Students and Parents Gathering Tonight!

Posted by Allie Bunch on OP12er @ 12:17 PM

All 6th-12th graders and their parents are invited to meet for a special 5th Wednesday Student Gathering tonight, August 31! We will gather together in the gym and Dority Hall for games, dinner, fellowship, and teaching from 6-8pm. Contact Daniel ( with questions. We hope to see you there!

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Man Night this Wednesday, August 17!

Posted by Allie Bunch on OP3er @ 3:57 PM

We invite you to join us this Wednesday, August 17 in Dority Hall for Man Night. All men ages 13 and up are invited to attend. Dinner will be at 6:00, followed by teaching and testimonies from 6:30 to 8pm. Jason Cook will be teaching this week on living faithfully as a member of the church. Cost for dinner is $4 per person. Invite your friends!

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Student Gathering this Wednesday, August 10 | 6-8pm in the gym/Dority Hall

Posted by Allie Bunch on OP1er @ 1:06 PM

All 6th-12th graders are invited to meet for our Next Generation Student Gathering this Wednesday, August 10! We will gather together in the gym and Dority Hall for games, dinner, fellowship, and teaching from 6-8pm. Reply to this email or contact Daniel ( with questions. We hope to see you there!

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Permanent vs Temporary

Posted by Joe Ray on OP3er @ 3:29 PM

We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation
a people for His own possession.

We are also sojourners and exiles in this world.

The first is permanent. The second is temporary.

What is permanent is vastly more important
than what is temporary.

Peter has already told us that our permanent inheritance is
"imperishable, undefiled, and unfailing, kept in heaven for you"
(1 Pet 1:4)

He contrasts that which is one Earth, fading, defiled. and perishable.

Our identity in Christ is the only area that is permanent.
Because of this identity we are to proclaim (1 Pet 2:9)
and do good deeds (1 Pet 2:12).

Are you known more for what you are against than
what you are for?

Have you made your identity something that is temporary?
(being a parent, your sexuality, your knowledge, your job...)

What would change in your life if you started proclaiming
the way you are called to?

What would change in your relationships if your good deeds
marked your life?

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As You Come To Him

Posted by Joe Ray on OA7er @ 7:22 AM

In the south this phrase "As you come to Him" would read
"As ya'll come to Him." This "you" is plural.

He is Jesus, the living stone rejected by men.

So as we all come to Jesus, what do we do?

We "offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God
through Jesus Christ".

What is a spiritual sacrifice? Romans 12:1
"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

Our bodies? What does this mean?

Quite simply, our bodies are the vehicles for service
to God and others. Peter told us in 1 Pet 1:13 that
we first have to prepare our minds for action.

So with a prepared mind, and our bodies willing to
serve God. What area of service is God calling you into?

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Crave Pure Spiritual Milk

Posted by Joe Ray on OP11er @ 11:27 PM

1 Peter 1:22-2:3

"since you have been born again..."

Peter tells us that our action to love one another is rooted in
our second, spiritual, birth.

This language of being born again is used when Peter says,
"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by
it you may grow up into your salvation."

Growing up. Loving one another. A love rooted in our imperishable
seed (a reference to how babies are made).

We have every reason to keep loving someone. We have tasted of
God's good love to us. We know what a relief that love is for our
own souls. Why would we not give that love to others?

Because our flesh is like grass, why would we regard anyone
according to appearance? (John 7:24)

Because our salvation is imperishable, why would we be
swayed by petty annoyances with one another?

God loves you as much as he loves your enemy.
So let's put aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy and slander.

Do we want to have slandered someone whom God loves?
Will that go well for us?

Do we suppose God does not see how we act differently
when speaking to or about people. He is impartial, let
us also be impartial, speaking what is truth, in love, to
and with all people at all times.

But only do this, "if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good."

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One Long Sentence

Posted by Joe Ray on OP10er @ 10:13 PM

1 Peter 1:3-12

Perhaps some of you wondered why our brother read the text so quickly.
For one, we wanted to convey that this section is more like one long run
on sentence. Did you notice the emphasis he placed on certain phrases?

Sometimes the way we read scripture is not exciting. Perhaps you've heard
a poorly performed audio bible. Try reading your daily devotional out loud.
See if you become excited by what is said.

See if you can say the scripture with this kind of conviction:

This is not merely an exercise in reading methodology, it is an attempt to
practice what the scripture tells us to do, namely, "REJOICE IN HIS NAME!"


1. Where is your joy? Where are you tempted to place it other than in the gospel?

2. How have past or present trails shown you the genuineness of your faith?
How does that change the way you view those times of suffering?

3. How does understanding that we live in a privileged time, when God has
revealed his Christ to us, encourage you in your daily life? How does this
section of Scripture encourage you to worship and praise God the Spirit for all
he has done for God’s people?

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1st Peter, Elect Exiles Obedient to Christ

Posted by Joe Ray on OA10er @ 10:35 AM

Welcome to our new series in 1 Peter!
We spent our first week in the first two verses. Crazy, huh?

Sometimes all of our theology can be corrected in less than two verses
by using only one word.

Jesus did this by emphasizing "I am" the God of... For us, in English
it only took the word "am" to show that God still is the God of these men.
God's word (sometimes singular, sometimes plural) can change us
no matter how small.

The two words that tend to give us pause to set up our fortresses and
begin to attack one another, whether out of confusion or conviction, are
elect, and foreknowledge.

I know that I have convictions about what these two words mean and
don't mean. I could attempt to require everyone to see things exactly
as I do (something scripture doesn't do), or I could also pretend that
it doesn't matter (another thing scripture doesn't do). So what should
I do? Some people don't know that there is controversy, and others
are going to mine out every word I say (or write) to find out where
exactly I land on an issue.

For the first group, the one that either was not aware of the conversation
or perhaps did/does not care about it, I give you this challenge. Jesus
took sides in a very controversial topic (whether or not resurrection was
a reality) and it all came down to one word. If it wasn't important, or if
Jesus thought theology was something no one could know (clearly the
Pharisees knew, they were vindicated for their belief), or perhaps Jesus
could have said "Arguments aren't helpful", then Jesus would not have
said anything. Yes some topics are hard, Peter agrees with you. But
that does not make them unimportant. Find a brother or sister in Christ
that you trust, and begin to have discussions about these things. When
the discussion is done in love, it bears great fruit for your spiritual life.

For the second group, the one that tends toward critical analysis of
nearly everything. It's ok. Calm down. You aren't going to get everything
correct in this life. How do I know this? 1 Peter tells us that the prophets
themselves could not quite understand everything that they were saying.
There are aspects of God that we have a hard time explaining. For instance,
how does God know everything that is happening right now without it just being
billions and billions of chaotic lines of code and data streaming into his mind?
We don't know what that is like. We might not ever know. But we do know that
God is able to know and foreknow things. How? Cause he is God. What does
it mean? That is the question up for discussion.

For next week, read 1 Peter through in one sitting. Then go back and read through next
week's passage (1 Peter 1:1-12). Pray and ask God to speak to you through this new
series and to give you understanding into this book.

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Out of Leviticus and into Easter

Posted by Joe Ray on OP3er @ 3:58 PM

We have finished our overview of Leviticus and now we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.


We went from having to find uncut stones, to being the living stones that make the church.


We went from a sacrificial system that could not atone for intentional sin, to the sacrifice that does.


God's resurrection of Jesus shows us God's ultimate justice in that he defends the downtrodden.


Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection, and so displays what we have to look forward to.





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Let's Pick Sides

Posted by Joe Ray on OA5er @ 5:49 AM

When you consider political agendas, is your primary concern "What does God command of me?"

Can the government fulfill the commands that God has given you to do?

If you are pro life, are you pro all of life, or does it favor only one area of life?

If you are attempting to have safety in the form of immigration reform, but know that God wants you to take care of the foreigner among you, what do you do with your fear, your individual responsibility, and your resources?

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