From the monthly archives: August 2015

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'August 2015'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Love Will Find You: Why a Healthy Marriage Requires a Particular Set of Skills



 
From my adolescent years onward, I had a very idealistic view of marriage (probably from watching too many romantic movies). I desired my future wife and myself to be true soulmates, perfectly matched, intoxicated with love and continually in tune with each other’s deepest thoughts and feelings. Even as a non-Christian, my heart was fixed upon a marital union that would be characterized by true oneness.

God graciously gave me the woman of my dreams, but my expectation of true oneness and intimacy was quickly shattered by a little thing called life.

Katie was expecting our first child within a month of our being married and had terrible morning sickness. I had just started a new job as a high school science teacher with five different subject preps and was commuting an hour each way. She’d go to bed at 7, and I’d crawl in at 1 a.m. after all the grading and prep were finished. Hence, we seldom saw each other and when we did, both of us were utterly exhausted.

Also, as time went on, we began to realize more and more just how radically different we were. After the newlywed fog cleared, we were aghast to discover our polar opposite tastes, expectations, interests, personalities, upbringings, love languages — you name it, we were different!

And on top of the stress of all those differences, we were both still sinners — saved by grace but possessing a very real “flesh” that needed to be mortified on a daily basis. As a fellow pastor-friend of mine once said two years into his own marriage, “Marriage is basically the process where God takes two selfish people and lets them live together and see their selfishness in all its incredible hideousness!”

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Small Groups Anonymous: Love and Loss in Christian Community


 


Hi, my name is Vanessa and I haven’t been on a small group in over a year. And I work here. Don’t tell the pastors, but I wasn’t on a small group because I didn’t want to be on one. Just kidding. They knew that. Or if they didn’t, they do now. But seriously, what makes a staffer and former small group leader decide to skip all the small group hoopla for a year?

I’ve been on a lot of Summitview small groups in the past 19 years. Somewhere around 10 different ones, give or take a few multiplications/un-multiplications/morphs over the years. I have been on small groups that I absolutely adored. We all enjoyed each other, wanted to spend time together outside of the once-a-week Bible study and had engaging conversations that went beyond Sunday school answers when studying the Bible together. We served together and drew others into our group.

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Anti-social? Why the Church Should Work for Social Justice


 


At our Small Group Fair this Sunday, one of the new small groups you will see is one that I and a few other single women are starting. (Don’t let the high concentration of estrogen scare you away, though.) Our group’s vision is for Summitview to have a tangible presence in the anti-human trafficking movement, both domestically and internationally by capitalizing on our connections in Nepal. If you want to find out more, stop by our table at the Fair.

But this post isn’t about our Small Group Fair, although, I think you should consider attending that. This post is about the church’s role in social justice. We’re admittedly a conservative evangelical church. Are we even supposed to be involved in stuff like that? Isn’t that just for liberal churches?

God has given me a passion for social justice. He has wired me with a desire to advocate for the marginalized and the hurting, both inside and outside the church. That is where I come alive, it is how I most vividly reflect Imago Dei and I believe it is the role God has called me to live out in the body. In this body called Summitview.

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I Fought the Law and Jesus Won: On the Relevance of Old Testament Laws


 


Did you know it’s illegal to throw snowballs in Aspen? It’s also illegal to serve butter substitutes in Wisconsin prisons. In Texas, they won’t let you sell your eye. In North Carolina, it’s forbidden for Bingo games to last more than five hours — after all, we all know how crazy things get in that sixth hour. Those scrooges in Maine don’t let you keep your Christmas lights up past January 14. And in Connecticut, it’s against the law to walk across the street on your hands.

Actually, in every state we find laws like this. They made it into the books somehow and just never made it out. While they seem ridiculous now, they must not always have seemed that way. At one time they made sense.

Sometimes when reading the Old Testament, we come across commands that seem to be in the same category as prohibiting excessively long Bingo games. For example, does it really matter if I wear a garment made of two kinds of materials (Leviticus 19:19)? Does that apply to me? And if not, what does apply to me?

This is not a trivial line of questioning. For one, this issue will come up when interacting with skeptics. It’s very much in vogue to attempt to discredit the Bible by referencing the seemingly absurd and even offensive laws in Leviticus or Deuteronomy. Christians can be quickly backed into a corner when they are forced to admit that those laws aren’t still applicable but can’t really articulate why some parts of the Bible are relevant and others aren’t.

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So Long, Sweet Summer: Rockers Return from Lincoln with Stories, Faith and Truth


 


Just over a week ago, a group of Rockers — Adrianja Cheadle, Alayna Mihaly, John Richard, Julie Carr, Noah Albrecht, Rachel Knoshaug, Ross Bryant, Stephen Molden — and John Larsen and his family returned from their two-month Leadership Training (LT) in Lincoln, Neb. From May 31 to July 31, they served alongside folks from the campus ministries of six other Great Commission Churches.

Now that they’re back in a humidity-free climate, a few of them took the time to share some thoughts about their summer in Lincoln. Be thankful for the work God did in and through them. Their responses have been edited for readability.

What were ways that the LT helped you grow as a disciple?

Ross Bryant: I think I grew as a disciple in my fear of the Lord. John Meyer's messages helped with this. In addition, I grew in being inspired with a practical vision of how to be like Jesus. This happened simply by being around believers I'm not normally around, and something about their lives really made an impression upon me. In particular, I'm thinking of Kevin Jacobson and his intentional investment in the men God has given him to disciple. He spends time with them, contacts them everyday to ask how their time in the Word is going, how prayer is going and what struggles are in their life. I understand how to make disciples better because of him. I am also thinking of John Hastings and how he is full of joy. He leads boldly, doesn't back down on his convictions — but he is so joyful. He chooses joy and delights easily in other’s joy. In addition, the amount of free time led me to grow in my relationship with God and time in the Word.

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