Showing posts from December, 2018

Making Sense of the Mess

Sometimes our lives are in a mess because of the choices we make. Sometimes they are in a mess because of the things others have done to us. And sometimes, there is a mess simply because there is. What do we do when we can't figure it out? When we can't answer the "why" questions?

This Sunday we looked at the killing of the innocent children which took place in Bethlehem as Herod tried to destroy the "threat" of Jesus before he could grow to become a man. What kind of sense does that make? Why, when Jesus came, did so many need to suffer the loss of a child? It simply doesn't make sense.

And it is just those types of circumstances that can cause each of us to experience a "Dark Night of the Soul". If you missed the message, you can click here to watch it online. God cares about you even when your life feels dark; even when you can't see a way through; even when you feel there is no hope. We hope you'll be encouraged as you watch the mess…

Going Back to Go Forward to True Peace

When you think about your past, your family of origin, your formative years, what do you remember? What comes to mind as the most significant? Do you know what's "back there"?

Living in Christ involves growing in maturity as a person so that we can fully be loved and love others.

Listen to the message from Sunday morning to learn more about the importance of knowing what is in the past so that you can know how to move forward. True peace comes when we face ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to come and show us the way forward.


LIVE: "What's in there?" Explore what's in the "trunk" of our past.

CONNECT: Who are you being discipled/challenged by? Who are you discipling?

ENGAGE: What might be keeping you from saying "Yes" to Jesus in spite of the mess it may cause?

When a Fragrant Oil Appears During Worship

I received this note from Elyssa a few days ago. She described for me an experience she had last Sunday in worship. You're going to want to read through this!

What if God has MORE for you and for all of us in this season of Advent? What if He wants to do NEW things in our lives? What if they don't look like what we've experienced before? The Christmas story is FULL of such things. Read below and be encouraged.

God totally caught me off guard and messed me up in a powerful way. I'm still kinda...shocked/shaken...something like that - definitely in awe of His goodness. Anyways, I wanted to share the story with you.  Sunday morning, as I was on my way back to Norfolk, VA, I had a brief layover in Denver. I saw a story from Sean Feucht about people having fragrant oil appear on their hands during worship. I was like, "Woah, God! That's pretty cool! I love when you do crazy things like that."  Suddenly my hands had fragrant oil all over them. It didn't las…

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality - Coming in January

When we become a part of the Family of God through adoption in Jesus, we become a part of a brand new family system. God’s family is healthy, encouraging, authentic, and full of love for one another. Unfortunately, one does not just “pick up” the ways of living in God’s family. Every one of us comes into God’s family with ingrained ways of relating to one another. 

In the Emotionally Healthy Spiritual Course, you will explore 8 biblical themes that will move you to be deeply changed by Jesus and have a powerful, long-term impact on the world around you. Find out how to apply Scripture deeply beneath the surface of your life:  Know yourself that you may know GodEnlarge your Soul through Grief and LossDiscover the Rhythms of the Daily Office and SabbathGrow Into an Emotionally Healthy AdultYou will also learn to develop a Sabbath rhythm - a counter-culture practice that goes against the grain of our 24/7 frenetic culture. 
At River Oaks, we are looking forward to offering a discipleship co…

When Jesus Comes: "Know Yourself"

Hope that comes in Jesus
I was really blessed on Sunday with the sense of God’s presence and the pursuit of the same among you who were there. Our lives exist with lots of opportunities to be downcast and downhearted at every turn, and yet we have this never-ending source of encouragement, strength, and hope that comes in God’s presence and by His Spirit. 
I hope that you sensed Him among us, and I pray you are being refreshed moment by moment this week. 
On Sunday, we launched our Advent theme of “When Jesus Comes”. I shared with you the desire to consider the “mess” of Christmas included in the lives of the Christmas narrative. Namely, Elizabeth, Mary, Rachel, and Joseph. As we move through this Advent season, I want to encourage you to make every effort to rest in the good news of Jesus coming. Whatever the “mess” you are experiencing in your life, Jesus is always greater and Jesus cares. His coming brings more than just a moment of salvation, but his coming brings hope, peace, joy, a…