Thursday, July 28, 2022

Report of the F4 Meeting of 20 July 2022

 F4 Meeting Report

20 July 2022

Tom Opened with prayer.  In attendance were Laci Stegall, Amanda Rush, Kendra Walker, Des Simmons, Sharman Spence, Lynn Ferrari, and Tom Spence.  Kathy Stegall joined by phone.

Most were confident that we have been on a good course and just need to make some minor adjustments and keep recruiting help.

Times were confirmed:  6:00 – 7:30 pm.  No building access (or use of equipment/restrooms) except for workers & their children prior to 5:45 pm.  Kathy may be outside for some oversight but we do not want to encourage early arrivals.

Confirm Classes & Classrooms

Nursery – Children of Workers only

Others— Lynn will lead a 3rd grade only class (Leaving Kathy with 4th and 5th).

All age groups.  Women will join men for the fall semester

We currently have teachers for all ages/grades T-1 and above to include music

Cell/Smart Phone policy.  After the prayer, we ask that all phones be put away until authorized by the table parents.  Older children will be asked to engage in conversation until after they get their food.

Table Parents will moderate their tables.  They will have some scripted activities, but the goal is to migrate to genuine person-to-person conversations.  Conversation starters will be provided for each meal. Each table parent is asked to warm up with the following.

·         Table Mantra

·         Memory Verse

Among those who we may want to ask to be table parents are Mike and Fran Kiser.  Katy Horne could also assist someone.

·         Parents come in for positive transfer of children (ages?) (walkers?)

We do not need the police with lights flashing for departure of the children, but want make them aware of when we release the children and how we cross the highway.

Amanda always needs help in the kitchen.  Anyone who can come early is appreciated.

Instead of a Clean Up Coordinator, we will have a clean up checklist for each teacher so that each class will know what to do when it is their turn. The assigned clean up crew may take up to 10 minutes of class time if needed.

AC settings (everything to off at the end of the evening until November)

The schedule was changed to include a Fall Break and change Ash Wednesday back to worship but with no sermon. All worship Wednesdays will be preceded by 10 minutes in the classroom.  See separate page for the new schedule.

Next Steps

·         Laci will contact the Police Chief

·         Tom will produce a Clean Up Check List

·         Kendra will bring conversation starter cards

·         Lynn will confirm with Kathy about breaking out 3rd grade and advise all

·         Kathy will pursue a crosswalk near the traffic light

·         All are asked to review the thoughts in the moving towards a mission statement handout

Tom closed the meeting with Prayer

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Paul's Letters to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians

 This post is for your review if you have accompanied us through Paul’s letters to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, or it can be the beginning of your own study.  In any case here are the links to the scriptures and to the messages that accompany it.  Enjoy your journey.

 

 GALATIANS 1

No Other Gospel

Rat Poop Cookies

2

I am Crucified with Christ.  Christ Lives in Me!

Sharpening One Another

3

So Easily Fooled?

The Righteous will Live by Faith!

4

When the fullness of time had come

Don’t buy the Snake Oil

5

The Fruit of the Spirit is…

You were Running a Good Race

6

Let us not grow weary

May I Never Boast except…

 

EPHESIANS 1

In Him

A Prayer for the Church in Ephesus and for Us

2

By Grace through Faith

One in the Spirit

3

Leading those governed by rules to the richness of love

What’s in a Name?

4

Speaking the Truth in Love

Unity

5

Hit the Target. Please God!

Make the Most of Every Opportunity

6

Parents and Children

Put on the Full Armor of God

 

PHILIPPIANS 1

A Work in Progress

To Live is Christ. To Die is Gain

2

To the Glory of God

Work out your Salvation

3

Don’t go native—Press On

Glory Days

4

Don’t Worry. Be Joyful!

You better THINK

 

COLOSSIANS 1

The Image of the Invisible God

Redeemed and Reconciled

2

Do Not Be Deceived

Don’t let man’s rules get in the way of God’s love

3

Do it all in the Name of the Lord

Working for the Lord

4

Seasoned with Salt

One Master

 

Galatians – Ephesians – Philippians – Colossians 10,000-foot flyover

Go Eat PopCorn - A Review from 10,000 Feet

 You have completed our trek through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.  Most of what you will get in this review should familiar.  We won’t hit every point.  This is a 10,000-foot flyover.

We begin with the Galatians.

There is no other gospel.  It’s Christ and Christ alone.  There is no Jesus Plus formula for salvation.

I have died to all of the rules.  I could never live up to all of the rules.  My disobedience, my missing the mark, my sin all had to die.  It did.  It all died in Christ.

I am crucified with Christ.  Christ lives in me.

We may butt heads sometimes, but when we do, it should be as iron sharpening iron, not an insistence on our own way.  Stick to what we have in common—Christ Jesus is the way to salvation.  It’s all about the grace that we know in Christ.

Paul continued his chastisement of the Galatians shifting to the interrogative.  Did you receive your salvation by obedience to the law or by receiving the good news?  How have you been so easily fooled?

It’s been said that it is easier to fool someone than to convince them that they have been fooled.  There might just be some truth in that statement.

So then, how will the righteous live?  The righteous will live by faith.

You can’t read Galatians without reading Paul’s Christmas story.

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Paul challenges the Galatians to stick to the one and only gospel.  He asked, Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

He says don’t buy the snake oil. As we continue into the last chapter, Paul uses metaphor to make his appeal to the fidelity of the gospel.

You were running a good race.  Who cut you off?

There is a whole bunch of chastisement in this letter, but it is also home to the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Paul gives some encouragement near the end of the letter. He charged the Galatians and us not to grow weary in doing good.  A harvest is coming.  Hang in there.

Paul wraps us his letter with an affirmation and a challenge.  He will never boast except in the cross of Jesus.  So too, he challenges us to the same standard.

And there we have the 10,000-foot flyover of the letter to the Galatians.  It’s on to the Ephesians.

There is only one place to begin this letter.  It is with the spiritual blessings that we know in Christ Jesus. In him, we are blessed beyond measure.

Paul prayed that these believers in Ephesus would know all of these blessings.  That prayer is for us as well.

And then we come to words that carried through all four of these letters.  They are by grace through faith.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

This is where we anchor ourselves when it come to salvation.  It is 100% the gift of God.  Our discipleship is another story altogether.  We have much to do in the areas of love, faith, obedience, service, worship, and so much more in response to this gift, but we must know with certainty that our salvation is totally the gift of God.

Our response brings us out of division into unity.  We are one in the Spirit.  Christ has made us one.  We have a diversity of gifts and responses to grace, but we are to be of one accord in the Spirit of God.

We who have professed Jesus as Lord must undergo a paradigm shift, a renewal of the mind, an exchange of old thinking for new thinking.  We are no longer people governed by rules, but people ruled by love.

Our whole identity is in God.  We are indeed his new creation.

How do we know that we are living the Christian life?  One way is to ask this question.  Do I speak the truth in a spirit of love? Speaking the truth in love is a benchmark of our Christian maturity.

Speaking the truth without love is easy.  It is simple condemnation.

Giving people what the world calls love without the truth is not so hard either.  That’s the vending machine.

Being able to speak the truth and do it in a spirit of love takes Christian maturity.  It’s no picnic.

And now we come to words that challenge us to live in response to the grace that we know.

Live a life worthy of the calling that you have received.

Much of that worthy life involves unity.  We should live in accord with each other.  We may have to practice some patience, gentleness, humility and other Christlike traits and qualities, but we must remember that our response to this gift of grace should be the best response we can muster.

In that response to grace, we strive to hit the target. That could be strict obedience to the law.  It could be pure love.  We know that love will not harm others so in most cases, you might not be able to tell the difference, but God will show us the target.

If we want to please God, we had better aim at the target and do our best to hit it.

The words from God that we read in Leviticus and that were repeated by some of the apostles should ring true.

Be holy because I am holy.

We have been saved from sin and death so we can live completely for God.  He will show us our targets.

What does that mean?  It means that we have eyes to see opportunities all around us.  God wants us to make the most of the opportunities. 

Yes, these opportunities exist in a world ruled by sin.  We must be wise. We must use the sound mind that God gave us.

It’s a target-rich environment, but we must hit the targets at which we take aim.

Paul wraps up this letter with some counsel for families.  Love, respect, obedience, and remembering who the parent is when things get stressful. This is still excellent counsel for this century.

Finally, we get the full armor of God.

But, let’s put on the armor-all of it.

·       The belt of truth

·       The breastplate of righteousness

·       Feet fitted—these are your combat boots—with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace

·       The shield of faith that extinguishes the arrows of the enemy

·       The helmet of salvation

·       The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

Now it’s on to the Philippians.

As we begin this letter we must understand that our salvation is a done deal.  God did it all.  Jesus paid it all.  It’s all from God so that nobody can boast about their own salvation.

In our response to this done-deal salvation, we often find ourselves to be a work in progress.  We have a lot of work to do to live up to the person that God made us to be.

Early in this letter, Paul proffers the ultimate win-win.  For him to die right now would be fantastic.  He would be with the Lord.  Oohrah, hallelujah, amen.

For him to live another day would be another day that he could take the good news to the lost.  It was the best mission—the best commission ever.

It was win-win.  To live is Christ.  To die is gain. It should be the same for us.

There are other familiar words that we know from Paul’s letter to the Philippians—every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Those are some good words, but we should finish the sentence—to the glory of God.

We should not expect a forced confession, but the ultimate expression of the truth:  Jesus Christ is Lord!

This letter brings us to our response to the gift of God that we call salvation.  Paul tells us to work out our salvation as the most important thing that we do.

Our response to God’s incredible gift of mercy and grace that we have received through faith is the most important thing we do for the rest of our days in these bodies on this planet.

We have an abundance of opportunities in which to respond with love for one another as we live out our salvation.

We are reminded that we are citizens of heaven and that we go through this life with purpose.  Press on.  Don’t lose your focus.  Don’t go native.  This world is not our home.

Press on.

Paul noted to the church in Philippi and others as well, that so many had made ad hominem attacks on him and he wasn’t playing this game.

But if he were to play the game, he had the best resume of any of his so-called challengers.  He just did not regard his religious status of any value when it came to right standing with the Lord.  He considered it as valuable as manure.

It’s Christ, Christ, and only Christ who brings us to right standing with God.

Paul, writing from prison in whatever form that looked like, challenged us to be happy, to rejoice, to know the joy of the Lord.

Our joy comes from the Lord.  We rejoice in the Lord.  We talked about the source of our joy—our gladness—being the favor of the Lord.

Paul also challenged us not to worry.  Don’t be anxious about anything.  We can know a peace that comes from God that goes way beyond what we can understand.

Our job is to go to God in thanksgiving, have our talk with him, and receive a peace that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Paul understood that God made us right with him but we were not quite there yet.  It’s a done deal but we are still working on our part.  One day, God will finish the good work that he began in us, but for now, we are still working on it.

So, Paul equipped us with a simple piece of counsel.  Think on good things.

The governing verb here is think.  In a world governed by red herrings, nonsequiturs, and other logical fallacies as well as purely emotional appeals, we are challenged to think.

We are charged to use the sound mind that God gave us.

That brings us to the Colossians.

We begin with Christ being the image of the invisible God.  Remember that Jesus told his disciples before he went to the cross, if you have seen me, then you have seen the Father.  Quit asking for what you already have.

After the resurrection, he told Thomas, but he was speaking to all gathered in the room with him that they believed because they had seen.  Blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed.

That’s us.

Next, we are reminded that we are redeemed and reconciled.  The work to reconcile the entire creation was accomplished in Christ Jesus.  It’s hard to see now, but the work of the cross accomplished it.

What comes next is a throwback to the Galatians and others who were being courted by fancy arguments.  Do not be deceived.

There is one gospel and you heard it.  Stick to it.

We talked about the law, written codes, and the invoice for our sin.  What we should have walked away with was that man’s rules must not get in the way of God’s love.

The third chapter of this letter had some umbrella sort of counsel.

Whatever you do, do it in the name of the Lord.

and

Whatever you do, work at it as if you are working for the Lord, not for men.

Live in love but keep your eyes open for the tricks of the world.  Be a little salty.

 

How do we wrap this up?

One gospel.

One Spirit.

One Lord.

One accord.

Salvation one hundred percent the gift of God.

Rejoice in the Lord, always.

Be anxious for nothing.

Pray about everything.  Start by being thankful.

Think on good things.

It’s what you do with what God gave you not your titles and accolades that count.

Never lose sight of the fact that we are working for the Lord.

Press on.

Put on the full armor of God.

Live in the fruit of the Spirit.

Above all else, put on love

Talk and live grace but be seasoned with salt.

Those should get you through the week.

Amen.

 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

F4 Schedule Fall 22 - Spring 23

 F4 Activity Schedule Fall 22 – Spring 23

Fall 2022

14 Sep

Worship

Kick Off – 10 Minutes Classroom

21 Sep

Classes

 

28 Sep

Classes

 

5 Oct

Worship

10 Minutes Classroom

12 Oct

FALL BREAK

 

19 Oct

Classes

 

26 Oct

Classes

 

2 Nov

Worship

10 Minutes Classroom

9 Nov

Worship

10 Minutes Classroom

16 Nov

Finale

10 Minutes Classroom

 

Worship – 4    Classes – 4    Other - 1

Anticipating another year with a weekend Fall Break, so F4 break is scheduled

 

Spring 23

18 Jan

Classes

Kick Off

25 Jan

Worship

10 Minutes in Classroom

1 Feb

Classes

 

8 Feb

Classes

 

15 feb

Worship

10 Minutes in Classroom

22 Feb

Worship (Without sermon)

Ash Wednesday

1 Mar

Worship

10 Minutes in Classroom

8 Mar

Classes

 

15 Mar

SPRING BREAK

 

22 Mar

Classes

 

29 Mar

Classes

 

5 Apr

Worship – Resurrection Service

10 Minutes in Classroom

12 Apr

Classes

 

19 Apr

Classes

 

26 Apr

Finale

10 Minutes in Classroom

 

Worship – 5    Classes – 8    Other – 1