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

The new year is here. Maybe you've decided on certain resolutions. Here's something worth resolving to do in the new year: rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4).  But don't just make a resolution to rejoice in the Lord. Make plans for how you can move in that direction, empowered by God's Spirit. To help church members make concrete plans,... Keep Reading

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Revelation 21:3 (This Week's Fightger Verse)

December 13, 2015 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God." Revelation 21:3 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter... Keep Reading

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (This Week's Fighter Verse)

December 6, 2015 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing ... Keep Reading

Psalm 84:10-12 (This Week's Fighter Verse)

November 23, 2015 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. [O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you... Keep Reading

Psalm 79:9 (This Week's Fighter Verse)

November 15, 2015 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name's sake!    Psalm 79:9 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. Fo... Keep Reading

1 Timothy 6:6-7 (This Week's Fighter Verse)

November 8, 2015 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.      1 Timothy 6:6-7 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Des... Keep Reading

Why Do Deacons Matter for the Church's Health?

October 28, 2015 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Post by Josh Fenska As we are hoping to commission Greg, Matt, and Tom as deacons at Redeemer, we've posted several things this past week about what the Bible says, and about what our plan is.  Why does all of this matter for our church's health? There are a number of answers to that question. Deacons unleash more ministry in and fr... Keep Reading

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What Does the Bible Say about Deacons?

October 21, 2015 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

post by Josh Fenska Depending on your church background, you may have different ideas or expectations for deacons. People with a certain Baptist background may think of a board of trustees in which twelve men vote about things like landscaping and the youth pastor’s salary. People from an Anglican background may think of white robes... Keep Reading

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James 1:19-20 (This Week's Fighter Verse)

October 11, 2015 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.       James 1:19-20 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory Syste... Keep Reading

Proverbs 4:25-27 (This Week's Fighter Verse)

October 4, 2015 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.  Proverbs 4:25-27 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these vers... Keep Reading

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memo... Keep Reading

I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.   Jeremiah 32:40 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scrip... Keep Reading

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, check out... Keep Reading

..."If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resourc... Keep Reading

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, ... Keep Reading

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:19-22 We inv... Keep Reading

On Sunday, we considered Jesus's teaching about prayer, in which Jesus gives this precious assurance: "how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13). Why is that such a precious promise? Here's an exerpt from Sunday's sermon (which you can find here), with the hope that it will stir yo... Keep Reading

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Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Psalm 34:9-11 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on ... Keep Reading

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!         Psalm 34:6-8 We invite all church members to delig... Keep Reading

Last week's Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage is now one of the loudest issues in American life. And it's an issue in which evangelical, Bible-believing Christians seem, well, out-of-step with our culture. If we say that God designed marriage to be for one man and one woman, we suddenly seem as up-to-date as a vinyl record. How should we process the national news? And how do we talk with friends, neighbors, or family members who probably see things differently? Here are two basic principles I'm seeking to live out right now as an ambassador of King Jesus: (1) trust God, and (2) speak grace. I'll add a few notes here about each of those, and then share some links to more information.... Keep Reading

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I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, check out ... Keep Reading

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.       Psa... Keep Reading

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  Psalm 19:7-8 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on... Keep Reading

"The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.        Lamentations 3:24-26 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word throu... Keep Reading

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.        Lamentations 3:21-23 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditatin... Keep Reading

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"     Hebrews 13:5-6 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizin... Keep Reading

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8... Keep Reading

Memorize This. You'll Be Glad.

February 14, 2015 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Over time, we've invited church members to memorize Scripture through the Fighter Verse memory system. Here's where we are in that memory program. Over the next 6 weeks, we'll be memorizing Romans 8:28-39. And here's what I want to say about that, without undue hype or exageration. If you only memorize one section of Scripture this year for the sake of your joy in Christ, there is no better passage to memorize than this. So, join us in treasuring these sweet truths of God's sovereign, saving, and never-stopping love. Let's store these words in our hearts and rejoice in them for years to come.... Keep Reading

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Leading Your Family in the Word (with Larry M)

February 4, 2015 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Last month, in the sermon from Psalm 119:9-18, I mentioned one strategy for leading kids (and myself!) into "meditating" or "thinking" about God's Word. The strategy is simply to read a passage, then write at least two sentences, one beginning with the word "God" [or "Jesus" in the Gospels], and a second sentence beginning with the word, "I." The strategy is helpful for young and old alike. A few parents have reached out with questions. A few questions related to what caliber of relflections we should expect from young kids. If it helps, here are a few examples of sentences my kids have written: "God, I'm sorry that Harrod was so mean." Or "I think John [the Baptist] did not do the right thing." Each of those sentences gave me a chance to ask more questions and start a conversation with my kids at the kitchen counter--so I celebrated them! Other questions related to how to lead kids of various ages. In response, we obviously need to recognize that no two kids are alike, and not two families are alike. There is a very wide variety of "strategies" that can be wise. So pay attention to your kids (not your neighbor's kids) and think about how to best serve the children God has given you. But I also thought it would be helpful to ask another dad to share some of his strategies. A number of times I've sat with Larry M and his family at their dinner table and smiled to watch Larry open the Bible, read a section, and then start a discussion that drew in everyone at the table. Here are some ideas from Larry M about how he led his family in the Word through different seasons: Just a few thoughts about family devotions and what we practiced. Please read this with the understanding that we did not practice them fully or consistently. These practices worked for us and are being written for encouragement and help, not fret or condemnation if your practices look different. I do hope that this can be helpful and to give ideas to those interested in disciplining the only correct way on the face of the earth....Just joking.... Keep Reading

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"Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resourc... Keep Reading

Redeemer IN THE WORD Together 2015

December 23, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Paul wrote to a local church, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col. 3:16). This coming year, we as a pastoral team are inviting each member of Redeemer to dig deeply in the soul-nourishing, hope-giving, life-changing, joy-producing Word of God. Here are two specific suggestions:... Keep Reading

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Each Year we encourage folks in the church to pick a Bible reading plan.  Though there are a number of reading plans out there, this year we want to encourage everyone in the church to read the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan. The reason we picked this particular plan is that it really can serve everyone in the church no matter how f... Keep Reading

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Christmas is Good News...to the Poor

December 4, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

This Christmas season, we're going to spend a few weeks looking at Christmas from a different angle: Christmas is good news for the poor. It's good news for sinful people like me who need a Savior. And it's good news for the needy, the brokenhearted, and the hurting in the world around us. To participate in Christmas is to join a long line of givers, going back to God Himself, who "so loved the world, that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16). Jesus "became poor" for us and for our salvation (2 Cor. 9:8). And He didn't just enter our world to give money, he came to give His life. The apostle Paul--in awe of Christ's love--once described Jesus as "the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). The good news of Christmas was first announced to a gathering of rejects--shepherds (Luke 2:8ff.). And when we get the true "Spirit" of Christmas (Isa. 61:1), we will be moved by God's love for us to to not only give a few presents under the tree, but to give generously from our lives in love to others in need (1 John 3:16-17)...... Keep Reading

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I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.    Psalm 118:13-14 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Mi... Keep Reading

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministries. For additional resources, check out FighterVer... Keep Reading

Don't Waste the End of Daylight Saving Time

November 2, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

So, we turned back the clocks and snatched an extra hour of sleep. Now what? We want to be a church of people characterized by a gospel passion. One of the best ways to cultivate gospel passion is through daily Bible reading. Many people had great ideas for Bible reading plans beginning on January 1. But what should you do if you realize that you haven't been reading the Bible regularly, like you once intended? You ready for the big answer? When you haven't been reading the Bible regularly, usually the best thing to do about it is...well...to start reading the Bible regularly. There, I said it. Profound, right? And here's the connection with the end of Daylight Saving Time...... Keep Reading

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Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.    James 4:7-8 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from Desiring God Ministri... Keep Reading

Renewing Our Commitment to Peacemaking

October 23, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Jesus said, "Love one another" (John 15:12, and other places). Most Christians are eager to love others--at least until the rubber meets the road and we're called to love people who don't seem easy for us to love. This Sunday, we'll talk about the importance of guarding and protecting our church community through peacemaking. We're not raising the issue because there is any huge crisis or controversy, but simply because it's perennially a vital part of God's design for His church. During the service, we want to invite the members of Redeemer to renew our commitment to peacemaking. To prepare our hearts to recommit to a culture of peacemaking, we want to invite every member to review The Peacemaker's Pledge (below). On Sunday morning, we'll provide copies of this pledge and read it together, salongside the preaching of the Word and taking the Lord's Supper. ... Keep Reading

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Cast your burdens on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.   Psalm 55:22... Keep Reading

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3:18 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memory System from... Keep Reading

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scrip... Keep Reading

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23... Keep Reading

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditatin... Keep Reading

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. James 1:22-24 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word... Keep Reading

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!   Psalm 27:13-14 We invite all church members to delight in God’s Word through memorizing and meditating on these verses from the Fighter Verse Scripture Memor... Keep Reading

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. [For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.] Psalm 27... Keep Reading

Proverbs 17:9,22 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

Psalm 139:15-16 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

Psalm 139:11-12 (This Week's Fighter Verse) ... Keep Reading

Psalm 139:6-8 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

Psalm 139:4-5 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

Romans 5:9-10 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

Easter Sunday SUCH AMAZING RESURRECTION LOVE "For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." (John 10:17""18) ... Keep Reading

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Saturday A HOLY WEEK VOLCANO Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. (Luke 22:63""65) As I read these terrible words, I found myself saying to Jesus, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Jesus. Forgive me!" I felt myself to be an actor here, not just a spectator. I was so much a part of that ugly gang that I knew I was as guilty as they were. I felt that if the rage of God should spill over onto those soldiers and sweep me away, too, justice would have been done. I wasn't there, but their sin was my sin. It would not have been unjust for me to fall under their sentence. ... Keep Reading

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Good Friday WHAT GOOD FRIDAY IS ALL ABOUT Consequently, he [Jesus] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25) ... Keep Reading

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Maundy Thursday THURSDAY OF THE COMMANDMENT "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (John 13:34) ... Keep Reading

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As I have pondered the love of Christ for us, and the different ways that the Bible presents it to us, I have seen four ways that the depth of Christ's love is revealed. First, we know the depth of someone's love for us by what it costs him. If he sacrifices his life for us, it assures us of deeper love than if he only sacrifices a few bruises. So we will see the depth of Christ's love by the greatness of what it cost him....... Keep Reading

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In Luke 9:51��"56, we learn how not to understand Palm Sunday. To set his face towards Jerusalem meant something very different for Jesus than it did for the disciples. You can see the visions of greatness that danced in their heads in verse 46: "An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest." Jerusalem and glory were just around the corner. O what it would mean when Jesus took the throne! But Jesus had another vision in his head. One wonders how he carried it all alone and for so long. Here's what Jerusalem meant for Jesus: "I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33). Jerusalem meant one thing for Jesus: certain death. ... Keep Reading

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For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 ... Keep Reading

Ephesians 2:6-7 (This Week's Fighter Verse)

March 30, 2014 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

Ephesians 2:6-7 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ... Keep Reading

Friday's Specific Scripture John 17 Friday's Specific Step In John 17:23, Jesus prays, "that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me." Would you set aside a full 15 minutes (or more) to pray for the church, that we would live like we are "perfectly one," and that the love of God would be increasingly displayed to the world? ... Keep Reading

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Thursday's Specific Scripture John 16 Thursday's Specific Step John's Gospel talks a lot about the world. God so loved the world that he sent his son. A Helper will come to convict the world. In the world you will have trouble--but take heart for I have overcome the world. As the Father has sent me, so have I sent you. There are two choices for today's specific step. The first option is to tell someone today about how Jesus changed your life. The second option is to invite a non-Christian friend over to your house (maybe today, maybe just put it on the calendar), and seek to tell them about how Jesus changed your life. ... Keep Reading

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Wednesday: 7 Days of Branching Out

March 11, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Wednesday's Specific Scripture Read John chapter 15. Wednesday's Specific Step Loving one another is the hallmark of Christian discipleship. And there are probably a thousand different ways to love people. But, in case you have trouble narrowing down the options, here's one really specific way we can love one another today: encourage a brother or sister in Christ for how you see the fruit of the Spirit in his or her life. And when he or she seems encouraged, don't stop. Keep on sharing more encouraging words--"that it may give grace to those who hear" (Eph. 4:29).... Keep Reading

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Tuesday: 7 Days of Branching Out

March 11, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Tuesday's Specific Scripture Read John chapter 14. Tuesday's Specific Step Pray for someone you would not ordinarily pray for. And tell that person you're praying--in person, or on the phone, or over email. If it's someone who is not a Christian, maybe it will become a gospel opportunity if you let them know that you are a Christian and you feel like you want to pray for them, and ask if there are any specific ways they could use prayer today.... Keep Reading

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Monday: 7 Days of Branching Out

March 9, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

In John 15:5, Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." This week, we want to take 7 days together as a church family to be more intentional than normal to "branch out"--to abide in Christ with deep dependence on Him and with deep confidence in Him. The strategies in the image above (which we also gave out on the memory verse cards on Sunday) are some simple ways of trying to move the teaching of Jesus into everyday life.... Keep Reading

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John 15:5 (This Week's Memory Verse)... Keep Reading

Philippians 3:8-9 (This Week's Memory Verse)... Keep Reading

A Stupendous Reality: Union with Christ

February 7, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

This weekend, we're beginning a sermon series called, "United with Chirst." In a blog post about "The Stupendous Reality of Being 'in Christ Jesus,'" John Piper lists 13 realities for those who are "in Christ":... Keep Reading

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United with Christ | Seven Prayers

February 6, 2014 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

For the coming month (probably until March 16), we're going to take a brief pause in our series through the Gospel of Luke so that we can focus on what it means for us to be united with Christ. Union with Christ is a precious gospel reality which is often overlooked in passages that speak of believers being "in Christ" or "with Christ"--or passages that speak of Christ being in His people. Paul explains that the marriage "union" between a husband and wife is a reflection of Christ's oneness with His church (Eph. 5:31-32). Using a different metaphor, Jesus explained that His disciples are vitally joined with him the way that a branch is vitally joined with a vine (John 15:5). Here are seven things I'm praying for as we launch into this brief series. ... Keep Reading

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1 Thessalonians 5:18-22 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

John 14:6 (This Week's Memory Verse)... Keep Reading

Isaiah 43:1-3 (This Week's Fighter Verse) ... Keep Reading

Isaiah 41:10 (This Week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

Matthew 22:37-39 (This week's Fighter Verse)... Keep Reading

The Christian Life: Empowered by the Spirit, Part 2

December 21, 2013 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

We also believe the Holy Spirit is active in the church corporately. He empowers the church for witness and service, and He imparts His supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and for various works of ministry in the world. The gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the New Testament church are available today, are vital for the mission of the church, and are to be earnestly desired and practiced.... Keep Reading

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The Christian Life: Empowered by the Spirit, Part 1

December 20, 2013 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells believers as a pledge of their promised inheritance. While all genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, the New Testament indicates the importance of an ongoing, empowering work of the Spirit subsequent to conversion which the believer is encouraged to pursue. The Holy Spirit desires to fill each believer continually with increased power, acting in the believer to encourage, guide, and ultimately effect growth in Christ-likeness and Christian witness. We believe this sanctification is a progressive work that begins at conversion, and, though it is carried out by the presence and power of the Spirit, it is a work with which the individual believer cooperates especially by means of engagement in active obedience, prayer, meditation on Scripture, worship, and true fellowship with other believers. Those who have been saved delight in the blessings of the New Covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation of heart that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of the glory yet to come. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace. Though indwelling sin remains, actual growth in holiness is the expected fruit of the Spirit in a believer's life.... Keep Reading

Fighter Verse

December 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

Matthew 20:26-28... Keep Reading

Fighter Verse

November 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Romans 10:17... Keep Reading

Fighter Verse

November 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

1 Peter 2:9-11... Keep Reading

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Fighter Verse

November 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

John 5:39-40 ... Keep Reading

Hide It Under a Bushel? Maybe.

November 8, 2013 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

Many of us as little children sang, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." And we declared emphatically, "Hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm gonna let it shine." For my part--even though I had absolutely no clue what a "bushel" was--I knew for sure that it was absurdly ridiculous to hide a light under a bushel. "What kind of fool would do that?", I thought. Over the last year I've had to realize that I'm the kind of fool who would do that. I've met "the Light of the World," in whom is "light and life," and yet, rather than living like a missionary among those walking in darkeness, I spend a lot of my life with the light (functionally) hidden. The Holy Spirit has helped me see that I have some repenting to do here.... Keep Reading

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Living Like Missionaries

November 8, 2013 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

As we're tlaking about our "Great Commission Vision," I've suggested that the Great Commission is The greatest Person in the world sending all His people on the greatest mission in the world empowered by the greatest promise in this world. And this past week, we considered that the Great Mission (that is the Great Commission of Matthew 28) calls for us to live with a missionary mindset. What does it mean to live like a missionary? Here's a portrait of how a faithful cross-cultural missionary might aim to live. ... Keep Reading

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Fighter Verse

November 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Fighter Verse for the Week of November 3, 2013... Keep Reading

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Introducing the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible

October 25, 2013 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

"If you were stranded on a desert island with only one book, what would it be?" I think this volume is my new answer to that question. It's a lot like the ESV Study Bible, expect with a more direct focus on how the Scriptures are applied to followers of Christ today. As the ESV Study Bible provides a great deal of information about the text and its background, so the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible provides notes focused on how every passage points to Christ and the application of his life-transforming grace. ... Keep Reading

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Repentance & Faith

October 17, 2013 | by: Josh Anderson | 0 Comments

We believe man's fall into sin rendered him spiritually dead and therefore completely unable to initiate any reconciliation with God and completely unable to contribute anything to his own salvation. However, God graciously initiates by regenerating human hearts... Keep Reading

Memory Verse

October 9, 2013 | by: Aleece Root | 0 Comments

Memory Verse: Romans 15:7... Keep Reading

We believe that God created man "male and female" in His own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God Himself declared to be very good, serving as God's stewards to care for and govern creation, living in holy and happy fellowship with their Maker. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other... Keep Reading

God (Statement of Faith Series)

October 5, 2013 | by: Josh Fenska | 0 Comments

We believe in one, and only one, true God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This God is infinitely perfect both in His love and in His holiness. He is the Creator of all things and is therefore alone worthy to receive man's highest worship, his full allegiance, and his whole­"hearted love. God perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about His eternal good purposes.... Keep Reading

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