Colombia 2019 Overview
In Acts 13-14, Barnabas & Paul had been commissioned by the church in the church in Antioch to preach across Asia Minor. By the time we get to the end of chapter 15, we’re several years later … and Paul is ready to go again. Acts 16-19 give us details of almost 4 years of Paul’s work and labor among the Gentile churches. As we’ve been studying in Acts lately, we understand that missionary journeys were very much a part of the work of the first century church.
Since 2011, Kettering has been very involved in the ongoing work in Colombia. Our association began in 1985 with Jaime Restrepo. Beginning in 2011, we stepped up our involvement significantly. Since then, there have been 7 Congregation-sponsored trips over the last 8 years.
What is in store for our 2019 Visit? We have two primary objectives:
- To get firsthand reports/updates from the local preachers Kettering supports.
- To conduct a preacher conference in Cali for our preachers.
Greg, Collin, Jason, and I are thankful for your prayers, kind words, and individual financial support. It is truly an honor to serve in this capacity and to represent the Kettering church. We ask for your prayers while we are away.
Preparing Your Mind
The pursuit of God is not a part of our life … it is our life. We need to regularly ask - can it be said of me that my life is the pursuit of God? What is being said about you and who/what you are pursuing? We should all want to be known as disciples of God and our pursuit of HIm. Desire, hunger/thirst, desperation for God is not only the only essential we need. Equally important is the state of our mind. Do we have the type of mind that is ready to receive the Word?
In 2 Corinthians 10.3-5, Paul talks about casting down high-minded things or proud obstacles. These are things that are set up against the knowledge of God. He tells us how to demolish them: by taking every thought captive to obey Christ. Notice: every thought. Now that’s a challenge!
So, how do you deal with your mind? How do you get it ready to receive the word of God?
On Sunday, we’ll talk about four principles to help your mind be ready to receive the word of God:
- We’ll see why its important not to believe everything you think.
- We’ll discover the essentialness of guarding your mind.
- We’ll understand the need to never quit learning.
- We’ll learn why it’s important to move with vision.
As you prepare for worship Sunday, be asking yourself these questions:
- Why is it important to evaluate our thoughts?
- What are some things you can do to engage God more frequently in prayer?
- What are some things you can learn from others?
- When it comes to learning, why is it so important to have a humble heart?
- What happens when you have no vision or plan for the future?
Song Leader: Roy Pyle
Scripture Reading: Bob Zehring: 2 Corinthians 10.3-5
My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish His work, John 4.34. As a disciple, do you share the same desire and priority for your own life? For Jesus, there was nothing more important. In everything, He moved with total devotion to the Father’s will. Passages like this are challenging. We often face an intense struggle to prioritize the spiritual over the physical.
For the remainder of March, we’ll be talking about the pursuit of God through spiritual knowledge. As we begin this new series Sunday, we’ll first talk about something foundational to that pursuit: our desire for God. How strong is yours? Not for the blessings He provides, but for the Father Himself?
This is a particular struggle for Christians in the United States. We have, largely, become self-satisfied. Some of us lack urgency. Some of us have lost the joy we once had and have now drifted into spiritual malaise and in rarer situations — cynicism.
If we are going to pursue God and the knowledge of Him, we must make sure our desire and longing for God is where it needs to be. To do so, we’ll examine two passages: Matthew 5.6 and Psalm 63.
On Sunday we’ll discuss:
- What it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
- David’s personal identification with God.
- David’s desire for God above life itself.
- David’s relationship with God during the good times sustained him when bad times came.
As you prepare for worship on Sunday, ask yourself these questions:
- What does Matthew 5.6 mean to you?
- Is there anything significant about the way David identifies himself with God in Psalm 63.1?
- How does Psalm 63.3 affect you emotionally?
- How had David experienced God’s power and glory? (Psalm 63.2)
- What connection does worship have with your desire for God … and ultimately, the pursuit of spiritual knowledge?
Song Leader: Dru McLaughlin
Scriture Reading: Dylan Schofield (Psalm 63)
Today, Americans belong to fewer organizations that meet, know their neighbors less, meet with friends less regularly, and even socialize with their families less often. In the early 1970’s nearly 70% of adults in America were members of a church or synagogue. Today, just 55% are. Only 50% of Americans today say religion is very important in their life. In 2018, 20% of the country identified their religion as “none.” That category has risen 12% since 2000.
What do all these trends mean?
We are in the midst of cultural upheaval. All of which makes it easy for us to relegate the spiritual to a small compartment of life, and not include godly people in our life as much as we used to.
During February, we have been talking about building a spiritual life plan. We’ll be concluding that series this Sunday. We’ll do that by reminding ourselves that a person can’t succeed very well at Christianity alone. There is no self-made Christian. Where would you be today if it were not for other Christians who have encouraged you along the way?
On Sunday we’ll discuss:
- The myth of the self-made Christian
- Choosing the right people
- A Biblical example of sharing and encouragement
As you prepare for worship on Sunday, consider these questions:
- What does Ecclesiastes 4.9-10 mean to you?
- Who are some of the people in your life who have helped you become the Christian you are today?
- How can godly people help us learn how to grow?
- Why is it important to have others in our life who can hold us accountable?
- What are some things we can learn about sharing and encouragement from Paul & Silas in Acts 16.16-30?
Song Leader: Jason Schofield
Scripture Reading: Jason Pratt (Hebrews 10.24-25)
Why Build a Spiritual Life Plan?
This month we’re talking about building a spiritual life plan. Last week we looked at a 7-Step system that we can employ as we craft our spiritual goals. Those goals need to be specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time-keyed, exciting, and relevant.
After we set our spiritual goals and set out in excitement and anticipation, reality will set in. We get caught in what Donald Miller calls “the messy middle.” How do you get through it? In life, anything meaningful we undertake will be met with obstacles, set-backs, and even failure. Sometimes, after we start we begin to wonder why we started all of this to begin with.
This week, we’ll discuss the importance of identifying and connecting with the motivations for each of our goals. The tough stretches will come and we can’t skip them. So, how do we do it?
On Sunday, we’ll do four things:
- Talk about the myth of fast, fun, and easy.
- Learn four strategies that help us resist fast, fun, and easy.
- Learn how to discover our why.
- Learn how to make all this work.
As you prepare for Sunday’s worship, please be thinking about these questions:
- How is the myth of fast, fun, & easy affecting you and your persistence in achieving your spiritual goals?
- Why must remember there are no exceptions when it comes to facing obstacles and failure on the road to success?
- What do you think about the quote: “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.”
- How can we overcome a sense of entitlement?
- Why do we need an emotional attachment to our goals?
Song Leader: Jim Rutter
Scripture reading: Justin Spargo (Hebrews 12.11-13)