CHURCH CLOSINGS FOR HURRICANE IRMA

It seems quite clear now that our region will experience tropical storm weather conditions throughout the day this Sunday. Prudence dictates calling the ball at this point. There will be no meetings held at OGC this Sunday, 9/10. Additionally the church office will be closed on Monday for sure, perhaps longer depending upon the state of things following the storm. Updates will be posted as made possible by the availability of necessary utilities. Needless to say, be in prayer for the citizens of our state and beyond. A call has gone out from CRU requesting any ...

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE

You may well be wondering what we intend to do about Sunday worship and classes this week in light of the pending threat of Hurricane Irma. We've had considerable internal discussion among our leadership team as well as conversation with other local churches. This storm presents a number of challenging factors and variables that make wisdom difficult to ascertain. At this point we are leaning heavily toward canceling meetings this Sunday. Our stance stems from the following considerations: 1. Tropical Storm Force Winds or Greater - As of 11 am this morning the ...

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WORK HARD FOR A HEALING SPIRIT (7)

The What & Why of Honoring Church Leaders for Unity’s Sake We complete unpacking Paul’s quest in 1 Thess. 5:12-13 for preserving unity in the church by advocating followers’ respect for their leaders because of their work. So far we have considered the family and hard and leading nature of that work. This post focuses on the corrective nature of the ministry. The last of three verbs in v. 12 describing the nature of a church officer’s work is the word “admonish.” Literally it means “to put in mind.” It has instruction and teaching overtones. ...

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ROBOJAW 3 REPORT

Update on My Most Recent Jaw Reconstruction Procedure Last Thursday, August 10, I underwent the third in a series of surgeries to rebuild my right-side mandible. Radiation treatment in 2005 eventually undermined the integrity of that bone. I suffered a pathological fracture as a result in late 2015. Tongue cancer was painful. A broken jaw was excruciating. Worse than that, one can't chew anything. Something had to be done. Fortunately Dr. Robert Marks, an oral surgeon in Miami, knew just what to do for me. He is one of a kind. I've complained about having to ...

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WORK HARD FOR A HEALING SPIRIT (6)

The What & Why of Honoring Church Leaders for Unity’s Sake We continue unpacking Paul’s quest in 1 Thess. 5:12-13 for preserving unity in the church by advocating followers’ respect for their leaders because of their work. So far we have considered the family and hard nature of that work. This post focuses on the leading nature of the ministry. Respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord. The verb over is made up of two Greek words, literally to stand before. It means to provide oversight. Paul exhorted the elders at Ephesus about ...

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WORK HARD FOR A HEALING SPIRIT (5)

The What & Why of Honoring Church Leaders for Unity’s Sake In my latest series of posts based on 1 Thess. 5:12-13, I have argued for the pursuit of church unity by the way followers honor their leaders. It has everything to do with the nature of their work. In the last post we covered the family nature of the work. In this post we consider the toilsome nature of the ministry. The Greek language has a variety of terms for work. In v. 12, Paul uses a verb form of a particularly vivid word. It describes toil, labor, or work so depleting it leaves one weary—...

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WORK HARD FOR A HEALING SPIRIT (4)

The What & Why of Honoring Church Leaders for Unity’s Sake “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” So Paul, the apostle, exhorts in Rom. 12:10. A gospel-shaped life (Rom.1-11) demonstrates itself in a variety of manifestations of love-in this case competitive honor-showing. I have argued in my previous three posts that this must especially be true in the way followers treat their leaders in the local church. We will struggle to enjoy ongoing unity in the body of Christ failing to cultivate such a virtue. ...

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WORK HARD FOR A HEALING SPIRIT (3)

The What & Why of Honoring Church Leaders for Unity’s Sake In their book, Redeeming Church Conflicts, Tara Barthel and David Edling put their finger on a troublesome issue between followers and leaders in the church: Typically, in our churches today, we find followers who don’t want to follow because they think they know more than their leader. They are like rebellious sheep who just want to do what they would do naturally. It’s true that all leaders are imperfect. But we can all learn to follow imperfect leaders. We have no other choice, for there is no ...

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WORK HARD FOR A HEALING SPIRIT (2)

The What & Why of Honoring Church Leaders for Unity’s Sake In my last post, I argued that eager preservers of church unity (Eph. 4:1-3) bring a lot of energy to peacemaking in the church. It always ranks high in their priorities as members of a fellowship. With this end in view, the apostle Paul zeroes in on the relationship between followers and their leaders in 1 Thess. 5:12-13. He spells out a practice they must master, if they are to excel as a peacemaking people. Simply put: Peacemaking people in Christ’s church treat their officers with utmost honor ...

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THE GOSPEL GRACE OF WELCOMING (4)

How Embracing Others with Differences of Conscience Protects Church Unity The New Testament prescribes many principles aimed at the need to excel in preserving unity in the church (Eph. 4:1-3). One very important such command involves embracing in love those who differ with us in the so-called "gray areas" of the Christian life. I first introduced this issue in post #1. In post #2, I treated the gist of welcoming--Paul's antidote for unity-destroying judging in the body. In post #3, I covered the two-fold ground of welcoming: the gospel of God and the judgment ...

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