In only four short years our son will turn 18; I will be the father of my first adult child. Early parenthood is largely occupied with keeping our kids alive and healthy. We switch gears in the school years, focusing on preparing our children with knowledge, skills and experiences to help ensure future prosperity. Jesus posed a provocative business-minded question: What’s the profit in gaining everything the world offers only to lose your soul? How confident can we be that we are imparting “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” to future generations?
Summer is sneaking into the Bay Area, slowly but surely. Schools are closed, graduations have come and gone, and vacations are in the works! And for many of us here in the VBC family, there is much preparation for some of the most spiritually fruitful events of the year! The crown jewel of the summer for many in the VBC family is our outreach to the Navajo Nation. If our calculations are correct, this will be our 20th sojourn to Four Corners, USA – where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico converge in one geographic point.
I am going to share something that I think most parents have experienced, or most of us have experienced during our youth. Years ago, I was a bit puffed up as a parent, until one day when we had an incident with one of the kids. I woke up having no idea what would happen and I wish I could tell you it only happened once or only with one of our 6 children. Unfortunately, that would not be true. It did happen again and with most of our kids.
The past few months have been busy for VBC’s young adult ministry! It’s always a joy to see the people God brings us in each season, and the ways He works in the lives of those within our group. Through our various trips, outings and events, it has been neat to see new people become a vital part of our community and grow in their faith. Within the Quest Ministry, we spend time learning the Truth of God’s Word and encouraging one another to be better disciples of Jesus – and we sure do like having fun together!
Have you heard this one before? “Faith is believing in something without evidence.” It’s a terrible little tune but it has somehow become an international anthem; it has given rise to some spin-off songs like the one I heard today on public radio: “Faith vs. Reason, Superstition vs. Science.” As Christians, we use words that have specific meaning in the context of God’s self-sharing (revelation) preserved in Scripture. Unfortunately, words like “faith” have a completely different meaning for many who have not yet put their trust in Jesus Christ. And that’s when things get out of tune.
In April, several of Valley Bible Church’s pastoral staff were privileged to attend the 2017 Gospel Coalition conference in Indianapolis. Over 8,600 attendees from all 50 states and 57 countries attended. There is something powerful about singing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” together with 8,000 brothers and sisters from around the world unified by the Spirit of Adoption.
Assumptions often create trouble; this proves true in most arenas of life. On a serious note many relationships go from thriving to dissolving due to untrue assumptions that are believed and acted upon. On a minor note, how many bills fall delinquent because a husband assumes his wife will pay it without confirming such with her?
One common destructive assumption about Christian living deals with our relationship with the written Word of God, the Bible. “The Bible will change me; I don’t know exactly how, but in some mysterious, magical way it will do its work.” Often this assumption exhibits itself by one who listens passively to the Bible as it is taught. Living with such an assumption never produces transformation, but rather, it produces frustration and patterns of unresolved sinful behavior.
In this stage of my life, I find myself reflecting on my life more than driving through it at warp speed. As I fight my cancer and lean into God for grace and strength, and as I covet the prayers of His people more than ever, I think back to the darkest hours when God was faithful. Some of those dark hours came when I did not yet know Him. Many more have come since I have placed my hope in Jesus. Maybe that is because I am getting older and my memory is probably getting worse, but a large part is due to the mental bookmarks I have made in the process of giving Jesus the glory for those victories.
The Altamont campus embarked on a 4 week series on the Apostles Creed which will take us to Easter Sunday. It is not our expectation that we will discover a truth that has been hidden but it is our hope that this series will better equip each of us to articulate what we believe and why we believe it.