Friday, January 30, 2015

The Sunday Set-Up for February 1, 2015

A Question Of Science

My 11th grade Physics teacher Mr. Prim was an excitable guy. He climbed on top of tables to demonstrate inertia. He shot lasers across the classroom. He dropped tennis balls from the roof of the gym to demonstrate gravity. And in the middle of every experiment, he would exclaim, "OOOOHHH, VERY GOOD!!! HOW EXCITING!!!" 

Mr. Prim - Former Millbrook HS Physics Teacher
I loved Mr. Prim, but I was terrible at physics. Nevertheless, Mr. Prim's excitement was infectious, so I stayed engaged. (Incidentally, he's now retired and is an oil painter living in Durham, NC.) Some of us are more science-minded than others. Facts, evidence, measurable results matter in the world of science. But do they matter when it comes to faith? Does science preclude faith, or vice versa?

Come and consider this further this Sunday. See you then!

Eric Bolash



Bulletin: February 1, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Sunday Set-Up for January 18, 2015

A friend of mine recently asked, "Why do Christians accept some things in the Bible literally and not others?  On what basis does one decide what is “gospel” as opposed to what is cultural?

This, and some other questions posed by many of you, got me thinking. How can we be sure we are interpreting the Bible correctly? How do we know that it has been translated accurately? How can we be confident that it hasn’t been changed over the thousands of years since it was first written? 


Join us this Sunday as we consider these matters. 

Readings: 2 Timothy 3:14-17 and Matthew 5:17-20

Bulletin: January 18, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Question of Pain...In Real Life

by Jim Dotson


Haven’t we all asked ourselves the question Patrick drew from the hat last week,  “If God loves us, why doesn’t he protect us from pain and suffering?” 

In November of 2003, I absolutely asked myself that question over and over again.   Perhaps you heard me asking it, because I screamed it a few times as I walked or ran outside determined to wake God up so he would answer me. 

Certainly my pain paled in comparison to the pain that many others face: broken relationships, health issues or the loss of a loved one.  Mine was simply being fired from the job that I had allowed to define me for 15 years – leaving me lost, confused, and afraid.

Apostles’ pastor at the time, Terrell Glenn, asked me a piercing question the afternoon of my termination after he sat and listened patiently as I unpacked the events of the day;  “Is this between you and your employer or between you and God?” Terrell went on to encourage me to keep my eyes and ears and expect God to show up and reveal himself in a new way.  He also encouraged Ann and I not to hide the pain and suffering but to let the church walk with us through it.

In the sermon last week, Patrick offered four options to consider regarding our belief and understanding of why God allows pain.  Based upon my story and experience, I cast my vote for Option # 4: God is good, loving and powerful – yet, God allows suffering for a higher purpose.  Actually, I am banking my life on Option # 4 and encourage you to do the same!

I learned that the pain and suffering was not what God wanted FROM me but what he wanted FOR me, and my family.  He clearly had a higher purpose and he allowed the suffering because he knew it was what I needed to cause me to grow in my knowledge and understanding of HIM.  God loved me too much to allow me on the path I was headed on – not that it was bad, but it simply wasn’t best.  God sometimes allows pain and suffering because it is the path we need to travel to experience his abundance.

One of the many lessons learned during this season was learning to receive.  I enjoy giving, but would rather be independent and self-sufficient, not needing to depend on anyone for anything.  God had to teach me to be a gracious receiver, to allow me to be a better giver.  Ann and I have never felt more loved and cared for than during these six years as our Apostles Family loved and cared for our family in such a beautiful way. 

I believe so strongly about Option # 4, that I wrote a book about it, Taking on Goliath.  No, I didn’t write it after last week’s sermon – but last week’s sermon certainly stoked my passion and excitement for the truth it.  In the Lord’s perfect timing, I will be doing a book signing this Thursday evening, January 15, 2015, at 7:00pm at Quail Ridge Book Store, 3522 Wade Avenue in Raleigh.  Beginning at 7:00pm, I will be sharing for about 30 minutes about the story behind my book.  Ann and I invite you to join us at Quail Ridge on Thursday. 

You may find my book of interest as you will know the cast of characters (the names of the “bad guys” have been changed to protect the guilty :) and enjoy reading about the love demonstrated through the Apostles Family.  Most of all, please pray that the book will be an encouragement to those who are suffering to run to God rather than run from Him!

Jim Dotson


If you want to learn a bit more you can go to: www.jimdotson.net

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Church of the Apostles Youth Testimonies

Amanda and Abigail Jordan
Amanda Jordan
My experiences with COTA youth have been nothing short of absolutely amazing. Our family first visited COTA in September 2013, and my older sister and I were immediately introduced to all the leaders, Fellows, and awesome high school girls. We started to go to small groups, and we quickly made more and more friends by going to Fall Camp and the Deal.  This past summer we went to REACH, and it was the best mission trip I’ve ever been on. I feel so blessed to be a part of this youth group, and I continually meet more godly people in the group every day.

Abigail Jordan
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the words, “Church of the Apostles” is family. A little over a year ago, my family first visited COTA. At that point, I was in the middle of a crazy transition period. While trying to find a new church I was also starting freshman year at a school where I knew absolutely no one. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous. I was walking into a situation that I had no control of and had no idea what the outcome would be. Thankfully, my fears were quickly put at ease when I stepped in the youth room. The leaders immediately began to talk to me and I felt right at home. They introduced me to some of the students and the rest, as they say, is history. Church is now one of my favorite parts of the week. Not only for learning more about God, but also the people. It is a place where I can be myself and not feel pressured to be someone I’m not. The people accept me for who I am and have become my second family. I’m so grateful for their love and kindness and a place I can call my second home.



Friday, January 9, 2015

The Sunday Set-Up for January 11, 2015

“If a good and powerful God exists he would not allow pointless evil, but because there is much unjustifiable, pointless evil in the world, the traditional good and powerful God cannot exist. Some other god, or no god may exist, but not the traditional God.” - J.L. Mackie, philosopher and author of The Miracle of Theism. 

Could Mackie be right? This week we are examining the question of why God would allow evil in the world. 
Could God have a purpose in it? 
Is there any satisfying explanation? 
Does the presence of evil have any implications for our faith and how we live in this world? 

Join us this Sunday as we wrestle with the question of evil.

With you in Christ,

Patrick

Reading: Luke 13:1-9

Bulletin: January 11, 2015