Friday, January 31, 2014

The Sunday Set-Up for February 2, 2014

Have you ever seen a child fall down and get hurt? Ever noticed what they do afterwards? They immediately begin looking around for help…scanning the horizon for a familiar face who will offer them comfort and solace. That instinct doesn’t change as we grow up. As adults, life continues to knock us down from time to time. Usually the falls grow steeper and the hurts are more painful. But our response remains the same. We always look somewhere for help and comfort and solace. 
The question is…where do we turn?

On Sunday, we’re beginning a new sermon series on the book of Ruth. This book opens with a pretty steep fall and the response of the characters involved will help teach us a great deal about ourselves and where we turn in our trials. So come and join us this Sunday morning as we launch into Ruth.  

Scripture Reading: Ruth 1

Bulletin: February 2, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Sunday Set-Up for January 26. 2014

Ever felt like you were being judged? Like you have been trying to live up to some impossibly high standard and continually falling short? Like you are always two steps away from being a loser? No one likes to be judged, yet the Bible tells us that we will all be judged by God. Is that good news or bad? What does it mean practically for our lives that God is a judge and should we ever relate to Him in that way? 
Please join us this Sunday as we seek to answer these questions in our fourth and final message in the series, “Who is God?"


Readings: Psalm 98 and John 5:19-30
Bulletin: January 26, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sing Like You’re Moses

by Jonathan Noël

I was greatly encouraged by our time together as a Church family this past Sunday.  I usually am, but this week was especially poignant.  Curious?

For starters, Patrick’s sermon, “Warrior” from Exodus 15, got my attention.  God’s people had just been miraculously delivered out of Egypt and Pharaoh, along with his army, had been defeated.  Moses, and his sister Miriam, responded accordingly, singing in great detail of the Lord and His mighty acts.  Patrick zeroed in on verse 3; “The Lord is a warrior.”  He stated, “The song of Moses is OUR song.  It’s appropriated through a greater Deliverer, Jesus Christ.”  Boom.  I’ve read this passage before, but when Patrick made this connection, things got extra real for me.

Last Sunday marked my one-year anniversary serving here at Apostles.  It has been a fantastic year and my family and I are extremely grateful to God and to this congregation. Now, I’m a bit of a Daydreamer.  While Patrick was speaking, I began to imagine what it might be like if I immediately and specifically responded, like Moses, and sang of God’s faithfulness – right then and there.  My new song might start out something like this:

“I will sing to the Lord
For He is highly exalted.
In His faithfulness
He brought us to a new land
A land flowing with milk and honey (Hello Goodberry’s!)
He has loved us through His people
He has continued His work of redemption
The LORD rules!
Hallelujah!”

I’m still working on the tune.  Seriously though, I feel a great urgency for my heart and mind to come alive and respond more fully to what God has done and is doing around me, daily, hourly.

Then it happened. Patrick read a quote from Christian author/pastor John Ortberg that juxtaposed the way we respond in the context of a sporting event versus the way we respond with the people that we love, not to mention with the One Whom we love the most.  Ortberg wrote about our Warrior and His great love and sacrifice for us.  He finished with, “Jesus Christ is risen!”  When Patrick read this, our congregation erupted in applause and cheers.  My heart was pounding.  My eyes were tearing.  I wanted to rush the piano and break into song.  We were responding, like Moses.

Even more, at the end of the service before we sang our closing song, I mentioned that our drummer was absent because his wife had just given birth.  I then asked if the congregation would be the drums by clapping along with this upbeat ditty.  They did and they didn’t stop until the song was over.  Now, that might seem like no big thing, but it was significant to me.  It was like adding fuel to a fire.

As I become more like Christ, I wonder if I might respond more appropriately simply because that’s what Christ did – respond.  We were separated from God, with no hope.  We were dead with no signs of life.  But Christ, Who is our Hope and Life, responded.  And what a response!  Amen.

Jonathan Noël

PS – Here is another opportunity to respond: The Worship Ministry at Apostles is currently in need of additional musicians, with experience and a heart to serve, to fill the following positions:
• Drummer
• Electric Guitar
• Acoustic Guitar
• Piano/Keyboards
• Cello/Violin

If you are interested, or know someone who might be, I invite you to contact me at: jonathan@apostles-raleigh.org

Thank you!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Sunday Set-Up for January 19, 2014

Me and family and friends
at a Paintball outing.
About the closest I have ever
come to being a “warrior."
We like the idea of a God of love. We may relate to the notion of God as Father. We may be willing to submit to God as King. But, have we ever fully embraced God as Warrior? What does that mean? Is it even necessary to consider God in these terms? Join us this Sunday as we delve into the song of Moses in Exodus 15 where the Israelites exulted in God as their “Warrior.”

Reading for Sunday: Exodus 15:1-18

Bulletin for Sunday: January 19, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Women's Retreat...It might be just what you need

by Jennifer Kromhout

How ironic to be asked to write about my experiences at the women’s retreat in the past when I was seriously considering not attending this year. But our God had other plans for me and they seem to include attending the retreat this year in spite of myself.


I am like many of you…I have some things going on. In fact I have a LOT going on right now that could prevent me from going to the retreat. Or at least that’s the excuse I could use. But don’t you know this past Sunday I was speaking to some dear, young women, I’ll call them my “in their early 30’s friends”, who when they heard I didn’t have a roommate were all about inviting me to room with them (sweet things don’t know I snore like a freight train!). I have to say I felt so loved in that moment and isn’t that what we are called to be as a church? To love and encourage each other about everything having to do with our walk. Even attending our churches women’s retreat?


So I am GOING to the retreat and I encourage as many of you to come as possible. Having attended for the past several years I can guarantee you will feel His presence there with us, you will meet some ladies you’ve never met before and you’ll have time with some ladies you already know. If we are as lucky as we’ve been in the past, you might even get your toes in the sand during our Saturday afternoon break. We all have “things going on” right? That is EXACTLY why we need to go to the Women’s Retreat! I look forward to seeing you there; stop and say hello!

For more info and to sign up, visit our website: http://apostles-raleigh.org/womens-retreat/

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Sunday Set-Up for January 12, 2014

Come and join us this Sunday for the second week of our January sermon series "Who Is God?" This week we will hear about God as King. 

Reading for Sunday: Luke 9:18-27 

Bulletin for Sunday: January 12, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Sunday Set-Up for January 5, 2014

Sermon Teaser: God is our Father. Have you ever thought about what that means? Would you describe your relationship to God as that of a daughter or son to a loving Father? What is your own relationship to your father like and how does that impact the way you see God? Come join us this Sunday as we explore the fatherhood of God. 


Reading for Sunday: Luke 15:11-32

Bulletin for Sunday: January 5, 2014

PS-Don’t forget! This Sunday, January 5, Town Hall meeting at 10:00!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

God Working Through Our Inadequacies

Janet Whited
I feel very fortunate to have been encouraged by Ford and Eric to participate in the Sunday School class they were teaching on inductive Bible Study this past semester. (Actually I was under the impression that attendance was required for community group leaders!) Either way, God knew I needed to be there.

I had facilitated a number of Bible Studies through the years, but I had always used questions provided by a book or an organization. This class was truly transformative. Over the course of the semester we slowly worked our way through the process of studying the Bible ourselves and then coming up with questions for a group that would help everyone observe, interpret and apply Scripture to their lives.

Over the months I was amazed that we could produce questions strictly by reading the Bible, with no commentary or additional study, but with the leading of the Holy Spirit. I was also learning a lot from not only Ford and Eric, but from the other members of the class. I was sure that everyone in that room had a better understanding of the Bible than I did. So imagine my surprise when I got an email from Eric the Thursday before our last class asking me to develop a Bible Study on a particular passage and lead the class! I asked Eric if he had accidentally sent this request to me rather than someone else.  This class was full of spiritual powerhouses. I was just there to learn! When he assured me he had, in fact, intended to ask me, I agreed to do it. 


With much fear and trepidation and especially prayer, I was able to prepare the lesson and to lead it as well. Not only did God make the study process exciting and meaningful, but he sustained me as I led the class. There was excellent discussion, and I never felt nervous once we started. God is always sufficient, and we often forget that until we step out in faith to do something we know we are inadequate to do on our own.