Friday, June 26, 2009

A Brief Study on Faith.

Faith; we all have it, we all practice it everyday whether you're cranking your car or sitting in a chair, you have faith that what you're doing or working with will act as it should act. What is True Faith though? Through reading the Word we see that this True Faith is important. In 2 Corinthians 13:5 Paul says to, "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith," and later in Hebrews 11:6 "Without faith it is impossible to please him." The answer comes to us from Romans 10:17, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." So True Faith is solely based on scripture; the Word of God.
Think back to when you were first saved. For some of us, myself included, our faith was motivated by a fear of hell. For others it was because of a realization of sin and an outlet to be freed from that. Whatever your motivation was for salvation your FAITH rested solely on Jesus Christ, His redeeming death, burial and resurrection. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." Colossians 2:6. Just as our faith was solely resting on Jesus Christ when we were first saved, so it should continue to rest solely on him as we grow, mature, and are being transformed into His image.
Since we see now that True Faith is based solely on scripture we must be careful in this culture and world of ours not to be influenced by "impressions, probabilities, or what we think God is like." I had a professor in school who would always say, "A life of sight depends on self and circumstance, but a life of faith depends on God and His certain word," Mike Sullivan. So often times growing up I would go on a youth retreat, or to a Christian summer camp and come home so fired up for the Lord, but then a week or so would pass and I'd find myself right back where I was; the emotional high was gone. I was allowing my faith to be influenced by my emotions. There is nothing wrong with mountain top experiences don't get me wrong, but we should allow those experiences to point us back to the Word of God that we may be building lasting Biblical truth that never changes or wavers.
Lastly as we begin to count on scripture as our source of faith, we see that the Lord, through His Spirit, begins to build us up in that faith. More often times than not that building up in faith is not an easy task. Have you ever noticed how much more you depend on the Lord when things go wrong? When you're at your wits end it is so easy to call upon the Lord for help, however when you are on cloud 9 and everything is going according to plan praising the Lord seems to often slip from our minds. Enter trials, obstacles, tribulations, defeats and failures; these things are soft soil for faith. James McConkey writes, "Faith is dependence upon God. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends. And self-dependence only comes to its end, with some of us, when sorrow, suffering, affliction, broken plans and hopes bring us to that place of self-helplessness and defeat; only then do we find that we have learned the lesson of faith.
I encourage you all to dig deep into the Word, that special revelation we have from the Lord Himself. Allow this to be your source of True Faith, and praise the Lord as we are continually being sanctified.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1st Eat-n-Meet!

Wow! What a turn out for the first Eat-n-Meet! We had 21 people there! Who knew that a lot of planning and an 8 foot sub could draw so much attention! We want to thank everyone for coming out and for being so cool, as we shared with you our vision for the young adults at St. Mark's. Also we want to thank everyone who came up to us afterwards and expressed interest in helping us to plan these "gathering" meetings that we are going to have! More to come soon...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's in a name?

Several people have come up to us asking about this mysterious "Third Space." What is that name all about? What is a Third Space? To answer that question we must first look to the source of truth on the internet: Wikipedia (notice the small 't' in truth). Wikipedia defines a third space as:
"A term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace."

That is a pretty straight forward definition; now to put a St. Mark's Spin on it. We want to create a "Third Space" for young adults. A place where singles, marrieds, marrieds with kids etc... from the ages of 20-30s can come to hang out with other like minded Christ centered young adults. We want to provide a place that is separate from your home and work where lasting friendships will form and discipleship will take place.
Jason and Colleen Houck and I were interviewed by Jarm Turner the other night about this new ministry, and one very critical question was raised, "It is said that whoever wins the battle for the Third Spaces of a generation has the influence to form the culture or ethos of that generation. Why do you think it is important that the church fights for that influence? What is at stake here?" This question really stuck with me. Think about your time, think about your third space. Is it a small group ministry? Is it on the sidelines of soccer games, bars, coffee shops, or a second job? How do these things affect your mindset: how you think, what you do? Have you ever thought about it?

For more information about the Third Space and how you can get involved come to our Eat-N-Meets on June 21 and June 28th at noon at the Burlington Campus! We are going to be going over leadership roles, introducing the team and asking for helpers to get this ministry started! See you there!

But encourage one another daily as long as it is called today so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Third Space: The Mission

You may have seen the shirts at St. Mark's the past few Sundays, you may have heard Pastor Bob or Jason Houck speak about it, or you may have been routed here from the St. Marks Church website. However you've heard about it and gotten to this site the question still remains, "What is this Third Space thing I continue to hear about?" Simply put it is a ministry for 20-30 year olds by 20-30 year olds in and around the Burlington, NC area. The heart, passion, and mission of this ministry is to see young adults grow together maturing in their Christian walk through faith, fellowship and community. We desire for this to become more than simply a place to hang out, but instead a place where real, meaningful life happens; a place where struggles, failures, successes, praises all come to light and a sort of organic discipleship ensues. Paul urges us in Hebrews 6 to press on toward maturity, and at St. Mark's Church this is our goal, and our hope is that we may be used in some way to see others of our generation reach the same goal.

To learn more about Third Space and how you can get involved please come to our EAT-N-MEETS on June 21, and June 28 in the Atrium! We will be discussing more of what this ministry is about, eating good food, and enjoying some quality fellowship. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Test Post

This is a test no attention to this being a test post and all.