Maundy Thursday Worship, 7:00 PM
- Featuring a presentation on Christ in the Passover by Jews for Jesus.
Good Friday Worship, 7:00 PM
Easter Sunday Worship
- Traditional Worship, 8:45 AM
- Rock 2:5 Worship, 11:00 AM
A Pastry Buffet will be offered after both worship services for hanging out together with some tasty treats!
There will also be an Easter Egg Hunt at 10:15 AM (between worship services).
We are happy to say that our Malawi Team has successfully completed another mission trip to the Passion Center in Malawi! They have arrived safely back home again. Thank you for representing Jesus to the children at the Passion Center!
As we learn to practice our Summer of Love BOLD habits, we all probably have different levels of success with each of them. Maybe you’re not having too much trouble thinking of people to Dine with or how to Bless others. Observing your life through journaling isn’t all that tough and reading the gospels is kind of fun (Learn). But then there’s Listening. If staying in a Listening posture for 30 minutes seems daunting, even impossible, then here are a few tips. As we’ve said, the Spiritual Masters throughout the ages have lifted up listening for the voice of God as vital in our relationship with him, pretty much without exception. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Even those Spiritual Masters used some different techniques to do it. After all, how often is something worthwhile easy?Here are some of their techniques:
- Eliminate distractions. As much as you can, find a place with few or no distractions. Some people find nature sounds or even a ticking clock to be conducive to solitude, others find them distracting. Find what works for you.
- Sit attentively. While the phrase “prayer posture” refers to a state of mind, how we position our bodies still matters. We want to be relaxed, but probably not reclining. Sitting upright but comfortable, either cross-legged, or with our feet flat on the floor can help us pay attention.
- Transition into silence. It’s hard to jump right into silent listening. To transition, you might use a breathing exercise similar to the one I used in my sermon on the second week (June 26). Some people like to use the following sentence as a transition: “Be still and know that I am God.” Repeat the sentence, taking a word or two off the end each time, like this:
- Be still and know that I am God.
- Be still and know that I am.
- Be still and know.
- Be still.
- Use a word to focus. Think of a word that helps you feel a connection to God; a single word or phrase that reminds you of God’s beauty. Some examples: love, peace, light, Jesus, joy. Repeat that word over and over in your mind.
- Acknowledge distracting thoughts. When distracting thoughts come (“when,” not “if”), don’t try to push them out. Simply acknowledge them and let them go. Some like to take note of them and lift them up to God. Others like to suggest treating those thoughts like items floating down a stream. Simply note their presence and let them pass. Some days there are just a few items. Other days it can be like a regatta. That’s OK. It’s part of listening and sharing our lives with God.
- Listen for God’s promptings. As you listen, God may bring to mind someone to bless that you hadn’t thought of before. God may help you sort out whether to invite someone to lunch. You may have a thought that you at first regard as a distraction, but then it keeps coming back. If that is so, consider that it might be something God is calling you to pay attention to. From time to time there may be a random thought that comes into your mind and is completely unexpected. It’s good to listen to those promptings, too. God sometimes takes a roundabout way to lead us. The Apostle Peter once had a vision of animals on a sheet that led him to preach the gospel to Gentiles for the first time!
- Keep a pencil and paper nearby. When something comes to mind that you feel the need to remember, capture it in some way. Write it down. Speak it into a personal recorder. Heck, even Siri can be helpful! Capturing it in that way, rather than trying to remember it, frees us to continue to listen. As a matter of fact, that’s what I did when I got the idea to write this little guide while I was practicing my own silent prayer.
- Use some kind of timer to help you. In the silence, you may begin to wonder…has it been five minutes? Ten? Am I done yet? It’s no good repeatedly glancing at a clock to see how time is passing. That in itself can be a distraction. Set some kind of timer so you don’t have to worry about it. One caveat: You might not want something with a loud alarm. That can be quite jarring when we’re enjoying the presence of God in the silence. Choose a gentle alarm. Feel free to use the mp3 files I have linked at the bottom of this guide. They play a short bit of quiet music at the start and at the end. As you can see, there are three lengths, of you want to work up to 30 minutes.
- Be patient with yourself. In all the times I’ve practiced silent prayer there have been better days and lesser days. There are times when my mind races, seems unable to focus at all and I end up feeling like I’ve spent the time by myself rather than with God. Other times I feel deeply connected, loved and shepherded. And, of course, everything in between. It’s all part of sharing our real selves and real lives with God. God is patient with you. Be patient with yourself.
That’s all I have for now. I hope this is helpful. I also pray that you find this discipline as uplifting and fruitful as I have over the years … even more so! As I said in my sermon, even if you hear nothing more than a sense of God’s deep love for you, that alone is worth it.
Peace in Christ,
10m Silent Prayer
20m Silent Prayer
30m Silent Prayer
Are you experiencing a season of winter in your life right now? Are you looking for the blog post from the Next Steps on November 29? Follow the link!
Watch this! (Between 9/30 and 10/6)
Sparkhouse Bible Video
As promised, here is a simple format for doing Up in the home as a family*:
SHARE your highs and lows.
READ Bible verses for the day.
ASK what God is saying to you and what you’re going to do about it.
PRAY for one another.
BLESS one another.
– “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.”
– “Remember that you are baptized. You are God’s beloved son/daughter both now and forever. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
* Modified from FaithInk’s Faith5
Pastor Eric suggested a book on Sunday by Gary Thomas: Sacred Pathways – Discover your soul’s path to God. It examines some of the different ways we are wired to engage with God and leads us into practices that tend to be fruitful for our particular wiring. You can find it at Amazon here.
Barry Johnson tells the story of how he and Earlene began proportional giving and grew over the years.
Barry and Earlene’s Story
If you are here because your next step this week is to watch a movie about Martin Luther, there are many options. There is a good one that was funded in part by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, simply titled Luther. It can be purchased from Amazon.
The Moravian Texts is a two-year Bible reading plan that covers the whole of the Bible over two years, while reading the Psalms twice. Some of us at Rock are reading the Bible this way. If you’d care to join us, there are a few different ways you can to that:
Buy the book which lists all the readings for 2014 from the Moravian website.
Look up the daily reading each day at the Moravian website here.
Follow our own Moravian Text feed on Facebook.
Buy the e-book version of the print book from Amazon (kindle) or Barnes & Noble (nook).
This year we continue our tradition of meeting for worship on Wednesday evenings during the season of Lent. Each week we will be learning ways to know and experience God closer in our lives. Come join us!
We had a great event at Rock on Sunday 10/6 to learn more about the Passion Center in Malawi. We are currently joining in a project to fill a container with much needed supplies for the children and the leaders at the center. For more information about the container project, check out the project facebook event page. For more information about the Passion Center itself, check out this video.
Here’s something that might be helpful in your Up relationship with God. A great Bible reading schedule from the Moravian Church. The Moravian Texts.
With lots of prayer as we sent off our Malawi Africa mission team yesterday! We are excited for them and proud of them. We cannot wait to hear about how God works through through them half way across the world! In worship, Becky and Kelly gave their testimonies and we surrounded them with prayer. They will be serving at the Passion Center for Children. Three of them will be there for three weeks, the other two for six. They’ve set up a blog where you can follow their experiences along the way. http://myheartisinmalawi.blogspot.com/ (more…)
We’re getting excited to welcome international speaker, Bob Lenz to speak at Rock! Bob is passionate about the joy of being a follower of Jesus and shares that passion in humorous and down-to-earth ways, whether it’s to a group of 20 or 20,000. He will be telling the love of Jesus at both services on May 5. Come join us!
We are excited to announce that Meghan Richter from Luther Seminary will be our Intern Pastor for the 2013-2014 school year! She will be coming with her husband Eric and their dog Zepp. We’re privileged to have the opportunity to play such an important role in developing a pastor to serve in Christ’s church. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare to join us on July 31.
We watched this video at 11:00 worship on Easter Sunday. Afterwards we wrote our own Cardboard Testimonies. Some are on display in our entryway, so be sure to check them out if you stop by!
We are continuing our tradition of Wednesday evening worship services during Lent. We start with a soup supper and then move into the sanctuary for a Taize worship service. Come and join us! Soup is served at 6:00, worship is at 7:00.
In Luke 11, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. We’re spending Lent asking Jesus the same question, because if there’s anyone we’d want to pray like, it’s Jesus! It all starts on Ash Wednesday.
Our Church Picnic is coming up on Sunday, September 16. Worship at San Dimas Canyon park followed by lots of fun and food. Join us worshiping under beautiful oak trees!
The picnic worship service will begin at 10:30 AM, with lunch, games and raffle to follow. At the moment, all raffle items are on display in the Fellowship Hall, so check them out this Sunday to see what you’d like!
We will also be having a small worship service at Rock at 8:45 AM for those who may not want to come to the park.
Our next blood drive at Rock will be on September 2, 2012. Sign up sheets are in the entryway, or you can call to get your name on the list. Walk-ins are also welcome!
Donations are down 10% this year, so if you are physically able to give, please do so. You can find more information at the Red Cross website.
We had our last Sunday with the Hermanson family yesterday as Andy wraps up his year of Internship at Rock. It was a great year and a great last Sunday! We said special prayers of goodbye for them in both worship services and threw a big party for them afterwards. Lots of tears and lots of smiles! Thank you God for this wonderful experience.
Come out and lend a helping hand. We will be doing cleaning, repairing and tons of gardening work. Bring your tools and join us. There is a lot to do and many hands make light work. Contact Felecia in the church office if you have any questions. 909-593-5663