I remember waking up in October of 2017 to the news of the horrible mass shooting in Las Vegas. I remember how the news felt like a punch in the gut. I didn’t know the victims. I haven’t been to Nevada in decades. But the thought that so a single deranged gunman had taken the lives of so many people who had been out for an evening concert left me feeling like I couldn’t breathe.
Then came the church in Southerland Springs TX. The high school in Parkland, FL. The synagogue in Pittsburgh. The night club in Thousand Oaks, CA.
We arrived in California a week and a half ago to the news that three people had been shot and killed at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy CA. Because there were only three people dead, the shooting almost didn’t register as a national news story.
But then came this past weekend. El Paso. And Dayton. And all of a sudden, the same feeling was back.
What is it that prompts a man (almost always a man) to pick up a weapon and decide to take the lives of other people? That’s the question we routinely ask when something like this happens.
Mental health is almost certainly a factor. Anger or revenge are often part of the picture. A sense of powerlessness can be a factor. So can isolation.
In the case of the El Paso shooting, it seems clear there was a satanic ideology at work. An ideology that elevates people of one ethnicity above another group.
I use the word ethnicity on purpose. Every human being is a part of one racial group – the human race. We are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. We a part of Adam’s race. Biologically, whatever 23 And Me might say, every man is my brother and every woman is my sister. The division of people into separate tongues and tribes and nations is something that will be undone by God when the curse is reversed. In the new heavens and the new earth, we will stand together around God’s throne, united in our praise for Him.
And in this world, we show our love for Jesus and our allegiance to His Kingdom as we embrace one another and celebrate together the King who is our Peace, who has made us one, and has “broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14).
Every act of murder has one common denominator. Whether a killing is motivated by racism or revenge or anger or hatred, taking the life of someone created in the image of God is a demonic, diabolical act. “The thief comes to kill” (John 10:9). He is “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).
Every mass murderer declares by his actions that he hates God. “We don’t fully understand the mystery of iniquity,” Dr. Russell Moore says. “We don’t know why God didn’t stop this from happening. But we do know what this act is: it’s satanic, and we should say so.
“Let’s grieve for the innocent. Let’s demand justice for the guilty. And let’s rage against the Reptile behind it all.”
It won’t be long now. Three and a half more weeks. And we’ll be meeting together for worship in our new church home. There’s still a lot of work to do over the next 25 days. But look at how it's all starting to come together...
Our new neighbors who live along David O Dodd are starting to take note of what's about to happen in their neighborhood.
Inside, the finishing touches are being added.
The kids rooms have been carpeted, and the sinks and cabinets have been installed.
Doors are being hung.
Landscaping is being installed.
Even the necessary rooms are ready for business!
We’ll have one Sunday in our new building before our official dedication service on Sunday, September 8. And we have some very special plans for that day.
First, recording artist Justin Unger will be joining us to lead worship for us that morning.
You can check out Justin’s music on Spotify or iTunes. I really like his new album “I Don’t Walk Alone.” You can hear a sampler of the album here.
And on Sunday afternoon, we’ll get together again to celebrate God’s goodness is giving us this new church home. We’ll have inflatables for the kids and Corky’s Barbeque for everyone out in the parking lot. And at 5:45, we’ll head inside to hear Justin in concert.
We’re inviting our new neighbors to join us. In fact, we’re starting to go door to door this week to introduce ourselves and to pass out flyers with information about our church and about the parking lot picnic and concert.
And here’s what we’ll all be wearing at our Sunday afternoon event!
I know you’re wondering “how can I get one of those awesome tee shirts? I’m glad you asked.
We’re ordering shirts early next week. To get yours, you can turn in your order this Sunday morning at church ($15 for adult sizes, $12 for kids). Or you can send an email to Christa Brown RIGHT NOW to place your order. firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you specify your size. You can pay for your shirt at church this week or when you receive it.
So, this happened last week….
What a great night of fellowship and fun as the RCC women met for dinner and as the women heard from Wendy Donley about connecting with women inside and outside of our church.
The women also heard about the plans for fall, including the fall Women’s Bible Study, the Women’s Retreat, the annual Christmas Tea and two more fellowship dinners this fall. Here are details.
About the Bible study. We’re offering both a day and an evening study this fall. The women will be going through the first 12 chapters in the book of Acts, using a Precept study titled Jesus’ Witnesses, Empowered by His Spirit. Terry Morledge and Laura White will lead the study.
You can attend on Monday nights from 7:00-8:30 (Sept 30- Nov 18) or on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11:00 (Oct 2-Nov 20). Childcare will be provided for the Wed AM class for birth-5 year olds. We’ll need you to pre-register your children (names and ages).
The Precept workbook costs $10, and you can pay for it at first class. (You can choose the longer Precept upon Precept version or the shorter
In & Out version.)
To sign up, or if you have any questions, email Terry Morledge at Tmorledge@reviveourhearts.com or text 501-517-1566.
Please consider joining the women of Redeemer as together we seek to
know and love God more through the study of His Word.
Yesterday, we had six families from our church deliver gifts and supplies we collected this summer during our Summer Kid’s Fest to the teachers and staff at David O Dodd Elementary School.
And here's how the teachers responded!
Thanks to all who donated school supplies. And pray for the teachers and staff who are planning to join us for our dedication service on September 8.
Over and over again in 1 John, we read that every true child of God will affirm that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. In 1 John 5, the Apostle John makes his closing argument against the false teachers in his day. And he has a star witness to call to the stand as he closes his case.
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!