• published a bulletin

    ReadThe Ridge Community Church
    September 26, 2021
  • Lessons in the Dirt – Always Face the Son It’s interesting to notice how sunflowers always face the sun … even on cloudy days, even in the rain with raindrops dripping from the petals, they always face the sun.   Always.   Every time I look out my window towards the sunflowers their backs are to me … they are standing tall, with their faces lifted toward the sun! How similar this is to our spiritual lives.   God calls us to always face the Son … Jesus.   If we are always facing Jesus, keeping our eyes on Jesus, our backs will be to the darkness.  Our faces will be to the LIGHT!    Others will notice!   Even if the Son isn’t directly visible;  even if it is raining! … others will notice the impact of the Son on our faces … and on our lives. Always face the Son!
    1. The Fruit of the Spirit is GOODNESS. Our background photo for today was taken deep down in the utter darkness of a lava cave in central Oregon.  In much the same way, humanity has been plunged deep down into the utter darkness of sin.    But look! … LIGHT is piercing down through the darkness!  Jesus is LIGHT!  *   John 12:46 – “I have come into the world as a LIGHT, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” The LIGHT of Jesus shines deep down into the utter darkness and changes us!  The Holy Spirit fills us with the very LIGHT of Jesus!  The Holy Spirit fills us with GOODNESS! *   Ephesians 5:8-10 – ”For you were once darkness, but now you are LIGHT in the Lord.  Live as children of LIGHT (for the fruit of the LIGHT consists in all GOODNESS, Righteousness and Truth).” The fruit of the LIGHT is GOODNESS … Righteousness … Truth!   How is it possible to shine GOODNESS, Righteousness, Truth when we are in such utter darkness?? … surrounded and constantly inundated by badness, wickedness, and lies?? God helps us!   God equips us!  ·       “May the God of peace … equip you with everything GOOD for doing His will...”   - Hebrews 13:20-21 ·        “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every GOOD work.”   -2 Timothy 3:17 The Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) will produce the Fruit of the Spirit GOODNESS!
      1. The Fruit of the Spirit is GOODNESS. Yesterday we considered how that originally everything in our world was Very GOOD! But as we look at the world around us today, everything is not GOOD …  heartache, pain, suffering, brokenness, anger, hate, rage, injustice.  What happened?? Mankind chose to reject God.  Mankind chose to reject God’s GOODNESS.  And as a result, our Very GOOD world was plunged into darkness …  much the same way our background photo today shows a road plunging into a dark tunnel! ·       “God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.  Everyone has turned away, there is no one who does GOOD, not even one.”   - Psalm 53:2-3 There is nothing good in us at all!  We are all plunged into the utter darkness of sin!  But God, in His great GOODNESS has not abandoned us!  God, in His great GOODNESS has provided as way to restore us and make us GOOD once again. Titus 2:11-14 – “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is GOOD.” Jesus Christ died to take away all of our badness and sin.  God removes the bad from our lives, and in replacement, the Holy Spirit fills our lives with the very GOODNESS of God Himself! The Fruit of the Spirit is GOODNESS.  God forgives and takes away our bad; and in replacement the Holy Spirit fills us with God’s GOODNESS!
        1. Lessons in the Dirt – What is Good?? A coyote has taken up residence around our place recently.  Just the other day, as I was having lunch, the coyote settled down in the overgrown brush by the garden corner and relaxed for a long while.  I’ve never observed a coyote being still and relaxing.  Coyotes are always swift and on the move. During all hours of the night the coyote trots back and forth down our driveway (the Ring camera picks it up).  Yesterday the coyote was hanging out around our back flowerbeds, right up near the house. Is this an ok thing??  When it came to the baby deer in the Spring this would not have been a good thing at all.  But now??   Do coyotes eat mice or rats??   Does the presence of a coyote have any good aspects??  We don’t know. These questions over what is good or not mirrors life these days!  Our world no longer has any standard of good or bad.  We have no idea what is good or what is bad.  Each day we are faced with decisions … complicated decisions … controversial decisions … and we honestly don’t know if they are good, or are they bad?? Just like the coyote hanging out around our place.  What is good anymore??
          1. Coyotes are scavengers and they kill rodents, chickens, rabbits…and then they call their family and friends in for a feast. Sounds like me! 😂 But to your important question…God is good all the time!
          2. What has gotten us in trouble right from the beginning called what God said was good , evil .
        2. The Fruit of the Spirit is GOODNESS. What is GOODNESS?? What does it mean to have GOODNESS?? Our study of the Fruit of the Spirit has been featuring background images which have contrasted LIGHT vs. dark.  Today’s background image shows a beautiful winding road heading into a dark tunnel.  This is a good starting place for our discussion on GOODNESS. In the beginning, when the world was brand new, everything was GOOD! ·       God created LIGHT – “God saw that the light was GOOD…”  -Genesis 1:4 ·       God separated dry land from the seas – “And God saw that it was GOOD.”  - Genesis 1:9-10 ·       God created trees, plants, vegetation – “And God saw that it was GOOD.”  -Genesis 1:11-12 ·       God created the sun, moon, and stars – “And God saw that it was GOOD.”  -Genesis 1:14-18 ·       God created every sea creature and every bird – “And God saw that it was GOOD.”  -Genesis 1:20-22 ·       God created land animals and mankind – “ And God saw that it was good.”  -Genesis 1:24-30 ·       “God saw all that He had made, and it was Very GOOD.”  -Genesis 1:31 But our world today is not GOOD.  We look around us and all we can see is heartache, pain, suffering, anger, hate, rage, injustice.  What happened?? Mankind chose to reject God.  Mankind chose to reject God’s GOODNESS.  And as a result, our Very GOOD world was plunged into darkness … just like the beautiful road in today’s background photo is plunged into a dark tunnel! Mankind’s sin ruined God’s GOOD world!    But God, in His great GOODNESS, has not abandoned us or the world the He made.  God, in His great GOODNESS, LOVES us! *  “Give thanks to the LORD for He is GOOD; His LOVE endures forever!”  -1 Chronicles 16:34  &  Psalm 118:29 God, in His great GOODNESS has compassion on us!  *  “The LORD is GOOD to all; He has compassion on all He has made.”   - Psalm 145:9
          1. Thursday Throwback: Today's "Thursday Throwback" takes a look back at a few highlight thoughts from Pastor Jerry's sermon on August 30, 2020. It’s ok to ask God the next question.  It’s ok to be uncertain.  It’s ok to say, “Lord, You’re commanding me to do this thing, but I’m not really sure about this.  Could You please clarify.”  Sometimes God’s going to clarify;  sometimes He’s going to say “Trust Me.”  But it’s all about building trust, because ultimately it’s all about God who calls the shots that take us into the life we’re really meant to live in the first place.  A life that will give us deep inner peace and deep inner joy.  It’s ok to ask the next question.  Oftentimes the Lord is waiting for us to ask the next question.  For example:  “Lord, should I go talk to this person about this issue we’re having together?”  The answer is:  “Yes.”   But the next question should be:  “When? and How should I do that?”   Sometimes we blindly press forward without asking that next question.
            1. published a newsletter

              ReadRCC Weekly Update 09/23/21
              The Impact of the Fall

              A Message from Pastor Jerry

              During the great New York blackout of 1977, a young couple noticed their little boy becoming increasingly agitated. When questioned, the little boy confessed that, at the exact moment the lights went out, he had kicked a power line pole. As darkness engulfed the city, he thought he was to blame and would be punished! Guilt can have a powerful influence on your life. However, feelings of “guilt” pale in comparison to another internal feeling that can have far, far deeper implications regarding your emotional and spiritual well-being. Join us Sunday as we confront the most effective tactic Satan will ever use to keep you enslaved, as well as God’s perfect path to freedom.

              Have a great week,

              Pastor Jerry

              1. The Fruit of the Spirit is KINDNESS. Our Daily-verse today states:   “God is KIND to the ungrateful and wicked.”   -Luke 6:35b-36 Our accompanying background photo shows the headlights of a car illuminating the roadway … thereby revealing a crucial and imminent curve in the road. Humanity is lost in the darkness of sin.   Completely lost.  No one knows which way to go.  People are cruising down the “highway of life” only to suddenly find themselves crashing through bushes, suffering scratches, scars, bumps, and bruises.  Some have careened headfirst over embankments;  still others have missed crucial curves and smashed into obstacles;  others have bogged down in deep ditches with no way to get out. God LOVES us so much that He has not left us to wander through this life in the darkness of sin.  God has provided direction.  God has provided LIGHT!   Just as the headlights of the car are illuminating the way to go, so also God, in His great KINDNESS has brilliantly illuminated the WAY with LIGHT – Jesus!    *   “Jesus said, ‘I am the WAY and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’”   -John 14:6 Not only that, but God has sent the Holy Spirit into world so that everyone lost in the darkness would be drawn to the LIGHT and the WAY!   The Holy Spirit’s work is to draw people to Jesus! *   “I have loved you with an everlasting LOVE; I have drawn you with LOVING KINDNESS.”  -Jeremiah 31:3 *   “God’s KINDNESS leads you toward repentance.”   -Romans 2:4b Just as the car headlights are illuminating the way in the dark, so also the Holy Spirit’s KINDNESS, in and through our lives, illuminates the dark path of life to lead people to Jesus!
                1. Join us tomorrow evening for our Thursday Evening Discussion Group on Prayer.