Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

“Before I was a civil rights leader, I was a preacher of the Gospel. This was my first calling and it still remains my greatest commitment. You know, actually all that I do in civil rights I do because I consider it a part of my ministry. I have no other ambitions in life but to achieve excellence in the Christian ministry. I don’t plan to run for any political office. I don’t plan to do anything but remain a preacher. And what I’m doing in this struggle, along with many others, grows out of my feeling that the preacher must be concerned about the whole man.”

—King, 1967

Thoughts to ponder-

  • Are you a Christian as your first calling?
  • Is it your greatest commitment?
  • Are you concerned about the whole person God has placed in front of you?
  •  Do you see the person or their label and or what they can do for you?
  • Do you seek to achieve excellence in your calling to serve Jesus and love others?

Matthew 22:36-39 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Galatians 5:24-25  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

-Pastor Rosanna Phillips

Abandoned

Alone, rejected, forsaken, deserted,  thrown away… no longer wanted… left to fend for ourselves…  Friday night, during our all church worship and prayer time, I found myself seeing images of people in ramshackle rooms hiding behind doors, crouching under tables, wounded, bleeding, all alone.   Isolating and insulating themselves from the outside behind physical and emotional barriers, they tried to patch their wounds.   Frightened, their eyes hauntingly empty, they cowered in the shadows.  I was overwhelmed.   Then I looked more closely and there in each place I saw Jesus-  loving arms open for each one just waiting for them to ask for His help.

I was impressed with this thought- I love them with abandon, will you love them with abandon?  I have redeemed their abandonment and will you abandon yourself to being a conduit of my love? Those people who have been hurt so deeply that they can only respond with hurtful actions, out of the perceived need to protect themselves from “love” with strings attached.   Those people who can do nothing for you.  Those people who are perfectionists, dirty, addicted, cruel, manipulative, confused, organized, intimidating,  twisted, blind, poor, rich, fancy, common, sick, powerful, work-aholics, lazy, strong, weak, beautiful, broken, unique, and all those in between.  There are so many waiting.  Some have called 9-1-1 and are waiting for the paramedics to find them- others are to afraid or weak to even call for help, but will you seek them out?  Will you abandon your view of who you can love and let me love with abandon through you?  Will you seek out the one who needs me?  Will you let yourself die to the religious ideas of how I act, where I act, and what I do?  Will you see my people as I see them?  Will you love with abandon?  Without limits, without restraint, all in, off the deep end….  jump with me into love.

If you are one who is in the depths of feeling abandoned- He has abandoned it all to save you.

In John 12:24-26, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”   

For those who have given your lives to Him, are you willing to plant yourself deeply in Him and commit to His purpose, and dying to your own self, to bear fruit of  His love, so you can love with abandon?

John 13:34-35 “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.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus gave His life, because He loved you with abandon, can you do the same?

 

-Pastor Rosanna Phillips

Finances out of control?

Financial Peace University

 

My wife and I had been married for only a few months.  We were happy, in love, and had no more than a casual idea where our money was going.  We had two car loans, multiple student loans from college, credit card debt, money borrowed from family members to help pay for our recent wedding: in short we didn’t own our own lives.

Fast forward a little over 2 years: we own both our cars, have no credit card debt (or even credit cards!), have payed back our family members, and payed off all but one remaining student loan all while being more generous with our money than we ever thought possible. We have money in the bank for emergencies, a growing retirement fund, and a relationship not strained by fear and worry over money.

 

We still have a ways to go: dreams and goals that God has planted in our hearts, but we know we can get there.

 

So how did we do it?

1. We recognized we had a problem.

This is always the first step to making a change in your life.  You have to know that there is something that needs to be changed.  For us it was watching our savings just sort of evaporate for no apparent reason.  For you it could be as easy as reading this!

2. We sought wisdom.

Proverbs 11:14 says “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”  We knew that we didn’t know what to do, so we asked some people we trusted what we should do.  They told us about Financial Peace University.

3. We followed through.

If you have read this far, then perhaps you have already found points one and two relevant.  Its this last step, the follow through, that trips us up.  But it’s the part with power.  It’s the part that can take you from being a slave to your money to making money a tool you control.  We want to help you follow through.

 

For us, following through was signing up for a Financial Peace University course.  It was 14 weeks long.  It cost us $90.  It was hard to commit to.

 

It changed our lives.

 

Taking this course made such a positive impact in our family that we want to spread the wealth.  We want to see others lives changed, see them get the tools to get a handle on their income and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you are stuck, feel hopeless, or just need a refreshing in what God’s word says about money, we ask you to join us.  Invest in your future!

 

When I was a boy at my father’s knee,

   the pride and joy of my mother,

He would sit me down and drill me:

   “Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!

Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!

   Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch!

Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life;

   love her—she keeps her eye on you.

Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!

   Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!

Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it;

   never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.

She’ll garland your life with grace,

   she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”

Proverbs 4:3-9

 

http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/locations/org/47287/class/240834

-Rock View Admin Team

Tears in a Box

“It’s broken!  It’s broken forever!” cried my daughter as tears streamed down her face.  Her cardboard car that she spent several hours building on Saturday, had its roof  crushed by her big brother as he crawled past it to get to some materials he wanted out of the closet.  She sobbed in my arms, “It will never be the same! It’s broken!”   Dramatic outpouring over a box that was destined for the recycle bin, you say?  To the average observer, that would seem to be the case, but I know it was about more than the box.  Over the past few months our family has experienced some life altering events.  First we got a call on the way home from vacation that my father-in-law passed away.   We packed back up the family, and drove 13 hours to attend the funeral, and while we out of town we got a call that my father passed away, and we packed back up and drove 15.5 hours back to my parent’s home to prepare for funeral number two.

Two grandfathers gone, sad family members.  Home four days out of thirty.  Life changed forever.  Questions I’ve heard over the last few weeks, “Why do things have to change?”  “I want things to stay the same.”  “I miss my Grandpas.”   Then today the box… simple cardboard, ripped, altered, changed.  Too much for a seven year old heart to bear. So she sobs, screams, shakes in my arms.  “It’s broken!”  Finally, she settles –  climbs from  my lap, and sits in the “rumble seat” she made for her dolls to sit in.  Head bowed against the wall, curled over in her Ariel costume… on last time in her “car”.  And now I cry.  Cry for her pain that she can’t put into words.  Cry for my broken heart that will never be the same.  And then I feel HIS arms around me, saying, “Take heart. You have things to look forward to today.”  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11   After a while, she climbs out of the box, walks to get a soft towel to dry her tears, gives me a hug and asks, “How long until we leave?”  She is ready to leave the box and move into her future.  I too am reassured that my future is secure, and I will get out of my “box” of sadness and move into the life I am to live today.   Psalm 30:10-12 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!” 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;  you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

-Pastor Rosanna Phillips

A Letter

I read this recently and wanted to share it with you all.  I hope you find it as encouraging as I did.  Pastor Rosanna

 I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah, writing to exiles scattered to the four winds.

Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!

 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said,

The old life is a grass life,
its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers;
Grass dries up, flowers droop,
God’s Word goes on and on forever.

This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.

I Peter Chapter 1, The Message 

-Pastor Rosanna Phillips