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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happenings - week of July 28, 2008

Are you enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer? Summer is a time when we often pause to recharge our batteries... take some time away for vacation... and generally relax and enjoy God's creation. At least in NE Ohio, it's a wonderful time to be outside, breathing fresh air, rather than air conditioned air, feeling the light of the sun on our skin, rather than flourescent light.

But the work of Christ's church goes on! Let us not forget the Lord in the midst of summertime activities. Here are a couple of opportunities to pause and serve the Savior this week:

Wednesday at 6:30 - midweek prayer meeting. This is not a preaching service, but a prayer service. We do open the Bible for a brief discussion, but it lasts no more than 10 minutes. This service is entirely dedicated to prayer - we pray for one another. The great prophet Samuel reminded us of the importance or praying for one another when he said, As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. (1 Samuel 12:23 NIV) Will you join us in prayer?

Saturday at 10:00 am - we will be serving at the Haven of Rest in Akron.

Sunday at 10:30 am - we will have a baby dedication at the conclusion of our morning worship service.

May I leave you with an interesting thought for the day? Billy Graham said, "Jesus invited us not to a picnic but to a pilgrimage; not to a frolic but to a fight."

Good thing for us to remember today! The cause of Jesus Christ is serious business. May we be pilgrims and soldiers for His cause today.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weekend Happenings

Two important things happen this Sunday -

1.) The second round of the Pastor's Masters golf tournament. We'll meet at Paradise Lakes at 1:00.

2.) The first worship service of Friendship Bible Church! We'll be continuing our study in the Parables of Jesus. Will you join us?

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Hope Bible Church

One last name remains to be considered before Sunday's decision - New Hope Bible Church.

Bible - because we are a Bible based church. We accept the Bible as God's perfect Word, His revelation to mankind, inerrant and infallible. We strive in everything to assimilate its truths into our minds and live out its truths in our lives. It is our only rule and our only guide.

New - because Jesus makes all things new. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.

Hope - because we have no hope apart from Christ, but in Christ we have ALL hope! "And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you." (Psalm 39:7 NLT) "... the Lord will be the hope of his people." (Joel 3:16) "God has chosen to make known the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27 NIV) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3 NIV)

Our world needs hope. Randolph needs hope. You and I need hope. In Jesus we find the only source of hope. "... Jesus Christ, which is our hope." (1 Timothy 1:1)

Will you pray about this potential name for RCC?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friendship Bible Church

Here is the second in our list of three potential new names. May I suggest some reasons why Friendship Bible Church is worthy of prayerful consideration as a church name?

"Bible" is a vital component of all three names, for only the Bible has the power to change lives. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Denominations don't change lives. Churches don't even change lives. Only when we allow the Word of God to work in our hearts, does change occur. We are a Bible based church.

"Friendship" is a word that has meaning to everybody. Saved and unsaved alike need and want friendship. A goal of the renaming committee was to cull through the list of suggested names and concentrate on those that would have meaning to the unchurched... to the ones outside who know nothing about church and Christianity. "Friendship" is such a word. From the youngest child to the most seasoned octogenarian, all yearn for friendship.

There is a reason why the television program "Friends" achieved such popularity, in spite of its immorality and worldliness. People want friendship. Going back a few years further, the comedy "Cheers" makes a similar point. The theme song for that program had a line in it that said, "You want to go where everybody knows your name."

Friendship. The world wants it. And we understand that there is no friendship more important than friendship with God and with His people. "And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." (Exodus 33:11) "Abraham believed God... and he was called the Friend of God." (James 2:23) Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends." (John 15:13-14)

Will you pray about this potential name for RCC?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Open Door Bible Church

This Sunday, in our annual business meeting, Randolph Christian Church will select a new name. In the process leading up to this decision, the church has narrowed the list of potential names to 3:
Open Door Bible Church
Friendship Bible Church
New Hope Bible Church
For the remaining 3 days in this week leading up to that final vote, I'd like to share a few thoughts about each potential name. Today, let's consider a few reasons why Open Door Bible Church might be a good choice in a name.

All three potential names contain the word Bible, for a good reason. We are becoming a non-denominational church, but we are in no way abandoning Randolph Christian Church's long-held belief that the Bible is our only rule for faith and practice. This church was founded on the Bible and must always be a Bible-based church. The original declaration affirmed that the church recognized "the Holy Scriptures to be their only guide" - a stand we cling to today, 180 years later.

An "open door" pictures hospitality, welcome, inclusiveness, belonging. It conveys a thought of invitation.

In the New Testament, the term was used to convey the thought of opportunity. To the church at Philadelphia, Jesus said, "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." (Revelation 3:8) Again, in 2 Corinthians 2:12, we see Paul referring to opportunity with the term "open door" - "Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord..." And in Acts 14:27, we read "And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles." Here an open door describes the opportunity God gives for salvation.

Clearly, God has given us an open door to serve Him here. And He wants our church to have an open door to our community.

Will you pray about this potential new name for RCC?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happenings - Week of July 14, 2008

Well, this is it! The last week that Randolph Christian Church will be called by that name. This coming Sunday the name will become either Open Door Bible Church, New Hope Bible Church, or Friendship Bible Church. Please pray with us about this decision.

Other things of note for the week:

Monday - Ladies Bible Study is cancelled for this week, and will resume next week.

Wednesday at 6:30 pm - Midweek prayer meeting. This week we will be specifically praying about the church reorganization and new church name. Will you pray with us?

Saturday at 7:00 pm - Campfire Fellowship at the Johnson home. Bring a lawn chair and a dish to pass. Burgers and hotdogs and drinks will be provided. Join us around the campfire!

Sunday, immediately following the worship service - annual business meeting.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Preparing For Battle

"The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came... Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory." (R.A. Torrey)

Have you ever considered prayer that way? Preparation for life's battles? Training of your spiritual muscles for the decathlon of life?

Prayer is a vital and wonderful discipline of the Christian life, and one which we all need to work on constantly. Will you join us for our midweek prayer meeting tonight? We'll work on learning that discipline together... together we'll prepare for what might be ahead.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happenings - Week of June 29, 2008

Don't forget the midweek prayer meeting at 6:30 on Wednesday. Come as you are and spend a few minutes in prayer for your brothers and sisters here at RCC.

This Saturday we were scheduled to serve at the Haven of Rest, but I have cancelled that for this month due to the holiday weekend. Those who normally serve the Savior in this way - enjoy your holiday with your family! We'll resume our monthly service at the Haven of Rest in August.